Last night, we had what everyone present would easily call a good night of raiding. Nine bosses in three hours, and only one wipe not on Putricide (and he's dying Thursday, mark my words). Couple new faces in the mix, alongside our stalwarts. Our usual resto/enhance shaman couldn't make it, so we shifted our lovely and talented holy priest GM to the hybrid role, letting her dust off her shadow offspec, and brought in a new resto shaman for the raid healer slot. We also had a new holy paladin in the place of our normal disc priest. Aside from those two slots, we had everyone else show up, on time and ready to go. A rarity among the smaller, more relaxed guilds, as I'm sure anyone else in such a position could attest.
We also had on a few fairly consistant backups who had been rather hankering for a slot. It happens when you're in that uncomfortable spot between 10-man and 25-man. Now our GM has always given me tremendous latitude when forming raid groups, and honestly if there's one thing I value over all others when it comes to picking the night's raiders, it's consistency, so the ones who I can count on to be on from first pull till we call it 95% of the time are getting in, no questions asked. And after that, I know the designers have been pushing the "Bring the player, not the class" mantra, but the fact is when it comes to 10-man raids, especially progression 10-man raids, it's "Bring the buff, not the class," especially those vital passive debuffs that don't throw entire rotations out of whack (don't even try to get an affliction lock to drop Curse of Elements, or a mutilate rogue to Expose Armor, unless there's literally no other option).
Replenishment is offered passively by 5 specs, so it's one of the most easily-obtained raid buffs you can get, yet in our normal 10-mans I'm the only one who gives it. The melee and spell crit auras come from 2 specs each, likewise for melee haste and spell haste. There's literally dozens of these buffs out there split between every class and every spec, so much so that many raid leaders need to resort to web tools or addons to make sure they've successfully shoehorned as many of the critical performance boosts as they can into their 10-mans.
So when the second ret paladin or fury warrior asks for a raid slot in our 10-mans, there's not a lot I can do to accommodate when the margin of error on the edge of our progression is so thin. If the choice is between doubling up on a spec already in the raid, or getting Demonic Pact, sorry, but unless there are severe mitigating circumstances involved, the demo lock gets the spot.
Now don't get me wrong, it's great we don't have to stack X class because they pull out the best damage-per-raid-slot, but building a successful raid team is still a balancing act, and the more buffs and debuffs we can balance, the better.
I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that racism is going on here!
10 hours ago