Monday, August 3, 2009
The Forward Progression
To raid 10 man instances, you need,... well, 10 players. Course, you need the right combination, mainly 2 tanks, 2 or 3 healers then the rest a collection of melee or ranged dps. But the two most important things, in my opinion, you need for a successful 10 man run is gear and experience. If you don't have those, no matter how many healers, tanks or dps you have, you will fail epically.
So, how do you get these two must have items? Obtaining decent epic gear is pretty easy, if not time consuming. First, on your way to 80, you can pick up good gear by doing normal instances, completing quest for reward gear or grinding up rep with several factions in Northrend. Crafted gear as well as gear purchased off the auction are also great ideas. There really isn't any limitation to getting decent starter epic gear if your persistent.
Here is how I got all my tanking gear for my Paladin. First, when I hit 80, I did a lot of battlegrounds and tons of Wintersgrasp events. Through the gathering of honor, I was able to purchase some decent dps gear. Even though it was designed for PvP, it still doesn't do a bad job of getting you through a few instances as long as you make sure to enchant and gem it properly for max damage output. After obtaining a good number of pieces, I would jump into as many normal PuG instances as I could, just to learn how the dungeons worked and to pick up any trinkets or rings I was still missing. Then, I moved forward to doing Heroic dungeons. This provided me with Emblems of Heroism, with which I was able to purchase more tanking gear. If, while running the heroic, the main tank didn't need an item, I would get a chance to roll on it, sometimes I was successful, others, not so much, especially when I tended to get into all plate wearing groups. Believe it or not, it actually happens. After getting enough tanking gear through emblems and crafting a few pieces with my blacksmith, I decided to do a few tanking runs myself. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but as the tank, I got my choice of any tanking gear that dropped.
That is basically how I was able to build up my tanking set and a decent dps set for my off-spec. Not a very hard endeavor. Through my determination to run instances where I could get the best gear, I was able to pick up a few pointers from more experienced people and was able to gain the experience needed to be a successful tank. You can't run just a few successful instances and claim to have experience, especially those that don't run any instances till they get to 80. Experience also comes from being in bad PuGs and learning what works and what doesn't. I know for instance, that if my health is failing on trash mobs that the healer is ill prepared to get us through to the end boss. If the portal mobs aren't getting dps-ed fast enough in Heroic Violet Hold, then we are lacking in the proper dps and others will have to step up to get it done. All of this comes from not just doing one or two heroic dungeons but doing all of them over and over in the hope of understanding what combinations provide a winning outcome and which will end in utter failure.
I believe that since WoTLK came out, PuGs have been much more successful. True, you still get the occasional know it all pain in the ass and the idiot that has no clue, both of which will cause expensive gear repairs by the end of the run, but more often than not this is the exception not the rule.
My suggestion, before your guild starts running 10 man raids, make sure everyone is geared up, run a ton of heroic dungeons and maybe even an old 10 man raid pre-WoTLK. Go over strats and always remember, it's just a game, that you play for fun, relaxation and enjoyment.