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Raid Composition: Less Healers and More DPS?

Let’s discuss raid composition.

Up until a week or so ago my guild ran with the following composition:
8 healers
6 Melee DPS
8 Ranged DPS
3 Tanks

The healers, frankly, were allowed to slack off a bit. Assignments could be done with little care as there was often enough healing to allow people to shift focus and still be covered. Generally, not a good thing. So we changed it up and moved to:
7 Healers
6 Melee DPS
9 Ranged DPS
3 Tanks

This seems to be much better, DPS is notably higher, the healers are much more accountable for their actions. We’ve always attacked bosses with a “control the fight” not a “burn them down fast”mentality. I read the Fusion Guild website a really fantastic quote, “Higher DPS is the best MP5 there is.” Quite true.

Some fights in current content can be healed with 6 healers even. For example, last night we did Heroic: Less is More and Heroic: Twilight Assist – We decided to bring 7 healers, since DPS and time wasn’t an issue, but survivability could be. However, going in one of our healers died in the first 60 seconds– to a Void Zone. (Yeah, yeah, yeah I know… they shouldn’t “stand in the fire”) but that isn’t the point to this post.

Learning to run a raid down a healer (and up DPS) is exactly like adjusting to a early healer death: Your healers need to adjust and compensate. That means being more aware, using cooldowns effectively, etc.

How many fights have you not used Guardian Spirit? Quite a few I’d imagine. How many fights have you used it b/c a healer died or D/C’d and you needed to adjust? Probably a much higher number.

Cooldowns are there for a reason. How many fights have you forgotten or not needed to use a mana potion or other potion cooldown because you didn’t even need to worry about mana? Again probably quite a few… but when you have to compensate for being down a healer, you probably did.

The more DPS your raid can put out because they are running with an extra DPS class, the shorter the fight.

No one is saying that you’ll be sitting there muttering, “Oh $&@!, Oh $&@!, Oh $&@!” the entire fight– just learn to be more aware instead of leaning on an extra healer, it may be an adjustment at first, but I’d wager you’ll get used to it.

Written By: on December 30, 2008
  1. To me, the biggest concerns about running with “fewer Healers/more DPS” is always “busted pull recovery” and “trash pack mana regen”. At this point, the boss fights are a known quantity; you know what’s coming and when, and you can plan and adjust accordingly. But my experience is that “more DPS” = “more aggressive DPS”, and that leads to some. . .exciting. . .trash pulls, especially in Naxx-25.

    Chain pulling trash packs (intentional or accidental) can lead to mana problems (I take it as a personal slight if I have to use a mana pot on trash packs). Little spider pack + two packs of Grand Widow followers + the big spider patrol = lots of fun. Three gargoyles + two gargoyles going down to Noth = 15+ stacks of the DoT = lots of fun. Three packs of the floating weapons after Razuvious = lots of fun. There’s about 7 or 8 places in Naxx that I can almost see the trash train wreck coming.

    I have to remind myself to call out for a mana break, and I, at least, always forget to call for Innervates, even though they’re usually available. The times that we do have a trash pack wipe, I can almost always trace it back to the healers running out of mana.

    I think whatever cooldown Blizzard puts on CoH will hinder speed-pulling and/or busted pull recovery, because, when you absolutely have to crank out the HPS in an emergency, nothing comes close to standing on the CoH button.

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