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Raid Rx: Transitioning to 25-man raiding

Marcie Knox

Raid Rx is designed to encapsulate and cure the shock and horror that is 25-man raid healing. Ok, so it's mostly horror... Anyways, if you're a big fan of X-TREME Whack-A-Mole (or are being forced into it against your will) this is the column for you.

More often than not, when your guild is about to work on a new boss, everyone reads the same strat covering the same information. There are handy diagrams, complete with colored ovals for where the masses are to stand, run, or more often, die. If you're lucky, you'll get a paragraph at the end that says something like "Healers: Keep the raid alive. Watch for spike damage on the tanks." Not always useful...

My goal with this column is to explore what it is to be part of a 25-man raid healing team and tips to be successful at it. Much of what I'll cover will be from a healing lead's perspective, but the more everyone knows about the healing big picture, the better. I'm going to discuss what I have found through experience, so if you have Illidan questions, please give me couple of months (or more, silly holidays!) and I'll get back to you.

Transitioning to 25-Man Raiding
Being my first post, I figured the best place to start is at the beginning. You have finished off most if not all of Karahzan. ZA looks cool, but you're just not that into trolls or wooden armor. (If you've already beaten it, +50DKP!) Plus, at least 24 other people you know are chomping at the bit to down them some High King Maulgar. So what do you need to do to make that happen? Here are some basics to get you started:

  1. You need at least one of each healing class. Yes, even a holy priest and the rare resto druid. No matter what you've heard, running with all paladins really won't get you very far, nor make the journey pleasant.

  2. You have 6-8 raid slots for healers to work with. Start with 7 and make adjustments as you go.

  3. All healers must have the following information instantly available at all times:
    a) Raid Health Monitor
    b) Range Indicator

    Most people have the first one. Even the default UI performs this function. It's the range indicator that you'll need to check for. Some addons already have range built in (Grid, SRaidFrames, HealBot, X/Classic Perl, Pitbull, etc.), but if you encounter a purist, have them download RaidRangeAid. This will add range capabilities to the default raid UI.

  4. Have at least 2 people willing and able to handle the healing assignments. The raid leader is not the best choice. You can do it alone if you have 100% attendance, and never get sick, go on vacation, have connection problems, or choose to celebrate...anything. Or if you're bat guano crazy. Find a buddy if you value your sanity.

  5. You'll need a way to do healing assignments. Here's some common methods:
    Macros - Easy, in-game, and nothing to download; this is what I use
    Text File - WoW crash-proof, alt+tab then copy/paste into chat; Notepad, etc. (Watch for the multi-line limit)
    Text Addons - Like a text file but in-game, good if you have 1k macros already; Notes (Is it still around? Can't find it.), etc.
    Assignment Addons - Fill out a form; HealAssign, HealOrganizer, etc.

  6. Set up a healing channel to broadcast the assignments or use the Guild Info window if you're an officer. That's right! It does have a use beyond storing your Vent/Teamspeak info! Your tanks and dps will thank me later. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, press O->Guild tab->Guild Information button.)

  7. Get set up to record your combat log and parse it via WWS. I know you're happy with SWStats/Recap, but this does better in-depth analysis. Go to their website and follow the directions. Big Red Kitty also has a great detailed how-to. You can stop following it after the first paragraph of Step 10, unless you <3 you some hunter dps info.

    Note: If you use Deadly Boss Mods, it auto-resets your combat log range when you log in. (BigWigs is fine.) Resetting your log range will make your WWS data bias you. This is good for having something to print and hang on your "I PWN!1!" wall, but not so good for actual troubleshooting. I've put together a list of options you can do to keep your range at the correct distance.

So this should be enough to get you in trouble... err... get you started. It may seem like a lot when you read it here, but chances are you're already doing some of this in Karahzan. For anything new, just add one thing to your repertoire at a time, rather than trying to do everything at once. This is especially true for anything that requires total healer participation (i.e. addons they all have to have). Feed them poison slowly and they won't notice. >:)

Next week I'll cover how to get all of your healers to wear pink tutu's while performing syncronized healing moves. It's gonna be awesome!

Marcie Knox has been healing lead for over a year, including old school AQ40/BWL/Naxx. She has suffered through holy priest and now basks in the glory that is healadin. Her pally is currently dodging waves of mobs in MH, hoping next week she kills all her constructs in BT.

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