Raiding and Guildleader Chores: Jumping from Flex raiding to Heroic raiding

I was thinking last week about getting Tensai (our casual holy paladin) in for some raiding - he's always on, and I saw he had managed to help out his old guild with a Heroic Immerseus kill so he could be ready for a bit of heroic raiding!  Also, we seem to be disenchanting a lot of healer gear so I just didn't want it to go to waste!

I asked him about it and he said "Only if you need me."  I was bemused - why didn't he want to do some of our easier farm heroics?  Does he not want gear?  Did he not want the challenge?  I didn't want to push but sometimes if one of the healers weren't here it would help a lot if we could get a healer sub in - even a casual one.  I asked him what he wanted to do and he said he liked playing his alts!  Naturally, that bemused me even more - I can think of nothing worse than playing alts when I'm doing heroic raiding - but everyone is different and I respect and admire that.

"Did you not want any bosses in particular?" I probed, gently.

"I'm not fussed," he replied.

"Are you trying not to be saved in case you need to help out with your brother's guild?"


Tensai was never the very talkative type, even when I was recruiting him.  I don't think it was rudeness on his part, he was just shy.  He doesn't even talk on vent.  I never let it bother me - he just quietly does his job and he doesn't disturb anyone in guild chat.  At least he gave me his btag.

He seemed happy to help, but reluctant to commit, so I decided to take what I could get. I needed him to be geared and to know the fights in case of an emergency, so he was coming, whether he liked it or not.  Morz and I would take turns sitting out to gear him up, it would be fine and Asys could do some healing.

Then I read Stubborn's posts on the flex/normal raider having to suddenly sub into a heroic raid, and his subsequent post.
And that really sums up what I hate about 10 man raiding, particularly heroics. I’ve made jokes about it before, mostly related to healers – that when you’re in a such a zero-margin-for-error environment, every mistake is magnified in a way that it’s not on 25 man. As a result, each mistake someone makes breeds the tiniest amount of resentment in others that, after months of doing these fights, grows into something unhealthy.  

Who's fault is it that we wiped? HUH?
I don't think Tensai was worried about heroics, really.  I just think he didn't really care about them - it wasn't something he had a burning desire to do.
I don’t know how long-term healers do it, really. The druid in our guild is a very positive, upbeat person. She apparently feels none of the ill-will like I did; I don’t know how she does it. The other healer is a much more blunt person who’ll call people out for their mistakes. She’s not wrong about it, mind you; just blunt. Perhaps that’s how you prevent letting the hostility grow; you just tell it like it is... the hostility that was bred was often at myself (since I personally made several mistakes during a lot of the encounters)... It was clear that there were 8 heroic raiders in there plus my wife and I.  Some of the pugs were less than kind... though all our guildies were positive and encouraging.
I didn't think that Tensai would receive any hostility from any of us - well there wouldn't be any if I was in the raid.  Everyone would (and SHOULD) realise that we would be unable to raid if he wasn't there, and he hadn't been asking to come, he was being dragged in as a sub, so I wouldn't have expected him to read up about any of the fights.  Besides, we knew them well enough to explain the basics and be able to carry him a little bit, as long as he had some decent output as a healer and didn't die non stop.  If he did just die constantly to poor raid awareness then I would rethink having him sub in.  I thought a lot about Stubborn's post and Tensai's raiding and hoped that the experience would be overall positive for him.  The difference though is that for us it was 9 heroic raiders and 1 normal raider, so the error margin would be a lot lower.

Anyway, back to raiding. It was first raid of the week lsat night, and I was late, because my son wouldn't go to sleep.

I rushed on a little after 9pm to find that the lazy buggers hadn't formed the raid yet. One small hiccup - Asys wasn't on, not even in D3.  Which meant we really DID need Tensai to come.  Fortunately he was on.  I asked him to come and he jumped on Vent and was ready straight away.  I wondered where Asys was - he might have been working late.  Perhaps its time for me to get his Viber details.

Our team moved through our heroics fairly easily.  Tensai died in Immerseus and he was there for every boss that night and we gave him the brief rundown on how the fights were healed.  Morz and I swapped out for the 2 healer fights (I went out for Norushen, and he went out for Sha and Galakras) and Aza went out for the 3 healer fights.  Gala was a little big ugly because Tensai took the tower team side and towards the end, the healing was just too much for him and his whole side died in the last 6%. But my side survived at least, and Gala went down.  Tensai at least got some upgrades during those heroics, including a ring, helm and shield.

Iron Juggernaut was the killer.  It's a heavy healing fight, and it's a fair bit different to normal with a whole heap of stuff that you need to watch out for.  We died a lot to that, and Sev suggested that perhaps Tensai should have jumped out to gem and enchant his new gear.  I said that it was too late for that now (15 minutes left to raid) and we might as well just go one more before we call it.  Luckily, the next attempt we got it, but I wasn't going to be fussed if we didn't. Tensai wasn't really geared for it yet.

Amazingly, a TON of heroic warforged gear dropped in last night's raid.  Chestplate of Congealed Corrosion, Bolt-Burster Grips, Xifeng Longblade of the Titanic Guardian, Cannoneer's Multipocket Gunbelt, and Extinguished Ember of Galakras. It made Exray, Morzierz, Nathamanz and Sevrus very happy!  Tensai got a ton of achievements as well (new heroic kills).  Jazz caught Sev's cloak disease.  I wonder if that's a sign.

Tensai declined my offer to enchant his new stuff (he seems determined not to be a nuisance to anyone), but overall I thought we did pretty well.  Dark Shamans would have been ugly!  I asked him if he was ok and he said he was fine - he was being carried, after all, and so wasn't stressed, he told me.  Funny, because I would have felt the opposite!  His healing wasn't that bad - I actually thought it was rather good for his gear. To tell you the truth not being able to read someone or their intentions (because I'm usually very good at that) makes it difficult for me to predict their behaviour, and it just makes me even more curious and more determined to find out more.

Which leads me onto what Stubborn talked about in his post today, about how having a blog that one's guild knows about can lead to an awkward strain between facts and delivery, because you have to be careful what you say.
...knowing that the people I’m writing about will be reading what I have to say makes me much more careful about how I write things... It may make me that much more reflective about my messages... Then again, it may make me a small traitor to my own thoughts and feelings, to be writing for another and not myself.
It was good that his opinion on how things were being run/internal politics in the guild did not turn out to be a cause of drama.  Wanting to air one's thoughts on how they viewed certain things is certainly not a crime, but when you don't know the full story then people can get huffy.  As guild leader (and officer before) I had a pretty good grip on all the internal politics of all our guild nitty gritties. Though I do watch what I say because there is certainly bound to be people whose opinions differ to mine, I don't think it's necessary to upset anyone in a mean or hurtful way on my blog - all problems in game are dealt with in game first in whispers fro me.  There have been notable exceptions though and I am not going to discuss them now but I use them as classic examples of what I DON'T want happening in my guild.

But in truth, I would REALLY like to know what Tensai thought of the whole heroic thing. And whether he is here to stay, or whether pushing him into heroic raiding may push him away from our guild.  Maybe I will dig more tonight.


  1. I used to get carried through heroics by some friends where I had no idea what was going on, and I think the biggest thing is just having people that realize you don't know what you are doing and being good about it. People that have done it tons of times often forget how difficult it can be when you've never seen it, and it can be difficult for them to explain ahead of time because they forget about mechanics that they just know. One of my friends would always bring me along and I'd tell him to let me know what was different from easier versions of the fights and often times he'd forget to tell me a mechanic. If you have someone that can explain the important stuff to worry about before the pull it goes a long ways to making it easier to step into. In Cata I got pulled along for Heroic Firelands and Heroic DS runs, but there was a leader that was very good at just giving the basics. Most fights there were only one or two mechanics that I really had to worry about in order to not hurt the groups chances.

    I don't know Tensai, but when it was me I didn't want to feel like I was forcing them to take me but I was always happy when they had room and would ask if I could go.

    1. After discussing with Tensai he said he did enjoy it! And like you he felt bad like we were somehow changing our timetable to take him. But he is happy to try more healing which is good. Having a backup doesn't hurt!

  2. Well said, Cain! I think a lot of [mature, responsible] players feel this same way. And it's also often intimidating being pulled into a raid team, even if it's just as a sub, because you know you're playing with this "elite squad" of sorts, full of people who know each other extremely well. That is often my issue, I feel like I'm afraid I won't measure up, or that I will disappoint someone!

    Anyway, Navi, love your use of the Calvin and Hobbes comics! Those were my favorite and I have the entire collection of them. Twice! ;)

    1. I love Calvin and Hobbes! I totally understand that it can be intimidating but I truly try to make it feel less stressful than it should be! Hopefully he'll keep coming - I was hoping heroic raiding would be the carrot but somehow I feel like it's more like the stick.


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