View Full Version : ICC Raid Comp.

01-24-2010, 09:17 AM
I run a small 10man guild that's currently working our way through ICC and I've come across a dilemma that I'm curious if any others have had.
Normally, we run with three healers and we're faced with the growing realization that two-healing many fights is more effective and to some extent, even the only way we can make certain fights manageable. It started when working on Ulduar hard modes, ToGC and has extended to ICC for fights like Saurfang and Festergut, Rotface hasn't been downed, but there's been discussion that maybe we need the extra DPS there as well. The problem is that our three healers..want to do just that, heal. Our holy pally has no desire to make a ret spec(and we're already melee heavy anyway), our holy priest despises playing shadow and our resto druid, while willing to go boomkin, has stated numerous times that he prefers to heal and that he's getting burnt out on DPSing for progression fights in order for us to down it.
In a perfect world, they'd all have some degree of flexibility and I think for the most part they do. But I've heard from two of the three now that it feels like Blizz is forcing people out of their preferred roles in ICC by changing the necessary raid composition and forcing raids to two-heal more. I try to explain that it's very much more likely a fact that our DPS is our weak point(two DPS break 5k, a third has recently upped his game to near the others, but the rest may not even touch 4k) and that if we can get our DPS up(or recruit more competent ones) the need to two-heal certain fights may be reduced. But they seem fairly unconvinced and a couple of the healers are talking about trying to find another class to play because they feel if they have a full-time DPSer they enjoy, it'll bring more to the raid.

My question is such as this, how do other people handle raid composition in ICC? Do people think it's designed as more of a 2/2/6 raid composition with the extra DPS, or is three healers still the 'standard' and the lack of raid DPS in my guild putting that necessity to two-heal on the healers?

To clarify, none of my healers are against two-healing, in fact, they're growing to prefer it. The problem is trying to balance out which one goes DPS and which one stays their preferred role healing for any particular fight.

01-24-2010, 11:18 AM
If you want to keep progression going, you need to adapt to whatever the encounters require.

In this case there's three options:
a) One of your healers needs to step up and go dps when it's needed.
b) Swap people around and have some extra dps waiting outside the instance.
c) Kick one of your healers and recruit a player who is capable and motivated to perform in dual-role.

01-24-2010, 12:39 PM
I do agree with Crommi, at the end of the day your solution probably lies with one of those 3. If your group set up is such that you can not defeat a boss, then it needs to change.

Although, for your case in particular, how much damage are your guys putting out? I am running 10 mans with 3 healers, none of which have a DPS off set and we been clearing the festergut enrage timer with a minute and change to spare. 3 Healers for a 10 man is slightly on the heavy side, but it is still viable.

01-24-2010, 03:44 PM

I do not have experience in ICC but I do have experience in raid leading.
The problem is not that blizzard wants to ruin the game but that it want's to push the evolution of the game by implementing serten new elements in the game that by changing has a small effect on the game sructure that it pushes it in to a direction that is close to it's destination, what this destination is and how far this evil could be woven in the the fabric of the game is unknown.

But to awnser your question, Pick one of the 2 healers and give them the option to go hard dual spec, if you have a DKP system they wil need 2 dkp accounts and maybe even other adjustments in your team setup.

By doing that you now have 11 options for you team setup with only 10 players.
But this does mean your team would have to contain atleast 9 people that alway's raid and even than there will be massive implementaion for the people that just fill the last spot.

an other example of this kind of manipulation can be found in addons, by possible funding they could make addons verry advanced. This funding does not have to be much, often an addon can be maintained by one person, this could wel be students ad they often have outrages fantasy's with idea's. this would mean that if they would create verry nice situations for some people to flurish spiritualy and advance to a new level!

Now all these manipulatoin could be verry big, this would need so much power to be automaticly done by a bot that they prefer sticking that time in manual labor for the advancement then paying for someone to make a program that does that for them.

And that's how World of Warcraft runs it's business and you run your raid :)

01-24-2010, 04:16 PM
Can i recruit your healers? It seems all of ours want to go dps....

But out of Crommi's options, i'd say you'll need to convince them of option a).
Having a 2-healer team with a 3rd dps/healer option allows much more flexibility in your raid comp.

01-24-2010, 04:58 PM
That seems to be the best, and only real viable option at this point. Now the task of actually convincing one to play DPS more than healing. My main concern is just losing one or more of them completely due to them being stuck doing a role they don't really enjoy. I do recognize and understand the need for people to simply bite the bullet and do what's in the best interest of the raid for progression, and I imagine they would be option to that line of thinking. I just can't help but think it'd only be a matter of time before frustration of not being able to heal takes over and they stop showing up for raids(not something I can particularly afford either until I can recruit one or two solid folks as filler as well).

As for the DPS, we've improved in the last couple weeks. Two-healing Festergut, we managed to drop him with about a minute and three seconds left on his enrage, I think we could've let our druid go tree instead of moonkin and still meet the enrage(he was doing about 3.5-3.7). As of or last Festergut kill, we had our rogue doing roughly 7k and a feral and ret going back and forth around 6k each. From there, our remaining DPS, typically a boomkin druid(not the healer) and an ele shaman were both about 3.3-3.8k with me beating the shaman on DPS while tanking on my paladin with the damage buff on nearly every attempt. Just to round out the numbers, our DK tank was also pulling about 2.5-3k DPS. I know there's a pretty wide amount of variance amongst those numbers to come up with an accurate raid DPS number, I didn't run a log for the last attempt(which was last week due to us now being short two DPS because folks putting playtime on halt for RL issues).

All that aside, as I believe we could three-heal Fester now, we've tried to three-heal Rotface on several occasions and it seems like at 30% the mutations just go nuts and the amount of slimes become too much for people to handle, I've had suggested that two-healing that fight may help as well because his mutagen mechanic increases based on fight length, rather than health percentage.

01-24-2010, 05:04 PM
We were in a simular situation to you when raiding 10man. We decided that it would be best for our "hybrid" clases to get both heal/dps/tank loot as much as they could. For example our Boomkin specs resto on fights when its required which is perfect for progression raids as he spec's into resto then as soon as its been done a couple of times he switches back to dps. We generally always try the fights first with 2 healers on new content just to see if it can be 2man healed. Tonnight we did the blood queen and wasted 2 attempts with him as dps and decided it was way too hard to 2man heal so he switched and everything went way smoother and probably in 2-3 weeks time he will stay as dps and as our gear has increased we wont need him to heal anymore. You should say to him that a hybrid is a hybrid and he should play like one and not be so single minded :)

01-25-2010, 05:10 AM
My 10 man group depends heavily upon our healers being able to respec dps... or actually the reverse. Two of our regular 10 man healers run as DPS as their primary role in our 25 man group. I would certainly recommend having 2.5 healers in a 10 man raid, it gives you so much flexibility. As you encourage your healers to dual spec, you might consider:
- who would add the best raid synergy by respeccing - this is probably the biggest factor in 10 man group performance
- who is your strongest healer and would you want healing 100% of the time / or who might suck at dps
- who might have the easiest time gearing up a dps spec, etc.

As you've already noted, this really isn't a new thing. Ulduar and TOGC were best done with 2.5 healers. As you come to outgear fights (and make less mistakes), you'll often find yourself running with 2 healers instead of the 3 that you initially 'needed'.

01-25-2010, 05:23 AM
I would be tempted to talk to all of your healers jointly. And ask that all three have dps offspecs, while an extra melee maybe not be that desireable this should mean that they get to heal a lot and dps a little - would the tree not like a feral offpsec rather than a boomkin? Gearing up offspecs has become a lot easier with badges gear and I would think that the pally and druid would not be too difficult in terms of loot drops (plate and leather) while the priest may be harder in terms of drops.

As you asked in your OP, we 2 heal ICC10 (but then are ICC25man geared) and can be awfully stubborn, even 2 healing Princes this week - something I would not advise :)

01-25-2010, 09:51 AM
Two of the three have a DPS offspec, the paladin has a prot offspec for heroics. Normally, the druid goes boomkin whenever we need that extra DPS for a fight and he does it without complaining(during the raid). But he hints quite a bit at the fact that he much prefers healing and is getting burnt out on DPS. Our priest does indeed have a shadow set, but she's neither comfortable with playing shadow, nor have our attempts with the paladin/druid healing together had much success.
Gear isn't necessarily the issue, it's balancing their desire to play the class and spec they want vs. doing what needs to be done for the raid. So far, they've been willing to spec DPS when we need it. I just don't know how long it will last, with the rumbling near constantly that they prefer healing and muttering that they feel like Blizzard is changing the 10man group comp from standard 3 healers to 2 and forcing them out of their preferred roles. This wouldn't necessarily be the case, of course, if they had been willing to two-heal more while we were pushing through Ulduar, ToCr, ect. But they were only interested in trying it when it was necessary(due to aforementioned desire to heal), so two-healing is still somewhat new and they've grown to like it in the last few weeks. It's a love-hate relationship now, they love to two-heal, they all hate being the one not healing and the frustration is building to a level where at least one of them thinks that just finding a pure ranged DPS class they enjoy will be more beneficial to offspecing to something they're neither comfortable will, nor believes is particularly good in our 10man comp(shadow priests).

01-25-2010, 10:04 AM
with the rumbling near constantly that they prefer healing and muttering that they feel like Blizzard is changing the 10man group comp from standard 3 healers to 2

Not really. Some fights are run with 2 healers because (a) two can easily handle it and (b) the extra dps kills the boss faster. But that has been the case even in BC.

3 healers is generally safer. Some fights put more pressure on the DPS to produce, and when they can't, or if it's marginal, having 1 healer switch to dps can help. But it's not required.

01-25-2010, 02:23 PM
No, I do understand that it's largely a combination of perception and the current circumstance of our guild. But it's hard to try to explain that to any satisfactory degree. The fact of the matter with us being that our DPS has always been our weakest point and there are more fights in ICC that turn the weakness into more of a glaring problem than in prior content.

Things like hitting Saurfang's enrage timer, hitting Festergut's enrage and losing control of a rather rapidly increasing slime issue with Rotface at about 30% with three healers rather than the extra DPS has some healers feeling like Blizzard is enforcing a 2 healer comp. But until I can manage to recruit a couple more competent DPS to pick up the slack, I'm just trying to work with what I have while managing their levels of frustration.

01-26-2010, 07:45 AM
My question is such as this, how do other people handle raid composition in ICC? Do people think it's designed as more of a 2/2/6 raid composition with the extra DPS, or is three healers still the 'standard' and the lack of raid DPS in my guild putting that necessity to two-heal on the healers?

We usually 3-heal the fights, just so that the healers aren't switching back and forth. The only fight I make a point to shift to 2 healers is Deathbringer Saurfang, because we like to kill him without any Marks going out.

01-26-2010, 11:52 AM
We usually go with 3 heals for safety reasons. After they're on farm, it's 2 healers. Except for Rotface, Putricide, Blood Princes, Blood Queen, we can 2 heal everything. Though the last 3 being "newer" content we don't want to risk it yet. Rotface we just didn't like the RNG of how the infections can take out our healers, so we've kept to 3 for safety.

01-26-2010, 12:46 PM
...until I can manage to recruit a couple more competent DPS to pick up the slack...

There's no hope for improving the quality of your current DPSers?

Have you spoken with them? Tried to point them at resources that can help? Explained that if they can't find a way to step things up, you'll just keep hitting your heads against a DPS brick wall, known as the enrage timer? (And, possibly have to replace them *queue ominous music*)

Yes, I know. They should have been looking into it on their own. But nudging them in the right direction is sometimes a quicker fix (and causes less drama) then recruiting new DPS and benching some of your current players.

01-26-2010, 01:49 PM
I've worked with the ones who were willing to work with me. Our balance druid improved significantly after she sat down with me for an hour or so and we worked on a lot of different things regarding optimizing her talents, her rotation, glyphs, gems, enchants and the like. But she basically sits at about 3.5-4k tops. Our ret paladin also improved significantly recently(went from about 3.5-4k to about 4.5-6k depending on the fight). He still refuses to take out his Hammer of Justice PvP glyph for Consecrate, but I can't really twist his arm into it anyway. At least I got him to gem..decently(he came to a raid with no meta gem saying that none were 'worth' it for ret paladins..seriously).

Our elemental shaman, sadly, is probably the worst off of the bunch. He knows he's not very good, he's frustrated with that fact and he can't seem to improve it. 3-3.5k DPS on average, might touch near 4k on a good day. He has the gear, has the gems, the spec, the enchants. Part of the reason is he just has no raid awareness, at all. He can't be counted on moving from the fire unless his hand is being held, he uses reincarnate after wipes, or during wipes with only a tank and a few healers still alive and has a habit of blasting blood beasts into range, instead of away from them and insists he has no control over which direction they go. Really is a great guy, but for some reason he just can't get his head into the game, so to speak. His attempt at going enhancement was even worse. And it seems like whenever he dies once or twice, he just sort of checks out for the night mentally and goes through the motions 'til we're done. He apologizes profusely for being 'bad', but by his own words, doesn't know what else he can do.

The primary issue is, most of them aren't really taking initiative to better themselves. I had to fight with the paladin for weeks to enchant and gem his gear properly(and the guild vault provides epic gems at 50g per, whereas current AH pricing is around 120+ per), and that was after approaching him initially and telling him as we were talking about gear that I'm pretty well versed in ret gearing/mechanics and am more than willing to help him out with anything or even to just bounce ideas off. The fact is, he just doesn't care that much. And that's sort of the mindset of a lot of them. Even our resto druid didn't realize that haste was a stat he wanted until about four days ago when our holy priest who has a druid alt informed him, the same druid who complained in Ulduar that WoW content had gotten too easy, but after an hour of wiping on hard modes, wanted to give up. The same druid who complains that he never has reason to use Nourish or Healing touch, but still has the Nourish glyph, who always forgot reagents for battle rezz, but didn't have a single minor glyph. Our DK tank, by his own words, is simply too lazy to worry about craftables; he doesn't even like flasking, but does because we keep poking him about it. And it's hit or miss on a nightly basis whether I need to hold his hand through a fight and tell him to use cooldowns, to pop his potion. He at least talks to me regularly about gear upgrades(just not craftables), talent tweaking and the like.

Given, the rant had gone off the idea of just fixing the DPS, but the issue is..that's the attitude that most of the people seem to be taking. Aside from myself, my three officers and one other of our DPS(our feral druid), it seems like they just want to take progression where they can get it, rather than proactively do things to better our chances for success..and while it's not the attitude we want to promote or encourage, the fact of the matter is, even if they don't change their attitudes, we need them until we can find people who have the raid awareness and the interest in bettering their characters outside of the raids we run to increase our chances of success.

01-26-2010, 02:03 PM
I've worked with the ones who were willing to work with me......

*****proceeds to describe the disastrous attitude of his raid comp*****

....the fact of the matter is, even if they don't change their attitudes, we need them until we can find people who have the raid awareness and the interest in bettering their characters outside of the raids we run to increase our chances of success.

Wow. Just -- wow. That's rough.

Yeah, you have no choice but to bench some of these folks. They could be suffering from a bit of "I'm the only game in town" syndrome -- if you don't take them, you don't have a raid. Perhaps when they do get benched, if they don't just gquit, they'll suddenly find an interest in improving...but not before. :(

Hope you find some good replacements.

You could, of course, also just cancel the raids until you find some replacements. I know, that'd mean the guys who pull their weight don't get to go, but if you're getting frustrated....

01-26-2010, 02:45 PM
We've already started trying to recruit some, it's just slow going, amplified by the fact that at this point..we don't really have a whole lot to offer potential recruits who are considering multiple guilds. We can't call ourselves a progression oriented guild with the way things are in the current state, I don't even feel comfortable calling us a guild aspiring to push content and hard modes..since that doesn't really seem to be where most of our players' minds are at and I somehow doubt informing recruits that we're currently a mediocre ten-man guild going through a transitional phase to become something better..will impress many folks.

In any case, this thread rapidly turned from my curiosity about whether people feel if ICC is 'meant' for two-healing into the particular problems with my guild. If a moderator would like to move this into the guild relations forum or such where it may be more appropriate, by all means.

01-26-2010, 08:48 PM
I have been in that same situation before with players who do not want to take advice, refuse to believe they could possibly be doing something wrong and just generally being a detriment to the raid. It got so bad that I (as the raid leader for the guild) had to transfer servers to join another guild. Honestly you have it better than I since you have a few who are willing to improve. The ones who are not willing to improve are holding you guys back and the only real recourse you have is to bench them and replace them. I agree that recruiting will be tough but if you can get it started and begin to show progress it will become easier as you get more progression.

That is my 2 cents on the subject.

01-28-2010, 09:54 AM
We've already started trying to recruit some, it's just slow going...we don't really have a whole lot to offer potential recruits who are considering multiple guilds. We can't call ourselves a progression oriented guild with the way things are in the current state, I don't even feel comfortable calling us a guild aspiring to push content and hard modes...

There are some things you could offer, such as a friendlier atmosphere. Some guilds that push hard-mode progression, etc. can also contain caustic social environments. I know there are a lot of progression guilds out there that have their heads screwed on straight, but for every one that does, there seems to be one (or more) that doesn't. Success always carries the risk of getting a swelled head, and there seems to be plenty of people out there all too willing to allow their ego to get in the way of being a decent human being.

Just remember that for every person you recruit, that's one bad player you can bench. For every "upgrade" you get to your raid, you'll do a little better. And replacing people as they are available could be just the spur needed to serve as a wake up call... "he was the worst player, I know I could to better too, I might be next" they may think to themselves, and try to take steps to improve themselves and prevent that from happening.

The unfortunate part about all of this, is while not everyone can be uber leet, it really doesn't take much to start playing at an acceptable level. People who can't find it within themselves to do at least that much make me sad. :(

01-28-2010, 09:51 PM
I suppose the main problem is that in their eyes, they are playing at an acceptable level. The other issue is that the group of them came together, and I suspect if I bench one, they may end up leaving together, effectively crippling whatever chances at raiding we may have for the foreseeable future without desperation recruitment, which isn't something I even want to consider(though pugging would be a lesser even, pugging four or five people may be a nigh impossible task all its own).

We do offer that atmosphere, but you'd be surprised how many guilds on this server do the same(hardcore progression isn't one of this server's strong points). But, such is just the way of things right now. Only thing I can particularly think of doing is just keeping grinding on until we can pick up some quality folks.

01-29-2010, 08:33 AM
I suppose the main problem is that in their eyes, they are playing at an acceptable level.

Because I have a lot of alts, I can sometimes correct that impression by logging onto an alt of the same class....and doing better than them in worse gear. ;)

If you want to continue trying to work on them (not much else you can do till you have an alternative), try finding resources that scream "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG". I doubt you can get them to look at it, but you can relay the information.

It sounds like you have a very small guild. The other option here may be to take the players you know are good and "deserve better" and just go join another guild. Perhaps another small-ish one that's looking to fill out a second 10-man group, or start up 25's?

01-30-2010, 10:26 AM
I've done the former already. My ret set being my offset, wasn't nearly as good as our ret paladin's gear. Pushed some 1.5k more DPS than him on most boss fights we went in together and I tried to talk to him about it but he didn't really seem interested.

The guild is small, we had maybe a total of 15 people and that's been cut down due to our original shadow priest who just sorta..stopped playing, though his girlfriend still plays on her boomkin, we tried to approach her yesterday with farming for some craftable gear(even told people the GV will help supply the orbs/saronite, 90% of that gold coming directly from the officer's pockets and the rest funding with selling off excess enchanting mats, ect), but the response we got was basically them harping about not getting a staff and that they shouldn't have to farm for craftables and that they need to get gear to drop in raids. We had a couple hunters who had really poor attitudes("My old guilds never made me misdirect, I don't see why I should have to, tanks just need to do more threat at the start and if I pull threat, I have FD so its okay" and if asked to focus down adds, "you're wasting my dps if I'm not on boss"). So we went from deciding what one or two people to sit, to hoping that everyone shows up every night over the course of a couple weeks; and our druid healer got hacked early last week so he hasn't been playing much. As I understand it, he went back to his previous mmo with the shaman and DK tank we have that he's friends with while waiting for blizzard to restore his gear. But since he hasn't logged in in three days now, I don't really know what's going on.

The latter suggestion is also a possibility, the problem is that's more or less how we got into our last guild that fell apart due to inept leadership and I suspect most of us are still a bit snake-bitten, also not really sure if they have much interest in 25's. It's something to keep in mind, as is the idea of just trying to fill up runs of our own with pugs and taking pick of the litter, so to speak.

01-31-2010, 12:58 PM
The problem as I see it is that you're trying to be a progression guild focused on efficiency.. but your members aren't following instructions.

IE: healers not going to DPS and the ret paladin not swapping out his PvP glyph per your instructions

You need to re-assess how you want to proceed.. as a casual guild clearing some of the newer content or as a progression guild looking to take a few shots at Arthas the week he becomes available. Once you make that decision.. you need to get guild members who fall into the same category.

01-31-2010, 01:25 PM
That's exactly the conversation I had a few days ago with my officers. We're all of the same mind, and when most of these folks joined us, they seemed to share the same attitude as far as how we wanted to approach raids. A few months ago, most of them were willing to get their Hodir rep up, farm the materials for their frost gear for Hodir, even get a few craftables made.

Somewhere along the line, some of them lost interest in pushing for that extra bit, though. People who were bored with how easy content was, suddenly didn't want to spend time on hard modes, or ToGC. They want from wanting to progress, to just taking progression where we could coast through it. That isn't the type of environment we're looking to promote or provide people with and one of my biggest personal pet peeves is carrying people who aren't willing to put a little effort into what they're doing.

But, it's not something I can change overnight, so until I can start attracting the proper types of players I'm just trying to make due.

03-02-2010, 10:23 PM
Sounds like a fair number of your core raid members have a bad attitude. I can understand getting riled up if you think that someone is patronisingly trying to tell you what to do, or forcing you to do something unreasonable; but stuff like hunters flat out refusing to MD or refusing to attack anything but the boss just won't cut it if you are trying to progress through ICC (or most raids I'd guess).

As for the original healing question our 10man guild had similar issues, we started with 3 healers: my holy pally, a resto druid and a resto shammy, but found during ulduar that as our gear got better we really only needed 2 healers, the resto shammy went elemental for most fights but would switch back if we ever needed more heals. It went much the same for ToC and ToGC, but the elemental shammy kept getting frustrated that his dps was never as good and we really needed the ranged dps. He levelled up his warlock alt and is now doing very decent dps.

Now coming into ICC however, we've found certain fights which just go so much smoother with 3 heals: Blood Prince Council, Blood Queen Lan'athel, Valithria the Dreamwalker and Sindragosa (who we haven't downed yet). Luckily our shadow priest has a decent-ish holy spec and has managed to swap over to help out. Hell, once you've got the gear some fights, i.e. Saurfang, can be 1-healed (in those instances I've swapped to Prot, our bear tank goes kitty and our resto druid solo heals).

I guess its pretty integral to have a decent number of players with a willingness to do what is necessary to have a shot at progressing through ICC (and future raids).