Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

filed under Raiding
Can you hear me now?
comment 6 Written by on June 17, 2008 – 10:14 am

This post is part one of two about raid communication.  You can read part two here.

Anyone that’s ever worked in a group of any kind knows that communication is absolutely essential. Everyone needs to know who is doing what, when in order for things to run smoothly and for all the jobs to get covered (without having three people do part A and nobody bothering to take care of part C).

telephone by caffe

This is just as true in World of Warcraft as it is anywhere else – sometimes doubly so. And when you’re in a five man group, that’s not so hard. In vent or in chat, there are only 5 people to coordinate, and you don’t really need any hierarchy over who is talking.

Add in 20 more, however, and things become a LOT more chaotic (not to mention having a full, old style 40 man!). Each raid has to come up with some way of streaming communication that both allows every raid member to know what’s expected of them and keeps the lines open for emergencies. Most use a combination of raid chat, chat channels, whispers, and voice chat to prioritize information and make sure everyone knows what’s what.

tin-teleIn that light, I’ve found that there are five major periods of raid communication, and each requires it’s own type of handling and priority.

  1. Before the Raid
  2. Before the Fight
  3. During the Fight
  4. After the Fight
  5. After the Raid

Before the raid is any time up to and including the first pull. During this time people should be reading boss strategies, gathering consumables, and other such pre-raid things. This is the heyday of the guild or raid forum/website. Attendance posts, strategery and other such things go in the raid forum, since this is the hour of leisure. This is probably the most relaxed of all the periods of raid communication, so you’ll have a lot more freedom during this time.

Before the Fight, however, the communication becomes more specific. Each role leader (or class leader, if you still run raids with them) has to get out the boss specific information to that group of people. The healer lead will be making assignments, the tank lead will be divvying up the adds. This communication is best done in chat channels – creative names are optional. If you have questions about who you should be healing, that’s the place to ask. Ventrilo will be used for the majority of the “big raid” communication – positioning, getting out general strategies.

During the Fight, communication becomes much more crucial – and needs to have a strong filter since it will almost entirely consist of voice chat. If it’s not absolutely essential, it can wait. “I can’t keep the tank up right now, going OOM fast, need healing help” is essential. “Hey look, my dog just learned to roll over” is not essential. Ventrilo should be part of your “situational awareness” – but keep an eye in your class/role channel as well, in case someone has mic troubles.

If your raid doesn’t use voice chat, it’s even MORE essential that things be kept clear, since the raid will need to be able to read everything that goes on in raid chat.

After the Fight, however, is where chaos reigns. Someone wants to epeen a little about a new crit record, healers are trying to get everyone rezzed and rebuffed, someone is doing loot (and all the assorted loot chatter). If you wiped on the boss, you have strategy talk going on instead of loot, and people trying to figure out what went wrong and how to avoid it.

If you beat the boss, this is NOT the time to suggest new strategies – if you *didn’t* win the fight, and you saw something crucial, start the chain of command. The Raid leader is juggling about 40 things right now – don’t add to the vent chaos because you saw the warlock being an ass and standing in the fire. A whisper to your class or role leader should do the trick. If you think that there is some minor reorganization to be done, try your class or role chat channel – you and the other healers/melee/DPS/tanks can work out a strategy without involving the entire rest of the raid.

After the Raid is the best time to discuss major sweeping things that you noticed – the melee were having trouble with cave-ins, you think maybe there should be some positioning changes to avoid volcanoes, whatever. This can either be in Ventrilo (if the leader is around and up for chewing the fat about the raid), a chat channel, or in a forum thread.

The most important thing, as a raider (or a raid leader) is to know the lines of communication open to you – and to learn (in your raid) what is the appropriate time to use which kind of communication.

  • During the middle of a fight, make sure that anything you’re shouting into Vent is essential information that will aid the success of the raid.
  • Before and After the fight, think about how many people need to hear the information you’re wanting to convey – just one? just your class/role? the whole raid?
  • Keep it Simple – if you only need 5 words, don’t use 40. Be succinct and to the point.
  • Know your raid – if nobody is going to read the forum – maybe that’s not the best place to put your brilliant new idea.

*image thanks to Caffe

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6 Responses to “Can you hear me now?”

  1. Yeah, lack of communication doesn’t usually go well. Vent is a huge help in making sure that everyone in the raid knows what’s going on.

    Nice post!

  2. Good post.
    We also have the raid with the most different accents ever.

  3. The last half hour before a raid people usually go very silent on vent in our guild. It’s like if everybody is turning inwards themselves, just focusing, prepering themselves like any athlete. Taking a deep breath before the adrenaline rush they’re about to face. I love it! The pre-raid silence really helps me to concentrate and get into the right mood.

  4. Great post Anna!

    Those are pretty much exactly the lines upon which our raid communication runs. I notice that as we get a fight more on farm the in-fight vent communication tends to decrease. For Hydross for instance it’s pretty silent except for ‘mark 3 stop dots, mark 4 stop DPS, tanks switching’ etc kind of running commentary whereas on newer fights it’s much more hectic ‘tainted spawning, where is it who has the core throw it to Zoble! This is Ziv I’m netting the strider etc etc’ hehe

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