Lack of Progression

Ever have one of those days?  weeks?  Hell, a whole month?

One day you are rapidly knocking down content — you find door #3, you open it, there’s a monster, and you smash it until there is nothing left but some trifles (epics!!!) in the corner — and then, the mojo is gone.  Your raid team doesn’t know the meaning of the word RAID or TEAM and you spend the night thinking…

Maybe I should take up knitting.  I haven’t washed my hair today — that’d be way more fun than dying for the fifteenth time tonight on a boss that was on farm a month ago.

What Not to Do at Your Next Fail Raid

  • Do not show up at your raider’s doorstep holding their puppy/kitten hostage and threatening to perform horrible acts of torture to said cute, fuzzy animal unless they show up with their raid faces…. and take some Prozac if this seemed like an acceptable solution
  • Do not give your raiders a thirty minute “pep talk” that consists of telling them how much they fail and your utter disgust with their pixellated avatars still wasting your bandwidth… it’s not peppy, it’s not fun, and chances are you’ll lose some raiders
  • Unless you have a guild scapegoat — yes, they will know who they are before the shit ever hits the fan — do not find one.
  • If you are a raid leader or guild officer you are not allowed to quit the raid or the guild because things are tough.  It’s tempting — but you will precipitate the beginning of the end of your guild.
  • If for some reason you’re one of those guilds that has actual punishments for poor raiding performance (DKP MINUS!) replace a raid slot before bankrupting your raider’s account — just sayin’.
  • Do not revert to giving out raid strategies like you’re talking to a bunch of 2 year olds… yes, I know they have the motor control of a bunch of toddlers at the moment, but talking like they are will not help them push the buttons better.

So What CAN I Do?

  • Call a break.  If your raiders can’t discover their inner zen by having a smoke, grabbing a drink, or unloading that awesome chili dog from lunch, it may just be a bad raid night.
  • Take a look at replacing some heads — no one likes replacing people during a raid.  However, sometimes people come tired, stressed, and totally not in the mood.  Sometimes, you, oh mighty leader of the raid, made some poor choices in putting together the group — 7 paladins?  Maybe some of the problem isn’t fail raiders it’s poor composition.
  • Try a different boss.  Wiping time after time (especially on farm content) is frustrating for everyone.  Take a step back, kill something else, get the good mojo going, then come back and smash the thing.
  • Take a focused look at who is showing regularly for raids.  Chances are, your farm content team is not the team showing up to raid.  If that’s the case, you may be carrying raiders who are 1) too weak to be on your regular raiding team, 2) are green behind the ears on the content, or 3) have genuine gear / character issues which must be resolved outside the raid.  You can either train your “backup” team who’s showing up regularly enough to fill your raid slots or recruit — choose wisely.
  • Raid till you wipe — if you’re stuck in a rut of wiping on farm content, sometimes this tip helps keep raiders focused in and interested in doing a good job to get to new content.  If you wipe, you call the raid, that simple.  Should be used sparingly.
  • Cancel a raid week.  This makes progression raiders cry and casual raiders standing around on raid night going “WTF do I do now???”  This is a clear message from the leadership that you are tired too — tired of being responsible for getting a group together, energized and ready to go, only to end up frustrated and feeling rejected by the very people you’re trying to lead.  Should be used sparingly.

Raiding angst is a part of the WoW experience for most raiders that I’ve talked to who actually persist with a regular raiding team for any amount of time.  Learning how to effectively manage your team — whether they be burned out, just don’t get it, or totally new — can be the making or breaking of raiding for your guild.  In my experience, very few people deal well with constant exposure to critiques and criticisms, and will happily transfer their character to a different guild if they feel uncomfortable with their position in the guild.

If you are an officer involved with coordinating raiding for your guild, be aware that raiding is as important for your raiders as it is for you (for the most part).  People in raiding guilds like to raid — they want the camaraderie and accomplishment of raiding just as much as you do!  However, if progress stalls for an inconsiderable amount of time, you will be held responsible by your raiders — as a person in a position of authority with the ability to make changes to raid times/recruitment status/raid slots you are expected to tackle any problems preventing the raid team from moving forward.

Here’s hoping that you never have to tell your raiders to not stand in the fire.

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5 thoughts on “Lack of Progression

  1. Ideally, I think it's a good idea to sit down with each individual player and find out their particular problem so that you can better help them to improve.

  2. A good post – the "what not to do" made me snicker a bit, if only because some of them have been rather tempting in the past.

    I do agree with Jaedia that it's good to discuss with individual players that are having difficulties the things that can possibly be done to help them. Sometimes it's simply a matter of fixing a rotation, or a slight respec, or any number of little things that add up into big losses in DPS or capability. It's time-consuming, and can be ridiculously difficult due to some people not being able to take any form of criticism, but it can work wonders.

    • My post was getting on a bit and I realized I could spend a whole week writing about raiding and guilds — so that's the plan at the moment 😛

      I agree, talking to your raider's and forming a bond beyond the "show up, shut up and do your job" is really the best solution for many problems that occur in raid settings.

  3. It depends if the problem is due to individual players or to lack of synergy. Suddenly getting stuck on a boss that's been on farm for months is usually more of a team problem. In that case, taking a break, shortening the raids or having some no-stress fun elsewhere does really help.

    I remember back in tBC, one of my then-guildies (who was the most hilarious, belligerent drunk ever) used to host drunken Friday night Kara. It did wonders for our team moral. We became closer, more enthusiastic and performed better in our progression. When real life forced him to calm down and grow up, our guild took a notable step backwards. It's really interesting how team cohesiveness affects our play.

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