The Forgotten Art Of Wearing Pants

Once again, another edition of “Honey, where are my paaants?’

Honey? Where are my paaaants?

If you have no idea what this is, go see the lego movie, slacker.

I'm not sure what there is to say about a white and blue cat...

I’m not sure what there is to say about a white and blue cat…

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    Refusing To Be A Fail-Enabler During Double XP Weekend

    The plan for this double XP weekend was to get my long-neglected healing scoundrel from 50 to 55, so I’d have more options on the republic side, should any of my buddies want to run a thing.  Rather than going to Makeb, which I’m seriously sick of, I decided to heal my way through instances.  Also, my companions have super-crappy gear so questing with any of them would probably be an exercise in wiping the floor.

    All was going smoothly – more than smoothly, actually.  I got added to several friends lists because apparently competent healers are uncommon.

    Then came that Esseles run.  I haven’t been to Esseles in a long-ass time because I’m almost never on the republic side anymore.  I got pulled into a group already-in-progress, which can sometimes be a forecast of bad things to come.  The tank explained that they were stuck on a boss – one that I didn’t remember as being particularly challenging, but hey, I’m not on the pub side often.

    I healed my ass off.  We died.  After rezing, the tank gave condescending instructions to stay out of bad (duh) and to prioritize healing the tank (double duh).  I healed my ass off again, and this time we squeaked by.  When I say “healed my ass off” I mean that I don’t work this hard when I’m healing hard mode progression content.

    We keet going, and the content was still unnecessarily difficult.  At which point I glanced at the tank’s buff bar and realized that he’s not in tank stance.  These things happen to the best of us (I once ran an instance in no stance whatsoever) and I gently notified him that he wasn’t in tank stance.

    Him: I know.  I still have threat abilities and I do more DPS.  It’s better this way.

    Me: … but you’re much harder to heal.

    We kept going, and he didn’t change his stance.  At that point, I had a few competing thoughts…

    • I didn’t have time to requeue if I dropped group
    • I could probably heal through it because I’m awesome.  After all I had just healed through it without realizing.
    • He’d never learn to play properly if I enabled his failtanking.  If it was possible for him to get through this instance doing things wrong, he’d keep doing it wrong and blame the next healer for being unable to heal him through his idiocy.

    So I said “You know, no, I’m not going to heal through stupid” and dropped group.  One of the DPS whispered that he didn’t blame me at all.  I put the tank on ignore and moved on.

    Other than that appallingly stupid tank, the rest of the double XP weekend was without incident and I did hit 55 on my scoundrel.

    How was your weekend?

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      In Case You Forgot, What Is Changing In Patch 2.7

      Besides all that “new content” and “flashpoint” tomfoolery, here’s what is happening in Patch 2.7 (important according to me.)

      Quality of Life Changes To Reduce reliance on RNG

      These affect both DPS specs of sorc/sage and the arsenal/gunnery tree of merc/commando

      Sorcerer

      Lightning

      • Lightning Barrage now has a 50%/100% chance to grant a Lightning Barrage charge when using Lightning Strike on a target affected by the user’s Affliction. A Lightning Barrage charge causes the user’s next Force Lightning to channel and damage twice as fast.
      • The chance to trigger Lightning Storm is now 100% (up from 60% for Lightning Strike and Thundering Blast and 20% for Force Storm) and is based on ability activation rather than dealing damage with Lightning Strike, Thundering Blast, or Force Storm. The 10-second rate limit remains, and Force Storm now shares a rate limit with Lightning Strike and Thundering Blast.

      Madness

      • Wrath now builds up a charge whenever the Sorcerer deals damage with Force Lightning. At 3 charges, the next Lightning Strike or Crushing Darkness is activated instantly and deals 35% more damage.

      Mercenary

      Arsenal

      • Barrage now has a 33%/67%/100% chance to occur when using Tracer Missile or Power Shot.

      RNG = fail.

      Aoe targeting changes

      New options are available for the Ground Target Area of Effect reticle:

      • Sticky Ground Target Reticule – When active, this option makes it so your Ground Target Reticule doesn’t disappear if the target location is out of range or the ability otherwise fails. Example: Bounty Hunter attempts to activate Death From Above, but their target location is out of range. With this option active, the GTAoE reticule will persist and allow the player to instantly attempt to use the ability again. If this option isn’t active, then the reticule will disappear and the player will have to click again.
      • Quick Ground Target Activation – When active, pressing a hotkey that belongs to a GTAoE twice will use the ability at the feet of the Player’s target. Example: The Player has the Pass the Huttball ability saved to Hotkey #3. The Player targets an ally and then presses 3 two times. The Huttball Pass will be activated at the feet of the targeted ally. If this option is turned off, then there are no changes to the existing behavior.

      This one will be awesome for healers and dps alike – including, once again, sorcs and sages.  Sorcs/sages really win this patch.

      Standardized labeling for item levels.

      • All equippable gear pieces have their Item Rating displayed in the tooltip. Weapons and armor have not changed.
      • In the equipment tooltips, mods/enhancements now display their Item Rating in parentheses instead of their Item Level.
      • While unequipped, mods/enhancements display their Item Rating in their tooltip.

      About. Freaking. Time.

      Operative Changes

      TL;DR Arguably buffs for PvE, definite nerfs for PvP.

      Exfiltrate has been redesigned. Using Exfiltrate grants a charge lasting 10 seconds that allows the player to Exfiltrate again within a 10 second window, after the second roll the ability goes on a ten second cooldown. If the charge is not used during this ten second window the ability remains off cooldown to be used again at a later time. In addition the energy cost has been removed making the ability free to use and the player no longer Exfiltrates a shorter distance if snared.

      This prevents “chain rolling” but is actually a boon in PvE as it allows you to get out of the bad without using up your energy pool.

      Surgical Precision now grants Tactical Advantage when Surgical Probe is used regardless of the target’s health, but this effect can only occur once every 10 seconds.

      No more spamming your instant on low health group members to keep them alive, but an overall throughput boost during the course of the fight.

      Agent/Smuggler Flashbang Changes

      Nerfed for Snipers/Gunslingers, Stays same for Operatives/Scoundrels.  The baseline is reduced to one target for agent/smuggler, and then bumped back up to 5 targets in the operative/scoundrel advanced class.

      Imperial Agent

      General

      • Flashbang now only blinds a single target.

      Operative

      • Preparedness now allows Flashbang to blind up to 5 targets within 5 meters.

      Yep… a little confusing, but it ends up as a sniper/slinger nerf.  Probably also a PvP motivated change.

      What are you excited about (or hate) for Patch 2.7?

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        Compensating For Fail

        There is a definite downside in being able to work healing miracles – namely that it allows people who fail to get away with failing and continue to fail.  I have been working on my operative’s gear – and been pretty lucky with drops – so now I can save groups that should rightly croak by reason of their own stupidity.

        I paired off with a guild tank the other night and queued for a pug.  The DPS totally botched one of the encounters by (among other things) mixing up the kill order.  If it were a month ago when I had less gear, we’d all be dead.  As it was, we pulled through with a little bit of swearing from me.

        Since they lived through their stupidity, the following exchange occurred:

        DPS 1: I think they nerfed that encounter.

        Me: No, I’m just awesome.

        DPS 2: I’m pretty sure they nerfed it.

        And that is why they will never learn, because I’m facilitating fail.  I’m a fail enabler.  I suppose I could let them die, but then they’d just go “lol, that healer sucked.”

        I’m still awesome.

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          Healing Again (Again)

          Hi, my name is Njessi, and I work miracles.  I used to work miracles all the time as a priest healer in WoW, and then I joined Team Dps.  I had forgotten what that feels like and damn, it’s good.

          Lately I’ve been running flashpoints on my sorcerer and sage and time after time I manage to save situations that should, by all indications, be wipes.  I’m an adequate DPS and a competent operative healer, but I actually am damn good at sorcerer healing.  It just clicks.

          Sage/sorc healing pretty much blows until level 45 when you get healing floor.  Until then it’s clunky and slow.  (For operative, things pick up quickly after getting your hot at level 20.)  I’m glad I stuck with it because, hot damn, I’m pretty unstoppable.

          It feels good to be awesome again, rather than just average.  I’ll take it.

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            My Luxury Condo Has A Walk-In Closet

            I’m sure you guys have seen the trailer and information page for the housing that is releasing this summer.  I mean strongholds, totally strongholds.  Well, the first time I totally missed the important shit, so I’m highlighting it here for you guys.

            Bonus Cartel Coins for simply being subscribed.  Um yeah, I’ll take it.  All cartel coins are welcome.  Especially with my excessive use of the image kiosk.

            Apartments, I mean “strongholds” are legacy-wide.  Which is good, because I don’t want to decorate twice.

            You can live on various planets.  I’m pretty psyched about living on Nar Shaddaa.  That’s my favorite.  I wasn’t really keen on the capitol cities.  Tatooine might be a good idea because of the lighting (it makes outfits look good, k?)

            Guild Flagships.  FINALLY, we get a guild “house,” which we’ve wanted forever.  These aren’t being implemented until official launch (not during early access).

            But this last one is the best.  Ready?

            Legacy. Wide. Storage.  I shit you not.

            Legacy Stronghold Storage – Unlock access to a new type of storage that is shared across your entire Legacy!

            Yeahhhh! Finally I don’t have to mail chain things to myself and try to figure out where I put those crafting mats.  All the mats go in the legacy bank, or at least the exotic ones.  I’m going to assume using logic that you can put things in the legacy bank that you can already mail to your alts: unbound items and items bound to legacy.

            What are you psyched about for this expansion?

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              Double XP Weekend: The Good, The Bad, And The Pugly

              Double xp weekend!  Damn, am I tired.

              First, I got my long-neglected gunslinger from 50-55, which was more difficult than anticipated.

              Why the gunslinger?  Because I wanted a toon pub-side to muck about on, and NOT melee dps.  Also I wanted to see endgame slinger to see if I really want to level my sniper.

              First, to Makeb!  Makeb’s problem is that it scales up pretty violently, with the first plateau being LOLSHOOT and a few plateaus later, you’re getting your ass handed to you.  It was quite unpleasant, especially since it’s not like my gear magically upgraded itself during that time.  Makeb quest rewards are also pretty shitty in that regard.

              This picture never gets old.

              This picture never gets old.

              So, I think, I’ll go run a flashpoint or two.  Gear, practice, xp… what could go wrong.  Oh apparently assholes can go wrong.

              I’m dutifully following the tank and killing things that the tank has attacked first. I had mentioned that I was unfamiliar with this instance, but otherwise had not said anything.  The scoundrel healer sleep darts a dog, but instead of walking past the pack, the tank decides to engage.  Oookay, so we kill the rest of the pack, but we’re still in combat with the one mezed dog, but the tank rolls on ahead.  Figuring that they didn’t realize the dog was still in combat with us, and about to break and chew our FACES off, I say “we need to kill that dog.” The dog breaks precisely at that point, and comes to kill us.

              Somehow, the healer has already managed to drop group right before the dog breaks, so that was fun.  After which, the following exchange occurs:

              Tank: I’m the tank, you need to follow my lead.  I know what to kill and what not to kill.

              Me: We were still in combat with that dog.

              Tank: You’re annoying and that’s why the healer left.

              I’d be damned if I was going to have to wait in a super-long DPS queue again just because this guy was a tool.  So I put the tank on ignore, figuring I couldn’t possibly care about his commentary for the rest of the instance.  Then he left – and the other DPS left with him.  At that point, the group finder decided I was a lonely loser and not allowed to just fill the spots with subs.  I had to leave the instance, reset my instances, and then I could requeue.  Eff that.

              After multiple embarrassing deaths at the hands of various Makeb minions, I dinged 55 on a random mob in Dr. Oggurub’s compound and zoned the hell out of there without completing the quest.  Fuck that, I don’t need the smoochies with Lemda that badly.

              Next up, my sorc.  This was actually far easier, because people don’t want to offend the healer.  Har har.

              Playing “chase the tank” was still my main occupation during these runs.  However, force speed didn’t eat into my resource pool, so it was less painful than doing the same chasing with an operative.  I cannot wait until 2.7 when the operative roll works more like force speed.

              Now, why do people think that skipping trash is such a great idea that they must do it at all costs – even if there is a significant chance of failure.  It does NOT save time if you have to wait for someone who just croaked to run back, or if it causes a wipe.

              On one run, we skipped trash packs by sleep-darting the closest mob and running past.  All was fine and dandy until the tank let some mob gnaw my face off, and I had to run back.  Except I couldn’t with all those mobs in my way (now, obviously, not asleep).  The stealther had to come back and retrieve me.  This does not save time!

              On another run, the tank insisted on skipping trash by hopping platforms.  I missed the jump (what ELSE is new?) and fell to my humiliating demise.  Running back cost time, and thankfully I made the jump the second time with assistance from rocket boots.  We could just chalk this up to my incompetence and say that this jumping strat works in most cases.  However, the next jump, the tank, who had mocked me for my SPLAT on the previous jump, went plummeting to HIS death.  Stupid, stupid.

              The sorc didn’t make it to 55 because I decided I wanted to watch some TV.  So I’ve got maybe 3/4 of a level to polish off with normal (rested) xp.  That should’t take long at all.

              How was your double xp weekend?

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                Approaching Raiding Burnout

                I mean ops. Totally ops.

                My extreme frustration is shown by the fact that I’m not blogging. A week ago, any post I made would have consisted entirely of swear words and incoherent rambling.  It’s nobody’s fault but my own patience level.  I just cannot see or hear stupid Bestia or stupid Brontes again for … well more than 30 minutes at a time.

                I’m also not signing up for raids.  I like raiding, but my patience with banging my head against a boss has evaporated as my real life responsibilities become more and more strenuous as the little jedi gets older (you’d think they’d need less attention, but that is not the case!)  I feel like after clearing my schedule for a raid (grinding out husband rep to get him on critter duty for the night), I just want to roflstomp some shit and blow off steam – not hear Bestia and/or Brontes taunting us in that fishwife voice.1

                To add to the frustration, there’s once again the stupid “melee are bad in many encounters” issue.  I’m tired of being a class that we have to “compensate” for instead of just being an asset to the raid team.  I’m an asset on the one or two damn fights where there’s an interrupt.  Otherwise, it’s not useful, or a downright burden, to have “the second marauder” along.  To that end, I’m playing my operative more and leveling a sorc.  At least I’m always good at healing.  It’s just something that, after all these years, regardless of game, just comes naturally.

                OK, pity party over.  Gotta psych up to level the sorc over double XP weekend (hey, it’s NOT raiding, and I get to shock the shit out of people).  I’m already level 48 and it shouldn’t be too hard to hit 55 over the weekend.

                1. I don’t really know what a fishwife is.  I imagined Sindragosa the same way “Your pathetic magic betraaaays youuuuuu.”

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                  Unintended And Unforeseen Consequences

                  This is my second time playing through the Imperial Agent story.  The first time, I went goody-goody. This time I’m pretty ruthless in getting the job done.  Collateral damage, whatever.

                  Usually you know the consequences of your actions.  The NPC’s make that very clear when you are making your choices.  If you don’t directly kill someone, you are well aware if your decision will nonetheless cause their death.

                  Then I got to Balmorra and my world got turned upside down.

                  ***SPOILERS BELOW**** (Imperial agent storyline, Balmorra)

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