What I Want Raiders to Know

This post was inspired by a post I saw on Chris Brogan’s blog. I figured it’d encompass most important raiding aspects nicely.

Do your raiders believe they know all that? I listened in on a pickup group the other day for an Onyxia 25 and it was utterly amazing how lost some people appeared to look. All sense of discipline was lost. It was as if they had just turned 80 and started raiding again. These are bonafide raiders. I suppose to be fair they were on alts of a different class or role.

Once again, let’s get back to the basics.

Raid leaders

  • Know the gimmicks of the fight
  • Be quick and effective when explaining (Don’t drone on)
  • Marking kill and CC targets
  • Delegating someone to handle healing and tanking assignments or doing it themselves
  • Knowing what the “weakest link” is during an encounter and how to resolve it


  • Every possible method they have to generate large amounts of threat
  • Opportunistic times for their own survival cooldowns
  • Ideal tanking position on bosses
  • Spotting loose mobs and grabbing a hold of them


  • Recognizing when their threat is too high and way to slow it up
  • The best times to use their damage cooldowns
  • Avoiding the dangerous crap on the ground
  • How to survive as long as possible in the event they are unable to escape
  • Maintaining CC on targets when necessary
  • How to buff mid combat on players who are brought back alive


  • Knowing how to move and heal
  • When to use defensive cooldowns
  • Managing their mana
  • Knowing when tank healers are unable to heal and going in without asking
  • Knowing where the tank is and keeping up with them

What other basics would you expect your raiders to know?

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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.


  1. Raiders:

    1. discipline, discipline and more discipline! This means listening to and following instructions, keeping silence in vent and raid chat during fights, running back and recovering from wipes instantly and not going afk.

    2. The art of wiping with a smile and being a good team player. Draining the raid from energy and spirit by generating a constant flow of negative energy is a cardinal sin. Showing a stable mood and helping to create a good raiding atmoshpere is just as basic and important as staying out of fire.
    .-= Larísa´s last blog ..Why I don’t want to hear another "WoW is too easy" statement =-.

  2. What goes with the discipline factor: the Raid Leader is always right, even when they are wrong. Help them have a better insight on details, but know that an argument in rchat about the best approach does not benefit the pace of the raid and the leadership that the RL exercises.

    As a tank, I usually have a quick private chat with the other tanks to know we are on the same wavelength and then follow up with our recommendation in rchat on who is tanking what. This saves the RL a headache and signals that he can trust his tanks.

    In short: enable the RL to lead.

    For tanks: know what the other tanks are doing at all times. Do not interfere with their tasks (by overagroing, for instance), unless something comes up that asks for intervention (like an emergency taunt). If you are an off tank with nothing better to do at that moment, try to stay just below the main tank’s threat level, so that in the unfortunate situation the MT dies (or gets stunned, blown away or grabbed up – Archavon), the boss focusses on you the OT.

    Off tanks should recognize the main tank in that the MT leads on trash and ideally you know right away which mobs to pick up when approaching a group of them.

  3. As far as healers go, you neglected raid healers! *Shakes fist*

    – Knowing how to plan for incoming massive damage. E.g. The arm swipe on Kologarn, Burning Breath on Koralon

  4. Oh, and let the Loot Master open the loot caches.

  5. Raiders need to know how to analyze loot quickly. Maybe this means knowing what the boss drops and if you want it. Maybe it means doing that analysis quickly. Either way, gawking at loot for 10 minutes after every boss is such a buzzkill.

  6. DPS needs to know what they need to attack and when — it’s amazing how many can fail to do this.
    Taking your Onyxia example, when we run it on 25, we tell ALL the dps to ignore the whelps until Ony flies across the room from the south side at the start of p2 (once she can’t be melee’d anymore)

    If a DPSer decides to AOE early to get those “l33t dps numb3rz”…. Let’s just say, they might see me miss their rolls on loot.

  7. How about just two words.

    Shut Up

    I don’t need to hear about your endless drivel about your dps/heals/tanking hp epicness. Nor your alternate strat that will just get us killed in a glorious and quicker way.

    And can you at least act like you’re on your way to the instance once we have everyone? I know summons take a few seconds but don’t assume that they are coming for you beckon and call.

  8. I would say that for healers, they should definitely know where the other healers stand in terms of mana so they can help cover each other’s deficiencies. I know we have our assignments, but being able to toss a NS-HW to the tank or maybe a couple of quick heals outside our assignment can really help extend a weaker healer’s resources to the point where we win the confrontation rather than wipe from OOM.
    .-= Professor Beej´s last blog ..LFM and LFG: The Difference =-.

  9. For everyone doing emblem runs of old content:

    – know what drops from who

    – know which items you want to bid / roll on

    – get your butt up to the next pull when a boss goes down – the master looter doesn’t need you in proximity to loot something to you

    For raid leaders:

    – don’t try to be the main tank or healer and the master looter at the same time. You only slow down the group. Assign a trustworthy DPS to handle loot at each boss while you take the other 9-24 people to the next trash pull
    .-= Karatheya´s last blog ..Battle.Net Nerdrage Part 1 =-.

  10. I’d definitely put emphasis on communication, especially if there are pugged members of the group. Even if it’s someone’s first time through a particular raid instance, if they are somewhat familiar with the fights, and the RL gives a quick mention to do this and this, and run away from this, it makes a big difference for getting past bosses. Oh, and if you’re in vent, make sure your mic is working. Had one guy explaining stuff in vent awhile back and he kept cutting out, so half the group was like, “Wait, what?” :p
    .-= LordHuggington´s last blog ..Hallow’s End =-.

  11. I’d say for all raiders knowing what the loot system you are using for the run and if you have any questions ask before hand.

    I’ve been on pugs where some people expected need/greed and ended up being mainspec/offspec ML rolls. Asking before hand and knowing how loot is being distributed makes for a smoother and more enjoyable (no drama) run.
    .-= Napaeae´s last blog ..When /played means /quit =-.

  12. DPS: Knowing how to quickly and effectively pick the right target when a target switch is called. I see this kill the numbers for otherwise good stand-n-spam DPS with good rotations. Time lost picking the target is time lost on damage.

  13. Great tips 🙂 I’d also suggest – for everyone – patience 🙂
    .-= We Fly Spitfires´s last blog ..Seasonal Events =-.

  14. Why doesn’t “How to buff mid combat on players who are brought back alive” apply to only DPSers and not Tanks and Healers as well? Anyway here’s a few:

    Raid Leaders:
    – know when to Bloodlust and explain this to your shaman
    – know who to Battle Rez and explain how you want them done
    – don’t lecture in the middle of a fight

    – call out when you use your cooldowns

    – call out when you’re dead (do not give an explanation)

    – do not call out when you’re dead unless you’re CCing/Interrupting something
    .-= Veneretio´s last blog ..DPS > TPS. Why nothing and something has changed. =-.

  15. If you are Master Looter stay with the group.
    Streamline your loot process.

    I don’t know how many raids I’ve been on where the ML has lagged so far behind everyone that purples dropped and we all had to pass and then wait even longer now to sort out the situation. Bleh! Finding the balance between speed and enough time is a fine line indeed though.

  16. This definitely stirs up the creative juices. I both raid with guilds and pug raid. Both need to follow Veneretio’s rules ^_^ And I can’t stress the “communicate” and “patience” rules enough, while I adamantly disagree with “the raid leader is always right”. What matters is the raid is successful, and to do that everyone needs to do their jobs well. If someone (or five) is not doing their job, you need to deal with that in whisper, in role channels, and by communicating with the RL and the raid, whatever it takes. Egos stop at the door.
    .-= @valkyrierisen´s last blog ..Practice for roleplay =-.

  17. I want raiders to know that during a fight they should talk about themselves in the third person.

    A “can I have an innervate?” creates confusion.
    A “can Orcstar have an innervate” has information.

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