Saturday, May 2, 2009

7 tricks of the raid lead trade

So with more information coming out about the new patch, and with Children's Week destroying the BGs it's hard to find too many positive thinking people. And I have to admit I've been sort of pissy about all of it myself yesterday.

It's hard to constantly adjust to everchanging rules, but in the end, I enjoy playing this game so I decided to wait with posting until my mood had cleared a little.

People often say "Think Positive!" to someone who really just isn't in the mood for that. Maybe this is because it's really hard to do when it feels like everything around you seems to fall to pieces. However, the power of positive thinking is quite strong, and without it I can guarantee you that whatever you do in life, and in the game, will fail more often.

When you have been wiping all evening and you lose your positive thinking it's almost a guarantee that you won't succeed that evening at all.

There are several tactics that I have used in the past to get the raid back to think they can do it, and to getting them out of the fail mood, and I figured I would share them so maybe others can profit from them as well.
1. Have a break, have a KitKat!
Tell everybody to just go away from the keys for 5 minutes, don't buff just yet, run back in and leave your characters just standing there. Urge them to stand up and go use the bathroom, get a drink, or indeed a small snack. Once you get back to keys everybody will feel better and their heads will have cleared slightly.

2. Laughter is the best medicine
Go for a silly joke, it may be as lame as you can think off. As long as it makes people laugh. The best raids my group has had is when we were all in the silliest moods, and were throwing back and forth silly remarks, like "Wow, couldn't get a bigger mace, needed to compensate for something?" My group got undying like this ;)

I know it sounds lame, but whichever works for your raid to get the people in good moods and have fun. These are the moments that you really have to remember that the game is all about having fun.

3. The Peptalk
Tell your team that you're certain that they can do it. They are the best team in the world after all. Make them feel proud and buff them with positive words. People will often put in that little extra step to get the job done.

4. Running Commentary
Keep a running commentary on what is happening in the game. When the boss is about dead call out his remaining health, and keep updating it. Encourage everybody to keep at it, even though half of the raid may be dead, just keep going, and talk them through the last couple of Ks health on the boss

5. The Lecture
Don't use this one too often. But every now and then it's ok to tell people to keep it together, and get their heads out of their asses. If there is chaos, it's ok to take a firmer tone and lecture your raid back to focus.

6. Change Tactics
Sometimes when you have been bashing your head against a certain boss for a while, and it just doesn't seem to work, it is best to try the boss in a different way. Think out of the box, and instead of having the weight on the healers, put the weight on the dps for example. You can read about an example of change of tactics, and how positive it can work here.

7. Hard Bosses go early
Try to start your evening with a startup boss, and then move on to the harder bosses. A little warmup, and then into the fray for the harder ones. Also don't save the hardest (or new) bosses till last if you can prevent it. People will be tired and that alone will make it a lot harder to stay focused and positive.

The Extra Optional!
Bring silly stuff to raid. Have a fair few stacks of Pygmy Oil at hand for example, or bring a small feast to use on a simpler boss. Bring some extra flasks, yes expensive, but the mood does go up when you provide people with a free flask at times. There are many things that you can do, but the goal of this is to lighten the mood and have people's minds off wiping for a second.

In the end you know your team best, so it's up to you to decide which one you wish to use when. After working together for a while you will know better and better how to keep your team thinking positive, or drag them away from a negative mood.


  1. Hi there! I just stumbled on your blog and fell in love immediately. You'll definitely be added to my must-read-list!

    I noticed you already had a link to me - thanks for that! For some strange reason linking to my normal addres doesn't work as it should. But change it to my feedburner address:
    and it will work as charm.

  2. I have changed the link, and wow coming from someone with a blog like your own that means a lot, thank you!

  3. Another great post!

    As a Raid Lead, I'm pretty sure I've taken advantage of all of those. I think the biggest ones are the break and changing tactics. People need to get up and walk away, running in between pulls to grab a drink or bio just isn't enouth. I also think a lot of people fall into the not wanting to change tactics. I know with NQI everytime we wipe on a new boss we discuss and look to see if there's something we can change. Just because there may be a guide for the encounter doesn't mean it shouldn't be adjusted based our your guild and your players.