I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
The Litany Against Fear from Frank Herbert's Dune
In recent weeks my guild has run into a wall.
|Shadowgarde needs healers|
Our Raid Leaders have given up on trying to get raids together after losing a few people. Our tanks have disappeared. One of our healers wanted to switch and start raiding with his warrior, and then quit the guild when he felt that that wasn't going to happen. Our Raid Leader is leaving for the summer.
Nine bosses out of twelve down and we give up. Speaking personally, it’s very frustrating to see my goal so close and then see progression ended simply because the weather has improved.
It has left me with a few options if I want to continue raiding before the next tier becomes a reality in Patch 4.2:
- Continue as is and hope that the raid group reforms.
- PUG or run with a different guild.
- Quit Shadowgarde and join another guild, hoping to get a roster spot. Not an encouraging prospect.
- Suck it up and lead my own raid group.
Simply waiting for the problem to solve itself is not an option because it simply won't happen and everybody involved knows it. If history has taught me anything with this guild it's that Raiding runs hot and cold, and after an intense hot patch to start the expansion we are moving into a lull.
Option two or three would be the easiest option in many ways. It's easy to run away from a problem and join another guild, but all I would be doing is moving from a group with known issues to one with unknown problems. And it would mean abandoning the effort that I have put into this guild. I have been there for over a year now, and I like the people in it very much. I have worked very hard to fit in to the guild and to become a respected member. Leaving Shadowgarde is something that I really don't want to be forced to consider, but if eventually it turns out that my goals are incompatible with the guild's then it may eventually be my only option. Frankly, it sickens me to even have to be thinking about it.
I admit, out of all these choices, leading my own group is by far the most intimidating. I have never led a raid before, nor have I ever really even considered it. Do I have the situational awareness to successfully manage a raid during a fight? Do I have the ability to get people dancing to the right tune without becoming a shrill, demanding dictator? Will anybody even listen to me? Hell, will I even be able to find enough people to fill a raid?
I have always been the guild cheerleader in many ways. I've always been the guy who offers up the "Good attempt, we'll get him" encouragements after a wipe and the one who cracks jokes and tries to keep the mood light when things are getting tense. But I rarely get into discussions regarding the strategy beyond talking about healing assignments. An actual leadership role is entirely foreign territory.
All that being said, I am jumping somewhat blindly into the unfamiliar waters of Raid Leading. I guess I'll learn if I can swim once I'm submerged into it.
Our first raid is scheduled for this coming Sunday, so I have a full week to prepare myself and assemble my team. I think we'll be okay for Tanks, even though our Bear off-tank is a little rusty and not geared as well as I would like to see. Our DPS will be fine as well, I think; with a mix of newer raiders and (hopefully) a couple of seasoned people who have been raiding with this group from the beginning.
The big concern I have is healers. Aside from me, I have no idea where the other healers are going to come from. I am likely going to have to do some heavy recruiting this week and see if I can snag a raid-ready healer or two.
And then there are the fights themselves. I've always studied the fights from a healers perspective, but now I'm going to have to explain them to everyone and give people assignments. Which mean I'm going to need a great deal more detailed knowledge about what's going on. And I'm going to need to learn how to communicate what is going on and what I need people to do clearly. "Avoid the giant purple puke" isn't going to cut it.
Luckily I have the help and support of my friend and co-leader, Medea, who is an experienced raid leader and our main tank. So I'm not doing this entirely alone.
I have to admit that I am exited and terrified at this new challenge. I honestly never thought that I would be doing this. Does anyone have any advice for a fledgling Raid Leader about to take the dive?