I’m sorry to say that I did a bit of a poor job planning out the gearing process. We have an extremely limited number of tanks which bottlenecks us on guild only heroic runs. What this means is that there are going to be a number of DPS and healers on the outside looking in who won’t be able to benefit from acquiring justice points or precious loot. I personally don’t mind hitting the dungeon finder on my own since I have a higher frustration tolerance level compared to some of our other healers, so I’ll allow them to get picked first.
But this is where dual specs come heavily into play. I asked our hybrid classes like druids and paladins if they were willing to acquire tanking gear on the way up. This way, when they reach a sufficient amount of gear to tank heroics, we can set them up with classes that don’t need their type of armor. For example, if I have a raiding holy paladin with access to tank gear, we can ensure there isn’t another holy paladin in that group. This way, they can win both protection and holy gear while the actual healer in there can score healing leather, mail or cloth drops.
In the end though, it’s one of those things that’s really up to the individual player and how much time they are willing to invest and dedicate.
Sometimes, I wish I had a tanking blogger around. I appear to have this uncanny ability of attracting healers. As much as I want to recruit pure tanks, the downside is that having multiple pure tanks around will decrease in usefulness as time goes on. Right now, things are great because everyone wants a tank. But as we transition from heroics to raids, the need for having a large amount of tanks will decrease. Best case scenario is to have DPS players who are completely cool with tanking so they can make that switch as well.
I myself have really come to appreciate the value of dual spec as holy and shadow. I can easily pitch in and help DPS in a group run if the need to gear up a healer arises. Or I can remain in a healing role and play the pioneer healer (or better known as wipe about 8 times a boss and sharing the secrets with the rest before they go in so they can 1 shot it later).
The raid roster
Officially, formal 25s will begin in early January. Unofficially, we have something like 30+ 85s already in the guild that are gradually acquiring gear. My plan is to see if we can set up a 25 man raid on monday. We’ll spend a few hours in there just to get a feel of actually raiding at the 85 level and get some practice time in. If we don’t get any kills, it’s unfortunate but I suspect the exposure to the encounters will be beneficial either way. It’ll most likely be an open raid with mostly veterans and newer recruits who joined for the expansion. This will be a chance for the newer players to really gain an understanding of the team’s raiding environment and to see if it’s something for them. I really don’t want to waste anyone’s time if I can help it and if they don’t mesh here in the raid, then I’m better off just letting them go.
But Matt, aren’t you leaving some people out?
Unfortunately yes. That’s the way it goes though. But it’s not like there’s any shortage of things to do in the game to progress one’s character. Selection’s going to be tough since it’s based on raid composition, gear level (and yes, it actually matters right now) and who is available. It’ll be a good time to evaluate what weaknesses need to be shored up overall. I can’t fit 35 players in a 25 man raid anyway.