Monday, January 5, 2009

Raid 101, or "How to Get in a Raid Almost Every Time"

Non-Gamer's Guide to This Post

A raid is a large group of people banding together to fight a hard-to-kill boss. You can only bring a maximum of 10 people to some raids and 25 to others, depending on boss difficulty settings.

Healers keep people from losing health and dying.

Tanks have low damage and high defense. He or she keeps the boss's attention (ie, aggro) so that it doesn't attack the rest of the group.

Dps (damage-per-second) attack the boss and put out a lot of damage to kill it quickly.


The What

This one tip will get you into raids a lot more than you otherwise would. It's very simple, takes some time, but is very effective.

Roll a healer.

The Why

The idea is to be willing to fill a slot that your guild is missing. If you're low on healers, going heals is a surefire way to get in and see raid instances.

Dps, on the other hand, is the easiest and most common spec, a dime a dozen, and even being good dps doesn't guarantee anyone a raid slot.

Healing takes a lot of the competition for raid slots right out. I would say tanking does the same, but not so much with the death knight craze.

Tanks and heals are essential to any instance or raid. If you perform one of these essential roles and aren't a nincompoop, you will be taken more often than if you just played dps.

"I don't enjoy healing! Or tanking! Dps is fun!" So sayeth 50 other people in your guild. Good luck beating them for the raid spot.

Prompted By

I read a WoW Insider post and thought about how tough it is for my guild's raid leaders to choose a team. There are so many people signed, they always go back to basics and look at gear and previous performance. A lot of people are pretty equal in skill, so they get rotated per raid based on gear and who's best for the boss, and others are seasoned veterans who would get us where we needed to go if we were that kind of guild, but it usually just comes back to "How ready are you and how well do you fit what we need this raid?"

I'm not saying everyone must go heals, because some people hate heals, but before you start getting upset that you weren't chosen for this or that raid, consider how many dps your guild has (how many of your class your guild has!) and who you're competing with for a spot.

If you've worked hard and tried your best and didn't get rewarded for it this time, put the raid into perspective, calm down, and work on your gear. Patience. You'll get in. It often just takes longer if you're dps.


  1. It's true.

    Almost every time anything happens, even if it's just a Heroic Dungeon, there is this.... absence of Healers. Or Tanks. Or both, even.

    And yet finding DPS is like finding assholes on the internet. Mostly because they are the same people...

    It takes gifted individuals to play Healers. They have to put up the most rampant amount of bitching, whining, and whispers of "plz heel 4 mai p4rti?".

    Tanks, not so much. You just have to get used to the fact that you *want* to get hit. A lot. In fact, you actually go out of your way *to* get hit just to maintain your Rage so you can continue tanking.

    Any idiot (myself included) can roll DPS and do fine. Just button-mash and you'll be wondering when the boss with just drop. Or why the Hell did you just draw aggro.

    That happens to me a lot. Stupid Fire-spec causing too much threat...

  2. I'm going to be healing with Dusty at 80 -- not because I'm dying to heal but because the early raid needs another dedicated healer. We've been waiting quite a while to get one running, and I want it to succeed. :)

  3. Oho! That's quite a goal, and I approve. I once tried to roll a priest after I hit 70 on my mage and....

    Well, let's just say that I have since deleted that character and leveled my mage to 80. >.>

    I wish you luck in your endeavor to play as Healer after being DPS.

  4. Wat!? You're going to raid heal?

    /unsign Naxx

    JK -- You spam CoH and I'll keep the tank up, kk?

  5. Jon, quit being a jerk.

    That's all. ;)

  6. And healing is rewarding, too. I've got a local group of four buddies who play WoW, running 5 mans, because we don't get as much tabletop gaming in as we'd like. I kind of got heal by default because no one else picked it up and someone had to and I was willing. And I love it. When things run smoothly, it's as simple as maintain heals and contribute to DPS as opportunity allows. When something goes wrong it is extremely satisfying to know that the group would have wiped except you anticipated spike damage at the right time, caught the mage with insta-heals in time to save his butt, or used a mass heal at the right time to keep everyone alive long enough to reestablish a disciplined fight.

    The role really isn't any more important than DPS or tank. That is reinforced every time I try to solo an elite close to my level. I just keep thinking, "I could do this more easily . . . or do it period . . . if I just had a tank." A good group is all about the tank, dps, healing synergy. Healing is just a very visible element of that synergy.

    And if you ever feel underappreciated as a healer, just jump into a battleground. Find a teammate getting whooped, catch him with a heal just in the nick of time (and in PvP it's always "the nick of time") and you will get /bows, /ty, /marryme more sincere than I ever see running instances. Even in as good a group as I run with. Emotions just run high in battlegrounds and appreciation of teammates is proportionally exaggerated.

    Honestly, healing is awesome.

  7. I play a Holy Paladin on EU realm Aerie Peak. This is my main and only character.

    I agree with everything. I've gotten many a PuG and more recently guild 10-man Naxxramas run simply from being a healer, 2 open healing slots to fill. In another game I used to play, Guild Wars, monks (healers) were always in demand.

    DPS is always the easy option, and it is rarely played well. When my healing was poor at the start of Wrath it was noticeable. Now, I've turned to Recount DPS meter to prove to DPS that hey - they may actually be too slow in killing a boss. 60% of tanks I heal aren't even defense capped yet. I can heal through the spikes. It's the DPS taking their merry time getting the enemies down that is always the problem.

    As for which healer to chose for example in a raid, the lines are blurring a bit but it's safe to say out of the 4 classes either one in combination with another or another two can get the job done :)

  8. I will agree Dusty, it does seem that being a healer helps you get a group, but there have been at least 2 occasions where we had a healer (myself) and a tank with 1-2 dps...but we couldn't find another.

    Ah...the only downside to being a late-night player...


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