Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Three steps to becoming a successful raid leader

We just accidentally a WoW guild...

While me and Yaruno's EVE adventures were on a bit of a pause because the corp that was supposed to recruit us was in the middle of war, we and a couple of friends started drifting towards more serious WoW ideas. In the end Ten Man Progress was brought back to life. I've written a bit about my WoW history earlier. This time Yaruno was the primus motor so he took the mantle of papa bear, the Guild Master.

Okay, done with the news flash, and on to business!

Now's the time to get your raiding hat back on for Mists of Pandaria. People will ding 90 during the week, and next week raids will open. Are you prepared to lead your flock of elves, green/blueskins and pandas to face the challenges ahead? Maybe you're at the steering wheel of a brand new guild and need a few pointers? Read on!

Why are we killing all these pandas?

Being a successful raid leader is mostly about figuring out answers to a multitude of questions of "why?". And of course these questions have to start way before you step your furry paws through that instance portal. The first and foremost is of course, why are we going there? Why are we doing this?

You better hope most of the group has very similar answers to this question. To make it more complicated, many probably aren't able to answer thruthfully if you just ask them directly. By not thruthfully, I don't mean they'd simply lie, they just haven't ever needed to think about it seriously. In the long run every person's motives will bubble up though, and those who feel the least at home will hopefully realize to move to different hunting grounds. Otherwise they might start generating drama, and that's not good for raid success.

Why do we need to kill the Kobold on Timmy's head again?

Ok, let's say you've now gotten yourself a team of raiding clones who like doing exactly what you like too. What next? Tell them to dps this, then move in pairs to the green triangles on ground, then heal the offtank and then finally click to loot? Sounds good!

What about when your microphone dies during the fight? Or when a person makes a mistake, one that might not even be noticed? Here's the next why: Not only should you understand why the tactics tell to do stuff, you should make sure every member in the raid understand those same things. Then, if any piece of the puzzle falls, everyone can start repairing the engine themselves, without needing to get new orders from the raid leader.

Why are they raiding with five paladins?

Simple 'dance away from shit on the ground' fights mostly just require good execution of the fight specific gimmicks. More chaotic encounters require some extra work though. The first published tactics might have worked for those groups, but your raid might fail and fail again following the same ideas.

This is where knowing your raid force inside out comes into play. For example, if your dps team is very good, you might be able to try to shorten some parts of the fight by going full burn. This is especially true in ten man raids where groups often face the question of whether to go with 2 or 3 healers. Hence the last why comes from knowing why certain tactics work for certain types of groups, and seeing if your group fits that description. Otherwise you need to find another kind of solution.

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