Part of our commitment to you, the OpenRaid Community, is to bring you not only exceptional raid content but also access to some of the biggest names in gaming today.
I’m pleased to present my first in a series of OpenRaid Exclusive Interviews with top gamers: Rogerbrown, raid leader of World #1 Method.
Darrie: Tell us a little bit about your definition of raid leading.
Rogerbrown: First of all, I want to say, that in my opinion, raid leading as a concept has a lot of responsibilities, and it isn’t necessary that it all falls under a single person to carry out these tasks. At least in Method, we never had our RLer do all the work by himself. Under raid leading I include: coming up with tactics, calling out boss abilities during boss fights, calling out raid cooldowns during boss fights, doing the ready checks, the pull countdowns, the swaps of players, making sure everyone is online at raid start, etc. Since the beginning of Cataclysm I have always been one of the players contributing in forming tactics for the bosses we faced, but I wasn’t raid leading per say. I started gradually calling out more and more stuff in fights, and during Firelands and Dragon Soul I was RLing in a sense. Sco was the RLer doing the ready checks and the countdowns but as soon as the fight started, it was mainly me calling out everything. I was also the raid leader by myself in a lot of raids after progression was over, since we were doing 7 raids per week during Firelands to farm the legendary weapons. When MoP was released, Kuznam took over the Raid Leader role, and I was focused on the tactics and helping him call out boss abilities during fights. Unfortunately, Kuznam quit WoW before Siege of Orgrimmar was released, so again I took the role of Raid Leading, with the help of Noxe (an officer in the guild), who was taking care of all the ‘annoying’ parts of the job, like doing the ready checks and swapping players in and out, and I took care of the rest. So as you can see, I have been involved in the whole process of raid leading for over 3 years, but it was never only me doing everything. I believe in making it a team effort, because if it is only one person doing it all, it is very very frustrating for him. That leads to the raid leader not enjoying the game, and getting burnt out after a while.
Darrie: Do you feel Blizzard has provided enough in-game tools to assist raid leaders, or do you think many raid leaders still rely on add-ons to assist them? Follow up, what add-ons, if any, do you use for leading purposes? (This may include add-ons that you require for your raiders to have)
Rogerbrown: I think the tools Blizzard provides are enough for a guild which is raiding Normal mode. When you go for Heroic modes though, you absolutely need an addon like ‘BigWigs’, showing you when a boss ability is going to happen. That helps the raid leader to call it out a few seconds ahead, so that every raider can prepare for it (pop a raid cooldown for example). If you want to go the extra mile, you can have addons which show all the raid cooldowns and combat rezzes available so that you can call which raid cooldown to be popped and who to combat rezz the dead. Some addons who can help you with that are: Battlerezzer, Blood Legion Cooldown.
Darrie: Do you have advice on how to deal with a core team member that is underperforming?
Rogerbrown: There are a couple of approaches you can take in these situations. Personally, I believe that yelling at the player to shape the $%^# up should not be the first reaction. If you notice some specific player doing the same mistake 2 or 3 times, you should mention it to him, and ask what is the problem. He might respond with ‘sorry, won’t happen again’. If it does happen again, you need to give him some advice on what to do, in order to avoid dying again (mainly deaths are the problem). This is where knowing the tools that each class has comes handy. Perhaps you can recommend that he uses a specific glyph or talent to help him out. If he keeps doing the same mistake, after all of this, you need to consider either changing his role in the fight (if he has a special task and keeps failing it, put a more reliable player on this task), or let him know that he can’t mess up again with a stronger tone. Last resort is replacing the player with someone on the bench. Overall though, I avoid getting personal with players, because pride comes in play and ruins the whole atmosphere of the raid. On the other hand, you can’t always act like it is not a problem that this specific player keeps wiping the whole raid and hinders the guild’s progress. This creates hate towards that player from other members, who feel like they are carrying him, and that feeling is frustrating for the ‘better players’.
Darrie: When recruiting, how important are logs/parse to you?
Rogerbrown: They are very important. If someone sends us an application without any logs, it is an auto decline. That is because, just telling us that you killed bosses and showing us the achievements, is like showing us that you have a driver’s license. Yes, you can drive, but I don’t know if you are a good driver, or just average. Through the logs, you can see if this player attacks the right targets, if he is doing his ‘rotation’ properly, if he dies a lot, etc. It is also important that the player is consistent, so seeing logs of only one raid that he performed good at, might mean that the previous 5 weeks he played horribly, and just had one good performance. So more good raid logs, shows consistency, which is VERY important.
Darrie: If someone wants to start raid leading for the first time, can you offer a few pieces of advice to them?
Rogerbrown: The first thing you need to keep in mind, are the goals of the raid. If you are not a guild thriving to go world rankings, or Server First, you shouldn’t act as if you are. Take a more relaxed approach and make sure your raid atmosphere stays friendly. Don’t allow arguments between raiders to get out of hand, and don’t yell at people who mess up. If you are pushing to get the kills though, all the things that I mentioned above are helpful advice. Make sure that you take your time to form tactics for the bosses. Don’t keep trying a tactic that is not working. It is very demoralizing if there is no progress. If your raiders aren’t very skilled, go for the easy tactics. Don’t expect that everyone will suddenly play 10 times better. Also, don’t leave too many things at chance. Organize your raid cool-downs, so that you always have something when it is needed (perhaps change your raid setup to achieve this). And when you feel like everything is too much for you, try spreading around the ‘jobs’ in a fight. Give responsibilities to your most reliable players (probably the officers). Lastly, make sure to take frequent breaks. Every 2 hours, having a 10 min break can help a lot. Clearing your mind, having a drink and some fresh air can make you and everyone else perform much better. We have a saying in Method, ‘one shot after break’. 😀
Darrie: Can you share a funny memory you have from raid leading with Method?
Rogerbrown: I think the funnier moments when I am raid leading are when I can’t find the words I am looking for, and in the heat of the moment is say something else. For example on our first Siegecrafter Blackfuse, instead of saying ring of frost, I said iceberg 🙂 And after doing it once, I just keep saying it like that for the rest of the farm. You can check it out at minute 6:30 here: