Thursday, November 8, 2007

Silly mage, aggro's for tanks

For this next post, I'll do the venty-vent. Lest I come off too negative or attacking an individual, I'll start off by saying that most of this guy's game play was pretty good. He seemed to use a wide variety of attacks, did decent crowd control, and dealt out pretty good damage. He also had some good knowledge of the Blood Furnace instance and bosses, and was willing to share that with the group to help us manage the encounters. These were all good parts of having him in the party.

Ok, good. That's out of the way. Now let me get to my aggro (that is the name of the blog, after all).

Firstly, I said "dealt out pretty good damage" earlier. I probably should say "dealt out too much damage." The guy went postal, instantly at the onset of every pull. I've really never partied with mages too much, but I was blown away by the sheer nuclear firepower that he was able to deliver. Just staggering.

He even had this one attack that looked like he held up a giant goat's skull on a stick and then ran up to the mob and hissed steam or smoke out of the goat skull's nostrils. Had me laughing a little bit, just the entertainment value of watching this thing.

The problem is that he wears cloth. Our warrior tank wears slightly sturdier armor than that. Its in our interest to let him hold aggro.

Mage kept pulling aggro. And dying. We had a pally who would rez him. And again. And again. And again.

Mage was level 61. Tank was level 70. Do you know how hard it should have been for him to steal aggro from the tank? Pretty close to impossible.

Then we get to the pulls. In Blood Furnace, there's lots of 3 pulls. Worked pretty nice, sheep one, freeze another, then burn the third. We had a decent rhythem going. Then mage aparently gets impatient. The way we would do it was to have me fire my Arcane Shot(rank 1) pull macro, at the freezer mob. Then, once combat started, mage would sheep, and warrior would grab aggro on the main target. Mage started sheeping earlier and earlier. Typically while I was waiting for my trap cooldown to tick for 5 more seconds or so.

Impatience. And this is coming from the guy who would exhaust his mana pool on each and every pull. We never went for more than 2 packs of mobs without him needing mana drinks, and typically a drink after every pull. Like I said, I've never really worked with mages before, but is this normal? Seemed that he was being a bit too nuclear, and never really just using some mana efficient "white damage" attacks on the pulls that we had well under control, saving the nukes for bosses or sticky situations.

And lastly. Damage Meters. I always have damage meters running. I use it as a self-improvement tool, to observe how changes in my style, or my focus on chain trapping, or new spells/pet attacks will impact my output. I never really talk to anybody about the meters, and definitely never brag about being on top. I don't even try to be on top, it just sort of works out that way a lot. I give higest priority to playing my role in my team and allowing the tank to keep aggro, then focus on crowd control, then and only then try to maximize damage output.

So half way through the run, mage asks if anybody's running damage meters, and could you post the report. I never did that before so I ask how and he tells me (simple enough with a right click and pick "report->party"). I post the numbers.

The report shows me at #1 with about 32.1% of overall party damage. Mage at #2 with about 30.5% of damage, and so on. He actually says "i'd be number one if i didnt keep dying".

I couldn't tell if there was sarcasm there or not, but given the nuclear launches and his itchy trigger finger on pulls, I'm suspecting no sarcasm.

Some people :-(


pelides said...

"I'd be #1 if I didn't keep dying!" Classic! He should learn from his own statement!

A dead mage does no dps... same goes for any class.

This was a PvP mage you were running with. They're pretty much useless in PvE, but can be lethal in arenas. If you're marks, throw a silencing shot at 'em then an intimidation and they're dead. If they get that pyroblast off though... you're in trouble.

Kestrel said...

I've been out of town; hence, my delay in commenting.

Not trying to justify the mage's actions at all: Pelides pretty much summed things up.

Just one point to be aware of re: mages--they are mana sieves. At least that's been my experience to date. Unlike, say, priests, they don't have a good mechanism for regaining mana in battle, and as DPSers, mana conservation is a bit lower on their list of priorities than it is for a healer. So, it's not at all unusual for a mage to top his or her mana tanks every battle or so--that's one reason they get to make that free water. :)

Amava said...

interesting idea. PvP sounds about right, because his burst damage was astronomical, or at least must have been to allow him to deal that much damage in so short of a life span. If that guy jumped me in PvP, I probably would have been fried quickly, and my lovely boar Ruby would have been bacon.

Cool feedback about mages and mana usage. I can understand what you're saying about DPS being a bit more apt to drain mana supply than a healer, who needs to keep some in reserve for emergencies and such. That does make sense, and I'm sure I'll learn more about it as I gain experience working with the various casting DPS classes.

I suppose my thoughts surround whether its a necessity to dump all the mana, or if its a choice. As a hunter, I know that I can get aggressive and weave a special mana-using shot in between just about every auto shot, and deplete my mana pretty quickly. I suppose a Mage has spells that burn mana way quicker than a hunter, but the basic concept still probably applies.

On the trash mobs leading up to a boss, if the situation is pretty much under control, I choose to take it easy on my special shots. If the tank's got good control of the mobs and pretty good health, and the healer has good mana left, and there's not a whole lot of running around, I actively choose to conserve my mana. I feel this allows the group to move more efficiently through the instance.

I suspect that, given his mana consumption patterns, in the context of his other behavior, was more of an active choice to be #1 on the damage meter, at the expense of anything else, such as the speed we moved through the dungeon.

In the end, its all good, because I haven't run into him since then, but I'm definitely excited to work with some more mana DPS folks to see how things vary by the people involved.

karim said...

An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

Karim - Positive thinking