A Prescription for Raid Morale

A Prescription for Raid Morale

medicine

Raiding can always be stressful.  Although the content has been called “too easy”, some of us still struggle with certain encounters.  We’ve cut our teeth on Normal Modes, and make the step up to the Heroic.  Haunting are the nights of banging our heads against Icehowl cause one raid member is just a little slow on getting out of the way.  We shake our heads in disgrace because a DPS class is too used to “being carried” when we try Yogg+Anything.  Raid nights get called early, curses ensue, and it’s just not a pretty sight.

Whether it’s in raid or out of raid, I firmly believe it’s essential to insert breaks and morale boosters.  And by breaks, I don’t mean “Take 5 for bio and beer.”  I mean something active.  A couple examples:

In-Raid

Trivia Games

Kalheim, a feisty paladin in my guild, holds trivia games during downtimes in the raid.  While waiting for invites to go out or waiting for that last member to come back from an AFK or bio break, he puts up topic-centered questions for us to compete for the fastest answer.  These quizzes will encompass a variety of topics, usually gaming-based.  He pulls out Classic WoW Lore, the names of BC Boss spells, Super Mario trivia, and even gaming company trivia.

You can reward your raiders with anything you want.  A gem, some gold, free flask/food, whatever you want.  The key is simply to make the questions challenging but not impossible.  A topic or genre you and your guild talk about often; you can include everyone.

The Whipping Boy

First off, this is pretty much a voluntary position.  In no way do you want to ostracize one of your raiders who cannot take the brunt of it.  In our guild, this whipping post has a name, and that name is Zabos.  He’s an incredibly likeable guy, but he’s really easy to tease.  He can take it, because as a player, he’s really good at what he does.  He’s one of our officers, and talks a lot of smack, so the guild will lay it on pretty thick.  The guild has built up a tradition (before my arrival) of /gkick’ing Zabos out of the guild when a new boss goes down.  It adds an extra level of fun to progression and cohesiveness of a guild.  The phrase “Shut up Zabos!” gets passed around a lot.  It just makes me laugh.

Random, Off-the-wall “Attempt

This should explain itself.  After a long night of progression, you need a break.  Something to make you laugh or wake you up.  We specifically have a Morale Officer in our guild, Shenweh, who is responsible for making sure everyone is in good spirits.  When things are getting tense or tired, it’s her job to create little fun events like this:

Out of Raid

Actual Alt Dungeons

I have several alts at a variety of levels, and I have some real life friends that all stick together.  They play super casually–usually only once each week, if at all.  Although I have two 80s, their level 45 character is their highest.  The other night, we managed to get all five of us on together to do a run of Uldaman.  There was no run-through, there was no level 80 to accompany us.  Because the healer and our hunter were lower than the rest of us, we really had a chance to take advantage of crowd control and focus-firing.  Since they’re all new to the game, it was a great chance for me to be able to show them a fragment of what makes this game so great for me.  I hope that at some point they may be able to step into a weekend/off-night raid with me.  Here, I lay the groundwork. =)

If you have friends that are trying to learn the game, take the time to actually play it with them.  I know how much that means to both people.  It also gives you a little break, and a little time to relax.

Arenas/Battlegrounds

In my opinion, always have at least one person you know well to go on this adventure with.  Arenas can sometimes be a great way to get out some frustration (if they go well).  If you turn off the Battleground Chat in a Warsong Gulch or Arathi Basin, they can actually be pretty fun with a group of your friends.

Achievements/Holidays

Blizzard has given us this interesting little outlet to occupy our time when we’re not raiding.  Even little mindless ones involving pets or an Azeroth raid can be entertaining enough to ease your mind.  See if any of your guildmates have never seen AQ40 (I just had my first encounter before writing this).  If there’s a slew that have never been inside, show them around!  Especially if you’re in a leadership position, this shows your raiders that you’re invested in how much everyone’s enjoying the game.  Gotten all the achievements you want/need? Then just tag along for your friends’ benefit.  Share funny stories.  Reminisce about things that happened in those old raids.

———-

You can decide to do these on raid nights or outside of your standard schedule.  Think of it this way.  Although this game as fun, you want to avoid having progression start to kill your soul after a while.

What sort of things do you do in order to keep your raid’s morale high?  What do you do, as a player, to detox in-game?

ThespiusSig

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Comments

  1. Nice post. Absolutely loved the video. I was once in guild where morale boosts were done by pranks by various class groups – hunters MDing healers, paladins DIng/BoPing tanks on pulls, warlocks summoning VWs – you name it. Of course, not everything at once and not more than once a night. It just served as great pressure ventilation.

    We as well had one guy singing a morale boost sond followed by 24 sounds “Olé!”s in raid or ventrillo.
    .-= Rahana´s last blog ..Blueberry Raiding: Rahana’s interface =-.

  2. Love the ‘Benny Hill’ music on the vid — went really well with the pack of guardians chasing people around!

    One of the things we’ll do sometimes is the ‘roll for blame’ (I think I saw this on Plus Heal, can’t remember exactly) after a wipe. Definitely an amusing way to defuse the tension that can build up over the course of a night, and I think it’s also helped people be more free about admitting when it really is their fault.
    .-= jeffo´s last blog ..Ups and Downs: 2-1/2 Years of WoW =-.

  3. While waiting for the raid to start, our guild had a couple of naked races around The Obsidium Sanctum. It was fun.

    I believe the record was 1.5 laps.

    http://imgur.com/3o75d.jpg

  4. I think the biggest responsibility to keep up raid morale lays in the hand of every player himself.

    This means: logging out if you’re bored. Reading a book. Doing RL stuff. Not shifting too much interest into an alt or 10 man runs. Not signing up for raids when you didn’t plan to, just because one healer is missing. Playing other games.

    Nothing charges up the WoW battery as nicely as NOT spending time in game.
    .-= drug´s last blog ..Addons: Neav UI =-.

  5. Fantastic post! For our guild, we also play the blame game. We usually blame the least likely person. For example, our Raid Leader, or one of our uber-awesome tanks. Then, it’s up to the person that was “blamed” to either talk their way out of it, or blame someone else.

    We have a great time with Retro-Raid nights as well. We’ll pick an off-raid night, and get a bunch of mains/alts/lower level guildies that need the achievement, and go into UBRS, LBRS, BWL, MT, etc…and just lay waste to everything. It’s fun to remember “how hard this was at 60”, and learn some of the old raid mechanics that some players might have missed.

    Lastly, we play the “Dead Mage on the Floor” game. We have a certain mage in our midst who likes to pull aggro from the tanks….and dies quickly and mercilessly. Before the pull, we’ll guess where he’s going to end up dying, face up or face down, etc…. Very similar to the “Whipping Boy” above.

  6. We always hold one scheduled fun night a week where we do all the easy content like VoA preceeded with WG PvP to actually get access to the instance as a guild. The onto Ony to just relax and down her. Afterwards its up to the guild what they would like to do whether everyone is up to working on hardmodes or do something else fun as a guild.
    .-= Napaeae´s last blog ..The Bench: Our Saviour =-.

  7. This is a great post! I would love to copy and link to your site for my guild if it is ok! Sometimes we have these moments and usually we just try to chat ourselves out of it, but I think it is great to reward our raiders with some games. Let me know if you don’t mind if I copy and paste, with a link to your blog of course!

  8. @Kayllnn Thank you very much for the compliment. You’re more than welcome to cut and paste any piece of my post you like, as well as a link back to the blog itself. Credit appropriately to the awesome dwarf priest that wrote it, too =)

    Peace, love, and big heals.

  9. oh hey… thats my video! =P

  10. Great read! I laughed out loud and immediately sent the link to my RL/GM. And, Lodur, fabulous vid!
    .-= @valkyrierisen´s last blog ..Velen’s Prophecy =-.

  11. We had a lull during one of our ToC 25 reg farm runs for a few AFKs, so one of our officers plopped down a foam sword rack and the folks that weren’t AFK all grabbed one and proceeded to bash the tar out of one another.

    The best part? One of our casters forgot to equip his real weapon for the following fight. 😀

    Anything that results in good humor is bound to be a good reprieve from a stressful raid, at least from my experience. I consider myself a fairly solid player that doesn’t fail at the small stuff…but when I do fail, it’s on legendary levels (enough to where we now laugh it off because we find it hilarious, although at the time for me, it wasn’t :(). Put it this way: I was “that guy” that foiled Immortal on KT. That’s just one example.
    .-= Kazgrel´s last blog ..Initial Tier 10 Stats =-.

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