Sitting at work, I realised that I was looking forward to raiding tonight. This should be no surprise, but as I was working away on my mundane tasks I realised that I was also thinking through what I need to do to make sure I’m ready for the evening’s adventures.
My guild is a casual guild (we only raid two nights a week for 3 hours a night) but when it comes to getting ready to raid each week, maybe I’ve carried over habits from my hardcore raiding days. Or maybe I’m just a little bit of a control freak and like to have everything uber-organised.
Anyway, for what it’s worth, how I prepare for raiding: obtaining consumables, knowing the strategies and getting into the right frame of mind.
Our guild generously provides consumables for folk who don’t bring them. I spend lots of time online playing outside of raids, so I don’t see any reason not to provide for myself. Plus I like to be self-sufficient in any case and know that I have enough of everything (more evidence for my control-freak personality). So here’s the food, flasks, pots and other bits I stock up on each week.
How to obtain these:
You need to have a cooking skill of 500 to make the sagefish, 475 for the guppies, and a total of 6 cooking daily tokens to buy both recipes. The Cooking dailies are ultra-easy, so they are worth doing to buy these recipes.
The sagefish come from coastal open water in Uldum or Twilight highlands; there are no schools of these delights, so you’ll need a high level of fishing and/or some lures. The guppies come from inland river/lake pools in Twilight highlands, and so you can catch these even if you have a fishing skill of 1.
You can buy these at the AH of course, but I’d like to encourage anyone seriously raiding to level cooking and fishing. Even if you aren’t online a huge amount, it will save you heaps of gold in the long term. Plus fishing is a nice easy thing to do while waiting for the raid to form up, or while you’re on ‘sit’ duty.
Why do I carry both fish, when the sagefish are a super-set of the guppies? Well to be honest, the sagefish are pretty painful to fish, so I tend to save them for when I think I really need them. So when we’re still learning a boss and wiping in the first 30 seconds, I tend to use the guppies. When we’re making headway and I feel having a ‘bit extra’ might make the difference between winning and losing, I switch to using the sagefish.
Our guild just got the Seafood Magnifique achieve, so we’ll probably be dropping feasts in raids now, So I may cut back to jst one stack of each fish, but I’ll still bring them just in case 😉
Flasks and potions
How to obtain these:
Again, you can buy these from the AH I guess but they are fairly expensive at the moment. Glowberry is a herbalist/alchemist, so I gather my own herbs and create my own concoctions. If you have a herbalist, it might be worth collecting the herbs and asking an alchemist in the guild to make the flasks and potions for you, espcially if your guild has an elixir or potion master.
Basically I do three farming loops to collect my herbs:
- Twilight Highlands: for the jasmine and cinderbloom in the Int flask and mana potion. I loop around the southern part of the zone, doing a fairly broad sweep back and forth.
- Vash’jr: for the Aszhara’s veil in the Int flask and the conctration potion. I loop around the central ‘abyssal’ area of the Abyssal depths; but the veil grows across most of Vash’jr, so there are plenty of other loops you can use. It’s also almost always worth doing a loop of Tol Barad. If noone else is there herbing you can collect a stack of veil in five minutes, which is a nice quick way to keep stocked up.
- Uldum: for the whiptail in the mana potions. I just do the usual loop following the edge of the inland water courses. I went a bit crazy collecting whiptail for making my Tsunami deck, so I can pretty much auto-pilot this route while asleep. Again, whiptail grows on the TB Peninsula, and you can pick it whether your faction controls the zone or not. So if Uldum is really busy it may be worth checking if there is any around the crocodile area at TB.
Our guild can create cauldrons for the raid, but again I tend to supply my own flasks – as at our glevel the cauldron only supplies 7 flasks.
I carry the spirit flasks, but I don’t use them much, so I don’t tend to farm to keep them topped up. If you want to collect herbs for these, you’d want to go to Deepholm for the heartblossom, instead of collecting twilight jasmine in the highlands.
My mana potion of choice is the concentration potion as they deliver twice the mana. But you’ll need to look for opportunities during specific encounters and plan for them. I carry both potion types for that reason. (There’s a whole post to be written about conc pots, but I won’t clog this post up with that discussion.)
How to obtain these:
You’ll need a first aid skill of 500 to make or use these. If you’re finding it hard/expensive to get your hands on enough cloth, I can recommend killing the combatants on the shore in Twilight highlands. It’s not a *huge* amount of cloth (unless you’re a tailor) but the mobs are all tanked for you by the opposing faction, so it’s easy farming – especially if you have two healing specs.
Okay so I haven’t *relied* on bandages since lvl60-Loatheb days. But I have used them when I’m totally out of mana and used every cooldown I have. For those that may not realise: you can bandage other players (that aren’t being damaged) so if it helps survive one of those 1% wipes, whip out a bandage!
A final note regarding consumables:
I don’t use all of the above consumables every week, this is just what I carry with me. So I don’t always restock each week unless I feel I don’t have enough to last me through 2 nights of raiding. So each week I might only do a small portion of the collection to restock.
I like to go into a raid encounter knowing it. This can mean a number of different things, depending on whether you’re approaching it for the first time, or working on it from a progression standpoint, or just going in and doing it well once it’s under your belt.
But regardless of my level of experience with the encounter, I like to step back and think through both the general strategy and my specific role in each encounter, and kind of rehearse that to myself.
The sort of questions I ask myself for each boss in a raid instance:
- What will I be doing in each phase? Where will I be standing, when will I be moving, what will my priorities be?
- Am I healing the tanks or the raid? Which raid members will be likely to be taking the most damage? Can I position myself to make sure these people are in range?
- What are the high damage phases, and the low damage phases? When will I use my cooldowns so that I get most benefit from them?
- When can I get a bit of ‘regen’ time in, and when’s the best time for me to use innervate and/or trinkets?
- What consumables will I use and when?
- What did I do last week on this encounter? Did it go well? what did I forget? How can I improve on that?
- Is there anything I need to clarify with the raid leader/healing leader?
Sometimes I’m just thinking through these things during the week, when I’m sitting on the tram or having a cup of coffee at work. But I always run through those kinds of questions in the hour or so leading up to the raid, and before each boss once we’ve zoned in… Which brings me to my last preparation point.
State of mind
I need to be relaxed, or at least calm when I step into a raid instance. Yes, I’m excited to be there, and be working with a great team of like-minded raiders. But if I step up to the plate and I’m feeling stressed, I know I won’t enjoy the evening. And raiding should be enjoyable. It’s fun!
Knowing what stresses you can help a lot. For me this means not feeling rushed. I need a good 30 minutes of free time before the raid foms up to know my consumables are sorted and review to myself what my role is for the night. I know for example I shouldn’t try and fit in a heroic before raid. If I miss out on the 70 valor points for that day, sobeit. If I have to dump a pug mid-instance and rock up outside the raid 2 muntes before we zone in, I’ll be panicking about whether I’ve remembered everything or not.
A good spot for some peaceful pre-raid fishing
So I’m online at about 7pm for our 7:45 raid forming up. I check all my consumables, make sure I’m repaired and go grab a drink or a snack. I can park outside the raid or go throw a line in a pond somewhere and wait to see if I get a raid spot.
Luck favors the prepared – Louis Pasteur