SYTYCB: The Humble Checklist

SYTYCB: The Humble Checklist


This is Veleda’s SYTYCB week 2 entry.

This post is about lists. Yes, don’t worry, Matt, there’ll be an actual list in here, too. But first, I want to sell you on the virtues of a particular type of list — the checklist.

You’ve got a flying mount, right?

In flight training, pilots have the use of checklists drilled into us from the beginning. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student pilot who has yet to solo, or an airline pilot with thousands of hours logged. Almost any repetitive series of tasks is done with a checklist. You might think that after doing the same sequence every time we fly, we’d be familiar enough with the routine that we wouldn’t need the list to remind us. But it’s that very familiarity that is in some ways the problem!

Huh? What? Where was I?

Flying, like WoW, can have many things interrupting you as you try to do something. Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone else, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Air Traffic Control on the radio, or the whisper you just got from a friend in game that you need to respond to. You’ve paused your tasks, and when you pick them back up, where were you? You have many memories of doing these tasks previously. But did you just do it?! Have you marked it as complete on the checklist? If so, you’ve done it, and if not, you haven’t.

But… But…

Okay, you say, but WoW is just a game. Why would we need checklists there? Because there are many times we, too, have to go through a number of repetitive tasks, and we sometimes do them when we’re bored or tired or dealing with several other things at the same time. The most useful place in WoW that I’ve found checklists is in post raid restocking.

Are you the weakest link?

I suspect most people have been in a raid when someone has indicated they’re out of some consumable they need to continue to contribute effectively to the raid. Perhaps they want to borrow mana potions from others in the raid. Or, they might need a portal to a city and a summons back, so they can buy some reagents, or ammunition. This interrupts the raid and makes everyone else wait for the person that isn’t prepared, at best. At worst, they might not have noticed the lack until the pull, and have just wiped the raid because they didn’t have something that they needed.

I sleep now?

If, however, you have a checklist of everything you consume during a raid, you can use that to restock right after a raid, so that you’re always ready to go. You might be tempted to wait until just before you’re next scheduled to raid to take care of this, but I’d caution against that. Some consumables might not be available at all times, so it’s better watch for them early. And there are the opportunities that arise unexpectedly. Do your restocking right after a raid, and your character is ready for anything the next time you log in.

Making the list

So, here’s a generic restocking checklist, that you can use to build a list customized to each of your characters.

  • Repair your gear

    It’d be awkward to charge into battle in the future only to have your armour fail you because a strap that was on it’s last legs broke.

  • Replace ammo

    Particularly for hunters, who should always completely refill the largest quiver or ammo pouch they can carry. Other classes that use a ranged weapon to pull, check your ammo level to make sure that will still be useful.

  • Replace reagents

    Many classes need reagents for the abilities they bring to a raid. My shaman only has to deal with Ankhs, but other classes will want various other things for the abilities they’re counted on for while raiding. Figure out how many you might need on a bad night, and set that as the minimum.

  • Buff food

    No matter what you do, there’s probably a food that gives you a buff that helps you do it better. For my hunter, that’s warpburgers or grilled mudfish. For my shaman, it’s golden fishsticks. If you’re a hunter, don’t forget to add Kibler’s Bits, either, to buff your pet.

  • Replenishment food and drink

    Food for health, and drinks for mana, between fights. Many raids will have a mage make a table that provides conjured mana biscuits, but you shouldn’t depend on those. If you find yourself in a raid without mages, have enough to keep you going. Naruu rations are the best way to go, once you have SSO rep for them. Again, hunters also need pet food, to keep their pet happy through the raid.

  • Healing potions

    Sometimes, the healers are busy working on others. If you can use a potion to stave off death until the healers get around to you, that’ll keep you in the fight longer.

  • Bandages

    The biggest bandages you can use, which should be the biggest ones in the game. Same rationale as healing potions, but with a different cooldown timer, so they can be used if you recently used a potion.

  • Mana potions

    If doing your job requires that you have mana, you probably are going to be carrying some of these to help you out when your mana gets low before the end of the fight is in sight.

  • Elixirs and/or Flasks

    Which of these you prefer will depend on your specific needs. Sometimes, it makes sense to use one or two elixirs, and other times, the right flask. Elixirs are generally much cheaper, but they don’t persist through party wipes, so if you’re working new content, they might end up being more expensive than flasks. Make sure you have enough to get through a raid.

  • Weapon buffs

    This can be something that buffs the weapon, such as sharpening stones or poisons, or it can be another way to give you an unrelated buff, such as with superior mana oil.

  • Scrolls

    These can be pricey, but unlike an elixir, you can use a scroll to boost a stat while using a flask. Figure out if any scrolls are worthwhile to you, and make sure you have them stocked.

Checking it twice


Once you’ve got the list made, find a handy way to go through it after each raid. Ideally, you should have a way of keeping track of where you are on the list. You can print it out, and either check or cross off completed items, or follow while sliding a ruler down the list. You can use a to-do program on your computer to build and check off the lists as you go. I’ve recently taken to using one of the free to-do programs available for the iPhone to go through my restocking lists.

Are we there, yet?

Well, now that you’ve got raid restocking checklists for your characters, you can checklist other things. You might have a ready checklist for any given raid. It’s embarrassing to be on Nightbane’s terrace only to realize that you all left your summoning urns in the bank. Once you’ve harnessed the power of the humble checklist, such moments can be a thing of the past.

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!
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.


  1. Great post! I’m right there with you, but I actually make checklists for everything and I put little boxes next to them so I can have the satisfaction of checking them off 😛

  2. Interesting entry!

    Well written, well laid out (I liked the headings 🙂 ). Very good post!

    Though I suppose if you are a stickler – it wasn’t a list. It was a blog about how to make a list… 😉

    Tufvas last blog post..4 cheers for Arthas!

  3. @Jen: Thanks. Yes, the satisfaction of checking the box is sometimes bigger than that of doing the task it represents. Just another way to motivate myself. 🙂

    @Tufva: Thanks. The headings were something I added fairly late in the process to help break up the wall-of-text effect, and add a bit more humour. And yes, it’s a blog post about how to make a list, as I say right at the top. But it does have a list in it, too, so I claim the side of the angels. 🙂

  4. Other things on my check list:

    Double check that I am signed up for the raid.

    Watched Utube video for any new boss

    Read up on boss strategy for any new boss

    Sepcial gear for the bosses that we are raiding (more dps gear for Leo, Frost Resist gear for Hydross, etc.)

    Addons up to date – Check Omen, DBM, Big Wigs for new versions on a weekly basis. Voidalarm for Voidreaver.

    Special potions (for tanking I use a lot of Iron
    Shield potions and Mighty Rage potions – I can probably throw nightmare seeds into this category)

    Positive attitude – New boss progression or Kara for the 100th time, get psyched and ready to have fun

    Tankettes last blog post..ZA – I love it – I hate it

  5. Really well done.

    I wanted to do a post similar to this… things I expect out of a raid healer… but this did it really well. I plan to post the link to our guild forums and use it as a guide.

    Again, really well done.

  6. Excellent post! Interestingly, for 20 years I worked with nuclear weapon systems (Minuteman, Ground Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM)), and of course we had detailed checklists for everything. I need to get back in that habit!!

    Kestrels last blog post..WoW Blogs: Not Just a Niche Anymore

  7. This list could be a good reference for new raiders. We have a shorthand version of this on all of our raid signups post.

    For many guilds, though, the list would include: “Read our forum topic on the bosses and copy any necessary macros.” We’re big on macros, and months after we have Teron on farm, we’re still having someone fetch them off the website every week right before we pull him.

    For me, though, everything on this list is second nature, and I keep enough consumables to help out people who forget. No wonder I raid with about one extra bag space (for looting spines, ya know, or I’d put more potions in that slot).

  8. Great job, I found this post really helpful, and I will start making checklists for consumables for my raid. Since I have to bring both Tanking and Healing consumables the list can be quite large.

    honorshammers last blog post..Labor Day Weekend 2008

  9. @Tankette: Most of those are the sorts of things I pictured on the “ready checklist for any given raid” that I mentioned in my closing paragraph. i.e. They’re great to have on a list, but not necessarily the raid supplies restocking list.

    @Sydera: Yeah, prep for any given raid, particularly if you haven’t had that character there before, should have a different checklist that includes exactly the sorts of things you mention.

Speak Your Mind