|“Anyone know if the Halfling Commandos
are raiding tonight?”
That loud clanging noise you all heard last night around 10:00 EDT? The flashing lights along the eastern seaboard? It was my Noob Detector, going off so violently that scientists first thought it was a 5.5 magnitude earthquake.
What caused such a spectacular explosion of noobishness? Let’s examine the transcripts of last night’s Halfling Commandos ToD run and see if there are any clues…
For a variety of reasons (most of which are me) we get off to a late start.* Not horribly late, just delayed, and spirits are high as we chunk and chop our way into part 1. Kind of slow to get the bosses down, but not alarmingly so, we have just the best healers one can imagine, and soon we are looting and shrining without any deaths.
* All of the reasons for the late start are me. Stupid punctuality, have to do it every time or it’s just useless. I still think I should be getting at least some credit for that one night a couple of weeks ago where I was totally on time for the raid. But no.
Part 2 is high-tension drama, as the first kiter goes down, then the second, then the third! How weird that we even had three kiters, but it seems to be good planning, at least at first. Then a healer tries to get the first kiter back up in case we lose the 3rd one and now there are too many people on the floor. Agro gets crazy, Shadows everywhere, <DING> <DING> <DING>. Its a wipe.
Analysis suggests this was not noobish, part 2 is different since the last update, some trouble with the learning curve is to be expected. We reform and rally for another run.
Part 1 is a breeze the second time although it again seems a little slowish on the boss beat-down speed. Part 2 goes much better, we lost the first kiter but not the second, and soon we are (again) looting the ToD belts that we all already have (again).
Part 3 starts well. Pugster (playing Pugtastic) grabs Horoth and pulls him to the side, the orthons are under control, casters are helping with the beat-down (a nice change by the way, thanks update 9!), soon Sully appears. I am playing Knicker and Sully is my job. I have no trouble gaining Sully focus and locking him (her?) down in another corner for some personal attention.
But something is weird. My hit point bar is flopping around like a freshly-caught halibut, I nearly die several times, and even the excellent healer Wiileykat is clearly stressing to keep me up. That’s weird, but it gets weirder when Gronder, a THF fighter, keeps pulling Sully’s agro off me. I get it right back with the advantage of sneak attacks, but still, a THF fighter should in no way be able to get agro off this character. Something is wrong.
I am pouring over my keystrokes, making sure I am battling properly: Rage: check, Frenzy: check, Death Frenzy: check, damage boost: check.
As I am investigating, Horoth suddenly appears on me too? WTF? Where is Pug? There is much shouting and chaos, Pugster is dead (Dead? How? He has over 1000 hit points?). Horoth and Sully team up on me and pop me like a bad zit on school picture day. Disaster.
But not a wipe. Did I mention that we have the best healers anywhere? There are a couple more deaths and really a lot of chaos but we recover. Soon Horoth and Sully are back under control. I still have this weird agro love triangle going between me, Gronder and Sully. I smack Sully around, then Gronder takes agro, my DPS increases from the backstab bonus, I get agro back, repeat. But it is hard on the healer and the strain shows in his voice.
And Sully is stubbornly refusing to die. Or even take very much damage. Meanwhile my health bar is still wildly active. I very nearly die several times.
Pugster (our raid leader) decides to forego Sully and just go for the win. Coincidentally, right about now my health bar does another wild swing and I end up incapacitated. This makes it easy to have the AC monk kite Sully and everyone else focuses on the big guy.
It is taking forever. But we are back in our rhythm, things are smooth again. The win is inevitable. But now we are questioning our earlier decision. How many hit points does Sully have left? Less than half… we decide to take Horoth down nearly all the way and then make one more run at Sully too.
“Oh” note I, “Power Attack might be useful here what do you think?” There is a burst of laughter mixed with incredulity as everyone realizes the extent of my noobishness. This time Sully goes much more easily, no more agro problems, it is amazing how much difference one little Active Feat makes.
We all rush back to Horoth, he is quickly dispatched, cheers and looting commence.
“Oh”, notes Pugster, “I am still wearing my Royal Guard Mask“. Much laughter as we all realize that Pug the main tank had zero Fortification. No wonder he died. I am laughing too, but more subtly, after all I messed up the Power Attack and caused a lot of trouble too.
As I am laughing, I finish looting and like I do at the end of every quest, look to teleport out. It is only a habit, using the Finish button is much more efficient in ToD. But still, habit causes me to take a quick glance at my Royal Guard Mask. It is equipped. And has been. Unlike Pug, I not only have my Heavy Fort in my head slot but also 45 hit points.
- The main tank: no fortification
- The other tank: no fortification, no Power Attack, minus 45 hit points
- Noobishness rating: Over 9000
And yet we won. Lots of difficulty but we won. Did I mention we have the best healers anywhere? Do you believe me now?
Ain’t nobody that can heal like a Halfling Commando healer.
Of course, no one else has to.