Wednesday, September 20, 2006

So You Want to be a Raider? Part Two

Are tradeskills other than First Aid useful?

Yes, all tradeskills are useful. Cooking gives you buffs, smithing allows you to make resistance gear, etc. However, the requirements I listed above are more important. If you have a choice between getting your Onyxia key or getting 300 Blacksmithing, go for the Onyxia key.

How do I find a raiding guild to join?

Join the GuildRecruitment channel, and watch for people advertising in the major cities.

On your WoW realm forums, there is usually a guild progression thread listing the guilds involved in endgame. Most of these threads have links to the guild websites.

As well, keep an eye on the realm forums, and check out the Guild Recruitment forum. Guilds often post to the forums if they are looking for people.

Participate in pickup groups. You may group with a raider, and she may tell you if her guild is looking for people.

What should I look for in a guild?

First, make sure that you can attend their raids. There's not much point in joining a raid guild when you can't make the raids. If the guild doesn't have their raid times listed, ask a member of the guild in game.

Second, make sure you like their loot system and rules. Loot is one of the major reasons for going to the trouble of raiding, so make sure you can live with the system the guild uses. Most guilds do not use the built-in rolling systems, but rather DKP or point systems.

Third, see if the guild is recruiting your class and if you meet their requirements. There's no harm in applying to a guild if you don't, but you are more likely to be successful if you are what the guild needs.

Try and make sure the guild is a good fit, personality-wise. This is often harder than it appears, because you don't really see the true face of the guild until you join. Don't join a guild if you dislike some of the guild members or have had bad experiences with them. You'll be spending a lot of time together, and it can get frustrating at times. Don't be afraid to leave a guild that isn't working out for you. Epics are not worth being unhappy!

How do I apply to a guild?

Most raiding guilds will have an application forum on their website, where you will find a list of requirements and an application template. Fill out the template to the best of your abilities.

Do not lie on your application. It's much better to be truthful, and lying will only create bad blood. If you seem to fall short of their requirements, it's much better to acknowledge it, rather than dance around the question. Also, if a guild asks you about your previous guilds, do not badmouth your old guilds. Be honest, but be classy.

Often, an application will ask you about your gear. It's useful to create a profile at a site like CTProfiles. This way, you can just put a link to your profile on the application.

Finally, only apply to one guild at a time. Most raiding guilds frown on people who apply to multiple guilds. Apply to one guild, and wait a couple days for a response. If they don't respond, contact them in-game and ask politely about their application. If you do decide to apply to another guild, post a response to your first application saying that you are withdrawing it.

I got into a guild, and am going on my first raid! What should I know?

Congratulations! Here are some quick tips to help you on your first raid:

1. Show up on time and prepared. Show up at the instance enterance a few minutes before the raid starts. Make sure you have all the gear you need, and that everything is repaired.

2. Have a stack of heavy runecloth bandages, 5x Major Health potions, and 5x Major Mana potions if you are a mana-user. You should also have enough reageants to last you the entire run. I usually bring twice as much as strictly necessary. It's better to have too many than to run out.

3. Follow instructions from the raid leader. If you don't understand something, speak up and ask a question. Also, it's a good idea to choose an experienced player of your class and follow her lead. Be careful here, because sometimes the experienced player can get away with riskier moves, so try to err on the side of caution. However, watching how the other player positions herself will often help you understand the fights.

4. Try and read up on the fights beforehand. A good source of information is WoWWiki. You never truely understand a fight until you experience it first hand, though. But reading up on it first can help a lot.

5. Don't go Away From Keyboard during the run unless absolutely necessary.

6. You probably won't get any loot from your first run, because you'll have less points than the other raiders. Don't expect loot, and don't bombard the raid with questions about loot. If you have questions or concerns about how loot is handled, ask after the raid.

7. Try to show up to all the raids, especially the learning ones. Don't expect a spot in a very cutting edge raid, because you will generally be outgeared by the other raiders. However, show up and be prepared to jump in if the raid needs you. Let the raid leader decide if you are geared enough. It's very important to show up to both the raids with a lot of wipes AND the raids with a lot of loot.

8. Have fun! Remember it's a game, so don't get so caught up in everything that you forget to have a good time. Blizzard has put in a lot of work into their raid dungeons, and it's worth taking the time to enjoy them.
Okay, I think that's everything. Post if you see anything missing or that should be added.


  1. Thanks for the tips!

    Hopefully I'll put them to use soon.

    I've watched guild recruitment messages with greater interest as a result of your blog. For example, it is interesting to see a guild recruiting levels 20+ characters and a mention of raiding in the same post.

    As for me, I'll probably spend a lot of time researching between now (level 45) and 60, following your tips about watching carefully in-game and using extra-game resources as well.

    Thanks again!

  2. Just some random additions:

    1. Make sure the guild is a good fit. If you're GBLT and the guild throws faggot around on Vent or aren't going to be happy.

    2. If you're in blues then don't apply to a Naxx guild and expect to go straight to Naxx. You will lack experance and gear. If you get into such a guild, then run MC and BWL. You'll get geared and experanced eventally. But don't whine about how you end up in a DKP hole or aren't seening bleeding edge content.

    3. Make friends with people in the guild. The top ten guilds on my server rarely make recruiting posts with the exceptions of priests and druids. All of us accept apps via websites but in many cases it's people that other members have pugged with or PvPed with in the past.

    4. Don't leave your previous guild with a lot of drama. If you were in a ZG/AQ guild that was using DKP, don't go on a mad spending spree right before you leave. It's going to make drama.

    5. Understand your class. Understand that if you are an odd spec like Ret or Shadow or feral that most of the time you will not get to do that in a raid. It doesn't mean to abandon your spec, but select your gear carefully. Lots of +healing can allow you to cover for talents you don't have. +mana/5 can let you last longer. Much of your class sets won't be as good for you.

    6. Don't be an asshat in your application. Don't say things like "Fuck you all if you don't take me."

    7. Keep aware of if your hated arch-enemy is in the guild. You'd be suprised how often this happens.

    8. Be aware of how many people play you class. Priests and Druids will have an easier time getting in then hunters and rogues.

  3. Oh, and read the general strats for bosses on intro runs. The guild may not do them that way but know what a boss can and can not do.

    And be careful about following that experanced player around. Just because they do something a certain way doesn't mean you should. In MC I'm in full DPS gear. But a starting raider shouldn't be. In full DPS gear I have more mana then they will in thier healing gear.

    I don't wear wear my FR set untill Rags because I know to keep my finger over the healing pot button on the lava packs in case of being double tapped by Pyroblossom.

    But I've learned to do that from experance. So just remember that watching someone doesn't always tell you why they do something a certain way.

  4. thoma, it's true that watching someone might not help, but it's often better than nothing, especially on fights where positioning is important.

    I'll add some of your ideas into the mix.

    doeg, the level 20+ guilds are ambitious, and they want to do all the content, and that is laudable. But they lack experience, and don't really understand how the game changes. So I don't really think that it's a sign of bad guild or anything for wanting to raid even though they are in their 20s. Just a sign of guild that is not really experienced just yet.

  5. The only problem is if watching someone teaches you bad habits. A major portion of that is training by experanced class members teaching inexperanced class members.

    And a guild can be a raiding guild and have low levels. It can work if you balance things.

  6. Be prepared to be thick skinned. When you get accepted, and you will get accepted (I was let into a MC guild in greens and some blues), the people you're playing with know each other. They have run the same instance, on the same night for months on end in many cases. You will most likely be considered a newb for a while until you prove yourself. If someone or something bothers you on a regular basis, talk to an officer in private.

    Also be prepared to learn from your mistakes. While learning to pull in MC, I have wiped the raid several times in several different ways. But I've yet to do it the same way twice. I was controler in BWL last night. Took me a full wipe to figure out what I was doing. Three attempts later we had 5 eggs up when we wiped. Basically don't be dumb in the same way twice.

    That's all I've got.

  7. Slightly off topic, but PvP.
    I have spent a considerable amount of time looking for information on speccing a BG paladin.

    My paladin is aiming for 29, for our guild BG group.
    My current spec is 3-12-4

    Any suggestions, or links to good sites would be appreciated.