So you want to be a raider

Dasie, originally named Qutey – Do you know who she’s standing next to?

There are numerous types of blogs out there about MMO’s. I say this because I spend an hour every day reading the ones that interest me, the ones of course that are linked down the right hand side of my site. There are the ones I like to call “news types”, that blog about who’s doing what within MMO companies and what’s going on with the dynamics of the games, and who play the games themselves but write very little about their actual adventures. Then there are those who blog about their actual adventures, specific quests, zones, characters. I admit right now, I am not one of those people who blog about the news of MMO’s. I know what’s upcoming because I read it else where. I write about my own personal experiences within the game and my observations outside of game. But I’ll never be one of those news blogs, and there’s nothing wrong with that.. I only mention this because someone decided to send me tells in game on a level 1 character that I’ll leave unnamed and speak down to me about my blog. I write the way I write, and if you don’t care for my style, well, quite frankly you can just bugger off.

Anyhow.

Tonight I’ll (hopefully) be doing Lyceum and Halls of Seeing, with The Inquisition on Antonia Bayle. They are not a hard core guild, but they do raid three times a week, and are making headway into EoF content. Today is their KoS day, which suits me just fine I’m always cautious raiding with a new group of people. Why am I cautious?

Well, raiding is a big deal. Ok, not a big deal, but it’s complicated. It’s not like your general group, you’re with 23 other people and the responsibilities shift based on your class. Every single player in a raid has their own personal part, and you have to do it, and you’re expected to do it well. If you don’t, it will be noticed. So this post will be some very basic, very easy hints and tips to raiding. I’m not trying to come off as a know it all or anything of the sort, but I have been raiding in EQII for quite some time now, and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of things people simply don’t know. Not because they’re stupid, but because no one’s taken the time to teach them how to raid. Yes, you do have to be taught to raid. The screen shot above is my templar standing by the Vision of Vox. Yes, she’s a templar wearing a dress, I think it was for the cold saves. The screen shot was taken in 2005. Vox is used for prismatic 1.0, which was “the thing” to do when you were level 50 and that was the level cap. Dasie got her prismatic scepter of the scale at level 45, with a guild on Najena called Allure. I have learned so much since those early days of raiding.

Number one, show up on time. You’d think this would be a very simple rule, but I can’t even count the number of times that key members are late. Yes, there is such a thing as real life, but if you are signed up for a raid then please at least have the curtsey to show up for the raid. Of course there are always exceptions, life happens, but if you’re just goofing around on an alt or something, you’re holding 23 people up. Try to be at your raid location 15 minutes ahead of time at least, so that the raid leader can invite you and start organizing their groups.

Number two, unless YOU are the raid leader, let them do their thing. It always astounded me the number of people who moan and complain and gripe about certain things in a raid – like group set ups. You may know better, but it is not your raid, and mouthing off in the raid channel about it during the raid is the wrong time to open up a discussion about how things are set up. Deal with the raid in the method it’s given to you, and then afterwards, request to speak to someone on how to make it better and improve on things. The raid leaders have enough to deal with already without 10 people screaming at them about how “such and such a thing” is done wrong. When you’re the raid leader then you can control the raid. If you’re a guest, remember that’s what you are, you’re a guest. If they ASK for suggestions and help, that is different.

Number three, show up prepared! Some more hard core guilds require you to keep certain pieces on you. These range from power regen potions, to critical hit potions, or symbols that are sold from the city merchant that let you avoid aoe’s. There’s any number of items that can help you prepare for a raid. The very basic of these though — mend. That’s right, showing up at the raid in 10% gear is not showing up prepared to raid. Show up with food and drink. Try to keep at least one repair kit on you at all times. Especially if you’re doing a pick up raid, there is no guarantee that they’re going to supply you with a mendor bot, or repair kits of their own. Find yourself a carpenter and keep one on you. Personally, I keep + wis or + int potions on my characters, as well as clarity potions. They’re not a requirement, but they will make you a better raider.

Number four, be patient. The raid is gathering. You showed up early. There’s still 10 people missing and it’s 15 minutes past the start time. Don’t start bouncing around asking when you’re going to start. Just sit tight, and be patient. The raid will start when it’s good and ready. You being upset about the start time is not going to hasten it along. AFTER the raid, talk to an officer or the raid leader and if you’re going to be raiding with the group on a constant basis, bring up the time issue. Ask or suggest what methods could insure that the raid starts on time. Be patient during the multiple AFK’s that will happen while you’re in the zone, and while loot is being handled out and discussed.

Which leads me to number five, if you are a guest, ask how loot is handled before you join the raid. Does the guild use DKP? Do you have any chance at loot at all or is it guild only? Is it NBG (need before greed) is it /random 100? Ask before the raid, before the leaders are flooded with other questions and yours is just another annoyance. There’s nothing wrong with asking. Communication and lack there of is always a huge thing especially in an MMO when you can’t see the people face to face. You have to talk to leaders and raiders alike, during the proper time periods of course. Don’t start spamming their raid channel with questions during the raid. Leave it for important messages and uncluttered.

Don’t get me wrong with this post, raids are certainly a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of time for fun and playfulness within one. You may not want to start laughing hysterically while you’re about to pull Mayong Mistmoore though over teamspeak, distracting people from doing their jobs. In the end, that’s what a raid is, it’s a group of people coming together and doing their jobs, and taking down named for pretties.

Know your class and upgrade what you can. Know your skills. Know how you benefit other people. If you see your resists are low and you’re afraid of getting creamed with AoE’s be sure to step back on a fight. Listen during the raid for hints and tricks on how you’re going to attempt specific encounters. EVERY guild does named encounters differently. Every time I’ve done Labs or Lyceum or Halls of Seeing, or even Freethinkers Hideout, the encounters are different. Some times just the pull is different, the positioning, the method of downing the mob. So be sure to listen to that sort of stuff. If you’re unsure of where to stand, look for people of your class, and stand with them. Mages, healers, fighters, scouts. Where are they clustered around. It’s just common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded.

During a raid, don’t take things personally. If someone screams that the healers are not doing their job, don’t start a huge debate on how you ARE in fact doing your job. YOU know what you’re capable of. Unless they are another healer, and telling you that you’re not doing your job. Then ask how you can improve. Ask for hints and tips on how to make the raid better. Most raids use parsers to indicate who is healing or who is dps’ing. Parsers and showing up at the top (for heals at least) are NOT the end all be all. It does not mean that the 4th healer is not doing their job — unless their heal parse is blank. THAT is when you worry. Or if AoE’s are going off and no AoE heals are being cast. That’s what heal parsers show. They don’t show who is the best, they show who is paying attention. Shaman are typically always first on those parses, just because of the way their heals work, it over writs everyone else’ heal out there since it’s damage prevention instead of actual hit point healing.

Anyhow, sorry for the rambling, in preparation for tonight’s raid I just wanted to go over the basics. What can I say, it’s been a while.

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6 Comments

  1. Stan

    Good article man. These basics are very helpfull for new guys starting raid. What I would add here:
    – you must know what assist mean, and what’s the difference between assisting or targeting thru,
    – you must know how to create macros and how to use them
    – you must know how to behave on pulls (this come from experience). When to preheal your MT, in what order casts spells/debuffs etc
    – everytime you must go AFK, say it on raid channel and set flag. it really helps a lot to raid leader,
    – on most imporant thing – DO WHAT YOUR LEADER ASK YOU TO DO, WHERE TO STAND ON PULL etc.

    One thing always amaze me. People tend to forget on raids, that there are 23 other guys who depends on you. Going ninja afk, or departing from raid after 30 minutes of raiding really pissed them. You need to feel and be responsible.

    As for parsers. DPS or heals – it’s all about competition. Ofcourse they might be inaccurate (specially heals) about how hard you play. But it’s always fun for most of ppl. As I play templar, I have lots of fun when I outdps stricte dps classes or outheal shamman in my group (MT or support group).

  2. I agree with Ogrebears on the healer parse. I may not have much experience raiding in EQ2 but from my experience in previous MMO’s where I spent the majority of my time raiding I found the parses to be an inaccurate way of measuring who is doing their job. The only time I would see a need for parses of ANY sort would be when there’s suspicion that someone isn’t doing their job – but even then in EQ2 with 24 people you don’t need a parser for that. One person not doing their job is blatantly obvious.

    I can’t wait until my Brigand is high enough to try a raid in EQ2. :)

  3. Agreed Ogrebear. Being a raid healer, I get pissed when they parse the heals. MT group is overpowering heals vs a support or off group. I mean there’s some encounters where I’m just spamming tauma cure and spot healing, and they parse it… It’s embarressing sometimes. Healing parses should only be used in the case where you are trying to motivate healers to get on the ball imo.

  4. I’ve never understood why there is a healer parse. In my guild we have 5 differnet channels set up (fighter, mage, healers, scouts and DPS). and the healer parse goes in the healer channel, and DPS goes in to the DPS channel. So since i’m not a healer i never see our healer parse.

    But i still don’t understand why there is a healer parse. It seem kinda pointless to me, since the healers in the MT group by deafult are going to heal more than thouse out side, and then again certain healer classes are going to heal for more than others. So i’ve allwasy felt it was kinda pointless

  5. There is no accounting for some people is there? You are right – if someone does not care for your work here, then they dont need to read it – no need for nasty tells in game.

    From a personal point of view, a lot of things you write are common sense. But it is also true that some things come a lot easier by asking questions and people helping you.

    You of all people know that I am personally in the middle of a huge learning curve with regards to grouping and raiding. I am not stupid, but there is a HUGE difference to my 55 levels of solo play and my current mix of grouping and raiding. Some I have picked up, but I am also not too proud to listen to ideas from people who have played for a long time.

    I just hope that you dont get bored with me asking you questions in game :)

    IMHO while you are solo, you can stuff around as much as you like. However as you point out, when you are in a group or raid it is just respect to your colleagues to watch what you are doing and then everyone has a lot more fun.

  6. It wasn’t me that sent the tell – HONEST! I’m all out of character slots!!! :-)

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