Raiding 101: The Basic Rules and Procedure
The art of war is of vital importance to the state.
It is a matter of life and death, a road to either safety or to ruin.
Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.
Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
Last Update: 13 Jan 05
Table of Contents
A. Arranging the Event
Types of Events
- In Seofon, we use a number of different terms to describe types of events and their purpose:
- Team: a team is a group of up to 6 people. Seofon prefers the term "team" to simply "group", as a reminder to ourselves and others that we are working together toward a common goal.
- Skirmish: a skirmish is an event that requires more than 6 but less than 13 people. (i.e. two teams)
- Raid: a raid is an event that requires 13 more more people. (i.e. three or more teams)
- Scramble: a scramble is an event that is called together suddenly, and in which time is of the essence, probably moreso than force. Such an event could be a "team scramble" (e.g. Phinigel Autrophos), a scramble skirmish (e.g. Wuoshi), or a scramble raid (e.g. Rumblecrush).
- In addition to these terms, descriptors like "epic", "loot", or "quest" are often added to describe the goals of the event. Wuoshi, for instance, might be described as a "loot scramble skirmish", while Phinigel would be an "epic team scramble".
Scheduling of Events
- The scheduling of guild events is done by Raid Officer(s) (see the Roster for current appointments), based on the current objectives of the guild.
- Members are also free to schedule their own "member-led" events, using the message board.
- Event times and details are normally posted on the guild calendar well in advance. Event attendance is strictly voluntary. In cases where a limited number of people will be selected (e.g. a scheduled skirmish), some measure of priority may be granted to those who indicated their planned attendance on the calendar.
- If an event is denoted as "open", it means people outside the guild may be invited to attend. If an event is denoted as "closed", it means that only members of Seofon will be permitted to attend, or outsiders specially approved by the Event Leader. Final authority for who may/may not attend a given event rests with the Event Leader.
- Events are not about gaining (character) experience. Come expecting NONE.
- Prior to the appointed time, all those who plan to attend the event are to log on well enough in advance to be present at the meeting ground, just prior to the scheduled commencement time. The responsibility for being at the raid at commencement time lies with the individual, not with the guild. If you are aware prior to the event that you will definitely be late, let the Event Leader know in advance.
- Scrambles are used when valuable rare spawns are noticed. In a Scramble the primary objective is to gather the minimum required force as quickly as possible and pull and kill the enemy before someone else does. Bearing this in mind, a Scramble favors speed over force. Therefore, Scrambles are usually conducted as follows:
- Someone spots a rare spawn and makes everyone aware. (e.g. /gu Wuoshi is up!)
- Someone willing to lead the scramble announces it to the guild, and establishes a channel.
- Anyone willing to join the scramble must /join the channel immediately. The leader should announce in the channel where we are all meeting. Porters joining the channel should announce their locations and offer their services. Everyone else joining the channel should announce where they are and figure out which porter they can hook up with.
- If you are unable to get away from your group for some reason, don't join the channel. If you're interested, but don't have the necessary resist gear on you at the time, don't join the channel. If you're unsure about your usefulness on the scramble (e.g because of level, resists, etc), join the channel and ask. The Scramble Leader will likely be ignoring /guildsay, and may be ignoring /tells. A Scramble Leader is usually too busy to focus on any but the most important questions in the channel itself, because they are assessing force, figuring out groups, and coordinating strategy.
- Once the Scramble Leader has sufficient force in the channel, they will announce to the guild that the scramble is underway, so that people just logging on will know it's too late to get in on the action.
B. Forming Up for Events
Team Composition Theory
- There are two common theories applied when and Event Leader considers how to group people into teams: self-sufficient teams and specialist teams.
- Self-sufficient teams is the use of balanced teams. Classes are spread out as evenly as possible, so that each team contains a mix, and hopefully has at least one tank, one healer, one porter, and so on. The use of self-sufficient teams is best when dealing with situations where the event force has to move large distances and/or endure fighting large numbers of targets.
- Specialist teams is the use of unbalanced teams. Teams are created with specific tasks in mind, and classes are often grouped together. (e.g. a tank team, a pull team, a nuking team) The use of specialist teams is best when dealing with situations where the event force is unlikley to be moved, and/or fighting single tough opponents.
- Once members arrive at the proposed meeting ground (or as they arrive), the Event Leader assigns teams by announcing who should form them. (e.g. "healers form balanced groups")
- Team Leaders form groups by finding and inviting each of their members, as quickly as possible. The use of /target, /yell, and /raise may help facilitate this in crowded environments. In the case where an announced Team Leader has not yet arrived themselves, another member may set out to starting the team, and then inviting and /makeleader-ing the true Team Leader on their arrival.
- As Team Leaders finish forming their groups, they announce on the event channel "Team #/name has been formed." Team Leaders then set about to getting their team buffed and ready. Once a team is formed, all questions and requests team members may have should be directed to their Team Leader, who may in turn pass them on to the Event Leader.
- It is the responsibility of Team Leaders to acquire necessary buffs for their Teams, to keep them as ready as possible at all times, and to keep the Event Leader well-informed of their readiness status.
- Once the team is fully prepared and ready to move/fight, the Team Leaders announces on the event channel "Team #/name buffed and gtg1".
Assignments and Instructions
- The Event Leader announces special duties in the event channel (usually during the buffing period). How such duties are assigned will largely depend on the type and location of the raid. Typical assignments include:
- Main Assist ("MA"): This is the character that all members should /assist in order to acquire targets to attack. During an event, unless specially instructed otherwise, No one should ever attack any target other than that identified by the MA. In order to facilitate this, all members make an assist button set specifically to "/assist --assigned MA--". Everyone should have their attack-on-assist turned off (use "/assist OFF") so as not to attack a target prematurely.
- Second Assist ("SA"): This is the character who takes over the responsibilities of the MA should the original MA be killed, charmed, AFK when the group is surprised by wanderers, passed out at the keyboard, or otherwise incapacitated from performing their duties. Everyone should likewise make an extra assist button for the SA in the same fashion as for the MA. The SA is usually, but not always, also considered the first "tank-mezzer"2 as well.
- Third Assist, Fourth Assist... ("3A", "4A"...): In a situation where the Event Leader considers it likely that both the MA and SA may be killed, they may assign 3rd, 4th, etc Assists. Except when fighting "ubermobs", this is seldom necessary.
- Puller. This is the individual tasked with finding the enemy and luring them to us. Instructions about movements may also be done using the puller as well ("move up to just behind puller", "follow puller", etc.)
- Main Crowd Control ("CC"): This is the person responsible for reducing the chaos of combat to managable proportions. This duty is normally assigned to an enchanter or bard, who will use mezzing/charming to stall additional opponents while the event force focuses on the MA's target. If enchanters and/or bards are not available, alternate means of crowd control may still be viable and assigned, such as Necro mez, "root-parking"3, "tank-mezzing", or "walking the dog"4.
- Secondary Crowd Control ("SCC" or "2CC"): In case the raid is likely to be overwhelmed by a large number of opponents, or in case the CC requires assitance or is killed, AFK, charmed, etc, an SCC may be assigned to help with Crowd Control. If both will be working together at once, they should coordinate how best to do so beforehand.
- Debuffers: The Event Leader may assign primary responsibility for casting certain debuffs5 to particular individuals.
- Buffers: If required by a lack of sufficiently distributed classes, the Event Leader may assign particular people to distribute certain buffs6 to the entire raid force, or to certain individuals.
- When the Event Leader announces special assigments in the event channel, the people assigned should respond to indicate that they saw the message and are aware of their responsibility. (e.g. "raidleader01 tells the raid, 'Tank01 is MA, tank02 is SA.'", "tank01 tells the raid, 'on it'", "tank02 tells the raid, 'roger'")
- The Event Leader may announces special instructions in the event channel (usually during the buffing period). Such instructions will largely depend on the type and location of the raid. Typical instructions might cover such subjects as:
- Spells or items whose use is restricted and/or ineffective. (e.g. "ice spells are useless here", "using mezzing - NO dot spells!")
- Spells or items whose use is encouraged and/or highly effective. (e.g. "load fire-based rains, they work well here".)
- Enemy immunities or resistances. (e.g. "lure only mob", "touch range for spells")
- Desirable or undesireable tactics. (e.g. "MA and SA, keep them close together for rain spells")
- Which emergency procedures will be used. (e.g. clerics camping or porters evacing)
- Prior to the commencement of the event, the Event Leader announces any special instructions regarding loot rules (usually during the buffing period). How looting will be performed is normally decided and announced on the message board well in advance of the raid event, so the Event Leader should need only remind people of the logistics of it. Some points of note:
- You should always set "/lootnodrop always". This will ask you for confirmation anytime you attempt to loot a nodrop item.
- Looting a nodrop item without the consent of the Event Leader can result in severe repercussions and/or possible explusion from the guild.
- In the case where a member arrives or logs on after the start time for an event and wishes to attend, they are to ASK THE EVENT LEADER BY PRIVATE TELL if it is permissible. While Event Leaders will be as accomodating as possible in such scenarios, it is to be understood that in many scenarios, the inconvenience of arranging to include the late-arrival is greater than the added measure of convenience their attendance provides. In some situations, it may even be downright impossible. Just as would be the case while attending an Event, the Event Leader's say is final and not subject to debate. Discussions will be held for the Post-Op.
- If a member knows they will be arriving late for an upcoming scheduled event, it is highly recommended that they speak with the Event Leader in advance, to better facilitate their possible late inclusion.
- In the case where a member needs to depart an event prior to its completion, they must inform the Event Leader, and their Group Leader prior to departing, so necessary adjustments can be made.
- If a member knows they will be departing early from an upcoming scheduled event, it is highly recommended that they speak with the Event Leader in advance, to better enable the Event Leader to make assessments about available force, and to better assign duties during the event.
- The determination of how a member's late-arrival or early-departure will affect their looting rights during the event is left entirely within the discretion of the Event Leader, as only they can assess the expected timeline for the event and how the partial attendance impacts that member's contribution to the event effort. That said, as members of Seofon, or for outsiders attending a Seofon-run event, it is expected that raiders will exercise their own good judgement and discretion in making claims to loot. (i.e. Showing up toward the end of a raid just in time to roll on one of the day's best drops would be heavily frowned upon, even if the particular loot rules applied allowed it.)
C. Running the Event
Role of Team Leaders
- Once the event is underway, the weight of responsibilty for its smooth conduct shifts primarily to the Team Leaders. As the event proceeds, certain vital pieces of information must be reported in a timely fashion by the Team Leader to ensure that all members, particularly the Event Leader, are well informed of the situation. Information passed on via the event channel by the Team Leaders should include:
- Linkdeaths of members of their group.
- LOM and OOM7 mana-states of their casters, particularly crucial ones.
- Deaths of group members.
- AFK status of group members.
- Readiness of the group for movement and/or combat.
- Person filling special roles as assigned by the Event Leader should also pass on vital information to those needing it. Such information includes:
- The MA uses buttons to announce what target they are attacking, and when people should assist and attack. (e.g.: "KILL -= BadMutha_01 =- NOW!") Other important announcement buttons may also be made and used by the MA to facilitate their job. (e.g. "Taunting... please wait...", "MOVING MOB - HOLD OFF ATTACKS!", etc) All these buttons should use the main event channel and/or /raidsay.
- Persons assigned to crowd control use appropriate buttons to announce their control (e.g.: "MEZZING BadMutha_02", "ROOTED BadMutha_03", "TMing BadMutha_04!", "KITING BadMutha_05!"). These announcements use the main event channel and/or /raidsay.
- The puller will normally warn the raid that they are bringing the enemy to us (e.g. "INCOMING!"). This annoucement should use the main event channel. Because it is important to remember to /assist the MA, not the puller, and to not attack until the MA has announced a target, the Event Leader may ask that the puller's message to the event channel not include the target, particularly in the event that multiple mobs are being pulled, so as to remind others to assist the MA and not the puller. The button may also include a second line with a /tell to the Event Leader or a /groupsay to the pull/tank team that does include a target name.
- Debuffers, if their debuffs are relevant knowledge for others (e.g. slow and malo is important for others to know, whereas dots are not), should announce the debuff landing in the main event channel or /raidsay.
Moving the Event Force
- During the event, when the Event Leader wishes to move the force, they do so as follows:
- The Event Leader warns of impending movement in the main event channel, so Team Leaders can check the readiness status of their members.
- Team Leaders indicate their teams are ready to move by announcing "Team #/name gtm" ("good to move") in the main event channel.
- The Event Leader explains where they will be moving and who to follow in the main event channel.
- The Event Leader uses the specific words "MOVE NOW" (in all capital letters) to indicate that people are to start moving.
- As enemies are killed, looting by designated members (usually Team Leaders or someone they appoint) as follows:
- If you are specifically instructed to loot a body, do so immediately. Do not wait for combat to end. In long fights, the time before decay occurs may mean items will be lost if the raid waits for all combat to cease.
- If you loot a special item, wait until combat ends, then announce in main channel the name of the item, its stats, and who can use it.
- If you attempt to loot a special item but discover it to be "No Drop", announce it in the main channel immediately.
- If you need to roll on an item that has been announced, do so immediately after the roll is called for by the Event Leader (or an assigned Master Looter).
- Should it become necessary, the Event Leader may call for an Evac. Prior to the start of the event, the evacuation procedures will usually be explained, but unless instructed otherwise, the following should be considered the default:
- Authority for evacuation rests only with the Event Leader and is performed without question. Team Leaders may indicate a desire to evacuate by asking "Evac?" in the main event channel. Group members may indicate a desire to evac by asking "Evac?" in groupsay.
- The Event Leader may announce at any time during the event that other persons have "evac authority" as well.
- When an "EVAC!" is called (by someone with that authority), all groups attempt to Evacuate immediately. Melee characters attempt to get close to their group's Evac'r, and ensure as best they can that everyone (especially the Evac'r) stays alive.
- In lieu of evacuation, the Event Leader may order one or more more people to camp out. The order to camp is very similar to the order to Evac, with the following special notes:
- Authority for camping out rests only with the Event Leader is performed without question. Team Leaders may indicate a desire to camp out by asking "Camp?" in the main event channel. Group members may indicate a desire to camp out by asking "Camp?" in groupsay.
- When an "CAMP!" is called, all clerics attempt to camp out immediately. Only after the clerics have camped do other classes attempt to camp. Melee characters ensure as best they can that everyone (especially the clerics) get out alive before camping themselves.
- Characters able to Feign Death may do so, and then use wait 2 minutes for aggro to clear instead of camping.
- The order to camp is not voluntary: when it is called, you must either /camp, feign death and wait 2 minutes, escape (rogue's with that AA ability), or die. There is no other acceptable option.
- The Event Leader may optionally call "CLERICS CAMP!" instead, indicating that only the clerics should camp out. Others will instead stand and fight to the death, in the hopes of reducing as many of the enemy as possible.
- Both Evac and Camp orders, when given by a proper authority, are to be done without hesitation. Whether or not an Evac call was early or late is something that can be discussed on the message board later. During an event, disobedience is unacceptable. If you are told to leave, you leave. If you are told to camp, you camp. If you are told to stand and die, you stand and die. If you are unable or unwilling to subject yourself to these terms, you cannot attend Seofon events.
D. Wrapping Up the Event
Exiting the Event Area
- At the conclusion of a raid, efforts will be made to port/translocate all present to a destination of their choosing, if time is not of the essence. In situations where time is restricted (e.g. in an area with fast re-pop times), the efforts will focus on getting members out as quickly as possible, and the responsibility for getting to their preferred destination afterwards lies with the member, not the Event Leader. Because Translocate: Group and Teleport are such useful spells in this regard, it is highly recommended that people ensure their bind point is somewhere safe and convenient prior to attending any event, particularly one that may require a hasty exit afterwards.
Recovering Event Costs
- At the end of an event, persons who utilized expensive components during the event (items costing 10pp+, such as peridots) will be re-imbursed by the Event Leader, either immediately after the event or in the days that follow. Members are expected to use discretion in order to keep costs down, but not at the risk of character lives or raid success. Looters will vendor "trash" items first, and turn over only the cash value to the Event Leader, and at earliest possible convenience to both.
- Following the conclusion of an event, the Event Leader or a designate may write a post-mortem in the Forum "Event Post-Ops" section, so that we may take from the event the maximum learning experience. Others should check periodically following the event for the post-mortem and read it at their earliest opportunity. They may wish to add comments of their own.
Agnostic Erudite Arcanist
Founder of Seofon
Appendix 1: Glossary of Terms
- "gtg"/"gtm": "gtg" means "Good to go", an indication that the member or team is prepared for combat. "gtm" means "Good to move", an indication that the member or team is prepared to uproot and move to a new location, though not necessarily prepared to engage in combat immediately on arrival.
- "Tank-Mez": A means of crowd control where a single tank and their accompanying healer assigned to keep a target(s) other than the MA's busy until the raid is ready to kill it. While the majority of the raid force continues to battle the MA's target, the duty of the Tank-Mezzer is not to kill their own target, but only to keep it from wreaking havoc by attacking someone critical (such as healers, CC, or other "soft targets").
- "Root-park": A means of crowd control where the enemy is rooted to the ground out of striking range of friendlies. It may be accomplished by: (a) using root spells on creatures in combat and friendlies move away from them, or (b) by first pulling the additional enemies away from the main combat and then rooting them. Root parking requires that there is enough space to maneuver to a position out of range of rooted mobs.
- "Walk the Dog": A means of crowd control where a single character keeps enemy(s) other than the MA's target busy by snaring them and then running them around in circles nearby. While the majority of the raid force continues to battle the MA's target, the duty of the dog-walker is not to kill their own target, but only to keep it from wreaking havoc by attacking someone critical (such as healers, CC, or other "soft targets"). "Walking the Dog" requires a lot of room, and is therefore normally restricted to outdoor use.
- "Debuff": Any spell (or the act of casting such a spell) that reduces the enemy's effectiveness, such as Tash (reducing enemy MR), Malisement (reducing other enemy resistances), Slow (reducing their attack speed), Weakness (reducing their strength, and thereby damage output), Snare (reducing their movement), or Cancel Magic (stripping them of their "buffs").
- "Buff": Any spell (or the act of casting such a spell) that enhances your own abilities or the abilities of friendlies, such as Heroism (increasing Armor Class and Hit Points), Haste (increasing attack rate), strength spells (increasing damage output), or clarity (increasing mana regeneration rate).
- "LOM" and "OOM": A caster announcing "LOM" is indicating that they are "low on mana" and expect it to become an issue (e.g. they are running low enough that they might run out of healing before the fight ends). A caster announcing "OOM" is indicating that they are "out of mana", meaning they can no longer effectively perform their duties. While their total mana may not actually rest at 0, it means that whatever they normally do, they are no longer able to. (e.g. A wizard saving mana for an Evacuate might announce "OOM" even though they have 20% left, as an indication that they will no longer be casting damage spells.)