If you’re looking for a strategy guide on how to perform better in raids, this is not it. What I’m writing here are the lessons I’ve learned from participating in the Nya raid with the Strawberry group. Until I joined the group and started doing the Nya raid every Sunday, I was not really someone who did raids. I might’ve done old raids occasionally for some reason or another but I don’t think I’ve ever done a LFR. I have enough issues with dungeon PUGs, and raids are a whole other level of player challenges, expectations, and judgments.
All I knew of raids before joining the Strawberry group was that they seemed more for “hardcore” players and that they took a very long time to complete. I’d see social media posts about groups planning raids for late nights, IE anything past 8 PM in my book. I just couldn’t commit several hours in one evening because even if it was a night I didn’t have my daughters, I knew I’d be too tired and want to go to bed. Therefore, I am eternally grateful that the Strawberry group runs Nya on Sunday afternoons and that they’re a very easy-going and fun group.
The lessons I’ve learned from raiding are that there’s more to it for me personally than showing up with a character that can do damage. Considering that my dps isn’t much of a contribution no matter who I play (especially since I’m not alive for long with most bosses), I wanted to bring more to the table. Other players were bringing food and potions or buffs that their class offered and I was just there with my dps and peculiar sense of humor. By nature, I’m someone who wants to be helpful and so I looked into ways of accomplishing that for raids.
The first bit of help I tried was leveling up my hunter’s engineering so she could make a repair bot. It wasn’t a super advanced, current content, repair object, but it fixed things, and I figured that was good. The bot came in handy a couple times and I felt like I’d achieved something. My next thought on being helpful in raid was maybe learning how to tank on my belf pally, but after seeing everything involved with tanking and the timing and coordination required, I knew that was beyond me.
I thought my belf demon hunter Srilari might get better dps and therefore be more helpful in raid but up-close fighting in raid just doesn’t seem to be a good fit for me. So then I switched to my warlock Salxi because I’d seen how handy it was having healthstones and the summoning ritual to bring other players to where the raid party was. Plus, on Salxi I can dot things while running and I don’t even have to be facing the enemy. I like that I can run around like a crazy person avoiding all the bad stuff and still do some damage. Salxi’s soulstones last beyond her dying and are helpful to the tanks, so my warlock definitely won with the helpful points.
But I still wanted to do more and so I looked into what was required to make those handy cauldrons and feasts other players brought. Let me tell you right now, it takes a lot! I have newfound respect and appreciation for the players who put in the time and effort to bring such helpful items to raid. The biggest lesson I learned there is how vital it is to keep professions up to date rather than trying to play catch up. Salxi has herbalism and alchemy but I hadn’t done much with her professions in BfA. As I needed to get alchemy leveled pretty high to make even a baby cauldron, I got to work doing so. What I learned by doing that is that anchor weed is a complete bear to farm and quite expensive to buy in the auction house due to the farming challenges. Fortunately, with alchemy I can convert other herbs to anchor weed but that has a daily cool down which can cause a time crunch.
Thinking better gear might help me in raid, I looked into ways to getting higher level gear on my characters and it seems to require LFR, or pvp, or mythic dungeons, all of which are a challenge for me. I’m a solo player most of the time, most of my toons are in my private guild, and my lack of skills would likely get me booted from an LFR or mythic dungeon pretty fast, if I even managed to get into one. And pvp? Yeah, that’s not going to happen.
I just learned about this stuff called Titan Residuum that can be used to purchase better gear and it does seem attainable through Island Expedition weekly quests, which are something I stopped doing long ago. It takes an awful lot of the residuum stuff to get the upgrades I need at this point so that’s probably not viable either. But if I’d realized it existed sooner, it might be a different story. I’ll take whatever gear upgrades I get from raid, emissaries, and weekly assaults but I don’t see my item level going much higher than the 450s.
I haven’t had time to level up cooking, but I made good use of my demon hunter Srilari to gather ingredients that other players can use to prepare feasts. As much as I wish I could do it all and be a well-rounded, complete player, there’s only so many hours I can spend on Warcraft. I figure whatever I can contribute is better than nothing and as always, I do the best I can.
So I guess the most important lessons I’ve learned from raiding with the Strawberry group is that raiding is best when it’s done with a fun group, it’s wise to keep your professions up, pay attention to all those funky new ways Blizz comes out with to upgrade gear, and don’t be afraid to experiment with classes until you find the right one for you for raid. With the right group of people, even the little things are more than enough.