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10-05-2006 @ 4:10PM
The truth is that 'raid spec' is a sham. It's an easy way to (pre-emptively in some cases) control and direct the blame resulting from failure. But failure in this sense is a nebulous concept. It might refer to an immediate failure, such as repeatedly wiping on a certain pull; but it can also refer to a perception of lack of progression. The latter failure is purely subjective, since it is up to each individual and/or group to decide a rate of progression that constitutes success.Fear of personal scrutiny due to some type of failure (whether actual or subjective) has become so intense that it has become commonplace for raid and/or guild leadership to create ways to shield themselves by pre-emptively distributing the blame. Hence, a spec is dictated for each class, and those who do not pay heed are potentially scapegoated before the raid even forms. It is a great way for leadership to distribute scrutiny resulting from some type of failure (again, either actual or imagined) back toward the raid itself.The reason many guilds end up requiring certain specs for raiding when they first get into Molten Core is because they need to collectively find a reason for their failure; something tangible and mechanically correctable that they can all point to and discuss. The truth is that your raid doesn't wipe on its first Destroyer pull because of poor talent choices. They wipe because they suck at raiding, because it's quite different from how they've played their character up until that point. But as a raid leader, you have to be very careful about when you tell your raiders to simply buck up and L2P; so the concept of raid speccing is introduced.Invariably as raiders get tired of wiping as they learn MC, many will decide to give raid-speccing a shot. Shortly after, some degree of success will signal to them that this was the right decision; and it follows that if improvement was measurable with part of the raid "properly" specced, it will be moreso if ALL of the raid follows suit. So all warriors must be prot, priests are told to go holy, shaman are instructed to spec mana tide, etc. etc. Eventually, Ragnaros goes down and the decisions of the leadership are affirmed.At that point not many players are interested in scrutinizing where their success comes from. They see it as, "We sucked, we respecced, and shortly afterward we stopped sucking." The fact is that success has almost nothing to do with spec, and almost everything to do with learning to raid. This is true from top to bottom. Bringing spec into the discussion is simply a great way for those at the top to distribute the burden for failure among the raiding force while avoiding simply telling your guildmates that they suck.It's perfectly obvious that it should be easy to find a better raid DPSer than a shadow priest; but why not let them heal? Similarly, a fury-specced warrior shouldn't be wearing his DPS gear when tanking for a raid. If he does, he's ignorant of the role he's being asked to fill. But does he suck because he's fury specced? No, he sucks because he doesn't know what he's doing with regards to raiding.Forcing your members into a certain spec is definitly a way to signal that the leadership is serious about raiding. It is unfortunate that in reality it has so very, very little to do with the success or failure of a raid.
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