Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fraps isn't all fun and games..

Hey everyone, I know my posts are not as consistant as they could be, but I am still here. I've been pretty busy with the guild stuff lately, as we are beginning T6 content now, and its pretty excited. Recruiting, studying bossfights, and keeping the morale of the guild up has been using a lot of my free 'blogging' time.

I wanted to do a quick post about Fraps, and how it can be useful to you, the Raid Leader, or even you, the general guildy.

Fraps is a software package that you can use to record your in-game antics. It is relatively cheap, and the return on this is huge.... at least if you are like me.

Let's back up for a minute here.

I am a Co-Raid Leader for my guild and that makes it my job to be more prepared than anyone else in the guild for a new Boss event. So I've developed a Boss studying strategy (wow, that's deep, a strat for strats), that has proven to be very useful in me gaining the understanding I need for a particular fight.

Below is an outline of the steps I take when I am prepping for one of these occasions.

Step 1:

I always start with youtube. I look up "How to BossXYZ" I pick one that looks like it has text clues inside of it, and I watch it a couple times. I pause on all the text, and make sure I take in what it says. I look for things that stand out, in regards to positioning, the perspective of the videotaker (tank/dps/healer), and make an effort to pick up on visual queues from the described abilities.

Step 2:

I Then venture over to bosskillers and preview their strat there, and read about all the abilities.

I try and then do what I can to recall what I saw in regards to each one, and lay the groundwork for the more technical put-the-raid-to-sleep aspects if the fight, in my brain. I observe the diagrams and ponder about how it will fit my raid, or how it will involve a heavy melee raid, or a heavy ranged raid.

Step 3:

I go back to the video I watched again.

This sort of connects the fight entirely in my brain. When I come back to the video it is with a very solid base, and I feel like I truely get a good grasp on what is going on, and put the icing on my in-brain strategy.

Usually that was the last step for me. Back before TK, that usually was enough, since we were overgeared from badge loot, and could power through a lot of mistakes.

Tangent: An example being that one time on Tidewalker our top DPS warlock was going to pull with a Curse of Doom (He used to be our main tank), and called out for a Blessing of Protection from our Pally healer. The Pally was used to him being the MT and mistakenly BoP'ed our tank when Tidewalker was at 3%. We were able to knock out that 3% fast enough that he didn't wipe our entire ride, but wow..That was a funny night!

Step 4:

This one I have added to my arsenal recently. I use the delightful tool of Fraps to record each First Boss Attempt. I then find myself like an old college basketball coach in a film room, scouring the footage I have, to see if there was something I missed, or what we could do better in terms of positioning and so forth.

In the end I have found it an incredibly useful tool for me, and would highly recommend it, if you are struggling on how to better rework strats, or if you are simply looking for another safety layer with leading your raids, or performing on your guild's raids.

Plus as a bonus, if you have the time to throw together a cool rendition of the movie for your guild, they will love you for it!