Monday, August 23, 2010

Do I hurt my raiders?

This past Saturday night, our guild tried RS25 for the third time. The first time we went in there, we weren't able to get past Zarithrian. The second we continually had issues in the transition between phase 2 and 3, with people dieing while trying to get back out to the physical realm, or our tank dropping before adequate healing support was ready.

This time around we were able to address both those issues. Instead we constantly wiped due to horrible placement of Combustions and Consumptions. Either people weren't moving, weren't getting dispelled at the appropriate times, or both. (On more than one occasion we had bad spots almost the size of the entire fight area.)

What's worth noting here is that this is only happening in Phase 3. So what makes phase 3 different from the other two?

I can't keep up with what's going on.

As I've stated before, I'm a very vocal raid leader. I'm basically a running copy of DBM in Vent. In Phase 1 of Halion you'll hear me saying things like "Din, get out," for Consumption or "meteor incoming." Pretty easy...not a whole lot going on there.

In phase 2 it's almost the same. "Ham, get out," "cutters soon, get ready to move," "start strafing," "cutter up, move." Being that I'm usually tanking Halion in the Twilight realm, I'm also paying attention to position of the cutter beams and trying to make sure I don't move Halion from the center of the room. So there's a little more going on, but it's still not unmanageable.

Phase 3 gets impossible for me to keep up with, though. There's meteors, combustions, consumptions, cutters, and corporeality. Plus I'm still worrying about the whole tanking thing. It's a lot to keep up on and I just can't do it. And it seems, without fail, that if I miss a callout, something goes wrong. (My frustration here is compounded by the fact that we had similar problems on Rotface and his oozes the night before.)

I feel like my raiders, both the very good and the learning, have come to depend too much on hearing my directions. So much so that they often don't pay attention for themselves. They focus on healing or DPSing or whatnot and squeezing every bit of efficiency they can out of those jobs. Which is good. But not at the exclusion of awareness.

It's worth noting that I don't have to be uber-specific (usually). When I say "meteor incoming," I don't have to say where. At that point people look at the ground beneath them and move if they have to. But the point is that they should always be keeping a part of their attention there anyway.

Now you would think the solution to this is for me to just shut up and force people to be more aware. There's wisdom in this. But there's two problems.

1) While it may be the key to greater future success, there would be a backslide in the mean time. We've had issues in the past when we backslide in content...usually in the realm of no longer being able to find enough people to field teams.

2) I can't stop myself. It's just what I do. It's like nail-biting or that annoying itch on your leg you just want to scratch. Even when you tell yourself to stop and not do it, 10 minutes later you'll suddenly realize you've been doing it for the last 3 and weren't even aware. Or maybe you were. Your mind is going "Stop. Stop! STOP!" as you're doing it, and you don't stop.

I would literally have to be logged out of Vent and have my headphones put away to not call out stuff that's happening. And then I'd still be doing it...just no one would be able to hear me. And that knowledge would make me edgy.

Seriously...if I'm not watching my timers close enough and an event happens before I can warn about it (i.e. the Lich King's Defile), I feel compelled to apologize to my raiders for my lack of attentiveness.

Yes, it's probably a sign of a bigger problem, okay? :-P

But as I said, now I've got this group of raiders that pretty much depends those vocal cues to know what's happening. And when we get to encounters like Halion Phase 3, I feel like it's costing us. I may have to bite the bullet, though. Accept a little regression in content, find a way to deal with my neurosis, and wait for us to adapt.


  1. is indeed a double edged sword. When call outs are incoming others in the raid can focus on damage or healing as the case may be. That said sometimes it is a detriment to success as it can lead to tunnel-vision and become an excuse for lack of personal accountability and survival.

    If you are having issues keeping other people alive I say make it a point to offload that responsibility to its proper place. The individual. That is part of raiding IMO and we all know fire=bad but sometime get lazy (myself included) if Papa bear does not tell us to stop committing suicide.

    Some fights this is ok, but some you have too much to do. Let us adapt to absence or at least not so frequent reminders of impending doom unless absolutely necessary. I know it is hard but as my Dad always said "sometimes you have to fall and bust that butt a few times before you learn a lesson".

    In the end I feel self accountability makes us better raiders and I am sure it will make it a little more fun for you... neurosis and sore butts notwithstanding. :)

  2. My advice would be to only call out the things that really matter. For instance we'll call out meteors and starting cutters, but it's everyone's individual reponsibility to handle combustions and consumptions. What's extremely helpful in handling these is to set up power aura's to alert you when you have the debuff. If for some reason the person with the debuff is still standing in the clump after a couple seconds of having the debuff we call it out in vent, but honestly there's just too much going on for every debuff to be called out in vent so there has to be some personal responsibility.

  3. I don't think that you're hurting the raid. On the other hand, you're training the raid.

    At the start of a new fight, most of us don't really know what to look for. You call out things like "combustion on Dinaer" and I see the debuff. You call out "meteor coming" and I see the spot on the ground where the meteor is going to hit.

    Ideally, after a few repetitions of this, I learn to notice these things myself. Your calls gave me the introduction to the various things to watch, and I then learned to notice on my own without your help.

    After a few attempts, you could probably stop talking and most (yes, most) people would have the feel for it. Of course, there are some that take longer to learn than others....

    Besides, if you didn't talk, then vent would be awfully quiet.

  4. Why dont you have one person in the "other world" who calls out specifically for that.
    You do shadow they do the light.

    Not only do you then get the proper calls coming in but it trains up someone else to call out for raids that you cant attend.

  5. Ever ask yourself why we can handle phase 3 in 10 man but not in 25 man? Its the same situation you aren't in the physical realm then either.

    You could call it or not call it people will stand in fire, let a giant purple beam of ouch cut them in half or let a massive fire rock from the sky fall on their heads. No matter what you do or don't do some people just won't ever get it.

  6. I know why we can in 10-man...the 10-man runs I've been in have all been with our more accomplished raiders. The 25-man has, well, a lot of less accomplished raiders. I realize the different groups I'm working with in those situations. I just wish there were an easier way to properly "train" some of those less accomplished raiders.

  7. That is what I'd like to do. The more individual accountability our raiders have, the more success we're likely to see. It's hard, though, when one person's mistake can wipe the whole raid. Where do I draw the line when 25 people are putting in 3 hours of time and getting 3 frost badges out of it because we can't down the final boss?

  8. It's that "most" part that's hard. We have very limited 25-man raiding time and I like to see us make the most of it. It's great if 21 people figure it out quickly, but if the RNG picks one of the other 4...time to start over. It's encouraging that we've been in there 3 times and each time we've made progress. I may be making a mountain out of a molehill here. It's just what was on my mind after that night.

    You could always give Aell and Kryz a few glasses of wine. That seems to keep Vent rather lively. :-P

  9. Cutters are one thing and definitely need to be called out. They're a tricky mechanic. I'd say meteors should be the last thing that need to be identified. It's kinda hard to miss the big flashing spot on the ground. Combustions and Consumptions are a gray area. Yes, ideally the person that gets it should be very aware that they have it and that they need to move (which isn't always happening). But the people that can dispell it also have to be aware of who has it and where they are relative to the rest of the raid.

    But at the core, you're right. I need to figure out how to instill a better sense of awareness and personal responsibility in the members of our raid group that aren't typically the ones raiding 4 or 5 nights a week.

  10. Heh...we won't talk about the extent of my neurosis when I'm unable to attend raids. I both hope and fear that they'll find success without me. I generally make sure I'm out somewhere I can drink when I'm not able to make a scheduled 25-man raid. ;-)

    To be fair to my fellow officers, they do try to pick up on the callouts if I fall behind. There have also been occasions when I've asked for specific people to call things out that they're able to see easier than me. Rotface's Infections, for example. I know the healers can see this in their raid frames much easier than I can see the DBM warnings, so I usually let them handle that. But it still doesn't change the fact that, in an ideal world, no one would have to call out who has the Infection because those people would be on top of it.