Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I never wanted to be a raid leader

Over the course of the last week or so--as a result our continued un-success at bringing down Rotface and my inability to figure out exactly why--I've started thinking back to how I ended up as a raid leader anyway.

I never wanted to be a raid leader. It's not a position I strived to obtain. And more times than not, I feel woefully inadequate at doing it. I'm sure my guildmates will chide me for saying so, but it's true.

It started back when I was an officer of a different guild (a position I think I was given for little reason other than I was reliably online and playing the game) and we started doing joint runs with my current guild because neither could field 25-man teams on their own to take on Gruul and Magtheridon. During off-nights we would often get Kara teams together to hone our skills and gear as many people up as possible.

In my early days in Kara I had no idea what was going on. I had never raided before. I'd barely run Heroics (I entered Kara in near-full epic BG PvP gear). I only had the faintest idea of concepts like aggro. I knew, as a Feral, if I wanted to raid I was probably going to have to tank, although I'd only run cat to that point. Basically I was an utter noob.

At first it was pretty overwhelming. And it didn't help that at the start of each fight I'd get a quick synopsis of what was going to happen and then we'd just go. During the battle there were no reminders of what was happening. And since I'd never seen them before, I just had to try and keep up and remember as best I could.

Slowly I learned the fights. I learned how group mechanics work. I learned, at least to a small degree, what each class/spec could and couldn't do.

As time went on, the people who I had traditionally considered to be our raid leaders didn't log on very much. And I found myself in Kara groups where everyone was just kinda running around and trying to stay together, and there was no definitive plan of action through the whole thing.

I'm the type of guy that's 100% okay with sitting back, letting someone else take the reigns, and doing what I'm told to do. In fact, I honestly prefer it--just let me worry about me and quietly do my job the best I can. But when there's a void there, I'm also the kind of person that will step up and fill it until someone else comes along that can do it as good or better than me (which I still don't think takes much).

So in these Kara groups I suddenly found myself being the one to explain the fights. And while the fights were going on, I continued to call out instructions and reminders. This carried on to Gruul as well. And by the time we started making serious attempts at Magtheridon, I found I was actively researching the battles ahead of time so that I could help coordinate what 25 people across 2 different guilds were trying to do.

Eventually my old guild kinda fell apart and we all merged into the other (now current) guild. I was grandfathered in as an Officer and became one of the two defacto raid leaders (we now have a third as well).

It all just sort of happened. Quickly and silently and without forethought or planning, I found myself being that guy that everyone else looks (listens?) to for direction. Some days I like it. Some days I really don't. But most of the time it's just there. One more aspect of this game I play with a bunch of strangers. And I'll continue to do my best at it.


  1. You know what I like best about your raid leading, you don't get into the minute details about a fight when you go over it. It's all "stand here or else bad things will happen" or "don't do this or bad things will happen". If I wish to know the bad things I can look them up or yanno, do something to make it happen to myself.

    I think we all like your leading also because of your voice. Its there to tell us things are happening without being so obtrusive as to take us out of the focus of the fight.

    I think the more time goes on the less we're all a bunch of strangers. I like most of the guild more than my own family.

    As for Rotbutt. We're at the point we've over though it and over stressed it. My two copper is that we leave him be and kill some of the princes' stuff and go back to him later. We're all good players and we know our classes well. Its just a mental block at this point.


  2. Well, I never wanted to be a guild leader, so we're even. :)

  3. I think that if you start out wanting to be raid leader, you might not be as well rounded a player. That being said, you do very well at it. Perhaps I look at things differently, but I consider most of us to be friends, some close, others not. With the level of interaction now I don't see the difference between playing this game and being involved with any other social function. We aren't an "anonymous" guild, we pretty much discuss family, work, dating and other issues of the day.
    In the 5 years I've been playing wow, the communication level has changed quite a bit. At any rate, I never thought I'd be playing ANY video game........... but here I am and I'm happy to have met some wonderful people from all over the world.