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Why'd the raid wipe? Or, what to watch forFollow

#1 May 26 2004 at 1:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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Often, I see players today harp about the newer players and how high level characters don't have a grasp on fundamentals. They are weak in pick up groups. They don't know their classes in LDoN. They do blatantly stupid things that will get the group killed because they are inexperienced.

I'm not going to talk about that.

What I AM going to talk about, are some fundamental mechanics to raids, and some common mistakes that I see guilds that don't have a long history of raiding make.

Common wipes: Generally, there's only a few different ways raids in EQ totally collapse, and it's important to understand the different underlying reasons for each way, so you know how to best fix a problem.

A. Gutting, or Collapse of a Raid's Support structure. Generally, this is the way a raid wipes on a pull too big for it to handle. If you ask an inexperienced raider, 'What's a raid's defensive classes' they'll usually answer 'The tanks'. This is a bad way to think about raids, or at least not entirely correct. You want to think one level lower than that and say, 'The healers and crowd control'. Say you have a large, 8 pull come in unexpectedly. Here's how a gutting happens: the 2 enchanters on the raids try to mez. They are resisted, mobs immediately aggro on them. The healers try to heal, 4 untanked mobs immediately go on them. Healers and CC are overwhelmed since the entire pull (save the single one on the assist) is basically focused on them. They all die. At this point, usually, every melee is still standing... including most tanks. Then the tanks get aggro. No one is alive to heal them, or if they are, they rapidly get aggro from uncontrolled mobs and die soon after. Note, in this, the tanks die -last-. That's very important to understand. Tanks were the safest characters, and the least in need of support.

There's several ways to approach a Gutting situation like that. The first, and most obvious, is to try to split and do smaller pulls. In fact, a lot of high end guilds today use VERY exploitive pulling or delaying tactics to ensure just that, even in encounters specifically designed for you to have to engage a large amount of mobs at once. Personally, I hate that kind of thing, and tend to try the straight up method- for actual control, there's a few different things to checklist and remember:

1. First, what's mezzable and how resistant are they? There's a point where enchanters trying to mez something just becomes inefficient, because they are too resistant to be reliable or practical. For example, in the Valdoon raid (a death limit raid, I should note), there's some extremely magic resistant shadows. I put bards -only- on mezzing them. Bards generate nearly no aggro with songs, and have a -MR on mezzes. In effect, they can attempt to mez on incoming and be fine. Alternately, in other situations, I'll have shamans paired with enchanters, to assist on the same targets, and only a mezz attempt after malo is in. Lastly, I sometimes have knights, specifically paladins/SKs, use damageless aggro spells to aggro mobs on inc, and hold them until mez is in. Of course, sometimes mez is flat out a bad idea to even try, which lends itself to tanking.

2. Offtank situations. The difficulty here is two fold. One, you need to be positive all tanks have very rapid targetting on incoming mobs (pretargetting is a huge bonus if you can do it), or the untanked mobs will annihilate healers. Two, you need to make sure that tanks can generate enough aggro before they need the first heal, or again, healers will die. Divine Arbitration is extremely powerful for that. Having a near complete heal that's completely aggroless as a starting heal is huge. Similarly, divine intervention is, with high charisma on the target, an EXTREMELY powerful spell. In fact, in a dangerous clearings situation, I usually cycle DI on a tank, a high aggro debuffer, and myself in that order, and keep the 3 up at all times. I make sure all my clerics DI their tank, even people as far as 5 or 6 down a tank order, and themselves as well. Emerald cost does not justify the loss of hours of time from a wipe.

3. Debuffers, this is a tough one. The biggest problem is 'How important is it that debuff is on quickly, and how important is it the debuffer lives'. It can be either or. For example, when I first did Sol Ro, our equipment was bad enough where our tanks would have a devil of a time both holding aggro and living in the few seconds the mob goes unslowed. Now, he could just charge using fortitude before defensive (which is our usual method in hard boss fights), but back then that wasn't an option. So what I did was just have shaman/enchanter pairs suicide slow before we went. Duration was long enough where they could just go, slow, die, drag them, rebuff them, and go well before slow would fade. I did this for an awful lot of difficult encounters (Mithaniel Marr being a standout pain in the ass). In mass fights though, frequently debuffers need to stay up the entire fight. If you have to, tell your debuffers to go -slower- in casting. If the difference between getting slow on in 5 seconds vs 15 seconds isn't significant, there is no reason for them to take aggro and die to some random diaku. Hold them back.

B. Outer collapse or, 'Whoops, the tanks are dead'. This is a tough one to fix because it's always possible you do everything right, and are trying something so far ahead of your gear that you basically have to hope that you don't get a spike and lose. I've had a lot of those. Flawlessly performed, badroll, it's over (see my comment about DI above for hedging those bets). Still, there is some things you can do about it.

1. Let's face it, we all know some clerics that have a zen-like awareness of who is going to take damage, predict it 7 seconds in advance and land a ch 2 seconds into a tank having massive aggro and still manage to avoid getting aggro themselves. We also know clerics that for a minute and a half as you are dying to a low green you say, 'TURN OFF THE TV AND HEAL ME' and then they come back and complain you just 'instantly died'. Not everyone is cut out to be a healer, and some are worthless enough where you give serious thought to suggesting that maybe a melee is more their speed. Sometimes you can fix it (apathy), sometimes you can't (stupidity). But usually, when you can't, as a leader it's just your responsibility to do the best with what you have. I pretty much always build every group on every raid my guild does. That gives me a LOT of control over what healers go where, and to build groups that have double, triple, even quadruple coverage if they need it, while making sure my best clerics aren't covering groups that simply do not need it. Play to your people's strengths. Does the wizard group need a cleric? Then give them a druid and double up 2 strong clerics with the maintank on a tough clearing. Are there a lot of AE's? Then why aren't the paladins spread around, and why aren't the bards covering a rogue group that can benefit the most from the dps jumps while still being protected by Veeshan. Know your members, know their capabilities, and put them where they do the most good. Don't tolerate whining. Your first obligation is to succeed for everyone who isn't complaining, not to group Cleric that afks to cyber Wiz in same group when it obviously does not fit the raid.

2. Similarly, do not allow entitlements to interfere with winning. Sure, everyone likes to be the tank that saves the day, and some people want to have an important job. But if someone will get you killed for making them an offtank, or if that cleric is lagging and simply cannot lead the complete heal chain, do not do it. If I can think of one thing that wipes up and coming guilds the most, it is leaders that are afraid of offending members putting people they KNOW are poorly suited for a role specifically in that role. And listen, you don't have to be an **** about this. You can very calmly, very rationally say that you need X in there for Y and Z reasons. You don't have to say they are a bad player or anything like that. But you still do not have to sacrifice the success of your raid in order to make a few people feel more needed. And you should never, ever tolerate stupidity from guests because you are afraid of offending them.

3. About complete heal chains and keeping a main tank up, there's only so much variation you can do with them really. I personally hate pauses and never use them, because I feel they are dangerous. Other people swear by them. I measure complete heals in exact seconds between the CHs landing, other people measure them by the count between clerics casting (an important but confusing difference- 6 clerics by my method would be a 2 second rotation, since at 10 sec + 2 sec recycle they could cast quickly enough after one another to do exactly that. Other guilds would say a '6 cleric 0 second rotation' to describe the exact same thing. I like my method because it describes the exact rate of healing, while saying '0 sec rot' only is descriptive if you know exactly how many clerics are involved. Sorry for the aside). There's a few things you can do to tune it. Firstly, do you tank swap? In some harder fights you might have to. Carefully organize who is tanking and when defensive is wearing off, second tank ae taunts to keep a smooth tanking transition with nonstop defensive. Some people might think, 'What's so different than the tank just grabbing aggro when the main tank dies?' Well, the difference is the second tank has the rotation slip seemlessly on him by knowing exactly when he is getting aggro and starting the first CH 8 seconds before he does. The second method has him tanking 10 seconds on random heals and praying to god. Often, God tells him to go **** himself and the raid wipes.

4. If you can, chain bulwark of vie and keep Divine intervention on the main tank during a boss. Also bards with AC songs and DSes are the win. Enough said there really.

5. Tanking without a complete heal chain is only done well if you have really, really sharp clerics that communicate with one another very well, and predict things very well. Because healing based on health bar is totally meaningless on any difficult fight, since it won't update until well after the tank is dead. So you need to simulately a complete heal chain by clerics knowing exactly about when the next ch needs to land based on who said what when, and it's still only a real marginal gain in efficiency. The only times you should really not use a CH chain are when the raid is either too easy to make it necessary, or the situation is too chaotic make it effective. Clerics being too proud to do one is stupid, inefficient, and destructive. Clerics doing one poorly or not being able to catch other people's mistakes in one is likewise inexcusable, and will wipe the raid.

C. Lastly, the attritional wipe. This is bad from a morale perspective because usually it looks like your raid was crushed and there wasn't a whole lot you could do about it. Appearances are deceiving. I had a raid against Kelerdrix with 50 people that was slaughtered when all the clerics slowly went oom, and we wiped at an embarrassing 70% or so. We then killed the next day with 40, with less healers, with no deaths and most clerics having 70%+ mana at the win. Small improvements in efficiency can multiply the survivability of the raid.

1. First, groupping. There is no raid where groupping is more important than an AE fight. I strongly, strongly encourage anyone in a 'just grab 5 other people and go' style raiding guild to try focused group building on our next ae-focused encounter. The difference it makes can be overwhelming if your pick up style groups aren't very efficient. Placement of every class is important- are the SKs where they can use their group ATK buffs the most effectively? How about their group mana tap? Who are the bards amplifying and why- do you gain more dps from their atk/overhaste or from muse and why, who needs veeshan the most? Where are the paladins, and who needs their group heals the most? And so on. I can't overstress how big a help this is. People that know their roles need to have an opportunity to do just that.

2. Secondly, resists and preparation. If you are fighting something with chromatic AE, people bragging about their 4 500's and their 1 300 resist are going to get annihilated by the chromatic AE with a significant resist adj. People have to understand what is important for a fight, and adjust accordingly. Some fights I have and would use shaman potions for. Some I need to assign bards with ae songs to cover multiple areas of the fights, to be sure both melee and casters get AE resists. Sometimes you need to use circle of summer's stacking, or DMF. Don't overlook everything you have at your disposal and take damage you can't afford.

3. Mana drain fights- there's a lot of them. First, is there anything mindwrackable in the encounter? A complete heal rotation with a necro for mindwrack is a pretty stable thing, even with some mana drains. Second, if it's cureable, who is assigned to cures? Never, ever trust people to manage this on their own. Third, if you are trusting people to cure themselves, for the love of god call the ae and get the point across they need to cure themselves now, or some dim bulb will be saying, 'oom oom' 30 seconds later. Trust me on that one. Lastly, don't use dispel as a tactic lightly, but there are some encounters where it's a real good idea. Careful about ruling things out.

4. Masses. Use them, get it organized, get everyone with the AA for it. Make sure everyone has the buff slots free to support it in big fights. My clerics seldom use mass anymore for anything BUT mass CR.

D. Lastly, stupidity. Part of the job of a raid leader is to predict stupid things happening and just to warn members not to do it before they do. You'd really, really be surprised how big of a problem this is even for the highest guilds. Generally, I find humor is the best cure for stupidity. Things like, 'Please don't run into the huge dragon ahead of us' works pretty well, and everyone laughs, but I swear to god the one time you don't say it some idiot flips on numlock while grabbing a coke and wipes you.

Feel free to add your own suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
#2 May 26 2004 at 3:48 PM Rating: Default
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Wow just read that whole thing Nice post!!!
#3 May 26 2004 at 4:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Great post, more advanced than my current character who is just starting the planes groups, but I am printing it out as a reference.

Usually hate reading long posts but really kept my attention - thanks for sharing your insights with us.
#4 May 27 2004 at 6:12 AM Rating: Decent
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Great post!
#5 May 27 2004 at 6:30 AM Rating: Good
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One of 3 or 4 people who post here who deserves the title Guru. Great post.

Edited, Thu May 27 07:29:23 2004 by Patrician
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#6 May 27 2004 at 6:32 AM Rating: Decent
two

edited to add: and if it is one, then its mee!

Edited, Thu May 27 07:31:10 2004 by Dracoid
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#7 May 27 2004 at 7:44 AM Rating: Good
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Funnily enough, I didn't have you in mind Dracoid.
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#8 May 27 2004 at 8:01 AM Rating: Decent
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Especially pleased to see the remarks about CH chains. It seems to be a growing trend for clerics with large mana pools to "just spam SR".

There do seem to be places where fast heals are needed before a slow lands but not that many where they work for the entire fight.

There are some fights with AE stun that make any chain a bit difficult. If there is no way to hide or otherwise stay out of range then I suppose it has to be a bit less organised.
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#9 May 27 2004 at 8:10 AM Rating: Good
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Informative posts like this are why I like Alla's so much. :)
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#10 May 27 2004 at 8:33 AM Rating: Default
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Biggest problem I seen on pickup raids is people just won't listen. I have been in 4 failed MB raids trying to get my tactics flag. Actually only 3 failed, we killed it first time but they overhailed on me and you know the rest.

I mean everytime you got people with spider agression before they was told to attack them. Also seems like every time somebody gets killed by the gnome you hail for preflag. Then you got people who don't want to go to there proper spider corner to take care of the spiders.

I really wish the MB was a tad bit easier :(
#11 May 27 2004 at 8:32 PM Rating: Good
Calimyr, how do you handle delegation and the chain of command?

My experience as a foot soldier down in the lower ranks, has been that much of the time I do not know what is going on, what I am supposed to be doing, and who's lead I should be following.

I have also seen another quite common cause for raid wipes (at my levl any way) that is when the RL calls move, people up the fron of the column take off like scalded cats, and the people at the back of the "body" are still wandering around asking one another where they are meant to go.

Next thing a straggler or two is attacked by/attacking repops, some of the leaders come back to help out, the proper supports aren't in place and soon a there is a roaring free for all taking place.

It always seemed to me that it would be really nice if some gunnery seargent came back down the line and took charge of us "tail enders" Smiley: smile
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#12 May 27 2004 at 9:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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Everyone handles that differently I guess; what we do is have a leader for each class - usually based on seniority but not always. That person coordinates with the officers or raid leader about pretty much everything - what buffs are needed, how many druids (example drawn from my class of course) are needed for rampage healing, whether the AE warrants a SotW chain and if so, at what point it should be initiated.

I watch my class chat more closely than I do raid chat, because that's where the information I need comes from.

As far as when to move, well, raiding is like everything else: 95% of it is paying attention.
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#13 May 27 2004 at 9:54 PM Rating: Good
SamiraX wrote:


I watch my class chat more closely than I do raid chat, because that's where the information I need comes from.

As far as when to move, well, raiding is like everything else: 95% of it is paying attention.



Well, there you go, learn something new every day, lol. Never seen, or thought of using a class chat. We will give this a try.

The situation with the move is that a lot of the time the RL, or lead puller, simply says "move" or "move up now" and then takes off. Having been at both ends of the "column", I know that the puller, MA team and RL have been talking about the move and people around them have some idea of what is going on.

The people at the other end of the raid force haven't been privy to this and the best they can hope for is to try to follow someone else who seems to know what they are doing.

(Lol, I've ended up in some intersting places doing this, Grieg's and The Hole spring to mind as veritable nightmares.)
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#14 May 27 2004 at 10:00 PM Rating: Good
a random note about potime. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON'T FORGET TO BIND AT THE TIME DIAL BEFORE P1, esPECIALLY if you are a cleric chanter or warrior
#15 May 28 2004 at 12:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
The situation with the move is that a lot of the time the RL, or lead puller, simply says "move" or "move up now" and then takes off.


Yes, through a rigorous regimen of therapy, threats and buffs withheld, you can train your raid leader to say "Move SOUTH", or "Move to the middle stairs".
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#16 May 28 2004 at 12:18 AM Rating: Decent
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Edit: Read a lil more, and did see movement mentioned, oh well. Great original post btw.
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Didn't see this in there, so might add:

The dangers of Raid movement.

When hunting multiple targets (usually within the same zone), it becomes paramount people watch their own aggro when traveling from one point to the next. This is a situational problem, only occuring in certain zones (Plane of Air, for instance) or when later-comers join a raid that's progressed into the zone.

Listen to movement instructions, don't assume you know where you're going to be moving next. If they say "hug the left wall", you'd better end up at the destination with paint on your shoulder.

Also, it's a good idea for movement leader to use compass directions, since using relative "move left" can get messy.

Pay attention to your screen for crying out loud. If you see "STOP", do just that. "That doesn't apply to me, I'll keep moving" attitude has been the result of a few wipes. If you die, you die. You'll get a rezz/rogue CoH or CoH eventually. Don't think you can "pull just this one" to the awaiting group, since they may not be there yet, and "this one" quickly turns into a party of five mobs chewing up the raid's clerics.

Watch for mob aggro messages. Use your F9 cameras. Basically, don't assume "all is safe" because the guild has done clearing. There are always unexpected repops, wanderers, etc.

Don't outrun the "rabbit", or movement leader. This sometimes happens in laggy zones, or from people not paying attention, or from people being too fast. Overrunning the movement leader can have devastating effects or it can simply be embarassing to die in front of the whole raid....depends on how lucky you end up being.

Have the tools you need to get to your destination. My old guild had a policy that everyone carry "travel packs" with them. This would allow any class to get nearly anywhere in the game. Lev potions, invis potions, EB item, gate potion, etc.

Making one or more classes wait at the zone in point, or worse RETURN to the start point because "you can't get there" is a waste of time, and only serves to increase the chances adds will happen from the extra needed movement. Be prepared.

-------------------------------

Like I said, movement is a situational problem, but young guilds can find it disheartening to be progressing so well against targets, only to have their raid wiped from the ignorance of a few people. Paying attention to what you're doing, though, cuts down on about 99% of movement dangers.








Edited, Fri May 28 01:19:19 2004 by emperorjeremy
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#17 May 28 2004 at 12:21 AM Rating: Decent
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#18 May 28 2004 at 2:04 AM Rating: Good
Quote:


Also, it's a good idea for movement leader to use compass directions, since using relative "move left" can get messy.



Ahh, thanks Emorerjeremy, I missed this as well.

And that is another idea I hadn't thought of. Movement Leader, great idea.
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#19 May 28 2004 at 2:31 AM Rating: Decent
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One cause of wipes that I see at my much lower level of raid is complacency or loss of focus.

Typically there is some yard trash to be cleared before you get to the serious mob(s). Because it is "only yard trash" all discipline flies out the window and people are attacking willy nilly, not paying attention and just burning through it. It is hard if not impossible, and quite possibly irrelevant, to insist on people waiting for assist, sticking to raid roles etc when the mob is mostly dead before the MA has even found it. Gradually it degenerates into a sort of mad hobbit's walking party

Then when you do reach a proper mob you get smacked down hard because people can't just switch back to "serious" mode.

What can help is if there is a pause or break at the end of clearance to enable the RL to re-establish some kind of order. This is not always possible.

I appreciate that hardcore raiders may not even recognise this scenario but for casual raid guilds it is a real problem.
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#20 May 28 2004 at 11:35 AM Rating: Good
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One of 3 or 4 people who post here who deserves the title Guru. Great post.


Great post, as always. Much appreciated.

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#21 May 28 2004 at 12:05 PM Rating: Good
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Communication. I can't stress enough how important it is to make sure everyone understands exactly what you expect to be done. Obviously you can't specifically tell each person how to handle each situation, but if everyone knows how you want the fight to play out, then they can do their job to make it happen.

Something else I've seen wipe raids is panic. Using the 8 mob pull as an example, when it hits camp people see your top tank, or even top 2 tanks, go down fast. They immediately think "we're dead" and go into panic mode. Very little can kill a raid faster than the loss of focus, and that's exactly what happens once panic sets in. People stop thinking about how to beat the current situation, and start thinking about self preservation. I annoy the **** out of many of our more experienced players because I constantly remind the raid to keep their focus. Just little things thrown in here and there, especially when the situation gets tough, to remind everyone not to give up just because it's looking bad. You won't find anyone who admits they were even listening of course, but if it keeps one person on their toes it's worth it. Encouragement can go a long way in a tough fight.

We use something very similar to Samria's guild. We have class leaders, class channels, and a channel for the class leaders/officers to communicate with each other.

Do not be afraid to move people around in groups. If you need certain people in certain places, put them there, no matter who will think you are being unfair or playing favorites. Explain the situation if needed, but make the raid as strong as possible with what you have by arranging the people where they give the most benefit. As Cal said, use everything at your disposal. You can't let personal differences that may arise affect how you lead the raid. If you can't stand Cleric_01, but he's your best healer for a given situation, give him the nod. Put him where you need him.

Don't count anyone out. Every guild has it's "stars". Don't always count on them to be the hero. Many times, when things go downhill, someone you least expect will step up and turn the tide. Our very first Rathe kill back in PoP was actually saved by a very old druid who's been in the guild since way before we were a top tier raid guild, and was at the time a part timer at best. He did't have the best gear, the biggest mana pool, but he knew what he was doing, and literally saved the raid with quick thinking. Don't overlook those people. They'll save your ass.
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#22 May 28 2004 at 12:10 PM Rating: Good
I took my warrior in to time yesterday, because my pally is waiting on a GM to answer my petition (corpse pooofed.) my warrior has only about 9khp fully buffed, nothing spectacular at all... we would have completely wiped on VZ if I hadn't been there, he spiked our top seven tanks into the ground, I was the only buffed stonewall warrior there. Our knights were dead too, actually. I tanked time vallon for about a minute, until another warrior got up.
#23 May 28 2004 at 12:49 PM Rating: Decent
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One other point about certain classes is that Druids and Wizards should configure their spell selection to remove port and succor spells from the available spells during a raid. Typically if things start going bad, a cleric or two is usually instructed to camp. May times the raid can recover from a bad pull or the like.

If the mob was deep in zone the group that ports out is more than likely lost for that raid as much of the time the raid, will not go back to zone in to get them.


#24 May 29 2004 at 11:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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#25 May 29 2004 at 6:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Our very first Rathe kill back in PoP was actually saved by a very old druid who's been in the guild since way before we were a top tier raid guild, and was at the time a part timer at best. He did't have the best gear, the biggest mana pool, but he knew what he was doing, and literally saved the raid with quick thinking.


Druids always save the raid. It's tradition. /nod
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#26 Jun 01 2004 at 12:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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Iluien the Silent wrote:
Calimyr, how do you handle delegation and the chain of command?

My experience as a foot soldier down in the lower ranks, has been that much of the time I do not know what is going on, what I am supposed to be doing, and who's lead I should be following.

I have also seen another quite common cause for raid wipes (at my levl any way) that is when the RL calls move, people up the fron of the column take off like scalded cats, and the people at the back of the "body" are still wandering around asking one another where they are meant to go.
Smiley: smile


First off, some great posts on this thread. Samira's guild's class channels are a very good method of delegation, and I follow that in a more broad sense- we have a healer channel, a debuffer/crowd control channel, and so on. More on the roles classes fill than the classes as such.

Movement is something that is very problematic for most raid guilds because it's the most basic and common time you need to mass coordinate an action. Generally, I talk to the pullers constantly during a raid, to have a good idea of when the next area is clear and we can or can't move. There's good and bad sides to a raid leader delegating pulling, and I sometimes envy raid leaders on pulling classes, because it can be a bit easier to control the tempo of a raid.

Now about moving itself, it's important to understand I'm typically playing with extremely experienced players that have been raiding a very long time. Having said that, I still give painfully explicit instructions and take great care in moving a raid. Unless there's only one way to go, and it's physically impossible to go too far, I'd never say 'move up'. I'd say, 'Hug the left wall TIGHTLY and move around the corner, up the stairs and stop just behind <puller's name>.' While waiting a few seconds myself to see who is afk and who is not, and giving them individual tells to afk check. Stuff like that. Sometimes I move first, giving players a specific spot to move to, then have another person do a check on who is afk.

Keep things simple. If it can be confused, people will confuse it. Short, simple, understandable moves. This is far, far, FAR more important when learning a zone. After you've beaten it 10 times, you can just say, 'Okay move up to Diabo Xi Va's prep' and the couple guests should be able to follow the 30 people that know what they are doing. But never ever do that when you are trying to beat a zone in my opinion.

There's a fine line between insulting the intelligence of your raiders and giving them so little information that they cannot function effectively.

Tattle wrote:
Something else I've seen wipe raids is panic. Using the 8 mob pull as an example, when it hits camp people see your top tank, or even top 2 tanks, go down fast. They immediately think "we're dead" and go into panic mode. Very little can kill a raid faster than the loss of focus, and that's exactly what happens once panic sets in. People stop thinking about how to beat the current situation, and start thinking about self preservation. I annoy the **** out of many of our more experienced players because I constantly remind the raid to keep their focus. Just little things thrown in here and there, especially when the situation gets tough, to remind everyone not to give up just because it's looking bad. You won't find anyone who admits they were even listening of course, but if it keeps one person on their toes it's worth it. Encouragement can go a long way in a tough fight.


This is absolutely true, and a great point. After you've been leading for a while, you can kind of 'feel' when a raid becomes unglued or stops really trying. Players will do a 'deer in headlights' effect in really chaotic situations, and it is CRITICAL that the person calling the shots both doesn't panic, and can react quickly and effectively to a threat. Saying, 'My target is untanked, get it' while targetted on some mob crushing the clerics will save the raid if a few tanks are still taking a few seconds to figure out what is there, when those are seconds you just don't have. Just words of encouragement like Tattle said can do so much for a raid, and there has been some really borderline almost loss fights where people are asking if they should camp, and just yelling to keep going and throw everything at it has carried it through.
#27 Jun 01 2004 at 6:25 PM Rating: Good
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I absolutely agree with the issues about communication. The biggest difference I've seen between my guild raids, and pickup raids is the quality both of the leadership at communicating what's to be done, and the members at understanding how to follow instructions (ok, and general clue, but that's another issue!).

I've always hated the "follow me!" kind of leadership. It's a disaster waiting to happen. Leaders tend to forget that they don't have a huge glowing beacon on them allowing everyone to see them in the crowd. Add in lag issues, and it's ludicrously easy to get half your raid force running in the wrong direction.

Unless you are raiding with a force that you *know* knows the area like the back of their hands (and that pretty much happens exclusively with guild raiding, and is guaranteed to happen since you tend to raid the same places over and over and over), you have to assume that no one in the raid force has a clue where you are going, or what you are fighting. I've seen far to many raidleaders obsess over little details like who's responsible for buffing which groups, and spend no effort at all informing the raid group about how they are going to get to the mob and how they are going to kill the mob.


Beyond the communnication issue, Cal's pretty much hit all the major points. I'll even shorten the list down a bit by saying that there are usually two reasons a raid wipes (beyond stupid stuff like bad communication):

1. Bad plan. Cal went into much more detail (defensive use of CC/healers rather then relying on tanks, and setting up who'll deal with what when, etc...), but you can still boil it town to planning. You pulled the mobs in the wrong order. You fought them in the wrong spot. You set the wrong CH rate. You didn't have the right patchers ready to go. You didn't know about or deal properly with spawns during the fight. The reasons are numerous. The good thing about wiping this way is that usually your raid force arrives at their bind point thinking: "Ah hah! I see what we did wrong that time. Let's get back and try this other thing...".

Bad plans turn into good plans. After all, someone had to come up with the raid strat that most folks just read about on the net somewhere. Usually, you don't feel to bad about losing this way, since you know you've learned something about the encounter.


2. Just not enough force. This one hurts. Really. When you look at the encounter, and you know you are doing it the most effectively that you possibly can, but you just don't have the numbers or combination needed to win. Sometimes, it's just a single raid issue. You didn't have the turnout you wanted, and now you know what you'll need for next time. Sometimes though, it can be very demoralizing to a guild to fail this way. You know that there's nothing immediate that you can do to fix it. Having too many of this type of failure can be disasterous to a guild btw.

The good part is that, at least for those of us in more mid leveled raid guilds, this type of thing is the yardstick by which you measure progress. 6 months ago, maybe there was an encounter that you did as right as possible, but just couldn't ever quite beat. Today, after gaining more AAs/levels for your members, maybe gaining a number of new folks, and presumbably gearing up a bit, you can walk through it without hardly breaking a sweat. What starts out as one of the most demoralizing failure turns into a real sense of accomishment. There are very few long term raid guilds that can't look back and say "Remember, when <X> seemed impossible? And today, we do that as a warmup before heading off to our *real* raid objective...". It's a good feeling.
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#28 Jun 01 2004 at 9:12 PM Rating: Good
Heh, I'm not sure if this was something specific to our old guild or whether others have experienced it as well, but;

We regularly suffered a total wipe after the raid was completed. That is to say, we would clear in to the main target, take him down, clean up and then sit around congratualting one another, rolling etc. Until suddenly the place would start re-popping.

For some reason, we never seemed to be able to swing back into action and the inevitable half dozen or so skirmishes would break out, the CC and healers would go down and we'd wipe. It happened so ofteen that I started to get a bit peaved about it and made my self unpopular with one or two people, trying to tell them that there "must be a better way".

I still don't know what it was, mental exhaustion maybe?
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#29 Jun 02 2004 at 12:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Iluien the Silent wrote:
We regularly suffered a total wipe after the raid was completed. That is to say, we would clear in to the main target, take him down, clean up and then sit around congratualting one another, rolling etc. Until suddenly the place would start re-popping.


Mental exhaustion is close, but not quite it. I find in raids, there's a couple different ways people approach intense situations. One is they give it absolute focus, and put everything else to the side, never taking an afk, never letting their attention waver (I'm like that). The other kind of plays with less focus, but more constant, with less spikes. What happens is a lot of the very focused players that go this long stretch of a raid without an AFK will suddenly all realize they really, really want to get a snack since they haven't eaten all day right as loot is being distro'd and the raid mob is dead. Danger is over right?

Cure to that is a simple one. I just make it painfully clear how we are handling post-win stuff. Never underestimate respawns. Usually when it's clear we are going to win, I start getting across exactly what I want to happen while we do loot and get out- put people on watching respawns, handle loot quickly, move on. Never give people a chance to breath and afk unless it is 100% safe or the raid is over. Basically, if the entire -raid- afks it's my fault for not driving it home how important it was for it to not happen. If one or two people do after I say something, I'll give them grief over it and make sure it doesn't happen again, to break a bad habit.
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