In our last edition we examined two prominent types of raids (Gym Class and the Hollywood Film). I’m sure you’re familiar with or can at least relate to either of those situations. Here’s some more to chew on.
Broadway Show Live 4 nights a week. All this Spring.
Very much like the Hollywood Film, except for one big difference: the format. It’s a live show. If the actors mess up a line there’s no cut and retake, the other actors on stage read, react, and improvise. This is the level at which some of the top guilds operate at.
“But Borsk, you’re saying that being in a play is harder than acting in a movie!”
There are plenty of actors out there that cannot perform well on Broadway. Those kind of acting skills certainly are not common. Likewise, every raider out there isn’t capable of playing at a level where they are ready for something unexpected in a fight and perform at the top of their class/spec simultaneously.
Someone raiding in a Top 50 guild will see something happen and either handle it right then, or bank it in their memory so it will never trip them up on future attempts. What separates them from the rest of the raiding world is that simple fact. They are using the same strategy, they are in the same boss room with, relatively speaking, the same raid composition. The difference is they understand the strat and perform on the first few pulls.
At an individual level you may see no difference between them and raiders in your guild. How they work together inside of the instance is where you see the big jump. You, as a guild, might take a few pulls to get the movement down. A few more pulls may follow to work out the best way to maximize your DPS while doing it, and then some more putting it all together from phase to phase.
Players in the top guilds are putting out maximum DPS from the very first pull AND executing the strategy the way they understand it. Healers are prepared for the worst, tank’s cameras are swinging from every angle looking for new adds, and DPS are treating it like another Brutallus.
How do I get a part?
As a raiding guild, you most likely fall into the second category. If you’re a raiding guild that acts like a Gym Class then I have no suggestions. The only thing I wonder is how the hell you’ve kept your guild together this long.
For raiders that fall into the Hollywood Archetype, my number one piece of advice is learn the fights from a different angle. Read both the healing and DPS strategies. After you learn it, try and explain it to someone else. The more pieces of the fight that you understand, the better off you will be as a player.
You know that you need to cleanse off a certain debuff, but what is it’s cooldown? Could I be doing more between casts? If a DPS is in a certain area, do I need to be concerned about them? Raid Leaders don’t expect everyone to know every last detail of the strategy. Everyone has their own little tweaks to make a particular plan work for their raid group. If you know what the hell he means when he starts talking about where to run with Swarming Shadows, you’ll get huge bonus points.
The one sentence that always tweaks my rage switch is this: “I’ve done this fight a ton of times as healer, but I’ve never played it as melee, I’m completely lost lol.” If you’ve done the fight a half dozen times and don’t know what anyone else is doing during those 4.5 to 6 minutes, you’ve failed your raid as a player. This is a sign of coasting and not actively taking part in rowing the raiding boat upstream.
Don’t just listen to the raid leader’s vent calls. Learn the script. Understand the encounter. Execute the strategy. Know why things are done a certain way and your raid will be better off for it.
What does your raid remind you of? If I were to put a label on mine, I’d say it’s very similar to that scene from Stripes when Harold Ramis is randomly pushing buttons inside of their urban assualt vehicle and ends up killing a ton of Russians. On the outside, it looks like a lean, mean, havoc wreaking vehicle of destruction. But on the inside it’s just some dude and some chick picking buttons at random from the users manual.