Written by | Posted November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm A Girl and her Dog

The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger took the long way around Old Town, south through Tanner Circle and down Bulwarks, across […]

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Wipe it Down
comment 6 Written by on February 24, 2009 – 9:17 am

Archimonde. Ragnaros. Magtheridon (pre nerf). Vaelestrasz. Gurtogg Bloodboil. Lady Vashj. Nefarian. Illidan Stormrage. Four Horsemen (pre 2.0). Kael’thas Sunstrider.

When you hear people talk about old bosses, the ones they had trouble with in previous incarnations of the raid scene, there are a few names that just seem to keep showing up in the list. Every raid has had their stumbling blocks – but there are a few fights in the game that just come with wipe nights – nights devoted entirely to learning a fight (sometimes multiple nights).

Signing up for raids on these weeks means knowing that you may not get loot that night, that you probably won’t make any money, that you’ll have repair bills, go through a lot of reagents rebuffing, and use a lot of consumables (a relative oddity in Wrath of the Lich King, since large areas of Naxxramas are accessible to most 25 and 10 man raids).

You’ll also work hard, get frustrated, die on experiments, and force yourself to pick it up one more time and move on.

But it’s not all bad.

Wipe nights, progression nights, and learning nights can be fun, they can have a sense of humor, and they can be times that bring a raid closer together as a group.  Working on something that’s truly hard forces people to be on top of things, to become better at their class (even if only from a situational awareness standpoint), to try new ideas, suggest stuff, think outside the box, and ultimately be a better, more cohesive raid.

Keeping up raid morale is a difficult and squirrely task, since each raid has a different climate and attitude. But there are a few things you can do to help keep things stable for yourself as you’re entering into a tough night:

  • Use wipe friendly consumables – even though elixir combinations are often more beneficial, flasks are a good idea simply from a cost standpoint, and you don’t have to worry about them!
  • Keep yourself comfortable – get up and stretch if you need to, have a tasty beverage on hand,
  • Utilize raid breaks fully – they’re breaks, and the idea is for you to take one. Don’t sit at the computer and putter around for 5 minutes. Get up and get a breath of air, walk around, take a potty break – you’ll come back feeling refreshed and less like you want to pound on your keyboard.
  • Get into the right mindset – be patient, admit to your mistakes, and foster an environment of “lets learn this” as opposed to “you are all stupid numbnuts for (whatever)”.  Sometimes it’s necessary to be firm, but that’s (the rather difficult) job of the raid leader, who has to balance morale with effectiveness. Unless that’s you, calling people out in vent isn’t likely to solve anything, and can be extremely detrimental.
  • Be engaged in the right places – pay attention to what’s going on around you, and use your raid appropriate communication skills to transmit that info to the people that need to know.  Don’t hold the raid up for silly things, but don’t gloss over potentially important information either, particularly if it’s something that more than one person (you) or role (the DPS) can benefit from.
  • When the wipe is called – wipe it down. This is the only time when it’s appropriate to intentionally stand in a fire, stand in the cleave, run behind a dragon, or go take a lava/slime bath. Die quickly, find out if there will be rezzes, release, run back, and start over.  Don’t waste everyone’s time.
  • Have fun – laughing about craziness is a good way to diffuse a potentially tense situation. Did the boss just do something really peculiar and now you’re all dead on the floor wondering WTF? It’s alright to put a little humor in, even if it’s just in your class/role chat channel.

Obviously all of this is easier if your group actually is making forward progress and things seem to be getting better, but even if they’re not (which happens, every group has off nights), keeping your own mentality in a good place is a huge help in the face of a really nasty bossthing that is enjoying raidsnax.

Sartharion +3 Drakes is our current Bossthing. Ulduar will likely have a few.  Malygos can be one, as can Kel’Thuzad or Sapphiron or Thaddius. It doesn’t matter who the Bossthing is, or what his abilities are – every raid has strengths and weaknesses. Just keep it together, don’t forget to laugh, and remember that no matter how serious this raiding business can get, it’s pushing your group to be better as a whole, to learn and react as a team, and to be better prepared for the craziness that awaits on the other side of the next instance releases.

So good luck, have fun, and may the Loot-Fu be with you!

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6 Responses to “Wipe it Down”

  1. I think we’ve gotten spoiled a bit by Naxxramas. It seems so long ago that we were wiping for weeks and weeks and weeks at a time on Vashj and Kael’thas, much less back in the day on Razorgore and Vaelaestrasz and Ragnaros. Now with the new way of things in WotLK, it seems like instead, we can kill the bosses easily and work on things like speed (can we do a full Naxx clear in one night?) or hard modes like Sartharion with drakes.

    I don’t really miss the days of slamming my hand in the Kael’thas car door for two solid months and still not getting him until after 3.0 came out.

    Lewiss last blog post..The Ten Commandments of Raiding (King James Version)

  2. Yeah, raiders have been completely spoiled by Naxx being way to easy. Now, people are in my guild are complaining that Sarth 3D is too hard, and that we shouldn’t do it because the only thing different is you get a drake. Our officers take grief because of these lazy people not wanting to pull their own weight and take the ez-mode way out with only 2 drakes.

    I really wish things were back to the good ole days of 2 month grinds on bosses before they died.

    *wizened old voice*

    It builds character!

    By Sharky on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply
  3. As someone who witnessed raiding back in the early Mesozoic Period as a paladin healer, who was in Molten Core back when Sanctity Aura was still in the Holy tree as was Consecration, I can affirm that there were a few things about raiding back then that, while fun at the time, I did not miss especially. Things such as the six-hour-long Molten Core raids that most likely played a role in almost flunking me during my Junior year of high school. I remember I was never the best healer, or the best equipped, or the best specced, but I was there. I remember putting in all those hours and dying a little every time the loot roll didn’t go in my favor, or watching as I was typically the last or near last in priority for Tier gear among our raid’s paladins.

    The highlight of Molten Core for me is still the experience of, after all those hours, finally having Ragnaros on farm and each paladin awaiting his or her turn to get Judgement Legplates. Lo and behold, when it came time for me to get them, was the one time I had to miss a raid night due to real life circumstances; naturally, they dropped. And they never dropped afterwards either. Looking on the bright side, it reaffirmed my conviction there’s probably a higher being out there somewhere, because he was probably sitting up there laughing his butt off at me.

    That said, there’s a certain work ethic inherent in those raids bordering on the point of self-inflicted physical and mental injury. I suppose time has a way of softening our image of things we used to find terrible. You can always look at those nights spent beating yourself raw in hopes of a distant reward as great mental preparation for life in the working world! It does build a certain mental character to have the persistence and will to keep going to come in every Friday night and wipe ten or twelve times on Razorgore for a month and a half, before finally having him drop and then moving on top wiping on Vael. It takes work ethic to do this, which is a nice thing to learn. Now if only I could transpose that work ethic to real life.

    I’d warned myself against making a “when I was your age” post, but it figures that I went and did it anyway. I hate myself some mornings.

    By Rollandren on Feb 24, 2009 | Reply
  4. I still hate molty core. Hate it with a passion, but I like Naxx being the way it is.

    Yes, we are doing it easily, but its also allowing the raid group to form up and easily deal with group dynamics before we have to deal with challenging content, like Sarth with multiple drakes.

    Itanya Blades last blog post..And The Blarg sets in

  5. I totally agree with everything except consumables. I’m in what might be considered a “hardcore” guild, though only 3 nights a week. However, wipe nights are the one night where the RL doesn’t just check that you have flask and food, but checks what flask and what food, as it is those nights that we *must* have our best stuff on. Since you can make 10 of the best food per day (1 award = 10 Northern spices) there’s no reason why you can’t have stacks of the best food piling up in your bank. To minimise the amount of wipe night time, before something is on farm, you should always be using the best consumables on those nights, or you’ll simply take longer. Its really only the wipe nights where 10 extra spellpower or 30 extra AP *will* get you over the line. On farm nights, its just that, farming. Luckily for many classes, flasks are the better choice anyway over elixirs, so in that respect there should be no contest.

    Brents last blog post..Dual Spec – The impact on raiding

  6. I have found in Wrath that folks expect to walk in and 1-shot every boss. They whine or throw tantrums if it takes a few goes. Would they have gouged out their eyes working on Lady Vashj for 3 weeks? Probably, the big babies!

    Great suggestions in here for being raid-ready. I’ll be sure to point some folks this way.

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