Seeking Raid Leading Advice!

90 Tauren Hunter
12135
Hello raiders, leaders, GMs, and rascals alike.

I have taken up a full-on raid leading position a month or two ago in my guild! It was very, very interesting when I first got the nerve to step up and try, since In all the years of playing WoW, I was used to being just a follower who enjoyed assisting whenever possible, and now it's like whoa, got a whole new role on my shoulders to try out!

It's tricky and sometimes stressful as I've learned so far!

Thankfully though, with my noobish skills, my team has progressed smoothly still! We're 16/16 normal and 2/16 heroic. We're no elitists for obvious reasons but my team tries it's best!

I had to replace a lady raider in my group due to a serious sour attitude issue and a lot of people did not like that since they were close to her. It's not the first person we've replaced either. I don't like kicking people, but progress was made once someone who complained about wiping in a hostile way was well, removed, and she was not the first I've had to remove due to hostility or suffering in the skill department. I'm asking for any pointers as we dive into heroics. How do you guys handle players with personality misfits?

Also now with some newbies, since in progression people will always come and go, how do you guys suggest helping these people fit in? I'm still trying to get some confidence in leading and I'm worried that our new recruits are having issues either fitting in with the team, or worried the current close knit raiders are not going to like them. Any team bonding ideas or do you just suggest sinking and swimming?

Any other tips and tricks to suggest to a newer leader? Thank you all in advance!
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
7385
bad dps, bad heals, bad tank,!@#$%ing, bad at mechanics(consistently) we just throw em on the bench and bring in a replacement. As for the newbies this is the internet and this is a video game it would be great for everyone to get along but that is not going to happen, if they fit in they fit in as long as they pull their weight its all good.
Of course be nice and helpfull to the new players, if your core people are starting off being a wall of dicks to the new people then that could be the problem right there.
Edited by Forcê on 2/5/2013 7:30 AM PST
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90 Tauren Hunter
12135
bad dps, bad heals, bad tank,!@#$%ing, bad at mechanics(consistently) we just throw em on the bench and bring in a replacement. As for the newbies this is the internet and this is a video game it would be great for everyone to get along but that is not going to happen, if they fit in they fit in as long as they pull their weight its all good.
Of course be nice and helpfull to the new players, if your core people are starting off being a wall of dicks to the new people then that could be the problem right there.


You don't even know about the 3 tanks we've had gone through and removed due to either never showing up or flat up never popping cd's for ANYTHING and beating their face to a wall. Like okay, thanks for not trying, see you later lol. Have you ever had someone not fit in, do you just simply say "Yeah you're a good player but uh, you dont fit in.." like, it sounds awkward o.e
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I'm asking for any pointers as we dive into heroics. How do you guys handle players with personality misfits?

Also now with some newbies, since in progression people will always come and go, how do you guys suggest helping these people fit in? ...Any team bonding ideas or do you just suggest sinking and swimming?


These are really good questions; I think this is an aspect of raid leading that people often overlook. To answer generally before getting into specifics, I'd say that as the raid leader you're in a unique position to set the tone for your raids. Every group is different, but it sounds like your team needs a fairly positive atmosphere (versus, say, a name and shame approach). If that's the case, there are some things you can do to keep the feeling light.

First, encourage incremental progress and recognize it when it happens. It can help to go into a tough fight not necessarily planning to down the boss, but to, say, master a mechanic or get a first phase with no deaths to some ability. Set those milestones so that people feel like they've accomplished something after a night of wiping, even if the boss isn't dead.

Second, you can encourage interaction during trash (but be quick to reign things in when it's time to focus). Raid banter before bosses can help get your newer raiders listening and integrated into the culture of your team. If you prefer quieter comms, you could try assigning a buddy or mentor to newer players. These people would be responsible for explaining any mechanics or guild-specific strats to players who haven't seen them, and might also check in after raids to see whether the new person has any questions or to ask how they think things went. (This can also help reduce time spent explaining versus time spent fighting, which is generally a positive thing.) Give them at least one open line of communication, and the rest will probably take care of itself.

Finally, on the issue of a bad personality fit, that could be a whole series of posts on its own. Personally, I try to make sure we avoid that before the person gets into the guild, just because it can be such an irritation once they're integrated into the team. I think often replacing someone is the only way to make the message stick, so good for you in taking that decisive action. A preliminary step might be talk to the person about his/her attitude and let the person know that it's a drain on the team. (FWIW, I've only found this to be temporarily effective -- inevitably the bad attitude comes back and you're starting the whole process over again.) Sometimes you may only need to replace the person temporarily, until they've sorted out whatever RL issue is causing them to act out in-game. But generally a break of some sort is the only solution.

Good luck. It sounds like you're taking your new role seriously, and I'm sure your raiders will appreciate the preparation you're putting into it. :)
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
10660
There are a lot of people in this game who are emotionally disturbed or have various mental disorders. Sometimes it is hard to tell who has what. If a player is being very hostile, very paranoid about loot, etc to some level that is beyond the norm, it is typically a sign of something going on. It is not your job to babysit them if they didn't take their meds but it doesn't hurt to ask so you can make an informed decision on when they can raid and when they can't or if they can even be kept around your guildies.
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90 Troll Mage
11015
I think in 10 mans, it is really important and feasible for everyone to get along. I come from a 15/16 H guild, currently looking for a couple new people, but just as important as their ability to press buttons and be aware, is their ability to be non-elitest and enjoy a "casual" raiding environment where people aren't yelling at each other. Some people concentrate so hard on progress in this game, they forget why they downloaded the game in the first place... to have some fun. We enjoy fooling around in mumble during trash. Keeping spirits high put us on a pace of killing 2 new heroic bosses per week (until we hit sha).

First thing is we don't do apps. Apps are dumb, people don't take that much time to fill them out, people don't take that much time looking over them, and really they don't tell you the full story about the person. Get a person on skype or mumble or vent, let them know what your guild is about (be very upfront here), what you expect of your raiders (again upfront), and ask them some questions. You can tell by the person's tone and responses what type of personality that they have.

If after all that, they still end up being a db, let them sit on the bench. I prefer never to kick anyone, because you never know when you might need them to fill in for you. Like someone said earlier, talking to them only seems to be a temporary fix. So talk to the person, start recruiting immediately, and hopefully you have someone to fill the spot before they turn into an !@#$%^- again.

As far as the new raiders, we usually go over boss mechanics a pack or two of trash before the boss as to avoid uneccessary downtime. Ton's of downtime also seems to negatively affected players performance. As far as making them a part of raid, that's something they earn with time. If they pull their weight in the raid and do a couple of tricks to make other people's jobs easier, the raid is probably going to accept them however quiet they are in mumble. If you want to get to know them better, ask questions specific to the person, ie' "Did you do anything fun this weekend Artemiscow?" Kind of lets the person know they are welcomed into whatever conversation happens.

I really think the biggest team building comes from activities done outside of raid though. For me challenge modes were the most fun I have had playing this game (probably cause it brought me back to the TBC days when I was so noob the only thing I could do was heroics). I got to do them with some people I really enjoy playing with and by the time we finished them all we ended up like wow bffs. I also try to arena with different people in the guild, q for a random bg after raid, do dailies or pet battles (lol). I think those type of activities are the biggest team builders.

Lastly, Anaea is absolutely correct about incremental progress. It should be the main focus of whatever boss you are currently working on.
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20 Human Warlock
7630
02/05/2013 06:32 PMPosted by Artemiscow
You don't even know about the 3 tanks we've had gone through and removed due to either never showing up or flat up never popping cd's for ANYTHING and beating their face to a wall. Like okay, thanks for not trying, see you later lol. Have you ever had someone not fit in, do you just simply say "Yeah you're a good player but uh, you dont fit in.." like, it sounds awkward o.e


yes I have had that conversation and it is not as hard as you think. My raid team and guild are very casual, having fun is our number one goal if we progress that is fine if we do not no big deal, it works for us. We help gear alts, we are a place for your alts if your main guild will not let your alts in, We do not dictate specs, gear or anything else. And if you do not want to raid for a fefw weeks no big deal We will pug til you come back.

There have been some raiders that came in and thought that is what they wanted, but over time you could see they reallly did not want what we had to offer. Their attitudes soured, they complained about everything, the pulled the raid moral down to the basement

It was very easy to say Hey I see your frustrated and it appears your not very happy with how things are going in the raid.. then listen to their response. I hear that and I understand that, but here is the issue 9 other raiders like what is going on, you do not , I would suggest that we are not a good fit for you and that you look for a new guild, I will give you glowing references and I wish you luck....

Often they will do one of two things, they will thank me for taking the time to listen to them and leave quietly or they will try to start some drama for which I will immediately guild kick them and their alts

Not everyone is going to fit with your raiders.. I had one guy who had a habit of leaving his Mic on in Vent and he chewed gum like a Cow all you heard was chew chew smack..
I basically stopped inviting him to the raids. Or the lady who came in and talked non stop about her cats She too never got an invite back

Sometimes I have to talk to my raiders and say hey guys give the guy a break he is trying, instead of slamming him , help him out...But I have rarely had to do this as part of our initiation process is you must run 5 man heroics with the guild for a few weeks ( vent is mandatory) and you will be running in the role you plan to be raiding in.. so if you coming in as a tank, your tanking, or Healing you will be healing the 5 mans.. This gives the established raiders a chance to get familair with the new guy and him with us.. and it is in the 5 man trials that we weed out the ones that we know will just not work out.
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90 Human Priest
10190
bad dps, bad heals, bad tank,!@#$%ing, bad at mechanics(consistently) we just throw em on the bench and bring in a replacement. As for the newbies this is the internet and this is a video game it would be great for everyone to get along but that is not going to happen, if they fit in they fit in as long as they pull their weight its all good.
Of course be nice and helpfull to the new players, if your core people are starting off being a wall of dicks to the new people then that could be the problem right there.


You don't even know about the 3 tanks we've had gone through and removed due to either never showing up or flat up never popping cd's for ANYTHING and beating their face to a wall. Like okay, thanks for not trying, see you later lol. Have you ever had someone not fit in, do you just simply say "Yeah you're a good player but uh, you dont fit in.." like, it sounds awkward o.e


As for new people, give them a few weeks to really settle in and start feeling like a core member. Speaking from experience on both sides, it can be really daunting joining a team mid-progression and to feel for a while that you're on the outside of a close core group looking in. After a few weeks you do start to feel more like one of the team and if after a month things are still really awkward or they seem to want to be on the outskirts you have to examine if this is affecting your progression or not. Some people are just really shy/introverted while others are boisterous and as long as people are respectful and it's not affecting progression it's not something to worry about - just keep an eye on.

As a RL I always tried to make new people feel welcome and if we wiped on a progression fight I'll ask them if they have any input. Just try to make it a welcoming environment in general so that they feel at ease.
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90 Tauren Hunter
12135
I really appreciate the feedback. I'm still learning a lot but I feel much more confident as weeks go on. <3
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90 Human Rogue
16950
02/11/2013 10:07 AMPosted by Calamai
As a RL I always tried to make new people feel welcome and if we wiped on a progression fight I'll ask them if they have any input.

I would ask for input/insight from my raiders when I was RLing as well. It lessens the pressure of RLing a bit, keeps morale up while running back from a wipe, and generally gets people more engaged and invested. Plus sometimes another person will catch what you missed (in my case, often because I can't see past the boss's butt and/or his adds!).

I took a peek at your logs, and it looks like you've got some good people playing with you, people who know what they're doing. Don't be afraid to ask for their support.
Edited by Antoniolo on 2/27/2013 7:54 AM PST
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90 Tauren Druid
13815
You asked how I deal with personality misfits; I don't. Unjustified negativity, insecurity and all other forms of whining bore me. Not only are they a waste of time, but they hinder progression and moral; I remove those people without hesitation. Over time it will work itself out, you'll be around people who think the same because all of the trouble makers will be gone; "time makes more converts than reason."
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