Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crucial Roles and Failure

Currently, my guild is working on hardmode Twin Val'kyr in ToC 25 (we've beaten it several times in 10). We've tried many different strategies, but they all revolve around one thing: soakers.

If you're not sure what a soaker is, it's a person who is the opposite color aura of the group they are closest to, and their job is to soak incoming orbs before they hit the raid, as well as dodge their opposite color orbs so that they do hit the raid (and thus buff damage). A soaker has to be highly mobile, as standing still to cast is a bit of a danger to them, depending upon persistence of orbs.

But because the soaker's job is so vital, and because they are a little ways out of the group, when they mess is very, very noticeable. And if one dies, it can often cause a chain reaction for other soakers to die, as they suddenly have to cover a wider range, with more chance of being swarmed by the wrong color orb. You can take a hit from one opposite color orb, but more than that and you're generally dead, if you're not a tank.

My guild spent 3 hours, 25-26 attempts, last night on this fight. I was a dark soaker for the light side the entire time. Sometimes I could execute it perfectly til a wipe; many other times I died early. Some of it is RNG; you have nowhere to go and too many orbs of the wrong color flying at you, and your Barkskin can't soak that much damage, or you get a debuff of the opposite aura at the wrong time. Some of it is a split decision gone awry; you make a pathing choice under pressure and it puts you into a dead end of your own design. Some of it is lag; with so many orbs flying around, spell effects and people packed into one space, your computer can hiccup you into a stack of death, or your latency can show the orbs to be farther away than they actually are. Some of it is just being human; it's a high pressure fight, you have a high pressure job (run, soak, dodge, heal, stay alive), and you're going to mess up.

The worst part is the feeling that you messed up, you know you messed up, and it's likely your mess up is going to cause a chain reaction of deaths, either from orbs getting through or because your other soaker(s) now have to cover more ground (making their jobs more stressful and have a larger margin of error). Besides that, your mess up is obvious, when a soaker dies, it's a Bad Thing. You can lose a DPS or two so long as your damage can keep up with shields and the enrage timer. When a soaker dies, it's often a multiple blow: you lost a shield for the raid and, in our strategy, likely a healer.

The only fight that has stressed me out more was trying to two-heal hardmode Anub'arak 10 with a Disc Priest, and not by a lot. Playing a role that is so crucial that, within the confines of the encounter's start to finish, you have a very low margin of error (and your errors in fact increase the others' margins of error), tacked onto a job that already had a low margin of error (raid healing for auras requires intense upkeep, especially on those with Touch of Light or Touch of Dark when there is no aura switching) is very taxing. And the knowledge that not only did you mess up, but some of the things you messed up to are out of your control while plenty of others were and you just made a stupid split second decision, and sometimes you're not even sure which ones are which...

Let's just say I feel rather terrible about last night and the wipes I contributed to. I feel even worse because I don't know if I am even improving at the job. I really hope I am, because we have 17 attempts left for tonight.


Anonymous said...

I know its rough but I have many times failed tanking or made a mistake that wipes a raid. It sucks but you just have to keep pushing and you will get it. :) I have faith in your tree skills even if orbs are a problem :P

- Trem

Droodjerky said...

First make sure your camera is all the way out:

/console cameradistancemaxfactor 50

Then, tilt it so it looks directly down at you. I found this helps a lot.

It's possibly more stressful when you know you're doing your job and the other guys are screwing up ><

Nefaruis said...

Fear not Bell for I have an idea! Talk to you about it tonight =D

Rensaelys said...

It's good to see they're treating you better than they ever treated me. :P I'm fairly certain after speaking with a few friends in the raid that it's because I'm not a soft-spoken, passive female. I'm very much the opposite. This makes me unpopular with certain types of male. :(

Shopshopshop said...

I felt the same way when I had to grip sparks on Malygos. Ugh.

Alaron said...

Ignis construct tanking is teh suck. (And I say that having downed Ignis25 for the first time last night.) I kinda miss raiding on my warlock, because whenever I'd do something that'd kill me (often) or the raid (occasional) I'd always have some joke about "hey, my warlock loves death, duh." :)

It's worse when it's something avoidable, though. Nothing like wiping a Naxx25 on 4H because you're so focused on healing that you try to heal yourself through the void zone. :)

Sylly said...

sounds so stressful, Bell! Keep the faith. You'll work through it! /hug!