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14 alternatives to "clunky" for describing rotations


The inimitable Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, lead systems designer, recently hit the forums to talk about warrior balance. Along the way, he dropped some of that classic wisdom that spawned my eternal love for Ghostcrawler. He pointed out that you don't need hard numbers to describe how a rotation feels (though you do when talking about DPS competition), but he did say he thought the community would benefit from some adjectives other than "clunky."

We completely agree. Describing the feel and sense of a rotation can be a tricky business, and clunky is the go-to adjective for most folks. There are other words we can use, though, that help provide a more refined sense of what you intend. We're here to help, so here's our list of alternatives to "clunky."
  • Inelegant The rotation is serviceable but lacks poetry. It's like you can feel the rotation trying to be rhythmic, but it's constantly interrupted without meaning. A big proc counts as meaning, for the record.
  • Twisted Because the flow of the rotation is interrupted to go backwards, it feels like your fingers get twisted up trying to achieve optimum. Think two steps forward, one step back ... now three steps forward, two steps back.
  • Cumbersome So many button pushes are required in a short period of time (what's up, cat druids?) that it feels like you're so focused on your rotation that you can't see the game.

  • Ineffable You press lots of buttons, often very quickly, but it doesn't feel like any of those buttons actually do anything in particular.
  • Unpredictable or stressful A class's heavy reliance on procs and crits leaves you feeling like you must watch your HUD, so you can't enjoy the flow of events and the gameplay.
  • Staccato You tap the same button in succession, without much deviation. It doesn't even feel like you're just a one-button wonder; it feels more like you're mashing that button to save your very life.
  • ImageDelicate The rotation itself is relatively fine, but it's prone to error. If you make a mistake, miss a proc, or otherwise don't perform completely optimally, your rotation is thrown off and you suffer a huge DPS decrease.
  • Fickle A fickle rotation shows up for certain fights but then disappears for the rest of the raid. Fickle rotations are annoying because you're never sure if you should be using this super-special AE rotation or just using your single-target DPS rotation. Decisions are good; fickle mechanics are annoying.
  • Whack-a-mole This one's for all those lovely healers out there. You stare at health bars, waiting to see which one needs the most healing. Then you WHACK that heal. Then you wait to whack it again. This is progressively more difficult as heals require forethought and decision-making, because you're busy staring at the moles.
  • Frivolous Tanks had a lot of frivolous rotations in Cataclysm. Essentially, you have a rotation to put out optimal DPS or threat -- but you don't really need to. Sure, you could do it right, but spamming a few big threat abilities gets the job done just as well.
  • Unforgiving or punishing An unforgiving rotation is very similar to a delicate rotation. Things are fine if you do everything right. But whereas a delicate rotation breaks down due to an obvious mistake, unforgiving rotations break down because you don't have the reflexes of Superman. What's more, you can pick a delicate rotation backup and rebuild. An unforgiving rotation makes you suffer for the rest of the fight.
  • UGH I don't think my keyboard has enough buttons for this class. Do my hands have enough fingers? Which peripheral makers sell footpads? (Thanks to McCurley for this one.)
So here's a nice lexicon of other ways to describe rotation challenges. But this is the thing: The rotations in WoW are actually pretty good. It's not until you compare them against other games' rotations that you get the realization that Ghostcrawler and team have built a pretty amazing button system. So keep that in mind when leveraging this awesome new list of synonyms that the rotations are actually pretty good; we're just describing our challenges with them.

Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from how to control your character and camera angles when you're just starting out, to learning how to tank, getting up to speed for heroics and even how to win Tol Barad.

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