18 Grouping & Instance PuGing Tips

In an attempt to make PuGs suck less:

  1. Clearly define loot rules before the run starts and stick with them. Nothing creates more drama than loot issues. Don't forget to state rules for: Recipies, BoE epics, BoP epics, resource nodes, and chests.
  2. Don't be greedy, it will drop again. The only thing that people seem to like less than an asshole is a loot whore (or both!). Need is defined as: An item that is a direct upgrade. Something that you (not a guildmate and not a friend) can immediately use.
  3. Class balance: Some of the instances are quite class sensitive. A party of 5 priests isn't going to work very well. Invite smartly.
  4. Repair your gear and buy any regeants or consumables that you need before joining a group.
  5. Make sure that you have enough time to complete the instance before joining or starting a group. In general, set aside 1.5 to 2 hours of consecutive playtime.
  6. Let people know if you need to AFK and for how long. If you have to AFK frequently or for longer than 5-minutes, you probably should have stated so at the beginning or not have joined the group.
  7. Use the raid symbols to mark targets (the lucky charms). For example: Skull = kill, star = sheep, circle = trap, and so forth. Marking everything makes CC heavy runs infinitely better. Don't forget to CLEARLY define what each symbol means ahead of time.
  8. Establish a kill order, use a main assist, or at least change the raid symbols on the fly to key your party members in on what mob to kill next.
  9. Let everyone know what you are doing before you do it.
  10. Don't break CC. Don't DoT the sheep, don't consecrate the traps. Please.
  11. If you haven't done an encounter or are new to the instance let everyone know. If you are the party leader, you might want to ask everyone this question. It's better to tell people than to wipe because you didn't know what to do.
  12. Make sure that everyone knows their role in the party (politely). If it's not bleeding obvious you might want to make sure everyone knows who these people are: Main tank, Off-tank (if needed), Main healer, Assist healer (if needed), Crowd Controller(s).
  13. Play your role appropriately. If you are tanking, do so with a sword and board not dual wield. "I can hold aggro better this way" isn't a valid excuse. If you are the main healer, put on some healing gear and throw some heals out when needed. Letting your party members die because you suddenly decided that going shadowform was more intersting isn't a very good thing to do either.
  14. Know the instance or at least read a summary of the boss fights. Don't be afraid to assert yourself if people need someone to clue them in on what they need to do.
  15. But that said, don't be bossy. No one likes an elitist asshole.
  16. It's probably a good diea if everyone can comprehend enough English (or whatever your server's primary language is) to understand basic commands and explanations. I've had…problems with this issue in the past.
  17. Don't wander off on your own and don't wander ahead of the Main Tank. There are often stealthed mobs, mobs with a large aggro range, or mobs hiding around a corner just waiting to gank a clothy or aggro your entire party.
  18. Don't TOUCH anything. Don't click on anything with the cogwheel mouse icon and don't talk to any NPCs. Doing so might prematurely start a boss encounter.

Above of all, just have fun. This list is just a general guide of my personal opinions, not the holy WoW bible.

Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2 is a futuristic platformer that was released for the NES in 1988. This game is kicks ass, there’s really not much more that I can say (but I will anyways), it’s a classic. 

Though the original Mega Man started the series, it was it’s sequal that popularized it and set the standard for just about every Mega Man game to come. Several improvements were made in Mega Man 2 over it’s predecessor. Most notable: More robot bosses were added, more detailed graphics, energy tanks, and the password system. Mega Man was one of the very few series with an intuitive password system. It was a grid system that involved the placement of red dots, as opposed to writing down a 32 character alphanumeric string (lolz Faxanadu).

Mega Man 2 wasn’t as hard as it’s predecesor, but what it lacked in difficulty it more than made up in awesome level design. Not being frustrating and evil to the point of wanting to hurl your controller through the screen in NES rage isn’t a bad thing though (energy tanks good). It’s reasonably difficult for a notice to average player, but it’s not going to provide you with a Contra level challege. Either way, don’t let that deter you.

The graphics in general look more polished and sylish that it’s predecessor, and adds more distinctivness to the series. The backgrounds in Mega Man 2 are for the colorful and animated without being seizure inducing or distracting. There are a good amount of unique graphics, enough to give each stage a distinct feel. The sprites in this game are also very good. There’s a pretty wide variety of enemies, most of which are creative and well drawn.

Campcom, at least for the games that they made for the NES, set a high bar in terms of sound and music. Mega Man 2 is no exception, each track is memorable and catchy. I would even go as far as to say that it has the best soundtrack of all the Mega Man games. The Wily Fortress 1-2 theme has to be one of my favorite game tracks period.

If I had to make a list of my all time favorite NES games, Mega Man 2 would have to be pretty high up in rank (top 5 at least). It’s still a fun excellent game to play, even now. That’s pretty rare.

Paladin Approximate Threat Generation

Even more WoW math, though I didn’t have time to check it over. I should just move all of of these posts into one large tanking guide, but that’s for another day when I’m bored. I don’t know the threat generation for warriors, but they have plenty of threat guides that list approximated values (I am pretty sure that Wowwiki had one). Our threat values are harder to calculate since they aren’t fixed values. This is pretty much just theorycraft by the way, take it as you wish.

I’ll run up a chart comparing warrior threat generation and paladin threat generation as well as one comparing various weapon speeds/spell damage values…one day in theory :P. This page assumes a 1:1 ratio between each point of holy damage and each point of threat without Righteous Defense. Also assume the following:

  • Weapon speed: 1.8 (…because that is the speed of my weapon)
  • 3/3 Improved Righteous Defense (1.9x threat vs 1.6x)
  • 200 spell damage
  • Average Unmodified Damage: (Base Max Damage + Base Min Damage)/2
  • Recall that all threat modifiers are now multiplicatives as of patch whatever

Judgement of the Crusader at the maximum rank will add up to 190 spell damage. So, just use 190+200 spell damage for the calculations instead of 200 (note to self: make another chart for the JotC modifier). I didn’t list Seal of Vengeance because I don’t really use it often. I find it hard to keep up on most mobs…that or the mobs just DIE before SoV stacks high enough to generate meaningful damage or threat. SoR is much more reliable. That’s just based on my findings/gear/guide though (it’s not like it’s hard for paladins to aggro anymore, power to us!).

As a comparison, an average rank 14 Frostbolt does 655 damage. That’s 655 threat, without talents or aggro-reducing buffs, assuming a 1:1 ratio.

Spell Damage Coefficient Average Unmodified Damage Damage after modifier Threat
Seal of Righteousness 9.2% per 1.0 weapon speed (1-hander) = 9.2*1.8 = 16.56% 78 16.56%*200 + 78 = 111.12 1.9 * 111.12 = 211.128
Judgement of Righteousness 73% 218 73%*200 + 218 = 364 1.9 * 364 = 691.6
Holy Shield (35% additional threat per block) 20% (5% per block) 155 per block 5%*200 + 155 = 165 per block 1.9 * 1.35 * 165 = 423.225 per block
Consecration 95% 598 95%*200 + 598 = 788 total (98.5 per tick) 788 * 1.9 = 1497.2 (187.15 per tick)
Avenger’s Shield 10% 548 10%*200 + 548 = 568 (per target) 1.9 * 568 = 1079.2 (per target)

The Attack Outcome Table & Damage Mitigation

Edit 11/7/07: This page is a little old and confusing. Updating it with the 2.3 changes and what not at some point.

Assumed Information
When I say defense by the way, I am talking about defense skill not defense rating. The same goes for block (block value increases the amount you block, block rating increases the frequency). Assume that all statistics on this page are calculated for a level 70 player with maxed out skills against a level 73 mob. This page is only relevant for white damage.

  • Player Weapon Skill: Level * 5 = 350
  • Player Defense Skill: Level * 5 = 350
  • Boss Mob Weapon Skill: 365
  • Boss Mob Defense Skill: 365
  • Critical Hit: Against a player with a defense rating equal to the mob’s weapon skill (350 vs 350), the mob has a 5% chance to crit.
  • Crushing Blow: Level difference * 5 = (73 – 70) * 5 = 15

The Attack Outcome Table
When a mob hits you there are 7 possible outcomes: Miss, parry, dodge & block. All of these items are mutually exclusive, meaning that you can either block OR parry OR take a crit. You can never block crits, parry crushing blows, etc. For the sake of organization, I’ve separated these outcomes into two categories:

Avoidance/Mitigation: Miss, parry, dodge & block – ways that you can mitigate or completely avoid attacks.
Actual Mob Hits: Crits, crushing blows, normal hits – types of attacks that you can receive if they are not avoided or mitigated.

The green items are good: Green outcomes that mean you have either avoided or reduced the damage of an attack. The red ones are bad: Red outcomes that mean you have either taken a hit from the mob that either does normal damage or increased damage. Ignore Critical Hits for now and assume that it’s at 0%. Crits are reduced via defense, (at 490 defense you are uncrittable) I will explain that below.

The table is calculated in this exact order. So when you make the green items larger, the red items on the bottom get “pushed off” of the table, starting with Normal Hits. When all of the Normal Hits get pushed off, Crushing Blows will start to get pushed off. Ultimately, your goal is to increase the green items to the point where there are no red left. That means that ALL attacks against you will either be misses, parries, dodges, or blocks.

  Possible attack out comes (against lvl 70 player by lvl 73 mob)
Miss: Base 5% + 0.04% * (Your Defense – 365)
Parry: (see your character stat window)
Dodge: (see your character stat window)
Block: (see your character stat window)
Actual Mob Hits
Critical Hit: 5% – (0.04% * (Player Defense – Mob Weapon Skill))
Crushing Blow: 15%
Normal Hit: Whatever is left, 100 – (Miss + Parry + Dodge + Block + Crit + Crushing

Attack Table Keynotes:

  • The entire table must add up to exactly 100% at all times. So, if your total Avoidance/Mitigation is 70%, Actual Mob Hits will be 30%
  • All items on this table are mutually exclusive, meaning that for example, a block can never be a critical hit and so on.
  • Furthermore, the outcomes are calculated in this exact order: Miss, parry, dodge, block, critical hit, crushing blow, normal hit. So, even if you increase your Avoidance/Mitigation to 80% and decrease Actual Mob Hits to 20% (let’s just suppose that the mob has 0% to crit you), your chance to receive a crushing blow will still be 15%.
  • In order to eliminate crushing blows completely off of the table, you will need to completely eliminate the mob’s chance for an unmitigated and unavoided hit.
  • Your goal, as a raid tank, should be to increase your total Avoidance/Mitigation to 102.4%.


The 1-Roll Theory
The current theory is that, the server generates a single random number, then compares it against the hit table to determine the attack outcome (there are literally tomes of speculation and theorizing on this topic, but that’s not what this guide is for). So with this information, we can construct an outcome table for our fictitious tank:

Timmy the Tank’s stats
Timmy the Tank’s
attack outcome table
(server side)
Miss: 10% 0 to 9
Parry: 20% 10 to 29
Dodge: 20% 30 to 49
Block: 20% 50 to 69
Crit: 5% 70 to 74
Crushing: 15% 75 to 89
Normal: 10% 90 to 99

Explanation: A (level 73) mob attacks Timmy, in doing so the server “rolls” one random number between 0 and 99 in order to determine how Timmy responds to the attack. If the server generates a 52 Timmy blocks, if the server generates a 78 Timmy receives a crushing blow, and so on.


Mitigating Critical Strikes
Every point of defense increases your critical strike mitigation by 0.04%. So, against a level 73 mob, 490 defense will render you immune to critical strikes. That would be: Base 350 + 15 (to compensate for the 3 level difference) + 125 (to compensate for the mob’s base 5% crit chance).

490 is also the CAP for defense in relation to critical strike mitigation (unless they raise the maximum mob level beyond 73). Tseric was quoted as saying, “At 490 defense, the math caps out. ” What this means is that: Once you achieve 490, Defense will not reduce critical strikes any further. It will though, still increase your miss, parry, dodge, and block chance.

Resilience also decreases crit chance as well as crit amount, but it’s a PvP stat…so don’t bother collecting it. Remember that Defense not only decreases your crit chance (to 490 at least), it also increases your avoidance/mitigation…resilience only affects crit. 490 Defense is also really pretty easy to achive in pre-raid gear.


Eliminating Crushing Blows
A crushing blow is a hit that is 150% of normal damage and can only be dealt by mobs (not by players). It occurs whenever a mob has 15 or more points in Base Weapon Skill over a player’s Base Defense (in other words, a level 73 mob vs a level 70 player :P).

So if you have skilled your character’s Base Defense out to 350 (base means 350 WITHOUT any gear and WITHOUT any talent bonuses), only a mob with a Weapon Skill of 365 will be able to hit you with a Crushing Blow; in other words, a mob of level 73.

Unlike Critical Strikes, there’s no real way of directly mitigating the percentage of Crushing Blows that a mob will deal. BUT, as explained above, since all outcomes on the hit table are mutually exclusive, you can completely eliminate crushing blows with 102.4% Block + Miss + dodge + Parry


Where Did The Extra 2.4% Come From?
For each level a mob has over you, 0.2% needs to be subtracted from Block, Parry, Dodge, and Miss. It’s basically comparing your base defense (350) to the boss’ base weapon skill (365) to my knowledge. Just think of it this way: Every point of defense that you have increases your miss, parry, dodge and block….it’s something similar in an opposite way.

All Burning Crusade boss mobs are at level 73, that is a 3 level difference. So you need to subtract 3*0.2% from your dodge, defense, parry and miss. That is a total of 4*3*0.2% = 2.4%.


Mitigating Normal Hits
Normal melee hits that is. Level 70 reduction formula: Reduction Percentage = (AC / (AC+ 10557.5)) * 100. Caps out at 75%

Raid Tankadin Gear Requirements

A list of gear goals that I am currently working on for self future reference. Might also be useful if there are any prot paladins reading as well. Because of our itemization, it's hardest to achieve the health and avoidance goal…that is what I am having trouble with now. Unfortunately, much of the current paladin tanking gear is heavy on int and mana/5, which in a heroic/raid setting is not really what we need (damage mititagion is by far more vaulable).

I'm currently 7/47/7…not really sure why I bothered putting any points into Holy. Will in the near future need to respec to 0/49/12, leaving out the 5% Parry bonus in Retribution was a very bad thing to do.

Health: 10k unbuffed bare minimum, hearing of paladins that have 11.5 and even 12k unbuffed o_O. We have a base deficit of around 3k health in comparison to warriors and bear druids.

Mana: Around 6k unbuffed is good enough because of the mana recieved from Spiritual Attunement. In normal 5-man dungeons I tend to run out of mana if I'm not careful, but in heroics I am getting healed so damn much that most of the time, I am sitting on almost a full blue bar…and that's while spamming every single holy damage spell that I have.

Spell Damage: 200 is sufficient, any less than that then you will have trouble holding aggro, any more and you will be gimping your damage mitigation. A lot of tankadins make the mistake of overfocusing on spell damage, at the expense of more valuable stats (stamina, block, etc). You really don't need all that much if you are full prot.

Defense: 490 is the magic number to negate all critical strikes. Once you reach this goal, start focusing on pushing dodge/parry/block to 100% avoidance. The math: All mobs 3 levels or higher (raid mobs are level 73) have a chance of landing a crushing (150% damage) blow on you and all mobs have a base 5% chance to crit. 365 (mob level * 5) + 125 (to compensate for the 5% crit) = 490.

Avoidance: It's the crushing blows that will get you. Blocked hits can't be crits (not an issue with 490+ def) or crushing blows and neither can dodges or parries. In order to become immune to crushing blows you will need your dodge, parry, and block percentages to add up to 100%. Recall that Holy Shield increases your block by 30% while active (10 second duration and 10 second cooldown).

Amount needed per 1% damage avoidance at level 70:

  • Block: 7.9 block rating per 1% block
  • Defense: 14.7875 defense rating for 0.25% to miss dodge parry and block
  • Dodge: 18.9 dodge rating per 1% dodge
  • Agility per 1% Dodge: 25 (paladin)
  • Parry: 31.5 parry rating per 1% parry
  • Miss: Base 5% + 0.04% * difference between mob's attack rating and your defense.

Holy shield gives you a 30% bonus to your block, 35% if you have the epic libram from running heroics (I need 11 more badges, sigh). So, in order to achieve 100% block you will need block, dodge, parry and miss to add up to 65%. Assume a total miss of 10%, so 55% between block, dodge, and parry.

I need 6.78% more avoidance, 11.78% without the libram in order to completely push a crushing blow off of the hit table from a leve 73 mob. I hit 10k HP earlier this evening, would like more. I can probably sacrifice some spell damage and intellect to make a few of these goals, those are over qouta…made some bad geming choices.

These values might also be affected by other attributes, not sure. Didn't finish reading up on all of the formulas.

I Think This is Version 7?

It’s been several months to a year since I’ve last posted. I’m actually posting this entry as a test on a Drupal test account to make sure that nothing screws up when this site goes live. Changes made: Updated to Drupal 5, dumped the old Drupal database, separated the guild site onto new domain, didn’t bother reskinning a new theme (the default theme looks nice and is sufficient).

The old database had 7 years of blog entries, ported from 3 or 4 different blog/content management systems, from around 3 different hosting sites. I was somewhat reluctant to dump it but honestly, most of it consisted of MySpace quality blog entries. Though, I do however plan on porting over any articles on the old site, any images, and any content that I deem useful or interesting in some way.

Actually, when I have the site configuration and all the modules set up to my taste, I might just swap this installation with the current one that is up on the main page, and delete it whenever I am finished porting junk over.