Over at the Godmother’s flat, there’s been a discussion going about dungeon running do’s and don’ts that evolved into a bit of a debate about whether or not it is appropriate to expect folks to use flasks in Heroics. The Godmother sez:
If you respect other people, be the best you can regardless of the situation. Show your group that you aren’t just here to leech off their goodwill. Buy a flask, use it, and make others aspire to do their best.
which, in the context of the previous post’s assertion that proper dungeon etiquette is to
Come prepared with a flask and a food buff, and use them both.
is getting interpreted, rightly or wrongly, as you ought to be as prepared to run a Heroic as you would be to run a raid.
I actually mostly agree with the Godmother. I agree with the general notion that it’s inconsiderate of other players for one to arrive in a Heroic completely lacking in any kind of consumable-based buff (food, flasks/elixirs, augment runes, are there any others that I’m forgetting?). My memory for everyday things I did in WoW is even worse than my memory for everyday things I did IRL, but in previous expansions, I probably did have a flask or elixir buff running when I went to run Heroics, and even though I probably wouldn’t have had a food buff running from a personal stack of best-stat food, I probably would have gotten a lesser food buff from a friendly person having dropped a Feast at the entrance of the dungeon.
In this expansion, though, when I actually was running Heroics, back when I was doing all the first-time versions of the quests from the Inn, I often went into them with just one consumable-based buff running: Oralius’s Whispering Crystal. I discovered pretty quickly that the Whispering Crystal buff was mutually exclusive with a flask — if I tried to use a flask when I had the Whispering Crystal buff already running, I’d get the “a more powerful spell is already active” error message. I therefore considered using the Whispering Crystal to be equivalent to using a flask, even though as an all-stats buff, it didn’t buff my primary combat stat as much as a flask would. Sometimes I did use food, too — but only until I ran out of the stack I’d cooked up while leveling my Cooking skill. As a healer, making sure I had a stack of mana soup on hand was more important to me than having buff food. When I had Augment Runes in my bags, I usually forgot to use them. And when a fight was tough, I never felt like it was my stats that were the problem. It was my klutziness with movement mechanics that would cause me to lose a DPS or to have to panic-heal the tank — when my cast timing was too late because I was moving in the wrong direction relative to the other players, another 100 points or whatever of Int wouldn’t have helped me to save that DPS or to not scare that tank.
So I also agree with the sentiments of those who have responded to the Godmother saying that while as many consumable-based buffs as possible are necessary and desirable at the beginning of an expansion when everyone is newly-dinged, in crummy gear, and lacking mastery of the mechanics, by the time we get to this stage of an expansion, when gear levels and general knowledge of mechanics have improved, full consumable-based buffs of the best possible quality aren’t really necessary anymore to ensure the success of the group in an ordinary Heroic. For Mythic or Challenge modes, sure. But for an ordinary Heroic? Not so much. Any one of the consumable-based buffs — food OR flask/Whispering Crystal OR augment rune — will probably be sufficient.
I’m also feeling contrary about the Godmother’s assertion that one ought to have BOTH food and flask to be properly prepared for Heroics because that feeling that I ought to be socially responsible when I participate in group content, that I maybe ought to have some buff food as well as the Whispering Crystal, that I ought to actually equip into my healing kit all that shiny new stuff I’ve gotten from Tanaan and from the Hellfire Citadel raid chests that my followers have brought me… and then gem the pieces that have sockets, and enchant the pieces that can be enchanted… not to mention visiting the Mog guy so that my appearance isn’t a total mess… that feeling of social responsibility is one of the reasons why I’m playing WoW as a solo-player game these days. Even with Reforging gone and the number of gems and enchants reduced, getting “properly prepared” to participate in group content is SO MUCH WORK! Right now, I’m feeling entirely too lazy to actually do all that work, and so even though sometimes I think maybe I’d like to participate in group content again, my sense of social responsibility inhibits me. And so I go do things I can do as a not-min-maxed solo player instead.
You see, when I wasn’t LFRing and wasn’t running Heroics or anything, I began to wonder why I was stockpiling jewelcrafting and enchanting mats and flasks and Augment Runes and such, and eventually I sent all that stuff off to the AH. I like to be self-reliant when it comes to consumables, so rather than just buying all that stuff back from the AH, I’d prefer to have my alts craft it… which amounts to a lot of errand running between them. I realize that I’d really only have to spend about one evening every couple of weeks doing nothing but errand running with alts to make stuff for Kam to use while dungeon running… but I’d rather spend my playtime doing other sorts of things. The combination of limited playtime, laziness, and the YOU ARE NOT PREPARED sense of social responsibility has become a barrier to entry for me running Heroics (or Timewalking). Sometimes, I wish I could just ignore that feeling of social responsibility and just queue up and GO.
And what does the level 3 Storehouse have to do with it? Well, back in the day, I didn’t build my Storehouse all the way up to level 3 because I thought I didn’t really need to have a Mog guy right there in my Garrison. Ashran was only a portal (or a flight) away, and I’d heard that the Mog guy in the Storehouse was too fidgety. Well, then Blizz cured the Storehouse Mog guy’s itchy feet, but Ashran was still not that far away, right? Given my reluctance to actually equip any of my shiny new gear because then I’d have to go re-do my Mog, though, maybe Ashran is too far away for my current lazybones self. So maybe I’d better upgrade my Storehouse to level 3 after all, so that I can change my clothes in the comfort of my Garrison. Then having to re-do my Mog when I get a new piece of gear would be one less thing getting in the way of me participating in group content again.