Friday, January 29, 2010

Confessions About My Crap Saronite Slave

Friday evening. It’s time to snuggle up in an armchair in front if the fireplace, sipping a steaming, spicy and slightly intoxicating brew, time to stare into the flames, pondering upon the week that was. Time to relax. Time to think about the game we’re playing.

Thinking about the recent adventures of Larísa actually makes me smile. We oneshotted Festergut and Rotface last night and had a few promising attempts at Putricide. ICC rocks. It’s got that perfect balance of sweet and salt – challenging and yet doable, as long as we’re on our toes, bringing our very best gameplay. It’s so fun and exciting to once again work against a goal, gearing her up by every mean I can, aiming for perfection. Sure, I too have sensed the trembling from the earthquakes, I too know that we’ve got an expansion reset right around the corner. So what? When WotLK ends I want to have brought my mage as far as I’m capable of.

My rogue sucks
But then my thoughts wander a bit further, touching on a not-so-pleasing topic: my second-in-rank character – Arisal, the rogue. And suddenly there’s an entirely, uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. I feel awkward, even a bit ashamed and I realize that I’d rather not talk about it. Which is a good sign that this is exactly what I should do.

To put it blunt: my rogue sucks. Or rather: I suck so bad at playing her that I can’t even make myself throw a glance at Recount. Watching the scrolling combat text is enough to know that I’m way down on the list – probably below the tank – possibly even below the healer. It wouldn’t surprise me to be honest. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like her. She’s the cutest little badass looking gnome rogue girl you’ve ever seen (apart from the horrible Kirin Tor tabard that makes her look like a clown, but it's only temporary). But playing a melee class requires all those things that I lack most of all: swiftness, environmental awareness, quick reactions and some pretty advanced decisionmaking in what order to push the buttons.

I fail constantly at the most basic things, such as being close enough to the mob and to always remain behind them (whoaaa, they’re moving, how dare they!) Mind you, I don't go afk, I don't watch tv, go to msn or stuff like that. It's just that I'm not good at doing what I'm supposed to do.

My lack of deeper understanding of the rogue class wouldn’t be a problem if I stayed to questing. No one but me would be affected, no one but me would have to suffer from slow progression or even corpse runs. But the thing is that Arisal doesn’t quest. Arisal does random dungeons. You see: Arisal is a Saronite Slave, who wouldn’t be played at all if it wasn’t for her duty to farm frost emblems to get my main the saronite she needs for crafted gear.

Every time I use the Dungeon tool I cringe a little. And then I keep my thumbs crossed that the destination will be one of the easier, such UK, VH or Oculus (yes, Oculus!), where my lack of rogue expertise won’t be as crucial to the outcome. Sometimes I’m lucky. Sometimes I’m not.

Forge of Souls

A few days ago the spinning wheel stopped at Forge of Souls, which almost made me leave the group. I hadn’t done it as a melee, and I felt less than confident in my gear (yeah, I know it’s doable in blues, but that’s for people who know how to play their class. I don’t.)

I gave a quick glance at my party members. They were far better geared and there was no doubt about it. If I was to finish this run, they would be the ones carrying me. I knew it. They knew it. So I decided to be honest about it. I spoke up and told them apologizing that this was my crap alt, and that I would completely understand if they decided to kick me if it turned out that we just couldn’t finish the instance with me to drag along.

“Np. I know what you mean. My rogue alt is EXACTLY the same, said one of my comrades”. And off we went, and we finished the instance without any problem. I suppose we would have saved a minute or two if I had played my main instead. But we got down the bosses and I even won a shiny new dagger.

I thanked them all for carrying me, explaining that I was doing this for the saronite needs of my main. “Oh yeah, aren’t we all?” they said and gave me a nod before we split up and went home to our respectively home server. No hard words were thrown at me. I guess my humble attitude helped a little.

Being lazy
Of course the right thing would be to make a real effort about my rogue. I could run Rawr and see how I could do the best out of the gear I have. I could visit EJ to get a decent, up-to-date spec and a basic understanding for the rotations that come with it.

But I just can’t make myself do it. I don’t have the same urge to try to be my best as I have on my main. I find it hard to motivate myself to spend time out of game doing research for a character whose only purpose is to pug frost emblems and occasionally do disenchants. I guess you could call me a little bit lazy. The price I pay for it is the bad conscience. Leeching normally isn't my style. And the risk to be mocked, named and shamed by some EU based blogger as the worst rogue they ever saw, the M&S of the week. You never know who you’re playing with in those pugs, do you?

Looking for comfort
I’m fumbling for some way to excuse my crappiness and laziness when I’m alting. I found a one-line comment that Brian Inman wrote to a post at Blessing of Kings, which actually made me feel a little better:

Brian wrote: “Pugs are like Marriages: you have to give, and take.”

I think that’s quite true. Mostly we’re doing one thing or the other. When I’m playing my mage, I’m normally a giver. I help to speed up the runs and make a decent job, and I tend to be – how shall I put it – stabilizing factor in the group, who helps it to complete an instance and keep up the moral and spirit, even if someone for instance bails out.

On the other hand, when I’m rogueing, I’m definitely a taker. And I suppose that this evens out things in the long run.

Who knows, maybe some of the people that I help to carry when I’m on my main, in fact are the crappy Saronite Slaves belonging to the same players who carried my rogue in Forge of Souls with their mains? At least I hope so. Even though I must say that I’d rather be the giver than the taker. Every time.

For a little while more Arisal will be pestering the LFG system of the EU servers. Once she’s completed her job I assure I’ll let her return to the shadows where she used to dwell. The Saronite Slave will vanish and order will be restored.

The thought of this brings me a bit of comfort. The drink and the fire will definitely do the rest. Relax, Larisa. It’s just a game. (Omg, I never thought I would utter that sentence!) People don’t hate you half as much as you think. As a matter of fact they probably hardly notice how badly that rogue sucks.

And now the weekend is here with all it brings to us. Enjoy. Cheers all!


Inquisitor said...

Rogue is... erm... not exactly *hard*, but not a very forgiving class.

I commend to you the addon 'Mutillate' - it's a rotation helper; tells you what the next couple of abilities you should be using are, for a decently optimised mutillate single-target rotation.

It's by no means a be-all, end-all, but with a cookie-cutter mutillate spec, and that addon, you can at least get 80% of your potential, and feel no shame.

(Caveat: Combat gets bigger numbers for boss fights in low end gear - just because you blow every cooldown. But I like daggers.)

Guess what I mean there is 'sure, Rawr is way too much work - but look, here's an easy option that gets you most of the way'.

Mind you, I really enjoy learning a new class. I keep getting alts to the point where I can top the DPS chart on Koralon, or whatever, then moving on. Keeps me busy when I'm not tanking.

Miss Medicina said...

Ooof. You preach well, innkeeper.

My only real alt is my Pally. And I'm just absolutely awful on her - and that's just when I'm trying Retribution.

I too struggle with environment, and usually when I melee I somehow end up standing there for seconds at a time, not realizing that I'm not close enough to hit, or turned in a slightly off direction.... or halfway across the room trying to figure out where my target went.

But, maybe you're right. I'm perfectly happy to carry people when I pug on my priest... so maybe I've saved up enough karma to run a few pugs on my pally and get carried...

Guthammer said...
This post has been removed by the author.
Guthammer said...

I have just one thing to say "Doh!" I wish I had thought of that.

You have just had a hand in the creation of another Primal Saronite Slave or 2 (though both characters will benefit from their Triumph badges).

spinksville said...

I find that with my alts, if I'm playing them in instances (even just one a day for badges), it's kind of inevitable that I'll get better at it and ask around my friends who play that class if I feel stuck.

For me, it's the ranged class I feel awkward on :) My poor warlock, he's a blood elf with pretty red hair and I spent longer thinking about the hair than about the class when I created him.

But I have now figured out how to put out semi decent amounts of dps in instances. It involves spamming seed of corruption like a very spammy thing and assuming the tank can handle it, and I cannot believe that could ever be good play. But what do I know? At least he has good hair.

I don't like to feel that I'm not pulling my weight though. I won't put too much effort into alts, but once they have triumph badges to spend I do allow them to buy pretty things :)

Gevlon said...

You know you sounded EXACTLY the same about Larísa a year ago. That you are bad, you are carried, that you'll never be good.

And here you are now, a confident and successful mage raiding ICC. I guess a year from now we can hear how great it is to be a rogue and maybe... how bad you are in ... a gnome protection warrior?

Tip: if you don't want to feel bad about bad DPS, choose a spec that brings a buff or debuff to the others. Remember, no mage ever insulted the warlock who brought him Curse of Shadows.

And before some evil EU based blogger would name and shame you, let me give some friendly advice:
- gem shoulders
- enchant head, shoulder, chest, ring

Rhii said...

Poor Arisal!

I'm also horrible at melee classes, Larisa. Partly it's that I don't find them as engaging, so I don't have as much motivation to improve. Partly it's because I do find that they require more situational awareness and faster reaction times, and those are areas I struggle with too.

What's your druid up to these days? I ask because, oddly, healing has made me much better at melee. Healing is faster and less rotation based than ranged dps, it requires to you make snap decisions and react fast... and it's improved my situational awareness a LOT. If I notice when the DPS is standing in bad, I can notice when I'm doing it myself. :) So maybe doing a little healing might actually help you with the reflex/quick thinking aspect of roguing?

I don't actually know anything about rogues, mind you. I leveled one to about 20 and could already tell I was going to be very bad at it, so I quit.

HP said...

I pug sometimes on my lowbie DK. I caused an epic wipe otoo =X Got MCed in Sethekk Halls and killed the healer... Then on the run back, got aggro on adds bc of the stupid flying birds and killed everyone running back. The group shortly disbanded.. =X

Klepsacovic said...

Are they better off than if you weren't there? Doubtlessly they'd be better off the with next DPS in the queue, but as Tamarind found (it's there somewhere, weeks back), it's better to be nice and crappy than efficient and a total ass.

I suggest you keep playing the rogue. With more play you might get used to it.

Besides, by bringing in the saronite, you're being a productive part of the economy. So what if you're marginally less efficient?

Anonymous said...


I gave your armory a quick glance, and observed what's probably the main reason of your rogue's woes DPS-wise.

You see, these days, a rogue can either use daggers and spec into mutilate (assassination talents), or take some other kind of weapons and pick combat talents with the appropriate specialization. Combat heavily relies on having a slow weapon in the main hand, and daggers don't qualify there.

The combination you are using now (2 daggers and combat talents) is detrimental to the effectiveness of your attacks, and, to put it in mage terms, is likely comparable to a deep fire mage using exclusively frost spells.

I realise you said you're not interested in research, but I likewise believe that such a simple fact might improve your rogue experience by a bit :)

P.S. Your hit chance is also rather low, causing some of the poisons to be resisted, so if you're using triumph badges for gear and not gems or so, I would suggest for your next purchase to pick one of the red trinkets which sport over 100 hit rating to replace your current pocketwatch.

zetter said...

I am in the same boat I have my old main pally as a ret saronite farmer.

Although I have grabbed a couple of rotation add ons that make his dps middle of the road so I dont feel like a total window licker.
I dont know about rogue but for the melee classes roation add on made a big difference to me for a toon I only play for the badges.


Dariush said...

I read this article with a little grin, because I think most people have a class they are weak at. I love my toons and have far more 80s than I can handle. While my mains are a warrior and paladin tank respectively, I have fun with my priest, shaman, death knight and warlock and I like to think that I'm skilled at all of them (even if many are undergeared).

And then there's my poor blood elf hunter. He was a BC first day creation and was horrible then, and even worse now. I've tried every spec known to man; studied rotation charts and gear optimization until my eyes bled, but at the end of the day he cries himself to sleep, just as incompetent as the day before. Whatever it is to be a hunter, I don't have it.

Maybe your poor gnome could use a drinking companion to share sob stories with at the bar; even if he is a blood elf. I promise you, he's far too pathetic to be overly rapacious like those usual Horde guys.

Larísa said...

: Mutilate. I’ve never tried that, but it sounds like a good idea, especially with that addon. Never heard of. And it shouldn’t require hours of research and ui tweaking. Hopefully.

@Miss Medicina: halfway across the room, oh yeah! I recognize that feeling too well. It’s good I’m so old that I can laugh at my own stupidity…

: good luck on your slaves! Hopefully you can play yours a bit better than I play mine.

: Yeah, I give Arisal the triumph badge gear, so hopefully it won’t be too long before she at least has decent gear.

@Gevlon: you know me, dear goblin! I guess it’s mostly my normal process of lacking knowledge and confidence and then dealing with it… The enchant and gem stuff is already done. When you looked in armory I had just gotten the gear – I fixed that while queuing for next instance. Apart from the ring, that was something I just had neglected.

@Rhii: my druid is coming along quite fine. She’s lvl 74, but since I’m still gearing up my main I haven’t all that much time to play her. She has healed a couple of more instances, AN, and it went really well both times, which is promising for the future. I suspect that I’ll play her more than my rogue once she hits 80.

@HP: oh, my DK… don’t talk about it. Got one on the horde side that I made just to see the starting zone quests. To be honest I haven’t got a clue about her spells and diseases and stuff. Incomprehensible to me.

: well… those saronites won’t exactly come into the economy since I’m collecting them for myself. I won’t put them at AH and I won’t buy any cloth since I’m making that as well… Anyway… maybe you’re right that I’ll improve if I just play my rogue regularly. I hope so.

: oh oh. I didn’t know that. I think I used to have sword but never really thought about it when I got some upgrade. I’m used to look at stats but never pay any thoughts to things such as how quick a weapon is… So… another vote for mutilate. I’d better check that out.

And you’re very right about the low hit! I’ve noticed myself! My scrolling combat text keeps saying: “miss”!

@Zetter: rotation addon, noted. I’ll check it out.

@Dariush: oh, Arisal would be perfectly happy to have a drink with your hunter!

Dw-redux said...

Like inquisitor said: go mutilate. It isn't hard (and you have the daggers for it) and for me- at least- its a blast.

And I don't care what the Goblin says, I would never ever name and shame you!!!

Fear said...

Really? I wouldn't sweat it. I run 2 mains and 8 alts, and I can't even get into ICC.

Your miles ahead girl, trust me. I feel goofy when I am playing the other classes too. I mean we all do until we get used to playing them better.

Even so, I don't play all of them enough and forget things about them the next time, and have to retrain myself. I stopped playing my Pally for awhile just because I couldn't remember what buffs to use. Just stupid little things. I finally did a race change on her to Human, and suddenly it is one of my favorite alts.

I don't know, but don't sell yourself short on the rogue. I would never play a rogue myself, but they are pretty handy in instances.

Kiseran said...

"I guess my humble attitude helped a little."

I'd say its your humble attitude that made a world of a difference. I usually play together with a little hothead of a tank who will eat you alive and spit out your charred bones if you don't pull your weight in an instance. However a simple "sorry guys, I still suck at playing this character" at the beginning of the instance will instantly turn her into the most helpful person you have ever seen who will shower you in good advice, explain every boss tactic and guide you through the instance like on rails.

Sadly most people aren't that humble even if they suck at doing something, which is why I experience her burning white hot every other day. I pity the arrogant fools in her way ;)

Hatch said...

Larisa, your attitude is key. And I know learning to raid on a rogue can be intimidating, but there's some really easy stuff you can do to at least get your dps up to a decent level without doing research, or using RAWR, or getting specific addons.

It seriously only requires, at most, 4 buttons. I'll post a quickie guide on my blog to help out other aspiring saronite slave rogues as well. :)

I have 3 saronite slaves myself, one of them being my rogue. Have the 25 for my Shadow's Edge without ever spending any of my main's badges! It's been torture running 4 randoms a day, but damn I want that axe. :)

Vulpina said...

Larisa - my main is a rogue so I feel confident giving you a few tips.

Mutilate is very difficult to do in 5-mans, you have no cooldowns to blow, the best you can hope for is a few FoKs and then single target something.

Like another commenter said Combat is much easier and will put out bigger numbers in 5-mans - if you have the right weapons. Get a big heavy slow axe, mace, sword for your main hand and something quick for your off-hand.

Use your cooldowns together, Blade Flurry + Adrenaline Rush is awesome. So is Blade Flurry + Killing Spree. And not gunna lie, if it's a huge trash pull, you wouldn't do badly just doing Adrenaline Rush + FoK spam.

... and don't forget your poisons. :D

Hope that helps.