I was having a discussion with a fellow officer last night after our raid. We had just completed ToC 25, Ony 25 and VoA 25, with relatively few speed bumps. My friend and I were talking about what makes me happy from a leadership perspective in a raid. I decided to type out the list I came up with as what I look for from my raiders.
Sign up! – One of the biggest problems any raid leader or anyone who organizes a raid is knowing peoples availability. My guild is very raid oriented and we do have raid sign-up sheets as well as a section for people to post when they are out of town ahead of time so we know who is available and when. We also ask our raiders if they can’t show to sign up on the list as not available. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to track down people to make a raid happen. There has been many a time my guild leader has sent me a text asking where certain people are. The end result is both of us (more him than me due to my work schedule) scrambling to find people to fill gaps so that everyone else who signed up isn’t left in the cold without a raid.
Bring Consumables! – My guild supplies flasks, food and elixirs to raiders. We have officers and raiders that are potion and elixir specced so even if you don’t have access to the raider tab of the guild bank, you can get your consumables made. Often times us crafty types won’t even need all the mats, usually I just need the Frost Lotus and I can whip up a ton of flasks. We also have raiders who bring a ton of fish feasts so there’s always food buffs available as well. There’s very few things as frustrating durring a raid as waiting for people to buff up with flask and food or to hear someone didn’t bring any. If you need flasks, ask before the raid!
Have Your Gear Ready! – Before showing up to a raid make sure you’re gear is properly enchanted and gemmed. If you have that shiny new piece of gear you want to wear to the raid that is fine and dandy, but make sure it’s ready to use! It’s incredibly frustrating to see a raider show up with empty sockets or no enchants. I know in my guild, we supply Abyss Crystal’s for guildies to use on enchants, and enchanters will supply the rest of the mats 9/10 times. JC’s are always available and we stagger patterns for the most part so there is always someone who can cut a gem that you will need.
Make sure your gear is repaired before starting the raid. One boss in it’s not fun to hear some one’s gear is in the red. Also make sure you’re using the right gear. Some people will fish or cook before the raid and sometimes forget to take off their fishing pole before heading off to the run (*cough*fishingpoleZabos*cough*) and then do part of the instance in the wrong gear.
Know The Fights! – Most raid leaders will have the information readily available and posted for you to view well before the raid begins. I make it a point to sticky all the boss strategies and videos at the top of the thread aptly named “Raider Forums”. With the Internet around and sites like bosskillers, tankspot and our own little space here at WoM there is a plethora of information available on most if not all fights in the game. At least have a general idea of what is going to happen, it makes our job a little easier when we’re explaining what we need you to do and it helps keep the pace of the raid up.
Don’t Ninja AFK! – Having players afk or ninja off of ventrillo without saying a peep to anyone is very annoying. Calling out for someone to do something over vent and get no response is not fun, nor is waiting for someone to get back from the afk before a pull. While I used ventrillo as an example, this holds true to raid chat, party chat. Basically just pay attention to communications. If you need an afk break just send a tell to the raid leader and say “afk 2 min” just let us know!
Mind Your Attitude! – This is a very social game. In a group or raid you are interacting with 4, 9 or 24 other people all with the goal of having fun in mind. We all understand that real life happens and things outside of your control will affect your mood, but when you’re in such a dour mood that you’re bringing everyone around you down or you’re spending more time kvetching rather than raiding, it might be time to take a break for the night. Getting snippy, pitching fits or the like is non conducive and counterproductive to a raid. You need to be able to check the baggage at the door and unwind and have fun for a little while with a group of people.
To quote Matt “Either leave it at the door or just leave”.
Don’t Stand in the Fire!!! – Since the dawn of raiding, players have been drawn to standing in the fire. It’s warm cozy effect lulls them into a sense of security and happiness. As a raid leader there is nothing more frustrating than watching someone stand in the fire / void zone / thunderstorm / aoe damage and just die instead of moving. It is the bane of all raid leaders! Yes sometimes things happen like lag or graphics bugs. But as I told one raider last night, if you don’t see a spell effect and your health is going down maybe move a couple feet to the left or right and see if it stops! Help us help you stay alive! Remember you can’t DPS if you’re dead!
Leading a raid is often times thankless and almost always a very frustrating job. We see to the happiness and well being of a multitude of people and try to make sure the raids happen in such a way that people are still having fun rather than feeling more worn down at the end of the night. We appreciate any help we can get in making things go smoothly. When your raiders come prepared and happy it makes things so much easier not only on the leaders, but the raid as a whole. My raiders do the things above and I can honestly say I love raiding with my guild because of it. It lets us goof off and have a good time enjoying the game together and less time worrying about making sure everyone is ready. Yes hiccups happen but for the most part they are all on the ball, and that makes me very happy.
What about you? What do you do to help make raids and groups easier?
A total non sequitur here but like matt I too have my own projects I work on when I’m not writing for WoM. If I could I’d like to take a second to plug my latest project (Thanks matt for the go ahead to plug =D).
Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know this but for those who don’t I’ve recently started co-hosting a podcast about gaming with two other “gentlemen”. Rodger / @wowdawgs from www.wowdawgs.com and Enrique / @spoonwolf from www.spooncraft.com. Our podcast is For The Lore and is available free for download from iTunes. Direct links can be found at Forthelore.com. Join us for all things surrounding story driven gaming. We stream live on mondays through ustream with pre show starting at 6:45pm est. We cover all games with a story there as well as our own works of fiction writing and game design. We do cover WoW but not exclusively!
That’s all I have for today. Until next time, Happy Healing!
Image from druidheal.com