Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Raid and Heroic timers

One of those things that they never officially explain to you is how timers work for the 10-man-and-larger raids and Heroic dungeons. The problem is compounded by the fact that many people that have been doing those types of things for a while and seem to have forgotten that not everyone knows it.

Long story short: raids and Heroics are on lockout timers. Once you have downed a boss, any boss, you are "saved" to that instance of that dungeon.

Being saved, in this sense, means this: until the timer resets, you will enter the dungeon in the exact state in which you left it. (This is true as far as bosses are concerned. Different instances have different rates at which trash respawns.)

You can check your saved instances by opening up the Social window and going over to the Raid tab:

The 5-man Heroics are on a 24-hour cycle and reset at the same time each day. The 10- and 25-man raids are on a 7-day cycle and reset the same time each week, except Zul'Aman which is on a 3-day cycle.

Saved instance timers can be both good and bad. For Heroics, they mean that you can run a particular dungeon every night of the week if you want to. Or, if you need a quest item from a dungeon, which presumably doesn't involve downing a boss, then you can have someone from a cleared instance invite you into the raid to get just that item. On the other hand, if you happen to be in the dungeon as the timer is resetting, you get kicked out and the instance resets.


When you get to the 10- and 25-man content, however, the implications get a bit more insidious. Remember that the rule is that once you down a boss you are saved to the instance. It doesn't have to be the first boss, nor does it have to be the last, just any boss will do. You have to be careful when PUGging the larger raids then, as you need to communicate with the group as to which bosses have been downed, which they will be doing that night, and what the schedule is going forward.

Let's say, for example, that you get in a PUG for Kara that starts with the Curator. If you down the Curator, then you will be saved to that instance. You will have to wait until the following week if you want to go back and hit up Attumen or Moroes or any of the other bosses that had already been downed.

Worse yet, if the group breaks up right after downing the Curator, then you are pretty much up a creek for the rest of the bosses. If you are smart, you will take down the names of the others that were saved to the same instance and try to get as many of them back the following night to continue the raid. You'll probably have holes to fill, at which point you are going to have a harder time as there are now even fewer bosses that other non-saved players can down, and thus fewer loot drops.

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