So, how do you avoid wipes in the Raid Finder?
Check roles and readiness
It's often the case that players in the Raid Finder aren't really paying attention just before a pull because of the group waiting while the tanks discuss strategy, or that the tank has zoned in, glanced at their panes, and gone barreling in without paying too much attention to the status of other players. As a result, a ready check is often a great idea. Fire one off just before the pull happens just to see whether people are paying attention, and to say "hey we're ready to go."
It's often the case that only tanks can do ready checks, as they're given lead and assist on zoning in to the raid finder, but of all the roles, they're the one that has the most need for discussion prior to the pull.
As well as a ready check, a role check can be a good idea. I don't mean the type where you hit "role check" and have everyone tick off their roles before you start, but have a quick look at the five players who have queued as healers and make sure that's what they actually are. I'm not saying inspect all 24 other players, but I am saying have a little look at your healers. It's often the case that DPS will queue as healers to get a faster queue, but with no intention of actually healing. Those players, unless your other healers are plentiful and geared, probably ought to be asked if they'd mind playing fair.
Tactics aren't as important in the Raid Finder as they are in normal and heroic mode raiding, no doubt about that. But, certainly for some fights, there is a requirement that the group has a vague idea what's going on. There are things players can do that won't wipe the raid like they would on normal or heroic mode, but they will certainly cause problems that might be unwanted.
And what's more, many players will head into the Raid Finder not having the first clue what's going on. There is a perception which is not wholly unjust that the Raid Finder is sufficiently easy that tactics are not required, so players think they'll just follow others, and someone will know what's going on. Alas, particularly on fights like Will of the Emperor, what actually happens is that players all run around willy-nilly, having picked players to follow that also don't know what's going on.
What can be done about this? One method is to ask who hasn't done the fight before, or who doesn't know the fight, but particularly if you're a DPS, it's a brave soul who speaks up when that question is asked and risks the boot. There's also often players who are convinced that every fight is a tank and spank that barely requires them to engage both their eyes let alone their brain because of its consummate ease.
One solution I've found effective is to have a macro for each fight that explains it as succinctly and simply as possible. I use the macro, usually a /say macro, just before we start each fight, and I have failure macros like "kill the Emperor's Courage" that I use for problematic events in each fight. If they're well-written, thoughtful and authoritative, they can be convincing despite the aforementioned issues! RobBossMods is a great tool for this, too.
Of course, you do need to know the tactics in the first place...
Read the Dungeon Journal
Really, before you queue up, just take a second to read the dungeon journal, watch a video, or read some tactics. You don't even need to alt-tab out of game! Have a look for specific healer-focused abilities, for things that wipe the raid, have a vague understanding of what should be killed when. We're not in Dragon Soul any more, and you do need to have a decent notion of what's going on around you in order to kill these bosses. If you're tanking, I'd heartily recommend running these raids as another role just to get your bearings. There are some relatively daunting tanking requirements floating around across these bosses.
Even the best healers in the world can't always save players from their own inattention. Especially when it comes to the lift boss, a.k.a. Elegon's platform. While graphics are often low in Raid Finder by necessity, if your health is rapidly progressing downwards in large chunks, that's probably the point where you should have moved! Do try to stand in good puddles, and do try not to stand in bad puddles. Yes, healers can usually save you in the Raid Finder even if you do stand in bad, but if everyone does it, they can't.
Raid with friends
No, there's no real advantage to bringing guild-mates to the Raid Finder any more, and while I think the new loot system is an improvement on the old, I do miss that one aspect of the old system. It was flatly unfair that large groups could monopolize the Raid Finder's loot, but one advantage of that old system was that the organized, communicative groups meant that the raid itself went far more smoothly.
So, even though there's no loot-based advantage to doing so, bring some friends. Bring your guild, and exercise some group muscle to guide the puggers through the raid. What's more, do it on voice chat, and giggle at that hunter who's facing the wrong way, or have your priests grip people around the place for giggles. It's fun!
What are your top tips for getting through the Raid Finder wipe-free?
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