Where did you learn to raid?

85 Worgen Druid
4100
Maybe this is the old man in me (I’m 29 btw), but back in my day of learning to raid (please use and old man voice in your head while reading this), there was a progression that fostered an understanding of how to play your toon well enough to get into raids. In my case, it was on my paladin. I hit 80, grinded reputations and quests while doing regular dungeons to put my tank gear together. Over the course of a couple weeks I built a set of blues that was decent. Then tried my first heroic, which was an epic failure. At the time I thought it was because I didn’t know what I was doing, so I got on that crazy World Wide Web thing and did a little reading. It so happened that I was doing most things correctly, though not everything, so with some new found confidence I tried again and I started grinding heroics...up hill both ways, in the snow, and so on... Raiding would wait until I had a more confidence and experience, but I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

The guild I was in at the time was full of great people, but few with raiding aspirations, so my initiation into raiding was as a sub for another guild. Me and 9 strangers who got a kick out of my paladin’s name, but were very jovial and fun, cleared a wing of Naxx and it was a blast. Before ever stepping into the raid I knew about the 96 rotation for paladins, proper skills/spells for threat generation, how to taunt, how to stun for interrupts, and probably more important than any of that, how to listen, learn and use the thing between my ears (brain).

I’d really like to hear how other people “learned to raid”. Maybe you’d care to share if you consider yourself a raider?
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85 Troll Hunter
4195
I rolled an arcane mage and pressed 1
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85 Dwarf Rogue
8150
First time raiding was back in vanilla. I was one of the designated suppression rooms rogues. I sucked at raiding, didn't do any DPS at all, had no clue what was going on... Just disarmed the trap things and wiped on Lashlayer a lot. It was awful.

First real raid experience was Gruul's on a holy paladin. Got tired of getting stomped on in PvP, so I hopped on the internet, read up about using downranked spells to save on mana, figured out my gear, and got better.

One day, friends needed help with Gruul's Lair, so I hopped in there, healed in my PvP stuff. They told me what to look out for, where to go, and who I was in charge of keeping up and we did it first shot. Only time I ever raided in BC was that one run.
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I started playing at 2.2, and was almost 70 when 2.3 came out (ZA). I got to run with a guild doing Kara. No one needed gear, they just needed the points. I basically got handed all the gear, didnt even have to roll. It is here that I learned about hitrating ( it does what? i dont miss on my questing!) and actually started to read up on this raiding thing. Then i ditched satellite internet (1200 ms) for an air card which brought me down to 3 digit ping. Helped a guild with their first downing of Malcrass, and got invited, we split up, formed a new guild, raided almost all of wotlk, and then my connection got bad again and have been almost totally out of raiding for cata. my sad story of badness!
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90 Night Elf Druid
0
trial and error my good sir it all started on that #!@#ty hunter named xithiere i was always stuck in hang out guilds until i went to ROA got into a few naxx runs here and there but not enough to say i got raid experience then i guild changed to torment around the time ulduar was progression was in guild for awhile but i was always a back up for a back up =/ so i left that and got a guild invite from my buddy aknight to paragon and from there on i got in found a group within weeks to start clearing content and now im in ascent to stay =)
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85 Night Elf Hunter
0
I rolled my toon (this one, actually!) two weeks before Molten Core came out in Vanilla. After some real scuffling to get to 60, I finally made it, and yet found that there was really nothing better do than to either go surfing between Southshore and Tarren Mill, or run UD Strat AGAIN.

There were two main raiding guilds on Spinebreaker (my server) then. Requiem, who was full fo just over 40 guys who never talked to anybody except to tell them how great they (Requiem) were and how stupid everybody else was. There was another guild called Seraphim, whose player base was composed mainly of vampires. They claimed to be Australian, but they NEVER came out during the day and you couldn't listen to one of them on vent for more than 5 minutes without coming to the conclusion that they drew their sustenance from SOMETHING's blood.

Therein lied the problem: few guilds even could field 40 players at all. But, fortunately, I think Blizzard designed Molten Core correctly in a few ways. Lucifron, the first boss of MC, had a complex and interesting strategy required to defeat him, and thus gain the first piece of your epic, 8-piece, cooler than cool epic gear set:

1. Decurse.
2. Win.

Obviously, with a challenge of that magnitude, it took many months for PUGs to finally navigate every pitfall and claim a kill of Lucifron.

But that wasn't it though. See, back then, raid strategies were proprietary. No one told you how they killed a boss. No youtube videos, or anything like that. In fact, the first posting of raid strategies for Molten Core was from a guild called Conquest, after Blizzard accused them of cheating and took their loot away. They then posted a complete guide to MC up to Majordomo, just to give the Sons of Morhaine the finger.

To make a long story short, we found another guild of similar size to ours that would get us our 40 warm bodies. After a very beautiful and violent wedding ceremony (we really shouldn't have invited any of the Seraphim people...without any crosses or garlic it looked like the wedding planner thought "sanguine red" would be a good color for the decor afterward) we went into MC with hope in our hearts and idiocy in our skulls.

Looking back, each boss really had one or two gimmicks that were very simple to handle. Magmadar? Don't stand in the fire, and set up a tranq order. (Magmadar will always be the first Cata raid boss) Gehennas? Get the pull right and separate them at the start. Garr? Chain CC? OMG!

Fortunately, one of the Requiem guys had decided to get into a urinary competition with his guild's officers, and decided to leak his strategies to us for the next few bosses. We proceeded to one-shot Geddon and Shazzrah, as we learnd from the former that sometimes you need to stay away from the raid, and from the latter that mages just really blow.

Other than requiring a few weeks for Ragnaros due to the CONSTANT INABILITY TO NOT FALL INTO THE @#$%ING LAVA YOU STUPID @#$%ING PALADIN!, it was on to Blackwing Lair.

At this point, videos were becoming more common and the strategies were out there. You just had to get your lazy guildies to read them (hard) then put it all together (harder). We found that having a guild website was helpful for this. People showed up to trash talk or check their DKP, tripped over a link to a video, and got significantly more prepared about 20 minutes later.

There was a pattern emerging, and it was easy to see: each raid boss has a gimmick. There's all sorts of them, and some have more than others. Razorgore, on the other hand, had more gimmick than anyone had seen before.

I won't bother you with the particulars, but in a nutshell, every class had a specific role and had to follow it closely. Personally, The other hunters and I were on dragon kiting with our 1337 jumpshotting skillz. Of course, not every hunter in had said 1337 jumpshotting skillz, so I had to teach them. We took the other hunters out to Searing Gorge, practiced mounted auto-run jumping, then 360s, then 180 turns of front-back-front, and finally getting your concussive or distracting shot off in the middle of that turn. One of my finest moments of WoW was getting one of our hunters, who happened to be a 38-year old housewife who swore up and down that she wouldn't be able to do it at first, to jumpshoot like a pro and keep her dragon in check for the whole fight. (After one of our training sessions, I actually helped her kids with their homework over vent. Really.)

And that's it: go get the information. Know the fight, know the gimmicks, and know how to deal with them. If you need to do something that you haven't done before, go practice. Finally, get in there and do it, take your wipes like a champ, and eventually the boss will tip over. Rinse and repeat.
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85 Human Hunter
2870
HOLY !@#$ WRITE AN ESSAY MUCH?

I learned to raid by being awesome.

And by being awesome I mean being my guild's best healer in karazhan.
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85 Night Elf Druid
1755
I learned to raid on my mage in Molten Core and have raided on him ever since then.
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86 Orc Death Knight
10345
oh GAWD holy essays batman!! rolled dk and spammed icytouch/froststrike WIN =D
fluffies response works too, played with the best, learned from the worst dk ever , JOKES
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86 Orc Death Knight
10345
LOL @Starburst, Rebels of azeroth.....EWWWWWWWWWW now to get that taste out of my mouth, need a beer =D
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90 Human Paladin
11020
Can I "old man rant" as well? It's fun.

I started playing wow maybe a month or so before 4.0. I leveled as prot from the beginning with a buddy who got me into the game (Ele Shaman). I remember tanking my first dungeon and expertly pulling as few mobs as possible, basically pulling off ninja taunts on patrolling mobs. This lasted about 2 minutes before the healer just yelled "chain pull, I'm getting old over here!"

After that last grind to 80, I finally worked up the nerve to queue for a LK heroic. Luckily, this was back when DPS and even heals queue times were stupidly high (sometimes as high as 45 minutes). I assume this had a lot to do with many pally tanks just going ret after the prot changes in 4.0. I loved them to be honest.

So, most groups with plate DPS having more HP than me would just put up with it. Losing threat was a common occurrence when you're in regular dungeon/quest gear. But we made it through due to overgeared healers and DPS. Most (maybe 99%) of them were cool with it, stating things like "gotta start somewhere."

The guy I leveled with went to Germany for like 3 weeks soon after we hit 80. So, bored, I tanked heroic after heroic. Had only 2 pieces of 232 gear: my sword (Rimefang's Claw) and the boots. Everything else was a mix of 251 and 264 gear bought with JP. I had everything I could get without raiding. I also came very close to just quitting the game outright as it was an excruciating grind.

So, I started spamming Guild Chat with "I want to raid. Let's raid."
Our GM offered to do Nax and I responded with "Nah, let's do ICC."

So, he got a group together and we went 6/12 in one night (no big deal really) and ended up wiping on Putricide 17 times (IIRC) because we just didn't have the DPS to pass the check. I remember asking in vent "should I wipe it yet?" after everyone else was dead because Word of Glory was so OP with the pre-cata buffs. A crit would heal me for 45k, when I had ~50k HP. I could literally solo phase 3 until the goo finally covered the entire room and the damage finally stacked up higher than I could generate HP.

It was a learning experience. Mainly that, besides a few fights, Tanking raids is a hell of a lot easier than heroics, especially cata heroics (before all the nerfs). Reading up on the fights in BWD and BOT was telling. Most of it is tank and spank with the occasional aggro swap.

Because it's so easy, you get time to look around the raid and see what people were doing wrong: not switching to adds fast enough. Not staying out of the fire. Not stacking or spreading out when needed. I got kind of a reputation for over-explaining boss fights because I found myself having to repeat basic information over and over again.

We didn't get back into raiding for a while after cata. Magmaw was a telling fight for the general.... lack of dedication (to put it nicely) for the average want-to-raider. It's a mechanically simple fight that people wipe on over and over. Personally, I don't know why people start with it. It's much easier as an ego boost to go burn down the Defense System.

I find myself learning more and more each raid. For instance, just last night, I realized my computer doesn't want to visually spawn the fire traps I need to avoid, when I'm tanking Shannox, until I move myself a bit from my standing point. This was a pretty big matter of contention for our raid lead (who could see them right when they spawn). So, the whole fight is basically me moonwalking (by tapping S every second or so) throughout the entire fights. Looks hilarious.
Edited by Fenixx on 9/14/2011 12:00 PM PDT
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85 Night Elf Warrior
7950
I hit Motal Strike and hope the boss dies before I do. Learning to raid? If i had done that, I woulda learned to be Fury too.
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90 Draenei Shaman
8620
I learned to raid in Everquest... But here in Wow, it was back in Vanilla. 40 man MC Raids. Boy was that fun. Guild was packed with people and all we had to do was wait for that 40th to log on. I played my dwarf priest at the time, and I was always allowed to go for my Fear Ward. I enjoy healing so it was fun for me to raid, but decursing was a pain. Thankfully we had "Decurse" hahah
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90 Blood Elf Priest
0
I started playing back in Vanilla, and a leveled a bit at the beginning of BC. Then I left the game during my Freshman year of college. I came back at the beginning of WotLK. After leveling up to 80, I found it hard to join raids due to my lack of achievements. I worked at gearing myself out as best I could, and then turned to more underhanded tactics to join raids. Ahem.... I used the "Underachiever" addon to weasel my way into raids, until I could get the real achievements. I made sure to study the fights beforehand, so that I didn't look like a scrub. I tricked a few RL's into letting me into groups, and have been raiding ever since.
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85 Orc Warlock
10125
I had to !@#$ing learn to raid with tibby being high on coke, nassera yelling at healers all the time, and soulrender and mozu going at it pretending that ICC was hard for melee.
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85 Orc Hunter
7385
10/03/2011 02:42 PMPosted by Moaklerqt
I had to !@#$ing learn to raid with tibby being high on coke, nassera yelling at healers all the time, and soulrender and mozu going at it pretending that ICC was hard for melee.


It took until ICC for you to learn to raid?
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85 Tauren Paladin
2450
10/01/2011 12:24 PMPosted by Ichbinheiß
common sense

This.

Big dragon blow fire, move.
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85 Orc Warlock
10125
10/05/2011 01:35 PMPosted by Tookee
I had to !@#$ing learn to raid with tibby being high on coke, nassera yelling at healers all the time, and soulrender and mozu going at it pretending that ICC was hard for melee.


It took until ICC for you to learn to raid?


considering I didn't start raiding seriously until ICC? Yes.
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85 Orc Hunter
7385
10/07/2011 06:04 PMPosted by Moaklerqt


It took until ICC for you to learn to raid?


considering I didn't start raiding seriously until ICC? Yes.


Really? I guess ICC, TOGC, and Ulduar are all kinda blending together now. It's Tejal btw
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