Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Confessions by a Clueless Ghoul

Have you ever been turned into a ghoul? I have. Seven times to be more precise, according to my statistics page. I can’t remember last time it happened though. It seems to be more and more rare these days.

I wish I could say that my current lack of ghoul appearances is a consequence of own improved survival ability. Maybe I just don’t die as much mid fight these days as I used to? Maybe I get out of green crap and fire, knocking up an iceblock in case of emergency, but basically staying alive? Gnome is up, so no need to turn her into a ghoul!

Or perhaps – on the more realistic side – I can attribute it to our increased amount of druids in the raid, spoiling us with battle resurrections?

Given up on me
To tell the truth I think our DK:s simply have given up on me. They can’t be bothered to even try raising the gnome anymore. Why should they? For all their efforts and wasted global cd:s they don’t see any huge impact in the raid dps output.

You see, I have a confession to make. I don’t know how to play a ghoul. As a matter of fact I’m more or less clueless about how to handle that vehicle disguised as a body. For someone watching me I probably looks as if I’m just standing there, doing nothing.

From my own horizon I’m busy indeed, frantically hovering over the new action bar that suddenly appeared, studying the tooltips, trying to figure out what to do next.

I’m delighted, a little bit flattered to have been considered for a raise, and excited at the perspective of being able to actively participate in the fight again, not just looking from the sidelines. I assure you: I’m not lazy to play a ghoul, but I lack the knowledge.

However: regardless of reason – in the end it’s the result that counts and I can’t blame the DK:s if they’re disappointed with my efforts.

Ghouls doing nothing
I’m definitely not the first person to appear as an idle, clueless ghoul. I wouldn't be surprised if the DK community has given up on ghoul creation altogether. As I prepared this post I did a simple search to see if I could find a link to an easily accessible How-to-ghoul 101-guide. I found none. Not even WoWwiki could help me out.

What I found though was a thread in the MMO-champion forum, where a DK bitterly complained about players like me:

"Topic: What's up with people and Raise Ally?

It seems as if every single time I use Raise Ally on some dumbass who got himself killed, they just stand there.. Doing nothing.

Does this happen with you guys?

I honestly don't get why people would do that, by controlling the ghoul, the encounter won't take as long as if you were dead, so you won't be dead as long, and you get to do something instead of staring at people. Surely that beats doing nothing, right?

I don't think I'll ever truly understand what goes on in these people's minds.. "
Many of the answers are on the line that people who have died either will alt-tab to watch Facebook or grab the opportunity to a bio-break. Others blame the UI, saying that it isn’t evident enough that you’re turned into a ghoul – people might just not notice.

One comment differed. It’s apparently written with the purpose to troll, but nevertheless I found it slightly amusing:

“Keep your stinking DK hands to yourself and leave my corpse alone tbh.

I don't play your class i play my class, i don’t want to go chew on someone or make myself explode so IF you feel the need to use the ability you had best lose all hope of it being put to good use and take it as a bonus when it is.”
Further objections
Troll or not, apparently there are more players around who don’t appreciate the idea to be ghoul raised. In my search for how-to-ghoul I found a discussion thread in the official forums, initiated by an apparently die-hard roleplayer:

“I am a paladin, I consider being raised as a ghoul to be a hostile act. […] I know anything relating to RP and Lore is considered a joke by a lot of people, but this is still an MMORPG.”
Ouch. I never thought of this. I reckon a servant of the light doesn't want to mess with the dark powers? Somehow it makes sense.

A few final words on the ghoul mechanics. Some players apparently think it’s annoying and insulting; for my own part I find it fun although a bit confusing.

But I’d sure appreciate if someone bothered to throw up a how-to-ghoul-post for me. The self-implode button is surely tempting for an experimenting gnome, but I’d rather be useful to the raid. If I remember it rightly there are several buttons around in the UI.

So help me out on this one – how can I maximise my ghoul performance, making my DK willing to raise me as a ghoul when the druid BR is on CD?


Aloix said...

If a DK is going to do that, they should use a macro that whispers clear concise instructions, like 'target boss, press x, then y, then z' or whathaveyou. If they don't do that, they have no right to complain about people being 'idiots' for not knowing what to do.

Angela said...

Get a friendly DK, strip down and put your gear in your bank, die (dismount from flying mount high up), and get the DK to res you as a ghoul. Now you'll have far less pressure on you and you'll be able to see what all the ghoul vehicle buttons do.

Gronthe said...

I was raised as a ghoul once (that I remember). It took about 5 seconds to realize what had happened, becuase at that point the DK was yelling at me to do something.

I mashed buttons, not knowing what do do, I exploded...far away from the fight, the DK /sighed and then I realized what had just happened. Oops!

As far as suggestions, I'd go with Angela's above. Sounds practical.

HP said...

Yeah usually if I die, I stop paying attention to my screen unless it is a wipe and we have to release/run back or they get the kill. It's really not obvious when you get raised as a ghoul though I've been raised as a ghoul only 5 times ever.

Dyre42 said...

When you get raised as a ghoul run up to the boss and right click him to auto attack and then figure out your buttons. That way you aren't just standing there.

Although Angela's advice is pretty good too.

Askevar said...

I use Raise Ally all the time in raids. I usually pick someone who is or has a dk or someone who I know will know what to do.

As for how to play a ghoul? Honestly couldn't tell you.

Zektonic said...

It would be nice if they popup a confirm window, instead of just put you in the battle.

At least the person got raised know what is happening. (And had the option to reject in the paladin case)

On the side note, I recall that in the invasion world event, turning to zombie and get kill will score a armor duration penalty, I am not sure if they had fixed it now said...

I do remember a blogger did a post right back in the very early days becuase no one understood... Who, what & where I don't remember.

Rachkalos said...

Well, now I have a great idea for a blog post - thanks Larisa!

As one who has been known to violate player's corpses mid-raid, there are a lot of things going though my head when planning a Raise Ally.

Player's Raid Frame blacks out, I have to check to see whether it's a healer or a dps, check the other raid frames to get an idea if there are any druids around to battle rez, pay attention to Vent to see if there are any battle rezzes about to happen and then let Healbot do its thing as I mouseover and click.

Half the time, the dead player is a squishie on the back row so I'm out of range for some reason, so it may take a few clicks over the next 15 seconds to make it happen... not too many DPSers are going to interrupt their zen-like rotation trance to be so considerate.

After that, it's up to the willing/unwilling participant to do their thing. You've mentioned the AFKing, the new vehicle taskbar but I also hear that some ranged players find the melee chaos to be a bit off-putting and confusing as well so I'm not surprised that I rarely see any positive results from ghouling someone.

Having said that, I always grin and giggle when I do see a friend running around as a ghoul and think "I made that!"

Jb said...
I sugest in boss fights you leap behind boss and just melee. Stun ability might come in handy on a mob ( Faction champions in TOC for instance ).

Kurnak said...

The biggest problem I see is the ghoul has pratically zero utility in a raid. It can be useful in 5man, but not in raids. The amount of dps you can bring is so small it won't make any difference (unles syou're the last one standing and the boss has 1hp left)
As pointed out it could be improved in several ways:
- Add a rezz confirmation + warning so you know you're being raised. If you don't want to be raised the DK can cast it on another player
- UI is not really a problem, it's just a matter of seeing what each button does. Sure you don't have much spare time like using the engines in Ulduar, but shouldn't take long to see hat does each button
- Increase dps. Or even better: make the ghould retain some downranked abilities/spells your class&spec has. This way if you raise a healer he could still lay some heals, even if they're not that powerful, instead of forcing the player go melee
The spell is fun but the utility is very limited. I'm aware it could be overpowered if it did things like the ones mentioned, but at least would have more utility in raids wih no druids to battleress or when it's on cd. You get a toned down battleress that would bring some uility to the raid for a limited amount of time.

Dwism said...

I'll make a guide this week!!

Usually I raise ally the other dk, but it is a matter of team communication. If there is no BR incomming, then the raise ally is free to use.

The reason why is raise the other dk, is that Dks seems (to me) to be the only ones interested in the mechanics. And they are not all that hard honestly :)

Carina said...

Ghouls are very practially when two-manning old raids - I've been raise alot lately.

It seems to have an energy mechanic just like rouges, so I always just used the first button to slash at things until I get five stacks of my ghoul buff and then I gnawed him.

Use huddle to reduce damage and explode when you're about to die.

I think being raised as ghoul is fun, but it took me a few deaths until I learned how to use it. :)

Larísa said...

@Aloix: Actually that’s idea about having a macro like that is a really good idea.

@Angela: yeah I suppose I could. I’m just a bit lazy. And just looking at a couple of tooltips won’t really tell me what order I should use the spells. I’d rather get a simple information from someone who knows.

@Gronthe: Haha, it sounds about like my own ghoul performances.

@HP: yes, there is something in the UI that prevents you from easily spotting that you’ve been raised. I suppose I’m looking at something else on my screen – mob bars, bossmod stuff etc, rather than looking at what’s happening to my dead corpse.

@Dyre42: yeah… can’t ever be wront to attack the boss, can it?

@Askevar: haha… that’s a bit funny isn’t it? You don’t even know for yourself. So I suppose your DK mate won’t pick you as a raise target then?

: yeah, I think the interface could be more clear, definitely.

: that post evaded my google search. But on the other hand I didn’t bother to go through every hit…

& Dwism: Go ahead! That was my idea about this post… to get someone write it up. If I can get two – the better!

@Jb: that’s a beginning, but it really doesn’t tell me how to play it. Claw, gnaw, whatever… How am I supposed to know the spellrotation?

@Kurnak: I’d love to see the ghoul improved! It IS fun to be raised – particularly in very long fights, where it’s incredibly boring to remain on the floor for up to 10 minutes. It’s way more fun to participate even if the effect is modest.

@Carina: two-manning old raids – that sounds like fun! And good practice for you ghouling indeed!

tam said...

Unsurprisingly I'm exactly the same. To be honest, I don't often get ghouled - it's a silly thing to do to a healer if there's a chance of a combat rez - but if I ever do the time I spend going "holy crap i'm a ghoul" is the time it takes for the ghoul to wear off. So ... uh ... we are not alone?

Saga said...

I'm usually the tank, so if I die they die *lol* But it does seem rather bad of DKs to expect you to instantly know what to do when you're turned into a ghoul.

And maybe you never wanted to be one! Can't be all that nice running around as a rotting piece of flesh.. oh wait, the undead already do that.

Silliness aside, I think the only thing to do is practice I guess. As someone suggested, have a DK friend turn you a few times and have a bit of fun :)

Anea said...

Keep your stinking DK hands to yourself and leave my corpse alone tbh.

Honestly, as trollish as I may sound for repeating what that troll said, that's pretty much how I feel about it.

I am already "rezzed" once as a holy priest in my FailAngel form to continue healing as I can after I die the first time. Not only do I not appreciate some DK thinking, "Let me ghoul you!" I don't know how to play Ghoul either, so I am pretty useless. I'm just like you, mousing over abilities trying to figure out what to do.

And I actually hadn't thought about it from an RP perspective, but what that paladin said really makes sense for Anea too. She would be just horrified to be raised as a ghoul and be made to use dark powers to kill.

Vulpina said...

Here is your guide, I feel qualified to give one since... I've been risen as a ghoul *31* times. No lie.

Target boss, press 4 (Leap button). This will jump you to the boss from wherever you were.

If it's a boss, just spam 1 (Claw) forever. Realize that there is a 5 minute timer, so if you're a ghoul for that long (... I have been...) press your corpse explode button right as the timer would give out.

If it is an AoE intensive fight, make sure you have Huddle active at all times. I think that's button 3.

Gnaw (button 2) is pretty useless unless it's a bunch of adds that can be CC'd.

So yeah, Leap, Claw, Huddle, explode yourself before your timer.

If there's a TON of AoE damage you might as well explode yourself at the beginning because you have very few HPs.

Hope that helps!

Chewy said...

Oh Larissa...

I know why I leave you as the last read of the night, because you always come up with something that I never expect and is so perceptive.

I just spam "1" knowing full well that it won't make the slightest difference to the outcome and at the same time blessing the dk for giving me some extra play time...

Jb said...

"… How am I supposed to know the spellrotation?"
Hey Larissa. Its a Ghoul, not a Night Elf rogue. Spellrotation ? Plz sharpen up.

Larísa said...

@Tam: “holy crap”, yeah that’s about as much as I do in my ghoul shape before I’m about to die. It might change though, I think there are some how-to-ghoul posts incoming.

@Saga: Good point there. I have yet to see a tank ghouled!

@Anea: yeah I don’t belittle hardcore roleplayers. I can understand if it’s a bit intrusive.

@Vulpina: 31 times! That’s really not bad! And this seems as a good starter guide, thanks!

@Chewy: thanks! And yeah, how fun isn’t it to be alive compared to doing nothing, even if you don’t contribute much. The fight becomes much more interesting and exciting if you participate, even if it’s just by pressing “1”.

@Jb: well… I might use the word a bit careless, but mind you: there are several spells at your disposal and you probably want to putt hem in a certain order to make most out of your ghoul so… isn’t that what you’d call a certain rotation?