How Dragons Train Your Raiders #5
Class Stacking and the Guild
Welcome to another edition of HDTYR, this time I will be discussing the volatile issue of class stacking. I have touched on this issue but I wanted to go a little more in depth to talk about when it is a great thing and when it may push the guild too far.
World Race Hardcore Guilds
These guilds have played beta and in live require their raiders to usually bring 2-3 geared alts to max level in preparation for the first week of raiding. This week in particular top guilds are running 3-4 25 Man raids with a mixture of “mains” and alts in each group to ensure the maximum amount of normal mode gear. If you are reading this and are in one of these guilds then you understand the importance of class stacking already, if not here is a little more on their philosophy. By maintaining the depth chart of alts the first week allows guilds to get 3-4 passes at vital epics which close the gear deficit that will be suffered by guilds attempting HMs in blues. Also for specific fights certain specs and classes will perform much better (ex. mages and rogues on spine of deathwing) so having dps who can swap to alts of these classes effectively gives a boost beyond the gear score of the player. In my opinion this level of dedication to class stacking and alts should only be maintained in the highest end guilds as it requires a LOT of time and diminishes the enjoyment of the content.
In a HC setting some class stacking is considered but not nearly to the degree as the world race people. Most of us will maintain one reasonably geared alt and may run 2 25 man raids the first week to gear out our mains from normal mode. They tend to rely on information from the beta and choose an optimal class roster from the beginning that will work for most fights. Fortunately I am in a guild that is a lot more about playing the class you love than having many alts to overcome one fight. The reality is that with enough gear the group will get the boss down eventually without having to use 10 of a class to cheese a specific mechanic. That being said we WILL swap people as needed. An example, if warlocks perform very well on a certain fight then we will ensure that none of our warlocks are benched for that fight. In this bracket it is important to know the fights and which mechanics are better for which classes. Bringing the Optimal group is important. More on choosing who to sit later.
In this setting class stacking should be a distant thought. You should have your raid group assembled and maintain some diversity in your roster. For instance do not bring 4 warriors to a 10 man. Only bring 2-3 players maximum of any one class with PERHAPS druids, paladins, or monks being an exception (still a bad idea in terms of loot diversity, however). Stick to maintaining as many buffs as possible and bring your most raid aware and best output players for progression. In this scenario don’t be afraid to bench someone who is underperforming but also realize that they should be worked in when the fight is no longer progression. Be patient and keep at it, keep farming gear, grinding rep, and improving your characters as much as possible. If you are hitting a solid wall then even consider taking a break on attempts until that boss is nerfed in some way. Much of this boils down to your guild mentality but in a semi hardcore setting it won’t benefit your guild by recruiting 4 mages to down a HM you have been struggling with for some time. It will only alienate your current raiders and/or the new recruits and cause a lot of tension within your roster. Losing a geared raider will hurt a lot more than recruiting for class stacking will help.
In the casual setting be as close to semi hardcore as possible but raid when you can and have the most diversity possible. Aside from those two pointers there isn’t much discussion for class stacking at this level of raiding.
Deciding Who To Sit
I was going to being writing a paragraph on this topic when I realized this can be an entire Blog post. So Friday check back in and I will post the “who to sit” blog which I think will be beneficial for raiders at all levels to read and understand before starting HMs (or even normals). Also don’t miss out on the videos and keep a close eye on twitter (and subscribe to my youtube channel) for the most recent PardeuxRaids video strategies. I promise to make them as epic and helpful as possible because I want my readers to succeed in all things WoW (especially raiding!)!!!