I've been having a blast raiding since Ulduar was released. It's been a joy learning new fights and getting more and more bosses on farm. I understand that learning new fights in raid encounters takes time, but once a fight is on farm the only thing more annoying than healing preventable damage is wiping because someone wasn't paying attention.
Just like distracted driving can cost lives, distracted raiding can cause wipes. In most cases the time for tank and spank is over once you walk in the portal to a raid. The encounters require players to be prepared and on the ball. Not only should officers lead by example when it comes to raid awareness there are a number of things that can be done to improve attentiveness:
- Be sure to keep the raid channel in vent clear during raid encounters. Folks who are not in the raid probably shouldn't be in vent. Quell unnecessary chatter.
- Know the fights like you know the ride to work. The more clearly you can explain a fight, the better your chances of success. Be sure all questions are answered before you begin an encounter.
- Mods like Failbot are epically annoying but they can serve a teaching purpose. Someone who consistently shows up may be confused about a fight or possibly not care. The messages that pop up in chat serve and a mild punishment. Someone who's name pops up as a result of their failure cannot deny their error, but can learn from seeing their mistake.
- If you have someone who consistently makes errors, you may be best suited to ask them not to raid with your team. It's only fair to the ones who show promise in progression.
- Be sure to have the appropriate mods for your raid group and listen up in vent. You may be given a specific task for the raid like firing harpoons at Razorscale or kiting adds on Gluth. It's annoying to wipe because someone missed an instruction or refuses to do what needs to be done. If you have questions ask them at an appropriate time.
- In most circumstances if it looks like fire, ice or a teleporter of some kind, move out of it. Odds are good that it will hurt you, or possibly kill you. If there's a beneficial effect, your raid leader will let you know.
- If you are unable to perform a specific task (for instance you're incapacitated or dead) be sure to communicate that so that someone else can pick up where you left off. A good raid has the flexibility to recover from minor set backs.
- Know your whole class, and be prepared to use it. I've found PvP to be extremely helpful in learning how to play my characters to the fullest. It never ceases to amaze me when people don't use their racial abilities in raid settings. A well timed War stomp can save a healer. Not only can Arcane Torrent stop casting for a moment, it can also help the tank bring casters together.
- Give your raid your fullest attention. Of course emergencies happen and no one expects you to play through them. Text messages on your phone and in-game tells are not emergencies. Try to avoid raiding while on the phone. You can make quick calls between bosses, but if you're expecting an important call, perhaps you should take a pass on raiding.
- Until your raid leader calls a wipe, keep giving it your all.
I'm sure there are some folks out there who can raid blindfolded with one hand tied behind their backs. Most of us need to put some work into it. Remember that while your raid leader might hear an excuse, the boss doesn't. If you make a mistake,learn from it and do better next time.
Can't get enough of guilds? WoW.com offers a plethora of information on guild leadership and guild membership. Be sure to check out Scott Andrew's weekly column Officers' Quarters and keep an eye on the community with Mike Schramm's Guildwatch.