It has been a long time since I wrote a don't panic post so I thought I would come up with one here being I have been seeing a lot of people talking about raid composition right now and how some classes seem required and others seem to hinder progression.
Raid composition can be played around with in normals. Unless you are starting in on hard modes already you are fine with whatever you have.
Even if you do not have all great players, if you have all intelligent ones, you can accomplish anything, even if the statistics say that you should not be able to do it. Execution can really make up for other things you might be lacking like gear, numbers, or the perfect raid composition.
As the raid leader of a casual guild that basically takes anyone that is around into a raid I have learned to work with the tools I have. Sometimes we do not have enough tanks, sometimes we do not have enough healers, sometimes we do not have our better damage dealers around.
Normals are a lot more forgiving and it really seems to fit the concept of bring the players and not the class. Heroic is a different story, that is all about bring the class. Always has been and always will be. If mages or druids or whatever seem to excel at a fight then hard mode guilds will stack their raids with them.
If you are in a guild that just likes downing bosses and having some fun then you can play around with things sometimes. Normals allow that and to be quite honest it is a lot of fun downing bosses with a make up that people say would be impossible for a casual guild to do it with.
As evidence, last night we did not have a second tank, so we one tanked the first boss in DS. With some smart movement and some cooldown usage planned out ahead of time, the lack of a second tank did not hurt us. Of course we wiped two times before we figured out the one tanks timing for cooldowns, but once we got it, it was done.
Did we panic and call off raid night being we only had one tank online? Nope.
On the slime boss we needed that second tank. So I shelved the healer and bought in a tank. Have to love having multiples of each roll all ready to go. If you have someone, or a few people like that, in your guild that have a few alts, you will never need to panic.
One of our DPS switched to healing to take my place as a healer. Bad part was, he is our best DPS. Our top three DPS in the raid right now where tanking, offtanking and healing.
We did well, no slime ever made it to the boss, but we did not have enough boss damage and hit the enrage timer. Darn.
Did we panic? Nope.
There is always a way to do something with what you have and like I said, normals allow you to play with things. As long as you have some decent players and the ability to switch some things around anything can be done, as long as you don't panic.
After another wipe to the enrage timer we evaluated who we had and what we can do. The three healers would be key to playing with how we where going to work this. Two did not even have enough gear to get into the raid finder and one was a normal top DPS.
The two non raid finder level players where an alt paladin and a shaman that never even raided T12, he just started raiding again, so he had a bit of catching up to do gear wise even if the new heroics have helped him play catch up a lot.
After discussing with the group the possibilities we decided to gamble.
The only time we seem to run into any healing issues is when we have the green, yellow and red combo. Even killing green, yellow and red are healer intensive. If we take the third healer, who is a top DPS, and turn him into a DPS again we can easily two heal the encounter. The only time we would ever need a third healer is for the yellow and red hitting, the rest of the fight is not healer intensive, even for lesser geared healers, as long as they execute intelligently.
So we looked at who we had. Checked out all possible raid cooldowns and made a cooldown rotation with whatever we had available if and when we got that combo to pop up.
We set a ready check up and of course said, don't panic, we got this.
Don't panic. This might not be the ideal group that blows thought this without thinking.
Don't panic. We might only be using two healers when three is suggested.
Don't panic. Just execute and we will be fine.
We pull, keep the healer turned DPS on the boss 100% of the time, being we never had slime issues before, he would not be needed, and we downed him in record time. Green, red, yellow can kiss my butt.
Don't panic if you do not have the right group.
Don't panic if you do not have what is normally expected.
Don't panic, think.
If you think it out and plan it out, anything can be accomplished.
Needless to say, I did tell the other DPS they have to step up their game some. There is no way we should be coming even close to the enrage timers. Even if a few where first timers or don't yet have the expected gear for the content there is no excuse for that.
The thing is, we did not panic because we did not have the right set up. We did not panic because it seems like our DPS could not do it.
Don't panic, think instead, and you can solve any problem you might run into in a normal.
It is only the second week of raiding DS and it was not what we expected. Not sure where all our normal players are. They seem to have all disappeared. But we did not panic. We did it with who was online. Not as clean as last week when we went in the first time ever and one shot stuff but it was still nice and it proved, if you do not panic and think things out, you can beat bosses without having the perfect raid composition.
As an end note...
Just to share some pain for everyone that gets a kick out of that stuff.
Worst wipe of the night for me?
5th boss, 1702 life left.
Yes, one thousand seven hundred and two.
That hurts. But it was still fun.