Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Raid Building 101: Know Your Role

I can haz lewts?
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.

We have two related scenarios for this week;

So your raid has been kicking butt and swimming in loot. What happens when another raid needs an extra member to fill out the roster and you are invited in on a week you are not raiding with your usual raid? What should you be expected to do in the new raid? Are there rules for this type of thing? Most importantly, do you know how to act when it isn’t your raid to lead?

So you just joined a guild and are put up on a roster for your first raid. How do you find out all the rules and how things work before the raid starts so that you don’t cause everyone to lose time explaining rules to you instead of killing bosses?

So there are two main raid slots in the guild I am in, an early raid and a late raid. Both are evening, just one starts at 9pm server and one at 1am server. Because of the time difference most people just raid in one of those time slots. Every time we get an officer from the late raid to fill in with an alt or with their main character in early raid we get the same response; “My god you guys talk a lot!”, “Vent is so noisy!”, or
“I’m getting a headache from all this sound!” You see the late raid handles certain aspects differently, include vent usage. There are strict rules about who can talk and only the Raid Leader (or anyone he names) will be talking for any boss. Failure to follow this can get you thrown out of the raid or in general just yelled at. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just their style - very professional.

Wipe? ......WHAT?
The early on the other hand is more like a house party. When I first started leading raids I was the same way. Then I started letting people chat about anything while we were on breaks. Then I started letting people chat randomly while doing trash if it wasn’t too hard. Then I started letting people chat randomly while doing bosses on farm if there wasn’t much to call out. Now that we’ve grown and have about six or seven capable raid leaders in the time slot we sometimes end up getting a lot of chatter. I personally love to talk on vent, in fact through some entire boss fights I will be talking the whole time. That’s how I used to do professor putricide; I would tell everyone what to do the entire time. Now at any given time three of us could be calling things our or echoing things to be done if people aren’t moving fast enough. If we wipe the chatter goes down and everyone knows it. A wipe night ends up very quiet by the end with people just concentrating on their roles and trying to get the boss down.
Attending Your First Raid with a New Guild or Raid
There is clearly two different styles. What is expected of me when I go into late raid then? How should I act? Where do I find out this information? What if I’m a new raider and it’s my first time entering a raid?

go get em
Please don’t do this:
  • Start running a heroic with 30 minutes until raid start time.
    • Sure sometimes you can take less than 30 minutes to do it, but that one time it takes more may cost you a spot the next time rosters are done.
  • Show up without an offspec.
    • It doesn’t matter if you have any gear for it.
    • Know at least a few buttons in it.
  • Show up without gems or enchants.
    • Nothing says don’t invite me back than no enchants and no gems.
    • We are more forgiving of this for an offspec.
    • We are a lot less forgiving of alts if you actually signed up as the alt.
    • Ask the raid leader or an officer in the raid before the raid start if there is a way they could help you gear and enchant.
    • We have guild tabs full of gems and enchants to get someone ready in the time it takes to do all the invites. Perhaps your guild does too.
  • Show up in a PvP spec.
    • PvP gear is fine if that is all you have, but a PvP spec for PvE content unless required for a boss is unacceptable.
  • Show up not knowing the Ventrillo or Teamspeak information for the raid.
    • It’s probably on the guild info tab or on some kind of the forum - so go look.
  • Start telling people how to spec or gear before the raid even starts.
    • Once you prove that your healing is the bomb or your DPS is better than the other person’s then you can get together and talk about it after a raid.
    • Often makes people go on the defensive and disrupts the entire raid for the night.
  • Link DPS/Healing/anything meters into raid chat.
    • Spam is spam, those who care how well some people did have the meters already running and can look at it.
  • Interrupt boss explanations.
    • Chances are they are doing the explanation just for you so be quiet and listen.
    • Anything your old guild or other raid does should be brought up after a kill or a wipe.
  • Phantom AFK during boss explanations.
    • Same as above, they might be explaining things just for you.
    • Shows you lack commitment to the raid and respect for the other raiders.
  • Come back from a break still standing in Orgrimmar waiting for a summon.
    • I don’t care if there is a raid summon, start flying you lazy butt!
  • Come back from a break 10 minutes late because your smoke took longer than you expected.
    • Wasting time is one of the worst things you can do when you are new to a raid.
  • Wait until someone tells you a ready check is being done before click ready or not ready.
    • If you aren’t ready at least click the not ready and say why.
    • Constantly being the last one to click ready often makes the raid leader think you don’t really care about raiding and may alt you more because of it.
  • Fall over dead at the start of a boss pull because you didn’t understand a mechanic that was explained.
    • If you don’t understand it say so, it’s better than wiping the raid because you thought you could just wing it and figure it out.
  • Loot the boss right when it dies to see what’s on it.
    • Some guilds like ours wait until every person has been resurrected before looting the boss.
    • We know if someone looted because we see the money go out.
  • Start telling everyone that you want that piece of loot that just dropped SO BAD!
    • You may or may not get a chance to roll on it, be happy you are raiding and downing bosses.

boo alliance.....jk
Please do this:
  • Start by reading the guild forums or info tab, chances are all the answers you need are there.
  • Be online a little early so the raid leader or officer doing invites can see you are online and ready to go.
  • Show up with two specs gemmed and enchanted.
  • Get on vent as soon as you can and ask the raid leader to speak so you know which voice is theirs.
  • Be silent on vent and only use raid chat to respond to questions directed at you.
  • Tell the raid differences between strategies from a different raid or guild after a boss is down or after a wipe. Maybe it was something they never thought about.
    • The most effective way to do this is via a tell to the raid leader letting him know you have a suggestion.
    • Remember: there are many reasons for a wipe and it's not always the strat. Before you suggest one, make sure you can determine the reason for the failure.
  • If someone in the raid is your class and they out heal/DPS/tank you ask them for any tips after the raid ends.
  • If someone in the raid is sucking it up at the same class you are offer the raid leader or an officer to help them after the raid if they would like you to.
    • Someone may already be working with that person so it’s good to get permission first.
  • Ask to take any AFK breaks not in the schedule.
    • Everyone has to take a quick bio at some point, make sure you get approval first.
  • Be ready at the end of the break time.
    • Most people will give someone an extra minute or two, but don’t even push it with five.
  • Respond to every ready check.
  • Bring feasts or cauldrons if you can make them.
    • Often you won’t be asked to use them, but having them goes a long way in letting the raid leader know you are a prepared raider.
  • Roll on loot as directed and say grats when someone else wins.
    • It will drop again and maybe next time you will get it.

Shieldwall of the Vendor
Talk to the Raid Leader
If you are a new member to the guild or the team, it never hurts to speak with the raid leader and/or officers beforehand.
  • What are the rules about raid and party chat?
  • Are there rules about General chat? (we make everyone /leave General)
  • What are the vent rules?
    • If you want to get yelled at start telling people over vent every time you die.
      • This is often a rookie mistake to those new to a raid.
      • People have raid frames and can see if someone dies.
      • If you have a specific role such as banging gongs for Searing Flames THEN you call out if you die.
    • Calling things out in the fight.
      • Unless directed to from your Raid Leader do not try calling anything out.
      • If you see something not being called out that would be helpful wait until a kill or a wipe to ask in raid chat if the Raid Leader would like you to call it out.
    • Is there a time when anyone is free to talk about anything?
    • Is there anything banned from being said on vent?
      • Calling people out by name.
      • Swearing (not usually, some Raid Leaders don’t know how to stop.)
      • Telling everyone that you died.
      • Playing loud music while talking.
  • When are the usual break times for the raid?
  • How looting works if you don’t understand exactly how it works.
  • Anything they think you should know about before raiding.

So when I decide to join late raid for a raid I follow a lot of the above steps. I don’t speak in raid unless someone asks me to. I don’t tell them the strategies the other raid uses unless I think it could really make a difference, but after downing a boss I may tell the raid leader what we did differently that seemed to make certain things easier. The biggest thing is I don’t treat it as my raid. I am a guest in someone else’s house. If they care as much about how their raid is run as I do about how mine is run then I should respect the raid and play by their rules and strategies. Sometimes I learn things from them, sometimes they learn things from me, but for the most part I let them enjoy their peace and quiet on vent while they talk about food. What is it with the late raid always talking about food? Maybe staying up that late makes you crave some carbs or something.

Final Thoughts
Getting as prepared as you can goes a long way towards being seen as a reliable raider and a good addition to the raid slot. Helpful people may not always be remembered, but unhelpful people are always remembered. Just do your best and play by the rules of the raid, not everything is done the way you picture it or think it should be done, but if the raid has been succeeding there is no need for you to try and change anything. Finally, make sure you enjoy yourself! WoW is still a game and games should be fun and rewarding.

Dark Legacy Comics

Gordrin is the current Raid Leader of Guild Malice - Early Raid. Him plus a wine cooler minus meds equals boss kills LIKE A BAOWSS! Gordrin can be reached at


Mhorgrim said...

These are awesome baseline rules for the 101 who wants to do a lil bit more. While not a harcore raider type, it's something to keep in mind even in our casual guild. I'd love to see a series on how to get new blood into Raiding guilds that:
A) Have never Raided before and;

B) Just fresh to the game and wants to learn

I've started to see alot of Raid teams fall because they loose one or 2 members. What about creating a B and C squad, training them properly on your S.O.P.'s etc? It may spark more interest.

Just some thoughts, but definitely the post is good stuff to bear in mind.

Gordrin said...

Great suggestion, actually our GL said Titleist should write one of those new bloods, because he came into one of my raids wearing all pvp gear and being a noob hunter. So he has gone from zero raid experience all the way to being a Guild Officer and one of my Raid Leaders.

We don't really have a B and C squad because we don't create an A squad more than once every other month. This keeps everyone up to date so if people go missing we always have skilled fill ins and no one gets alted constantly.

Always appreciate you reading our blog man, so we make sure you read yours!

Mhorgrim said...

Hi all,
Glad you guys liked the ideas. I want to continue to spark interest in the community from the casual to hardcore and everything in between. Something else that might be an interesting topic from your perspective as a Raid Crew is working with disabled folk and assisting them into possible raids. Just a thought since of late I am seeing alot more disabled folk out there doing their best to enjoy all levels of content as well. Guys take care and I got to say I have learned alot form your blog here. My own guild that I belong to is slowly outfitting to get enough for a ten man crew for endgame.It's long and hard because many of us are military and deploy alot but at least we all stick together thick and thin. Take it easy and thanks for all the great ideas.

Gordrin said...

I play with a ton of military, and my brother is in fact military so I know how it goes. As far as disabilities, which type? I raid with a couple color blind people, people who are bi-polar, clinically depressed, and people who I swear should be in a mental institution. But as far as any mental challenges, I always give everyone a chance and treat them all the same. If they can eventually pick things up they can raid. end of story.

Mhorgrim said...

Well, actually since there are so many it can be a helluva question to go through. I've dealth with visually impaired folk, and have been seeing alot of physically impaired, ie MS, amputees, a few other things as well. The idea struck me as my wife has been working with a disabled teen to make a web site for Adaptive gamers. Input from experienced hands such as yourself is always valued. When the website is up and running I'll drop you a link. It was originally sparked from a forum post and we have been trying to help in any way we can there.

Gordrin said...

Oh yeah drop us a line for real.

Mhorgrim said...

Wife has been busy sorting out a couple of the coding issues, but she is almost ready to go live with it. Soon as it does, I'll post up for you and thanks for the support!