Follow the Lead

Sometimes it can be tempting to not follow the lead in a raid when things are not going well but proceed with caution.

Lady standing at a desk as if to demand respect.

I have had the pleasure of leading many raids over the years in World of Warcraft. In doing so, I have met all sorts of interesting people from all walks of life and from various parts of the world. I have had both good raids and some really bad ones too. If you do enough raids, eventually you will find yourself on a boss where things are not going well and there will be no shortage of people willing to lend a hand. And by that, I mean… advice. Some of them might do so with the very best of intentions and others, not so much. Regardless, you will never be short of people willing to come in and tell you how things should be done. You may even hear the dreaded, “Let me tell you how my guild does it.” And if you are not careful, it might never end. At first, it might be small things like marker placement. Then, of course it’ll be what composition you should try or maybe what tactics you should utilize. No matter how many raids you do, someone will always know more than you or at least “think” they do.

Then you start wondering when is enough. When do you say no more? It’s kind of like the old mouse and cookie adage. If you give a mouse a cookie, he will want a glass of milk. If you give him a glass of milk, he will want a piece of cheese. And this can go on and on and on. And at some point, leading those raids will become very burdensome and not so much fun. Especially when the advice is coming from friends or a friend of a friend. Because then you know if you get rid of one, it probably means both and so on. So, what do you do? How do you handle such a thing?

In my many years of practice and experience leading raids, I have found the best way is to not allow very much input from the team members at all, unless the lead asks for it. And sometimes, this does mean severing a friendship or two if someone goes too far. And as hard as that is to do and as much as you hate to do it, would you rather hate leading altogether? Or perhaps lose interest in the game? I doubt you can find one quality lead who doesn’t understand the complexity of this situation. In Raid Lore, one of the guild’s most coveted rules is to not tell the raid lead how to lead, even in failure. This, of course, does not mean you cannot offer advice on occasion. But you have to do it with grace and with the proper delivery. Offering advice to any raid lead can be a very dicey move, but when friends are involved, it can be down right costly. At some point, a fracture will certainly occur. This is why so many guilds have rules in place for this very reason. Once the raid atmosphere has been corrupted, it can be very difficult to overcome. The atmosphere is the most important thing in a raid, much more so than killing a boss. You can always pull the boss again, but it can be nearly impossible to rebuild damaged relationships. Avoid this trap.

Thats why in Raid Lore, we ask our guildies to follow the lead well and to respect how difficult it is to lead. Even if the boss gets the best of us on any given day, there is always tomorrow. Problems will get solved regardless. Sometimes the best thing you can do for any lead is not to offer advice that might be unwelcome, but merely support them. By following well, you help set the tone and cultivate a wonderful atmosphere. A wonderful raid enviroment can be a great recruiting tool and encourages team members to come back. And remember, what if it were you who was leading? Wouldn’t you like the same cooperation and patience? Some folks might say, no, that they like all the extra help. Are you sure? Think that over. It might not be so much fun after a few thousand people tried to tell you how things should be done. It might eventually start to become very irritating.

In ending, I’ll say this once more … let the leads lead and please follow the rules of the guild or your stay will most likely be a short one in Raid Lore. Please review the guild rules located in the footer section of this site. They are in place for a reason and no one person is exempt from following them. We are trying to build a place that we can all be proud of and to do that, we must have rules. There is a time and a place for everything and sometimes during the raid, isn’t it.