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Ndainye
10-18-2005, 05:40 PM
Druid Raiding - A Guide of Somesort

So you are level 60 and you want to raid but you're not sure how to go about it or what to do once you get there. Hopefully this guide will help get you started.

Caveats:

This guide is intended to be a rough outline of Possible Druid duties and functions while PvE raiding in Upper Level Instances

This is not intended as a spoiler or full encounter strats. Some information contained here will definatly fall under the heading of spoiler since many of these encounters can not be explained without giving information on mob abilites. I will try not to get into particular strats as this is not the appropriate place for such information and since every group works differently your group will find the strat that works best for you. I welcome feedback from others regarding any and all information contained.

This will be updated as more content becomes open and available and as I and my guild work our way through the encounters and I get a feel for my role as a Druid during those encounters.

I am a restoration speced Druid and at this point healing is the role that 99% of Druids find themselves in while raiding, so this guide will focus on our role as healers first and foremost. If you are in the 1% of Druids that are not only willing but also have the group support to fulfill your dreams of being Main Tank in Molten Core and above, grats to you for attempting to break the mold but this guide won't help you much. If you do have experience Tanking in Raid Encounters I encourage you to write a similar guide to assist your fellow mold breakers. Same goes for Cat or Moonkin damage druids.

I am currently playing Horde; for all encounters above UBRS this will be written primarily from the Horde perspective. I originally played a night elf druid and raided extensively with her in every instance UBRS and below so I have some experience converting horde and alliance differences and will try when able to point out those possible differences in encounters. Again I welcome input from others regarding these differences.


Index:
Raid Groups and You (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125271)
Raiding Talent Guide (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125272)
Raid Progression
Small Raid Encounters (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125273)
Scholomance
Stratholme
Lower Black Rock Spire
Small Raid Instances (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125274)
Upper Black Rock Spire
Medium Raid Instances (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125275)
Zul'Gurub
Large Raid Encounters
Molten Core (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125277)
Onyxia's Lair (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125278)
Black Wing Lair (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125279)
Outdoor Raid Encounters (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125281)
Additional Information and Guides

Save The Caster Duty - Offtanking as a Druid (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125283)
Ndainye's guide to keeping Suicidal Mages Alive (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125284)
Overhealing and Agro Management (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125285)
Tools for Raiding - What to bring with you when you raid (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125286)
Useful Raid Addons For Druids (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?p=125288)

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:11 PM
Finding a Raid Group
Okay so you hit level 60 and you've heard about raiding but never really been on one, where do you go? how do you get in a raid group?

There are several different forms of raid groups: Guild Raids, Guild Alliance's for raiding and the dreaded Pick Up Raids (PUGS). Each form of raid group serves it's purpose and can get the job done, with more or less sucess.

The most sucessful raid groups are generally in the form of raid guilds. The primary reason raid guilds are sucessful is ease of communication, common purpose and long term experience. If you've leveled to 60 as part of a raid guild you are one of the lucky ones, you can now contribute to your guilds sucess in higher level instances. If you are not guilded or you are in a guild that does not raid; you may wish to look for a place in a raid guild. The easiest raid guilds for a new level 60 to join will be a newer one, a guild that is just starting to progress thru upper level content and is looking for new members to increase their ranks and add to their sucess. Joining a guild that is already sucessful at raiding content is much more difficult as you will not only need to prove yourself to that guild but also will need to work very hard to quickly get your gear up to par with the content they are working on. As a Druid you are lucky, almost every guild is more open to GOOD healers than to other classes and as Druids tend to be rarish on many servers we are prime recruitment targets. Be prepared when you look for a raid guild as most likely their primary focus will be raiding and they will expect you to be available to raid with them often.

The next type of raid group to look for is an alliance of guilds. Alliances are generally made up of several smaller guilds that have enough in common to agree upon raid rules and times but not necessarily enough in common to want to merge guilds. Alliances may not raid as often as pure raid guilds and may be for more casual raiders. If you are in a small guild and you would like to raid semi often you might encourage your guild leaders to look for other guilds to cooperate with.

The last type of raid groups are the dreaded pick up raids or PUGS, these are the raid groups that form nightly in Ironforge or Orgimarr generally asking for more members in general chat for long periods of time. Almost everyone will have to get raid experience in PuGs from time to time especially as a beginning raider. PuGs are primarily formed for raiding small raid content but do occasionally venture into ZG or MC. These groups are often disorganized and frustrating but do serve the purpose of getting you equiped in your teir 0 class blues. Often times a start up raid guild will begin as a base for PuG groups and will use PuGs to test future members abilities.

Basic Rules for Raiding

Once you have found a raid group to begin your raid experiences you need to show yourself to that raid group and others that you are or can be a good raider. Being a good raider means you will get put on people's friends lists and they will ask you to raid with them again, and possibly to join thier formal raid guild or guild alliance.

To be a good raider there are a few simply rules of etiquette to follow:

1) Pay attention to the raid leader, being able to listen and follow instructions are the most important things that raid leaders want from raid members. If you disagree with the instructions or don't understand the instructions, send a tell and get clarification. A good raid leader will answer questions and give explinations as needed. If you don't understand your role in an encounter ask! before you wipe the raid not after.

2) Know the loot rules - every raid group will have thier own looting policies, if its a guild or alliance raid those rules should be posted on your guilds website. If it is a PuG the raid leader should review the rules before zoning into an instance. If you strongly disagree with the loot rules the time to leave the raid is before you zone in not after you have ninja looted an item or yelled at the raid leader and held up the raid for an hour over a loot decision.

3) Don't afk. If you need to go to the bathroom get a drink or have a snack it's generally okay to take a few minutes and do so; as long as you tell the raid leader or the raid. But, if your bathroom is in the next state or you have to drive an hour to the store to get food that's a different issue. Prolonged or frequent AFK's waste the time of every other person that is on the raid and may very well get you kicked and replaced by someone that can stay awake.

4) If you know you don't have time to complete the instance don't go. Generally a pickup raid will last 1.5-2 hours from zone in. And yeah you've probably stood around the entrance or at the bank for at least an hour before that while the raid leader was getting additional people. Emergencies happen and dropping a raid for something unexpected is human, but if you know you can only be a part of the group for an hour don't leave them hanging. It is much easier to hold up the raid group to add members at the begining than to find and recruit on the fly.

5) Be On Time! - If your raid is pre scheduled be at the entrance to the instance on time even early. Have everything you need with you and have your equipment repaired. Do not expect the warlocks to waste the shards that they farmed on their own time to summon you just because you were too lazy to hop a bird or run.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:16 PM
Do I have to be Restoration Spec to raid?

No not really. Druid healing is very strong even without restoration talents. To me restoration is an attitude more than a spec. Druids don't just heal on raids, we can and do make use of a large portion of our skills on every raid, however healing is what we are there for the majority of the time. I won't get into debates about Druids being capable of Main Tanking raid instances, sure we are capable of it but we don't do it often; and there is a reason - Warriors are much more capable at tanking than Druid Bears are, if you as a Druid are out tanking a warrior don't start to think you are better than all warriors, get a better warrior. Yes we can do decent melee damage in cat form, but rogues do more damage and have the ability to shed the agro that they gain through that damage much more effectively than we do in cat form. Caster damage is not about how high you can crit against a boss mob but how much sustained damage you can do without drawing the mobs attention to you, mages and warlocks will tell you just how difficult walking that line is. Our raid leader likes to point out to our damage dealers that "oops I crit" is not an excuse for wiping the raid ~ and will earn that damage dealer the job of fishing for stoneskin eels to resupply our guild with flasks.

Okay so I'll spec some into restoration, I don't have to go full restoration do I?

Spec to at least 21 points restoration so that you will have Nature's swiftness. I can not stress enough the importance of Nature's Swiftness for any Druid that intends to be raid healing. We can argue about other specs later but NS is vital, if you are unwilling to devote at least 21 points in restoration for Nature's Swiftness do not pretend to be a raid healer. This does not mean that you can not be a solid raider or even a good healer but your raid leaders need to be aware that you are NOT a primary healer and they should NOT expect such of you; Without NS you are a support healer at best.

I'm primarily restoration but the priest keeps asking for Innervate, do I have to have Innervate to raid?

NO! you don't need to have innervate to raid. It will make life easier in some cases but it is not critical for any fight that is currently in the game. As your raid group progresses through content and your casters aquire better gear you will hear less about the need for innervate. Some of our priests can top 10k mana without the use of flasks, and can easily sustain healing through even the longest fights. As important as your healers gear is for mana building capabilities is the equipment that all members of the raid have for sustaining, and deflecting damage so that they do not need as much healing. Upping your rogues Fire Resist, upping your tanks AC/HP/Resists ect..

I "rarely" innervate on demand, it's my talent and my skill and my brain is quite capable of determining which member of the raid needs the extra mana and when it is important to give them a boost. When raiding with my guild I know which of our healers are the "stongest" and will make best use of the extra mana my innervate could give them, likewise I know which of our mages have evocation and I try to be familar enough with the fights and our strategies to know which mage might need that extra push for the next aoe pull. I even innervate hunters on occasion but don't tell anyone please :) I might just lose my Druid card over it.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:18 PM
Stratholme Live
Stratholme Undead
Scholomance
Lower Blackrock Spire


Determine from the raid setup what your primary duties will be. If you have 2-3 priests you'll most likely be doing damage and top off healing. This may be your last chance to cat form in a raid, so make the most of it - remember that undead are immune to rake. If you only have 1 priest and several Druids talk to the other druids and figure out what each of you will be doing, deciding for yourself that there are enough healers in the raid for you to do damage doesn't work well when all the rest of the druids have done the same. If you only have 1 warrior in the raid be prepared to go bear form and off tank or what I call being on save the casters duty.

Even if you are not on heal duty be prepared to heal when necessary, watch for curses and poison curing needs especially; as these can hurt bunches. Removing a curse/poison is your first duty, as that curse/poison is doing damage and healing through the damage is more mana taxing than curing the problem.

When Raiding 5 person instances with more than 5 players the primary purpose is to quickly clear through all content for the possible item drops. Quickly means cleanly, any deaths will slow down your raid and hurt your primary objective. Many times when raiding a 5 person instance your team will choose to AOE large numbers of mobs at one time. The General AoE strategy is to pull or charge a group of mobs. Your Warrior will be AoE Taunting in order to encourage all the mobs to pay attention to them, while your Mages and your Warlocks will be casting AoE spells into their midsts. When casting they will of course draw large amounts of agression and being cloth wearers they do not have the hitpoints to withstand the damage they will be taking for long. An AoE encounter is the most difficult type of encounter for a Druid as a Healer. Keeping a Mage Alive while at the same time not drawing so much agression that you yourself become the focus of the pack is a fine line to walk.

Quests

There are no "raidable" quests available for the 5 man dungeons with the exception of Attunment to the core which is done in Black Rock Depths. Any quests you have for these dungeons must be completed in a 5 person team.

Druid Specific Drops

All pieces of our Wildheart Rainment (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/itemset.html?setid=185) set drop in these dungeons; excluding our BP which drops in UBRS. Most drop off of specific boss type mobs but some pieces can drop from various trash type mobs.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:20 PM
Upper BlackRock Spire

UBRS is currently the only zone that is designed for small raids of 10-15 players. One member of the raid will need a key to get your raid group in but once the door is open that person can leave the raid. UBRS is necessary raiding not just for loot drops but for quest completion of the key to Onyxia's Lair, Black Wing Lair attunement and Molten Core Progession. All quests in UBRS are designated as (Raid) quests.

UBRS is really the first dungeon where working as a team becomes not just a good safe idea but necessary. Prior to UBRS one or two players roguing it and doing their own thing won't break the group, it may cause a few deaths but you can deal with it. UBRS mobs hit much harder than mobs in previous instances, so drawing agro when you don't need to is much more painful than it was previously. Controling Agro and Managing Agro is the key to raiding. Argo management is not just the job of one person it is the job of the raid. Warriors need to learn how to tank and hold agro on more than one target at a time, damage dealers need to learn how to assist the main assist (not necessarily or desirably the main tank), and healers need to learn not to overheal and what to do when they overheal.

Things for Druids to note in UBRS:

Dragonkin are hibernatable up to and including Rends room. The Dragonkins past rends room are immune but the 2 guards with Drak are once again hibernatable. Druids make excellent pullers in early UBRS due to hibernate, we are also key to several Drak strategies.

Mortal Strike - UBRS is the first place most healers experience Mortal Strike. MS will not only do significant damage to the target but also put a short duration debuff on them that reduces healing effects by 50%. Druids are excellent healers for MS because of our high crit rate on Regrowth and the effects of our regens.

Quests
There are a multitude (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/qlookup.html?zone=54) of raidable quests available for Upper Blackrock Spire. Most of the quests are gotten from the small villages in Burning Steppes or in Kargath (horde). While in UBRS after killing the Beast if there is someone able to skin the beast Finkle (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=5047) will pop out and from him you can recieve the Druid quest for our Chromatic epic item. The legs that you get from this quest are not that great for Druids however.

Druid Specific Drops
The only piece of Druid class armor that drops in UBRS is Wildheart Vest (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/item.html?witem=16706). This BP drops from General Drakkisath along with the breastplates for every other class.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:21 PM
Zul'Gurub

At the moment ZG is the only 20 Man Raid instance, but with the release of AQ in 1.9 there will be 2.

ZG is an excellent progression instance raids for guilds that are building towards MC and with the addition of ZG enchants its utilized by even the most advanced raid teams. I will admit that I don't have a lot of personal experience with ZG my guild likes to sneak in there on nights when I have class. I will add to this portion later on when I get more first hand knowledge, but for now know that druids are wanted in ZG not just for healing but also for hibernation many of the beasts in ZG are sleepable and it's a good idea to sleep one or two of the adds when pulling packs. Also poison and curse removal is important in many fights (with the exception of Hakkar-don't remove that poison!). Poison removal duty is most likely more important to the raid group on Alliance side than on Horde (Shaman Poison Cure totems) but our abolish poison is a great tool for those pesky mobs that chain poison multiply raiders.

ZG Quests
There are quite a few quests (http://www.thottbot.com/?f=q&title=&obj=&desc=&type=I&zones=10885&minl=&maxl=&minol=&maxol=) available from the Trolls in STV for Z'G. These quests require random drops from boss mobs in ZG. The most important ones for druids are for the enchants and librams.

Druid Specific Drops
The only Druid Specific items that drop in Zul'Gurub are in the form of Quest Drops figure out which items you need for the quests and make sure to keep an eye out for them.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:21 PM
Molten Core

Molten Core is the first true 40 man instance for most Druids. Every member of the raid should complete the quest Attunement to the Core (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=7487) prior to your first raid. Attunement is a fairly straight forward quest requiring you to grab a rock from outside the BRD entrance to MC and bring it to the quest giver located outside the MC window in Black Rock Mountain. Attunement can be done in a raid group of up to 10 members.

Many people find Molten Core to be a rather bland zone, as it's not all that exciting graphically. Lots of rocks and Lava. Molten Core is also a very large zone requireing you to clear many many trash mobs prior to each Boss encounter. But in MC you will find that Trash Mobs are more difficult than the boss mobs in many of the level 60 5 man instances (and they should be you have 40 people to kill them). You are also working against a respawn timer. Trash Mobs will respawn anywhere between 7minutes and 12 hours after clearing with the majority respawning on around a 20 minute timer. The test of your raid group is not just learning each encounter, not just surviving each encounter but staying ahead of the respawn so that you are not constantly needing to reclear trash. If this is your groups first visit to MC it may take you the whole night just to clear to Lucifron, but by the time you've done it a hundred times you will be clearing the entire zone in less than four hours. For many groups if you make it past the second pull on your first attempt at the zone you are doing great!

MC is full of exciting elemental type mobs that cast various curses and magic based debuffs. As a Druid in MC your job is to #1 remove curses #2 Heal, Heal, Heal #3 Offtank when asked and #4 DPS if no one needs 1-3.

Mobs that cast Curses:
Ancient Core Hounds, Lucifron, Gehennas, and Shazzrah

Mobs that may need Druid off tanks depending on raid make up:
Core Hound Packs, Garr, Sulfuron Harbinger and Majordomo Executus

Fire Resist and Molten Core

When you first start thinking about MC and you hear about all the mobs that cast fire spells you may be thinking that you need to wear alot of fire resist gear while in the zone. While Fire Resist is useful for almost every mob you should not need to replace Int, Spirit, Stamina, Mana Regen or +healing items in order to have additional Fire Resist. As a druid and a caster you should be avoiding fire damage during most encounters, if you are not avoiding Gehennas's rain of fire, or Magmadar's lava spits ~ MOVE! The only 2 encounters that cast significant unavoidable fire damage are Lava Packs and Ragnaros. For Lava Packs it is my experience that having enough Stamina to live through a crit fireball than it is to resist the damage done by that fireball. For Ragnaros you will want some Fire Resist gear for everyone on the raid however you should be collecting much of that gear while progressing through MC ~ aim for @150 FR without lowering your mana pool significantly for Ragnaros.

Molten Core Progression Quest Series
In order for your raid group to progess all the way through Molten Core you will need at least 7 people in the raid to have completed a series of quests given by Duke Hydraxis in Azshara. Since the quest series is fairly easy with the majority of it being either soloable or completable while in Molten Core there is no reason why everyone should not work on the quests.

The first 2 quests can be gotten at the same time:
Poisoned Water (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=6804) Duke Hydraxis will ask you to cure and then kill 12 of the plaqued water elementals found in the lakes of eastern plaguelands.

For Surgers and Rumblers (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=6805) you will need to kill 15 Desert Stormers and 15 Desert Rumblers in Silithus.

After you have completed those 2 quests the Duke will send you to Upper Blackrock Spire to kill the Emberseer and bring him it's eye. This quest is called Eye of the Emberseer (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=6821)

Once you have returned the Eye to him he will ask you to venture into The Molten Core (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=6822)
While in MC one this quest you will need to kill one each of 5 types of trash spawn mobs.

At this point in the series he will tell you that you need to be a bit more trusted by him, before you can continue. You will need to gain Honored faction with Hydraxian Waterlords before you can get the next quest. Each mob in MC will give you a small amount of faction with boss mobs giving you a more. It won't take very many MC raids before you are able to revisit the Duke.

Once you have reached honored faction you will be giving the task of slaying the four serpintine leutenants and bringing the Duke Hands of the Enemy (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=6824). Once again venture to Molten Core with your raid group and slay each of the four Salamander/Snake type bosses - Lucifron, Gehennas, Shazzah and Sulfuron Harbinger. Once slain anyone in the raid group with the quest can loot a hand. With all four hands return to the Duke to recieve A Hero's Reward (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=7486) which is a minor quest telling you to loot a chest in the water next to the duke and choose one of two Stat + Fire Resist Rings. As a raiding Druid your choice most likely will be Tidal Loop (http://www.thottbot.com/?i=35685)

Following this final quest and reward you will be able to visit the Duke and get Aqual Quintessence's from him the Quintessence's are need to douse the runes in (or near) each boss. Once all 7 are doused Majordomo Executus will spawn, upon completing his encounter you will be able to Spawn and kill Ragnaros.

Druid Specific Drops

All pieces of our Class Specific Teir One Epic Set Cenarion Raiment (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/itemset.html?setid=205) drop in Molten Core. The BP, Legs, Gloves, Boots, Helm and Shoulders drop from specfic bosses in the zone while the Belt and Bracers can drop randomly from any trash mob.

In addition Ragnaros Drops Stormrage Legguards (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/item.html?witem=16901) which are part of our Teir Two Epic Set. Other Stormrage items drop from Onyxia or in Blackwing Lair.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:23 PM
Onyxia
Onyxia's lair is both easier and more difficult than Molten Core. With only a few trash mobs to clear before getting to Onyxia it takes much less time for a group to get to her than to any MC boss. However the actual Onyxia encounter is more difficult than most Molten Core Boss fights. Onyxia requires that everyone in your group knows what their job is and where they are supposed to be at all times. In my opinion Onyxia is a harder fight than Ragnaros as she can be very fickel.

Before entering Onyxia's Lair every member of the raid group must have a Drakefire Amulet (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/item.html?witem=16309), these are your keys to the lair. In order to obtain the amulet you must do a series of quests. You can find writeups by me about the quests in the quest area of TDG for both Horde (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?t=8697) and Alliance (http://wow.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/showthread.php?t=8703).

Once in the Lair you will first need to clear five Onyxia Warders from the path down to her. The Warders are Dragonkin and have an AoE fire attack. During this portion of the fight; you as a Druid, will be healing your main tank, off healing any DPS and casting damage. Fireresist is important to any Melee that are attacking the Warders.

Walking into Onyxia's Lair for the first time is quite exciting you will enter a large room where a dragon appears to be sleeping. You should handle any last minute buffs before leaving the mouth of the room. When your group enters the room and charges toward Onyxia she will do a zone shout thanking you for coming to her since she normaly must leave her lair in order to hunt for food.

The Onyxia encounter is done in three phases.

Phase 1 - lowering her defenses. For the first 30% of the fight (until Onyxia reaches about 70% health) she will be on the ground doing basic melee and fire attacks. During this phase most likely only one tank will be taking damage. Onyxia does do a knockback that will lower the tanks agro so watch for dps on and off calls. During phase one unless you are assigned to heal the Main Tank do caster damage and spot heal anyone other than the main tank that got in the way of her tail or knockback.

Phase 2 - at around 70% health Onyxia will do another zone shout and take off flying. While in the air she will do single target firebolts randomly, her welps will hatch from caves to the east and the west, and ocasionally she will 'Deep Breath', Deep Breath is a cone fire attack through the center of the zone. There are many debates over what exactly causes deep breath and how to counter this. Some believe it is damage based some timed and some based on positioning. As this is not a spoiler I won't explain how my guild attempts to counter Deep Breaths only that if she does Deep Breath run to the walls and attempt to avoid it. During most of this phase you as a Druid will be doing ranged DPS including all dots against her. Everyone in the raid with the exception of the Mages and Tanks taking care of the whelps is expected to heal themselves so healing is not that important in this phase but toss a rejuv on others when you can reach them.

Phase 3 - Around 40% Onyxia gets tired of playing bomber pilot and lands again. She will be attacking the same in Phase 3 as in Phase 1 but she will also be AoE fearing and rumbling up shards of fire from the floor of the lair. Pretty much at this point she's serious. Due to the fears and the shards it is much more difficult to avoid damage in phase 3 so at this point Druids are pulled into main heal jobs. Your first job is to keep the main tank alive, and after that heal anyone else you can reach between fears.

Druids are extremely important during the Onyxia Fight. We are the only combat res class and at this point if you are ressed into the fight you will immediatly be put into combat (this changes with patches from time to time) no other class can res at all during the battle. Save your reses; use them discrimantly.

Quests
There are no quests to do in Onyxia's lair however Onyxia does drop her head which is a quest item. Horde (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=7490) and Alliance (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=7495)
Turning in her head in either Stormwind or Orgimar will start a small event that will do a shout to the zone about the kill, place her head on a pike for all to see, and buff anyone that is in the zone with a very nice damage buff.

Druid Specific Drops
Onyxia drops the tier two epic helms for all classes including Stormrage Cover (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/item.html?witem=16900) for Druids.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:23 PM
Blackwing Lair
Blackwing Lair is the second of the level 60 full 40 person raid instances. In order to get very far in BWL a raid group should have completed all of Molten Core and equipped many of the members in as much teir one epic gear as possible.

Each member of the Raid Group will need to complete Blackhand's Command (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=7761) prior to entering BWL. The quest is an attunement quest that is pretty easy. You must first kill the Scarshield Quartermaster who is located at the BWL orb on the top level of BlackRock Mountain near the entrance to Black Rock Spire. The quartermaster will drop a note once you have that note you must raid UBRS in a 15 person max raid and touch the rock located behind General Drakkanish. When you have done so you will have a "tatoo" on your hand allowing you to use the BWL Orb.

As a difference from Molten Core there are no real trash mobs in BWL. And rather than each boss mob being a straight forward kill fight each boss is an encouter, more similar to Onyxia. I personally love Blackwing Lair, each fight is unique and challenging. Each fight will require your group to work out a plan over how to complete the encounter. You will most likely bash your heads for awhile over each and every one.
Blackwing Lair also requires your group to function fully as a team. In Molten Core you could sucessfully kill each and every mob with multiple deaths, needing only a few to survive through to the end and complete the kill. In BWL keeping the entire raid alive till the encounter is almost complete is much more important, each and every member of the raid must be on thier toes and doing thier job. In BWL you truely win or lose as a team.

Druids and BWL

Many of the Dragonkin are hibernateable your raid groups plan may include you keeping a mob locked down for the duration of a fight.

Many of the fights are endurance matches, make use of innervate when needed on the member of the raid team that will most make use of the extra mana push.

For many of the encounters Druids are the only source of res, use your resses wisely.

There are poison's and curse in the form of broodlord powers from some mobs, be ready with cures for those fights.

Heal, Heal, Heal and then Heal somemore. As I said before these are endurance fights and they are fights that require your raid group to stay mostly alive during the events. There are very few chances in BWL to go DPS or to off tank, we are healers in BWL and we are very very good at healing there.

Heal Agro is more tricky in BWL from time to time you may find it beneficial to catform and cower vs a boss mob to reduce your agro level. Do so safely.

Have fun with Nefarion, the Druid class call is one of the better ones, we get to be cat form and duke it out with him.

Resists and BWL

In Molten Core resists were primarily for the Melee and you may be thinking this is the same way in BWL, forget that, everyone needs Fire Resist. 150 Fireresist without losing stats minimal for many fights and 300ish FR with no need for stats for Vael. Get your librams, find some green rings if necessary but get your resists.

Onyxia Scale Cloaks (http://wow.allakhazam.com/item.html?witem=15138) are important pieces of equipment for all raid members. Starting with the three drakes all boss mobs will use ShadowFlame. In addition to the cloak you will need to be able to buff your hitpoints over 5000 in order to survive being shadowflamed.

Quests
Their are no quests to complete while in BWL.

Like Onyxia; her brother Lord Nefarion will drop his head (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=7781) when killed. Turning in his head in either Stormwind or Orgimar you will get a shout to the zone, the same dragonslayer buff as Onyxia and have his head on a pike at the entrance (note: you can have both Onyxia and Nefarion heads up at the same time Nef's is larger. The buff however is the same and do not stack). You will also recieve your choice of three epic items.

Druid Specific Drops

The final pieces of our teir two epic set Stormrage Rainments (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/itemset.html?setid=214) drop in BWL.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:24 PM
Reserved for AQ

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:25 PM
Outdoor Raid Bosses are a bit differnt than instance Raids. These boss mobs spawn at various points around the world and must be raced to by groups that wish to kill them. There is no warning when the boss will spawn; however groups that kill them have a fairly good idea of spawn timers. If your group is interested in killing raid bosses the best thing to do is to have spotters out that can check and see if they have spawned. If you are making a spotter alt it is a good idea to make that alt a level 20 (at least) warlock so that you can assist in summoing the rest of your group to the spawn.

Lord Kazzak - spawns in the Blasted Lands hidden in the back of the Tainted Scar. He is guarded by level 60+ elite deamons. Fighting Kazzak is a timed trial, you must kill him before he goes Supreme. Kazzak Curses so Druids will need to remove Curses, you must also watch your mana during the battle if you drop below 20% mana there is a chance you will blow up the raid. You must heal during the fight; anyone that dies will heal Kazzak.

Azuregos - Spawns in Azshara, he wanders among the giants to the North East, is non agro until you upset him. Once you upset him he likes to do frost attacks, will drain mana and summon everyone in the area to him. If you die to Azuregos you will recieve a Mark of Frost Debuff that lasts 15 minutes and can not be removed. If you are on Azuregos hate list while marked you will be frozen in a block of ice and unable to do anything.

The Four Dragons - The newest of the outdoor raid bosses are a set of Four Green Dragons (http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/underdev/1p8/fourdragons.html). These dragons guard the Emerald Dream portals in Duskwood, Ashenvale, Feralas and Hinterlands. All but the Duskwood portals are also guarded by members of the green dragonflight, dragonkin and drakes. The four dragons can spawn at any of the portals randomly. Each has it's own special attacks and tricks but each will place non resistable nature based stackable/buildable dots on the main tank. These dots do a large amount of damage to the tank, the dragons will also have a nature based sleep cloud around them. Each of the Green Dragons will place a Mark of Nature upon you if you die which if you get on the hate list of any of the dragons in the next 15 minutes you will be put to sleep and unable to do anything.

Lethon - has an aoe shadowbolt and will call your shades to assist him against you the shades will heal him.
Emeriss - has an AoE attack that does 75% of your health. When anyone dies your corpse will grow a mushroom that will have a disease cloud around it.
Taerar - More info once we've fought him
Ysondre - More info once we've fought him

Quests

The only quest associated with outdoor raid bosses is Shrouded in Nightmares (http://wow.allakhazam.com/db/quest.html?wquest=8446) which is started by looting an item from the corpse of one of the Four Green Dragons (only one item drops from each). The item is turned in to the Keeper in Moonglade and when turned in you will be able to meet Malfurion (in shade form). The reward for the quest is a +20 Nature Resist and +Stamina Ring.

Druid Specific Drops
There are no Druid specific Drops from any outdoor Raid boss however they do drop many items that druids might like to have.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:39 PM
Offtanking on multiple mob pulls - Saving Casters

Look for those mobs that break away from the pack and attack the healers or casters and pull them back to the main group. Watch for crowd control abilities from other casters, don't go barreling to a mob and start swinging away, try first to growl and pull agro then see what the caster is doing to save themselves, the caster you save won't appreciate being saved if you break their sheep or shackle or seduce in the process since your growl will be on cooldown by the time you do so and the mob will be back to attacking the caster. If the caster you are saving does not use a crowd control method on your targeted mob slowly pull that mob back to the groups warrior using growl, bash, maul and basic attacks to keep it's focus on you. Once you have the mob back to the warrior stop attacking it but stay focused on it until you know the warrior has hard agro on it (not just taunt). A good simple addon for knowing who has the mobs attention is TargetofTarget (http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=1161)

Offtanking as one of Several Tanks assigned to Multiple Mobs

In some cases you may be asked to forgoe your normal healing duties and take the role of offtank for one specific mob. The most common encounters where druids may be assigned as offtanks include Core Packs, Garr adds, Sulferon Adds and Majordomo adds in Molten Core. Generally speaking when forming a MC raid the raid leader will take into account these encounters and try to have enough warriors to handle the job; or Warlocks for Garr, but occasionally the raid group will fall short one or two warriors and will request that a Druid go bear. The raid leader will assign you a single target to tank by asking you to /assist them. Once you have gotten your target keep it on target until it's dead, this is the only thing you need to worry about, due to the multiple mobs with the same name losing your target and having to have it reasigned is not an easy task and may mess up targeting for all other off tanks. Your job as off tank on these mobs is to do everything possible to build and hold agression and keep it on you. In most cases you will be assigned a specific place to position your mob away from the other mobs (with the exception of core packs that are tanked in a heap). Generally speaking this type of offtanking is fairly easy - your raid group will want to kill your mob early on in the fight since you most likely have less Hitpoints than a similarily equiped Warrior (your AC may be higher though) - I prefer to have my mobs killed second or third in order to allow me a bit of time to build agro on the mob because once the full raid is focused on it holding agro will be more difficult. Building rage on these fights is easy you are constantly being hit and gaining more rage, maul maul maul roar roar roar. Use your feroic regen to help heal yourself when possible as it will take some pressure off your healer. You may wish to be in caster form at the time of the pull in order to moonfire/faerie fire and get your mobs attention more quickly. Once you are in bear stay there; if you are offtanking it is not your job to switch out and heal yourself or others, the raid leader should have at least one healer assigned to you.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:40 PM
If using raid bars set them to show by class rather than by group.

Know how many hitpoints your casters have and use the appropriate level of Healing Touch - This is to avoid overhealing and wasting mana there is no point in healing a mage for 3k if they only have 2k hitpoints. If you are restoration speced you can generally use HT8 as your bread and butter heal, rather than HT10. The more +healing gear you have the lower the rank of HT you can use I currently use ranks 7 or 8 for most healing duties.

Realize you will most likely be unavoidably overhealing and deal with it.

Heal preemptively. Starting to cast your heal when the mage is at 50% health is too late. Start casting at 100% and cancel the cast if necessary. You will have plenty of time to land a 3.5 second cast time healing touch on a AoEing mage if you heal preemptively.

Preheal. Stack Regrowth and Rejuv on your mage(s) at the pull. This will buy you the time to get that 3.5s HT off once they start taking damage.

Chain healing, when chain healing AoE casters (remember I've prehealed) I will start with HT, then Rejuv, Regrowth and follow up with a 2nd Healing Touch. By this point the fight is almost done so I Rejuv again and then use Healing Touch to top off the caster.

Drink Quickly because the next pull is most likely incoming.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:42 PM
First lets talk about how to save yourself when you get agro; because you will do so :) Then we'll talk about how to avoid doing it again.

Druids have 3 recourses to drawing agro

1) Bear Form - Our primary recourse for drawing agro is to drop to bear form and get the mob(s) back to the tank. If you draw agro and drop to bear don't decide well now's my chance to show everybody just how good a druid can tank! Unless your job is to tank/off tank the purpose of Bear Form is to reduce the amount of damage that you are currently taking from drawing agro and to help you survive until the tank reestablishes control. Don't attack, don't taunt, just take the beating (hopefully someone else in the raid will heal you). Hopefully the tank has seen that you drew a mob and will move towards you to pick it up, if not move the mob back to the tank and allow the tank to grab it.

2) Cat Form - What? did she say cat form for agro control? Yes I did. One of our most underrated abilites is cower. Cower is much more powerful than a priests ability to fade you just need to learn when to use it for it to work properly. Cower is single target, so if you just pulled half of the aoe groups mobs on you it won't work. Cower requires a target, target the mob be in cower range (5 yards) and then cower. Cower requires that someone else has agro built up on the mob, if the mob that is attacking you was never noticed by anyone else in the raid cowering will do nothing. Cower is permanant deagro; on a long fight using cower against a single target is more effective than priests fading since the agro that you drop will never come back.

3) Barkskin - Barkskin in the weakest of our protective devices, but in a tricky fight a barkskin can allow the druid to get one last heal off on their target or on themselves before dropping to bear or cat to shed agro. Barkskin ups the cast time on spells so casting it and continuing to heal will not only make you continue to build agro on the mob that is attacking you but will also delay any help that you were trying to give by healing. The exception to this is a Nature Swiftness heal will still be instant, so if your tank is dropping fast and you draw agro but are afraid that if you go bear at that moment not only will the tank die but you will die then barkskin NS heal the tank and go bear. Hopefully the tank will recover the mob on you before either of you dies. Another time to use Barkskin is if another healer is taking a beating, you can heal them and then cast barkskin to absorb some ping pong heal agro damage. The best use for Barskin is as a preventative measure when preparing to hurricane or tranquility, since both these spells are instant cast but interuptable while channeling, barkskin is perfect counter for both the additional threat drawn by the spells and to remove the possibility of interuption. Barkskin can be removed by clicking on the buff icon so don't keep it on you longer than necessary.

Why do Druids seem to draw more agro than priests?

Druid healing is different than Priest Healing, don't let anybody tell you differently. Priest healing is reactive and Druid healing is proactive. The primary reason why Druids can have problems with drawing agro and overhealing is that the Druid is not being as Proactive as they should be. Learning to proactively heal takes time however, it takes experience with the fights and experience with your current raid group. Having spent the last six months healing my particular guild I have figured out pretty much who is going to take damage when, I know which mages will go suicidal when aoe'ing and which mages will sit back a bit, I know which tanks have the highest AC/HP/Resists and which ones will need to be watched a bit more. Wny does all this matter? Regens. Our Regen lines allow us to stack heal over times on tanks during boss fights so that we are not constantly chain healing and building agro. Our regens allow us to toss a small heal to a dps that shouldn't be taking much more damage or to regrowth one that will consistantly be taking small amounts of damage.

In addition to using regrowth and rejuv to prevent the need to constantly heal. Raiding druids need to remember that they are not the only healer watching their target. Unless you have been told that you are the only one that is going to keep a particular raid member up you don't need to go all chain heal on them. And if it's a hunter or a rogue just don't heal them they will learn to evade/fd or they will die and it takes less mana for a priest to res em than to heal them before they learn. Spread the healing responsibility out among the raiders so that no one healer is taking the brunt of the heal agro. Make use of each of your three healing classes specialty heals, we all compliment each other very very well. A raid group that is only healed by one class is a poorly healed raid group. There may very well come a time in your raid experience when you say to your raid leader hey we really need a priest for this group or when you say ya know a shaman/paladin could handle these guys pretty well, why don't you move me somewhere I can be most useful.

The last point on reducing your agro that you should look at is what heals you are using. Studies have shown that crit % have a large effect on agro build up. As you gain in Int your crits increase, using regrowth with imp regrowth talent will up your crit % and increase your agro build up. Gaining Int is good though so don't go dropping it just to lower your crit % and the crit rating on imp regrowth is what makes regrowth our most viable heal and no you can't spec out of it :) What you want to look at is how to lower the effect of those crits. The two primary ways of doing so are +healing gear and using lower ranks of healing touch. I personally don't use lower ranks of regrowth since I want to always have the full effect of my highest regens rather than worry too much about the overheal of spurt heal portion of regrowth. Healing Touch 10 is too large a heal in most cases and takes too much mana. When you are raiding and several healers are all healing the same targets you don't want to heal for 2k+ every times HT8 is my bread and butter for raid healing, I do keep HT 10 up on my primary bar for NS heal emergencies and for stepping up my healing if a large number of other healers have died.

Damage meters and heal meters don't mean diddly!

With very few exceptions there is no reason to be constantly watching a damage/heal meter when raiding. It's a fun toy to compare how you stack up but its not very acurate. In order for Damage meters to be acurate the need to be running by multiple members of the raid and they need to be synched. For healing damage meters do not take into account overheal, and therefore artifically raises healing numbers. When a Healer casts a 2.5k HT on a tank but only 1k was actually needed damage meters will record it as that healer healing for 2.5k not for 1k; likewise a group heal that is only really needed to heal one or two members of the group will be recorded for full amount healed on all group members. If you want an acurate accounting of your personal healing and overheal ratio look into using Recap (http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=761). Once you know your overheal amounts you can work on lowering that, but keep in mind that you will always overheal to a certain degree. Why would you want a personal accounting of your healing and overhealing? Simple once you know how much you are overhealing you can work on ways to reduce that overheal. Less overheal means less mana useage.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 06:51 PM
Items That Are Useful for Raiding

When raiding as always you should have your fully repaired armor and weapon sets, both caster and feral. Many times when raiding you will have no advance warning that you need to go feral and changing items in combat isn't something that you can do. But you should carry your gear in case you are asked to go cat or bear during the raid.

Reagents - Bring a Stack of Ironwood Seeds and a couple of stacks of Wild Thornroots with you to each and every raid. You will need the seeds for combat resses and the Thorns to cast Gift of the Wild on groups. You will most likely be responsible for buffing several groups and depending on the raid you will need to rebuff groups at least once. You can of course cast single target Marks on everyone but Gift is much easier if you have a full group to buff.

Resist Gear - For some raids you may also need to carry your resist gear. Currently the most important resist to work on is Fire Resist and it is primarily needed only for Blackwing Lair although it is helpful in MC. Nature and Shadow resist items are also useful on outdoor raid bosses.

Potions - Bring any potions that you wish to have available to you with you to the raid, do not expect anyone else to provide you with potions. It is a good idea to always carry a stack of 5 Major Mana potions and a Stack of 5 Superior Mana Potions. You may also wish to have Healing Potions, Mageblood Potions, Resist Potions and Stat Potions.

Bandages - Yes you can heal yourself but it is not always the best idea to waste your mana in that way, nor do you wish to always gain agro by doing so. Carrying a stack of Greater Runecloth Bandages is a good idea.

Clicky Buff Items - Buff items from the quests in Blasted Lands, Winterfall, and Fellwood generally stack with player buffs and potions. Fellwood heal and mana items are on differnt timers than potions and can be used in conjuction with them. Demonic Runes from deamons will restore mana while taking health and if in a battle that you are not taking damage can be used in conjunction with a rejuv or a bandage to up your mana pool.

Food - Spirit Food, Stamina Food, Mana Regen Food are all available from cooking and will stack with other buffs.

Drinks - Most likely there will be a mage available and offering summoned water for the raid, make use of that water. But in the off chance that there is no mage bring at least 2 stacks of purchased Drinks for mana regen. Alterac Valley spring water is also a good item to have as it gives a stackable spirit buff along with the normal mana refill.

Ndainye
10-18-2005, 07:01 PM
I recommend that all raiders have CT Raid Assist (http://www.ctmod.net/) prior to any raid. You can raid using just the in game raid bar mods but the full Raid Assist package is much more than just raid bars. Interupt casting, emergency monitor, res monitor, buff/debuff viewing ect.. are all extremely useful.

In addition to CTRaid the Addons I use for raiding are:

TargetofTarget (http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=1161) - Allows you to see who your target is focused on, this helps control agression and aids in assist healing.
Recap (http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=761) - I prefer recap to Damage Meters to show my personal healing/damage done and to monitor my overheal %
Benecast (http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=543) - I don't use benecast to make decsions for me as to which heal to use, my brain is my own personal bot. I use benecast for ease of group healing in a raid situation (I don't need to retarget) and to know if my target already has regens on them from another druid.
WhisperCast (http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=463) - helps you catch those frequently missed tells for rebuffs
Spell Alert (http://www.curse-gaming.com/mod.php?addid=690) - Monitors the mobs and shows what spells they are currently casting (godsend for BWL Bosses)