Raid Preparedness PSA [No TL:DR]

90 Orc Warlock
14525
Hello everyone. I would just like to talk about some raid stuff, since more than half of the population on SH here love seeing bosses die and collecting purples. Recently, I've been pug-ing Firelands runs lately on all my alts and have noticed a few key elements that raiders here do not have. I'm posting this to make more raiders aware of what they might be missing in order to be more successful in raiding, so that the community in general can have more fun and so that we can stop trolling ourselves into a worse situation.

Time and Effort
I don't think it needs to be said that raiding takes much time and effort out of your day. Organizing and preparing takes a HUGE chunk of this time, while the fights take only measly minutes. With that said Raiding is a TEAM effort, without everyone being prepared and ready to clear content, wipes just happen and the atmosphere just more frustrating and tension starts to build. Remember that when you join a raid (either a pug or a guild run), you have made a commitment of time and equal effort into your character and schedule to kill bosses, just like everyone else. The people advertising in Trade chat spend tedious effort inspecting and checking for how ready you are before going to what should be a successful clear of any dungeon. So if you can't commit the whole way, speak up, I'm sure there is some way to accommodate the situation.

Research
So how do I prepare? Where do I start? Well there are various sources that you can draw from, but many of the things you need to know can be found in game, things that you probably can't find are only a google search away.
    Raid Encounters
    Blizzard has made this substantially easier as the game ages. More recent, you can now access the DUNGEON JOURNAL by pressing [SHIFT + J] in-game to review boss abilities, loot drops, and even lore! In raiding, boss abilities are a must know; loot, although you can drool over all day, is nice to know about, but you won't get any until the boss dies anyways, and even then its a slim chance.
    Another great source is YouTube, which is one of our personal go-tos for learning new encounters and boss mechanics. Just google a top-guild and the encounter and 10m or 25m. If you're lucky the fight even has the view from your class! Its also helpful to ask people in the raid if you don't know the encounter or let the raid know before hand. Don't wait until you wiped six times to ask questions, ask before the first pull so enough of the kinks are ironed out before everyone gets a headache from simple mistakes.

    Class
    The two biggest sources of information that you can get about how to play your class are ArenaJunkies (http://www.arenajunkies.com/)and Elitist Jerks (http://elitistjerks.com/forums.php). Obviously, AJ is for PvP and Elitist Jerks are for PvE. The sites are pretty simple to navigate. On EJ, there are compendiums written by pros and top raiders to help theorycraft every class and help everyone maximize their efficiencies in a very constructive way. All the boards are heavily moderated to prevent unproductive posting to encourage an accurate source of untainted information.


Preparation
So you've read up on all the fights and know the general strategies, you've read through the class compendium on how to play your character, how do you know you are ready?
    Armory Audit
    The easiest way to find out is to re-log and check your armory. Click on Advanced, at the bottom there is "Character Audit" that tells you if you're missing gems, enchants, glyphs, or a belt buckle. This may come to a surprise to most people, but you get ONE FREE GEM SLOT if you buy a belt buckle and put it on your waist item which is a great stat boost!

    Gems, Reforging, Enchants
    From reading the EJ class compendiums you should already know what to gem and enchant, so make sure that you filled all your slots with the proper gems and enchant all your gear! Reforging is a bit tricky, but using AskMrRobot.com makes everything extremely painless. Just make sure you don't mindlessly use it.

    Consumables
    It's important to bring your own buffs to raids to maximize the damage since it can make or break an encounter. Three of the most important buffs you want to bring are food, flasks, and potions. Usually, the best food to bring are core stat boosters (i.e. str, agi, and int), for tanks its debatable, but it seems mastery stam food is the way to go for most tanks. Same goes with flasks, as a DPS you bring core stat flasks, as a Tank you bring Stam/HP flasks, and for Healers you bring Int flasks, unless you are extremely mana starved then I would recommend a spirit flask. Potions are also a great DPS boost: you can use one PER FIGHT, but there is a great way to use two if you use a potion before a pull (which is why countdowns are important!)


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90 Orc Warlock
14525
Raiding
When you join a pug, you have to expect some wipes. It's great to know that there are people outside your guild that can clear the same level of content that you have personally, but everyone's experiences are different for every encounter. With that said, pug leadership plays a very important role because its what holds the group together, but more on that later. Also, its important to note that raid composition will never be perfect, but it should be noted that you should try to get the best synergy possible to either stack melee or ranged and to make it so that one group or the other gets all their buffs to push maximization.

A good tool for this is MMO-Champion's Raid Compostion builder:
http://raidcomp.mmo-champion.com/

Progression raiding is a bit different, since it's aimed to push content with the same group of people, so play style synergy and raid composition is ideal since its all prearranged. In progression, you should expect to wipe for DAYS, and I say that without exaggeration. In progression, you have made a dedication to join a guild and participate in its glorious conquest in every kill and to be assured loot in a fair and manageable fashion.

Leadership
The concept of pugging and progression leads me to my next point where people think that killing a boss ONE TIME means that you now the fight inside and out because we've all seen and know that its possible to score a kill by barely sc!*@*@# by. If you are one of these people, please ask yourself if you knew the encounter through every role and that make sure you aren't just voicing your opinion in order to gain supremacy in a group. Knowing the function of every role in a raid is vital in becoming a better player and the role as a leader, seeing that every aspect of the fight is catered too and prepared for. Being a leader also doesn't mean you should be ignorant and arrogant to others, its important during a wipe to find out exactly what went wrong and not to pinpoint the blame on anyone without proper reason.

The biggest aspect of where leadership goes wrong is not pointing the finger, its actually loot distribution. Because it is something that everyone is working for, the loot should be distributed fairly. Even distribution would probably be a case-by-case basis, but that should be well known too. Everyone who rolls should have an equal reason, if people are slacking and were obviously carried (they should have been replaced already or it should have been mentioned at the beginning of the run that there would be some sort of consequence).

Readiness Checklist!!
    [ ] I know how to play my class!
    [ ] I know the encounters we are attempting!
    [ ] I have my food, flasks, and potions!
    [ ] I am willing to ask for help AND put my best foot forward!
    [ ] LETS DO THIS!!


Any constructive feedback is appreciated. Btw, I know that Colosie has a similar Raiding 101 post somewhere, be sure to check it out also. I'll post the link when I find it.
Edited by Alex on 11/2/2011 10:58 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Druid
11425
some ppl are extremely dense about understanding these concepts but what you bring up is very good valid points.
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89 Orc Warlock
10810
11/02/2011 10:14 PMPosted by Alex
Btw, I know that Colosie has a similar Raiding 101 post somewhere, be sure to check it out also. I'll post the link when I find it.


http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2522163737?page=1



Preparation
So you've read up on all the fights and know the general strategies, you've read through the class compendium on how to play your character, how do you know you are ready?


It's a shame that most of the people that really need this part won't be on the forums but I've seen level 85s a week or two ago that were gemming Wrath epics.../facepalm

Also, just because relics say prismatic socket doesn't mean you can/should put a Nightmare Tear in it.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
12685
I will also be personally sitting down and talking with people about paladins, mages, and hunters for raid academy sessions. Some day, we will bring up the whole raiding community up and above the ground to help them all be better players in PvE and make Shattered Halls a great server to PUG in.
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90 Tauren Druid
9390
Alex, what are the names of the alts that you pug with and usually what times/days, because I've been looking for some groups to run my alt with?
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Any times for this?
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85 Goblin Shaman
8645
11/02/2011 10:13 PMPosted by Alex
From reading the EJ class compendiums you should already know what to gem and enchant, so make sure that you filled all your slots with the proper gems and enchant all your gear! Reforging is a bit tricky, but using AskMrRobot.com makes everything extremely painless. Just make sure you don't mindlessly use it.


I love the people that complain about gemming and enchanting being too expensive. That one always gets me going.
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90 Orc Warlock
14525
bump
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90 Orc Warlock
14525
bump since people are still reading this!!
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
12685
cy@
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85 Goblin Shaman
8645
bump for raid knowledge.
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89 Orc Warlock
10810
bump for <Dishonor> being a much better guild name than <Velocity>.
Edited by Dwhittman on 11/15/2011 7:23 PM PST
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