Heroic Raiding – heroic patience needed

June 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Posted in General, Healing | Leave a comment
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I had an interesting opportunity yesterday to compare and contrast normal 10-man raiding and 25-man heroic raiding.  In the morning (server time, late morning my time), our guild got together to continue a 10Naxx run they started on Saturday.  I joined in as a healer and we quickly knocked out the plague quarter.  The hardest part (as always) was getting enough folks to fill out the group – especially healers.  The next hardest part was running the gauntlet of maggots and stalks in the room between Haigen and Loatheb.  Yes, I know it’s not an extremely difficult run, but it can be annoying – especially if you don’t have a warlock.  Anyway, despite having two tanks who were doing this quarter for the first time, we downed all 3 bosses with one shot each.  Especially impressive was our work on Haigen’s Dance.  We were a melee heavy group and they all did really well staying out of the fire. 

After Loatheb, though, I had to bail for my dog training class.  But it was fun, I didn’t need any loot that dropped, but badges are always nice (5 more ’til the heirloom trinket!) and helping folks gear up is always a good thing.  After I left, the raid moved on to construct and killed Grobbulous and Gluth – again, both very impressive with a relatively new raid.  Those fights, while not especially tricky, do take coordination. 

I logged back on later in the evening and was immediately whispered by a guildy about healing 25Naxx.  Sure, why not, I said.  This, too, was a continuation run from earlier in the week and my guildy and I were filling in for a guild he and several others had run with before.  I was the fifth healer to join and when I did, they were still looking for 2 DPS.  If I’m going to run 25 mans, I prefer being among the last to join since that cuts down on all the waiting.  I don’t know how long they were trying to fill out the raid, but I can imagine it was quite some time – they usually are.  As it was, it still took 20 minutes or so to get everyone summoned, repaired, buffed, re-summoned, respecc’d and in place.  But the vent chatter was lively and amusing, the raid leader had a great voice (it’s amazing how smoothly a raid goes with a sexy woman’s voice guiding us) so the initial wait wasn’t too bad.  Also, as it turned out, we were starting on Plague Quarter as well. 

I was put on raid heals, which was fine since I wasn’t 100% sure who was tanking.  I did ask in RC who they were, but no one answered.  I should have asked again, but I didn’t.  It didn’t matter much, we made quick progress to Noth.  I whispered the RL/healing lead that I could handle the decursing, but wouldn’t be able to do much healing then.  I was the only tree and I saw 2-3 mages who also decurse (but never do).  We had several shaman, but I didn’t know if any were resto.  The RL said thanks and that her normal trees hated decursing.  That surprised me and I told her so and asked why.  “It cuts down on their healing output.”  I just laughed.  I’m not big on meters in general, but especially for healing.  As long as the boss dies and at least one person is alive (preferably more), I’ve done my job.  Besides, decursing (and poison) is what we do!  Regardless, the fight went smoothly and we killed him with one shot.  We moved on to Haigen and killed him in one-shot as well.  (and I missed out on his cloak

We had to find 4-5 new folks, including a couple of healers for the next quarter (military) since our two priests were needed to MC in Rezuvius.  Well this took some time, but again, we eventually got rolling and killed the Inspector in one shot.  But of course, we now we need to replace a couple more folks.  As we looked, we did clear the trash up to Gothik, but here we waited.  And waited.   And waited.  A full 30 minutes of  just waiting for, well, I’m not sure what.  We seemed to have a full raid, though I wasn’t sure if everyone who was leaving had left.  Folks started getting impatient (myself included) and the RL pointed out that replacing people took time and they were nearly ready.  Well, that’s great, but telling us sooner would have been nice so we weren’t left speculating.  But we kill Gothik in one shot and…you guessed it, had to find replacements, this time for our lone warlock! 

Now I was pushing up against my time limit.  I needed to take the dog for a walk and hit the sack myself.  But I like the 4-horsemen fight and, when actually fighting, this wasa very good group.  So I stuck around – the DPS replacement was found and he flew in quickly.  We set up for 4-horse and – I gotta say – this was the best fight I’ve been apart of.  We killed each horseman on just one stack of debuffs.  It was amazing! 

But time was up for me and I made my farewells.  I also saw a few others say they needed to bail.  I don’t know if they found replacements and continued on.  But as I logged, I remembered why I just don’t like 25 man raiding very much – all the waiting around. 

It takes much longer to get 25 folks together to start a raid and then you’re replacing folks after every boss, if not pull.  And it’s a process that feeds upon itself.  As you need to replace folks, you’re waiting around and taking up the raid’s playtime, so others will need to leave in fewer fights.  Plus, every time you find a replacement, there are fewer replacements to find the next time, meaning more downtime.  Plus, as you find more replacements, the quality is most likely going to go down.  Thus the fights get harder to complete. 

10-mans suffer from the same problems, of course, but it’s a matter of scale.  You need 3 healers not 5 or 6.  You need 5 DPS, not 15-18.  Plus there’s only 10 folks who can bail on you, not 25.   So its easier to get a raid going, and its easier to find replacements – all for the same content!  I’ll keep running 25-mans, I guess, as opportunities arise.  But this weekend just confirmed that 10-mans are the way to go.

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