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.
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. 🙂