About a month ago, I completed a very fun and intense achievement. Every week since then, I’ve been leading a Sarth Drake Run. We agreed that we would zerg Sartharion every week until we all have our Black Drakes. Each time we’ve been there, I’ve led a group that kills Sartharion zerg style in less than 4 wipes.
The problem with me leading a raid is that I hate leading raids.
I hate giving out assignments.
I hate explaining fights.
I hate people whispering me asking about a fight mechanic.
I hate being of charge of what Paladins should Bless what.
I hate calling out Bloodlust.
I hate telling people to move out of fire.
I hate announcing Fire Walls.
I hate having to manage Master Looter or be in charge of someone doing Master Looter.
Yet somehow I managed to lead a Sartharion Zerg. I ask myself: How can someone who hates raid leading, raid lead a hectic and somewhat demanding fight?
The answer is this: The success of bad raid leaders isn’t in the raid leader. The success of a bad raid leader is in the raid and how well each member takes charge of their own characters.
On our second attempt, our single healer disconnected. He said so on vent and my immediate thought was to wipe it. The Elemental Shaman was throwing heals on the tank and we lived for another 40% or so. We had 2-3 paladins in the raid. Everyone wants a different Blessing. Yet I didn’t tell the Paladins to bless anything specifically. The simplest way for people to do this is not set up Pally Power, but the Paladins need to be smart and Bless the proper people with the proper Blessing (Like Might on Healers? Really?). I never did a ready check in between attempts. If you are at the muster area pre boss, I assume you are ready to pull. I never had to deal with any “ninja AFK”. Just type in raid chat if you are going AFK and don’t AFK without telling someone. Rather than waiting for people to return from AFKs or get in range of buffs, we had to wait for Bloodlust and tank cooldowns to reset between each attempt because everyone in our group was quick to get back in place and try again.
I don’t even use Master Looter for these runs. Everyone who I choose to take on these runs, is either from my guild or I have past experience running dungeons with. These people know that we’ll keep doing these runs until we all have drakes, so there is no drake ninja. I tell everyone to simply pass on all the items, and we can do standard rolls. The same way a Master Looter does, except I don’t have to worry about distribution loot. Think of this like a loot Honor System. If you can implement this into your raids, you are one step closer to having a trustworthy, reliable and rational raid.
What did I do differently than any other successful raid leader? Nothing. I might even do less work than most raid leaders. However, I had an excellent group. A better question is “What did my raid do?”, and the answer to that is took charge of their roles and tasks and were smart about it.
Advice for raid leaders: Nothing new. If you are a raid leader leading groups that are killing raid bosses, you are probably doing something right. If raiding is your primary goal and people in your raid aren’t smart, and aren’t learning encounters simplest thing to do is replace them. If you have a great raid group, try running without Master Looter on, but make sure everyone knows what to do.
Advice for raid members: Be smart, and use your class. React to each situation accordingly. When a wipe is called, or when it is inevitable release and runback. We are no longer is vanilla and raiding doesn’t require 8hours/6nights anymore. Slow raiding is dumb raiding. By being smarter, you can make more your raid time more effective.