What it really means to be a "good" raider
TOP 12 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING A GOOD RAIDER:
12) Have Class
Back in the day, they did not have DPS meters to tell you how good you were or how much you sucked. You simply knew based on how that person consistently died, consistently did the wrong thing, etc. Now, meters have almost ruined the game. Instead of being the tool they were intended, to guide performance and a manner by which to compare playing styles, they have become a means to show off, to taunt others, and to prove to everyone (and maybe yourself?) that you don't suck as bad as you (or anyone else) thought. But this is the reality--good dps doesn't necessarily make you a good raider. Bad dps doesn't necessarily make you a bad raider. The DPS and all other meters were intended as a guide to assist you in comparison and improvement of your class. None of the best guilds I know stress the meters and many guilds absolutely forbid their linking in any raid. The real focus should remain on overall performance and improvement, and not using them as a way to give each other a hard time about how well or how poorly they did. Remember: you are in a guild--you are on the same team as everyone else. Have enough class to respect and appreciate your fellow guildies and if you see them struggling, it's your responsibility to help them improve, not laugh at them. If you are not willing to help them improve, then neither they nor you belong in the raid.
11) Be Patient
One thing I've noticed in recent years / raids is people getting frustrated after 2-3-4-5 wipes on boss. I remember back in the MC days when we'd spend DAYS (and sometimes weeks) wiping on one boss. But while this game has transitioned to a more casual focus, that shouldn't mean we give up and walk away or get upset because bosses aren't just laying down and dying the first couple of times we make it to them. Things take time. Learning strategies takes time. Be an active part of the process and bring your best to the raid.
10) Do your best. Always.
Let's face it, sometimes your best isn't good enough. It's not good enough because you had a bad day, because your computer is on the blitz, because your dog won't stop asking you to go outside, or whatever other reason you can imagine. We've all been there. But sometimes, being a good raider means putting on your game face and sucking it up.
9) Don't complain in Raid
It's one thing to express frustration, we all have those days when we feel frustrate/upset/____(insert word here). But when you complain in the raid, it brings everyone's morale down. So if you need to complain, tell a friend in a whisper or if you have a really nice raid leader, bring it up to them in private.
8) Be On Time
One of the biggest pet peeves of any raid leader (and raid for that matter) are people who consistently show up when they feel like it or when they remember "Gosh I have a raid tonight." Let's add to that list the people who go afk after getting into the group without letting you know (or go afk for a lonnnng time). Or the people who just don't seem to show up and don't bother to say a word.
All that shows the raid is that you don't really care about raiding. You should expect to be replaced if you don't have enough respect for the raid and your fellow guildies to show up when you say and show up on time. While real life clearly comes first, it comes down to having respect and doing what you say. If you might have something going on, don't sign up! If you might be late, let someone know. Have common courtesy.
7) Don't make excuses when you perform poorly
We all understand that there will be times we all have a bad day. Don't use that to make excuses as to why you can't move out of stuff, why you can't do better dps, why you can't stop dying. In the end, it doesn't matter what the reason is. The team is only as strong as its weakest player. Find out what's causing you to perform badly, and fix it--or be prepared to sit out.
6) Trust Your Raid Leader
Why are there supervisors in any team environment? Because individuals need to have a focused individual who can maximize their strengths to make the best product or output. That's the job of your raid leader. If your raid leader tells you to do something, do it. If you feel the order was wrong, incorrect, mean, whatever, then bring it up in private. If you are doing your own thing despite what the raid leader asks, all you're doing is wasting time, and making it difficult on everyone else. 10 people running around doing their own thing is going to make for a very uncohesive and ultimately fail run. Remember: if you don't trust your raid leader, then perhaps you should find another raid.
5) Be Prepared
Being prepared is about more than just bringing flasks you need and showing up on time, it's about this SUPER important thing: know the fights! There's nothing worse than the raider who shows up and expects the raid leader to go over everything. The best raiding guilds I have been in, expect and trust that you will have done your homework before signing up to the raid and learning the strategies. It's not the raid leader's job to hold your hand through every fight. Your job is to read up / watch the videos on fights, ask people who have been there and people who play your class what to expect. This is your job as a raider.
4) Addons and Guides Are Tools Not Eye/Ear/Brain Replacements
Back when WOW was new, there were very few ADD-ONS and guides to assist you. That means that those who played WOW "back in the day" had to rely on SKILL to play their character. Luckily, they developed add-ons as assistance for the rest of us. Now, everywhere you look there is a new add-on coming out and a new guide telling you how to do everything from learning fishing to farming gold. Add-ons are NOT mean to tell you how to play your class, but an extra, added features, to help you. I really cannot count how many times I've heard people say "DBM didn't warn me." Well guess what, buddy, DBM isn't a replacement for your EYES and EARS. You need to remember that your skills as a raider are NOT the result of DBM or any other add-on, but the brain that you've hopefully brought with you to the raid. Luckily, your raid leader has determined some of the best add-ons needed to be successful. Download and learn how to use them.
3) Learn To Take Constructive Criticism
Sometimes the raid leader may offer you constructive criticism to improve a few things that you might not be doing well at. Learn to look at it this way: if you're consistently failing, you will get replaced. The raid leader is offering to help you before it comes to replacing you with another player. So whether or not you agree, take a look at what you're doing and see how you can improve and understand that it's not personal, it's about making the best raid team. Being a good raider does not always mean that you're the best at your class, but that you're willing to work toward improving your toon and are actively making progress.
2) Know Your Class
There is no excuse for not understanding your abilities and why you have them if you expect to raid. It's one thing to go into a random dungeon on a new character and try to figure out what you're doing. It's completely another to show up to a raid watching all the others of your same class to try and figure out what you should be doing. If your class has a special ability (HINT: You probably get it when you hit top level) then learn how to use it and what it does. I'll never forget the raid when the RL told the pally "DI someone." Pally responds, "What's DeIcer? I've never used it and don't have it on my bar." What are you even raiding for if you don't know your class?
And finally, the most important thing I've learned is:
1) Not Everyone Makes A Good Raider
Being a raider means the ability to recognize when you ... for lack of a better word, suck. Not everyone has the ability to master their character or master that amazing thing called "Raid Awareness." Any player who plans to be a raider must understand that no matter how good you think you are, there will always be someone better, faster, more raid aware, and better geared than you. The reality is this, if you aren't willing to improve yourself and work on areas where you need improvement, you may be asked to sit out. The only way the group is going to get stuff done is to sometimes sit out their weaker players. Yes, that might sometimes mean you.
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