So you’ve gotten yourself a spot in a 10- or 25-man raid and you’re in there melting faces, tanking, healing, doing your thing. You aren’t the worst player in the world and the raid is making decent progress, but the raid leaders are stressed out every week and can get downright snippy from time to time. Look at things from their point of view, though. They’re the ones responsible for the whole run. They need to know the strategies ahead of time to know what kind of class balance is necessary. They need to know the schedules of 24 other people and need to make all of those mesh so that they can herd all 24 cats people into the same place at the same time.
Then you get into the run itself. The new guy from another server is whispering the raid leader with strategy ideas from his old guild. The hunter and the rogue are arguing about a loot drop from the first boss while you’re killing the sixth. The warlock seems to have a terribly weak bladder and runs to the bathroom at least once every half hour. There’s a paladin that keeps playing music over Ventrilo and the shadow priest is making helicopter and sprinkler noises. These are all just the problems on a farming run. Progression runs bring a whole new slew of problems. After every wipe the tank yells at the healers. The healer is saying, “We just aren’t putting out enough damage for this” and tries to convince everyone that you’re wasting your time. It sometimes can really be miserable to lead a raid. So what can you do to make yourself more useful to the raid leader to save him/her some headache? I’m glad you asked.
- Show up on time. There’s nothing worse than being down 6 people with 5 minutes to go to the first pull. You are pretty sure that they will show up, but what if they don’t? At some point you’re going to have to start lining up replacements, but what if you get a replacement and someone shows up 2 minutes late? If you get there on time, you eliminate this concern for the RL (raid leader) and allow them to focus on getting the raid going.
- Be prepared. Have your consumables and know the strategies that you’re going to be working on ahead of time. A raid runs best when it runs quickly. If you have to stop to explain every single fight, people lose focus and start wandering off more and more.
- Don’t tell the raid leader how your old guild did it. Honestly, if your old guild was that great, why did you leave? Snarkiness aside, most raid leaders have a plan for a fight going into it. If they ask for help, by all means chime in, but if they aren’t asking, let them run things. If you’re making comments in guild chat or raid chat about how you used to do things, you’re going to irritate them.
- Don’t constantly whisper the raid leader. You have to consider the amount of stuff that he/she has going on right now. It’s also entirely possible that up to 24 other people are sending whispers at the same time. Don’t be offended if you do send a whisper and don’t get a response. In general, though, ask yourself whether or not this can wait until after the raid. Most of the time it can.
- Don’t get up all the time. Try to consolidate AFKs so that you’re grabbing your snack, your drink, and hitting the bathroom all at once. If the raid has to stop constantly, people start to lose interest, DPS goes down, tanks miss mobs, and healers start thinking about other stuff. Also, the RL has to keep track of who is available at a moment’s notice. Don’t be the problem.
- Don’t whine about loot. I know that the hunter may not ever equip that dagger and I’m sorry, but everyone gets loot sometimes and next time it will be your turn. He might actually use it. One way or another, this lowers raid morale and isn’t at all necessary during the raid. If you have a continuing problem with one person, take it up with an officer outside of the raid.
- Worry about your job. The raid leader is there to wrangle all those pesky mages and warlocks. You don’t have to. If there is really a problem with the healing, let him/her handle it. You make sure you’re doing your job to be best of your ability.
This isn’t nearly a complete list, but it’s a nice starting point. If you do these things, your raid leader may come out of Ulduar with the same amount of hair he went in with and you will have a smoother, more successful raid.