Tag Archive: Raid leaders


My Tauren Priest!

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty focused on leveling alts already during Cataclysm. My priest, shown here, has actually been involved in a few raids. I’ve also PUG’d Baradin Hold a couple of times on my hunter (shown below, but he’s a Tauren too).

I actually have been loving my characters, and luckily, there is a good reason to actually have multiple alts ready for raiding (and with the achievement Ready for Raiding, too): because we are a 10-man raiding guild, and having that sort of flexibility is pretty great.

The problem is, whether a player (and not just me) can fit in multiple roles and succeed in them! I think that some people level alts and expect to raid, but then can get crushed when they realize they may not play as well as they think they do as them. This is happened to me before, too, but I suppose I am fortunate in that I don’t really suck too much as any of my current alts.

I think that people should find ways to make a class, or group of classes, similar. One way that I’ve been able to do this is through my hunter and my warrior. At first, the comparisons are extremely slim— one class uses the Rage mechanic, based on hitting and getting hit. The other relies on a slowly building resource that can be filled up through crits or using a different type of castable shot.

The one way that these classes end up being similar is through the use of a dump mechanic. For Hunters, Arcane Shot seems to be the big focus dump right now (with Marksmanship possibly using Kill Command with a talent called “Resistance is Futile”, requires a mob to be running for a KC to be used for free). You use it at a certain threshold, usually when you have an excess of Focus outside of being able to use your major abilities.

The same idea can be found with Warrior DPS: Heroic Strike is a rage dump, for those times when you may have too much rage from actually hitting the boss (see: Fury Warriors), or when you use “Deadly Calm” as an Arms warrior, an ability that makes all attacks cost nothing for rage. Heroic Strike is also great when you have “Battle Trance” up as any DPS warrior, which allows you to make a special attack at no cost (as long the cost is greater than 5 rage).

Other than those two, hard to find any other ways to relate the two DPS classes. I believe every class has a way to manage a DoT of some sort… though, some are easier than others to maintain (Arms warriors have to keep up Rend, while Hunters in general can keep up Serpent Sting through Cobra Shot or Chimera Shot for Marksmanship; Shadow Priests can Mind Flay a Shadow Word: Pain up forever, but still need to re-apply Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch… just some examples).

I would suggest the following to those who are looking to play multiple characters that may raid at any time:

  1. You still need to prioritize one character. If not for your sake, for your raid leader’s and guild master’s. It’s hard to build a raid group around two separate characters. Pick one and be done. If you are asked to play your alt for a specific role, make sure you can do it, but don’t ask to use an alt over a main. I end up DPSing on my warrior to ensure the success of the group sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I will DPS and force someone who DPSes as a main role to tank.
  2. Don’t be *that* guy. If you’re going to play multiple characters, as stated earlier, make sure you are beyond just competent. You can’t be doing so poorly in DPS or healing that you force others to have to push their expected limits. Be able to keep up with the rest of the pack.
  3. Think about the buffs and debuffs you may need for the raid. If you level an alt, see what things your guild may need when it comes to raid composition. If you bring a necessary one on your main, but not on your alt, see what you can do to compensate.
  4. Professions! It’s great to level an alt for professions. I’m always okay with this. For example, my priest is an alchemist and herbalist while my warrior is a blacksmith and miner… and my hunter, a leatherworker and skinner. Many other people in Lowered Expectations have similar ideas with their alts. Not only does leveling a profession give you more things to farm for and save gold for raids… but you can also get some fancy guild achievements!
  5. Have fun and learn! I think the best thing for me, especially as a raid leader, is that I can understand how to correct certain things with the raiders in our guild. I know how to make things better and people can ask me questions on the classes I have some knowledge on. It makes my job, their job, and the raid’s job a lot easier— bossing bosses for fun.

And below, here’s my hunter! Thanks for reading.

Hunter!

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We have recently began raiding 10-mans with our guild. The first evening, a Thursday, we had 12 sign-ups. Naturally, because we only have 3 healers right now on roster, it meant we had to sit 2 people. Given 3 tank sign-ups, it also made sense to sit one of the tanks as well.

Immediately, as I sent a message to the tank, he told me that he was going out of the country and wanted to be given a chance to tank before then. I also let him know that his gear was slightly under mine and the other tank’s, and we wanted to have the best possible chance to down bosses. He said “fine, whatever” and logged off onto his mage, and didn’t speak in guild chat for almost 3 days.

The other person ended up quitting, not because of raiding, but because he didn’t feel like putting his time into 2-3 nights a week at 2 hours a night. Also, because he was a hardcore raider and he didn’t want to get back into it.

Right, because that whole 6 hours a week thing playing WoW is very difficult, you know.

Of course, this post is supposed to be about sitting people for raids. And there are really just two rules about sitting people:

  1. It will only be a big deal if they or you make it a big deal.
  2. No one enjoys being sat, or sitting people.

There are no better ways to explain those two rules. If the person you are asking to sit gets extremely defensive, you know you’re in for it rough. There is probably no good way to avoid it, and you will just have to take it. Of course, depending on who you are, this could probably make you upset a bit (or in my case, wondering if you really want to keep this person on board). It happens.

Also (and I really wish people understood this), no one likes being the bad guy. Especially me, in this case. I’m not here to tell you that you suck. I am telling you that we want progression; we may only raid for 6 hours a week, but we have to be efficient.

This is where, I think, leadership burnout starts to happen. And that is bad. I don’t think a lot of folks understand this, but the small emotional wearing and tearing of a person who nags and nags about not having nice things can really affect the officership (or in my case, me). I’m already trying my best to make everything work out and when you get complained to for trying your best, it never seems like you’re being appreciated enough.

Consequently, I would say that if I had any more reasons to give to the tank, it would be due to lackluster performance as a DPS in the past when we gave him every opportunity to DPS given his odd schedule during WotLK. It is not my fault your schedule does not adhere to mine or to the other 10 people who signed up for the raid. I made it clear at the beginning that we were going to be a 10-man guild for fun and progression… not for personal stress about who having to sit every night. If this becomes something I panic about, why should I keep playing when all I’m given is grief?

Yes, leadership sucks. It’s tough. I really enjoy it though. But when people get in the way of my fun… well, let’s just say that I do have the option of gkicking.

"Failure is not an option."

Unlike Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon, who express firmly in the movie that during the perilous times of the Apollo 13, “failure is not an option”, sometimes it is an inevitable destination we cannot avoid. It’s when multiple points of failure come together to create the “fail”.

The point of failure can come from any location of an instance or a raid. No role is immune to making bad calls. A lapse of concentration, a small distraction from a ringing phone, even being hungry can all lead to the incoming wipe and running back to the instance/raid portal.

I think that a lot of people put a lot into “winning” or success. We find that what we’ve been doing for so long is actually working; that what we assume is right with our various roles in a fight are the ones we must keep doing. The loot, is if anything, incidental— we thrive on the knowledge that we are as smart, if not smarter, than what the fight asks us for.

However, it is when we fail that we learn the most. Failure asks us to second guess any choices made, tells us that we need to be better at what we do. Even the best player is prone to mistakes, and even the most obvious ones aren’t always the major ones. You may be the greatest at dodging the void zone or kiting the mob… but if you don’t know your rotation, you don’t know what buttons to press at the heat of the moment, then we have another issue right there— another point of failure.

We must learn how to fail correctly. I think when we don’t, we expect that automatically everyone knows what went wrong. And that’s not always the case. The smartest person in the room may not always account for the one person who sits quietly unaware (sometimes in bliss, sometimes not) of their undoings.

When we fail, we should ask ourselves these questions and acknowledge the following:

  • What went wrong for all people involved? It’s not always about you (and neither is that song).
  • What wasn’t clear in theĀ  instruction? Clarity is a huge deal, and if you aren’t able to word it properly, find someone who can. Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS)!
  • Are we underperforming? Why? Sometimes, especially when we view how difficult healing can be now, fight duration is a huge gauge. If DPS is slow, healers do not always have enough mana to carry a fight 10-12 minutes long. But healers don’t conserve mana well, and if tanks don’t use cooldowns and keep up certain debuffs often… that is also a possibility to consider.
  • Don’t place blame out loud. Calling people out is wrong. Ask questions instead. Be indirect. You will make people less defensive that way.
  • Learning is also part of the fight. Just because you read, watch, and listen while learning about an encounter, doesn’t mean you automatically know or can adhere to those strategies. Take some time to figure out what will be better for you and your group.
  • Sometimes, calling it is your best option. We digest information best after sleep. It is true. After we acknowledge our mistakes, we should rest, because we can formulate better ways to do things… or we really just realize how easy things can be.

We learn to live with our failures, and we must learn how to fail in anything— WoW included, as it’s a game. And we can’t make a game something we hate to fail at. Every wipe or loss can be a small realization. That’s just as important to some phat loots, at least, to me.

(Also possible I’m just nuts.)