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[OpenRaid] An In-Depth Guide To (Open)Raiding!

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[OpenRaid] An In-Depth Guide To (Open)Raiding!

Postby Drakestalker » View Drakestalker's OpenRaid characters » Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:33 am


My name is Alex, but most people know me as Drake. I am making this post in hopes that it will help OpenRaiders overcome all the different obstacles and struggles of raiding. If you were unhappy with the fact that the official OpenRaid guides are too rigid and/or hard to understand and player PoV guides were not detailed enough, well, then this is the answer to your prayers!

Are you a fresh OpenRaider and you’re not sure how to join your first raid, or simply can’t find a good group? Not to worry, I’ve got you covered! Are you a veteran OpenRaider, but you’ve had the misfortune of only getting in terrible groups with horrible people? Have no fear, I’ve got you covered too. Finally, are you a player that aspires to become a raid leader? Are you dissatisfied with the way most raid leaders run their groups, so you want to become one yourself and do it better? Or maybe you’re simply not cut out to be a follower, you want to play by your own rules, hence you want to be a leader? Well, as the old saying goes, if you want something done properly, you have to do it yourself. Naturally, I have just the thing for you too!

In this guide I will talk to you about what to do to get started, how to prepare and how to get approved to that one raid you really want to join as a fresh OpenRaider!

By all means, feel free to skip to the part you feel interests you the most, but I believe this is all helpful information, so read it carefully.

First thing you need to understand is that when I say raiding, I mean current content raiding. If all that you want is to join old content runs for transmogrification gear and such, then you’re probably better off PuGing it in /trade or the OpenRaid chat if you’re on a dead realm. Regardless, if you’re looking to do old content raid achievements, and other such things that actually require a somewhat competent and coordinated group, then this might still interest you!

Step 1. – Prepare yourself!

Everyone wants to find a competent group with “people that have a brain”, but few are those that actually take a moment to ask themselves if they are competent in the first place. Sure, a raid encounter isn’t beaten by personal performance alone, it’s the team that beats the boss. However, the team is made of individuals, ergo the team performance is the sum of every player’s individual performance. If your performance is not appropriate, you do not have the right to expect anyone else’s to be so, hence you cannot expect to join a competent group. In order to make sure you perform, you need to make sure you have 3 things!

Number one: Gear. You need to make sure your gear is adequate. Most people hated the idea of GearScore in Wrath of the Lich King and they hate the idea of average item level now and they hate anyone who uses these measurement methods. I, like many others, liked GS back in the day and like average iLvL now. Where our conclusions differ, however, is that whilst others see iLvL as skill, I see it as potential. No matter how skilled you are, you cannot outdo the mathematical limitations of your gear. Your gear is the first thing that tells you if you’re ready for whatever challenges the game puts before you, hence you must make sure you’re appropriately equipped to face them.

Number two: Information. You need to make sure you are appropriately informed about a raid instance before you consider joining a raid to clear it. You cannot expect everyone else in the raid to do your research for you and explain everything to you. Do your own homework! Sure enough, some raid leaders may not require experience or prior knowledge of any kind, because they explain everything, much like myself, but you cannot compare the insight you have on a fight after watching a video guide with the insight you have after listening to an explanation on Vent/TS/RC/Mumb, or worse, reading it in chat. You could say that even with the little insight you get from such an explanation, any kind of confusion is cleared up after wiping a couple of times. Well, yes, but that actually requires you to wipe a couple of times, which isn’t fun! If you do your homework, you might just do it right the first time around and save your fellow teammates a couple hundred gold in repair money. Also, you could say that just you doing your homework doesn’t help as long as the others don’t give a f*ck. Yes, truly, everyone says that it’s less about personal performance and rather about raid performance, but as I’ve said before, a team is made of individuals, so in the end, yes, it IS about individual performance. You should have the same attitude you would wish your team mates to have, because if you don’t make an effort, then you cannot expect them to either. It all starts with you. Remember that every avalanche starts with one little snowflake rolling.

Another popular opinion on the matter says that watching video guides is not the right way to explore content, that you should be going out there and experiencing it for yourself, repair money and time spent be damned! Fair enough, if you find a group as adventurous as yourself, by all means, have fun! I say that sincerely, not sarcastically.

Number three: Attitude. As I’ve said above, you should have the attitude you wish your fellow team mates to have. Having an uninterested attitude simply because you assume they won’t care either or because "it's just a silly game", is obviously not the way to success, I hope you know that. You must go in with the proper mindset. As I always say, have your head in the game, pay attention to what is explained, do your job, don’t antagonize people and by the time this is over you’ll be going home with tons of shiny new loot. Take the raid seriously, and you will in turn be taken seriously yourself. The name of the game is balance (no, wait, it's World of Warcraft, I think...). Be balanced and you will be fine. What I mean by that is that you don’t want to stand out too much and step on anyone’s toes the first time you join a raid. Evidently, you mustn't be as quiet as a mouse and let everyone walk over you, but don’t be constantly pointing out everyone’s mistakes and giving instructions. If people make mistakes, trust me, they know it and they are probably frustrated themselves, they don’t need you to add to that feeling, and even if they don’t, it’s the raid leader’s prerogative to criticize players and especially to give instructions. If neither of the above happen, then you haven’t joined a proper raid in the first place, so none of this matters, you might as well as leave, but provided you're in a proper raid, do not annoy people with negative remarks and comments on obvious failures. Then again you must (paradoxically) not try to be too nice either. Don't try to be a cheerleader. Too much of anything is bad, yes, even too much positivity, it too can get annoying. I repeat, the name of the game is balance. Find the right balance!

Then again there are those who have a natural charm, a gift if you will. The gift of making themselves liked immediately. Making themselves liked because they are extremely funny, or because they are extremely grumpy and that in of itself is funny, who knows! If you are one such person, then yes, standing out could possibly be a good idea, but keep in mind that not everyone is cut out to be everybody's friend, no, not even these 'socially gifted' people so-to-speak. It's, as always, your choice in the end, but I would advise you to always play it safe the first time around, test the water, see what the people are like, what they accept and what they don't, how far their sense of humor streches, that kind of thing.

Step 2. – Find a proper raid!

Once you’ve made sure you’re the (wo)man for the job, you need to make sure you find a proper raid to join. Now, I know I say this a lot and I make a big deal out of it in my own raids, but it just is a big deal! I cannot stress enough how important this is! The description! You can judge how seriously a raid leader is taking his raid by looking at his description. Naturally, an event of which the description only says “670 ilvl+ no noobs” for, let’s say, Highmaul Normal (yes, I have seen events like that) is not an event you would ever want to join. An event description doesn’t have to be very long, but it must contain the vital details: how far you are expected to get (as in how many bosses can you expect to kill), what is expected of each player in terms of knowledge, experience and performance, how the loot will be distributed, what are the circumstances under which a player can expect to get kicked, will there any break times, are you or are you not going to be using a voice communication program (if so, are you required to talk), what is the procedure in case you are forced to leave the raid early due to the influence of outside factors and what are you expected to bring in terms of consumables, if any.

If the description of the raid you’re about to join doesn’t mention any of the above, then you are either dealing with an inexperienced raid leader or with an outright incompetent one. Find a raid with a proper description and a leader that takes his raiders seriously.

Finally, you need to care about the date of the event, make sure you are available, the time at which it starts, make sure you are available, and the duration, yes, you guessed it, make sure you’re available for the full duration.

Step 3. – Getting accepted into your raid of choice!

Once you’ve made sure you’re properly prepared and you have found a raid to your liking, you need to find a way to make the event’s leader recognize your valor and approve you. There are two ways you can go about this.

Number one: A proper sign-up note. For the love of everything that is good in this world, understand this: Stating your iLvL, class, spec, role, guild (really, I'm not impressed by the fact that your guild is top XX), realm (seriously?!), bosses you’ve killed before (unless you’ve killed them on a different character), does NOT help. All of these things can be seen by simply clicking your name and reading the information displayed by the pop-up. Instead you should say something about yourself, such as: Why do you want to join this raid? What makes you think you’re up to snuff? What is your prior raiding history, if any? If you haven’t raided before, why do you want to raid now? What can be expected of you? Are you prepared to bring consumables such as potions, flasks and banquets to the raid? Can you use any voice communication program, provided that one is required? Don’t be afraid to mention if one of your friends is already joining said raid! Being ‘connected’ always helps. Then again simply writing "friend of derp" and nothing else on your sign-up note is a bit disrespectful.

Having said that, try to keep your note relatively short. I personally like long and detailed sign-up notes, as you’ve probably guessed, but that is not a universal rule, long walls of text annoy most people (kind of like this post!). Try to judge and deduce for yourself what is appropriate.

A blank sign-up note is never an attractive sign-up.

Number two: Contact the raid leader directly. Some raid leaders, such as myself, put their BattleTags in their event descriptions. You can always try adding it and talking to them directly to convince them that you’re good enough to join their raid and that it would indeed be a good idea for them to approve you. Now, although I state that only the people I choose to put on reserve or higher are allowed to add my BattleTag, many players just add me anyway, and yes, it sometimes does annoy me when random sign-ups add me and pester me, on occasion it pleases me to see a player walk the extra mile to prove himself, provided they are polite, and I’ve approved countless such players to my raids.

If the raid leader’s BattleTag isn’t posted, then you can check what realm their character is on, create a character on said realm and talk to them like that.

The thing you have to understand about this, though, is that by contacting the raid leader directly, the probability of coming across as annoying, pushy and overbearing increases considerably. Like, if they don’t post their BattleTags, they probably do it for a good reason. Correspondently, I told you that I too get annoyed by such players sometimes, but still, many times it pays off. Look at it this way, if the note isn’t enough and you’re just not getting approved, try it, what’s the worst that can happen, you don’t get approved? Well, you weren’t getting approved in the first place. At least this way you have a fighting chance. That risk is just the trade-off you have to live with as an overachiever.

Step 4. – Staying in the raid and getting invited again!

This is where everything you’ve done so far is put to the test! You have the gear, make sure your performance shows it! You have the knowledge, make sure your performance shows it! You've convinced your raid leader that you're up to the task, again, make sure your performance shows it!

Other than actual gameplay, make sure you have and maintain a pleasant attitude. It’s all about the attitude. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times! Have your head in the game, pay attention to what is explained, do your job, don’t antagonize people and by the time this is over you’ll be going home with tons of shiny new loot!

It's also worth noting that constantly asking to switch characters for various bosses to maximize loot can stress your raid leader out and can make you look bad, lest you mentioned it in beforehand. In any event, unless this isn't your first time running with a given group and/or you know the raid leader well enough to know he won't mind, I would suggest choosing one character and sticking to it. Naturally, you should always switch if asked to do so. Being flexible and helping your raid out by switching characters when needed is always a plus in anyone's book.

Step 5. – Ending a raid!

Once the raid is over, take an extra moment to be polite and thank your teammates and raid leader for the enjoyable raid (provided that you did enjoy it) and say good bye before you leave, rather than just instantly quitting as soon as the last boss hits the floor.

The next time you visit the OpenRaid webpage you will be prompted to rate your fellow teammates and you will be given the option to leave feedback. My advice is this, unless you were especially bothered by a certain individual, rate everyone 5 stars, you have no reason to not do so. If you don’t remember a certain person, I would say, f*ck it, just rate him 5 stars anyway. You have the choice of just checking the [No opinion] box, but why not make someone’s day? Sure, if you want to be extra acute, you can rate some people 4 stars or even lower to exactly reflect their performance. But let me ask you this, if you were to have a good time in a raid, would it not make you happy to receive a 5 star rating afterwards? Would it not encourage you to join again? Isn't that the point? To create a healthy and positive raiding environment? Would you want to receive a 4 star, or lower, rating just because you weren’t 100% on top of your game? Don’t be too strict when rating. As I’ve said before, too much of anything is bad, find the balance.

As for feedback, do post a positive comment whenever you feel it is warranted. As I’ve said before, it will make someone’s day and it will also make said person appreciate you more. It is important for you to have a good relationship with your raid leader, but it is just as important for you to have a good relationship with your teammates.

As far as negative feedback is concerned, my advice is to not bother with it. In the event that someone displeased you, I would suggest just giving them a low rating, worst case scenario. If you choose to leave feedback, though, and your comment is rude or aggressive (even if because of justified anger or frustration), it will simply be removed by the OpenRaid moderators. OpenRaid’s rules are far too indulgent insofar as this particular issue is concerned, so even if your comment isn’t rude or aggressive, no matter how eloquent and impartial it is, they can still say it incites flame, hence it will be removed, ergo there’s no real merit in leaving such feedback. And suppose you do post such feedback and then it gets removed, this time you might get frustrated because you’re being censored and that starts a whole new argument. Again, the choice is yours, but I’m telling you it’s not worth it.

The whole policy behind posting feedback is very situational and ambiguous. If you want to study and go through it all, be my guest, but let me save you a headache and listen to me when I tell you this: Post positive feedback when you feel like it, skip it otherwise. Someone once asked: "So evaluations shouldn't be honest?" No, evaluations shouldn't always be honest. There's an old proverb that says some truths are better left unspoken. Some people just don't handle the truth too well. Ignorance is bliss, my friend!

Of course, you always have the choice of just skipping the whole rating process, but it’s just good manners to take an extra minute and click some stars a few times.

Step 6. – OpenRaiding!

Prepare. Browse. Apply. Raid. Rate. Repeat.

Alright, now that you're good and ready for the best raids that OpenRaid has to offer, please, the one thing you must never forget is this: OpenRaid should never ever be your endgame. Unless you join the OpenRaid guild and go for legitimate endgame progression, then you should look beyond OpenRaid. OpenRaid is only ever a means to a purpose. Ask around, ask any ‘casual’ player that begs everyone for a boost because he can’t raid. Ask him why he can’t raid. The answer will almost always be the same. He’ll say that it’s because he doesn’t have a guild. Ask him why he doesn’t have a guild and he will say that it’s because he doesn’t have gear or experience. Well, my friends, THIS IS IT, this is your El Dorado, your Neverland, your Promised Land. This is the place to GET said gear, GET said experience and then GO OUT THERE and JOIN A GUILD! Why are you playing this game? Why are you in here? Because you hate something, because you hate something out there. Because you hate your job, your school, your wife/husband, your girlfriend/boyfriend, your parents, your siblings, your family in general, your friends, your life, maybe all at once and you come here, to escape from all of that and be a hero, to go on an epic adventure and battle fantasy creatures for legendary rewards! Well, DO IT, go out there and MAKE your adventure epic! Go on such an epic adventure, that it makes it all worth it!

If you’re content with just casual OpenRaiding, because unlike what I mentioned above, you simply don't have time for a guild, then sure, by all means, enjoy it. If I am able to provide a home and family for my raiders in the brief time that we spend together, that makes me happier than anything. When people tell me that my raids are the highlight of their week, it means the world to me. But I still believe you should look above and beyond!

Many players that have joined my raids in the past at a certain point have told me “Hey, Drake, sorry, I won’t be joining your runs anymore, I’ve got all the gear and experience I need, so I found a guild and they invited me to their progression team!” That’s not them being disloyal to me, no! That’s them making all of the time and energy I put into my raids worthwhile! You complain that you have no gear to join good guilds, well, friend, that’s what I am helping you with, I am handing you the gear, giving you the tools for the job, the rest is up to you, now get off your arse and find yourself a team to be a part of! I will say this as many times as it is necessary, until you do it!

d[^_^]b Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope some of it, if not all of it, has and will help you on your great adventure of glorified PuGing! Part II for veteran OpenRaiders and part III for aspiring OpenRaid leaders are both coming soon!

You can always check out our raids by joining either our Facebook or OpenRaid groups and thus skip step 2 altogether. Profit!

Drake's Division on Facebook!

Drake's Division on OpenRaid!

Feel free to send me a forum PM should you want to ask me anything.

Flame on!
Last edited by Drakestalker on Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:54 pm, edited 11 times in total.

"Those who make conversations impossible, make escalation inevitable."

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Re: How To: An In-Depth Guide To (Open)Raiding! - Part I

Postby Masterlog » View Masterlog's OpenRaid characters » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:59 pm

Slightly off the mark

Google searched youtube, video started, but I couldn't open my eyes any longer because its too tired ... so I think I am still informed about bosses fights!

I can speak but I chose not too, but I am not a mouse either!

Can I join your raids please? I can buff the raid!! I believe that is a plus :D

By the way, great guide and thank you for taking the time to pen a few thoughts to help out :lol:
Now an invite please? :roll:
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Re: How To: An In-Depth Guide To (Open)Raiding! - Part 1

Postby Elexias » View Elexias's OpenRaid characters » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:47 pm

I have moved your guide to our home of guides. Really nice guide! :)
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Re: [Raid Leading] An In-Depth Guide To (Open)Raiding!

Postby TsugumiWinters » View TsugumiWinters's OpenRaid characters » Tue May 05, 2015 4:01 pm

This was beautiful, inspiring, and kinda long. lol. Brilliant guide! I agree with everything said here and will try to follow the guide as best I can.
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Re: [Raid Leading] An In-Depth Guide To (Open)Raiding!

Postby Mordecai160 » View Mordecai160's OpenRaid characters » Wed May 06, 2015 12:34 am

Posted this in my US forum thread here credited to you.

Thanks for posting this!
"What you say in the midst of your difficulties will have a greater impact on how long you stay in those situations"
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Re: [OpenRaid] An In-Depth Guide To (Open)Raiding!

Postby Cuddlybruce » View Cuddlybruce's OpenRaid characters » Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:29 am

Great Post mate thank you but I do have an issue which isn't covered? How do I invite friends I know all the tabs are there but I have a friend on OR who wanted to raid with me and shes added me as a friend but search can not find her for me to invite her into our raid event?
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Re: [OpenRaid] An In-Depth Guide To (Open)Raiding!

Postby Pandaphobe » View Pandaphobe's OpenRaid characters » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:38 am

Great post.
I am returning after about two years away. I predate the merge, lol.

**Suggestion** (and maybe I just haven't found it yet) - A Thread for the Abbreviations being used on the site. One of the first things I noticed is the massive array of abbreviations that a new user (or returning schmoe such as little ol me) would not understand.

Thanks and happy killing stuff.
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