Friday, January 21, 2011

Raid Building 101: The best laid plans

Raid Building 101 is a weekly article detailing the finer (and sometimes the not so finer) points of building and leading a successful raid group. Be it a world first or super casual, Raid Building 101 has something for you.

So you have the approval to create your time slot or raid team, perhaps from reading my last post. You have your core set of raiders who you geared up with in heroics and you are all excited to form your first 10 man raid. What now? This is the point you have to decide what kind of raid atmosphere you want, which may partly be based on what type of guild you are raiding in.

What should be your next step?

Like I said above it all matters what type of raid you want to be leading, so it's time to figure it out. You can’t just wing it and have people follow you. People naturally are attracted and follow leaders with a clear idea and goals that they can relate to and share with you. Answer these questions for yourself to figure that out.

What type of guild are you in?
Friends and family Guild
  • Usually good friends you know in real life or that you’ve been hanging out with for a long time or started playing the game with.
  • Generally there shouldn’t be expectations to down too many bosses when you start raiding, unless someone already knows how to look up and explain strategies to the entire raid and people understand the mechanics of most boss fights and their classes there will be learning pains.
  • Make this a one or two night a week raid and don’t require people who are in the guild to show up a certain amount of times a month.
  • Don’t require any DPS minimum requirements.
  • Just run some trash and try some boss encounters and then look at the charts and go from there.
  • PuG or get into Baradin Hold raids to hope for some T11 gear to help you gear up.
  • Think about running in tandem with a Small Casual Guild to get experience in raiding.

Small Casual Guild
  • Usually about 50 or fewer members.
  • Members raid or pvp and think about raiding but perhaps only run one raid slot or just whenever 10 people are online who can.
  • There may be a few exceptional people in the guild who hold the raids together or a small group of people who do most of the raiding.
  • Make sure you find a set time of the week to fit your raid in that works around the guild’s current schedule.
  • Do not require attendance per month to the raid.
  • Do not expect to down bosses and make sure you work with people who are just getting into raiding on improving their classes by finding sites with guides.
  • Look into raiding with another Casual or Friends and Family Guild for greater attendance.

Large Casual Guild with Hardcore tendencies
  • This is what my guild is, large guild with some hardcore people in it, but we are casual.
  • Require attendance per month to hold any higher rank that gets loot priority so the hardcore players stay and play.
  • Expect to down non-farm bosses once and a while. Give yourself a break if it is a new boss, but once the boss is killed the raid will expect the boss to get easier and easier no matter how many new people join.
  • New raiders should expect to be cycled in within a few weeks of signing up.
  • Keep a handle on the hardcore members in your guild.
  • Casual raiders should be expected to improve over time.
  • There should be more than one person leading the raids in case of an emergency for you.

Hard Core Guilds
  • Require attendance to be able to raid.
  • Raiders should be expected to correct mistakes the next time they see the boss.
  • Tanks, healers, and DPS should all be expected to pull their weight.
  • Any Raid leader should be expected to know the guild’s strategy to every fight.
  • People should be on standby doing quests or farming materials right outside the raid instance in case someone needs to be replaced for repeated mistakes.
  • Bosses are expected to be downed within a certain amount of tries or people should be replaced.
  • The same group of people who mesh the best will be in almost every raid.
  • New people will have to earn the right to raid.
Think about how to make the group
I’m assuming that you are not in a hardcore guild as any raid slot would already be set and controlled and most likely they will not tolerate a new one that is also considered hardcore. Something to think about is creating your slot as a “training raid” where people can get gear and learn the mechanics without being replaced instantly on any mistake.

Getting casual players to sign up
  • Split up the hardcore players so they can’t take over the raid while it is in progress.
  • Make sure you include a good mix of them so that the raid can still succeed and get loot and casual players can get the time to learn the fights.
  • DO NOT let all the hardcore people go into one group, or raid every week, this will discourage casual players who will then think they are the second hand raiders who get to be in the “fail” group.
  • Cycle people normally so that if someone were to ask the day before if they will be raiding you can answer, “Well, you ran last week and I had to bench Rogue 2 and 3, so this week if either one of them signs up you will be alted, but make sure you sign up in case things fall through.”
  • Openly address any issues of favoritism. More information is better.
  • Why is so and so Tank always with so and so healer? Maybe they are roommates, RL friends, or have the same schedule which makes it easier to just stick them together all the time?
  • Why does this particular class always get picked? Maybe they offer a buff or a mechanic that is required for the raid, like priests for mind control in Naxx 25.
  • Ignore large groups of friends always wanting to run together(I’ll address this in a moment)
  • Make the raid fun during trash or easy pulls so they can relax.

Tips on improving casual players without turning them off in the guild
  • Hardcore DPSers can be in charge of helping other DPSers with their classes to improve DPS.
  • Hardcore Healers can do healing assignments and give suggestions to what healers need to be doing on each fight.
  • DO NOT let the hardcore people start calling out other people DURING THE RAID!
  • There is nothing worse to a casual player than being called out on the carpet during a raid where the boss is not dying. They will think it is ONLY their fault and perhaps never raid again.
  • Take time to bring any struggling raiders with you into heroics or to training dummies to work directly with them.
  • Maybe suggest a different spec, perhaps they don’t quite grasp Enhancement, but they will most likely be able to do elemental, perhaps Destruction over affliction, Fire over arcane etc.
  • Help them get geared up with crafting items that drop from bosses. Chances are there are people with max professions that can pick up the recipes and you can improve the gear of characters that are having trouble downing bosses for loot.

Tips on dealing with groups of friends
  • Do not let groups of friends of 4 or more raid together all the time.
  • They will start to expect it and perhaps not show up to any raid they can’t all be in.
  • It is better to either have them take turns with a few going each week or put them in opposing raids and have them compete against each other offline.
  • If they will not raid unless they all raid together they are not there to help the guild or your raid, just to gear themselves up.
  • If the group of friends ends up being officers remind them it is their duty to put guild first and then go hang out after the raids.
  • I deal with this personally as usually the people who have to lead or run in the other raids are RL friends of mine or good friends from WoW that I talk with on the phone and text with.

Dealing the bad raiders
  • No one ever wants to tell someone that they are just a bad raider, but the time may come where you know that where you place a certain person you know they will hamper the raid.
  • The first step would be to tell them. Honestly, this is a game and they may get mad or sad at first, but they should get over it.
  • Make sure you have your reasons and something they could do to either improve or some corrective action that might help them raid.
  • Perhaps have them level an alt? Switch Classes? Switch roles?
  • If all else fails just let them know they will only get to raid once a month or perhaps less until you see improvements during the raid.
  • If it is their connection let them know it can’t be helped and that they get only a certain amount of leeway from the start of the raid and then they will be replaced. Did they lag out three times before the first boss? Sorry in order for the 9 or 24 other people to be able to raid they have to be replaced.
  • The Language barrier perhaps? Find someone who can translate for you, I raid with a bunch of Brazilians who are a great bunch of guys, I sometimes ask one of them to let another one of them know exactly what he needs to do on the fight so there is nothing lost in translation. Don’t get frustrated with it because they could be a great player once they understand what you want them to do. They all know the names of the abilities so when you ask for bloodlust/heroism/time-warp so those shouldn’t be an issue.

Dealing with RL Schedules
  • Some people can make two and a half out of three hours of the raid, on just one of the two nights you raid, what can you do?
  • Have them find their own replacement approved by you who will jump in after a boss kill or when trash is done near the time they have to leave.
  • If you are running a casual guild there should be a little leeway for time, but they should be responsible for their own replacement if they want to be able to raid.
  • If a lot of people can’t make a day or a time perhaps think of either changing the raiding day or time or creating a second raid that runs on that time for them and personally help the raid get started by running it a few times with them if you can.
My next entry will be on what to do about conflicts, people leaving, and the summer slump to keep your raid together and working.

1 comment:

Goreblades said...

awesome information =)