You shouldn’t consider being an officer…
- If you can’t commit the time
- If you view it as a simple title without responsibility
- If you have thin skin and cannot handle flak from anyone
- If you cannot be objective
- If you get extremely frustrated
- If you are impatient
- If you set a poor example for other players
- If you are not willing to act
- If you cannot control your temper
- If you don’t have the energy
- If you have absolutely zero sense of tact
- If you are routinely and consistently late to events (raids)
- If you are unable to put yourself in the shoes of others
- If you cannot be objective when it comes to guild matters
- If you have a flair for drama
- If you are only good at delivering criticism without feedback
- If you view it as a free ride to loot
- If you’re too new and haven’t gained respect from your peers
- If you are not available for players to reach you (within reason)
- If you are not reliable
- If you just don’t care
- If you want to date the GM (Hah)
- If you don’t want to
I’m sure you can find exceptions and success stories of those who do fall under one or two of the above bullet points. Think of these as more general guidelines. It’s nigh impossible to find the perfect officer. They may have a few flaws about them but a shrewd GM can find ways to minimize their shortcomings and capitalize on their strengths. The process of becoming an officer is going to vary. With Conquest, it usually happens when I ask someone directly. I actually prefer it if players communicate their interest in assuming more responsibilities and I’ll observe their capabilities and interactions. Makes it a little easier, I think.
In the history of Conquest, I’ve had the pleasure of working with 13 different officers since the inception of the guild. We formed during the fall of 2008, when Wrath of the Lich King came out. We’ve been around for 5 years. That’s a rate of 2.6 officers per year. Now I’m curious, how many officers have served in your guild total?
6 NBA championships.
14 NBA All-Star Selections.
10 NBA scoring titles.
Ranked No. 1 by ESPN’s Top 100 Athletes of the 20th century.
His all-time leading scoring title in one All-Star game history was recently broken by one Kobe Bryant.
Michael Jordan played the majority of his career for the Chicago Bulls before taking over a front office position with the Washington Wizards.
Have you heard of a TV show called Suits? It’s my favourite drama to watch from the USA network right now and they’ve just started airing new episodes a couple of weeks ago. There are some minor spoilers in today’s post from last week’s plot.
Here it goes.
One of the leading characters, Harvey, is a senior partner in the fictional law firm Pearson-Hardman. He goes up to his boss Jessica, and says to her that he wants his name on the door. She then proceeds to tell Harvey a story about Michael Jordan because she knew this day would come.
Looking up from her desk, Jessica asks,“Harvey, what was Michael Jordan’s record on the Bulls?”
“664 wins, 285 losses.” Harvey confidently responded.
“More than twice as many wins and losses. Do you know what his record was in the front office?”
“185 wins to 291 losses. Almost twice as many losses as wins.”
The lesson Jessica was getting to is that just because someone is a star on the court doesn’t mean they can translate their skills off the court.
Next time someone asks to be an officer and you don’t think they’re quite ready for that role yet, tell them this story about Michael Jordan that Jessica relayed to Harvey. Some people are better off playing than they are managing.
Success on the meters doesn’t always translate to success in a leadership role.
Language is slightly NSFW.
We’re about to enter our 4th expansion. There’s enough new players that haven’t seen this video yet but it’s something I wanted to share. If you think your raid leader was brutal, wait until you watch this classic Onyxia wipe raid video. If you ever wondered where Many Whelps! Handle It came from, this is it!
A large number of players today would most likely wilt under that kind of pressure and environment. Me? I don’t know. I’ve played under leaders like that before and it was a different experience. I felt like I thrived and played at near my peak. I wasn’t really motivated by fear or anything. There’s just something appealing I find when I get (quite literally) get yelled at for screwing up. My officers know this and won’t hesitate to get in my face because they know the right buttons to press (They don’t care that I’m the GM :\).
Anyway, it’s a quick video I wanted to share this morning. For the older veterans, I’m sure it’ll bring a slight grin to your face. For the newer guys, that’s what you missed out on during vanilla.
Remind me to show you guys that Sebudai poster next week.
Remember the days in school where your favourite teacher was away?
Maybe she was sick or needed a personal day.
Then the sub would roll in with a giant, CRT television that was Velcro strapped to a cart and you thought to yourself, “YES! It’s going to be one of those days!”
Getting a substitute teacher is like a day off. Subs were mainly there to supervise and hand out homework. Sometimes they weren’t able to teach the lesson plans your main teacher already had in place.
Once in a while, you dice rolled into a teacher who unexpectedly knew their stuff (I once had a Caucasian teacher who spoke fluent mandarin and taught the class pretty well. Not bad).
In your raid, what happens when your raid leader’s out cold? Maybe he stayed up too late watching Starcraft 2 tournaments while excessively drinking.*
* That has never happened. It’s completely hypothetical.
Chances are you have several fall back plans at your disposal:
- Cancel raid – Worse case scenario. Wasted raid night. Players get to relax and have a night off.
- Delay – Not a bad option. Instead of tossing the whole night, you end up tossing 30 minutes or an hour. Dismiss your players and have them regroup at a specified time. This allows them to engage in other activities.
- Run a different raid – Could go knock out a specific raid achievement that doesn’t require a full roster or tackle another boss that has a specific drop that are still improvements for certain players.
- Down size – Only applicable to 25 man raid groups. Viable option if a progression boss is later on in the instance. You can speed up the process by sending in a small team to knock out some of the earlier bosses that aren’t needed. Downside is that this isn’t applicable to hard mode raiding because you’ll end up being saved to that specific lockout (and it applies to raid size).
- Run with someone else quarterbacking – Every raid leader needs a number 2. This is their chance to prove they can function as a number 1.
In most cases, the last option is the most viable. A 25 man guild is likelier to have other players capable of stepping in to lead compared to a 10 man
Like the substitute teacher, the substitute raid leader suffers from 1 problem:
No one takes them seriously
The newly promoted raid leader is usually one of the boys who’s a raider or an officer not normally known to raid lead.
There’s still a raid going on! There’s still internet dragons that need to be killed!
Just because there’s an absence doesn’t give you the license to mess around card. He might have a different style of running the show but you as a raid team need to give him that support! They may not have the months or years of experience that your primary raid leader has but give them a shot! It’s upsetting to see that when the cat’s away the mice will play. Most of you don’t raid 7 days a week and you have nights off where you can relax and do other stuff anyway. Of the nights where you do raid, your raid leader (whoever it happens to be) needs your undivided attention and focus.
Don’t just dismiss them.
Give them a chance to show what they can do.
Dragons don’t just spontaneously lie down. They still need you and your raid to work together.
Historically speaking, most of the players I’ve picked up in the past had two out of the three attributes. Rare is the player who manages to possess all three. Recruiting seems to be at an all time low according to a few GMs I’ve spoken to (10 man and 25 man, Horde and Alliance). It’s as if the majority of players just want to see the content, regardless of what difficulty level it is (meaning the path of least resistance gets selected the most or the LFR tool). It seems like the applicants I see seem to exhibit 2 out of the 3 traits.
Manages to bring the pain (or the healing). We’re talking on a consistent basis. I often find myself wondering about the players who (over a 2 month period) go from the bottom to the top back to the bottom again.
Of course, no one wants the player who has a really hard time hitting that Hour of Twilight button and ends up burning all 3 Battle Res skills allotted. The ability to pick up what the rules and requirements for each encounter is a big plus (as is the ability to do it fast).
Willingness to reschedule most events in their lives around raiding is an advantage. I’m not that much of a tyrant though.
Exam? Yeah, you better go study for it.
House on fire? Go.
But if you’re missing out on a raid to catch the series finale of American Idol, I can tell you’re just not into it. Or if a new game came out and you’re signing out of raid when I can see on Steam that you’re clearly playing Skyrim. That tells me where your priorities are and it’s clearly not with WoW.
Perhaps drama free might not be the best choice of words to use. When I mean drama free, I’m not referring to guild splitting dramatic incidents. I’m talking about the little things that can get under people’s skins eventually leading to guild splitting incidents.
How difficult does a person need to be?
There’s been times I’ve tried to compromise on issues to reach the best approach for everyone involved. In other cases, a single course of action was settled upon because that’s what the leaders wanted to do, period. I really hate working with players who argue for the simple sake of arguing. I can tell you it takes away my efforts and focus on the next item I want to resolve. Pick your battles carefully. Otherwise the GM might exercise their right to throw you out because you keep causing problems and end up being more of a liability instead of an asset.
Now going back to the original question, if you were restricted to two selections, which two would you pick?
I think I’ve found my guild prank for April Fools!
I know of other guild leaders who joke about doing it (and some who actually have done it because they couldn’t do it anymore). So to all the guild leaders out there, I salute you. Doesn’t matter if the game is Rift, Guild Wars, SWTOR, WoW or what have you. It’s often a thankless job and you’re the butt of every joke but without you, your guild would be non-existent.
Although, I learned last night from Lodur that changing guild leaders can result in a bugged guild bank.
It’s okay, Logan. Your job is still safe. No plans for retirement yet. Sometimes I’ve always wondered about holding mock guild elections and what platforms people would run on. Fiscal guild responsibility?
P.S. I just noticed this. Which one of you clowns set my guild note?
Please answer me a question that I have been wondering forever. […] Why is it the sole responsibility of the tank to know and lead the group in to every instances?
During my adventures through the dungeon finder, I’ve been remarkably fortunate.
Little to no wipes.
I don’t always run with my guild on my priest. I prefer to give opportunities to other healers in the guild who still need the gear or the reputation. If I need a refresher course in healing, there’s no test greater than braving LFD.
But I digress.
Traditionally speaking, tanks have been the players that automatically take leadership of a group. For years, they’ve been the ones setting up the marks, executing the pulls and controlling the pace. Whenever I joined trade chat groups (this was before the dungeon finder, mind you), tanks would usually insist on leading groups. During Wrath, it got to the point where the rest of the players in the group expected the tank to assume that role.
The thing is, I’m not really noticing that as much anymore. I mean, it wasn’t until recently that I started observing other players taking control of groups. It wouldn’t always be the tank. It could be that random ret paladin or that warlock. Its an interesting trend to see happening, for sure. Could it be that there are just that much more knowledgeable people in the game? I once dropped in on a Halls of Origination group where most of the players in there didn’t know how to do any of the bosses on normal much less heroic. I had the option of dropping out of the group right there and then.
I’ll admit, I was tempted.
But no, I stayed right in there and showed them all the ropes. I gave myself a limit of 3 wipes on a boss. If we wiped 3 times on a single boss and it was clear they just weren’t “getting it”, then I’d take my leave. Setting a hard boundary for yourself is a good way to retain your sanity.
Blizzard allowing anyone in the party to mark targets was a great improvement overall. I’d say it ranks as one of those really underrated changes. Now other players don’t have to be the dungeon guide to mark stuff. They can simply tag their own targets.
The pressure is slowly easing off the tanks when it comes to taking the lead. That is a good thing, right?
I stopped raid leading a long time ago.
Who would’ve guessed that raid leading might mean a loss in ability to heal effectively? I leave that in the hands of my capable team. We’ve all made our fair share of errors and mistakes. Chances are, yours did as well. I’ve always felt that there was no reason for every player to make a mistake to learn from it. You don’t need 25 players to stand in a Void Zone to experience that it’s a bad thing to do.
So allow me to give you several fouls that I’ve committed over the years.
Pulling too fast
This is one of my biggest faults. I get pestered about trying to get pulls going too quickly. Sometimes there’s a pat coming around through a 4 pull. I’ve also been with tanks who keep pulling trash mobs even when a significant portion of the raid is down or on their way back. Generally speaking, if there’s over 5 players dead, I’ll call a stop and burn a mass resurrect followed by quick buffs before getting under way again. Keeping an eye on healer mana is important. If everyone’s fresh out of gas, give them a few seconds to replenish (I use Mana Hymns and Mana Tide totems on trash to accelerate the process).
Pulling too slow
On the other hand, you want to make sure things are going according to a schedule. There’s always time to socialize outside of raids. I used to raid with a player who flat out screamed that he was missing Blessing of Kings on trash.
Look guys, while you might wipe to trash here and there, it isn’t because you are missing Kings. Buffs can always be done on the fly. You don’t necessarily need to wait for all of your buffs to fire off before pulling.
Are there tanks present?
Are there healers present?
Is there enough DPS around?
Then it’s time to pull and let the WoW gods sort out the rest.
Not knowing when to tap out
Sometimes your raid meets a boss that they’re just presently not capable of. Maybe there’s only 15 minutes left in raid and you’ve been working on a new progression boss all night that you just killed. Now there’s a new boss standing in front of you that no one has any idea how to take on. You could always do a for fun pull and play the game of “Let’s see who survives the longest”.
Actually, where this really takes effect is around the holiday season. Maybe you don’t have enough players to field a full group. Now I dare say most raid groups can run short handed 1 or 2 players (unless you’re in 10 man). But if you suffer enough absences where it represents a significant portion of the raid, cut your losses and give everyone a night off.
Not enough sleep
Get some sleep, guys! No one likes it when a player misses a raid because they wanted to catch a quick nap and oversleep their alarm!
Makes me wish I could dock DKP for that!
Let’s be real here. If you’re raid leading, chances are you know what the hell you’re talking about more. You’ll most likely have studied up on the encounter extensively. You’ve mentally orchestrated your unit about what needs to happen. There’s generally one or two ways to take down a boss. Run that raid with a fist of steel and stick to your plan. Do not instantly agree with every new radical proposal or idea that occurs after a wipe. Stick to making minor adjustments as needed but don’t overhaul the general strategy. Chances are, your strategy is sound but the rest of the team needs to adapt and make their own individual changes to make it work.
But don’t run a raid or take on a boss in a majority rules fashion.
Too much Hand Holding
This really bothers me. It shouldn’t be the job of the raid leader to micromanage every player’s DPS rotations and individual skills. I’ve heard stories shared to me by players where their raid leader would tell a new recruit exactly what to do and when.
“Okay, Lightning Bolt… then Lava Burst … trigger your Earth Shock … Lightning Bolt again and refresh your Flame Shock.”
We try to do everything we can when it comes to recruiting applications to figure out what players know. There’s a minimum threshold of knowledge that is required. I’d say having a solid idea of how your class works and any rotations would be on the “must know” list. For other progressive guilds, knowing every ability on select hard mode bosses is a plus. Perhaps knowing how to fluently play in an off role would be a requirement. It all really depends on your guild.
Your raid leader should not be the person teaching players as they go how to play their class. Your raid leader is the guy people look to when they’re trying to figure out the overarching strategy on taking down a boss. Vik addressed the difference between a raid leader and a guild leader quite nicely last year.
Being too accommodating
There’s this great quote by Steve Jobs that I keep on my wallpaper.
“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”
Press the buttons that you feel will actually result in action. Don’t press buttons for the sake of pressing them. Remember that you’re in the business of raiding. Your focus and dedication is going to vary. No matter what it is, figure out what your limits are.
Someone needs a quick glass of water during a trash pull? Sure, I can live with that.
Baby just started crying right before pulling a boss and needs to be dealt with? It’s a teeth grinder and a stress ball destroyer but I’ll survive until I can get a replacement.
Need to AFK for a smoke right when you clear the last pack of trash to a new encounter? Get the hell out of my raid.
That last one especially is one of my biggest pet peeves after playing this game for so long. I’m sure it’s influenced by the fact that my dad used to smoke and I hated the smell of it. While flexibility is a great strength to have, be careful that you’re not going too far in the direction at the cost of progress.
Not pulling the trigger on decisions
Cold feet on which boss to go for?
Can’t seem to switch out the healer for the DPS?
Trouble deciding on which strategy to use?
The best raid leaders are the ones who come to a decision within a quick and reasonable amount of time. Indecision is never the right way to go. Consult with officers or other players as needed, but don’t drag your feet too much. Pick one and run with it. If you’re wrong, at least you’ll know what to do for sure next week.
One more thing
Don’t be afraid to give your raid leader feedback. Just do it after the raid is over, not during. Doing it mid raid is enough to throw them off their game which isn’t a good idea if the raid is working on some new encounters.
After running my alts through them numerously over the past two weeks, I think I’ve just about experienced every combination of player archetype that the raid finder had to offer. I wanted to post this as a guide for you to keep an eye out for them and conduct yourselves appropriately.
Raid Leader Randy
This is the guy who checks the “Raid Guide” icon when he queues up for the Raid Finder. He’s made a whole page of macros devoted to all of the encounters. Each macro spells out (briefly) the strategy being used to kill the boss. He also takes the time to mark targets or setup flares on the ground. Randy does his best to keep the 24 other strangers in the group in line and focused on the right direction. He’s got that personality where seemingly nothing is able to faze or rattle him. He just doesn’t give a crap because he has the ability to maintain a laser like focus on the prize: Boss kills.
HER KEYBOARD WAS BROKEN AT AN EARLY AGE. DOESN’T MATTER SINCE SHE DOESN’T THINK IT’S RUDE TO TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS BECAUSE SHE BELIEVES IT’LL DRAW ATTENTION TO WHAT SHE’S TRYING TO COMMUNICATE. SHE’S ALSO KIND OF DENSE.
He’s the guy who is decked out in fall heroic raid quality gear. He just sneezes and stuff dies. He offsets the DPS from the bottom 4 players in the raid and manages to be the driving force which normalizes overall raid DPS. If the boss hits enrage and players are dropping one by one, you can count on Carrying Chris to get max range and activate reserves just before crushing the boss. (Thanks to Vashv17 for reminding me)
Out of all the players in the Raid Finder, Lootwhore Larry could very well be the worst. He need rolls on everything – even if it isn’t suited for him. I’m sure we’ve all come across him at some point. He could be the Warrior he rolls need on 1 handed Agility weapons. Or maybe the Rogue who opts for strength trinkets. Maybe he just doesn’t know or doesn’t give a crap. The only way to fight back against Lootwhore Larry yourself is to pray to the dice gods. Although, it is nice to see that this is being examined by Blizzard specifically.
Poor Clueless Charlie. He just… doesn’t have a clue! Not only when it comes to bosses but when he gets picked on by the other members on the raid. He walks in, starts auto attacking and uses skills from time to time, but he doesn’t have the faintest idea what’s going on. He’ll attack another tentacle on Spine of Deathwing just because it’s dirty. He’ll stand there and take an Ice Wave before realizing that it’s bad. No matter how many times fights are explained, Charlie is just hopeless and is along for the ride. (Thanks to GottaHaveFaythe for this one)
Gary’s gotta go! He’s on the clock and wants to pull everything! He’s always impatient and just wants to start trash pulls. Believes in maximum efficiency and not wasting time. Hates the players who are constantly AFK. Problem with Gary is that he’s a little too ambitious and ends up pulling two waves of Oozes in Yorsahj’s room or something. Whoops!
Ernie frequently gets into raid chat fights with Recount Ryan. He’ll always mock the other player’s DPS or usage of cooldowns. “What’s that? You only used Ghost Wolves once? Well I used them twice!”. In the grand scheme of things, no one really cares. Ernie ends up being ignored because the rest of the raid is trying to concentrate on what Randy’s saying. Ernie tends to make a big deal out of 35 DPS. He’ll try to find a way to justify what he’s doing for either maximum DPS or maximum survivability. When pointed out that he does something wrong, he’ll try to find a way to reverse that as well.
Incidentally enough, Recount Ryan’s actual damage output drops on Ultraxion because he forgets to turn off Recount. Ryan is a fairly competitive sort. He’s always listing the top 5 damage done on everything. Yes, even on trash pulls. You see, poor Ryan is the youngest of 9 brothers and 6 sisters. He’s always been outshined in everything in life by the rest of his family. Mom doesn’t even remember who he is. So he seeks validation and affirmation in what he does by repeatedly linking meters so that someone out there might just say to him the two words he’s been hearing his whole life: “Good job”.
This is the younger brother of Carrying Chris. He just doesn’t have that same level of gear. He idolizes him and tries so hard. He’ll interrupt the most redundant of abilities. He’ll always DPS the correct ad down (even if the other 20 players are on something else). Won’t have to worry about his cooldowns or anything as he’ll make sure they’re always being used. The trouble with Terry is that he is so focused on doing the right thing, that he sometimes might lose track of everything else going around him and tunnel vision. Because you see, Terry isn’t that great when it comes to adapting.
Needs no introduction. Walks into raid finder wearing nothing but PvP gear (and still manages to out DPS certain raid geared players, but barely). Elitist Ernie will also pick a fight with Peter. But somehow, Peter just manages to destroy him anyway. Peter doesn’t really give a crap about what Ernie says. He’s also one of the few players that benefits from the implementation of the Raid Finder because he just doesn’t have the time to commit to actual raiding and prefers to PvP on his own time.
Pissing Contest Penelope
Penelope always has an opinion about something or some remark she likes to add. Even if the raid is going smoothly, she’ll find a way to bring it down. She’ll occasionally take a jibe at Raid Leader Randy even though he’s doing such a great job. Tends to be really snarky for no discernible reason. When Randy lays out a target order, Penelope is first in line to say “but my guild does it this way, and it’s way better” and tries to rally support from everyone else. It usually doesn’t end up working and she often gets placed on people’s ignore lists because they’re just tired of her being difficult to work with. She’d be much more enjoyable if she stopped giving Randy or other players a hard time and just stuck to playing.
Each of these players are unique in their own way. Together, this Raid Finder family manages to score boss kills against the most unlikeliest of odds. If you ever find yourself under any kind of abuse though, it’s best to just focus on your own responsibilities and don’t feed the trolls. The Raid Finder takes no more than 2 hours usually. If you want to get some upgrades and see some bosses, just grit your teeth and suck it up. You’ll be out of there in no time.