Jack over at The Casual Raider wrote the starting article for this week’s shared topic which asks how to handle an unknown factor that is causing a previously good raider to perform badly. The article is mainly written from the perspective of an officer in a raiding guild.
As a football fan (soccer for any American readers) I hear a mantra repeated by commentators on a fairly regular basis: Form is temporary, class is permanent. This is often used when a striker has a run of bad games, and indicates the commentator’s belief that a good player will return from this performance dip as long as the team manager continues to trust in him.
In terms of Warcraft and the Shared Topic, Jack generally agrees. His point is: “If it’s a solid raider who’s been with you since Vanilla and they’re just having a rough spot then that’s something to take into consideration. Even if you’re not in a guild that’s “friendly” consider the investment the guild has made in this person. From a cost/benefit point of view it makes more sense to try and salvage the relationship rather than write it off.” At the same time, there is also room to “cut people loose” if they have permanently changed or if they refuse to mend their ways.
Something that isn’t mentioned as much in the starting article is how to deal with this when you aren’t an officer? I’m lucky enough to have raided with both my wife and real life friends, and done so as an officer and a regular raider. I’ve seen a warrior die every time Blood Queen Lana’thel did her bloodbolt whirl ability on heroic during one particular evening. I’ve seen a warlock fail at using their teleport ability on Sindragosa and die to the Blistering Cold at least once per attempt for most of an evening. When you don’t have the responsibility to the guild to take that person aside and find out what and why it’s happening but you do have the responsibility as a friend to try and help, how do you cope with a good raider going through a bad patch?
The first suggestion Jack made for officers was to listen to the player themselves. See if they are already aware of the issue, see if they already know the reason for it. As a friend, you also need to listen as the first step. Sometimes, your friend will simply not want to talk about it and just move on. On other occasions, they can ask you for help, and you can take a closer look at what’s happening during the fight. The sympathetic ear and a small suggestion can go a long way to helping a friend overcome whatever it is that’s affecting them. Even if they just need to let off some steam, listening without judging can go a long way.
Ultimately, I agree with the football commentators. Anyone, even the most skilled raider, can go through a sticky patch and make a couple of mistakes. If they are genuinely a good player, it normally works itself out and their form starts reflecting their actual ability again, especially if your guild officers can use their inter-personal skills well. As a friend, your role is generally to listen when they want to talk and possibly make suggestions about how they can change their execution of the tactics. You don’t have the responsibility to have in-depth conversations about their combat log results, attitude or attendance percentage, your main job is to keep doing your job and to listen to what they are saying without judging. If your guild officers are good, they will decide what the best course of action to take is.
In other blog news, Shredding Attacks hit 1,000 views in between the last post and this one, and has now been in existance for 3 months to the day when this post gets published. Many thanks to those that have read, commented and given feedback!