Friday, April 10, 2009

Theme Week - Turnabout Part 4

Today was...

Today was an odd day.

I completely expected Valkurm to be terrible. I've leveled White Mage through the Dunes before and even with the benefit of top of the line gear and a subjob, it was still hell.

Party after party of idiots, retards, and powerleveling. I saw parties with two or even three high level White Mages taking care of the healing.

What wasn't pointless was frustrating. What wasn't frustrating was mind-bogglingly idiotic.

I was prepared for the worst.

And yet... They still managed to surprise me.

This is another of the big differences between FFXI and WoW, but not necessarily one that bothered me so much. With potions, healing foods, auto-healing, and a myriad of healing abilities, keeping your HP up is relatively easy in WoW.

In FFXI, you pretty much put your life in the hands of your party's White Mage and hope for the best.

Now, as a melee, I talk about how all of those things take the challenge out of the game. Taking damage and being healed is part of what makes the game exciting.

As a White Mage, I'll tell you that that is bullshit.

It's kind of annoying to know that one bad call and my party is going to get gangraped to death by angry crabs and ugly fish.

Feeling a little bit of pressure.

Not for my party, mind you. That's there freaking problem.

Unfortunately, if they die, then I die.

I've tried surrendering.

It doesn't work.

So, each time I join a party, I just hope that I will be able to provide enough healing.

This, it turns out, can be ironic.

I zone into the Dunes and my party flag is barely up when I get an invite.

This is the part where most people immediately say yes and join the party. Other than where they are, there's not really a lot to know.

Unless you're me.

[GM]Dave>> Do you have a tank?
Leader>> Yeah.
Leader>> And a back-up just in case.
[GM]Dave>> Nice.
[GM]Dave>> What about a support healer?
Leader>> Not to worry.
Leader>> We've got that more than handled.

I should have asked what he meant by that.

I really, really should have asked.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Anyone who has ever partied in the Dunes is thinking powerleveler.

You'd be wrong.

That's only borderline stupid.

This... This was nowhere near the border.

I check the party and find out I do have an adequate support healer. Seems the party had a second White Mage to back me up.

Thatd be great.

Really.

If he didn't also have a White Mage backing him up.

Yes, my low level Dunes party had three White Mages.

Given the importance of a single White Mage to the party dynamic, three White Mages must be great, right?

Not really.

Our party consisted of three healers, two tanks, and only one damage dealer.

One damage dealer.

The good news was that no one died during our first fight.

The bad news was that the fight took almost ten minutes.

I think he eventually died of natural causes.

Or laughter.

White Mages are terribly important to many party set ups. The most basic party relies on a White Mage as the sole source of healing.

Unfortunately, White Mages are about as physically intimidating as a six year old girl.

At least in WoW, most of the healing classes can at least hold their own in the damage department. Healing isn't quite as vital and, when push comes to shove, most classes can throw down.

Not so much for the White Mage.

We're in charge of keeping the whole party alive and we're entirely incapable of defending ourselves in any real way.

Well... I'm pretty sure I could bleed on them.

If they're not careful, they could slip.

Other than that...

Yeah, that's about it.

I will admit that this makes the game more challenging. It means you have to rely on yourself much, much more.

That makes all the difference.

It also makes you feel better when you're face down in the dirt.

...

Relying on yourself is for suckers.

15 Comments:

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Rabid Ferrets of DOOM!!!™ said...

Personally I prefer it that way. Healers should heal. If they have any DPS at all, it should be marginal at best. In WoW, if your class has any healing/tanking/DPS ability, it has just as much potential as any other class that can heal/tank/DPS. Which then makes me wonder why anyone would want to take a mage (spoiler: they usually don't and I cry in a corner) when they could just bring a druid who can also help heal and tank if needed...

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger Jykia said...

As a whm, i understand the stupidity. i also have strove to be able to defend myself and try my hardest to do things by myself. this had lead to many deaths, and people yelling at me. a lvl 75 whm is still pretty squishy, no matter what gear we have, but the satisfaction of knowing some actually rely on me in the end and not some rdm or shc is worth the pain. i might not be able to "solo my own" anything, but i can dish it when i need to, and run faster than the other guy.

 
At 12:37 AM, Blogger Tidusjnr said...

Ah yes, the terrible WHM levels in the dunes. I have just come from doing that. Thank god for Regen at level 21, it makes life as a WHM a bit easier.

I just want my BLM and WHM at 37 so I can throw him in the corner while I level my RDM.

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger Kensei said...

"It's kind of annoying to know that one bad call and my party is going to get gangraped to death by angry crabs and ugly fish."

 
At 2:45 AM, Blogger Kensei said...

Oops, what I was going to say is that's the fun part about healing, knowing you hold everyones lives in your hands.

Makes you feel better when they point out how squishy those hands are.

 
At 4:41 AM, Blogger Codexx said...

In reply to Rabid Ferrets, it's because that "when push comes to shove" for a hybrid class, they can usually hold their own, after all, if they couldn't, then why bring a Boomkin when there's a perfectly good mage who can spam Blink and be doing more damage? Well...if Blink did any damage...or worked half the time for that matter...

But see, when push comes to shove for a mage, it means they're on top of the DPS charts. Sure, I(or rather, "we") lack any ability to heal, take damage, or otherwise do anything besides stand there and spam my FrostFire bolt at the big guy with lots of health in front of me, but I'm almost guarenteed to be out-DPS'ing the Boomkin next to me, because hey, he can heal himself and I can't.

There has to be a trade off. As much as Hybrid classes dream of it, they should never operate at the level of any pure DPS classes, because no matter how they spec, they're still a bit more versatile than me.

I would like to point out, however, that in WoW you in no way must group for anything if you don't want to. Thus, Priests, acting as out White Mage equivalent, can still kill something, even as a healing spec. It's slower, but nothing takes 10 minutes to kill. You really can't say FF11 "wins" in that category. It shows how one-sided most of the "jobs" are. At least classes are well rounded.

Yes, this has pretty much been backing WoW, but there is a method to the "madness". Although from my perspective, FF11 has more madness, and less methods. >.>

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger Tristan Kain said...

well, I suppose you could have equipped a hammer and snuck up to the front, but that's probably not good unless that's the whole party's plan (such as a mass skeleton breaking party).

The three whm could have all been MB'ing Banish for a little bit of damage...
Oh, wait... Valkurm... skillchains don't exist there ><

Yeah, that sounds like someone really didn't know how to make a balanced party.

Once you get Silence, go find a good Korroloka group - worms are wimps once you shut them up. And the players who know about the place are typically a bit better than the Valkurm crowd. (I hope that advice doesn't mess up the experiment)

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger Donny Walnuts said...

"Relying on yourself is for suckers."
- Barrack Obama?

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Music-chan said...

It's interesting to see how the different MMOs work, really. I play WoW most of the time but I do have a bit of fun with LOTRO. ANd while a lot of newers MMOs have a decidedly WoW feel to them, they all have their own little quirks and fobiles.


But comparing early play in WoW to FFXI seems a bit unfair. The pre-60 game in Warcraft is very nearly completely different from the higher content. Yes, everything is MADE to be soloable. The guys who created the game didn't want it to be like EQ or FFXI because they wanted it to be more along the lines of what they'd enjoy playing.

At end game stuff, the roles are much more clearly defined, based on how you specialize. If you're a healer in a raid, you're not going to be doing anything but healing. So in those respecs, WoW becomes more like FFXI, just not for the entire gameplay.

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Fireball said...

Ooooh yeah the dunes the dunes... After 2 years my ls successfully forced me to lvl nurse... whm I mean.. I'm lvl 16 now, so half through these goddamn dunes. I can feel your pain , Dave !

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger Technogeek said...

You know, this is really your fault for saying "it can only get better from here" the day before you started Valkurm Dunes.

It's like saying "at least we're safe now" in a slasher movie. Except in slasher movies the deaths aren't quite as messy.

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger Leut said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Leut said...

The only way a WHM can viably melee is as a "winja", weilding two decent enough warhammers and having the weapon skill to back it up. (Along with some melee boosting gear, of course).

However....not ....at....that....level.

Yeah....that was silly. I'd have dropped that party faster than a shop lifter drops his/her kid when caught, and bolted for the door....er zone....yeah. That.

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger Taylor-MadeAK said...

Uh...yeah...White Mages are completely non-threatening...until your level 12 ass gets torn apart by a Goblin Leecher in Buburimu Peninsula/Valkurm Dunes.

 
At 5:18 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

I love the dunes. Beautiful beach, interesting NPCs, great little fishing town. Met some of my best FFXI friends there actually. Even got my first LP there (oh, the drama, the wonderful, wonderful drama).

Good times. Much better than yours.

 

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