Raid mentor

I was watching the interview series celebrating 5 years of Wow and 15 of Warcraft. (I’d never played Warcraft, saw it a few times over shoulders, but RTS never grabbed me).

Frank Pearce (he’s a co-founder) reminded me of something I’d forgotten about raiding: the advantage of having an experienced raid mentor. He talked about Molten Core, hear from him here if you’d like, and how on his own guild’s first attempt at MC they had someone help them out.

Someone who’d been there before, had some experience and success, and was imparting that knowledge to 39 others.

So. Unless you raided 40-mans or played Everquest, this might be a surprise: people didn’t know how to raid. You would literally zone in and become really unsure of yourself, then these two massive molten giants would wipe your raid before you’ve really got out of the first corner.

Sure we knew how to do a 10-man UBRS, but it was tough then, and basically scales up to a 40-man raid, but raiding was a whole new world.ragimages

We had a friend Grulfruidian mentor us. He taught us to raid, acted like a mentor to the tanks, taught us the line to walk through MC, which mobs to kill, in what order, which pats to watch out for, and how to kill the first few bosses.

Edited post, couldn’t remember Grulf’s name at first.

Some trivia: older players would remember the addon KTM (Kenco Threat Meter), which was the first threat meter, was later technically succeeded by Omen and then most recently Blizzard exposed the threat values in an API for developers. Kenco started all that and raided with us sometimes as a tank. He was the author, an Aussie, and on Perenolde US (this was before Oceanic realms existed). At that time, I was healing on my druid Hammersmith (named so not because I crafted hammers but after the area in London, where I have family).

Kenco also had an emo at some point months later for some drama queen reason, something about his brother Lukon not getting an invite, so spat his dummy.

Anyhow, the point is nowadays people don’t tend to look for or use a mentor. It’s all so common knowledge, with youtube videos, normalisation of raiding as an experience, as opposed to being something so lofty and difficult that it required 40 bloody people.

Damn the logistics were a pain back then, but it was pretty epic. Had some bosses like Baron Geddon where you’d kill everyone if you didn’t move. Positioning 40 people in a circle around Shazzrah was a frustration, and people had to learn to run into the middle when he blinked onto them. Familiar mechanics to today’s fights, eh. People failed then, as now.shaz37626136_89f6b264aa

10-man raiding is a fantastic change, and I cheered for it on announcement, and I wouldn’t undo it or anything, but am making the point about how much the WoW community has matured that we can take raiding for granted now.

What happens is instead: people zone into a raid thinking it’s just another 5-man instance, and totally suck ass. They pull agro. They stand in fire. They talk on /g or /ra the whole time, blah blah. They talk back to the RL, question commands, issue their own counter-commands without authority, don’t come prepared, complain about the request to prepare, whinge about the cost of wiping and so on.

Raiding isn’t the same as a 5-man, there is less of a demarcation than there used to be when 40 people were required, but there is a difference. Having a mentor can help but that does seem to be a bit of the past, too.

Also, I wanted to complain about new raiders who don’t realise they’re doing something new, and consequently cause problems for others, don’t realise how good they’ve got it, was much harder in the old days; so I can rattle on a bit about being an old bastard. :)

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8 comments to Raid mentor

  • shax

    Great post! You took the words right out of my mouth.
    To say it first: not everything was better in Vanilla Raiding, but you can still count on experience gained during the old days and raiding felt more epic back than. In new raids about everyone heard something like the that “Ok… from what we know this encounter is much like <insert classic raid-boss here>” It just feels pretty damn cool to answer someting like “i remember, but what we tried back than was <insert tactical alternative here> ” Most of the players you notice, because of their extraordinary skills, are all raiding-veterans – at least in my experience.

    As a side note: We still have a kind of a raid mentor. He’s a healadin and mostly does the raid leading (not alone but with me as MT and with one of our the rolemodel dps)… if he misses a raid (we two are still there and we don’t do a bad job at all), it most likely gets way more chaotic and unconcentrated… we just can’t get rid of this anoying thing… fascinating :)

  • Chev

    Mentor was Grulfruidian (Grulf) repay him for mentoring us we gave him first dibs on loot that dropped that was an upgrade for him, even though he didn’t ask for it.
    Other Mercs of note from 2005-6ish: bigluva, bodycount, travask, slopey, nachtgeist, lagg
    Kenco I believe rolled a dwarf priest after his emo:
    A repost of his old dissertation on threat:
    It’s well worth watching that complete video interview series, on the page Gravity linked – it will bring back a lot of old memories, and I appreciated hearing the personal accounts from the game creators of their memorable moments.

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      Grulf!  That’s right. Fixed the post, thanks. What a good lad he was.

      He and Mercs were onto the next tier of content (BWL), so he could afford to get saved in MC. Sometimes brought his rogue too.

  • Spinks
    Twitter: copperbird

    Great post. I had the same experience. When I first joined a raid guild, the vast majority of us had NO CLUE. I remember our raid leader commenting when we first killed Lucifron that we were currently at a Hogger level of ability. (He was right, actually.) My class leader (was playing a priest at the time) had to teach the rest of us pretty much everything.

    I remember how proud our RL was when we first killed Onyxia. Looking back, I have a better idea now of how hard it was to get us to that point.

  • I didn’t have the luxury of a mentor in raids. I began my wow life in a guild that was running BT in BC, but the GM was in the process of getting married, and by the time I hit level 80, the guild had been stripped to the bone by other raiding guilds. Five weeks after the first time I stepped into Naxxramas, I was a raid leader in Legacy. 3 months after that, I was GM too. If I had been in such a situation in Vanilla, or even BC, it would have been a recipe for disaster. However, online resources like Wowwiki, tankspot, stratfu, maintankadin, and the blogging community have allowed us to persevere.

  • shax

    another thing that came to my mind:
    back in the days when raiding was new and special, people were eager to learn “how to raid right”. they sticked to raid-/class-leaders words, they tried to improve their game-play, they were willing to farm and learn new stuff, it was kind of an honor to be able to see raid encounters, they were proud to be taken along.

  • deafknight

    not to mention switching class or spec was something you planned for, asked well in advance, sometimes waited a month to get an ok for :)
    as opposed to now, several toons with dual spec, whatever on demand :)

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