Those of us who enjoy the raiding aspect of the game are always seeking to raise our games, step up our efforts and engage in other sports/corporate cliches. In short, we want to be the best raiders possible. However, raiding guides usually deal in rather obvious tips like "Stay out of fire" and "Always have a food/flask buff." Those might help, but if you really want to become a truly pro raider, you need the advanced secrets of raiding.
That's what this piece is about. How to squeeze out the extra throughput that average raiders simply don't attain. Read on.
Select The Right Music
The right music in the background will make or break you as a raider. Average raiders listen to the default encounter music within World of Warcraft or to nothing at all. The finest raiders in world ranked guilds select the proper pop/rock/hip-hop/electronica/R&B/soul music to push them to higher levels.
So what is the proper music? That's a trickier question, as it doesn't follow simple rules. This isn't something basic like gear itemization; this is complicated. It has to be a playlist that energizes you at the right times but provides some chill cooldown when you need to recover your intensity. Ultimately, this is a difficult one to spreadsheet, though I'm working on it*.
*Preliminary research is revealing that balearic dance-pop is likely the "primary sound" that will be the baseline against which all other genres will be weighted, for all classes
When Forced To Move, Jump While Moving
You move faster when jumping. This has been empirically proven*. Further, jumping when casting an instant spell supercharges it slightly (though it's a non-stacking buff, so don't jump multiple times before casting it). I think Elitist Jerks had a thread on this at some point. In any case, I've never seen anyone specifically deny this. If you have to get out of poison, jump while moving to your new position.
*"Empirically proven" means "it feels true."
I shouldn't need to explain this...the faster you move, the sooner you can start DPSing or healing again. And stronger spells are always nice*.
*There is a reason restoration druids always top the healing meters.
Mentally Tack On A "Loot Phase" To Every Boss
Beth'tilac has three phases. The phase which she spends her time atop her web, the phase in which she descends to attack the raid directly and the phase in which you collect the loot she drops. Rhyolith also has three phases. Etcetera. When discussing boss strategy, it's important to know that this is the phase you need to reach*.
*This also makes explaining the fight to new recruits much easier--just get to phase 3 (or whichever phase is the loot phase for a particular boss)
Bonus Patch 4.3 Exclusive Tip: Dress For Success
This is really not a tip you can put into effect right now, but it's worth discussing since you'll soon be able to address this issue. Currently, Blizzard has introduced an RNG obstacle in raiding--the negative effect of ugly raid gear. Some tiers the gear is decent in appearance, some tiers the gear looks designed by a bored monkey. You have no control over this and Blizzard intends for this to be an RNG effect...it's filed under "demoralization effect" (distinct from disorientation, fear and stun effects).
However, patch 4.3 will introduce transmogrification...an ability meant for prepared raiders to remove this randomness from encounters, much as tanks push crushing blows off the table. You'll be able to modify the look of any visible piece of equipment you wear to any other similarly-slotted piece of equipment that you own, with a few restrictions. This means that it is incumbent upon you to create a fashion style that will remove the demoralization effect any time that your raid gear looks terrible. If you don't do this, you cannot honestly claim to be giving your raid your best effort.