Simplify Your Strategies
Posted by Blessing of Kings [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 January 2013, 12:50 am
Big Bear Butt wrote a post last month, Some Folk You Just Can't Reach, that I meant to respond to. In the post, BBB asks,
So, do you blame someone else for being slower than others, if they’re trying like hell but just aren’t getting it?
Well, the first thing you do is simplify. I'm sure, as a former marine, BBB is very familiar with the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) principle. And yet, when it comes to raid strategies, very often people ignore this principle.

The reason this happens is because raid strategies, videos, and guides are usually created by the elite, and to be frank, they are just better at handling complexity than the rest of us. As well, they are usually running at the edge of progression, and need to maximize performance, even at the cost of increased complexity.

When you drop down to lower raids, you generally see the same flaws. For example, take target switching. Elite guilds are good at target switching, and their strategies reflect that. In contrast, lower tier guilds are much worse at target switching than you would predict.  Ideally, to adapt a strategy for a lower tier guild, you want to minimize the amount of target switching required.

As well, you generally want to minimize your concerns during a fight.  One big mistake raid leaders often make is that they will recite the entire boss fight to the raid, bombarding people with extraneous information. In my opinion, the key to learning new fights is to ignore everything that is unimportant to you and only care about the things you personally need to care about.

This may result in some wipes that you could have prevented if you knew what the other roles were doing, but it will also result in you learning your own role much faster. Worry about yourself first before worrying about others.

As well, regular guilds often benefit a lot from practice and repetition, especially if you can practice a single element at a time. In a way, this is unfortunate, because regular guilds are also the ones which quit early after a few wipes.

One technique I am very fond of is practicing the movement of a fight before you actually pull the boss. Ideally this is done in the actual boss's room if possible, but otherwise any open space will do. This way you can focus on the movement, without having to worry about DPS or adds.

If you have a single person who is having trouble with movement, often having them just move, without doing dps or healing, for an attempt or two can help enormously. Sadly, you can't do this with tanks.

The final thing when adapting strategies for a regular guild is to avoid "being clever". I'm very suspicious of people being clever in raids in order to theoretically "make things easier". In my experience, it often ends badly. Don't worry about special tips and tricks. Focus on the basics, the bare minimum, and worry about tricks after those have been mastered.

Always remember that the default raid strategies are being created by the elite, and the elite often err on the side of complexity. Expecting your regular raid guild to flawlessly execute a complex elite strategy is foolish. Instead, you'd be better off simplifying as much as you can, minimizing movement and target switches, and ignoring "clever" tricks. Add complexity back into the strategy as you need to.


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