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In Which we Test Out a New Tank and Wipe Frequently

March 24, 2011

Last night’s raid was the kind of raid that makes one want to go raid the liquor cabinet afterward and loot all the Jack Daniel’s. Except that I don’t have a liquor cabinet or any Jack Daniel’s. So, I guess I’ll blog about everything instead.

We tested out a new tank last night. He’s a Paladin, and although he didn’t have any Cataclysm raid experience, he had a great application, is a really nice guy with a good attitude, and performed well in the random heroic we ran before raiding. We knew that there would be a learning curve as we explained the fights to him and that we might have some wipes and might not get through all our farm bosses.

Let me just say that it is not fun to go from one-shotting most bosses and starting work on Nefarian to spending a couple hours wiping on Magmaw.

Our new Paladin tank does not know how to pick up multiple adds and hold AoE threat on them. Our strategy for Magmaw is basically to have everyone stand in melee while a Pally tank holds all the parasites. Occasionally we have DPS turn around and nuke the adds so the tank doesn’t get overwhelmed. (I’m simplifying the strategy a bit here.) This has worked well for us for many weeks now. Unfortunately, we had multiple parasites escaping the new tank and getting into melee range, which caused us to wipe over and over again. We finally managed to down Magmaw, but it was not pretty. (It might have been easier to have the new Pally main tank Magmaw while our Warrior tanked the parasites, but our Warrior has never tanked the parasites, so that would have been two tanks trying to fill new roles.)

Omnitron went a lot better than Magmaw. We wiped a couple of times as the new tank got the hang of the mechanics, but then the new tank pulled off an incredible save when our Warrior tank disconnected. The Pally held both bosses for a minute or two until our Warrior got back and we were able to make the kill. Hooray! On to Maloriak.

Maloriak was horribly frustrating. First of all, the new tank could not control the adds. They were constantly aggroed on the healers. We also usually have the mages throw frost rings next to the add tank when he has 9 adds to take the pressure off him for a while – but the new tank didn’t know how frost rings work. I finally realized that he was holding the mobs in the middle of the circle, right in the safe zone, instead of running them through it and freezing them. I only realized this on our 8th or 9th attempt…

Our difficulties with Maloriak were not solely because of the new tank, however. For one thing, I had been DPSing as Boomkin the entire night. We had four healers show up and were initially short a DPS, and since I’m the only healer that can pull decent deeps in my off-spec, I’m the one who went Boomy. Now, I held my own – pulling 11-15k dps on most pulls – but I am also the best healer. (If I do say so myself.) Sadly, our raid leader and Holy Pally is, well, probably our worst healer. I hate to say it, because she’s a great player who’s new to healing for this expansion, so she’s just learning the job. She’s also a good friend and a really good raid leader. But she’s consistently under-performing. I just don’t understand why she’s being outhealed by two Druids and a Shaman on a consistent basis. She’s sitting around 7k hps on average while all the rest of us are pulling 10-13k hps. She’s at least as well geared as the other healers. We’ve tried to help figure out what she’s doing wrong and tried to help her improve. But unfortunately it’s just not working…

We also had problems with Remedy. Our Mage was assigned to spellsteal Remedy, and he just wasn’t doing it. On the attempts where we got to the second green phase, Maloriak was still around 60% health because he kept getting off Remedy. I finally looked at the dispells in Recount, and our Mage was only spellstealing Remedy about once per attempt. All the other times our tank was managing to take it off with Shield Slam (or whatever that thing is they do), and often Remedy was ticking for quite a while beforehand because Shield Slam was on cooldown.

So, finally we switched things up. Our Holy Pally benched herself and I switched over to heals. We brought in our Hunter and a different Mage who usually does the spellstealing. I explained how frost rings work to our new Pally tank. And finally, FINALLY we downed Maloriak after 4 hours of raiding. (And then we sharded all the loot because no one needed it. Grrr…)

I don’t know what we’re going to do. Part of me hopes that the new tank gets better and works out. (I hope he doesn’t feel too discouraged after last night.) Part of me hopes our Holy Pally/Raid Leader will go back to tanking – she’s good at tanking – but that will leave us with exactly three healers, which makes me a little nervous.

We were hoping to start running Blackwing Descent on Wednesdays, (working on Nefarian if we have time), and run Bastion of Twilight on Thursdays. Because of our poor performance yesterday that may not be the best plan for this week… We might continue with BWD tonight. I don’t know.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2011 12:57 pm

    Couple of things to run by the healer–does she have a rotation at all? Is she casting 100% of the time? Is she afraid of overhealing because she runs out of mana if she puts on the burn?

    As for the pally tank, is he aware of the need to be hitting each target at least once in a pull?

    • March 25, 2011 12:57 pm

      Oh this is Mary by the way. Got a WordPress ID because I’m toying with the feminist book blog thing we were talking about.

    • March 25, 2011 2:43 pm

      Well, I don’t know as much about Holy Pally healing as I really should… I do have a level 85 Holy Pally, but I haven’t played her enough. She can’t even get into heroics. However, I have had a couple other Holy Pallies that I know talk to her.

      She prefers to heal with Holy Light (the more efficient but weak heal) than with Divine Light (the powerful more expensive heal) because she has mana issues. We figured out that she wasn’t judging often enough which was gimping her mana, so she set up an obnoxious warning in Power Auras to remind herself to judge. She also has Tyrande’s Favorite Doll, so she should be getting tons of mana back with that. But looking over the logs for this week’s raids, it seems she’s gone back to Holy Light healing again…

      We thought that part of the problem might be Holy Power generation and usage. She used to prefer to use her holy power for Light of Dawn (the AoE cone heal) instead of on Word of Glory (single target, consumes Holy Power), but I’ve heard that WoG is generally a better choice, and she’s using it more often now.

      I’m just kinda baffled. 😦

      • March 25, 2011 9:52 pm

        Dur on the judging, I guess (I know very little about pally healing myself). If she’s single-target healing, she should be WoG as often as possible, no question there. Is she running into trouble raid healing or tank healing?

        Also, how’s her latency/frame rate? Which UI mods is she using?

      • March 25, 2011 10:55 pm

        Well, she’s mostly been assigned to tank healing because she doesn’t feel comfortable raid healing and our shaman doesn’t feel comfortable tank healing. But on either assignment her numbers are low.

        I know that she uses Power Auras and Healbot. I’m not sure what other add ons she has. I use Healbot myself. I’m also not sure about her latency.

  2. March 25, 2011 9:56 pm

    Also, I was going to ask which style you were using, as I like it very much, only to find out on the bottom of the page that I had ALREADY IMPLEMENTED IT FOR MY BLOG CRAZY THOUGHT TWINS GET OUT OF MY BRAIN.

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