As we’re all either getting ready to start raiding, or are already progressing through the current content, I’d like to discuss how we prepare for raids. I’m not talking about having the right spec, or bringing your health and mana potions – but rather preparing for the encounter itself.
Each boss have a different set of abilities, and as such a different tactic for us to be able to defeat them.
We, as players, have to know the boss’ abilities and know how to counteract them (as well as of course get enough output on our dps and healing). How we learn about these things is something that interests me (and how we learn things in general).
The Usual Suspects
In a raid guild you can usually find a few different people when it comes to knowing the boss tactics;
The Raid Leader – by distinction he has to know everything the boss does and what the raid needs to do to defeat him. Step by step.
The Slacker - if you’re lucky he’s at least raid specced and brought his own stack of consumables, but you know he’s not read up about the boss and expects the Raid Leader to tell him all about it.
The Prepared – most likely this raider has read through all of the tactics and have a general idea of the boss fight already before the Raid Leader explains it.
The Overly Prepared – this is someone who probably studied the fights as much as the Raid Leader (or at least thinks that they did) and will interrupt them as they have their own input on what the best tactics should be.
Obviously there are grey areas in between these as well. For example, I’m usually overly prepared; I’ll have read up on the encounter and I’ll know tactics – but! - I don’t interrupt our Raid Leader and give my own ideas for tactics (unless we’re wiping repeatedly and I know he got something wrong! *grins*)
Expectations on Raiders
This probably varies between raid leaders, but for me – if I’m leading the raid – I expect my raiders to at least have a rudimentary idea of the fight before we go in.
I have no interest in spending 15 minutes laying out every spell and ability only to then finally get to explain the tactics. If people have a general idea of the boss abilities when you enter the instance – you can go pretty much straight to the tactics that your guild will employ, with only briefly mentioning abilities (as they pertain in the tactics).
There are so many places where you can find out what abilities a boss has that no one really can have any excuse for not having looked it up.
Something to note though; the tactics that you as a guild employ may not be what you read on your site of choice. In the end, the choice of tactics is up to the Raid Leader and he/she will decide what they think is best for your raid.
Wowhead – The go-to place for all things WoW. If you search on a boss you will find all of the abilities they do as well as possibly a tactic. There can also be useful comments from other people who have done the fight.
Wowpedia – Another great website where you can see every boss for every instance with their abilities listed. You can almost always find good tactics as well.
TankSpot – Great website that has a lot of information for raid tactics, not to mention very useful movies with commentary.
YouTube – You can always search for the boss in question and view movies to get a visual idea of what the raid looks like.
Everyone learns in different ways. Some learns by trial and error, some by visual aids and some by simply reading the information. You probably know yourself best and therefore should have an idea about what you need to do for yourself to know the fight as well as you can before you go into the raid instance.
For me personally, I like to read the tactics and abilities on one or two sites and sometimes (if I feel unclear about some ability) I might go watch a TankSpot video.
That being said though, I am something of a visual person and usually need one attempt at a boss to see the abilities/tactics “in action”. Once this is done I generally feel like I know what I’m doing and am confident in my abilities and knowing what to do when.
So, what about everyone else, how do you prepare for a raid when it comes to tactics? Which sites are your favourites? What kind of “learner” are you; do you need to be in the fight yourself once or a few times before you know it, or is it enough to watch videos and read tactics?