Recently, I’ve taken a back seat from raid leading – this is after pushing on through Naxx, Ulduar, Totc and ICC.
Put simply, WoW has changed. Back in the day, there were no add ons, no ventrillo, no DBM, no recount – no EJ to check for optimum specs and the game was made without those things in mind. My basic raid leading style has always been “rock up and find out how it works for ourselves.” My basic philosophy has been (and still is) that it’s up to each player to sort themselves out, leading should largely be a matter of administration, selection and sorting the loot out. And it’s worked for a good long time, we’ve had some great raids and a lot of fun.
While leading without telling anyone what to do might seem couterintuitive and the urge to tell people what to do is overwhelming, I found that telling people what to do was a recipe for repeatedly telling people what to do – as they weren’t learning anything but to react to being told what to do, which I consider to be a waste of my time and I also personally do not enjoy in the slightest. So I never did it, and it worked out pretty well anyway, once people learned for themselves. (Usually the first thing to learn was that they had to learn…!)
Towards the end of ICC I could feel it slowly drain away as an effective way of raiding, however. The fights were getting more complex, newbies were struggling to learn the new mechanics a little (not helped by the fact that the heroics were so faceroll that there was nowhere else to learn mechanics but during a raid) but it still was working out alright. Not great, but alright.
With the advent of cataclysm, however – the raids are obviously tuned baseline for people with all the trimmings – and this has meant my old skool way of doing stuff has become far from effective. So, after a bit of a struggle and a fair bit of frustration I admitted defeat and have handed the raid leading over to other guildies – Necropal and Madamcane. (Hey guys!)
Now I don’t want to talk about how they are running things or dissect their approach (they are doing a great job, ofc) I wanted to talk about how do you know when it’s you who is the problem as a guild/raid leader?
On the internet, accurate feedback is actually quite hard to get, especially when you are dealing with just text from others. The wrong word can cause offence, or boredom or irritation….the right word can cause joy, cheering, renewed determination to down that boss and can bring a sense of teamwork to a group that’s unravelling due to lack of success.
Course theres the chats over the phone, and the guild meetings, the text messages and in one case the drunken pictures of genitals to go off. 🙂
Myself, I pay attention to the silences. There are gaps in chat when people have something on their mind – what they aren’t saying is more important than what they are. Ever tried feeling under the soil for the edge of a stone? Gchat silences are the conversational equivalent of that. The other big, big sign is your own frustration level, if the game ain’t fun, you should definitely change up what you are doing and if the game is actually annoying you then change stuff ASAP. `Course this is taking the big stuff as read – mass exodus` from the guild **might** be a clue you are on the wrong foot. 😀
Let me know what you think!