Forming a Raid
Starting a raid is as easy as starting a group - inviting others to join your adventure. However, to expand your group into a raid you must first convert your group into a raid group. The option to convert to a raid can be found in the Raid panel of your Social tab. The maximum number of players that can fit into one raid is 40. However, raid dungeons have maximum raid size caps that vary by dungeon. For example, many raid dungeons in The Burning Crusade allow a maximum raid size of 25.
You can not complete objectives for a non-raid quest while in a raid. For example, a raid member does not receive credit for killing creatures or collecting items for non-raid quests. Special raid quests are the only quests that you can complete while in a raid group.
Defeating monsters while in a raid group grants substantially less experience than while in a normal group. However, enemies in raid dungeons also tend to yield significantly more experience per monster than normal monsters.
Raid Group Structure
A raid group shares a chat channel, experience, loot, instances, and raid quests. At the same time, the raid is subdivided into 5-person groups. You will always be assigned to one of these 5-man groups, initially by simply joining the raid which will automatically assign you to a group. After joining the raid, your raid leader may manually reassign and rearrange the groups at any time.
The subdivision has several effects on the members of the raid. Each group can communicate in their own party chat which is only viewable by that group. Only the members of your 5-man group will display on your minimap. In addition, and perhaps most important, many beneficial group spells and abilities used by a group member will only extend to that group. Common examples include a Paladin's auras, a Shaman's totems, and a Warlock's Blood Pact. These spells and effects must be considered by the raid leader and assistants when forming a well-balanced raid.
Raid Leaders and Assistants
A raid leader has special tools to assist in raid organization, structure, and communication. The raid leader can move people between groups at will, add or remove raid members, and use raid alerts and a special raid leader channel. Raid leaders can also promote assistants who have some of the same powers.
The position of raid leader is the person who started the raid by default. A new raid leader can be appointed if the current leader chooses to pass leadership. Raid leaders are indicated in the raid panel with a solid crown icon next to their name. Raid assistants have crown outlines next to their names.
Once you're in a raid group you can chat in the raid channel by typing /raid, followed by your text. Text that a raid leader sends to chat is displayed in a different color and has the [Raid Leader] label.
On the Raid tab of your Social panel, all the members of your raid are displayed by group. The user interface of this Raid panel has functionality that will allow any member to better keep track of the members of the raid.
Each class has a tab on the right side of this panel that will allow you to display all members of that class on your display. Simply click and drag the class icon anywhere on your screen. You can also drag an individual group's name out to place the members of that group on your screen. In either case, the pullaway window displays the health, mana and limited buffs and debuffs on each player in the window. You can also click on a player displayed in this way to target that player. You can then right-click on the class or group UI element to make some modifications to how the UI displays or to remove the UI element.
You can see the target of an individual raid member by right-clicking their pullout pane and and selecting the appropriate option. This makes it easy to see what one or many of your raid members have targeted. This is particularly useful for a main tank, to allow for focused fire on the main tank's target.
A Main tank and Main assist window have been added to the raid UI that can be pulled out into the gamefield. These windows automatically show the main tank/main assist's target by default.
Each class displays in a certain color of text in the raid panel. There's no significance to the colors beyond allowing that class to stand out against other class colors.
Raid Warning Channel
There is a raid warning chat channel available to raid leaders and assistants. Text that is sent to this channel will appear in the center of the screen for all players in the raid, and is accompanied by a sound effect. Text can be sent to this channel with the "/rw" shortcut. Raid warnings can be extremely helpful for coordinating a raid's actions, particularly during challenging boss encounters.
Ready Check Button
Raid leaders and assistants have a Ready Check button on their raid panel. This feature can also be activated by typing /readycheck from the chat line. A ready check sends an "Are you ready " dialogue to all members of the raid. The raid leader or assistant will get feedback on the members' responses.
In the same manner as when in a party, a raid leader/assistant can right-click the portrait of their target to select a symbol to associate with that target. All players in the raid will see the selected symbol over the head of the target as well as on the portrait of that target. Using symbols is another helpful way to coordinate a raid's actions by giving them visual cues as to which target to attack, which to crowd control, and so on.
Target of Target
Players can turn on the "Target of Target" feature in the Raid and Party section of the Interface Options menu. This feature shows the portrait and health of whatever your current target has targeted. You can then click on your target's target directly.
Raid Info and Raid IDs
Upon performing certain actions in raid instances, such as defeating a boss, every player in that instance is assigned a Raid ID. Every player in the raid will receive the same Raid ID for that instance, indicated by a message that you have been "saved to the instance." The /raidinfo command shows remaining time on saved raid instances, as well as their Raid IDs. Raid IDs reset according the that particular raid's normal reset schedule. Players also have a Raid Info button on their raid interface that shows all of the raid instances that a player is saved to in a window, rather than displaying it to the chat window.
When raid bosses send an important message to the center of your screen it will be larger and have an effect that makes it more noticeable.
Raid Calendar System
Instances reset at a certain server time, regardless of when you were actually saved to the instance. The schedule for the raids can be seen in our online Raid Calendar.
As the reset time approaches, if you are in the instance, you will be informed of the impending reset every hour on the hour. 15 minutes before the reset, the reminders become more frequent; once the reset time is reached, all players in the instance will be ported to their bind point. You can access your saved raid status at any time via /raidinfo, and you will be informed of your status regarding an instance when you zone into the dungeon.