Itâ€™s hard to have a successful raiding guild if you donâ€™t have a good leaderâ€”and letâ€™s face itâ€”those are difficult to come by. In the swirling confusion of battle, itâ€™s the raid leader who pulls the team together and wards off their untimely doom.
So What Makes a Bad Raid Leader?
There’s a lot of factors that contribute to bad leadership, and I’m not just talking about WoW. Most teammates know when they have a bad leader even if they can’t pinpoint exactly what is causing the group to fall apart during raids. The following are just some of the many ways that I’ve seen raid leaders proactively murder their guild mates.
Battle Strategy? We donâ€™t need no battle strategy!
Generally speaking, the time to discuss battle strategy some point before your team is wiped half a dozen times. One of the most infamous battle cries in Azeroth is probably â€œJust pull!â€ right after â€œLeeroy Jenkins!â€
Quiet as a mouse, dead as a doornail
Whether itâ€™s shyness or ignorance, thereâ€™s nothing worse than a silent raid leader. They are the brain of the raid. You depend on them to relay strategies and mechanics so that everyone can be where theyâ€™re needed the most.
Raids are complicated beasts. Thereâ€™s battle rezzes, cooldowns, and special abilities which need to be coordinated actively by the raid leader. That healer thatâ€™s slacking off? Itâ€™s easy to miss until your whole team is wiped.
Raid leaders need to be able to answer questions during the heat of battle. Youâ€™re looking to them for their guidance and experience. If your leader takes 10 minutes to answer a basic question about a strategy, chances are theyâ€™re frantically looking up information about the boss.
Thereâ€™s even been raid leaders who stop in the middle of combat to frantically look up why everything is suddenly spiraling downwards. Itâ€™s OK to not know everything about every boss in the game, but some level of experience and research should be done before you even think of stepping into a raid situation.
The Weakest Link
Although this shouldnâ€™t have to be said, your raid leader should never be the weakest link on your team. If your RL is constantly scoring the lowest DPS or canâ€™t tank a hit, theyâ€™re probably not experience enough to lead an entire team through a raid. If they canâ€™t understand what theyâ€™re doing wrong in their own role, theyâ€™ll also be useless for helping other players improve and fix their strategies.
Itâ€™s Always the Healer
Most wipes result from a series of mistakes (the first one usually being poor leadership) that eventually culminates in mass slaughter. One sure sign that your raid leader may not be up to speed is blaming wipes consistently on whoever is the easiest target.
That guy with the slightly lagging DPS? Totally the cause. The healer? Way too slow, obviously needs to stop playing the game.
Wipes happen to even the best teams. Raid leaders need to be able to take those wipes and find the holes in the strategy so the same mistakes wonâ€™t repeat themselves.
Patience is a Virâ€”Oh, screw you
Some people are strung a little tighter than others. Most of us have been in a situation where we had a raid leader that just exploded into a frothing mess of anger at the slightest hint of failure. For whatever reason, many guilds will passively take and even support this type of leadership. While this type of type of leadership does produce results more often than not, I donâ€™t think anyone wants to play through a raid in fear of your leaderâ€™s unadulterated rage.
Lootâ€”everyone wants it, and hey, itâ€™s probably the reason you joined your raiding guild in the first place. Unfortunately, itâ€™s too common now for raid leaders to exploit their power and pressure the group into giving loot based on his own favoritism. Iâ€™ve even seen a leader give every drop of loot to his girlfriend!
Whatever the system your guild has for loot distribution, itâ€™s important that itâ€™s fair to the entire team.
So how does your raid leader compare? If youâ€™re finding that your raid experience is being plagued by these bad habits, it may be time for your guild leader to give a stern talk or look into replacement options.