Monday, September 26, 2016

World of Warcraft - How To Raid: An Introductory Primer for People Who Want To Raid by supertoned

Everyone wants to raid. Everyone knows it's hard. When you're new to the game, it can be a little overwhelming knowing just what to do and how to prepare for it. Many new raiders have a real desire to do a good job and be an asset to the team, but without any prior knowledge of just what goes into raiding, things can quickly degenerate into a frustrating and painful experience for everyone involved.
You don't have to start raiding as a clueless newbie! You can be a great raider! Anyone can be a great raider! If you're willing to put in the effort, you can really excel and be an asset to any raid team.
I don't consider myself to be an even remotely elite WoW player. Over the course of my game career, I have still managed to take down a satisfying number of bosses over many expansions. If I can raid effectively, so can you. To help people who are new to the raiding scene, I have put this short guide together. I hope it helps you, and good luck!

How To Raid

  • Want to raid enough to put effort into it.
  • Get the Gear (you want to be at least 840)
  • Get the addons
  • Get a headset and get into VOIP
  • Set up your keybinds
  • Learn your class
  • Enchant and gem your gear
  • Get your flasks and foods
  • Know the fights
  • Show up on time
  • Pay attention
  • Try to do a good job
That's it. If you have the fortitude to check off each of these items, you will be a successful raider, and that's just all there is to it. If you feel that some of these items are not important, or can be skipped or glossed over, you are never going to be as effective as someone who has this entire toolkit.
Raiding in a nutshell is all about pushing yourself as close to your personal best as possible, and doing it in a group environment where you rely on everyone else to do the same. It's a great feeling when you know your teammates are trying as hard as you are, and you are all in it together. Raiding really is a lot of work, but it's a great community experience and many of us feel it is worth the effort.
I don't assume every player to know just what goes in to each of these steps, so let's go over them one by one:

  • Want to raid enough to put effort into it.
This is the biggest single element you need to raid. As Koonts says 'You just have to want it'. Almost any serious raid group will take on anyone who shows the initiative of wanting to get better. It's the most important element in a raider, and no one can successfully raid without it.
  • Get the Gear
Here is a crash course in how to get gear in Legion.
  • Hit 110.
  • Start leveing your nightfallen rep right away. Take every opportunity to get nightfallen rep.
  • Do every PvP world quest. The higher your PvP rank, the higher ilevel gear you can get from these quests.
  • Keep your eye on the world quests daily. As your ilevel increases, so do the world quest rewards.
  • Do as much of your class hall questline as you can.
  • Nightfallen rep and class hall progression open up your class gear. Class gear can be upgraded to 840 using order resources.
  • Stalk the Auction House. Quite frequently people list very good good at bargain basement prices, either through error or sloth. Take advantage!
  • If you have proven committed to a raid group, get your team to pull you through heroics or mythics. This is probably the fastest way to gear.
  • As a last resort, you can run normals and hope for an upgrade
  • Check out gearing guides online
  • Optimally, you want to be at least 840 to start raiding. You can make it work with less if you are really good and on a hot FotM class, but honestly, 840 is easy, there is no excuse not to hit it. If you can't climb this high, you probably don't have the time or energy to raid anyways.
That's it, you can gear up to raid level in one week if you put a lot of time in, two weeks if not quite so much.
  • Get a headset and get into VOIP
(VOIP stands for 'voice over internet protocol', and means vent, mumble, discord, or whatever you use to talk voice to voice with other players)
If you want to raid, you absolutely must be able to communicate. While the raid leader and lieutenants will be doing most of the talking, eventually your role will require you to communicate something to the raid, and you have to be ready for this. If you can't talk, you make it that much harder for your team to raid. Get a headset with a mic, download whatever VOIP program your group uses, and get into the chat.
  • Set up your keybinds
"But that's such a hassle, I do just fine without keybinds." - No. No you don't. "No really, I've been clicking since Wrath, and I have cleared all these bosses!" - Even if this is true, and you are an amazing clicker, you are still no where near as good as you would be if you soldiered up and made some keybinds.
If you are manually clicking your buttons with your mouse, no matter how good you are, you are wasting every moment your mouse spends moving from one button to the next. Your mobility and raid attention will also suffer, as your physical and mental resources are being focused on correctly manually clicking the buttons.
If you really want to be a good raid team member, you have to realize: You are never going to be nearly as good as you can be if you are still clicking buttons manually. Keybinding is a big initial investment in time and concentration, but I promise you: Once you get an effective keybind system up and running, you will be absolutely amazed at your results.
There are many methods of keybinding. I recommend this excellent guide to get started, but if you want a really down and dirty crash course, here is what I do:
Really down and dirty keybind crash course
  • Get a mouse that has at least two thumb buttons that are programmable.
  • Bind one to shift, and one to CTRL
  • Get in game, press escape, and select 'keybindings'
  • Follow this handy image
  • Okay, so don't use my exact keys. I recommend q, e, z, x, and c as initial keybind start points.
  • I should also mention I have rebound A and D to left and right strafe rather than turn. Who keyboard turns?
If you can keybind just your main rotation, you will instantly become a god compared to whatever mythic creature you once were before keybinding. Eventually, you will find yourself keybinding EVERYTHING, and never click another virtual button with your mouse pointer again.
  • Learn your class
Learning your class is a process that never seems totally finished. There is almost always another level of polishing you can do. Getting started is pretty straightforward though, do what almost everyone who raids does:
  • Type in to google 'your class' 'your spec' + guide
  • Most of us use
  • Read the guide.
  • Practice what you have read on a target dummy.
If you at least know your basic rotation, and have all these keys keybound, and know your stat priority, you are already closing in on an acceptable level of performance. The next level is looking at captured raid data and going over it with someone better than you at the class. There are a lot of small things you can tweak, and these pay off in big dividends in terms of overall effectiveness.
Read your guide, know your role. Drop the bosses.
  • Enchant and gem your gear
Enchantments and gems upgrade your gear, and are actually very VERY important to your overall raid performance. Fully gemmed and enchanted, you are profoundly more powerful than someone with 'naked' armor.
For your very first raid, still in 840 gear, you don't need to have cutting edge super expensive legion enchnantments or gems, but you should at least have WoD stuff applied. You can move to the more expensive stuff once more serious current end-level gear comes in, but never raid 'naked'. You're cheating yourself and your team out of a sizeable and easy to obtain performance boost.
All you have to do is go to your class guide, and look at the gems and enchants section. Make sure any gem slots you have open are filled, and make sure you have enchantments wherever it says to have enchantments. Again, these do not at first have to be the most expensive current tier upgrades. For your entry level gear, it is fine to use last expansions best stuff.
  • Get your flasks and foods
Similarly, know which flasks you need and which food is best for your class and role. This information will all be in your class guide, which presumably you are already familiar with. These items make a really big difference, and are almost like a full set of enchants all over again. Often there will be feasts going around the raid, but never rely on this. Always show up with your own supply of food and flasks.
Until you get to heroics or mythics, WoD food and flasks are fine, but don't come empty handed. Be prepared to buff yourself at least some.
Remember, raiding is all about being prepared and putting in the effort. If you come with your own stacks, you'll never be unprepared to perform at peak effectiveness, and you'll never be a burden on your team.
  • Know the fights
Obviously, the only real way to learn a fight is through doing it. However, the more prepared you are before the fight begins, the fewer pulls your team will need to get the job done. At a minimum, have read the dungeon journal for each boss you plan on fighting.
Optimally, you also want to watch a video by a successful raid team, and brush up on a guide from the internet.
Fatboss are popular for the videos, and Icyveins is a good place to start for guides.
  • Show up on time
Raiding is a team sport, and when you waste time, you are wasting at least nine other people's time. You've gone through all this effort to get ready, and so has everyone else. The leaders even more so. Everyone knows when they are expected to show up, and yet, almost every raid there is some yahoo that just needs five more minutes, which always stretch into 15 or 30. Please don't be this yahoo. If you commit to raiding, commit to showing up on time and being ready to go.
  • Pay attention
Once you have done all the prep work needed to get ready for the raid, this is one of the most important things you can possibly do to help your team (and therefore yourself) be a success.
  • Pay attention when the raid leader is explaining the fight. Don't space out and try to catch up later, please offer them the same level of effort they are extending to you.
  • Pay attention each fight to the mechanics. Observe the environment. Note small important details. Each time you do a pull, you are better prepared for the next one, but only if you pay attention!
  • Try to do a good job
If you have a good attitude and put yourself in the mindset of 'get this done', you're already 90% of the way there. If you have an earnest desire to be an asset to your team, you already have the most important element of being a good raider. This is probably the most important element of all raiding, as without it, well... It's not pretty.

If you can tick off every item on my list, I promise you, no matter who you are you can be a success at raiding. If a drunken ne'er-do-well like me can make it happen, so can you.
Good luck, and happy raiding!
I wrote this guide for the members of the <reddit> guild on Sargeras, but I feel it turned out well enough to share with the whole community. Shameless plug: <reddit> is the best guild in the universe, and if you love WoW and love reddit, you will fit right in. Check us out at /r/redditguild

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