You Ought To Be Ashamed

One of my very favorite feral blogs, and one of the first I turn to when I have questions (Of Teeth And Claws) wrote an article about rotation advisor addons. In his post he talked briefly about two of the up-and-coming more popular programs, and ruminated at length* over weather or not they constituted ‘cheating’.

His tentative opinion was that yes, using a rotation advisor goes a long way to removing skill from the game.

I agree completely! Blizzard is already removing skill from the game (360 swipe). Personally, I find it shameful to have an addon that tells you what button to press. In my experience, there’s quite a bit of joy to be had in topping the damage meters, especialy if you know you’ve done it yourself!

A number of his readers tried to defend the use of rotation advisors by saying their main job is tanking. It’s implied that tanking is so harrowing that they just can’t be bothered to learn about and maintain a viable dps rotation.

It’s not, there’s no excuse! I’m a main tank, and tanking is my main job, if I want kitty loot I have to wait until I can either get it on offset or invade someone else’s raid. I’m still rocking a (very bad) blue trinket and NONE of my gear is BiS.

Yet yesterday, I raided 25-man Naxx with my husband. I finally got to clock my DpS on Patchwerk (last week healing was fail, a tank went down, and I ate a hateful very early in the fight). While this week I still ended up eating a hateful strike, it wasn’t until Patches was at 1%.

I clocked at almost exactly 5k dps, and I topped the damage meter. I topped Grobbulous too, and Sapphiron. I did 5.5k on Loatheb WITHOUT the benefit of spores. My AP was 7.5k and my crit was 47%. I was using Karthis’s cat spec and using his advice and my own brainmeats for a rotation. Keep all buffs and debuffs up at all times, shred for damage and combo-points. I used Ferocious Bite when everything was up (which was very often with the 2pc T7 bonus and the Shred glyph)

The only addons I use to aid with DpS is rogue power bars. Last night I was only using mangle every once in a great while. I was one of two kitties and there was a bear besides, so I knew mangle would be up.

The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t NEED a cruch like that. Sure you could use it, but when you’re watching a little window, waiting for it to tell you what button to push where does your raid awareness go? If a patch comes out and your addon breaks will your dps tank? Without my RPB my job gets a good deal more difficult, but I’m still perfectly capable of watching my own buffs and the boss’s debuffs for the information I need.

My first exposure to an addon like this was when I downloaded and installed Shock and Awe for my shaman to help me track maelstrom stacks. It had a priority window. I used it for about five minutes and then turned it off in disgust. I still use the tracking timers, but the priority window is gone.

My advice to any aspiring kitties out there is to give these addons a try, but turn off the rotation advisor window. You all chose to roll druid, and your wisdom with choosing such a fine class is apparent. Trust your feral instincts and say no to the part of the addon that wants to turn you into a clockwork chimp.

We are feral cats!

*For an elf, he ruminates quite well, in my humble bovine opinion.

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  • Comments (15)
  1. I feel the same way about Hunters who use a shot priority macro. They usually span about 6 macros long and basically you can spam one button and it will use the proper abilities according to your Survival spec. Why does it span so many macros? “Because Blizzard only let’s you use one GCD per macro!” THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT! Sheesh.

    The other problem with both ‘rotation recommendation’ mods and shot-priority macros is that they don’t allow you to accommodate for different situations. Hey, that mob is enraged! I gotta Tranq! Oh wait, my super macro is busy doing my work and I don’t get to choose my own shots. Oh well, someone else’ll do it.

    Blargh 😛 I am so with you on this one!

    • Eglador
    • April 27th, 2009

    I only use BadKitty to track all those debuffs, and that only because with 3.1 PowerAuras broke and showed other kitty’s debuffs and not only mine…

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 27th, 2009

    Braj – Apparently, Feral By Night actually takes into account your cooldowns and if you needed to b-rez someone or run out of fire or got web-wrapped, and will adjust your priority based on what’s happening in real-time. How’s THAT for removing the guesswork? bah!

    Eglador – I’m actually having an opposite problem with RPB right now. It’s giving me errors when I try to track others’ debuffs. Specifically I’d like to see if someone else is applying faerie fire, lacerate/sunder armor, infected wounds/icy touch, or mangle/trauma. I’m -thinking- of trying out power auras just for the sole purpose of tracking if someone else is debuffing the boss, though I’d prefer to have all that info on my Rogue Power Bars.

    • tekkfu
    • April 27th, 2009

    I installed two different mobs for my kitty dps. If you tank most of the time and dps some of the time. These mobs help you learn what the best rotation is but i’m sure after a few weeks of using these mods,I will stop using it because I will get a feel for what is the best rotation.

    nothing wrong with trying new mods…it doesn’t make you less of a druid.

    Side Note

    its a pain when you solo …wish I could turn them off when not in a party or Raid. Maybe a Solo Mode

    • tekkfu
    • April 27th, 2009

    sorry I meant MODS not mobs

  2. I will shamefully admit to using Shock and Awe when I’m (attempting to!) DPS in my enhancement offspec. I understand shaman theorycraft and I know the priority system … but it has yet to become instinctive to me the way that warlock DPS or even shaman healing is. I started using SAA’s rotation advisor, and have been slowly but surely training myself to watch its cooldown timers instead.

    The huge challenge for me isn’t so much the priority system as it is melee positioning. I cannot for the life of me it out, and with the exception of mostly stationary bosses (ilu, Malygos), enhancement DPS looks a lot like this for me:

    Your target is out of range.
    Your target is out of range.
    You are facing the wrong way.
    You are facing the wrong way.
    Your target is out of range.

    Half the time I can’t even SEE myself under the boss, the boss’s spell effects and the half dozen other Tauren and Orcs and Big Red Pets whacking away at him … not to mention the consecrates and the death and decays and OMG WHIRLWIND!

    I don’t know how you do it. :S

  3. Small edit, because I’m OCD about these things:

    *I cannot for the life of me FIGURE it out…

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 27th, 2009

    tekkfu – That’s an interesting thought, using them as a way to learn the rotation, and I would agree with you except for the fact that feral dps doesn’t really HAVE a rotation.

    We have a priority list of what buffs and debuffs need to be kept up. Some (like Savage Roar) can be over-written without any hurt to dps, and should be over-written to insure 100% up-time.
    Other things, like Rip, for example, should not be over-written or you waste energy/damage. The ideal way to deal with those is to Rip again just as it falls off. This is a real challenge and not something I’ve quite mastered.

    The problem I see with using something like this to teach yourself is that you’re not learning why it’s telling you to use X skill at Y moment.

    On the subject of trying new mods, you’re absolutely right. Nothing wrong with trying them out, the problem comes when they’re used as a crutch, and having a frame there that shows you exactly what button you should push at which moment will ultimately turn into a crutch.

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 27th, 2009

    Ellerias – Congratulations, you’ve pinpointed my EXTREME frustration with swipe pre-3.1, when I had to have a mob targeted and that mob had to be in range. When chasing a million little sh*ts all over the screen it was frustrating enough to make me want to rip my hair out!

    Positioning can be really rough for ferals on fights like Razouvious, specifically. He’s a pretty small boss and when everyone’s in there it’s almost impossible to be able to tell which direction he’s facing!

    I think the melee scramble is just something you get used to. I have my skills all on my screen so I can click on them if I want, but I like the little range indicators (if the number is red, I’m out of range) and that helps a little.

    As for Whirlwinds…. yeah, I’m TERRIBAD at getting out of those, I’ve got melee training as a tank but when I’m tanking I just stand there and eat damage and healers heal me, that’s my job! But as DPS I’m expected to avoid crap like that!
    what happens? Dead tiger!

  4. mmmm marinaded Elf.

    What do you mean that’s not what you said?

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 27th, 2009

    Maer – I hear they taste amazing with a blackberry glaze

  5. I agree – and it’s not even about “skill” for me… it’s about fun. Sitting there mindlessly mashing buttons an addon tells you to is not fun.

    Doing great DPS because you know how to play your spec and are able to instantly make your own decisions about what to use is a great deal more satisfying.

    I don’t even know what the priority box thing in Shock and Awe looks like in combat… I only ever see it when I’m moving the frames about.

    • Kassi
    • April 27th, 2009

    I use Shock and Awe and I’m not the least bit ashamed of it, although that said I use it more as a reminder to refresh magma totem and lightning shield. I also love the little combo point style bit so I can track my stacks of maelstrom weapon.

    That’s because I don’t like to just sit there and dps. I’m thinking “where’s the fire, where’s the boss going next and how can I stay behind him, what are the adds doing, how’s my health, how’s the health of my melee buddies, how long till the next phase, how does my mana look and should I be using SR” etc etc.

    It’s a bit ridiculous to say “I use rogue powerbars but that’s ok, but omg if you use these other addons you should be ashamed”. It’s like saying anyone who plays less than you is a noob, anyone who plays more is too hardcore 😉

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 28th, 2009

    Kassi – I think you missed my point. I wasn’t trying to rag on addons in general, just the specific part of an addon that tells you which skill to use when. I’m specifically talking about things like the priority window in Shock and Awe (not even the maelstrom combo point thing, but where it shows you what attack to use). I use Shock and Awe myself to track maelstrom and various cooldowns, I also use totem-timers to help me manage my totems and keep an eye on weather or not they need refreshed (similar to the totem warnings in SaA)

    The generally accepted rotation for an enhancement shaman is Stormstrike -> Earth Shock (could be a different shock, but earth is highest damage for me right now as I’m leveling) -> Lava Lash, repeat, then use some form of lightning or healing with 5 Maelstrom stacks.

    Looking at the priority window and the options behind it this is exactly what it tells me to do. The thing is, if someone knows the proper rotation, why do they need a priority window, and if they don’t know the proper rotation, what are they doing DpSing?

    Priority windows = bad
    Mods to help you track buffs/debuffs/stacks/cooldowns = good

    • Faerun
    • May 3rd, 2009

    I’ve read a lot of blog posts about these priority window addons and how most (if not everyone) thinks they’re bad. There is the opposite view however. I meet new kitties who are having trouble trying to keep their rotations up and I point them to these addons (which I also use). Their dps most times goes way up. Sometimes from 2k to 5k. Now, you might believe that they are cheating, but their guilds go a lot further with kitties doing 5k dps vs. 2k dps. Also, after a while these addons do train kitties to do better dps.

    Now, I totally understand how some people dislike these addons and don’t want to use them. I just wish people would stop vilifying them so much that the people who could greaty benefit from them wouldn’t have to be ashamed.

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