Queen of the Depths

I found some time to do a fair bit of pugging early last weekend. I queued for a random instance, keeping in mind that I’d really like to get the Classic Dungeonmaster achievement – which feat will require me sneaking into Orgrimmar to do Ragefire Chasm… I failed to queue early enough when I was still “allowed” to go there. It turns out that random instances at my level range are not so random. Do you like lava, things that are underground, and Dark Iron dwarves? Because you’re going to be seeing a lot of them if you’re randomly queuing around level 50 and up. I know that three BRD runs doesn’t sound like that much but it actually is if you consider that each of those runs took an hour, minium, but closer to an hour and a half or even more. I stopped watching the clock at some point.

The good news is that I completely finished the whole thing, twice, meaning we killed the final boss. Of the three times I ran it randomly, I only received a Satchel one time – which is a bit of a “duh?” oversight, in my opinion. Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but I don’t think there’s any way to tell which portion of the instance you’ve been queued for until you actually finish it. There’s BRD – Prison, and BRD – Upper City, but because the instance is so vast and sprawling, people tend to just head off in the direction they’re familiar with. If you don’t know much about BRD (join my club) – the place is vast. The wowwiki page says it takes 4-6 hours to clear it completely (I doubt this is the case, anymore) . In a place with so many bosses, the odds are pretty good that you just won’t be killing whichever boss it considers the “end” of the portion you’re queued for, except when that boss happens to be Thaurissian himself.

BRD – I
This first run I was healing. It’s actually interesting to note that sometimes, being queued as DPS gets me an instant group while being a healer does not.  It makes for a nice change, anyway. I’d say I still heal about 80% of the time but that extra 20% of light-based-here-please-eat-my-axe keeps me happy.

For some reason, the tank in this run was incredibly hard to heal. He was wearing heirlooms, and assorted other instance-reward blue gear. His HP was 4076 (at level 54). I don’t think he was pulling with any more zeal than other tanks I’ve run with. He was a paladin. I don’t know if he just wasn’t using his cooldowns much, maybe? His HP seemed comparable to the tanks from my other two runs (I checked afterwards). I didn’t quite have the gumption to mention it or ask him, thinking it might be some defect with me. I have been playing as ret somewhat, have I forgotten how to heal?

Anyway, we did end up wiping on this run due to pulling more or less the entire room of bar patrons onto us. I think it was consecrate that did it. It wasn’t the only hairy “OMG what is this I don’t even…” moment, either. The tank said, “Been tanking for 20 levels and never lost two people on one pull before!” Well, me neither, but your inability to hold aggro versus this DPS meant that I couldn’t quite keep them alive. I hear that healing two tanks is something a paladin can do easily while balancing on their nose and doing flippy-tricks with their weapon, but three, when two are wearing dresses? Probably not.

I find that after having played other healing classes (the one I play most commonly is a druid) my inability to keep up with heavy AoE damage frustrates me quite a bit. OK, it’s not even heavy AoE damage so much as it is “whenever three people are taking damage simultaneously.” Holy Light is quite a bit faster than it was but it’s still not super fast, and with this tank I definitely needed the “oomph” to keep him alive. But the time needed to throw FoLs and Holy Shocks around would see him nearly dying again. I’m really hoping that having Beacon will help to alleviate this. It’s nice to stave off an encounter that started to feel like Certain Doom and have everyone ooh and ah over your healing, it’s not so nice to hyperventilate and feel as if no matter how fast you’re clicking, there’s nothing more you could have done, even with using all of your protective and special cooldowns.

Although the scenery in BRD was amazing, all you get is this picture of my shield.

BRD – II

My second BRD queue saw me with a bear tank, and I wasn’t healing (we had a tree), I was retribution! I got these neat plate legs at the end for my troubles. I like them, they are flashy and red.

I haven’t had a chance to enthuse about this to anyone besides my guild yet, so I will say it here. I absolutely love playing retribution so far. I don’t care if people tease me about being a two-button wonder. It’s really fun. I may have mentioned this in my previous entry (Art of WAAAAARRR) but it bears repeating. Playing melee DPS is an incredibly different experience from all of my ranged characters, and I never really played Fury with my warrior so maybe the experience is similar. It’s just really satisfying to hear a clanging sound and see a monster’s health go down and say to yourself, “Yes, I hit that.” It’s also nice to be able to take a few hits if an angry mob isn’t impressed when I poked him with a battle axe.

I’ll confess, I sometimes zone out a bit during these instance runs. Especially BRD which lends itself to a hypnotic feeling. More Dark Iron dwarves. More tunnels/passageways/whatever. Look, lava! So it took me awhile during this run to notice something.

That’s funny, I thought, who is the other melee DPS? It’s not a rogue – wait, is she hitting things with a staff? I looked at her name, and then I looked over at Recount to see the greeness of it. She was a hunter. For posterity, let it be known, that a hunter meleeing with their weapon (sans pet) in BRD can achieve an average of 80 damage per second. Most other DPS in that run and others average around 500.

Please understand I don’t want to rant on about this person in an “oh what a terribad I’m so awesome at WoW” kind of way, I actually want opinions, suggestions, whatever… What would you have done? Would you message her and try to gently come around to the point – “So are you new to WoW etc.”? Would you take a more direct approach – “You would probably do better DPS if you used your ranged weapon and brought your pet out.” The first one feels condescending to me, and the second, interfering. I remembered someone saying in a blog – some people just don’t care about this game as much to research it, and they are just having fun. So who cares if they aren’t pulling a billion DPS? We’re not in a raid. It’s a 5-man. Our heirlooms can carry a few people easily. We finished the instance, after all. Maybe it was a bit slower, but I had time.

So I took option three. I did and said nothing, and the melee hunter continued to melee her way through BRD happily, I can only presume, with Zum’rah’s Vexing Cane. Let’s just say that I’ve always enjoyed this staff, but its name took on new meaning in this context. What would you have done?

Modeling shiny new leggings that will soon be replaced by Outland greens. But for now they say, "I went to BRD and I stole Dagran's pants, too."

BRD – III

For the third run, I was healing again. There were a pair of mages here from the same guild, clearly leveling together with their hefty heirloom gear, and I was quite happy to have them, mostly because they knew their way around. In our previous run, nobody had the key to proceed to the later levels. (In my defense, why didn’t I have the key myself – I did pick up the quest when we wiped, but I’m already at the point of the instance where killing the required bosses would’ve caused us to go out of our way.) But these two mages both had the key, and so BRD was our oyster. The kind of oyster that takes you two full hours to pry open.

These three runs have more or less merged in my recollection. It’s all a dark blur to me.. I know that I went to BRD, and I know that things were killed. The most notable person in all the runs was the hunter, and I’m still conflicted about that. All of the groups were pleasant. This last group did press on all the way to Thaurissian where the previous one hadn’t, and yet again I scored loot from him. It was one of those random enchantment type-rings that usually end up being questionable, but this one made me so happy I gasped audibly when it dropped. It was an Emperor’s Seal…of intellect. 16 delicious points of it. I was very happy to roll on it, and very happy to win it (sorry, mages, you weren’t running OOM anyway, give me a break. Besides, it has no spellpower, shame on you.)

So after all of that, what do I think of BRD? I’m astounded to report that I don’t think we really got lost. One of the groups hung a bit when we weren’t quite sure how to open a particular door. But overall it was quite smooth. I don’t have many more deaths to add to my total. I am content. I could have been more efficient had I picked up or done pre-quests for this instance, because I think there are a ton and they’re worth a good deal of XP. I’ve even done more pugging since – my first trip to Dire Maul, and a short-lived Lower Black Rock Spire run. Vid is level 58 now. (Yes, so many hours in BRD will do that to you). I took her to Outland and trained Master enchanting as well as the next level of Engineering. It looks as if the materials to craft a flying machine have been adjusted? In any case, I have all the mats lined up and ready to go and I’m very excited. Pugging pally will soon be terrorizing the skies, but not until I’ve finished Dire Maul, Scholomance, and Stratholme, hopefully. I did the quest chain to get the key to Scholo (I know it’s not required any more, but I like having it) and I have the key to the rest of Dire Maul as well so hopefully that should smooth over runs into the other wings. It’s hard to restrain myself from leaping headlong into Outlands, but a guildie mentioned to me that once you are level 60 – you can’t queue for level 60 instances any more, or at least not randomly. I may be queuing specifically for each wing of Dire Maul as I need it, and likewise for Scholo and Strat. Yes, I don’t want to go back to BRD. I conquered it already, see?

Conveniently, it's not just Dwarven sized.

Also, to add – on the topic of gently approaching someone clearly and utterly failing at their given task… When I rolled Vidyala the Second and put her into Single Abstract Noun, I was happily running around Azuremyst assailing moths and other wildlife with my clumsy bludgeon when I received a whisper. “Are you new to WoW?” this person asked. I checked who it was. A level 80 paladin, currently at the Exodar. It only took me a split second to realize – he’d seen the [Lousy Cloth Robe of Greyness] I was wearing. You know how the starting zone just drops…whatever? And if you’re lucky, it drops crappy mail stuff, but sometimes it doesn’t. It hadn’t. My reasoning was…hey, it’s better than nothing.

I said, “Are you asking because you saw me wearing a dress?”
Him: “Well, I was hearthing out and I just caught a glimpse…”

I explained that it wasn’t my first character, but that it was an alt and I had no other characters on this server – plus it had been the only thing to drop. He asked me about the guild, I told him it was a guild of bloggers and blog readers, and he fled away a million miles after politely murmuring “Ohisn’tthatnice.” So, I’m very sorry, SAN, for inadvertently giving us all a reputation for harbouring the worst kind of Failadins and noobs ever.

Even my alternative alternative paladin fails at dressing like a paladin.

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14 responses to “Queen of the Depths

  1. I am dreading the day when my warrior tank has to step into BRD, because people expecting me to know the way around! I think I’ll go in and solo it on my 80 and learn the layout, since all I remember from 5+ runs on my priest is …lava, some kind of bridge, hundreds of dwarves, some kind of key…thing? Oh and a bear tank fighting an elemental boss at the anvil and getting tossed down into the lava. -_-

    As for the meleeing hunter, whenever I run into an odd duck like that I usually just start casually chatting with them to lead into finding out if they’re playing like that because they prefer it or if they just don’t know any better. Sometimes you run into players who didn’t know they weren’t playing “properly” and they’re really appreciative of advice and tips, which is always nice to see. :D And the best part about the newbie players is they’re probably not going to be the GOGOGO FFS type people either. ;)

    Also, glanced at your recent achievements and laughed. Currently amidst all the “Killed King so and so” and “Obtained Awesome Molten Armor” is “Completed step [Squirrel] of achievement [Pest Control].” Pretty funny.

    • I saw that, haha. I’ll have you know, I had nothing to do with that innocent critter’s death. I was framed – framed, I tell ya!

      I highly recommend Jame’s BRD guide if you want a run-down to get you familiar with it. Obviously, because I’m a slacker healer/DPS I hardly skimmed it, but I am confident it’s a pretty good guide!

  2. Same as the person above.. I’m currently levelling a prot warrior (lv17 so far.. tanked RFC and DM so far.. baptism of fire.. I have two lv80 prot pallies (yes.. two.. with the same spec.. there isn’t anything wrong with that, right? *twitch*) so I thought I would do ok but wow warrior tanking is HARD!) and I DREAD to think of going into BRD and people expecting me to know the way around. I have trouble finding my way around linear instances so an instance with several floors and maze-like qualities instills fear into my heart. I remember spending about 4 or 5 hours in there a few years back, on a single run!

    With regards to that hunter.. I’m not sure. I personally don’t really like to confront people unless I’m getting really frustrated. But on the other hand I do think that when you choose to be in a group, you have to work as a team. If someone wants to solo-level a meleeing hunter without pet.. whatever, but if they enter a group I think anyone in that group has the right to say something about it. Obviously preferably in a nice way (although some people just can’t take advice no matter how nicely it is put).

    Although that reminds me, I was in a Nexus normal pug on my holy priest a while back and all the dps were so bad that we were struggling on literally EVERYTHING. That hallway to the rock boss that has the Tenders that heal.. it took about 5 minutes to kill each group because they kept healing and the dps just couldn’t burn them down. After quite a few wipes and more than an hour we finally made it to the final boss and we wiped twice because of lack of dps and people not jumping. So I totally went off on the ret paladin who was doing 300dps and told him/her DO THIS DO THAT ETC. We got the boss down and afterwards the pally whispered me thanks for the tips, they really worked.. I was like.. but but.. I was just a total bitch to you! So anyway, sometimes you can be a total bitch and people thank you for it =p

  3. I hate BRD. I avoided it like the plague in vanilla WoW. Come to think of it, since I ran Strat 25 a billion and a half times, I avoided BRD a hell of a lot more than I did the plague. I think I completed it about eight months ago on my mage for the achievement, and have never done the whole thing on any of my other characters.

    My only experience with pugging is at level 80 so I’m less likely to run into things like a melee hunter. I have once or twice run into people who just can’t be bothered to run the instance well. I have a warlock friend who is like that; he does diddly squat on whatever heroic he’s currently doing, often standing in fire or some such mistake that will end up with him getting killed. I’ve tried to convince him to use heroics as practice for raids (because my likelihood of inviting him to a raid has fallen considerably based on the crap dps he does in heroics), and maybe I’ve been able to convince him.

    I think your melee hunter is probably a more extreme example of this beast. Sure, he could stand back and do real dps, but that would take effort and would waste ammo. I really can’t believe that any hunter honestly thinks it’s a good idea to melee. From levels 6 through 8 on my SAN-hunter alt, I found myself in melee and it was the most painful experience in the world. Melee on a hunter is just not any fun at all. I would think that anyone trying it would find a new class to play, or give up the game in frustration, well before they got to the level BRD requires.

    I’ve occasionally offered unsolicited advice to my pug-mates, particularly to mages (where I have a bit of expertise). Invariably the person throws it back in my face. I generally believe now that, unless someone goes out of their way to confess their ignorance, examples of stupidity like your melee hunter or a mage sitting in whirlwinding mobs are signs of deliberate indifference rather than actual ignorance. There are, I think, a lot of people who can’t be bothered to play adequately in heroics because they know they can be carried.

    Some of them have raised that indifference to an art form. I would be willing to bet that your hunter was just trying to save ammo.

  4. I would certainly ask the hunter about his/her odd behavior. I PuGed a random with a melee hunter who knew exactly what he was doing… as I watched him switching weapons furiously throughout the run. I asked; turns out he was lvling weapon skills for his [Master of Arms] achievement…on my time! (At least he was BM and his pet was out doing 900 DPS on its own). I knew a Lock who always kept his fell puppy at his side (on passive). I asked; he felt the SPI/INT buff was too important to his DPS to risk his pet getting killed accidentally. I tried to point out the increase his DPS would have if his pet actually attacked …my logic was lost on him. You may not like the answers you get, but you may get some amusement out of them. You never know until you ask.

    As far as pally fashion, it doesn’t get any better at 80. My Prot T8 head piece looked like an oversized neck brace…I guess it was appropriate considering tanks get hit a lot, but it looked terribad (I had to hide it on my interface options.)

  5. I rolled myself a hunter alt and while pugging Wailing Caverns, I realised there were three hunters in the group but no wait … there’s only two of us back here… The third was meleeing with his raptor pet on passive (so the pet wasn’t attacking) cos his bow is bad and his axe was better. The way I got it across to him at that level that ranged damage with a bow was better was just to count the ranged vs melee abilities hunters have (Wing Clip not counting). I even used Recount to prove to him how much he improved when he followed my advice and used his bow.

    • This is a perfect example of why you HAVE to say something to people like that. Don’t just let it slide. That melee hunter got up to BRD level because no one had the guts to say anything. Some people just don’t pick up on certain gaming concepts. They NEED someone to help them. You do them a favor when you give them a hand.

  6. Well, if it helps I can explain a bit about BRD quickly to perhaps soothe your mind. I would seriously recommend someone boosting you to get the Shadowforge key first though, that’s not pugging material.

    Part 1 is the prison – the end boss is a Twilight Cultist missionary close to the bottom.

    Easiest way to run is to go straight on through the room with the Dwarves and dogs, until you reach the round arena. Get in, and kill the arena boss. Run up into the city, to the top level of the ring of law and then follow a semi-circle until you reach the cultists. Look around for a square room with a big statue, the female cultist boss is the one you seek I believe.

    Part 2 is the upper city, and requires the shadowforge key. Easiest way is to go back to the entrance, and with the entrance in your back take a left turn, go through the gate. Then you get to the “Dwarf highway” leading to Baelgar. If you take the second gate closeby, there’s another door in the rock which leads to a room with mobs and a big cogwheel. Use it, and then move up the stairs. Follow the corridors through until you get to the part overseeing the Dwarf highway.

    From then on, you are on a recently straight path towards the other bosses, so you should be able to figure it out.

    Hope this helps a bit, the first part is the worst, the rest is pretty fun to do.

  7. I’m pretty new to WoW but I have to agree BRD is one of my favourite 5 mans yet. I didn’t realise that it was split which explains my missing satchel after some of the runs, but either way I had some awesome runs.

    The lavacrest leggings look ridiculous on my dwarf pally but what can you do ;)?

    Keep blogging I really enjoy reading your adventures in PUGland :)

  8. It’s hard to say what to do with low level… um… interesting people like that hunter. I’d say a gentle questioning now will be preferable to the ‘OMG WTF Noob!1!” comments he’ll get when he’s 80 and queues for a heroic.

  9. Your melee hunter story gave me pause – I tried to put myself in their shoes.
    This game is freakishly complicated.

    For example, my first entry into Deadmines was as a noob rogue with 2 warriors and … that’s all.
    We didn’t do so hot. I was so clueless I had no idea what a tank was. I thought that healers had to actually TOUCH you to heal you (like Dungeons&Dragons).

    So back to your hunter. S/he desperately needed advice! But how to give it without hurting feelings? Maybe a simple observation that “Hunters are meant to melee w/ pet and shoot stuff – if s/he really likes hand-to-hand try a rogue or a warrior”? Its so hard not be snarky.
    Or “hunters do more damage with pet & shooting”

    PS: I loved BRD. But in never saw more than 2 bosses there till was was level 70 and able to solo it.

  10. I don’t get how you’re meant to know which of the two “instances” the dungeon finder wants you to do.

    You’d think there would be a title when you load in or some kind of objective visible in the UI hey?

    I’ve got work on more maps… Pristine Waters is putting me off… BRD Prison is easy in comparison!

    • Your Gnomeregan map saved me sooo much trouble! Thank you so very much for doing those, even if they are daunting!

  11. Pingback: The Odyssey « Pugging Pally

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