Four Mistakes New Raiders Make
I’ve leveled fourteen characters to 100. I’ve done Heroic dungeons, PVP, and even pet battles. I’ve farmed for mounts, pets, transmogs, and gold. I’m almost at the point where I’ve got the Brawler’s Guild on lock. So it’s s safe to say that I’ve dabbled in pretty much everything WoW has to offer. But Blizzard is all about the raiding. Dungeons? A means to gear up for raiding. Storylines? The plots get wrapped up in raids. Legendary items? Raid or GTFO (which is actually quite helpful, that’s a future reference to something I haven’t discussed yet stay with me here people).
I’m actually no stranger to raiding. Back in my Everquest days, my guild often raided numerous World Bosses and Planes of Existence. In those days though, raid zones weren’t instanced. Every guild had a rogue alt parked where the various bosses spawned. When you got the word that a boss was up, your entire guild had to race other guilds to be the first to clear to – and pull – the boss when it was up.
That, boys and girls, is hardcore raiding. The ability to mobilize a raid with whoever you had, rather than the optimal raid configuration that guilds like to push for encounters today. You had to make due with whoever your guild had online, knowing you might only get one shot at the boss. Making that pull while another raid parked itself just around the corner, waiting to move in if and when you wiped. The PLP (Play Nice Policy) extended just far enough that guilds wouldn’t try to get you wiped (unless you were on a PVP server, which I assume is a special kind of Hell that plenty of people still manage to get off on).
But that was then, and this was now. Raid comps had become more stringent on their requirements, even in LFR. For a tourist mode style of raiding, there were still groups that expected a certain level of performance out of raid members. Some of it was reasonable, some of it was not. Mythic aspirations out of weekend warrior raiders.
I’d heard the horror stories, and it kept me away for the longest time. But one day I finally took the plunge (out of desperation and boredom), not caring what mistakes I happened to make. I had to give this raiding thing a try. If LFR was as easy as everybody claimed, it would be a learning experience. And if I didn’t measure up and got kicked, screw it.
So I did some researched, queued up, and drew Archimonde as my first raid. I may not have performed as great as I could have, but after we wiped and the raid leader went through the roster to cut dead weight he didn’t cut me. I’d tried to prep myself as best I could. And you know what? Things pretty much turned out ok. Well, for me at least. But other people… damn folks. Come on now.
Now that I have run a few LFR’s, I am something of an expert as far as raiding goes. Because of course.
Experience bragging aside, there are a few things I’ve noticed in the raids I’ve been in. Some faux pas, so to speak, some that I was guilty of myself. It’s not necessarily a WoW raiding thing, because I’d seen the same kind of issues when I raided in Everquest. These issues also seemed to be some of the reasons that many people try to avoid raiding altogether. I was one of those people, so again, experience talking here.
As I said, some common mistakes kept rearing their ugly head, and the sad part is that they’re easy enough to fix. So what kinds of mistakes do us rookie raiders make?
#4. We suck. Okay, sure, that seems a bit harsh. Now I can only speak for dps-types, but this can apply to tanks and healers as well. The reality of the situation is that, even for LFR’s, you just don’t have all night to kill the boss. At least not on the first pull, or even the fifth or tenth pull. I know there are some groups that like piling up the cute little Determination buff, but that’s because folks in the raid can’t pull their weight. You want to make sure you’re pulling your weight, not your pud, when you step into a raid.
It varies from group to group, but having poor dps is a great way to get yourself booted. That is a very real fear many non-raiders have, and one that keeps them – and me for the longest time – from trying to raid in the first place. Nobody likes to be called out for putting up poor numbers, and getting kicked out of the party for it on top of the public shaming.
So how do you know if you suck or not, without having to deal with the humiliation of getting kicked out of a raid?
You can check how you measure up in two ways. The first way is to go to the website Ask Mr Robot. On the lefthand side, click on the World of Warcraft dropdown and select Combat Logs. From there, on the green menu bar in the middle of the page, select Statistics link. The window it brings up will give you a chart of what the average dps is per class, per raid, at certain iLevels. You can change the gear levels to closer to what you might have, and see what the average is for your class. It might not be the most accurate numbers, but at least it will give you an idea of what you should be shooting for when you step into a raid.
The second way is by accessing the Proving Grounds through your garrison. Silver rank unlocks Heroic dungeons, so if you can pull that off at least, you should be able to hold your own in LFR.
#3. We don’t use add-ons. Come on people. If ever there was a reason to use add-ons, raiding is the biggest one. There are plenty of good raiding add-ons like Deadly Boss Mod, which will notify you that the boss you are fighting is about to do something sneaky/dangerous and that you should interrupt/run/duck/whatever or get smooshed. It really helps you navigate the mechanics of a raid.
The other mod I’d recommend is GTFO (see that callback?) This thing will not only save your life, but it will keep you from looking stupid in your raid. One of the biggest things rookies do is stand in the stupid. This mod will let you know that, oh hey you’re knee-deep in some stuff that is most likely killing you and howsabout maybe you take two steps to the side and get out of it, thank you very much. It tells you this via a very loud, annoying alarm. Better that than your healer calling you out in a very loud, annoying manner.
#2. We show up empty-handed. It’s generally accepted that when you’re invited to a party, you bring a little something. Contribute in some way. Maybe you bring a bag of chips, or pretzels (don’t be that guy.) The same thing applies to a raiding party. Granted maybe you’re only running a LFR, but it still good practice. Bring stat food for yourself. You don’t have to bring a feast or banquet for the whole raid, but showing that bit of kindness goes a long way. At least make sure you have good stat food for yourself. Also, bring flasks appropriate to your class.It doesn’t hurt to bring some healing potions as well. I know that LFR is supposed to be tourist mode, but it’s still not that hard to get killed especially when you get deeper into the raiding zones. So show some common courtesy to your fellow raiders. Take care of yourself at the very least.
#1. We are not prepared. Illidan said it best, and while it seems pretty obvious you can be sure that folks are going to show up unprepared for the raid. They’ll be missing enchants, or gems for their gear. Their gear is a few smacks away from needing repair. These are things that are easy to address. There’s few things that will suck the wind out of a raid’s sails than having to wait for someone after the first wipe because they had to port out to repair their gear.
It’s never been easier to know the boss fight, and what you’re supposed be doing during the fight. If you’re the keener type, there are YouTube videos that will explain what to do. Some of them, like the two minute videos, give you the bare-bones of what you need to do. And for LFR, that is all you’re going to need.
If that’s not enough, just check your dungeon guide. Come on. They’re practically spelling it out in that thing.
If you’ve ever thought about giving raiding a try, as long as you give those four things some attention, LFR’s can be your gateway drug to something that can be pretty cool.
And by something I mean sweet, sweet loot.