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Officers QuartersOct 15, 2015 5:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: Every guild wipes

Archimonde casts Nether Tear

Wiping isn’t very fun, but it’s a necessary part of the progression process. This week, a raid leader contends with raid members who quit the run after just a few wipes. We’ll look at why wiping is normal and necessary and what you can do to instill patience and mitigate frustration when your guild wipes.

Izaya asked

I’ve a question and I’d like to post it for discussion. I’ve been playing ever since TBC as a warrior tank. Took blows to the head from everything: Gnolls, orcs, demons, old gods…

I’ve always done only PVE and I’m having troubles. Thanks to some people leaving i was tasked with leading the PVE efforts of the guild in which I’m serving now. I got this job thanks to my experience in PVE and tanking “mad skillz”. The problem is, my other guild colleagues have a bit of an attitude problem. You see, they´re very competent people when it comes to their functions. But they WON´T tolerate wipes. I understand, thanks to my years receiving blows to the head as Mr. Rossi always tactfully puts in his writings, that wipes are a natural part of the process.

But, they don’t understand that. All it takes is one-two wipes for accusations to be thrown around. Yesterday our boomkin, one of our best DPS, left after a rage tantrum in the middle of the raid (We were at Xhhul’Horac Normal) because of such happenings. My question is, how do i make our group understand, that just because they killed archimonde normal with a bunch of random people in raid finder, that doesn’t mean we will have the same experience? How do i make them cultivate the patience and humility that are so necessary to be able to move forward and defeat the challenges ahead, despite the wipes?

Thanks for your time fellas and i appreciate any insights given unto this matter.

First of all, much respect for stepping up and taking on raid leadership duties for your guild. It’s very often a thankless and stressful job that few players can much less want to deal with.

I too have run across players who say, “Well, this other PUG was able to do it. Why can’t we?” The fact of the matter is, you don’t know who is in that PUG or what they’ve done in the game. You could have players with Mythic experience running the Normal version on an alt. You could have a small group of guildmates within the raid who are managing the tough mechanics. Nothing leads to success in raiding like practice and familiarity with an encounter.

That’s why some PUGs succeed when guild groups wipe: the individuals have seen the encounter, possibly many times. In particular, if the PUG’s raid leader has beaten the boss, they know exactly how to set up the raid to succeed. On the other hand, in a progression run for your guild raid, by definition you don’t have as much experience, because most of your raid members haven’t beaten the encounter before.

Everyone who is good at a boss in a PUG has wiped to that boss, and I guarantee it happened more than the once or twice threshold that frustrates your guild members. That seems like an incredibly low amount of wipes to get angry over. I honestly wonder whether they are cut out for group gaming. Maybe they’re used to beating Metal Gear Solid games without a death, but MMOs don’t work like that. Maybe they were all in hardcore guilds in past expansions and they think Normal mode Hellfire should be 13 one-shots as practice for Heroic.

What they need to remember is that even the world’s best guilds weren’t one-shotting all the Normal mode bosses when Hellfire launched. If they did one-shot any of them, it was mainly because they practiced on the PTR (well…Hellfire Assault excluded). Mythic Archimonde took 472 wipes for Method’s world first. 472 — that is not a typo. They also wiped 4 times to Normal Archimonde and 26 to Heroic. They never would have accomplished that feat if their players rage quit after 10 or even 100 attempts. Part of what separates the top guilds from the rest of us is their willingness to keep wiping and learning from their wipes.

Halo All Priest Raid

Cultivate by example

You can’t control your raiders’ behavior. You can “cultivate patience and humility” — but only by example. Exhibit patience and humility in your leadership style, and the players who have the right attitude to be part of a raiding group will follow your lead. Stay positive, and others will remain hopeful.

That said, the way you handle wipes will make a huge difference. Nothing will frustrate raiders more if you’re wiping repeatedly without making any adjustments or trying to figure out what went wrong. Then you’re all just hitting your collective heads against a wall. Effective raid leaders try to diagnose problems and come up with solutions. That means knowing the encounters inside and out, asking questions about what mechanics feel difficult to manage for your raid team, and evolving your strategy on the fly.

This is one of the most challenging parts of raid leadership. Playing a tank makes it even more difficult, since you often can’t see much besides the boss’s angry crotch in your face. You can certainly lean on other veteran raiders in your squad, if you have any, to provide advice. Brainstorming solutions as a team can help you figure out the best strat — just remember that the ultimate decision about which ideas to try falls on you.

When people say, “This is impossible,” you should try to interpret why they’re saying that. Raiders often want to blame a healer or a DPS who’s low on the meters, a tank who’s not mitigating enough damage, or that one person who made a mistake with a mechanic. This kind of scapegoating doesn’t really accomplish much and very often it is not the problem at all. The issue could be an inefficient overall approach to the boss.  After the raid, looking at logs can help you figure out which raid members may need help to improve their individual performance, if that is indeed a factor.

Good luck! When your impatient raiders bail on a run, the best revenge is to succeed without them.

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