Posted tagged ‘teamwork’

Constructive Criticism, What’s The Problem?

March 6, 2011

I was reading Rhii’s last post about how she felt guilty that something she said was followed by her raid leader’s resignation. Now, Rhii’s a gentle soul and I’d be shocked if she mustered the cruelty to say something so horrid that it would ruin someone’s raid leading confidence. A resignation following something she said was most likely coincidence. So that’s not what made me react. What made me react was her (seemingly) gingerly approach to constructive criticism.

(EDIT: After some clarifications from Rhii, it seems that I misinterpreted her approach to CC, which was in reality: “maybe my guild is going overboard with CC, only pointing out the bad calls and ignoring the good ones”. Which, since they’re a new guild, is sort of normal, they’re just trying to find the best communication style for them. But remember folks, be honest and help each other improve, but don’t forget to raise a glass to the good times! Work hard, party hard!)

Discomfort with constructive criticism is one that I see echoed quite a bit among bloggers and among many players I’ve shared raids with: constructive criticism is hard, it causes drama if you’re not super ultra careful, you need to be an adult to handle it

Are us WoW players so terribly socially inept that the words Contructive Criticism need to be capitalized? Is it such a big deal that we need to warn people about it? That we need to debate the terms and conditions of our constructive criticism?
(more…)

I Don’t Want to Write Something Useful, so I’m Going to Talk About 10 Man Raid Leading

March 23, 2010

GM: How’s your 10 man looking this week?
Me: It’s looking good. But it’s not really my 10 man.
GM: It’s your 10 man.
Me: It’s not mine!
GM: You took it over, therefore it’s your 10 man, no ifs, ands or buts.

So I ended up with a 10 man raid. Apparently it’s “mine”. I’m too new age-ish for that. It’s mine and 9 other people’s. It’s ours.

Actually, raid leading is one of those things where I can’t decide if I really like it or really hate it. I enjoy the planning, the list making, all the logistics that go into getting a 10 man together. And when it all works out, it’s extremely rewarding. However, as shocking as it may sound (yeah, I know it’s hard to believe, ha!), I have a terribly anxious personality. I need everything planned and sorted ahead of time and any last minute changes are the end of the world. Not to mention that I’m one of those slow, deep thinkers that take forever to make up their minds. Which is great in certain circumstances. For example, I never make impulsive purchases. In a raid context, however, my lack of spontaneity can be problematic.

*DPS dies*
Druid: Should I battle rez?
Me: Um…

Me: Um…

Me: Um…Yes. Err, no, wait, the boss is already dead.

I had two 10 man teams going in my old guild, although I usually only actually led one of the two (I can’t two box). The experience was bittersweet. We did get some cool guild firsts under my lead. But I also have memories of getting in fights with the backseat raid leader who kept arguing with me (I’ve actually said “Who’s leading this raid, you or me?” before). And the very last raid I led with them ended with wipe after wipe after wipe on Faction Champs, normal mode. In my discouragement, I was crying so hard I couldn’t even speak enough to call the raid. (Apparently, no one noticed which is good!)

So about a few months ago, this happened:

Guild leadership:
We don’t have enough time for progression so we’re taking 10 mans out of our regular raid nights, you’ll have to do them on offnights.
Regular raid leader: I’m starting something on Wednesdays.
Someone else: I’m starting something on Sundays.
Me: I’m free whenever.
Guild: You’re going Sunday.

Then, after a week, the guy who ran Sunday’s group left the guild. In a rare moment of impulsiveness (I guess there’s hope for me yet), I started a new thread, got everyone from the original group to check in and built a new team. Before I knew it, it somehow became known as “my” raid, even though I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.

I was pretty nervous. I’m not an aggressive leader at all. Even in my old guild where everyone was older and laid back, I had no authority whatsoever. I’m the kind of person who says please before telling you to move out of the fire. With a shaky voice.

Luckily, things have been working out so far, the group is fairly disciplined so I don’t really need to be authoritative. I raised my voice once. Immediately, I got 4 whispers:

Four people: Lol, you got mad!

The harshness in my voice was really just me trying to control my giggles. I’m not very good at getting mad.

Oh and I’m obsessed with having my group confirmed as early as possible in the week, as well as with starting the raid on time. The raid is scheduled for 6, we must pull at 6, regardless if only the mage and I are inside the instance. Attendance and punctuality are pretty much the only things I’m inflexible on. And by inflexible on, I mean overly anxious about:

Me: You’re coming on Sunday right.
Raider: Yep.
Me: You’re sure?
Raider: Of course.
Me: Really sure?
Raider: Yeah.
Me: Are yo-
Raider: OMG YES.
*night of the raid*
Raider: Um, I had something come up.
Me: *nervous breakdown*.

And of course there’s always some smartass overhearing me sob on vent.

Smartass: You don’t handle stress very well, do you?
Me:

We’ve had our hurdles. To name them: Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, Spring Break, Gold Medal Olympic Hockey Game, Sindragosa. I don’t think we’ve ever had two consecutive weeks with the same 10 people. There’s always one person who has to work unexpectedly, who has computer issues or needs a night off. Then there’s the stress every week of “3 people want badges, 3 people won’t go if we have to clear downstairs, 2 people don’t know what they want, 1 person doesn’t understand the in-game calender system and 1 person hasn’t discovered we have guild forums yet.”

But amazingly enough, week after week things work out. Except Sindragosa, 1% wipes omfg. Unless there’s been a planned delay, we’ve started our raids on times. In about two months, we’ve only had two signed-up-but-didn’t-shows, and one of those was actually a /gquit I hadn’t been aware of.

We’ve become used to playing together. And by that, I mean that our druid doesn’t even have to pay attention to vent or look at her raidframes to know who needs a battlerez and when. We got to know each other and our teammates’ IRL eating/flasking/buffing habits pretty well. During downtime and trash, we joke around on vent and share TMI (unlike the other 10 man team…I sat in their channel once and it put me to SLEEP). They even sorta forgive me for stuff like bopping the tank. My teammates are also great about communicating what they want so the rare times where we can’t resort to a vote, decisions are easy to make.

I get tons of help from the guild leadership, which is a first for me. In the past, I had always been met with “your raids, your problem, we want no part in this”. But now I get a regular supply of answers to my questions and pats on the back when requested. When the other 10 man moved their raid on top of ours, the little conflicts and frustrations that inevitably came up were short lived, despite that we still give each other crap over them.

In the end, even my fears of being a crappy “leader” were resolved when I discovered that one our priests (I’M GOING TO LET YOU ALL GUESS WHO) was probably a sport commenter in a past life. Not only does he seem to know when I’m wishy-washy about a certain fight and need someone else to jump in, but also narrates entire fights in a very entertaining and engaging manner. I can just sit back and hit buttons. (Unless I’m tanking…I haven’t learned my new keybindings yet, so when I tank, I sit back and pound my fist on the keyboard in hopes that my character does something.)

So now I don’t have to say that I lead a 10 man raid, I can say I coordinate a 10 man raid, which sounds much nicer to my ears.

Oh and I’ve become quite attached to the task of getting the group together every week.

Me: OMG we’re going to fail, no ones going to show up, we’re not even going to get Saurfang down. Why the hell did I volunteer for this?
Fellow Raider: I can take over if you want.
Me: NO. MY RAID PAWS OFF. MINE MINE MINE.


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