Oh! And...

Yeah, yeah, he's way over in the corner. We followed it up with a Dreamwalker... kill? an hour and a half later. Dreamwalker is the first boss that I got the adrenaline rush after the fight was over, because once we hit bloodlust (somewhere after 75%), the fight was over fast. I wasn't watching her health %'s at all (I think if I get to see her again any time soon I'll suggest popping one of the healers up on the oRa tank list), and then suddenly giant green dragon stands up behind me. (And of course then she ports out, so there's no pretty screenshot of her.)

I am hoping eventually we'll be able to get Putricide down in two 10s every week - but we have to be getting Rotface down in two consistently first. Eventually people will figure out how to kite slimes properly. Right?

So they didn't use the article, but since it's already written...

And because I ran into someone I actually voted "yes" to kick for the first time last night - ok, that first: There was a DK in my Heroic ... Old Kingdom, because I can't remember how to spell AK, who was in the group as DPS. We kept telling him - if you keep running out ahead of the tank, you're going to die; please stop taking us with you. Two wipes entirely caused by him running ahead of the tank and pulling stuff later, we get rid of him, and the replacement takes over as tanking, which lets our previous bear tank go cat. The rest of the instance (the last three bosses, skipping only mushroom man) was done in maybe fifteen minutes.

But yeah, I wrote up one of those "5 tips" submissions for wow.com, but didn't get picked. Since I've already got it written and that DK reminded me of it, I'm popping it up here.

Five tips for DPS running random heroic dungeons

Random heroics tend to get different groups of people together: the “Woohoo, I hit 80!” crowd, the “Damn it, I got rolled out of ICC-25 again” crowd, and the “All I do is heroics” crowd, possibly with some other miscellanies thrown in.

As DPS, you can use a variety of tactics to make the randoms go more smoothly, both socially and mechanically.

1. Don’t stress your tank and/or healer. You don’t know when you start a random instance how good your tank or healer is, so play it safe until you find out if it’s okay to open up the throttle all the way. As they say on WoW_ladies, you can’t heal stupid (and they don’t all say it, but you don’t heal jerks). Don’t be stupid or a jerk.

If you don’t already have an assist macro or keybind, now is a good time to make one. Personally I prefer to focus the tank and use a /targetfocus keybind (in my case, G), supplemented by an /assist keybind (for me, F). So after initially focusing the tank (also useful for my Misdirect macro as a hunter), I spend much of my time just using G->F to pick my targets.

Wait for the tank to hit stuff before hitting it yourself, including if you’re going to AOE a trash pack. Pulling aggro because your tank hasn’t had a chance to touch something stresses both the tank and the healer. And don’t run away from the tank when you do pull aggro. Running away just means you’re tanking it longer. Related to that: It’s not your job to pull. This is not Molten Core; this is a 5-man heroic instance. The tank can shoot/throw shields at/freeze/faerie fire mobs all by him- or herself.

Don’t stand in fires. Or lightning novas. Or bright green poison pools. You have projected textures turned on, right? If you can’t turn on projected textures because your computer is too old, at least watch your debuffs. The first time I healed Halls of Stone in a random heroic, two melee DPS stood in Sjonnir’s lightning nova. I’m an undergeared discipline priest, and the tank was squishy. The two melee DPS died because I had to spam-heal the tank to keep him up. If your healer says it’s okay to stand in Loken’s nova, then it’s okay, but don’t do it unless you’ve already gotten the go-ahead.

2. Don’t roll on gear for your offset until you find out if the active tank or healer needs the gear. It’s just not polite. Given the risk of things getting sharded if you greed on them, ask if the tank or healer is going to roll on something you want for an offspec, and if they don’t want it, then feel free to need. Loot rules vary from server to server, guild to guild, party to party, but needing for offspecs over people actually playing those roles will not make you a lot of friends.

3. If your class can tank or heal but you don’t have the spec or the gear for it, don’t queue for the roles just to get in faster. I’ve seen so many groups fall apart and had to sit out the 15 minute debuff because the warrior queued to tank as Arms in Arms gear. (And I’d rather re-queue than sit and wait for a new tank for yet another Halls of Stone run.) Queue as DPS, wait it out, and then tear the place up. I tend to do dailies during the DPS queue. (Or take out the garbage, make dinner, etc.) Just make sure whatever you do in the meantime lets you still see your screen, because coming back to your computer right as your “Dungeon is ready!” notice is expiring sucks.

4. Figure out the basic mechanics of your class before you get to the point of random heroics. Melee should stand behind mobs. Distracting shot is a taunt. Frost presence is bad for Death Knights who aren’t tanking. It’s okay if your DPS isn’t ICC-25 quality, as long as it’s not Karazhan-quality. (If you’re only doing 500 DPS at level 80, please, please, go find a mentor.)

Some of you have crowd-control abilities that can be used to supplement a new-ish tank who doesn’t have as much health as you might like, or a weak healer who can’t keep the tank up through more than a couple mobs at a time. (Traps, sheep, saps, etc.) I know we’re all AOE-happy nowadays (I myself have the talents to maximize Volley), but rather than drop group and sit out the debuff, actually using your abilities properly might make a run work out. If they ever make instances like Shattered Halls or Shadow Labyrinth again, you’ll be very happy to know how to effectively crowd-control.

5. Hold off a little on the /votekick until you find out if the person is hopeless or just new. You’ve been playing since launch. You’ve seen most of ICC-25’s current content die. And, oh, my God, that rogue is doing 500 DPS. Rather than immediately vote-kick them, first see if any glaringly obvious problems stick out. (In a rogue’s case, are they spec’d Subtlety? Mutilate with swords? Standing in front of mobs? Stacking spirit?)

A lot of new 80s are open to advice, and the more newbies you educate, the fewer abysmally terrible players you’ll run into. If they just don’t want to listen and are keeping you from actually finishing the instance, though, /votekick may be in order. If your DPS is good enough to get by with their minimal contribution, it may be faster to just keep going.

Running random heroics with someone of a different playstyle than your own can be frustrating (or, if you’re a fresh 80 and you’re looking at someone with tier 10, intimidating), but you can run randoms together successfully.


Room to Run

So, I saw Rotface for the first time last Saturday, and Toravon last night. (Neither of them died.) What struck me the most about both fights is how crunched I feel for space.

I think I'm actually nostalgic for Molten Core.

The first thing that comes to mind is Golemagg's room, actually, although most of Molten Core had plenty of room for all the bosses. Sure, you had more people, but really - space management is a huge part of both fights.

For Rotface, you have to kite the slimes, stay out of the ooze puddles in the corners, and not stand in the spewing. It's actually the ooze puddles in the corners that cause me the most problems. When Rotface is being tanked in the middle of the room, my 5-yard minimum means I can't just stack up on his leg to not be taking damage; I have to move. This can be problematic when he spews. Maybe I should just be switching groups.

Toravon was a huge frustration for multiple reasons, not the least of which was that his Frozen Orbs weren't properly despawning after each wipe - instead, the ones that were up when we wiped remained on the floor as corpses... forever. Once you have a dozen or so up, trying to distinguish live orbs from dead ones was very disorienting. Additionally, moving away from three orbs in that space while trying to kill them was a pain. Kiting them like Drakkisath in UBRS (up the hall) might work out better.

I'm kinda glad Survival's Sniper Training isn't distance-related - they'd be screwed if staying at least 30 yards away were still required. (Not that I'm ever likely to play Survival, but I was jealous of that talent when I first saw it - similarly to how I was upset when Hawkeye got moved over there.)


Ok, yeah, I just kinda made up that word.

I've been trying out the Arcane-less Marksman build and... I don't know if it's had a noticeable effect or not.

My current Armor Penetration (I've been told I shouldn't use that word in raid chat) is a little lower than I should really have to do it - I think I'm down to 475, with the Scorpion for procs, but I was over 500 when I respeced. But getting 2-piece T10 and going from the T8.5 to the T9 breastplate otherwise made a lot of sense.

Anyway, as much as I love that Marksman is about having lots of shots, I think dropping Arcane makes for a more logcial rotation - and, except for when you have to push extra buttons for Rapid Fire, Readiness, and such, it really is a rotation again: Chimera, Aimed, Steady x4. Kill Shot mucks it up a little, but critting for 20k is awesome (thank you, Void Boss Dude in Violet Hold, and I hate you, combat log bug that prevented me from screenshotting said crit).

Really, with my current level of ArP and the Scorpion, I should be doing a Chimera/Aimed/Arcane/Steady x3 type of thing, and only dropping Arcane during procs, but given the unpredictability of procs, it's really not practical. I'm not that good.

My DPS is definitely up a bit - I broke 8k on I think one of the spiders before Lady Deathwhisper the recently in 25s, and I broke 6k on Festergut in 10s (the night we don't have a log for, damn it, but I did at least screenshot that) - but that's just as likely due to gear changes as the spec/rotation change.

Dropping Improved Arcane from my talents was a bit sad for me; I absolutely loved the talent when it was a reduction in Arcane's cooldown. Ten-second and five-second cooldowns would have been mathematically easier to plan for... if our GCD weren't stuck at 1.5 seconds. Anywho, dropping Improved Arcane let me pick up Improved Steady, and since my rotation is stacked the way it is, the buff from Improved Steady is always going to Chimera.

One nice benefit of not regularly weaving in Arcane is that when I need an instant shot now - say, for web wraps or some such - I have one conveniently off cooldown to use. And I can still toss it in when I have to move.

As my gear gets upgraded (please, please let the cloak and belt be next), my ArP should go up, and it will be a more solid switch, but for now it's at least not hurting.