Raiding - Butcher down and a breakdown of communication

We all make mistakes, and nobody likes being criticised.  Obviously how you take it, determines the calibre of person that you are.

And I want to be the right calibre person.

Raiding over this holiday period is a little frustrating to say the least.  I feel like precious time is lost, and more people get the opportunity to PuG so even LESS reason for them to want to raid as a guild. There are already a ton of people doing that at the moment, and I've always kept in my mind that they are casual raiders, but really, they do not reliably turn up to raid.

Both public holidays fell right on raid days, Wednesday and Thursday.  I really don't want to organise a raid on Christmas and Boxing day, nor New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but I think that a fair number of people would have been free on Sunday/Monday to raid.

So what to do with those two days?  Sunday is designated casuals day, so we let most people come and so that should be set aside as normals day.  Monday we could either finish off normal or do some heroic.

So I thought about it, and without asking anyone's opinion, I set Sunday to normal and Monday to heroic.  That was probably the first mistake I made, not discussing with anyone what was going on in my head.

The next communication breakdown this week came from PuG raiding.  There were a number of people in the guild, myself included, who have friends in other guilds and servers who are happy to bring outside friends along for raids - I did a heroic Highmaul this week to help out my friends on Barthilas (they were short a healer).  Now that on its own caused its own issues, but in my own mind my heart was clear because

  1. Going to their raid did not mean I was not going to not go to my own raids because I had already done it
  2. I wasn't forming a group of people within the guild and excluding others, I was being specially invited by someone else
One that that I didn't want to do was loot anything.  I passed on all loots because really, I was being carried.  However, I did use my rolls and my lucky ass managed to roll a loot on every boss that was killed. I walked out of there with 4 heroic loots because I was yelled at for not taking loot (they had a one loot per person rule), and of those, one I had already, one I didn't want to use, but there wer stll two that I could use and that was rather cool.

What isn't cool about that, is that I got free loot and that means my EPGP would be higher because I wouldn't be looting from our kills. And people may have been a bit funny about that.  In fact, the whole run would have been better if I DIDN'T win any loot.  Nobody would have known I was there, and I could help without people thinking I was trying to get ahead on EPGP.

Someone saw me doing heroics and was surprised and told me that they didn't know it was ok to do that because they had friends who had wanted them to go but they thought they couldn't because I would be mad.  But I had never said that - I have never stopped people like Roshii or Chosenx or anyone really from PuGGing with others so why would I stop anyone else?  The only time I didn't like it was if a guild group was formed and they did heroics but did not invite others in the group because they thought they weren't good enough, and whether or not that is true, I didn't want that to occur because it would cause a split between players (and let's face it, nobody likes being thought of as being not good enough, especially if they are decent players).  We are supposed to raid together as ONE group, ONE guild.  So those who wanted some extra action - I told them to PuG on the condition that they would still come to guild raids. Because if they raided outside and then thought they were too good to raid with us... well then you might as well not be here and go somewhere else.

The next communication hiccup came when Sunday rolled around. I was a mite distracted as I didn't have Vent set up on my laptop, and I had no headset so I wasn't going to do any talking.  And of course, I had minimal addons and playing off wireless (which would get interrupted every time someone used the microwave) - I was pretty much being carried. I initially wanted to set the raid to personal loot and some officers agreed, some didn't care and then I had a few protests about loot saying it would be better to Master Loot so I changed my mind and set to that. I honestly didn't know if people who had done normal Highmaul already would alter the number of loots we got, and it was a test to see how many loots we would get.

It turned out Kargath dropped 5 loots, and we had less than 25 people, and I think some had done normal already, so I was quite pleased with that.  Then as we did more bosses I realised some people were rolling on loots all the time and getting multiple loots.

At that point I suggested we let everyone get one loot first and then let others get some loot.  And this made a rather unfortunate situation, because I don't think my intentions were ready correctly.  Suddenly people were trying to get rid of loot they had won because they thought they were only entitled to one loot.  As I was voiceless and on lousy internet, I couldn't actually communicate fast enough or clear enough to let them know that all I wanted was to make sure everyone got a loot.  But there was loot passed around as people wanted to be eligible for other loot from later bosses, and then people wouldn't roll because they thought they were only entitled to one loot... it wasn't what I had imagined or planned, and then even worse, those who had given up loot wanting to wait to be able to roll for loot later were disappointed when we didn't get to those bosses.

Changing the loot rules halfway was also another poor decision on my part on the premise that I was trying to be fair, when all it turned out to do was confuse people and make people angry.

I had some disgruntled people complain about how confusing it all was and though I understood, it was also a little bit irritating that people were complaining about loot - and free loot at that. But I was just happy to be raiding and doing something with the guild and people were picking up loot  so that was great, from my point of view.

Monday rolled around, and I had said on the guild message of the day (which apparently hardly anyone reads except Luxy, Dragonray and McTacky) that it would be heroics.

I was back in my own home, on my own computer with my wonderful internet and my 12 button mouse.  I was happy, I was ready to raid!  I wondered at what we would do after Kargath, and I went to look at Sunday's logs which showed that the main raiders who went on Sunday actually had the DPS to be able to do heroic Butcher.  So I told Exray that we were going to do that.  He seemed a little hesitant, especially when we were light on the melee DPS but we gave it a good go. We gave it a lot of good goes actually and it looked very doable, but the only thing was that healing was tight. With 18 in the raid, and 4 healers, you'd think that would be enough.  But three of those healers were druids and one was a disc priest and so a shaman would have been perfect as one of the other healers, but we don't have one of those (yet) and so we just made do with what we had.  Mana was tight, melee were dying and we were trying to figure out how best to use our cooldowns to give us the right amount of mana and also the right amount of oomph for the end.

We had a 150k wipe.  OMG that was exciting.  It was within our reach!

Eq was online and we asked him to come to raid.  He said that he could only do one attempt. Hopefully that was all we needed.  And it was a much more comfortable kill and we were very excited!  The melee still all died, however.  Hopefully we can improve on that!  Thanks again to Dragonray (bless the girl, what would I do without her and her remembering to screenshot stuff that I always forget).

After that there were some who wanted to go back to normals and do Ko'ragh, because we didn't finish that on Sunday.  I was more interested in looking at another heroic to see what we could do. There was still 35 minutes of raid left, enough time to get an attempt on another heroic boss and if it wasn't going to go well, then we could go back and do Ko'ragh.  That went against what I said in the MotD which said heroic, but I could see their reasons for wanting to do normal.  However, if we did not do one heroic attempt, we would not do it because then we would go onto Imperator and bypass that heroic look I wanted to do.

So we had one attempt at Brackenspore, which we got to 43% or so on our first attempt.  I had said that if we didn't get it below 50% then we would abandon it, but there was so much urging to do Ko'ragh that I said we will go and do that for the loot.  Weapons drop from the last two bosses, so there were a few who were keen.

So back we went to normal and down went Ko'ragh.  Easy!  Raid finished just after 11pm.  I was happy, I thought that was a really good night and everyone was working together quite well.  I thought that a heroic kill was a morale boost for those who thought we couldn't do things, and also for those who were keen to do things.  That 19k DPS benchmark had been hit and we were officially ready to start heroics!

At the end of the raid one of the raiders took me aside and wanted to let me know that there were a lot of people who were unhappy with raiding and what I thought had been morale boosting, was in fact, the opposite. They pointed out, correctly, that communication had been poor about how we were going to raid and handle loot, and that people were disgruntled.  Also, they criticised my choices as I overruled the other officers and ran ahead doing things on my own agenda, that was not clear to others, and perhaps if I had outlined that agenda more clearly, then people would have had a clear idea of what we were going to do and be happier to be involved a little in the decision making rather than being blindly lead in a direction that they wondered was in fact what was best for the guild.

It's not easy to hear these things (especially when I thought I was doing the right thing), and as I said earlier, you can't help but feel ashamed when you are criticised, but you have to know when what you did was wrong, or when that criticism should be accepted.  I expect that from everyone I speak to when they have done something wrong, and so I wouldn't expect any less from myself. However, it doesn't mean I can't get upset or be ashamed of myself, and sometimes that shame can be a little overwhelming.  I honestly had no idea that so  many people were unhappy with what I had done (well, except for the looting, that part I knew because that was a big stuff up on my part and I had already vowed to make it different) and so many people being upset but not saying anything to me was probably more hurtful than the one person telling me to my face, I think. Though I was glad that the raider was telling me these things, it still hurt and that bubble of indignation when you are misunderstood, threatened to burst as I tried to defend my actions. But arguing about it causes no positive outcome and I could see their point of view, but also harping on at me about my mistakes also has no positive outcome, so I had to interrupt them to stop the repeated outrage of my errors, and tell them I accepted their point of view, I could see where the mistakes were and that I would take all of what they said on board to do my best to ensure that it didn't happen again.

I am ashamed to say but knowing SO MANY thought so poorly was enough to bring tears to my eyes.  Impatiently I brushed them away, and thought how grateful I should be that someone told me. Others may have kept quiet to avoid hurting my feelings or upsetting me, but being upset is nothing, especially when I was doing something wrong. I need to know these things, and I want to improve and try to find a solution that is middle ground for most people. And I would hope that if I had been the one having to do the hard thing and telling someone they were doing something wrong and it needed to change, that they would take it on board, no matter how much it hurt or shamed them, and they would continue on.

Anyway the main thing I took away from this whole week, was that I need to be clearer on my plans, and also I should involve officers more in the decision making. They probably all felt this week that there was no benefit to being an officer when I just rode over the group decisions rough shod but it has been a while since I had officers with opinions - the few I had at the end of Pandaria just tended to go with the flow and follow what I would set out, with a bit of ribbing here and there for good measure.  But with the return of more officers who like having an active role in the decision making, the dictatorship is over and the democracy should return.

So I have great plans for the next few weeks of raiding, thanks to some great suggestions.  I can't wait to share them with everyone so that everyone will know what we're going to do, and hopefully be as excited about the direction we're going with raiding as I am.

And the next time I make some stupid decisions, I want everyone to slap me and TELL me.


  1. There is no way to ever make everyone happy, but the important thing is that you WANT to make everyone happy, and you TRY. When you get complaints, you don't blow them off as whiners, but learn from them and try to fix. That is all any guild leader can do. Nobody is perfect and we've all derped it up.

    1. You'd think that after being an officer for years I shouldn't make dumb mistakes, but it does happen. Thanks Zel :D

  2. It's just a game. Some people need to really step outside and look at the sunshine for a few days.

    1. You know, the interesting thing is that everyone in the guild DOES go out in the sunshine... but to some of us, and especially me it's more than a game, it's also a great escape and a great social hangout, and we just want to get our money's worth. There's nothing wrong with voicing what's wrong, or trying to fix it - striving to improve should be a goal for everyone, even in a game, I think.

    2. Game or not, when it involves interactions with real life people there are always lessons to be learned (and fun to be had). Grats on Butcher, that is one hard boss, if you can get him down you're well in line for the other bosses :)

      It's good that you have people who are able to tell you their concerns rather than just upping and leaving, it shows your worth that you are able to listen to them and take the comments on board and see both sides. It can't be easy being a guild leader but you make it work :)

  3. You are such a soft, chewy, caramel centre Navimie. Running a guild is not easy because of the amount of people coming together with completely different wants and needs and desires.

    I think people when they are unhappy need to spend a day away from the game, get some perspective, and then approach you with issues so you are not pushed into a position like the above. You shouldn't be made to cry because of one mistake.

    I can't even say it was major - they are pixels. They increase your ingame stats and not your RL stats for one week.

    Regarding your extra-guildriccular affairs - I always had a solid rule of no pugging outside of guild for current content on your main toon if you are in the raid team. That always served us well and avoided any issues like the above. I know you can't level a toon to save yourself, but you could always - worst case, boost another druid to 90 then you only have to do the last 10 levels :) hehehe Even now with only being locked to bosses etc, it still gives you bonus rolls over others and increases the gap in epgp because you get more chances essentially. I am neither here nor there on the matter - loot is the least important thing for me personally..I take it because I have to to improve. I would almost rather all loot was purely cosmetic and my stats never changed - but I prefer simple :p

    At the end of my long arse waffle, I just hope you know that for every negative there are three positive, or 15, or even 1000. Shit happens and when it does people need to discuss, advise and move on.


    1. For me shedding tears doesn't necessarily mean I'm crushed or devastated - I cry over lots of things, from the end of Toy Story 3, when Nemo's mum died at the start... I think most movies I shed a tear. It just means I have strong emotions that spill over from my brain! To be truly devastated I have to be continuously crying - and I definitely wasn't doing that! Gosh I even cry when I win a good arena match!

      I see what you are saying about the out of guild raiding. That's my worry but I want to be able to play with my friends as well! And yeah, no alts kinda sucks!

      Anyway either way, I'm happy to be in the loop about things which are bugging people, I just wish people would tell me sooner!

  4. This is a great guild to be a part of and I'm am proud to wear the FW tabard, I think a lot of that is the guild culture you and the other officer help to foster. Take heart, next to Dragon you are probably the most friendly and approachable GM I've had since we've been playing.

    The Sunday loot issue was a bit icky to be sure, but that wasn't *all* your fault either.

    Getting officers involved has always been difficult in my experience, finding that balance is difficult. Ultimately, the officers as much a regular members need to know the expectations you hold them up against. It might be time to refresh them? :)

    - Your lockbox extraordinaire. :P

    1. I think I need to delegate more, so used to doing it all that I find it hard to let go. Luxy is always telling me to distribute my workload more coz I make the raid go a bit slow!


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