Monday, March 26, 2012

Raid Leadership PT2...Dealing with player issues

Ok, here in Part 2, I'll discuss some Leadership issues with problems that arise amongst players. This especially plays a huge part when having to recruit non guild/alliance members into a raid.

Let's face it, it takes a lot of troops with a wide array of classes to be competitive in a raid. Since getting 24 people of the right class combinations is a tough job for the new Raid Leader, you may find yourself dealing with numerous player personalities and issues. Non guild members and alliance members owe you no loyalty. They are in effect mercenaries looking for the pay off. Attitudes can be difficult at times to deal with. So a little planning goes a long way to keep people both motivated and civil with one another.

First and foremost, make sure your main crew of guildees and alliance members are on time and ready to transport to the raid site right away. I highly encourage that the raid leader has a website with a calendar for event planning in advance as well as sign up capabilities. There are plenty of free ones out there if you dont want to spend money, so don't fret the money issue. Guildlaunch allows for free websites, you just need to deal with all of the advertisements and a minimal amount of pic space for storage. Not a bad deal if you ask me. This mitigates the issue of late comers. Make sure everyone knows that if they can't show to post a few days in advance so you can shift priorities by raid day. Hey, real life can be a bitch at times, so don't get too bent out of shape...adjust fire and move on toy our objective.

Now on to the issues that can arise, I'll try to go point by point without too many tangents:

*LOOT~ Heh, the heart and soul of success is of course the loot at the end. Yes raiding can be it's own reward by simply downing the boss, but lets face it, loot is a huge component. So it is extremely important to post your loot rules in advance. Create a script with Shadowscript describing your loot rules in advance to so you can get it out of the way quickly. If the loot rules are simple and clear, you should have no real issue.  In AOC, it's also critical that you as the Raid leader set your loot options to Master Loot initially so you can pass the loot to those in need first, or be ready to roll off when it's two of the same class competing for the same item. This mitigates any bickering between people who might have misrolled. If a dispute arises, calmly talk to the parties involved and find an equitable solution. If it turns ugly, pull both parties aside in a different channel of your vent/teamspeak and find out the issue. Remind them there will be other chances and ask that they set aside the dispute in the interest of getting the raid moving forward. If someone received loot that they shouldn't have, get them to send a petition up to a GM to have them delete the item and give it to the appropriate party. Most folks who want to be re invited to raids are pretty quick to solve the issue. I've rarely run into puggers that will ninja loot then bail as word goes round real fast and they get banned quickly by every guild available.

* Overbearing Tactician~ Well, we always did it this way and it's the only way to fight it, so stop doing it wrong! Yeah Yeah, guess what, by luck or skill there are more than a couple strats to every boss fight out there, especially if you don't have the raid make up exactly to standard. Now sometimes, they can provide valuable insight when you are having a really tough time downing a particular boss. Listen carefully with an open mind before you start pulling out your bolt thrower. If it seems reasonable, try it worries. Your success as a leader is dependent upon the raid's over all success, not your ego. But what if they are being snotty, arrogant and not willing to even consider your strategy and then start flaming it in Raid chat or vent? Gently remind the aspiring god of raids that you are in charge of this, and if it fails utterly you will reconsider your stance. But until then, you are in charge...not them. Do so with a little tact and in whisper, or pull them into a separate vent channel to do so. If they still can't wrap it around their heads. remark that they may find a different raid team if they like.

*The Blame Game~ DUDE! Why did you screw that fight up? WTF? Don't you know your toon? It's your fault we wiped dammit! Yeah I still see this occasionally. Squash this firmly. Let the raid know, everyone makes mistakes and to take a deep breath then try it again. If there was indeed a fault, identify it, tactfully remind everyone of the strat again, then rest and move on. But if a harassment attitude starts to arise, Don't be afraid to let the rager to chill out, stop the arguing and move on. If that doesn't work, this is one of the few times I say kick them to the curb. There are still others who will want to take their place. In the meantime, give everyone a quick break while you find the replacement. Chances are, you might even be able to down your boss missing one member in the lower Tiered Raids.

*Adaptive Gamers~ Lets face it, there are folks who have special needs. Some may be deaf, others speech impaired or have physical disabilities which slow their reaction time. Identify what their obstacles are in advance. Discuss with them possible solutions ahead of time. You may need to set them as assist's until they can run the raid inside and out. That's ok, just work with them. Be patient on this note, remember they are valuable and can with a little practice become very effective indeed. I have read about players with bad arthritis, Cerebral Palsy etc still be effective raiders, once they find a class and set rotation that works for them. For those with hearing impairments, post the strats ahead of time, make sure they know the critical points of the fight ahead of time with minimal confusion as to thier role. Even though they can't hear, they can pick up on the visual cues of the fight and still be effective. There are also a lot of software programs that can help as well to assist their game play. I'll get to that in a different post. Point is, work with them, they can be the most stalwart and loyal members of your guild/raid team.

Ok, so I've gone over a lot of basic issues arise and some of the ways to mitigate them. By all means discuss and add in your own ideas or experiences to share across the board. Till next time, May Gold line your belt, and blood spill from your blade like a tankard of Ale!!

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