The success or failure of your raid can be directly attributed to how well you prepare for a specific boss and how well a raid leader prepares their raid.
Why spend time preparing for a boss? This sounds like work, its just a game.
- Preparing for raids saves lots of potentially lost time wiping to a boss.
- It saves a lot of frustration
- Ensures each raid member is on the same page when it comes to the strategy.
There’s a ton of resources available to each raider. Back in my day, we never had strategy websites, friends giving us tips, combat-logging tools, videos, or cooldown spreadsheets. These days, there are multiple competing websites and guides that explain each aspect of an encounter. There is zero excuse one of your raiders is not ready for an encounter or you aren’t!
- When preparing for a Normal/Heroic encounter, take a glance at the Dungeon Journal. Blizzard has finally given a good basic overview of the encounter and your relevant job. Dungeon Journal is more tailored towards LFR/Normal difficulties but it will give you a glimpse of what you should be interrupting, avoiding, tanking, or dispelling.
- Strategy Websites – Icy-Veins, or Manaflask,
Noxxic(Kidding), and a number of others have general boss strats and explanations with videos and diagrams. They go in-depth with bosses of all difficulties and are generally made by people that have experience on those bosses and defeated them. Reading through the strats and abilities on these websites is one of the most useful tools.
- Youtube – There are so many guide and kill videos available to you. You’ll find any videos with a voiceover explaining each mechanic and how to deal with it accordingly. Click Here for an example of the video resources to defeating Brackenspore. Just do take note at the date the video was published. Some are from Beta and the abilities have been changed since testing.
- Get advice from experienced players! If you’re not in a top 5 World guild, you have friends, streams that will share their knowledge of a specific encounter. They’ll give you tips, suggestions, and what worked for them. Save potential wipes by learning from the mistakes of other guilds.
- Logs Logs Logs. Unless a guild is a top world guild, they have no business making their logs private. Those logs are free for you to look at. Look at composition makeups, how many healers guilds have brought, and which dps are best for that raid encounter. Look at spell breakdowns of healers, ability and cooldown usage. If you’re a priest and you’re only casting 90 Power Word: Shields during a 9 minute segment, and other priests are casting 200, you know exactly why they are pushing those much higher numbers.
- Once you have your strat planned out, many encounters require major cooldowns to be used at appropriate times. Set these up in advance! Here is our cooldown spreadsheet for Highmaul. And Here is our spreadsheet for Siege of Orgimmar.
- I’ve seen Powerpoint presentations for raid strats, and lots and lots of graphics. Use MSPaint if you have any semblence of artistic skills:
Likewise you may want to use a nicer website like
8. And finally nothing beats actual experience on a raid boss. If you played in the Beta, you may have had many attempts on these bosses. Otherwise PTR is great for learning and experiencing new encounters. Many of you raided with Death Jesters last night and tested the first few bosses.
These points are the very basics I would expect of Heroic/Mythic raiders.
Remember that people are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners. Use what resources reflect your style of learning. And raid leaders, remember to adapt your strats, your preparation to all three styles. But nothing will ever be as beneficial as having experience on a raid encounter.
At the end of the day, we’re real people with real lives and limited time. Do what you can to prepare, and understand that you’re wasting the time of 9-29 other people by not knowing the mechanics of a fight.