Optimize Your Raiding Time

First off, some benchmarks are in order after reading Kirk’s ideal stat requirements for holy priests, I must respectfully disagree. Mind you, my guild is 3/6 SSC with Mag and VR on farm. Shade of Aran has a Poly/Pyro combination that will blast players for about 7k damage. While he is correct that there is a certain threshold in terms of HP that a player should have, I don’t believe having it as a base stat is necessary as much of the healing gear in the game does not carry much emphasis on stamina. Here’s a screenshot of my stats before and after buffs (and yes, that is 13.3k mana):

Base Stats Base Stats

Next, I wanted to build off of Kirk’s guide on forming a raiding group, I wanted to follow up with making the most out of your raid time. Face it. We waste a lot of time in raids farting around and just slacking off in general when we could be pulling mobs and downing bosses. My Guild has a time window of three hours from first pull before we call it a night. Every precious second of raiding counts. Unless you’re a super hardcore Guild who raids every day, chances are you don’t have a lot of time on encounters. It seems the primary respawn timer is two hours. That’s not a whole lot of time to work with.

The next time you attempt a raid boss, try this experiment. Start timing your raid and see how fast they can ready up before the next pull. This means from the time you wipe, to the time your entire raid team is alive with full health, full mana, and full buffs in front of the boss. Unless your Guild has the discipline of the Queen’s Guards, you’ll be amazed at the time it takes. I guarantee it.

Thankfully, there’s many different ways for you to trim the fat and get as many attempts in as physically possible.

Release and Run Back

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out when your raid wipes. But if you’re new to raiding, here’s a few tell tale signs:

  • Your Main Tank dies
  • Over 50% of your healers are down
  • Over 20% of your raid is down within the first minute of the pull
  • A class with a specific role goes down (ie, mage tanking mage on the High King Maulgar encounter)

Now don’t get me wrong. It is perfectly possible to recover from sloppy mistakes in raid. Obviously if the boss is down to 5% or less, keep plowing away. But back to my original point, let’s try not to prolong the fight. Don’t run around trying to escape him. Run to him, die, release, and run back. But there is an exception to this…

Use Protection

And I’m not referring to a Trojan. I mean use wipe protection. It will save you a lot of time. Warlocks have soul stones. Paladins can Divine Intervention. Shamans have the ability to self resurrect themselves. If you can time it properly, have a Druid battle res a priest or someone and make sure he doesn’t accept it until after the encounter resets. Meanwhile, raid members should move to a safe location away from the boss if the raid leader calls a wipe that is within range of a person who can resurrect. The only players who should not be withdrawing would be the main tank who ought to try and stay alive as long as possible to allow the rest of the melee to get some distance. Once you get that done…

Res Ressers First

I should not have to say it. But I still see it happen so it must bear repeating. A lot of beginning players aren’t aware of this, but always resurrect other players who can res first. Instead of ressing a mage or a warlock, pick up a paladin or a shaman. Just imagine it as a snowballing effect. Try using a res notifier. I believe CT Raid has one built in as does X Perl.
Ressing multiple targets

Now you can res to other players together instead of one other. Then the four of you can res another four and so on and so forth. Ideally, it would just be tanks and other melee running back in through the front door. Typically, they’ll have a lot of ground to cover between the entrance and where your encounter is. Which leads to…

Summon the Runners

Remember back before we had summoning stones? We relied on Warlocks to summon the whole raid into the door steps of MC or BWL. Sometimes it seems as if people forget they have this ability. If there is a Warlock alive, have him start summoning players the moment they zone in. There are instances the trek back to the boss is agonizingly long. You’ll shave precious seconds or even minutes which could be used towards engaging the boss.

Buffing

There’s a neat utility called XRS (X Raid Status, I believe) which comes with X Perl Unit Frames.What it does is scans every player and lists what buffs are missing for them, so players don’t have to keep asking for buffs repeatedly. The raid leader presses the button, and it spits out the list.

XRS

The onus is then on everyone else to buff the rest of the raid. The only buff that you absolutely need on trash is Power Word: Fortitude. Otherwise, you can just whisper a player to toss a 30 minute one instead of repeatedly asking for it in raid. This is one of my pet peeves in raiding is people asking for buffs in the middle of trash. Whatever it is, it can wait. It’s just trash. You shouldn’t even need Salv right away if your tanks and healers are able. Hopefully, you’ll be given a 5 minute one in between trash pulls as the raid is steaming along. The last thing players need is a break in momentum. If you’re a buffer and you notice someone is missing a buff, just take the time and give them a 30 minute even if you’re not the person assigned to buff that group. Just do it, and it saves time, frustration, and heartache.

Preparation

Illidan has taunted us by continually saying that we are not prepared. Shut him up by proving him wrong. Mages should start conjuring water and food before everyone even gets to the instance. Bandages should be made before the raid. Most importantly, repair, repair, repair. I cannot count the number of times I’ve had the urge to strangle guildmates for failing to repair. You know there is a raid. There should be no excuse for you not to be repaired 100% on first pull.

AFK’ers

Alterac Valley isn’t the only instance to suffer this problem. Raids will have problems of players going AFK. Even I am guilty of this. But I’ve learned and gotten better. I try to time my AFK’s on trash pulls knowing that my presence is not essential. Bad times to go AFK are the pulls just before the boss, pulling the boss, or during the boss encounter. Do things that you would normally do before going on a flight to London. Make sure you go to the bathroom, and make sure you grab a bite to eat. I’ll admit I don’t have the luxury of eating at my computer on some nights. My family’s quite traditional and is required to eat at the dinner table sometimes during raids. I go there, I wolf it down, I come back during trash pulls not during Tidewalker or Lurker.

Hopefully, these tips will help streamline your raid some more so you can get in an additional 2 or 3 shots at the boss.

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.

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