You Aint Got to Tell Me ‘Bout Them Epics

So, you want to be a raider, do you?

Maybe you didn’t do much raiding in BC and maybe you’ve decided that with the new expansion, now is your chance to get some serious raiding done. You’ve convinced a nice raiding guild to take you in and they’re starting to raid WotLK content.You’re eager and excited and ready to go to your very first big-boy raid! There are certainly other sources of advice out there, but, from my experiences as a Guild Leader and a Raid Leader, I’ve compiled a little list of things you need to do and to keep in mind. You want to make a good impression right? You want to be an asset to your raid and put yourself in the forefront of the competition for those limited raid spots, right? Here’s how.

See me after classDo Your Homework. When I was in University I was always told to do the assigned readings the day before the lecture. This way when I did get to my lecture, it wasn’t the first time this information was handed to me. Even if I didn’t understand everything that was going on in the readings, at least I had some idea of what to expect in class. This advice translates directly to raiding. My professors only had a short hour to get all sorts of information into my drink-addled and sleep-deprived mind. Your raid leader has about 5 minutes to explain the fight to you, depending on repop timers etc etc. So, if you’ve looked at boss fights on youtube or read boss strategies online, you might not know the fight as well as your Raid Leader does, but at least you’re not completely in the dark. Maybe you don’t know exactly what Inner Demon is going to look and feel like, but you have some concept of it and the explanation given by your Raid Leader should just be a clarification, not a full course of instruction.
Fun Fact: You might take 20 minutes to read some strategies and look at some videos. Your Raid Leader is putting in anywhere from five to 10 times that amount of time. They have to know the whole fight, every class and role, where everyone has to stand and move to and every spell that needs to be used and by whom as well as what they are supposed to be doing too. It doesn’t take much from you to make their lives easier and to show some appreciation.

don't askBring Everything You Will Need. There is nothing that makes me want to kick a guildie from the raid more than hearing “ooo anybody got any extra mana pots/buff food/water?” If you need it, bring it. Bring extra, because someone always will forget, or underestimate and run out. And you look good if you can share. Plan on buffing the entire raid, even if you’re not likely to and bring enough reagents, too. I play mostly mana users, so I can tell you that on a progression fight, where I’m expecting to wipe three times, maybe more, I will bring 10 pots per boss we’re heading to that night. That’s 5 for trash and 5 for the boss. I don’t typically go through them all, and with the new potion sickness cooldown, I will be going through even less, but I bring them anyhow. I also bring the same amout of food. I raid as both a squishy healer and a low-priority dps, so I am expecting to die anywhere from once to 5 times per set of trash leading up to a boss. And I will need buff food every time I die. And then plan for 5 wipes on the boss itself. Plan for more than you need. Because you look like a tool if you run out. And don’t always bet on there being mages. Bring your own damn food and water.
Fun Fact: Hybrid classes can expect to be used for any of their roles at any time. Shadow priests better bring some healing gear and dps warriors damn well better show up with a shield.

no welfare epicsCome in the Right Gear. Do not show up to a raid in greens. Unless it’s resist gear for a very specific fight. Don’t come in a full set of PvP gear either. There’s a reason it’s PvP gear. I get a lot of flak over my stance on this from the guild at large, but I stand by it. Yes, there are pieces of PvP gear that are really easy to get and better than raid gear until the very end of endgame raiding. I’m thinking of the druid A2 shoulders here. And yes there are times when you will need some PvP gear for a specific boss fight. Like if you need a stam boost for Najentus or the PvP trinket for Rage Winterchill. These are exceptions and not the rule! Stats on PvP gear are for PvP! Keep it there! It might be an easy way to get some epics and start out in Kara (or now Naxx) but for the love of god replace it ASAP.
Fun Fact: Not repairing your gear immediately before you get into the raid instance is the leading cause of gkicks.

is shadowform ok?Know Your Class. Do you know who the Elitist Jerks are? Do you at least have some inkling as to how to min/max and theorycraft? Have you been to maxdps lately? You don’t have to be the absolute best at your class, but you should have a working knowledge of your best spell rotation and when you should be using various abilities. Are you aware of what your raid roles may be? Yes you may be a healer but you might need to crowd control at times. Yes you may be a dps warrior but you’re going to need to offtank. Do you bring unique buffs or spells to a raid? It’s very frustrating for a Raid Leader to say “ok, you, Warlockjones, keep Malediction up please” and then getting a resounding “huh? male-what?” It’s enough to drive your Raid Leader to drink. Or kick you from the raid.
Fun Fact: You can raid very sucessfully with a non-optimal spell rotation or a non-cookie cutter spec. But be able to justify your choices. Intellgently.

Flame Wreathe! Don't move!Learn Raid Mechanics. This is the most frustrating thing to try and teach raiders but it’s supposedly the most simple. Manage your aggro. Stand in the right place. Move when you’re told to. Don’t frontload your dps. Don’t run ahead of the tank in the instance. Don’t break crowd control. It’s about being situationally aware. Know what is going on around you and act accordingly. “Sorry” doesn’t pay the repair bills so keep your head up and your eyes and ears open.
Fun Fact: If you’re surrounded by some sort of odd spell/effect/fire/lightning – move. Unless you’re told not to.

LF24MBe a Team Player. Raiding is very much about working as a team and realizing that what’s best for you isn’t always what’s best for the raid. Everyone would do leetsauce dps if the tank stood in once spot and you stood in another and pewpewed. It just doesn’t work that way. You need to be useful to the whole raid and you need to be aware and considerate of the rest of the people in the raid.
Fun Fact: Hunters, rogues and mages pay repair bills too. If it looks like a wipe, a good rule of thumb is to take it like a man and die. I’ve seen way, way too many bosses bug out because a hunter feigned or a rogue vanished. Don’t be a selfish bastard.

shut itListen to Your Raid Leader. This includes both shutting your cake hole and not talking when the Raid Leader is explaining a fight, or during a fight as well as doing what you’re told, when you’re told. In the middle of the boss fight is not the time to say “well in my old guild we just stood by the pillar and healed through it.” Your Raid Lead is leading you for a reason. If you want to talk strategy, or explain an alternate wayof doing the fight, in the raid is not the time. You’re there to get thing accomplished and you can’t do that by committe.
Fun Fact: Raiding is high stress, especially for those who are trying to make sure that 24 other people are standing in the right spot and doing the right thing at the right time. Talking back or criticising your officers and Raid Leaders in that sort of high stress environment is a good way to make sure your loot gets ‘accidentally’ given to someone else.

TLDRSo, here is the handy-dandy TL:DR summary of my Guide to Raiding Like a Pro:

1. Do your homework – knowledge is power.
2. Bring everything you will need – this means off spec gear and consumeables.
3. Come in the right gear – and make sure it’s repaired!
4. Know your class – don’t be a huntard.
5. Learn raid mechanics – de threat table’s connected to de repair bill …
6. Be a team player – there is no “I” in team, but there’s one in “gkick”.
7. Listen to your Raid Leader – if you don’t you’ll miss the call to MD onto you.

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11 Comments

  1. Aleathea said,

    December 3, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Excellent guide! That’s just the sort of thing I wish every one of my raiders would read. I respect the organized approach you take to raiding and guild leadership and I always take away something useful from your posts. Thank you and please keep up the great work! It is appreciated.

  2. kyrilean said,

    December 3, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Great post! Now if you can get the problem children to read it…

    On a side note, where do you get the icons?

  3. AJ said,

    December 3, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    As someone who lead Kara raids in a time when trash was harder than the bosses I gotta agree with everything on your list. It’s breaching simple guidelines like this that can decimate a raid leader’s will and determination.

    Keep on slugging even when your crew lets you down tho, there’s no greater thrill in this here game than seeing that brick wall you’ve been butting your head against for weeks finally crumble and bow before your bruised and bloodied brow 😉

  4. Ruarc said,

    December 3, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Good guide.

    I don’t agree about the pvp gear to a point. PvP is best in slot till endgame for some classes/specs.

    Being a ret paladin, the only reason I went for t5 was 2piece set bonus. Otherwise, pvp gear was better. T4 ret gear was trash as hit was so easy to cap pre-3.0.

  5. You know who said,

    December 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Ive never, ever seen a boss “bug out” because of a hunter being FD’d. (I’ve only ever seen an *amazingly* well timed Vanish save a rogue once on Nefarian.) I might have a *little* more raid exp. than you. 🙂 I’m not saying its not possible, but I’m willing to bet hunters will keep doing it, and rogues will keep trying to do it. I mean, I know *I* would if I played those classes.

  6. December 3, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    I don’t think I’ve seen a boss bug because of FD either, outside of outdoor quest bosses waaaaay back in original beta.

    Frankly, you want hunters to keep doing this, because sometimes, a soulstone won’t be up — or it’ll get popped before the encounter is fully reset — and even a chance at rezzing a healer for a faster recovery is a very good thing.

  7. oriniwen said,

    December 3, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    @ Alathea: I appreciate all the compliments. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with all the guild leading nonsense and it’s nice to feel like I’m making a difference, even a small one.

    @ Kyrilean: I posted this on my forums, and I hope that if you have a “problem child” who could benefit from a little re-education, you send them thisaway, or at least paraphrase what I’ve said here to them. And I hope it helps.

    @AJ: My raiders are like my kids (if I had any) in some ways. They frustrate me to no end at times, but I keep on trying because I care for them. They don’t let me down so much as let themselves down. If everyone did their best for the whole guild, not just for me or for themselves, people would be talking about Imposs just like they talk about Twentyfifthnovember. Ok, maybe not, but we’d be a much better guild to be in.

    @ Ruarc: Re-read what I said about *some* PvP pieces being acceptable, but that being an *exception* and not the rule. I fully admit there are specific cases PvP gear is worthwhile. But I stick to my guns in saying that *full* (or near-full) PvP sets have no place in a big-boy raid.

    @ YKW: I think the balance may be tipping in my favour in terms of actual numbers of times I have gone into a raid instance. Be that as it may, I have had toomany bad experiences with too many bad hunters/rogues/mages and I stand by my statement. Take the wipe like a man. As a rule, it causes less problems.

    @ Ringo: *If* you are a hunter I can trust not to stuff it up *and* you have engineering *and* you have the cables *and* they’re not on cooldown, you have my permission to FD and try to get a rez off. All other hunters/rogues/mages, see above comment to YKW. Take the wipe. I have seen trash in SSC (on the way to Leo) and bosses in TK (VR, I mean you, you bastard robot) go all wonky because of aggro issues due to FD and vanish. It doesn’t happen every time, but I’ve seen it happen often enough it should be a rule.

    Don’t think I’m hating on hunters here, I know there are great ones out there and I’ve just started raiding on mine again, but I’m trying to put out blanket rules here for everyone,every guild, and every raid to make every raider have a better raid experience. Take the pieces that apply to your guild, or tell me to shove it, that’s fine. If I can help even a few raiders get better, and save a few wipes, it was worth the time I took fromwork today to types this out.

  8. AJ said,

    December 3, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Yup, well said. However, if people were talking about your guild like they talked about Twentyfifthnovember you might just have to disband, everyone I know that’s had anything to do with them since they formed up is pissed off at their attitude and disrespect of anyone but the top 1%, not an attitude I’d ever want as the definition of my guild, regardless of success…

    One other thing regarding gear, having the right chants on your duds is a must for any serious progression minded player, it’s just disrespectful to the group to show up without gear enhancements if said group is serious about downing new content. Of course this all depends on the group dynamics, but on our old progression raids you didn’t show up without at least something on your gear, even if it wasn’t max.

  9. Aurik said,

    December 3, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Linked here by Larisa and I must say that I like what I’ve read so far! As an officer in a casual-raiding guild I completely agree with the sentiments expressed herein.

    For those who’ve not seen hunters bugging encounters with feign death – it happened frequently to us on Teron Gorefiend until we had serious words with the hunters about taking one for the team and just this week we had Thaddius completely bug out and stay in combat until the FD’d hunter sucked it up and suicided himself 😛

    Rogues vanishing? Well, most of the time that doesn’t work, anyway. Hmph.

    “My raiders are like my kids (if I had any) in some ways. They frustrate me to no end at times, but I keep on trying because I care for them.”

    That pretty much describes my feelings most of the time when dealing with guild-administration type stuff.

    /subscribe
    /hug

  10. Esdras said,

    December 4, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Good guide for the new raiders, i for one think raiding needs to be looked at by blizzard and new harder and much harder raids added as it all seems a bit easy just now.

  11. Seri said,

    December 4, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Thumbs up for a great post!


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