Finally, your guild sits in front of a new boss. Excitement is in the air as everyone wants to start pulling and progressing further into the new raid. You, the raid leader, have spent endless hours outside the game coming up with the right strategy for this moment, determining the most efficient way to use the players in your group. After the first few wipes that come with learning a new boss, you start receiving whispers from the “know-it-alls” in the raid.

You know the ones I’m talking about.

They question everything you do and every strategy you come up with.

They say “Hey we should try [insert crazy idea here].”

Or “I think [ability you’ve spent hours thinking about] would be better done [the complete opposite way you’ve suggested].”

This may even bleed into Mumble resulting in your approach being questioned. Occasionally these comments are helpful, but lets go out on a limb and say you have an airtight strategy for this new boss.  You have the problem that people aren’t 100% committed to the strategy you’ve laid out. What do you do?

Make Sure Understanding of the Strategy is Absolute

This is one of the easiest ways to ensure that the parts of your strategy that may seem “broken” to others happen flawlessly. I can’t tell you the number of times that there has been a completed ready check yet there are people who are not 100% sure what they are supposed to be doing. The first thing to do is isolate the area of the encounter where mistakes are occurring. This is typically the part of the fight you are wiping to, but it doesn’t always have to be. Your first line of defense is to reiterate precisely what needs to happen during this part of the encounter.

One of my favorites is “I don’t care what else you happen to be doing, it’s not important! When [this thing that is killing us] happens, EVERYONE MOVES!”

It may seem like common sense to you, but getting everyone in the raid exactly on the same page during key parts of the fight is one of your most useful tools.

Double Check What is Supposed to be Happening Actually Is

Sometimes this is readily apparent, like people being outside of a stack point, but other times you need to do a little digging.

A prime example is Heroic Seigecrafter Blackfuse.  One thing preventing our progression on this fight was the crawler mines.  Being one of only 3 things that can truly wipe your raid here, you would think there would be nothing more simple than switching to the slowly approaching mines, especially when they threaten to blow your raiders up.  I’m sure it’s no surprise if I say after checking damage for a few wipes, there were a couple players completely ignoring them. In a 25 man raid, several might not seem like a lot, but when you’re first trying to kill a boss it’s like trying to climb Mt. Everest.  Mechanics like this occur all the time in fights, yet it never hurts to make sure that what is supposed to be happening is actually happening. This tip can apply to any role, for any encounter, especially at critical moments. Even if things are running smoothly, it’s a good idea to check exactly what is happening during critical parts on an encounter.

Try a Crazy Idea

Remember the whisper you received from that “know-it-all” a few wipes ago suggesting an idea so crazy, there’s no way in a million years it would work? One of the best ways I have found to get past a “wall” on a boss is to do a complete 180 and actually try that crazy idea. While this may seem like a waste of time, in reality what you are doing is saving yourself time and minimizing wipe count in the future.

Here’s why it works: You have spent the last 2 hours smashing your head into a boss, maybe making extremely tiny steps forward, but for the most part wiping in the same spot. Players are tired and the overall mentality is that you can’t push any further without more gear, a new strategy, or some other thing your don’t actually need. Switch it up, do something crazy, radical, and so outside of the box it wakes everyone up. This IS going to result in more wipes, but it is completely worth it. After several pulls go back to your original strategy.

The crazy idea will have made things so much more difficult on your raid that your original strategy will now seem like child’s play. In my experience this often results in a significant push forward on a boss, if not a kill. The next time your group feels stuck during raid and you are completely out of ideas, give one of these a try.  They are tricks that I use often to give everyone that little shove back on track resulting in less time spent on bosses and more boss kills.

If you have other tricks that you use or if you try one of these and it works for you I would love to hear about it so let me know with a comment.  Good luck in your future raids!