Raid finder and things I don’t understand

Last night I had some extra time on my hands and realized it has been almost a month since I really played my main hunter. Our raid team is on break until 6.2, and I felt like I might be losing some hunter skills by not raiding. Plus I have had zero luck getting any tier gear beyond two pieces of the crappy LFR version. So I decided to try to get into a Heroic BRF.

What was I THINKING??? /headslap

Before I go into this long sordid tale, I will save you the effort of reading to the end: I never did get to the point of actually killing any bosses or even any trash mobs.

Let me state up front that I detest pugs. While I have done them on occasion, and while I have had a few good experiences with them, the overwhelming majority of them have ranged from “pretty bad” to “guided tour through Hell.”

At any rate, in my state of (hopefully) temporary insanity, I pulled up the Raid Finder, filtered on “BRF”, and commenced to scrolling through. This in itself is a frustrating exercise, for several reasons. First, there is no way to sort the list so that the most recent posts are listed first. In fact, I couldn’t see any pattern to how they are listed. So you may see the first entry was posted 43 minutes ago, then the next one one minute ago, then the next one 12 minutes ago, and so on. Generally if something was posted over 20 minutes ago, it is a safe bet they are no longer looking for anyone, but the RL just didn’t remove the listing. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a raid, you have to scroll all the way through to see what is available, by which time every listing will be outdated.

Second, it is both amusing and frustrating to read through all the conditions RLs feel they must put into their listings. (This also takes up lots more time which makes going through the list even longer.) I found that the longer the list of conditions, the more ridiculous they were.

 Fresh H BRF. Full clear, don’t sign up if you can’t stay for all. Guild alt run. RL is 9/10 M BRF. Need dps. AotC priority. Know fights, don’t suck, under 30k dps=kicked. ML MS>OS, BoE reserved for guild bank. Carrying warrior, all druid gear reserved, [Big Shiny Mage Staff] reserved.

Level required: 680

etcetera

Well, gosh, who wouldn’t jump at a chance like that? Help them carry their alts, get a big ole ration of attitude, and probably get zero gear. Whoopie!

I have never really understood dps numbers. Damage per second is just that — per second. It changes every second. There are a large number of variables involved, not the least of which are type of fight and your role in the fight (special raid tasks almost always lessen your damage). Yes, you can average the numbers over the course of one fight, or one entire raid, but the variables still impact that.

When RLs require a certain dps number, I am never sure what they are asking for. My hunter sometimes has huge dps numbers, for example on AoE fights or when I get very lucky with procs. Sometimes the numbers seem low, for example on onesie-twosie trash mobs that die quickly, or for a boss that has a lot of adds I am required to kill (thus rapidly switching targets, not my best thing), or because I got a sneezing fit in the middle of the fight.

So I find arrogant announcements of dps requirements stupid and off-putting. A good RL knows if you are performing well or if you are performing poorly given all the factors, and some arbitrary dps threshold is usually not the best way to ensure good performance.

I also don’t understand the concept of MS>OS for non-hybrid classes. Especially now that secondary stats play such a pivotal role. Prior to 6.0, for example, a hunter was a hunter, no matter what the spec. If you rolled on a piece of agility mail and got it, that was pretty much your gear drop for the night. You couldn’t roll on a piece for off spec because there was really no such thing as off spec for hunters, rogues, locks, mages, etc.

But I think secondary stats have changed that, or at least they should have changed it. There really is a big difference between mastery and multistrike for a hunter. (Currently — whether that distinction will count as much in 6.2 remains to be seen.) Same is true of other non-hybrid classes. Whether any given RL realizes this us anyone’s guess, though.

Secondary stats might have also changed the concept of “upgrades.” I don’t run with a guild that uses Loot Council, but I wonder if most LCs take secondary stats into consideration when they consider the upgrade factor.

Similarly, with the 3-item restriction on crafted gear, loot that appears to be the same level and have the same stats as a piece of crafted gear could actually be a significant upgrade to a player, since it might allow them to equip a piece of crafted gear in a different slot that would be a big upgrade.

With all the secondary stat and crafted gear and tier piece factors, I really don’t understand hard and fast rules on ilevel any more. For example, if I just equipped my highest level gear on my main hunter, I would have an ilevel approaching 690. But it would be worse gear than the 679 set I am wearing. (Thanks to my inability to get any tier pieces beyond LFR level, and thanks to my bad luck on secondary stats.)

So should I go ahead and try to sign up for raids that require 680 ilevel? I am sure some RLs would consider I was close enough for them to try out anyway, but my experience last night was that I got declined for every raid (maybe 10 or so) that had a 680 requirement, even if I put a short gear explanation in the comments section.

Back to the Raid Finder. One other very frustrating “feature” is that it does not show you the class composition of the raid members. It shows number of tanks/healers/dps, but not classes. Twice last night I got accepted for a raid but once I got in I saw there were way too many hunters to give me any decent chance at tier gear, given the apparently universal preference for group loot. On one team there were already 3 hunters and on the other there were already 4! I didn’t want to be a jerk about leaving these teams once I found out the composition, so I said something like “Looks like you already have plenty of hunters, so I’ll bow out to give them a better chance at gear. Good luck and have fun!” But I shouldn’t have had to do this — the Raid Finder should have shown me this in advance.

I was surprised that Raid Finder is so cumbersome. I have used it in the past to find world boss groups, apexis groups, garrison groups, rep groups, etc., and I was very happy with it. But — due to my hatred of pugs — I had not used it to look for an actual raid group.

So I ended up spending a couple of hours trying to get into a raid and not getting into a single one. I know Blizz loves to hype this as a big feature that has made life easier for players, but I found it to be enormously annoying and time wasting. It is useful for RLs, because there is basically no burden for them to list their raid. And it is useful for one-off groups. But for someone trying to find a raid, it is overwhelmingly bad.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

4 Responses to Raid finder and things I don’t understand

  1. TheGrumpyElf says:

    Seems like you have finally experienced what I have been talking about in concerns to the group finder for a while now. I’ve spent hours looking for groups to never find one. Or get in groups and not down anything. Or like you said and end up in a group where I know I will never win what I am looking for based on class make up. But at least you can use a coin.

    I have wasted far to much time with the group finder to not find any groups. I really wish they would add what they had before back into the game. Where I can just list my name with a comment on what I am looking for and people can find me. Sure, I could go forever not finding a group, but at least I could be doing something else like soloing a raid while waiting instead of just looking over that list and refreshing over and over just to find nothing that suits me.

    @the DPS requirements.

    Sadly this is one of the only measures that people have to judge others they do not know. Item level and DPS. So they have to work with what they have. The problem is how people “read” it. If I say 25K DPS for the early heroic bosses I do not mean 25K on operator or beastlord.

    I had a hunter that told me he could do 45K, so I dragged him along on a run. He never passed even 25K on any boss except for one, operator, where he did 38K. Not quite his 45K he said he could do but that must have been what he was talking about. I told him, next time you do not lead with your “best on any boss” number, lead with your gruul number. When I say 25K I mean 25K on gruul.

    The next week he bitched to me when I would not take him because he said “I am better than almost everyone there, I do 45K.”. I said, no you don’t, go look at the logs, you were dead last on every fight, you are not better than everyone else. So DPS is always an issue because most people do not understand how it works in the grand scheme of things.

    Also now with secondary stats being so huge it also makes a different, one that you can not read with item level. A guild hunter one day a few months back was beating me by 6-8K on each fight. I took a look at his gear, everything had multi, mine had a lot less. Over all he had me by 18% multi strike, me at 16% passive and him at 34% and that translated to 6-8K even though we were the same item level. But that was not it. He had 6 gem slots, I had zero. Which meant more multi strike, 300 more to be precise. Again, same item level. So he had better itemized gear drops, more gem slots, and even though it looked like we were geared the same, he was geared WAY better than I was.

    So item level and DPS suck to judge people. But it is really all we have. I wish there were other ways.

    Great point you made about the crafted gear and rolls that most people just do not understand. If you are wearing a perfectly itemized 685 crafted ring and a ring drops with the same exact stats, it can be a HUGE upgrade. Some will say, you are already wearing that ring, but the truth is, if you replace that ring with a raid one, you can now maybe make some crafted 685 legs with perfect stats to replace your 655 ones that are poorly itemized. So it might “look” as if the ring is not an upgrade and you should not be rolling on it, while in truth, it is a major upgrade for you. It mucks up the waters really.

    BTW, love the idea that it should show you the group make up before you join.

    Sorry for babbling so much.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yes, you are right that the numbers really are the only shorthand available to filter for the approximate abilities you need for your raid. I just wish more RLs would think of them as a a very rough approximation, not a finely tuned one. I tend to underestimate my dps, consequently I am hesitant to sign up for any raid that states a number, because I am never sure that my definition of, say, “35k” is the same as the unknown RL’s, and while I am not an especially sensitive person, I really dislike getting kicked from a raid.

      Very interesting about the secondary stats example you gave. I usually run as SV but have been unlucky getting multistrike gear, it seems always to have mastery on it. (Although I stubbornly refused to tailor my spec according to the dictates of RNG!) A few days ago, facing the 6.2 gutting of SV, I switched my hunters to Beastmastery and re-enchanted and gemmed the same gear for mastery. It was amazing, even though I am not very proficient with beast, I got an immediate 5-6k bump in my unbuffed target dummy dps. Some of this may have been due to the inherent differences between the specs, but secondary stats are in fact huge. (Which, as you have pointed out, makes the removal of reforging all the worse. It just seems wrong to have such important stats mainly dependent on the roll of the dice.)

      I had read some of your posts before about the problems with the raid finder, but honestly did not understand what the big deal was until I actually tried to use it for raids instead of for the one-off types of groups. Next time I will take you more seriously!!! 😉

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

      • TheGrumpyElf says:

        The group finder is great for things like world bosses, finding a pet battle or vendor in a garrison and stuff like that. But for raids, it is still really lacking in filtering and options. It is a poorly made tool that I hope they intend on updating some day. It has potential, but it is not very user friendly. Add to that people want things like “AotC” for doing normal, when you can not even get AotC doing normal is outrageous, but we can not blame blizzard when their players do things like that.

        You probably got that nice boost because, as you said, most of your gear was mastery and mastery is huge for BM. So you were better suited for it to begin with, gear wise. I really wish with the major dependance on secondary to the point it can be 20% of your DPS that they would just put reforging back.

  2. So: you want to be a pugger.
    Do you have gamevox, teamspeak, mumble and vent?
    Maddening, I tell ya!