Officers’ Quarters: Advice for a new raider
In this week’s Officers’ Quarters, a player who’s new to WoW asks about raiding on a limited schedule. Let’s explore the options for casual raiding and go over some advice for a new raider.
Hi, Crazyman. Welcome to WoW! Yes, it is possible to raid in a 60- or 90-minute timeframe. It helps if those 60 to 90 minutes are around the same time on the same days. The best case scenario would be to find a guild of players who raid in short bursts multiple times per week at around the same time on raid days. Such guilds are uncommon, but there are some.
Failing that, you have three options:
1. Raid Finder. The Raid Finder is sometimes called LFR (Looking for Raid). You can access this by hitting I to bring up the Group Finder, click on Raid Finder, and then queue up for a raid. When your queue pops, you’ll be teleported to the raid zone alongside 24 other players of the appropriate roles. You can quest or carry on with your business as usual while you wait.
Your queue will be a lot shorter if you’re a tank or a healer. However, these roles require a lot more responsibility and game knowledge than DPS. As a new player, I encourage you to begin as DPS unless you’re getting experience in dungeons as a tank or heal dungeons as you level.
The Raid Finder breaks up large raid zones into bite-sized chunks that typically take less than a hour, unless your group struggles with a specific boss. You’ll need a certain minimum ilevel to queue up for the Raid Finder, but you can get the gear by running dungeons or looting Baleful gear in Tanaan Jungle. You have to clear each wing of a raid to progress to a new one.
Regardless of where you end up, I recommend starting with the Raid Finder to familiarize yourself with WoW raiding and to get a sense of what the bosses do. The boss mechanics are far less punishing in the Raid Finder version, so any mistakes you make won’t be too costly to the group.
2. Premade groups. The Group Finder can also help you to raid Warlords raids or any raid from the game’s past. If you go into the Premade Group menu, you can search for and join raids being assembled by players. Some will have ilevel requirements that you may not meet, but others may be launching soon that will be happy to take you along. While such raids are more common in evening hours (realm time), you can often find them at any time of day thanks to WoW‘s cross-realm instance servers.
Joining Normal difficulty raids through the Premade Groups tool is a good next step after the Raid Finder. These raids can pull players from any realm and they have flexible sizes, from 10 players all the way to 30. This kind of raid will probably go on longer than an hour. However, if you have to leave, the group can keep going without you because of the raid’s flexible size. It’s easier for them to do so if you’re a DPS player, so that’s another reason to stick with that kind of spec for now.
Once you gear up and conquer Normal mode, Heroic is the next step. Heroic difficulty raids are similar to Normal: they’re flexible and cross-realm, just tougher to beat.
Warlords of Draenor also has a number of world bosses that you can fight with a 40-player raid, such as Supreme Lord Kazzak. You can join those raids in the Group Finder tool, too. They don’t take very long to kill, so it’s a good activity when you’re short on time.
3. OpenRaid. OpenRaid isn’t an in-game tool like the Group Finder. It’s a website and an addon. It has the same purpose as the Group Finder, but it offers far more versatility in its options. You can search for raids that suit your exact needs, from your time limit to your gear level. You won’t always find one, depending on how strict your search parameters are. You’ll probably have a better chance as you get more experience and better gear. But when you do find one, it’ll be just what you want.
Here are a few tips to help you as you make your first foray into raiding:
- Learn your rotation. If you want to make a meaningful contribution to the group, you’ll need to learn how to play your spec well. Sites like Icy Veins spell out exactly what abilities to hit and in what order. You won’t be perfect at it right away, but as long as you know what you should do, then you can keep improving.
- Augment your gear. Gems and enchants are very helpful, and not just for raiding — they help when you’re soloing too. The same sites that provide rotation information will also help you figure out what gems and enchants are best for your spec. Some of them may be very expensive, and it’s OK if you can’t afford them yet. There are usually cheaper alternatives, like a green-quality gem instead of a blue. The biggest improvement in performance is usually your weapon enchantment, so go for that one first if you have to prioritize.
- Consider installing addons. You don’t need dozens to raid well. The two types that are most helpful in a raid environment are a boss addon like Deadly Boss Mods or BigWigs and a “you’re standing in the bad” warning addon like GTFO. You can easily install and update your addons with Curse Client.
- Always be friendly and honest. When you make a mistake, admit it. When you don’t understand something, ask a question. Most players really appreciate this, raid leaders and officers especially. The players who give veterans fits are the ones who pretend that they know what to do but keep screwing it up because they’re too afraid or too proud to ask. It’ll help you stand out as a good person to raid with.
Speaking of asking questions, if you’d like to see yours answered in Officers’ Quarters, please post them below or hit me up on Twitter @QuestVendor. Until next time…
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