Big Daddy Olga’s Rules for Raiders Number One: Know Your Class, Spec, and Role

If you ran dungeons at all while leveling, you have at least a basic familiarity with the overall roles in the game:

  • Tank

Keep the monster’s attention.

  • Damage (often referred to as DPS, short for “damage per second”)

Generate damage to kill the monster.

  • Healer

Keep the group alive.

The same roles carry over to raiding.  Your class and spec determine your role.  For some classes, (mages, rogues, hunters, warlocks), only one role is available:  DPS.  They have no real ability to tank or heal.  Other classes take more than one role; for example, warriors can DPS as well as tank, while priest can DPS  as well as heal.  Paladins and druids have the ultimate flexibility, with trees available for all three roles.

Learn the spells inherent to your class and those added or modified by your spec, and learn how to use these spells.  If you are a tank, know which spells generate threat and the relative threat generated by each.  Also know which spells generate threat on only a single target, and which generate threat on multiple targets.  Tanks have a cast  sequence at the outset of an encounter to establish a high threshold of threat on the monster; learn it and use it.

Healers have a standard heal they cast most of the time, a powerful heal with a long cast time, and an instant cast heal (or “Oh, shit!” button) that costs a lot of mana and generates a lot of threat while not doing a lot of healing.  Know when to fall back on these alternate spells, especially your emergency heal.  Also know how to enhance your mana generation while in combat, and any special abilities to boost mana generation.  Most healers now have an ability to generate mana off an attack spell.  Be sure you take the talent that enables this ability, and learn when to use it.

If you are a DPS character, learn the spell rotation that generates the most damage on the monster.  Learn what special abilities become available randomly, what to do when they become available, and how to trigger them or increase the likelihood that they will occur.  (These abilities are often said to “proc”, shorthand for “programmed random occurance”; it sounds like an oxymoron, but it basically means that there is a random chance that the event will occur, usually based on the casting of other spells.  In any event, watch for your procs and know how to respond when an ability procs.)

Every class, and every talent tree, has special abilities, which fall into a vareity of categories:

  • Defensive abilities

These are abilities that protect or help your own character or another character.  For example, tanks generally have abilties that enhance their health and armor to mitigate incoming damage.  Several classes have abilities to reduce aggro temporarily in case they draw too much threat.  Some classes provide a character with abilities to protect another character, such as the paladin’s Hand of Protection.

If you have defensive abilities, learn what they do, how they work, and when and how to use them.  For example, a tank’s defensive cooldowns should generally be used when damage from the monster (usually a boss), spikes or when the monster enrages.  Aggro dumps should be used when a DPS or healer pulls aggro from the tank.  Know how your aggro dump works and how to use it.

  • Offensive abilities

These are abilities that escalate or enhance your damage against the monster.  See the discussion above.

  • Crowd Control abilities

Crowd controls are spells that take a monster out of the fight temporarily.  Most crowd control abilities simply incapacitate the monster, but priests have Mind Control, which actually takes control of the monster, and allows you to use its capabilities against other monsters.  Know what crowd control abilities you have, and how to use them.

  • Other special abilities

Some classes have other abilities that contribute to the fight, such as a tranquilizing ability that may be able to offset an enrage, and an ability to escalate the damage output by the rest of the raid.  If you have special abilities like this, learn what they are and when to use them.

Some classes have unique or special resources and mechanics in addition to or instead of mana.  Warriors, for example, use rage.  Rogues use energy and combo points.  Paladins use Holy Power in addtion to mana, while Death Knights use Runes and Runic Power.  Learn how these reources are consumed, and how they are generated and regenerated, and how you can enhance their regeneration.

This entry was posted in Rules for Raiders and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Big Daddy Olga’s Rules for Raiders Number One: Know Your Class, Spec, and Role

  1. Bristal says:

    Thanks. I’ve raided a bit and although this information is a bit below what I need personally, I really appreciate and laud your efforts to build a raiding primer.

    A few requests from my own raiding confusion:
    Raid frames. What are they exactly? How do I edit them? That stupid new huge WoW UI raidframe (some recent patch?) in a BG takes up 25% of my screen. How do I remove it? How do I use it? Is it optional for a DPS?
    Summons. Can you only summon someone at a stone from a raidframe? Is there any other way to select a char to summon?
    Evaluating gear. I get very intimidated trying to quickly evaluate if a piece of gear is an upgrade. Often I only have seconds. Are there any secrets other than making exhaustive lists of gear that end up in disarray all over my desk? TBH this was a huge problem when I was a new player, and not so much now, but I think it’s worth touching on.
    Vent/Chat: I have used Vent once in a PuG. The guild group was very nice in helping me download/set it up. But I still don’t really know how to use it very well. My casual guild uses voice chat only. I consistently have problems with the microphone. Rarely can anyone hear me, and trouble-shooting it is a nightmare.
    Time commitment: I’m an adult professional. I have no kids, but I do have responsibilities. Playing for 2-3 hours straight without being able to respond to things in the house is quite restrictive (and my wife lets me know). What truly are my options in raiding? How do people deal with that?
    Guilds: I’ve been in a guild for several years which was quite active in raiding when I was a very new player. It was pretty intense for me trying to learn stuff when everyone else seemed to know what they were doing. The leaders were very patient, some other members not so much. Then the guild imploded and activity plummeted. Meanwhile I became a much better and experienced player and left the guild. Now the guild has resurged with Cata and I rejoined. I need advice how to be a better guild member with respect to building a raiding team.
    Information: where are the best places to get information?

    I’m sure I could go on and on. Just a few things I thought of. Good luck!

Leave a Reply to Bristal Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>