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re: Episode 3: Inside a Reciprocity Raid

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Episode 3: Inside a Reciprocity Raid 



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Rhodaria
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re: Episode 3: Inside a Reciprocity Raid

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Script: 

Welcome to Rhodaria’s Reciprocity Raiding Rants. Our goal with these videos is to provide information on who we are as a raid team, our philosophies, expectations, and experiences, as well as helpful raiding information. 

Now, I know that for some of you a lot of this might be review, but please take the time to listen—sometimes we don’t even realize the things we forget.

Today’s Episode is Inside a Reciprocity Raid

How to sign-up was covered in Episode 1.  So if you need to review how to sign-up check out that video.  Raid Teams are generated from this list of sign-ups. This list is then used to start raid invites. Raid invites begin 15 minutes prior to the raid start time. So, for example, if the raid starts at 8:30, invites would begin at ???? IF you said 8:15, you would be correct and win a cookie. 

Rhodaria (or a replacement if she is running late) will create the raid group and begin inviting those who have signed up for the raid. So you should be out of any groups and ready for invites by the appropriate invite time.

To ensure that we start on time (or as close to as possible), this 15 minute invite window is also used to get everyone set up and running for the raid.   This includes logging into vent, getting summoned into the raid, and grabbing any of the necessary accoutrements (i.e. food and flasks etc.), and always double checking that you are in the right gear. Far too many a raid has begun with a fishing pole equipped. 

Let’s look at each of these in a little more detail. First, we have vent. Ventrilo is the voice server we use to communicate during raids. It is required. It is very important to be able to hear not only the directions from your raid leader, but also any in the moment problems, corrections (or just plain funny comments). You should use the 15 minute invite window to log in to vent and make sure that you can hear everyone. I also highly recommend using a headset or ear buds or something as open mics do create a lot of feedback and that can really make it difficult for some of us to listen well or communicate clearly.  If you have any questions on how to set vent up or fiddle with the settings let me know and we can help. Remember, we like to help. 

Second, you should use this 15 minute window to get yourself to the raid or get summoned to the raid. It is always a good practice to get to the raid prior to invite time, if at all possible, since we can’t very well start until we are all assembled. We do know that sometimes people may be running late and not be at the raid when invites go out, so we will do our best to get everyone summoned in a timely manner. That does, however, require a little help from you. You should be ready to be summoned and not be in the middle of finishing quests or dungeons or garrisons or whatever. 

Third, you should use this 15 minute window to get any food, flasks, potions etc. that you may need for the raid. There is almost always a guild bank up right inside the instance where we are gathering. 

Fourth, always remember to make sure you are in your raiding gear. Most of us do a number of different activities between raids, which is great…but trying to heal with a fishing pole, or tank in your RP gear is less than effective and it would be better to know that prior to dying on a boss.

 

Once start time has arrived, or on the very rare occasion that we have everyone assembled and ready prior to start time, we proceed with the maiming of things. Where we start each night varies, so be sure to check the calendar for what the plans are. If you don’t remember how to do this, check out Episode 1. 

More often than not we will need to clear trash before we can actually get to the desired boss. “Trash” are any groups of mobs that are standing between us and the bosses with the shiny loot. It is good practice to let your tanks pull the trash, so that you avoid the whole death thing. Additionally, recently, trash has had a tendency to preview several of the mechanics for the upcoming bosses so it can be a helpful way to practice mechanics before actually doing a boss fight. 

 

After these mobs have been disposed of we arrive at the desired boss. This is when we get “Buffed & Stuffed” as Rho says. This means getting all of the raid buffs on each player, eating food, flasking, and using augment runes (or any other bonus modifiers that are available)--because every extra bit of dps/healing/tanking ability etc. is good. Usually we have feasts available for people, but it is also a good practice to bring personal buff food because then you can better tailor which stat you increase (plus it usually gives you a bigger increase than the group foods).  It is also a good idea to look through your spellbook and the raid group to see who else provides the same buffs that you do. Because while sometimes the pally is there to do stats, you don’t want to be the person we are all waiting around for the time they’re not. Additionally, while Rho usually watches to make sure we are all buffed, it is good to get into the habit of checking your own buffs to make sure you didn’t miss any. Remember that currently these can be seen by hovering over your buff panel, which is in the upper right hand corner in the default UI. 

 

Who knew so much happened before we even talk about how to kill a boss, whew. Now that everyone is “Buffed & Stuffed” We are now ready to go over the current boss fight. The way we do this in Reciprocity is Rho, the raid leader, goes over the boss in vent. When we are first starting on a boss this description will be more in depth and explanatory than it is after we have successfully mastered the fight. Remember, that if you are new you can always ask questions—okay well, even if you’re not new…some of us have short memories. 

I know that not all of us are great auditory learners, so I try to also demonstrate positions and things in game as well as in vent. Plus, hopefully I will manage to get some different types of boss explanations up in the future for those of us who are better with our eyes. That said, please still do the best you can to listen to Rho during these explanations a) because it is respectful and b) because I do give out important information like where to stand or which group you are in or what job you are doing. It gets very exhausting to repeat this…so please listen. AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS… if I say this is really important turn your ears on (or some variant) please do so.  Remember that you can (and some of us need to) take notes. I know more than a handful of us have sticky notes up all over for different fights. 

A side note here, while we often joke about how all we have to do is not stand in fire, many of these fights are more complicated than that and do require significant raid awareness and cooperation.  For many of us learning a boss fight is an ongoing process and every time we do a pull we need to reintegrate our experiences into our understanding of the fight, the mechanics, and how each relates to other raiders and the other raid mechanics. 

Okay, here is another very specific to our raids piece of information…we use raid markers a lot… we have several of us who are not the most spatially adept and raid markers can be extremely helpful for orienting ourselves both in terms of raid space as well as orienting ourselves to each other. I will normally explain what each of the raid markers mean for a given fight, but there are usually some general patterns I tend to follow.  For example, the Green Triangle is usually what I use to mark a ranged group, the Blue Square is what I use to designate a melee group and the Yellow Star is used to mark the tank group.  If markers are just being used to reference parts of the room blue and purple are usually across from each other, green and yellow are usually across from each other. 

 

Okay, now we are finally ready to talk about pulling a boss. When we are Buffed & Stuffed and the raid explanation has been given and no one has any questions there will be a “Ready Check” this is asking whether you are Ready to pull the boss or not ready to pull the boss. It seems self-explanatory, but if you are ready you hit the ready button…if you are not ready you hit the not ready button. I say this because far too often people hit ready when they are not ready and still need to eat, buff, flask or even run afk. So only when ready hit the ready button. Once we get a “clean” ready check, meaning everyone checked “ready” we wait for the tanks to do the pull countdown. 

For our raids we use a 7 second countdown, which is initiated by the DBM timer (so you won’t see this if you don’t have DBM).  The boss is pulled at 0. A few notes here…We use this 7 second countdown to allow time for things like Army of the Dead to be cast as well as providing ample time to prepot. What is this prepot you ask? Well, you can use a combat potion once per fight…but if you use a potion before the boss is engaged you can use another one during the actual boss fight. Prepotting therefore allows us to get two bursts of dps/heals etc. instead of one.  It is good to use this as close to the pull as possible, but if you are too slow to click it you will actually click it after the boss is engaged (thus losing your second pot), and if you click it when we are still 6 seconds away you waste time you could be using the buff while the fight is actually active. In my experience you have to figure out what time works best for you, but normally somewhere between 2-3 seconds before the pull is ideal. 

Now, you may think that when the count down hits zero is the time to go all balls the walls crazy with your dps…but you think wrong. Why might this be? IF you answered because if I don’t let the tanks get agro I die, then you are correct and you get another cookie.  It is generally a good idea to give your tanks a few seconds to establish agro before popping all of your cooldowns and unleashing all of your god or goddess-like dps. Also, remember that on fights where the tanks need to position the boss at the start it may require some additional seconds of counting. And yes, we all see you when you pull agro off the tank, even in the rare instance when it doesn’t result in your immediate demise.  Yes, I know the DPS is good…but even if you live you might have caused someone else to die with your agro dump, caused the tank anxiety and stress or moved the boss out of position…so please…learn to count. 

 

I know you have hung with me here, and we have talked about a lot and we only just pulled the boss, but the actual boss fight is the “simplest” part of a raid. During the boss fight your priority should be on executing mechanics, listening to your raid leader (or any other designated callers), and on performing your roll. It is important to remember to keep vent clear (aka quiet) during a pull. This is so that a) you can hear important stuff when it happens and b) because Rho (as well as others) have a hard time concentrating when other stuff is going on.  So, generally speaking keep any trouble shooting, etc. until after the current pull. It is also important to make sure that you can still hear vent during a fight. If you have game sounds turned on it can sometimes make it difficult to hear vent so make sure you pay attention and adjust your settings as needed. Now, if you have raided with us at all, you know that we don’t always manage to keep vent clear during a fight. We are after all having fun, and jokes etc. do occur, which is part of our raid atmosphere. But, remember that with each joke you risk Rho losing her focus and standing in the fire. Generally speaking the earlier raid days of a week will be the more relaxed and the last one or two raids of the week will be more focused and more serious and require less vent chatter and distractions.

 

There are three other important things to listen for during the boss fight. First, you want to listen for when Rho calls out Heroism. I will normally give you a spot during the fight ahead of time when we plan to use Heroism, but I will call it out as it is popped so everyone knows to use all of their awesome. Second, you want to listen for any call to rez dead raid members. Generally speaking you should wait until Rho calls out who to rez. This is because we often need to save rezzes for the tanks or healers or for people who have been assigned specific jobs for the fight. Lastly, you should be listening for Rho’s call to wipe the pull. If we have lost too many players or have made a big enough mistake it may be in the raid’s best interest to wipe, which is to all die on purpose. When we are still learning fights we often will go as far as we can, even with a fair number of raiders dead so that we can practice the fight and the mechanics…but as we get farther and better we will often wipe a fight if we know we can’t win or progress to the next stage. This is because it is more beneficial to spend that time with a new attempt on the boss.  The faster we wipe, the faster we can start again. 

 

When a wipe is called die as quickly as you can. I usually recommend waiting to see if anyone managed to not die (with feign death or shadowmeld etc.) since if this is the case they can rez us and we save time by not all running back. If no one is alive to rez, each player should release and run back to the boss and start the process or “rebuffing & stuffing”. The faster this is accomplished the faster we get to pull the boss again. While we are aware that sometimes grandmothers need help, children need juice boxes, or nature’s call can’t be postponed, when possible save these interruptions for break and run back. If you can’t just holler and the first few back to the boss will rez you.  

 

This pattern of pull, wipe and die is repeated until we either a) kill the boss or b) hit break time. Because our raids are shorter than most other raiding guilds we try to be as focused and efficient as possible and maximize the amount of time we spend working on bosses. This means get back to bosses after wipes quickly, rebuff and stuff quickly, and try to avoid afks until break. On the rare occasion when you can’t wait for the AFK please at least let the raid know you are going afk and how long you intend to be gone. If you don’t you may return to the computer to find yourself removed from the group.  This isn’t a kick from the raid group, but if we don’t know where you went or if you were gone for more than 3-5 minutes we remove you so that we can continue with boss attempts. When you get back you are welcome to rejoin. 

When we successfully defeat a boss we will pick up any loot before continuing on to the next boss. Our specific loot rules are outlined in our Scrolls on the Guild Webpage, but generally speaking we use personal loot for the first handful of kills and then change to master loot to funnel loot to those who still need it. When loot is on master loot we distribute loot twice a night, once at break time and once at the end of the night. 

 

Break occurs approximately one hour into the raid block. So if the raid starts at 8:30, break will be somewhere around 9:30. Break lasts for approximately 7 minutes. This is generally enough time to grab a snack or drink, bio or even have a cigarette should you so choose. Do your best to be back in a timely fashion so we can get back to the pew-pewing. When break is over we will do a Ready Check to see who is back, this is not a ready check to pull the boss, just to see who is back. Once everyone is back we will Re-buff and Stuff and be on our way to a new boss attempt. 

 

That is more or less everything that happens inside a Reciprocity raid. One final note, remember that while you are raiding you should be focused on raiding. Do not be multitasking with shows, facebook, games etc. Not only is it disrespectful, but then you are not giving the raid or your raid team your all. 

Tune in for the next episode: Raid Assessment, Reflection & Improvement

 



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