The Casual, the PVP’er, and the Raider… 3 completely different angles to approach the same game. This guide will reflect the standard of what it takes to measure up in the world of raiding and PVE progression.

**Note** This guide is searchable for specific categories via ctrl+f and then “#1” or w/e category you’re looking for.

Table of Contents

#1 Every little bit hurts		

#2 Being lost in the sauce	

#3 Seconds count			

#4 Drama, & Your Soft skills

#5 Organization & Macros	

#6 Synergy, and its use       

#7 Tools of the trade		

#8 You're not epic until...	

#9 The raw numbers
Skill factors in general – if you know what you’re doing, you can do more with less. However, if you’ve never heard of a “hit cap” then for everyone else’s sake – don’t bother raiding till you have an idea of how your class really works. Raiding is not like the rest of the game. It’s nothing like leveling, has different mechanics than PVP, and requires a greater level of dedication and understanding than really any other scenario that you may find yourself in. It requires patience, preparation, and most often – a little footwork on the internet. The 
ultimate objective
 that we are keeping in mind throughout this entire guideline is what it takes to successfully down the raid boss for your desired content. Everything here is to help steer you in that direction. If your guild is already in Naxx(H) then obviously what you’ve got going seems to be working, so stick with it. This is intended to help those having trouble.
Here is the summarized version:
  1. Every little bit hurts. Equipment matters – regardless if you know the fight. Don’t bother doing anything beyond Gruul’s if your guild doesn’t have it on farm and can’t pick up your slack. Consumables are extremely helpful for progression or PUG raids, do not underestimate the power of food & pots. This has been made less of an issue since WotLK, but for progressing guilds, this is still an important rule to abide by.
  2. Being lost in the sauce. Between all the guides and instructional videos, there is no reason for you to bounce into a raid not knowing what to expect. Do your homework beforehand and alleviate a lot of the stress.
  3. Seconds count. Picking up a target, moving out of flaming crap, falling crap, shooting crap, clicking cubes, and CC’ing your target A.S.A.P. is extremely important the further you progress. Learn how to control your target or perform your assigned task with a 2-3 second response time.
  4. Drama & your soft skills. Be clear about looting rules and know when to call it quits. Setting a clear # of wipes or window of time allows for a greater amount of toleration from your participants. Example “We’re calling it after the 5th wipe” or “We’re staying here until 10:00pm, all wipes included”
  5. Organization & Macros. Your raid is only as good as it’s leader. Be sure to speak clearly, explain thoroughly, and above all – minimize downtime. Don’t take 10 hours to raid buff, be on time to scheduled raids, and try not to spend 3 days giving loot.
  6. Synergy and it’s use. Your raid will communicate where they want to be, and after a while, you’ll already know where you want what classes and why. You get better over time the more you organize it, and be sure to keep the bigger picture in mind.
  7. Tools of the trade. See below for links.
  8. You’re not epic until… There are outstanding players out there, but everyone always has room to learn more. Do not let your ego get in the way of keeping an open mind. You know you’re an excellent player when other people tell you that you are – bragging only serves to make you look immature.
  • #2 Being Lost in the sauce
    Yes, it’s just a game – however, Raiders are not nice people after spending a few hours dieing because someone else is incompetent. To achieve certain success one must sacrifice. Specifically speaking,time. Time in the manner of homework. A Guild Leader/Raid Leader can only do so much. He’ll organize the raid, provide the strats, and be the overall voice leading you to success – but he can’t do it alone. YOU have to do some research if you’re serious about being useful. There are videos, strategy guides, and forums that will send you in the right direction. Problem is getting everyone to be on the same page. Most raid mechanics fall under one of 3 categories: Gear check (fights that top performance, buffs, and excellent gear are all essential), Stupid check (fights that simply require excellent cooperation), and Both (Most endgame fights). Typically, you’ll want to stay out of falling crap, flaming crap, summoned crap, and shooting crap. The other 30% is listening to people on Vent. When someone is shouting “Click!”, “Run”, or “Freeze!” – generally it means when you fail, you kill 9-24 other people – thereby wasting everyones time because you couldn’t follow simple directions.

    Herein lies the problem with raiding. It’s seeryuz biznuss because of this fact. Nobody wants to spend 3 hours doing Magtheridon because you are incapable of clicking a cube when you are told to. And NO; lag, cat on keyboard, phone, wife/parent aggro, or any other stupid excuse does not validate your reason to fail. It is not everyone else’s job to ensure you have an undisturbed, pristine play experience. If you have some factor preventing you from doing your assigned job – say so! Do not wait until after the ready check to let people know your latency is showing numbers that compete with the New York Stock Exchange. This is important because in almost all cases – a quick response time is necessary.

  • #4 Drama & Your Soft skills
    This is one of the most annoying excuses to wipe or call off a raid and quickly prompts an empty one. You get it all; loot, impatience, stupid excuses, inter-guild relationships, the list goes on. Different people with different experiences bring different opinions to the table. Loot Drama is a big one. It destroys not only raids, but entire guilds and friendships for that matter. Decide beforehand how loot is going to work when dealing with PUG’s. You have to remember that 
    people are running this with you and unfortunately, people are unpredictable. Communicate with your raid or dictate how loot will be handled. If they don’t like it, they can leave, be kicked, or simply adjust to the situation.

    Sometimes you can catch it before it starts – most of the time, you just have to try and be aware of how your fellow raid members are feeling. You can tell when the majority of the raid is tired, angry, or just fed up with a given boss or instance. Letting the raid know when enough is enough is a good way to set a limit to avoid frustrations. Say 5-10 attempts if you’re having trouble on a given fight. Use your soft skills, and if you’re not very good at it – get someone who is. These are important if you plan on keeping everyone happy. Coming from someone who enjoys PUG’ing everything in general – Impatience is one of the biggest ones that I have to deal with. Be sure that everyone is clear about when you intend to start the raid. While sitting around waiting to fill 15 other slots is not exactly fun – it isn’t the easiest thing to manage either. Help find people, otherwise don’t grief the leaders. Others are working very hard so that you get an opportunity for gear. 

    It is unavoidable that people will start to leave when downtime gets out of hand, so do your best to minimize it. This applies to any raid – don’t take 10min to pull when it only needs to take 5. Don’t take 15min to buff when it only needs to take FIVE. Show up on time, rez & buff, ultimately just do everything you can to minimize unnecessary idle time. Keeping things fluid and moving keeps the raid lively and alert.

  • #5 Organization & Macros
    If you’re running the raid, expect to be spearheading a lot of the organization of it. It is a ton of work. You, as the leader above all, need to know the fight. If you lack the experience, refer to section #2 and do some homework. Sit in on another guilds run, or watch some videos on it. But the leader decides how smooth the raid will flow. Bad leadership and lack of experience or knowledge is the leading set back to any aspiring guild for PVE progression. You’ll want to expect some typical raiding consistencies:

    Have Tank assignments, Kill order macros, and Healing assignments ready so that you can just fill in names and start. Below is an example of my typical raid macro

    /rw ---Assignments---
    
    /ra Main Tank {Skull} <--Healer, Healer
    
    /ra Off Tank {Cross} <--Healer, Healer
    
    /ra Raid <--Healer, Healer, Healer
    
    /ra Mage1 {Moon}
    
    /ra Mage2 {Triangle}
    
    /ra Warlock {Diamond}

    If you do all this beforehand, you won’t be staring at trash for 15min while you do this during the raid. Again, people get impatient and leave then you end up spending another 20min finding a replacement. If you know you’re going into TK and three targets need to be sheeped, have the macro ready so you can plug in the names. It will do wonders for giving your raid the jollies that everything is good to go. Assigning Buffs are a huge pain. It will ease some pressure off your back if you assign a representative of that class to assign buffs. Pick a mage and tell him he’s assigning groups for other mages to buff +int, or a paladin that will assign paladin buffs (Pally Power FTW guys, for real). You may be the leader, but part of that is delegating some work. You’ll also be swarmed in tells asking you to put people in certain groups for certain class buffs. This is called raid “synergy”.

  • #6 Synergy, and its use
    Nothing beats experience, and raid leading is no different. You could lead a raid every day until the next expansion comes out and still be learning about this one. The difficulty of including all buffs and everything every class brings to the table for every combination of every raid composition is far beyond anything I can fit into these forums. So, what do you do? Don’t be afraid to give it a shot. Your raid members generally will not let you down – they’ll let you know if they should be in a certain group for certain buffs – typically it will just fall under common sense. Caster support with casters and melee support with melee. You’ll want to keep an image of the bigger picture, so when an Affliction Warlock wants to kick a Mage from a caster group with boomkin & shadow priest – then it’s probably a better idea to leave the +spell crit to those that benefit from it.
  • #7 Tools of the trade
    If you expect to hold your own, you’ll need to have some modifications to your user interface. This is but a small list of some widely used ones:*Near Manditory*
    Omen – A widely used threat meter.
    Deadly Boss Mods – Raid warnings for Boss fights.
    Big Wigs – Raid warning alternative.
    Ventrilo – Predominant voip chat program.
    Decursive – Add on that helps a class that can remove afflictions do it with ease

    *Really Nice to Have*
    Recount – Widely used combat log parser (Damage meter, healing meter, etc.)
    Damage Meter – Recount alternative.
    Perfect Raid – Customizeable Raid Frames.

    *Study, Study, Study*
    Maxdps.com – Amazing site for *most min/max’ing dps gear.
    EJ – Theorycrafting at its finest. Everything you need to know about how you play the game.
    Tankspot.com – All things tank & beefy.
    Imba – PVE Character auditor. Where you stand, and where you can use improvements from.
    Bosskillers – Guides for nearly every Raid Boss in WoW. Know it. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

    *Important to customize*
    Your user interface is truly important to how you interact with the game. If it can be made simpler, more convenient, more informative, or all around more helpful – then you definitely want to consider using it to your advantage. These tools aren’t being made for giggles, they are being made by people who encounter the same problems you do. For all your UI questions and curiosities, you can find the answers here, in the UI forums. Some extremely popular ones are Dominos, CT Mod, Xperl, and more

  • #8 You’re not epic until…
    Here we reach our pinnacle. Gear just doesn’t cut it. There is a reason you can’t simply hit 80 and be done with the game. Leveling is just the beginning. You cannot claim “epic” dps, tank, or healer until you’ve reached the point of /applause. The title “epic” is thrust upon you as if you were the last donut at a Weight Watcher’s reunion. These are the Feral Durids that battle rez & innervate while tanking; The Holy Priests that refuse to let groupies die and boast an infinite mana pool; The Mages that top meters, but do so saving the healer and still keep up their sheep; The Hunters that can CC an entire pull of 4+ mobs… the list goes on. The point is – you are not epic because of your gear, you are epic because you know how to play the game. Take that with you into your next 5, 10, or 25 man and see if it doesn’t improve your experiences a bit.

    Leave a comment if this guide helped you out, and feel free to discuss additions/opinions. Feedback is both welcome & appreciated.

    Your PVE Forums troll,



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