Having been a raid leader for a long time now, I'm very keen for everyone in my raids to be aware of the strategy we plan to execute. I get pretty frustrated when people deviate from it. I'm also interested in the theory and maths involved in maximizing gear choices and spell selections. When changes to warlock spell mechanics come along I always try and calculate the impact this would have on my gameplay -- and then do some research to find out what I missed or miscalculated. I believe that entering a boss fight with these things prepared is the foundation of good raiding.
You can't live on foundations though, you need a house. Being able to execute a perfect, DPS-maximizing spell rotation on a target dummy doesn't fully prepare you for dealing with a more chaotic situation. Knowing the strategy for a fight can still leave you floundering when something forces a change to your expectations. Today I want to have a look at how to prepare for the unscripted, how to be a raider and not just a robot.