Archive for the 'Raiding' Category

Are deathknight tanks broken for raids

My raiding guild went into the trial of the crusader last night and we had some problems getting the first encounter beat. Some of those problems arose when our warrior main tank kept getting disconnects. So we replaced him with a second deathknight tank.

One of our two deathknight tanks is using a dual wield build and the other one uses a twohand build for tanking the raid bosses. I think that both of our tanks know what they are doing but I cannot deny the fact that at some tries both went down, hard. Our dual wield tank at one time went down in the span of 0.4 seconds and checking the logs proved that he gets a lot of parries due to his build. And a lot of parries means, that the boss as a high chance to get what is called parry haste.

So I have to assume that the expertise rating of said tank is not nearly as high as it should be. Since our second tank also went down very quickly at times, that cannot be the only problem. For the healers, it seamed that they have to depend on their luck to keep our tanks alive. For me it seems that tanks with shields hava a far better damage mitigation than deathknights have at the moment. They get a lot of damage too, but it seems to be more manageable for the healers. And since paladins have a mechanic nowadays that saves them from death every two minutes it seems that at this moment they would be better tanks. Sure hope Blizzard looks at this and changes the mechanics so that deathknights make more viable tanks once again.

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A raiding week

This week our raid managed to get almost all goals done that were set for the week. We cleared Naxxramas in a record time for us because we were able to take one more damage dealer than we did before since we only took five healers along. The only thing that we have not been able to accomplish is to down Sartharion with the three adds up. But when we finally manage to get him down and get more secure with that encounter, we will be able to clear the whole 25 man content on one evening.

On one hand I am looking forward to that point since it will free up some time during the week and since our guild will be starting a ten man raid soon this time is well needed. But on the other hand I have to say that it really shows that there is not too much raid content at the moment. I guess that once Ulduar has arrived with the next content patch the situation will change but since we will not be doing the heroic Naxxramas at that point I doubt that Ulduar will take too long to complete when our raid is able to focus on the instance on our regular three raiding nights.

Maybe a thing would be to get a twink run going but I doubt the critical positions would be filled and since the raid group would almost start from scratch again, I doubt that there would be too much interest. So, right now I focus on the good side of things, like seeing the progression of the raid when we get through the instance a bit faster each week and manage to get the achievements that some members still have open on some of the bosses.

Sartharion 3D Training

Starting last week our raid has been trying to down Sartharion with three adds up. Unfortunately we were not able to get it done and, after a long evening of wiping again and again, settled for downing him with only two adds. This beeing the first time for me that he was downed with two adds, the evening ended with an accomplishement for me.

But still wiping for several hours is something of a strain. Especially if there are stupid mistakes happening again and again. I myself died a few times because I did not manage to get out of the blue circles or did not manage to evade the flame tsunami in time. It can get quite frustrating to continue while not seeing any progression.

But then, with all the discussion about the raid content beeing to easy, I found myself thinking that trying out new challenges and getting better with an encounter is one of the main reasons why I like raiding. Sure, getting better gear is a nice thing but ultimately you are going to replace the gear you have quite fast. Yesterday I read a post at Pugnacious Priest that mentioned that raiders already talk about raiding being pointless because the gear will become obsolete really soon when Ulduar goes live.

So, even though it can get frustrating to wipe a lot while training, overcoming the chalenges and improving myself is what makes raiding fun. So bring on some more wipes …

Raid Speed

It is only natural that a raid that does Naxx every week gets faster as time goes by. For some time now, we have been able to clear Naxx on one day in the set time and the last few ids we had some time to spare. Now, to get through even faster we decided to take only five healers along and take one more damage dealer instead.

Some boss fights, most notably Patchwork, was a bit more challenging for the healers but for the most part it went really well. We were able to get through the trash pulls a lot faster and the bosses went down noticably faster as well.

For me as a healer this is both good and a little bad as well. Going through the trash mobs I found myself often running low on mana and having some problems keeping up with the tanks. And since there is a more to heal for the individual healer because there is one healer less, situations can become a bit frantic. Fortunately most damage dealers in our raid know to help us a bit by keeping track of their aggro and using a healthstone or a potion when it gets rough.

On the other hand the boss fights do not take as long as they used to which means that the healers do not run out of mana there. And that means that you do not have to conserve mana as much as you had to before. During very long boss fights mana was somewhat of an issue for me even with all the new spiffy ways to regenerate mana that came with the expansion.

But after all, the most important thing is that the raid frees up time for the rest of the week when the whole content can be done in one session. That might lead to the formation of a second group for the twinks or just plainly to some free time outside of the game. So I guess I will ultimately become a fan ot the five healer setup for our Naxx raid.

Twinking in Naxxramas

In our 25 man Naxxramas raid we are thinking about allowing players to come along with their twinks. Since it seems that most items are going into second equips or to our enchanter, this decision does not come as a big suprise. But as always there are some problems with taking twinks along. We tried to solve these problem by giving some minimums that the twinks have to bring. This way we want to make sure that the nessesary equipment and dps is there so the raid does not loose too much speed on our Naxx runs. But that does not solve the problem with the key classes. I guess our main tanks are not willing to take a great risk since the raid leaders declared that no twink tanks will be taken along. For me as a healer I guess that is not the worst thing since healing someone who is a bit underequipped can be challenging. But I wonder if the tanks should not have the chance to take their twinks along. But with the stats that are required so that a twink can go along, it will take some time before I could even think about taking one of my twinks to Naxx.

Good think my druid still needs some stuff from there for both his healing and feral gear … And for my protection paladin, I am still hoping that our small guild will manage to get a ten-man group going.  In BC we ran Kara and Zul Aman and really had fun there so I guess it will happen again.

Asking for healing and looking at feet

Zach at WoW Insider writes about people yelling for heals.   Their reader Ambrosyne made it a point that the healers, whose job it is to keep the raid alive already know when someone is dying. Since I do play a restoration druid I can attest to that. I watch the raid in my healbot and do my best to keep everyone alive as do the other healers in the raid. If someone dies, there usually is a very good reason why there was not enough healing going on.

In my opinion yelling for heals does no good for several reasons. On one hand, it is simply to slow. When a dps pulls aggro and starts yelling in vent to be healed it almost certainly is to late to react because of the delay ingame. The player will certainly die if a healer has not already started the heal before he heard it in vent.  On the other hand I personaly find it a tad bit annoying. It is like a reminder that the one yelling thinks that I do not do my job within the raid well enough. Don’t get me wrong, if the raid leader or our healing officer tells me to heal someone or to apply me hots to a certain group thats something different.

For me as a healer, it is important to have all the small health bars in my sight and to react quickly once I see someone grab aggro. So, as Zach writes, going through Naxx sometimes really feels like only seeing feet. When I first ran Karazhan with my twink hunter I got to see most of the instance for the first time. At least it felt like that to me. I would not go as far as not to heal people who grab aggro repeatedly and yell for heals but I guess I would try to talk to them peronaly after the raid is done.  I guess I am a bit on the lucky side since the people I happen to raid with know what they are doing and for the most part avoid grabbing aggro from the tanks.

Lag issues and waiting for instances

Right now it can be a bit frustrating to play WoW sometimes. Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy the game very much and questing in Northrend is fun. But since a few weeks the lag in some zones, Dalaran and Icecrown especially, is very bad. Noone seems to have an answer to why that is and event patch 3.0.8 did not change that at all.

Yesterday we were running Naxxramas on heroic and we had to take a break after a few tries on Thaddius. Instant spells went of with a four second delay and changing positions in time was simply not possible. I wonder if these problems are simply occuring because nowadays there are simply that much more players running the raid instances. Back in the Burning Crusade I cannot remember the lag ever beeing this bad on our realm.

The same problem seems to exist for the normal instances. Normally when we try to get into an instance we first get the message that no new instances can be started at the moment. Well, as funny as it was to see players jump against the instance entrance over and over, now I really would like to be able to play lag free and without having to wait before getting into instances again. And I think that after a month of the same trouble and problems we can expect Blizzard to come up with a solution for that.


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