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Raid Composition and Karazhan

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We've given everyone a month to get to 70 and get keyed so we haven't really run balanced raids the last few weeks (this will be our first week for everyone at 70). With this it has allowed us to experiment some and most of the encounters up to and including the Curator (we got there and with 1 tank in the raid and nobody with an Arcane Resist set to sponge the bolts it was time to call it after a couple of attempts) are doable with any group of 1-3 tanks, 2-4 healers and the rest DPS regardless of the classes.

Ideally we're planning to run groups with 2 tanks (1 druid, 1 warrior), 1 mage/warlock/hunter/rogue, 2 priests (1 could be shadow, we also have a couple that seem to be finding some good "holy mage" DPS specs that let them heal a quite a bit better in the 4th healer required situation), 1 resto shaman, 1 paladin. After we get to higher gear levels (1500+ heal, 150-200 MP/5, caster DPS with 1000+ damage, etc) we may try moving to 2 healer raids to speed things up allowing more time for the content beyond Karazhan.

By stacking some classes you'll make certain fights easier but you risk turning upgrades into Void Crystals and you also may make other fights harder than they need to be.

As an example 2 Shaman healers make Maiden very easy with Grounding Totems to suck up Holy Fire but they make Moroes harder as managing the Garrote healing without HoTs is much more tricky.

Rogues/DPS Warriors are by no means useless now but they are much more difficult to play. For ranged classes the level of difficulty increased from a 2-3 out of 10 in game complexity to maybe a 5 where as the melee folks went from a 3-5 in difficulty to a 7 or so, a lot of people that are perfectly capable of playing a ranged DPS class to its full potential will end up face planted/well below their DPS potential on a melee character. The difficulty comes in the required reaction time to circumstances and the number of different reactions they need to make in order to maximize their DPS and survive. To provide some generic examples to rate the scale I would rate playing Tetris at level 1 a 1 in difficulty as you have a "gaming eternity" to decide where to drop the next piece and completing Minesweeper on Expert in 45 seconds or under a 10 (now the decisions are a lot more complex, you have to make them much faster, and one wrong decision and you're dead rather than just having a pocket of air you'll fix later).

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The difficulty comes in the required reaction time to circumstances and the number of different reactions they need to make in order to maximize their DPS and survive. To provide some generic examples to rate the scale I would rate playing Tetris at level 1 a 1 in difficulty as you have a "gaming eternity" to decide where to drop the next piece and completing Minesweeper on Expert in 45 seconds or under a 10 (now the decisions are a lot more complex, you have to make them much faster, and one wrong decision and you're dead rather than just having a pocket of air you'll fix later).

This is an interesting point concerning rogue/dps warrior damage. I am starting to wonder if my below average ping times will come into effect with my class. I believe I'm a decent enough player, our guild's alpha rogue and the class lead and leading melee damage dealer, however, my average ping time is in the area of 250-350ms. I'm wondering how much it will affect my survivability in these fights down the road.

I do have an alt shadowpriest who would probably be more latency friendly, but the way blizzard has cockblocked alts with ridiculous attunement and rep grinding I don't know if it's feasible at this point to try to make a jump.

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How come is a rogue not latency friendly? All of rogue abilities are limited by energy regen, something I always admired as a warrior with high latency. If you bloodthirst every 7 secs instead of 6, that's quite a dps loss; even more sensitive for a caster. Rogue doesnt have that problem, it doesnt matter if you ss 2 secs later.

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How come is a rogue not latency friendly? All of rogue abilities are limited by energy regen, something I always admired as a warrior with high latency. If you bloodthirst every 7 secs instead of 6, that's quite a dps loss; even more sensitive for a caster. Rogue doesnt have that problem, it doesnt matter if you ss 2 secs later.

It matters when you're trying to get out of a whirlwind and you've already eaten a tick of it before the casting bar shows up on your screen. I'm talking about damage *taken* not damage dealt.

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Last night we did Nightbane with:

Feral Druid (MT)

DPS Warrior (OT)

Rogue

Resto Druid

Mage

Resto Shaman

Shadow Priest

Warlock

Paladin

Holy Priest (Horde; no fear ward)

It went surprisingly well! :)

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(A rough estimate of the best group compositions for each boss so far)

Attumen: 1 of each class + 1 random (I guess another tank, due to trash stuff)

Moroes: 2 tanks, 1 frostmage, 1 warlock, 1 holypriest, 1 shadowpriest, 1 paladin, 1 hunter, 1 rogue, 1 more healer

Maiden of Virtue: 1 tank, 1 shadowpriest, 3 healers, 5 ranged DPS

Opera - Romulo & Julianne: 2 tanks, 2 warlocks (or warlock+mage), 1 shaman, 3 more healers, 1 rogue, 1 DPS (rogue/hunter/warlock/mage)

The Curator: 1 tank, 1 shaman, 1 paladin/shaman, 1 warlock, 1 hunter, 2 rogues, 1 healer, 1 hybrid (enhanceshaman/feraldruid/shadowpriest), 1 DPS (rogue/hunter/warlock/mage)

Terestian Illhoof: 1 tank, 1 offtank, 3 healers, 2 AOE'ers, 3 DPS/hybrids (rogue/hunter/warlock/mage/enhanceshaman/feraldruid)

Shade of Aran: 1 tank, 2 warlocks, 2 rogues, 1 interrupt (enhanceshaman/rogue), 3 healers, 1 DPS (rogue/hunter/warlock/mage/enhanceshaman/feraldruid/shadowpriest)

Netherspite: 3 tanks, 3 healers, 2 warlocks/mages, 1 DPS (rogue/hunter/warlock/mage/enhanceshaman/feraldruid/shadowpriest), 1 shadowpriest

Prince Malchezaar: 1 tank, 3 healers, 6 DPS (rogue/hunter/warlock/mage/enhanceshaman/feraldruid/shadowpriest), 1 shadowpriest

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That is the most colorful post I've ever seen.

As for our group, we run too melee heavy. We have been using 2 Feral Druids, 2 Holy Priest, 1 Prot/Fury Warr, 2 Enh Shaman, 1 Rogue, 1 Mage, +1 (usually mage or hunter). Illhoof was essentially impossible for our makeup/gear level. We could get Aran down to the low 20s high teens percentwise, but we had no good way to deal with the elementals.

To switch it up, I'm (Feral Druid, Tank 2) am going to go healing, and one priest is going to go shadow. That +1 is likely to become a warlock. Although we don't expect the bosses to simply fall over with the rearrangement of talents + addition of a warlock, I foresee both Illhoof and Aran dying on our next reset.

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To switch it up, I'm (Feral Druid, Tank 2) am going to go healing, and one priest is going to go shadow. That +1 is likely to become a warlock. Although we don't expect the bosses to simply fall over with the rearrangement of talents + addition of a warlock, I foresee both Illhoof and Aran dying on our next reset.

I highly recommend adding a warlock to your group. My groups first clear of karazhan (except nightbane and spite) was without a warlock, and Aran was hands down the hardest boss for us (Prince took longer but only because of his bugs). For our second week, we swapped a warlock for Aran and it became a much simpler fight. The updates to Illhoof also make a warlock very useful. We originally killed his easy version with one AOEr (mage), but after his buff, one mage couldn't handle it by himself anymore; his mana was gone long before Illhoof was.

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(A rough estimate of the best group compositions for each boss so far)

snip

Needlessly complicated. Most of the things you "need" you'll have with a balanced group. There are only a couple of specific fights where certain groups will have a much easier time.

Attumen: 1 tank, 1 OT. Healers and DPS.

Moroes: 1 tank, 1 OT. Healers and DPS (2 priests).

Maiden of Virtue: 1 tank. Healers and DPS.

Opera - Romulo & Julianne: 1 tank, 1 OT. Some interrupts, purge/spellsteal. Healers and DPS.

The Curator: 1 tank. Decent burst DPS. Healers.

Terestian Illhoof: 1 tank, 1 OT. AoE, burst DPS and healers.

Shade of Aran: Interrupts. Warlock. Healers and DPS.

Netherspite: (still havn't done! :( )

Prince Malchezaar: 1 tank. Healers and DPS.

Nightbane: 1 tank. 1 holy pally. Healers and DPS.

What group will have what is needed for every single boss?

1 Prot Warrior - Main Tank

1 Feral Druid - OT or DPS

1 Shadow Priest - DPS

1 Warlock - DPS

1 Mage - DPS

1 Rogue - DPS

1 Holy Pally - Healing

1 Holy Priest - Healing

1 Shaman - Healing

1 Hunter - DPS

I cant think of a group I'd rather have if there was a race to clear the instance from beginning to end. It can do every encounter very well.

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Nightbane: 1 tank. 1 holy pally. Healers and DPS.

i saw a couple of threads mentioning that you need a holy pally for Nightbane

is there a special reason for that other than their ability to heal nearly forever with the right equipment

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What group will have what is needed for every single boss?

1 Prot Warrior - Main Tank

1 Feral Druid - OT or DPS

1 Shadow Priest - DPS

1 Warlock - DPS

1 Mage - DPS

1 Rogue - DPS

1 Holy Pally - Healing

1 Holy Priest - Healing

1 Shaman - Healing

1 Hunter - DPS

I cant think of a group I'd rather have if there was a race to clear the instance from beginning to end. It can do every encounter very well.

I'm biased but...

Replace the Holy Priest with a 2nd paladin for an extra blessing for everyone in the raid and an extra aura. Put the 2 paladins in the shadow priest's group and they will never ever ever run out of mana ever (spiritual attunement is hax). One of the paladins can also act as the 3rd OT as/when needed.

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Currently, my guild has found that any group can basically clear up to and through Curator. Past Curator melee DPS becomes important for the trash pulls and the kick/pummel/shield bash on Shade. Prince seems to require at least 3 solid healers and a Shadow Priest, with ranged DPS being important to avoid the AoE attacks from both the boss and Infernals.

Our Team 1 normally use the following:

Warrior (MT)

Warrior (OT)

Holy Priest

Holy Priest

Tree Druid

Shadow Priest

Mage (Frost or Fire)

Warlock

Warlock

Rogue

However, we have subbed out on various occasions a Holy Pally for a Holy Priest, a Hunter for a Warlock, and a Ret Pally for a Rogue (not much to my liking, but eh...).

Team 2 is just starting and they are using:

Warrior (MT)

Warrior (OT)

Holy Priest

Holy Priest

Holy Pally

Mage (Frost)

Mage (Fire)

Warlock

Warlock

Rogue

This combination did NOT seem to work for them. Partially due to their lack of gear and partially because of the lack of a Shadow Priest. I cannot stress enough how important a Shadow Priest is on almost all the encounters. For the early encounters they are not as important but come the Curator and beyond they are extremely vital.

Now, one question I do have, has anyone encountered problems with some of their members complaining about off-specs being allowed (or not) into their raids?

Traditionally, Shadow Priests were considered an off-spec but, since TBC, have become critically important. Likewise, Feral Tanks have really come into their own. I have continually been running into a problem with Ret Pallys though, since they see Shadow Priests and Feral Druids in raids and can't understand why they aren't in the raid as well.

Has anyone found a really viable use for a Ret Pally or even a Moonkin Druid that cannot be fulfilled by another, better suited class? At least in Karazhan I have yet to find an encounter that either of these spec lines would shine in.

Furthermore, without the gear to support these specs is there any reason to take these off-spec classes?

EDIT:

We have a Shammy coming up in the ranks soon and having never played horde-side I was wondering what the best function he might serve as well? Healer, DPS, both? Who could/should that person replace with the teams I have listed above?

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i saw a couple of threads mentioning that you need a holy pally for Nightbane

is there a special reason for that other than their ability to heal nearly forever with the right equipment

Yes, there is. See the Nightbane thread.

A second pally over the Holy Priest would work well too. I think I just prefer the priest so you have a little more variety in the healers (Mending, yadda). The second shackle is also nifty for some bits and trash.

Has anyone found a really viable use for a Ret Pally or even a Moonkin Druid that cannot be fulfilled by another, better suited class? At least in Karazhan I have yet to find an encounter that either of these spec lines would shine in.

Sure, there are specific places where these would be useful (though not necessary), the problem is that they are not useful in all places, and with 10 men you can't afford to have someone being not useful at at time unless you want to make it hard for yourself.

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Our ret paladin could push 600+ dps without breaking a sweat, so DPS-wise they can validate themselves. However, I find that their lack of a short-cooldown interrupt (akin to pummel, kick or earth shock) really hurts them in the mid-late karazhan fights. We actually had ours respec holy so he could heal while we do karazhan, but will go back to ret when we do mostly 25-man raids. The +3% crit debuff he applies is far more effective when the number of beneficiaries increases (obviously).

As for moonkin, I don't see how they would bring much more to the table than another class. If you don't have a resto or feral druid, they could provide mark for everyone, as well as an extra innervate and battle rez. We don't have any in our guild though.

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i saw a couple of threads mentioning that you need a holy pally for Nightbane

is there a special reason for that other than their ability to heal nearly forever with the right equipment

Blessings make a pretty big difference.

Blessing of Kings (Tank)

Blessing of Might (Melee dps + hunters)

Blessing of Wisdom (Casters)

Blessing of Salvation (Warlocks, Shadow Priests?).

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Our ret paladin could push 600+ dps without breaking a sweat, so DPS-wise they can validate themselves. However, I find that their lack of a short-cooldown interrupt (akin to pummel, kick or earth shock) really hurts them in the mid-late karazhan fights. We actually had ours respec holy so he could heal while we do karazhan, but will go back to ret when we do mostly 25-man raids. The +3% crit debuff he applies is far more effective when the number of beneficiaries increases (obviously).

As for moonkin, I don't see how they would bring much more to the table than another class. If you don't have a resto or feral druid, they could provide mark for everyone, as well as an extra innervate and battle rez. We don't have any in our guild though.

Out of interest does the ret paladin have a ctprofile?

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As for moonkin, I don't see how they would bring much more to the table than another class. If you don't have a resto or feral druid, they could provide mark for everyone, as well as an extra innervate and battle rez. We don't have any in our guild though.

I'd personally be willing to give a decent moonkin a shot in a 25 man raid once we get there. Not a spec that personally grabs me but the combination of a 3% +hit bonus to physical damage dealers raid wide and the 5% crit aura to party spell casters is a pretty solid contribution. Couple that with another innervate and battle res and provided said druid can do a respectable amount of dps/shifts to healing when needed I'd consider it worth the trade off of one pure dps class.

Wouldn't favour one in a 10 man raid, same arguement as with ret paladins plus not going to get a full spellcasting party going as easily and definitely don't need two for a 25 man since not getting the benefit of improved Fairie Fire twice. Other issue is that with no threat control and a fairly high crit approach they're going to need to have decent judgement about their agro at times. All a bit of a non issue for us at the moment admittedly since our raiding druids are resto or feral.

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Yes, there is. See the Nightbane thread.

I just read through that thread again. I'm not seeing any real reason that the Paladin being Holy matters (which I think was the original question, yes Paladins rock for the fight in general). Is it just for improved aura range, or what?

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I'd personally be willing to give a decent moonkin a shot in a 25 man raid once we get there. Not a spec that personally grabs me but the combination of a 3% +hit bonus to physical damage dealers raid wide and the 5% crit aura to party spell casters is a pretty solid contribution. Couple that with another innervate and battle res and provided said druid can do a respectable amount of dps/shifts to healing when needed I'd consider it worth the trade off of one pure dps class.

Wouldn't favour one in a 10 man raid, same arguement as with ret paladins plus not going to get a full spellcasting party going as easily and definitely don't need two for a 25 man since not getting the benefit of improved Fairie Fire twice. Other issue is that with no threat control and a fairly high crit approach they're going to need to have decent judgement about their agro at times. All a bit of a non issue for us at the moment admittedly since our raiding druids are resto or feral.

Aggro is really no problem when you have pallies and decent tanks.

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I just read through that thread again. I'm not seeing any real reason that the Paladin being Holy matters (which I think was the original question, yes Paladins rock for the fight in general). Is it just for improved aura range, or what?

Easier to get and maintain aggro in phase two.

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Finally dragged my DW enhance butt into Kara this week, took a "melee heavy" group which had us worried, but we went in and oneshotted everything we attempted (no Nightbane, Netherspite, Illhoof) in the evening. Groups were:

2 Holy Priests

1 Holy Paladin

1 Prot Warrior

1 Warlock

Enhance Shaman (me)

Rogue

Arms Warrior

Marks Hunter

Feral Druid

The sheer buff stacking in the melee group caused a DPStorm of epic proportions, essentially. The only thing I'd change about this group would be to swap a priest for a second paladin, so our melee group could get might as well as salv (which is desperately necessary). Though, multiple prayer of mendings goes a long way to making melee dps viable in otherwise unfriendly fights. Melee stacking is just insane now, insane insane insane, and I think raids that properly take advantage of it will see less of the priest/warlock domination that's been implied so far.

I'm still useless in heroics, though.

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I just read through that thread again. I'm not seeing any real reason that the Paladin being Holy matters (which I think was the original question, yes Paladins rock for the fight in general). Is it just for improved aura range, or what?

Holy is the most effective raid spec period. Retribution and protection sacrifice alot of quality healing talents for utility. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with ret or prot dominant spec's but for cutting edge content, guild first kills, bosses that are hard at this stage of the game.. most people that care about performing to the max will spec the most effective spec.

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...most people that care about performing to the max will spec the most effective spec...

God

If you can hear me, please bestow this mentality to everyone in my guild.

Amen

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I'm biased but...

Replace the Holy Priest with a 2nd paladin for an extra blessing for everyone in the raid and an extra aura. Put the 2 paladins in the shadow priest's group and they will never ever ever run out of mana ever (spiritual attunement is hax). One of the paladins can also act as the 3rd OT as/when needed.

This is what annoys me. You only need 1 priest per raid, and if you have a shadow priest, the holy priest might as well sit out for an extra paladin, because while prayer of mending is nice, it's not that big of a deal compared to shaman chain heals and their totem buffs/bloodlust. I'm not going to pretend my improved divine spirit is worth losing more blessings for the whole raid and another aura for another party. Our guild only has one blood elf paladin at 70, so I won't have to give up my spot for paladin stacking for perhaps a week or two longer. But being a min/maxer myself, what exactly can stacking priests do? Shackle? And what of future raid content? Holy priests barely heal as well as a druid, and holy paladins heal better (more HPM/HPS/longetivity), period. Then people wonder why priests are dropping off left and right from the game.

/kicks self in head for not rolling a paladin.

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