Raid classification and losing

I really paused for thought after reading Tobold’s classification of raid encounters.

Looking at the title of his post, ‘raid encounter classification’, you might well think his answers would describe the mechanics of a fight like this:

  • tank/spank (Patchwerk)
  • coordinated movement (Thaddius)
  • keep yourself alive (Heigan)
  • save your friends (Maexxna)

I used Naxx examples so everyone can relate to it.

But in fact, what’s so clever, is he looks instead at where the pressure is placed, and who needs to succeed for the raid to win.

For a leader, this is a useful way of thinking about raids. Tobold’s system is basically this:

  • Type A: challenging the strongest. Example is tank and healers, everyone else could screw up and it doesn’t matter so much (Patchwerk)
  • Type B: challenging the average, where everyone needs to pull their weight, for example due to enrage timers or to stay alive (Heigan)
  • Type C: challenging the weakest, where one person can wipe the raid, for example flame wreath in Kara, the Bomb on Geddon, or Thaddius or famously Xevozz in VH.

The implications are that you don’t really want a loser PUG doing a Type C encounter. You can do PUG Type A’s all day, no worries.

Think about the painful raids or PUGs you’ve been in. They’re usually wipe-nights on Type C raids, right? If you’re wiping on Type A it’s probably gear or skill, whereas Type C wipes mean you have the weakest link bringing you down.

That’s so frustrating because in a Type C raid, if you personally do your best it isn’t enough.

I could probably find several pages of commentary just sparked by this clever classification. Interestingly, Tobold also linked to an author who wrote a great article on losing.

Ixobelle says what sucks in arenas is that Blizzard is not trying to make you a hero. You can just get owned and it feels awful. Truly, you need some intestinal fortitude to just take 10 wipes a week for points and I’ve had partners in the past who could not stomach it.

The cross-section here is that Type C raids can make you die in an frustrating way, which does not make you feel heroic, it’s annoying as all hell and you want to scream at the loser who made you wipe. The loser who killed you, the hero.

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3 comments to Raid classification and losing

  • Interesting stuff! Tobold sometimes just annoys me, but this was a good one.
    Actually, I’d say THE definitive Type C encounter is Archimonde: talk about your weakest link destroying the raid. Gorefiend could make you scream when someone failed on contructs. Since my guild is working on Northrend Beasts heroic, and has wiped a number of times so far, I’d say that it’s mostly a Type B encounter – our top players perform just fine to get the job done, but our bottom half, while not wiping us, aren’t doing enough to beat the enrage timers. It’s also somewhat of a gear issue for us as the guild is fairly new and didn’t have tons of Ulduar gear heading into TOC.

    Very cool.

  • A big part of leading is knowing how much to trust your weakest players in “Type C” fights – it’s quite often possible to build a strategy to minimise the likelihood of stupid stuffinging up causing a wipe, but at the cost of raid performance (usually meaning a dps loss).

    Yogg Saron is an example – do you ask everyone to dodge clouds, or stand at the doorway and ferry the mobs to Sara at low health? If the latter you need two tanks and lose dps time passing the mobs back and forth. If the former it’s a one tank fight where you just nuke hard the whole time.

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    The Lich King is Type C, for sure.

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