Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What part of STFU do you not understand?

'Twas the night of a million whispers.

'Twas the night of eight pugged raid members.

'Twas the night Amava looked with nostalgia at the good ole days in Teldrassil, without any professions, with a Bear named Teddy, who was a good boy if not optimally min/max'ed for performance, with no guild and not a care in the world.

'Twas the fourth night of the Guild running Gruul's Lair, and my fourth stab at being a 25-person Raid Leader.

The Facts:

1) 15 people from the guild signed up. Summer-itis struck and many regular members sent their regrets. 17 guildies ended up entering the raid.

2) Located 6 players from friends lists and 2 from blind whispers.

3) Wiped 6 times on High King Maulgar, never making it past a third mob in the kill order.

The Good:

1) The most important thing for me out of the night is that the whole team maintained a pretty positive attitude. A small amount of grumbling over the wipes, which was pretty natural after the third or fourth, but no finger pointing or other destructive behavior.

2) Our first real struggle as a 25-person unit. We haven't really had to struggle on any of our first three nights with Gruul, so this was new for us. We kept tweaking our approach, improving slightly with each try, and generally, the atmosphere was positive. This gives me hope for future content where we really will have to wipe again and again to master the fights.

3) For the first few tries, we had a different Mage Tank than normal try out the job of handling Krosh. She did well, and I would have kept her on the job, but as part of the post-wipe analysis we determined that Krosh was running rampant. Hard to tell if it was the Mage or the Healer assigned to the Mage causing the issue. I'm always happy to see raid members try new and unusual jobs, and I'll be happy to assign her the same job next week.

4) After calling the raid, there was what I'll be so bold as to call an "outpouring" of support for what we went through and me in the job of RL. I was getting ready to hit the bottle to settle my nerves, when the raid chat, guild chat, voice chat and some whispers came alive with supportive messages, from guildies and visitors alike, of how I kept us together and stayed positive and maintained some order through the total chaos that is pugging and wiping. That gave a nice ending to one of the more stressful events I've been through lately, and reminds me of what a decent group of people we actually do have on the team.

The Bad:

1) The whispering. The endless whispering. The constant incoming stream of whispers. I asked numerous times for the whole raid to cease and desist with the whispering. Whispering as we tried to find more PuG players. Whispering as I set up groups. Whispering as we buffed. Whispering as we laid out the initial strategy. Whispering as we wiped each time.

Nobody was whispering anything bad or angry or such. But just too much communication.

Some of it from the PuG members, who do not work with us regularly, some of it from the guildies. Too much.

Which part of STFU do you not understand? :-)

2) We had to fill in 8 players from outside the guild. I blame summer attendance and slow recruiting. If we are going to continue the momentum we had coming into this fourth raid night, we must fix that.

3) First pull was 30 minutes after scheduled start time. Normally this is my chief issue, but this week the PuG nature of the raid eclipses start time. However, the two are intimately related, and I remain hopeful that if we get more guildies participating, then start time will return to the happy 15 minutes we hit last week.

4) Lair Brutes. If you stand too far away, they ignore aggro and charge you, generally one-shotting you, and they scramble the mob's threat table, causing chaos afterwards. PLEASE LISTEN TO ME WHEN I SAY "THEY'RE LIKE ATTUMEN. STAND CLOSE OR DIE". If we had DKP, I would reward zero DKP for the night to any player who dies due to a charge. It is totally avoidable, and slows down the entire raid as we rez and rebuff you.

The Ugly:

1) The shivering fit my body went into after logging out. Maybe that was from the air conditioner cranked too hard, or the Labrador Retriever / Border Collie mix laying next to me breathing firey puppy nose breath directly into my arm pit, but never the less, 1.5 hours of staring at the cieling pleading for sleep to come. Ugly.

The Future:

1) Amava will not begin looking for substitute players unless 20 members from the guild are present at 15 minutes prior to scheduled start time. Each specialty must be well represented in-guild as well (at least 3 of 4 tanks must be from in-guild, at least 5 of 7 healers must be guildies, etc).The guild is welcome to continue on if we don't meet those criteria, with no hard feelings, but I will not be participating that night.

2) As such, recruiting efforts must be increased. We've had a rough time recruiting lately, so we will need to find more avenues through which to find new players.

3) I look forward to returning to Gruul's Lair and kicking @ss next week. Hopefully we can restore confidence and gain some momentum so I can seriously consider adding Magtheridon to the schedule.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Amava,

Sounds (again) eerily like my experience in Gruul's. I understand that people do regularly successfully pug Gruuls, Mags and beyond but managing that number of puggers must be insane. We had to punt a pugger for being a jerk before the raid even started last week.

The toughest thing to manage is the whispers from people who seem to believe that they are the only people who know the "best" strategy or have a "new beaut" idea that no-one could ever have thought of or, better still, people who decide they are going to follow their own strategy regardless. Then the whispers come because everything is going too slowly.

Move me to this group, you should tank this guy that way, player x is awful, player y is undergeared etc...

In my opinion the one thing that distinguishes pugs from guild raids is this - the pugs will only listen to you if it agrees with what they think is right and you can bet that they will be missing one of

Reagents for buffs

By the way, the charging thing? We lose 3+ players every single lair brute pull because (even after 20 runs) they STILL cannot learn to stack on the player with the raid mark!! Every single pull I say it 3 times - and then again when the pull happens - and then again when we rez them. Never known to miss.