Tobold's Blog
Friday, February 12, 2010
Sometimes you just have to leech

I was scratching my head at a comment from Syp over at Bio Break, who hit level 80 in World of Warcraft a couple weeks ago, and felt stuck there because "I couldn’t run heroics because my gear was too poor, but I couldn’t get better gear unless I somehow cracked the heroics barrier." I swear there is no heroics barrier in World of Warcraft. A situation in which you are level 80 but "not geared enough" to run heroics simply doesn't exist any more, due to the Dungeon Finder.

The Dungeon Finder will, if he can, mix people with vastly different gear levels. In terms of Gearscore I've seen anything from as low as 2k to as high as 6k in heroics. And as this is automatic, people can't even vote kick somebody out for having bad gear, because the automatically invited replacement will have equally bad gear. Thus most players realize that having a guy in green gear doing 1k dps in the group is still better than running the thing undermanned. And as some other player is doing 4k dps, the overall damage is largely sufficient to succeed the heroic anyway.

Thus World of Warcraft right now is a paradise for undergeared fresh level 80 characters. They not only get the same emblems as everybody else, but will also be the only ones in the group rolling need for the iLevel 200 blue and epic gear. If you play a tank, you just sign up as dps until you got enough gear to actually do some tanking. If you are a healer, well, healing an overgeared tank is rather easy, and can be done perfectly well with green gear.

Of course it isn't very pleasant to always come last on the damage meter, and feeling like a leech. But look at Syp, who overcame his imaginary "heroics barrier" by being carried by his guild through a raid and getting some epics there. Isn't that leeching as well? Then I'd rather leech from a bunch of strangers, who anyway are so used to somebody undergeared in their group that they don't even complain about it any more.

I don't think there is anything dishonorable about signing up for heroics when you are freshly arrived at level 80. That is after all the place you are *supposed* to go to gear up for raids. And it isn't your fault that there are a lot of completely overgeared people running the same heroics, and that the Dungeon Finder tends to group you with them. If anyone would complain to me for being "undergeared for heroics", I'd reply: You are right, one of us is wearing the completely wrong gear for heroics, only it isn't me.

Last night I was running an undergeared alt through heroics and by some random twist of fate got grouped with other badly geared people, some of them obviously even inexperienced with heroics. We weren't doing all that well, and wiped a few times, sometimes due to stupid mistakes. But nobody left, everybody was extremely nice and polite, apologized for mistakes, got told that no worry, it's just a game, and finally we beat the dungeon. That was the most fun run of the evening, the others were the usual speed runs with conversation limited to "gogogo". I'd say the undergeared players are suffering from the presence of overgeared players in heroics at least as much as the overgeared players are suffering from the "leeches".
For me it sounded as if he didn't get to queue for Heroics at all, maybe there is a barrier where you can't queue for a random heroic? Just like you can't queue for FoS and ToC Hc if your average iLvl is below ~200.

I have to say I've never arrived at 80 in questing greens, I've always found myself already equipped with a chunk of iLvl 185 or whatever blues that drop in normal mode instances or boe stuff from 78 on.
When me priest first dinged 80 a couple months ago, the DF would not let him queue up fer heroics or normal ToC. In his case, he were mostly wearing epics from SSC and Hyjal, which has low iLevels despite being better'n what drops in normal dungeons. Howevers, just one crafted epic and suddenly the DF said "okies, mate, yer good-to-go fer heroics." So, there do be a bit of a heroics barrier, but is much easier ways over it than waitings fer to be carried through T10 content...
If you are that worried about gear, pick up some crafted stuff, some boe stuff,some rep stuff,run some 80 instances on normal,do the tournament quests for badge gear, do quests in ice crown or storm peaks....

Any gear barrier you can't get past is in your head.
Just don't be an idiot and I don't care what your gear is like.
I've been doing heroics with alts lately and have noticed a number of things. Initially, 1k dps was ok in heroics. Yesterday, the tank and healer left because the dps players were all under 2k dps each. That's a bit unrealistic, since 2k dps is naxx level.

If a dps leaves, you can find an instant replacement, but if a tank or healer leave you are pretty much stuck waiting in queue for another 15 minutes.

I rarely get useful drops from heroics anyway. I, like most others, are there for the emblems. Any starter epics I buy at the AH or craft for myself.

The big complaint now is not getting past the heroic barrier -- it is getting geared enough to do ToC and ICC. Even if a toon gets there, they don't have the raiding experience to perform well. As well, many players wanting to experience naxx or ulduar are out of luck since that is now obsolete content. This is another example of how vertical progression alienates subscribers.
The difficulty and gear progression are nicely balanced in WoW and there is no need to leech at all.
It's the dungeon tool that's actually forcing us to leech/carry right now, because of the way it assembles groups.
And it's leading to odd dungeon runs imo, last week I cleared the halls of stone heroic, playing with a tank which required full attention from our not-so-great healer, one afk dps and a 1k dps. I was dragging everyone through the place, and it even cost me the repairs for two inevitable deaths.
As I've seen my wife's level 80 characters, I'm pretty certain that if you arrive at level 80 wearing only green quest gear, with the occasional blue quest item thrown in, the Dungeon Finder allows you to join *some* heroics. Not all of them, and you'll most likely be excluded from ToC and the new Icecrown trilogy.

Somebody was mentioning buying crafted or boe epics, which is what I did on my characters, but then I'd say due to an unusual interest in economics I have more gold than the average player. But in heroics there are quite a number of iLevel 200 boe drops, and those can be found extremely cheap on the AH, because the alternative of disenchanting them into a single dream shard nets you even less money. So in the unlikely case that some very low iLevel piece of gear makes the Dungeon Finder block you from heroics, just replace that low piece with a cheap blue one, and off you go.
I didn't feel like a leech at all, though my hunter soloed up to 80 (occasional PuGs). The new DF dropped at the perfect time for me. I like playing the AH and regularly kept an eye on blues to shard, so I was well-kitted with blues to wear. Playing the AH gets you gold, and I spent some of that on the two LW dragonscale pieces. After awhile as BM in randoms I specced survival, finally giving it a serious try, and have moved up ever since.
Finally upgraded from a Nesingwary 4000, nearing GearScore 5k, done some PvP (fun! never really did it before), and when I look back at the old "underpowered" hunter I still remember it being a good time.
It really helps to be honest in PuGs if you are new to heroics and want some suggestions; someone in your party will take you under their wing.
No one bothers if someone is undergeared. I never had a negative comment for not having epics or low gearscore.

Having 1K DPS is what attracts kick before last boss. One shall do more in normal Nexus at lvl 72
once upon a time before I knew about dps. I thought the measure of equipment decency was how much of green, blue & purple armour one had.

They were better times.

dps snobbery is bound to become a bigger thing in time. if blizzard want to make changes they should stop the ability to calculate dps.
The heroic barrier is gargantuan for tanks right now because you'll invariably have high threat overgeared dps, and "play something you don't enjoy" is not an acceptable solution.
Do you really have nothing better to do than make posts about how wrong other people are? Seriously, you rant about Syncaine but other than being civil about it you're not being any better. Syp is a very casual WoW player - you aren't. Saying "it was easy for me so it must be easy for everyone" is not the basis for a good argument, especially on something that there can be no argument about anyway. Syp is relating a personal experience, you can't rationally argue he didn't have that experience.
but other than being civil about it you're not being any better

A) I would say that "being civil about it", and discussing *ideas* and *arguments* instead of people makes all the difference.

B) Other blogs are a major source of post ideas for pretty much every blogger. If I wrote a post today saying "heroics are way too hard", tomorrow there would be a dozen blogs disagreeing with me on that matter. I disagree with Syp about heroics being too hard unless you have epic gear, but that doesn't mean I respect him any less.

C) If I read something on another blog that I would like to write about, it is common blogging etiquette to quote and link to the source. I could have written this same post without mentioning Syp, but I'm pretty certain that he would have found that "stealing idea without linking" a lot more insulting than me disagreeing with him.
well you forget some people are really casual and run maybe one or two instances a week. So worst case you que get in some ass boots you and then you don't have time to run and the perception is no one will let you run. In reality the next group probably would be happy to have you but the perception is no one wants you
You know, the other option for this guy is to run some *normal* dungeons for a little while. They drop some gear that will really help in heroics, and you get two Triumphs a day. Of course, he should have been running the daily dungeon all the way from 69-80 and he'd really be pimped out.

I recently leveled a Druid, and ran the daily every day that I played. I hit 80 with over 60 Emblems of Triumph, which was enough to replace my pvp cloth Heirloom shoulders with a T9 piece and buy a ilvl 245 idol. The rest of the gear I had made me WELL able to do the old-skool heroics, and I'm a healer; you can't carry a hopeless healer like you can a 3-digit dps.

So folks need to stop whining and just do some planning.
I have to say that I prefer running heroics with polite under-geared people to running them with rude, over-geared ones.

Sure, the latter will get through faster, but it won't be a pleasant experience. And that, ultimately, is why I play WOW. Not to collect imaginary purple pixels, but to enjoy myself.

I want an addon that weeds out the socially under-geared. So far the nearest I've seen is "elitist group", but that still focusses on gear rather than behaviour.
Ok first of all about the people saying well im a casual player. Yes you are a casual player and why should you be handed stuff the same as someone who puts in 30-40 hours a week. I spend a lot of time playing wow and I came from playing MMO's where it felt good to get that "special" loot. Now so many (casual) players complained and blizz made everything so easy that fresh 80's have nice gear a few weeks later.

As for the 1K dps you have to be kidding me. Like others have said at level 72 on my pali I had 1.2k dps. Sure some classes have a harder time doing this but at 80 there should be no excuse.

sorry I had a bad morning :)
This wasn't my experience with both my warrior as tank or shaman as healer. I constantly got complaints about my gear.

Once in a while you did have the understanding over geared people. But not often.
This is exactly what I discovered! I just hit 80 and continued to LFD. True I dropped dramatically on the DPS scale, but there have been no complaints.
Their is definitily a point where it wont let you queue for heroics. As said it does not like boa;s and it does not like 70 epics even good ones. On my shaman I had a level 65 healing totem and it really did not like that.Swapping that to a higher totem opened up everything from heroic toc to heroic HoR.

But their are alternatives. At least on my battlegroup the que for toc normal is fairly quick 4-5 runs of that over 3 hours and you are well and truly ready for heroics.Most 80 blue boes are barely above vendor price and level 264 pvp gear can be brought for honor and is better then enough sub 80.
As a tremendously overgeared tank (ICC10 and 25 gear mostly) I love running dungeons with people in blues and greens. They're no problem with threat, the dungeon takes maybe 2-5 minutes longer, and they're generally grateful rather than insulting.

Frankly I look forward to the dungeons where I'm top of the DPS meter - it tends to mean that the asshole meter's registering lower too.
I have to disagree with many of these comments as I hit 80 a few weeks before the Dungeon Finder started. I obviously had enough gear numbers to get accepted into them, but then as the healer because I had a green or two I would get booted or bashed for running regulars. I wasnt even attempting heroics.

After about 20 PUGs, even with a friend here or there..mabye I just got a bunch of asshats (with the stupid gogogo attitude and god forbid we wiped), but for a while that boundary seemed to happen to me, but in just regular 80 instances.

Now mabye I just suck... but I try really hard. I mean, hell with my first Northrend instance in the 70s, I managed to heal reg VH with 554 healing bonus (ACK!)

Im glad I didnt give up on WOW, as I almost did... now better geared I am finally running heroics.
This appears to be one of the problems. Undergeared DPS don't get too much grief - but if you're an undergeared tank or even worse healer, god help you.
"I swear there is no heroics barrier in World of Warcraft."

You must play a dps class ;)

While this is somewhat true, some people (like myself) don't like to just jump in without gearing up somewhat for heroics when tanking or healing. These roles require that the player gears properly, not enough defense? Splat.. not enough mana.. tank and dps go splat.

It's far easier to jump in as dps than a tanking or healing role where some people would rather gear properly.

I think it's somewhat an oversight to not take into account he is playing a healer and then boggle about gearing properly and use him as an example.
I have a (DK) tank that has never run an instance in dps gear or spec. It can be done. Finish all the normal northrend instances as tank, then queue up in heroics.

Start the instance linking your Lich King Dungeon achievement and and state that you will keep agro off the healer, but could the DPS please watch their threat.

Remember - that if you are a tank, you have the shortest queue. If you are upfront about your progression, any DPS that have issues can leave. Chances are that they waited much longer than you did, and will stay. If not - they are only DPS and can be replaced.

That said, it does help if you have a friendly healer.
If you're not geared for heroics go do regular instances until you are.

There is no excuse to run a heroic in greens.
My second priest did most of her leveling in the 70's in dungeons, and so had all the blue dungeon drops - but I was a little panicy heading into healing at 80 - she would be healing the same things my much better geared priest was. However because of the dungeons I qualified for - and what could have been deliberitly random well geared tanks, I was never undergeared for healing that content. I think They have put some work into balancing it. I just wish those real 1k dps people were 1k dps cause of gear levels, and not because they forgot to put pants on.
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