Over at Something Wicked, we’ve been progressing the past two days. Without going into too much detail, I’m going to cover the last two raid nights.
Wednesday Night – 01/03/2013
It may be a foregone conclusion that I’m going to make these pessimistic by default – after all, ‘Why Was I So Bad?‘ is the name of the series – but there is a time for levity and there is a time for realism. In general, I am a big believer in being fully accountable and owning up to your entire performance throughout the night – to me, there’s simply no improvement to be had if you just justify away your failures. Here are three images that should quite succinctly sum up Wednesday’s raid:
I guess the above images constitute the ‘how’ I was so bad – but why was this happening?
For Attenuation, I still cannot figure it out. To me, this is a lot like Warmaster Blackhorn’s invisible fire – where the graphics simply do not match up with what is actually happening to my character. This post on MMO-C sheds a little light:
Isn’t it just annoying? I failed hard at discs until I realized I was better of standing on top of the raid and following them, even though on my screen I was running through nearly every disc.
…but not really. If EVERYONE is just following the raid and everyone is running through every disc, then who is doing it correctly? I tried running in the middle, running ahead, running slow, running on time, running on the outside, running on the inside, and no matter which I chose, the feedback and results were completely random. The most frustrating thing is that on the first night of progression a few weeks back I didn’t have trouble with this after the first few pulls.
This isn’t to say that I’m going to give up. There’s nothing for me to do at this point but trial and error, but I’ve compiled a list of other things I can try. If I get another chance next week I’ll see if any of it pans out.
The Blade Tempest issue is an issue with awareness. No, it’s not that I wasn’t aware that I needed to run out immediately. It’s that I wasn’t aware – two weeks straight – that I would need to pay attention to the Kil’jaeden Cunning snare.
In addition, I’m going to swap to Dark Bargain for Blade Lord. Since I haven’t proven to myself that I can succeed at Blade Tempest or Phase 2, I might as well give myself a safety blanket. It’s also nice to have in those “oshit, I’ve been Unseen Strike-d into a tornado” moments (which also happened this week).
One point from my last post is particularly relevant still: “My cooldown usage and DoT power tracking were a mess. Some of this was focus, some of this was rhythm, some of this was just a radically different fight length/strategy/responsibility that I have to account for.” There’s simply no replacement for actually having gotten the time and work in during progression. Whereas for Imperial Vizier I had gotten into a rhythm (outside of Attenuation) where I knew exactly where and how to push my DPS during Phase 1, for the rest of these fights I’m still only at pull #2 (Wind Lord, for example). There’s only one way I know how to make up this gap – log analysis!
Wind Lord Mel’jarak
It’s pretty clear from the breakdown where the damage difference is. Next, I wanted to take a look at efficiency – I spend a lot of time spamming SB:SS on the adds – the ‘damage by spell’ shows that I Soul Swapped 40 times, as opposed to Wby swapping 15 times. Seed of Corruption efficiency looks like this: 7.78m damage done, 197 hits. If Seed hits 7 targets, the damage done is roughly 276k. What about SB:SS? An Unstable Affliction, a Corruption, and a 10-stack of Agony sampled at random (ie, not the opening DoT):
[23:34:43.435] Rvst Corruption Kor’thik Elite Blademaster 12015
[23:34:43.905] Rvst Unstable Affliction Zar’thik Battle-Mender 13106
[23:34:43.974] Rvst Agony Kor’thik Elite Blademaster 17286
My Agony is 15 ticks, my Corruption 11, my Unstable Affliction 9. However, Corruption is not relevant in this case – Seed of Corruption will already be providing it periodically via the Soulburned version. If I can maintain a 10-stack of Agony while not wasting any Agony ticks, each Soul Swap gives me 15 * 17286 + 9 + 13106, or 377k before crit.
So my theory isn’t wrong – it’s solely in execution. The plan should be to keep up Agony on as many targets as possible without wasting ticks via SB:SS to get Unstable Affliction ‘for free’, maintain Corruption via Seed of Corruption, and Seed as filler. After that, I’ll just let the cooldowns fall where they may.
This doesn’t quite jive with the gap between Wby’s Wind Lord damage and my Wind Lord damage, however. Most of that is just target selection when I’m casting spells. Here’s the log of my casts on Wind Lord:
[23:34:31.365] Rvst casts Soul Swap on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:34:32.351] Rvst casts Malefic Grasp on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:34:54.155] Rvst casts Malefic Grasp on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:34:55.963] Rvst casts Soul Swap on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:34:56.974] Rvst casts Malefic Grasp on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:34:58.228] Rvst casts Malefic Grasp on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:35:11.134] Rvst casts Malefic Grasp on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:35:12.568] Rvst casts Malefic Grasp on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:35:18.173] Rvst casts Malefic Grasp on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:35:20.267] Rvst casts Soul Swap on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
[23:35:21.425] Rvst casts Malefic Grasp on Wind Lord Mel’jarak
This is without Recklessness, so it’s simply just a waste of effective DPS. I could do quite a bit more damage prioritizing my targets better.
Thursday Night – 01/04/2013
Heroic Protectors of the Endless – Progression
At first, I thought this fight would be a dream – a multi-dotting, shard-replenishing, meter-topping DPS dream. What I found out, instead, is that it’s a hours-long nightmare of swinging the camera back and forth every few seconds, frantically mashing the Curse of Exhaustion key and counting slowly to 9.
Again, I’m not going to go into too much detail as we’re progressing. I do want to highlight one specific bad mistake I made and the importance of being prepared fight length wise. Late into one pull, I found myself with more Corrupted Essence stacks than the rest of my group – 8, to be precise, while they were at 7. I made the choice then to skip my turn, since hitting 10 results in basically an instant death and usually a raid wipe. This is what it looked like in logs:
[23:17:31.206] Anshlun afflicted by Corrupted Essence (7) from Minion of Fear
[23:17:31.315] Rvst afflicted by Corrupted Essence (7) from Minion of Fear
[23:17:50.685] Rvst afflicted by Corrupted Essence (8) from Minion of Fear
[23:18:41.690] Anshlun afflicted by Corrupted Essence (8) from Minion of Fear
[23:19:32.691] Rvst afflicted by Corrupted Essence (9) from Minion of Fear
[23:19:40.226] Anshlun afflicted by Corrupted Essence (9) from Minion of Fear
Could have been a really bad move – because I made that decision without knowing how long I could delay my 9th stack. Here’s the timeline:
- Fight starts at 23:13:00.333.
- My 8th stack is at 23:17:50.685, or 290 seconds later.
- My group takes their 8th stack at 23:18:41.690, or 341 seconds after the pull.
- If I had gone with the group, my stacks would expire at 461 seconds after pull, 29 seconds before enrage.
- As it is, I delayed my 9th stack by 51 seconds, giving myself enough time to last past the enrage.
“Yay, I made the right decision!” right? No. I got lucky, and I’ll be the first to admit it. And the lucky part is only salvaging something from nothing – a little bit of planning would have given me a good idea as to exactly who I can swap with in order to not mess things up. This is the importance of log analysis, especially when you’re in a serious progression guild but not a World First type – looking at other logs from guilds that have already done it, you can see exactly when things happen, the timing, etc. There’s no reason not to use these resources – knowing and planning for everything really will save the day sometimes. As it is, I have a bit of research to do and some WeakAuras to make, and hopefully I can report back on Monday that I’m a 13/16H (or better) raider.