Over the weekend I read Rhii’s post about saying what needs to be said – including the positive things! and how innocent comments can lead to drama. And then Bossy Pally’s followup, about taking and giving constructive criticism.
And because you can’t read things without seeing parallels to events happening to you, Saturday night’s raid gave me a chance to see two different situtations where there was a problem, and fixing it.
Friday’s raid was awesome. We had a new priest healer and a replacement ret paladin for our usual one who was out doing cool RL stuff. We one shot Halfus and two-shot V&T – our second kill, first kill for at least three people in the raid, and put them firmly on farm. We worked on Twilight Council until trash started respawning, then went and downed Council of Winds and Omnotron before quitting time.
Saturday night we formed up and went to take on Magmaw and didn’t have the easy time we were expecting. The new priest had killed him, but in a different raid. We had someone playing a hunter who usually heals, our substitute ret paladin usually tanks Magmaw and so hadn’t done chains before, etc. So we wiped a couple times. I noticed I was having a harder than usual time healing the raid, and the tank was doing a lot more dying than usual.
So Reversion wanted to give Logarithm, who is our Magmaw tank, a few suggesti0ns. He had the three of us switch to a separate vent channel so that they could talk quickly and efficiently. Because we know Log – he is my brother – and he knows we respect his skills, we knew he’d listen to what Reversion was saying and see where he could improve.
At the same time I was whispering the new priest. He’s a friend of Repgrind’s and had been doing a great job for us, felt like a great addition to the raid, but I didn’t know him as well. Again, neither Log nor the priest had done badly. They weren’t being called on the carpet. We were just having trouble with a fight we should have on farm, and needed to change things up a bit.
So I asked him for a little more aoe-healing help. We’d already switched so Kerick was beaconing me (because I get healer vision sometimes and let myself die!) and keeping Log alive. But even so, when Magmaw was mangling him, sometimes I had to throw some hots his way. If the raid was pretty healthy, that worked great, but if I was trying to keep us alive then it wouldn’t work.
The priest saw my point at once, we reminded people that Lightwell is their friend, Log made whatever changes he was planning to make, and we downed the boss next attempt. Picture perfect.
When there are things the whole raid, or large parts of them, are doing wrong, for instance, not getting out of fire fast enough, then the whole raid needs to hear the correction. (I just used up my daily allotment of commas there). When it’s a small change for one person, a whisper works well. A larger changeup makes Vent a good tool for discussion – but when the change only involves a single person, keeping it private can help make sure the person understands he’s not being called out or picked on. If Log or the priest had thought they were being accused of failing, it would have been harder for them to hear the advice. They weren’t failing, but when they made the changes the raid’s performance as a whole picked up.
I’m very pleased to have a raid full of people who can listen to each other and take suggestions. We are still at 6/12 but Twilight Council is on notice – if we’d had 3 ranged and not 2 in our best attempt Saturday night they’d be down now, 7% and we just had too much melee for that phase – and then we’re going to talk to Cho’Gall. (After we downed Magmaw, we one shot Maloriak. That was satisfying; it meant for the week, we had 3 one-shot bosses and 2 two-shots. Magmaw was our only farm boss to give us lip!)