Thread: raid leading

  1. #1

    raid leading

    hello guys

    since i ever started playing this wonderful game what makes me most interested to learn is the science of killing a raid boss, i noticed that blizzard leaves the raid leading / boss fight learning blank with no guides...is that intentional ? or is there official blizzard guides and advises for planning a boss fight that i didnt know about?

    what makes me interested is the fun and planning behind it, i dont necessary looking to become a raid leader or creating a guild right now i just wish to study this art of the game, how does raid leaders start studying it? i even thinking of studying "military tactics" while studying boss fight raid leading.

    i know this sounds weird lol but i do really wish to find a place or website or a guide from blizzard that guides us which aspect we should study to be able to master the raid bosses strategy kill in warcraft.

    is raid bosses strategy can be studied under "military tactics" for example? there is a part of military tactics called "infantry tactics" and its the closest thing i found that is similar to warcraft raids.

    my wish is to study the bosses behavior and plan a raid attack strategy for it, i wish to learn that craft and im welling to study any field that comes in to help me master it. its my best part of the game beside Lore :P

    thank you all for reading and please forgive my broken english,

    kind regards <3

  2. #2
    From my experience as a raid leader and GM of a few years, I can offer my 2 cents

    Assuming you are not in a Top 100 world team, there will already be guides, videos and tactics available online on YouTube, and easily searchable through google. Study different kills of the boss(es) that you are planning on working on next and try to figure out which boss and tactic best suits the composition your guild has.

    What are your guilds strengths and weaknesses?
    How many tanks, off specs, healers etc are you running?
    Are you melee or ranged heavy?

    From that you can deduce which boss may suit your progression the best, and which guilds strategy looks most like the setup you have available to you.

    You need to understand your limitations so that you can manage your targets.

    You can also choose how best to lead the team. Are you a straight up no nonsense to the point leader? hopefully not, as this approach will only work when you are pushing for world ranks. For anyone starting out, the aim should be fun and enjoyment with progression being seen as a side benefit. From there you can also decide how much of a tolerance for slack and poor play is. Do you wish to remain casual or do you want to weed out the slackers over time and evolve from a casual scrub squad to big time boss killers.

    I hope I understood what you were after and I hope this offers some insight in to the mind of raid leader.
    Last edited by MCO Readycheck; 2017-04-21 at 04:54 PM.
    Former Balance Druid & HC Raider for MCO, Shadowsong
    10HC Rank #92 on a 13-15 hour Raiding Schedule

    Now just an old & tired casual...

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sabrek View Post
    i noticed that blizzard leaves the raid leading / boss fight learning blank with no guides...is that intentional ?
    Yes, it is. If Blizzard told us "this is how you kill this boss", then everyone would be able to do it. They want us to figure it out. Use our brains. Not just... follow directions. Like watching a video of someone else doing something.
    No Flying = No Playing

  4. #4
    One thing I'd like to note here is that blizzard does give us the adventurer guide. This isn't the best place for boss strategies, but does give some insight as to what each ability does. I always find this worthwhile to look into once or twice when a new raid opens.

    Besides that, the bosses in WoW are quite varied. Each one has a set of abilities that require you to come up with new tactics on a boss per boss basis. Just trying things out is the best way to figure out your best strategy (if you don't just search for a guide on youtube that is)

    One last thing from me: the boss room is almost always a dead giveaway about some aspects of the fight.
    Is there a ton of space? Prepare for big aoe circles, running, and/or lasting ground effects.
    Small room? Splash effects inc!
    Jumpable edge? Prepare to be punted/blown off.

    Hope this has helped a bit. If you are still simply interested in military tactics then go ahead and read them. I'm just not too sure how well that translates into WoW itself.

  5. #5
    The hardest part of raid leading is the first tier doing it. Tactics for bosses for the most part aren't terribly hard to figure out, the dungeon journal will tell you most of the pieces and you mostly just have to put them together. What takes time is figuring out what your guild is good and bad at, where will they excel and where will they need guidance? Who can you be a little harsher on for them to improve, while who do you have to play the disappointment card on so they feel they have to prove themselves?

    The social dynamics often crumble guilds just as much as the tactics do.

  6. #6
    I don't really understand what you're looking for from Blizzard. They already provide a dungeon journal that fully details all the abilities you face in each encounter. If they went any further, there'd be no such thing as raid leading, it would just be "everyone do what Blizzard's guide says".

    Figuring out how to overcome the bosses is up to us. However, I'm afraid you're overthinking it. Military theory, infantry tactics - none of that has anything to do with raid leadership, sorry. The key premise of infantry tactics is that your enemy has free will, so tactics are designed to limit the enemy's options while coping with any of the remaining possibilities for how they react. Raid encounters are entirely scripted, so military thinking is entirely wasted.

    The only "studying" you can do is class abilities, if you don't have widespread class knowledge - you can't come up with tactics that make full use of your team's abilities if you don't know what those abilities are. Once you DO know what all the abilities are, there's no studying to do. Coming up with boss tactics is purely a logical problem solving exercise - here's what the boss is going to do, here are the tools available to your raid group, if you do X at point Y then you avoid ability Z.

  7. #7
    agreed, very good tips man thx

    what about the raiders? sadly as you guys know there are SO MANY clueless raiders that dont wanna bother to read or study tactics before raid and want the raid leader to babysit them?

    in this case do i have to babysit them and explain tactics? i think i have to specially for a fresh content and new guild yes?

    cheers guys

  8. #8
    Delegate. Don't do everything yourself.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sabrek View Post
    agreed, very good tips man thx

    what about the raiders? sadly as you guys know there are SO MANY clueless raiders that dont wanna bother to read or study tactics before raid and want the raid leader to babysit them?

    in this case do i have to babysit them and explain tactics? i think i have to specially for a fresh content and new guild yes?

    cheers guys
    Wrong guild for you then.

  10. #10
    Stood in the Fire
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    I've been running my guild since 2007, when we started we were a group of people from some of the best European guild around, including people from guild such as Novus Principium, Forte and Vortex. At the time we had to be very creative as we tried to stay ahead of everyone else.

    These days we find ourselves with roughly half of that core left, most of which have families and demanding jobs, while we still hover around top 500 - 800 these days we're so far down the progress ladder that we can comfortably look at how other guilds did it and adapt our own strategy from that.

    We've always had our own take on things though as we go by what our raid team can do to make it easier, i.e. we practically invented the Togar split strategy in BRF by having a holy paladin (me in this case, I always got the shit jobs) solo the other side to keep 19 people facing the major hurdle of dealing with all the adds. It wasn't revolutionary as such since most teams split 40/60 or 50/50 but we took it one step further as it suited us.

    My bottom line point is that it' all about adapting things to your composition / raid team and make it work the way that's easiest for you.
    One does not need tactical genius to conquer the French. They surrender anyway.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by sabrek View Post
    agreed, very good tips man thx

    what about the raiders? sadly as you guys know there are SO MANY clueless raiders that dont wanna bother to read or study tactics before raid and want the raid leader to babysit them?

    in this case do i have to babysit them and explain tactics? i think i have to specially for a fresh content and new guild yes?

    cheers guys
    You should expect most of the raid to have at least basic knowledge of boss tactics, but you should also provide explanations for their execution, especially on bosses that can be defeated using multiple methods depending on your raid's strengths.

    From my experience, it's almost never good to overload your raiders with information prior to a fight. The best way to learn is to practice and not spend 30mins between pulls talking and speculating. Unless of course you're just constantly hitting the same roadblocks and not progressing, in which case you should review what happens during the fight and try to pinpoint what needs changing.

    I've also found that in most casual - semi-hardcore guilds, it helps a lot to have a raid leader that calls out important abilities and coordinates the group during the fight. For most players not in the top 100 level, it's harder to do a perfect rotation while also keeping an eye on all important timers and reacting quickly when something goes wrong during the fight. Knowing that your raid leader will call out when and where to stack/spread, which target to focus, how to manage debuffs etc can greatly help you focus on maximising your performance. Over time (progress pulls or kills) your raiders' reactions should become a lot more automated and less stuff will need to be called out.

    If you have specific people who constantly fail to execute tactics, be sure to talk to them directly, clarify what they need to do differently without stirring up drama and blindly accusing them, while making it clear that they need to do better.
    Last edited by Nospheratu; 2017-04-21 at 07:45 PM.

  12. #12
    The Lightbringer
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    Raid leading is mostly making calls, or delegating people to help you make calls. I use to do most of the raid calling for our guild, but have others help me do it now. Other than that I just assign loot, make a general decision on what boss we are going to be doing, and how we are going to approach the boss initially. Outside of the initial setup and explanation, most of the strategy tweaks are a combined effort of the entire raiding roster, both inside and outside the game, with myself usually making the final call on whether we go forth with it.

    Raid calling use to be easier, but the camera zoom distance change (seriously) makes it a bit more difficult on some encounters for me to do it as a tank, as it's a bit more difficult to see what the range are doing at any particular time. As such it's more a of a joint effort between myself, the other tank and one of our range DPS making calls during the encounter.

    Biggest thing of actual making strategy is actually realizing what works for your composition compared to others. Guilds outside the very cutting edge (which is 99.9% of guilds) always have logs to look through or videos that surface which help them decide on tactics. These are great tools but you can often fall into traps of trying to follow them too closely, because sometimes they really aren't optimal at all and a lot of these guilds will/do brute force through some bosses and make them look incredibly easy. A good example (although relatively easy boss) was I believe how Method did Socrethar in HFC. They actually probably did the encounter how it was likely intended to be done, but nobody did it that way because it was a lot harder to actually do. Another example is how some guilds initially avoided popping brands on Tichondrius. This relaxes a lot of requirements, but also puts a lot more responsibility and emphasis on the bat phase.

    I guess recognizing what kind of guild and players you have is pretty important too. Some guilds raid a lot more and might not be as prepared (looking stuff up before hand), where other guilds who raid less are a bit more efficient because they spend more time actually researching prior, because they want to make the most out of the time they raid. We always explain bosses to a degree, but I feel the best practice is to have everybody loosely know what's going on, but to not overload people with information. Should people have a general idea what's going on when you get to P3 Archimonde or Gul'dan when you're pulling them for the first night? Yeah they should. Should your raid leader be sitting down explaining every last detail of the encounter for 30 minutes when you're 100% not going to see those phases for a couple of days? No.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sabrek View Post
    is raid bosses strategy can be studied under "military tactics" for example? there is a part of military tactics called "infantry tactics" and its the closest thing i found that is similar to warcraft raids.
    Hola amigo I recommend that you read The Art of War by Sun Tzu in your studies of Blizzard WoW bosses, I myself spent 3 years at Academia General Militar to prepare myself for the challenges of WoW bosses but I unfortunately still placed a complete ANIMAL crystal on Star Augerio and stunned poor Agricultor Sleeb.

  14. #14
    Knowing the boss fights well is maybe 30% of what makes a great raid leader.

    Blizzards only official source is the dungeon journal. You find all the abilities in there, but no tactics. For the tactics, there is two options: You either study existing ones (from guides, for example Wowhead / FatBoss) and apply them to your own group 8you might want to do certain things differently), or you are the type of pro raider that encounters bosses when no tactic is available and have to craft your own. The latter are only very select few people.
    Over time, you will see that certain mechanics are quite similar. In single target fights, you always have some debuff that necessitates a tank swap. Or a buff on the boss that necessitates a tank swap (Odyn). Or you have multiple bosses. Or a combination of both (Dragons, multiple bosses and swap debuff). Once you have seen all those things once it gets pretty easy to recognize what has to be done in order to beat that part of the enocunter. I deliberately picked an easy example, but it works well for other roles and mechanics as well. There is only so much the game can thow at yuo. The difficult things are positioning and minimizing running in order to maximize DPS.


    A good raid leader knows the boss by heart and can adapt. If you see that the tactic is not working with your setup, you need to identify the causes. Is it individual mistakes? Then analyze why those mistakes are made. Do you put your raider in situations where it gets extremely hard to manage certain mechanics? Then switch it up so that you avoid those situations. is it because certain people are simply bad? Then either replace them or try again until they "get" the boss (but make sure there is steady learning). Is it because the tactic is a high DPS tactic and you do not have that DPS? Then switch to a safer tactic with more heal to stay alive longer. You need to be aware of your raids issues and be able to correct them. A wise general once said "no plan for a battle survies the first contact with the enemy". Boss tactics can sometimes be similar. But don't overdo it. Constantly changing tactics only confuses people and robs them of the opportunity to learn. Sometimes you imply need to wipe X times to a boss until all people can lay the tactic properly.

    the ability to judge and make quick decisions if important for every raid leader.

    be able to make hard choices. But be fair. You need to find 20 man to raid with you. But you need to be able to cut people who can not get their shit together. Be prepared to be the bad guy ho doesn't take the guy everyone likes to the raid because he underperforms. In the end, raiders are more happy with kills then with having the nice guy there, even if they don't realize that in the moment. Keep your raiders happy. Distribute loot fairly. There are multiple systems (SK, DKP, LC, heck, even rolling) which each their own pros and cons. As long as you choose a system that your raiders agree with is "fair" and stick to it you will have little problems.

    Be assertive and decisive. You call the shots, so call the shots. Don't be afraid to take responsibility. Make clear, concise and precise calls. If you run an international raid, use simple english sentences. They are great, I know it! You doN#t need to win a literature nobel prize if your raid consists of 10 different nations and accents. Even if you only have native speakers, its still best to use simple and plain langauge. And keep it short. the art of conveying just enough information is very difficult to master. Say too much and you loose your audience (or they forget the shit immediately), so too few things and people aren#t informed.

    keep your announcements consistent. If you announce stuff during the raid, use simple and consietent phrases. Once you have established a phrase for the fight, don#tswitch it up because you like another phrase more. If you say "Overwhelm in X" and later you see that the ability actually is called "Power overwhelming", don't switch it up. Everyone know what you mean, and your original phrase is much shorter. Switching only causes cnfusion, which can cause errors. You need to minimize the potential for errors.
    Keep announcements short. "Hey guys the boss will start casting power overwhelning in x seconds" is extremely long and does not convey any more information then "Overwhelm in X". The same applies to tactic chnges.

    The same applies to explanations. if you change tactics and need to explain what you want done differently, doNt elaboate like you are going to write an essay for your schools essay contest. keep it short, simple and concise. Say what you want in as few words as possible, but say everything that your raider need to know.

    In short: Read some good leadership books. And management books. Thats far more important then knowing the boss by heart. The former can be applied to every single encounter, the latter is only relevent for the encounter you are progressing on.

    Furthermore, read some books on leadership, for example von clausewitz (Prussian general and still in use in most military leadership courses). The man knows his shit. Reduce friction. Reduce opportunities for your raiders to fail. Enable them to perform. Don't put them in situations where they can only loose. If they fail, find out why.

  15. #15
    Field Marshal TheRightWay's Avatar
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    It very much depends, what difficulty are you attempting? Normal? You can probably just check the Adventure Guide (in game). Heroic? The raid leader will have to check out some guides on YouTube or something, bonus if normies do it too. Mythic? Well that's where "military tactics" come in. Everyone one needs to know that raid by heart, the raid leader too.
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