A Realization - Raid Balance, hybrids, and WotLK

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A Realization - Raid Balance, hybrids, and WotLK

Postby Baelor » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:22 am

http://e4ae.blogspot.com/2008/07/raid-c ... wotlk.html

We've got a problem. 25-man cap on a raid - 10 classes eligible to fill 25 spots. If Blizzard continues to tune encounters similarly to how they are now, raid leaders will want 7-9 healers in the raid. Let's average it and call it 8.

H'okay, so you've got your 25-man raid, and you can choose from 10 different classes - that means 2.5 spots per class. You'll take 3 of some classes, 2 of others, to retain raid balance.

But wait - there are only 4 classes that can heal. If you want 8 healers, that means you need to take 2-3 of each healer class. Consequently, if raid leaders try to stick to the "no more than 3" rule for each class to retain class parity in raids, now you start bumping hybrids out. If you're taking 2 resto shaman, you can't have both an enhancer and an ele in there too. More close to home, if you bring 2 holy paladins, you can't bring a ret AND a prot without bumping another class down to a 1-character representation.

Problems are afoot.
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Postby Worldie » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:25 am

It will probably work pretty much like it is now.

Big space to hybrid classes, less to pure classes.

Probably we'll still see 5-6 priests per raid (we tend to bring 2 holy 3 shadow or 3 holy 2 shadow quite often), 3-5 shamans (2-3 resto, 0-1 enha, 0-1 elem) and 3 paladins (1 holy 1 prot 1 ret). We'll as well probably see a decrease in the number of mages, locks, hunters and rogues taken to the raid.
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Postby Mortehl » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:27 am

I honestly think that healing is going to drop down to 5 hard primary healers and maybe 1-2 hybrid role healers who play the swing vote in dps/healing.
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Postby Sharlos » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:29 am

Hmm, never considered that. But seeing how I just finished an SSC with 2 holy paladins, 2 prot paladins and a ret paladin in it, it probabbly won't be a huge deal.

But priests have 2 viable healing trees now so who knows.
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Postby Splug » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:32 am

It actually looks like they're trying really hard to put heavy emphasis on even the "pure" damage classes having more utility, such as locks getting CoE/CoS rolled together, and survival turning into shadow priests. I'm guessing it'll look more like "fill X damage spots, Y healing spots, and Z tanking spots. Don't overshoot with so many of any one class that the buffs stop stacking." In short, you're not going to Noah's Ark your raid to have one of every spec, you'll have to pick some to cut. In an ideal raid-stacking scenario, that means choosing to go either physical heavy and cut a lot of the caster classes in favor of people with +ap buffs/debuffs and the like (survival hunter, enhance shaman, arms warrior, etc), or go caster heavy and do the opposite (moonkin druid, elemental shaman, etc). Some of the hybrids like shadow priests may be a staple either way. Of course, that's all speculation.

What's more worrisome is that most likely it'll be tuned to 3 tanks with 4 classes available. So, someone's going to get cut on that grounds. If the ballance is right, it'll just vary from guild to guild.

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Postby Worldie » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:37 am

Druids and Death knights look like being decent DPS as well as tanks, so i'd assume that a normal raid would bring 1 of each class, and the druid or DK will likely be DPSing in part of the encounters.

Also, they boosted prot warriors offtank utility, and increased the efficiency of prot pala healing and dpsing so...
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Postby Khayne » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:40 am

If Blizzard continues to tune encounters similarly to how they are now, raid leaders will want 7-9 healers in the raid. Let's average it and call it 8.


"IF" is a big word.

considering all the dps increases and increase of dps checks in sunwell compared to the older tbc dungeons, i´m not sure if we´re supposed to take as much healers as before instead of more dps (more off-specs such as ele/enc shammys, retri palas, doomkins, dps warriors?).
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Postby Mortehl » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:45 am

I see 3 tank positions, 2 DPS/Tank hybrid positions, 5 healer positions, 2 healer/dps hybrid positions, 13 primary dps positions as being the raid composition in wrath.
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Postby Snake-Aes » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:46 am

I think WotLK healing will change a lot. Feels like they want to have lower avoidance, higher EH tanks around for a steadier damage income.
I can easily see raiding Discipline Priest Healers, for example. Stuff like that really boosts tank survivability.
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Postby moduspwnens » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:46 am

Khayne wrote:
If Blizzard continues to tune encounters similarly to how they are now, raid leaders will want 7-9 healers in the raid. Let's average it and call it 8.


"IF" is a big word.

considering all the dps increases and increase of dps checks in sunwell compared to the older tbc dungeons, i´m not sure if we´re supposed to take as much healers as before instead of more dps (more off-specs such as ele/enc shammys, retri palas, doomkins, dps warriors?).


That'd be a good idea, but I haven't seen any indication that there's a plan to do this.
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Postby Dorvan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:59 am

We've seen very little evidence of anything with regard to 25 man raid design in WotLK. I think any nail biting about what classes will or won't be squeezed out is premature until we actually know a little about the encounters.
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Postby Baelor » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:05 am

Dorvan wrote:We've seen very little evidence of anything with regard to 25 man raid design in WotLK. I think any nail biting about what classes will or won't be squeezed out is premature until we actually know a little about the encounters.

I'm not nail biting, I'm simply extending out a line of thinking. Vanilla to TBC kept the same healer to raid size ratio, if I remember correctly. Is it crazy to consider that the number of healers in 25-mans will stay consistent in Northrend?

Granted, I'm not saying we should raise an alarm and storm Blizzard's HQ, crash servers and demand they design raid encounters with a lower healer count in mind. I'm just raising a point of concern that, if unaddressed, could be a bit problematic for raid composition.
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Postby Splug » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:08 am

Well, they have added a new class that can tank or deal damage, but cannot heal. If anything, this would point toward going one slot lighter on healing to retain ballance and allow the new class to have an equal time share. Whether that happens or not, we shall see.

As long as we don't have to deal with bipolarwell's raid demands, I'll be content.

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Postby Sabindeus » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:13 am

I don't see this as an issue if they don't make encounters punish not having certain classes.

It should be "25 people of appropriate roles" rather than "2.5 spots per class".
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Postby Dorvan » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:13 am

Well, the main problem is that your premise is that raids first and foremost balance around having an equal number of each class. I see no reason for that assumption, and it certainly hasn't been my experience in TBC. We tend to bring a lot of Shaman and Warlocks to our raids, while we often have only 1-2 Hunters and Mages. We almost always have 3 Paladins in our raids, and 4 isn't uncommon. Priests will be anywhere from 2-4.

In short, raids balance themselves around what makes sense as a solid make up, not what gives equal representation to every single class. If one class is particularly strong for raiding, it'll get more spots. If another is relatively weak, guilds won't replace members of the class when they leave and their raiding representation will go down. The strength of Ret and Holy Pallies has very little to do with whether a Prot Pally gets a raid spot.
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