Rambling raid

We raided again last night. And despite all attempts to mess things up, we were actually successful. Four bosses in 3 hours, with several breaks to replace people, long-winded explanations of things which happened quite differently – not a bad record.

Ok – this is Ulduar, we are speaking of, not ICC. Still – we had an inexperienced raid leader (me), a couple of people who were new to Ulduar. Perhaps even someone new to Raiding – i actually am not sure. We also had Mrs. Squish for tank. So, all that said, it still was a success. We had fun, we one-shot the golf caddy with 2 towers up (not a mean feat considering some had not caused it to fall apart ever before), and generally had far fewer deaths than i had feared with our setup.

Once it was all over (all too quickly, if you ask me), we sat back and looked at what we did / had. And one thing dawned on me.

Pulling in a highly overgeared tank (controlled by a very experienced and generally nice player, mind you) actually led us to the first trash wipe. Not that i want to blame the tank for it. But it did make me ponder. So i had a closer look at what happened afterwards. And i noticed a few things which happen if you have people like that in the raid

  • things get easier – no surprise, considering how things scale with equipment
  • deaths are more likely  – this was a surprise to me, but it is sort of easily explained.
    • Assuming the higher gear is on a  dps, chances are they will rip aggro from the poor tank. (Mrs. Squish.. remember ? Squishy, with an eye only for defense (to reach the cap) and just enough threat to keep a few baying hounds on her).
    • Assuming the higher gear is on a tank, chances are they will run in thinking “we can SO do this”, only to find out that the healers have trouble keeping the tank up, and the dps cannot quite follow-up. (Having the tank top the dps list is not necessarily good, you know)
    • Assuming the higher gear is on a healer, there is a significant risk of someone saying “I can SO soloheal this” (snottidyn anyone ?). And suddenly, the raid takes damage left, right and center. It is then that the healer may find out that sometimes you can fail at healing with an almost a full mana bar.
  • Tactics become less important. Many things can just be powered through with enough health / mana. Sometimes, some of the squishier people do not make it alive, but the raid itself prevails.
  • There are a few more ‘oh shit’ moments, but there are less ‘oh shit’ wipes.

Don’t get me wrong – i do  not want to point fingers at anyone. But i am challenging some of my own thoughts about how  going to a lower end raid instance could actually teach people about raiding. And i am wondering if it is right.

There is little doubt in my mind – during the explanations for the golf caddy, some people sat back yawning, thinking “let’s do this already, all these words are sort of pointless.. we know the drill”. And yes, they did know the drill. And most likely, they were right – given the setup, we probably would have made it without that many words. But we would have had a few people staring at their screen, wondering what the hell was going on, and also what hit them. But for me, those explanations were vital. On the one hand because they (hopefully) gave the new people a few pointers what to do and what not to do, and on the other hand because I needed to explain them.

Right.. that probably did not make sense for most people. So, allow me to mention something, which may (or just not) be known. I run these raids for three reasons.

  1. seeing  Ulduar – all of it. Including the bosses which usually are left out when taking a dive towards the (previously acclaimed) ultimate evil at the bottom.
  2. learning to lead raids. And believe me, it takes a lot of learning.
  3. introducing people to raiding.

So, doing those explanations is just as much for me, as it is for people who have not done a specific fight.

Now – that was the rambling part. And now (even more than before putting all this down) i am wondering if i am not missing a point. Yes, i can introduce people to raiding this way. There are quite a few things done differently when you are paired up with 9 or 24 others. But considering that we can (and actually did) muscle through complicated encounters by simply ignoring certain aspect which would take the raid and spread it on the ground in a thin film were it not so blatantly overgeared, it seems questionable if the introduction is that good.

On that note – it was still a lot of fun. Which proves, sometimes events with dubious qualities can provide a high amount of amusement.


3 Responses to “Rambling raid”

  1. January 27, 2010 at 12:28

    Nalon, last night (apart from stupidly large amounts of latency on my end) was a thoroughly enjoyable raid. Getting golfcaddy +2 down was a great achievement and took us quite some time to do in guild, I thought that was handled very well.

    Your tanking was very good, especially on Razorscale when my latency jumped and couldn’t tell you what needed taunting and when.

    The thing I liked the most, however, was that it was all about the fun. Ercles had to takes a phonecall, and we waiting instead of replacing. People wanted to try out dps/healing offspeccs and they were allowed and that made it an overall more enjoyable experience.

    I’m going to continue to sign for these raids, aswell as start blogging a little about my experiences (put my blog in the website thingy thing on the comment thing, not too sure where it pops up)in tanking/dps’ing the place.

    Keep leading those raids and keep blogging!


  2. January 29, 2010 at 14:11

    @Jakkru: Your blog is accessible from your name-link at the top of your comment.

    @indecenthealer: Glad to know that your initial forays into raid leading are going well! I find one of the downsides to actually becoming a raid leader is that because you are expected to explain the fight and strategy, you have to spend a lot more time outside the game researching the stuff you’ve never seen, so that you know what to do when you get there. Also, don’t let folks yawning at your explanations get you down. Especially for a new raid leader, it’s important to go through explanations of fights even if your group doesn’t need them, because you never know when you’ll be back with somebody who DOESN’T know what they’re doing, and then you have to be able to explain it clearly…

    Also, always remember to ask if people are new, so you have a better idea of how much you need to say… and if you have people that are new to raiding at all, make sure you tell them not to stand in the fire.

  3. 3 Ercles
    February 1, 2010 at 19:28

    You’re touching on something I really hadn’t thought about in a long time here. If you want to learn people to raid there’s no question that doing it the “proper” way is better than the steamroll way.

    Sarth 3D nowadays is a good example. It’s like setting a garden maze on fire and walking straight across. The tactics are very simple. Don’t stand in the fire, do enough DPS, don’t let the tank die. I’m sure that even with todays gear many, many people would fail at Sarth 3D the “proper” way.

    Going back to do older raids in good gear is probably the best way to teach new people to raid as well. It’s similar in difficulty and tactics to newer ones, but leaves more room for mistakes since most people will be over gearing it.

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