Recount fear

23 October 2009 § 2 Comments

Me: “Actually, no, you didn’t die to untanked whelps, you died because you got cleaved by Onyxia”

PUGPriest: “That’s not true, I got eaten by whelps – people, let’s not get punted into the pits”

Me: *links Recount death metre, showing PUGPriest getting cleaved*

Me: “Let’s also try to stand away from the front of Ony, please – chaining cleave is really a bad idea”


One attempt later:

PUGPriest: “I was eaten by whelps again – tanks need to control them better”

Me: “Hmmm no, sorry – you were hit by Ony’s flame breath. She was in an awkward position, but we need to make sure only the tank is in front of her”

PUGPriest: “No, I tell you, it was the whelps”

Me: *links Recount death metre, showing the one shot due to a 25k Flame Breath*

PUGPriest: “Look, Tsark, I don’t care what that mod says – I know what happened!”


I don’t care who you are – whether you are my best friend or a PUG I meet for the first time. I also don’t care how you die: however stupidly you do, I probably have died in a similar way in my past, and quite likely I have died in even more stupid ways. What really bugs me is when you

  1. blame other people, when you are not blameless yourself;
  2. try to argue that Recount is wrong.

In fact, this post is really about the second issue. I don’t think I am a metre fiend. I have never kicked someone out of a Vault group because their dps is too low (and I have left Vault groups that did that on at least two occasions, precisely because I don’t think it’s the right thing to do). I also hate it when people link metres after a boss fight (malus points if they are doing it during a loot roll moment, because that forces everyone to scroll around to see who won the roll). However, I still think Recount is an essential tool to figure out what happened.

During a raid fight, we’re all going to be busy doing lots of things: healing, tanking, dps’ing, moving out of fires, etc. It is highly unlikely that we will have perfect awareness of all that happens, and that goes double if we’re getting one-shotted by an unexpected source. If it’s slow damage (e.g. the fire debuff from Gormok the Impaler), we will notice; if a mob beats on us slowly (e.g. one or two untanked whelps during Onyxia) we will notice; if we are having a lot of whelps flying around, and at the same time Onyxia fire breathes and immediately after fears, then it’s unlikely that we can know for certain what happened. That’s where Recount helps: it tells us exactly what went on. Most importantly, we can check it after the fight, when things are a lot calmer, and we can think back about what happened and how we can improve. Note that what I just said applies even more to combat log analysis sites (e.g. World of Logs, which is the one I use currently), but that requires people to be even more “offline” (i.e. not busy in actual combat) than a simple Recount link does.

Once you see a Recount link, the absolute worst thing you can do is to say “the mod is wrong”. Newsflash: computers don’t lie. Sure, they suffer from GIGO, but that’s a different story. Also, Recount is pretty solid for recording combat logs – and while it’s possible that you died because several things hit you at once, they will all show up on the combat log. Recount is not perfect: sometimes, it will just record your death and little before it, for reasons that are unknown to me. But I’ve never experienced Recount doing a false positive, i.e. recording something that didn’t happen.

Now, of course, there’s different ways to use the information Recount provides. Pointing fingers and assigning blame is never nice – and often counter-productive. Clearly, seeing how people die can easily lead to just that – so as a raid leader I normally try to avoid doing that, unless the raider in question is insisting that they didn’t die from such-and-such, while Recount shows they did. However, if you’re called out and a recount link proves you wrong – the best thing you can do is say “Ooops” and move on. Really, dwelling on it is just going to make the matter much, MUCH worse for everyone – yourself included.


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