Thursday, January 3, 2013

Building a Raid: Slots and Buff/Debuff Optimization

I've been considering starting a raid team, so this post and a few to follow are my opinions on how a raid should be established and managed. My intention is to have a page I can point people to so they know what to expect, and to make myself open to constructive criticism on the record. I welcome any advice.

Ideal 10 Man Raid Composition:

  1. Tank
  2. Tank/DPS
  3. Healer
  4. Healer
  5. Healer/DPS
  6. DPS
  7. DPS
  8. DPS
  9. DPS/Tank
  10. DPS/Healer

Ideal Tank Team:

Two tanks who know what they're doing. 1 tank must have a DPS off-spec. While it might be ideal having 1 Plate and 1 Leather wearing tank, gear competition takes backseat to having two tanks that work well together.

Ideal Healer Team Composition:
  • Pally or Disc Priest (Absorbs based) - Tank Healer
  • Shaman or Monk (Synergy/Utility) - Tank and/or Raid Healer
  • Druid or Holy Priest (HoT/AoE based) - Raid Healer
Effective performance takes precedence over class/spec preference.
1 healer is greatly desired to have a DPS off-spec, increasingly so with progression.
For fights where one tank takes damage at a time, use one healer on tanks, two on raid.
For fights where both tanks take damage simultaneously, use 1 healer on each tank with overlap between them.
Healer assignments are priorities. All healers heal all raiders, prioritizing their assignments.
I don't know much about Monks other than what I've read on EJ, Noxxic, Icy-Veins, and WoW Insider.

Ideal DPS composition:
  • Competent DPS that stays out of fire.
Seriously, that's it. I'll take 3 Locks and 2 Rogues that get it done over an ideal balance of specs that fails.

Having 1 DPS each with a tank and healing off-spec will greatly reduce raid delays or cancellations, but should not be required of DPS who don't wish to fill those roles.

Buff/Debuff Optimization:

Player performance comes before class consideration by far. This information is to help optimize any given group composition, not to guide recruiting.

Hunters should be prepared to bring a pet that has a buff/debuff otherwise missing from raid composition. A handy Flowchart can help.

TL;DR (BM only/all specs):

Core Hound>Quilen>5% Stats>Mastery>5% Crit>10% Stamina>assess caster/melee balance>
Caster Heavy: 10% Spell Power>8% Magic Damage>10% Physical Haste>4% Physical Vunerability>12% Weakened Armor
Melee Heavy: 10% Physical Haste>4% Physical Vunerability>12% Weakened Armor>10% Spell Power>8% Magic Damage

10% Attack Power
10% Physical Haste
5% Increased stats
5% Critical bonus
10% Spell Power
5% Spell Haste
10% Stamina

Given the popularity of both Hunters and DK's, 10% AP is not a problem

10% Physical Haste is likely to be covered, but should be checked for.

5% Stats will almost certainly be covered. If there is no Druid, Pally, or Monk, that is a strange group comp indeed.

5% Crit should be checked for.

Mastery is likely be covered.

10% Spell Power likely to be covered.

5% Spell Haste should especially be checked for, since only 3 specs bring it.

Weakened Armor
Effect: -12% armor
Physical Vulnerability
Effect: +4% physical damage taken
Magic Vulnerability
Effect: +8% spell damage taken
Weakened Blows
Effect: -10% physical damage done.

Though Resto Druids can provide Weakened Armor, it's much preferable not to distract them. If there is no non-healing Druid, this should be provided by a Hunter before a Warrior or Rogue, unless another buff is needed as well..

If there is no Plate DPS, but there is a Hunter with a Rogue and/or Feral Druid, the Hunter should probably bring the Physical Vulnerability debuff, depending on group comp.

Magic Vulnerability is the moste likely debuff to be missing, as Warlocks and Rogues are less popular. If a raid is otherwise heavy on magic damage but missing these classes, a Hunter should provide this buff.

As all tanks bring Weakened Blows, this debuff is not a concern.

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