With this guide we hope to effectively prepare you for raiding in Cataclysm and make your raiding experience more enjoyable.
Let’s focus on a few key areas of raiding, and what you can do to improve your performance with the rest of your group.
Many raiders consider a select few addons “required” to increase your raid awareness and performance. The standard addons we use are:
If I’m healing I generally like to use Clique and Grid. Some healers prefer Heal Bot, but it’s entirely up to you. As far as tanking goes, I find Deadly Boss Mods to be perfectly adequate for my warnings and cooldown timers.
Researching Boss Fights
Quite often, if you’ve seen a boss fight you’ll get an idea of what it is you’ll need to be doing. I like to use videos of boss encounters to give me an idea of what to expect during the course of a fight. YouTube and TankSpot are great resources for these videos. So much so, that I have included several of TankSpots videos in our Raiding Guides here on Warcraft Professional.
In PuGs it’s often assumed that everyone knows a particular encounter, but unless you do it might be best to speak up and let the raid leader know that a quick run-through of their strategy might be in order. It can save a lot of headache later if you just admit you’re not familiar with a fight. Chances are you’re not the only one.
Learn your Class & Spec’s Optimal Rotation
This one’s really more for the DPS classes, as they’re the one’s more primarily concerned with rotations. Some tanks have a rotation too, but we’re generally referring to DPS when we talk about rotations.
Countless resources exist that will help you achieve the most DPS out of your character. Sites like ElitistJerks and MMO-Champion have been around awhile and have proven themselves useful to many end-game raiding guilds and players. We’ll also be posting articles and guides in the future that deal with how to increase your DPS.
Tanking and Healing
The jobs of tanks and healers is arguably one of the most important when raiding. While there are boss fights in Cataclysm that are “gear checks” most of the fights can be defeated with a successful execution of the fight mechanics. Tanks are the classes most responsible for executing the boss mechanics correctly, as it’s usually their job to move or “kite” the boss during key phases in a fight.
Healing during a raid is probably one of the more exciting, and exhausting, tasks that I’ve chosen to undertake while raiding. It’s my preferred role and I pride myself on keeping players alive when all others would have failed. Ultimately, this comes down to knowing your classes strengths and weaknesses in healing. If you’re a Paladin, your main strength has always, and continues to be, single target healing. Holy Priests and Restoration Druids are generally considered to be the best “raid” healers, because many of their abilities can heal multiple targets at once. With the release of Cataclysm, healers saw a definite change in the overall mechanic of healing. You can no longer “spam” your heals as you’ll surely run out of mana. Healers are expected to use their knowledge of a fight and select the proper heal for their particular situation. Sometimes you’ll need to use a quick, expensive heal and other times you can get away with topping the raid off with a party or raid wide spell.
That should just about cover the basics of raiding in Cataclysm. Feel free to post any feedback or questions on Twitter and don’t forget to have fun out there!