Forsaken World - Counterintuitive advice for DPS from a Divine priest

If you're not a Protector or a Warrior, and you see me, your friendly neighbourhood divine priest, being hit by a crapload of mobs - DO NOT AOE. (Unless, of course, you can kill all the mobs in that one AoE. Then go right ahead.)

And more importantly, DO NOT PULL THE MOBS OFF ME.


Because you'll die faster than I will if you do that.

See, PWE's game engines have retargetting lag on heals. After I target someone, I need to make sure I've selected them for at least 0.5s (or it could be 1s, I count by 3 spins of my mousewheel upon target change), or else the heal goes to ME. Not my target.

When a crapload of things are hitting on me, I'll be spamming heals on MYSELF, and probably the tank.

If a nice DPS (mages especially, you're so squishy), comes in and says I WILL SAVE J00 I WILL TAKE THEM!!!!!

That DPS will usually die. Not because I'm being mean but because I've been totally focused on, 'Oh oh oh oh stayin' aliiiiiiiiiiiiive!' that by the time I realise what you've done, and retargetted, and waited for the retarget to take... you'll probably be dead. This especially tends to happen in Arena of Souls.

Divine priests are very durable. Especially those with Iron Bone pets.

If you wanna tell the tank the healer's being eaten though, that's great - because I'm usually too busy BeeGeeing to be able to type that. And if you have a spare heal, no matter how puny, healing me with it is sweet. ;)

P.S.: This advice is good till level 49 - my priest isn't 50 yet. And so far trash in FW doesn't have the kind of disabling power that mobs in Guild Wars do, nor do they yet hit as hard as WoW heroics - where you really don't want them whaling on your healer.

Priming, Consistency, Cheating, and Being a Jerk at The Psychology of Video Games; My Basis for Social Experimentation with WoW's LFD Tool

Bargh, Chen, and Burrows also did another experiment where some people unscrambled sentences with words related to rudeness (bold, bother, brazen) and some worked with words indicating politeness (patiently, courteous, unobtrusively). All subjects then walked in on a staged scene where they had to interrupt a conversation to get some needed information. Those in the “polite” condition waited 9.3 minutes on average. Those in the “rude” condition jumped in after just 5.5 minutes on average.3

These are examples of what psychologists called “priming,” which is basically getting people in a particular state of mind or getting them to think about what you want them to. It’s a staple of advertising and surprisingly easy to do. I’ve been thinking for a while that game developers should take better advantage of it.

What if, for example, certain words of phrases were thrown around on loading screens between levels or in the matchmaking lobby for a multiplayer shooter? Would simply showing words like “sportsmanship” or “communication” or “fairness” prime people to behave themselves during games? If you didn’t want to be that transparent, you could include little stories, vignettes, or even comics or movies that included those words or illustrations of them. Or maybe you could use real data, like the number of heals provided by players in the previous game or awards for best defense.

This makes me wonder...

...I think I shall now try greeting every crappy LFD group (by now, I despise the dungeon finder) with some happy, perky bounces, and see if that works with priming the groups to act more decently in general, thereby improving my LFD grouping experiences.

I do usually try to greet people with at least a, 'Hullo!' However, for the purposes of this experiment, I think I'll try to be a little bit odder, and work in 'polite' words for killing everything in sight, and see if that works better.

E.g.: Woohoo! Hi guys! Lettuce go forth and politely divest all the mobbies of their tasty loot with civility and gentleness!

(Assuming they have a certain level of mastery of the English language, it should at least be 'ha, this person is odd' even if it's not actually amusing - and it will hopefully, prime everyone with polite words.)

Certainly, when I made mistakes when I started tanking again (even though only low level) for the first time in 2 years, and I explained exactly that, the group was a lot more forgiving than it would have been had I said nothing.

Pair that with how apology has the tendency (if perceived as sincere) to cancel out the effects of annoyance...

...I shall run my little social experiment and report back inna bit!

More observations:
This is the line I've been using. I've had to macro it, because groups are so gogogogogo these days I don't have TIME to type it... and I type really fast.
/p Hi guys! The PUG runs I've had from LFD lately have been great. Good, polite folk - let's hope this is one of them too.

Unfortunately, I can only do this once per run. This is a problem because of folks dropping out / being kicked, etc, and it would be suspicious to keep saying it every time someone new shows up.

Only have one sample so far, so can't really comment - off to get more!

Samples (I may split this off eventually or this will get awfully long)
With Priming
1) RFK - good
2) RFK - good
3) DM - good

4) ZF - good
5) BRD - neutral
6) BRD - bizarre. group was really good. tank was really bad. pally who would not consecrate 'it takes too much mana', could not hold aggro, and ninja'd a haste cloak from me because 'it has stamina' XD
7) BRD - neutral - tank dropped group when Angerforge didn't drop her item
8) ST - bad
9) BRD - bad, tank pulled whole bar way over thaar, while we were smashing barrels. then had a hissy fit. also, another pally tank who wouldn't ever ever EVER consecrate. Not even when I was tanking all the adds (healer).
10) BRD - good - great tank, great group, some loldeaths in the bar, but really nice in general
11) Ramparts - good
12) Slave Pens - good
13) Blood Furnace - good (all three by same group - so could be skewed here)

Without Priming
1) DM - N/A incompetank, didn't have time to hit the macro, didn't stay past the first 2 pulls. Yes, that bad. 
2) ST - Good
3) BRD - bizarre. So many wipes. But people were good natured. Accidentally pulling Drakkisath cause tank didn't SEE him... is classic. XD
4) Ramparts - Good... but - idiot WotLK babies for DPS. Tank was the best I've had in 60 levels, and she was only 59. Extremely tough, amazing aggro (idiots pulled boss, no problems), and she was marking kill target as it came up. Professional. And they were making fun of her for it.
5) BF - Good
6) BF - Bad/bizarre - incredibly INCREDIBLY squishy DK tank. Like healing a mage. He needed shield AND renew at all times, and penance always on CD, with flash heal spamming as well. Couldn't hold aggro so good - I kept being silenced because he wasn't holding the attention of the silencing mobs. And to top it all off, he was wearing a skirt. A skirt. Blizzard doesn't put tanks in skirts, that I remember, unless it's druid leather... So glad I got gear upgrades and talents. -_-
7) UB - Neutral
8) AC - Good

...going to have to stop this for now. the BC section, and I'm told WotLK section is so faceroll that I never run out of mana no matter how stupid the group is being. Makes it very hard to judge.

Welcome Back for One Month, Nugget! We're Sure Content Will WoW you! a.k.a. Hell is Other People - GIVE ME LIVIA BACK!

So I'm one of those people who's gone back to WoW for a month (at least, that's the plan), to poke around the new old world, then waddle off again. It's partly due to a good friend making HOOOOGE PUPPY EYES at me, Blizzard's US$20 deal for Vanilla, Burning Crusade, and Wrath of the Lich King, and some life in general happening. I didn't buy Cataclysm, I don't intend to stay, and I most certainly don't EVER want to raid again.

However, on with the story!

It's funny - I've read on other blogs that they find it a bit unnerving that Blizzard basically simply went - CUT!  

Five years later...

...because as a returning player, that's precisely it is! In my case, 2 years, not 5, but still.

The baby troll experience is much more streamlined now, and it's even entertaining, with a nice dash of variety.

The UI has improved vastly. I've only downloaded 2 addons (Omen, Recount), and don't feel the need to download anything else.

I'm running a Discipline smite-atonement healer build (similar but not identical to the link), and having fun with it after the initial readjustment needed to the pace of combat / style of combat of WoW, vs GW. As an example, in GW, a 2 second cast (unless you're an elementalist (mage)) is something you'd better have a damn good reason for casting, because that's so SLOW; in WoW, a 2 second cast is fast/normal. 

Azshara, though some silly part of me hates to say it, rivals Guild Wars: Eye of the North for beauty. I petulantly say to myself that well EotN was out YEARS ago! But still, I know I'm being silly. =)

But the main problem is culture shock.

Culture shock from coming from Guild Wars; culture shock from the WoW I left, which is not - 5/2 years later - the WoW I've come back to.

What culture shock, you ask? Well, even if you didn't, too bad!

Here's wall-of-text rant to a poor friend this morning:

like why mages don't make water anymore, don't decurse anymore (not that they ever really did but still), why no one knows how to LoS pull anymore, why no one moves out of green goo anymore, why tanks no longer seem to understand that tanking is more than standing there like a lump, (although more of them can now hold aggro), and that no one seems to realise even after a wipe that careful pulls are better than charging into the centre of the room and wiping.

I was healing in Scholomance last night.

I was the only one who remembered it, until a warlock at the end.

And we wiped in the first room. Of course.

'it wasn't my fault I was feared!' Well, Yes it was. Because you ran to the centre of the fucking room. XD

And stood there and fought. -_-

Scholo hasn't changed at all - well okay, it's gotten easier - but I think they moved it down so that it would be more like the old Vanilla days when it was challenging - it's level 40ish now.

The bright side is tanking (at low levels) seems piss easy now.

I've only had one tank who couldn't hold aggro - incompetanks used to be the bane of my existence.

The dark side is they're used to seeing their tank friends pull the whole instance *while outgearing it*, but forgetting/not counting the top part. ~_o

Anyway it felt like old scholo, only at 40 I don't even have prayer of healing yet. Well okay, it was easier, because no one died even though some parts were REALLY CLOSE, and everything I said above happened.

When I started pulling the second room (summoner + skeleton room) sanely, one person ragequit.

'We're going too slow! I don't have time for this!' *quit*

And because the tank had no idea how to pull, had no idea what an los (Line-of-Sight) pull was - I was like, 'Look, STAY HERE. I will pull.' Group, 'Why don't you let the tank do his job.' Oh yes, because the first room went so well, oh yes. Because you know if you run into the centre of the library and fight and get feared and pull the whole room and we die, obviously it's not your fault, because you were feared, yeah! No, I didn't say that, but I sure was thinking it. XD

There's even less skill than I remembered, and that's impressive. XD

Tanks NEVER wait for healer mana anymore. I realise most people are heirloomed out the wazoo, but I am not (I started with a fresh PC version instead of upgrading my old mac one), and I don't want to be.

That scholo I drank 40 waters because they would never let me drink.

So it was, 4 seconds of drink, stand up chase the tank.

Who is of course pulling a whole room. Again. XD

It was nice seeing scholo again though.

Oh yeah they were all standing in the green, of course.

I stopped even trying to explain things, noone was interested in mechanics - they just wanted to make shiny lights and … lol.

The tank did listen to me on one thing though.

I was so fucking amazed!

On the boss who does the aoe knockback, I despairingly said as everyone poinged off in all directions, 'It's easier to tank that against the wall so you don't get knocked back.'

And god in heaven, he listened.

How shocking.

Well, at least he listened to that.

At least I taught one idiot something.

...this post isn't going to make me very popular with WoW players, is it? XD Oh wells! Soon I shall have lovely luscious Livia back. *Worships Livia* AI forever!

This build doesn't use Heal, ever. It uses Smite in place of Heal. Obviously, I'm still a baby, but I've heard reports of it working fine in heroics as well. It's in raids where it fails - the bosses are often fatter than 8 yards, alas for obese bosses!

Why? Couple of reasons:
1) With a full stack of Evangelism, Smite-Atonement costs just a little more than Heal, and casts faster.
2) Smite (with talents) can reduce the CD of Penance.
3) Unlike Heal - where you have to wait for the damage to hit, then heal it, with an additional 0.5s tacked on top of that - you are constantly smiting. Because you are constantly smiting, you're healing the damage the moment it happens. So far, I've found that Smite-Atonement healing can cover anything but Shit Has Hit the Fan (SHHtF) situations, where you go into overdrive. If you have time to cast Heal, you have more than enough time to heal with Smite-Atonement instead.
4) Evangelism is almost always up at 5 stacks. I have Archangel macroed to Penance, and I ONLY use Penance to heal. That means in SHHtF situations, my Penance packs a real punch, and so do my Flash Heals, and whatnot. I do not use Archangel for energy management - I find the constant cost reduction of Smite-Atonement for me to add up more than what I'd need to spend to rebuild 5 stacks.
5) Smite-Atonement is a 'smart heal'. It'll heal anything within 8 yards of your target with the lowest health. I've read complaints about not being able to 'direct' it, but the truth is, in a 5man (and that's all I'm interested in), you can. With a judicious Renew+PW:S, or, depending on the situation, just a Renew, you can more or less make certain that the person with the lowest health (even by a fraction), is the tank. This also makes it more interesting - to me, anyway.
6) Right now, at level 42, tanks are more or less in Non-SHHtF situations, taking almost exactly the amount of damage that Smite-Atonement heals. Obviously it differs a little between tanks, but the general rate has been amazingly reliable and constant.
7) It's just plain fun (to me), especially when it comes to making sure that Smite-Atonement hits the tank, just like you want it to.
8) It adds (acknowledgedly sad, but still existent!) DPS without any negative effects - always good.