Friday, February 12, 2010

Offspec Progression

My guild's first foray into ICC 25 a little over a week ago brought down only the whirly bone dude, although most of the first night folks went back in the next night and were eventually able to bring down Ms. MANY-ADDS-DEAL-WITH-IT.

Due to a number of reasons the 10-man I was running gets trumped by 25-man runs, on which I have been relegated to my off spec.

We went back in this week, and in the first night we were able to clear Marrowgar, Deathwhisper, and Orgrim's Hammer.  I suspect that by the time this post goes up, folks will have given Saurfang a shot, at least once or twice.

I've learned a couple of things on these runs, and I'd like to share a bit.

The Relative Difficulty of Trash

As a tank, I was in the thick of every single fight from the front door in.  Every fight, every enemy, required me to do something, turn this away from the raid, taunt that, swipe, maul, mangle - and more as a raid leader, because it was up to me (and my co-leaders) to decide which enemy needed to die first, get the raid where it needs to be, and lay out strategy to proceed.  While there is trash that is harder or easier, it's not exceptionally noticeable because there's always something to do.  I suppose that's part of why I like tanking.

In my tree form of a 25-man raid, with 6 other solid healers, the trash fights, especially those leading up to Marrowgar, are boring.  Not just any boring, either, but sleep inducing, I-want-to-go-on-follow-and-go-afk boring.  I cast approximately 20 spells before we got to Lord Spin-a-lot's chamber, most of which were Wild Growth when skeletons blew up.  It's a striking change when you actually get to the boss and you have to kick it into gear and really heal.  A comparison for thought: on the trash, every single one of our healers was over 70% overhealing.  For our successful attempt at Mr. Whirly-bones, only 1 of us, and that one a Paladin, was over 60%.

The one time any player died, it wouldn't have mattered how much on the ball I was.  A rogue got Saber Lashed by one of the Deathbound Wards and died in 2 hits.

I really didn't understand how different the trash was until I saw it from the healer's perspective.

Healing Assignments are Important

I'll just say this.  In the last two weeks we've had 6 attempts at Lord Marrowgar.  In attempts in which there no healing assignments given beyond "heal the tanks and your group," we were 0-4.  In attempts in which the healers were given specific tanks to heal, we went 2-0.

Lady Deathwhisper Requires a Bit of Luck

Despite Blizzard's recent trend for trying to remove the RNG from having such a huge impact on success or failure, there are some situations in which it still is.

It's a bit rough on healers, sometimes, when she decides to MC one of us.  The difficulty increases when she does this right as adds are spawning, because this is when the tanks take the most damage.  It's just dumb when she does this, a couple of random attacks from pets or players hit the MC'd one before a hunter or DK CC's them, and then a DnD appears under their feet right before the MC breaks.  Admittedly, this is a relatively rare event, but there are some combinations of abilities during her fight that are very hard to keep everyone alive through.

It gets just about as bad in phase 2.  I watched, during our success this Wednesday, as four ghosts spawned literally one each side of one of our other trees, and before he could realize it and move, they had collapsed on him and he popped like all his sap had frozen and made him explode.

The Gunship Battle is Easier Than I Thought

I already thought it was fairly easy, but we were probably making it harder than it had to be anyway.

Although I was told by several guild members that I could, healers standing on the edge of the Skybreaker cannot heal raid members doing melee damage to the battle mage on Origrim's Hammer.  They are too far away.  However, just as one member mentioned to me, it doesn't matter.  The only raiding party member that should take any damage AT ALL is the tank on Saurfang.  Those that can't be healed while they're over there don't need it.  What this means is that the strategy I was using when leading 10-man raids, which included sending a healer with the boarding party, is a little off and could be improved.

Now if I could just convince my raid leader that he should let me tank every once in awhile...


  1. Lack of healing assigments drives me mad - I mean why toy with the lives of others when a bit of communication is all it takes?!

    *rant* *froth*

  2. My issue is that my spell priorities for raid healing and tank healing are completely different - and I don't have the global cooldowns to both keep up hots on the tank AND get enough spells out to be an effective raid healer.

    And then if the tank falls I feel like I've failed even if I wasn't told that it was or was not my job.