Friday, 3 February 2012

To daunt or not to daunt

My recent forum post about raiding principles provoked a couple of comments regarding being scary or offputting. I'll repeat the guidelines here:

1. We're a guild who raids, not a raiding guild.
2. Retain a sense of humour and a sense of proportion.
3. Listen to the raid leader, and ask questions if you don't understand; also listen to advice if given afterwards, either by the raid leader or a battlemaster, and talk to other people if you're not sure.
4. Be prepared - bring stims, health packs and buffs.
5. Be more prepared - are your armour and weapons fully-modded and top end? Ask advice if you're not sure.
6. Everyone here is prepared to help, but you will be expected to listen, learn and develop. No one is here to hold your hand. But they will guide your nervous first steps, so don't be afraid to get involved.
7. Raids will be posted on this forum - if you want to join, you (or someone on your behalf) are expected to sign up.
8. Raid positions are first come, first served, provided group composition is viable - although your position will be jeopardised if you consistently fail at points 2 to 6.
9. Loot is on a need - greed basis (need is for the character you are playing, not your companions). If you win a major loot drop in one evening, and another major drop comes for your class, it is courteous to allow someone else in your class to roll - if they don't want it, speak to your raid leader. There is no DKP or similar system.
10. It's just a game. Take raiding seriously, but not that seriously.  

It's difficult to pitch something like this correctly, but it's important to get the message across.

In a raid group there are eight or even sixteen people. They've joined together because they want to tackle challenging new content and succeed. Raids take time to organise and a heavy commitment of many players' time on the evening. People don't want that time wasting, so that means it is important that there is a real sense of people trying their best. That doesn't mean that we can't make mistakes, or be silly, or lie on the floor in a laying-on-the-floor contest (ask Cam and Hon to explain that one). But it does mean that when we are trying, we are trying hard to achieve the goal.

I've raided with most of the people here. I've never known a better-natured, more generous bunch. They will take time to explain, to advise, to help; but that does not mean that we will carry someone. I can guarantee no better way of causing resentment than turning up with nothing week after week, making no effort to improve your armour and begging stims, buffs and medic packs from others in the group. I know that there are people here who can and do share willingly and generously - but I will not condone the leeching of that goodwill. It doesn't mean that we can't do favours, and trade - I owe several people who have made me armour or spaceship mods and will donate items to them in turn (when I can craft high enough). Act as you hope to be treated yourself - be generous with your crafts, and expect the same generosity in response. Act with dignity; be treated with dignity.

'I've not been here before', 'I don't know the tactics' - speak up, someone will explain. One of the things that I realised early on in raiding is that it actually takes quite a lot of confidence to speak out sometimes, for fear of admitting ignorance or showing weakness. Well, it isn't. Saying I don't know or I don't understand is the right and brave thing to do. Only then can you get the advice you need and can the group succeed. We stand or fall by our strength as a group, and each one of you is a vital element of that. (No pressure there then...)

This post wasn't intended to be a lengthy exposition on the thinking behind the raid principles, but somehow that is what it has become. The intention was to say - I hope that they do not put people off from joining raid groups, but the tone had to be robust.


  1. I found the tone just fine. Not off putting at all! I think you got the pitch just right, between the need to try your hardest and the NEED (because this is equally important) not to take it all too seriously. Nothing says immature to me like a player who fumes because some piece of hard content wasn't completed. It's a game for God's sake. Grow up.

    Raiding is an odd one for me though. I'm not sure I actually like it that much. I don't care about having the best loot - so a lot of the incentive to do it isn't there for me. And arguably, you can have more social "fun" with friends just milling about in the world.

    I also don't like the insistence on Vent all the time. So there's a lot of negatives to raiding for me.

  2. Mmm. I agree. It's all about balancing that fine line between frustration and proportion.

    I know what you mean about raiding, but I do enjoy it. Although I'm definitely not loot-driven, it's more about that feeling when we all pull together and succeed. I don't really care about the achievement, but I treasure being part of the group that has succeeded.

    I deliberately excluded Vent from the list. I know lots of people who feel that it is *impossible* to raid without Vent, and let's be honest, it does make life easier. However if we wanted a easy life, we wouldn't raid. So if we have a raid group and a raid leader who are happy to run without it, good on them.

  3. Tone is just fine, of course I say that knowing the author well, and remember upon reading it first off thinking I was glad it was your post :)

    Writing is limited like that since tone of voice is applied by every induvidial reader rather than the writer.
    I do agree with the voice of reason in our usual madness though.

    As with all raiding I've experienced it's all good with fun and games, but even more so in a successful raid, even if the success is only improving the performance rather than completion.

    Hopefully the post will be a guideline for those that haven't yet dared take on raiding, imo if read right it is more encouraging than discouraging.

    I've noticed with great joy some of our newer members taking full advantage of both raiding and our open guild policy, when it comes to contributing to ones own and others benefit.
    PrincessMeredith seems a shining example in that respect.

  4. Yeah, I'm delighted that people are stepping up, finding roles, bringing something more to their game by doing something for the community. It's fabulous. Although I know it's a mark of the quality of this community, supportive people working together. I'm very glad to be part of it.