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.