Quick Thoughts on Heroics

Okay, this will probably be my last post in terms of what I think about Heroics in Cataclysm…at least for this week!  In my previous post, I talked about a Retribution Paladin’s role in Heroic 5-man Dungeons, and now, I’d like to expand on some of the more intricate details in terms of actually playing the game.

Last night, around 10:30 pm or so, 4 guildies and I queued up for a heroic run, and ended up getting Heroic: Deadmines.  I was stoked, because I hadn’t actually done this one before.  I was confident that a guild run would be far better than a PUG, because I trusted these people to stick with it and perform up to the standards we hold dear in our guild.

Long story short, we beat Vanessa Van Cleef.  In just over 3 hours.

Time for Heroics

Three hours is a long time, and to me, this was a mini-raid.  Our tank was good, and our healer was decent (the only non-guildie).  Our DPS was very good.  But since it was our first time, it took a ton of figuring out. We one-shotted maybe 2 of the bosses, and had wipes on the rest.

I’m of the opinion that one 5-man shouldn’t take up an entire evening of playtime.  Was it cool as hell?  You bet.  But it was draining…much like a raid is.

I know things will get better with practice and gear, but some of the heroic dungeons are long, and require some dedicated time.  Using the dungeon tool for instances like this are almost guaranteed to fall apart, unless by some luck a super-group of 5 players is randomly assembled.

My worries…heroics a bit too long from a beginning standpoint.  I hope gear and practice reduces the amount of time in heroics tremendously.

Complication of Fights

I have to hand it to Blizzard, the fight mechanics and boss abilities are awesome.  It really requires some skill and talent.  I am thoroughly enjoying them.  But what about all those casual players/young players who don’t do the research for boss fights and cannot quite keep up with more skilled players?  There are tons of them in the LFD tool.

These fights are not for everyone, and it worries me that these might be a little too strong for the average WoW player.  I could be wrong, but if it took 5 solid players 3 hours to run through Heroic: Deadmines…your casual or not-so-skilled player basically has no shot (at least in the beginning parts of Cataclysm).

CC not AoE

The re-introduction of creature control is a nice challenge, but ultimately is really extending these things quite a bit time-wise.  I think gear will help burn through these guys faster, but that is a ways to come, and foresight is not always my most accurate attribute! (Now that I’ve said this, I bet one raid Tier later we will be claiming all trash is too squishy.)

The PUG Quitter

I have run almost 15 heroics now, and last night was the first one I finished, mainly due to people getting frustrated and quitting.  But these players aren’t quitting after many attempts, it’s like one or two wipes.

The mentality for new expansion 5-mans is where it was at the end of Wrath.  That’s not a good sign.  There are some really a%^hole players out there just ripping into people if they don’t perform on the very first attempt.  And if those players don’t leave after one wipe, then I’d place money they leave after the second.  This is really frustrating after sitting in a 40-ish minute queue.

Now, not all players are like that, and I have met some that are awesome…but I know you guys know players like that, and how awful it is to play with an online personality that behaves that way.


So those are my final thoughts, and from here on out I expect to be tackling more and more heroic content.  I’m sure I will recant 75% of this as we progress through Cataclysm, but for now, that is what I leave you with!


  1. kenpo1 says:

    Khor you hit it on the head once again. The dungeons are challenging and long and would be difficult for the average player buti have noticed going through a couple of times drastically reduces time spent in each one as the players and gear get better. I would not be looking at your run as the standard. As for the a@#hole players you are talking about yes i too have run into them and they think they are going run through these dungeons on their first try with no problems in a pug group and let me tell you now its not going to happen. I hope no one i know gets that in their head. So i tell them to go pound sand. Thanks again Khor for a good article.

  2. lordmogg says:

    There are always those who will bully. Most of the time it’s a front because they themselves don’t know what’s going on.

    I think the instances will get quicker. Already on Blackrock there are places you can sneak through and skip mobs to do the run quicker.

    Gear will help. as too will knowledge.

    Khor, on the subject of gear. Are the tiered sets available yet? Is there a Vendor for them? What do I do with my 4000 justice points!!

  3. RetForever says:

    I think some people are still stuck in the heroic farming mindset from the WoTLK days and need to adapt. It’s not just chain pull and spam AoE while you watch tv at the same time, anymore.

  4. Marcasian says:

    Repairbots…Engineers will become more valuable now…instead of just a commidity…love those reapirbots in a raid or a dungeon!

  5. Marcasian says:

    Oh, by the way, this site is good for the non ret pallies as well…I have an alt DK and will incoporate Khor’s infinite knowledge into my gameplay…although that is the off-spec, Tank (DPS is better for leveling). Never healed (Ret/Holy: main), never tanked (Prot/Holy and Frost/Blood) alts.

    Thank you Khor!!!

  6. Kreirravia says:

    Great post again. I’ve learnt nearly everything I know about rets from you and your site and when ever a guildie asks for ret help I point them this way. I haven’t really gotten the chance to try heroics (I’m 8 or 9 ilvls short) but if the normals are anything to go by it could be “fun” to say the least.

    To answer lordmogg I’ve been looking for any mention of t11 vendors as far as I can tell it’s sold above hellscream hold for valor points, the head and shoulders will need a simular system to t10 10/25 gear. I’m not sure if it’s there I’m avoiding Org because of the holiday event being so bloody laggy 🙂

  7. Boogieknight says:

    Thanks again for the great information! Since I found this site it’s been the most concise and helpful source of information for me. I’ve been playing a little over three months and I’m looking everywhere for what information I can find to improve my playing. Coming in at the end of WotLK I was considerably behind the power-curve and put all my effort into acquiring the skill and gear to at least be on par with everyone else. I’ve been lucky that my guild has been very helpful in teaching me what they know and making sure I don’t make the same mistakes they did along the way. My 5-man guild group has been running dungeons and we’re starting to get the hang of some things, but CC is still an issue with certain CC abilities pretty much being useless to certain things (ie. rooting 1 of 5 mobs in a pack that is almost completely caster/ranged mobs or mobs immune to repentance.) Does anyone have any pointers or tips on how I can step up what I’m capable of as a Ret to counter this problem?

  8. Pauliee says:

    word khor.

  9. Gnarlie says:

    Wow, u must really get sucky grps Khor. iv done alot of HCs and i just need 1 more for cata dungeon hero 😀
    As for them taking a long time, i almost always do full guild runs and they take alot of time even then. Iv started to consider them as just what you said, mini raids. And tbh, if HCs are this hard… i cant wait for raids! Finally something challenging! First raid on wensday! im giddy like a child on christmas!

  10. Cloudruler says:

    It does get much better the next time thru a run. We had Ripsnarl bug out the first time we did it and he was spawning 4 adds at a time back to back repeatedly. We went in there again the next day and one shot everything. Took about an hour maybe a slightly over since the VC fight is so long with the nightmare. It gets better bro and imo this is what the puggies need. It forces them to really up their game and learn to be better at all they do.

  11. Captoats says:

    The learning curve is brutal for this expansion.

  12. Neo says:

    i was going to give up on heroics aswell , kept getting stonecore and wiping on first pull and ppl raging that everyone else bad and leaves, though on same note ive completed heaps of heroics with pugs, just luck of draw and ppl getting to know fights and get more gear, 1-2 ppl can ruin a group if they leave normaly the instance can be finished

  13. Themarsupial says:

    Yes they take a long time, but they actually require thought and skill, which more than make up for the time required I think.

    However, I was ahead of my guild by about a week in terms of running heroics (very casual guild), and the 40 minute queues with groups that immediately fall apart (usually due to tank or healer inadequacy, who are able to instantly get into other groups) was incredibly frustrating. There must be a better way to do this.

  14. Geddyn says:

    I’ve only done one so far: Heroic Deadmines. It was a ton of fun, but my group (which was formed via the random dungeon queue) didn’t have nearly as much trouble as yours apparently did, Khor.

    Our tank, one of our other DPS and myself had never done the instance before, but our healer and 3rd DPS had, so they explained the fights. We took down the ogre and goblin boss easily and wiped once on the robot. The trap on the cannon used to open the door surprised us, so we wiped there, but we made it to Ripsnarl fine other than that. We weren’t ready for Cookie, so that got messy, but we still one-shot him. As for Vanessa, we struggled with the Robot’s room in the nightmare, but other than that it was pretty easy.

    I think it took about an hour and a half for us to run it.

  15. Beno says:

    I am a fairly new player (WoTLK was just out when I started).
    My Paladin is my second char and became my main. I must say I am glad I found your site.

    First time I post here (or second :p).

    I have got to say your posts are inspiring and nailed on the head (is that even an expression? 🙂 ).

    Anyway, I have a secondary protection spec and it helps me understand the HC’s a lot better and most of all cut down the long waiting queues. Though ret is my favorit spec I just can’t keep the tears out of my eyes when I see my “low” dps. I’m used to the FCFS and now with the HP I’m just running around like a headless chicken *cluck*.

    If in the future you think of making “macros” or care to share them (since I have little to no knowledge about making them or put the good ones together) I would be gratefull, since it might help my (and other rets) dps a lot if we have to care for “less” buttons to press 🙂

    I find myself dying a lot because I’m watching my cd’s while I don’t notice the fire I’m standing in… or some other junk.

    Thanks in advance and keep up your great work!

    Ps.: if anyone knows a good protection pala site like this great site here don’t hesitate and let me know.



  16. dwight says:

    heres the problem, people dont like challenge. all the people i know who quit wow said they did due to the fact that it was easy. i say TRY CATA its nutz! i have completed every dungeon on heroic and am waiting to raid until jan. also, its hard to get people to lvl fast enough. but seriously guys learning to cc is the best thing blizzard has ever done, i have not felt this excited for an expansion ever! it feels like vanilla all over, and thats what got me hooked to begin with!

  17. cfeduke says:

    Enjoy the challenge while it lasts as it is a lot of fun. I run only in guild groups with a pocket tank and healer who have [mostly] maxed out their gear with crafted epics/Justice blues/heroic blues and it is really the same ol’ no CC AOE trash heroics we’ve seen in WotLK. It will be like this across the board for all players within six months, if not sooner.

    Regardless of gear improvements the heroic bosses can still be somewhat challenging, especially some of the achievements.

  18. Kimina says:

    @ Beno

    “Though ret is my favorit spec I just can’t keep the tears out of my eyes when I see my “low” dps. I’m used to the FCFS and now with the HP I’m just running around like a headless chicken *cluck*.”

    My suggestion to assist with your rotation is download the CLCRet add-on. Since my main spec is protection I don’t focus much on Ret. CLCRet will really help keep your rotation clean. Make sure to get it from a safe website like curse.com. Try it out on target dummies. I think you will find that with a little target dummy work you won’t need the add-on anymore. Muscle memory and situational awareness is everything in this game.

    As far as a good Tank site you might want to start with Maintankadin.org. They have some nice (Tanking 101) threads for beginners. Don’t get lost in the numbers. Tanking websites are quiet different from DPS websites. DPS is all about output (damage), Tanking is all about Mitigation(staying alive). Two different worlds that must exist together.

  19. RetForever says:

    You must have been really unlucky or I’m lucky. In the last 2 days I have done about 5 pugs and finished every single one of them. Some of them took over 2 hours and there were many wipes but people held through, some were replaced, but most were very cooperative and eager to figure out the boss fights.

    @ Beno

    If you hate watching your cooldowns try downloading CLCRET. You put your spell priorities into it and it always indicates which attack to use next based on your cooldowns and priorities. This way you can watch the action while glancing at the addon for each attack.

    With 6+ spells to rotate and less than 1.5 sec to decide which to cast next and the random element of abilities procing, I think it’s impossible to play optimally without an addon like that (which I think is a weakness in the game). Once you get used to trusting the addon, your dps will greatly improve because you’ll be casting your next best spell back-to-back without any time wasted while keeping your eyes on the action.

  20. cfeduke says:

    I was a bit worried about ret DPS the past few days. We did the PvP loot raid boss tonight and I managed 13K sustained (#2 overall dmg/dps closely tied with a DK who had 3 greens – I am iLvl 350 – so Blizzard still owes us a bit of a boost). There is light at the end of the tunnel; you’re not going to pull warrior 29K dps on trash but on long encounters you will contend for top dps I think.

  21. Bee_Boo says:

    Runned Deadmines HC yesterday with four guildies and one pugged DPS (we kept getting ppl who dont know what to do – that was okay, and performace of these ppl was horrible – thats not okay, someone who has avg ilvl340 and pulling 3k DPS) long story short, after many wipes, we got to cookie and our guildie tank has to leave (work, sleep and other RL stuff), so we killed cookie with two more pugged ppl -> lucky us, we got lock that knew what to do 🙂 And after that we wiped on Vanessas spider nightmare (not enough dps to burn rogue down.
    I must 100% agree that this run was as exhausting as our LK raid and three and half hours was way too much. I hope that our next try will be full guild run and it will be much faster as we know boss mechanics now. 🙂

    Btw. Khor, thanks for great insights on your site, it was really a blessing when i found this web about half year ago. 🙂
    Sugestion: can you put pre-raid best gear in one post for sake of best navigation on site? 😉

  22. Holybubblies says:

    Unfortunatly due to my work, family etc etc. I just don’t have the time to sit through a complete heroic. So far i have done three. 1st one was nice and quick due to most the players being experienced. 2nd one my guildies grouped with me that left the tank spot open. We went through 7 tanks in one Throne of the tides. For most of them they left because they “didn’t know the fights ill let you get someone more experienced” ….. Mind you the que was 20 mins minium and it wasnt just the tanks 1st runs either. So for the whole of this xpac i will be missing out on alot of amasing content due to the time it takes 🙁

  23. Lionx says:

    People just have to know what to do. You don’t need god like gear, just to know what to do. If you are not sure just do enough Normals until you get the general idea, then look online to see what these bosses and differences are capable of in Heroic. Remember to Set Focus on many potential dangerous mobs too, like a boss or a caster that does a crazy spell/DoT/attack and stun them.

    If you run with your guildies or let people know whats up due to your research, you can go a far longer way than before. There might still be wipes and other stuff along the way, but it can only get easier once you figure out that “Knowing, is half the battle”.

    Most Heroics take no more than one hour for me and my guildies with the occasional PUG(s) that isn’t totally suckage…its really simple once its figured out and you take note of things that wipe you.

  24. Daniel says:

    I never thought I would complain about WoW being too hard but I think heroics may be. At least as far as risk vs. reward. Every heroic 5-man I have been in has taken no less than 2 hours to complete with multiple wipes and your reward is a single 346 level item from each boss. Not to mention, a 40 minute wait to get in as a DPS.

    The heroic dungeons are fun and feel like raid runs but they take extremely long and the reward just isn’t worth it. For someone that only has a few hours a night to play, I have to now decide if I want to run a single heroic or do something else. If I choose the heroic, that’s all I’m getting to do that night considering the queue wait and the raid run itself. Why go through the headache when you can grind easy rep for level 359 items? They need to be tweaked…

  25. Goff256 says:

    For all of you complaining about these being too hard, or taking too long, I have one thing to say.


    The fact that somebody brought up this being “as exhausting as the LK run” only says something bad about Wrath.

    Listen, if you don’t have the time? Don’t do it. I can understand if you can’t take 2-3 hrs a single night a week and run a single dungeon. The simple fact is, though, that Heroics are finally at the level of difficulty that they should be. These things are supposed to be the middle ground between normal dungeons and raids.

    They should feel like it.

  26. Mag says:

    I like the fact that the new heroics are challenging and not the tank and spank 15 minute ones in wotlk. But i think blizzard has gone to the extreme here. I’m an average wow player since the vanilla days . I don’t have 45 minutes to wait for one que just to find out my pug group sucks and rage quits in 10 minutes. Then back to the long que again.If we are lucky enough to pug a decent group then you have to have the time for a 2 hour min run. This is just to much for the average wow player who can only put in 2-3 hours avg after working all day.
    Maybe it’s just me, but it seems this xpac is more geared to big raiding guilds with members who can dedicate tons of time to the game than to the average player.
    I think we are going to see alot of average tanks and healers dissapear and we are gonna be left with the very good ones who will be doing mostly guild runs and the very bad ones who are tired of the 45 min ques for thier dps spec and toons.

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