Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Be an asset to your raid

Being part of a raid group is more than having the gear and the consumables, it's also about having the attitude. In this post I want to talk about the things you can bring to the table as a raider that can make you an asset to the group. I've posted before about what not to do as a lvl 70 raiding hunter, the raid consumables you should be carrying as a hunter, and how raid management impacts on raid success, but this post is about being a non-leader raider of any class.

Raiding is a group effort and at the higher end of the game success is dependent on everyone working as a team. As I state above, this goes beyond being geared and packing your consumables. Following is my list of things that will make you an asset to your raid. If you are new to a raid group and hoping to be taken on as a regular this list of behaviours is, in my opinion, critical to your chances of being added to the permanent roster. However, all members of the raid should demonstrate them. In the DB raid we care more about your attitude than we necessarily do about your gear. Gear can be upgraded, asshattery is often ingrained.

Pay attention
You might be enjoying looking around at the scenery of new content, you might be horsing around throwing leather balls and voodoo skulls at your fellow raiders (I'm looking at YOU Emelin) but it is critical that you pay attention to the instructions and information imparted by the raid leaderership. This information is likely to be imparted both over vent (or your voice software of choice) or via in game chat so it's important to pay attention to both. For instance, in our raid we have a specific in-game channel for the hunters where I will impart instructions so as to not clutter up vent. If you are new to the raid you should check with someone playing the same role whether there is a relevant channel that you need to join.

Follow instructions
A relevant follow on from the point above - so you paid attention, but did you retain the information? If you retained it are you going to act on it? You better. You'd didn't get invited so that you could completely ignore the instructions issued by the people leading the raid. Many boss encounters require everyone to perform their part to make the fight a success, Gruul, Magtheridon, Lady Vashj, Kael and Archimonde to name some obvious ones. It's ok to make mistakes in execution - but if you have blindly ignored what your role is in favour of what you want to do don't expect to be invited back.

You may be right, you may be wrong (you may be crazy)
You might have made in depth studies of strategies and youtube vids, you might have run it many times with a different group, but that does not automatically make you the expert on how to handle a particular fight. Which is not to say that your input is not important. Timing when you deliver that input however is. Talking over the top of the raid leader when they are communicating strategy is not the best way to endear yourself. If you have a valid point to make wait for an appropriate pause or send a tell directly to the raid leader (or your class leader). Even better - strategy discussion should take place on the forums rather than 60 seconds before the pull if at all possible. Naturally there are situations when strategy needs to be adjusted on the fly but lengthy strategy discussions are better handled in a forum. No one enjoys 20 minutes of back and forth discussion before a pull.

Raid synergy is more important than your e-peen
As a hunter maximising damage is all about sticking to a precise rotation, however that may not add anything to the group. Scorpid sting is a great dot for tough bosses and Imp Hunters Mark contributes to the melee damage as well. Similiar scenarios apply to all classes. Be prepared and willing to do what is needed to contribute to overall group synergy. Raid leaders spend time working out the best way to group players based on spec and class, so use what you've got to help the raid not just yourself. Our raid doesn't insist on specific builds based on some ideal of the best raid make up but we have been known to ask if a person will be willing to respec to assist with the raid synergy and the respec cost is carried by the guild bank. We're also open to you wanting to try out a different spec to see how it works out. Of course there are exceptions, if you're the MT with the best main tanking gear of all tanks in the raid we'll try and convince you to stay prot, at least until another tank can be geared equivalently. Ultimately we all want to down the bosses right? So it makes sense for everyone to bring everything they can to the table to make that happen.

Silence is frequently golden
This is probably a particular niggle of mine, but there is nothing more irritating than to have people going randomly on and on and on over vent especially when strategy and instructions are being communicated. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing more fun than some silly talk - but timing is everything. We also don't need to hear externalisations of every single thought running through your head during a fight. Vent should be about communicating key pieces of information. If we're on a break and you want to talk about how amazing Usain Bolt is please feel free (I mean, the guy is amazing) but when it's time to pull, game faces people!

Don't forget to pack your sense of humour
So I'm laying out all this serious stuff, because working effectively as a team is srs bsns but that doesn't mean you should park your sense of humour at the door. If you're not having fun, if you're getting uptight about wipes, this will communicate itself to the group and impact on the atmosphere of the raid. One of the things that makes my raid so enjoyable is the fun we have and the relaxed atmosphere. But remember, in relation to the points I make above - timing is everything.

Just about every item I've discussed comes down to respect in the end. It's a tenet for the real world that stands up just as well in the virtual - treat others in the way you would wish to be treated. Respect is about listening, about humility, about not pushing yourself forward to the detriment of others. Gaining respect is about being confident without being an asshat, about walking your talk and respecting others. Loot greed will not earn you respect, being new to the raid and immediately telling everyone what they are doing wrong will not earn you respect, lack of attention and unwillingness to cooperate will not earn you respect. Ultimately if anyone takes one thing away from this post I would like it to be that successful teamwork is essentially about mutual respect.

Which means of course there's a flipside too. You as a raider shouldn't put up with being treated with disrespect by your fellow raiders or the raid leadership.

*5 awesome points to those who can identify the 2 song references and the lady in the picture, seriously it's not exactly hard...


The Badge said...

billy joel and aretha and aretha? iwin?

MostlyKaldorei said...

Excellent collection of basic raid etiquette. While I hope that most people would understand this, it is all too common to see these ideas not being carried out.

Typhoonandrew said...

Good post - I'll paraphrase a bit the things that kick me the most:

One that seems critical to me is Shut up and listen. It kills me when people don't pay attention, and that means time and gold on a wipe we didn't need.

Also treat my time as important as your time. We did a kara with some pug folks to fill the gaps in a Guild run. And as I looked back over the mistakes it was the Guildies that screwed us far more than the puggers. Thats a disaster.

Finally, don't assume that just because you don't recognise the toon, that you don't know the player. Or that the player might not be somebody of influence. Many years ago a few recent recruits treated me like rubbish as they were running the Instance. Jokes, disrespect, and horse-play, the whole nine yards. What they didn't get was I was a Guild Founder who had returned from a long break, and to me these guys were fresh meat.

After a quiet word to one in private, then a brief message in Officer they went all "sorry man, we didn't know". And thats the sad thing, those fools revealed their true colours that day. I don't miss them.