Warcraft Raiding – The Addons You Need
It seems in World of Warcraft one cannot get very far without hearing the word “Raid”. In World of Warcraft raiding refers to more advanced dungeons than the 5 player instances in Burning Crusade and now Wrath of the Lich King the raid encounter sizes are 10 to 25 players. Previously in WoW classic they were 20 and 40 player size limitations.
Raiding has evolved greatly from its implementation in WoW classic where most fights required you to stand in one place while a tank focused the boss’s attention on him, healers healed the tank and the raid and the DPS or damage dealers fired away. Now in Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) raid encounters are much more involved, from having to swap tanks mid
fight, interacting with the environment, and even multiple bosses in a single encounter.
This complexity can be a challenge to overcome, however with the right addons you can give yourself a leg up against Blizzard’s creations. Now I won’t list every single addon, just what should be the minimum requirements of most raiding guilds in order to make sure information is received by all members so they can read and react to incoming dangers, but also provide raid leaders the critical information they need to make on the fly decisions.
In WoW trash mobs and raid bosses decide who to attack based on threat or aggro. This is a numerical value, the higher the number the more likely you are to “pull aggro”, meaning the enemy will attack you. What Omen does is it looks at a given target and calculates the threat numbers of every person
attacking it and puts it into an easy to read horizontal bar chart for you to see where you are on the enemy’s threat, if you are higher than the tank it may be time to scale back some, if its lower you know you can push your damage a bit more and not worry about overtaking the tank (at which point you would pull aggro).
The image to the right gives you an example of what you would see during a fight.
oRA2 is a light weight alternative to CTRA (CT_RaidAssist). oRA2 grew as the alternative to the popular CTRA during WoW Classic raid encounters. oRA2 has a resurrection monitor, ready check, version check, vote system, item check, Main Tank windows, durability check and zone check. The way it differs from CTRA is that it removed the raid frames, decursive system, raid status and boss mods. This mod takes up a very small memory
footprint as well so even though with lower end machines can still have this mod to assist them in the key areas of Main Tank windows and status checks. The icon sits along the minimap (see side image).
This mod has been around since WoW Classic. It has grown and changed over time, but has always had the same core features. Alerting the raid when an event was about to happen during a boss encounter. DBM accomplishes this via bar timers and flashing alerts in
the middle of your screen (which these are all customizable on where they are located). These are great because now the raid leader can focus more on positioning and movement changes rather than constantly calling out events, and places accountability on raid members to see what is going on and react accordingly before there is a problem. Almost every option is customizable. Also with WotLK many fights now seem to incorporate a boss mechanic where people need to be so far apart from each other, and DBM has a special command /range or /distance. That lets you pull up a small on screen window that shows you who are in range of, allowing folks to make sure they are spread out enough to not cause wipes and/or unnecessary damage to fellow raid members.
The latest version of DBM also tracks how many kills of a boss you have, kill times, and even provides functionality for 5 person dungeons as well.
There is one more mod you can get, however its not 100% necessary, but can be useful for grading yourself, and if you are a raid leader judging how well individuals are contributing from a DPS, Healing, Cleansing, etc. perspective. This is done on the fly, instead of waiting for someone to upload logs to WWS.
Recount is a mod that takes information from the combat log and parses it into a graphical format. Damage meters have always been a staple of comparing one’s dps to another, but with Recount you gain so much more information allowing you to see damage or healing during a specific fight, just the current one. Even able to see how often someone
died, to who is doing the most cleansing. This information is invaluable to a raid leader because it allows them to see who is struggling to get them some assistance, even possibly replace, but also lets you know key strengths and weaknesses to make important decisions like Healer A and Healer B both died, you have 1 battle resurrection available who do you use it on, well check the healing, and if Healer A is higher and has a better heal per second, then get Healer A up. The same can be said for DPS.
Another great use is personal evaluation. By clicking a player’s name in the bars you can
dive into deeper analysis regarding hits, crits, misses for a particular spell or attack, and determine if you need to upgrade a particular stat, or even how a change in gear or damage rotation may be affecting your overall DPS.
This mod however is very demanding on resources and is not recommended for those with lower end computers. Also this tool actually can provide a disservice if people are merely using it to stroke their “epeen”. Which is why you will find sometimes raid leaders who use it properly and those who use it negatively, so while I do not feel its a necessity for raiding, if used properly the information can be invaluable to the overall success of the raid.
So with the 3 main mods oRA2, Omen Threat Meter and Deadly Boss Mods you should making raiding more focused and easier, and with the use of Recount you can track your improvement and make tweaks to your playing style on the fly. The key thing during a raid is to only get the most important information as quickly as possible, overloading yourself with too many mods to assist could actually slow you down and hurt the raid, so pick your raid mods carefully.