A while ago, I was fooling around a bit on a lowbie alt. No, no naked tabledancing in Dalaran. I was trying to get into a raid.
What’s so special about that, right? People do that all the time. People try to get in, fail to meet the requirements of the raid leader and get rejected, or even ignored completely. If you’re familiar with the raid you want to do, you might even start your own group. If you’re new to raiding, starting your own group might not be the best of ideas unless you have a pretty firm grasp on a wide range of topics. You will at least want to know about, or have a general idea of:
- What role each class and spec can fulfill
- How many of each role you need
- What each role should be doing during the boss encounter(s)
Of course, it would also be nice to know a thing or two about raid buffs and addons. I haven’t compiled a list of good-to-have raid addons yet, but I might in the near future. In the meanwhile, you could look around on curse.com for raid addons.
When making your own raid group, it is important to have a clear goal, rules and requirements for people to join. So basically, you will want to ask yourself the following questions.
Where do I want to go?
Simple question really. What raid do you want to do? It’s pretty easy to decide whether you want to go to ICC or ToTC, but be sure to make up your mind beforehand. When you try to find people to join you, they will want to know and it’s not very polite to change the plan. Unless first negotiated with the rest of the group, of course.
How many people do I want to take?
It’s very important to decide early on if you want to do a 10 or 25 man raid. If you change the raid size later on, you might run into problems with people who are either already saved or have a guild run scheduled later in the week. It’s perfectly acceptable to change the plan when people have already joined, but make sure everybody knows and agrees before doing so.
How far do I want to get?
Also a very basic question, but a very important one. Try to get a feel for your group and set goals that everybody can agree on. For example, if you’re new to ICC, it’s not very realistic to set more than 4/12 as your goal. You can use a few factors to determine how far you could get. A good basis is your own gear and progress in the raid. If you don’t have very good gear yourself, don’t expect to be carried by other people too much. Some may not mind, but others can definitely give you crap about your own gear if you’re not exactly geared for the raid you want to do. This will also influence the other people you may take with you.
What kind of people do you want to take with you?
Okay, less simple that it seems. It’s very easy to demand that people overgear the content you want to raid. It’s also very easy to demand achievements for the bosses you plan to take down.It really depends on how you want to lead your group. It can make sense to demand completed achievements for the bosses you want to kill, but if you don’t have those achievements yourself, it might be a better idea to find a motivated group of people without that requirement. Also, it’s not a very good idea to demand gear that is much better than your own, since people will interpret this is wanting to be carried. If you in fact do want to be carried, please, find a guild and stop reading. This is not meant for you.
If you’ve asked yourself these questions and have the answers ready, you can start looking for people to join your raid. Spam the Trade and LFG chat channels, list your group in the Raid Browser, actively look for other people. When you have gathered a few people, let them know what you’re still searching for and see if they can help by asking guild mates or friends.
When you’re approached (whispered) by somebody who wants to join your raid, make sure he/she is qualified according to your requirements. Some people will lie to get into a group. Feel free to demand a manual gear inspect. Here, basic knowledge of other classes is a real lifesaver. Maybe you’ll want to check their achievements on the Armory, as some people do use the UnderAchiever addon to fake achievements. You might want to ask them a few basic tactics for their role on certain bosses to check if they really know what to do.
On the other hand, if you don’t have much experience yourself and you’re going with other people who also don’t have much experience, it may be a good idea to spend some time before each boss explaining the tactics. Make sure you know where to find the tactics you need and have read them well before starting. It’s very annoying to make people wait for you to read the tactics.
I was going to put a nice oneliner here, stating that leading a PUG raid is all about.. something. But it’s about so much, that I can’t really find the words to describe it in just one sentence.
Back to my alt for a bit, to give you an example of how not to lead a PUG. I saw somebody looking for more people for ICC 10, demanding at least a 5.3k GearScore and completed achievement for the first wing. I whispered the dear fellow saying: “Rogue 6k GS [The Frozen Throne]”. Yes, I linked to ICC 10 achievement for killing all bosses. As my dear alt was level 13 at the time, you can imagine what should have happened here.
But I got an invite. I was in a group at the time (with my wife’s alt) so I saw he tried multiple times. He even whispered me to say I should leave my group to accept the invite. Then I decided to break it to him.
I’m only level 13 and there’s no way I have that kind of GS or the achievement. Check people out before inviting them.
Luckily, he had a good sense of humor and we laughed about it. I woke him up pretty good though 😀
Moral of this story: Don’t let this happen to you if you’re leading a PUG. Don’t blindly invite people, always check what they’re saying. The Armory is a really good tool to help you with this. Use it!
As I wasn’t expecting this to turn into a guide to leading a PUG, if I skipped anything important, please leave a comment 🙂