Oh, Sindragosa, how I loathe thee. You weren’t content to just stomp our faces in for one night, or even to possess a cat and distract further attempts at taking your life. Your stubbornness is very annoying. We even walked in there with a new strat (one Rhidach outlined here) and, while things seemed to be going well, the icy queen still lived at the end of the raid.
However, I didn’t come here to write about how we fared against this chilly roadblock. What I really want to discuss, believe it or not, is attitude.
Unless your Vent is dead silent during raids, I’m sure all of you have picked up on (or are starting to pick up on, as is my case) the general feel of raid time in your local guild and the main actors and actresses that grace its stage. In many ways, it’s your interactions with these individuals that determines how your runs progress and how much fun you take out of it.
I’m sure many of us have been in raids with ragers that are hovering over their Vent bind, just waiting to tear the heart out of some poor sap who isn’t stacked perfectly enough, or whatever their rage-spiration may be.
On the other side of the spectrum there are the antithesises antithesi opposites of the ragers, the push-overs. These are the raiders that kindly remind everyone not to kill XT’s heart in a short message in raid chat (come on, no one reads raid chat), and when the heart comes down and the shaman hits Bloodlust, you just know the push-over is sitting there, shrugging his shoulders, saying to himself “Aw, shucks. Well, better luck next time!”
Obviously, neither extreme is ideal, nor do I think there is one specific attitude that is right for every situation. Rather than trying to find a happy medium, let’s look at how these two extremes apply to raiding.
Case: Heroic Sindragosa 25
Yes, I am using my guild’s current progression encounter as an example. Bear with me, and go ahead and take that grain of salt, along with what looks like a fistful of ibuprofen. I can wait.
For those unfamiliar with the heroic encounter, a basic overview is that it’s a LOT like the normal version, just much, much less forgiving. I don’t intend on making a fight breakdown / strategy for this fight until we down it, but thankfully a full understanding of the heroic mechanics won’t be relevant for my discussion. I hope.
We normally run with only two or three druids, and as such, we only have two or three Rebirths. On such an unforgiving encounter, those would ideally be saved for tanks, first and foremost. However, quite often we would have someone not quite LoS a frost bomb and get one-shot as a result, in which case one of our Rebirths is burned.
It is my own humble (/chuckle) opinion that LoSing frost bombs during the air phase is not a difficult thing to do, and therefore, those who fail at doing so need to buckle down and simply “do better.” I don’t know how else I can say it; such players need to adapt. I’ll admit, I’ve been killed twice by the same mechanic. As a result of those deaths, I felt embarrassment and a little bit of shame for dying to something so simple, and henceforth kicked myself into gear. That was more than two weeks ago, and I have not been hit by a frost bomb since.
As an aside, I, in fact, don’t hold myself as a shining example of the ‘perfect raider.’ I still have room for improvement, and I continually work at it. For example: the greatest thing about having dual monitors is having the ability to multi-task; the worst thing about having dual monitors is having the ability to multi-task.
So what happens when individuals who consistently fail at this are soaking up Rebirths like a desiccated sponge? Is it wrong to expect that raider to be improving their performance?
Short answer: No, it isn’t wrong at all.
Long answer: The fact that we’re getting so close to downing this fight is an indication of the potential of our players. I’ve seen some truly impressive things in my short stay here so far. The potential is there; the commitment to fulfillment is what I feel is lacking. We all want this shrill bone-thing dead. We should all be committed to this goal. By accepting that raid invite, you are telling not only your raid leader, but the rest of the raid and guild as a whole, that you are willing to go the distance and do what needs to be done to see these things through, among other clichés.
Macroscopically, in any raid that’s struggling on something, the solution may not be a simple strat change or repositioning; it could be the consensual attitude of the raid. So what’s the remedy?
It’s not yelling and barking at your guildmates, that’s for sure. My old guild had a raid leader that shouted out orders like he was commanding a brigade of 9 year olds. Not only does it get grating and irritating, it’s insulting to be treated like that. Thankfully, there isn’t a soul in ES that has adopted such a style.
On the flip side, the cure we’re seeking is also not the shoulder-shrugger attitude either. After a wipe, expressing your “Oh well, maybe next time!” point-of-view won’t get you any points, and it definitely won’t get you any closer to your kill.
I wanted to write this post without singling anyone out, and (hopefully) without causing too much intra-guild drama. As such, I’m going to try to put this next part as delicately as possible.
There were a few attitudes I observed last night that really bothered me.
First, the individual that Rhidach mentions in his latest post. In case you didn’t click that link (I wouldn’t blame you; my banner is way cooler than his), there was an individual opening criticizing the decision to try a new strat. I highly, highly encourage proper and intelligent feedback from raiders to their raid leader, but not in such a way that portrays the RL as a villain, which is (again, in my “humble” opinion) exactly what happened.
This is not to say I totally and utterly disagreed with this dissenter. At first, I too questioned the wisdom of switching up strats when we got so close to a kill last week. However, rather than crying in raid chat about it, I kept my opinion to myself. I made a decision of my own; that is, to trust the raid leader and see this through. And by golly, when we made it sub-20% on the first try of the new strat, those reservations I had soon evaporated. Imagine that.
Your raid leader, guild leader, and officer corps are a higher rank than you for a reason. They have all shown an aptitude for leading and decision-making, and, as the case with ES, their experience and guidance has seen us through to one of the hardest encounters in the game thus far. They spend a lot of time working, researching, brainstorming, and collaborating, so that when raid time rolls around, bosses drop left and right, and you, the average raider, leave later that night with full bags and a sense of accomplishment.
In short, trust in your leaders. Trust is the glue that binds your raid together.
The second attitude that really irked me was actually conveyed in the middle of an attempt. We had a healer clearing stacks of Unchained Magic who suddenly got marked for a beacon and, unfortunately, couldn’t make it all the way to the designated “ice block area.” The tank had to readjust in order to get back in range of the tomb so both tanks could clear stacks quickly.
The placement of this tomb, while poor, was seemingly unavoidable. Sometimes these things happen. Everyone did a fantastic job readjusting, but we eventually ended up wiping anyway. However, right as the tomb went out, the tank let out a cry of frustration over Vent, to which someone responded “Oh well, it’s alright.”
I have a few problems with this. First, I know that you mean well and you’re trying to calm the tank who is probably foaming at the mouth, but it is not alright. The tomb got placed in the wrong area, and as a result, we wiped shortly after. Nothing about that is “alright.”
It may not actually be anyone’s fault; the healer in question can’t just zip to any part of the map at a whim. It was great that no one else managed to get tombed alongside them during this mishap, but we cannot walk into these attempts with the sense that, if you screw up, everything’s okay.
Second, not only was that the wrong thing to say, it was also the wrong time to say it. You don’t try making idle chit-chat with Jim Furyk when he’s in the middle of his backswing. The only people talking should be those contributing to the task at hand, i.e. the murder of this stupid dragon. There is no need to clog up Vent with your “carebear” chatter.
All in all, my advice to anyone reading this that is in a similar situation is to try to be mindful of your raid’s attitude. Whenever possible, encourage determined optimism while discouraging apathy and raging outbursts.
Essentially, be more like Vulcans. They know how to get stuff done.
Ha, innuendo. Awesome.