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.

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

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.

Continue reading Officers should all have Tanks and Healers

Take the Group Role

If you like to group in these big social MMORPG games, then choose the hard but essential role, whatever that role may be.

In World of Warcraft, my primary character is a healing priest. My close runner-up is a protection warrior. Say what you want about inability to solo, but every single time I log on, I'm asked to group. Every single time.

My dps friends tell me how hard it is to get a group, or how many groups get four players but never get that last person because they need either a tank or a healer and never end up finding one. I can imagine how they feel, but I do not understand these people. Once you have seen that groups always stall on tanks and healers, then why not just solve the problem? That's how I started tanking, and I grew to enjoy it nearly as much as healing, and certainly more than dps'ing. Instancing is one of the most fun parts of the game, and when you're a needed role, you have the ability to write your own ticket for grouping and raiding forevermore. But more than that, I enjoy the fact that I make groups any time I want.

Let me try an analogy. If you're of legal age of consent and enjoy having sex, then when you go to an engineering college (typically around 6:1 male-to-female ratio), would you rather be a guy or a girl?

This analogy didn't really pan out like I hoped. Let me try again.

Picture a loosely-organized football league where there are fifteen teams and only five quarterbacks. How do you think those five quarterbacks are treated when they show up at the field? That's right, they get to have hot engineer sex as often as they want and they get to be choosy about what jersey they wear.

Just like tanks and healers do. This is your guild and your server.

The downside is that you solo at 30-80% the speed of a pure dps class. This isn't as bad as you've heard, unless you're absolutely in love with grinding. Even on my little protection warrior who's dual-wielding, I can go fast enough if not fast. Just be sure that in all those instances you're running that you grab unwanted dps gear that's appropriate for your character. And honestly, if you're not a complete social misfit, you'll probably have game friends who will group with you for dailies or other solo content because you group with them. If you do love grinding (or you are a social misfit), then just have a dps alt. Who doesn't have a hunter in their pocket nowadays?

I'm not saying that dps isn't fun. It is, and it's very relaxing as well. I have a hunter who I battleground with, and it's a great time. But if grouping is what you like best, then why would you want to compete with the millions of other hunters/rogues/warlocks/mages/hybrid-dps spec people for the large number of damage spots in a raid/instance, when you can just walk into the big-leagues by being a role where demand is far greater than supply? My guild is perpetually short on tanks, we'll take anyone with 9k base life and the ability to fog a mirror. I'm exaggerating, but dip into the Guild Recruitment channel and you'll see this message in the first ten minutes:

X of Y is raiding Z content and is looking for a offtank/maintank/healer to join and "raid casually"/"raid five nights a week"/"oh god please join us, I don't care if you're an alt of another toon in another guild, just give some backup to drop cross-eyed-Joey the holy pally alt who still looks for his Mend Pet button".

Heck, even my dps wife loves that I'm a tank/healer combo, because our group is already half-made whenever we want to run together. Her primary alt is a druid healer. And while she's still warming up to healing, she loves the ease at which she can find a group.

So make your next alt project a tank or a healer, and get to the hot engineer sex.