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Thread: How do you prepare for a new encounter?

  1. #1
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    How do you prepare for a new encounter?

    I'm torn a bit.
    On the one hand I want to do as good as possible but on the other hand I don't want to spoil my own fun.

    Currently this means for me with new encounters, that I read a little bit about it, go roughly over abilities and things that can hapens so I get a very generic view of how a new fight can be but without going into too much detail.
    The first raid I do an encounter I want to see if we can come up with a solution to the challenge at hand. This is part of the "fun" process for me.

    On the other hand, I want to do as good as I can, and I know I could do a lot better if I watched different videos, got into in-depth discussions and read strategy guides up front more with exact descriptions of abilities and practiced the fights on the PTR.

    But I don't. I am afraid that it spoils part of the fun for me.

    Whether we succeeded or not, after that first raid I go watch videos of fights, read deep discussions get to know how exactly boss abilities work etc. etc. all to make the most perfect fight we can manage.

    How do you guys prepare for a new fight?

  2. #2
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    Pertinent discussion, considering that we are about to have 3 tricky bosses and one for which there was very little PTR info.

    I think I do roughly what you described, although perhaps to a varying degree. I don't like to go into a fight completely blind. I will read up to find out roughly what to expect and roughly what people are suggesting as a strategy. If there's a Marmot vid, I'll certainly watch it. I will approach the fight knowing roughly what the mechanics are and what choices we might have to make to make a strat that suits our guild (i.e. who to assign to what roles, what positioning might work best for us, roughly how many tanks/healers we might need etc). I think that no matter how good the guides, they often don't make full sense until you've actually tried it first hand, and the worse guides very often dress up "what worked for us" as "you must do it this way".

    A couple of times, I've had guild members suggesting we go to a fight completely blind - no prep at all and find it all out the hard way. Honestly, the idea has never appealed to me. Wiping to find out that this thing casts that spell which needs this doing to it... that trial and error process, I'm quite happy to shortcut that with a guide because it doesn't sound like 'fun'.

  3. #3
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    I usually read up on all the info availible to myself, and try to make it accessable to my raiders if it's not something i think they could easily find too.

    Back in BC we used to try the whole blind-first-attempt thing, and discouraged strat reading and such (as though we were the first to see the content), but I found that impractical for serveral reasons:

    1. The strats and videos exist. They are very public (usually), and most raiders are going to check them regardless.

    2. Pacing with other guilds is fairly unlikely without prior knowledge. If you're not secure in your roster, people will flee the strat-less guild (and yes, i've seen it happen first-hand) and go somewhere that purples are easier to get.

    3. Most importantly, the majority of (sometimes i just palm-face at a critical encounter-breaking secret) raiders out there still enjoy the content even if they didn't figure it out entirely on their own. There is something to be said for adapting a particular raid make-up to a given strategy.

    TBH, I think the videos espcially are huge spoilers for new content. But, at the same time i realize that isn't a popular opinion, and by-in-large people are more interested in killing a new boss than feeling like they helped produce a strategy -themselves- to kill the new boss.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proletaria View Post
    1. The strats and videos exist. They are very public (usually), and most raiders are going to check them regardless.
    While this does in general hold true, I feel lately the original strategies being suggested are done so with very limited actual study of the encounter itself. The problem being that the top end raiding guilds who were farming hard modes for so long come into normal mode and trivialize a lot of the encounter mechanics. Because they are ahead of the curve by such a large margin, their strategies are not fully developed in some cases. Bottom line, when Ulduar came out, the encounters were significantly more difficult than Naxxramas. This forced the top end raids to actually work a bit more at it and develope their strategy a lot more. These same top end guilds are walking in the door of normal Icecrown Citadel sporting a full set of Trial of the Grand Crusader 25 gear which is only 6 item levels behind the new tier, often better itemized and has better extra sockets. They are way ahead of the curve for Normal difficulty, as a result they don't have to work nearly as hard to get their kills in Icecrown Citadel on normal. Because of this, the people who test the mechanics, the top end guilds, are overpowering the content and revising as they go rather than doing extensive testing as they wipe over and over. This is why a lot of the newer strategies tend to have inefficiencies in them. A raid that does 150,000 dps can afford to be a little less efficient on an encounter that requires 100,000 dps.

    I watch the videos, read the strats, study the abilities and then decide where to go from there.

    For example, I watched a lot of videos of raids killing Deathbringer Saurfang, but the ranged failing to spread out effectively averaging like 2-4 people hit per Blood Nova. They killed the adds in like 5-10 seconds so their raid DPS was significant enough, because they were ahead of the curve on gear and skill, they could afford a slightly sloppier technique. I did my research and no where did I come accross anything that said you needed to have your ranged, be at ranged. No one tested it as thoroughly as the General's Shadow Crash mechanic (Ulduar was tested a lot more thoroughly because the top end guilds actually needed to work for kills instead of walking in the door overgeared). So I took that and revised the strategy to eliminate that inefficiency by reducing the number of valid targets for the ability, thus making spreading out significantly easier. I also opted to have a no-kiting strategy because I consider in a DPS race fight like Deathbringer Saurfang kiting to be an unacceptable loss in DPS. Rather I adapted the strategy to assign enough DPS to each of the 5 targets to kill them before they reach their targets. Pulling more DPS off the boss temporarily, but in return causing no DPS lost to movement which is a more significant loss than retargeting. I also looked at the Lady Deathwhisper strategy and revised it for an AoE type strategy because of a heavy caster raid comp instead of balanced DPS or melee heavy, since the traditional strategy relies heavily on melee DPS killing the adds. We have done the encounter both ways, the AoE and the standard when raid comp changed from one week to the next.

    1. Understand the mechanics, all of them. While some mechanics may be more significant than others (i.e. Blood Beasts are far more significant than Blood Nova), you can't simply ignore them in your planning. If it isn't documented what you need to know, find it out.

    2. Understand your raid composition and what each of the roles excels at. If your raid doesn't match the cookie cutter raid composition which came out with the strategy, adapt the strategy to something that will work.

    3. Always look for ways to improve efficiency. 10,000 DPS at 60% activity might get you a kill, but so will 6,000 DPS at 100% activity. The more efficient you make your technique, the better your odds are of success.

    A raid leader needs to understand what they are walking into and make any necessary adjustments for their raid.

  5. #5
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    To prepare I watch a few videos to get the feel for the encounter space we have to work with and keep an eye on any space limiting abilities (ie: ooze puddles). I then read over the abilities and then try to play out in my head how they will effect the raid.

    Afterwords I post the videos and abilities available on our guild websites boss strategy section for the other raiders to review. I don't feel that spoils it so much as it allows us to be prepared in some form. Reducing the amount of wipes generally increases the fun for all.

    I did PTR testing once for Ulduar. There was a giant patchwerk that would eat your face if you looked at him wrong and an empty instance. Though I agree some good information can be found on the PTR, I think that spoils it a bit more.

    I think having a basic understanding of the abilities and the encounter space goes a long way. The rest is learned in actual attempts and tailored to how your guild raids.
    There is something so appealing about backhanding someone across the face with a shield.

  6. #6
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    Unless the boss is very easy, or you are grouped with very talented players, you will likely wipe at least once on a new encounter regardless of preparation.

    I have taken to reading the tankspot transcript as opposed to the video. Gives me the info I need, without it being as much of a spoiler as seeing the fight video.

    On encounters that are more of the "this fight has five phases" variety, I watch the darn video.

  7. #7
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    Zen Meditation

    True Knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinafoi View Post
    Blah...

    I watch the videos, read the strats, study the abilities and then decide where to go from there.

    Blah..

    A raid leader needs to understand what they are walking into and make any necessary adjustments for their raid.
    We do the same thing, and i agree that a raid leader's job is to take what he knows and tailor it to the guild.

  9. #9
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    i will read and watch any and all info i can get my hands on. i will look through thread discussions talking about the actual encounter and will seek out people who have participated in the fight.

    The reason being... you can watch and read all day everyday but its never going to amount to what you learn by actually running the encounter. Sure, "run this way, grab this mob, run that way" may sound pretty easy, on paper... once you get in the encounter, its a whole different ballgame.

    I like to use EVERY tool i have at my disposal, both in-game and out of game... it doesnt make the content so easy that it isnt fun, and i'm not wasting 9-24 other peoples time because i cant wrap my head around a certain mechanic in the time it takes for a raid to recover from a wipe.

  10. #10
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    i used run around all crazy like trying to get as much information as i could. then work schedules changed and i wasnt able to raid anymore. now i just sit around and watch all the people go by, hopin that maybe a few weeks (or months) after the content is out, ill be asked to come along.

  11. #11
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    Since our 1st 10 man run is usually blisteringly fast & sometimes outpaces our 25's progression, I love when we get to use the 'go in blind & see what happens' strat for that 10's group.

    I'm also someone who learns better by doing, rather than reading/watching. After the ToC fiasco on my server I actually only read up on the first 2 bosses of ICC (not expecting our server to survive for our 25's release night raid), and as a result we were left with the last 2 bosses as a suprise for 10's the next night.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    www.ordnance-guild.org - Ordnance is back!

  12. #12
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    I'm the raid leader, so I need to find out everything possible. I even write guild specific guides for a quick overview of abilities and suchlike so i know my raiders have some sort of preparation without directing them to numerous sources. I don't like using other people's guides straight off the bat, as it's better (and more fun) to work out something that best suits your team.

    Ideally, as long as people know what abilities he uses i'm happy, because people can then start to work out their own ideas on how to approach it.
    Xíanth <Valkyria>

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