Friday, January 29, 2010

Altoholic's Guide to running PUG and Open raids

What you need:
You MUST have:
  • Working knowledge of bosses and strategies behind them.
  • Working knowledge of what various classes bring to the table and how to best utilize them.
  • The ability to communicate clearly, simply, and effectively.
  • Understanding of raid composition.
  • A strong sense of fairness.
  • The patience of a saint.
Strongly recommended:
  • A working mic.
  • Access to a voice chat server where you can speak. (This is my affiliate link for the service I use. A 60 man server costs about 20/mo and the site lets you give a link to others if they want to pitch in. I have a larger server to support two 25 man raids and a 10 man raid in tandem, most groups won't need that much space unless they're huge.)
  • A small group of friends who are strong, good, patient players to set the pace and back you up.
  • WIM or some other addon that gives you tell windows. You will be in tell hell and people will get upset if you miss what they're saying.
  • If you don't already have one, make a channel in game and give it to your friends in and out of guild. Invite good players to it. In essence, build your own looking for group channel with good people.
  • oRA2 or an addon that lets you have a magical invite codeword.
  • Get a World of Logs account and run some parses. You may want to create a second account if you already use one and make a fake guild if you don't want the parses to show up in the guild info. (I don't care.)
  • Discourage meter spam. Tell people that you'll post a log parse at the end of the raid and people can see how they did. Meter spam is annoying.

Setting Up:
Figure out your loot system:
Before anything else, you must decide a way to handle loot, that's what people are there for, to kill bosses and loot epics. How will you deal with patterns? BOEs? Main set? Offset? Stuff no one wants? I'd strongly recommend that you, as raid leader and loot master have final say, you can explain that your reason is not malicious, but simply that paladins don't use spirit, hunters don't use expertise, etc.

I'd strongly suggest banning players selling loot to others, that they should only roll on items that are an upgrade. Make it clear that there will be consequences for such behavior: Having a chat with the players' guild leader. Public blacklisting.

Ask your backup to keep an eye on the gear of people winning rolls, if someone is winning but has better you have the right responsibility to question it.

Write it down somewhere. Put it in a macro and use the macro to post the rules. This way Blizzard has a record of it should someone baw. You must explain how the loot will word before you begin the raid. This will give people an opportunity to leave if they don't agree before drama happens.

I've used several different psudo loot systems over the years. You can read about a few of them here.

I often use "no vent, no loot" to get people on the voice chat.

Invite friends and family:
  • Tell your guild you're putting together a run and for people to send you a tell with their preferred spec and other specs they are willing to play.
  • If you already have your friends and family channel populated, send out a call asking for the same as in guild.
  • If you have one or two people in your social circle who're really cool, ask them to go to the summoning stone and lead up summons with an occasional "type 1 for summon."
  • Designate someone to link the vent info periodically to herd cats into the voice server info for you.
Sort your resources:
  • For 10 man runs, you need 2 tanks (one with a dps offset), 2.5 healers, and 5.5 dps, half range, half melee. (Having a healer with a dps offset can be that extra .5 healer .5 dps.)
  • For 10 mans I put melee and tanks in group 1 and ranged/casters in group 2. My 10 mans usually have 2 melee and 3 ranged, a hunter usually winds up in group 1 because of the imbalance.
  • For 10 mans, I like 1 tank healer and 2 group healers, one of which can be relied on to top off the tanks if the tank healer gets mezzed. A tank healer is usually paladin or a disc priest, but a strong druid or shaman that you trust can also tank heal if needed.
  • For 25 mans, you'll need 3 tanks (two with offset), 5-7 healers, and a 15-17 DPS. An even split between melee and ranged is generally a good idea but sometimes you have to roll with what you got. I like to do 3 tanks / 6-7 healers (can have some switch to deeps if we're doing ok) / 7 melee, and the rest ranged.
  • For 25 mans, I put all three tanks in group 1, all the healers in group 5, with overflow going in group 4. I put ranged casters in groups 3 and 4. If I have two resto shaman, one will be in group 4 and I'll put mages, elemental shaman, moonkin, and shadowpriests in with them so those casters can take advantage of the mana tide. Warlocks can lifetap, hunters can viper, so they're low priority on getting the extra mana tide.
  • For 25 mans I like bringing 2 holy paladins for tank healing, a disc priest to help heal the tanks and bubble the raid. I like the rest to be group healers. (There are lots of bad disc priests on my server who refuse to do anything but tank heal. For this reason I don't take pug disc priests to my open runs. We have one already and that's enough.)
Hit the Raid Finder:
  • Check the raid finder first. If there are people in there, send them a polite tell and see if they want to go. You can ask them if they've done it before, if you feel people have to do X DPS (4k?), ask them if they think they can pull their weight. I like to ask people if they can follow directions, get on vent, and get out of the stupid.
  • You may get responses like the one I give on my alts: My dps is a little lower than what you're asking but I follow directions well and don't stand in the fire.
  • Gearscore is a fallacy. Just because someone has gear doesn't make them good. Check for gems / enchants. You can put gear on a bad, they'll still be a bad. A good player will do decently regardless. Give your friendly neighborhood underdog a chance, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Hit the Looking for Group channel / Trade:
  • Fill out your tanks and healers first. They will be the hardest to find, trying to get different classes of each type is ideal but not always necessary.
  • Examine what you still need. Are you missing a class? Ask for it.
  • Send out a call saying you're seeking what you need last.
  • Don't be afraid to start a few short if after asking a few times you get no nibbles. If you're missing 2 or 3 dps in a 25 man, it's not really a huge deal. People will ask, "Is that spot taken? I have a friend."
Getting Started:
Introductions, Behavior Expectations, and Raid Rules:
  • Once everyone is in the instance, spam your voice chat macro. Either you or someone you've delegated should count your vent channel to count everyone.
  • You could say on your voice chat, "Click no please" and do a ready check. Call out people who said yes, often times it's just "I wasn't paying attention" and you can just say "hey, pay attention". Make people who actually aren't on voice get on voice.
  • If someone refuses without good reason (such as being deaf), boot them. "No vent no loot."

  • Introduce yourself (outloud and in text, if you've written stuff out in macros, you can use those). "Hi, I'm X, I'll be your raid leader and master looter tonight. If at any time you have questions or comments feel free to send me a tell. I might not respond immediately but I do run an addon that saves all the tells for me to read and respond to."
  • Explain expected behaviors and the purpose of the run, "We're here to kill bosses, loot epics, and have a good time regardless of guild tag. Please leave the attitude and drama at the door. No spamming meters ore gearscores please, I'm running a World of Logs parse and would be happy to give you a link so you can see how you did after the run." "You're free to talk on vent during trash pulls but please hush during loot cycle, when I'm explaining boss fights, and when the tanks need to communicate." "We don't play the blame game here. Please refrain." "Please don't do fake rolls, they make my job really hard." If you're paranoid you may screenshot it all.
  • Explain the loot rules and let people know if they don't agree they're welcome to leave with no hard feelings.
  • Set your tank windows in oRA2, set your main assists, set them in the basic wow interface too, and put lucky charms on the tanks for the people using healbot.
  • Say who your tanks and who are people you should assist off of are.
  • Put lucky charms on people you know will be in the right place at the right time.
Once you've done your speech and setup then you're ready to begin.

Begin!
  • Explain the fight as simply as possible. ("Kill boss, kill adds, kill boss, kill adds, get out of the fire, win." ) If you have a friend in raid who's good at targeting adds to die (Snowbolds in northrend beasts) tell everyone to assist off of them.
  • Warn people there may not be a wipe or two.
  • Give healing assignments.
  • Say things like, "If you don't know where to go, stand near _."
  • Engage the boss.
  • If you can, call out the names of people who need heals or dps to help them. Being bonespiked or having a snowbold on them, if you see someone standing in the stupid, very calmly say "Hey _ you're standing in the fire, move."
  • If things go awry, stay calm. It's up to no you to keep a cool head no matter what.
  • If you wipe, laugh it off. "Let's try this again with feeling and more add killing and less standing in the fire this time!" "Hahaha now that we have that out of our system let's try it again!"
Distribute Loot:
  • Distribute your loot using the method detailed earlier and follow your own rules. You must stick to your word, your credibility is on the line.
  • If someone wins multiple things you may consider asking them if they'd graciously pass to the next person. Most people can be fair, especially when treated fairly and positively.
  • If there's a dispute or question about loot, say you'll go back to it and move on to the next item then go back to the trouble item.
  • Do a countdown, if people don't respond within countdown time, they don't get to have a chance at loot. Doing /rw Itemlink Roll. (wait a while) /rw 3 /rw 2 / rw1
  • If you're doing rolls, say who you see as the highest roll. People will let you know if there's a higher roll you missed.
  • I use the Comix addon which will make a Phoenix Wright-esque "OBJECTION" sound, word bubble thing on my screen if someone objects. My raiders can /object at me to get my attention and say privately to me, "That dagger has expertise on it, it's no good for a hunter."
When the raid is done:
  • Thank people for attending.
  • Invite them to join your channel if they'd like to attend again.
  • If you have to call it because people are leaving because of wipes / being tired, say sorry to everyone. Consider coming back the next day.
  • If you've offered to help with gems / enchants, say where you'll be and follow through.
  • If someone wasn't doing well and seem to be confused on gear/gems/enchants/etc consider investing some time on them after the raid. I strongly encourage it, you can turn non-raiders into raiders with a little guidance. You may want to read this if you're proceeding with helping confused players.
Always...
  • Be firm.
  • Be fair.
  • Be honest.
  • Be patient.
  • Be generous.
  • Lead by example.
  • Give second chances.
  • Let bygones be bygones.
  • Let people know where they stand.
  • Be Positive - Rather than yelling at people for getting knocked into the whelp cave, say "hey, stand on _ symbol if you don't know where to go." People respond better to positivity than negativity.
  • Give people a chance to save face and attempt correct issues in private. (If they make a public stink after you've tried conflict resolution in private, you may find it necessary to calmly put your foot down. Just don't run wild expressing your irritation)

Never...
  • Yell.
  • Blame.
  • Shame.
  • Get angry.
  • Change your own loot rules in the middle of the run.

Good luck and happy raiding!

1 comment:

  1. Which mod do you use that saves your tells? I find myself making a new window for just whispers but, really, I still miss half of them. ...and it takes up precious real estate. Brilliant site. Not sure how I found it but it's bookmarked now. Thanks for the effort.

    ReplyDelete

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