Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why are so Many Healers Required in TBC Raids?

Way back in 2005, in my third post ever written, I predicted that a 10-man would need 2 tanks, 5 dps, and 3 healers. And lo and behold, this prediction came true in TBC. The standard Karazhan make-up is 2 tanks/5 dps/3 healers.

However, my prediction should not have come true! It was based on the assumption that an WoW 1.0 ideal 5-man group was 1 tank/2 dps/1 healer/1 "fifth man" (paladin/shaman), and extrapolated that assumption out to 10-mans. In contrast, a TBC 5-man is 1 tank/3 dps/1 healer.

If we extrapolate that out, a 10-man should be 2/6/2, and a 25-man should be 5/15/5. Immediately we can see that those healer numbers are simply too low. When learning Karazhan you really need 3 healers. It's at the edge of possible with 2, but 3 is ideal. For 25-mans, you need 7-8 healers. My guild tried Gruul with 5 healers last week, and we just couldn't keep the tanks up. A shadow priest respecced and we got him down.

Where are these extra healers supposed to come from? Looking at recruiting posts, everyone is looking for healers.

The 5-man game assumes 20% of the playerbase are healers. The raiding game assumes 30% of the playerbase are healers. Right away we see a problem.

I think the raid game needs to be balanced for raids with fewer healers. It makes no sense to require proportionally more healers than the previous phase of the game needed. A raid that required 5/15/5 would be far easier to put together, and could be created from five 5-man groups.


  1. And game raiding needs less focus on healing, I completely agree. But this *problem* has been pointed out already far to often and seemed to have fallen on deaf-EQloving-ears with blizzard.

  2. As a fellow raiding Paladin and Guild Leader I agree 200%! It is such a fine line between success and failure in the BC raid scene. :(

  3. After my guild rerolled to a new server (fresh characters) me and a paladin duo healed all of Karazhan with our newbie gear at around 1k-1.1k +healing.

    Kara can easily, and much more quickly be done with only 2 healers.

    I complain and play Emulator SNES games when we bring 3 healers, all I do is cast earth shield and the occassional chain heal.

    As for the 25 man raids, I think a few encounters require too many healers, such as Fathom Lord karathress needs an absolute minimum of 8-9, and is still a MAJOR stress on every aspect of a healer.

  4. Kara can be done with 2 healers. But it's easier, especially when learning, to do it with 3. Three is optimal, especially for a group just starting Kara.

    However, I sincerely doubt that you can do the 25-mans with 5 healers.

  5. I've done 4-5 bosses in Kara with only 1 healer so it can be done (with a little help from two shadowpriests :). I would agree that healing is overly important in 25 man raids though.

  6. I complain and play Emulator SNES games when we bring 3 healers, all I do is cast earth shield and the occassional chain heal. .. then throw on your ele kit and do some damage? It won't keep you from casting earth shield. The extra dps on a time sensitive fight (prince phase 2&3) is worth it.

    w/r/t kara, 1 specced tank and one off-spec (but with gear in tow (let's call this 1/2 a tank :P)) is always plenty for 10 man. I consider 1 1/2 tanks, 2 1/2 healers ideal. Yay for hybrids?

    But anyway, the post is spot on - So what should we make of blizzard's claim of "we made death knights because everyone was clammoring for moar tank!"?

  7. Karazhan is somewhat forgiving of the "fifth man" combination, I think. Our raid team for the past few months has usually been a warrior and pally tank combination. These two work wonderfully together - there's a lot of synergy between their tanking styles.

    But on some fights, you just don't need two tanks. In those, our pally tank pulls on his Healing gear (he's picked up some hot mail pieces thanks to our lack of shammies) and helps us out on the healing. This happens in Aran, Prince, Nightbane, and Big Bad Wolf. (If only Illhoof didn't require two tanks for our strat - that's a three pot + innervate fight for me.)

    I can't see that this kind of hybridity will be at all viable in the 25-mans though - and between the Kara-to-Gruuls transition (two 10-mans does not a 25-man make!) and healer mis-balance you describe, it's a hard road for guilds to walk.

    Frankly, I dread the thought of another expansion and trying to make all these things work again.

  8. It also didn't make any sense to have group progression jump from 10 man raids to 25. It makes a raid guild have to run 3 seperate kara teams and then tell 5 people "sorry, we are full" when it comes time for Gruuls.

    Blizzard is toying with their subscriber base in my opinion. They knew that 10 to 25 was going cause problems for guilds, just like they knew requiring extra healers would also cause drama. Both of these tactics are just another way for WOW to take longer, and I'm sorry, but at the raid level, this type of unnecessary nonsense shouldn't exist. Like it would have been that much harder to make Gruuls 20 man. /sheesh

  9. I agree with what that one guys said about having 1/2 of a character type. We used to run Kara with a warrior and myself tanking and then 2 healers for trash and then on bosses I would switch and become a healer.

    The reason the raid instances require so many healers is not because blizzard made it that way it's because that's the balance between dps and healers. If you added more healers, you would not have enough dps, if you added more dps your healers wouldn't be able to keep up.

    Kara is really a terrible instance anyway in comparison to the old instances like Naxx and AQ. I've been really disappointed by TBH so far. I'm glad we're gonna get another xpack.