Wednesday, February 29, 2012

5 Ways I Hurt My Raid Team

Every one of us can write a post about what we do well.  Every one of us can talk about how we heroically solo tanked a two tank boss, rocked the DPS charts or solo healed something we thought we couldn't do.  It is easy to remember the things you did right and it is fun to share them but does it actually help you any?  In an effort to help myself get better I am going to look at the things I do that I believe hurt my raid team.

5) I Spread Myself Too Thin
- I am always there to help anyone that needs it.  It means that if someone has a quest in some older raid, I will form a run just for that.  If someone wants to get some meta achievements, I will make a run for that.  Need dungeon achievements.  We can arrange that too.

For a group that basically only runs once or twice a week at most for current raiding we always seem to be doing something and I always feel as if I should be helping everyone do everything.  This means it cuts into my time greatly.  I do not have hours on end to be online like some people.  My time is limited so if we are always doing something and I am always helping people it starts to cut into my "me" time playing.

Being I am always running I seem to burn out quicker than most from doing certain things.  I am sure it shows in my performance when the only actual real raid time comes around even if I have never noticed it and no one has every mentioned it.

How can I fix it?  Let other people do their thing and I will do mine.  Learn to stop feeling like I need to help everyone with everything.  I am good with doing this sometimes, bad at others.  Right now is a time when I am bad at it.  Once there is nothing I can do for my main I tend to over help.  The only time I have any real me time is when I am working on something for my main.

4) Sometimes my gear is lacking
- I can try and rationalize this and write it off as it is not my fault.  I am always helping others so I rarely have much free time just to gear up characters other then my main.  This is a fair rationalization but I can make the time.  I am usually trying to keep at least 2 healers, 2 tanks, 1 ranged DPS and 1 melee DPS fully raid geared which is impossible when we only run one day a week and one alt day a week.  This is a fair rationalization as well to some extent.

My main, my hunter, is always geared.  Don't ask me how I do it, I have not clue.  I never win any rolls, I have no luck in the raid finder and for me winning something is like a national holiday, something that only comes once a year, but my hunter is always well geared.  Even if I do not get to raid with him often... which brings me to #3

How can I fix it?  Who says I need to have all those characters geared and ready to go?  I don't need them all geared so I need to learn to stop stressing over it.  I can gear who I want to and if we need the extra tank or extra heals I can just say I don't have one ready.  I need to learn that I do not have to be the answer to every question.

3) I fill every roll
- A few weeks ago we had a run that went something like this.  I was melee DPS on my rogue for the first boss, tanked the second boss on my warrior, healed the third boss on my shaman, range DPSed the forth boss on my hunter, tanked the 5th and 6th boss on my druid and healed the 7th boss on my priest.

I could once again rationalize that for a seriously casual group getting to the 7th boss when you don't raid much is not bad at all.  I could rationalize that in the end, we did well and I did what needed to be done to make sure we did not get stuck and I let everyone else play the roles they wanted to be.

How can I fix it? I could demand that the paladin gets a healer offspec and gets geared for it.  I could demand that the shadow priest gets a healer offspec and gets geared up for it.  I could demand the DK gets a tank offspec and gets geared up for it.  We have the people, there is really no need for me to switch whenever all the time.  As a casual raid guild however, I try my best to let everyone play what they want to play... except for me of course.

2) I am way too nice
- I don't force people to have an offspec we need.  I don't yell at people.  I don't complain when people fail, I explain so they don't do it again.  I rage sometimes behind the screen when people make the same mistake they just made, I hate it with a passion, but I am nice to everyone.  I say, we will get it next time.  I try to keep people motivated and continue using the mantra that once everyone gets the feel for the fight it will be a piece of cake.  While true, I do not get on people that are taking too look to understand it.

How to fix it?  I could just be a little more raid leader and a little less of a friend.  That would make things better but I won't do that.  If I wanted hard core I would go to a hard core guild.  I just need to learn to not let it get to me so much.  As much as I hate wiping to stupid things I would rather wipe to a stupid things with decent people then be the jerk who will insult people for making a mistake.  I don't think I can fix this one even if I tried.

1) I am not a raid leader
- Okay, I am a raid leader.  As someone once explained to me I fit the raid leader profile perfectly.  I know all the fights before we get to them.  I can explain them from a melee, ranged, healing and tank perspective.  I know all the little tips and tricks for every class for every fight.  So forth and so on.  That is part of what a raid leader is.  I am also someone that is willing to make those snap decisions like should we use the battle rez now or wait.  Should we switch or burn, when to blow cooldowns, when to pop hero, etc.

The problem is I don't like being the raid leader.  I just want to pop on my hunter and pew pew.  I want to rock the meters and be #1 every time in every raid even when hunters are usually dead last in what is expected of them.  I want to play my role and be proud that I can do it well.  I want to prove that in every fight in the game I can be #1 damage done while being dead last in damage taken.  That is what I love doing.  I don't want to lead.

But that is where the problem is.  Even in raids I do not assemble I end up leading.  Like the ulduar run the other week that someone else assembled and asked me to tank.  It was their raid, I was just another player and I still ended up explaining how we would get every achievement.  I still ended up telling people what to do and how to do it and and where to do it and when to do it.  I still ended up as the raid leader.

Maybe the person that told me I was the raid leader not because of some appointed role but because that is who I am personality wise is right.  The thing is, I do not like being that person.

How to fix it?  You can't fix something like that.  In a way however, other people can fix that for me.  When I go on a run with people that know all the fights I never raid lead.  I never have to call out for something.  I never have to assign people.  When everyone knows what to do there really is no need for a raid leader.  That means, the people around me can fix me hating being a raid leader but being better themselves.  I can not fix it myself.

So with that all said, everything I said that I think ends up hurting my raid team could be fixed if I did just one thing.

What would that one thing be that could fix everything there be?  Something that most people would say is a bad trait really.

The 1 step program goes as follows.

Step 1:  Be selfish.

#5 Being selfish would mean I don't burn myself out helping others and I can work on what I want to meaning I am more focused for raid time when it comes.

#4 Being selfish means that with that more time I can gear up my alts better so they will be better prepared if needed.  Being selfish would also mean I can pug on my druid to try and get my four piece set instead of saving her for only the 5th and 6th bosses each week.  Things like that.

#3 Being selfish would mean I would play only the one role I wanted.  While I do fairly well playing every role I am sure I would be better at any one of them if I where to invest a decent amount of time on it.  Being able to fill any role and be good at it is nice.  Being great at one role is even better.

#2 Being selfish would mean I wouldn't care about being nice to other people.  I would blast someone for making stupid mistakes instead of being nice and explaining to them.  If I where selfish I would accept nothing less then perfection from people I know could do better and I would get angry and share my anger with them when they interfere with my game play by making a mistake.

#1 Being selfish is the one thing I am missing as a raid leader.  Not being selfish is the reason I do not like being a raid leader.  I don't feel like these people are there to play "for" me, they are there to play "with" me.  A good raid leader, or so I am told, leads in a way that everyone is there to play "for" them and to do as they say.

So basically does this mean that because I am not a selfish jerk I am holding my team back?  I think so.


  1. Anon, Grumpy's GL:

    I had to mull over how to reply to this one, writing one long post and then discarding it for the reason it didn't directly relate to your concerns but rather to my perception of what you really were saying. Got halfway through replying and decided I best play editor and scratch that reply.

    Instead I aim this time to specifically give you my opinion on your five modest proposals.

    5) Leaves my head scratching on this one. Overly concerned about helping out others leaves you burned out for raiding? I know for a fact you play on multiple servers, just as I do. And pretty much because our main's server doesn't provide all we need from the game to be able to maintain interest in the game. I admit I maintain a more aloof position as the Guild Leader than you do as Raid Leader, but it is YOUR choice to aid others just as it is mine. There is nothing in our guild rules that make you responsible for aiding them in any way aside from raid preparation. Raid preparation doesn't include tanking, healing, or DPSing any 5man run that a guildie asks for help on. In fact, your sitting out on these will give others a chance to fill in the role you would have done in a 5man. Try it, honestly the guild can survive without you trying to be everything to everyone and so can you.

    To long, didn't read version: help folks because you want to and not because you think you have to.

    4) My reply to this one is related to the reply to five and pretty much comes to the same point. You pay for your account, play your alts and main as you want to in order to have fun. It is okay to say no to guildies so you can play your toons like you want. If your bear isn't available, so be it. We do have a ton of alts, and a fair number of players who can fill in instead of you taking all that burden.

    TL,DR version: play your toons to please you and let some of the other guildies pick up any slack.

  2. continued...

    3) First off, like it or not, you are great at filling any role--Tank, DPS or Heals. Yea, I do buy your argument you could be better if you concentrated on one role. But even though I think you really are over dependent on Healbot, you are still a great healer. As a DPS with your Hunter main, you could play in anyone's guild and be an asset, including the world first type guilds (though I doubt seriously you would be happy in such a guild for long). You make tanking look simple, which I know is not truly as easy as you make it look. Point is, you are really a great player in all parts of the trinity. And further more, I know you take a lot of pride in being able to do a very good job at any role.

    TL, DR version: You like being good at everything. Heard you say to many times say: If I am going to...then I want to do my best.

    2) You are making a common mistake here, assuming anger will motivate others to do as you wish. It is true anger has a role in doing so in some situations, but you aren't in the position of a USMC drill instructor or a professional sports coach. Anger in a guild such as ours is divisive and absolutely the wrong way to go about leading. The way you have chosen to go about guild leading is much closer to an ideal than you realize but even there, you could improve by not using anger but patience and one on one over and over with people who aren't meeting the standards you want. Of all our guild members, you perhaps are most able to advise folks on a multitude of class/spec combos and how to better play them.

    TL, DR version: It is good you are the way you are, now use the way you are to better effect in leading. Emphasis your strengths in making guildies better players so that will help you enjoy being a member of the team more.

    1) I dunno who told you that good raid leaders make the raid team play for the Raid Leader, but that just is wrong on the face of it. Remember that WoW is a voluntary association. People play for themselves to have fun. Now some charismatic types might be able to inspire volunteers to follow them (and you actually do that to some extent), but no way do you have any right to feel players play for you. Any raid leader who is egotistical enough to think that of themselves, is deluding themselves as regards their self-worth.

    TL, DR version: Players play for their own self and personal reasons, not cause someone on a ego trip is dragging 'em along for the ride.