What makes a skilled raider?
As we know, there are so many different types of people who play MMO’s, varying all different backgrounds, skill sets, and personalities. With all this variety of players, it’s very often that some players don’t get along or aren’t a great fit for the team. This is one of the hurdles that a raiding guild must overcome when recruiting their roster. I’d like to cover some of the traits you should look for when recruiting for a raiding guild.
This is the defining quality of a player that will either throw the red flag that they aren’t going to be compatible with the guild or will end up being a great addition and valuable asset to the guild. Before recruiting a player, ask them if they’ll PvP or quest a bit with you for an hour or so. Use this time to judge their character, intentions, and overall personality. You should be able to pick up pretty quickly whether or not this person is a douche and is potentially not worth your time.
The type of player you want to find is one who is generally positive. Ask them about some flaws that are currently in the game to get them talking. If they are all “Negative Nancy” about it, take that into consideration when making the final recruitment call. The optimal player should ultimately be concerned about the flaws, but have some feedback of value, rather than nerd raging about it. Players that understand the flaws and how they should be treated and evaluated are probably going to stick around longer than someone with the temper of a Gary Busey losing at poker.
Overall Knowledge of Mechanics
Something that is imperative for a raider to understand is the overall mechanics of the game. This not only includes an in-depth knowledge of their class, but other classes and general game mechanics as well. As new content releases, you will want players who can adapt to their surroundings. For instance, if there is very pretty, purple fire under the player’s feet, they should probably instinctively know that they should move. Test their knowledge on “Don’t stand in X, Press Y, Kill Z” – the core mechanics of pretty much every MMO encounter ever designed. Finding players with a background of raiding in various MMO’s is valuable experience to have, just make sure you verify that it’s accurate. Anyone can say, “I have top 50 World experience raiding,” but if you can’t explain me the heroic strategy of Ragnaros in extreme detail, then you’re wasting my time. A dead giveaway of someone who you shouldn’t bother with is someone who suffers from “Tunnel Vision.” A skilled player must always be aware of his/her surroundings.
So, one thing I try to do when recruiting is put players into a one month trial period. During this period, they are welcome to loot and are pretty much treated like every other member. Just use this trial time to push them to prove to you they want a raid spot and will consistently attend and perform on your scheduled raid nights. A huge plus during this period is finding players that actually log time during off-raiding hours. Having players that solely log on to raid and don’t put any effort to help out during off-raiding hours are of limited value. If a player starts out their trial with inconsistent performance or attendance, I would bring it up with them immediately and address it sooner than later.
This one is kind of tricky to judge; However, it’s quite possibly the most important quality of a raider. I have met some very skilled players who simply lack the desire to improve and progress. When I say “improve” I don’t mean only themselves, but they should help improve their teammates as well. They can do this by having a complete understanding of each class’s role in each encounter, knowing the other class’s mechanics and cooldowns, and doing everything they can do to make it easier on another player. For instance, if I know there is about to be AOE damage in an encounter, I will blow my defensive cooldowns to help mitigate the damage. This also means they should be researching encounters and ways to improve during their own time, ensuring they are prepared, prior to the raid without any external initiative.
That’s Great and All, But How Do I Recruit?
Well, Bioware is pretty awesome in giving us “Group” server forums… not. So there really is still no way to recruit to a large audience of players that will actually read your postings on a consistent basis, other than posting in general chat; Which in itself, is crap. The best way I’ve found to recruit competent players was through PvP. You might ask, “Why would you recruit PvE players in a group of PvP players?” Well, I honestly believe that someone who is exceptional at PvP can easily transition to PvE environment. To really excel at PvP, you have to have a solid understanding of game mechanics, not only your class mechanics, but other class mechanics as well. This is essentially the foundation of becoming a successful raider, as stated before. So basically, look for a solid foundation in a player and that will be the deciding factor as to if you dive deeper.
Alright, so now that I’ve rambled on about what makes a skilled player in a raid environment and most people pulled a TL;DR, let’s just recap the major qualities that you should look for when recruiting prospect players. First, find someone with a positive, upbeat personality. Second, make sure they have a solid knowledge of general MMO mechanics in regards to end-game.Third, consistency! Having a player with an inconsistent performance or schedule means you can’t rely on them, which won’t work for any raid group. Lastly, find someone with passion – a desire to excel and progress through content. Whether they are writing a blog in their spare time to help the community (Who would do that!?), watching videos the night before the raid, or number crunching accuracy caps to ensure they are maximizing their stat distribution, you want someone who will put in the effort to be better than the rest.