A couple of weeks ago, I went out and did my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th key frag, so I finally got my Master’s Key. Lo and behold, my guild needed another healer that very night for Karazhan, and so I got my first look inside. We’re just progressing to Gruul’s Lair with an ally guild, and we’re running 2 Kara teams, so there’s an increasing number of slots coming up (I desperately hope to get my usual pally tank, Amathyst, in soon as well.)
There were a few things I was prepared for that people might not be, and I knew about them mainly because I read blogs like mine, so I guess this blog, being a blog like mine, better have tips like these (hopefully that wasn’t too circular.) I’m not talking about tips for INSIDE Karazhan. I’ll save that for another time. I’m talking about tips for BEFORE the invites even go out.
So here’s what to do to prepare for your raid (this took me well over half an hour, so get cracking well before the scheduled time.)
1. Make sure you’re actually signed up. We had one guildy who missed out on that first night, because the officers didn’t know he intended to come along. He thought someone else had signed him up, but they hadn’t. Whether you use Guild Calendar, or your guild’s website, or whatever. Be on the list, and if you’re not for some reason, talk to an officer about it well ahead of time.
2. Consumables, consumables, consumables. Unless this is farm content (and we’re not quite farming Kara yet, especially having just split our core Kara group to make 2 groups), take along all the consumables you can think of. Know your guild bank policy, and don’t feel guilty about grabbing pots/elixirs/whatever from the guild bank. It’s usually there to help supply raiders anyway.
- Food. Not just for health, either. Find the best damn food buffs possible. For healers, your options are Golden Fishsticks (+heal) and Blackened Sporefish (MP5). I’d suggest at least a full stack of 20 of each, and pick the buff you need for each fight.
- Elixirs (unless you’ll be using a flask). One guardian and one battle elixir, and take at least 5 of each. 10 would be better. Remember, if you don’t need that many, you can just save them for next time.
- Flasks. If you’re expecting a lot of wipes, take flasks which persist through death. They’re pricey, but they replace both your guardian and battle elixirs.
- Weapon Oil. Take at least 2 or 3 charges worth, and remember, these also persist through death. Don’t skimp here either: Brilliant Mana Oil is expensive, but every little bit of +heal helps.
- Potions. Take the appropriate mana or health potions you need. At least one stack of super, and one stack of down-ranked (I use the unstable mana pots from the BEM dailies.) If your mana regen is low you may need more.
- Scrolls. Nobody thinks of these, but if your stats are a little on the light side, scrolls are fairly cheap, although various buffs will overwrite them. I usually don’t bother, but worth a thought.
- Bandages. Even healers should really have 375/375 first aid, and a stack of Heavy Mageweave bandages. If you’re in a light damage section of a fight, bandage instead of healing a player or two to grab some time outside the 5SR. Non-healers need bandages, and should use them when possible without dropping DPS or threat or whatever. Save your healers some mana.
- Water. Take some full-ranked water, just in case your mage is late, or (heaven forbid) you don’t have one. At least 2 stacks, and I’d usually have 3 or 4 myself. The new Naaru Rations are very nice.
- Consumables. For your group buffs, battle rez, pally greater blessing, whatever. Brez you probably only need a stack. Druid group buffs, I’d have 2 stacks, and as for pally greater blessing reagents, who only knows. Lots.
- Anything else you can think of. Stratholme Holy Water. Whatever might help that you have lying around, or can farm.
3. Repair. Don’t be the loser who has to run off to repair after the first wipe. Oh, but if, at some stage, someone does run off to repair, think about going along. Nothing is worse than having to stop the raid over and over for different people to run off and repair at different times. Druids, if there’s a summon back available, use moonglade: there’s a repairer right near where you zone in.
4. Have time. If you’re running Kara, and each person orders pizza delivered and has to get up at some stage to answer the door (let’s say 3 minutes), that’s a wasted half an hour. Interruptions happen, but do your best to get them out of the way BEFORE the raid.
5. Know the fights. WowWiki and BossKillers both have good write-ups. Find out beforehand which bosses your raid expects to do, and be familiar with them. Also find out if your guild has a guide as well, which might explain the particular strat you’re using. For example, on Moroes, instead of trying to CC a few of the mini-bosses with kiting, off-tanking, and so on, our pally tank just tanks all four at the same time as Moroes.
6. Have all your extra software ready. Know which add-ons your guild expects (Omen will almost certainly be on that list). Have Ventrillo or TeamSpeak already set up, and be able to connect to your guild’s server. The rest of the raid doesn’t want to wait around for 15 minutes while you fiddle. Lately, Omen has been very fiddly about requiring everyone to have exactly the same version. Double-check which version your guild is currently using.
7. Show up. Be at the summoning stone ready to help summon others, at least 5 minutes before the scheduled raid start time. If everyone sits in Shattrath waiting for a summon, then there’s nobody to summon. Be one of the prepared ones.
8. Don’t be in a group when invites go out. For a 10-man it isn’t such a big deal, but your guild officers are busy trying to get invites done, arrange groups, assign raid duties, explain the instance to new players, get everyone on TS, and do about a million other things (mostly because half the raid didn’t follow some of these steps, and aren’t ready). In addition to having their own character ready to raid. Don’t make them whisper you to ask you to leave your current group so you can get an invite. REALLY don’t reply saying “Just finishing H Ramps, gimme 10 mins”.
9. I could go on. Go to the bathroom, so you don’t need to call bio half-way through Attumen trash. Get yourself a giant-sized drinking glass and super-size your vodka and orange, so you don’t have to keep going to the kitchen for refills. Clean the fuzz off your mouse-ball (really, if you’re still using a ball mouse, get with the times…) It basically comes down to respect for the rest of the raid. Sure, some other raid members will probably be less organised. At least now, you’re part of the group rolling their eyes at the ill-prepared ones, not the group being eye-rolled AT.
Just basically be ready. It’s simple, really.