Raiding is one of the funnest things you can do in WoW. Coordinating a group of people to accomplish a goal is the most exciting and challenging thing about the game IMO. I get questions quite often about how to run a certain dungeon or when will I be ready to run a raid… so I wanted to write something that applies in a general level to people that want to get started in the raiding world.
As much fun as raiding can be, it can also be nightmarish and time consuming. Nobody likes to have a repair bill with nothing to show for week after week. Some people don’t mind doing the same content over and over, (check out my pug checker, I can do DTK every day and still love the place) but die enough times and it will grind a group to a halt. Lucky for us, our guild has been very relaxed and even though we have not advanced as much as some people might like, we still love the game and playing with each other which I think its the most important thing.
That said I wanted to be very honest about how involved raiding can be, and how the following are some of the things you seriously have to consider when you start raiding.
Every class in WoW has very specific intricacies that put together in a raid group lead to killing that freaking big dragon. While every class is extremely different in some respects and the level of customization in the game is the highest I have ever seen for a video game. All of that flexibility makes things complex enough that you can truly hurt yourself with your character build. But, when it comes right down to it, playing the World of Warcraft raiding does have some basic principles.
From the first time a whole raid was charred to a crisp fighting in Kara I learned the frustration that can dismantle a group after a wipe. Don’t move means serious, don’t move… no seriously, let go of the keys, don’t try to get that last spell out, don’t try to move a little bit to get a better angle view, just seriously don’t move. At the same time, RUN AWAY, means just that. So many elements of the game have to do with where you are, how far you need to be from something or other party members… don’t stand in black circles. Whenever you are not sure about an encounter, you need to ask and follow the directions of the experienced people.
The thing that will dictate a lot of what you do when it comes to raiding is your “CAP” which means that you have hit the maximum level for your more important stat. However, there is other caps along with that one. While a tank being 540 is very important so he does to get “crited” anymore, his hit rating and expertise are also crucial so he lands the hits and does not get dodged or parried. Once you know your goals, then you can start planning your gear shopping list
Loot at times feels like chicken and egg. Blizzard just made things a lot simpler and even though I was already playing a simpler game than original WoW raiders, this latest patch (3.2) equalized a ton. You have the Tournament of Champions, a place that you can get 10 man raid level gear with just 5 people. That and now all the badges put into two groups make it very stright forward to obtain new pieces of gear without relying on the luck of a drop and the chance at a /roll.
With LOOT though, you have to once again do more research. You need to know where the loot drops that you need. If you are still missing that amazing neck piece and your DPS is still towards the bottom of the list, you need to read up on where to get it. Gear will help you achieve tons, but it is only part of the equation.
The other important thing once you have the gear is to get it enchanted and gemmed.
So you have the gear, but your (DPS, Healing, Threat generation) still are lacking? The next thing to consider is your build. Your build simply put is the methodology you use when assigning your talent points, and also what glyphs you use.
The easy way is to look for someone’s build and copy it, however this is not the answer. You don’t know how that person plays. Some people have no problem using 5 or 6 abilities, some people use simply 3 or 4. That does not include cooldowns. I will caution you on your builds and glyphs to make sure you don’t spend valuable talent points or spots on your glyph slots that you just don’t use or use very little.
What buttons you press on what order is as important as everything else in the game. If I don’t hit one of my shouts or charge into our DPS and my rage will suffer. If I am DPSing and don’t hit my trinket that gives me extra attack power right before I hit one of my special abilities, I am not doing a good job. If a high DPS hunter does not misdirect on me when we start an encounter, their DPS might pull agro from me.
While your primary abilities are important, knowing what secondary abilities you need to use in what situation makes a huge difference in a raid. It also ensures that your DPS, Heals or tanking stays constant. It does not matter that you hit 4K DPS once, if you cannot maintain it over the course of a run.
How do I know when I am ready then?
The baby step for almost everyone is to join a guild that raids, casual raiders will probably be more patient than people that are doing the hardest content and consider themselves hardcore. If the guild has people that know the class you want to play and are willing to share their knowledge you have struck gold. Keep in mind that they will be able to steer you in the right direction. They can only open the door, you have to actually go through and learn the theory behind things.
That said, there are tons of ways to “cheat” to acquire the knowledge above about your character.
There are several add ons that will tell you where the gear is “hidden” all over WoW. Also there are gear evaluation add ons, and a new nifty interface built right into WoW itself that will compare the gear you want with what you have currently on your character.
The internet is full of resources, class specific blogs and “evaluators.”
So if you want a straight answer, Imba can tell you where you are ready to go based on your gear (check out the Gear-O-Meter at the bottom), and WoW Popular will tell you what is the most popular currently. But you cannot replace everything with shortcuts, and if you want to raid, you need to do your homework and practice.
Feel free to post the resources you use in the comments