Requiring Mods

Does your guild require certain mods?

Most guilds require a boss mod.   That’s pretty much a given.   After that, many require a threat meter.

Then we start getting specific.   Many guilds will require Pallypower, for example.   Or require that healers use Grid, Vuhdo, or Healbot (whichever one they want).

Assisting Struggling Raiders, Making them Better

As a casual guild, ours can’t really micromanage.   We don’t enforce specs, like many guilds do.

In terms of meddling with raiders, we pretty much leave them alone.   If they’re struggling and aren’t doing the damage/healing/threat necessary for content, we’ll troubleshoot with them and suggest spec and mod tweaks.

Non-Struggling Raiders

But what about the people who are doing OK.   Sometimes they’re doing great, even.   Should we be messing with them?

Yesterday, a priest in the guild who is mostly holy but sometimes shadow casually mentioned to me that she doesn’t use any mods for shadow spec. I was horrified and impressed at the same time, since shadow is a difficult rotation and it requires dot tracking.   I asked “not even a dot tracker“?   Nope, she just watches the debuffs really carefully.

Now here’s where I’m torn.   On the one hand, she’s mostly a healer, and very rarely asked to DPS.   Realistically she’s doing fine on the DPS meters, at least for a part-time-DPS.   And you gotta pick your battles with the raiders.   You can’t be telling them “fix this, fix that” or they’re going to think that they suck, or are doing way too much work for a game.

But on the other hand the “meddlesome troubleshooter” in my brain shouts “she could be doing even better with a dot tracker.   Forte, Classtimer, Dotimer, Eventhorizon, even Power Auras!   Something!”

So I opted to tell her that she might be able to squeeze a few more DPS out of a timer mod, and then let it go at that.

I know a couple other guildies who don’t use mods and rock the damage meters… but all I can think is “imagine how much more they could do with a few strategic mods…”   Because it does work that way.

We had a pally healer who was doing extremely well, but he got a new computer that could support mods and downloaded Grid – and his healing shot up even more.   Dirty cheater.

How does your guild handle guildies’ mod choices?  Is the leadership hands-on or hands-off?


Raid Leading and Control of Mods — 9 Comments

  1. Addons are an interesting discussion. I've gone from 0 addons, to lots of addons, to only a few, and all over the place. Having lots of addons always seemed like cheating to me. Maybe not cheating in the strictest sense of the word, but I always felt pretty good when I would internally time my CD's or HOTs/DOTs.

    I suppose yes, she could squeeze out more DPS with some sort of DOT timer, but then maybe she'll lose some of her spatial awareness, as she's staring more at Timers than the flames she's standing in.

    I guess it comes down to: She should try it. Maybe her DPS will sky-rocket, maybe she'll stand in flames more, or maybe she'll see a minimal increase.

    Try everything once!

  2. As a hybrid that switches between healing & DPS a lot, I need a DOT tracker for playing moonkin spec just because I don't play that spec often enough to be able to track the DOTs easily without one. If you are having to watch the debuffs on the boss' health bar "closely", then you are probably already standing in fires in the first place. The mods are designed to require less attention (if they are set up right).

  3. I was just talking about this with the officers of my Horde guild this morning. We have a list of required mods, and most people have them, but a lot of people never update them. A 6 month old version of DBM isn't very useful.

    For the most part the Horde guild is hands-off. No action is taken if people don't have the correct mods. I'm always on the forums asking people to post screenshots of their UIs so I can pick out the deficiencies and try to help them get a better setup. I also try to stress the importance of a good raid frame mod like grid. I've tried to make the other officers take a firmer stance on requiring mods, oh how I wish we'd require pally power and ORA, but so far I haven't had much luck.

  4. We're pretty strict on the big few ie. DBM/Bigwigs, a threat meter and grid.

    Other than that we're pretty open however we also ask new applicants to post a screenshot of their raiding UI. Which is good for weeding out players who could have some potential if they got their arse in gear. With some specs like Feral Druid or enhancement shaman I'd expect class specific addons purely because I know both of those require a pretty hard to remember priority queue.

    We had some warlock apply recently with terrible UI – literally no keybinds. I'd generally expect 1-6 on the actionbar with the core spells with maybe 5 other binds around that of commonly used spells. He also had some good addons but he was playing at such low res with them so big that I doubt he'd be able to see the fire he was dying in. I commented on his setup and he randomly assigned some keys :(

  5. We call ourselves a social / family guild that likes to raid, and we team up with another guild to be able to run 25 man raids. While we don't like to dictate how people play their characters, we find that the players who spend a lot of time researching and tweaking their characters and play style start to become resentful of the very casual players that don't even try to improve.

    I've done three things to try to address this situation.

    1) I posted an example on our forums of the kind of analysis I do each week after a raid, and explained how I used this analysis to improve my own performance. I very specifically showed how I compared myself to a "better" / more experienced player in the logs. Where I saw that she was healing more than I was, I looked at our spec differences, glyph differences, gear differences, and casting choices / frequency to see where I could possibly change something to improve. I also picked a "random" person to do a similar analysis pointing out differences that might lead to conclusions. I think the important thing was that I didn't make the conclusion for the other person and tell them what to do. I simply showed them how to look at the data. Several people in the guild then took it upon themselves to start analyzing their raiding more. I remind the members where the log information can be found after each raid.

    2) I reach out to people individually and offer to help them look for ways to improve if they are interested. In most cases, people really want to play their best, but they don't know where to start. Simply requiring a mod or a spec generally won't help these people. About a month ago, I spent 1 hour with a guild member who switched to a shaman healer and was really starting to enjoy it. The only issue was that he was only doing about 1/3 of the healing of our top healers. By comparing his stats, talents and spec to another shaman healer, he was able to make huge improvements. Now he is often out-healing me on fights and we have 3 great healers in the guild now instead of 2.

    3) I posted Raiding Information on our web site to provide some basic information for new raiders on how to prepare your gaming environment and character for raiding. The different content pages offer some suggestions for mods and also on getting to know your class.

    We are a small guild, but for the most part, the people who want to raid also want to keep up with the people topping the charts, so they use the resources we make available to them to try to improve.

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  8. This is a hot button issue.  The philosophy of “don’t fix what isn’t broken” seems to be the mantra of non-mod users.
    Here’s the other side of the coin.  Using mods can lower your dsp. If you’re not careful about what you’re installing, you can look at UI overload or lag.  If you’re relying too heavily on an addon, you could find yourself unable to raid on a patch day.
    I use mods, macros, timer, etc.  I clock my dps and my rotation regularly.  But on most boss fights, I rely on the intuition I’ve build from countless hours spent on test dummies.  The best aid to a rotation is practice.
    Try out every mod.  Then, run 4 or 5 heroics and see how it feels.  If it feels good, run a raid.  Try it for a week and see if its a dps gain.  No addon is a crutch.

    • Calsong makes a good point about training dummies. If your DPS is low, they’re a great way to practice your rotation/priority list until it becomes second nature. Moreover, once it DOES become second nature you’ll be able to better concentrate on the mechanics of the fight (i.e. moving out of the fire). This is especially important for classes like shadow priests or enhancement shamans which are quite complex to play.