Raiding in World of Warcraft is a rite of passage. It takes hours upon hours of practice, dedicated focus on the part of you and your guild, and a very keen eye for the right gear, consumables, and strategies. But, those that master these steps soon rise to the echelon of their servers, drawing accolades from their fellow players in droves. But, how do you get to that pinnacle of raiding perfection? It starts with proper preparation and careful strategy.
The Right Group
Step one to any raiding strategy is finding a good group of people to go raiding with. When you go on a raid, you are with 10 or 25 people. This means that you are only a small part of a much larger whole. It is important to find players who are good at playing those individual roles and who are willing to take orders and learn along with everyone else. If you are starting your own guild, find four or five good players who will do their research and share with everyone else to be officers. If you are joining another guild, look for one that will cater to your play style and availability. The people you play with will have a tremendous impact on how well you develop as a raider.
Next up, make sure that you are properly geared for whatever raids you are attempting to go on. There are hundreds of encounters in World of Warcraft and many of them have specific needs for your gear. Your class will also have a profound impact on what you wear. Naxxramas for instance on 25 man mode might require a small bit of frost resistance gear for players with low natural resistances or low defense numbers. Make sure you are properly geared to keep from wiping your entire raid group around you.
Your talent spec is a vital part of who you are and will determine when you get chosen for a raid and how you are integrated into that raid. If you want to effectively play a role in a raiding group, you need to effectively choose talents that will help you excel as a tank, healer, or DPS accordingly. Check to see what your guild needs more of and then cater your build to those needs.
If you are a hybrid class, you should consider having a dual spec that allows you to switch between two high demand roles. For example, if you are a Death Knight, you may want to have a Blood and Frost Spec so that you can switch between DPS and Tanking if you are ever needed to tank in this role.
At the end of the day, being an elite raider is about practice and teamwork. You’ll never make it happen on your own, so find a good group of players you can count on and work with them intensely to build up your reputation and your skill level. Only then (and several thousand wipes later), can you start to call yourself truly elite.