as presented in "The Light and how to swing it" by Uther

"40 men instance raids" article
some corrections in "the mana pool and healing" article (thanks to your feedback)
editing and grammar check on "the mana pool and healing" article (thanks to Aoikaze of Proudmoore server)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

40 men instance raids

In this article I will cover use and configuration of addons for an improved efficiency of your play in 40 men instances. I won't cover tactics about bosses because they can differ from guild to guild. For tactics just listen to your paladin class leader (if you have one in your guild) or at experienced players, they know what to do.
Basically paladins duties are these: (not in order of importance)
  • buff
  • regen raid health and mana (judgement of light and judgement of wisdom)
  • deal damage
  • heal
  • cleanse
Now we will cover all these points. Remember that paladin is a hybrid class, capable of covering multiple roles. Don't limit yourself playing as gimped priest or warrior. Be flexible and play smart.
About damage meters
People loves damage meters. Usually raid members compete to rank best in damage, dps or healing. Competition is a good thing, it leads to improvements. But don't trust totally in damage meters. They don't tell the truth, especially for paladins. First of all remember that you're playing with other 39 persons in order to achieve common objective. Kill the bosses is the goal not rank first in meters. Your work is to benefit your mates not to show off.
Some examples of what the "damage meters frenzy" leads to:
  1. People with cloth/leather/mail armour steal aggro from MT, forcing healers to put massive amount of healing on them and under risk of aggro from mobs. Well damage meters won't report if you play like an idiot only your damage.
  2. People healing as much as they can in order to rank best in healing meters, with
    over 50% of overhealing, wasting their mana and then shouting /oom after 1 min of combat when healing is needed most. Note that if you use recap addon as damage meters you can see overhealing % too. Just check in the options to show it. You will be surprised the amount of mana wasted. On methods to avoid overhealing just keep reading this article.
  3. People that prefer to cast an healing spell than cleanse. "Yeah I will heal a couple mates for 4k hitpoints in 5 sec cool!". Or you should cast 5 instant cleanse in the same time and avoid them 10k damage, but that will not show on stats... Too bad!

Buff for the masses
With the introducion of greater blessing in 1.9 patch the paladin life in 40 men instance has really improved. Just coordinate with your fellows and you can cover easily the raid. Usually 5 buffs are requested: BoK, BoM, BoW, BoS, BoL so five paladins can cover a raid with buffs efficiently. If only 4 paladins are in raid assign one to BoM/BoW and let him cast bow on paladin. Then the one casting BoS on raid will do bom on paladins. If you have doubts on the buffs needed by every class check the Blessings section in the guide. You can automate the blessing duty with addons, buffahoy for example support greater blessings and let you bless your raid efficiently.

Two paladins should be assigned to keep judgement of light and judgement of wisdom on mobs. This is heavily underevaluated (hey, it don't show on damage meters you know ^_-) but can grant raid members large benefits. Having two paladins keep judgements active means that they can't heal but let's look at the advantages:

  1. They deal damage. Obviously not the same damage of a rogue/warrior but a good amount, moreover...
  2. They allow raid to regen health and mana. But how much? (math incoming!! warning ! warning!). For example we have the following members: 6 rogues, 5 warriors, 5 hunters, 6 mages, 3 warlocks, 6 paladins, 5 priests and 4 druids. This means that 6 rogues + 5 warriors + 2 paladins = 14 will go melee, and that all but priests and druids will damage the mob. Let's say that anyone in melee will hit on average every 1,8 secs (sure a few will wield a slow 2hander but there are also a lot of dual wielders). For judgement of light we have 61*13 members /1,8 secs = 440,55 hps. That means more than spamming flash of light with zero risk of overhealing. Now lets consider judgement of wisdom we have 59 * 18 (6 mages + 3 warlocks + 2 paladins + 5 hunters) /2 secs (estimated average, spellcasting is usually slower than melee) = 531 mana every second. Consider also that on need priest can use wand to replenish their mana bar.

As you can see having 2 paladins in melee is definitely worth it.

If you are on thrash mobs and want to speed things all paladins can go melee with one that keeps JotC in order to raise holy damage. Just remember that the debuff slots on a mob are limited. Pay attention to keep the warrior's sunder armor debuff in the list or the MT could loose aggro suddendly.

Configuring the addons
I will take into consideration CTRaid assist and decursive. I will show how to configure these addons in order to optimize your duties in MC and BWL. It's also desiderable to customize your UI in order to have easily readable on screen all the information needed. Here's a screenshot of my UI (quite old, now it's even simplier, but the important elements are still in the same place).

On the middle left you can see the emergency monitor from CTRaid in action, while on the right there are the MTs list and the decursive addon list.

CTRaid Assist
The CTRaid assist addon (widely referred as CTRaid) is one of the most used in World of Warcraft. It supports a wide range of options useful in raids like Main Tanks list, messages on screen, bosses special ability alert and so on. Now we fine tune it for paladins. ^_^

First of all uncheck all groups on CTRaid tab in social options (O key). You don't need them because you can heal way better with the emergency monitor (keep reading). Press the option button. In the general options just check if the "display main tanks" option is active and set "show number of main tanks" to 10. Don't be surprised of that, with some bosses with multiple adds like Garr or Majordomo this can happen (btw some of the "tanks" are usually warlock or mages that keep the add banished/polymorphed).

Now lets go in misc options:

Uncheck "Disable mana conserve" and then set the "check time" slider to 0,5sec. If you do this, every time you cast a holy light or flash of light spell, half second before spellcasting ends, CTRaid will check your target health. If the target is injuried for less than the amount specified by the holy light and flash of light sliders spellcasting is interrupted and you will have a message like on chat Aborted spell 'Flash of Light'. With this option activated you can lower your overhealing rate and avoid wasting your mana when not necessary. Obviously the values of holy light's and flash of light's slider changes depending where you're. The settings displayed are for a standard UBRS run, but if you're in a MC run with all the raid members with BoL I suggest you to raise them to 1300-1400 for Holy light and 400 for Flash of Light. At begin you will get a lot of "aborted spell" messages but don't worry it's normal. It's because before your holy light lands on target a priest has already casted a flash light on him and your spell was destined to go waste. With the mana conserve option and with the emergency monitor you will learn how to spam efficiently FoL cutting your overheal percentage from about 60% (the normal average) to 20%. This means also that your mana bar will lasts more and you will be able heal when it's really needed especially when facing a long boss fight.

Also check the "notify on aggro gain" option to know when it's time to bubble. :P This is only partially a joke. When you gain aggro, the fastest way to have MT regain it, is divine shield for sure ^_^ take advantage of it. Very important: check the "show MT's target's target".

Your MT list will change like this, adding a column next to MT targets. In it you can see who's the mob target. If you see that is not the MT, well... it's time to use blessing of protection ok? ^_^. It's also useful for raid leaders to see who are the geniuses that steal aggro from MT.

Now go in additional options. As final step we have to activate emergency monitor. Just check the "show emergency monitor options". This will show (when in raid) a window with the health bar of the 5 raid members with less HP. You can use it like the normal party frame, if you want to select just click the bar, if you want to heal just select the spell and then click on the health bar. With this you don't have to check 40 bars continuosly but have an automatic ranked list of ppl who needs and heal.

The emergency monitor is especially useful for paladins that usually support healing on whole raid. Priest should usually focused on one assigned tank and then heal the others only when the tank is not in need. By the way for an optimal cover of raid healing needs coordinate with druids and priests. It is also possible to have some more interesting options with emergency monitor. Just right click on it. It will appear a menu that will allow to filter who's showed in the emergency monitor, only certain groups or only certain classes. If you coordinate with your fellows paladins and healers a really efficient coverage of the raid can be obtained. Now you have the tools, how to apply it is in your hands ^_^.

The decursive addon is used for cleansing. It's extremely simple. You have to bind one key to it (with the key binding window in the WoW main menù) and then simply spam it. The addon will do all the work, check the raid if someone is debuffed, if your class can remove it, passive targeting (you won't loose your current target), and casting. If no one has a debuff a "nothing cleaned" message will appear in chat. All these function are also avaiable in CTRaid if configured properly, but decursive has some advantage over it. A priority and a skip list. The decursive standard behaviour will give priority cleansing yourself, then people your group, and then people in your raid. If you type the /dcrshow command a bar with the decursive options will appear (look at the first image in this article, bottom right). It's possible to define a priority list and indicate at the addon who has priority in cleansing. There's also a quick populate option that will allow you to add all the people of certain classes or groups. The skip list work in the same way and will teach decursive to skip people in the list. It's also desiderable to keep the decursive bar visible during raids. If debuffs are afflicting the raids a flashing yellow list with the debuffed member names will appear. The list is ranked according to priority list and will not contain people in skip list. So it's easy to know when you have to spam the decursive key. It is also possible to click on a fellow in the list and cleansing it directly overriding the priority list. Using the priority and skip lists will allow an efficient cover over the whole raid if you coordinate your effort with your fellow paladins (and mages). Just think at some boss fights like Lucifron or Baron Geddon (with multiple aoe debuffs) and you will realize immediately how this addon is powerful.


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