I Pity The Fools

Just in time for 3.1, <Unemployed> has chosen its new Whipping boy raid leader! I’ll say first that it wasn’t the person I had put my money on (I don’t even know if he applied).

Who was the poor sap who got roped into this gruelling and likely thankless position?

Why… ’twas moi!

I’m not exactly sure what to write about, actually. I remember when I started this blog last summer. I remember talking about my first trials in tanking, the first time I was asked to lead Karazhan.

I remember being terrified.

Since then I’ve seen what raids can feel like both when the leader is pushing forward, making decicive decisions and also when there is little or no leadership and the group is floundering for direction, and everywhere in-between.

I’ve learned that the guiding hand doesn’t necessarily have to have all the answers, but someone DOES need to be in the driver’s seat to keep things moving. The moments before a boss pull are not the time to discuss the merits of various boss strategies and exercise democracy. In the middle of a fight there’s no room for indecision.

If a raid leader makes a bad call that ends in death, then there is time post-mortem to assess the damage and work towards not repeating the mistake. I believe the hallmark of a good raid leader is the ability to admit fault.

I was in a raid once back in BC. We were raiding Karazhan and attempting to take down the Curator. We got to the last 15% and the raid lead called out all in, and told us to ignore the few sparks still left up and wandering around.

Can you guess what happened?

Of course, we wiped, but it wasn’t the wipe that made him a bad raid leader. When we all got back he began screaming over ventrilo at the DPS. “Lowest DPS leaves!” is what he said. Never once did he admit he made a bad call, never once did he acknowledge that if we’d taken the extra few seconds to kill those sparks we would have had a dead curator instead of a dead raid.

It’s no coincidence that I found myself <Unemployed> soon after this happened.

What I found there was a leading style that, while firm, was also fair. Honest mistakes were allowed and it was understood that everyone needed a chance to learn.

Now, the grand adventure is upon us. Together we are about to venture into Ulduar. The instance is new and unknown. Yes, there are already boss strategy guides up online, but none of us have actually seen the encounters, and this week at least we will be mostly hands-off, eschewing micro-management in celebration of the thrill of discovery and the joys that come with being able to solve problems on the fly.

As a raid lead I will read the strategies, but I don’t think I will attempt to micro-manage (well, maybe a little with vehicle assignments). But we’ll be doing these bosses first on normal mode.

Normal mode is very forgiving of mistakes. We will have the luxury of learning on the fly and correcting things as we go. This is leadership I think I can do, a kind of easing into the role.

I love this guild, and I love the people in it, and I applied to be an officer because I knew that (with the support of the other officers when it came time to trouble-shooting) I was capable of being the pace car, of making the calls and keeping things moving and that, fundamentally, is the base value of a raid leader.

I lack an exhaustive knowledge of lots of classes, and I didn’t know how well an arms warrior would synergise with a feral until just a couple of weeks ago. I’m not the kind of leader that has all the answers.

However, I know where to get them, and I won’t lead you in circles if I don’t have the answer to the question you’re asking. That’s the best I can do right now, but I actually do think it will be enough πŸ™‚

On another note:

It’s a curious thing about failure. Sarth 3D remaining unkilled taunts me. I feel defeated, angry, and frustrated. I wait to rail at Blizard for dropping the patch today. I’m convinced that with one more week we would have had it.

But this failure has done a curious thing. I feel galvanized. I’m more determined than every to not let these achievements slip away and I’m sure there are more in the guild who are minded like me.

As we head into Ulduar we are going to push Achievements much more agressively than we did with Naxxramas. Bosses will only be on ‘farm’ when we are consistently downing them with the appropriate achievements.

It’s a brave new world out there and I have every confidence that <Unemployed> has the willpower, fortitude, and general chutzpah required to give these new challenges what for!

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  • Comments (7)
    • Guinesa
    • April 15th, 2009

    I was waiting for this post! Congrats again Tiger!

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 15th, 2009

    Well, it was either flail about and generally act self-important or whine some about the new bear mechanics. πŸ˜‰

  1. Congratulations on the oh-so many headaches to come! πŸ˜‰

    I kid.

    Also, the last four paragraphs of this post are really powerful. Kudos to you!

  2. Oh oh oh.

    1. I found my debit card! In the glove compartment. At which point I squealed in joy, dropped my electronic swipey key cardy thing between the passenger’s seat and center console, jumped up in surprise, hit my head on the roof of my car, and accidentally hug up my cell phone on my mom. Go me.

    2. Speaking of bear mechanics … is there a graphic? Does it look like a bubble? PLEASE tell me it looks like a bubble! Bear bubbles would be so pure win.

  3. I meant “hung,” not “hug.” Nerf spelling. And grammar.

    *crawls under a rock*

    • Tigerfeet
    • April 15th, 2009

    There is totally an animation for our bubble… it looks like enrage.

    We stand up on our little back legs and rawr.

    As it procs prety often (I ran hVH last night to try it out, multiple mobs + infini-swipe)…

    I looked like I was doing a weird jig. It looks rather stupid. I’m not sure what would be better in its place though :/

    However, my healer was asking me to put my dps gear back on (I ran up to the first boss in my dps gear on accident) because he was getting bored.

  4. Aw, I was hoping for a soap bubble — like the one Disc priests do (somehow; priesting remains a mystery to me).

    We thought bears were HUGELY nerfed last night in Ulduar … then we realized that we weren’t supposed to be tanking things without our vehicles. Oops.

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