Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Figuring out what went wrong

In a recent ZA run, we struggled to take down Halazzi.

By "struggled", I mean "failed".

As a Raid Leader who would like to recover from this and return to kill him, I'm interested in figuring out what went wrong so we can fix it.

A pretty simple fight, so there's not too many elements to explore, but here's my thinking.

I'll need you, the readers, to help me figure out where to go to determine which of these elements is the problem.

The raid composition was 2 Tanks, 2 Healers, 6 DPS.

So, here's some things that can possibly go wrong with the fight, along with my thoughts on how to determine whether it is the root cause of failure or not:


  • Shared Cleavage: Both tanks must stand on top of eachother to share the "cleave" effect. If this were the problem, I think I can verify with WWS to see if both tanks are taking roughly equal "cleave" damage.


  • Lynx Form: Occasionally the boss farts out a lynx avatar. One of the tanks must pick up that mob instantly. I think I can verify that via WWS. I'd have to find out what kind of damage that mob does, and see if anybody besides the tank took damage from it. Also, this one can be verified intuitively. Meaning, I was there during the raid, and I saw the lynx mob get picked up instantly each time. But I like something more scientific than my own intuitive observation.


  • Flame Shock: Flame Shocks must be dispelled. Quickly. And, if you have more than one toon capable of dispelling, you need to have them all participate. I can verify with WWS how many flame shocks each player dispelled. But I cannot easily verify how quickly they reacted. Perhaps I could look at the damage we all took from Flame Shock, and compare it to the amount we took during a successful kill.


  • Corrupted Lightning Totem: When the totem shows up, it has to be killed verah quicklah. I'm not sure how to tell if we killed them quick enough or not. Like Flame Shock, I can look at WWS to see how much Chain Lightning damage we took and compare it to a successful kill. Alternatively, I can look at each DPS'er and see how much damage they did to the totems and yell at anybody who was too low.


  • Tranquilizing Shot: Halazzi likes to go into a frenzy and whoop your tank's ass. Most Hunters don't keep Tranq shot on their action bars. As a result, sometimes they realize half way through the fight that they forgot to pull it out of the silly Marksman page of their spell book. I do not know how to determine the timeliness of the Tranq shots. Is there a way to see in WWS how much frenzy damage the tank took?


  • And now for my favorite loaded question, Healer Out of Mana: Ah, the very best of the best of the finger pointing comes when a healer goes out of mana. First, the finger gets pointed at the healer himself. "Your mana pool isnt deep enough, or you're casting inefficient spells, or you're overhealing too much". Pish posh. Maybe that's it, but perhaps not. Lets dig a bit deeper.

    Another reason a healer might go oom is if he's got a massive dispel duty, burning his mana on non-heal activity. Examining WWS can show if there's an unequal balance in the dispels with one player doing all the work and burning all the mana. Lets keep pointing fingers though, because its fun.

    Maybe a healer goes OOM if the tank is taking an inappropriate amount of damage. One easy no-brainer would be that shared cleave going unshared. I can verify that. But what if the cleave is shared, and the tank has too low avoidance? Maybe the tank geared overly towards threat generation, and skimped out of proper avoidance stats? How do I determine something like this?

    Next up is overall raid stamina. Maybe all those DPS'ers with 7000 health are just too fragile, and require way too much attention from the healers. If you have 9 or 10k health, you give you healer a little breathing room and you also buy yourself some time to bandage or wait another 10 seconds for your potion cooldown to drink another health pot. I have no scientific way to verify that this is the cause, other than to just examine the health of each player and go with an intuitive notion of whether we have enough stamina or not.

    And lastly. One that's very near and dear to my heart, DPS too low. Maybe its just taking your team too long to kill the boss. Boss alive too long, requires healer to heal for too long, poof, healer oom.


I think it would be fun to yell at somebody, and I'd like to have quantitative data behind me when I yell at them.

NOTE: I really don't yell at people. In my head, I yell. When it comes out of my mouth, its generally a pretty rational, non-confrontational discussion, aiming at allowing people to make mistakes, have fun, and also keep making progress. But I do like to fantasize that I'm like Drill Instructor Hartman barking at a fresh class of recruits.

4 comments:

Kestrel said...

We've done this fight a couple times in the last week.

Corrupted Lightning Totem isn't "just another totem" as you oviously know. When one pops, ALL DPS should be on it. They pop faster towards the end. We require a /target Corrupted Lightning Totem macro. (My hunter's has a second line: /startattack)

Tanks can and will take SERIOUS spike damage. Dedicate a healer to each.

Be sure all but tanks are behind Halazzi: As you said, the Cleave is nasty.

Then just beat the living crap out of him. It's very difficult to pull aggro from him (at least when he's in humanoid form). As a healer, I've had no trouble overhealing like mad; occasionally one of the lynx pets comes to sniff, but it's gone pretty fast too.

You'll get him!

Anonymous said...

If you're running on a mac, take a look at WowPlot for a different way to analyze combatlog data.

http://www.maven.de/code/wowplot/

I'm pretty sure I've seen similar graphs posted in other folks' post-raid analysis, but I can't for the life of me remember which of several dozen WoW blogs it showed up in. If I figure it out, I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

... it may have been WowCardioRaid that I saw elsewhere:

http://www.curse.com/downloads/details/13129/

also

http://elitistjerks.com/f32/t27791-wowcardioraid_offline_graphic_wow_log_parser/

Anonymous said...

And I even figured out where I first saw it:

http://flyv.typepad.com/warcraft/2008/07/wowcardioraid-t.html

(it's even analysis of a fight with Halazzi).