Sometimes, the problem isn’t the team

So, as I said in my last post, I am now leading both of my guild’s 10-man raid teams. The second team has struggled for a long time. I’ve always had complaints of infighting, poorly prepared players, lack of communication, etc. I took what steps I could without personally taking it over, and it never got any better. I even assigned a new leader to it who we (the officers) thought would be the sort of taskmaster they might need.

That, however, didn’t work either. In fact, that new leader came to me with statements like “Nothing can help Team 2” and “We’ll never see any new content with this class mix” and “People can pug better than Team 2 can raid so why should they raid together?”

None of this made any sense to me. I’ve grouped with these people before. I’ve raided with them before. I know they’re not stupid or unskilled or incapable of adjusting to less than perfect raid comps. I tried to council their leader with advice including pointing out that having a defeatist attitude is not the way to achieve any form of success. I talked about it being the raid leader’s job to inspire the troops and lead from the front. None of it really got through.

I’d long suspected that part of the problem with Team 2 was their MT, a Bear. Her attitude was always horrible, always confrontational, always “know it all” and I’d been told long ago that she and her OT constantly bickered and held the raid back. I pointed this out and suggested that she be removed, but was shot down and told the problem wasn’t the Bear. I suggested letting me join the team on an alt and see what’s going on, and was shot down because then people would feel like I was “coming to their rescue”.

Then it happened. Their leader basically had a breakdown in Vent, left the guild and the server. I was now in charge of Team 2. Almost immediately after, I was provided with screenshot proof of the abusive behavior that Bear had been treating her fellow guild members to, and confronted her about it. We had a civil talk in which she denied it all, claimed she was the victim, and said that I take the game too seriously if I care how she treats people because we’re all “just pixels”. When I wouldn’t back down from my position that, game or not, the players have feelings and you can’t treat them like crap, Bear rage gquit.

Thank god.

As luck would have it, one of our long time guildies who’s been with us since Kara, Cani, had just gotten his roommate to transfer over and join the guild. He’s a well geared DK tank, and replaced Bear. For OT, we grabbed an up and coming prot warrior in the guild who has practically no raid experience. Here’s our less than perfect raid comp:

DK
Warrior
Priest
Priest
Tree
Priest
DK
DK
Shaman
Shaman

Now remember, I’d been told that these people can’t raid Lower Spire. It’s “impossible”. Well, I had a mission to prove that they can. To prove it to themselves, because I already knew they could. My first night as their leader, I gave them a pep talk, warmed up on the weekly raid, and then took them to ICC.

We downed Lower Spire with no problems that can’t easily be attributed to learning new fights. Hell, at least we one shot Marrowgar and Boat which is more than I can say for pugs that Bear’s lead before. Three shotting Deathwhisper is not bad for people with little experience on the fight and no pure physical DPS. Likewise, five tries to kill Deathbringer is *not* bad when so much is riding on both tanks and the OT’s never seen ICC at all and only ever raided ToC and Naxx (once each) before.

The next day, we went on to down Sarth 3D (Team 2’s first 3D kill) which I was also told wasn’t possible for them. We then went to give Festergut a try. We downed Precious and Stinky like pros (again, more than I can say for Bear’s pugs) and discovered that our OT needs better gear to not be folded into third by Festergut. You know what though? At least it’s just a gear issue. That’s easily corrected. Skill issues are not.

So, what did we learn from this? Sometimes, it’s not the team that’s failing. In this case, there was one bad apple spoiling the bunch. A well geared but talentless Bear with a hateful attitude holding the raid back and vocally blaming others for her failures. We also had a raid leader who was unwilling to or incapable of sewing hope and positive attitude. Between the two, yes, it would have been impossible for this team to do well. However, you replace Bear with a barely geared for ICC prot warrior with a great attitude, and their leader with someone who’s going to bolster moral and lead by example, and suddenly the team is doing great.

There is nothing wrong with Team 2. There never was. There was a lot wrong with Bear, and she’s gone now. There was a lot wrong with the attitude of their leader, and that’s gone now too. What’s left is a group of people who are eager and capable of learning progression fights and working till they get them right. What’s left… are raiders. I look forward to continue working with them.

/tar Team 2

/salute

((Note: The above ICC raid was tone last week before the 5% nerf went live. And I’m very happy I could prove to these people that they can raid before that nerf went in.))

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~ by Udiyvli on 03/03/2010.

3 Responses to “Sometimes, the problem isn’t the team”

  1. I’m very very glad to see a team that I KNEW could do it actually do it. These people have worked hard, they deserve the opportunity to show off their hard work.

  2. So I just want to say wow. I never realized that team 2 was having those kinds of issues. Im so glad that I can help in anyway make team 2 formidable like they should be. There are a lot of talented enthusiastic 80’s in the guild that were dying to see some end game content. So I am glad that they could be switched out for bad seeds and lazy/unfocused players.

    The way I look at raiding is if you have to be willing to wipe and willing to hear suggestions from other players in order to form a team that understands each persons role and to keep morale and progress going. The challenge is all the fun right? At least it is for me. I know I am very inexperienced and my gear still needs work but I recognize that I still have a lot to learn and look forward to getting better raid by raid!

    Learning to Warrior Tank at the same time as learning how to raid isnt easy easy. ITS HARD SON! YA MEAN?

    Great post Ktok.

  3. […] a side note, congrats to The Glaivecow for kicking butt and, in this case, excluding names. One of these days I’ll be able to put […]

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