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1-16-2010 @ 10:14PM
A frequent mistake I see is mages casting nothing but AoE... most of the time, you'll get aggro from at least one mob the tank hasn't spanked enough (and piss the tank off in the process), probably resulting in imminent death. Solution: stick with single target dps, your crits'll be higher, your dps will probably he higher as well and your overall threat will be lower.Also, where's the warlock hate?
1-16-2010 @ 10:47PM
This right here is the biggest mistake a mage can make in my opinion. Blizzard on mobs does not help at all when it is one or two mobs. Also, from experience tanking, just because you can grab aggro by doing Blizzard on 7 mobs doesn't mean you should. A paladin opening with consecration or a death knight with death and decay may be able to out threat you (If you are lucky), but you will pull aggro because no tank can generate tremendous amounts of AoE aggro.
1-16-2010 @ 11:17PM
AoE spells actually aren't as useful as many think. Usually single targeting mobs down can be faster then using an aoe spell to kill them. Using AoE instead of single target can also make the healers life more difficult. Less mobs means less damage and this can be integral in places like halls of reflection.
1-16-2010 @ 11:23PM
Actually usually Blizzarding is usually the best option depending on your spec, I'm Fire specced and in 5-mans most trash groups are dead before I even finish casting one fireball. Melee and Hunters start high dmg way too fast for us to do meaningful single target damage. Even Arcane can't compete a single rotation on a mob before the warrior has usually singlehandedly done 45% of the dmg to it and is already dead.
1-17-2010 @ 12:44AM
Actually, Flamestrike is now better than nukes on 2 or more targets, and blizzard puts out over 1k per mob per second or so, which means that while it may not be the greatest for one or two mobs, it's not the worst choice. I don't have any math to back up the blizzard though, considering it's basically a non-critting nuke every few seconds, and that may be with crits, it's certainly not going to be the best choice all the time.Flamestrike is still a nice choice, especially because it's fairly passive. And as a fire mage, it takes time to build damage, and that also happens to make building threat a little harder at first. Scorch + Living Bomb + Torment of the Weak (If you're TTW Spec and need to wait for someone to apply it to get the most of your damage) + Nuke + Hot Streak Procs. Often times I won't have a chance to pull aggro or even do halfway decent damage through single target until Living Bomb explodes, and from there it picks up.
1-17-2010 @ 5:34AM
@StrangewayesThat right there is the number one problem DPS in general make - thinking that it is a competition.
1-17-2010 @ 6:35AM
Phil, whether you like it or not it IS a competition. I've been in many many groups where the other dps, the tank or even the healer will be critising someones dps, even when they're doing perfectly fine dps for their gear and the instance. I've been in groups where people have been mocked, insulted or even kicked for this.Now you don't want to be pulling aggro because of this and most people wont be meaning too, but it will make you more likely to push it just a little, especially if the other two dps outgear you and start making derisive remarks.
1-17-2010 @ 10:10AM
Strangewayes is right. And I wish it wasn't a competition. I don't mind the fun competitions, say, when it's a group of friends all running together, but running with strangers, I just want to get it done and be able to contribute. But you DO get judged. They don't take into consideration that maybe you're doing your JOB by trying to hold back, waiting for the tank, or taking a moment to drink/evo, or anything. They just look at the meter, look at your gear and wonder why the hell you're not "doing your job" i.e., huge damage.By the time the tank pulls, gets aggro, and I start casting my single target spells, everything is DEAD. LB gets some of them, (and LB is actually one of the most fun spells but can be really dangerous too), but usually I don't seem to be able to do anything. Especially if I do stuff like, say, stop to loot. Since things usually die SO FAST, using AoEs is actually pretty efficient, if you have a tank that can hold aggro. I used to ask the tank how they felt about AoEs. Now, I just see how the tank pulls. I mentioned this in a comment to yesterday's post on a similar topic, but If they do fast, chain-pulls and I have to blink a lot to catch up, I'm assuming they are in a hurry and give a hand by AoEing stuff. I tab-target LBs (admittedly VERY dangerous as I've pulled extra mobs that way) Dragon's Breath, Flamestrike, and then IF anything is still alive, go in with my single target spells. If the tank is taking it slow and easy, or says his gear isn't great or he's not all that experienced, I try to take it easy too, limiting my application of LB, making sure to use the /assist (tank) macro, and waiting for him to get sufficient aggro. In those cases the "GOGOGOGO" dpsers drive me nuts. Let the tank pull at his own pace. Maybe he's learning, or doesn't feel comfortable in that instance.Also, I've spoken with a few tanks, and found that with multi-mob pull they are constantly CHANGING TARGETS. At first, this confused me as I constantly use the /assist (tank name) and when I stay on one mob that the tank HAD start hearing that familiar Omen sound. Now, I have to constantly click on the assist macro to keep up with whatever mob the tank is pulling.If everyone wasn't in such a hurry and if everyone didn't make snide comments or post meters and make you feel like crap, maybe, just maybe, we'd be more careful. Back in BC, I ALWAYS waited a few seconds for the tank. Mobs were marked, (I remember the white moon or yellow star for SHEEP) and we went in with a plan and stuck to it. I don't know if it was just the groups I ran with but I don't remember people going on and on about GS and meters and who's under dpsing the tank or whatnot. If everyone did their job and did their best, and we got through it, we were happy. We got through the tons of trash. YAAAY. We downed the boss!! WOOT!You'd think, the more I run them, I'd get better at instances but lately, I'm more confused than ever. I come here and read about what tanks want, and then get out into the game and see something completely different. Today, in HHoR, even though I know pretty much what order we're supposed to take down the trash waves (priest, then mages), I went with my /assist tank and got it all wrong. After discussing it with the tank and group (after a few wipes) , found out that I'm supposed to stick with the Priest-Mage-Rogue-Footmen-Hunter order and ignore whatever the tank is grabbing. After reading not only this but several other articles here on that topic, I did what I THOUGHT I was supposed to do. Maybe HoR is a very special case. I don't know. But as long as I don't pull too soon or pull the wrong target (too easy to do with tab-targeting LBs, btw, so be careful) most tanks don't seem to mind since everything dies in a few seconds and bosses are often dropping in less than a minute.But constantly feeling like I'm doing something wrong makes me tired. I've only warmed up to instances within the last year or so anyway and I'm starting to kind get burned out on them now. I do try. If I grab a mob a tank hasn't, I'm not trying to be in a hurry - I guess I think they have it, or mistargeted and I'll admit my mistake. These past few weeks, even in the easier instances, I've been slowing down, trying to avoid those honest mistakes.That being said, thanks for the article. Especially mentioning one of my fave addons, Decursive.
1-17-2010 @ 10:56AM
Completely agree with Sarabande.In the current heroic 5 mans, if you try to target tank's target, let threat build up etc. you will find everything dead before you get two casts off, your dps in full tier 9 will be sub 1000 and everyone in the group (including the tank you are trying to help) will be griping about how terrible you are.I play a shadow priest, which requires time to build up single target damage with dots. against normal heroic mobs (67k hp) I purposefully attack a mob no one else is attacking. Why? Even if I pull it (which is unlikely) it will be dead long before it actually reaches me and the whole group of mobs will die faster. That's assuming I don't just aoe, which is what's done 75 percent of the time anyway.Don't get me wrong - against trash with large hp pools (think Frozen Halls) I do all the things about targeting the right target. if you are blitzing nexus, such advice will make you look like a moron since you will do little damage and will mean it takes everyone in the group longer to clear the instance.
1-17-2010 @ 3:57PM
@Sarabande: Excellent comments. As a bear tank, can I drop in the tank's point of view?All of us tanks have better single-target threat than we have AoE threat. Therefore, in situations where there's lots of AoE damage flying around, we're constantly targeting different mobs to try to keep a fairly even amount of threat on them all. Usually, we're doing this because we assume there will be at least one idiot DPS in the group who won't follow any kill order we assign, so our best hope is to spread the love evenly ;-). Unfortunately, in a pug, we're usually right. It's become a self-fulfilling prophecy.The best way a tank can fix this? Mark a preferred target or at least state a preferred kill order. Skull works well. *It is the tank's job to do this*, or the party leader's if the tank isn't confident about marking in the instance they're in. If you, as DPS, don't get the cues you need to kill mobs in the order the tank wants, then the tank or party leader isn't doing a part of their job. If you then focus on targets the tank doesn't have nailed down, it's not entirely your fault.There, I said it. And I'm a tank ;-). And, yes, I have skull and cross marking keybound so I can designate new targets rapidly (F6 and F7 for me).
1-18-2010 @ 4:58AM
AoE is very important for mages when there are 4 or more mobs. When it's 3 mobs, it's a tough choice; it basically depends on how long it will take to down them. But when it's only 2 mobs, AoE is a waste of mana (unless you're in FoS, killing those large skeletons that group only in pairs and use that spell reflecting bubble, where AoE damage can't be reflected back at the mage... that's still a mana burn though).The reason it's important is mainly because of the big reason stated previously by other mages--casting time. I notice that when I'm in an instance, like H CoS for example, with melee dps that are decked with ICC gear (be it 10 or 25 man), no matter how great my gear is, none of it matters if the mob is dead before I can finish casting a spell. With AoE however, you'll be doing the most dps in the group.Now, I understand that it's not a race, but that's not the problem. If mobs are dying before you can touch them, then it's not that you're losing a dps race that matters, it's that you're not contributing to the group at all.Here's how I like to AoE (57/3/11 Arcane spec): Cast Flamestrike, and then cast Blizzard just as the Flamestrike is done casting. I mean like have it ready. By pressing your Blizzard button right after the GCD finishes while still casting Flamestrike. (It helps to have a mod like Quartz that calculates exactly how much your latency at the moment will affect your casting, so you can actually start casting te next spell before the default UI cast bar would let you think.)Using both spells like this works great for me because, not only are you double AoE-ing all the mobs, but casting Flamestrike first before hitting Blizzard gives the tank a nice amount of time to get aggro on the mobs. Just always make sure that the tank hits the mobs before you even begin casting Flamestrike. And make sure that your AoE isn't hitting caster mobs that don't want to be close to the tank. Not being aware of these two points will ensure you a quick death, and possibly the healer as well, followed by being kicked from the group, which is not fun for anyone.
2-27-2010 @ 3:39AM
POM flamestrike and Blizard is sadly the norm for most heroics with reasonably geared tanks or almost any paladin. You can tell at the first pull if you will have to be cautious or not. Or even before that if you have 1700 gearscore higher than the warrior!Every class that can aoe-smashes heroics at tis stage of the game, when there hasn't been anything remotely 'heroic' about this daily chore for months.
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