(Disclaimer: I’m not an uberleet raider in LotRO by any means, but I do run raids and I do know what you need to do to ensure some fun and success while raiding… even if I don’t have time to raid every other night right now.)
“All right, I’ve my radiance gear!. Where’s the raid?” /roar /charge
Whoa! Are you prepared?
“Yeah! I’m at the level cap? I have a radiance piece!”
Hmmmhow about a checklist, cowboy?
Do you have enough? Every raid has a different Radiance minimum (check the raid guides or walk-throughs to find out how much you need (it’s nice if you can come with more than the minimum). If you don’t make the radiance minimum, you’re making things harder for everyone else, and wasting your time.
Always join the raid with all your gear fully repaired. Fully. Repaired. I would suggest getting in the (simple) habit of always hitting “repair all” every single time you sell the stuff to a vendor.
“But that’s expensive…”
Raiding is expensive. There are ways to make repair cash. It doesn’t take long. Suck it up – everyone else does.
Virtues and Traits
How good are your stats? If you don’t know if they’re good enough for the roles you’ll be asked to fill in the raid, TALK TO SOMEONE. Find experienced players in your Kin who are all too willing to talk you to death about raiding requirements, to ask them what you need — more morale? more power? better regen?
Ask about your class trait builds as well — sometimes the best-ever soloing build is the worst-ever raiding build — don’t be resistant to trying something new for a new activity.
There are two main types of food you should always carry: buff food and regular food.
“But that other guy’s a cook; he brings enough for everyone.”
I suggest always carrying a full stack of “regular food” (meaning the kinds of food that dramatically increase your in- and out-of-combat power and morale regeneration) and Trail Food (which gives you big bonuses to one of your stat) for soloing, but double check before the raid to make sure you’ve got enough just in case you show up late or I get pulled in unexpectedly to help out after someone leaves.
“My wonderful kinmates will take care of me.”
Yeah, most will, sure. But what makes you so special that you rely on others to do the small things for you? It isn’t a question of whether it’s easy enough for them to do – the question is consideration for others and being prepared. Maybe you won’t need to use the food, but at least you’ll have it.
This goes double for buffing food. I usually bring two or three different types for different fights; it’s up to you to know what you need.
Resistance food (soups)
Soups are (fairly) new additions to the game, so some folks aren’t in the habit of bringing them. Do your research on the raid and find out if they’re recommended – some raids use such varied damage types that soups are seen as worthwhile use of bag space – other’s are very uniform and a specific soup type is highly recommended. Research. Find out.
Everyone should have a full stack of Morale, Power, Wound, Fear, Poison, and Disease Potions, regardless of what class you are. Period. Full stop.
The current highest potency potions are freely and cheaply available from the “Friend” Malledhrim rep vendor in Mirkwood. Keep in stock.
This is one often gets forgotten. Warding and Battle scrolls of the appropriate tier can tip the balance of a fight in your group’s favor. Yes, only one person NEEDS to have scrolls for their group, but what kind of person puts all that responsibility on one person? Find a scholar in your kin and pay for some scrolls (if they’ll take the money) or buy them on AH, but get a stack of both kinds.
Like Radiance Gear (grumble), Hope Tokens are absolutely mandatory for Raiding, and their cooldowns mean that when we’re hitting the same boss multiple times to learn the fight, the same person can’t always use a token to protect their group. That means everyone should have at least two hope tokens with them – I’d suggest keeping a stack of five +5 tokens on you all the time. (I have four stacks, but I’m a Tinker.) Make friends with a Tinker in your kin, or get thee to the Auction House.
Legendary Item Relics
The LI Relic system is a fickle mistress – you can’t always get the best relics for your items, but that doesn’t mean you ignore them – work with what you have. If you’re not sure about the best thing to slot, ask someone in your kin.
Other class-specific items
Loremaster pipeweed, a threat-down instrument for minstrels (and probably a power-cost reduction harp for long fights), runekeeper etchings, champs horns, warden and guardian shield spikes ((hey, I forget spikes ALLLLL the time)) – don’t forget the stuff you need to get your job done.
So Why All This Stuff?
Raid Leaders may not compliment you on always being ready, but we notice. And we talk about it. We especially notice it when someone else isn’t prepared. You’ll get no visible credit, but if you want to be remembered as a good player to have on a raid, being prepared is the first step.