Death and the Priest


This week, we were given the option of a freestyle post.  I’m sticking with that, though I am using one of the topics presented in the competition to do it.  Matt, I’m sorry but I totally disagree with you when you advocate letting your dark side out and forcing a wipe. 

So Who Calls It?

Wipes happen, every group has been there.  It may be due to a bad pull, lack of focus, or simply the process of learning a fight.  It sucks, and can feel like a waste of time.  However, it is not the job of anyone other than the raid leader to determine when it is time to throw in the towel.  The raid leader is the person you agreed to listen to in raid, they are the person you hopefully trust to tell you what to do.  I’m not advocating a blind following of everything said to where you forget your own common sense, but the authority of the raid leader is totally undermined if one of the 24 other people in the group go over his head and make these decisions without him.  If you think it’s hopeless, poke the raid leader to call it, don’t make that decision yourself.  If you are making that decision, you need to ask yourself why, if you’re not going to let him lead, is he the raid leader at all?

Why not call it?

There are really only two kinds of wipes out there; the wipes that happen on farm content because of fluke or lack of attention, and the wipes that happen while you’re in some stage of learning a fight.  In neither of those instances are early problems reason to give up immediately. 

Everyone has experienced the shaky pull, where you lose one healer and a dps or two fairly early on, and still manage to beat it.  We’ve had Bloodboil on farm for months, every week is a one-shot.  But last night, we were running with 7 healers (where we usually run with 8 ) and lost one early on to Fel Rage (he was picking through the healing crew) bringing us down to 6.  It was stressful and crazy.  Then one of our warlocks got double-boiled because someone else hadn’t been paying attention.  You guessed it, he was the next Fel Rage target and died.  Bloodboil turned and Acid Breathed the tanks, costing us two of them.  With our highest-aggro mages and warlocks “off-tanking,” we still brought him down from 20% to dead with only our pally tank up.  It was a slow kill, but it would have wasted more time to wipe, rez/run back, and start all over from the beginning.  Problems are not a guaranteed wipe. 

As for giving up early while learning content, well, why show up to begin with?  Most bosses are not the type which look at you and fall over, offering up their shiny loot because you scare them so much.  Learning a boss can be hard!  You can spend weeks, 5, 10, 15 wipes, just trying to get a boss down once.  My raid group is currently working on Kalecgos.  It’s going slow, it’s frustrating, and it’s mainly due to the expansionitis that most raid groups are facing.  We don’t call it when the first healer dies.  We don’t even call it when the first tank dies, when we know it’s a guaranteed wipe at that point.  We still need the practice on when to move, keeping our portal rotation, where to stand, how to manage the details of the fight.  There’s a lot of learning that can be accomplished by pushing forward, even if you know you’re not going to win.  If you give up at the first sign of trouble, you are never going to improve.

Things to remember

  1. Discreetly forcing a wipe just means you have something to hide.  If you have something to hide, why are you doing this in the first place?
  2. Playing this off as an innocent mistake means you know you’re in the wrong and are looking for plausible deniability.
  3. Communication is key, as is trust.  Forcing a wipe totally ignores both of these things.

In short, if you have a problem, or things look dire, talk to your raid leader, don’t take over his job yourself.

14 thoughts on “Death and the Priest”

  1. I still think my favorite wipes are the wipes the raid leader calls and the rest of us go ‘Oh HELL no.’ and proceed to lay the smack-down.

    But in all seriousness, I have to agree. Don’t undermine the raid leader, he/she has enough to worry about as it is.

  2. Nightbane died in 15min 42 seconds. Standing at the end of the fight was the main tank, a OOM tree, spriest, hunter alt, and feral dps. The feral dps had benefited from a battle rez early in the fight due to a cleave. That was before the other dps and heals went down. 15min 42 seconds on nightbane. A wipe could have been called after the first rain of bones. A wipe could have been called when the MT healer went down. As the MT it would have been real easy to not save my healthstones and pots for silences and just let my health drop to zero. It would have been real easy to not gather the skeletons at 50 & 25% and let them eat the healers. I didn’t and all the dead encouraged us on vent to keep going, keep fighting. 15min 42 seconds later we all cheered, sharded the drops and moved on continuing to one shot the evening.

  3. @ Seri — I love those moments. I always feel at the end of them going “THERE! HA! I TOLD YOU!”

    @ bearcat — It’s always such a huge feeling when you pull it from the brink like that. I mean, it’s not good that you ended up like that to begin with, but when you do and you still manage to pull it off. It’s RAR!

  4. Somehow the impossible always happens to other people’s guilds. I don’t know that we’ve had one of these miracle kills lately! Maybe it’s just that our raid leader tends to call it when the tide turns south. Anyway–I agree with you Jove, that healers ought to heal either until the call goes out to stop or the boss dies.

  5. I’m with Seri. Those moments where the RL is calling a wipe, thinking death is imminent, and the DPS corps just saying “F-That! It’s on!” are arguably some of the best boss fights I’ve ever seen. And they leave your group with a pervasive feeling of camaraderie and pride, knowing you succeeded when even your leaders thought you couldn’t.

    It’s those shining moments where everyone just cranks it up a notch that make raiding worth the investment. Those are the fights you never forget.

    Great article!

  6. WTF Mallet…. a very important Resto Shaman was casting lightning bolt and chain lightning on the demons, as well as, bomb healing the lock tank while Illidan was 1%. Where’s Luwin’s love?

  7. I agree with you 110%. Long ago (when he was difficult) my previous guild was attempting Curator. We got him down to about 20% when the Astral Flares started to pile up. People were falling left and right, but he was dropping too. With 1% left to go, and one Astral Flare up, it was just Curator and our off tank, Theis. He popped a pot, activated his trinkets, and finished the big guy with 10% of his health remaining. The Astral Flare took his life too, but we were able to run back (SS used and no shaman) and loot him. Greatest fight I’ve ever been in, and to this day, Theis still brags about how he downed Curator all by himself!

  8. I regularly have words with guildmembers who ‘give up’ when they perceive inevitable doom and I certainly plan to keep having those words. These people come in different flavours, but while the dps class that doesn’t accept his Rebirth because he went to get a drink in despair is bothersome, he is far less disturbing than the healer who wipes the raid intentionally.

    This post will sort of echo Joveta and not really bring a new point of view to the table because I initially wrote it when I read Matticus’ article about this, thinking it was Joveta’s (yes I’m a mess, didn’t have my coffee yet), but bear with me please :).

    Anyway, the first reason I vehemently disagree with taking your raid’s faith into your own hands is not just the fact that most members invariably have a worse perspective on the health and viability of the raid than the raidleader or subleaders, and as such are far more liable to throw in the towel for everyone when a recovery is still quite possible. I couldn’t even count on all my fingers and toes the number of great victories we’ve seen while some of our most awesome healers had been moaning in healerchat about ‘calling it already’ earlier in the fight.

    The second reason and the most important one is the knowledge that learning most encounters, especially the very technical ones, is based on performing a number of tasks in exactly the right way and for most people mastery only comes from repetition. There will always be your brilliant members that ‘get it’ right away and are shining examples for the rest of the raid right from day one, but most people will have to do something a number of times to get it right. Not to mention that often one player doesn’t get the chance to practice his part unless another player just got theirs right as well; someone who had to depend on the correct execution of yet another player’s task before that.

    This is why you delay wipes on progression content, especially if the supposed reason to wipe isn’t something that would really start mattering unless you are going for a serious kill. Like dead DPS’ers that will eventually lead to failing a dps check, or dead healers that will eventually lead to failing a damage-on-the-raid check. If it is clear that you will not get to those checks anyway and are currently still working on paying your dues to the encounter, wiping the raid is a huge waste of time.

  9. I’m way too stubborn to give up and die. I’ll stand there and keep healing until something beats me into a bloody pulp. Or I run away. It’s not over until every single person’s health bar has run empty.

    And amazing saves can be pulled off. In one Kara run, we had a horrible accident and lost everyone but my priest and the main tank. We sat through a portal phase with me in green beam and him running back and forth between blue and red. We came out of the portal phase with me at 1000 maximum mana due to the debuff. Just enough to binding heal us both after a netherbreath so the warrior could get off one last execute on spite…

    Daes last blog post..That ‘One in a Million’

  10. @ Everyone — I love reading about your “it’ll never work” saves. It’s awesome, because the feeling when you pull it off is just so great. Thank you <3


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