The guys and girls of Saturday Knight Fever ventured out this week with our first night of raiding in Cataclysm. OK we did visit Blackwing Descent on December 14th and got our collective asses handed to us as we failed to kill more than a single trash mob and Magmaw, he did lol at us as we ran away with our tails firmly between our legs.
But more than that I have been shown a harsh lesson, one that I’ve been expecting if I’m honest but it still caught me of guard. My step down from serious progression raid guild to a fun and friendly guild that has some people who want to raid has left me with a group that values their time more than the purple pixels dropped by slain Internet dragons.
These guys and girls know how to play their characters and know the basic raid mechanics but what they are lacking is the in-depth number crunching type of information that I learned as a progression raider from reading the Elitist Jerks forum and sites like Tankspot and a whole host of blogs. Sadly even now Blizzard just expect people to know such things as hit cap values and haste plateau values. Sure the basic stats have been simplified butthere is still a lot to learn and take in and sadly people that got a taste of raiding late in Wrath with 30% buffs to HP, heal and damage outputs are in for a culture shock bigger than that seen in heroics.
Raiding has a few generic mechanics that everyone must know in order to give your group the best chance of success.Which I’ll cover here very briefly:
- Move from the fire: Why people fail to move is beyond me but we all get that tunnel vision at times. However, in heroics the fire no almost kills and in raiding it will one shot people. Also, the fire isn’t always fire but if a patch of colour lands at your feet moving is a good idea unless your healers yell that it is their lovely new ground affect AoE heal. Thanks Blizz way to confuse us all!
- Dragons cleave, breath fire and tail swipe: Standing infront is a bad idea unless your name is tank and standing behind is bad unless you like flying, even rogues must stand at the side.
- Adds need to die first: If a new enemy joins the fight its bad, kill it simple as.
- Interrupt Bad Spell from Hell: Most bosses have a special ability that will cause massive damage if not prevented, if your class can interrupt, do so don’t expect someone else to do it.
- Decurse/Dispel: Some spells are unavoidable but can be trivialised by removing the effect from the victim. Mostly this is a healers job but sometimes your group may not have a healer who can remove curses or dispel poisons so only a damage dealer can do it especially in 10 mans. Don’t slack get an addon like Decursive and even this task is made into a simple mouse click on a box when it changes colour.
- DBM/Bigwigs: Unless you have an elephants memory and Swiss watch timing perfect get a boss addon. It will let you know when special abilities and events are incoming. I prefer DBM but BigWigs is just as good
- Hug means hug: If your raid leader tells you to hug a spot or a person he isn’t doing it for shits and giggles or because you’re feeling down. Usually this will prevent mobs from charging off and killing you or to save the life of others (in game of course). And yes hunters we know you need range but if you’re dead your damage output is zero, at least you and your pet can punch the boss when hugged.
Once you know these your next step is to be ready for raiding. This doesn’t man you’ve had your tea, put the kids to bed and got a big cup of your favourite drink. It means that:
- your gear needs to be as close to the best gear you can get from the content you have run quest greens and old epics from ICC don’t cut it;
- your gear needs to be repaired to 100% durability;
- you have all of your gear enchanted and gemmed, yes every item green gems are acceptable in gear with an iLevel of 333 (perfect versions preferred) and enchants have never been cheaper on the AH;
- you are hit capped thats 17% for casters and 8% for melee*;
- you have gold to repair (unless your guild provides guild bank repairs);
- you have in-game food, drink, potions, elixirs and/or flasks to boost your stats;
- you know the fight strategy – at least watch a Youtube video of the fight(s) you are likely to be tackling;
- if you sign up for a raid be there, nothing upsets your team mates more than waiting around for you;
*dual wield melee actually need 27% hit but until the upper tiers of raiding content thats not a priority
Raiding is fun and should be fun for all. A quote from Phelps, sums it up nicely:
Raiding shouldn’t feel like a job. It should feel like a club or a league. If you are in a bowling league, they have a set time that you are expected to show up at, every week. If your kids are in a soccer league, they have a schedule for games, and you have to make it. It’s the same thing. It doesn’t work when the league is, “well, if there are enough people at the alley some time between six and ten, then we’ll roll a few games and see what happens.” It doesn’t work when three of the kids on the soccer team show up at 10am, and four more show up at 4pm, and five more want to play on Sunday, but two of them don’t want to play soccer, but just run laps that week.