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Filed under: Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Looking into roll-based loot systems

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Greetings once again, raiders. While the rest of the writers are off in their lofty towers of 4.3 land, I am stuck here in the trenches of reality. Fret not, we'll soon be climbing out of this foxhole that we've found ourself in, but the time is not quite right. I promise you though, when next we hit 4.3 content with our feet running, it is going to be an epic adventure that you won't want to miss. In the meantime, it's back to the discussion on loot systems. Gear, after all, doesn't distribute itself.

Last week, we talked about various DKP systems and the advantages or disadvantages that they hold. While DKP is a fairly common system that you'll probably see in most guilds, it isn't the only popular choice. This week, we'll be taking a look into roll-based loot systems and how they too can be an effective method for distributing purples.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Looking into DKP loot systems

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Welcome back, raiders. In our last edition, we talked about the importance of having a solid loot system as a part of a solid raiding team. Loot is the end result of playing this game, no matter which sector it is that you choose to focus on. Having a great distribution system for all the shiny trinkets that your raid stumbles across insider the corpses of giant beasts helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly. As was mentioned last week, each loot system is judged based on how equally it distributes loot as well as how well it rewards player participation.

This week, we'll be taking a look at one of the more common loot systems that you come across in WoW and how they all rank. Remember, loot distribution is always something that should be taken seriously, but more than that, there is no one right answer. Which system works for one raid group might not pan out for another. The ultimate goal is to avoid any and all loot problems in a raid; provided that a system avoids that, then the rest doesn't matter.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: How to handle raid loot systems

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

There is one simple truth that we must all face: Loot is the most important factor of WoW. We all play for different reasons -- some for friends, others for the thrill of downing new content, and some to be the best. With all of these things, the end result is the same. Run dungeons, you get gear. Deal in PVP, you get gear. Raid? You end up with gear. Gear is unavoidable. It is always the end result of any activity that you perform. Every game has its end, to a story, to a plot -- and WoW's end is gear.

Unlike single-player games wherein loot control is not an issue, WoW deals with multiple people and limited gear. There's only so much stuff to go around, with far more people wanting to get it. To facilitate who gets what, players have relied upon constructed systems of loot distribution. While the way in which loot is handled will vary from guild to guild, there are several standardized systems that are fairly popular. This week, we'll be taking a look at why loot systems are important and the things that you can do in order to minimize loot-related issues within your raid.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Dealing with a dead tank

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

At last we come to the end of this little miniseries that we've had going. First, we talked about how to deal with a poor DPS within a raid group; then we talked about dealing with a poor healer. Now it is time that we bring the discussion to tanks. Often, raid leaders find themselves being far more lax with tanks than they would be with other players. Tanks are a rare commodity; finding a good one is perhaps harder than it is to find a DPSer or even a healer, yet a fantastic tank is the cornerstone of any solid raiding group. Tanks take a brunt of the responsibility in many encounters, so it can be difficult to admonish them at times.

That being said, it is just as important to keep the tanks up to snuff as it is any other raider. Given their limited representation within a raid, a poor tank has a far larger effect on a raid than any other role. If your tank just can't pull it off, everything else quickly falls apart; they don't really have anyone else who might pick up their missing slack the way that other roles could. It is important that your tanks know their stuff and get the job done.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Dealing with a weak healer

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Welcome back, raiders. Last week, we talked about how to handle a low DPS player within a raid. The article focused more on the way that players attempt to deflect attention from any issues that they might be having; while that's useful information, there are other sides as well. This week, we will be focusing on healers. Much as with DPS, there are no weak roles within a raid. Everyone has to perform up to par in order to succeed; furthermore, just like DPSers, healers can get equally defensive when approached about a problem.

Join me as we explore many of the ways in which a healer can attempt to deflect proper blame against them and ways in which you can help them improve. Remember, a raid leader's strongest tool is information.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Dealing with a low DPSer

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

For the first week in a long time, we aren't featuring a boss guide. I'm not sure how I feel with not having my work totally scripted for me, but overall I'm up for the change of pace. I've been toying with doing heroic guides or not. Some of them are just so similar to their normal counterparts that there's no tangible difference, leaving the majority of the guide being essentially the same as the previous. We'll see, but in the meantime, I'm certainly working on something great for next raid.

That's not this week, though. This week, I'm going to start the first of a new little mini-series: how to deal with raiders who just aren't up to par. Let's face it, every player functions at a different skill level; collectively, every guild has its own skill average. Sometimes, a player just doesn't make the cut. Bosses have certain requirements, and if you're a raiding team that wants to down these bosses, you might be faced with some hard choices. No one likes carrying other players, yet no one wants to be the bad guy that has to tell others they aren't good enough for the team. This week, we'll be dealing with DPSers who aren't up to snuff.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: WoW Insider's guide to Ragnaros

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

This is it, folks, the end of the the line. We have already faced down the rest of his minions: Shannox, Beth'tilac, Lord Rhyolith, Alysrazor, Baleroc the Gatekeeper, and Majordomo Staghelm. All that remains is to challenge Ragnaros himself. The battle to reach the Sulfuron Keep has been long. Each encounter offers a new challenge for players to overcome, but none of those fights holds a candle to what remains. Ragnaros is no pushover; any player seeking to bring down the Lord of Fire should be amply prepared.

One thing worth mentioning about the Ragnaros encounter is that very little of it is gear-dependent. If you are capable of reaching him, then you are more than capable of taking him down. More of the fight relies upon flawless execution of the mechanics than it does the raw output of your raid group. Should your group struggle to down him, don't fret. This is an encounter that takes time -- time to learn the ins and outs, how to move, what to do, and how to deal. Keep at it; things will click eventually, and suddenly he becomes cake.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding), Raid Guides

Ready Check: WoW Insider's guide to Majordomo Staghelm

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Greetings again, heroes. In previous forays into the heart of the elemental plain of fire, we've defeated Shannox, Beth'tilac, Lord Rhyolith, Alysrazor, and Baleroc the Gatekeeper. With the first five of Ragnaros' champions defeated, the gates of the Sulfuron Spire itself are now open. Only one more obstacle stands between you and the Firelord himself: the new Majordomo, Staghelm. Previously one of Azeroth's greatest druids and the defacto leader of Cenarion Circle while Malfurion slept in the Emerald Dream, Staghelm has now sided with the destructive forces of fire, making himself the new leader of the Druids of the Flame.

Staghelm has already proven himself to be extremely powerful. He interrupted the ceremony at Nordrassil between the Cenarion Circle, the Earthen Ring, and the dragon aspects, wherein he split Thrall across all the elemental planes. He slaughtered a company of captured druids and summoned Alysrazor on the raid, and now he is to be your next challenge. Are you up to the task?

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: WoW Insider's Guide to Baleroc, the Gatekeeper

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Greetings again, raiders! If you have been following along thus far, then you know that we've pushed rather deep into Ragnaros' territory. Already, we've defeated the great hunter Shannox, the queen of spiders Beth'tilac, the vicious Lord Rhyolith, and the treacherous Alysrazor. With the first four of Ragnaros' supporters dead, we now focus on making our way into the heart of the Sulfuron Spire itself. Only one obstacle stands in our way: the Gatekeeper Baleroc.

Wielding his twin devastating swords, Baleroc is no pushover. This encounter will test the resolve of both your healers and your DPS as you race against a tight enrage timer while combating insurmountable tank damage. No joke --your tanks will be taking this in the millions on this encounter, so you'd better prepare yourselves, heroes. This journey is just getting started.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: WoW Insider's Guide to Alysrazor

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Greetings again, chaps. It is time once more to continue with our plans of invading the Firelands, snuffing out the vile Ragnaros, and securing everlasting peace upon Azeroth. At least until the next raiding tier comes out. This week, we'll be taking down the newest additional to Ragnaros' army, the green dragon turned fire hawk Alysrazor. Aided in battle by her newly spawned clutch of children and their druidic keepers, this bird is one hot mama. What, I'm not allowed to make corny jokes?

Whatever. If you think you have what it takes to face down a former green dragon, then read on, heroes. Epic loots await you! If you are interested in the prior bosses, look up WoW Insider's guides to Shannox, Beth'tilac, and Lord Rhyolith. Steel yourselves -- it's about to get hot.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: WoW Insider's guide to Beth'tilac

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Thus far in our adventures, we have tackled the Firelord's finest hunter Shannox and toppled another member of the "royal" family, Lord Rhyolith. This week, we zip clear across to the other side of the map in order to fling ourselves against the mother of all Lava Spiders. As the matriarch or the Cinderweb Brood, Beth'tilac has created and cares for a massive web network that spans a large portion of the west sector of the Firelands. Here, she and her children capture and feed off of other fire elementals.

Seemingly, this is a bad thing, but despite being lavavores, the Cinderweb Brood seems to have at least a partial relationship with Ragnaros, often joining his forces in the field of battle. Perhaps the newly christened fire druids have something to do with this? Regardless, she's got loot, and we're here to take it from her! Let's get started.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: WoW Insider's Guide to Lord Rhyolith

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

WoW players are not unaccustomed to tackling giant creatures. We've slain dragons, gronn, elemental lords, and even ogres infused with the raw power of the Old Gods. In our time, there have been some big bads that were, well, literally big. Lord Rhyolith now falls into that criteria -- a massive molten lord covered in rocks so thick and so sharp that spells and blades couldn't even think to but dink away at his hide.

This royalty of the Firelands is one of the first four "fluid" bosses in Firelands. You can reach Lord Rhyolith by following the road to the right, over the bridge and up the gauntlet ramp. There he stands, out on a platform surrounded by lava, begging for players to come and test their mettle against him. This is going to be one tough nut to crack; are you up for the challenge?

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: WoW Insider's guide to Shannox

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Shannox is the leader of the Flamewalker hunters and generally the first boss that players tangle with in Firelands. He comes complete with his two pets, Riplimb and Rageface, all of which have to be fought at the same time. Shannox is different than most bosses in that he isn't initially in the dungeon; you must first clear a fairly hefty amount of trash in order to force him to spawn.

Also unlike other boss encounters, he does not have a set location where you can fight him. Instead, he pads around the pathway that circles around the entire opening portion of the zone. He will always spawn at Baleroc's gate in the back center of the room and from there circle counterclockwise.

Think your raid is ready to take on the best hunter in the Firelands?

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: The quest for Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

There is one thing about WoW that is a constant. No matter what happens in the game, there is one truth that will never change. That is, people get color-crazy. Blue gear, purple gear, orange gear -- people care about the color of the items that you are wearing. When a new legendary is introduced into the game, that becomes the biggest thing on everyone's lips. It is the new hot item, the one thing that everyone wants.

Patch 4.2 introduced one such item. Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest is the big deal of this raiding tier, and it is the thing that people want. Last week, I did a little blurb about the staff, but that alone wasn't enough. There've been plenty of emails asking for more information on the specifics of the legendary, so here are your answers.

(For those wondering, next week will see the start of the Ready Check raiding guides, so make sure to tune in for those as we go an an adventure of killing all of this tier's big bads. For now, let's talk about a staff.)

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Ready Check: Preparing your raid for 4.2

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Greetings once again folks. Raiding at this point in Cataclysm is hitting a bit of a lag. While there still aren't tons and tons of guilds that have cleared all of the heroic content, guilds have been working on the initial raids for quite some time now. Completed or not, players are starting to get ready for something new. Lucky for all of us, Blizzard does provide.

Soon, and hopefully not in the Blizzard sense of the word, patch 4.2 will be hitting live servers. The patch will bring with it the epic Firelands raid where players will once again be able to face off against Ragnaros the Fire Lord. This time, however, it won't merely be a weakened version that was summoned too soon. No, now we'll be marching right into the plane of fire itself to confront the burning master on his own throne. The raid promises to be both challenging and entertaining.

Is your raid ready to take the heat?

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

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