What makes a good raid team?
There’s different ways to look at this. Do you bring the player, not the class? Do you bring the class because it’s needed? Do you stack various classes and make people go certain specs for the best raid synergy? Or do you just find a group of people that enjoy working together?
Personally, I think it’s a large blob of Player not the class, a pinch of synergy, and a healthy dollop of people enjoying working together. If you focus in on just one of those previously mentioned ways to run a raid, fun will be left out. If you bring the player not the class, you might end up with 10 highly competent druids trying to fight ICC, and failing because the main reason DPS, healing and tanking is so much more effective in raids is classes buffs help each other. If you bring a class because it’s needed, regardless of that players skill or a more competent player waiting in the wings, you risk offending people, and doing badly because regardless of the buffs they provide, that person is under performing. If you stack various classes and force people into specs to make buffs work better (ie take a hardcore Affliction warlock and make him go Destruction for the bonuses to be had of a constant imp pet, etc) people will feel constrained, and pressured. If all you have is a group of people who like raiding together, that’s not enough to take down an instance.
Balance is what is needed! (Not the druid spec) As a raid leader/assistant to our GM, I always try to make sure we have at least two of the Major raid buffs. Fortitude/Arcane Brilliance/Kings/Mark of the Wild. Occasionally, if progression is the watchword and the best of the best show, I will take a look at the MMO Raid Composition tool to make sure the melee are helping each other as much as possible – Rampage/Horn of Winter/Battle shout/Unleashed Rage, as are the casters- Moonkin aura/Wrath of Air/Focus Magic/Curse of Elements. Where I can, I put the healers in a good place too. However, we have a sad healing situation at the moment, we nearly always end up with myself, stacked with many druids, and the occasional priest if we’re lucky and the wind is blowing from the north on a blue moon in a month of sundays. Cough.
Another great factor is that we have that lovely quality of people getting on. Vent is always lively and spirited, to say the least, and there’s never any viciousness. That’s not to mean people aren’t called out over mistakes, but it’s done so in a good way, and people aren’t mocked for it. Often. There was a nasty incident involving Festergut, Hand of Sacrifice, and my pallywinbubble being on an unexpected Cooldown thanks to using lay on hands earlier in the fight (Damn you pvp nerfs.) But other than the occasional boneheaded mistake that just has to be laughed at, we pull through.
It’s the most pleasant way I’ve ever raided. We’re at BPC still being a tough fight, and Lana’thel within our grasp. Even if we don’t see the Lich king till the buff is at 30%, I’d rather it be like this. Happy times.