My Love/Hate Relationship with Heroic Naxxramas


Last night, I had the pleasure of working with some of the most skilled players in beta and we were able to clear out Heroic Naxxramas (otherwise known as 25 man Naxx). Let me tell you about my initial impressions, what I love, and what I hate.

I love…

the fact that the number of tanks needed for Naxx don’t seem to have changed. Our main tank was a Warrior. No fusses about class here. The reason he was the MT was because he was the most geared (he ran Naxx, Obsidian Sanctum, etc. every day). Prot Paladin was the second tank for any massive AoE related pulls. Feral Druid was third although he would switch up with the Prot Pally depending on what the job was. Didn’t have the pleasure of working with a Death Knight. I’m happy to say that I had no problems healing any of them on the various bosses or mobs. Druid tank had the most with 34k while the Paladin and Warrior clocked in at about ~31k. I made sure to address this first, due to a question I got from Twitter:

@honorshammer Are you seeing much disparity in healing tanks of various classes?

Hope the above question helps! Love your blog by the way ;).

I hate…

my mana regen. I took a look at one of the other Resto Druids and he was sporting a jaw dropping 1500 mana regen while not casting. In my PvP gear plus other assorted PvE epic items, I hit around 600+.

I love…

how Priests will be virtual requirements for Heroic Naxx. You can get away without having other classes at all, but you need Priests for 2 of the encounters because we have to Mind Control certain mobs in order to successfully do them.

I hate…

Sapphiron. He’s the 2nd to last boss in Naxx and he’s going to be a huge headache.

I love…

how the bosses drop between 4 – 6 pieces of loot (some of them are tier bosses).

I hate…

how people complain about not getting the loot they want because its freakin’ beta and you don’t get to keep it anyway!

I love…

that while most players were still wearing blue PvP gear to raid, we were still able to 1 shot almost every boss in the instance. We didn’t over gear it. All of us were on par with or were what could be considered slightly undergeared. This proves to me that if you have a large number of skilled players going in, you won’t have a lot of difficulty. There are a few exceptions:

Instructor Raz: 2 shot
4 Horsemen : 4 shot
Sapphiron: 5 Shot
Kel’Thuzad: 1 shot

I hate

the fact that it took us a little over 7 hours to clear. But there are a few important factors to keep in mind:

  1. Pickup raid
  2. Boss explanations are complicated
  3. Some people had to leave and we had to pull in replacements

If it’s a Guild run, I can see the time knocked down to about 6 hours or maybe even 5. Obviously if you over gear the place, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see it drop down to even 4 and a half. But suffice it to say, I suspect most guilds will take at least 2 days to clear the instance and learn it.

I love

Death Knights. Look at this screenshot below:

The top 5 players are all Death Knights. Number 6 is a Rogue. The numbers ARE slightly inflated since Thaddius has a little mechanic about him that increases DPS. Here’s a slightly better representation:

naxx-dps1 naxx-dps2

DPS order by class on Noth:

  1. Death Knight
  2. Hunter
  3. Death Knight
  4. Death Knight
  5. Ret Paladin
  6. Ret Paladin
  7. Mage
  8. Death Knight
  9. Death Knight
  10. Rogue
  11. Boomkin
  12. Feral Druid
  13. Boomkin
  14. Mage

Your mileage may vary. We only had 1 Rogue and 1 Warlock. Our raid was stacked with an abundance of Death Knights as you can see above and all of them made up the top 10.

I love

the DPS averages. Again, scroll back up and look at the DPS on the side, not the damage done. You should be pushing over 2000 DPS when you enter Naxx. Of course, I might take that statement back later. Who knows? But I’m just going by what I’ve seen thus far.

I love

these crits:


Repeat after me: MASS OH PEE. That’s a Resto Shaman above me there and my own Prayer of Mending.

I hate

this whole loot homegenization thing but I understand it. I started a discussion on Plusheal about how to tell whether or not you should roll on certain cloth gear or to pass on them. Wyn will be exploring this topic at some point later on, as well. It feels weird for casters to roll on gear. But I accept it and I understand it will be better in the long run.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be doing detailed healing guides for the normal and heroic versions of Naxx and Obsidian Sanctum. You’ve seen a sample of them earlier when I published a few of the 10 man ones. They’re not designed to replace WoWWiki or Bosskillers guides. What they’re meant for is to provide you (the healer) with the knowledge that is relevant to you in order to keep your raid alive. I’m most likely going to miss out on a few abilities but I’ll be sure to nail all of the ones that are important including all major boss mechanics.

Yesterday night, I took a boat load of screenshots, recorded vent when the raid leader was delivering explanations, and I have a plethora of notes all across my desk with diagrams, and post-its scattered all over the place.

By all means, if you’d like to savor the learning experience yourself, go for it. I’ll be here if you need a quick pointer or two to help you out.

Which is what this blog is for.

Questions? Comments? What else would you like to see? Will the Canucks make the playoffs this season? Will Brady get usurped? Do you require more Vespene gas? Are you, in fact, a hollahback girl? Will I ever stop beating myself up over the 7 questions I know I for sure got wrong out of 50?

Big shout out to Totodile for having to put up with the various morons in the raid, as well as organizing and quarterbacking the whole show!

21 thoughts on “My Love/Hate Relationship with Heroic Naxxramas”

  1. 2 things, first clearing hte first 25 man dungeon in pvp blues? That seems a bit odd. Is it under-tuned or were majority of other players geared differently?

    Or is it jstu a major case of skill > gear which holds true for a majority of raid content IMHO.

    Secondly, on a more philosophical note, does anyone else feel like running these dungeons on beta feel like it would be too big a spoiler? I don’t think i would want to even if given the opprotunity. Just using my mage on the PTR to mess about made going back to the live realm feel dated.

  2. @gb: Good question and I was glad someone brought that up. To clarify, essential classes like tanks had slightly higher gear. All epics that’re level 200 or higher (200 woudl be heroic level gear). A majority of players had PvP blues and epics. They had a smattering of PvE epic gear as well.

    For example, I had a helm, belt, gloves, and a ring that would be considered optimal for PvE. A quick glance at other players (didn’t look at all, just glanced over them) showed others that were simiarly geared or slightly higher or lower. So it averages it out.

    I think we just had a lot of good players who knew what they were doing. I gather at least 20 players had done Naxx before, whether on 10, 25, or 40 man. So experience plays a big factor. It’s just minor adjustments after the fact.

  3. What about the 10 man loot? I assume it doesn’t drop 4-6, but does it drop more than the standard 2 per boss? I’m just curious. What about 10 man is it similar if you’ve got a skilled group can you clear in PVE Blues or do we need to be aiming for the higher tier gear to be able to clear it?

  4. @Starman: Non tier bosses drop 2 pieces, while tier bosses drop 3 pieces. Haven’t done Sapphiron or Kel’Thuzad yet. But I’m assuming they’ll drop slightly more pieces if history is any indication.

    And yes. Even though heroic is harder than normal, you can go into either normal or heroic wearing roughly the same level of gear. Blizzard is smart. They designed it so that both small guilds and larger guilds can get their foot in the door. It’s not a question of doing 10 man first then 25. You can enter either of them at the same time. The entry level requirements “feels” the same to me as a healer.

  5. Very interesting to see.

    How do you feel DKs fit in for future 25 man raiding? As nice as the numbers look (DPS wise), I’m hoping there is a need for more diversity in regard to actual raid balance.

    I’m praying everyone doesn’t just reroll DK and expect to fill raid spots basically =\

  6. I haven’t payed much attention to DK’s until as of late.

    What do the ‘aura buffs’ give for blood and unholy? Also I thought I read somewhere they are now buffing frost aura to give +10% HP to raid…

  7. @Uthanc: Ack, sorry about that! Blood means that every time a DK deals damage, 2% of their damage done is returned as health (or heals the raid for that amount). Unholy grants 15% move speed, if I remember right.

  8. “I love how Priests will be virtual requirements for Heroic Naxx. You can get away without having other classes at all, but you need Priests for 2 of the encounters because we have to Mind Control certain mobs in order to successfully do them. ”

    Wow, yay, so much for class interchangeability… I don’t care what the size of the group is, relying on two of any one class to be there is completely against every single bloody thing they’ve been saying they want this expansion. /sigh


    Auriks last blog post..Kodo and Shinification!

  9. Question, did the prot Paladin also maintank bosses, or was he mostly the second tank?

    Just want to know, because in my experience, keeping them up at bosses is a bit harder than keeping them up against the same boss with a warrior or, even better, a druid tank.

  10. @Lillet: Excellent question. I believe we had him MT Patchwerk for whatever reason. We reversed the Warrior and the Paladin because I think Warrior was more adept at easting the… hatefuls? That made healing a little easier.

  11. This is, in my opinion, one of the best, most interesting posts I’ve read regarding Wrath. Please please please (that’s three pleases!) continue writing in this style – it’s interesting commentary on the classes, instances, and general game. Far better than the “the nerfed class X” stuff you see so often elsewhere. Actual gameplay – that’s what it’s about.

  12. Ah, so you had him tank the weaker stuff(as I would). Thank you for the quick answer.

    A very informative post all in all. Your work is appreciated indeed.

  13. Great article there. My first time here, and it seems like you have alot of very good stuff to read… 😉

    Could you say a bit about, how ret paladins seem to cope in the raid ? They seems to go well on the dmg meter, behind the DK’s. But what about, what they bring to the raid ? I think of mana regen and the like.

    Impadins last blog post..More ideas for the recruitment video

  14. @Impadin: Ret Paladins perform _extremely_ well. They return a good amount of mana. They’re valuable for their blessings, although you don’t have to stack 4 of them or so like in today’s raids. Beyond damage, blessings, and mana regen, there isn’t much I can say beyond that. It’s important to remember that classes are starting to become interchangeable. A Ret Paladin is a Shadow Priest is a Survival Hunter in terms of what they can bring to a raid (with mana regen in mind).


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