Heroic 5’s teach raid movement mechanics

So, with Cataclysm now upon us, many people have been running heroics and raid dungeons. One of the things that has become obvious is that we have returned to the days of “GOOTROF” (“Get out of the Rain of Fire”). The punishment for not moving in a lot of fights is not just a drain on healer mana, but is most likely just outright death. However, not all the ground effects are fire, and not all of the things that force us to move are obvious. Another problem is that some of the ground-covering effects in Cata are GOOD heals (like efflorescence, healing rain, etc).

For learning which ground effects each of the healing classes use for our AOE heals, Matt Low wrote an article on wow insider describing the GOOD ground effects to stand in. That article has pictures of what each of them looks like (though sometimes even the good effects share graphics with bad effects *grumble*).

The nice thing about heroic 5-mans is that they teach you some (but not all) of the visual queues to pay attention to in raid dungeons. Normal-mode 5’s teach some of the mechanics, too, but they tend to be less deadly than the heroic counterparts. When you are in the 5-man dungeons, it would do you good to pay attention to what is going on around you so you can learn some of the movement mechanics which will be important for your raiding experience in Cataclysm. Basically, one thing that makes heroic 5-mans hard is that they require everyone (tanks, healers, or DPS) to have fast reflexes and move at the right time.  For both 5-mans and raiding, situational awareness to your surroundings is going to be the key for success.

Here are some examples of mechanics shared by 5’s and raids:

  • Staying out of Cyclones: Altarius in the Vortex Pinacle 5-manhas some nasty cyclone effects that bounce you around and can throw you off the platform. This teaches you the mechanic used in the Conclave of Wind fight in the Throne of the Four Winds.
  • Multi-directional lines of death: General Husam in the Lost City of Tol’Vir 5-man has a shock wave that shoots out in lines from him going in 4 directions, where you basically have to stand in a safe spot between the lines. This is similar to (though not exactly the same as) Magmatron’s “Inceneration security measure” that shoots out in 4 directions from his body in the Omnitron Defense System in the Blackwing Descent raid.

In Cataclysm, we once again need to learn how to get out of “fires”. I’ve been tempted to take a guild group down to Baron Geddon in Mount Hyjal to practice running out of fires by playing “chicken” to see who can run in & out the most times without dieing. One of my biggest complaints about early WotLK is that it didn’t force people to have to pay attention to moving out of bad things, because most effects in WotLK could just be healed trough. However, most things in Cataclysm can’t be healed through. Regardless of what role we play in dungeons and raids (healing, DPS or tanking), we all have to do our part in moving out of various things happening in all the encounters, and we have to learn the difference between bad things on the ground, and good things on the ground. Once we all get better at moving at appropriate times, and learn the “dance” of all the different fights in normal & heroic 5-mans, we will be better prepared for learning the dance in raids. You should be mentally prepared for wiping A LOT, in either heroics or raids while everyone learns the dance of Cataclysm bosses.

I think that heroic 5-mans and such will get easier over time as we better learn what effects to watch for and better learn how our own abilities work in those encounters. Another important piece of advice – if your computer can’t handle all the visual effects or lags too much when grouping or raiding, you may want to look into hardware upgrades for making your Cataclysm experience smoother. We got a new video card and power supply for my computer, so that I could turn up some of the spell details for raiding without losing so much of my frame rate.

9 Comments

  1. Posted December 26, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    This has been the single most frustrating thing about heroics thus far for me. I’ve been kicked from multiple groups because I wasn’t “healing through the damage”. I wish I could reach through the monitor and shake the people doing this and say “CC the mobs and stay out of the “fire” and I can heal you just fine. It’s when you’re not doing these things that I go OOM in seconds.”

    It has been a very, very frustrating experience for me thus far. I’m trudging ahead, but I’ve been having very little “fun” doing it. I know it will get better with gear and experience for everyone, but man….can we get there already? :p

    • Lissanna
      Posted December 27, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      It’s this reason that I love being able to do guild runs. It’s hard to do guild runs over the holidays, however, since we’re all out traveling and such.

      In bad PUGs, I think that eventually the current “blame the healer” mentality has to die down eventually. Groups can’t just keep burning through 5 or 6 healers (all of whom may actually be good healers) during a run just because they can’t move out of fires… I hope.

      • Posted December 27, 2010 at 1:50 am | Permalink

        As a person that works third shift, I’m have to schedule my time to be able to raid…I tend to rely on PUGs because most of my guild is asleep when I’m awake. (I wake up at my “5am” to raid before work on work days hehehe).

        So I may be getting a VERY skewed perception on this one just due to the fact I do have to rely on PUGs for the majority of it.

  2. Troll
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Hi,
    I love your blog tons, but maybe you could do a little post for beginners :D
    Like how its like leveling a druid up to 85 etc, cuz ur things are mostly about endgame.

    Cheers !

    • Lissanna
      Posted December 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t started leveling my new worgen druid yet, so I don’t have much to say about the low levels outside of what is in my leveling guide at the moment.

  3. Benarus
    Posted December 28, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Definitely have to agree with you Liss. Heroics these days more or less require flawless execution, and when things go wrong, it requires exceptional teamwork to successfully recover and complete an encounter.

    I’ve taken a bit of a different stance on heroics though. While I love running with my guild and being able to fly through dungeons in record time, I have taken to running the majority of the time with pugs as a healer (both resto druid and holy pally). My main reasoning is to use it as training to keep raids going if (when) things go bad, how to conserve my mana and figuring out all the tricks i can use to save a wipe.

    Some of the pug heroics go really well, others… not so much. I’ve really enjoyed some pugs where we’ve been able to exchange information on tactics/tricks to make things easier, especially when the other party members actually listen (ie – how to tank the dragonkin boss in H-BRC so that you don’t get adds and you don’t run your healer oom from too much aoe).

    Then there are the hopeless pugs. It’s pretty rare that I’ll ever just abandon a group, but this was one of those cases. One of my worst experiences was actually last night. Running yet another H-stonecore for the sexy healing trinket (*shakes fist*). I was the healer (pally) with the other four pugs belonging to a single guild. The ‘tank’ starts off saying “lol this is my first time tanking” and we proceed to have 3 trash wipes before the first boss. We get to the boss, the worm (coroborous?), and have two or three people (each attempt) get one-shot due to standing on the bosses burrow/burst, not just the first attempt, not just the second attempt, but all three attempts. Even after thorough explanations after every single wipe, there was just no improvement. Right or wrong, I went as far as making them kick me as I refused to eat a dungeon abandonment debuff for a group that was so woefully unprepared.

    On a side note… wtb old druid healing style with hots that tick for more than they did in early wrath. Also, holy pallys are OP. Being able to 2-man Rajh in H-HoO for the last 2 million HP when the dps all get 1-shot to standing in a meteor, all while never dropping below 50% mana is ridiculous. Cheers!

  4. Jornk
    Posted December 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I agree, building a better raider is what (IMO) Blizzard tried to do with this x-pack. Adding the guild leveling feature to create consistent group makeups and turning heroics into “mini-raids”, there is no choice but to learn the mechanics.

    Good post Lissanna.

  5. Jerky
    Posted December 30, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    About graphics settings making things difficult, I’ve found there’s only really one setting which you definitely need. I play WoW on my laptop, which had been running fine on a lowish setting until recently, when we started going through Heroic Deadmines. When my framerate drops, I turn all settings to low except Projected Textiles, which has to be enabled to see the borders of effects like Efflorescence properly.

    Hope this helps people struggling with framerate!

    • Lissanna
      Posted December 30, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      That’s really good advice!