HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Too Many Cooks

1 Raid Leader, 3 Officers and 20 players who think they could do a better job.

1 Raid Leader, 3 Officers and 20 players who think they could do a better job. And me.

My guild’s 25 man raids are starting to suffer from a case of “too many cooks spoil the broth”. After every single wipe – on bosses we’ve been working on for weeks, or bosses we’ve been working on for just one night – vent explodes with heated debate and suggestions. We stand, all buffed and ready to pull again, while we argue amongst ourselves.

It seems every single raid member knows what our problem is, and their suggestion is guaranteed to bring success, if only we would do what they say!

Obviously many of these suggestions are worthy of consideration. And it’s great that raiders are so invested in the success of our raids. But the players offering suggestions always sound so angry. Even if they start out with a smile in their voice, they rarely end that way if there’s the least bit of disagreement. They’re quick to point the finger and play the blame game. And they always end up sounding like their teeth are clenched behind the microphone. The underlying message is simple “I know this fight better than anyone else here and you’re all so stupid, and so blind that you can’t see what I see”.

When there is an absence of good leadership players will step up and try to lead – that’s true. In our very casual BC guild we mucked along – a group of inexperienced raiders with a raw and inexperienced, but respected, teenager as our Raid Leader. But make no mistake, we treated raid time and decisions more like a democracy than a dictatorship. We got mad when people totally messed up, or seemed unable to handle the most simple, and most important, of responsibilities (this one time, someone decided to assign cube clicking to classes most suitable for the job instead of the players who were most capable – what a nightmare). We talked over the top of one another and tried to modify the strategy and compensate for the, er, less skilled members of the group. But it was done in a pretty positive manner.

The thing is – we have a Raid Leader. A very, very good Raid Leader. He knows more about how our raid is performing than you think. Just because he doesn’t spend the entire wipe recovery time talking on Vent doesn’t mean he’s not totally across the strategy and what was done wrong in the previous attempt.

While you’re arguing about who should be standing where for Phase 3, he’s concerned about a more pressing concern – like getting through Phase 2 without relying on brez.

How did we get to this point? I think it might be a combination of a few things. We have some very long-term raiders who are used to leading their own 10 man raids. And I don’t believe these players trust our raid leader, who took up the position only about 1 month ago. They have 10 man experience on fights that we’ve yet to face in 25s. Perhaps they feel that they have already done it all and know it all.

We also have quite a lot of girls in the raid. Which is awesome, don’t get me wrong. But we’re also all very opinionated… and not afraid to speak our minds on Vent. We can be too talkative.

And finally, two thirds of our raid team are new – having joined the guild after we left Trial of the Crusader. All these new guild members? They’re following the example set by the long-term raiders.

So you know what? I’m not going to be part of the problem – even when I vehemently disagree with a suggestion made on Vent. I’m not going to argue when a healer or a melee DPS tries to tell me what is/isn’t easier for the ranged DPS. I’m going to bite my tongue and save the argument for a quieter time. When I raid I’m only going to talk if I need a specific answer from someone more knowledgeable than I.

What’s my Shackle target?

If I need to tell/notify the raid mid-fight, I’ll announce that over Vent too

Drof has Fear Ward

If I want to be social, I’ll type in chat. If people don’t read it – that’s cool. And if I have a suggestion or think something is faulty with our strategy? I’m going to put my ideas in writing and post them on the guild forums. Maybe only 5 people will ever read it – but if one of those is my Raid Leader that’s all that matters.

Sure, we might spend 3 hours wiping unnecessarily. But it’s unlikely that a single suggestion from me can prevent a night of wiping on progression content.

You’ll find me standing (I think I favor the right front corner, by the way) at the back in my sissy robe ™, casting my spells, playing with glyphs and attempting to drop Mind Blast out of my rotation altogether. I might end up doing the exact same thing over and over again – 50 times I did Professor Putricide pretty much exactly the same – while the raid experiments and wipes around me. And if we need to do another 50 attempts on Blood Queen while we change the bite order, learn not to out-threat the tanks at the start, or a healer decides to snipe my spot, that’s fine.

Just wait a moment while I got put some music on, cast my spells, be patient and show our Raid Leader a bit of respect.

ps. I wrote this post mid-raid. Apologies for being last to answer “yes” to all the ready checks tonight!

11 Responses to “Too Many Cooks”

  1. BalokNo Gravatar says

    In my experience as soon as people start blaming individuals or specific groups things can turn a bit aggressive and nasty. I always try and cut that in the bud as ultimately it doesn’t help. Frankly I’d generally wipe in a good atmosphere than succeed in a bitchy one.

  2. Sounds like you need to chime in with one statement.

    “The raid leader has my full support and I will do as instructed by him/her”*

    * As long as I can go right…

    A clear statement, and hopefully one that sets an example the newer raid members and “alternate raid leaders” can follow.
    .-= Gnomeaggedon’s last blog … Bye Jong! =-.

  3. PS: Even if you don’t agree with the instruction.

    The “Cass go left” instruction might not sit right with you but is your raid leader is good, they will have already heard and incorporated the suggested changes that fit best.

    I can’t count the number of times went have spent swapping strats only to have one more go at Plan A (with everyone on board) only to finally succeed.
    .-= Gnomeaggedon’s last blog … Bye Jong! =-.

  4. ClickityclopNo Gravatar says

    I have to agree Cass, but after I decided to shut up I also found it a lot harder to even listen to vent any more because they were arguing about the same points over and over. In the end I just gave up trying to listen, and also gave up dpsing in p2, since anywhere in range of boss meant someone would run towards me, imo not dying is still better dps than stopping dps for one phase. I was sad I had to give up my favourite position near the from because someonw thought it’d be a good idea to get all the ranged to run completely across the room tho the stairs :( .

  5. VokNo Gravatar says

    It’s a fine line, being open and receptive to your raiders and getting the job done. I find people often try to reinvent the wheel, when all you need to do is keep doing what your doing, only better.

    There is no real answer to the problem that I can see. Telling them to all just zip it means you’ll never get another good idea, going with everything every raider suggests means never killing anything.

    Rock Hard place
    .-= Vok’s last blog … Stupid Things =-.

  6. maxNo Gravatar says

    It seems from your post that you have a bigger issue than just a lot of people talking on vent, and that is that some of your raid members don’t trust the raid leader. For most people that issue is simply solved by time, but if you have raid members who are raid leaders themselves in other raids, the wait and see approach may not be enough.

    The positive side is that you have highly experienced people who what to “do something” to see the raid succeed. The flip side is exactly the same, with the added problem being that any time your raid leader makes a mistake (as we all do) these members may view it as validating that mistrust and their own general attitude.

    As with most things, this will most likely be resolved with communication, though that may involve communicating that this type of behavior is ultimately detrimental to the success of the raid as a whole (as well as everyone’s enjoyment of the raid). As Click noted, many people just don’t want to even listen to vent when that type of thing is going on, myself included. I also think gnome is dead on with his comments.

    My wife referred to this comment as “Dr. Raid Love”.

  7. LathereNo Gravatar says

    @Max – I love it! Dr Raid Love it could be a whole blog idea – people write in with their raid problems and Dr Raid Love helps them out :P

    Yes, there are definitely bigger issues then what Cass covers in this blog article. Mostly this surrounded a group of “problem” raiders who were bringing things down for the whole team. Thankfully this will no longer be an issue because 3 out of the 4 or 5 problem people left last night and we had already recruited in advance to cover it :) It’s amazing how much happier I am as an officer now this has cleared and I really feel that the remainder raiders seemed to perk up as well.

    Sadly though it means that 2 of the posts I have written and not yet published are kinda obsolete now and I have to come up with new stuff!

  8. TyphusNo Gravatar says

    Lath i would still be interested in reading these 2 other blog posts that are obsolete

  9. ClickityclopNo Gravatar says

    I second Typhus. I like to know what’s happening in guild from a different perspective :) .

  10. MatticusNo Gravatar says

    I used to have issues like this before in the past. The solution and policy I instituted was to whisper observations to the appropriate player (Healers whisper the top healing guy, melee to the melee lead, ranged to the ranged lead, and the officers would just filter from those). We can’t afford to have vocal clutter throughout the encounter especially during tense/delicate situations.

    But, I’d also implore players to use the forums. Every night, I’d create a thread with combat logs on World of Logs or WoW Meter, write out my thoughts for the evening on what worked, what didn’t, and where we could make changes. Everyone was invited to reply and post things from their own perspectives.

    If you’ve got the ability, try giving that a shot and see how it works out. Not guaranteed but it may bring order to chaos.
    .-= Matticus’s last blog … How To Win Epics And Influence People =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      @Matticus I’m not an officer, so I think I’d have to be careful not to cross the line there. But Lathere… maybe. Thanks for the tip!


  1. [...] Anyway, to make a long story short, our unhappy Rogue decided to come back and give our guild, and his old friends still in the guild, another go. He chafed under the rules even more than before. Throw that into the mix with our 3 discontent Mages and it was a pretty miserable time to be raiding with Vitare. I blogged about it here. [...]

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