Getting Rid of the Ready Check

The ready check is an easily understood command which has one question for players to answer.

Are you ready?

Traditionally, raid leaders use ready checks to ensure everyone has their buffs, cauldrons and consumables. It’s a last minute reminder for everyone to see if anyone has any questions before going into the pull. Anyone steal a ninja AFK to wash their hands or sneak a drink? The alarm would sound informing players to rush back to their desks or switch programs back into the game.

What if your guild stopped using it? What would change? How would the players and the atmosphere change?

In an upcoming interview with Mel, one of the powers behind the guild of <Edge> and a blogger at Sacred Duty, does not utilize ready checks at all. Here’s a brief excerpt where he explains his reasoning.

Rumor has it that your raid group does not utilize ready checks. If it’s true, how come?
Ready checks are an opt-in system, and opt-in systems deflect responsibility.  Instead, we make the choice to assume that everyone is at keyboard and ready to play when we’re raiding – when they’re expected to be.  We’ll often be discussing strategy during runbacks, so it’s a bad time to just take off the headset and run AFK anyway.  If someone has to take an emergency break, the onus is on them to inform the raid, and then we wait.  But I don’t see a reason to waste 20 seconds on every pull just to ask if everyone is actually at their keyboard, when I could just be informed that someone isn’t there for the one pull that it’s an issue.

This isn’t a completely foreign concept to me since my guild utilizes a sign out system for attendance. We’re not the only ones as other progression oriented guilds do the same thing. Making the assumption that you are ready instead of asking if you’re ready is presents an interesting shift in dynamics. It places a bigger emphasis on players to really speak up if they’re not sure about something or if they need to step out momentarily. In the long run, if you multiply the time spent on ready checks before every pull on a per week and per month basis, the time really does add up. It’s definitely one way of shaving off precious seconds on a raid night.

I’m considering implementing this in Conquest. I might just try it out for a week and see how we respond collectively as a group. It might end up being a positive change for us.

On a side note, a warm welcome to Morynne who has joined the guild!

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. The only times I use the “Ready-Check” are at the start of the night and after an odd break. Normally we have a designated spot for each encounter where folks stand to indicate that they are ready to pull. The idea is that once you are “moved up” you are locked in.

    Akin to what you said, I use the “move up when ready” comment to place responsibility on the raiders themselves. It also makes it very clear who we are waiting on each time and I know who to light a fire under. There are generally fewer questions if someone gets swapped out to keep the night flowing faster.

    We normally raid 9 hours a week so every minute counts and wasting time on run backs and frequent AFKs doesn’t sit well with the group.

  2. We implemented a pull timer which worked wonders but have fallen back into ready checks. I really need to get us back to timers. After a full wipe I set a timer (2-3 minutes) at the end of which we pull. This let’s people know how pong they have to get back and buff. It’s reasonable and usually doesn’t allow for too much extra time once it’s adjusted properly.

    The add-on Phoenix boss mods let’s you send a timer to most boss addons (dbm kle, dxE, bigwigs) which makes implementing this easy.

  3. When one routinely hears the jokes such as “wait was that a ready check for a pull? Or the ready check to see if I was ready for a ready check?” then you have your answer.

    Ready checks are a parody of themselves. They are not truly needed to raid. They are either used to baby sit those that should not need babysitting, or they are a tool for those “in charge” to remind all that they are “in charge”.

    • I was thinking about this just the other night, perhaps it is time to try going without the ready check for the next couple weeks and see how it goes.

      We used to have a player or two who would still be afk after the break timer had expired, so we created the rule that every player has to be zoned out of the instance when the break starts. The offending player even named the new rule after himself.

      Late players miss the next boss… 🙂

  4. Thanks Matt!

    I’m all for eliminating ready-checks, to be honest. If your plan is to sit down and raid for 3-4 hours, sit down and raid for 3-4 hours. That being said though, if no ready checks, it might be worth actually scheduling the 5-10 minute breaks in the middle of the raid, that way people know exactly when it’s going to be okay to get up and grab a drink, snack, bathroom, dance the funky chicken… whatever.

  5. Shathus says:

    We still use ready checks, I can see it being a bigger hassle in 25 vs 10 man as well. However, what irks me the most is when I send one out someone hits yes, and then 2 seconds later says “hold on a sec”. If you’re not ready, DON’T CLICK ‘READY’!

    • Exactly! This is the only real problem I have with ready checks.

      The approach described here is interesting and I’m super tempted to try it out. I’m with Quori, though, in that I can think of a few people in my guild that use the ready check as a way of asserting their control. Hmm…

  6. One of my guilds you had to do /afk if you left your keyboard so RL could see if everyone was there.

  7. I use ready checks to actually save time.

    We’ve got some folks (sometimes, even including our GM which to be fair has young children at home) who just take awhile to get their stuff together each pull and ready checks really help them focus. They know that after that ready check goes, if everyone clicks ready the pull is happening in the next 5 seconds. Otherwise, we sit around yammering way too long, sometimes not even about the boss. Ready checks really help to focus the raid on the task at hand. If someone doesn’t click ready I will not allow the pull until I get a confirmation from that player so people know better than to frivolously click no.

    Sometimes if I really want to speed things up I’ll ready check as soon as everyone’s back – gives people about a minute to do everything they need to which really isn’t that much time – got to eat food, check flask and buffs and GO!

  8. People who are saying they use “step up” systems and such have just put a different name on the same procedure.

    I’d rather waste the time to do a ready check than the time it takes to run back from a wipe just because someone has been afk, or just not paying full attention. It only takes one incidence to wipe out the benefit gained from removing ready checks on a principle.

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