I told Fog I'd write this up a good two and a half to three weeks ago. Between my computer deciding it was tasty and my general airheadedness (read: lazy and had other priorities), it's taken me a while. Besides, there were a few things I wanted to double-check, even if I couldn't find all of them.
Getting Ready to Raid
Runing your gear- providing essentially free stat boosts, once they're on- is a good way to increase your abilities. Be familiar with how your class's stats work; +10 int doesn't do the same thing for a mage as it does for a cleric, and it doesn't do anything at all for a rogue or a warrior. Similarly, strength, while useful for a rouge, is much more useful for a warrior, but does nothing for a mage, and unless they're tanking, doesn't do anything for a cleric. Even then, wisdom would be better for a cleric tank... but I digress. There are a number of raid consumables out there; they fall into weapon enchants, food, and vials. Whetstones (for 1h melee weapons), oilstones (2h melee weapons), poisonous coating (bows and guns), powerstones (spellcaster's main hand weapon, melee or not), and armor plating (tanks) are all weapon enchants; they last a set amount of time, usually four hours, and then expire. Food lasts for thirty minutes; it can be created by the Survival skill or bought from the Farclan or Atia on Ember Isle. Vials are made by apothecaries, and last for an hour. There are two "slots" for vials, Fortification Serum and Assault Serum, although most raiders will use vials that take up both. Heroic Powersurge (physical) and Heroic Brightsurge Vials (spellcasters) are standard for DPS, support, and healers. Tanks may use their DPS vial, a Heroic Enduring Vial, or a Mighty Fortification Vial, depending on their particular needs. When necessary, there are also vials that boost an elemental resistance; the Vial of Water Resistance is effectively mandatory for certain gear levels in Hammerknell.
A 10-man raid will typically have 1 tank, 1 support- usually a bard- 2 healers, and 6 DPS. A 20-man raid will usually have both a main tank and an off-tank, a bard, an archon, 4-5 healers, and 11-12 DPS. It is never necessary to have more than one archon or one bard in a raid- they don't stack. At all. Bards and archons don't even stack well with each other; bards and archons, please talk to each other, and sort out who's doing what. The bard ability Coda of Jeopardy is generally considered superior to both the current incarnation of Spotter's Order (Warlord) and Illuminate (archon), due to duration; the archon single-target debuffs Ashen Defense and Crumbling Resistance are usually considered superior- again, due to duration. Bards will typically use CoJ and their healing coda on single-target pulls; on multiple target pulls, they get out all three. Similarly, the bard armor and resist auras don't stack with the archon ones, so please talk to your archon. If they're using the Nyx's Archon Synergy Crystal, the extra spellpower is a substantial boost. Like bards and archons, chloromancers using the same type of veil don't stack. Clerics using Mien of Honor, Reparation, and Righteous Mandate do, however- except for themselves, and a given target can't have more than one Righteous Mandate active. Knowing what your raid's made up of when it comes to abilities is huge for a raid leader.
Hit, Focus, and Toughness
These three stats are all gateway stats; unless you are a cleric healer that isn't using an -icar spec, you're going to require at least one of these. DPS, support, and heals- again, except for the pure cleric healers- all require either Hit or Focus, depending on their calling. Warriors and rogues use Hit; Clerics and Mages use Focus. For an expert dungeon, you need at least 100 hit or focus, which can be easily reached via crafting. For T1 raids, 200, preferably 220, due to bosses, hit or focus is required. For T2 raids, you need at least 300, preferably 320, and maybe as much as 360, depending on the content. For T3 content, you need at least 400, preferably 420. While you can rune or use essences for hit and focus, unless you're only using a single rune, I wouldn't bother- and I tend to forget that the hit/focus essences exist. Toughness, on the other hand, is required only by tanks- if you're not going into a raid expecting to be smacked in the face constantly, you don't need it. Expert dungeons may be tanked starting at 100 toughness; T1 raids start at 150, T2 raids at 200, and T3 and 250. Due to the way toughness works, more is almost always better. While you can rune and use essences for toughness, like hit and focus, I tend not to bother with that, either; if I don't have the required toughness on my gear without the runes and lesser essence, I don't tank it. There are those that disagree with me- again, more toughness is better- but I, personally, prefer more mitigations. Pure cleric healers- warden, sentinel, and purifier- have no minimum stat requirements. Instead, there's a player-enforced minimum of spellpower, driven by the raid's mechanics- I usually look for 1000-1200 on a T1 raid. If your other healers are over-geared, that number might go down; if they're not, or if the tank or raid tends to take a lot of damage, it tends to go up. When someone uses the phrase "must be geared," they mean that you surpass the minimum requirements for an instance.
Voice and Raiding
A large majority of instanced raids use voice chat programs to communicate and coordinate; it's faster than typing, and usually doesn't get in the way of your rotation or responding to mechanics. Ventrilo ("Vent") and Mumble are popular programs, although there are others out there. At Gaiscioch, we have and use our Vent server for raids, and in some cases, for expert dungeons. While it's not always necessary to talk in Vent, it is almost always mandatory that you be able to hear; again, mechanics calls are typically made over voice, and if you don't respond to them, they'll frequently kill you. A dead raider isn't helping the raid, and depending on what they're doing, may end up wiping it.
This list is a combination of one I found online and what I've noticed ticks people off. It's not all-encompassing by any means. Do sign up for raids. It's not an automatic in, especially when so many are pre-built, but we'll look at the sign-up list before we start asking in guild chat. Do read strategies and watch videos. It's not the raid leader's job to teach you all of the raid mechanics. Some will, some won't. Don't expect it, especially if you go outside the Family. Do bring your consumables and know what they do. It's not the raid leader's job to supply you with them- it's yours. Do plan ahead when it comes to what you're doing- don't start a forty-minute instance twenty minutes before invites start going out. Do show up on time, whatever that time happens to be. The listed time is the raid start time- when we're pulling trash. It's not when invites start going out. Those usually start a quarter to half an hour early. Do use tells and raid chat to discuss ideas about how to do things, including responding to certain mechanincs. Personally, I prefer that people use raid chat rather than swamping me with whispers about ideas about how to do things. Some raid leaders prefer the whispers. Do ask questions if you're not sure about something or don't understand what's going on. We'll usually try to explain... unless you're not listening and we just did, in which case we're more likely to rip your head off. Do pay attention. If we say "single target cleanses only, and we'll call for them," that means not casting Empowering Light or Cleansing Flames. Take it out of your macro, if you have to, or write a new one specifically for that boss- I've got a few for bosses in GSB that I use. "Not standing in front of mobs" and "not standing in poo" also falls in this category. There are very few instances where standing in a puddle of colored light is a good thing, and I can think of exactly one that's red. Don't knock things away from the tank unless specifically asked to do so. Don't roll "need" on things that you can't use or aren't an upgrade. A raid leader will usually spell out their loot policy beforehand; don't be surprised if it's one loot per person per go, because that seems to be what's standard for raids on farm. Don't talk over the raid leader. They're usually giving instructions. Don't babble in chat, especially if you get pugged into a raid. Very few people are going to care about how your day went or that you have an itch. Don't randomly go AFK. If we've been going for more than an hour or an hour and a half, ask for a bio break- don't just randomly take it. The raid leader will give you a time to be back- the one I use tends to be five minutes. Be back by then. While I don't kick people who repeatedly show up late on returns, I'm less and less likely to invite them back every time they do it. If something RL happens, say something- "I'll be right back, someone's ringing the doorbell" doesn't take long to type out. Neither does "My kids need to be put to bed." Don't call out people when they mess up- it's the raid leader's job, not yours. Don't complain if someone else gets the piece of loot you wanted, unless they had no business rolling on it. It's loot; it'll come up again... eventually.
Raid rifts are run in open world, and are relatively quick compared to the instanced raids. The hit, focus, and toughness requirements are all the same as an equivalent instance. They're a good way to gear yourself up; the gear that drops is all very good, compared to even the stuff in expert dungeons, and the essences are a good, quick way to upgrade your sigil. In some cases, you have to do raid rifts to build certain sigils- usually resists. The raid rifts on the mainland (Shimmersand, Stillmoor, and Iron Pine Peaks) are all T1 equivalent; the raid rifts on Ember Isle are T2 equivalent.
To be considered "T1 raid ready," you need a minimum of 200- preferably 220- hit or focus, and if you're tanking, you also need a minimum of 150 toughness. This can be runed, although it's better if you don't have to- and with the current crafted sets, you don't really need to. You can easily get seventy-five hit or focus just off of your jewelry, and your weapons and armor should also provide some. If you don't have the crafted set, experts are an excellent way to learn the general mechanics for raids. The T1 raids are Gilded Prophecy (GP), Drowned Halls (DH), Greenscale's Blight (GSB), and River of Souls (RoS). GP and DH are 10-man instances. GSB and RoS are 20-man. DH and GSB are generally considered easier, as far as mechanics go; GP is more demanding when it comes to responding to mechanics, compared to DH, and the same is true for RoS. When possible, study the fights beforehand. Many raid leaders understand when people need explanations and are willing to give them, but at the same time, many expect people to come in knowing what to expect. At this time, none of the T1 raid content requires special sigils, although any improvement to your sigil will tend to improve your performance so long as it contributes to your attack power (physical DPS and bards), spell power (magical DPS, archon, and healers), or mitigations and endurance (tanks). While the majority of GSB may be done with a single tank, Prince Hylas and Lord Greenscale require two tanks.
To be considered "T2 raid ready," you need a minimum of 300 hit or focus- preferably 320, and possibly as high as 360, depending on the fight. Tanks need at least 200 toughness. T2 raiders are expected to be able to respond to mechanics when necessary, have all of their consumables or at least a reason why you don't need them, and have their gear runed for whatever it is that they're doing. Most T2 raids are run as part of a steady group, and those that are picked up are usually expected to know what they're getting into. Hammerknell, the T2 20-man raid, has eleven bosses, each with their own mechanics, spread out over two floors. On the lower floor, no special sigil is required; on the upper floor and for everything after, a water resist sigil becomes mandatory. For the two bosses on the upper floor, Inquisitor Garau and Inwar Darktide, you want at least 100 water resist before raid buffs, and for the Lord Jornaru and Akylios fight, you want as much as possible. On the Akylios and Jornaru fight in particular you're going to require at least 360 hit or focus. The T2 10-man, Rise of the Phoenix, is sometimes considered post-Hammerknell due to DPS checks. While it does not require a special sigil, fire resist does help a lot. Tanks are going to have to stack toughness over the game-suggested 200 due to the last boss's stacking debuff- it hurts. A lot.
The only T3 raid right now is Infernal Dawn (ID). As mentioned previously, it requires a minimum of 400, preferably 420, hit or focus and 250 toughness for tanks. In addition, it requires a fire sigil for the fire wing, and quite likely an earth sigil for that wing. I'm not sure about that one, and haven't found anyone to ask.
» Edited on: 2012-06-19 17:39:06