It may not be politically correct, but there’s definitely something important about the old saying “too many chiefs, not enough Indians”. When you hear it, you can immediately identify the problem. In WOW you could just as easily say “too many officers and not enough raiders” but it doesn’t carry the same sense of profound recognition. Today, I want to focus on the Indians and making better ones…
Of Chiefs and Indians
Everyone wants to be the chief, I know I did. As a child, I played football and I wanted to be the quarterback. As I grew older I realized that it’s okay being a lineman, tight end, or or even a place kicker. Each has an important part to play, and without them you don’t have a working team. The same applies to raids, they just don’t work unless you have both raid leaders and the raiders themselves. Certainly there’s still a gut reaction to that vaunted position of officer or raid leader, on the surface it seems glamorous. Really though, it’s a lot of hard work. And it’s a lot of responsibility, the sad truth is that most people simply aren’t equipped to be the chiefs. But that’s okay, you do have an important part to play…
Good Little Indians
To begin, you have to actually gain entrance to a guild. To do that often requires you to apply through some type of formal process. A word of advice, take the application process seriously. You don’t have to (and you shouldn’t) be a sycophant but be sincere. Read the stickies and follow the directions, even when they sound like a joke. Often times guilds will put questions in that they think people will ignore, this is to filter out people who don’t take the process seriously. This gives guilds an instant idea of how well someone can follow directions and how seriously they take entrance into the guild. If an applicant can’t follow the simplest of directions on a short application form, then can they be expected to follow complex directions over vent on progression?
Now, what do you do once you get into a guild?
Look at the picture below:
Even if your guild does like to play things fast and loose, you still need to be on time. If you’re in the Auction House when you’re supposed to be at the instance, you are doing it wrong…
I can’t stress this enough, raid times are important. Nine to twenty-four people are counting on you to be there, on time, ready to raid. Waste their time at your peril. With that in mind, it’s up to you to ensure that you are absolutely prepared for each raid. Your guild may provide consumables and other raid supplies, but be sure to get these before raid time. Get your repairs taken care of, grab enchanting mats or scrolls for that item (or items) that you’ve been praying will drop. Wanting to do a little PVP or Heroic, get it done in time for raid invites. Seriously, if you are already in a group or a BG don’t be upset when you don’t get a raid invite.
Likewise, clear your raiding schedule of as many outside influences as possible. By this I mean, take care of as many real life concerns as you possibly can, take the dog for his walk. Grab some dinner. Check your inbox and CC that TPS report before raid time (Yeah, that’d be great).
Being an Indian
Sometimes during progression we get frustrated, this is natural. One can only remain optimistic for so long, however remember that if you are an indian rather than a chief, act like it. Under no circumstances should you voice your frustration in vent, or call others out. It ends up making you look like bad in a big way. Instead, talk to your class rep or another officer. If the issue is serious enough, you may ask them to talk to you privately in vent. In the end though, you have to accept that you are not the one running the show.
There’s a certain level of passivity necessary to being a good raider, it’s akin to being a soldier. The military has spent years of research into developing a scientific method of ensuring a lack of individuality amongst their soldiers, by stripping that identity and using various exercises soldiers are trained to follow orders in tense combat situations on reflex. Removing ego from the equation is optimal in raids as well, situations change during the course of a fight. And adaptability is often more important than memorizing strategies from tankspot videos.
It should not be cluttered, and should at minimum have the raid required addons. All raiders should have DBM or an equivalent, paladins should have PallyPower (no excuses), etc. If you’re unsure as to what AddOns you need, read the stickies on your guild’s forums, then contact your class rep or officer. Beyond this there are two rules for a raiding UI.
1. It Must Be Functional – AddOns are there to enhance gameplay, if the AddOn serves no function in the raid, get rid of it. This is especially true of AddOns that hog valuable memory, shutting these off for raids could mean the difference between DCing at an important moment or staying online.
2. It Must NOT Interfere With Field of Vision – Peripheral vision is important, and in raiding situational awareness is absolutely paramount. If you can’t see what’s going on to the immediate left or right of you because you have some large box with useless buttons and information in it, then it needs to go. The basic rule here is, don’t let useful information be superseded by trivial information (Boss is activating big ability move messages from DBM shouldn’t be hidden by Scrolling Combat Text).
Galdor of Tankspot wrote an excellent guide on configuring your UI for raiding [here]
Do it. As is the case with much of this post, this feels like common sense. But, I know it’s not. With the proliferation of websites like Elitist Jerks, Tankspot, and other reputable sources of theorycraft there’s absolutely no excuse for joining the raid with sub optimal enchants, gems, talents, or rotations. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to be a complete cookie cutter player, but if you do deviate from the norm be ready to back it up with some real knowledge about your class. The more research you do, the more informed your decisions for your character will be. Spamming Lightning Bolt on your Enhancement Shaman “because I want to” is a sure way to ensure you’re not invited to another raid.
With Cataclysm coming and the impending changes to raids and guild dynamics it’s more important than ever that people know how best to fit in with a guild. Anybody can raid, but to be the best takes a certain type of person. You need to be attentive and open to criticism. You need to be prepared and able to communicate. The best raiders are a perfect alloy of modesty, selflessness, and at the same time ambitious. For there has to be some will to succeed and exceed previous accomplishments. A sense that expectations must constantly be raised. That is the truest measure of being a good little Indian.
Thanks for reading…