I’ve never been in a bowling league. I’ve never had a poker night with buddies. I was in a curling league for a year…
A former officer of our guild gave me this great analogy: gaming guilds and raiding are very much like a sports league or games night. They both are scheduled activities with a set group of people, all for a common goal of having fun and achieving something. Whether that goal is bowling or raiding, the ideals behind the scenes are the same.
I can’t stress this enough: fun first. If you’re not having fun, why bother going? When something gets to the point where you dread doing it, it’s time to change something. Going through a few nights of no progression in a raid? Step back and see what the atmosphere is like. Are people yelling at each other? People stressed out over minute details? Something needs to change.
Now, I’m not suggesting that there be no order to a raid night. If people are doing whatever they want and not caring about the other 9 or 24 people who are present, that’s unacceptable. But at the same time, laugh a little! During our Molten Core days, we had the “Arch of Jamaxsum” – right before Lucifron there was a tunnel to go through with a ton of flame imps and elementals. Once in Lucifron’s room, the imps would aggro if you got too close to the entrance of the tunnel since they had such a large aggro range. More often than not, it was Jamaxsum who would pull them in during a fight and wipe the raid. Also more often than not, we would all laugh and /roll for blame.
Everything in moderation: there’s a time and place for lots of fun, as well as being serious. If you’re learning a new fight and something happens that shouldn’t happen, make sure that you learn from it. If you wipe the raid in the Lich King fight because you didn’t move out of Defile, you need a swift kick to the head and an explanation of how the mechanic works – not someone continually yelling and screaming at you. If you repeat the same thing over and over again, that’s a different story.
Next, be serious when it comes to raid nights and real life. In my previous post I mentioned having a good balance between real life and gaming, and this is one of the biggest parts that people can have problems with. Come to an understanding with your significant other or family, and treat it as you would for a night you would go out and play sports. If you sign up for a raid, you commit to it. If you know you can’t make it, let someone know so that a replacement can be found. Small guilds can really suffer from this, since there could be a smaller group of people to choose from.
If you were in a sports league and couldn’t make it to a game, would you just not show up or would you call someone to let them know? Yes, I know that a WoW raid isn’t really the same thing since you don’t sign up for a whole season of raiding at a time. At the same time, there are other people who are relying on you being there to fill a spot if you’ve committed to it.
Finally, treat the team captains with respect. The guild master, officer(s), and raid leader(s) of a guild do a lot. They have to make sure that there is the right class balance so the right abilities are all present, they have to make sure that people actually show up for the raid, and they have to keep things moving along through the event. They also have to be the disciplinary force from time to time as well. If this happens, remember that by being in the guild you accept them as the people who are authorized to do what needs to be done.
If there is a problem, bring it up to the people who need to know. In most guilds, I’d say that the normal chain of communication for problems with a raid would be to go to the raid leader first, then officers, then guild master. More than likely, if there’s a problem there wouldn’t be just one person who would say something. If there is only one voice, maybe that person just caught it before others.
All in all, just remember the golden rule (of raiding): treat others as you want to be treated. Treat others with respect, if you sign up for a raid and can’t make it be sure to tell someone, and try to have fun!