7 Fun Activities to do on the Bench

6 PM rolls around which means it’s time to raid.

Potions? Check.

Buff food? Check.

Drinks? Ginger Ale for me, not sure what the rest of you go with.

You get the invite to raid and glance at your party frames before doing a double take. Your name isn’t anywhere in the first five groups. Guess what? You’re in the ever elusive group 6. Your WoW Instant Messenger springs to life with a message from the boss. Looks like they’re going for a new composition which means you need to take a seat on the bench for the first few encounters.

At this stage in the expansion, compositions vary wildly based on bosses, who needs what, and number of trial players (if any). It’s pretty darn dejecting to warm the seats. It’s not done out of malice or hate. Your guild has decided on that specific configuration to get them through that specific challenge (or if it’s a farm boss, it’s they need to grab someone specifically for loot or trial reasons).

Hey, your guild is counting on you, too!

Even I, thee Matticus, gets called upon to sit. On the evenings I do sit, I have a myriad of activities at my disposal.

  • Reading: It seems as if there’s not enough time for people to read as much as they want. Right now, I’m working on the third book in the Kane Chronicles (The Serpent’s Shadow). If not books, I’ll catch up on various blogs around the internet via Google Reader.
  • Gaming: I don’t think I’ll be get in a full League of Legends match, but I can squeeze in a game of Draw Something or Scramble with Friends on my iPhone. On the computer, I’ll pounce onto the guild Minecraft server (I’m working on a personal fortress but I need more cobblestone).
  • Alts: Great time to work on some questing or getting in some leveling time on an alt. Don’t have an alt? Great time to start one!
  • Watch a movie or a TV show: Netflix anyone? Been rewatching a few episodes of Family Guy (Be a banana!). If the raiding group needs me, they can just holler. Enough time for me to pause and switch back to the game.
  • Writing: So many post ideas and so many things to write, just not enough time to do it all! Great time for me to work on a post like what I do when I’m chilling on the side.
  • Raiding: Raid Finder on an alt? Working on my 5th Priest now.
  • Watching the livestream: The guild has several streamers now. I’ll usually have a monitor up to keep track of progress while doing one of the other activities above.

What if you need gear?

No problem! Send a tell to your raid leader letting them know that you’re really interested in coming in for a future attempt.

Here, let me write you a template. Use the terms appropriate to your guild’s atmosphere.

Dear [boss/captain/fearless leader/a**hole]

This is just a tell to let you know that I would really like to come in for the next boss. There’s an item that I want because it [upgrades an item/is off spec/is for transmog/makes my character look 5 pounds lighter than I actually am]. Could you find it in your [heart/soul/noggin’] to bring me in so that I might benefit from the spoils?


Your favourite [player/monkey/badass/<class> of all time]

Anyway, tell me about your bench experiences. You cool with watching from the side? What do you like to do or work on when you’re on the bench?

3 thoughts on “7 Fun Activities to do on the Bench”

  1. 5th priest, Matti? Srsly? (Someone had to comment on that, figured I’d get the ball rolling). <3

    I come here not to answer your question, but rather ask one of my own: Are healers more likely to be exempt from “the bench”? I joined my 25 man raiding guild as a healer and I have not sat once… I’ve been a main team raider from day 1 of my transfer. Not being cocky, just sayin’!! And yes we do have other healers, though they all just dps and only heal if we happen to be down a person. 
    For raids that do have “extra healers” on the side, not dpsing or tanking, do they get subbed often?? I ask because to me, the healing team is something that needs to be coordinated and well-connected. Everyone (if they want to be AMAZING) should be on the same page, and that means knowing how a person heals. Do they snipe heal and overheal? Do they hardly heal? Do they hit tanks or raid more? 
    Thanks for the fun articles, always a pleasure! 😀

  2. Benchwarming is easy as pie when you look at it as a necessary part of raiding.
    My wife and I used to lead a raiding guild in mid-Wrath, and there were times when she’d bench me.  This was twofold.  One, it showed that nobody is too good to be benched for the benefit of the group.  Two, it gave me an opportunity to help the guild in other ways.  Any time I was benched, I looked at that window of raid time as “guild-helping-time”.  Any herbs I farmed up during that three hour window were guild herbs.  I’d make flasks from those herbs, and they were guild flasks.
    After a while, other raiders in the guild started doing the same thing.  Miners spent time mining up ore, either for prospecting into gems for the guild or for smelting into bars in case anyone needed some piece of gear crafted.
    I think that if you look at being benched not as a “I can’t raid with my team” but as a “my team needs my highly specialized skillset elsewhere tonight”, you can have a lot more fun and still feel like you did stuff with your team.

  3. p.s. I like how another WoWinsider picked up pugnacious priest’s topic as well: http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/05/04/how-do-you-feel-about-warming-the-bench/


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