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!