February 25, 2009 – 11:34 am
This is the fourth in a series of posts on how to arrange your healers in Naxxramas 25.
I’d highly suggest reading up on Herding Cats in general, especially if you’re filling in for heal lead and aren’t usually the one with the job.
Otherwise, this is just a quick guide to how and why I arrange our healers the way I have been – which isn’t to say that it’s the end-all, be-all of healing assignments for Naxx! Just how things have worked for us. Most fights I’m going to assume six healers, though some I’ll recommend an off-spec/hybrid healer to help out (or possibly picking up a seventh healer), and you can almost always safely substitute classes.
Yes, Naxx25 has been done with only two healers, but I’d venture to guess that those raids are experienced and not just starting out, and those new ones are the raids that this guide is primarily written for (’cause if you’ve got the place on farm, you don’t need my piddly advice on how to set up your healers!).
This is not, in fact, a raid-wide, boss killing strategy – if you want one of those, I recommend looking at www.wowhead.com, www.wowwiki.com, and www.bosskillers.com!
Deathknight Wing Boss the First: Instructor Razuvius
- Main Tanks: The MT’s in this fight are Razuvius’ students, mind controlled by two priests. You probably won’t need to heal them, unless the transitioning goes wrong.
- Offtank: One healer (or maybe two, if you’ve got them) – tanking Razuvius OTHER students, and keeping broken MC’s from nuking the raid.
- Raid: Everyone else. Watch out for people that get the Knife Throw debuff
This fight is pretty straightforward for healers, and unless things go to the nether in a handbasket, usually isn’t overly stressful. If you have an extra paladin around, they can bomb heal the mind controlled tanks, but it’s only necessary if your transitions aren’t working well.
Deathknight Wing Boss the Second: Gothik the Harvester
- Live Side (Left): Two to three healers
- Dead Side (Right): Three healers (favoring paladins and strong raid healers)
Healing “Dead side” is usually more stressful and involves more AOE healing, though Paladins can contribute to the healing both through Holy Wrath stuns and general undead DPS. Once the doors open, have the healers on the side where he’s currently standing stick to the tank, the rest raid heal.
Deathknight Wing Boss(es) the Third: Four Horsemen
In the Front!
- Left Corner (Thane): Two healers – one AOE and one Single Target
- Right Corner (Rivendare): Two healers
This is a *tank* assignment, more than a *boss* assignment – the tanks will be swapping the bosses back and forth, but you will always be on the same general side of the room. Thane’s going to Meteor, so if your tank has Thane, be sure to stand right on top of him, to avoid getting blown up (the Meteor is like the one in the Arcatraz trash, the more people it hits, the less damage each person takes).
In the Back!
- Zeliek (henceforth “Ziggy”) – One healer, or One Healer and a DPS Hybrid
- Blaumeaux (henceforth “Blammo”) – One healer, or One Healer and a DPS Hybrid (don’t stand in shadow pancakes)
These should be single target healers (paladin, disc priest preferred), and they will be healing an offtank/plate DPS in tank gear. Both Ziggy and Blammo have proximity aggro – they’ll shoot at whoever is closest to them, so make sure to stand farther away than your tank! If your healers are strongly geared, one healer per offtank should be enough – paladins have this particularly nice with Beacon, since you’ll take damage from the marks. Once you get three-four marks, the offtank/healer pairs should switch to the other side.
Hopefully your group will be successful on your march through heroic Naxxramas! Good luck, have fun, and may the Loot-Fu be with you!
February 24, 2009 – 9:17 am
Archimonde. Ragnaros. Magtheridon (pre nerf). Vaelestrasz. Gurtogg Bloodboil. Lady Vashj. Nefarian. Illidan Stormrage. Four Horsemen (pre 2.0). Kael’thas Sunstrider.
When you hear people talk about old bosses, the ones they had trouble with in previous incarnations of the raid scene, there are a few names that just seem to keep showing up in the list. Every raid has had their stumbling blocks – but there are a few fights in the game that just come with wipe nights – nights devoted entirely to learning a fight (sometimes multiple nights).
Signing up for raids on these weeks means knowing that you may not get loot that night, that you probably won’t make any money, that you’ll have repair bills, go through a lot of reagents rebuffing, and use a lot of consumables (a relative oddity in Wrath of the Lich King, since large areas of Naxxramas are accessible to most 25 and 10 man raids).
You’ll also work hard, get frustrated, die on experiments, and force yourself to pick it up one more time and move on.
But it’s not all bad.
Wipe nights, progression nights, and learning nights can be fun, they can have a sense of humor, and they can be times that bring a raid closer together as a group. Working on something that’s truly hard forces people to be on top of things, to become better at their class (even if only from a situational awareness standpoint), to try new ideas, suggest stuff, think outside the box, and ultimately be a better, more cohesive raid.
Keeping up raid morale is a difficult and squirrely task, since each raid has a different climate and attitude. But there are a few things you can do to help keep things stable for yourself as you’re entering into a tough night:
- Use wipe friendly consumables – even though elixir combinations are often more beneficial, flasks are a good idea simply from a cost standpoint, and you don’t have to worry about them!
- Keep yourself comfortable – get up and stretch if you need to, have a tasty beverage on hand,
- Utilize raid breaks fully – they’re breaks, and the idea is for you to take one. Don’t sit at the computer and putter around for 5 minutes. Get up and get a breath of air, walk around, take a potty break – you’ll come back feeling refreshed and less like you want to pound on your keyboard.
- Get into the right mindset – be patient, admit to your mistakes, and foster an environment of “lets learn this” as opposed to “you are all stupid numbnuts for (whatever)”. Sometimes it’s necessary to be firm, but that’s (the rather difficult) job of the raid leader, who has to balance morale with effectiveness. Unless that’s you, calling people out in vent isn’t likely to solve anything, and can be extremely detrimental.
- Be engaged in the right places – pay attention to what’s going on around you, and use your raid appropriate communication skills to transmit that info to the people that need to know. Don’t hold the raid up for silly things, but don’t gloss over potentially important information either, particularly if it’s something that more than one person (you) or role (the DPS) can benefit from.
- When the wipe is called – wipe it down. This is the only time when it’s appropriate to intentionally stand in a fire, stand in the cleave, run behind a dragon, or go take a lava/slime bath. Die quickly, find out if there will be rezzes, release, run back, and start over. Don’t waste everyone’s time.
- Have fun – laughing about craziness is a good way to diffuse a potentially tense situation. Did the boss just do something really peculiar and now you’re all dead on the floor wondering WTF? It’s alright to put a little humor in, even if it’s just in your class/role chat channel.
Obviously all of this is easier if your group actually is making forward progress and things seem to be getting better, but even if they’re not (which happens, every group has off nights), keeping your own mentality in a good place is a huge help in the face of a really nasty bossthing that is enjoying raidsnax.
Sartharion +3 Drakes is our current Bossthing. Ulduar will likely have a few. Malygos can be one, as can Kel’Thuzad or Sapphiron or Thaddius. It doesn’t matter who the Bossthing is, or what his abilities are – every raid has strengths and weaknesses. Just keep it together, don’t forget to laugh, and remember that no matter how serious this raiding business can get, it’s pushing your group to be better as a whole, to learn and react as a team, and to be better prepared for the craziness that awaits on the other side of the next instance releases.
So good luck, have fun, and may the Loot-Fu be with you!
February 23, 2009 – 6:31 pm
I read. I laughed. Then I laughed a lot more.
Llanion’s take on the ten commandments of raiding (yes, he’s a boomkin with the url “frostmage.net”).