Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Follow The Leader

An interesting thing happened on Felmyst, the other week (Pre-Wrath).

[Quick Overview of Felmyst]: In phase two, Felmyst is flying. She chooses one of three lanes to fly down, and "dust" with this deadly mind-controlling gas. The raid has to get out of the way of the dusting.

I elected Tonystarks, our Physical DPS officer, to watch/predict where the dusting would occur, and call it out to the raid (it's hard, as it isn't always clear where she will fly, and you need to make the call as early as possible). He was doing a great job.

Well, one of the times we were learning it, we had lost too many people in the first phase for it to be a kill, but I had us continuing to get more practice in P2. On the third/final dusting, we were standing to the north (about 17 of us), and Tonystarks calls out "Run South!". We all did it, and walked straight into a dusting.

Now - this may seem insignificant at first. A simple bad call leads to a wipe. But then we got talking...

Tony knew the breath was going to be south, and he knew it was a wipe. He decided to hasten the wipe by calling for us to run to our death - and everyone ran in. Something like the following conversation happened on vent...

Yakra: You know what makes us a great guild?
Everyone Else: What?
Yakra: Blind Faith in our Leadership.

Now, I'm sure some people will say "NO! Every Raider has to think on their feet, and Raid Leaders can be Imperfect in their choice or implementation of a strategy! Blind Faith is terrible!"

I agree with those first two points, but I still think that Blind Faith, being a subset of trust, is critical for successful groups.

Lets imagine that a sports team was set to play on an overcast day. If everyone predicted the weather individually, some of the team wouldn't show up because they decided it was going to rain, and some would come because they thought it would not rain. You may never have the whole team make the same prediction, and all show. Instead, one person makes the call, and everyone follows. Rain or no rain, you have to trust in the decisions made by someone.

Similarly, on Felmyst, it simply didn't make sense to let everyone make their own call about where the breath was going to be. There is too much else going on. And even if people could make the decision, the chance that a small handful of people would be wrong each time, and numbers dwindle, would be HUGE. Instead, you put your eggs in your best basket, and either succeed or fail, together.

Since I mentioned choosing strats as well, I'll say a few things about that too (despite it deviating from my original idea).

I think that its important for critiques of Raid Leader decisions to take place in private, either in OChat, or through whispers (if coming from a non-officer). When someone publicly denounces an official decision, and that decision is changed, it diminishes faith in the leaders. It also encourages 24 other people to all start talking about their own suggestions, which just clutters up vent/chat, and leaves people more confused. Suggesting/pointing out some big-picture problem privately may not give you the same "I saved the raid" feeling, but a smart officer will remember your resourcefulness, and recognise you in some fashion at some point.

In Closing: Find leadership your comfortable with, then follow them wherever they go, from the depths of Molten Core, to the heights of Icecrown Peak. They will most certainly spell your doom on occasion, but in the company of 23 other likeminded people, you are sure to accomplish great things.


oriniwen said...

It's a little Full Metal Jacket-esq but it really is an important thing for the raid to jump when the raid leader says 'frog'. They LEAD for a reason. Yes, your blind obediance to the raid leader is based ontrust rather than fear, but it still needs to be there.

In the day and age where everyone is so concerned about making sure that everyone else is beaing treated as a unique and special snowflake, I'm very happy to hear that your guild has managed to work together as the sterotypical (hopefully not apocryphal!) no-I team.

You'll do well in Wrath, I know it.

Chad S. said...

Thank you, Oriniwen. I appreciate that comment, alot. =D

Franklin said...

Jim Jones would have been an awesome raid leader...

Aertimus said...

Ah yes... One night Yakra and I had this conversation...
Aert: Is LOKI going to be okay come Wrath?
Yak: Yup.
Aert: But how do you KNOW?
Yak: Because we all died in dusting that time Tony said "Run South!"