Secret Design of WoW PvE: Your role in a PvE raid

The series: [Intro­duc­tion, and a call for com­ments, Solo Dif­fi­cul­ty vs Group Dif­fi­cul­ty, PvE vs PvP, Vari­ety vs Spe­cial­iza­tion, Solo Per­former vs Group Util­i­ty, Your role in a PvE raid]

This is how every tal­ent tree of every class fits into a pve raid.

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Raiding does not mean Skilled

(Relat­ed post: Max lev­el does not mean Skilled.)

There’s a class of play­er who feels that their sta­tus in the raid­ing game means that they’re Right. They label oth­er peo­ple noobs, and the sil­ly thing is that peo­ple believe them. “I have this awe­some item, you don’t, there­fore I know what I’m talk­ing about and you don’t.” This frus­trates me a great deal.

My guild recent­ly brought in a new recruit. Her main is a holy priest, just like me! I’ll call her Mary. She was very per­son­able, online a lot. She had raid­ed a lot in the orig­i­nal WoW, all the way through AQ40, which I’ve nev­er seen. She had tak­en over a year off from the game, and in her return was look­ing for a more relaxed play­time require­ment while still play­ing at a high lev­el. A per­fect fit!

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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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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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Fools, Silence, and Damage Reporting–supplemental

(Pre­vi­ous arti­cle)

While it’s a bad idea to link your dam­age meters over a com­mon chat chan­nel, it’s a very bad idea to link your dam­age report if you’re a dam­age deal­er and you’re that one dps’er who con­sis­tent­ly does less dam­age than the tank. What you’re try­ing to say is that you out­per­form the heal­er at doing dam­age, but what you’re real­ly say­ing is:

“The heal­er’s good enough to keep every­one alive and also do 30% of the dam­age that I’m doing.”

The heal­er’s dam­age is basi­cal­ly like the rock bot­tom of dam­age per­for­mance in a raid. Heal­ing does zero dam­age. You are also say­ing that you don’t under­stand groups enough to know what the dif­fer­ent roles do, but you aren’t going to let that slow your spam­ming down. This is a chain of thought that will imme­di­ate­ly lead oth­ers to group with you less, because vet­er­ans will sense that this is prob­a­bly the tip of the ice­berg:

  • you roll for gear that does­n’t apply to you and then throw a fit when some­one tries to tell you how your char­ac­ter works
  • you don’t under­stand or don’t care about crowd con­trol
  • you cry and blame some­one every time you die
  • you go afk with­out warn­ing
  • you com­plain about repair costs
  • you nev­er have elixirs/poisons/food buffs
  • you use curse words in a way that’s not inter­est­ing, rel­e­vant, or fun­ny

Not every­one is all of these, but usu­al­ly these char­ac­ter flaws don’t come in sin­gle serv­ings. Most peo­ple went to the all you can eat Buf­fet of Bro­ken.

And yes, this was all that a sin­gle dam­age meter post said. And inci­den­tal­ly, this per­son lived up to many of the above-list­ed pre­dic­tions.