Abusing Your Powers: 5 – Raider Reactions

shindigatar Guest Post:  Today’s Abuse of Power talks about raiders reactions to abuses of power and how they are affected.  Shiningstar (Shindig) someone who commonly replies here and is a great friend in game shares her thoughts with us all.

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A little over a year ago, the Leftovers charter I had been running with began a downward spiral into the toilet of oblivion. The leads disappeared into RL and the raiders started finding homes elsewhere. Homeless, I started signing up for raids with any charters that seemed to need healers. Many charters needed healers, but most of them ran way too late at night or on weekdays when I needed to get to bed early. Friends in my guild who had been running with Relentless recommended that I try them out. As this charter ran at perfect times for me, I gave it a shot.

My first impression? I was in sheer terror of the raid lead. Unlike my prior raiding experiences, this lead seemed strict and MEAN. There was no polite whisper of ‘why are you doing that, I need you to do this.’ You were called out, in vent or in /raidwarning, often with obscenities, for everyone to know that YOU were the reason the raid wiped. Your mistakes were made known to all in raid chat. I was horrified that I’d be the next victim of this, and I did everything I possibly could to avoid it. I probably needed muscle relaxers after that raid to get the knots out of my neck, where the muscles had clustered while I sat huddled in my computer chair, every nerve ending on edge.

During and after that raid, I asked my guild friends, “is he always like that??” “Like what?” “Yelling at people all the time…”

You know what? I found out that I am not like many people, just after that one raiding experience. It turns out that while fear is a great motivator for me to toe the line in raids (i.e. shut up and do my job, and do it right, the first time), many people just laugh off that kind of raid leading. Others in the raid continued to make the same mistakes and didn’t seem to care when they were called out for it. Had I been yelled at like that, I probably would have cried and had an emergency power outage. In fact, I told my guildmember this and I often wondered if he’d told Xeonio to ‘be nice to Shiny, she’s fragile.’ My guildies who ran with Relentless seemed immune to this maltreatment. Fascinated by this, I continued to sign up. Ok, well it may have had something to do with the fact that it was the only charter at the time that fit my schedule.

Here’s my question: what makes a raid leader effective? While I remained horrified over what I perceived as abuse of raiders, I was impressed that this lead seemed to know EVERYTHING that was going on, always. Even if it was happening down the hall, far from his presence (mind vision ftw, huh?). He seemed to know every class, their abilities and when they should use them. He singlehandedly managed loot distribution, class assignments, and gave us strategies over vent. When a strategy wasn’t working on our progression fights, he changed it. As a priest myself, I half expected this tyrant to expect me to respec (as I’d been asked to do in the past with other groups) or only heal certain groups/tanks and noone else (ditto). I know Xeo to armory-stalk people and I’m sure he has his doubts about why I’ve taken certain talents or used certain gems/enchants. However…he’s never told me to change anything about them. Why not??? Because with Xeonio, if you are doing your job and staying out of the fire, you stay UNDER his radar. I’m all about staying under the radar. In fact, I don’t think he heard a peep out of me for a few months of raiding. I did not want to do anything to draw attention to myself. Getting your raiders to do their jobs and work as a team, that’s what makes an effective raid leader. Praise in public, criticize in private-that’s something that works for me (with kindergarteners, sigh). Could I get 25 people to do their jobs with this kind of attitude? Probably not. I wouldn’t even want to try, and I’d probably beat my head on my desk after five minutes of it.

Over time, I’ve found other raiders that are a little like me. These raiders whisper me after some of the ventrilo tirades. “Man, I’ve had a bad day myself and I am not going to put up with this.” “I was doing the best I could, but this happened.” I can commiserate with these people. Later, when Xeo’s rage level is at 0 (never tell your raid lead that they are out of line when they are at full rage), I can tell him that people were upset over an outburst. Guess what? Our raid leader is human. He actually feels (dare I say it?) remorse when I inform him that he’s upset someone who entered his radar. He even apologizes.

Deep down, despite our flaws, stupid mistakes, and the fact that we actually need bathroom breaks sometimes, we know that our raid leader appreciates us and our efforts. When we show up on time with flasks in hand and we manage to stay out of the fire, Xeo does a little happy dance. When we manage to down a boss for the first time, we know that we’ve made his week. Especially if we are the first charter to do it. You can hear the joy in his voice over Vent. People keep coming back to raid with his charter, and I know it’s not to be yelled at. It’s for the praise. Because when you get that praise over vent for a job well done and great teamwork (plus phat lewtz)…it makes it all worth it. 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Abusing Your Powers: 5 – Raider Reactions

  1. Cerburos says:

    Even though xeo may yell at us for messing up and even wiping the raid. I think whenever he calls a person out over vent it actually makes us all work harder then if he was just to whisper the person. Cause at least with me i dont want to be called out for messing up in front of 24 other people. Even though we all are human and none of us are perfect. And this is why you guys never really hear me say much of anything. I like to stay under his radar.

  2. Tagra says:

    I’ve said this before on here (postcount++) but after coming from groups that were pretty casual, timid about calling people out and letting people get away with a lot, it’s refreshing to have a group who EXPECTS to get called out for fucking up, instead of getting defensive and bitchy and making up ridiculous excuses about their own obvious mistakes. My only concern after raiding with Relentless for a bit was that maybe Xeo yells a little *too* much and causes people to just laugh and tune him out, because every now and then I see people making the same mistakes repeatedly (usually involving some sort of fire), sometimes directly after being bitched out for it. But usually if they do it multiple times in a row, they get a proper yelling at instead of just a call-out. And then I sit here and think “He’s yelling what I’m thinking!”

    My initial reactions are a little hard to gauge because when you’re a neurotic perfectionist, you tense up and worry about every potential fuck up regardless of whether people are watching for it or not. I do recall getting light bomb on the run in for XT, running further than I needed to because I didn’t want to hit anyone with it, and promptly leaving healing range and getting my ass killed before we were even in position. Xeo mentioned it on vent, but didn’t exactly yell at me (I was new, maybe he didn’t want to run me off too quickly >.>) which I appreciated because I was pretty fucking pissed off at myself already for completely forgetting that while EXPLODING I might need to stay in range of healing.

    But as I said before, I appreciate it when the leader gives benefit of doubt and calmly mentions a fuck-up the first time, then yells on the repeats, rather than losing their shit on every little mistake. People fuck up, it happens. Mistakes are there to be learned from. The people who fuck up repeatedly in the same ways are the ones that need their ass handed to them, and if they don’t fix it after that they need their ass on the curb.

    I’ve had many different kinds of raid leaders.
    – The casual “Oh that’s ok” leader which seems great until your raid falls apart due to sucking.
    – The “I know more than you” leader who spends less time leading and more time attempting to prove to you they’ve done these fights before and so they’re better at it than you are and you better hang on their every word (I hate these the most. There is nothing more infuriating to me than a pedant).
    – The fascist leaders who actively LOOK for things to scream about, and if everyone does everything perfectly they start to nitpick insignificant details just so they can scream more (unless THEY fuck up, then that was either someone else’s fault (usually the interface breaking in some arcane way that has never happened before and never will again), or some grand scheme they were trying that didn’t work, but totally wasn’t a fuck up nope)

    And on that last note, even though we made fun of it in the last entry, I have appreciated that Xeo (USUALLY) admits when he fucks up, too. The raid leader isn’t above the raid, they just have more shit to do without any thanks for it.

  3. I have to say, every article I read on here makes me want to roll an Ally and beg Xeo to let me raid with you guys. This blog has quickly moved to the top of my blogroll. Of course, then I remember two things.

    I hate you, Alliance.

    There’s about a 90% chance you’d all kick me out after a raid or two of constant dying. Lol.

    But you know…when Cataclysm hits…you guys might have a Worgen named Misamane knocking at your door 😉

    Misa

  4. xeonio says:

    @Tagra / Cerb: Thank you guys a lot. It really does mean a lot to me that peeps don’t think I’m yelling just for the sake of yelling.

    @Tagra: I’ve considered that, that maybe sometimes I yell to much and it loses its strength. I might try following through on my threats of replacing peeps for fucking up. That would certainly set the point home I think.

    @Misamane: ❤ /hug… and on another note if you applied I'd totally require you to update your blog more often! Even if its not about WoW… write about whats going on in your shop. That would be awesome to hear about.

  5. We’ve nicknamed our guild leader and raid leader ‘cranky tanks’. The two of them are our main progression tanks, and they’re the ones who lead the raids and the guild. One of them is exceptionally more cranky than the other. When the Raid Leader is running, he takes… no shit… at all. He has no problem calling you out in vent, by IRL name if he knows you, and ripping you a new one if you stand in the fire, or are DPSing the wrong add, or casting during flame-jets as a healer. He has this amazing ability to see what all is going on between everyone and all adds during all times of the raid. It’s kinda scary.

    But he is another one who uses fear as a motivator. He has a mean scary voice… we don’t want to be yelled at. But at the end, when it’s all done and over with, he will also tell us good job, we’ve done well, and we move on. I agree that in the heat of the moment, when things need to get done right then and there, all joking aside… some people just have to be put in place. But at the end of the day, when you’ve acomplished your goal, a few words of encouragement is just as good of a long-term motivator as fear a short-term one.

  6. daemia says:

    Xeo, I thought you already did replace people from the core group. Do you mean you’d go all Bon Qui Qui in the middle of a raid and call SAHKURRRITY cuz someone’s got to go?

    I’ll go ahead and go on record saying that I think Xeo holds back a lot from what you hear over Vent. Vent does not convey the sound of angry typing, nor does it transmit withering stares of disbelief. That said, I found our RL gathering raids to be quite enjoyable (shameless plug for the next one).

  7. Tagra says:

    If half the things I angrily type into guild chat made it into raid chat…

    This is why I stay in my own guild of people I can bitch about things to >.>

  8. xeonio says:

    @Mikata: LOL! Cranky tanks… thats awesome. I’ve been with lots of other groups that have led in different ways but I think the heavy handed calling people out works the best of all the ways I’ve ever seen it. If people do awesome, then make sure to point that out as well (which I probably don’t do enough of).

    @Daemia: Well, I have replaced peeps mid raid but its been in extreme situations when the persons DPS was so low it required it.

    @Tagra: Yea… there’s lots that doesn’t make it to the raid. Everyone can thank Delinia for power word: shielding the raid.

  9. Conifer says:

    I was scared to death of Xeo the first few times I raided with Relentless. “omg don’t mess up, don’t mess up” just ran through my head the entire run.

    But this is exactly how I like to raid. Serious, hardcore, no-nonsense, 2 nights a week. I actually think Xeo could step up the intensity, trim some fat, and we would start to see hardmodes fall. But I understand that friendships > progression and it’s a good priority check for me as well.

    When it comes down to it, Relentless has a nice balance of hardcore progression and casual, friendly raiding. And no one pulls off that kind of balance better than Xeo.

  10. Conifer says:

    /cheer for bio rotations.

    Oh, and the healer channel is the best channel ever. Seriously. Without it I would probably kill myself from the boredom of Ulduar.

  11. I was shunned from my old charter for some philosophical differences with the leads, so I had to start looking for a new one. The first one I raided with was more progressed, but their Vent chatter made me suicidal. I did a Eye of Eternity raid with Relentless when they were first learning the fight and that is when I met Xeo. From that first raid, I knew I had found my new home. Xeo shares my deep intolerance for incompetence. We are kindred spirits.

    While Shindig and Conifer and some of the other raiders might have been frightened of Xeo at first, I was thrilled to finally find a raid lead who would call people out on coming unprepared, not flasking, not eating, and fucking up in fights.

    I agree with Conifer that I could stand for Xeo to be a bit harsher, but since I’ve gotten to know him, I know he really doesn’t have it in him. He’s kind of a sentimental softy really.

  12. Gigantor1960 says:

    The Drill Instructor mentality has it’s place. In a former guild we had a hit person that had the sole job of calling people out and you knew that if it happened it was for a reason.

    Kinda wish my current guild had that but the Gl & GM are pretty laid back. It is funny though we usually play best and down bosses when they get testy and say “This is the last attempt”.

    Always equals dead boss.

  13. Shiningstar says:

    Bio rations, lol. I can see how that could get bad if Xeo said ‘BR Xeo’ and Conifer slipped off to use the bathroom in the middle of the fight. Oh wait, he already does that, doesn’t he? 🙂

  14. xeonio says:

    @Gigantor: LOL! I don’t know what it is about those magic words. When they are said though, it means victory. I know some peeps like to be laid back and all that, and I certainly want to have fun but I want to get the job done to. To me, killing the boss and getting loot IS the fun part.

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