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What should I bring to a raid?

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A raid is a major adventure for up to 12 players that requires all players to have more preparation to join, much less contribute and survive it.

Raids are a major part of endgame content in DDO. Many veteran players spend most of their time doing raids as these quests generally drop some of the best loot and require the highest level of skill to complete. Sooner or later, most people will want to take part in these challenging quests. This article is aimed at new players that wonder if they are ready for a raid and how they should prepare taking part.

So, what should you bring to a raid, whether you lead it or join a group?

Spoiler Warning: Information below this point can be considered spoiler material!

Bring a Flagged Character[edit]

Most raids in DDO require the player character to complete prerequisite quests--that is, to be flagged before you may enter a specific raid. The Chronoscope and Tempest's Spine are raids that don't require flagging. Your character must meet the level minimums as well to gain experience points. In addition to a flagging requirement, some raids may require gathering of ingredients or collectibles as "keys," in a sense, that also qualify you to enter a raid.

Bring Friends[edit]

You can try completing a raid alone. It can be done, but often only when a character's level is much higher than the raid's difficulty level and the character uses Epic Destinies for greater power. Even then, a solo attempt on even Normal difficulty on raids of Level 17 and greater is very risky. (See the Achievements forum for some success stories.)

Most players will likely need class-specific talents that are very unlikely to be available at the difficulty class needed in the raid for any single character class. It is highly inadvisable to enter most raids without at least one (non-multiclassed) Cleric, Rogue or Artificer, Wizard or Sorcerer, and Fighter or other melee-class.

Bring Your Eyes and Ears[edit]

Experienced raid leaders are players that have completed the raid before (often several times) and know the challenges, prerequisites and dangers ahead.

Raid leaders often uses voice chat to quickly communicate what's needed of party members. Raids are fast-moving and complicated adventures where typing out instructions is usually highly impractical and perilous. It's a very good idea to activate voice chat in your game options, even if you haven't a microphone yourself, so you can hear the raid leader's instructions.

Good raid leaders will bring you to fortune and glory if you follow their instructions. A zerging or inattentive party member may not only get themselves killed but get the entire party killed or otherwise cause the quest to fail. Don't be a Leeroy Jenkins.

The harder a raid's difficulty, the more likely that a "pick-up group" (a party filled with players who have little to no history in questing together) will fail in the quest, as some players may "fib" about their own experience or character strength needed to aid the party successfully.

Guilds often help in organizing raid parties for greater effectiveness.

If you are somehow unable to use sound to hear the raid leader, pay attention to Party Chat for instructions. Typing during a raid is extremely problematic, and getting answers while in combat is nearly impossible. If you can't hear the game, study up on the raid before you enter to minimize questions.

It's also just as important to watch what's going on as to hear it. Watch and follow the leader, not just in destination but in delegation. Raid leader(s) may break the group up into parties that kite or hold down critical raid bosses or tend to special items necessary to proceed. Many raids are arena-like (a small fighting area) but others may require you to move quickly to the next destination, where getting lost or locked out from the party is quite possible (such as "Caught in the Web"). Raids often have great graphics, but these are no places to sightsee. Grab a screenshot and get back to work.

See the Fighting in groups article for more tips on how to best help in a party.

Bring Your Own Healing[edit]

While experienced raid leaders often invite Clerics and other healing classes, it's very rude of other players to assume that they needn't bring healing potions, scrolls or adjust their own spells to heal themselves. (You can't bring hirelings to help in raid instances.)

Be sure to bring sufficient potions or spells to help yourself (or others out) in the likely event that the Clerics are busy keeping the tanking fighters alive or reviving characters who have died. Remember that Clerics have to pay for healing wands and resources, just as you do.

A popular Epic Destiny ability, Rejuvenation Cocoon, is a relatively easy to train low-tier ability that many people should consider when on Epic raids for quick battle healing.

Bring Effective Weapons[edit]

Enemies in a raid are not affected by Dungeon Scaling but are generally much stronger and tougher than a similar enemy in a normal quest. That said, you must bring your best game.

Before joining a raid:

  • Study the raid's information here on DDO Wiki or other sources
  • Know what weapons you must have to break the Damage Reduction of the foe
  • Bring the weapons with you to the raid

Some raid bosses can't be defeated at all until you bypass their virtual invulnerability to damage through mechanisms in the game. Sor'jek Incanni, the boss of the Tempest's Spine raid, can't be damaged until you disable his weather-control powers. Xy'zzy, the boss of the Hound of Xoriat raid, can't be damaged at all until you trick its spawns to attack for you.

Bring Effective Protection[edit]

Raids easily test how truly fortified your character is against the elements, enemies or critical damage. Have gear that meets these minimal needs if you plan to survive long. Make yourself as self-sufficient as possible. Do not presume others will assist you right away. Other party members may need to separate to complete an objective or concentrate attacks or healing on specific party members. You'll need to keep yourself alive long enough until help can arrive in many sections of a raid.

  • Ship Buffs. Prepare before you enter a raid. Ask for a ship invite if you're not in a high level guild.
  • Resist Energy. Always have resistance 30 against any energy type you can possibly encounter in a raid. If you are not sure, get all 5. If you don't have these as ship buff, use a spell, a wand or a potion. If you can't, ask for them. They will not be handed out by default because many players expect others to have access to guild ship buffs, so do ask for them.
  • Fortification. By the time you're raiding beyond level 10 you should be immune to critical hits relative to the raid level. Always enter a raid wearing an item that gives you 100% Fortification in Heroic raids. For Epic raids such as Caught in the Web, you need fortification equal to the CR of a typical enemy + 100. That is, if you encounter a CR 27 enemy and have only 125% fortification, you WILL be susceptible to critical hits. In addition to items or class abilities, the Unyielding Sentinel Epic Destiny offers a tier 1 ability with up to 40% stacking fortification.
  • Hit Points. Surviving more than one hit is critical. Look for a Constitution item. Many raid bosses have hundreds of thousands of hit points and can deal single-blow damage in the hundreds. No matter what your class, get your hit points to at least 300 HP by level 16.
  • Remove Curse Pots. In some raids (such as A Vision of Destruction) you might get a healing curse that prohibits you from being healed by any spell or potion. Be prepared to remove that curse by yourself, the healer will be healing and won't have time to do so.
  • Protection against poisons and disease. In some raids (such as The Shroud) the boss does attacks which poison and disease you. Bring a Proof Against Disease item and either a Proof Against Poison item or Neutralize Poison potion/clickie/spell. Classes with natural immunities are often NOT immune to supernatural or magical poisons or disease, so prepare yourself as other classes must do.
  • Evasive Miss chance abilities may also save you from damage: If your class has abilities to improve you or your party's Dodge bonus, Reflex saves or Concealment, please offer these buffs out. If you have a Ghostly item or effect, wear or use it. Damage-per-second gear matters less if you take too many hits in the process of trying to kill something else.
  • A Deathblock item. The nastiest raids often have spell casters, Beholders or Thaarak Hounds that use instant death spells immediately. While casters in your party may provide mass Death Ward spells, such spells can be debuffed from you. A Deathblock item gives you a fighting chance to survive such encounters of these fundamental death effects and saves the party precious resources used in resurrecting you.

Bring a Clue[edit]

It pays to use DDO wiki or other resources to study the quest and know its basics before you join it.

A list of raids can be found here.

While in the raid:

  • Items and objects in the raid: In some raids there are quest items that will determine the raid's success or failure. As a rule of thumb, do not pick up any shards, runes or equipment, do not activate altars or speak to NPCs, and do NOT use any runes, levers, switches or altars if you don't know what they do.
  • Know your role: If it looks like a big fight is coming up and you're unsure of what to do - ask!
  • Know your limitations: If you don't know the raid, don't know the raid boss and don't know what will happen, it is usually a bad idea to start tanking the boss or running off by yourself. Ask when the next shrine is coming up, where you should go or if you should do something special. Likewise, if you don't have the minimal equipment, stats, spells or weapons for a raid (even if flagged), please don't join the raid until you have these available--your lack of resources will tax others in the party.
  • No summoning: Never summon creatures in a raid without explicit permission from the raid leader. Summons can bug out parts of raids, wreck careful aggro-management, or destroy optionals, causing people to lose their loot. Nobody likes this.
  • Know what AoE spells to cast and when not to do so: Many raids require crowd control. However, casters should ask how many of these area-of-effect spells are safe to use without causing lag or changes in aggro management that could be fatal to the party or objective. In Part 2 of Tower of Despair, it is critical that no AoE spells are used except by a party member that often lures away deadly shadow demons that cast cold attacks that will annihilate the party if the monster's aggro shifts to the party. This includes certain melee attacks such as the Grandmaster of Flowers's Orchid Blossom.
  • Know about special raid features: Hirelings cannot be summoned in raids, and Spirit Cakes cannot be used to return dead characters to life. Higher-level raids (The Reaver's Fate, The Shroud, Accursed Ascension, Tower of Despair, Temple of the Deathwyrm, Fire on Thunder Peak) also have mechanisms in place that prevent late-joiners from entering the raid once the raid is started. Triggering the raid before everyone is ready can force a restart and will be sure to annoy people.
  • Death penalty: Some raids feature additional penalties when someone dies. Parts of The Shroud, The Reaver's Fate and Tower of Despair contain "prisons" where soulstones are transferred on death, making it impossible to raise the person during a fight. Some bosses, such as the Tower of Despair's boss, Horoth, regain HP each time a player falls. Higher-level raids will cause a special debuff that blocks attempts to resurrect you for a given time. Do not die.

Are you SURE you're raid ready?[edit]

See the article, Help! Am I Raid Ready for specific flagging, level, tactical and weapon needs for all raids (and a couple of raid-type end-quests).

External links[edit]