The Gray Place

Still figuring it out.

Posted in Raid Leading, WoW by mrfenris on March 21, 2010

I am a member of a casual (too casual sometimes I think) 10 man Horde guild.  We currently are 6/12 in ICC and have finished everything else with the exception of Yogg.  We raid twice a week and we don’t bench anyone that sucks.  Yes even when that person sucks soooo bad that they cause us to stall out.

There is a certain romantic/martyr/underdog aspect to finishing content with scrubby players.  We’ve often fall back on yesterdays where “we did Plague Wing with 8 people!” or “there’s no way we should have killed Gluth by tanking the adds!”.  You know those scrubby players you first pick up when you’ve gotten that dumbass idea to start your own guild just to get some members?  Yeah we still have them.  We are as loyal as we are scrubby.

You probably think I am a jerk at this point for bad mouthing my guild members.  But that’s your mistake.  I’m not bad mouthing them.  We all know were scrubs.  It’s why we laugh when someone spins a dragon around while tanking (Dragon Roulette).  It’s why we try and kill Hunter and Warlock pets by making them stand in environmentals.  It’s why when your tanking and your kid wakes up, comes into your office, says “Dad I don’t feel good…”, then promptly pukes in the doorway they don’t get mad when you wipe the raid.  True story.  My kid.

Of course there are times when you lose sight of that.  It’s especially easiest on those “bad” raid nights.  The nights where healers forget to heal themselves, people stand in the stuff they got told not to stand in, or players are talking in guild chat when they are supposed to be raiding.

I am still learning how to raid lead.  Oh don’t get me wrong, I think I have a certain style.  It draws from my days as a hockey player and my own special parenting style.  It’s a combination of growling, tough love, shunning, hand holding, and sometimes almost a teary eyed confession.  I don’t claim to be a fantastic parent or raid leader.  In fact today I plan on taking my kids to the store to buy them something because I feel guilty I yelled at my son this morning.  (Secret:  That’s how you say “I love you” in my family.  Material things.)

It’s a combination of telling someone to “PUT HIM ON HIS ASS” and the cold eye of Dad saying “Screwed the pooch didn’t you?” when your kids fall and hurt themselves.  (Secret:  I hug my daughter more.  Yes I’m sexist.  I treat her differently then my son.  Although I will teach her how to box, fight someone with a knife, etc.  She is my baby.)

Raid leading in a casual guild is HARDER then it is in a hardcore guild in my opinion.  You have to try and make up for other people’s flaws.  Does this guy suck at adds?  Then put him somewhere else.  Does this girl suck at switching targets?  Then put her on the boss.  You can’t scream and shout and tell them to get their shit together or they will be replaced.  Not only is that against the guild focus, you really don’t have anyone to replace them with.

Instead I try the factual approach…

“If we can’t keep the tank up through the third inhale, we can’t finish this.”

“If you stand in front of the mob you WILL get cleaved and we are not wasting our Battle Res on you.”

“We need more DPS or we have no hope of killing him before he enrages.”

Most days it works.  Somedays nothing works.  In fact sometimes I let them know I’m AFK.  I walk calmly out to my kitchen, look out the window, and take a deep breath, before heading back.  This lets me avoid screaming…

“You fucking idiots, the same shit happens every single time.  There’s fire on the ground, you die when you stand in it, why the fuck can’t you figure out you need to MOVE when it’s under you!?!?!  You stupid keyboard turning assholes can’t watch anything but your rotations because your have to click everything like a noob.”

Then I can walk back into the office. Sit down and prepare to handhold/scold (but nicely)/adapt our raiders to get around the encounter.  I have heard raid leading compared “herding cats” or “herding five year olds” (my kids listen better actually).  There are days when raid leading is like that.  Sometimes it’s getting together 10 friends to go play a video game.  Other day’s there’s very little effort and they perform like spec-ops soldiers.

And of course there are those days where it’s like leading 9 stupid-ass-motherfuckers who try and sabotage your efforts every step of the way.

I like my guild.  Most days I even love them.

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