Wednesday, May 21, 2008

11 Characteristics of a Good Raider

Last night was not exactly a stellar night of raiding for Primogeniture. So, it got me thinking about what exactly makes a good raider. A lot of these can be applied to 5-man instances as well. So, here were the 11 things I came up with, in no particular order.

1) Listen to strategies - Even if you've done the fight a million times before, there's a chance that the raid leader wants to do something just a little bit differently. Plus, assignments are usually handed out at this point. It drives me crazy when people consistently ask me what they're supposed to do 5 seconds after I just got finished explaining their specific role.

2) Be aware of your surroundings - If they're fire raiding down on top of you doing 2500 damage every 2 seconds... get out. Unless there's a specific reason to be there, you can most likely move and save yourself. Otherwise, your healers may have to make a choice to save you or somebody else. And as much as you've buttered up that uber healer, sometimes, the decision isn't to save you.

3) Be aware of your health and act on it - Health potions, bandages, healthstones... it's not a bad idea to use these every once and awhile. It might mean the difference between you being dead and alive. A lot of time I have health potions on healthstones on cooldown because I've used a mana pot and gem... but I'd still have bandages.

4) Be proactive to avoid damage - Sure your raid is uber enough to heal through some trash mob's Aoe spell, but a simple spell interrupt can make that trash go so much faster. And you may have the DPS to kill the mob even if he gets off a heal... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't ignore those either.

5) Do not pull aggro unnecessarily - If you're the tank assigned to that target, you should "pull" aggro. But unless another tank is dead, leave it alone. Oh, and DPS should never pull aggro no matter how much they want to down the last few percentage points before it gets to them and kills them.

6) Dead = 0 DPS. A lvl 1 priest can do more damage than your dead corpse on the floor. Stay alive.

7) Be a Team player, not a Me player - I love the players that are willing to sit out for whatever reason for raids. Raid leaders, don't take advantage of these people and make them sit out every night because of their generosity.

8) Efficient rezzing - If for some reason you have a near wipe (I know, I know... you're way more leet than that), think about the order that you should rez. Priests, Paladins and Shaman should be first so they can rez others. Mages and Druids next because they'll need to eat/drink, buff others, and then drink again. Warlocks and Hunters are next so they can rez their pets, but also because they need to get mana back. And finally the Rogues and Warriors because they can be ready for action by a healer throwing them a simple heal. I think a lot of times we want the tanks up so they can protect us, but it really seems like this is the most efficient manner.

9) Everyone knows you're dead - "I'm dead" doesn't really do anything for raid leaders. They have a UI. They're watching the bars. So, shut up. Now... that said... "I didn't kill my demon" is a perfectly acceptable statement so we all know we're free to kill you for not taking down your demon in time.

10) Keep the chatter down - I really don't want to talk about breasts or your significant other or the latest prank you pulled in the middle of a boss fight. Voice communication channels need to be open for boss related information. Keep it in tells, or keep it turned off.

11) Be on time - If you signed up for a raid at 8:30, be there at least 15 minutes beforehand if you can. Sure there's going to be exceptions and times you can't make it, but those should be exceptions, and not your M.O.

p.s. I'm sure there's many, many more things that could be covered in this topic. These were just the first 11 that I cane up with. Feel free to add other tips below.


Talek said...

12) Come geared/enchanted - Make sure you have your gear for the occasion. (Resists or offsets) Make sure each piece is fully gemmed/enchanted. If you aren't gemmed/enchanted you are gimped.

13) Know the fights - while the raid leader may explain it every time, it's still good for you to know what to do in a given situation, so if the raid leader forgets anything you still know what's happening.

14) Bring your food/pots - make sure you get a food buff and have a pot buff up. If not, you are gimped. (See 12)

15) Don't leave the raid to PVP or run a dungeon with your buddy

16) Don't remind the master looter to loot and don't ask the master looter why master loot is on. If master loot is not on, don't loot when people are dead, they could have released and will miss the loot. Don't tell the master looter you think you might want to spend DKP on a raid item.

17) If in doubt ask - If you don't know what you need to do, ask the raid leader/class leader what you should be doing.

18) If this is your first time and you don't have a specific assignment, then just mirror someone like you (DPS assist and follow a veteran DPSer)

19) Be a good vent user - don't keep an open mic, don't talk over people, don't blast your music, don't spam your music, watch your language.

20) Don't whisper the guild leader during the raid when the guild leader is getting puked on by a big green giant.

Leiandra said...

All great suggestions... especially #20. rofl

I'm just glad that other Primo people don't read this blog. Oh wait!

Crysannia said...

#21 Dont show up to raids flagged. Nothing is more annoying than the whole "hearth, jump on gryphon, and we will summon u back" speel. When we get inside its buff time, not this.

Alky said...

#22 Pay attention to the pulls and assignments like you were going to lead a raid in there tomorrow. This speeds things up by not having people wait for direction, they just know where to be and what to do.

#23 If you know you are lacking in an area (the killing your inner demons is a good one) figure out a way to practice outside of the raid itself.

#24 Understand that it is the raid leader's job to point out weakpoints (strategies or players) and correct mid raid. Don't be offended if you are reassigned or criticized. Raid leaders fix probs in raid and applaud good play after, very seldom will one say "That was a great wipe!!11!!1" To piggyback on this though be the player that finds the positive so that vent isn't only occuped with a raid leader's negativity (like mine) when things go bad.

#25 Be the person who is the most upset about a 1% wipe and do that extra 1% damage on the next pull.

#26 Watch the boss mod timers and anticipate the raid leader's next call. It is a simple concept but it will elevate a player's game more than you could imagine.

#27 Lead a raid at least once. If everyone did this then they would understand every point above better.

#28 Have more fun than everyone else. If there was an important meter it would be the fun meter.

tego said...

im not sure i agree with #9. I'll give a specific example:
I am for now, a holy paladin who for the first and third phaze of the fight is assigned BOF rotation on the tank. the backup BOF is actually our prot pally off tank. As a tank they don't run with 25 health bars pulled out. I died to a combo of root spore and the lightning debuff(whatever the name is) it was crucial for me to say Im dead Av you are up to the tank so the BOF rotation continued. In general, if you are a DPS assigned to "kill it" then sure "I'm Dead" isn't very helpful, but if you have a specific assignment I'm dead is required so that the backups know they are up.

dwarf Paladin feathermoon

Leiandra said...

@Tego - Sure, there's exceptions, but for the most part, I get so many people that say, "I'm dead." And 1/2 the time I want to respond, "I know, and who cares?"

But there are reasons to say I'm dead... like the Inner Demons, or your example are reasons.

But even as a tank, they should be aware of all raid members. Tanks seriously don't have the 25 health bars out? That just seems wrong to me. I can picture it now: Tank: "Come on guys, where's my heals?" Raid Leader: "Dude... you're the only one left alive." lol.

Talek said...

With some specific movement exceptions, you don't have to know anything if you are the tank except that the monster is hitting only you. You just need to take the hits and if you die, you blame the healer.

Alky said...

Use grid, beats the heck out of raid frames.

@Tego - if you have a good feral tank Vashj then you don't need a BoF rotation, they should be good enough to double shift out of it. I know it was never a problem for me when I tanked her.

Logan said...

#29 - Unless you are the raid leader, you should not be publicly (and usually not even privately) calling people out on their mistakes. If you feel that someone isn't performing as they should, take it up with the raid leader or the person's class officer. Don't air your grievances in vent, raid chat, or public tells.

@talek - I couldn't disagree with you more. Adequate tanks just "take the hits." Exceptional tanks are aware of their surroundings, raid members' relative health levels, healers' mana bars, and any positioning issues that might put raid members in danger (cleave, for example). An exceptional tank checks on his healers' mana levels and knows when to shield wall because they're not going to be able to heal him for a while. An exceptional tank looks to see if anyone's getting dark barrage and his other tank's health bar before moving a Flame of Azzinoth through a blue/orange flame patch. An exceptional tank keeps an eye on omen to know whether he should be focusing on TPS, rage/mana conservation, or flat out survival. An exceptional tank keeps an eye on Moroes's shackled/trapped adds to know if he needs needs to pick up one that breaks early. I could go on for a while like this...

Adequate tanks just stay alive. Exceptional tanks get you progression kills.

Sorry for derailing this, but I think it leads to

#30 - Take some time to learn other class mechanics than your own. If you're a healer, learn the ins and outs of what it means to be a ranged DPS (and the differences between, say, a mage and a warlock). If you're a tank, learn about your healers and how they work. Then you'll understand why they might not be able to get a last-second heal to you and why you just might need to pop a healthstone/pot/nightmare seed. If you're a ranged DPS, talk to your tank and find out why pulling aggro is such a pain in the ass. Your understanding of the game as a whole and your success in raids will improve vastly by understanding everyone's roles.

Talek said...

I guess I'm just an adequate tank. While I agree that you should look at Omen to ensure your on top of the TPS, looking at your healer's mana is an unnecessary extra task. If they are running out of mana, you don't have enough dmg mit/avoidance, your other raid members are doing something stupid to be taking too much dmg, or your healer is inadequate for the raid. You should really only look at your health and if your going to get a death blow then you shield wall (I pop my dodge trinket cuz I'm a pally).

If a member of my raid is stupid enough to get in the way of a cleave after I've moved the boss into position (Mags/Nightbane), then they deserve to die and hopefully they will learn not to do that again. It's the same with all DPS, they learn by dying. Pull the mob off the tank and your punishment is death. Do it too much and your raid will mock you or even boot you. (I did say there were movement exceptions however and I would consider cleave a movement exception)

While I do play with x-perl's raid gui, it's actually uneeded in almost all situations. Tank position and aggro trumps all other activities and you become a raid leader if you go beyond that. As long as your TPS/dmg avoidance/dmg mitigation is good enough for the raid and your in position for the fight with the right mobs on you, then you really have nothing else to worry about.

Moroes shackles, ah yes the old days when I couldn't tank all of them at once.

Logan said...

I guess I'm thinking more toward later endgame tanking. Though I've been rather disappointed with the lack of difficulty in Hyjal and Black Temple as a DPS class, I have noticed that many of the fights place a lot more emphasis on solid tanking. Positioning and movement issues become much more frequent to the point that one misstep, outranging one healer, moving through fire/consecrate/blizzard at the wrong time, facing the boss toward the raid for even a second, or not picking up an interrupt because one of your rogues/mages/shaman got insta-gibbed can mean a wipe. The "adequate" tanking skills that you described (and I didn't mean to be mean earlier... my apologies) by this point in the game need to be second nature, because a whole new set of skills and awareness absolutely have to be developed to succeed.

It's unfortunate that this building of skills isn't really required as DPS. :(

But yeah, fights like Archimonde, Bloodboil, Illidari Council, Reliquary of Souls, Illidan, Kalecgos, Eredar Twins, and M'uru are all heavily dependent on tanks being flawless in not just staying alive and putting out TPS, but also in having tons of situational awareness and executing a number of other skills.

Talek said...

I must admit I have never tanked beyond the beginning bosses of SSC and TK, but my point really was to Leiandra in the beginning. Leiandra was shocked to find someone didn't have the raid bars up. I was merely trying to point out that as a tank, you don't need to have them up to do your job. Nothing you have stated seems to prove to me that you do need them up.

While it does provide good situational awareness, it also provides a distraction where if you look at the raid bars at the wrong time it could result in an insta-jib/raid wipe situation because you should have been watching the mob. I think it ends up be a preference rather than a necessity. If your role includes more than tanking, such as raid leader, then raid bars are invaluable and leaving them off is unthinkable. I actually can't think of a reason why any other role besides raid leader must have the raid bars up, as long as they are able to buff/debuff/decurse/heal with other addon help.

Logan said...

I use my xperl raid bars on my paladin tank a lot in kara. I keep the aggro warning on for when I need to throw out a taunt. I also watch health bars and if I see a healer or DPS getting low I throw out a BoP. I'd imagine this resource would be especially good for tanking hyjal trash (I'm not quite there yet) and saving aoe'ers who pull aggro, for example.

I should probably add that a lot of the situational awareness involved in later encounters really does rely on knowing where your raid's health lies. Many of the bosses do massive amounts of unavoidable aoe and splash damage. Having raid frames up can, at the least, tell you when overall raid health is low, letting you know that it might not be a good idea to stand in a cave-in to build some extra rage/mana or walk through that flame patch while kite-tanking the pally on Council or a flame on Illidan.

I've only experienced end-endgame content on my warlock, and not as a tank, but I'm mostly going on the experiences of tanks dying on fights like Illidan because they weren't aware that their healers had to focus on DPS groups that were catching an unlucky string of fire blasts or a player that was the target of dark barrage. It seems to me like being aware of such things would be a pretty big help (then again, I'm an information junky, and have wayyyy too much fight info scrolling across my screen in raids).

Galoheart said...

Carry enough required Reagents for the raid. Seen people ran out in mid raid.

Carry enough of the required consumables that someone already mentioned above. I remember how annoying it was when I was in Kara as the OT and DPS casters and healers were out of or just didn't bring enough mana pots for long fights which lead to wipes. Annoy the he'll out of me as the Tank. Needless to say as a Paladin Tank I carried at least 20 mana pots in bag.

Be respectfull of other peoples time in the raid as well as with AFKs or distractions during the raid. Stuff like that unfortunately cut into others peoples time commitment and raid time as well.

Get a good Internet connection for raiding. It can ne very annoying when every few minutes someone is disconnecting for all kinds of reasons or lag or whatever. Your wasting peoples time with bad connection issues other than issues related to acts of nature.