Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kill stealing - a simple solution

After a brief levelling run with a guildie on my hunter yesterday I decided to pick up a stray quest I had forgotten on my lock in Nagrand.

Unfortunately, as always with warlocks, I was completely out of soulshards and had to farm a chunk of them.

So I go find myself a nice densely populated area and start the usual rotation of dotting up targets waiting for them to get to low enough health so that my drain soul spell has a decent chance at returning a soul.

I usually don't pay too much attention to this proces. After 70 odd levels of dotting, drain tanking and de-souling it becomes somewhat of a second nature and the odds of dying because of carelessness quickly approach 0 when the mobs are about 5 levels below yours.

But after a while I started noticing a suspicious trend. My soul drain didn't return shards... in fact most of my kills weren't 'my' kills as they didn't even give xp.

So I take a look around... and there he sat... a miserable bastard of a low level rogue waiting for me to dot up my target and in the 2-3 or so seconds it takes for the dot to do damage he tagged the mob only to have the mob aggro me the second my dots did any damage.

The little bastard was more than happy to follow me around snagging kill after kill.

I finally had to resort to opening with 'searing pain' with a 1.5sec cast time to get my tags in before the rogue after which he merrily sent me a /rude and rode off into the sunset (just picture nagrand with a sunset then).

It's times like these I wish I were on a PVP server.

And after I had calmed down a little tossing overboard the idea of following him around and returning the favor on my hunter I wonder how this particular problem could be solved.

Ideally one would have an instant cast spell with a significant range that does very little damage (preferably even no damage) but tags the mob for you so you can apply dots without having to worry about someone snagging your kill before your first dot-tick.

Of course this would be bloody unfair if you only gave it to warlocks (we'd be running around stealing your kills... well some of us would at any rate.) ... so instead I propose a simple baseline 'spell' for all classes that allows for the user to:

Tag a mob (either by doing 1 damage or in some other way) at a pre defined range (say 40 yards)

That way melee and ranged classes are on equal footing when it comes to tagging mobs and the one that actually pushes the button first wins the mob rather than the one that doesn't have any dots or isn't otherwise instant cast / range impaired.

Especially in heavily crowded areas like the current Northrend 'starter' areas or the DK starter area this could level the playing field for everyone without putting specific classes at a disadvantage (I am thinking warlocks, priests and possibly rogues / paladins are currently suffering the most from the lack of a good 'tagger').

Of course each class has the potential to tag a mob with something, if nothing else with a wand, but the playing field is simply unevenly distributed with some people having instant cast abilities with no travel time and others do not.

Assuming we can't teach people just to group up for named mobs, queue or show a little common sense and respect a mob tagging spell would be a decent solution to rampant killstealing in crowded areas.

Now all I need is a name... hmmmmm
'Poke' Instant cast 40 yard range. This spell does no damage but allows the user to 'tag' a mob.

okok so I didn't come up with a decent name. 'Bitch slap' was floating around in my mind though so I say be happy with 'poke'.


Anonymous said...

spec felguard, get an intercept macro...intercept>>dot-dot-dot>> send fg to next mob>>drain shard from first>>dot-dot>>send fg to next. I learned that after a few days of trying out shattered sun dailies.

Jacob said...

You wrote:
And after I had calmed down a little tossing overboard the idea of following him around and returning the favor on my hunter I wonder how this particular problem could be solved.

One option is to open a ticket reporting the rogue for griefing - the Game Masters to not approve of actions where one player causes enough grief that another player may decide not to play the game, and may issue "time-out" penalties to the griefer.

However, you may also interested to know that the developers have talked about warlock dots, and may be able to make the dot itself tag a mob, without waiting for any damage to tick. See the following post from the warcraft forums:
We just talked about this and agree that it's dumb you have to go to such theatrics just to tag a mob. We'll try to get this fixed.

Teddy Maul said...

Ironically enough druids had feral faerie fire tweaked in the last patch to do just this. Ostensibly to ease bear-pulling when tanking but also very handy for mob tagging.

Captain The First said...

"spec felguard, get an intercept macro...intercept>>dot-dot-dot>> "

I know, I considered it but re-speccing purely for the purpose of being able to tag a little faster doesn't seem a structural solution.


Didn't catch that post. Interesting solution but as I indicated in my blogpost that would be highly unfair. I could tag mobs significantly faster than some other classes with that change. Good for a warlock of course but hardly fair.

@Teddy Maul

Really? I usually just opened with a moonfire but this is good info to have.

I still maintain that mob tagging should be on an equal footing for everyone. With everyone having the same tool and equal opportunity there will be less problems alltogether.

Thanks for the responses

Esdras said...

TBH its about time they done something as this has been a problem for a long time.

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