Thu 4 Jun, 2009
Tags: Raid Leading, Sharing Dialogue
Raiding is an interesting experience. Ok that’s probably a bit of an understatement, but overall its an evolving process where you learn, grow, meet challenges, retool and move on. Its organic in nature. And no I don’t mean Freya. What I mean is that as a raid leader, you have the ability to transform your raiding experience into something thats very open and engaging for your raiders. Its not just about soliciting ideas, but allowing the depth of knowledge of your raiders to augment and speed the learning process.
Teacher…. teach thyself… and share
Like the Internet, I’ve found my sources of information have had to evolve over time. In the old days of Burning Crusade, I really only relied on two sources to develop 90% of my kill strategies. I could very reliably go out to www.wowwiki.com for the core abilities and some of the basic strategies. I could very easily also head out to www.bosskillers.com to obtain some alternate or more “professional” strategies. Of course today what I’ve found is that its just not enough anymore.
As a raid leader, I’ve found that in this expansion the knowledge has been spread all over the place. We have movies like we did before, but Blizzard has made the fights evolve over time so that the initial videos released aren’t always the best way to kill a boss over time. I love going to TankSpot to read up on strategies and watch the videos. Some of them are super easy to do, but other times I find that we have to be willing to look at alternate strategies.
I find myself spending more time reading blogs, reading the comments on kill strategies, or going out to totally new sites (to me) like StratFu. The knowledge required to kill these bosses or at least educate yourself is spread in a much broader spectrum than it was before. Hell I’m constantly looking for new sites, new ideas and new sources of information. I’m not looking for the “do this and you win” button. I’m looking for smarter ways for us to do the instance. If I can shave 1 minute off a fight or 30 minutes off trash, I’ve helped the raid be more efficient or better in some way.
Knowledge in Depth
Your team is there to help you. If you’re a tank, you’re probably going to spend 90% of your time staring at your own butt, (Sorry bear tank here… its all I see…) or some guy/girl/thing’s ankles. Typically you’ve got a limited field of vision. If you’re fortunate enough to be a ranged DPS you’re probably a bit more situationally aware of whats going on. If you’re a healer, you’re going to be busy healing at some point. So odds are good you’ll be busy at times and not fully aware of your surroundings.
Regardless of what role you play, you’re probably not being paid to sit there over some ranged DPS’s shoulder and just direct everyone. You’re there in the thick of it.. and guess what.. you won’t see everything. So your team has to be there with their eyes and ears to tell you what just happened when things just went horribly wrong…
I’m a very big proponent of keeping my team with an open dialogue. For one thing, they read different stuff than I do. They also see different things. Last night we took a couple of swipes at Ignis at the end of the night. On the first attempt I was the OT in charge of keeping the adds controlled. So I was busy doing that when I heard the words… “Oh shit… he just blew up the raid” come across on vent. Instantly I looked up and notice… yep.. then entire raid was pretty much dead. I knew right away what happened, but the communication that the raid provided me told me I hadn’t explained something very well and guess what… I missed a minor detail.
Killing stuff is more than just explaining it and going. People need time to understand what you’ve said and then absorb it. With that constant flow of information you can tweak and refine your strategies much faster. Plus in our case, we have players who also attended 25 man Ulduar with another group on our server. They bring a LOT of information back with them. I’m not upset that they’re running it with other people. I’m happy they are bringing back other ideas and thoughts that I can use.
The most important thing I can stress is keeping an open dialogue. yes… I know.. I said it like just last paragraph, but for me, I find that when you have a pretty smart group of players, you need to understand what their challenges are and what they need to keep things progressing. If you assign someone to a task, you need to understand what if anything went wrong. Also you need to find out what went right.
Frequently we forget to find out what went well too. Talking it over with your team, you can find out little tricks and tips that people used to accomplish certain tasks. By getting your raiders to share those tips and tricks, you’re helping to better their team. If you have two Boomkin and one is doing 3500 DPS and the second one is doing 2500 DPS, its time to encourage your raiders to talk and share ideas openly. Some general guidelines that I find help out.
1. If you think someone is doing something wrong, try to phrase your statement as a suggestion not in the form of, “YOU MUST DO THIS”.
2. A great way to share information is, “I find its easiest for me to control the adds when I do ______.” When you phrase it this way you are sharing information that you have without telling people that they must do it your way.
3. Try asking the other people what they think before you offer your opinion. So if someone is having trouble healing the tank, instead of saying.. “You’re not doing your job!!!”, try “I noticed the tank isn’t staying up.. what’s going on? IS there some damage we’re not seeing?” You might be surprised when the healer tells you that the tank keeps turning their back to the mob and getting mauled… hmmm healers fault? Nope.
Organic and all Natural
The point that I’ve been dancing around so much till the point is that overall if you want your raid team to be smarter, faster and work harder than the other guys that you’re competing with, you have to encourage open dialogue and sharing of ideas. You’re healer shouldn’t be affraid to ask if you’ve remembered to throw your tanking gear on or if you’re spec’d right tonight. Yes… I did that.. I tanked Ignis with a kitty spec and tank gear and he bent me over and spanked me like a very naughty little kid.
The teams learn what their strengths and weaknesses are and are more willing to help each other out if you foster that idea of sharing what they’ve learned and growing with it.
What about you guys? Where do you get your information? HOw do you share it amongst the team? Where do keep your experts?