Describing a fight in voice or writing

When you are briefing a raid team on a fight they have not seen before, or one which they’re not very familiar, you shouldn’t be too wordy.

Before the first pull

I like everyone to have watched a fight video, which you’d linked in guild forums some days before. Ideally you’ve agreed on a strategy framework, if there are alternative methods.

On the night, I think you should give a brief description of the fight, then go in a take a wipe to see it first-hand.

Think about how that might compare to other first-times you’ve had on an encounter. How long does your raid leader talk for? Are people jumping around and getting bored? You can’t even tell whether they’re listening.

I prefer to describe it like this:

“Tank: put him in the middle, facing away.

Melee: spread single-file around the boss.

Ranged and healers: clump at position x and y.

Everyone: on his special ability blah, spread out evenly through room, whilst tank stands still.”

I want each role to have their action called out specifically. I don’t go on about the boss’ abilities much.

People usually need to see a fight from a first-person perspective.

Next pull

Gather up, buff up, then give a more detailed briefing.

Now don’t describe abilities in generic terms, talk about what they mean to the players.

For Marrowgar, say “stand close together so when he bone spike’s someone, you can free them quickly”. Use few words.

No voice comms will let you get away with lots of long verbose descriptions. Sound quality isn’t great, people’s attention spans are limited. Then, if you don’t call out roles, they don’t know when to tune-in.

Generally, I like to describe a fight in terms of our roles, and not by the boss’ abilities. That’s the first principal. The second is to use as few words as possible, to be brief and accurate.

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9 comments to Describing a fight in voice or writing

  • I need to see a fight a few times before I truly understand the dangers. Strat vids are a great way to familiarise yourself with said dangers but I find the methods we use to mitigate these dangers can vary a great deal from the video guide. As my guild only runs 10 man content we can’t always replicate what the video tutorial author proposes due to gear differences. Having said all that, videos are a fantastic start – resources such as Tankspot are wonderful.

    I also find getting everyone involved in strategy discussions and assigning ownership of roles keep people thinking and motivated. Consistency is king – always try to use the same people and have understudies lined up to jump in.

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      Yeh Kendrel you’re right about videos. I watch them, usually at least two different sources, and still find that the way we do it will be different in some way because our raidcomp as a casual 10-man will be different, or our reaction times slower (or faster!) and so on.

      Thanks for reminder: on consistency, Vene’s post is one of the better I’ve read in a while.

  • Christopher S. Penn
    Twitter: cspenn

    Being an engineer and a junk collector (yeah, Engineering on an Unholy DK tank, made of fail says the EJ ;-) but it works), I liberally use the following:

    - Basic Campfire
    - Elune Stones
    - White Smoke Flares
    - Green Smoke Flares
    - Dalaran Picnic Basket
    - High Powered Flashlight

    for raid marking. When we first tackled Heigan, white smoke flares made all the difference for folks who had never seen the fight and were still unsure about positioning from the Tankspot vids.

    Smoke flares are dirt cheap for engineers to make and are persistent for 5 minutes. Use ‘em, love ‘em, buy more from your friendly engineer.
    .-= Christopher S. Penn´s last blog ..How to tell if you are a doomed marketer =-.

    • Maitahl

      For Heigan we used the people’s corpses that couldn’t dance well as markers.

      So the raid leader would yell out something like “ok everyone make sure to get past deadmage on the floor to avoid the fire coming up from the floor”.

      Sometimes we would have a pool going on who was going to die on the dance.

  • I use the tiny snow man pet with a raid target icon as another marker for where to stand for ranged or healers, etc.

  • I have to admit to having a laugh when picturing Christopher S. Penn’s dungeon floor littered with flares, picnic baskets and spotlights..

    Very good briefing advice thanks Grav. Sometimes raid leaders rabbit on for ages, then other raiders will jump in and add bits, then a debate will start over the range of a particular boss ability, and when it all settles down and the final ready check is done, three people are afk because they are lying comatose on the ground next to their computers.

    Brevity, clarity and role-based tips are what I got out of this article. And that there’s a lot to be said for just giving it a try early, and going into a bit more detail after a wipe. An attempt can be better than 1000 words.

    How do you remember the key features (i.e. things that must be done to win, or things that will kill you) for each encounter? I’d like an in-game minimalist guide that you can copy/paste into /ra or quote over vent. Sometimes you have a wipe and the RL says, ‘oh yeah I forgot to say you need to be at least 15 yards apart for phase 2 or we all die horribly’.
    .-= Chev´s last blog ..Taunt Table =-.

  • Instructions
    Twitter: awfullyquiet

    I think flares are ESSENTIAL for any raid leader.

    And not just white smoke flares…

    I remember during Ignis, i used to like, load the little raised bridge area with purple/green (my ranged/heal flares) say, if that’s your color. Stay there. Just turn! I’d put a white one on each four corners around it… Saying ‘this is where the tanks are going to stop after each individual fire patch)… and, because i was kiting ignis counter clockwise around the circle… bam.

    Also, if you have a site, a forum, or a meeting place… It’s fantastic to go about having a written strategy of how you are going to handle things before the fight… If that fails, you set it up differently next week, with adding content from the raiders, by finding those that give the most/best feedback….

  • I’ve got a lot to learn here, I believe. I try to explain enough that a new player has a chance to do what is required, but not enough to make the experienced raider’s ears bleed. I usually do it while trash is cleaned, to avoid people spending time to wait.
    .-= Vigan´s last blog ..Wish for Cataclysm: Shaman tanks! =-.

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      If you’re doing it while trash is cleared, tell the newbie to not worry about dpsing much and to just listen. Tell the rest of the raid to compensate. Otherwise you get partial attention.

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