Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chaotic Order and Orderly Chaos

So, now that I have some readers, I'd like to pose a question that I found myself pondering after reading Yashima Plays a couple days ago: What makes an instance run fun to you? In particular, do you prefer a nice, controlled, safe run, or do you thrive in the chaos that tends to breed in PuG runs (and Prophecy heroic runs when we're bored)?

I personally really enjoy chaos, at least when I'm tanking. "Three mob pull? Put the Crowd Control away, silly! Five mobs? Meh, drop a trap at the healer's feet in case one gets away. A whole busload?? Stack some extra heals on me, my friends, its time for a barkskin/hurricaine kamikaze pull! Yes, I know this is a heroic, whats your point?" I think I do that partially because I trust my own ability to hold aggro over my allies' ability to keep mobs under control (Even my guildies, some days the RNG just hates you). And I'm sure in the back of my mind somewhere I like to relive the old days, when swipe and maul put out ENORMOUS amounts of threat and I could tank huge groups with out breaking a sweat.

Ultimately, though, what I really get out of pushing the envelope is a chance to hone my skills. When a mob breaks away from the pack to eat the healer, I have a feral charge/growl combo go off before it gets halfway to its destination (Of course, half of the time I then notice the ice trap the mob was wandering to, as the hunter pumped half a ton of lead into that mob to get it there). My reaction time is a little slower when one of the melee DPS starts to drop, either due to not attacking the right target or overusing multi-target attacks. It takes me a moment to tab through all of the targets, find the one that doesn't have me in the target-of-target frame, hit a growl-mangle combo, and tab back to the primary target. And if I'm running with guildmates, it takes me even longer, as I tend to relax and not pay too much attention to the DPSers when I know that they know what they're doing.

On the rare occasions that I'm healing, though, I tend to like a more controlled environment (Unless the tank is a paladin). Most warriors and druids just aren't able to hold more than 2-3 mobs without having at least one or two run off for the healer. If they can keep the mobs off of me, by all means AoE tank, but otherwise, I'll take all the cc I can get, my cyclone will only keep me alive through so much. And if I'm DPSing . . . do whatever the heck you want, especially since if you lose some mobs, I'm just a couple clicks away from becoming an offtank. Alas, I dont spend much time in the DPS role, though thats just fine by me.

Kirari is not a big proponent of crowd control. I mean, I'm fine with it if the hunter wants to trap, or the mage wants to sheep, doesn't hurt my time any. Just don't make me Seduce. Most annoying crowd control EVER. In fact, if you really want me to perform in a CC role, give me something I can fear kite behind the group, thats actually kinda fun! And dont get me wrong, I *CAN* keep a mob seduced just fine, but it absolutely hammers my ability to actually put out damage, since even as an affliction 'lock, a major portion of my DPS comes from shadowbolt spam.

Chalith and Kibler, however, absolutely LOVE performing crowd-control roles. Heck, mark up two mobs for Kibler, he'll lock 'em both down now that double trapping is possible again, at least for the first 36 seconds of the fight (Go go Wyvern Sting!). Actually, I get sorta bummed when the tank for a group I'm running on the hunter is being tanked by a paladin, as it kind of negates the strengths of my trap-focused survival build.

Jasminne, obviously, doesn't bother with CC. Consecrate will keep that mob off of the healer just fine, thanks, rather have everything on me for more reckoning procs! Do I feel bad when she tanks an instance AND tops the DPS charts? Well. . . no, not really *evilgrin*

So, how about you folks? Chaos or Order?


Leukos said...

Well, I have 3 characters at 70, a mage, feral druid, and holy pally. I definately embrace the order on my druid, I love to setup the kill order and the cc, and watch everything fall in the planned order perfectly... both times that has happened. I have never gone a run where every CC landed and everyone played perfect, so the chaos creeps in no mater how you plan. I think when I am leading I feel the responsibilty the group to get through runs as smoothly and death free as possible, so I generally avoid taking stupid risks.
When I am playing a healer or dps that changes though, I no longer have the responsibility for the group. I refuse to leade unless I am tanking, so in these roles I leave the planning and worries to someone else. I revel in the healing saves on mis-pulls, and the kiting and control that the frost mage allows. Only when chaos rules do I get the real test of these characters, and I love those moments when the ice chips clear and the holy light switches off and most of my group and I stand alive on top of a heap of destroyed mobs.
I agree with you, its these moments that improve your skills and reaction times, much like playing PVP does.

Lypi said...

What makes a good run for me? Good people. It's always satisfying to wipe out an instance in less than an hour without a single death, but when you mix in great people it doesn't matter if it's a wipefest.

But great people, I'm not talking uberleet skills (though they may well have), just people that having them around makes you relax and feel good, lots of joking and friendliness on vent.

And it's awesome to find one of those people in a PUG - someone to add to your friends list because they're FUN, not becaue they're an adequate healer or whatever.

Sibohan said...

I'm fairly new to instances and only lvl 57. For me the most fun is a PUG of really good players and a bit of chaos. We had an amazing PUG in Sunken Temple and were breezing through. Then all hell broke loose in the room with Jammal'an the Prophet. Someone zigs when they should have zagged and we pull too many trolls...kill those but someone else pulls more in the process... We lost control so badly we never got a break in the combat to drink or rest until the room was clear. I'll never know how we remained standing, but it was great fun because we did. After that, Jammal'an was cake.

NOT fun is a PUG with people who can't play their class and complain when they die because of it. (For example a tank that charges into mobs when the healer is oom.)

Spacewarrior said...

I used to use CC when tanking with Eristra, but I've actually found that it wastes time and energy when just killing the mobs makes things go faster. There are special exceptions, like if there is a mob in the group who periodically fears or silences the healers, or summons an annoying friend. That's a mob I'd want to use CC on. But if it's just your standard spellcaster or melee mob, I don't feel a need to control it.

Xanathos said...

I love controlling the chaos. I also find it's nearly impossible for me to let others tank.

"There is a prot warrior looking for a group you could go kitty Xana"

"sure I could kitty"

3 pulls later Im a bear again.

Geerock said...

@ Xana

Hell yeah baby!

The one thing I love about being a Feral Druid is that you can drop from DPS into Tank mode in a matter of a click. Thus possibly being able to save the entire group from the chaos that is going to ensue when a misspull happens.

tkc said...

If I am playing my feral druid and I'm the main tank then I like order. I hate chasing down mobs.

If I am playing my feral druid and I'm the off tank or kitty dps-ing then some chaos is fun. I'll chase down the loose mobs.

If I am playing my hunter then some chaos is fun. I'll kite and trap anything that gets out of hand.

Now, on the other hand, I don't like stupid chaos at all. Like the one druid that thought it would be fun to aggro next group of mobs because he thought he could solo them. He couldn't. He wasn't even close. All he was doing was running up everyones repair bill. He had to be booted. I don't like doing that but that was just too stupid.

Bushdoctor said...

its time for a barkskin/hurricaine kamikaze pull!

Thats great, I love that technique. I also just love to go all out crazyon a big ass group of mobs. With a nice misdirect pull i can get off a mangle and taunt on the main target and the swipe the remaining melee guys and charge off to that pesky caster who so badly wants to target my healer. coupled with a freezing trap and switched focus fire, the caster mob is curtains before the melee fools can even reach me. It is definitely nice to mix it up and break the monotony that tanking sometimes brings.

By the way great site and hats off to a fellow true "Upstate New Yorker" (Syracuse area here)

Sabtree said...

I'm of two minds on the rip-roaring, insanity duel. On the one hand, it lets me hone my skills of 'keep -everyone- alive'. I consider it a really bad fight when I have to go for my Tranquility button, since it's got that pesky cooldown; fast fingers keep a party alive just as much as a raid. (You'll notice Sero never has to twist my arm to get me to do raid heals, and it is for that reason I go OOM faster than prolly any other healer we have.)

On the other hand, I recognize on most boss fights that the chances of us wiping go up a lot whenever I'm stuck in the barely-enough-mana to throw lifeblooms spot with my potion cooldown and Innervate both down; since I'm not 0/0/51, my healing is neither threat-light nor the ultimate it can be. It's tailored to my playing style, though, so I have -all- the HoT enhancers... but it's hard for me to clean up five separate heavily damaged characters before one of them gets unlucky and knocked off.

I guess when it comes down to it, I don't mind being challenged -- I do mind when the first thing the mobs do is come after me and then I have to wonder if I could've done something better to avoid being eaten.

SuraBear said...

Bah, personally I'd give SERO the 'most likely to go OOM' award. I swear, we need to have a shadow priest stapled to his butt at all times!

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