My photo
An ex-raid leader, gamer extraordinaire.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Open Letter to 25M Raid Leaders

Dear friends,

I know what you guys are going through. I've been there myself. The job you take, whether willingly or not, is most nerve-wrecking.

I know you're already distressed with your raiders laziness or inability to understand simple commands. It seems the whole raid is taking months to understand what you've just read on boss tactics.

Cataclysm's raid changes have been heralding the death of 25M Raids, according to some people. You are already fed up with wiping on easy bosses in 25M NM while you clear 10M HM on a weekly basis. With the normalization of gear and increase in raid difficulty, it seems there is little reason to do 25M content and pain yourself in the process.

I'm making preparations to find a new guild for Cataclysm. Since beginning, I've told myself to look out for quality before quantity, so, I was never going to go out my way to recruit half the server just to wipe at 25M NM bosses. I told myself that amount of players I had would determine the raid size, not vice-versa. But after raid announcements, I must admit I contemplated long whether I should just stick to 10M raids.

I had forgotten why I loved to raid lead so much.

I must admit there's some (Alright, a good chunk of) arrogance in me. I am not humble. If I had to take a shot, I would say most of us (the ones that drive their guild to progression) are some of the best players out there. By definition, a Raid Leader should be two-steps ahead of its guild. This causes us pain at times as we sigh "I am better than this!". We say, "Look at me, I'm doing the best I can as an X, explaining EVERYTHING to people, and we're wiping on THIS boss. It's not even Hardmode!"

There is a reason why I chose Hermes Trismegistus for the daily picture. He was worshipped by Greeks and Egyptians alike as the Teacher-God. I always saw him as a persona that was interested in developing the Art not for the sake of it, but to help his pupils to be better at it. This is why he's such an inspiration for me.

I can't speak for everyone's behalf, but I love teaching. So much that I'm contemplating being a teacher in the future. The reason why is I had unquenchable thirst for knowledge as I grew up. I had to know everything. This is why I'm a very rapid learner. And this is why I enjoy helping people learn how to learn. I don't sympathize with the poor, with the crippled, nor with anyone else for that matter -but I just can't stand when someone can't learn something. I feel obliged to help. 

Take a look at your WoW past. What do you remember the most? For me, it's the Yogg-Saron fight, 25M NM. Sure, we cleared 10M HM content as an A-Team, even did some TotC 25M HM before I quit WoW. But Yogg-Saron 25M NM was something else for me. It was watching helpless little chickens triggering clouds and wiping in P1 become serial killers in cold blood. I screamed my guts out on the Ventrilo when that fucking beast was down.

My exact part in execution of the fight was, as DK class leader, I was responsible for the melee group and the brain phase. I did some hefty work. In the end, I felt I accomplished something -and considering we were a "Casual-but-serious" guild, some of us even doubted we could be among the Yogg-Saron killers. People felt they had accomplished something and there was lots of joy. I can never forget that.

When I look back, I remember these moments, not the ones us officers facerolling in 10M HM content. Yes, we literally face-rolled it all. There wasn't a challenge to speak of. These were more "Chill & Fun" moments that make me miss the friends I had in that guild. But accomplishment? No.

I know that a good amount of you feel arrogant and burned out with the feeling of "Carrying people over your shoulder".  There are times you wished you were the basic Grunt in a Hardcore raiding guild, fulfilling your responsibilities dutifully, in an environment where you don't feel you're carrying others.

But that guild's Raid Leader's thinking the same with joining Ensidia,

And Kungen's probably singing Is There Anybody Out There?

The point here is, the Raid Leader will always feel one step ahead of their raid. If they don't, then they're not making any progress anyway. And there are times we ask ourselves "Is it really worth it?"

If you really only want to see the end-game content and the reason you're a Raid Leader is it's the only way to ensure that happening in your guild, you could either run a 10M HM guild or get a spot at a 25M HM guild, come Cataclysm. But if you enjoyed the perhaps a little megalomaniac feeling of watching a crippled raid turn into an orchestra of death, and took pride in your efforts to teach people how to learn the encounter, then I say: Give it a shot again. Guilds desperately need good raid leaders like you, and they will thank you for your work. For me, a few people personally took time to thank for my efforts, and I can say it was worth all the trouble.


  1. [quote]There are times you wished you were the basic Grunt in a Hardcore raiding guild, fulfilling your responsibilities dutifully, in an environment where you don't feel you're carrying others.[/quote]

    Tried it - worked out fine - if most hardcore raiding guilds didn't put so much pressure on showing up on 5 days a week :/ (i can only do 3-4 a week w/o going insane and getting burned out really)

    But you are right - leading our Yogg Saron 25M raid to that final victory is one of the best feelings you can ever have.

    So yeah the same sentiment from me - keep on trucking leaders of 25M raids. As you are needed and needed badly.

    Unfortunately as of late i am not amongst you anymore as sometimes you just need to drop yourself down to the masses and just enjoy the game for a bit ;)

  2. That, you do. You just can't roll it all-day every-day for two years.

    As for "RAWR WE HARDCORE" guilds -I agree. Usually, it felt like they were accomplishing so little with so much effort. More raids do not mean more progress, 2-3 focused raids a week each spanning for 4 hours is definitely better than some of the hardcore guilds I was a part of. Our server first HM clearers, before Ensidia showed up here, were raiding two days a week, and that's saying something.

    You gotta find a good balance -I hope I will find it with my new guild come Cata.

  3. Great post, and I really relate to this. When our raid found itself facing Arthas for the first time, our RL was practically in tears. Sure, we'd talked a lot about maybe killing Arthas but I don't know how many of our (casual, inclusive, 1-2 night a week) guys thought we'd ever make it that far.