Friday, January 14, 2011

How to succeed at Cataclysm Heroics

So I was thinking about my previous post about how much bad luck I was having running heroics at the time and like usual my mind started wandering all over the place. I eventually thought up a few things that puggers can do to ensure that their group succeeds or at least so that their run doesn't end in total failure. Keep reading after the break to find out how you too can succeed in heroics!

1. Communication is key! You don't have to go all yappity yap and not ever shut up. You just have to communicate with your group. If your sheep is about to break and you're dead, say something. If you are out of mana, say something. There is no charge for talking in party. If you don't know how a fight goes in heroic, ask! If you are unsure what you should be CC'ing, ask! If you are a fresh 85 say something in party so that people aren't just thinking that you are a fail dps/tank/healer!

2. When zoning in make sure that you are in the correct spec and wearing the appropriate gear for said spec. I am sure that you are a super tank/healer/dps but I doubt that you can tank while wearing your healing gear. Also if switching specs at the beginning SAY SOMETHING IN PARTY! Nothing worse then a tank who charges in to the first group and doesn't realize that his healer is sitting at the entrance drinking to get mana back from switching to a healing spec. I wish I could say that I have never had this happen in a group I've been in...but that would be a lie. The few times that it has happened the tank usually whined and cursed out the healer for being bad and then either tried to vote kick the healer or they ragequit the group.

3. If you are a class that can decurse, cleanse, or de-poison please do so. All three of these things do a lot more damage this expansion and if they can be removed from the group quickly it will mean the group takes less damage and require less healing. This means that the healer can spend the mana that they would have used on decursing/cleansing/removing poisons on more important things like keeping the tank alive. Even if you are not the healer you should be doing this. For every effect like this that the healer has to remove from a party member, that is one less global cool down that can be used to keep everyone alive. Some trash mobs and bosses also have buffs on them that can either be spell stolen or purged/cleansed. If they are left on the mobs they can do serious damage to the tank or even the group! Getting rid of them makes it easier for everyone in the group.

4. Crowd Control is King!This expansion is HUGE on crowd control. Since the beta all we have heard is that crowd control is back and required in heroics. Yet I've been in groups that refuse to either CC or to leave the CC'ed mobs alone. If you have a CC, and every class now has a CC if they are glyphed right, use your CC and more importantly keep an eye on your CC! There is nothing worse then a healing mob breaking out of a renewable CC and healing the almost dead to full. If you are assigned a target to CC then please, please, please focus on keeping it CC'ed! CC > DPS! I use a timer addon to let me know when my sheep/hex/banish/trap/etc is almost up so I can recast my spell on the mob. It is really not hard. This one also applies to tanks. If you are a tank and you see a mob being CC'ed don't go charging in and break the CC just for the hell of it. One less mob beating on you = your healer not going oom because you are taking truckloads of damage! If you are cleaving, consecrating, pestilencing, thunderclapping, or swiping to hold agro you can take a few steps away from the CC'ed mobs. It isnt hard.

5. Remember the order for killing stuff. If you are the tank you should be marking targets so that your dps can focus on whichever target you are actively on. Why? So that they don't attack a target which you are only getting a little bit of aoe threat on which will inevitably lead to them tanking said mob. If you mark be sure to tell people who to attack first. If your dps can't understand that they need to kill skull or square first then give them a warning that that they are on the wrong target. If they don't take the hint and switch...I say let them tank the mob then taunt off when they die. But that's just me and I am known to be mean/cruel/evil like that.

6. Bad stuff on the ground = bad. Whether its void zones, poison clouds, bad cooking, or fire, if it is on the ground its bad and you should not be standing in it. But I can't dps the boss without standing behind it and that means standing in bad stuff you may say. Well...ask the tank to move the damn boss! Healer mana is not as unending as it was last expansion and if the healer has to stop healing the tank to heal dps who can't be bothered to get out of bad stuff then they are are going to go oom really quick. Please don't stand in bad stuff...pretty please.

7. If you are running heroics then be sure that you are ready to run heroics. What I mean by this is that if you are running heroics then you should be ready to give 100%. This means gemming and enchanting your gear. No you don't have to gem rare cuts or enchant the really expensive enchants on your greens but you should definitely be gemming the uncommon cuts and using the less expensive enchanting alternatives. Why go through all this work when you are going to be replacing your gear from loot in heroics? Well having your gear enchanted means that you can pull your own weight in said heroics. There are times that a little bit more damage/dps would have meant the difference between a wipe and a boss down. Enchants/gems can be that little bit extra that can get you some sexy new gears. Uncommon gems and lesser enchants are not that expensive on most servers and if money is a problem there are plenty of dailies that you can do to get money. Doing the daily random heroic alone nets you 80g from completing the dungeon and if you add in any money you loot and gear you win to, you can easily afford to gem/enchant. This also applies to food buffs. Cooked food is cheap to buy and if you are in a guild, chances are that you have a guildee who is cooking all sorts of food to get the guild the guild cooking achievement for the feast recipe. If not then buy some on the AH.

8. Be ready to spend a little bit of time in a random heroic. The days of 15 minute face rolling heroics are long gone and have been replaced with challenging heroics that require you to be able to spend a little bit of time doing them. If you can't allocate the proper amount of time to a run then go do dailies or something else instead of queuing for a heroic that you are going to bail on half way through the run because you don't have time to finish it. It is very annoying to have someone in the group complain that the group needs to hurry up because they have to go soon. A failure on your part to plan a good schedule does not mean that the group has to rush through the instance just so you can finish it and leave.

9. Pay attention to the fight and not your dps/damage done. Having 13k dps is great unless you died with in the first minute of the fight because you were focused on having high dps and not on agro or not standing in bad stuff. If you a class that is capable of healing and you see that your healer is almost oom, take a step back and either bandage yourself or toss a heal or two at the dps so that the healer can conserve mana for the tank. Shaman are great for this because they can always drop healing rain on the group and alleviate some of the damage being taken. Downing the boss with everyone alive is more important then having a million dps/damage done for the fight. If you are a shadow priest, you should keep an eye on the healers mana and use hymn of hope to help them get mana back. If the boss is hitting super hard but is vulnerable to being disarm, you should be spending the rage/energy/focus to disarm the boss!

10. Have patience. With the current gear available to us, most heroics will not be face rollable for a while. If you can't live with the thought that you might die in a heroic then don't queue for it. People join a group and get disgusted because they died or the group isnt moving fast enough and then just ragequit. It's not Wrath anymore, this is Cataclysm. Things are different. If you can't be patient and take it a little slowly in a heroic then you should go play Hello Kitty Online Island Adventure. You mean I can't just pull a whole room and aoe it all down? Well nuts to that! /ragequit. I have had several tanks who didn't understand this concept and as each died they dropped group. There isnt a deserter debuff long enough for morons like that. If you can find a group that is patient and pay attention to what they are doing...HOLD ON TO THEM AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!

Well those are a few of the things that I thought of that will ensure that your pug heroics will succeed! Only run guild heroics and don't pug is not a good piece of advice btw. Everyone pugs at some point and if you are in a small group you may wait a long while for guildees to log on to run heroics. If anyone has any more suggestions please feel free to post them!


  1. Yes, these are excellent tips. The thing that really infuriates me, though, is when you bother to communicate and everybody ignores you. So you'll be like "afk 2 secs" or "mana, drinking" and the tank will charge ahead anyway. Grumble.

  2. I hate that! Of course they force you to go into combat when you're a third of your mana and then blame you for bad dps or not healing the tank. There should be a rating system for pugs and especially bad pugs should wait even longer in queue.

  3. It's like a drug that I can't stop. Stupid epics are just beyond my reach, teasing me with their sexy epicness. I am working on the clockwork gnome atm which is going to be awesome.