Drop & Give Me 50!

Go run the last boss in AN, make sure everyone survives. Go kill the first boss in UK without breaking any Ice Blocks. Go kill the second boss in AK and she had better not get ANY kind of buff from her watchers. Go get your achievements for Skadi, stay the HELL out of the ice breath! Go do your Wyrmrest Dailies… DAILY! Go tank Halls of Stone, no I don’t care if you’re a druid and terribad at AoE tanking, do it anyway!

Go do all these things, if you weren’t on heroic, you’re doin’ it wrong, go and do it again.

Nobody was born to raid. There isn’t a single person who was able to step into raiding, WoW, any game, or any thing, and immediately find themselves an expert at it. No, I’m pretty sure that this is an unqualified absolute.

There are some people who learn more quickly than others. Sometimes a person’s learning curve will be so quick that it seems like they’ve picked it up immediately, but trust me, there was a curve.

In a guild raiding environment, expecially with 25 people, the raid lead(ers) always have to keep an eye on the fight, what they are doing, and what everyone else is doing so that they can adequately flush out problems.

Problem is, there’s only so many times you can say “Stop standing in the fire” before you have to try something else.

It would seem to me, that nobody stands in the fire on purpose. Some people don’t have the best reaction time, some people are inattentive, sometimes it’s even just bad luck! In order to really get people to quit standing in the fire is to help them find out why they keep standing in the fire, so that the problem can be avoided in the future.

If it’s a problem of reaction time or attentiveness, then that person needs to practice. Problem is, they can’t practice unless they’re in the raid, and 24 other people get socked with repair bills while they learn and hone their skills…. right?


We’ve got these wonderful little things called Heroic instances, right? We’ve also got a number of achievements for these instances, many of which involve increased gear, skill, focus, dedication…. you get the idea.

Don’t think of heroic achievements as useless title-mongering, use them as tools to help train your guildmates who might lack necessary raid skills. It’s a lot easier to get a group of 5 people to agree to run a single boss ten times than it is to get a group of 25 to do the same thing.

Here’s some specifics on the fights I listed at the start of the post, and why I mentioned them specifically:

  • Azjol’Nerub, the last boss is wonderful practice for environmental and boss awareness. It’s also a good fight for running around and picking up adds. This boss, I think, is THE best way to practice for Sartharion with drakes, weather you’re tanking, dpsing, or healing. Watch his cast bar, get AWAY from the pound. Watch the ground and get away from the rocks so you don’t get spiked. Make sure you pick up the adds, if you’ve got an add, bring it to your tank, cleanse the poison (or heal through). It’s a challenging encounter, but VERY good practice for even more challenging encounters.
  • The first boss in Utgarde Keep will toss out Ice Blocks. You can attack your teammates and free them, similar to the Demon Chains on Illhoof in Kharazan. However, if you leave your teammates ice-blocked you’ve got a mechanic similar to Kel’Thuzad! In fact, it’s even more challenging than taking on KT because you’ve only got 5 people. If your healer gets blocked you could be in a very bad situation. Learn to work around it and KT ain’t got nothin’ on you.
  • Making sure the second boss in Ahn’Kahet: Old Kingdom doesn’t get any buff from her watchers is an excellent test of burst-DPS. You have to kill them, and kill them FAST or she gets a rather nasty buff- wait, this sounds familiar, almost like dealing with sparks on the Malygos fight? Ding.
  • Aaaah Skadi, you sick SoB. Second boss in Utgarde Pinnacle. Fight your way up a gauntlet while dodging shooting ice breaths…. yeah, don’t stand in the ‘fire’.
  • The Wyrmrest Daily, Aces High or something. I personally haven’t done it (still working on that chain akshully). However, this fight is direct training for Malygos on phase 3. Things can get a little chatoic when you’ve got 25 dragons all flapping around and can’t see anything and are getting vertigo from the spinning sky. Trust me, it helps to know what you’re doing ahead-of-time.
  • The last one is for me. Once again I’m on flame-duty for Sartharion. I’ll tell you what, it’s rough. It’s a HARD job to do. I’ve found though, that with practice I can overcome a Druid’s shortcomings and do the job well enough. Doing that stupid gauntlet thing in HoS though is great for practice.
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  • Comments (5)
  1. This is a very good list that I may have to link soon. I really like the idea of heroics as a “training grounds”, and have personally thought of it that way for some time. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like to PuG (aka you sh ould train with the people you’re going to be playing with, right?). What you’ve started here is to almost “break down” the heroic boss fights into “lessons” like if you were teaching a class. Being the son of two teachers, this resonates deeply in a part of me that I keep hidden from WoW. However, it is quite valid and really interesting to approach things that way.

    Not to give you ideas, but I think a “lesson plan” post would be pretty neat. 🙂 I wonder if Blizz designs the encounters with this in mind (probably), meaning you could almost craft a pre-Naxx “boot camp” for skill training. I’m sure some hardcore guilds do this already without calling it that, but I think its a fun idea in any case.

    • Tigerfeet
    • February 16th, 2009

    Mmmmm, that is a thought! I’d love to see a list like that actually. (I’ll warn you though, I have a reputation for announcing I’ll do things and then promptly forgetting about it)

    As for lesson plans… I did write a curriculum once, and worked as a teacher at a computer camp… srsly, nothing more fulfilling than teaching an 8 year old how to use 3D Studio Max. Kids are AMAZING.

    I don’t like Pugging either, and there’s some instances I don’t like running with certain guildies because they’re just really bad at it. I should probably take my own advice and help them learn and improve… *ponder*

  2. Ha. -OR- Hand them a to-do list of places to “practice” before they “graduate” to instancing with you. Then you can pretend its a real big honor and all and issues paper certificates and hand out candies.

    Man, I should be in HR.

    You could even double that and publish the list here and kill two birds with one stone. Then again, if you don’t, I’ll probably forget too. Just as I’m about 98% sure that when I blog I’m regurgitating something I read, I just can never remember where. Heck, I’m amazed I checked my own comment for a response. I was humming Mr. Jones and it occurred to me… 🙂

    • Jeursey
    • February 24th, 2009

    My first heroic as a druid tank (and I mean EVER – I never got into the BC heroics before WotLK) was HoS. I had never even run it before on normal! Hoo boy, was THAT a learning experience… Thank goodness I have a patient guild.

    Yes, we completed it.

    We only wiped once on the Bronzebeard event. Well, okay, twice… but somehow we completed it the second time despite wiping. Whee!

    So, I can haz raid MT now? ;D

    • Tigerfeet
    • February 24th, 2009

    Jeursey – You did better than I did! HoS was my first heroic as a fresh 80 too. We killed baby-gruul but that was about it, couldn’t kill Maiden, couldn’t do the dwarven event, nuthin. It was HUGE dissapointment to me, I felt like the world’s worst tank for a week.

    We recently went back though and stomped this place’s face!

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