This post is a compilation of the expectations, rules, and requirements that apply to all of our raiders, but particularly as regards Druids and their unique role.
There are various things that go into being a raider, and I'll cover them in their own section, but let's keep two things in mind above all others.
Rule #1: Raiding is a privilege, not a right.
We expect every raider to pull his/her own weight in every encounter. We don't take charity cases. We don't raid to give you phat lewts. Repeated failure to perform as expected will result in you not being invited to future raids.
Rule #2: Raiding is fun.
For most people, the point of raiding is to have fun, hang out with people you like, challenge the difficult and varied encounters that Blizzard has prepared for us, and exclaim over shiny loots. This may sound like it contradicts Rule #1, but really, it's not fun for the 24 other people in the raid if we wipe because of or spend half our time dealing with your issues. If you aren't here to enjoy yourself, you're here for the wrong reasons. Please leave the personal baggage on your side of the computer, or if you can't, take a break.
- We don't have a specific Druid channel set up. However, all Restoration Druids should join yawaheals as it is our healer coordination channel.
- Want to know what spec and rank your fellow Druids are? Visit this thread.
- The following posts in this forum discuss specs, gear, and ability usage for each of the major talent specs. They are in revision for the 3.0 patch.
- For complete and painstakingly comprehensive class guides, visit the Elitist Jerks website.
- For a list of required and recommended addons, visit this thread.
- For a list of required and recommended macros for various encounters, visit this thread.
- We officially recommend use of the RecipeBook addon to share tradeskill information among guild members. If everyone gets this addon, it should dramatically reduce the "Who can craft 'X'" questions in guild.
The items below are the absolute minimum requirements for raiding. Failure to meet any of them may result in you being dropped from the night's raid. Repeated failure may result in demotion.
- Use the raid signup system. You are expected to use our raid planning page to sign up for all raids you wish to attend. You may only sign up for progression raids if you are of Recruit or higher rank. If you do not use the signup system, you will not raid, and the guild might not either, because we use the system to determine what composition we're likely to have.
Note: If you are not sure if you will make it to a raid, use the "Not Sure" status. If you know you will not be able to make it, use the "Cancelled" status.
- Be on time. Invite and start times are clearly spelled out on each raid signup and in our general guild policies. Invite time means you are expected to be online and not be in another group, not finishing one last quest, and not "just one more boss left to go" in your 5-man dungeon. Start time means you will be at the dungeon, buffed, and prepared to engage the first pull. If you think you may be late to a raid, whisper an officer or class leader or add a note to your signup explaining the situation, so we can anticipate and deal with it.
Obviously, emergencies happen. Your Internet may die, or your power may go out, or you may be late getting home from work. We understand. Habitual lateness, on the other hand, is unacceptable if you expect to raid with us on a regular basis.
- Stay until the end. Just like the above, we have a clearly specified end time for our raids. If you cannot go to the end, put it in your signup note and/or let a class leader or officer know in advance. Saying "g2g" and logging a hour into the raid with no advance warning is not good for your reputation as a reliable raid member.
- Fix your Internet. Disconnecting constantly during a raid may not be your fault. You may have a crappy connection, or your ISP may be screwy, or whatever, but each time you DC you either delay the raid or screw up an encounter. If you don't have a consistently reliable connection to the game, you might as well save us all the grief and not bother raiding until you fix it.
- Come prepared. This is a complex topic, so I'll break it down into several subcategories.
- Bring all necessary consumables, reagents, and enough gold for repairs. I recommend at minimum the following:
- One full stack of reagents for Rebirth (unless you have the Glyph).
- One full stack of reagents for Gift of the Wild (this is lower in 3.0 since GotW affects the entire raid).
- Sufficient mana/health potions to last for an entire 3-4 hour raid. I recommend injectors to save space, but regardless you should have no less than 10 of each.
- Buff food for your key stats.
- Sufficient elixirs and/or flasks to last an entire raid session.
- Avoid asking for raid consumables at the last minute unless you are prepared to offer an exchange. The guild members who create these items don't just conjure them up out of thin air. Gold is nice. Mats to make the things you're asking for are even nicer. Asking well before the raid starts so the crafters can bring the stuff you need with them is the nicest of all.
- Bring any gear required or recommended for the encounters we are or may be attempting. This includes your PvP trinket, your resistance gear, any special quest items, etc. We frown upon people who request a port/summon in the middle of a raid because you forgot something.
- Know the fights that the raid will be doing. I cannot emphasize this enough. You are expected to have studied the basic strategies for the bosses that we may attempt on a given night. This does not mean that you are expected to execute the strategy perfectly on your first try, nor does it mean you don't have to listen to the raid leader's explanation or that you can't ask questions. It means that you don't ask stupid questions or make stupid mistakes that make it plainly obvious that you didn't do your homework.
Note: For our initial forays into T7 content, all of us will be learning the fights. We probably won't enforce the research rule too harshly, but there are resources out there that you can study ahead of time. Each player who does this only benefits the raid's progress.
- Have any required macros or addons prepared in advance of the raid. You need macros for some encounters. You need special addons for some encounters. If we announce these ahead of time, it will be on the forums and you are expected to have set them up by the time you're invited to the raid. If you don't understand how to install addons or set up macros, it's especially vital that you ask in advance.
- At each attempt on a boss, confirm that you still have any encounter-specific items and have requipped any gear you took off or exchanged during the fight, if applicable. Suddenly remembering that you forgot a vital item five minutes into the fight is not good.
- Bring all necessary consumables, reagents, and enough gold for repairs. I recommend at minimum the following:
- Understand your role. If you are a Feral Druid, you may be expected to DPS or tank as necessary and must be able to make the switch at a moment's notice. If you are a Balance Druid, you may be called upon to provide crowd control or backup healing in an emergency. Restoration Druids may also be tasked for emergency CC. All Druids must be aware of and responsibly manage their Innervate and Rebirth abilities. It is particularly vital that you not use Rebirth unless asked, and that if you are asked, you respond promptly.
- Spec and gear appropriately. Let's get one thing straight. If you raid, you're expected to spec and gear for raiding. This does not mean we expect you to be a cookie-cutter copy of every other Moonkin, Bear, Cat, or Tree. There's a fair amount of flexibility in the current talent builds to allow for individual preference. However, showing up with a PvP build and decked out in Arena gear in a progression raid is a clear sign to the leaders that you don't take your role seriously.
- You are expected to take critical synergy talents such as Improved Moonkin Form, Earth & Moon, Improved Leader of the Pack, Tree of Life, etc.
- You are expected to be at or near hit cap if you are DPS.
- You are expected to be uncrittable if you are a tank.
- You are expected to gem and enchant your gear appropriately.
- You should have sufficient mana regen as a healer to keep yourself from going OOM in a long fight.
- Now that we have Inscription, your Major Glyph slots should not be empty. (Until dual specs come out, it's okay if you don't reglyph every time you respec, although as cheap as they are now it's hardly a burden.)
- Ventrilo is not for socializing. Let the raid leaders talk. You can gossip during down time (or preferably not at all), but talking during strategy explanations and encounters is not only annoying, but it distracts people from hearing vital instructions. If you have something critical to say, and you can't say it in raid chat or by whispering to an officer, make it short and sweet and get off the mic.
- Stay out of General, LocalDefense, Guild chat, and other unrelated channels. Same reason as above - it's distracting. Limited guild chat is okay, but if you're carrying on an entire conversation during boss explanations or fights, we really have to wonder whether you're paying attention to the raid itself.
- Fix your microphone. This includes any or all of the following horribly annoying problems: volume too low or too loud (oh, my poor violated eardrums), buzzing/crackling/static (get a new mic), feedback/echoes (for the love of God, move your mic away from your speakers or wear headphones).
- Obey the raid leaders and don't argue. It's very simple to say, but really, folks... if you think you have a better idea of how the fight should go, don't talk over the raid leader and don't type it in raid chat. Whisper an officer and tell them what you think. If it's useful and helpful, we'll discuss it. If we don't follow your advice, it doesn't mean we hate you, and it doesn't mean that we won't give your ideas a try if ours end up not working. Just don't be a pest about it and don't confuse people by giving conflicting instructions.
- Remember what we're here for. Loot is a nice side bonus that comes after we kill bosses. No kills = no loot for anyone. We don't want to hear about how you want X item and you've been waiting forever for X item and if X item drops it'll be so awesome and you're only here for X item and please please let me win the bid on X item if it drops and etc., etc., etc. Nor do we want to hear that if only you'd been allowed to bring your other toon, they could have used X, or how this is the 10th time we killed the boss and X didn't drop and you're never coming back here again or you don't feel like fighting this boss because they don't drop anything you need, etc.
In conclusion, at the end of the day, we're all here to have fun. We can laugh our asses off while wiping or grumble our way through a perfect instance clear. We can attempt a new boss repeatedly and still enjoy ourselves if everyone comes with the right attitude. Preparation is key to enjoying our raiding time; it's distinctly less fun if the raid is clearly being held back by someone who didn't do their homework. Pay attention, follow the instructions, and do your job as expected, and we'll all come out winners.