Know how to start raiding in World of Warcraft and what to prepare.
For many players, raids are the endgame of PvE content. With challenging bosses and many rewards (like WoW gold) at stake, it can be daunting for more casual players. Raiders take things very seriously, and for casuals who want to have fun, that can be a huge turn-off.
However, raiding can be fun with friends and the right mindset. There will be times when the party gets wiped, but there are times when everything goes well, and the raid succeeds. Wrong party members are expected in PUGs. With a regular raiding group, it’s not something that you’ll encounter often.
Here’s how to prepare to raid, even as a casual player.
The Desire to Raid
This is the singular most vital characteristic to have. Without it, you won’t strive to improve, which means you’ll drag your group down with your refusal. You’ll become a weak link in the raid, a load, so to speak.
That leads to resentment and the breaking down of cooperation within the group. Without teamwork, there will be fewer successes, and raiding as an activity becomes a chore. If you want to raid, however, you’ll have an easier time taking corrections and improving your game.
Wanting to raid means you want to get better at it, and that improves morale. Cooperating is easier because you want the group to succeed as much as the others. Don’t jump into raiding half-heartedly. Even with just one person without motivation, it spreads to the group.
The next thing you need to do is to gear up. Get the highest-leveled equipment you can without raiding. Ensure that the items are the best fit for your build. The goal is to get to ilvl 441 or as close to it as possible. There are many ways to improve item level:
- Farming reputation
- PvP world quests
- General world quests
- Lurking in the Auction House (some sellers offer excellent equipment at basement prices sometimes)
- If you have a raiding group, you can ask them to run a few dungeons with you for upgrades
Running with lower ilvls is possible, but you’ll need the skill to back it up. That is the skill of using the class to its highest efficiency.
Learn Your Class Inside and Out
Each class fit a role in the party. There are tankers, healers, and damage dealers (DPS). Tanks keep the enemies from targeting healers and DPS characters. Healers provide recovery and support, while DPS players deplete the HP bars of the enemies.
Of course, there could be overlaps depending on the character’s build, but each class generally falls under one role. You’ll want to perform that role efficiently, so you should learn the ins and outs of every ability. How to time them to get the most damage as a DPS, or healing (for healers) or blocking (for tanks) to intercept big hits from the target.
There’s also mana and class-specific resource management, which is crucial because you won’t be able to use abilities without them. Keeping some in reserve for emergencies is essential. Still, you also don’t want to have useless resources because that means you’re not being efficient. It would be best to learn the rhythms of using skills and regaining resources during battle.
Set Up Keybindings
You might be good at clicking stuff, but it’s terribly inefficient due to all the traveling the pointer has to do. Having keybinds will make things easier in the long run, and you’ll be able to react to something faster.
Think about it: the mouse pointer has to travel to the skill and then to the target. With a keybind, you can press the button and click on the target, which is much faster and more efficient. Besides, with bigger screens being the trend, the path the pointer has to follow also got longer.
The recommended setup is a gaming mouse with at least two thumb buttons. Set those as Shift and CTRL. Use the buttons around the movement keys WASD for shortcuts, and set A and D as strafe, not turn. Nobody uses keyboard turns nowadays.
Put your main ability rotation on the shortcuts, then practice it. Later, you’ll realize how convenient it is and keybind everything.
Know Your Enemies
As a programmed NPC, bosses have a pattern of attacks you can exploit. Learn their attack patterns and time moving away, closing in, when to stand your ground, and when the boss is most vulnerable. This is advice that works in real life and in-game.
When you anticipate the boss’s attacks, you can survive more easily. It lessens the burden on your healer because you don’t take as much damage. While it’s impossible to know every boss’s habits at the drop of a hat, being able to refresh and remind yourself before a raid or battle is enough.
This also includes any weaknesses and resistances, making you more effective. At the very least, you won’t attempt something the boss will resist or be immune to.
Enchant Your Gear
When raiding, you want to put your best foot forward. You can’t be expected to perform well without suitable equipment. Having the highest ilevel isn’t the only criterion. It would be best if you also enhanced it with various power-ups. It depends on the expansion mechanics, but this will increase your potential.
The raid group needs everybody to perform at maximum efficiency, which is part of that. While the top of the rankings shouldn’t be your primary concern, not matching the others’ outputs will get you in hot water with the group. Enchanting gear will close that gap, and nobody will accuse you of underperforming.
Get Your Own Potions, Food, and Flasks
While the group will likely provide feasts, having your own means you don’t have to rely on the group. They might’ve only planned for one, for example, leaving anyone who doesn’t have their supply to flounder after the feats buffs disappear.
It’s the same thing with potions. They’re excellent for emergencies if you take a hit you weren’t supposed to. The consumables could keep you alive until the healer can get to you, and you’re not as reliant on them. Of course, you’ll need to manage your supply so you won’t run out too early in the raid. Still, it’ll be handy to bring them along for the run.
Flasks (or Phials in Dragonflight) are another layer of buffs you can use. These are also consumable, and you’re responsible for supplying them. You can either have an Alchemist friend provide them for you or put an order before the raid. You can also be an Alchemist and be the one to brew them (even supplying the guild/group).
Set Up VOIP
Communication is critical to cooperation. While the raid leaders will be the ones to speak most of the time, they’ll want to hear from the members if they have concerns. If you do have something to discuss, you won’t be able to if you don’t get a headset and set up Discord, Mumble, Teamspeak, or the like.
Chat messages can be easily missed due to all the system alerts, and voice calls make everything more convenient. All you have to do is unmute and say your piece.
Don’t Be A Jerk
As with anything that needs communication and cooperation with other people, you should be on your best behavior. Show up on the assigned time, pay attention to the instructions, and do a good job. Don’t be a jerk to your raiding group.
If you want to succeed, communicate whenever there’s a problem. The group will handle it as a team, and you’re never left alone. While the group can’t function efficiently if one of the members is underperforming, it’s better than having a no-show and pulling a random player in.
Also, when on a raid, focus on the task at hand. It’s not a time to get to know people; that’s reserved for socialization outside the dungeon. You’ll be wasting time and making others in the group unfocused to reply to your chatter. In a raid, you have a job to do.
Some Questions to Ask
If you’re still on the fence about raiding, consider these questions:
- Do you have a few hours a week to spare for raiding?
- Do you have enough gold to spend on regular repairs and resupplying?
- Do you agree to not receive the items you want, especially if the reason is politics?
- Are you alright with conforming to the expectations of the group?
- Do you love your class and role enough to push it to the limit?
If your answer to the above questions is a resounding and confident yes, raiding will be an agreeable activity for you.
Otherwise, saying no to any of the questions should make you reconsider trying raiding. Remember that a half-hearted member can drag down the rest of the group, so if you’re not 100% sure, you shouldn’t try.
Have Fun Raiding in WoW!
Aside from WoW tier sets, you can get various rewards through raiding. The rarest mounts can only be found through the feature, and other quests are only available after completing one. It takes much effort and motivation, but the rewards are worth it. Sometimes you don’t get what you need, but the achievement of doing a difficult raid makes up for it.