Officers should all have Tanks and Healers

(Relat­ed post: Take the Group Role)

The fol­low­ing state­ments are all true for raid­ing guilds:

  • The health of a PvE guild is dic­tat­ed by its abil­i­ty to progress through the game’s con­tent at the guild’s expect­ed rate.
  • Groups and raids live or die based on being able to assem­ble, launch, and progress. A suc­cess­ful raid has all three roles (tank, heal, dam­age) filled to suf­fi­cient lev­els.
  • The ratio of tanks/healers/damage in a typ­i­cal suc­cess­ful raid is some­thing like 2÷3÷5.
  • The ratio of tanks/healers/damage in total avail­able, raid-ready play­ers on my serv­er (and I have no rea­son to think this is unique) is along the lines of 2/3/25. I just made these num­bers up, but this is what I’ve seen. You can always, always find anoth­er dam­age-per­son to come along.
  • Offi­cers are invest­ed in their guild’s con­tin­ued exis­tence and suc­cess.

The log­i­cal sum of these points is that offi­cers of PvE raid guilds, even casu­al ones, should take up the roles that are most need­ed to keep their guild raid­ing, name­ly tanks and heal­ers. Even if the char­ac­ter is not their main, they should have an alt ready to step into one of these need­ed roles should some­one decide to retire from the game, lath­er up with crazy sauce, or just hit the next stop on the pro­gres­sion train.

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Rock Band is better than Guitar Hero

Since I bought Rock Band (RB) for my PS3 a few months ago, Gui­tar Hero 3 (GH3) grew roots on the shelf. GH3 was my first fake-music game, and I enjoyed it very much. But the same source who prod­ded me to try Gui­tar Hero implored me to try Rock Band. And sure enough, I liked it more.

The mul­ti­play­er in RB would have been enough all by itself. Hav­ing my bud­dy over to jam on “March of the Pigs”? My wife singing “Call Me” at the top of her lungs? All of us laugh­ing and curs­ing at how hard Boston music is to play and sing? You just can’t put a price on that.

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Not Pushing the Button

I’m a heal­er. I have oth­er toons: a raid-ready tank that I love to play, a cou­ple of decent dps toons. But in my heart, I love being a heal­er.

I’ve recent­ly real­ized that peo­ple who are annoy­ing tend to die more often in raids where I’m heal­ing.

For exam­ple, my guild’s cur­rent off­tank is as annoy­ing as hell. He’s the liv­ing exam­ple of the Dun­ning-Kruger effect… I could go into great depth, and I very well might in a future piece, but suf­fice to say that there is often an under­cur­rent of pri­vate tells derid­ing him dur­ing every raid he par­tic­i­pates in. How­ev­er, our guild is like a fam­i­ly, and he’s the weird cousin who makes it to every cook­out. His avail­abil­i­ty is decent, he’s not com­plete­ly ter­ri­ble at his class/role, and he tries to be friend­ly even if he lacks the social skills to pull it off. But there are all-too-fre­quent occa­sions where I wish I had a but­ton I could push that gives him an anony­mous elec­tri­cal jolt in his real-life chair.

Actu­al­ly, as it turns out, there’s a lit­tle but­ton that I don’t push that does the same thing. It’s actu­al­ly a series of but­tons, each of them bound to heal­ing spells. He dies more than aver­age.

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Drama is Inevitable

Like most peo­ple, I learned the hard way about sec­ond chances at relationships–backsliding, regres­sion rela­tion­ships, what­ev­er you want to call it. Name­ly that they don’t work, despite the fact that regres­sion sex might sound like just what you need after a series of ter­ri­ble first dates. How­ev­er, unless one of you has been in a coma or sim­i­lar­ly life-chang­ing event, inevitably the crazy in your ex or the behav­ior that brought out the crazy in you (or both) man­i­fests again… and then you final­ly wake to find your­self stuck in a supreme­ly depress­ing place: exact­ly the same kind of unhap­py sit­u­a­tion you were in before, except you’re old­er and you have demon­stra­bly not learned your les­son. You’re con­nect­ed again to this per­son who makes you unhap­py.

Then you some­how break it off. Whether you’ve extri­cat­ed your­self via your own force of will or via exter­nal caus­es, you’re free of this per­son and you now have some abil­i­ty to see this kind of sit­u­a­tion com­ing again. When faced with future back­slid­ing, even­tu­al­ly you either:

  1. Real­ize that the num­ber of sec­onds you have on this plan­et is finite, and per­haps regres­sion sex-and-crazy this isn’t the best way to spend those sec­onds. You opt out from that per­son.
  2. Let them back into your guild.

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Small Group Raiding in WotLK

As Bliz­zard announced last week, every WotLK raid will have a small-raid (10-man) option.

So if there are (guess­ing) four endgame raids at launch, each will have a 10 and 25 man ver­sion, cre­at­ing a com­plete­ly par­al­lel path to the cur­rent 25-man raid­ing stan­dard. Every sub­se­quent patched-in raid will fol­low the same design. No more of this “two raids for small group raid­ing, eight raids for big group raid­ing”. All 10-man raids will be able to phys­i­cal­ly vis­it every raid instance, see every boss, gear up and progress along a sim­i­lar path, and ulti­mate­ly see the entire expan­sion.

This is like ice cream in dig­i­tal form. Strike that, this is like a pack of ice cream wolves wear­ing ice cream shoul­der-can­nons run­ning through the streets, shoot­ing ice cream fire­works every­where. This is sim­ply the best news since the game was released.

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