The difficulty of raiding in World of Warcraft is hotly debated. Is it harder now than it was before? Has it been dumbed down too much? Are the fights not unique enough?

In my humble opinion, as World of Warcraft has evolved, the shape and scope of raiding has mostly changed in good ways.

Dynamic Raid’s

For example, a group’s ability to flex to any size between 10 and 30 individuals. This system creates a lot of unique flexibility that hasn’t been seen before. Gone are the days of rigidly fitting into 10 or 25 or even 40 man sizes, leaving people benched or begging trade chat for a “pug” (The only hard size requirement remaining in the Mythic difficulty). In doing this, significantly more guilds and groups of friends have been able to experience a raiding environment, ideally progressing further than they would have before. Here is a typical raid comp guideline to follow as the size increases:

  • 2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 DPS
  • 2 Tanks, 4 healers, 9 DPS
  • 2 Tanks, 5 Healers, 13 DPS
  • 2 Tanks, 6 Healers, 17 DPS
  • 2 Tanks, 7 Healers, 21 DPS

This is a loose template. You can typically flex this around by +/- 2, If people are dying fast, you may be short a little on heals. If the target/s are not being focused and dropped fast enough, you may need to add to the DPS.

Clearly Defining Roles

There was a time before when nearly every class had some sort of raid cool-down. Blizzard worked very hard to make each chosen spec very specialized. While some raid wide abilities remain, they are much less of a “reset” button they were before. Mistakes now mean more than they ever have before and there are less ways to get out of them. This creates a fantastic and challenging environment.

Helya from patch 7.1 Trial of Valor

Removing the “cheeze”:

Blizzard recently patched some changes that disabled some add-on features used to simplify the raid environment. They had gotten complaints that some things were too easy. Ease wasn’t the original intent; a clever coder had created an add-on for a fight or raid that clearly instructed you on where to go, where people were in relation to you, etc. Well, Blizzard listened, and nipped that in the bud. No more arrows telling you where to go or round maps that show how far apart everyone is spread. If you’re not aware of yourself and your raid you will not pass go, you will not collect $200.

So that’s some of the changes that have been made to raiding. Now you, the raider; what can you do to make sure your team goes as far as possible?
With 3 roles here let me just focus on one. I’ll start with DPS! This is my preferred role, and typically pursued from the ranged aspect.


Simm’d DPS chart

Don’t overvalue the Damage Meter:

While this is an important tracking statistic, I feel like it is also an inflated one. The raid’s are designed with certain target numbers as goals for “Required damage to kill boss”. The most often gate for this would be a Bosses enrage timer, where you have X minutes to kill a boss before he becomes empowered and basically 1 shots everyone in the raid group. If you are not running into an enrage timer, then the group as a whole is performing well enough. I will state again, the damage meter has value and weight that you should consider, but do not over inflate that either.

It doesn’t matter how much DPS you do if you don’t survive the fight. I consider this rule to be without exception…(okay well..shadow priests kind of get a pass here, if they die after the fight ends.) No matter your progression or experience, the first rule should be to live through the fight however you can, Learn everything your class can do to do that, use health potions or warlock healthstones, DO NOT stand in the fire. Execute mechanics correctly and limit the damage that you receive and deal to others on your raid team. If you can do those things you are welcome to my raid team any night.

Learn to position yourself for maximum uptime on a boss. This is more than just learning the fights. Learn the timer windows so you know the perfect timing for your cooldowns to maximize damage. Learn to time your cool-downs so that the boosted damage goes where it should and as fast as possible. This is probably the hardest aspect of the game to master.

Even DPS can have raid wide contributions. Some classes have retained very versatile abilities, Is there going to be a lot of raid wide damage going out? Maybe your warrior should use commanding shout and give everyone some extra health. Are the healers struggling to keep up? Innervate one so that they can regenerate mana while at the same time cranking their heals to 11. Maybe there’s something that the mage can run off and soak by himself with Iceblock instead of taxing the whole raid team to deal with it. Hybrid classes can all heal if the time comes, and the time does come. Do not be so solely consumed by damage that you do not take the opportunity to use your class to it’s fullest. Choosing to do one or any of these things can sometimes make the difference between head bashing boss fights and legitimate progression.

There is a ton of class information out there, forums to theorycraft in, specific guides to follow for absolute min/maxing. Take the time out to study some of it.

  • Icy Veins – My most often go to resource for information about classes, specs and how to get more out of it. It has an active forum base as well as some of the best guides out there
  • Wowhead – My number 2, and maybe only because I am not as used to navigating the site. It is where I go most often when I have a troublesome quest to do or need to know exactly what happens in a boss fight. It has class guides as well.
    I do not recommend anyone use Noxxic, it is often found to have less accurate information and may in fact make you less capable of doing what you are trying to do
Icy-Veins class guide list (found at

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