Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Knowing your Raiders: What spec are you again?

Hey Gang!

So, I've been talking to my Raidleader as of late about the in's & out's of our 10-man ICC raid. We were discussing DPS (the damage output & the Actual DPS raiders), Buffs, Debuffs, the works. Once we got on the subject of overlapping Buffs & debuffs that each class brings to the table, it hit me like Patchwerk's Hateful Strike. I don't have the slightest clue what specs our DPS were.

As a tank, you don't really care what spec everyone else is, you just care that the DPS is high & the healing is solid enough to keep us standing on our own two feet (or four if you're a druid).

Is this a good or a bad thing?

Our Raid group consists of:

1X Discipline Priest
1X Resto Druid

1X Protection Paladin
1X Protection Warrior

Ranged DPS~
1X Elemental Shaman
1X Arcane Mage
1X Affliction Warlock
1X Beastmaster Hunter

Melee DPS~
1X Retribution Paladin
1X Enhancment Shaman

As you can see, I can spout them off pretty easily... now. I'm pretty embarrassed though because a few of these people I couldn't tell you before.

I had no clue that the Mage was Arcane. Maybe the Pew Pew should have set me off but I guess I never really looked too hard into it. Would it have really made a difference if they were Fire? Probably not. I can tell Frost Mages from their little water elemental now. So guessing what spec she was, well, it was a hit or miss without knowing more information.

Shamans all look the damn same. They drop totems & two out of the three stand in the back. What if the elemental likes to stand up close & personal to the boss? Well then, I sure couldn't tell you. I mean the chain heal is a dead give away that they are resto but really? I see 4 totems on the floor that are doing something, that's all I know.

Oh, let me tell you about hunters. Ummm they have a pet & they use a bow. You seriously need three separate trees to do that? Ok, ok, I understand that Beastmaster can tame sweet Spirit Beasts or lol T-Rex but what do the other ones do that really makes a difference in the play style? YOU SHOOT A BOW!

WoW, this is turning into a rant.

So ok, my point being, does it really matter, to a tank, what spec the rest of the party really is? I mean, does it help me in any way to know that the Warlock is Affliction rather than Destruction? I'm really just not seeing a major point to knowing that information if you are not the Raid leader.

What do you think? Is it important for you to know what spec everyone else is or do you just work around what you see?

<3 Fuu


  1. Yes it's important for a tank to know people's specs and the implications.

    If the warlock is Affliction it means the Warrior tank should use Commanding Shout and the Prot Pally provide Blessing of Might (liasing with the Ret Pally).

    If the warlock is Destro it means they will have an imp so Commanding Shout is redundant, so use Battle Shout instead. In turn that makes Blessing of Might redundant so instead the Prot Pally can hand out different blessings (liasing with the Ret Pally). Offering Blessing of Wisdom gives the shamans the opportunity to use a different totem instead of mana spring.

    And so on. Lots of knockon effects.

  2. @ Anon So you feel that it is important for everyone to know what spec everyone is only because of the buff stand point?

    What if someone is "specced" into something that is optional? Such as a Warlock Cookie? Or a Protection Paladin going into the Retribution Tree for the increased DPS on their Target?

    Should you know these things too? What other reasons should someone know what specs their raiders are?

    <3 Fuu

  3. Two big ones for me: Gear & Role in a raid

    Gear - not for all classes obviously, but take your shamans for instance. Elemental shamans will most definitely not use the same gear as an enhancement shaman. This really isn't important to the rest of the raid as it is the RL, BUT, if I was say, a hunter, it would be good to know that if there is an enchancement shaman in my raid, I know i will have someone to roll against and to save my DKP, etc.

    Role in a raid - this is important for the tank (and to a lesser extent the rest of the raid) as certain specs of a class will be better suited for a roll. Therefore if you know the specs of your raid members you will be better able to guage where problem areas may occur based on weaknesses of said spec.

    Let's take the Lady D encounter for instance. You need melee on certain types of adds and casters on others. I'm going to use your shamans as an example again. Using your group make up, you know that you have a hunter, pally and enhance shaman for casters and elemental shaman, mage and warlock for physical. The balance is good and adds should go down pretty easily. But, say BOTH shamans were enhancement, you now have a surplus of melee so downing physical adds may be problematic. You have now addressed the issue and will be able to perhaps focus on those adds first to ensure that they are down before others. Had you not known the group make up, you wouldn't have been able to make up for that weakness.

    And before you say both of these points really fall on the RL, they don't. You shouldn't require the RL to know what gear should be given to what people and likewise it's not the raid leaders job to tell people how to play their class. Everyone should know the strengths and weaknesses of their raid, so when problems occur you can fix them yourself rather than waste precious seconds waiting for the RL to tell you what to do.

  4. I tend to try to remember what everyone's two specs are, so that if switching around happens (for a singular fight or have to replace someone), I still have an idea of how to work together. This is specifically for healers and tanks, since often the other classes in the same role determine what they are doing (you have a tree and a pally, guess who's tank healing...though it doesn't necessarily have to be the pally). But it's also useful for the DPS to know some hybrid's off-spec for @Anon#2's reasons: possible gear competition or DPS roles.

    For example, if I see a boomkin or an unholy DK, I know I'm free to put up Agony or Doom as my curse. But if I don't see the moonkin and there's no unholy DK in my raid, I need to be putting up Curse of the Elements (unless I can badger another warlock to do it) to provide that debuff.

    Or, if the moonkin is normally a moonkin, but for this fight she goes tree. She does spectacular dps as a moonkin, so since we're down a DPS, we other DPS might want to step it up a lot to compensate for her going to tree.

    I know people watch the specs of shamans because some shamans drop totems beneficial to *their* role and some drop totems less beneficial to them, more beneficial to the *raid*.

    I keep coming up with buff uses, crap. =/

  5. Ok, as a good lock, I like to keep my curses up on the boss. But for the life of me I can't figure out what an Unholy DK looks like. Short of pulling up their armory page, or asking them, what buff/debuff should I be looking at?? I've taken to simply not casting any curse (in 5 man pugs) or always doing COE (in raids).

  6. Unholy DKs have their pet with them all the time

  7. As others have pointed out, the reason you need to do this is to keep track of the buffs/debuffs each gives to the raid. So speaking solely from the perspective of a magical dps-er, this is what I usually keep track of:

    1) 3%hit - Misery(SPriest)/Imp FF(Boomkin)
    2) 13%dmg - Earth&Moon(Boomkin)/EbonPlague(UnholyDK)/CoE(Warlock)
    3) 3%crit - Totem of Wrath/Heart of the Crusader(Ret)
    4) 5%crit - Moonkin Aura/Elemental Oath
    5) 5%crit - Scorch(Mage)/Imp SBolt(Afflic/Demo)
    6) 3% haste - Imp Moonkin Form/Swift Retribution(Ret)
    7) 5%haste - Wrath of Air Totem
    8) +SP - Flametongue Totem/Demonic Pact(Demo)
    9) Replenishment - RetPally/SVHunter/SPriest/Destro Lock/Frost Mage

    I believe all these buffs/debuffs should stack. Obviously Totems are provided by the shamans. Having said this, I don't know what a BM Hunter brings to a raid (unless he brings a pet that does a bleed effect, i'm not sure).

  8. @Elkagorasa

    Koalabear's advice about the pet is good, but I also use a tooltip addon that lets me put the main talent spec into the tooltip of the person. That's how I tell.

  9. I usually look for excessive use of unholy blight or w/e.

    I think it's important to know the classes that may affect your buffing, but beyond that, I'm not sure every raider needs to know every other raider's specs... only the ones that may affect what they do.