Where Do You Learn To Raid?

So, imagine you’re a new raider, and you’ve got a nice, friendly guild. Where on earth do they take you to learn the ropes?

That’s the interesting question Tzufit’s posing today. She’s looking back on her time in Wrath, using Naxxaramas as a training ground for new members of her guild, and asks “where would I go now?”

LFR? Blackwing Descent? None of them are exactly perfect for the task

“Where do new raiders learn how to raid now? Tier 11 was the exact opposite of Naxx in that it was the first tier of the expansion and also the hardest. Many of its mechanics were entirely unforgiving and it suffered from having several fights in which a single player’s mistake could wipe the rest of the raid. While this makes for interesting and challenging fights for seasoned raiders, it is not an environment where you want to train anyone.

Cataclysm’s Heroic 5 mans (the ones that shipped with Cata, not the Hour of Twilight heroics) do a lot of the work to prepare players to make the jump from dungeons to raiding. Cata’s heroic bosses are more challenging than any we’ve seen in prior expansions because they each have several complex mechanics to test players. Learning to juggle adds, and a debuff, and a boss who enrages all within the same fight gives us some opportunity to experience the sort of multi-tasking we’ll have to do when we fight a real raid boss. It’s one reason why I enjoyed the difficulty of Cata’s un-nerfed heroics at the beginning of the expansion. They were challenging, but they warned us about what was to come in the even greater challenge that was tier 11.

No 5 man dungeon, however, can ever prepare a tank or a healer for the experience of having to work as a part of a tanking or healing team. This is something that happens exclusively in the raid environment or, now, in LFR. A lot has already been written about whether or not LFR is a tool that properly initiates people into the raiding world. I believe that LFR is an important tool for a new raider because it exposes them to the scale and complexity of a raid – but let’s not kid ourselves into believing that any new raider would come out of an LFR experience with the slightest notion as to why anything happened the way it did. On the rare occasions when anyone bothers to explain any aspect of a fight in LFR, no context is given because there isn’t enough time to do so before someone gets antsy and pulls. The most information that is given is what to kill, where to stand, and (maybe) when to hit that illusive button on Ultraxion.”

Tzufit gives us a good rundown of the history of “training raids” (although I’d add Zul’Gurub in Vanilla to Kara and Naxx), and she effectively highlights a real issue here. Assuming we have some hopes of recruiting new players into WoW, rather than merely running out the meter with an ever-decreasing number of veterans, where are we going to teach them the basics?

Does Mists have a raid that’s shaping up to be a training ground? I’d love to know.

What do you think?