I just want to share a little sentimental story with you folks. Some of you, who live here long enough might remember it, for most it will be another boring tale from the day’s past – when raids were better, loot was more epic and people.. well, they sucked as they suck now.
Anyway, the story goes: Guild at one point in time, was reduced to 5 people. It was enough to run a Heroic, but that’s about it. From farming Naxx we went down to pugging our way around VoA. At that point in time yours truly took command of this guild.
I saw the worst that raiding has to offer to small guilds like ours – but all those problems always go down to lack of people. Having 10 people or 8 people – depends on the game – isn’t enough. You always have someone who can’t show up, will be late or must call it a night early – and you have nobody to replace those people.
From the other hand, with more than required people, you end up having someone sitting on the bench, while everyone else enjoy the raid. It’s fine if that person is a sport, but that’s not always the case in Pax’s history.
We never had enough people to really feel comfortable in raiding, knowing that even if one person or two won’t show up – there are others waiting to take their spot. That’s just how it always was.
How do you lead a raid from that perspective?
You cannot antagonize people you’re playing with. You cannot tell them “don’t show up until you sort your X”. Cause if they don’t show up – raid is cancelled. You do what you can with the people you have.
This is something that old-school raiders sometimes don’t understand – being a raiding guild isn’t something special anymore. Wearing end-gear isn’t an instant recognition factor.
Guilds like ours are dozens – and one cannot pick&choose between applications – simply because “we do raids”. Raiding isn’t a domain of hardcore players anymore. It isn’t even domain of medicore people – raiding is open for casuals playing 10 hours a week.
How, as a raid-leader, you deal with people like that?
You mold them. You teach them and you provoke them to learn their job better. You close your eyes on some screw-ups because people you play with never sign up to be the hardcores. You don’t reach them by hitting their ambition – they have very little of it.
They sign up to be part of a social, friendly raiding guild – not the bleeding edge. Or any edge to begin with. I could swallow up my personal feelings towards people and be a raid-leading dick.
But did that ever really helped us? Did snappy comments and sharp remarks ever really upped our game. Perhaps, but I only remember that it made people awkward and distracted.
My take on this, is that people can fool around at start. They can suck a bit, mess up pulls and positions. But there comes a moment – normally right about time we face first boss – where this stuff should be out of the system.
And the moment we reach a boss we can’t just knock over by punching him really f-ing hard, I expect people to be organized, focus and ready.
Here we reach one of the important lessons I learned even before Pax – you can do what you want and how you want – but the moment your poor, stupid performance impacts 7 or 9 or even 3 other people – it’s on you to get your act together or apologize to everyone and go home.
Cause at the end of the day, you waste time of other people – time they dedicated to do, what you’re just messing up.
Small raids have minimal margin for error. You don’t have benefit of 40 or 25 people – where some of the lower-ends are cancelled out by some of the high-ends of your playerbase and you can get though encounter with few people biting a bullet early on. (And yes, I know, close to the bleeding edge those 40 people had to be all on the ball, but I don’t address this type of raiding here. This is about regular Joes)
If 2 people die within first minute of a 8 man raid boss… you’re pretty much screwed unless you vastly outgear and outperform the raid. Thus – there is much more pressure on you – cause 1 raider out of 8, equals 5 people back in the times of 40 man raids.
So when you suck, you are not focused, prepped, ready, when you don’t take your role seriously – it gets much harder to everyone else.
Here something nefarious comes into play – when guild has resources to replace bad raiders – people strive to be better – not to get on the losers bench. Small guilds? It doesn’t matter how you perform – you know you’ll get into the raid – cause your raid leader simply have nobody to replace you with.
Understand my position – I am not here to yell at you, tell you how poorly job you did and how your mother was smoking pot when she was pregnant. This isn’t my role because I don’t want to run a guild in which those type of comments are needed.
For me it is logical for everyone to strive to be the best – for no other reason, than to give the guild best chance of victory – to never be the one who’s fault it was that whole raid failed at some encounter.
And to be honest, in TOR we’re so far going though raids like a storm. Imagine wiping for a month on single encounter – twice a week. Thirdly, Forty, Fifty failed tries. We’ve been there. When we get there again – be damn sure it isn’t you, that is the reason.
Not because someone will yell at you, but because you will let down your crew.
You pick which is simpler to endure.