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Force builds/talents or not?


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#61 Anias

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 07:10 AM

Blood, you have no idea who I am, or what I am specced. I appreciate your use of psychic powers, but a bit of research please if you're going to go into flame-mode.

I'm currently specced 24/0/27. I'm the guild leader. I'm also our raid leader. We raid 6 nights a week, and still find time to play outside of that. Our progression is mostly a pacing decision, not a playtime decision. If you'd put a feral druid in a rogue group, you have misevaluated the value of the aura to the raid. (Hint, hunters get more out of the crit!). If you're putting moonkin in rogue groups you should seek counseling. I'm still not feral or moonkin. I stand in the druid group with the other 2 restos the OT specced feral, and a paladin for concentration aura. I could go into this in more detail, because I love to teach, but I'm sure you get the point.

Obviously all of the listed optimizations are very difficult, and entail a long building phase. However if you are not doing all of that, or at least trying to, your raid's spec is irrelevant. Fundamental breakdowns have occured, and the raid spec is a symptom, not the cause. Bad players with good specs are still bad players and they still die, wipe the raid, and then blame someone else. Trust me, having been a guild leader in wow for a year and change now, I can say with certainty that bad players will find a way to kill you. They are very creative.

I'll say that again - If your guild is forcing specs (usually because you don't trust your playerbase to make good decisions) then your guild contains, by definition, players you view to be bad. Instead of dictating to them what they should do, and having them be out of their depth when you do not give them a script, why not try improving their ability? There are very few guilds that can afford to run with the "Kick all the bad players" method, but I don't see forcing the bad players to play by rote as a viable long-term alternative. If the players are bad, they will wipe you with any combination of specs. If skill disparity exists and you cannot simply remove the worst player in each class, you must seek to improve them. If the players are good, they will identify what they need to spec to accomplish their goals. If your guild has done a good job of recruitment, and been forthright about your guild's goals, your member's goals will line up with yours.

It's all tied together, and if you think it through you'll realize that while it is a lot of work, the work is rewarding, required, and a fair bit of it does itself once you start working on it. While there are shortcuts, all of the shortcuts I've heard mentioned are temporary measures. If you're building for the long haul, temporary measures are not a good choice. This, incidentally, is why many guild masters burn out on the game, or have their guilds implode on them. You have to do the work.

I'm not interested in being the most progressed guild in the world. It's a concious decision, and it may change in the future, but the concensus among our officership is that being the first to content means being the people who have to deal with the frustrations of having horribly broken software, instead of the people fighting challenging, engaging, and interesting fights. That's an additional stress on the guild that can lead to player burnout. That in turn directly conflicts with the goal of building and sustaining a long term world of warcraft guild. I've accepted this, and thus I'm not pushing our guild to pass DnT. By the same token, I have zero patience for sheep. I am consistently told that Rebirth is one of the most "professional" guilds members have ever been a part of, and a large part of that professionalism, is a result of our culture and unwillingness to "force" a single viewpoint. Multiple viewpoints are healthy for any organization, it helps to fight calcification of ideas. Someone has to have the "New Best Spec" idea before it can become the standard for the rest of the sheep after all. If you pack your raid with sheep, you are cutting into your chances to have a good idea, and magnifying the reppercussions of a bad idea. No thank you.

So to reiterate: You can certainly force specs. Forcing specs is rarely the "correct" decision if your goals include longevity of the guild and establishing a professional guild.

Forcing specs should never be required if you do your preliminary work correctly, and indeed the urge to force specs would likely be a sign that something more fundamental is wrong with the guild, or it's playerbase. It can also actively hurt your guild to have players that can't evaluate what they should do to help your raid succeed, as their ability to recognize a bad decision or have a good idea is severely impaired.

Your mileage will of course vary.

Also, as a friendly bit of advice - the mods here don't really approve of the "You are a moron Har Har" type posts.

Edit - As usual bekah beat me to it.
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#62 Bloodterror

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:23 AM

If you'd put a feral druid in a rogue group, you have misevaluated the value of the aura to the raid. (Hint, hunters get more out of the crit!). If you're putting moonkin in rogue groups you should seek counseling. I could go into this in more detail, because I love to teach, but I'm sure you get the point.

Also, as a friendly bit of advice - the mods here don't really approve of the "You are a moron Har Har" type posts.

While I appreciate your offers of education and counseling, I said that rogues beg for it (first for a druid to spec feral and then for him to be in their group) not that I give it to them.

Obviously all of the listed optimizations are very difficult, and entail a long building phase. However if you are not doing all of that, or at least trying to, your raid's spec is irrelevant. Fundamental breakdowns have occured, and the raid spec is a symptom, not the cause. Bad players with good specs are still bad players and they still die, wipe the raid, and then blame someone else. Trust me, having been a guild leader in wow for a year and change now, I can say with certainty that bad players will find a way to kill you. They are very creative.

I don't force specs either, I merely took issue with the haughty tone you had that forcing specs is always a bad idea unless you have a perfectly configured raid with perfect players. I pointed out that spec changes are far easier to implement than personnel changes because I felt that you'd led astray anyone who might be considering forced specs. They can be a useful guideline and a safety net for catching people who are somewhat less than team players. I did not endorse having bad players in your raid; I fully understand the effects bad players can have on a guild's progression, though I'll have to defer to your greater experience in that regard, Teach.

#63 Foeresh

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 10:26 AM

Min/Maxing is not just important for Naxx. It is important for *quick/timely* progress in any zone. Saying fire spec isnt gimpy in MC/BWL is like having MT's with 200 FR. Sure it comes close, but close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades :-/

Hopefully like others said you wont have to force players to do this though. If at all possible try to find the players who have already lernd2play and can make those adjustments on their own. In this case I can see the fire spec mage being angry if/when you ask mages to respec fire for AQ40 :-P.

#64 Azera

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 10:13 PM

Any time there is less than 4 warriors in a raid I ask Gurg if I can respec.

He always says no. :(

....and I usually can't afford to. Stupid 50g respecs.

Bad is a warrior at heart. She tanked some mean ZG back in the day ;)

Furry warrior, no doubt.

#65 Nurru

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 10:18 PM

Have you bothered asking your player to justify their spec? If they can't and it's not helping the raid I could see you requesting they change it but otherwise if they have a good reason and are still doing their job then leave it be I'd say.

#66 kais[bo]

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 11:46 PM

Have you bothered asking your player to justify their spec? If they can't and it's not helping the raid I could see you requesting they change it but otherwise if they have a good reason and are still doing their job then leave it be I'd say.

the general thing they come up with: 'i love to pvp and i can't do it without this spec.'
if you are in a semi-hardcore raiding guild, thats just utter bullshit. we raid from 7 to 11-12 pm server time pretty much every day and i think most guilds that have any decent progress in NN raid at least 5 days per week. now almost all the people that come up with that pvp reasoning in our guild pvp at BEST 2 hours per week. hardly any more then that. but now lets say they pvp 10 hours, just for the hell of it. then its 10 hours of pvp against 20 hours of raiding. and while you are personally gimped while pvping, you basically make life more annoying for 39 other people. ofc you need to enjoy wow, but sorry, i don't enjoy wiping on patchwerk cause the 6 shadow priests are oom after 4 min while the shamans hit with their big heals for 2k. or wiping on loatheb cause warriors are MS and rogues pvp dagger.
and in reality, ppl in serious raiding guilds hardly ever pvp 10 hours per week. if one of my priests told me he wants to solo grind or group grind rank 14 and spec accordingly and he actually puts in the time for it, i have no problem with that. but if a guy wnats to be sahdow so he can pewpew in AV 1-2 hours per week and the other healers have to carry his back in 20-30 hours of raiding, he can start looking for another guild. my opinion might be a bit drastic, but every guy who has a 'useless' spec (if they can back it up with good reasonings, i have np with it, but a druid can't be feral cause he farms 1h and pvps 1-2h per week imho) needs to be carried by others in more difficult encounters. if you have 15 people with teh wrong specs, it starts to get a serious pain in the ass. most healers that want to do dmg just missed the right time to reroll anyway (while waiting for new instance to be released or whatever) as they originally picked the wrong class. at least i see that with shamans a lot. i really cba to put up with such people and in the long run, they don't enjoy doing their job anyway and will quit no matter what spec they have.

#67 Fayrn

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 12:16 AM

One of the "hardcore" raiding guilds that I was in for a brief period had partially forced specs, which I think is the most reasonable method of going about it.

All Warriors were required to have 15 points in the protection tree (defiance), Hunters were required to have 20 points in marksmanship, Druids and Shamans were required to have 21 points in restoration (NS - obviously), and so on for every class (I can't recall the requirements for every class - but they were similar to each of the above).
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#68 Morfina

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 02:45 AM

Its not an easy question, to be honest.

If you force specs, you lose the ability to evaluate players based on their talent specs too. A player who is useful will, in a guild which is progression oriented, re-spec if he or she feels that in doing so it will help. Oftentimes, people become acutely aware of their benefits to raids with various specs only through experimentation - Good players spec without having to be told to do so; Bad players wait to be forced. This assumes there is a reason for a specific spec.

By and large, there are many myths regarding specs. "Protection warriors are required and 'tank better'", "Feral druids are useless", "Shadow priests are bad for raiding guilds" are probably the most oft-encountered. Any good leadership will investigate the truth of these claims in correlation to the content they're at, and evaluate if their lack of progress (or slower progress) has anything at all to do with someones talent spec.

Forcing people when you clearly don't have to, and it doesn't provide a noticable benefit, is a bad idea. Smart people will call you on it, and you're going to look like an idiot or a power hungry guild leadership.

Yet another problem with specs is that non-primary specs tend to be contagious in early stages of guilds where goals are more free-flowing and not as defined. While you might not mind 1 shadow priest, you would mind 3 or 4 - How do you manage it, et cetera. That, of course, is up to the individual guild in the end.

#69 Viator

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 03:35 AM

I'm utterly flabergasted that people are still having the fire=raiding suckage discussion. Only specced frost one MC run (hated it. not enough buttons to push) and my dps went DOWN overall. Never placed less than fifth on the damage meters. I can see the appeal of claiming fire's gimp. Geddon and Rags are fire immune but Geddon is easy and Rags just needs a decent collapse; both rely on factors outside the whole fire/frost thing on your mages. So two fights make a raid spec?

Which isn't to say lewl ice mage bang; the couple days I did it there was a certain elegance to the whole kiting and freezing thing that I appreciated. As well if I ever felt I was gimping an attempt at a boss due to spec I'd switch in a heartbeat... but there's never been any point where I have.
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#70 saramin

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 04:29 AM

We seem to be trailing recidivists, but I might as well throw some commentary into the ring. Although no longer a member, I helped draft the charter behind my old guild. Small excerpt:

I suppose it's time to address talent specs. We're fairly laissez-faire in regard to this. I will never force any particular spec, nor will your class leaders. The rationale for this is that although we demand professionalism and a general lack of (out of chat) inanity, we are not especially interested in being at the bleeding edge of progression. The heartache behind an imaginary race for teh Firsts is not worth it. When dealing with a pacing structure such as this, where we advance to experience content rather than to beat it, the issue becomes one of externealities. Claiming you can compensate by "skill" is a strawman for obvious reasons, but more than that, it's a question of justifying your talent spec not because of what it is, but because of where you place the burden. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You contribute X, and although X can never be quantified fully, you still only contribute X. There are no golden stars for effort when dealing with raid bosses and it seems odd to me that someone could willfully ask a guildie to shoulder more of the work. Raids are very much a closed-circuit environment. Therefore, two assignments:

1) Explain what your spec sacrifices for the benefit of others.
2) Good. Now, take out a calculator. Prove it.

If at any stage in the above phrases surface such as "because I like to pvp" or "because I specifically rolled a shadow priest" or "because I like nuking and damage meters don't tell the whole story", then that's okay. In all three cases, it may even be circumstantially justifiable. You are, however, but one person. Therefore I ask only that you have the balls to explain this in your class channel and not solely in your mind.



#71 Cordrisap

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 09:29 AM

Simple answer,

If you want to succeed in a zone like naxx, you need to have your dpsrs doing top dps, need to have competant players, and need to have gear.

Its a combination of 3 you're only hurting your progression if you arent setup right.

#72 Sagacity

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 06:01 PM

The problem with "forced" specs, in an area where min/maxing isnt that important, is you're forcing specs based solely on your opinion, and your opinion isn't always totally correct. If you were all-knowing and infallible, then yeah force as many specs as you want.

Forcing specs was necessary when everyone was walking around in Dreadmist and Valor, but as gear and itemization has evolved, and become more "uber", what you spec in isn't nearly as important. There is an addon called Item Rack, it works wonders for feral druids and dps warriors. A feral druid, in healing gear, can still heal reasonably well, and when it's time to clear trash he/she can still contribute when there's not as much healing needed. A prot warrior, who isnt tanking, is standing there with a thumb up his bum.




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