On traffic circles and raiding

I tend to find real life instances influence how I formulate things to write.  I wanted to write about my experience raiding Normal for the first time this entire expansion, but lacked some way to describe it.

New Jersey has something we call circles.  I am sure they go by many other names in other countries, roundabouts, traffic circles, I am sure many have seen one once in their lifetime, perhaps not.  One thing that I think may be unique, maybe not, to New Jersey circles is there is no hard fast rule on who has the right of way on all of them.  They all have different sets of rules, that those of us that drive them every day just know what to do without thought.  Seeing a car from New York this morning and one from Georgia both navigating a set this morning, it kind of occurred to me how different people look at ways to approach something.  The New York driver came into it at high speed, barely tapping his brakes cutting off some that if he knew the particular rules for that one would have known those in the circle had the right of way, to the Georgia driver that almost came to a complete stop like this was the first time he had ever seen anything like this before.  Then around into the next where New York continued flying through with no thought to what he was doing, and The Georgia driver who actually picked up on the signs and markers indicating how to proceed.

And it kind of clicked to me.  Raiding is like driving into new areas you have never been to before.  After a time you just pick up on what you need to do, but those first times driving can be scary, frustrating, and can have you ending up lost.  I was asked to step in last night for the Optional raid night since they needed a DPS.  I had only walked in the door 15 minutes prior and agreed to jump in.  I did not know they were attempting the first boss on Heroic, and to me that was like asking someone to hop in a tractor trailer when all they have ever driven was a sub compact Fiat.  I did see that Blizzard still enjoys mechanics that hit so hard you can be one shot if you fail to move in the right direction fast enough, and I can see just from the trash pulls and the difference on what I saw on my screen and my wifes, that input latency will keep me out of any form of raiding beyond LFR permanently.  I like to think I have the ability to learn and process a lot of things, and even learn to anticipate things to avoid, but that is just to much to process for me.

After it was determined we did not have adequate DPS, they reset to Normal, and moved up to the boss they were working on.  After assigning groups, and marking stack points and describing the fight, my brain was on overload with the amount of information I needed to keep track of.  Move here if you get the spear, adds have priority, keep out of puddles, keep everything on your side of the room, groups to go into a phased area, it was a lot of stand around doing nothing and 20-30 second bursts of kill all the things while staying away from bad, and not having a spear land in the raid.  I thought I was doing ok, but died a few times because to my eyes on my screen I was out of the yellow puddle but I guess not since I was at near full health one second to dead the next.  It felt like I was involved in a car crash over and over and no matter what I tried to adjust to , the rules kept changing, things would follow one pattern, only to change for the next.

I love the people I play with everyday, and would not trade them for the world, but I cannot do what they do every week.  I just can’t make myself do it.  I am glad they enjoy raiding, but for me, I am ready for driving around the retirement community in a golf cart.

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4 thoughts on “On traffic circles and raiding

  1. Serious question: did you do Heroic Dungeons during the first few weeks of the expansion or Challenge Modes at any point?

    If not, then I’m definitely not surprised a Normal Raid felt very overwhelming. In general, though, raiding is overwhelming for everyone initially. No current “veteran” raider was instantly at their current skill level, I assure you. Raiding is a learned/practiced ability, just like driving (and after you grasp the basics and feel comfortable you THEN have to learn to drive in all those new cities with weird roundabouts).

    If you want to potentially be able to help your guildies in a Normal run (and thus want to try to get more used to raid-like stuff), then I would highly suggest you try doing some Challenge Modes with your friends (people overgear Heroic Dungeons so much at this point that they won’t teach very much). While Challenge Modes have mechanics equally punishing as Normal Raids (perhaps often even MORE punishing), they also have a lot less mechanics per fight which means it’s easier to adjust to trying to keep track of stuff.

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    1. I tried Challenge modes a few times during MoP. But was turned off by the gearing for doing it and the ultra fast pace to beat times. So I never have tried them again. Heroic dungeons I have always done in the first few weeks of a release.

      I realize that with doing them over and over, eventually they become easier as you learn mechanics. It just feels to me since SoO they have ramped up the level of things to keep track of to a point where it is actually pushing me away. Maybe it’s age, slower reaction times, less ability to juggle multiple things. I have even gone with a more simplistic stripped down DPS rotation because the optimal is confusing enough in its own right.

      No I feel for the first time, that raiding in any capacity is now beyond me. I enjoy a challenge, and will always try to improve. But if I feel the challenge is to much to overcome, then I will go off and do other things, even though I may wish I could do more. I won’t let my sub standard performance and inability to play to the level required impact 9+ others.

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      1. “But was turned off by the gearing for doing it and the ultra fast pace to beat times.”

        To be clear, I wasn’t suggesting you needed to worry about “optimally” gearing for them or worry about the timer at all. Even ignoring the timer it’s a significant step up in difficulty from LFR or Heroic Dungeons (and, of course, your gear scales down so the challenge stays about the same regardless of your ilvl).

        I don’t think they’ve ramped up the level since SoO, but they definitely have ramped up the level since Vanilla/BC, even since WotLK to some degree. I suspect the larger problem is you trying to keep track of more than you need to.

        Let’s look at Kilrogg as an example, since you mentioned that fight. You really only need to keep track of three things as a DPS:

        1. If Kilrogg yells something like “Come brothers, seize your destiny!” then look for some orcs to kill.

        2. If Killrogg yells something like “I’m going to cut your heart out!” check to see if you have a new debuff. If so, run away from Kilrogg and be in the center “lane” of the room. Otherwise, be out of the center “lane.” Then kill the blood globule that spawns.

        3. If Kilrogg starts spinning and yells “Let’s see how many fall before I do!” and yellow circles start appearing, just run like hell and keep moving until they’re all gone.

        Those three things are all you really need to know. A few specific DPS need to know how to handle the Visions but you can just ignore it if not assigned (which presumably you weren’t). But especially if you have every DBM timer enabled and are trying to figure out what the tanks/healers are doing then it can be massively overwhelming initially.

        I mean, maybe it is simply too much for you to overcome at this point for whatever reason. But I strongly believe that if you were able to keep up in SoO that you’ll be able to keep up now, in Normal mode at least for sure. The catch is that part of raiding is learning what to *IGNORE.* Sure, the raid leader has to be able to keep track of everything, but significantly less than <10% of raiders are raid leaders.

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      2. It was my first night in any normal content this expansion and I had no idea I was going to be asked in, let alone trying heroic, or jumping up to a fight they were working on, and I have not even seen in LFR

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