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.
Do 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.
Bring 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.
Come 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.
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.
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.
Be 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.
Listen 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.
So, 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.