I posted this up on my guild's website, but felt I might as well share it with MMO Champ as well!
So, we've all been new to raids, and we've all heard someone call "I'm dead". And you're struck with the thought, "who the fuck is I?" Well, here's some quick tips to raid calls to avoid useless information.
The main goals when making a call during a boss fight are to be quick and precise.
1) Personal Calls:
First thing to remember here is that "I" is not a person on vent. You should always speak in third person. This will make sure everyone knows exactly who you are talking about, just in case you sound like that other guy who is probably bad and dies all the time.
When it comes to what you actually say in certain situations, here's a quick break down.
With these you want to try to call asap if you are lagging that you MAY disconnect.
<name> lagging, possible DC - If you have a responsibility in the raid, this is where you call for someone to cover you. Once you are stabilized, you communicate that as well.
<name> logging back in
<name> reloading UI (if applicable)
<name> dead - Saying anything else like "down" "oh shit" "fuck" "well see this thing just happened to me and...." is not helpful to raid recovery. The goal is always to be precise, so that if you are receiving a battle rez that can be the next thing said instead of your senseless babbling about how your death was bullshit. This is also a case where you call for someone to cover your responsibility.
Requesting Special Attention:
<name> needs cooldown - Knowing what cooldown you need is always helpful, but in the case that you need just whatever you can get, just say that. Adding what the CD is needed for helps people time it as well, if it is something like Quake or Thundershock.
This also goes for innervates, and other mana cooldowns.
<name> with <particular debuff> - This is a little bit different, as each boss fight does not require a call when someone gets a debuff. Some debuffs only need called in certain situations as well. Two examples that come to mind are Blackout during a Theralion phase, and running an orb with Wrack on Sinestra. "Blackout on Thatoneguy, get away" (to let him die) "Thatbadhunter running with Wrack" (to let your dispeller know)
There are many cases of special abilities requiring special calls, but the golden rule here is to use third person.
2) Boss Abilities:
Having calls for boss abilities is always helpful, as it helps to keep everyone focused and alert, and ready to react.
Consistency is huge on these. If you are going to call an ability, ALWAYS call it. Don't forget. Emphasize that specific timer in your boss mods and make sure you are on top of it. Also, take note if the normal caller is not in the raid, and have ONE person take over.
<boss ability> soon (optional to call <in seconds>) - "Pillar of Flame soon" "Nef soon" "Blackout in 10"
<boss ability> now - "Pillar of Flame now"
<boss ability> on <target> - "Acquired Target on Thatguyoverthere"
<boss ability> <proper reaction> (for stack, spread, switch target, move, etc.) - "Red Phase, stack" "Blue Phase, spread" "Blackout, stack"
Formatting your calls this way helps keep the calls precise, and informative.
Another very strong point to boss calls is to have someone different call each ability so that raiders don't necessarily have to listen, but know what is coming as soon as they hear that person's voice. An example of this is our raid leader calling target switches on Omni, while I call Nef abilities along with predictions. Overlapping to a certain extent is okay, but the different voices help.
If you are assigned to make a call, consistency is extremely important. Not calling when people are relying on you could lead to a wipe. You also need to understand how important your call is, if it is a major ability you need to command vent when you are talking. Commanding vent means speaking in a very clear, concise way while being loud enough that you are heard over whatever else is being said. Yelling on vent is never helpful though, so be sure to understand the difference between "commanding" and "yelling".
3) Taunts and Threat:
<name> (taunting) in 3 2 1
<name> needs to drop threat
<name> NEEDS SALV OMG
For most fights, a 3 second count on taunts should be enough.
Also, sometimes dps need to be told to watch their threat meter instead of dps meter.
And everyone knows screaming for salv reduces your threat an extra 10%.
If anyone has additional input, feel free to post! This is a work in progress!