Like many guilds, at the moment we’re struggling for new content. Ulduar is dead and gone, and all we have left to entertain us are Trial of the Crusader and Onyxia.
After a few too many “close, but no cigar” moments on the 25-man heroic Northrend Beasts encounter, it’s been suggested a couple weeks’ more gearing up is needed. I can’t honestly find a reason to disagree with that decision, given the number of times things have happened that could be avoided with just a little more practice. And how are we practicing? In 10-man heroic mode, of course.
It’s worked rather well – we breezed through the first four bosses in our first twenty-five attempts or so. None of the held us up for too long. However – then, along came a spider, in the shape of Aub’Arak.
70 attempts, and several changes of strategy later, things are getting… somewhere. We can get to phase three much of the time, and then things just fall apart. And there’s the gist of the problem. Raid makeup.
And I don’t mean the classes we’re bringing along. I mean the players.
Raiders are generally one of four archetypes:
- Excellent at doing their jobs, but impatient with others who aren’t so excellent
- Excellent at doing their jobs, patient with others
- Reasonable at doing their jobs, but able to improve
- Bleeding awful.
Now, fortunately, we don’t have many of the latter (and they don’t generally get invited to raids). Most people are somewhere around the second, and unfortunately we have some people who fit into the first category. Ordinarily this isn’t a problem as progress can be good enough to keep them satisfied. Unfortunately, sometimes, things don’t go the right way fast enough. It just takes a few words. In this case, the words were:
“Guys, I don’t think this is working. I want to give up”
Of course, no-one paid much attention to this. After all, the hardcore player expressing doubt is something that most of us have come across at one time and another, and we try not to pay it much mind. Unfortunately the subconscious isn’t so easily fooled. The next attempt, our DPS was down a full 15%. Not so much as to stop us getting to phase 3, but enough that phase 3 was now more of a problem.
It didn’t get better. After a few more goes, the raid was (not unexpectedly) called. The few negative comments made (not directed at any one person) had been enough that on some level raid performance was predestined to fail.
Next time, I hope we will have a different raid makeup, one where everyone is at about the same level of improvement, or able to be patient enough with the others.
Bosses aren’t the hardest thing a raid has to face. No, that honour goes to the raid’s own members and their expectations of each other.