We all know that 80% of the threads here are "Hi, my guild keeps wiping on X fight, help us please" posts that are here to get input from other players that can help you down the boss. However, sometimes it can take up to 50 posts just for the participating posters to get some kind of help across, which could take days. I'd like to create an environment where questions and problems about bosses can be solved in a matter of hours with fewer than 20 posts instead of taking 3 days and 100 posts. To help make this climate, I've come up with a few suggestions that will infinitely improve the experience of sharing our knowledge about boss fights in the form of a step-by-step way to efficiently get help.
Please note that the following are guidelines to help us help you. The more you give, the more we can help, and vice versa. Leaving out any of these key pieces of information may lower our chances of helping you get your phat lewtz.
The Original Post
1. What boss are you having trouble on? Obviously this is the most important question, and thus it is very important to be exact. The boss, PLUS whether this is a 10 normal, 10 heroic, 25 normal, or 25 heroic boss you are working on. Sometimes it can take up to 10 posts just to get this across when it is almost always vital to the strategy.
2. What's your raid composition normally like? This could create problems or open opportunities for certain fights.
3. How long have you been working on this fight? Sometimes it's just a matter of getting more reps so your raid can get better at it, but if it's literally 100 wipes on a fight, there's probably a strategic or player flaw in your raid.
4. What phase of the fight are you wiping at?
4b. Is this just into the phase, near the middle of it, or almost at the end? This could be a clue as to if you're having problems with a transition, longevity in a phase, or just nailing the main mechanics of it.
5. What are people dying to? This is the second most important question besides the boss you are on. Sometimes a solution can be given even without any other information except the boss and the mechanic that's killing people. Do not make a thread asking why your raid is wiping and ask for help without first telling us what people are dying to.
6. What have you tried already to fix #5? The fastest way to get help is to head off anything redundant and obvious that you've already thought of and tried.
7. Do you have a World of Logs (or any other logging program/site) report for your raid? This is the single best way to help narrow down individuals that might be causing your raid problems or uncover something that even you might not have considered. It is highly recommended that you run logs for your own analysis even if you don't want to share them with us.
Replying to Suggestions
1. Be polite. I shouldn't have to say this, but people are much more likely to help you out if you're not walking all over them.
2. Make sure someone understands what you said in your OP before seriously considering their suggestion. Sometimes a misunderstanding can make a wasted post.
3. Don't take stuff personally. If someone points out that your best friend's dps rotation is completely wrong judging by WoL, they're probably just trying to help. Same thing if someone audits one of your raider's characters on the armory and notices a bad spec or gear choice. (Courtesy of Tamerlane2)
Addendum: Responding to a thread with help (for posters other than the OP)
1. Again, be polite. There's no need for personal insults, we're all here to help each other.
2. Don't say how easy the fight was for you, shrug, and walk away. Try to understand the problem from the raid's or the OP's point of view and help them nail down exactly how to fix their problem(s).
3. Please actually have some experience on the boss. I know this may seem obvious, but most fights can't really be talked about without even giving it a few pulls. You can still give input on certain people not performing as they should, but try not to make strategic suggestions unless you've tried it yourself.
4. Pointing out an issue with a raid composition can be useful, but when giving a suggestion on a certain class/role makeup that would be better, try to also include feedback on how the OP might make it work with their current comp.
That's really all I can think of for now. Of course, the format is yours to play with. These ideas don't have to be bullet-pointed in your post, but try to make sure that they are included. Any further suggestions are gladly welcome. Let's hope that the MMO-Champ R&D forum can grow into a helpful community for all raiding issues.