Back in the Saddle

After a very brief stint guild-less, Abryn and I joined up with a newly formed raid guild, comprised of some old friends, and individuals representing most of the uber guilds of our server’s history. Focus was formed with two objectives; to have fun, and push the bleeding edge of progression raid content.

The question is, is it really possible to accomplish both?

The answer lies with the players and leaders of the guild, and how they approach the raid game. While I find the 50 DKP MINUS, guy to be quite amusing, I just don’t have any interest in coming home after a long day at work, to get screamed at by a tyrannical raid leader on vent. Players may perform just well enough to not get yelled at, but they are unlikely to rise up and give it their all night after night because they want to be the best and they are loving every minute of the journey to the top.

So how should a raid leader keep their team focused on the big picture wipe after wipe, night after night, yet not lose sight of the game and that elusive objective of actually having fun while playing?


7 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle”

  1. “Focus was formed with two objectives; to have fun, and push the bleeding edge of progression raid content.”

    Sorry, to break it to you, but these two can not exist together. The honeymoon will be over before you know it. I suggest you heed history’s call, for those that do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

    Cliche ftw!

  2. Positive attitude. Command, rather than control. Talk everyone through their places before the fight starts and keep calm while it’s going. Always be prepared to laugh at yourself if you cause the wipe. Prepare for other people to laugh at you, too. Don’t tolerate finger-pointing… and on and on.

    I think most people know the ideals, but keeping a cool head can be a difficult task.

  3. Actually you can form a guild around this concept, it is all about how you recruit. I managed to do it for almost 1 and a half years in WoW until BC hit and fragmented us. I think we had a great casual raiding guild and we were making good progress. Sure we were slower than other guilds but once we learned something we usually crushed the content.

  4. Right now, we have a really great group of people. Like minded, and laid back. Skilled but not task masters. After wipes, we sort out the strategy quickly, then the raid leader streams music over vent while we rez and rebuff. We joke and listen to music as a guild during trash clears…

    So far its the most fun I’ve had in a serious raid guild to date, but as Heartless said in the first comment, it’s still the honeymoon phase. The guildmaster led the top guild on our server for two straight years, so he knows how to keep the mood light, but stay on track to accomplish the goals we set.

    Anyone else have things that work or that have not worked in their guilds?

  5. Back in the day when I was raiding frequently the high level stuff, it was an addicting thing. There were a few reasons it ended.

    *The strong GL left, due to RL reasons. A strong GL is the backbone. When personality conflicts occur, note, not IF, because they will, you need someone to if nothing else have a nice shouty voice/text style and end the dispute. If you leave it to simmer, it becomes a reason to splinter.

    *Knowledgable, outgoing raid leaders/officers. Our main raid leader knew his stuff, and was a rock for times. He also knew when to joke (“alright guys, we’ve failed 18 times, we know this next one is a for sure thing!”) and when to simply tell the hordes what to do. Also, those other officers might be class reps, who know their class inside and out. Your best hunter doesn’t believe in traps? You have an issue that needs to be squared away now, and the officers need to do so.

    *Fun raids. After banging your head trying to beat that bleeding edge stuff, it’s fun to go demolish someplace. Or go do some crazy thing. These tend to work best when they are unplanned to the masses (officers and such might know, but keep it to themselves).

    *Human understanding. A key thing that’s hard to tie into the others. Your best priest might be a healing machine, never lets anyone die and somehow manages to heal a raid solo, but misses half the raids due to RL issues. The hard part is how to not give them the good healing stuff because of dkp/need when the other 8 priests/druids/paladins/shammies/bunnies need it when you know they would use it better without ticking anyone off. It’s not easy, and you will ruffle feathers regardless. At this point, you get back to the first item.

    What does not work, long term:

    *Friendly looting. Not in WoW, especially not these days. Loot rules have to be out there and established. Someone will get the Sword of ButtSmacking and deguild, or get bored, or like our mage initiate who looted the one and only mongoose enchant we’ve ever seen in KZ, simply decide they’d had enough of the game and quit. You can do it when an instance is on farm, and you’ve gotten most of your people kitted out, but not when you’re just starting, or when you’re exploring a new kill, or the like. I wish I could say otherwise, but enevitably does not work.

    *Flexible raid times. If a raid starts at 7pm, it should start at 7pm. WoW doesn’t need EQ’s 30 min of buff time. And if you have to wait for the warlock until 8pm constantly, find someone else for the slot…or insert_diety_here help you, change the time. Also, don’t let people tend to walk in 30-60-90 min late constantly. You’ll find you’ll have people not worrying about start time, some deliberatly to avoid the trash.

    All that I can think of currently. Back to my audit.

  6. Good stuff Oz. Being successful is another important element. Raid leaders have to set attainable goals, rather than always pushing for some impossible goal, and giving the team the feeling of failure night after night.

    We formed offically nine days ago, and as of last night had cleared halfway through SSC, one boss in TK, and all of the lower stuff (mag, gruul, Kara etc.) We are showing up on a high every day because everything has clicked so far.

    The important next step, if to find a way to mitigate those long stints with no progression. To highlight the small successes that occur, while you are slamming your head against the same wall over and over.

    Anyone else have observations of whats worked or hurt their guild over the years?

  7. I believe that fun and raiding can coexist, I have seen it i have lived it. You have to have a special group of people who remember that essentally its still just a game, this is the biggest trick i think. I dont play WoW well i dont play WoW often i keep an active account to play with friends who play. My MMO of choice is EQ2 and i raid with a crew known as Fred… we have cleared almost all raid content in the game and im confident we will clear the rest and we have a damn good time doing it to its all about the people get good fun people and you will have a successfull guild

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