In my years playing World of Warcraft, raiding as both a DPS and a healing class, I have made many mistakes, and learned many things along the way. From those growing opportunities, I have compiled a short list of things that every raider should know.
Do Your Homework
Learn where you guild is in progression, study the encounters, know your roll as well as that of others, watch videos, share your insite with raiders in preparation for the encounter well in advance of the raid.
Get Your Buff On
Every single raiding guild in WoW outlines what they expect from their raiding members. 99.9% of them detail that they expect for raiders to show up prepared with consumables. This includes self-buff foods, flasks and elixirs, as well as reagents. If your class isn’t a buffing class, go the extra mile to build campfires for those that need to cook on the fly, and brag about your ubar Cozy Campfire buff for the raid.
Don’t Count on Heals
Anyone other than the main tank and off-tanks shouldn’t count on getting heals. When you do, it is nice and very well appreciated. However, when learning new encounters, progressing in content that is at first challenging, healers are stretched for mana. So, the other raid members who might pull aggro, stand in green goop, etc… need to fend for themselves for awhile. For the sake of your healers, level your First Aid! Carry bandages and use them! Rather than standing around waiting for a heal, pop a bandage and get back to business!
As the raid is forming, go take care of business. Raids take anywhere from 2-10 hours and the last thing anyone wants to do is sit around waiting for your to tinkle, walk your dog, take a shower, unload your mom’s groceries, or any of the other hundreds of “BRB”s I have seen in my day. You have 24 other people (39 back in the day), who are counting on you to be there 100% of the time. If you can’t manage outside influences, think twice about offering yourself up as a dedicated raider.
Take Feedback as a Positive
If you are faced with a situation where you are given a directive from the raid leader, do it. Get clarification when needed, but it is always best to leave the judgment up to those that the guild trusts to make those calls. Don’t take it personal, don’t think that you aren’t doing a good job, just improve the roll you are playing. Use feedback constructively.
Don’t Let Loot Ruin a Relationship
Plan ahead, know which loot drops of which boss and focus on the items that will benifit you the most. If you don’t get an item that you have planned for, don’t sweat it. It will drop again. Congratulate the raid member that received the item and let it go. If the content is on farm, you will see it drop again.
Talk Less, Listen More
Ventrilo is a wonderful tool that is almost necessary to aid raiding. However, logging onto vent doesn’t mean that raid members are welcome to join the Hello Kitty Knitting Club Hour. We are there for a goal. When the first pull starts, vent should become quite and open for raid calls and feedback.
Always keep in mind that the overall goal of the raid is to challenge and beat encounters. Often times people get wrapped up and transfixed by shiny numbers, bars going up and down and mashing buttons. And, too often people become meter-whores. Meters are a wonderful tool to gauge improvements and identify areas that need improvement. But, unless an issue is being addressed during the raid, meters need to stay out of the raid. Anyone who is so enthralled by the meters should be looking at them on their own screen. Meters should never be broadcast during the middle of a raid. Save the feedback and backslapping for after the raid.
Feed Your WoW
Nothing will ever grow unless it is nurtured and encouraged. Study your raid WWS report whenever possible, even the raids you don’t attend. Find out what works, what is eating your mana, what is that other guy doing, what buffs is he using…. study it from all angles and improve your play. Most importantly, if you see something that a fellow raider can improve upon talk with them about it constructively.
Give for the Greater Good of the Guild
Great guilds are not born, they are made by their members. The best raiders are not just raiders, they are great members of their guild community. It bodes well to plan ahead for future progression goals and farm materials and consumables in advance. Helping to provide items for the guild not only shows favorably for you, but also encourages others to do the same.
All told, raiding has been an adventure in online etiquette, communication and time management. Through learnings and perseverance (and ibuprofen), progress has come with effort. Any raider should equal and/or surpass the effort of his fellow raiders. Challenge and learn from one another. After all, this is a social game – improve your raiding community by example.