WoW Struggles: The Undergeared

Picture this.

You’re sitting in Ironforge with a half filled raid that’s pumped to do Zul’Aman after pulling consecutive 3 hour clears of Karazhan.

You spam your Guild looking for that extra DPS or extra healer.

“I’ll come!”

It’s that new Paladin your Guild recruited. His status says ‘Trial Member’ in the Guild window.

You fill out the rest of the raid with power DPS and dependable tanks and then you’re on your way to Zul’Aman. You clear up to the Bear boss no problem because your Pally tank is so damn awesome that mages beg YOU to come because their sheeps aren’t needed. You, the Priest, start nodding off because the trash pulls were so lax and simple. The bear boss looms before you. A quick glance upward at the clock shows 8 minutes left before hostages are executed. Raid mana and raid health are both at 100% and you give the ready signal. Your raid’s been brought up to speed on what needs to be accomplished.
“Tanks, on your go!”

The tanks rush in and engage. There is not a single problem on the initial transitions. You and the other healers are doing an excellent job.

Until you look at your healing meters and see this:

Recount Healing Done

You blink wondering why the Paladin’s heals are low. Then you inspect him. Your jaws drop. He’s got barely +1300 healing.

Congratulations! You just invited an undergeared Paladin to a place where he has absolutely NO business being in!

And he’s a new trial member in your Guild!

I vow to never take an undergeared person into ZA ever again. My standards? Having at most 1 blue. You must need nothing else out of Karazhan if you want to go on a ZA run. I’m sick and tired of players who think that just because they ran Karazhan on their alt, they’re able to do ZA on their alt. It’s two different levels of play! I can’t believe how many “oh &#$%” spells and cooldowns I had to blow just to keep the MT alive ON TRASH.

When I was in the LFG channels and in Ironforge looking for players to fill out raids, my Pally tank said he got tells from people who wanted to come. A quick inspection showed that their equipment wasn’t quite up to snuff. He explained that to them. You know the answer he got?

We’re in this AWESOME Guild that’s doing Hyjal and BT. We’re so good we want to bring our alts in. No, you’re not! I don’t care if you’re a Death & Taxes Paladin alt with 1200+ healing! Your guild tag does not determine your suckiness. Skill can only carry you so far. It was a miracle we even got to and downed the Lynx boss.

People decked in dungeons blues and a sprinkling of epics have no purpose in Zul’Aman!

I’m going to do some quick research and survey my friends, guildmates, and even some of my blogging colleagues on their opinion.

You know your class. What would you deem are the minimum requirements go even go into Zul’Aman? If you’re a healer, I want to know what you think your health, mana pool, mana regen, and healing should be at. For tanks and DPS, I’m asking you for the relevant stats that are needed. Take a look at my Karazhan minimum requirements for an idea.

17 thoughts on “WoW Struggles: The Undergeared”

  1. I went into ZA for the first time on monday as a last minute replacement 3rd Healer for our Group 1 team. My numbers fall around 1700 unbuffed heals and 170 mp5 while casting, and the only real problem we came against was the lynx boss, even with kings, bow, mp5 flask, mp5 food, mp5 oil and chain potting i was going so close to oom on him that we had to shuffle the second shammy into the healer group for the extra mana (running without a shadow battery as there were none available for this run – bah christmas hols! lol) and the bear tank to shift and chuck an innervate on me during the agro wipe, before we downed him (3rd attempt). We called it afterwards btw, as we ran out of time for the trash on Dragonhawk due to clearing the last few bosses in Kara before starting.

    We were running with our main Pally and Shammy healer, so it leads me to think that my numbers are a bit low for ZA! though it was manageable with a good team behind me. and im no slouch of a healer ;o)

    I would suggest at least a higher mana regen number for people running with less than an A team, so as to be less dependent on group make up/others for success and to pull more weight as an individual. but those are jsut my thoughts.

  2. 1300 healing on a Paladin in ZA is fine if they’re the 3rd healer, as long as the other 2 healers are well geared, at least in my experience. We routinely have to run a 3rd healer with those numbers, but they also take time to bring along consumables (and we are anchored by a Resto shaman) to boost their effectiveness. Obviously it’s not a perfect situation, but it’s certainly not impossible. I do *prefer* 1500 healing as a minimum, however.

  3. Waitaminute. You’re positing everything went smooth as silk and you had no problems UNTIL YOU INSPECTED?

    If that’s the situation, then I call BS on your “he’s too low” call.

    Actually, you hit a couple of pet peeves. First and foremost, I hate heal meters for about the same reason I hate damage meters. Even for raid leaders. During the fight they should be completely ignored if not outright banned — it’s not the numbers, it’s the frigging results that matter. But too many people get caught up in the numbers.

    Let’s put it back to your example. Third healer on Bear fight running about 75% second healer tells me he’s having too much healing on group, or he’s doing his job and supporting your number two healer. After the battle – assuming “silk” continues – on Bear I’d expect first and second healers to end up close to each other (call it 30-35% apiece in the model I’m seeing above) with third healer running round 20%.

    When I have a smooth run and then discover the healer is, in my eyes, undergeared, it usually tells me that something in my assumptions is wrong. And that’s my second peeve – the people who deny what happened or insist it had to be a fluke because what happened doesn’t meet their sense of what should have happened. It’s the same crap that tends to keep hunters out of groups and that for a long time kept shadowpriests out and, well, I could go on.

    When reality and projections don’t match, if you’re letting projections win you lose.

    Sorry about the rant. As it happens I’d probably think a paladin with 1300 +heal is indeed too low for ZA. On the other hand, I’ve been doing ok at +1600.

  4. For a healing priest, with buffs, I think 9250 hps, 9000 mana, 1500 +heal and 175 mana/5 in combat would be the absolute minimum. If you don’t reach that at the very minimum, there is still some gear in Kara you could use.

  5. I cant speak for any requirements for those raids since as a Tank i haven’t even as yet raided Kara. So i can’t put forth a worthwhile comment on that.

    But many things in your blog piece i do agree with in relation to a general attitude and sentiment of many players.

    Player says: “I’ll come!” to the raid to ZA.

    My personal pet peeve with that is if you Know your personally geared for a Raid or encounter you should do the right thing and either acknowledge your undergeared to those that asked so as not to be the weak link or not attend. But then again most players that too loot hungry will never acknowledge that as it relates to their own personal gain.

    I can’t remember how many times when i was gearing up my Paladin to 490 defense pre 2.3 that countless times i got asked by friends i’ve run through instance for gear and some in raiding status and gear to come tank heroics for them. They wanted me to do so because that had confidence in me as a good tank. But when they asked i declined often and explained that my gear just wasn’t up to Heroic standards to take the hits and i would be risking them wiping allot as the tank. Still they asked, and still i declined because i know it was the right thing to do. Personal integrity!

    I also have and unsettling view of people that choose to run encounters undergeared as well as the guilds that support the practice of it to the detriment of their better geared counterparts. They do so in the name that well it will be ok if your undergeared because well the other people in the raid is properly geared and now that person becomes the chain weak link.

    “We’re in this AWESOME Guild that’s doing Hyjal and BT. We’re so good we want to bring our alts in”. Man i can’t tell you how much time i’ve been in 5 man instance and heard that kind of talk. It sickens me sometimes to hear it. The trying to cover up how much they may suck based on the reputation of what their guild can do. How good your guild and players may be have no direct bearing on how good you may be on another character or in my instance currently. I could almost care less what you could do on another character as what matters is what you can do right now on the one character your on. Referring that one guild is so good you can bring your alt in, well that guild is only that good because its learned to work as a team and properly geared for the encounter getting their. So walk in with alts is to piggy back and be carried on the other players effort even if a person may think their guild is AWESOME.

  6. Kirk, no worries, rant away. I just withheld a lot of data from this post. The reason we did okay and had no serious problems on the bear boss, is this:

    I had over 2000 healing, and my resto druid had 1800+ healing. With numbers like that, we could easily carry an undergeared 3rd healer. Do I like it? No, because there’s so much effort required. In theory, what should’ve happened here is that I would be last on the meters. Paladins shouldn’t be flash healing for a little over 1000.

    I used to agree with you before about meters. I had the same stance that they were not doing anything useful at all in anyway. But then I Recount which had meters of any kind. It could check whose been dispelling, how the tanks were dying, whose taking extra damage from stuff, and it happened to come with healing and DPS meters.

    The screenshot pictured above is an example of one of the meters that I used. I can’t remember where it was taken. It might’ve been a few pulls after the boss.

    When I got to the Lynx boss, I had to call for an innervate at the first 75%. Bear boss is nothing but a test. It only gets harder from there.

    Did the Pally do well? He did okay as best as he could but I should never have taken him in there in the first place.

    Hielo, Ahtryn, Malva, thanks for your opinions. I’ll note them down in a future post.

    Galo, I’m glad I’m not the only one whose ran into such problems. It’s nice to hear there are players humble enough to know when to say no. Yesterday the instance was Heroic Steamvaults. We ran in there with my Shaman healing alt and the rest of my guild (also on alts). We wiped twice on trash pulls before I bit the bullet and brought in the heavy artillery (my Priest). From there on out, it went absolutely smoothly.

  7. Interestingly enough when talking about peer pressure, back in the 60-68 range when I was still prot, there was a group of people in the same level range I had PUGed with through several instances, and when one of them /w me for a new one either to tank or heal for them, there’d be respect if I told him I wasn’t confident in my gear for that one. From the guild, though, the pressure (but in part the implied one, that is, the one I believe to be subject to even if it’s unspoken) is a lot higher.

  8. Matt, it’s not that the numbers aren’t useful, it’s that people being people tend to get wrapped in the numbers over the results — and worse, tend to take the “easy” numbers as the reason results aren’t what they should be instead of digging.

    FWIW, I really, really like recount — the graphing, especially, is awesome. I just can’t run it on my current computer unless I want to run SSC at a framerate of less than 5. (Yes, that means I am overjoyed when everything is so right that I approach 20 fps. I suspect that when I can add reaction to intuition and anticipation I’ll be even better…)

  9. I think the main problem besides the gear was the fact the Healer was an ALT and his main was a Rogue. His dispelling was terrible and his healing was sub par.

    What he needed to do was Learn to play his class by doing Heroics and Kara.

    Raiding in wow is about getting progressively better in Gear and skill and the ways we do that is by doing the appropriate level instance for our gear and skill.

    I have been tanking on my paladin for almost a month now. I have never tanked in my life. I pretty much played a Hunter for the past 2 years all the way to BT/Hyjal. I can tell I am STILL learning how to tank effectively as the game goes on.

    So when a 1200+ Healing ALT healer asks to come along to ZA again I will say no go do Heroics and kara and learn to play first

  10. I currently am in Post Kara gear, about +1650 (or more) plus healing unbuffed, and I STILL have problems with ZA. Mind you, ZA doesn’t seem very pally friendly. 🙂

  11. So with all these points I only saw one clear post from Malva bout what minimum healer specs should be. Yes yes I know its all about the skill and the other healers and the tank and blah blah blah. But some nice bufed or unbuffed numbers from more than one person would really be nice. Our 10 man raid is getting ready for ZA and it woudl be nice to know what i need improvement on, a few different opinions.

    unbuffed I am
    9K mana
    7K health
    +1800 healing
    186 mp5 while casting

    Calandris – Priest

  12. hmz, i couldent have had much more than 1200+ heal if that much, when starting and clearing ZA on my priest, barely 100 mp5, but with a mana battery in the group, staying high on the meter was no issue.
    By the time i’d hit 1500+ healing, 140 mp5 i’d bypassed even the 2k healing easily


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