Guest Post: How to Raid… Casually!

Please welcome our guest Jack, who regularly writes about raiding casually at his home The Casual Raider.

Casual raiding means different things to different people but for me it’s being able to raid and clear end-game content without having to spend all of my time either in WoW or studying for the next raid. Here are a few hints, tips, and tricks to help you keep up in raids without having to give up on other aspects of your life.

Evaluate Your Schedule

This has less to do with the actual game and more to do with just being a responsible individual. Before deciding on how to raid you need to make sure you can raid. Take a good look at your priorities and make sure that you can devote at least a couple of hours two to three nights a week to raiding. If your real life doesn’t allow for it then it’s probably best to clear a few things off your plate before going for dessert. Work, family, school and friends all come before WoW for most mentally healthy individuals. In short, keep your priorities straight.

Maximize Your Playtime

I’ve posted about this before and for tips on how to do it check that post. It’s all about using every second online to accomplish something. Raiding requires gold for repairs, flasks, gems, enchants etc… With limited time to play you can’t afford to fly around aimlessly Stormwind (or Orgrimmar if you’re one of those filthy hordies) chatting with guildies. Consider setting up supply lines with other players to minimize farming time.

Find (or start) A Like Minded Guild

If you can’t put in the time required for a hard core raiding guild then you won’t be able to maintain membership in one. While some people view this as d-baggery it really is unfair to expect a group of people to allow someone to “coast” on their hard work. If you can find a group of people with similar time constraints then your occasional, or sometimes regular, absence isn’t going to be as big an issue. That said you won’t be able to maintain a raid spot in any type of guild without at least some consistency.

Learn Your Fights

Tankspot has videos of boss fights… watch them. The single best thing you can do to help ensure victory for you and your pals is walking into an encounter with knowledge. It doesn’t take much time to watch a video and Tankspot’s are superbly narrated. If you’re not a visual learner just google wow strategies and you’ll find tons of links to boss strats.

Learn From a Pro

Find someone who can mentor you in the ways of your chosen class/spec. You need to maintain a high level of skill for raiding and the fastest way to build that skill is with one on one instruction. Chances are you or one of your guildies knows someone who’s knows the class and is willing to teach. If you can’t find someone check wow-heroes or the armory for top players on your server and ask them. You’d be surprised how many are not only willing to teach someone but are eager to disseminate their knowledge. When I was first starting out as a resto shaman I bugged the hell out of nearly every resto shaman on my server. Try not to be a pest and respect their wishes if they don’t care to help but never be afraid to ask.

Maximize Your Raid Time

This builds on the previous two points. Make sure when you go to raid you raid hard. You’ve already got all of your ducks in a row and you can step into the raid and do what you came to do: Kill monsters. Ninety percent of this is preparation. Making sure you’re with like-minded players, knowing your fights, knowing your class and clearing your schedule during raid time all contribute to getting the most out of your raid. The last ten percent is going pee pee beforehand. Seriously… minimize brbs.

Have Realistic Expectations

Nothing kills a raider faster than disappointment. As with anything in life the amount of time you can put in to something is going to be directly proportional to the reward you get from it. With a limited amount of time to contribute to raiding you won’t be on the cutting edge. Server firsts are probably out of reach unless, which is sometimes the case, you have a really talented group of folks who’ve been playing together for a long time. However most casual raiders find they can drop bosses in current tier content with minimal to moderate effort. Remember raiding is just as much about the journey as it is the destination.

Casual raiding can be tricky to pull off, but for those of us who don’t have the time to commit to being a hardcore raider it’s satisfying and fun. I’ve been kicking ass and taking epics while maintaining a 40+ hour per week job, keeping my wife from killing/divorcing me, having a social life and finding the occasional time to brew and enjoy beer. I know it’s cliché but if I can do it anyone can.

Thanks Windsoar for allowing me to guest post! I hope all you Jaded Alt readers (it feels weird calling you Jaded Alt readers as I’m one myself) enjoyed the post. Keep your sword sharp and your tankard full!

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6 thoughts on “Guest Post: How to Raid… Casually!

  1. I knew all the lessons, but it's interesting what different perspectives people have 🙂 We raid 3 nights a week for 3 hours and I consider us progression, not casual raiders. (The majority of my guildies do spend quite a lot of time online, but that doesn't reflect on their raiding, since their performance is not proportional to time spent online – i.e. the guy who plays all day doesn't do better than the one who logs on 30 mins before the raid.)

  2. I have to say that I have always been a non-believer in the concept of casual raiding because usually people bring a casual mindset to the table, in addition to their limited amount of time spent online and things like that.

    What I liked about your post was that you didn't encourage people to think casual and act casual. You were great about encouraging people to still think like a raider and act like a raider, even if they didn't really have the time or other things were in the way that were preventing them from doing so. I'm really glad that you took the post in that direction.

    Thanks for the great read!

  3. There's so many definitions of casual, however, I think this is one of the best uses: how to raid with limited time. I was really excited about this post when I received it because it highlighted ways to make a compressed raid schedule work with commitments outside of the game and without making your raid team suffer.

  4. Thanks for the words and thanks for letting me guest post for you Wind. For most of my guildies and I being a casual raider isn't being absent skill or effort but like you said having limited time and making the most of it.

    I've always equated WoW with team hobbys like a softball league. It takes time and practice to be good but if you manage your time well you can play like a champ and still have time for the wife and kids (or whatever else lays claim to your time.)

  5. This is a great seven point overview as to what people can have in mind when wanting to experience and contribute to their guild's progression through the raiding content. I really appreciate the fact that there can be someone, like myself, that thinks and studies their character's class, role, and utility in a raid environment to be an assest and not a liablity. Knowledge in any encounter is half the battle, and having personal and situational awareness is something we all can control.

    I am definately going be linking this for my guild to read and evaluate for themselves. I had recently left one guild because towards the end of Wrath we all had wanted to push towards becoming a raiding guild, but there was not a core of players committed to the above mentioned aspects. Nothing against them at all, just the facts. There can be a desire to achieve a certain goal, but without the effort and foreplanning it is just a nice wish.

    I will never probably be a cutting edge raider that is seeing the current raid boss encounters cleared on Heroic mode weeks after their release, but at least I know that I am not alone when stepping through the purple portal as someone who can enjoy and add to a group attempt without treating raiding as a second job.

    Thanks for the great post. Keep up enriching the community of readers and gamers alike.

  6. We've found a really great formula in our guild. We have two 10 man teams setup, we raid 2 days per week consistently in a tight team. We have a 3rd night for Throne available as optional and we combine up the 2 groups into 1 team for it. We did this also in Wrath and ended up with our 10m meta drakes too.

    We are serious about progression, but have lives. I liek to call it casualcore 🙂

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