Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How to Make a Colossal Mistake

Longer than normal post. Sorry. I'll give you a cheat sheet, as a tease for what's to come, and also a quickie linkie in case you want to jump around:

  1. Intro

  2. Cue Bad Idea

  3. Begin Drama

  4. Aside about rediculous MQoSRDPS

  5. More Drama

  6. Amava tries to square things away

  7. The Aftermath

  8. Moral of the Story


Where to start with this one? Now mind you, there's lots of ways to make colossal mistakes. Just be creative, or stupid, or both, for a little while, and you're bound to come up with at least a couple good ways.

We only came up with one specific way, but that's all you really need, isn't it?

To set the stage once again, picture this: noob lvl 70 guild, new to raiding for a drop more than a month. One team running Kara regularly, with a scattering of subs getting action too. A second team just started and had a good/bad first week. Good in that Attumen died at their hands, Bad in that there's discontent over wiping and indecision once past Attumen.

You've got two types of people in the world. Those that seek out happiness or fun themselves, and those who want others to provide happiness and fun for them.

You need lots of different people, so you can't just discount those second chunk of folks, as much as you'd like to.

So what do you do?

Why not a team building exercise? Yeah, that's the ticket. Lets set up a group activity that we can all get together and forget about Team X or Team Y or Subby Sub, and have fun.

Cue Bad Idea

/begin sarcasm

Hmmm? What to do? Raid Crossroads? Nah. Switch up the teams and run some dungeons and stuff? Nah, we want a big group. Run a premade into some BG? Nah, not really our bag, baby.

Why not try out a 25-man dungeon? Sure. Lets do it. Put it on the Guild Calendar and Message o' the Day, why don't cha?

Sure, we've got one team doing nicely in early Kara. We've got a second team starting up Kara. We've got a big pile of other 70's that are blood thirsty.

Hey, why not try out Magtheridon's Lair?

Totally. Link his Loot. Ooooh, I got dibs on this loot. You got dibs on that loot. I'm gonna pwn him. All you noobz cant catch me. This guy over here's gonna solo him.

/sarcasm off

So our RL and guild #2 man puts the event up. Instantly, the guild became ablaze with chatter, hubbub, predictions, linking of loot tables, drooling, and every other such tom-foolery.

Come on already people!!!!

Shortly after the posting went up, and gchat exploded with excitement, I had a chat with the RL....

dude, can we talk for a sec



yeah, you gonna sign up?




what? its gonna be cool

um, maybe we raid crossroads or somethin' stupid like that?

nah, this'll make people feel good

kk. i'm up for a chuckle (and a repair bill, lol)

So the next week is just solid chock'a block full of gchat about Mags.

Not wanting to be Debbie Downer, I kept my lip shut. I'll show up, provide MQoSRDPS, wipe, maybe have some fun, maybe learn a bit. Hell, maybe even kill a trash mob.

So the day comes. RL starts up the invites. We get our 25 to show up. No attention what-so-ever paid to composition or gear.

Greenies? Hop on in!

Five more tanks than we need? Sure, come on, this'll be easy. I mean, after all, there's 25 of us, surely we can kill anything. We've killed lots of 5-man bosses on regular mode!!! Lez go!!

Zone in, help the RL set up the parties, buff up.

It definitely is cool to see 25 combatants ready for battle, whether they're a bunch of coconuts completely in over their heads or not.

Magtheridon's Lair consists of 4 pulls of trash, each containing 3 identical warlock-ish mobs.

We pull. Kill one of the 3 mobs and wipe.

Lots of LOL's

Begin Drama

So here's where the drama begins.

I guess at this point, 10 people start to whisper the raid leader with strategy ideas. This can be overwhelming on a good day, let alone when in your first 25 person event.

As a little time progresses, 3 of them become angry with him. They're thinking he doesn't listen.

They become more and more angry, including some random chipping in on raid chat or even voice.

We actually figure out how to kill the trash, and clear it all out over a slow painful process. Longest its ever taken me to kill 12 mobs. Or 9 even, as we're just finishing the third pack of mobs.

Aside about rediculous MQoSRDPS

Funny thing ...Amava was doing 15% of party damage. 15 f-ing %. Of a 25 man. The closest other player was at 8% or so. I don't get it. I'm not going to complain. But there were two jokers who have never seen me in action before, and they were raving. I mean, really drooling over the numbers and getting vocal at how insane the difference was. And my normal Team 1 folks start piping in with "nothing new, he'she brings the noise every night".

Then the two damage meter droolers start to make fun of their friend who was in #2 position. I guess he's normally the top DPS'er amongst their clique. Lol, not tonight, baby.

So he chimes in on /raid that Amava must be insane geared.

Just to add my fuel to the fire, I tell him the truth...I'm in mostly well enchanted blues, one greenie and a couple epics. Can we please focus on overall team success? Everybody's got to do their part.

His jaw dropped. I think he told his friends to STFU because nothing was said about it until the very end.

And I didn't even drink my relentless @ss because I didn't want to waste an extra 40g on this wipefest.

More Drama

Either way, back to the fun. Long periods of silence. Random gripes or just chit chat on /raid.

I ask RL what's up? He tells me how bad the whispers have become. I guess two of the three were more and more getting angry and stuff.

Then you silently get a couple people, not from the vocally bitter crowd drop out of the raid. So with one more trash pull, you start to get folks saying stuff like "we get 4 more or i'm out" and other curt messages like that. Sure, good idea. But could you be less people-oriented as you say it? Please? For me? Please try to be colder. And ultimatums, those are always a good way to get things moving positively.

We snag some replacements and then we clear out the last couple trashes.

It's to the point that the RL seems to be paralyzed. I really feel bad for him, because I can tell they're being relentless with him.

Just like this post, time is going on and on.

I can tell there's no end in sight.

Amava tries to square things away

I can't take it anymore. I can tell teh RL is getting blasted. I want to reach through the computer and strangle the offenders.

I decide to take a different approach.

Knowing that 20 of the people on the party aren't really privy to the insanity that's going on behind the scenes, I chime in on raid voice that we've been strategizing and we're ready to rock.

I first ask if anybody's been here before.

One guy says yes.

I ask him to give us a nutshell.

He nutshells.

Having ABSOLUTELY no idea what to do, and being totally overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of healers, tanks, and dps'ers, I'm fully lost. But trying to be constructive, I think real quick....

I know we're going to wipe. We stand ZERO chance of success.

All I want out of this is to salvage some of the team building effect we're going for to begin with.

I put on my manager's hat: delegate and empower!

I call out to a tank who knows and trusts me. I want him to lead the tanks. Assign one tank to each cube and position them phsically at the cube. He should do this via whispers so as to not disrupt the planning. Extras stay at the entrance way so I can assess.

Next, I call out to a healer. You lead the healers. Pair up a healer with each tank. Physically locate the healers at the cube their assigned to. Extras stay at the entrance so I can assess.

DPS'ers. One ranged and one melee should position at each cube. Work it out amongst yourselves, like musical chairs. If all cubes have 1 ranged and one melee, extras should stay by the door so I can assess.

Ok, now i've got a handfull of guys at the door. Acting decisively so they cant see how much I'm quaking in my greenie quest reward boots, I take each one and randomly (but it seems like its on purpose) put them at cubes.

Then I ask the guy who's been there before to walk around and do a cube inspection.

All this over voice, so that everyone can hear how its group decisions and all the details of how its gonna work is really up to the individuals, with a couple leaders assigned.

Ok, the guy does a walk around. I have no idea what he was "inspecting" but part of me thinks he was picking up off of my lead and just going with it.

Ok, pull.

I dunno, maybe 5 seconds? mabye 10?

Hard to tell, I was spinning from the whole experience, and it was over so quickly.

Wipety wipe wipe.

Handfull of negative qq's. Lots of whole hearted LOL's.

I thank everybody for coming, sing the praises of the dedication and organization that went into the event, and call the raid.

And soiled my armor.

The Aftermath

Shortly after I call it, you get the guy. Mr. "im out unless you get 4 more". And he says on /raid...

So who's gonna pay my repair bill?

Lots of LOL's, as nobody is taking him seriously,and you always get at least one joker complaining about repairs.

He seriously wants payment.

He's now bashing the guild on raid and gchat for "what kind of guild is this" or "so that's how this guild operates".

So I whisper him, and he goes on this diatribe about how we called it right at the boss, and how we totally wasted his time.

Sorry if you view this as a waste. I think it was a smashing success for our first 25-man run, in a grossly overpowered instance.

I inspected him on armory. He's in a couple blues, and a bunch of older season/BG PvP gear. So I asked if hes' done any raiding, because I'm really interested to learn how other guilds he's seen do this. He said nothing and logged out a minute later.

Then you get one of the chief qq'ers who were giving beef to the RL during the run. He chimes in on /gchat with a direct shot at the RL, who was no longer logged in, and before anybody can say anything, he logs off. That's a real class act. You're really acting like someone your parents can be proud of.

Then you get the fun aftermath. The real fun. Tons and tons of positive messages pouring in about how I picked things up.

I really do hate the drama, and from a variety of the negative qq whisper conversations and gchat bashing defendings, I was just trembling. GRRRRRR.

But the positive energy that many of the people brought was uplifting.

The next day, I log in and see that 4 of the qq'ers had gquit.

Hallejlula or however you spell it. Now I'm trembling from all the typing.

Moral of the Story

Couple things I learned...

  1. 25-man raiding is gonna be fun. No sarcasm. Really. We've got some prep to do, and some organizational issues to sort out, and some different recruiting screening to do, but this really is gonna be cool. Some day. Hopefully before the xpac comes out.

  2. Just like in real life, some people just suck. I dunno if its genetic, or from their upbringing, or maybe just some days they wake up on the wrong side of the bed. every day. Why play a team game if you have no concept of what a team is?

  3. RL made two mistakes. First was picking an event known to be too hard for us. Second was not booting the abusive players from the raid, or maybe even the guild.

  4. Um? I'm out. I got nuthin, my fingers are as tired as your eyes are right now.

  5. Oh yeah! I'm so NOT signing up for the Mags run that's actually on the calendar for this Friday.


Waradwen said...

Great story, and good on you for helping your RL so much. I'm really impressed at how well you guys did in Mag. My guild hasn't been able to take him down and we're raiding TK and SSC, so the fact that you all got through the trash on your first 25-man ever is pretty cool.

Plus, you found out about the true character of several of your guildies. I suspect you'll be a better group going forward, having lost a little chaff. I think I heard Gruul biting his nails nervously last night, and it can only be out of fear of you all. :-D

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you really handled things well in a pretty terrible situation. At least now you know who the team players are, as you start thinking about getting into the larger instances. By the way, thank you for picking up the slack when your RL got overwhelmed. Most productive members of a raid (even the ones not in charge) really appreciate that sort of thing.

Also, thanks for the blog; as a leveling hunter it's been very helpful for me to read about your experiences and mistakes.

Good luck as you keep progressing!

-Alastren and Ruth

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Kestrel said...

That was a helluva story. Waradwen nailed it: A lot of your raiders probably don't understand just how well you really did do in there, to clear all the trash.

A biopsy now will hopefully preclude a full-blown cancer later. And this can be gratifying later when you point back at the "just for fun" Mags raid that you took to the boss, when you get ready to do it "for real."