Friday, March 20, 2009

Its OK to Wipe the Raid.

After 9,000 failed attempts at making a light bulb, Thomas Edison was asked if he felt like a failure. His response?

”Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.”

And sometime after his 10,000th failure, he got it right.

As a raid leader, I go by the motto that its fine for anyone to wipe a raid in any given way - *once*.

As long as any mistake is turned into a learning opportunity, the raid grows from it. Pinning down what went wrong during the run back, and start asking for ideas on how the problem can be solved, or things can be done better. Nothing fills the corpse run / rezing / rebuffing time better, then talk about how that specific catastrophe will be avoided in the future. Hopefully, most raids won't take 10,000 wipes to get through things (a reason I don't use that particular analogy during raids) - but its completely reasonable to expect dozens of wipes on some fights.

Through wiping, I've learned things generic things like"that pat patrols all the way up here", all the way to specific details like shaman's Elemental Mastery ability being active prevents them from using Tears of the Goddess.

I'm going to wipe raids dozens of times when Ulduar comes out. I'm going to wipe it on bosses, on trash, and probably even find some way to wipe that doesn't involve trash or bosses.

...And then I'm going to record what was learned, and share it. In our guild forums most importantly, but also on this blog, and on WoWhead. I've seen people horde information - leading to struggling guilds when raid leaders leave, companies collapsing when key people in processes are gone, ect. It doesn't do a lick of good, except to perhaps make the individual feel irreplaceable - when in reality they are only being irresponsible.

So when you die, wipe, or fail on something - share your new found experience and thoughts for not die/wipe/failing again with everyone. You may be shy now about admitting that you made a mistake in the first place, but your raid will come to love you for preventing them from having to learn the same mistake the hard way.


Logtar said...

I appologize if you have already covered this subject, but I applaud your post's comparison to running a company.

So many people see WoW's or other video games as detrimental things when it comes to looking for a job. People should not see WoW as a bad thing, because the things that I have done leading groups to raids really enhance my capabilities leading people in other areas or my life.

Great post.

The Renaissance Man said...

It's important to learn from wipes, but the key is definitely the "once" part. The problem is that due to the intricacy to the problem presented by the raid, being willing to accept anything less then perfect consistency becomes a significant roadblock to progression. Even if everyone in the raid does their part 90% of the time, you'll only succeed on a given encounter 7% of the time on a 25 man raid.

Even the "once" translates to a significant chunk of time spent wiping.

Tarsus said...

This is actually related to a pretty big subject in the study of learning (I'm a teacher by trade, so go figure). You actually learn a lot through failure, often more than you do through success.

So it's really discouraging when you teach kids who are so afraid of failure that they won't even try. That could have some analogies to raiding as well. I defiantly have grouped with some people who had a low tolerance for wiping that dragged down a raid with dead weight after the first serious wipe. Not for progression raiding - that was for sure.