There are multiple ways of acessing group content, mostly centred around the "Dungeon Finder" icon on your microbar. This icon allows you to access (depending on your character level and gear level) normal and heroic 5 man dungeons, normal and heroic 3 man scenarios and 25 man "LFR" raids. You can find out what requirements are needed to access this content by clicking on the Dungeon Finder icon then selecting the required content. If it is not available, it will be greyed out and a tooltip will explain what you need to do in order to access that content.
Other than Scenarios, all other group content generally requires certain roles to be filled in order to successfully complete it. 5 man instances require 1 tank, 1 healer and 3 dps. Raid Finder requires a group of 2 tanks, 5 healers and 18 DPS. The DPS slots are usually the easiest to fill, as more people play those roles, so it is often much quicker to get into groups if you are either a healer or a tank (you can also speed up your access to an instance by queuing with a healer or a tank, but bear in mind that this usually means that the healer or tank in question has to wait much longer than normal to start).
You can alternatively access some group content simply by finding the entrance to the instance (dungeon) and walking through it. There are less restrictions for accessing some instances this way than through the Dungeon Finder.
Normal and Heroic mode Raids, and Challenge mode 5-man dungeons can only be accessed directly via the instance entrance.
In the Dungeon Finder, depending on your level, you will have a choice of selecting either a specific dungeon, a random normal dungeon or a random heroic dungeon. There are additional rewards to be gained from selecting a random dungeon. Higher rewards are given for random heroic instances than random normal ones, as heroic dungeons are harder.
For these you can be in a party with up to 4 other people prior to entering the queue. Obviously if you're in a party totalling 5 people, the party is valid (ie, comprised of one healer, one tank and 3 DPS), and everyone is able to access the selected content, then your "queue" time will be very short. Should you have less than a full group you will need to wait for the Dungeon Finder to match you with random players of the correct role to fill the remaining places.
Should you have a random player (or more) in your group, then you will gain a slight "buff" (indicated in your buff bar by an icon of dice). This is to compensate for the fact that you're less likely to know if you're all planning on using the same route, tactics, etc.
You can also access 5 man dungeons directly, by walking through the entrance. Prior to walking into the instance, the party leader is able to set the difficulty level of the dungeon to either Normal, Heroic or Mythic.
Mythic dungeons can only be accessed in this way. There is also the ability to do Mythic+ (M+) .. these are selected by walking into a Mythic difficulty dungeon and using a special item on the receptacle just inside the entrance. M+ have a number attached to their difficulty level .. so M+2, M+10, for example.
Scenarios require a group of 3 people to complete them.
For normal scenarios you can be in a party with up to 2 other people prior to entering the queue. Obviously if you're in a party totalling 3 people, all of whom are able to access the selected content, then your "queue" wait will be very short. Should you have less than a full group you will need to wait for the Dungeon Finder to match you with random players to fill the remaining places. There are no "role requirements" for scenarios, however, it is supposed to be clever enough to avoid matching, for example, three healers in a group.
For heroic scenarios you must have a group of three people prior to queuing. Heroic scenarios are tougher than normal scenarios and have the potential for a better quality reward.
Scenarios are generally "Mists of Pandaria" expansion content.
For Dungeon Finder Raids, you can queue with a group of up to 25 people, although most queue either solo or as a small group. Dungeon Finder Raids (also referred to as LFR) are tuned to be easier than Normal or Heroic versions of the same raid, but more involved and often longer than Heroic 5 man instances. LFR requires a group of 2 tanks, 5 healers and 18 DPS. The DPS slots are usually the easiest to fill, as more people play those roles, so it is often much quicker to get into LFR groups (or, indeed, any other Dungeon Finder group) if you are either a healer or a tank.
Here are some quick facts to remember about the Raid Finder:
- No lockouts. Participating in the Raid Finder will not lock you out from doing the raid on Normal, Heroic or Mythic with your guild or group.
- You only get to roll on loot once per boss per week, per difficulty level. You can fight bosses multiple times but are only eligible for loot on the first kill. The exception to this are "bonus rolls" ... if you have any "Seals" (or whatever the current expansion bonus roll currency is) you will see an additional box with the option to make a bonus roll. This does not guarantee gear, but gives you an additional chance to get some.
- Two tanks, five healers, 18 DPSers are needed for a Raid Finder raid.
- You can queue up in Raid Finder with your Real ID friends across servers.
It must be understood that a raid group is made up of up to 30 individuals. It takes a lot of time and effort from everyone involved in order to organise a raid group, to research the fights, to farm or buy the various buff foods, flasks and potions required. It costs a lot of gold on repair bills.
If you wish to join a raid group, you must be fully equiped and repaired, you should have all of your gear enchanted and gemmed up and you must have spent time researching the fights (both on this website and other places such as tankspot, wowhead, youtube, icyveins, etc). You must be able to move and react quickly both for expected and unexpected events during a boss fight. You MUST NOT stand in fire!
Basically, you must be able to run through an LFR successfully without taking any unnecessary damage, whilst being able to maintain a good performance.
Raiding is a substantial step up from running heroics and LFRs - if you cannot run a dungeon/LFR without causing or contributing to wipes, without being aware of your own status at all times, without being able to deal with Crowd Control (both being in charge of a crowd control target, and avoiding breaking any crowd control active), then you CANNOT raid.
Guild members are NOT required to raid with us, and therefore if you do wish to raid, you need to state your intention and be able to confirm (and prove) that you are able to fulfil the above requirements.
Please be aware that it is very unfair on all other raid members if you cannot do the above and yet still state you are able to attend a raid. It is much less costly for those other people, and yourself, if we simply cannot raid because of lack of numbers, than if we go with raiders who are inadequately prepared and then are unable to do anything but wipe. That wasted time, effort and gold could be better spent in other ways.
Primarily, we expect anyone signing for a raid to be honest both with themselves, and with us. If you sign up and are not prepared, we WILL find out, we will notice and you will be less likely to be invited back in the future, even if you do resolve any problems you had.
You must take note of any raid requirements, such as achievements required or a minimum ilevel, and ensure you fulfil those requirements.
The minimum gear requirements for raiding, and other relevant information, can be found in our forums.