Every now and then I am reminded to count my blessings in terms of the calibre of people I raid with. This weekend was one of those opportunities.
We had our weekly 25 man raid and took down all bosses in Tempest Keep except Kael. Due to spending longer than we would like taking down Alar we skipped out on attempts on Kael and decided to move the raid to Hellfire and take down Mags instead. It's interesting how sometimes whether it be 'one of those nights' or just a slightly different group, things that were easy or hard previously change up. In our previous visit to TK we had downed Alar on the 2nd attempt on our second visit to TK itself. This week we just couldn't seem to get it together, I'm not sure why, we only got Alar down after about 6 failed attempts. Mags though was a breezy one-shot which had us exclaiming over Vent that something surely was wrong. It was a nice morale booster for the raid to down Mags so easily, which was the reason we headed there instead of spending time on Kael - that and with an hour left of the raid we wouldn't have got much learning in.
Raiding is truly all about team management comparable to a sports team or team of people within your company. Keeping morale up, playing to strengths and ensuring a fun environment are things that any leadership group should be concerned with regardless of the context.
I've read other peoples comments on it and know that I speak for myself that when you spend a lot of time with a group of people working to achieve shared but challenging goals you can start to feel a bit jaded, personalities start to grate on you and having to repeat the same things over and over wears thin. My personal bug bear is the amount of talking that happens over Vent and the tendency of some people to, in my opinion at least, talk just for the sake of hearing their own voice. I believe that voice chat is a really integral part of successful raiding but it is also one of the more tiring aspects and after a few solid hours raiding (our scheduled raid bracket is 5 hours) I often find myself taking my headset off so that I don't have to listen to people talk.
So I'm basically having a bit of a moan about our regular raid group, but all said and done they are a fantastic group of mature and skilled players. I was reminded of this and to count my blessings the day following our raid when we for some strange reason decided to put together a pick up group for Gruuls. It's kind of amusing that an instance that not all that long ago was really challenging is now one that we feel confident throwing together a pug for.
As anyone knows a pick up group is a minefield of potential asshats and noobery. Sometimes combined in one heady mix. While we didn't get any specific asshats we did get a strong dosing of huntard courtesy of the LFG tool. I was the lucky person who got to coordinate the 5 hunters for MD assignments. While I'm naming no names I'd like to present my top tips for what not to do when you are a level 70 hunter looking to get into end game raiding.
- Ignore instructions
Setting up MD assignments for the High king Maulgar can be kind of challenging if there is a chance that the tank assignments may change - which is more than possible with a pick up group. Therefore having to tell a hunter 3 separate times what their assignment is just adds to the annoyance. We have a specific raid chat channel for all the hunters. They should be in it and they should be paying attention. Ask once, I'll forgive it, chat can move fast. Ask twice I'll start to think there are pebbles rolling around in your head instead of a brain. Ask three times and I'll be sure of it.
- Bring your level 65 pet to the raid.
This is so obviously a no-no. You want to bring your best A game to a raid, especially if you are a BM hunter when your pet is doing around 1/3 of your damage. A level 65 pet no matter how cute and potentially awesome (once he/she levels up) is going to do diddly-squat in a 70+ instance.
- Forget to stock up on arrows/pet food
Come on people! Seriously! This is like the first dot point in the 'Raiding Prep 101 for Hunters' hand book. Even before flasks, pots, stat food and bandages. If you are a pick up hunter in my raid and you have to ask me for ammo or food to borrow that's an instant mark against you. I'll be more forgiving in a 5 man that was thrown together kind of scenario where you may have been rushed but there is just NO excuse when 25 man raiding.
- Neglect to repair, die three times within 10 minutes and ask for a repair bot.
ZOMG. Where to start? A: Repair before you accept a summons (see reference to Raiding Prep 101 above). B: Don't expect people to use expensive items to help you because you were unprepared. You will just have to zone in and then out and go to the nearest town that you can repair at. Don't expect the raid to wait for you either. Remember kids: your lack of preparation can potentially hold up 24 other people - and that's not cool.
- Equip items with +strength
If you are levelling your first hunter, sure ok I'll forgive it. I made such huntardy mistakes too. But if you are a level 70 looking to raid you need to learn about your class and what stats to stack to do your best. Maybe the item has +agility too. So what, there are definitely better pieces out there. In my opinion you don't ever use an item that takes up one of the stat bonus slots with a stat that you don't get any benefit from whatsoever.
- Neglect to socket gems into your items
Ok they might only be blues and you're holding out for the phat purples. I don't care. Get yourself some cheap green gems and get them cut. improving your performance now will help you get those phat purples.