Wrath has had many unforeseen consequences, worst of all it has created many unacceptable expectations. WoWCrendor addresses this in another marvelous YouTube short. He responds quite succinctly to the accusation that Cataclysm instances are too hard. If you completed any of them in Heroic mode you’ll know this is not true, they can be very straightforward once you learned the mechanic of any given fight. Of course you have to focus and if someone makes a mistake the entire team may need to adjust to get past that. So naturally PuGs fail almost every time anything, however minor, goes wrong. The inevitable finger pointing begins. “Blizzard suck” because you cannot simply walk into an instance and walk out with the loot you want.

Normal, top level, instance dungeons are a means of learning the basic fights and accumulating the next rank of gear to get ready for Heroic modes. Heroic mode ups the ante and requires more skill, better gear and higher focus. Heroics are a training and gearing ground for raiding. They are meant to provide a challenge and test your mettle. They are not exactly hard, simply challenging. However, the PuG scene now reflects this new perceived level of hardness.

I have whined about the situation of the Affliction lock before now, most people responded by simply re-speccing Destro. Well, I did and my DPS naturally went down as I struggled to own the ‘rotation’ and not stand in the fire. I also really enjoy the Affliction spec and I would like bigger numbers, but I do fine really. I’m an asset in most heroics. I am usually one of the very last alive in a wipe, I know the fights and I respond quickly to problems. I can banish and fear and will use my initiative if the mage dies and we lose polymorph or we pull a second group or badly (for us) timed patrol. I don’t stand in the fire and self heal when things are going pear shaped (that’s what Life Drain and Deathcoil are for). I cannot, however, lay down as much DPS as I, and often the group, would like.

I’ve had a lot of constructive suggestions, for example, where is optimal to tank a mob, not standing in a particular coloured circle or when to stop all DPS thrown back in my face with some remark about where I rank on the DPS metre.

Someone has to roll in last guys and who would you rather have? A high DPSer who dies at the beginning of the fight, stands in wrong place and pulls extra groups and causes wipes or an experienced guy who plays a nerfed class and is there cc-ing stray mobs, self healing during chaos and throwing in the last shadow bolts to squeeze out the boss kill, after the tank dies because the healer got ganked after the polymorph broke when the mage and rogue died standing in the green circle? Higher DPS of course…

“N00b!”, “L2P”, “Roll Destro”, “Play another class if you can’t play that!”, “At least I do more DPS when I’m alive…”, yeah but I’ve put down three times your damage in this run already! Someone, usually the tank, will sigh and say in a quite reasonable manner “Guys we need more DPS”. Here comes a kick.

So how do I get all this experience given a kick usually follows a wipe as the post mortem, blame storm will usually conclude that more DPS will mean quicker kill with less skill? Well, fortunately I have friends and guildies and despite my n00b level DPS we manage to easily finish all Heroic dungeons with some care, communication and planning. Go on check my achievements, I’ve completed all the instances in this patch (many heroics with PuGs). So I can say with assurance that my skill, gear and DPS is easily good enough to complete any 5 man dungeon in Cataclysm on heroic.

Next time there is a wipe, ask yourself not who is fourth on the DPS metre, but why did you die? How much damage did you take as DPS and how much did this extra healing contribute to the healer going out of mana? Did the tank have the mob facing the right way? If the Warlock doing 7.5K DPS was replaced with Mage doing 10K, who was an ass, wouldn’t listen to tactics, stood in the fire and then bitched out the healer, would you down this boss any quicker?

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