Sometime back in the dim and distant past I became aware of what exactly the endgame entailed for most players and I embarked on a quest to get into one of my guilds raiding teams. Although I was rapidly picking up gear from heroics and buying my T9 gear with my Triumph emblems I was still vastly under geared for any of the content that the teams were running and so was unlikely to even be added as a bench member. Fortunately for me the guild leader of the time was putting together a 4th team and so I signed my name up and waited for some raiding action to appear in my calendar. A week later – and with no sign of any raids – I checked on the guild forums to find that without a leader to organise things the members of the team that had so far been assembled weren’t likely to be going anywhere.
Not one to shirk responsibility I volunteered my services to act as a leader until a better person was found. I figured that all I had to do was put events in the calendar and make sure 10 people turned up in one place at one time. It couldn’t be that hard right? The others in the group would know how the fights worked right? and I could go watch videos. It’d all be peachy.
I remember the first few months being pretty rocky. I rapidly found that some people did not share my enthusiasm for getting places quickly. Some nights were incredibly frustrating; the ones where a member, or worse – members, didn’t show being the worst. Nothing feels quite as bad as scrabbling around to find a replacement before the group began to blame you for the nights failure to raid. In hindsight I think that they were more likely cursing the missing member/s than me but at the time even I was accusing myself of ineptitude. I should have made better plans, I should have extra people, I should have…
Even once the team was all present there was never a guarantee that the night would go smoothly – turning up is one thing, but having watched the strategy video’s or read the wowwiki entries? You’d get lousy odds at the bookies that all 9 people had done these things. I found then that raid leading is not just putting events in the calendar, it is so many other things and I had to learn them all. I had to learn the fights from every roles point of view. I needed to know what the tanks, healers, melee and ranged had to do and what they had to look out for. During the fights I had to look out for these things and remind people what they should and shouldn’t be doing and I had to do all this whilst fulfilling my own role. I found it tough, really tough and I was praying that a more adept person would be found to take on the role.
That person never did show up – though I think that maybe I’ve taken up some of the traits that I’d always attributed to them. Those month’s of constantly questioning my own ability to do the seemingly simple task of organising and running a raid are long over. At some point I came to realise that it was not my fault when people don’t turn up or know what they’re doing and that the only solution is to replace them. I’ve had to become a little hard nosed about the whole thing and sometimes it bothers me that I don’t give people more of an opportunity to improve but then it occurs to me that 8 others (9 if you count me) will appreciate being able to do what they signed up for.