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The Raiding Philosophy
A guide on the mindset required to ensure an enjoyable and successful raid.
Last updated February 12, 2007 @ 5:52:51AM
Viewed 2353 times

This guide is meant to serve as an introduction to what I call "The Raiding Philosophy"--that is, the mindset a player ought to have when they are part of a raiding team. I believe that having this kind of mindset will help you become a better raider, which means more fun for you and a better experience for everyone in your raid group.

The raiding philosophy can be broken down into two simple rules, in order of importance.

Rule 1: Ensure Your Personal Survival

This rule is simple. Do whatever you can to ensure that you don't die, because it means less fun for you, and less fun for your group because you're of no use to them when you're dead.

Rule 2: Ensure the Survival and Success of your Team

This rule is a lot more complex and subtle, but it's really the key to being a valuable member of any team, whether in PvP, 5-man instances, or a 40-man raid. Or even real life, for that matter.

When you're part of a raid group, your goal is not to be the best damage-dealer, damage-absorber, healer, decurser, or anything else. Your goal is to ensure the survival and success of your team by whatever means possible. And being the best at DPS or healing doesn't mean anything if your team wipes.

What this implies is this: what you normally enjoy doing is not necessarily what is best for your team. If you are a Paladin who loves to deal damage, you may nonetheless be more instrumental to your team by healing, by decursing, by tanking, or something else entirely. Listen to your raid leader, or your class leader, if you have one. If the leadership isn't doing its job and isn't telling you what you're supposed to be doing, ask them. If they are unresponsive, analyze the situation on your own, try to gauge where you're most needed, and understand that it may not necessarily be something that you're used to doing.

An even more valuable skill to have is knowing how to change your role in the middle of a fight. A plate-wearing Paladin who has been assigned to healing still has the ablity to protect their comrades by shielding them from damage or taunting their enemies, and this may become necessary if the tanks are tied up and a cloth-wearer gets aggro from a mob. Having the awareness to perform your assigned role and respond to crisis situations by drawing from the diversity of your skill set is something that almost any player can always improve on.

Take some time to look through your spellbook and notice some of the skills and abilities that you never use. Think of these as muscles that you never knew existed; the next time you go adventuring, try using one of those abilities as much as you can. If you're a Paladin who's used to healing, try tanking for a change, even if you're not specced for it and doing it effectively means grouping with people 15 levels below you and running through an easy instance. Master every one of your skills, and you'll be able to use any of them at a moment's notice to help out your group in any situation.

This rule applies to the social aspects of raiding as well. Before saying anything to your team members, take a moment to consider the effect of what you say may have on your group as a whole. If you disagree with something your raid leader said, for instance, then saying it out loud and challenging your leader's judgement publicly may both reduce the level of confidence your team has in your raid leader, thereby lowering morale, and it may also cause confusion, miscommunication, and delays within the group. In this case, it may be more productive to whisper your raid leader or coordinator with your concerns.


There's a lot of different ways to develop the skills you need to be a good teammate, but it all starts with having the right philosophy: ensure the survival of yourself first, and the success of your team second. Once you have this, everything else follows quite naturally, and you are guaranteed to have both a good time and a successful raid.
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