View Full Version : The Rally Cry- Your Raid Group Morale

08-29-2007, 01:44 AM
All too often a raid group falls prey to small mishaps. These things are often just small mistakes that occur in nearly any raid. But other often times this is due to morale. In the raid guild its often overlooked during the session of raiding. Whether this is due to the focus of downing trash or bosses or because of the lack of a weather eye on the raid members themselves.

There is a very real momentum in every raid. A raid could be going at an excellent pace, and with no mishaps. Bosses are being one shot and trash goes down quick. However, it only takes one wipe to possibly destroy the group. Just like stopping a bus, once its stopped, it takes a minute to get back rolling again.

In my raiding experience I've gone from raid leaders that are loud, some quiet, some that are obnoxiously positive like a morning episode of Barney. Even some that are strict, blunt and harsh. We can more or less say that they behave in these ways pretty much as a necessity (I hope at least it works in that way.)

However there are always exceptions to that case.

Lets assume that there's a guild that's making their first attempt into Karazhan. They may go in and crush off everything in front of them up until Opera, in which case they get Romulo And Juliene. A seemingly easy fight for any group that's spent their share of time in MC. But this isn't always true today. Many raiders today have never raided MC before, and in turn haven't raided at all before.

Certain pressure is there. They know from talk that raids are a lot bigger in scale and dedication than anything a 5 man ever is. This is a delicate point in a raid team's future. If they go in and are unable to clear to Attumen then they are most likely going to look at the experience in a negative way, and feel that any short term attempts would be just the same as the current. Sighting inexperience or lack of gear as the probable reasons. Morale there is being lost and fast.

If the team does make it past a few bosses then there's steam that has built up, a definate good sign. This is where it gets a tad more tricky. If theres a wipe it's very possible that steam could die out. Multiple wipes compound that. Veteran raiders are less prone to this happening as they can almost always identify the real reasons to why a wipe occurred. If it's inexperience they know the next attempt will go better than the first.

Herein lies the best aspect of all that. The fact that they know that the next attempt will be better, plain and simple. "This boss has a debuff that we must negotiate and adapt to, once we have that worked out we'll crush it." They don't view it as "we just don't have the gear to plow through."

Some things like Prince just rely on luck. Nobody knows where the Infernals will drop, its just a matter of going in and giving it the best shot.

With that said, morale and keeping a few standup members informed that they need to keep the raid pumped, or providing great feedback to the raid is essential! "We got curator to 20%!! We can nail this!" 20 percent isn't taking a boss down but it's a clear sign that the group is on fire and if they redouble their efforts that they'll make it one more step closer to glory. "We got it down to 20, we just need to go back in and rock him harder, So and so you did great rounding up those adds running around, keep it up!"

If you as a raid leader or anyone see someone do something good, let them know, whether by tell, raid chat or voice chat. Let them know their on the right track and that their actions really ensured that the group is going to roll right over this encounter.

Earlier this evening we were on Maiden and I died because I wasn't healed for a period of time, our druid off tank immediately jumped from cat to bear form and worked on taking aggro from me. In the end I did die but because of his sharp eye, Maiden didn't run rampant to destroy the raid. Our paladin simply got tied up between using blessing of sacrifice, healing, and clensing. After Maiden dropped I immediately praised Hoko (The druid) for being right on the ball and being aware of the raid group the whole time to have the mind to prepare to pick it up. BUT, I also let the Paladin know that it was perfectly ok, and that he did a great job of so much multi tasking. It was fortunate as well that the healing mace and a tank neck dropped. Both people were recipients for their hard work in this case. But more so I believe our next pulls and fight in Opera went smoother because the raid group as a whole had gained a lot more morale during that fight. We had brought on a great deal of newcomers in the run so it was a mixture of experienced and new. I felt it was good that we downed her in that fashion.

It drove a statement that our group could tackle any obstacle so long as we kept sharp minds and stayed positive with each and every pull.

In your next raid be vocal about what people did in a positive light. Let the healers know they are all spot on with heals and are doing great to keep everyone afloat, making note that their job is integral. Tell the hunter that grabbing the loose mob into a trap was an awesome snap reaction and it saved the raid. Let the other tanks know that their doing great, nobody's coming close to ripping aggro from them. But always let the group as a full know that their work thusfar has been outstanding and that if they keep it up that the boss IS indeed going to take a dive.

Taking these proactive measures along with your officers, raid leader and GM will ensure that your raid team performs at its peak, if not anything else it keeps the fun going and keep the stress down to the very bottom.

08-29-2007, 05:12 AM
/tear, /clap

F*cking amazing. I couldn't be more proud. Congrats on the run bro!

08-29-2007, 05:22 AM
Aesop, when you copied it over it lost the spaces between each paragraph. I've edited it to correct that, I hope you don't mind. :)

08-29-2007, 05:51 AM
Its understandable when people make mistakes learning content, but there is alot of easy already learned content where people make mistakes. I think in these situations is when you lose steam, wiping on stuff you know you can kill and have killed flawlessly in the past.

A guild learning new encounters wiping nightly in ssc, tk, hyjal, or bt should be ok with that. Its a learning experience no one gets it on the first try. Most level headed players realize that progression = mistakes/death.

08-29-2007, 05:54 AM
This is such an important aspect of raiding it's amazing that so many raid leaders do not understand.

I remember distinctly the difference between my old guild and the current one. The old guild, we would wipe and get discouraged, sometimes after a couple wipes the leader would insinuate that we weren't good enough, or "the right group".

This new guild... the guild leader is constantly saying the right things. After a painful wipe (which also happens less with this new guild, lol) he'll say something like "oh no he DIDN'T, let's F HIM UP" or "Not bad, not bad. we got unlucky. he's going down for sure this time".

I know from personal experience that a little bit of praise is huge motivation to continue in the raid and also to try my best not to let him down. This is so important, the fact that so many are blind to it is astonishing. The best leaders are those who can inspire people to try their hardest. When you crave someone's praise or approval, you work so much harder. Anyone who needs a clue can read Ender's Game.

08-29-2007, 07:04 AM
The fix to all morale issues:

Play "You're the Inspiration" by Chicago over vent. Download the song if you are unfamiliar with it. It is so cheesy it rocks and after playing it a few times the guildies demand it.

08-29-2007, 09:39 AM
I love Berginyon's suggestion mainly cos its such a simple thing that obviously works for his guild - not sure my guildies would love me for playing it tho :)

In our guild when things start to go bad in a raid someone (often our raid leader) will yell "For pony" its always immediately followed by "Gnome power" (by one of the gnomes) and then followed by various individual even more obscure war cries. It never fails to make me smile and the next pull or boss try always seems to go smoother because of it :)

08-29-2007, 10:14 AM
I feel warm and squishy inside, reminds me of surviving a 12 pull through a wall in shattered halls. Memories.

Definitely a good read, I wish my guild was more this way. We've been stuck on Hydross for over a month, and the excuse is always: "gear up more this week, we'll try again next week" when in reality, I think they need (i'm not included cuz i can't raid) to just grit their teeth, bite the repair costs, and keep trying. and not be so down. We have a great pair of tanks, but our MT can get on emotional side at times so it brings down the morale of the entire raid when our MT starts saying in vent: "I'm a bad tank"... she hasn't done this in weeks as far as I know, and has recently begun striking out at bad dps but not in a positive manner... more of a frustration manner and I think it can suck =T

08-29-2007, 10:57 AM
Praise is the #1 most important thing imo. Tell people when they are doing good, its a huge morale boost and they'll want to live up to the praise you give them.

If someone did poorly in the past but then strats doing well, praise them for it.

It can also repair mistakes made in the past. If one's leadership was poor in a raid, or they got down on people, then those people might be feeling poorly about the whole situation, about you, etc. But praise can reverse that.

08-29-2007, 11:16 AM
After a wipe i try to basically run an AAR (after action review) 3 positives and 3 negatives If an individual caused the wipe they usually know but not always and/or they may not know how to correct it so then its time to outline how to sustain the + and contain the -
Even when a wipe is caused by a single individual generally you dont have to state who unless they seem to be a problem child. But at the same time everyone should have thick enough skin to accept both the good and bad.

This is more useful imo on progression kills than say your 5th kill of prince when u simply id the problem correct it and yell lets whup this mofo's ass b4 you proceed to do so.

08-29-2007, 11:30 AM
Aesop, when you copied it over it lost the spaces between each paragraph. I've edited it to correct that, I hope you don't mind. :)

lol didn't mind at all. It was like what 4am or something and I was just going to town at that point lol.

As some of the other posters noted theres so many ways to keep everyone up and going. Just a few days ago during the realm crash exploits Dread and myself were on prince and it was the last stop pretty much for our new guild. We had him at half first go, and when we saw 50% we all said and thought "were in the game now, we got that *uck to half, if we got him this far we can rail him!" Sure enough next attempt 3%.

I think in some cases just seeing a boss hp meter go down like that will drive people wild and want to hurry as fast as they can to get back for another go. I'm more than sure we would of crushed it off next attempt but the Crash Exploits were in full effect nobody could log back into Shattered Hand for over an hour. We finally realized that our raiding had been trashed for the night thanks to some immature people. So we went on the ptr and screwed around for the night lol.

We've had songs playing on vent before in the past. I personally keep a long playlist going every raid but once in a while I switch vent sound options to stereo mixer and let everyone hear my loud racket :)
If it doesn't pump them up, at least the loud noise woke them up lol.

Cliffhanger wins on a boss are also amazing. You get a situation where alot of people go down and the last few hang on the skin of their teeth and the raid just booms with excitement and such.

I personally think that it can make up for alot of gear deficiencies. If you get a group thats a bit undergeared but they go in each attempt and do everything to be creative and bypass problems, the results are often amazing.

There's a few things dealing with 90% of the raid never seeing a paladin tank in their life. At first I found dps adamant about going all out. But once we got on Moroes and it was clear that I wasn't letting go, the dps really turned it on. Moments such as that were parts of personal pride or sense of accomplishment.

Any tank wants their raid to be confident and positive about them and what they bring to the table each night. So in sort of an example, I came in wondering what people were actually thinking about my role. I definately and obviously got the answer and it motivated myself that much more because I knew that the raid itself trusted in my judgement. I ended up being more gung-ho and made alot more smart decisions.

Those sorts of things I quickly realized from playing as a goaltender for a junior hockey team. I ended up noticing if I went out there and stood up on moments I was needed that the offense was much more comfortable taking chances and going more all out. This in turn made me more confident and comfortable allowing me to keep a steady mind set on my job without side thoughts. Things like that even in wow apply. You get a team with some great attitude and confidence and it just goes simply wild.

As far as the mistakes go with vet groups. It happens, people goof up once in a while. If you got a any kind of decent group the person will openly admit what happened and the rest of the group will just laugh about it, rebuff and keep going without a scratch.

At any rate thank you very much for your replies everyone I do very much appreciate it all :)

08-29-2007, 11:37 AM
After a wipe i try to basically run an AAR (after action review) 3 positives and 3 negatives If an individual caused the wipe they usually know but not always and/or they may not know how to correct it so then its time to outline how to sustain the + and contain the -
Even when a wipe is caused by a single individual generally you dont have to state who unless they seem to be a problem child. But at the same time everyone should have thick enough skin to accept both the good and bad.

This is more useful imo on progression kills than say your 5th kill of prince when u simply id the problem correct it and yell lets whup this mofo's ass b4 you proceed to do so.

Oh it works on vet prince teams too. I've seen this first hand in my last raiding guild. There were nights that runs would just turn to crap because of morale. I think part of being able to take out bosses like that you also need to take a bit of humility and humbleness with it. Its still a raid boss and its a very real possibility that if someones mind isn't on the ball that you could die really fast.

Its not always about the progression game, there isn't a perfect kill that I've ever seen on a raid boss really. There's always improvement to be had. Even after doing the 130943th bwl I always challenged myself and the rest of the raid to do better than last time.

I've seen many top end guilds on my server crap out because of morale. they literally ended up being dreary, machine like and very very very touchy. These guilds fell prey to bad morale. They ended up in huge arguments and eventually split up and never recovered from their previous stature.

Part of keeping that morale is a premptive measure to ensure that something like that is very unlikely to ever happen. Leaders in any facet of life recognize that fact. You keep people happy and they'll do great more often, you keep them happy and they're less likely to get mad or start some ruckus that grows.

08-30-2007, 02:01 PM
When someone is responsible for a wipe, I think its important to name the person and if he/she is doing something wrong, you must give proper advice.

I find this important because most members of the raid aren't usually aware of whats happening in the big picture, and we don't want the morale down "because this group sucks", instead I want everybody to know the very precise cause of wipe, so they know next time it will be fixed, and therefore the performance will improve.

When any problem is identified and named, it becomes smaller. That is why progression wipes with typical open "We need more gear" arguments hurt so bad the morale, because gear is something we can't magically fix, and its frustrating to know there's no way to improve.

Of course at first sight the "Blame gear" idea is comfortable because it takes away responsibility from the players hands, but guess what, that hurtful, DON'T do that. You don't want lazy party members who think gear is all and forget about skill. You want players to take responsibility for their own share of victory and defeat, you want alert minds, quick reflexes, you want everybody thinking for the greater good and NOT running away from individual failure with lame excuses -- gear included.

09-09-2007, 07:40 AM
I agree with you on the "blame gear" thing. Its a really bad habit to say the least of it. Joanadark's signature quote says it best.
As far as putting someone in the chair about a wrong doing, theres people you can do that with and some that would take it a bit more personal. While I'm not an officer even in my guild, the tanks are always welcomed to give advice on what they think. In the situation where someone fubar's I might say "well i saw ___ move on flame wreath." Or simply tell officers/raid leader what I saw. Hopefully the officers know this person well enough that they take the appropriate action. There's also severity involved. I wiped our kara once because we were in a groove grabbing packs for aoe and I was too gung-ho and ended up throwing the captain america shield at some elites lol. The raid knew I was just wound up, excited what have you etc. We just laughed it off. However, if someone moved on the flame wreaths later on we would outwardly exclaim "___ you moved a bit during the flame wreath, make sure on the next attempt that you keep a keen eye alright man?" but we'd also back it up with something good "Your dps is looking great though, if everyone watches out for wreaths were all set."
But your completely right, the problem needs to be nipped directly in order to snuff it out for the future attempts.
But yeah lol "we just dont have gear" is a pretty lame excuse, kara in most cases is pretty forgiving on gear as is. As long as your not rolling around in greens for tanking lol

09-09-2007, 10:59 AM
This stuff is equally important in PvP and in Arenas. Losing a match or two in a row or losing a match badly as a result of a mistake can lead to a terrible dip in morale and as a result, reduced performance (and reduced fun). I was guilty of putting too much pressure on my WSG group just last night, and I got sarcastic with them. Keeping a level head and giving out meaningful praise as generously as possible is a great thing to keep in mind. Thanks for the post.

09-10-2007, 05:18 AM
Oh especially in Arenas! Arena matches show a great example of momentum and steam. When my own personal teams are scoring up wins were generally pumped and do great, make no mistakes etc.
As you said its a shoe in for comparison to arena/pvp situations.

09-11-2007, 07:08 AM
I too believe that raid moral is the most important thing, i can remember Raiding with Aussie Raiders. Their raids started at 5am server time. Im central time so that was 4am for me. i can tell you When Realmslayer got on vent and said " Good mornin boys" in that aussie accent i laughed every time. He also never got Angry or Discouraged on wipes. This was all in ZG, when we moved on to MC for the most part the normal raid group was seasoned enough to take the flame so to speak if we messed up or just forgot to run to the center. Like Aaesop said most post BC raiders have never experienced the true ZG, MC, BWL. Yea they may have went in as a guild of 70's and tooled around, but its not the same as a group of 60's in mostly Dungeon set gear. It was tough getting through UBRS when my main hit 60, so i aswell as Aaesop ( Who was then Mahdeib ) got all that fun stuff heh. Anyway point being Dont be that guy or girl Screaming over vent thats a Effing 50 DKP minus!!!! All that will do is get your main healer Misdirected !!! lol Most of all Remember its just a game, i can say that be a WoW addict myself. Yea repair bills may stack up and yea tempers may flare, but when in a Guild Raid your all a team and all friends! For those who think they dont need someone else's advice, at least humor them you may actually take something from it.....i did.

As for the music over vent i request Queen~We are the Champions after every boss fight!!!!