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A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Raid Etiquette

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

    [Guild] [Raid Leader]: Invites coming in 10 seconds to all level 80s. Please leave your groups.
    [Guild] [Raid Member]: one sec almost at last boss need 5 minutes

How often have you seen this?

Etiquette is defined as “the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life” by Merriam-Webster.

Let’s define raid etiquette as “the conduct or procedure required by the raiding guild to be observed in raids.”

If you’re new to raiding you may have never thought about there being any kind of raid etiquette, but there is. Each guild handles it differently; some are laid back while others are stringent. But if you happen to follow these guidelines you will do well in any raiding guild.

Sign Up For Raids

Different guilds have different requirements for getting invited to raids. Most guilds have some sort of signup so they can plan ahead. These can be found either on website calendars, in-game calendars, or just by logging on at the right time. Make sure you follow whatever guild procedure is set in place.

Read Strategies & Watch Videos

You should always read boss strategies and watch videos before raids until you are familiar with the fights yourself. Some raiders feel it is unnecessary because someone can always explain the fight. Explaining the fight and seeing the fight are entirely different. It isn’t that you can’t succeed by having it explained to you, but the explanations make a lot more sense when you’ve at least seen it once.

Websites like TankSpot and BossKillers are great places to find strategies. Tankspot has several well done videos.

Be Prepared

I’ve already talked about this, but remember to have all your necessary raid items purchased and in your bags before the invites go out. Also remember to have your armor fully repaired. Have alternate gear in your bags and ready in case you have to switch up on different boss fights.

Buy anything you need ahead of time and not at the time of invites. Having to track down repairs, go to the AH, or run to your bank “really quick” takes longer than you think.

I recently read somewhere and unfortunately I cannot remember where, but some people even have “raiding bags”. They keep a bag with an appropriate amount of buffs, reagents, off spec gear, etc. in a particular bag in their bank and switch it out right before invites. This isn’t something I’ve done in the past, but something I’ll be doing in the future.

Plan Ahead

In the example above, someone is in an instance trying to finish up when raid invites are going out. A few guilds may be OK with this, but most I know are not. If you want to go to a raid, you need to plan ahead and make sure that you are not tied up with something when invites come out. The best rule of thumb is if you can’t finish up with what you’re doing 15 minutes before invite, don’t do it.

Wait At Stone

avebury-diamond-stone-lThere will always be people who need summons to the stone and the first couple of people there should immediately begin summoning. It is good policy to make sure that you are already at the stone at the time of invite. Do not wait for summons! First, it will impress the raid leaders that you are always ready. Second, you help get the raid going by doing the summoning.

Pay Attention

Nothing is more frustrating to a raid leader than someone who doesn’t pay attention. When raid leaders speak you must listen. An example of this is the Grand Widow Faerlina fight in Naxx. It seems that every time this fight is explained to new dps, at least one of those dps will kill the adds early because they didn’t hear they weren’t supposed to.

Pay attention! Don’t be the person that has to have something explained to them twice. If you didn’t understand the first time, ask for further clarification quickly.

Keep Your Trap Shut

Zip it!


There’s a time and a place for screwing around in a raid. Depending on your guild joking around, goofing off, etc. during trash pulls or between pulls may be perfectly acceptable. Speaking up on vent may also. But most raiding guilds I know of tell you to “keep your trap shut” unless you are an officer, raid leader, or have been directly addressed by said officers or raider leaders.

This isn’t because those people like to hear themselves talk, although some do, it’s because we need the channels clear to give orders as things progress. Hard to tell someone to get out of the fire, cast a battle-rez, pick up the mob that got away, or switch dps targets when people are chattering away.

If you are allowed to talk or type in raid chat, keep your comments and talk about the raid. There should be no talking about how you need to get a new video card, which is the best, and how much they cost. Those are topics for other times. Raiding time is for raiding, not socializing.


The dreaded AFK. My personal pet peeve. There’s a time and a place for AFKs and it’s not during raids.

If a raiding session goes on long, the raid leader will call for periodic bio breaks. If a raid leader hasn’t called a break, then don’t go AFK.

There are times when you will have to go AFK; someone’s at the door, phone calls, one child cracked another upside the head with a lightsaber, wife aggro, and the house is on fire are all legitimate reasons to go AFK. But there is an etiquette to AFK as well.

First, when announcing you need to go AFK, give a reason. I’m not asking for your personal history or disgusting details like “I have explosive diarrhea”. I just need a legitimate reason for why you’re going. No reason at all makes it difficult to predict when you’ll be back.

Second, when announcing you need to go AFK, give a realistic time frame. For your information, “brb” is not a time frame! “One sec” is not a time frame! Give a realistic amount of time. It’s amazing how many “brb”s turn into 20 minute AFKs.

Third, you need to understand that if you are going to go AFK longer than 5 minutes, you absolutely must let the raid know so they can decide whether to replace you. Flasks, elixirs, food buffs, and other buffs are burning! You’re wasting valuable time and it isn’t just 5 minutes. It’s 5 minutes multiplied by the number of people in raid!!! Don’t be surprised or upset if you’re replaced or they killed the boss without you.

Common Sense


Bottom line, if you think it wastes your time, don’t do that to others. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Use your common sense and if you don’t have any find someone that does and have him or her tell you what to do. 😉