Recently, Adam posted an article about how healing in LFR isn’t fun. I’m inclined to agree with him in principle, even though I’ve only done LFR on my main, a Warlock. However I disagree with some of the things he said, especially since I’m a damage dealer and apparently that means I’m one of the “. . . seventeen selfish, incompetent morons waiting to blow up the damage meters, stroke their epeens, and get their harmful ejaculate all over the raid.”
Well, I don’t know about that. As a damage dealer, I take just a little issue with the sentiment. Let’s take a look at the problem a little closer.
In LFR, the encounters are obviously easier than normal difficulty. This can be achieved in a number of different ways such as reducing the health of the boss, reducing incoming damage, or completely removing mechanics altogether. Adam listed a few examples, and I think Ultraxion’s situation is the most common one.
On normal, and at content-level, Hour of Twilight would kill you unless you used some defensive cooldown, but you could get away with it in LFR, and I vividly remember running Dragon Soul in LFR. Before the pull the healers would ask everyone to click the Heroic Will button for Hour of Twilight, and every time I’d see half the raid take a large hit to their health pools. The healers were then forced to heal everyone back up.
Why? Was it because the DPS didn’t care? Was it because they were so focused on trying to top the damage meter that they didn’t want to stop DPSing for even that brief moment? For some, either or both of those reasons could’ve been the culprit. However, I also noticed something else as I watched the health meters go down. Some of those people, the ones who were hit by Hour of Twilight, did hit Heroic Will. They just hit it too late. Whether it was lag or a misunderstanding of when the button should be hit, these damage dealers were trying to follow the mechanics, but ultimately failed. And, I believe, they had no idea they were failing.
What’s a healer to do when he or she sees someone fail to hit Heroic Will? They’re too busy healing the raid to say something in chat, and what good will it do anyway? Someone already said hit the button, everyone knows you’re supposed to hit the button, and this guy’s just some asshole who won’t follow directions, right?
Like I said, maybe, but maybe not. What if the damage dealer has tunnel vision while DPSing? He’s too distracted mashing keys to notice his health goes down every time Hour of Twilight is cast. Or maybe he noticed but thinks it’s supposed to go down, and Heroic Will makes it not kill you.
Having done the green fire questline, I feel like it’s a sign that I’m generally pretty good with raid awareness. And yet I’m still guilty of missing things. When Adam and I did Scholomance on Challenge Mode, I recall being hit with Instructor Chillheart’s Frigid Grasp without having a clue it was happening. For those unfamiliar with the fight on Challenge Mode, the wave of ice that moves across the room is a tight DPS check.
You need to trigger phase two before it hits the group or you’re done. Our group’s DPS was cutting it really close, so the ice wave would force us into a small area. On top of that, there are patrolling trash mobs to either side which we were trying not to aggro to save time. I saw Frigid Grasp appear on the ground and I moved just out of reach, but not too far away to risk aggro’ing one of those trash mobs.
Except that apparently I didn’t move far enough away.
The tank piped up and said “You can’t get hit with that.” “I got hit?” I asked. “Twice” responded Adam. D’oh! It was then I learned that the texture on the ground was a little misleading and the area I thought was safe actually wasn’t. Had the tank not said anything I probably would never have noticed, and Adam merely fixed my mistake for me.
It’s especially easy to miss damage on a Warlock because of Soul Leech. It gives me an absorption shield as I do damage. It’s really hard for me to notice that my absorption shield went from 200k to 10k.
Some of the problem, when the person isn’t trying to be an ass, comes from the fact that damage dealers can go through a fight and have no idea they did something wrong. It harkens back to what Adam said in his article. Avoidable damage needs to kill people. Or, at the very least, it should be very obvious. LFR shouldn’t mean that Hour of Twilight doesn’t kill a player, but instead the cast time should be longer and the duration of the Heroic Will should be increased. This allows players to have a longer amount of time to react and it gives the player some wiggle room if the ability was hit too soon.
I don’t think death should happen at every missed avoidable damage situation, but it couldn’t hurt if it occurred more often. During the Council of Elders encounter in Throne of Thunder, Frost King Malakk will cast Frostbite on raid members. If the player afflicted with it does not stand close to other players, reducing the stacks of Frostbite, the player’s screen gets covered in a blue hue. It’s nearly impossible to miss. Having similar in-your-face mechanics that make players aware of mistakes is good.
I leveled a resto Shaman during Wrath of the Lich King. I invented a game when the tank was being an asshole called “Let’s see how low I can keep the tank’s health without letting him die.” It would drive tanks nuts because they would always be so close to death, but I wasn’t wiping the group and wasting everyone else’s time. Besides, if it came to me playing that game, the tank deserved it.
I understand healing frustrations. Besides, I get an earful from Adam any time we do LFR.
People, in general, are assholes. I say it all the time and I won’t try to convince you that most of the people in LFR are just confused about mechanics. That being said, it is true some of the time. Not all damage dealers ignore fight mechanics to make a healer’s job more difficult. I think that once people have played long enough they become jaded and bitter. They assume the person knows better and he or she just doesn’t care.
Next time someone messes up an encounter mechanic, consider whispering them and mentioning how the fight is supposed to go. I think you’d be surprised how many people are receptive to that kind of feedback when it’s not coming out as “lulz, learn2play you fucking noob.” That being said, if someone is intentionally screwing things up, feel free to play Bingo.