Monday, December 17, 2007

Who gets the credit?

So, I'm in a 25 man raid. They've spent the last 3 days trying to down a boss (Lady Vashj). Then I show up and BAM. Down she goes!

Naturally, it was because I was there, so they obviously were going to succeed, eventually. And indeed, one of the times when I was dead, they got her to a mere 7%. The next time, I was alive, and lo and behold. She dies.

So, was it just the fates that aligned the planets correctly on this chosen evening, or was it the addition of one K-themed warlock? No, seriously. Where does the credit belong on things like that. Is it seriously the difference of one individual person? Was it more than just shaking the makeup by one? (Honestly, I don't know if I was the only 'new' addition to the group this evening, but the point is the same...) Who gets the credit?

The obvious answer is everyone. Everyone had to pull their "A-Game" out, so to speak, do their best, be their best, hit their pots at the right time, get the heal off, taunt the mob off, DPS just the right amount... or it couldn't have been done. But the less obvious answer is... yes, I do deserve some of that credit. You take out my DPS, which while not the highest in my new guild, is still somewhat respectable, and you put in someone with less DPS, maybe even less playability. Would you have still succeeded, all things being equal?

Heck, even give them the same build, same gear, same gems, same time playing their warlock as I have, and just change the person behind the screen... and things may have been vastly different. Maybe that other warlock wouldn't have burned down an 'almost to Lady Vashj' elemental with a aptly timed shadowburn and deathcoil. Maybe that other warlock wouldn't have popped their healthstones fast enough to help healers out. Maybe they wouldn't have life-tapped or dark pact'd when I would have. And therein lies the difference. Possibly.

For those familiar with Lady Vashj, she has three phases. Phase 2 is the toughest phase to live through. A good portion of it is team playing and communication. Who has the tainted orb? Who does it get tossed to? Is there someone in range of the person who has it. Etc. Some of it is kiting the dang strider in a timely fashion while allowing DPS access to it. Some of it is making sure those dang elementals don't get to Vashj. It's an all around confusing fight, and I don't think there's any room at all for error. (Which makes sense, given the boss in question)

So, really... who gets the credit? Everyone who is there. There isn't one person there who did not do EXACTLY right. Because if there was, then we wouldn't have beaten her (after a million and ten wipes!)

The other thing to consider, and something we were talking about post-kill, is how quickly we learned, overcame and defeated the boss. From the start of my guild's attempts on Lady Vashj, it took us (them, me in the end) a total of 3 days to do it. Two-shotted her once we were able to hit Phase 3 with her.

According to my guild (and though there is the thought that they could be biased, I honestly have no reason to think they'd have lied), that's the fastest on our server (Alleria). Our guild is ranked 7-8th (it apparently vaccilates between us and another guild), so that's not surprising, but at the same time, it is surprising given that our server also has Risen in it (3rd ranked in the US). At first, I thought... Wow. We're doing something better than RISEN? (Granted, Risen probably cleared her a gazillion months ago, but it took them longer from start of hitting her to dancing on her corpse.)

Then I thought to myself (even as others in the guild pointed it out), we have the benefit of strategy guides and fore-knowledge of what is needed, what to do, what order to do it in, how to handle it. Can you imagine what it was like for people like those in Risen? To be the first one to see her. To be the first one to go .. "What the frack is she doing? She has a shield? What are those elementals? How do we do this?!" both the thrill and the appalling amount of gold they spent in repair bills awe me. I mean, if you didn't KNOW, ahead of time, that you had to kill and loot the tainted ores, and couldn't move when you had an ore, so had to toss the ore up to someone else, who had to use it on a shield generator, how would you know?

You certainly wouldn't be sitting there going, 'Oh, this mob has loot for me! Let me pick it up while we're in the middle of a boss battle'.

You wouldn't know the Strider does an AOE fear. You wouldn't know the strider hits clothies for 18000 damage. (I know this. I learned this part first-hand, myself. Knowing 'he'll one-shot you', is quite different from knowing 'he'll ram you into the ground, do a jig on your corpse, use your bones for toothpicks and make a pretty dress out of your skin'.) You wouldn't know the naga have cleave. You wouldn't know about the spore bats, or the entangle, or the static charge. You wouldn't have a clue. And each attempt may only get you a mere millispec closer to figuring out how to do it. Or not. Each attempt may only get you exactly where you were before, until you can puzzle out that elusive next step.

So, while we may have theorhetically done it the fastest on Alleria, 3 days and a dead Vashj, credit in that instance has to go to the pioneers of all those strategy guides, the ones who had to puzzle out what to do, what order to do it in, what people to take, what gear you need and who then gifted the rest of us slackers with the fruits of their labor.

Thank you.

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