Posts Tagged ‘rant’

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Jov sez: Meters aren’t about the size of your e-peen

November 17, 2009

So, as our faithful readers are probably aware, our guild is currently recruiting.  In case of any of you bright, awesome, and intelligent people decide to work up the courage to try and spend a bit more time with Seri and myself, I’d just like to give a cautionary tale to keep in mind before you do so.  That tale can be summed up in a single sentence: Just because all the odds seem to be in your favor doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to make it to the interview and beyond.

Okay, to backtrack.

As you probably know, I’m the healing team lead of Axiom.  We’re recruiting healers, and have actually been getting a few good apps in.  Now, an application is your chance to make a good first impression, so a certain amount of talking yourself up is to be expected.  But there’s a good way of doing that and a bad way of doing that.  Talking yourself up to a guild in a way that makes them want to get to know you better involves stressing your positives, especially in a way that doesn’t rely entirely on putting others down to do so.

This application I’m referencing had, on the surface, all the stars in allignment.  It was an applicant from our server, our faction, and returning to the game after a hiatus.  We are recruiting his class.  He typed in complete sentences.  These are all positives.  Being local and horde means that in an iffy situation, we’re more likely to say yes and give you an initiate period.  We’re generally nice people and don’t want to waste time and (your) money on a transfer if we have concerns.  Being local gives you a toe in the door, if not a foot.  And returning to the game after a hiatus means while your gear might need some work, we’re not leaving any of our friends’ guilds in a lurch by yoinking someone from their raid team roster.  Additionally, this person was a friend of a friend of a former raider, who left the guild (the good way) a few months ago because RL was eating his time.

So why with all that going for him did he get a decline before he could even interview?

The answer lies primarily in a single sentence: “Most <applicant’s class> healers suck, so I enjoy healing against them.”

I’m a healing lead, I read that and instantly went no, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Okay, so…  Meters aren’t a competition.  This isn’t to say they’re not useful, but their utility is NOT in proving you’re so much better than everyone else around you.  It’s always said that raiding is a team sport, and that’s true, but it’s true exponentially moreso of healing.  In a team activity, you do not play against your teammates. You play with them in a trust game.  You trust them to know what they’re doing and to ask for help if needed.  You trust me to know what I’m doing in giving out assignments.  And if things go wrong, you trust everyone to work together to fix it.

“But Jov,” asks the kind and gentle ones in the audience, “why do you assume he’s talking about meters?” It’s quite simple– what does ever dps’er in your pug do at the end of every pull to show off how much they pwn?  They link the meters.  It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to guess that’s what he’s talking about when speaking of the suck of others.

“Does that mean it’s wrong to top the meters?” No, so you trees can let out that breath you’ve been holding.  There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with being on the top of the meter.  It’s a listing.  Someone is going to be on the top.  Someone is going to be on the bottom.  That’s how lists work.

“If your place on the meter doesn’t really matter, why should healers even care about them?” Meters are there for self-analysis (or my analysis, I suppose) and personal improvement.  The easiest way to do that is to just look at what you’re doing.

“I don’t know how to read a meter, there’s too much information.  I don’t know what I’m looking for.” There’s really two ways of doing this:  the easy way and the hard way.  I’m a big fan of the easy way.  Pull up a boss fight, look at yourself.  What spells are you casting?  What spells aren’t you casting?  Think about your assignment on that fight, and think about why you made the spell choices you did.  Now, pull someone else of your class/spec for that same fight.  (WoL is excellent for this, since you can search by server.  Find someone roughly at your level of progression.)  Look at their spell choices for that fight.  Now do it again.  If whoever you’re checking seems to have the same spell priorities as you, you’re probably doing it right, regardless of your place (or their place) on the meter.  If your useage is different, some of that can be do to raid composition, but you might want to try out what you’ve seen.

“I’m using the same spells, at roughly the same priority.  But I’m at the bottom and X is at the top!” There’s a lot of things which can account for meter position, but the biggest culprit is going to be one of two things:  lag and overstacking of healers.  Lag is the most unfortunate, and the one I can sympathize with most.  But to put it simply, if you’re running at a higher ping or lower framerate than your raid-mates, chances are they’re going to get the heal off before you do.  More of your heal will be overage, more of their heal will be effective.  They’ll move up the meter compared to you.  Overstacking healers also tends to lead to jumps in effective healing.  Unlike DPS, who can do damage and do damage and do damage until the boss is dead, healers can only heal as much damage as has been taken.  The reason fewer and fewer healers are needed as content goes on farm isn’t a matter of the healing power of the healers increasing from gear as much as it is the incoming damage becomes less as the tanks gear up and the raid is more comfortable with the encounter dynamics, reducing raid damage.  In that situation, it can feel very much like a race sometimes to see who can get the heal off first.

“After all that, I still want to know what’s wrong with wanting to top meters, it just means I’m wanting to do better, right?” No, no it doesn’t.  It goes back to that trust issue I mentioned above.  If you try to top the meter, you’re going to do that by trying to do your job and everyone else’s at the same time.  That means I as the healing lead (and 23 other people in the raid) can’t trust you to keep your assignment first in your mind.  I’m not talking about X Priest only healing group 2; I’m talking about X Priest keeping group 2 as their top priority and only tossing hots/prom/coh/shields on g4 if g2 is stable.  If your focus is on outhealing PallyZ, that is where your focus is, not on G2′s health.

So if you’re wanting to apply to Axiom, tell me how awesome you are.  Don’t tell me that everyone else sucks and you’ve got the recount screenshot to prove it.  That’s much more likely to get you an interview.

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Seri sez: Exit, Stage Left! (No, not mine.)

November 5, 2009

Don't be a pussy.Burnout. It happens to everyone. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and whacks you with a cartoon-sized mallet. More often, the slide from contentment to disinterest is rather gradual. There are ways to combat it: Scaling back your play time and/or guild/team responsibilities, gearing up and swapping to another character, taking a night (or a few nights) off… but what do you do when you realize that it’s time to call it quits? If your answer is ‘disappear without a word to anyone’ I have a few choice words for you.

I get burnout, I really do. I’m not immune to it myself, either, and I try to take nights off when I feel like I need them. When my raiders come to me and say ‘Seri.. I need a break’ my first words are usually ‘Ok, how long do you need?’ no matter how much it may hurt the raid team to be down a(nother) member for a couple of days/weeks. I like to think I’m a pretty reasonable person, and I like happy well-adjusted raiders. Unfortunately, sometimes people ask for a week off and simply don’t return… or, worse, just stop signing up for raids without a word to me (or anyone) about why. I’ve seen this behavior from extremely dependable/reliable raiders that I’ve known for ages, and I just don’t understand what is so difficult about contacting someone to tell them you’re not coming back.

I don’t know about your guild, but I think it’s fair to say that most guilds have some means of communicating outside the game. Whether that means forums, Twitter or a good old fashioned phone tree… unless you’re shipwrecked on a deserted island, in jail, or hospitalized, you should be able to get in touch with someone. Even if they’re not an officer, they can relay a message for you. Account expired and can’t/won’t renew? Leave a forum message, send an e-mail, tweet, or poke someone on the IM client of your choice. Computer dead? Use a friend’s. Have no friends? Call someone. Don’t have anyone’s phone number? Use an internet cafe. Broke? Find a local hotspot and start asking folks politely if you can borrow their laptop to send a quick message. (Offer to let them watch so they can see you’re not doing anything malicious.) Heck, these days most people are carrying around a cell phone that can connect to the internet. There are ways of getting a message through!

There are so many ways to get a message to your guild that there are really only two reasons I can think of for not doing it: Apathy and cowardice. If you are so apathetic about the game and your guild that you can log off and never look back without giving it a second thought… wow, you really do need to quit the game. If you’re afraid of telling your GM for some reason, take a few minutes to think about why. Are you worried they’ll be mad? That they’ll beg you to stay? Do you just feel so guilty for ‘abandoning’ the guild that you just can’t face it? Get over it. The world (of warcraft) won’t end because you are leaving. If your guild is strong, they’ll make it without you. If they’re not, well, then there are greater problems that you staying would probably not fix.

Now, I’m sure someone out there is going to say ‘What’s the big deal? It’s just a game… I don’t owe anyone an explanation.’ To that, I say: Good riddance, you self-centered narcissistic cockweasel. This sort of attitude is fine for a casual player… the sort of person that joins a guild for socialization, shared resources & occasional heroics. When it comes to raid guilds… you’re occupying a spot on the raid roster. There are people depending on your ass being in your chair on raid nights, and the time that your guild officers waste waiting & wondering if you’re coming back is time they could have spent recruiting for someone to fill your slot.

I know that there are occasions when it is just impossible to get a message out, but it seems in my experience that in most cases people could have easily gotten a message to the officers but they just—for whatever reason—didn’t. So, in closing, I’ll simply implore you all to not follow their example. If you decide to quit the game, tell someone. Don’t leave us twisting in the wind.

Related post: The Ethical /gquit

P.S. <Axiom> is recruiting DPS! Visit our recruitment page for more info and instructions for applying.

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Guest Post: EZ WoW– Solutions for the E-Peen Generation

October 27, 2009

This rebuttal is brought to you by Morrigahn of Caer Morrighan

There’s been some discussion about WoW being too easy recently.  It started with a discussion of how the change in the difficulty has affected social relations on World of Matticus.  This was followed by an excellent post at the Pink Pigtail Inn which I must say I agree with 100%.  Then it spread across the blogosphere like wildfire and was picked up by the likes of Casual Hardcore and  Tobold.

This is my contribution to the debate.  Instead of talking about the problem I’m suggesting a solution.  Its not a practical solution.  Its more a ranting, slightly insane type of solution.

Let me tell you whats really behind the ‘too easy’ and ‘welfare epics’ complaints.

Once upon a time, only a very few people had epic gear because only a very few people could raid.  This allowed them to feel better than everyone else.  Their gear was the visible evidence of their success.  They could walk around their relevant city, confident that no one looked better than them.  This rewarded them for their lack of social life.  They were the ‘elites’.  Everyone else was a ‘pleb’.

Fact 1: players who whine normally weren’t a part of this elite.  They resent the fact that they won’t ever get the chance to lord it over their fellow players based on having cool looking gear.

Solution 1: make gear more user definable.  Then elites can prance around in ridiculous looking gear and think they are better while plebs get a good laugh instead of having to listen to them whine.

Fact 2: players who think that raids and gear should be limited to a select few are quite happy to be gaining whilst others pay for them to do so.

Solution 2: make raids ridiculously hard but make players pay extra to access them, whilst us plebs pay less since we can’t access them since we have jobs/lives/our sanity.  So if for every 10 players, 9 are plebs then those 9 players can pay say $10/£6 a month.  Raiding is about 1/3 of the game content so plebs pay 1/3 less.  That means that the $45/£27 a month that the plebs were paying should all now be paid by the elite.  The elite can be elite, but they have to pay $60/£36 a month to do so.  Of course since the elites have no jobs they can’t afford to do this.  Which means even less elites.  Which means, to cover the cost of raid development, the fee would have to be higher.  It also means you brought your epics.  But you can strut around and look cool if that’s what you really want.

Fact 3: players who complain that content is not worth doing because world top 5 guilds have already completed it need a quicker way to get the hell out of my WoW.

Solution 3: implement software that recognises these key phrases so that when someone makes a statement like this an option box pops up in WoW allowing them to choose to end their subscription immediately.  In fact, give them a $50 bonus for leaving.  That money will easily be made back by the saved time on the forums not answering their posts.  Plebs would be happy to increase their subscription by the 0.50c/30p it would cost to cover this for the reward of not having to listen to this complaint ever again.

Fact 4: players who like to be judged based on their gear don’t like it when new gear comes along to replace it.  This makes them feel that all their work has been a complete waste of time.

Solution 4: allow gear to scale with epeen.  Then the plebs will be able to spot the enormous d***** a mile off and avoid them.  This would be an addition to Solution 1.

Fact 5: players who want to be better than everyone else don’t want to play in a cooperative environment.

Solution 5: make a whole new version of WoW that doesn’t involve cooperative play but can be played competitively only.  Call it … Starcraft?  In order to make up for the lost revenue from Solution 3, players could be directed to this game instead.

I am a pleb and proud of it.  I call upon plebs everywhere to rise up and defend their right to have epic gear and participate in raids they are paying for the development of.  Yes, entry level raid content is easier than it was, but this is our right as paying players!  No the game is not easier because most players still have never even seen Algalon yet, and hes the end boss of the previous tier!  No they are not welfare epics because every player who has an epic item has to suffer through the complaints of the epeen brigade and that is payment enough!

Disclaimer: This was a political broadcast brought to you by Morrighan, head of the Plebs for Epix party.  Morrighan accepts that not all vanilla raiders are epeens.  Not all people who complain about the game being easy or welfare epics are epeens.  Morrighan has a lot of friends who were both vanilla raiders and don’t like how easy epics are to get and is not calling them epeens.  She’s just fed up with listening to complaints about WoW being too easy from people who can’t even manage Heroic Azjol Nerub!

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Jov sez: My Armor Sucks (redux) and Final Goodbyes

October 13, 2009

My posts lately have been so multi-faceted  and stream of consiousnessy lately, haven’t they?  Well, have some more!

Priest T10 Bonuses and Why They Suck

  • 2 piece bonus – Your Flash Heal critical strikes cause the target to heal for 25% of the healed amount over 9 sec.
  • 4 piece bonus – Your Circle of Healing and Penance spells have a 20% chance to cause your next Flash Heal cast within 6 sec to reset the cooldown on your Circle of Healing and Penance spells.

(They’ve been updated since they were first announced)

I know some people are pretty enthusiastic about the bonuses.  But this is my blog, and I think they suck.  So nyeh.

The 2-piece: Per WoL, my average Flash Heal hits for approx 2600.  The HoT would heal another 650, broken up into however many pieces, over the next 9 seconds.  That total heal is 1/3 of my average Renew tick.  Let me repeat 1/3 of my average Renew tick.   But wait!  What about a Discipline Priest?  Well ours is geared to the hilt and her average flash is approx 2200.  Her total healing from the 2-piece would be 550.  Also, it’s somewhat unlikely the HoT would self-stack, meaning the Discipline Priest would only get ticks if their Penance is off cooldown and they take the time to Penance/re-shield.  Otherwise, it would exist in the no-man’s land of constant overwriting.

Also, the above numbers are best-case.  If you get a crit on overheal, the phrasing seems to state that only the amount healed gets the HoT value.  Double plus-plus useless.

People have also been commenting that the 2-piece is the old FoL HoT v 2.0.  I counter that the pally FoL hot was a copy of the Priest 8-piece T2 bonus (yes, 8-piece, I’m going back to the golden age of raiding before tier tokens when you had to WORK for your set bonuses).  Back in my day, that was the only stacking-hot in the game.  And it still kinda sucked.

The 4-piece: I’ll be the first to admit I kinda miss the days of no-cooldown CoH.  (You miss them too, you know it!)  I also have no qualms with admitting that the spell was totally OP at its height.  Smart, not party-limited…  no cooldown.  mmm…  Tasty, tasty OP’ness.  The problem with messing with the cooldown length on cooldown-based spells is always going to be rhythm and muscle memory.

Muscle memory may be something you can train yourself out of pretty easily, but only if the changes made are consistent.  The 4-piece is not a consistent change, it’s a chance on proc.

1.  Jov hates procs.  Murphy’s Law of Procs = shit never procs when you need it, only when you don’t.

2.  Jov hates procs.

3.  Did I mention Jov hates procs?

Best definition I’ve heard of the 4-piece bonus was “Has 20% chance of screwing up your rotation.”  Yes, it has a strong potential for burst healing, but at the same time, most people have a feeling for when they can hit their Penance or CoH, and missing this proc is MUCH worse than missing out on a SoL.

Final Goodbyes

It was great knowing you all, but I’m leaving…

HA!  Fooled you!  Y’all are stuck with me for the next while at least.

The past few weeks have seen the official closings of two of the best and brightest lights in the Priest Blogging community.  While Ego’s final goodbye was expected, as her departure had been announced quite a bit earlier, the finality of the doors closing did drive the point home.  Seri and I are still friends with the player behind the horns, and have a promise from Hannelore that we’re her first stop if she ever feels the urge to post in the future, but it’s always difficult to see something important to you move on.

And speaking of important and moving on, Dwarf Priest has also closed her doors.  While Ego’s departure was expected, Dwarf’s was a sudden blog silence, leading many to have concerns about her health (and even some rumors of her death).  While quick to dispel rumors of her death (vastly overrated), the health concerns proved to be true, and she has moved on, both from the responsibilities of the game and of the blog.

To you both, whether or not you see this:  Goodbye and Good Luck.

goodbye_sad_bear

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Jov sez: ToC makes me want to not-WoW

September 29, 2009

Though I’ve made no real secret of it, I can’t actually remember if I’ve stated here, on the record, that I hate ToC.  So I’m going to do so:  I hate ToC.  I hate it’s mother.  I hate it’s babies.  I hate it’s cute little pet kitten named Mittens.  Nothing about ToC isn’t boring at best, cringe-inducingly obnoxious at worst.  I know it is the source of all that is good and ilvl 245+ but if I never went back there again, it would be too soon.

I also tend to be a somewhat cyclical raider.  Each expansion, Blizzard releases that ONE INSTANCE that just makes me want to punch babies.  Back in Vanilla, it was AQ (Bugs, why did it have to be bugs…?).  TBC had Hyjal (and it’s waves and waves of dynamic trash encounters.)  Wrath has ToC.

I’m also surrounded by people who enjoy it, or at least enjoy the ilvls enough to farm the shit out of every available version as often as possible every week.  I’m stuck in the position of being a bad raider, and occasionally preventing groups from going just because I’m unwilling to burn myself out faster by spending 5 days a week in there.  I do the guild-progression 25s, but no, I’m under zero obligation to run it for “fun” on 10s as well.

I’m also kinda tired of people trying to convince me I’m a bad person, or wrong or mistaken for not enjoying the encounters, wanting my PVP kept separate (read: not present entirely) from my PVE, or the constant assurances that “It’s really not that bad.”

No, I’m sorry.  You’re not in my head, you don’t know what I feel.  ToC really is that bad, and I’m not going to go there any more than I have to.

Now, I fully admit that these are my issues.  I found ToC boring but bearable until we hit Faction Champions for the first time.  Jov doesn’t pvp.  Specifically I do not pvp.  It’s somewhat the guild joke, but…  I don’t.  Get me in a pvp situation, and my brain turns off and I turn into a ball of super-anxiety.  I’m totally useless on that fight.  I hate the fight, I know (and hate) that I’m useless, it’s a nice happy ball of feeding on itself.

Telling me “it’s not that bad” doesn’t actually do anything but make me feel worse, but thanks for playing.

I’m looking at the finish line.  In Vanilla, Naxx 40 was my salve to AQ.  Hell, even in it’s nerfed version, I still enjoy Naxx.  TBC had me squealing in joy at the thought of Sunwell enounters; it was just enough to get me through the Hyjal grind.  My eye is on the prize; and that prize is Icecrown.  I just hope Blizzard continues their tradition of ending an expansion with a bang.

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Seri sez: At the risk of being blacklisted…

August 27, 2009

Do you feel lucky, punk?I have been extremely hesitant to pen this post, because I have a feeling that it’s going to get me/us in trouble. You see… World of Snarkcraft has enjoyed a pretty friendly relationship with WoW Insider over the last year. They’ve long been a great source of inspiration and information, not to mention blog promotion–as any blogger who has ever been linked on The Daily Quest can attest. (How many of our readers found us via WoW Insider? I’m willing to bet a lot.)

Their readership is huge; I would venture to say that they are probably the most popular WoW news blog in the US (can’t speak for global readership, as I haven’t ever gone looking for blogs in other geos), syndicated and translated by dozens of other sites around the world. Therefore, it is with no small amount of wariness that this David looks up at this Goliath, shaking a tiny fist at the sky.

Rabble rabble.

Ok, here’s the thing: WoW Insider’s BlizzCon coverage gave me a migraine.

Now, don’t get me wrong. They were there… feet on the ground, asses in chairs… they saw it, they reported it, we read it. Good for them. The problem? Constant regurgitation. All. Weekend. Long.

Also, they repeated themselves.

(See what I did there?)

There was a live blog post for the important WoW-related panels, wherein they harvested, time stamped and bullet pointed every factoid spoken by the developers… and then they proceeded to make a billion individual posts repeating this information. The same information, I remind you, but with more words around it. Well-meaning words, but useless words. It’s not entirely their fault.. I mean, there was only so much information to report. But did it really have to be reported multiple times, toted as if it were breaking news? Seriously?

I complained about this to Mr. Seri on Saturday and he looked at me funny. Less than 24 hours later, he told me I’d ruined WoW Insider for him because he hadn’t really stopped to think about it until I pointed it out. Hopefully the same is not true for you, dear readers, because if so I’m pretty sure I’ll be off the WoW Insider winter holiday mailing list. (Which would be a pity, because they have awesome fruitcake.)

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Jov sez: Healing myself out of a job

July 21, 2009

Okay, so stop me if you’ve heard this one:

So, a guild walks into Ulduar for the first time.  And they totally splat on (XT/Razorscale/Ignis) trash.  “OMG!” they say, “WE NEED MOAR HEALERS!”  So the guild goes back to Ulduar, with 8-9 of their 25 spots filled with healers.  And they wipe, and learn new content, and wipe some more.  And after learning the fights, they go “OMG THIS IS SO EASY NAO, BUT WE NEED TO KILL FASTER TO (activate hardmodes/get top-scored fights on wws/race zerg bosses)!!” so they recruit DPS and start benching half of their healers, cause they’re so not needed now.

The end.

Yeah, me too.  This hasn’t happened to me directly, but it does get my panties in a bunch when I see it.

Like many guilds, Axiom’s suffered a bit from the summer blahs.  Lots of vacations, some recruiting, it’s left us with some pretty interesting, non-standard rosters over the past 6 weeks (“okay, 10 healers are signed, but we totally have no DPS… So, volunteers for respec for the day!” followed the next week by “Wait, what? only five healers?!  shit!”)

After a particularly rough night (Five healers rocking Thorim, Mimi, and Vezax) the joking starts on the guild forums from the DPS.

DPS 1: Meh, they’d already proved they can do it with 6 or 7. Next time I’m thinking 4…

DPS 2: Four, we’re doing three next week…..

Me: And 1 tank and 5 DPS.
If we’re running half healers, as a show of solidarity, we’re running with half everything else, too. No fair only healers get the bench.
/love and kisses.

And then things get serious:

DPS 3: Max. of 6 ever, HS/pot/bandage if necessary, stay out of fire or get teabagged.

DPS 4: That’s forever the healer dilemma, gearing/playing yourself out of a job. :/

DPS 3: Gotta break some eggs sometimes to make an omelet. (emphasis mine)

And lemme tell you, beyond earning a place on my shit list, DPS 3 really pissed me the fuck off.  (Or should that be the other way around?)

Because, excuse me?  Omelet?  Healers are eggs now?  And we’re talking about “breaking them” for the sake of the team?  We’re talking about breaking ANY member of the team?

1.  I’m sorry, I’m not going to EVER advocate benching the people who’ve been working and wiping from the beginning for the sake of your e-peen.

2.  I’m not going to advocate making MY job harder when all you’re doing is standing in place drinking-birding your 1 key.  DPS monkey sez: lawl afk making sammich.  (Sorry, Seri, but it’s true)

I mean, I understand that the number of healers needed at the beginning during wipes is not the same as the number needed once shit’s on farm.  I don’t want to be sleeping through content because there are 10 healers present leaving me with nothing to do. For the most part, I’m okay with it (I mean, I’m NOT okay with Blizzard’s idea that the challenge rating on an encounter is pretty much wholly the healing difficulty, but that’s another rant).  What I’m NOT okay with is the idea that healers should be the one always “taking one for the team” and not reaping the rewards of their month(s) of repair bills.

Of course, I’m also not okay with the folks who only want to attend farm nights and always skip out on progression.  Are you sensing a theme?  At least I’m consistent.

But something strikes me as wrong with this picture:

The number of tanks you need stays pretty consistent.
The number of DPS you need usually goes up.
The number of healers you need drops dramatically as more and more things go on-farm.

And people wonder why no one ever wants to play healers.

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