Lead, follow or get out of the way


There’s no right choice for me when it comes to (PuG) raiding. The thought of raidleading one stresses me out, so I rather avoid that. I do know I’m quite capable of doing it if I have to, because I have done so before, but it only works well for me when I’ve got the correct kind of group. That means: a bunch of proactive people that can communicate normally. I’ll even settle with just no obnoxious types that go kicking and screaming whenever something is not 100% equivalent to what they’re used to, whether it’s no better, or even worse. The type that constantly challenges decisions and can even go as far as deliberately sabotaging an attempt to show they are right. I always manage to get at least one of those on my raid. Kicking them is no option unless I can prove it, otherwise it only seems that he was right, making me look bad.

Not raidleading however, usually forces me into that role. I won’t go kicking and screaming, but when I’m not raidleading I almost always end up in some seemingly clueless group, and the raidleader just doesn’t care, treating everything as if it was tank & spank. I feel forced to explain some important details in those situation, so I could just as well have been the raidleader.

Today I had a good example of this.

The new weekly raid was Ignis the furnace master, a fight I can almost dream. First I went pugging on my restoration shaman. The nice thing about healing is that you can keep yourself completely in the background if you want to, but you’re also that important to the group that your decisions matter. I chose to stay in the background this time for reasons mentioned above. The raidleader was therefor of course, the AFK kind, and let us just do whatever we thought was best. FL went down with ease, so the group wasn’t all new, luckily. The trash before Ignis wasn’t a problem either, but that’s tank and spank with just a little environmental awareness required, so nobody should have problems with that. At Ignis, the raidleader spoke, finally: “go when ready”. One of the tanks charged in and started kiting the boss all over the place. The other one instinctively picked up the adds, but for some reason ran into a far corner with them and stayed there, with me having to make the decision of either running up and solo healing him, or healing the rest of the raid and hope for him to realize his weird choice. He still had my earth shield so I chose the last.

When he started to ask for healing I figured a tiny hint couldn’t hurt. I didn’t want to leave the rest up to my only (effective) colleague healer and also didn’t feel like making the group wipe while I was well aware of the problem, just because I chose to stay in the background. I still left the other tank running in oddly shaped circles with Ignis though. And nobody was still saying anything about that either.

He went down alright, and with the gear people have these days it’s not a big deal of course. The Ignis tank then decided to say it was actually his first time doing this, and wondered if his kiting was ok. Bit late, but at least he cared.

Ok, second run, now on my paladin tank.

I wasn’t planning on raidleading again, but as tank I kinda feel required to take at least a leading role. When we entered Ulduar somebody immediately started a discussion whether or not to try a hard mode FL. I don’t know why anyone would want that these days, and there’s also the risk of wiping, which inevitably causes people to leave, so the answer was no. Nevertheless, he, or somebody else already turned on the towers. So much for that decision. I ended up solo nuking some of the towers, because the pro-hardmode fans were charging straight to FL, while others were just following the ones in front of them. Luckily I got help from the official raidleader, so towers down eventually.

FL down, no big deal, onto Ignis.

Now, I had not met the entire group in person yet, I knew one healer, but that was it. And people started saying “gogogo”. Not fine with me, because I got some rules of my own:

  • Tanks need to be marked. Simply because I want to know where my fellow tank is at and I’m not pulling if he’s not ready. (Note: my ui doesn’t show raid health in numbers, so I can’t see who’s tank quickly).
  • Healers need to be ready. One priest was afk, and those first mobs require some AOE healing, and I didn’t know yet if he was one of the healers.
  • Tanks need to know their target/role.

I stated this, result: small bit of commotion. Not much, but still.

We got marked, I got assist. I changed the tank mark from the druid healer to the DK tank, which I figured out myself by then then was the other tank. We cleared the trash.

At Ignis. We chose nuke tactic (In my book, that’s tank & spank ignis in the water, OT just holds all adds and should be able to do so till the boss goes down), but when some people started to explain that choice as kiting him in a square, and adds nuked in the water first, I got the idea they had a whole other definition of “nuke tactic”. All I could type was “hold on!”, but the ADHD hunter already pulled the boss misdirected to someone in the raid (but definitely not me or the other tank). I quickly grabbed the boss, and just figured I’d do the square kiting thing, if that was the way they understood it. As tank that’s just more fun to do anyway, it’s the classic way, and even if we don’t nuke the adds, it’s really not any different to the water thing except for melee having to use their legs, and tank doing more *yay*.

Result: COMMOTION! PANIC!

Apparently another part of the raid did understand “nuke tactic” as tank&spank in the water, and they now reacted as if I was pulling Ignis into their own front yard, and was putting their cat, grandma, and home entertainment system into his slagpot. At those moments I feel like telling them to shut it and calm down, but I just pulled Ignis into the water. It was their choice now.

But I mean, previous group was running for their lives when the tank realized that if you don’t tank Ignis away from the raid, the raid will run away from Ignis, and was quite happy with that way of doing it. Where was the commotion then? It will remain a mystery I guess.

Well, they might have been to busy saving their own ass to also plea the thank for better aiming. I should remember that one 😉

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