Monday, February 21, 2011

I don't believe in RNG

This last week we started working on H-Halfus and H-Chimaeron (10s), which opened up a whole new world of hurt on the raid, and ultimately resulted in a bunch of repair bills and some good learning moments. I'm still not convinced that we've got our strategies worked out (since we never actually killed them), but the progress was measurable.

Also measurable was my Blood Pressure increase every time I heard this phrase. "It was just bad RNG".

Come again?

I have a real tough time swallowing that excuse, execpt in a very few circumstances. For DPS it can be an issue, say with Ret HP generation or maybe a mage's crit streaks - but for tanking and healing, it's generally unacceptable.

Shouldering responsibility

Here's a specific instance where it wasn't "Bad RNG", but a case of folks not doing their jobs properly. While it may be tough to narrow it down to the start of a chain of events, it's pretty evident when you start examining the situation.

During one of our many wipes on Nef, our Nef tank in P3 died to a shadowflame breath. Now while this was the killing blow, a look at the death log shows him going for six seconds (or more) without recieving a single heal. Not one. Normally I'd say that's impossible, but it was right there in black and white.

Now since I am generally responsible for healing the tank, this death falls on my shoulders. Since he didn't even get a BoL heal, I was obviously doing something else for that time (sleeping?), instead of keeping him healed up. Now, maybe he didn't have my BoL on him yet (my fault), or maybe I was using DP without calling for backup heals or using a CD to mitigate it (again my fault). Who knows what was really going on during that time. Maybe I was busy healing up the raid because we got a bad crackle, or I was OOM because of a bad P2.

It really doesn't matter. My job is to keep the tank alive first, raid second. Any deviation from this is on my shoulders. The same goes for keeping your platform alive in P2. If a Shadow Nova gets off due to a missed kick, that's not bad RNG - that's your kicker not having enough hit. Something that can be fixed.

RNG Gibs

This is another area where I have a hard time with RNG being blamed. Yes, it is entirely possible that you eat some back to back attacks that gib you down. Blizzard's design though is that you won't be folded in a GCD (or maybe 2). Even if you are though, maybe there are some cool-downs or abilities that aren't getting used. Basically if you die, and have a single CD that isn't used - that isn't RNG, it's you (or your team). Here's an example.

Back when I was in High School I played baseball (and every other sport, but this story is about baseball). In our last year of being in the B-11 division (we were a small school in a farming community) we made it to the state championships. This was the big time for us, and we loaded up to seek fame and fortune.

The tourney was a multiple day affair, with several games each day, and was single elimination for the first two rounds (lose once and go home). Once you'd won two games it went to double elimination, but you had to get there first. Our coach, in his infinite wisdom, left our star pitcher on the bench - with the mentality that we'd want him for game 3 to secure a spot in the winner's bracket. Unfortunately we lost game 2 with our 2nd baseman, 1st baseman, hell anyone who had ever pitched (ever) taking a turn on the mound. Our ace went home having never thrown a single pitch.

This holds true for your CDs

I am terrible at this. I hold onto LoH like it's gold, and that I'll never get to use it again. For example on H-Chim I save it for when we go into P3. I can usually use it to push our tank over 10k, so he can take 2 killing blows. Unfortunately we're losing tanks during the fued phase, where a LoH may have allowed us to continue. In this case, that LoH is my star heal that never gets off the bench. No point in saving it for P3, if we can't get there.


I think it's too easy to blame bad luck, or some other metric when we fail. It's difficult to say "this was my fault" when it's questionable to begin with. It takes in-depth analysis and a lot of guts to admit that you could have done better. It's certainly easier to blame someone else for what happened.

So go away RNG - get out of my raid. You might exist for loot tables, but I often doubt that as well. Seeing as our hunter has 5 pairs of T-11 shoulders, I think you're just broken.


  1. I have a small issue concerning your pitching/Chimaeron example. Simply that there are circumstances when using a CD at an earlier time will result in the same outcome. For example, we were using Hero during Chogall to get through the 4-puddle add wave and push Cho'gall to P2, but not having Hero for P2 was a fatal flaw to the strategy.

    Simply put, using Hero early would only result in a guaranteed loss and one that took longer. If you're the only Pal and you need LoH before Chimaeron P2, then by keeping a tank up for Feud will only mean that you take that much longer to wipe.

    Now, maybe you can enter P2 without LoH, but if you can't - then using LoH @ Feud is still the wrong decision.

  2. While there may be specific circumstances where you're setting up for a burn, or a CD rotation, it doesn't help you if you don't get there. This doesn't mean blow BLust in the first 20 seconds, but that's also a raid wide CD, that's on a 10 minute timer.

    Also, what I'm talking about here is not using a scheduled CD at an unscheduled time, but about not keeping the CD in the barn just in case you need it later. I'm also talking about not blaming the RNG for you not getting a crit streak or what have you.

  3. Here Here! I'm just now getting into using LoH when the >>> hits the fan. I have gotten really good at using trinkets and Divine Plea to scoop up some mana. What I haven't gotten off the bench is that Divine Guardian.

    My "Angelic Savior of OMG We're All Going to Die!" doesn't get used. He's become such a trump card that your Pitcher story truly hit home. Time to dig deeper into my bag o tricks.


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