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Thread: The most powerful raid tool!

  1. #1
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    The most powerful raid tool!

    One of the most powerful tools available to any raid is not actually based in the game mechanics, strictly speaking, but it is of the utmost importance, and I see so many raids/leaders/pugs fail to do it as well as they could. What is this powerful tool?

    Communication

    It is a simple concept, and it is one that is employed in a huge range in every aspect of the game. It is never changed by patches, but can be buffed through use of in-game tools and 3rd-party software (Vent, Teamspeak, etc).

    I wanted to discuss several of the places where communication and the nature thereof becomes a massive deal, specifically in the realm of raiding. This will come out in a series of articles which I've aimed principally at raid leadership. For those who run raiding guilds, this probably has every bit as much impact on your guild communications, where as if you run random pick up groups on the weekend, you may find only some parts of it are as helpful.

    Article 1: Leadership
    Leadership plays a very pivotal role in how a team performs, whether it is a pug, a casual guild run, or a high-end, high-intensity raid environment. Simply put, a team is a group of individuals who work together to accomplish a common goal. In order for the team to work together they need the following abilities in some measure:
    1.) Personal skills (each member in whatever they're responsible for)
    2.) Composition/Balance (all the necessary elements in the right proportion)
    3.) Communication (to coordinate the actions of the pieces)

    The communication in point 3 is split in two, in this case: Leadership and Feedback. The Leadership is the portion (usually/ideally a single voice or set of voices) that directs the movements of the whole so they perform their part to the same end goal. The Feedback is the part where the followers on the team let the leadership know anything they can't readily see that will affect further leadership decisions (i.e. a tank is dead is needed information so another tank can be directed to pick up the assignment, a non-CC'ing dps is dead is just unfortunate, but usually it is not needed to be pointed out).

    The nuances of communicating as a leader are complicated. The goal in this is that one person is paying attention to the big picture so they can orchestrate the smaller pieces. This does not mean telling the tank when to shield slam, but it could mean telling the tanks to swap targets, to expect a big burst of damage, or to expect a phase switch. Beyond just tactical direction, the leadership is also responsible for setting the pervading atmosphere and attitude of the team. In simplest terms, this atmosphere will determine the efficacy in raids and out of them, as well as the ability of your team to face and persevere through challenges. If you were around during BC, you'll remember how the end of t5 led to many teams falling apart. That is a simple indication of the limit of the team's atmosphere and attitude. When they reached that level of time and patience required the team disintegrated unable to support that amount of investment.

    So, it's easy to make generalizations, but what specifically does this mean, where and how does the leadership need to use good communication and careful choices to ensure a strong team? I'm glad you asked! (ok, gotta stop that talking to myself again >.>)

    1.) Cooperation
    As a team, you succeed when people do what is needed of them, when it is needed, and trust the other required actions to other people. When one person fails to trust their teammate, they try to do both jobs and rarely succeed at doing both, usually mess up the other person's ability to do so, and generally just make a mess. For example, Healer A is assigned to the tank while Healer B is assigned to healing the group. Healer A sees people take damage in the group and rather than trusting Healer B to do their job, he tries to heal up the raid. The interrupt in tank heals allows the tank to get crushed before Healer A can switch back and pick him up, while Healer B's heals overheal because Healer A was trying to do the same thing.

    How does the leadership come into play here? Three main places come to mind:
    Assignments = the leadership (maybe a single person, maybe role-leads) sets out who is responsible for tanking what, healers are assigned to different needs, and DPS are told the desired kill order, sometimes including dps type splits (i.e. caster dps on X, melee dps on Y). Out of raids this comes into play in delegating important duties for the team. Assignments may not always be the best fit, or they may be asking too much, but once the action starts it is no longer the time to question assignments, it is now time to follow your directions. Until the crunch time starts though, it is ok to question assignments, provided it is done through the appropriate channels, in the appropriate tone.

    Expressed Support = it is helpful to use language that expresses your trust in your raiders, if you trust them others will be more inclined to do so. "Alright, Billy is going to be a champion and heal the tank solo, let us know if you need help." On the other end of the spectrum, if you don't trust your raid team (or accidentally suggest that in your language), the team is both less likely to trust each other, and they may have trouble trusting you. Out of raids, entrusting tasks to people is a sign of confidence in their abilities and allows them to feel more invested in the team, like it's not just a work place where they do a chore, get paid, and go home, but a product they helped create and can take pride in.

    Encourage Feedback = at the right time, through the right channels, players should be encouraged to give feedback on how things worked. During the raid, or during the pull is likely not the right time, but after the raid, on the team forums, or through whispered conversations or role specific channels it is smart to listen to the experiences of your team and adjust accordingly. For example, after the attempt, Billy whispers the heal lead that the healing was pretty manageable except for the soft-enrage, so the heal lead knows that the next set of assignments should incorporate a second healer having hots ready or switching over for just that portion. Feedback is also helpful in terms of policies and the demeanor of the leadership themselves. Your team is a mirror in which you can see how you portray yourself.

    It is the combination of many working elements doing their part that make a whole organism capable of something much more challenging.

    2.) Executive Decisions
    The game (and the world) are full of decisions. Many of them are not earth-shattering, and many of them are not even a right-or-wrong scenario. There are simply many situations where a group of people need someone to make the choice so they act decisively as a group. As the leadership, this falls to you. In terms of raids this could be a small detail as "ok, break's done, let's move on to the next trash," or larger as, "we've been wiping on this boss for a couple hours, let's give this other boss some attention and come back to this later." Out of raids this encompasses a great many choices, but some are very important such as setting raid times, attendance policies, and deciding who gets to raid and why. As leadership it falls to you to make these decisions, and many of them are not easy, but it is important to make informed, considered decisions, and to learn from the outcome of them. If your decisions are regularly to the detriment of the team, the team may choose not to follow you anymore, so tread carefully, and share your reasoning so they can appreciate where you come from and why you choose what you do.

    3.) Unity
    You may be 10 or 25 (or 40) people with individual thoughts, ideas, strategies, and goals, but as a part of a team you are strongest when you are united in a single purpose. Each person carries out their task to accomplish the greater goal. As a leader you can set this very tone to encourage more magnanimous thinking among the team members. If the leadership sets the tone and the team falls in line, the power of being more team-minded and less selfish makes looting, sacrificial buffing (scorpid sting means less damage from the hunter but may be better for tank survival, less healing required and an easier fight), and general operations far more positive and healthy. Leadership that focuses on the value of loot and individual performance, without due attention to the good of the team, is far more likely to find drama, arguments, and other negative interactions that make the team a trial instead of a joy. Leadership that stresses nothing, be warned. If the people in charge of organization do not set a tone, they leave it open to the people in the raid to decide what the attitude and interaction will be like, for better or for worse. Members who care about their team and their teammates will be loyal, committed, have more reason to do what is asked of them, and have a degree of buffer against potential strife. Think about it from this angle to understand that last point: If your best friend of 15 years accidentally knocks you in the head with a shelf he's moving, you rub your head, laugh it off, and forgive him in a moment. If a random stranger or new acquaintance does it, you may not be so quickly forgiving and may harbor personal resentment or suspicion.


    The focus of this article is on the value of communication for a leader, and I specifically talk about raid leadership in many of my examples. That said there are two important points that I think need emphasizing:

    1.) Whether or not you are an officer, raid leader, or are actually appointed to a position of authority in your team, as a member of the team you can be a constructive force, a guiding influence on your team nonetheless. A positive attitude, and a willingness to exemplify everything the team and it's "official" leaders stand for can be a very helpful role on the team, and you can personally have a hand in making it the kind of environment you want to play in. In a way that makes you a leader, and is a form of taking responsibility yourself. Often times it is these people who are eventually elected or selected to become formal leaders.

    2.) Leaders are nothing without loyal followers. Leaders may call the shots, make the big decisions, and settle the disputes at the end of the day, but if no one follows their directions they are not leaders at all. As a leader, be conscious of your followers, be attentive to the fact that they are living, breathing people with needs, hopes, and desires. As a leader, know when you need to follow the needs and wants of your team, and when you need to make a decision that may not make your team happy but will eventually be in their best interest. If you are not a leader in your team, learn what it means to be a follower. It is always important to have ideas and opinions, and it is helpful for the leadership that you voice them in the appropriate fashion, but what makes the team strong at the end of the day is that you support your leaders whether or not you like the specific choice. It is better for the team to act as a whole, for win or for loss, than it is for you to do what you think is the right choice at the expense of everyone else's actions and plans.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  2. #2
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    Tactical communication is the one common thread that EVERY raid group must deal with, regardless of whether it is a pick-up group, a casual group of friends raiding, or a hardcore progression raiding team. Tactical communications deals with how, when, and what the team communicates regarding the execution of encounters and other combat functions in the raid environment. There are 4 areas at which we will look at this communication.

    1.) Research, Fitting, Assignments

    In order to match your team to your challenge, you first have to know the challenge. The complexity level of the game is such that there is more than one way to overcome any given obstacle, but given the wealth of information and feedback available from others who have accomplished these tasks, the pressure is not on you to be original right away unless you have a very unusual team. Research can and be done by each and every member of the team. It can be very beneficial to have each member do some research on their own, then come together and discuss their understanding of that. By discussing it prior to the challenge they can iron out finer details some may have missed and help solidify what they had learned to that point. Videos and written strategies are both very valuable sources of information as some people learn better by seeing, and some learn better by conceptualizing. Either way, it is usually smart to go back and forth between the two, the literature will help you understand what you see, and the videos will visually demonstrate what may or may not be clearly described in the writing. Multiple sources of information can also be helpful as different writers will describe things differently. If you are in the rare position of going in blind, or you choose to to make things more interesting, I will discuss methods for learning in greater detail in Article #3.

    Each fight has 3 basic roles, we are all familiar with this: Tank, Healer, and DPS/Damage Dealer. I will assume that if you are reading this you understand the most basic dynamics of this relationship. When you are studying the encounters, pay attention to the demands of each role, particularly what sort of damage the tank will take, where healing will be needed and what scale will be needed in each case, and what target(s) are the highest priority or have special consideration for how you kill them. Take the time, if you haven't already, to speak with each of your tanks, each of your healers, and pay attention to the dpsers in-raid and by log collections (unless you want to interview all 8-20 people you rely on to kill things, which is certainly worth doing, albeit time consuming). Ask questions and learn what they feel most comfortable with, what their strongsuits are for their role (for example, high health meatshield type tank, strong CD's to match burst boss scenarios, or block-types who are strong against fast swinging bosses), and where they feel weak. Knowing your own abilities is as important as knowing that of your opponent, and will allow you to match the player, not just the class stereotype, to the needs of the encounter.

    Your team will want to match the demands of the encounter to the strengths and assets of the team, this is a topic all in its own, and I will leave it to teams to figure out their own methods here. What this article is concerned with though is that when the time comes, you have an idea of who will be doing what, and you can explain your reasoning. It may not be immediately necessary to do so, but you need to communicate to each group and assignment what their role is, and should you need to reconsider your strategy, understanding *why* you were doing what you were doing will allow you to adjust accordingly on the outcome.

    When explaining aspects of the encounter and assigning tasks to the team, the key to doing so effectively is in balancing enough information without giving people too much to remember at once. Before creating the assignment, identify for yourself, what is *the* most important thing this(ese) person will need to do, what is the simplest way to explain their objective, and what details are small or inconsequential?

    Here are some examples of assignments:
    A.) "Ok, during phase 2 there will be 3 different kinds of tentacles, Crushers, Constrictors, and Corrupters. The Crusher Tentacle is going to cast a debuff that will reduce all the damage in the raid by 20% for each successful application, they need to be interrupted, Constrictors will grab a person in the raid group. The Crushers have a lot of health so we'll have to work hard to kill them, <Rogue> you will be in charge of interrupting them, oh and the Corrupters will cast debuffs, but we'll be focusing on Crushers. There are different debuffs, each can be dispelled. If a Constrictor pops up, it needs to die then you can go back to what you were doing before. <Holy Paladin> you will be dispelling magic, poison, and disease. There will be a second team of people who will be going through portals, one portal per person, oh and <Resto Druid> can you dispel curses...

    B.) "For phase 2 there will be 2 teams. Portal Team and Tentacle Team. Portal team will consist of <X-Z>, you'll be going in the portals that spawn around Yogg, one person per portal. #1 priority while you're in there is to always keep your back to the floating skulls, and no matter what, make sure you are out in under 60 sec. Tentacle team, there are 3 tentacle types, always kill Constrictors first when they pop up, they'll die quickly. Crushers are your second priority, it is VERY important that they are interrupted. If neither of those two are up, kill a Corrupter. Corrupters will be spamming dispellable debuffs, <X, Y, Z> you will be principally responsible for dispels.

    Notice, the information was essentially the same, but the manner in which you deliver it, and the highlights on what you really want them to remember make it clear and succinct. Poor descriptions will cause your group to struggle until they understand the fight for themselves, no matter how well *you* personally may understand it. If this organization doesn't come naturally, you may want to write down the important points on paper and mark them so you can add emphasis where appropriate. For your own purposes, list the details of the fight. You can mark off the inconsequential or unuseful information and exclude that until it actually becomes important (Constrictor's debuffs have nasty effects, but your focus is on dispelling them before they can really do anything, detailing every aspect of all 4 is a time waster and stretches the capacity people have to remember what is more important). Mark off details that are vital for people to know (Freya creates green spotlights, stand in them to regain sanity, if you don't and you run out, you'll turn against us). Then from the things that fall somewhere in the middle, make a judgment call about whether or not it is worth sharing, and when the appropriate time is (maybe they don't need to know on their very first attempt, in which case you can share it for clarification once they've seen a lot of the mechanics play out).

    The key in this preparatory communication is all about being succinct. To little information and people will be confused and less effective, too much information and people will lose some of the details and feel overwhelmed.

    2.) Framing, Movements, and Designated Directors

    Phase 1, planning, happens in advance of the actual raid, assignments will be given in advance within the raid. One of the most important portions of the process though, in the interest of acting in unison, happens simply with the 'go' command and the other transitions between phases and activities. In order for your raid to execute tasks effectively, they need to be unified in timing as well as purpose. A teacher of mine always said, "speed is bullsh*t, timing is everything." Coordination is even required by many of Blizzard's designs to succeed. This includes coordinating the start of pulls for multiple tanks to pick up their assignments, or healers responding to a phase switch and a new need for healing, or for the dps to switch in unison and nuke a target hard and fast when directed (Emalon comes to mind). Effective communication makes this substantially easier. So what is effective communication in this situation?

    First, for the sake of organization, you'll need designated directors. This is the person or people responsible for giving each direction when the time is right. I leave this ambiguous because the need will change with the situation. the raid leader will often be the person to do this, or the main tank, but sometimes it is easier for a dpser to see the need and call for the switch/move. At any rate, it is vitally important that it be decided and declared in advance who is responsible for this, otherwise you run the risk of having multiple people call out in comms, and 6 people can all say the same thing, but the message can be completely incomprehensible. Choose your directors, make sure they know, and that other people know not to duplicate directions, or worse, make up their own.

    Framing is a term I use to describe the method of giving lead-ups to an important shift. For example, in the Gluth fight in Naxxramas, the raid leader will call, "30 seconds to Decimate," "5 seconds to Decimate, dps be ready to turn around and kill the Zombie Chow," "Decimate! Nuke the adds quickly and get back on Gluth!" This framing makes it so people are ready with whatever personal preparations they may need. Maybe you gave the dps directions to all stand up by Gluth, and the 30 second mark is their cue to move back into the room so they can turn on the adds more effectively. Either way, no warning and a sudden direction can leave people scattered, or catch them unexpecting and result in poorly coordinated turns. Framing, as with everything else is an exercise in tact. Too much framing and people get jumpy or comms get cluttered, too little and people are caught off-guard or lose focus.

    If you are a director, it is in your best interest to briefly consider the most concise way you can give your needed directions. This can be made easier with nicknames and common terms the team uses. For example, I refer to the trio of spirits in Freya's adds as "the threesome" and everyone immediately knows what I'm talking about. In Karazhan, the packs of elites mixed into the party guests were known as "Death Squads." They are simple short-hands that make people laugh at first, but since they are used to attaching that name to them, they can immediately make the connection, which allows for brevity. "Conservitor," "Lashers," "Threesome." One word and the group knows which adds are up and snap into action on the prepared response for each. Short and sweet is hard to be distracted from, and can even be slipped into comms while someone else is calling out instructions with less risk of losing the message.

    3.) Improvisation, Strategy Changes, and Exectutive Decisions on-the-fly

    The best laid plans do not always work, and sometimes things in an encounter will change. This is when it is vitally important that you have designated directors who know to be the only ones giving directions in comms, and when you are greatful you have a raid leader who is keeping their eye on the big picture.

    Previously, I mentioned the importance of Feedback during an encounter. This warrants more detail. During the fight many many things will happen. Most of them will bear significance, some of them will need to be known, and many of them will not change anything when announced. Some examples: If a healer dies, it is important to know because their healing assignment will need to be covered. It will suffice to say, "<name> down." Short, sweet, and obvious. "I'm down" will only be helpful if your team knows your voice well, and there isn't much going on to distract, it is better to be safe than to have to further clarify, though. On the other hand, if a DPS'er dies, it is unfortunate, but it is not likely worth noting unless they had some other responsibility that will need to be picked up. When an encounter requires tank switching and the current tank will take a lot of damage (Kologarn comes to mind), it is important to announce to healers when the switch is happening so heals can be appropriated quickly. In most any other situation, if your health is low, it is NOT appropriate or helpful to call out for heals. It is the healers' job to know what everyone's health is and who needs heals. If you haven't received heals yet it is because they are not available, or someone more important needs the heals at the moment. Sometimes, unforeseen events happen, a new group of mobs joins the fight, someone fails to get far enough away when dropping an injection from Grobbulus, someone gets the Mark when they're in the middle of a Saronite puddle with a couple other people, etc. When this happens it needs to be known, but it is important that not everyone call it out. Having directors and a raid leader will normally allow for that information to be disseminated quickly and clearly, allowing the people responsible for this to make the announcement is another act of trust in your teammates.

    Sooner or later, there will be a moment where you will need to change your tactics on the fly. When this time comes, make the direction clear and make the necessary changes clear. Do not be afraid to adapt on the fly, but be careful that you don't try to over-steer or micromanage your team when it happens, if this role falls to you. If this is not your role, respectfully keep quiet and let the leadership play things out. Even if you are right, trying to redirect the team may cause confusion and could have worse results than if you let things go.

    4.) The Wrap-Up

    Whether you clear or wipe, it is worthwhile to take a moment to reflect. This may be a discussion shared by the leadership or with the whole team, or it may be just a moment of personal reflection. When the pull is done, take a moment to remember what worked well, what didn't work well, where people followed directions well, where people had trouble with their assignments, and make sure these facts do not go unnoticed. This is the appropriate time for a variety of feedback, and where as a teammember it is important to let your leadership know what worked well for you and what didn't. Constructive feedback will include specifics and details, it is not helpful to simply say, "that sucked! Why did you make me do that?!" I will discuss the wrap up and the value you can take from it further in the next article.

    This is also a key moment for the psychology of your team. Depending on the outcome the leadership and the team's responses will determine the way in which you think of the fight, and how you remember it. Positive responses will generally leaving your team stronger and more united, while negative responses will poison the group and sabotage future attempts or fights. Here are some examples of positive and negative responses:

    Positive:
    • General back-patting "Good job team, sharp kill!"
    • Special praise "Good job <name> you really pulled that one out." *be careful that you don't praise any one person too often, praise is best spread around to the people who merit it, even if their part 'seems' less important. Acknowledging a job well done, or improvement by members helps them feel like their added effort bears fruit beyond just clearing the fight.
    • Positive criticism "Great job! Next time though let's try to tighten up the <xxx> so it is a little smoother."
    • Humor "That was a complete mess! <laughing> But we pulled it off. Way to go!"

    Negative:
    • Finger-pointing "It was his/their/your fault, you screwed up doing <task>!" Whether or not it is true, assigning blame is not helpful and makes the atmosphere feel hostile. Feeling accused, right or wrong, is not conducive to trust, teamwork, or enthusiasm. There is value in highlighting mistakes, but care and tact should be taken when doing so. Often a well-placed whisper will be much more effective for making sure it doesn't go unnoticed, while not singling someone out for criticism.
    • Unconstructive commentary "That was awful, it was so bad, we suck, you suck, <name> sucked, we can't do this, we're not good enough." Regardless of whether not any of it is true, it is counterproductive to add negative noise and pessimism to the situation. It only serves to discourage and damage morale.
    In a healthy environment for communication, people will be able to accept responsibility for their mistakes, and the team will be able to adapt, support, and adjust to support their weaknesses with their strengths. I will discuss more about how to create that environment, and what sort of tools can come of that in later articles.

    The key point to remember about tactical communications is to find the best balance you can of concise fact delivery and sufficient information to allow people to do their job. Limiting who is responsible for giving directions, and having those people prepare for their communications are two major steps on the road to optimizing this.
    Last edited by Satorri; 06-30-2009 at 10:16 AM.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  3. #3
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    A topic and a philosophy near and dear to my heart. Forgive me a brief preface to this topic. It is not uncommon to hear someone say, "that was such a waste of time!" Philosophically, these statements make me sad. Why? Simple answer: "wasting" time can only be done in retrospect. You cannot waste time in the present, only spend it in one way or another. When you look back and consider how time was spent you have the option of coloring that experience, deciding how much value to look for, or deciding how little you want to remember. We only waste time when we look back and dismiss what happened as valueless or not worth considering or remembering. Often times declaring time wasted is the very act of dismissing things you could learn from or find some degree of value in, and thereby losing an opportunity.

    So why am I discussing philosophy in regards to WoW and Raiding? Simple, the topic of this article:

    Investing in Loss: How to turn wipes into valuable resources

    Anyone who has raided knows it is inevitable, even in the best of teams, that you will wipe attempting to tackle raid obstacles. Everyone has to learn new content, new encounters, and to do so you have to face them and fall in combat. I want to be careful how I use language here, because we can use words that lead us to think or remember things as something other than what it really is: learning. The term we use is usually 'wipe,' short for being wiped out. For many people it is easy to think of this as losing or failing, but there is a danger in thinking of it as "wipe = fail, clear = win." The only way to fail in a true sense is to fail to learn from what you've done. Simply put, if you do not wipe you may miss your opportunity to improve, to see where you are weak, where you could improve. If you are good enough, or lucky enough, to waltz or be carried through content without dying or failing to clear a boss in one shot, you may start to believe you are infallible and miss the opportunity to improve that others who struggle will get.

    It is not sufficient to say, though, that losing is an asset, let's discuss some specifics of how to turn apparent losses, wipes, and other adversity on your raid team into a valuable resource.

    Our goal is to succeed. In order to succeed we prepare. We study the challenges we are about to face, we learn about our own abilities, then we prepare a plan on how to match the two as best we can. Once we are in the raid we do our best to use our abilities, as planned, to overcome the challenges. There are 3 initial places where the ideal will separate from the real, and these are our first three places to pay attention. In paying attention we can learn, improve, and become better players:

    1.) Personal Skills. In theory we know what tools we have, we know how to use them, and we can plan how we will use them to face the encounter. When the encounter comes, the chaos, distractions, and other real life deviations set in. We miss optimal timings, are slowed or distorted by network latency, we are distracted by things in-game or out, and miss our timing or an important event, and in general we just see how sharply our instincts are linked with our abilities. In this time you will see the limits of your current abilities, which is another way of saying you have the opportunity to see what you do well, what you do poorly or not at all, and what falls in the 200 levels in between. If you are attentive, you can identify these things and find ways and places to improve. Bear in mind, while things you do not do as well are easy targets, you can often improve the things you are good at just as easily. The tools for this are present both in-game and in real life. It is for this reason that I enjoy having combat stat trackers, combat logs, and all of the many tools that have been developed to use and inspect them. The real-life side requires that you be paying attention to what is going on, not watching TV over the monitor, not talking on the phone, and not just staring at cooldowns or chatting on Vent. If you pay attention you can catch the moments where you pause, delay, moments where your current setup (keyboard, mouse, keybinds, UI) hinders your response, or any number of other aspects. To become a better player yourself, you will be well-suited to pay close attention to these details.

    2.) Encounter Functionality. It can be good to study and learn as much as you can about encounters ahead of time, though some people find it more fun not to. If you are one of the former this is important and may be forgotten, and if you are one of the latter, this is your bread and butter and your skills here will make or break your success. Regardless of what is described by others, data-mined from game files, or (in)correctly surmised from 3rd parties, mobs, bosses, and their abilities will all work out in fashion all their own in real experience. Many things can contribute, but it is more important to pay attention and learn the real behavior than to stubbornly adhere to a description or ideal relating of how things work. During the fight, while you are learning it, mouseover debuffs/buffs, count out short timers, use tools to map longer timers, and you can use logs and recordings to do the same when inspecting fights after the fact. This is not dissimilar to football teams watching tapes of their practices and games. Learn how things actually work and plan according to that, not the ideal. Pairing this with the first item will allow you to formulate new plans, new strategies, and new tactics that may even eventually become standard practice for those who follow.

    3.) Team Coordination. As previously stated, raiding is not a group of all-star Rambo's, a single player will not clear a raid effectively (soloing old content doesn't count here, fun though it may be). A team has to work together to overcome the challenges. Each player will have to learn their own lessons, but the team will also see where plans don't always work out in the heat of things. Pay attention to how things really work in the fast paced live-raid environment and adjust your plans accordingly. Some things can be fixed, practiced, and improved, but some things just need to be accepted as an element of reality.

    In order to gain value from these things, it requires players to be paying attention. If you are not paying attention you will miss the things that led to the outcome, and when you look back to find out why you failed or succeeded, people will simply come up quiet, at a loss for pertinent information to share. It can be helpful, in raids, to encourage an atmosphere of attentiveness. Ask players to spot what a given debuff does, how often a particular add spawns, or whether or not a particular mechanic works (i.e. stun, interrupt, silence, CC, etc) on a given mob. Getting people involved in 'your' scouting encourages them to start looking at things in a similar fashion, and gives them a task to invest in.

    The first important step, as described above, is to bear witness to important details. Being able to identify the components of the situation and where they fit is a necessary precursor to the second step of extracting value from your experiences. The second step lies in the analysis. This is rather more complicated, and case specific, but in order to help, here are some general guidelines to look for, elements to check to see if the relationships become more clear. Thinking about the breakdown before, during, and after should also help you pay attention to the details better.

    1.) Break the fight down first into general phases. If you prepare for fights from others' experiences chances are this has been done for you. Though you shouldn't feel tied to see it the same way, most encounters are not so complicated that there will be much ambiguity. Identify the buffs/debuffs, adds, tank maneuvers, and other requirements and sort them into each phase. Find the simplest way to express each item.

    2.) From the simple descriptions note the implication of each element. Some will be dismissible, some will require raiders to do one thing or another to avoid, counter, or encourage a particular element. Try to keep things simple and direct at this stage, some elements will require rather more complicated responses. Separate these elements.

    3.) For elements that require more complex responses, consider your planned response to the element. Is there a simpler solution? Is there a different solution that may be easier to learn or employ? Who was given responsibility for that element, are they the best person, or best available?

    4.) Collect feedback from the group. Which directions were easiest to follow, which methods worked well and which struggled? Why did the elements that struggled do so (person, method, or other conflicting circumstance)? Were there any elements that directly led to defeat? Sometimes what you wanted to happen does not, for players missing their opportunity, misunderstanding directions, or simple distraction. Find out what of your strategy is not even actually tested. Often times it is not a single obvious item in the strategy that will cause the team to fail, it is simply several elements being slightly sub-par, inefficient, ineffective, or poorly executed. Large mistakes are easiest to rectify, but it takes work and attentiveness to improve your working strategies to push your group over the edge from near miss to sudden success. Always remember to allow time and reasonable patience for people to learn, as I've said above, messing up or falling short is far more useful for growth than succeeding on your first try or quickly thereafter.

    5.) Rephrase, reconsider, and re-approach. Sometimes the best solution is to simply change your tactics entirely on a given item or phase. Be careful, there are two sides to balance. On one hand a new strategy may be more effective, maybe by a lot, maybe only by a little. On the other hand every tactic you employ requires that the people responsible learn the task and practice it. The more practice they have the better they become at that task. Changing tactics may entirely reset the learning curve, or take it steps backwards. This means that even if the new tactic is better, the apparent effectiveness may appear worse while people learn the new moves. Small course corrections can be easier on the team unless the tactic(s) being used seems to be the thing keeping you from overcoming the challenge. Know when to take a step back and re-approach, and learn when it is better to stick to what you are doing.

    Once you've analyzed the situation, there may very well be more than one element that can be fixed. To deliver this to your team you need to establish priorities. Just as with teaching the team a new encounter, refining methods requires a similar degree of tact. Change things too much, or add too much new or conflicting information and you may make things harder or confuse people about what they're supposed to be doing. If you do not react and reinforce both adept execution and mistakes you run the risk of losing vital opportunities for learning and improvement. When highlighting mistakes, tread carefully always. Players are less receptive to both criticism and corrections if they feel accused, blamed, or otherwise slighted. Frequently, the best way to broach the subject is to first ask how it worked, what they saw, what their thoughts are, then see where your feedback is actually needed and what clarifications they need. Choose your forum for this carefully, if the team's environment is healthy and open, you may be able to do it in raid or guild chat, if the person is particularly sensitive about their mistakes it may be best to whisper. As always, be careful not to micro-manage your raiders. It is sometimes sufficient to ask, have both parties recognize where the mistake is, then let the person(s) who need improvement step up and try again. Failing to accomplish their task once or even a few times does not mean the player or the task is bad or inadvisable, but if they fail several times one or the other may need changing.

    Every raid leader will come to appreciate the relative strengths of their players, and will often favor one person or another for a given task, i.e. skilled dispeller, interrupter, kiter, etc. There is nothing wrong with that and often, so long as you can, it is in your best interest to leave the most important tasks to these people with an established history of success. Keep in mind, though, that the same principles apply to the microcosms of the raid operation. Hunter A may be a pro at trapping, but relying on him to do it every time means Hunter B doesn't have experience to allow him to improve. Giving Hunter B the task may mean that you fail a couple of times where you wouldn't have with Hunter A, but failing gives Hunter B the opportunity to improve, provided you maintain the appropriate atmosphere and mitigate the moments where Hunter B will feel bad or guilty about holding the team back. A well-timed whisper here can reassure that player that it is ok to screw up while you're learning. If you play this well into your team, your whole team will benefit, and when you need more traps you will have more than one competent hunter ready to go, or whatever the task may be.

    I try to give guidelines to help the process along, but I think more often than not it is the atmosphere and the attitude of the players on the team that will determine how well you learn and grow. Maintaining a professed policy that it is ok to screw up (provided you can identify where and how, and ideally are willing to share that with the team) allows your group to be honest with each other and offer support, feedback, inspection, and possibly advice that will improve the learning and future performance.

    There is a parable that seems appropriate here, that I've been fond of for a long time:
    "When the fool and the wiseman meet, who departs the wiser?"
    The simple answer of course, is the wiseman, because he realizes that even he can learn from a fool.
    Last edited by Satorri; 07-02-2009 at 09:05 AM.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  4. #4
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    Many of the topics I've framed in the previous articles have been fairly obvious and probably garner some attention from your guild/team. One area that is one of the easiest to see and hardest to approach, is actually the cracks that fill in between every other element. The MMO world is a social one, and communication is the tie that binds players together. Without it, we are just all playing the same single player game. This communication comes in all flavors and people will have a long running experience with it's advantages and its ills, from Barrens chat, to LFG, to Trade chat. These are examples of public chat channels, and while they are fully subject to all of us in the community to shape them, they are not really to any of us to police. While you can take a stand and try to confront people who plague these channels with inappropriate or offensive material that isn't strong enough to warrant action from Blizzard, at the end of the day, you can only speak out, and that won't often accomplish anything.

    While I'm not going to propose tackling the public channels, there is an important analogy to take care with your guild and raid team channels, and the nuances go much deeper than strictly big, offensive, or otherwise obviously troubling things. I want to discuss the elements where you can transform your guild/raid chat into a valuable tool, where it can be a pleasant social structure, and where subtleties of tone, language, and themes can help or hinder your raid or guild activities.

    Before reading this, let's draw from observation of the common state of these channels. How often in guild chat do people just chat, about personal details, what they're doing in the game, etc? Do people say hi to each other? Do people say something before they go offline? Do people coordinate activities through the chat channel? Form groups, ask for advice about quest completions, ask for advice about class/spec/spell/techniques? What is the acceptable level of language in your guild chat? Do people swear often, are their taboo swears or topics? Is swearing strictly disallowed? Do members in the channel know or call each other by name? Do they share personal details from their real life? None of these are meant to be leading questions, or a suggestion of what *should* be appropriate or desired. These are only a guide for you to take note of what is the current state.

    The goal of communication is simply to coordinate activities between multiple parties. In terms of raiding, that means you need to coordinate 10-40 people to be in the same place at the same time, and then go through the activities required by the raid. This general task can be accomplished with friendly banter as much as it can be with strict orders and impersonal structure. The question to ask, and the answer is usually personal, is what is the most effective atmosphere to create, support, and maintain your guild/raid through communication? This tone will not make or break your endeavors, but it can ride a very wide variety of shades in between. Some guilds/teams operate on a military-esque method of operation. The leadership give directions and the soldiers follow. Personality is inconsequential and may even be a distraction. Other teams operate very casually, where it would be terribly inappropriate to order people around, or get stressed out over outcomes. So to find what is best for your team, you will first want to establish what the socially agreed upon atmosphere is among your guild. This may have been communicated in your guild charter, or this may never have been actively discussed. Many guilds will fall into the latter category, and the nature of the guild will be purely what the members have made it into. Despite where you may fall on this, there are some general guidelines to keep an eye on, and possibly enforce:

    1.) Acceptable behavior, language, and personal disclosure. Establish an acceptable tone, use of profanity, and degree of personal information to share, and respect that level. Ask that your guild do the same. Is light profanity ok? Are their certain terms (racial, ethnic, gender, sexual) that need to remain off limits? Is it ok to ask people their real name, about their personal life, job, or home life? Discover or set these boundaries and ask that people respect them for the sake of the group. If someone steps out of line, make a conservative, respectful response in public comms and ask them to avoid the undesired behavior. Most people will get the message and follow accordingly provided they respect the institution. If they do not, and further sanctions are required, whispers may be a better route and/or getting (additional) leadership involved, some people will take public personal challenges as a reason to exemplify bad behavior they may not otherwise be interested in pursuing, when it is a private conversation (i.e. whispers) there is no one to show off for. It is not unreasonable to punish or remove someone from the guild over a matter of this communication, though doing so carefully can establish a respectable image for the leadership as well.

    2.) Balancing constructive communication with social communication. It is easy, and a common concern I hear from people, where chat channels can become all business, or impersonal. Interestingly, often, people can be dissuaded from getting involved with people who fail to treat them like another human being. Ask yourself this, how often have you been whisper, "BRD" or a similarly unprefaced, unpunctuated, and unexplained demand/request to do something? How often are you inclined to reply to those whispers? Taking a moment to appreciate, silly though it may sound, that there is another person on the other side of that text can make communications far more favorable and leave people feeling more inclined to get involved with whatever activities are going on.

    3.) Be attentive to the particulars of each channel for communication. While it may be ok to speak in a certain way to your friends within the group, or be perfectly acceptable in whispers or private vent channels, pay attention that you follow the social guidelines of public channels as they may not be the same. Your friends may not mind ethnic jokes or frequent swearing, but that doesn't mean you should subject people in a larger guild channel to the same, even if you are just trying to talk to your friends through that channel.

    If you find new and old members don't always fit the desired guidelines of chat, it can be worthwhile to make periodic announcements, post guidelines in the guild info or forums, or just make occasional whispers to coax people more in line with the desired level.

    Beyond purely acceptable behavior though, frequently used communication channels will develop themes and tones that are carried through the days/nights and will have a trickle-down effect on the attitudes and mental states of your guildies and teammates. As a member or a leader you can help guide this atmosphere to help your team have a more healthy and constructive attitude that can in turn positively impact on your raiding. Here are some general elements to keep an eye on:

    1.) Friendly conversation versus "I want this" requests. If your chat channel consists entirely of people asking for something, it can quickly become discouraging for people to get involved. In a very quiet atmosphere punctuated only by requests for self-less service, publicly offering such help can leave people feeling like they're putting out a big "Public Servant" sign. The method to course correction here is two-fold. First, even if you are not going to help requesters yourself, decline and say why. Offer suggestions as to where they may be able to find help (such as LFG channel, or the server boards perhaps). Find reasons and opportunities to engage people, particularly the frequent requesters, but also the others in personal non-important chat. If you think carefully, if a friend asks you to lend them a quick hand, you may more easily be inclined to. If a stranger is constantly asking for you to drop what you're doing and come do something just for them, you may be rather less inclined. Communication begets communication, quiet only appears to be ignoring others and disables communication. Encourage people who are inclined to ask for help to build friendly relationships first, and always know when to leave it be. There is nothing more destructive in this vein than the person who throws a hissy fit when no one offers to come help them.

    2.) Building relationships. If you are just interested in having a pleasant comm channel, or are trying to run (in) a high end raiding guild, there are strong values in building personal relationships. Knowing the people you work and play with allows you to both be more considerate of their needs when they arise, and be more patient with them when things get stressful. A stranger is easy to blame, scapegoat, or place any measure of negative emotion on, particularly through a video game where text transcription allows people to afix whatever tone they want to you. You don't need to be fast friends or trying to connect out of the guild, but connecting over the common interest of the game allows you to remember that they are real, living, breathing people you play with. Even if it is only to say, "Hi, <game or real name>" when you log on or join a group, it is enough to create a sort of familiarity and bond different from just another piece of scenery or scripted NPC.

    3.) Unspoken and spoken values and priorities. In game and out of game, much of what is important to you is either communicated expressly or suggested by your tone, focus, and emotional responses to things that happen. In guild and team communications this can be a very important feature. It may be helpful for the guild to create policies outlining what is important to the guild, such as progression (speed, depth, consistancy), equity in looting, considerateness among team members, or unfaltering performance, attendance, or other values. The guild's general priorities can help inform expectations of people involved. A lack of communicated priorities and values allow people to create whatever expectations they want, and the responses to leadership and membership responses will scale according to the individual. Even if it doesn't perfectly match their own, people are usually far more willing to accept things they don't like if they knew to expect it from official communication. Choose your values carefully, and cite them to your membership frequently to be sure there are no surprises that could harm the cordial atmosphere of your team. It is ok to ask what you want of people, so long as you recognize that the more extreme your policies and values the more likely you will have people who choose not to involve themselves with you because of those values. This is often for the better as you will gather like-minded players rather than potential dissonants.

    4.) Leadership and senior members are the exemplars. The members of highest visibility and official or unofficial positions of leadership will expressly or subtly display the acceptable behavior and form people's expectations accordingly. It is all well and good to ask members not to use excessive profanity, but if the officers or even a single officer swear frequently, that is the message that guild members will pick up on and behave accordingly. Remember that even if you don't *think* your actions are particularly notable, others may still register your behavior. Sometimes a quiet reminder can help these influential members keep their behavior in sync with the policies of the team or guild.

    Paying attention to these nuances will allow you to more skillfully construct the atmosphere of your group. In general, a friendly and positive environment is more conducive to creating a strong team. If people feel comfortable, and accepted in the group, they will have a much longer fuse for handling confrontations, and a much longer stretch of patience and morale for dealing with adversity like struggling in raid content. If, even without speaking, you communicate that members are just a means to an end of getting gear and notariety, players will feel like tools to others' success and in the face of adversity will quickly and easily question their commitment.
    Last edited by Satorri; 07-06-2009 at 12:44 PM.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  5. #5
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    On a personal note/Afterward

    For most of the articles, I've tried to keep my personal feelings or leanings out of the discussion. I want to be sure that this doesn't get lost in grand generalization though. This last portion is my personal feelings on a prime sort of guild/raid to be a part of, beyond just in-raid skills and success. Please take this with a grain of salt, this is my personal opinions and is not likely ideal for everyone.

    I have a story that illustrates something terribly important for me. Back when BC was only a month old, my rogue was a brand new 70 and I was loving life. It was my first time really experiencing an endgame, and I was finding my way slowly but surely. I joined a Shadow Labyrinth pick-up group (what a nightmare they were in the beginning), and there was another rogue in the party. Before even saying hello, he took one look at my health total and said, "you must be wearing all greens and blues yeah?" I was a little perplexed, a little offended, but I responded, "no, I've just got several pieces that don't have stamina on them in favor of more combat-related stats." He persisted that I must be brand new to 70 and I would probably do poorly, that I wouldn't be able to hold up my end on DPS. The group broke up about 5 minutes later, I don't recall why but probably because they were unable to find a healer. I whispered him, not really angry, but curious why he took such an acrimonious tone with someone he'd never met in-game or out. I asked why he thought it was ok to be rude to a complete stranger, his response is burnt in my memory: "It's just a game. I don't have to be nice to you, I don't even know you." I responded, "And now you never will." And he became the first person to join my ignore list.

    It's just a game is something I've heard over and over, usually to justify what would be utterly unacceptable behavior in a real world encounter. Like the way people only say, "I'm only human" when they make a mistake, notice no one ever says that in the face of compliments for doing something noteworthy? The truth is, it is a game world, but it is no different from meeting people at the gym and playing a game of pick-up basketball. The game simply makes it so your interaction is through typed text and digital renderings of an avatar, an in-game representation of ourself. Through the text filter it is easy to lose nuance of speech, body language completely disappears, and much of your personal information can be made up or withheld as the player sees fit. This may be solace to some, and a barrier to others. At the end of the day though, the greatest value I've taken from the game is the people I've met, and the friendships I've made, some in-game, many have transcended the game itself.

    Over the course of my first 6 months playing my guild got to know me, and bit by bit the leadership took notice of me, and wanted to give me more and more responsibility. When I was level 40, all the level 60's in the guild decided that they wanted to split off from our social/leveling guild and try their hand at making a real raiding guild. The GM's decided that I was the ideal pick to replace them as a leader in the guild. From there on I've been in a leadership role ever since. That leveling guild eventually bore a crop of determined level 70's (since the split was later in the classic time frame), and I first really learned what it was to raid. I formed my guild's raid team with new ideas on how that should be done, and over 6 painful months I learned a great deal about what it takes to raid successfully and where the most skilled raiders in the world can fall hard. We were no where near the caliber of the top guilds in the world, but we were determined to make it work, and we had plenty of failures of our own. In the following year and a half I went through a few mergers, a couple of guild crumblings, mostly keeping my core team of officers, though losing one here and there. In the end my team cracked in half, with half the contingent being tired of the PvP world and very limited supply of people, while the other half was utterly uninterested in a carebear environment and became quickly resentful of the seemingly selfish move made by the other group. I cared deeply for both groups and I am still in regular contact with both, but I quickly discovered that I could not straddle two realms and two raid teams, it was utterly implausible and my continuing declarations of wanting to play with everyone just led to frustration with the side I wasn't apparently favoring as much. In the end I came to the server I now call first home, and set up shop happy to just be a face in the crowd led by half my former team of officers. Not surprisingly, I suppose, a year from then has me an officer once again just trying to help make raiding a joy and less of a burden on the rest of the officers.

    Why the long history? Because I want you, the reader, to appreciate, that when I say I have seen a lot in the world of guilds and raiding, I'm not just talking. I don't consider myself to be the be-all-end-all in terms of what is best, but I think in my years I've come to find some very sound values, and I'm enjoying the least dramatic, least stressful, and most enjoyable raid group I've yet to come across. We have even developed a great reputation on our server/faction for being good people to play with. What are our values? I'll explain from my value system which is mostly shared by the other officers and is exemplified in our raid team.

    First, to be clear, our guild is a social guild. Membership hinges on attitude and behavior. We like nice people, and regardless of level or number of alts or aptitude with our game, pleasant, friendly people are welcome in our guild, as are their friends and family (and the amount of our guild that is webbed in family and real-world friendly ties is almost surprising sometimes). Our raid team is a separate entity from the guild, though the two share several leaders. Our team consists of dedicated players including a few who belond to their own small guild of friends who they have no desire to leave but who they are not able to raid at the same level with.

    My refrain to my raid team and guild remains the same over the years: the #1 most important thing in the game to me is the people. I don't care if I progress or finish raids, I don't care if I get all the best gear or sit around in greens. I do care that I enjoy what I am doing, and that the people playing with me do the same, as best we can. At the end of the day, if people go home happy in the real and permanent sense, then I have done my job as a raid leader. The most frequent causes of strife in the game are A.) people treating others in a way they would never treat someone to their face, and B.) squabbling over the novelty rewards we get for completing game objectives (most notably loot). I try to maintain an atmosphere that faces both of these head on. A.) We're all real people playing a game together. Respect your fellow players regardless of age, gender, playstyle, or character/avatar choices. B.) Loot and rewards are not permanent, nor are they often once-in-a-lifetime things. Even in the cases where they are, no matter how major it is, there will come a time where that reward is no longer important to you. No item in the game is worth getting really upset about. Player behavior may cause strife, but that can be dealt with, looting is a flash in the storm.

    In order to be successful in the end-game world of raiding, you only need a balance of a short list of essential items:

    1.) Player skill. There is a point at which each player's personal skill will limit how far they can proceed and what challenges they can readily overcome. Player skill is not fixed, it can be improved with time, practice, and help, if they are inclined to take that help. Also, in every team effort, it is the net effect that matters. Even if a given player only contributes 5% to the final end, that may still be enough for the team to succeed. More often in today's endgame, it is more valuable to bring someone who you enjoy playing with, who improves the atmosphere of the group, is more important than raw and measurable output.

    2.) Cooperation. I said this a few times throughout my essays above. You can take 10 of the best players in the game at whatever they do, but as content gets more intricate and more challenging, if they cannot communicate, they will not succeed. It is not always enough to be able to do *the most* damage, or *the most* healing, or have the most powerful tanking gear/skill/threat. If you do not coordinate those skills things can very easily go wrong and the team will fail.

    3.) Comradery. The time will come where you will look at the game and decide it is no longer the best way to spend your leisure hours. Maybe the game itself will be in decline, maybe that time will come sooner for you. When you stop playing, how will you look back at the days on days of game time that you spent playing WoW? I've seen many people convince themself that it was such a powerful waste, and how they will "never get the time back they spent playing." When I leave this game, I can look back at the hours and days I spent playing with friends, having fun, laughing, smiling, banging my head against the challenges, wracking my brains to come up with a way around whatever was challenging us that day. I value the time I've spent in the game because we had fun doing it. When I walk away from this game, I walk away with friends. Real people who have become important in my life, even as we just shared an otherwise meaningless fun-time activity. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, then at some point the significance of what you have completed in the game world of WoW will mysteriously disappear and you will be left wondering just why you did it all.

    I love this game. Why? Well part of it is that Blizzard, despite all little issues here and there, has created a game that millions of people have come to enjoy, and they've come to do it together. In one afternoon of playing WoW you can cross the paths of more people than you would walking down a city street. If you're lucky, maybe you'll even get to know a few of them.
    Last edited by Satorri; 07-06-2009 at 12:59 PM.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  6. #6
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    Article #3 has been added. The holiday weekend is coming up, so I'm not sure when #4 will be done, but in the meantime feedback on the first 3 is appreciated.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  7. #7
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    whoa! very well done! Im gonna show this to my RL

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    Very well done.

  9. #9
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    Ok, the final essay, for the time being, has been completed and posted. I understand that this is a wall of text to say the least, and that much of this is not a ready concern of most people playing the game. If this has been significant to you in some way, then I feel like I've done something good for the community. If not? C'est la vie.

    If you have any specific stories, examples, questions, comments, or points for discussion, I'd love it if people could post them below, maybe more relevant, productive conversation can come from this.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  10. #10
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    I like what you've written, just wish you had a less verbose style of prose.
    My favourite was the use of wipes for learning.

    One of my continual frustrations is when people say "I hate just going in there, doing the same thing, wiping, and not changing anything". Their belief is that only gross strategic changes can prevent the wipe. However in fact, each wipe should result in every raid member improving or reinforcing their learning; their execution of the strategy may well have not been perfect.

    So the repeated wiping is fine if people are learning.
    I roll my eyes when people say "we need to change something" because it assumes everyone executed perfectly (which is unlikely to have been the case).

    Good raid leadership comes to knowing when the strategy is flawed, or its execution, and/or who in the raid is not improving or not capable of improving.
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  11. #11
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    Indeed on the latter and the former. Even in re-reading and editing myself, I feel like it is not as succinct as it could be, but it is a very tricky subject full of nooks and crannies I don't want missed. I think I'm better at presentation when I can gauge my audience's response and adjust accordingly (additional clarification is only needed when people don't get where I'm going initially).

    Perhaps at some point I'll have the time to tighten some of it up.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  12. #12
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    The only times when wipes or raid members become frustrating is when there is no progression or no learning. When we continue to wipe because of the same thing, or the same person continues to make the same mistake... that is when patience is tested. But I agree with Satorri and that point in this post. I will make an effort to read the rest as I have time, I'm certain there are things I haven't thought about hidden in there.

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