We’ve all had those nights where content you should have down cold is kicking your butt. When it happens on consecutive raids, or on successive weeks, or both well guilds have broken up over less. Dealing with raids going wrong without blowing a gasket is a skill and one I’m certainly not going to claim I have mastered. However, there are a few points that I want to make.
Playing the blame game
It’s human nature to blame people when something goes wrong. The first person I usually blame is myself and I actually prefer it when it is my fault. No-one likes feeling powerless, it’s a feeling I probably hate more than any other, and when it’s not your fault there’s very little you can do to change the outcome. You can’t stop your mind from accessing what the problem is and neither can anyone else. The person who is responsible, if they’re the type of person that’s good to play with, is probably well aware of it and probably feels terrible. I certainly do when it’s my screw ups that are causing the group to wipe. Don’t say it out loud though. Shout in your house and swear and whatever else makes you feel better but resist that urge to press the push to talk button. Also, control your hands and what they type, type it if you have too but don’t press enter to send.
When things haven’t gone well don’t dwell on it. Laughing about a terrible run and making it worse and worse with every retelling is one thing. Try not to breed resentment and I’m speaking to myself here as much as anyone else. To be honest I only know one person who reads these ramblings and yeah it’s true I break these rules all the time. It’s just I’ve seen good groups break up over a few bad raids and when people start taking things to heart, when it gets too serious, that’s a real danger. Yes take raiding seriously, do your best to not let the other people down, but try not to let it get under your skin. I do sometimes and I get mad as hell and I type “taking 5” and storm off away from my PC and well it’s not healthy for your blood pressure to go that high. It is after all, at the end of the day, whether we like to think of it as it or not, it is just a game.
Adjust your expectations
When you have a regular group this is less of an issue as you know what you’re all capable of. However, when roles or players change then you’re not going to operate like a well oiled machine. The progress that you’re chasing isn’t going to be caught in a group like that, not unless you have an exceptional player in the irregular spot. You can’t expect people to perform miracles though and if they aren’t used to a role, if they’ve not played with you before, then you have to lower your expectations. Take the week off from progression, or from heroics and just view raiding as what it should be – a social activity. Yes, I am an achievement nut and I want those achievements, I want to progress as much as the next person. That isn’t why I raid, though sometimes I get confused and think it is. No, raid for the fun of raiding, raid for hanging out with 9/24 other people who share your hobby. Don’t just raid for the shiny purples or the steadily increasing fraction of progress. Otherwise you’re going to get burned out real quick.
We all have off nights
Above all else forgive others and forgive yourself. Sometimes things just don’t go well, people think that they are doing their best and they’re actually not. This is a game at the end of the day and as seriously as people should take it, you also need to have fun. If things aren’t going well try not to let it get to you. I fail at this – a lot. Just try and chill about it and if you’re raiding for the right reasons then it’ll be a lot easier. Everybody makes mistakes, everyone has off days. You know that you can do it, that your group can do it, and you will be able to do it. If a night doesn’t go well don’t let it spill over into other nights, draw a line and move on. Accept what you cannot change and all that.
I don’t really know what the point of this was. Maybe to just get this off my chest. I love raiding and sometimes it drives me mad and other times when everything goes perfectly it’s the best feeling in the world. Well, alright not the best feeling but it feels pretty damn good. As hard as it is everyone needs to learn to have fun even when things don’t go right. Again I fail at this as much as anyone but it’s something I think we should strive for. There are going to be days, weeks, months where things go wrong. I knew a guild once that for the whole of T11 wiped on Magmaw, they didn’t kill a single boss until T12 came out. Predictably that guild didn’t survive those months of wiping, I don’t think any guild would, and well that’s the worst case scenario isn’t it. If your guild usually kills, or clears a raid, whether or normal or not that’s still better than that poor guild. Matter of perspective I guess. Look at what you have achieved rather than how far you still have to go.
Enough rambling for me, I’ve even lost the point of this, if there was one to begin with. Keep the faith guys, it’ll happen eventually.