How do I nerf raids for 5-Man viability

 I've been running this server for myself and a few friends as a learning experience for myself, and I've certainly succeeded in learning. I've been able to create items, NPC's, quests, vendors, etc., but nerfing raids to be viable for a 5-Man group has finally stumped me more than my Google skills can handle. 

 My first attempt was to modify each creature (trash and bosses) in creature_template in my database. I reduced dmg_multiplier and Health_mod for each creature to a fifth of their default values. This made the trash work out mostly fine, but bosses were still FAR beyond our abilities. I have since learned that dmg_multiplier only affects mindmg and maxdmg, which in turn only affect melee damage. Also, apparently mindmg and maxdmg don't factor in with attackpower anymore, so I'm not sure if that modification had any effect at all in the end. Even if it did, bosses are all about their spells, and when I started looking into modifying spells, I realized from my research that the complexity of modifying spells in the first place put this beyond my current abilities. 

 Now, I read here that spell modification is not supported in this forum, so I'm not asking for help in that regard. I would like to know if anyone has any ideas for making raids viable for a 5-Man group, though. I don't want to give us overpowered gear to even it out because that would defeat the purpose of doing the raids in the first place. Is there another way to nerf the raids that I've perhaps not considered? I have already made liberal use of internet searches and not come up with any ideas, so if this has been covered somewhere already the community has my apologies for not turning anything up.

This might help

Thanks for the responses. I’d love to get the NPC bots working, though I don’t want to have to revert my server to a prior build if possible. Having the bots would maintain the epic feel of people everywhere blasting the bejesus out of things. My only concern is the complexity of boss mechanics and how the bots would deal with that, along with the reports that the bots are overpowered in some ways.

I hadn’t seen the autobalance patch before, and that may be the perfect solution if NPC Bots doesn’t fulfill my needs.

On another note, I noticed that there are spell damage modifiers in the worldserver.conf file. If I modify the worldboss multipliers would that apply to all bosses, or just world bosses specifically? If it applies to all bosses, that would be a very simple way of accomplishing what I’d like to do. When we’re ready to do a raid I could just modify the multipliers and restart the server, then set it back if we plan to do regular 5 man heroics.

Yeah, well, any server admin worth running a server would be able to use the defunct patch to figure out how to do the changes he needs himself, and not just use a patch that doesn’t really do what he is looking for, just because it’s updated, and takes less effort to apply…

Digging around in the Autobalance patch has indeed given me some ideas. As Paradox said, even if it’s not something I can just slap on my server and call it good, the functionality can be examined and useful bits applied on my own.

I’ll revisit the NPC bots to see how their working out now, as that would still be the most fun option I think.

Also, any ideas on the worldserver.conf setting for the worldboss spell damage multipliers? That would still be the simplest option for the short term until I can get something more elaborate up and running. If that will affect all “boss” ranked creatures, it would be a great temporary fix. I would test it, but I’m not currently where the server is, and it’s only set up for LAN.

I’ve finally gotten a chance to mess around with my server since new ideas have surfaced thanks to this thread, and it seems that the damage modifiers in worldserver.conf are just about ideal for my needs. I’ve only tested against Lord Marrowgar so far, and an issue with this method has surfaced. All of his attacks seem to do reduced damage based on the edit to worldserver.conf except Coldflame. If standing in the AoE, full, unmodified damage is taken. Now, no one should be standing in that crap anyway, but accidents happen, and when they do the recovery should scale down to something a 5 man group could handle.

The other methods shown here, particularly Autobalance, are more robust, but this is just so simple it is definitely my preferred method. I fully intend to explore the other options deeper, but my server admin abilities are still pretty low. While I’m learning and figuring out a better solution, I have four other guys that are dying to do a raid. This “bandaid” tweak is optimal for the time being. Anyone know of an easy way to affect those AoEs that aren’t affected by the damage multipliers in worldserver.conf?

EDIT: I’ve discovered that Coldflame is actually cast by another “creature” that is not ranked as a boss. I’ve got everything I need working for my “bandaid” fix. For something better I will still be looking to the suggested patches. Thanks very much for the suggestions here.

I don’t know is it still actual, but I got some interesting idea to solve this problem. For example you can make something similar to Icecrown Citadel buff which improves healing, health and damage by certain %. You can make some kind of zone script which gives every player in certain place a buff which is called for example “Elune bless you!” and it is doing stuff I have mentioned before. It’s connected with role playing and much easier to implement than other solutions. I hope this will be helpful /emoticons/default_smile.png

Regards, Lafoniz