This started out as a brief comment on one of WrathOfKublaKhan‘s posts on Flex Raiding. As I started building steam, it turned into a wall of comment. I figured it’d be a worthy waste of internet space and band-width as an Op-Ed piece that somewhere around 8 people might read. So here goes…
I’d like to add my $0.02 (US) to the mix on how the flex system could be tweaked to scale better with raid sizes. In conversation, the changes are no big deal. Programmatically, I’m not sure how involved they’d be. I’ve never glanced at Blizz code.
Disclaimer: all of this is grossly over-simplified for conversation purposes. I know there’s a bit more than this, but wanted to keep it fairly high level. Yeah, I said “high level,” and I use some Algebra here (people have the temerity say you’ll never use it again in life….HAH!).
Current model is, for base of 10 players (assumes 2/3/5 or 2/2/6):
- boss has [X] health
- boss hits for [Y] damage (both tank damage and raid-wide unavoidable damage)
- boss geneates [Z] amount of “get out of the bad” mechanics
As you add players to the mix:
- boss’ health increases by [A]
- boss’ damage increases by [B]
- boss’ “get out of bad” increases by [C]
X + (A * additional players) = dps you need to produce
Y + (B * additional players) = heal you need to produce
Z + (C * additional players) = how much bad you need to avoid
Since dps/heal/bad is linear with the the number of bodies, you have to get the right ratio of healers and dps. You can’t go all healers, because you’ll never beat the enrage timer with near-non-existent dps. You can’t go all dps, because you simply can’t produce enough self-heals.
This is why “optimal” configurations like 2/4/9 and 2/5/13 have been determined to be not-too-tough on dps and not-too-tough on heals. The number of tanks is always fixed at 2. Healers sit right about 25% of your make up (until you have some uber-geared healers). DPSers are about 75% of your make up.
What I feel would be ideal is start with your 10 player base ([X] health/[Y] damage/[Z] get outta bad), same as what currently happens.
As you add DPS to the mix:
- boss’ health increases by [A], because you should be pushing more dps
- boss’ damage increases by 0, because you don’t have the healers to deal with the additional output
- boss’ “get out of bad” increases by [C], because dpsers need to make sure they are getting out of the bad
As you add HEAL to the mix:
- boss’ health increases by 0, because healers should be healing, not dpsing (ignoring fistweaver/discipline/shockadin for convenience of argument)
- boss’ damage increases by [B], because you have the healers to deal with the additional damage
- boss’ “get out of bad” increases by [C], because healers aren’t exempt from getting out of bad
X + (A * additional dps) = dps you need to produce
Y + (B * additional heal) = heal you need to produce
Z + (C * additional (dps + heal)) = bad you need to avoid
In this format, dps and heal are dependent on your team’s composition. Bad is still linear with the total number of bodies that need to be paying attention to bad on the ground.
I could also argue that the zero values shouldn’t be zero, but rather some relatively trivial amount. You probably wouldn’t want someone to try gaming the system by bringing extremes 2/22/6 or 2/2/26 to the raid. So a nominal value to prevent this kind of extremism would probably be necessary.
This isn’t to say that you won’t still run into issues. With fewer healers, too many folks failing to get out of the bad will strain the healers. However, that’s either a failed mechanics issue (which needs to be addressed by the raid leaders and disciplined accordingly), or the occasional lag spike issue.
This form of non-linear scaling would also lend to more of Blizz’s cliche’ of “bring the player, not the class/role.” However, Blizz’s cliche’s should probably be another topic of conversation.