Archive for the ‘Raid Leadership’ Category
Be Warned, this is a fairly long Monday Musings! I’ve been so busy that I’ve not been posting with the frequency that I normally do, so I have a million things floating around in my head to get out!
On 4.0.6 Resto Druid Specs, or Is Nature’s Bounty Worth It…
For the sake of science I decided to try out a spec with Nature’s Bounty in it for this week’s raids. Here is what I went with. I will admit that while I really liked it on Heroic Chimaeron, I found it lack luster in a lot of other places, especially on Nefarion where I thought it would really shine in phase 2. This leaves me questioning if it was worth the loss of points from Furor to pick it up.
I’ve also seen a lot of other specs floating around out there, some drop LS and Efflorescence, some drop a point or two in GotEM, some drop Nature’s Cure and Nature’s Swiftness. And even considering all of those other options to find the points for Nature’s Bounty – I’m still not sure that it’s worth it. Personally, I just can’t give up my cleanses or Nature’s Swiftness. I get that some folks are comfortable with that decision, I am not.
The most common arguments that I hear for dropping other things to pick up Nature’s Bounty are that the other talents just aren’t competitive with Nature’s Bounty. In this light, a lot of people seem to be giving up efflorescence to pick it up, stating the efflorescence just doesn’t heal enough for 3 talent points into it. So I decided to look at my numbers for the past few raids that I’ve had Nature’s Bounty in my spec to see exactly what benefit it provides and how it performs
Even though I’m including my Regrowth numbers – they are a bit misleading as I would have still cast those regrowths, just now perhaps I had more crits from them. So when you see the regrowth numbers, take them with a grain of salt because they don’t really accurately reflect the healing I’m attributing to them. Really, all that is gained are a few more crits – so when trying to evaluate them for Nature’s Bounty’s vs. Efflorescence purposes the values are somewhat inflated.
If we look at my Heroic Chimaeron kill – where I felt that I got the most bang for my buck with Nature’s Bounty and really tried to weave nourishes in, Efflorescence accounted for 5.3% (361,226) of my healing – where nourish accounted for a whopping 2.8% (192,413) of my healing. Let’s go ahead and throw in Living Seed at 1.1% since I have to waste points there to get to Efflorescence. And we can look at my Regrowth crits (I had 34 of them) since presumably they’d be higher – bringing Regrowth to account for 3.00% of my overall healing done. When all is said and done – Living Seed + Efflorescence accounted for 6.4% of my overall healing and Regrowth + Nourish was only 5.8% of my healing. And that was with my really trying to give Nourish a fair shake.
Now, I know you are thinking that Chimaeron is a “perfect” fight for Efflorescence, and boosts the numbers. And that’s a “best” scenario. And I hear you. So let’s look at my Atremedes normal kill then. Efflorescence was 5.4% of my overall healing, regrwoth was 3.2%, living seed came in at 1.6% and nourish was a weak .8%. Again this puts Efflorescence + the lackluster living seed at 7% of my total healing and regrowth and nourish at only 4%. Although to be fair, with all the movement in this encounter nourish isn’t really super stealer, even with its 1.5 second cast time.
Ok, I hear what you are thinking now “but all of those encounters have SO much raid damage that efflorescence really shines”. I agree! So I thought “ok, let me find an encounter without a lot of raid damage”. And you know what? THEY DON’T EXIST! You know what else? This is even truer in Heroic Mode! There wasn’t a single encounter where there weren’t times that the raid is taking heavy damage.
In the interest of being thorough, however, let’s look at two more: Nefarian and Cho’Gall.
Nefarian – the one encounter where I really, really wanted to love Nature’s Bounty and Nourish: Efflorescence 6.1%, Living Seed 1.3%, Regrowth 3.4% and Nourish 4.3%. Efflorescence + living seed come out to 7.4% and Regrowth + Nourish come out to 7.7%.
Cho’Gall – Efflorescence 3.8%, Regrowth 3.2%, Nourish 3.0%, Living Seed 1.3%. Efflorescence + Living Seed come out to 5.1% and Regrowth + Nourish 6.2%.
Now, that the numbers are out there, let me also go ahead and state that every single encounter I was absolutely sucking fumes at the end. Gasping for more mana. Sometimes before I should have been.
My conclusion after a week of raiding with Nature’s Bounty? I do not think it was worth the points I gave up in Furor to get there. I also do not think that it’s better than Efflorescence. In fact, I think I’d even go as far as to say that, at least for 25 man raiding, it’s worse.
Has anyone else that has run any numbers with it that has any thoughts?
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Last night at 8:45 pm, which is about 45 minutes into our raid, we had a 3% wipe on Nefarian. I thought to myself “great! New strategy seems to be solid, just need to give the kite tank a few more pulls in phase 3 with this strategy and we’ve got a kill, no problem!”. Famous last words. For the next two hours we were plagued with mistakes, disconnects, game freezes at the load in screen and other miscellaneous unfortunate things – basically you name it, we had it.
Somewhere about 11:15 – I lost my patience with the raid.
I had tried to stay calm. I had tried to stay collected. I had tried being nice. I had tried talking through what went wrong calmly. But mistake after mistake started to wear me thin. The clock ticking down to the end of our raid started to wear me thin. We weren’t failing because we couldn’t do it, we were failing because collectively we weren’t focused and we weren’t performing. And after one very unfortunate missed interrupt in phase 2 that wiped the raid – I unleashed on the raid. Read the rest of this entry »
We are now exactly two full weeks into our 25 man raids, and we’ve accomplished 10/12 with Al’Akir seeing 7% last night. I have to say that I’m really happy with how well we are progressing in 25s, and the individual improvements that we’ve seen most of our raiders make during these two weeks. Honestly, all bugged rankings aside (will get into that later), we are doing very well.
Having done all 12 of the encounters on 10 man and everything but Nef on 25s my initial thoughts are that anything that is extremely healing intensive is more difficult in a 10 man setting. Now we are running 3 healers in our 10s and 7 healers in our 25s – meaning that both groups have roughly 30% of their composition being healers. I just feel that I am far more strapped – mana wise, GCD wise, ability to heal wise, in the 10 man raids than I am in the 25s. On the converse anything that requires serious organization (Al’Akir, Atramedes, Council) is more challenging on 25s – part of this is the number of people you need to herd to “do the right thing” is significantly increased, but part of it too is the amount of space that you have to work with in a 25 man setting as well.
As a guild we’ve always been above the average curve, but just under the top progression guilds, usually falling in the 3-5% rankings. I bring this up, because I am very curious what the new Hardmodes are going to bring to my guild. I’m looking forward to them and to their challenges – but I’m curious about how much time we will have to work on them and succeed at them before we are being faced with another tier of raid content.
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One thing that we did this expansion is make Power Auras a required mod for our progression raiding team. One of the reasons that we did this was because, as a team, we have historically struggled with situational awareness in our raids and we decided that we wanted to improve this. Now, Power Auras will not fix all problems – and people who are prone to stand in the bad will still generally stand in the bad, but this has helped a lot of folks learn encounters quicker and become more focused on key aspects of an encounter that could potentially lead into a wipe.
Now, please note that folks will absolutely still need to know what is going on around them, and Power Auras cannot play a person’s character for them. But they can help quite a bit, especially when learning a new encounter. In fact, we sometimes would stop a few minutes during learning phases to create an aura that we think would be helpful going forward.
For us integrating Power Auras into our raid team has been highly beneficial. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from our raiders on how much it has helped them on Boss Encounters and with learning new mechanics. And outside of that, we have also now have a lot of our raiders looking at what else Power Auras can provide them and creating and sharing their own auras amongst their classmates to help boost performance, which I think is fantastic.
Now, before I share the Auras that I created for our boss encounters, I want to talk about them for just a moment. First and foremost - you will see that many of them look identical. This is because we wanted the warnings to be simple and now overly complicated. We wanted them to be OH GOD THE BAD! And we wanted to brain to process the information quickly. Where the auras can be intuitive, I tried to make them as such. I think simplicity is important when creating Boss Auras because there is already a lot going on in encounters that your brain needs to process, without added another level of complication.
Additionally, all of my auras have auditory queues. This is because even with an OMG HUGE RED SKULL in your face, sometimes you just miss it. But it’s a little harder to miss a cackle or SHING! coming out of your computer. I find that auditory queues help a lot of people.
You may find other things that you’d like to add auras for on different boss encounters – this is just the list of auras that we’ve found beneficial to date.
Now – let’s take a look at what Auras we’ve put together!
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Last night we went in and spent some quality time with Al’Akir. Before we encountered him, there were a few crass jokes – like our goblin warrior refraining from wanting to tank him because “he’s too big for my tiny goblin body” *ahem*. But once we got in, we were ready to get down to business.
We had done our research, were ready for the encounter, and after a couple of hours managed to snag a kill.
However, I’m not really here to talk about the kill, per se, although I will answer any questions that you might have regarding the fight in the comments or via email. (We used a 1 tank, 2 melee, 4 ranged, 3 healer set up). What I am here to talk about is why I think that guilds will end up struggling with what is largely a fun and interesting encounter. Read the rest of this entry »
The past few weeks our raiding has sometimes been a struggle. We have a team that is 100% capable of the content that we’ve been clearing for I don’t even know how long now getting, well, bored. And when people are bored they start to tune out, and become lacsidasical in their performance. Malaise sets in and people start phoning in performances while keeping one eye on the raid, and the other on Monday Night Football.
It’s a problem.
So, in order to try and spice things up a bit this week, and to bring some fun and excitement back into raiding, we ran a little contest during our raid this past Wednesday that I think can ultimately be considered a success. I’m sure some people thought it was silly or juvenile, but the majority of the raid seemed to enjoy it – and the results of keeping the raid engaged and their mind on the raid were undeniable. We didn’t spend the night wiping on encounters that we have had on farm for months. We smoothly went through the content – and had a lot of laughs on the way.
So What Did You Do?
Before the raid, I visited the Auction House and picked up a number of rare pets to offer as prizes. White Kitten carriers, pet bomblings, little raptors and alliance specific pets that some folks might not have. I think I may have to shop on the alliance side next week, having bought the horde out of all of their rarities! Anyhow, I tossed all the pets in my already overflowing bags, and headed to the raid.
During the day, I had come up with a little mini-game to be played between each boss encounter as we cleared the trash, ran back from a wipe, etc. It was really simple and didn’t take me too much time to put together (I’ll have to get more creative next week though!). I picked a handful of NPC/creatures in WoW and came up 3 “hints” indicating who they were. When it was “trivia” time in the raid I would read off the three hints and the first person in the raid to supply the answer, by either blurting it out in vent or typing it in raid chat, “won” and was rewarded with a prize.
Those who had already won were still welcome to play, but had to send me a whisper with their guess – and weren’t able to win another prize.
Going into it, I was a little nervous that people would think that it was lame. And I do not doubt that a couple of people in the raid probably thought it was. But as we would move from one boss to another, and people asked for “trivia!”, I felt pretty confident that it was a success, and that as a whole, the raid was enjoying this change of pace. Enough so, that I will have to be even more creative for next week! (I still have a few prizes left for our last 3 bosses this week).
Because the raid enjoyed it so much, I thought I’d share my “hints” with all of you, and see if you have the same fun trying to figure out who everyone is. Some people were able to figure the answers out with just one clue – and some required all three clues. Many of the clues have my own added snark in them and may not be 100% factual! So – let’s see how you guys do!
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No matter where you turn in the blogosphere right now you can’t go 2 clicks without being assaulted with Cataclysm information about this, that and the next thing. People preparing, people sharing Beta thoughts, people taking wild guess about what it’s all going to be like. In all that saturation, there aren’t a whole lot of people still talking about the game. They are talking about the future. Which, I guess I understand. The current iteration of the game has been around awhile, and there are new shiny things on the horizon. But let’s be honest here – we are, at best, almost two months out from a release.
Now, I don’t know about you, but for the most part I am feeling overwhelmed with Cataclysm information. And by overwhelmed, I kinda mean that with the exception of some of the resto druid changes, I’m tired of everything being about Cataclysm. As I sift through my blog list in the morning, I find that I revel at posts that are about anything other than Cataclysm, they are a breath of fresh air and I cherish each of them. More and more, I find that I largely just skip over the Cataclysm ones. If they seem somewhat interesting, I’ll give it a skim, but otherwise I generally just shrug and move along.
As I flip through post after post about Cataclysm, I can’t help but wonder if bloggers aren’t sort of doing to Cataclysm, and WoW in general, what the Paparazzi did to Britney Spears. Overexposed and Oversaturated to the point that largely, save the “can’t look away from the train wreck” factor, people just stopped caring. The more I read about Cataclysm, I’m finding, the less I care about it. I can’t imagine that this is a good thing! Read the rest of this entry »