Tuesday, April 9, 2013

World of Warcraft Newbie Guide 22: How to Raid Group

As you level up and group up, you may will often end up in smaller parties of up to five people. If you've been doing battlegrounds, then you've already experienced playing with larger groups but battleground groups have limited access to group features. As you reach around the level 60 mark, you may notice you have access to raids, starting with areas like Molten Core. While you can walk in without a group due to recent changes, it used to require being in a raid group to enter (a requirement for current raid content).

In this article, I will go over some things you may want to know about raid groups, though if you want to find out how to deal with people in your raid, you may want to look elsewhere.

Starting Your Raid Group

Starting a raid group is like starting a normal group except with an additional step. Add a player to your group using the "/inv <player name>" command (or right click a character portrait and click invite from there). Once the player has joined your group, right click your own portrait and click Convert to Raid. You will know this worked when you see frames like this on the left side of the screen, much like in a battleground group:
From here you can add more players (up to 40 including yourself) to your new raid group (as opposed to the limit of five).

Raid Group Features

Being in a raid group adds additional features that allow you to facilitate and coordinate with the larger amount of players you're grouped with. To start, click the arrow to the left of the raid frames that are shown above to pop out the options. You will see options like this, though you need to be the leader or raid assistant to use them all:

The top half of this pop-out menu shows some information about the raid group, such as how many 5-man groups you have, how many players of each role (tank, healer, or damage dealer) you have, and the total number of raid members you have.

The bottom half is a bunch of features, most of which are available for the leader or raid assistants:
  • Target markers (usable by leaders and assistants): The target markers (star, circle, diamond, etc), will be greyed out if you don't have a target to set them on. However, if you have a target, you can click any of the markers to set a marker over the target. In addition, you can right click the target portrait and hover over "Target Marker Icon" while grouped to see a list of the same markers, which you can click on to place on the target.
    • These markers can be toggled. Setting the same marker on a target that has that marker will remove it. In addition, any given marker can only be on a single target at a time.
    • Markers are helpful for showing targets to kill or crowd control. Skull and cross are generally priority targets to focus, for instance.
    • These are also usable in Party groups.
    • These can also be bound to keys in the Key Binding options, as shown below:
  • Role check (usable by leaders and assistants): Role check is a method for determining which role each player is going to do. This is helpful for organization and necessary for the functionality of some addons. It will also populate the top half of the pop-out menu with how many players are performing each role.
  • Ready check (usable by leaders and assistants): Ready check is a method for ensuring raid members aren't AFK or otherwise not ready. These are typically used before boss pulls. You can also type "/readycheck" to start one if you're able to do so.
  • World markers (usable by leaders and assistants): The flag icon in the pop-out menu opens a small sub-menu that allows you to place world markers. You can click any of the markers and place it anywhere on the world to place a noticeable colored area. This is very helpful for explaining encounters and otherwise show where players should go, stack out, stay out of, and so on. All the marks can be cleared off too.
  • Unlock/Hide (usable by everyone): These are buttons that modify the raid frame interface. Unlock/Lock allows you to move the raid frames around or lock them so they stay in place. Hide/Show allows you to hide or show the raid frames (for instance, you may want to hide the frames if you're in a large, 40-man group).
  • Make Everyone Assistant (usable by leader): This option allows the raid leader to make everyone an assistant, allowing them to invite players and gain access to additional raid features (assistants can also remove non-assistant players from the group).
You can also see some of these features in the Raid tab of the Social (hotkey O) menu. Keep in mind some of these features might not work in Battlegrounds or Looking For Raid.

A Small Final Warning (or Two)

Raid groups are cool and all, but they come with some restrictions you may want to know about. In particular, any quest that isn't marked as [Raid] or otherwise clearly indicative to being doable in a raid (along with a few exceptions) won't progress even if you attempt to accomplish the objective that the quest demand. In particular, it'll stop you from doing your daily quests at level cap. This even applies to [Group] quests.

Another thing worth noting is that loot systems typically used in a raid setting may be different. While most of the raid objectives nowadays are proofed against "ninja looting" (the act of taking loot that the player did not earn), this doesn't mean it can't. Watch out for what loot system a raid leader is using and make sure to ask about loot rules. If these loot rules that are set by the leader are broken, it can be reported.

Enjoy your raiding.

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