1. #1

    Need Advice as a Raid Leader

    Hi, I'm the RL of a 10 man progression guild and I could use some advice on what to do about one of my raiders. Said raider has been part of our core group for quite a long time, and used to be quite good. The problem however, is that they have recently begun performing quite poorly, and are holding back the raid's progression. Not only that, but they are toxic to the raid's experience, and do not take criticism well at all. I would just get rid of them, but there's more too it than that.

    They have contributed to the guild in more ways than one. They have spent quite a bit of RL money to help keep the guild afloat. They help the guild bank considerably, farming and buying raid mats and such. They are also an extremely nice person outside of raid.

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Warchief Zethras's Avatar
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    Honestly, with people like this, you have to light a fire under their butts, telling them to step their game up, or step their ass out for someone who is willing to learn/perform to your required level of competency.

    It's easy to say and hard to do, I know, but that's more or less the only thing you can do.
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  3. #3
    Have you tried talking to them?

  4. #4
    Moderator Kasierith's Avatar
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    What specifically are the issues he is having with raiding? Lack of dps/heals? Poor mechanism performance? Not coordinating with the rest of the raid?

    If he is outright hostile and at the same time performing poorly, talk with your officers about it. Coming to the decision that having a valuable friend who helps keep the guild together, instead of being able to progress as quickly as you like, is a valid decision in and of itself, but if your guild wants to push for progress there isn't much else that can be done.
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  5. #5
    Many many times. That's where the "does not take criticism well" part comes from. Any time someone tries to give them advice they get extremely defensive and don't listen to anything.

  6. #6
    Moderator LocNess's Avatar
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    Just be up front with him, but kind, maybe something like:

    You: Hey, just noticed your raid performance has been a little under par the last couple weeks compared to your usual self and just wanted to see if everything is all right?

    Maybe see if it is Real Life affecting him, or just lack of interest in the game, or if he just needs a break. If you can't pin it down, just settle it at:

    You: Just as a raid leader, I want the best for our group and we just need you to step it up a little.

    Always make them seem like a friend, not a villain.
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  7. #7
    Sit him when his performance is lacking. Having to "zone out" has amazing motivational effects.
    Last edited by Buttfear; 2013-01-03 at 03:17 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasierith View Post
    What specifically are the issues he is having with raiding? Lack of dps/heals? Poor mechanism performance? Not coordinating with the rest of the raid?
    It's a numbers issue. They are playing a class that's about middle of the line right now, but they're just not pulling the numbers needed. They refuse to take gear, and complain later about not having gear. They claim that the reason they perform so poorly is that the other players who perform well are just playing OP classes/specs.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-02 at 09:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttfear View Post
    Sit him when his performance is lacking. Having to "zone out" have amazing motivational effects.
    I would but we don't have a replacement for them. Also based on their personality, I think that would just demotivate and depress them.

  9. #9
    The best thing you can do is just talk to them. Be straightforward, ask them what is going on and if they need some kind of assistance to get over the hurdle. There is no way to predict how that conversation will play out, he/she may blow up in your face and rage quit or they might break down and admit some kind of issue that you had no idea was present at all. There's no getting around it, either face the problem or watch your raid disintegrate.

    I'm sorry that I don't have an easy button for you, and I very much do not envy your position at the moment. Best of luck to you.

    [edit] I apologize I got distracted and was post sniped several times. After re reading, it sounds like either this person is no longer enjoying the raid environment or has it out for another raid member over something. The info presented makes mean lean towards either that or a RL issue that has yet to come up. Maybe have another 'officer' or respected member of the guild chat him/her up about it, especially if one of them is a close friend to this person.
    Last edited by Froggi; 2013-01-03 at 03:50 AM.

  10. #10
    I don't know what your working relationship with this person is like. Some of this, or none of this, may be helpful.

    First, do not (and do not allow others to) offer correction in-raid. It just poisons the well, making it harder to discuss later. You've identified a problem with their response to feedback. Very few people respond optimally to feedback in high-pressure, public environments (i.e. during the raid).

    That cuts both ways: Don't let him criticize or sermonize, either. This may be cutting contrary to the grain of your guild culture, but honestly, if it is (i.e. arguments/debates in-raid are common, focus drifts from the task at hand to long-winded forum posts, etc), you've got bigger problems than this one guy.

    Consider having a sit-down chat with them *about* the numbers. Make it very clear that the discussion is about the numbers, and that the goal of the discussion is to come up with a plan to bring them up (i.e. "What can WE do to help you perform better?"). Gear is going to come up in that discussion. Since this is a numbers discussion (not a "you suck" discussion), it makes sense for them to get better gear, and it only helps the raid when they do, etc, etc, leading to a mutual commitment to make their gearing something of a priority. When the drop happens, if he objects, you can say "we talked about this" (which is the end of the discussion).

    Last, research. I will lay hard cash down that if you look at his combat log parses and compare it to an optimal rotation/priority list or WoL parse you'll see part of where the problem is (i.e. there's more amiss here than low stats). This is mostly for your information and understanding: the problem is more than numbers, and you need some idea of the non-numerical nature of that problem. IF you can build enough rapport with this guy (say, via a mutually beneficial "you tow the line and you get gear" relationship), THEN you can start talking about playstyle. Till then, you need this info because you're a raid leader (and it sounds like you've already done this anyway).
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  11. #11
    I'd talk to them, and if they don't want to fix whatever is wrong, I'd tell them to walk or be kicked. End of story. Being a raid leader you have to do what's best for the raid group, even if that means sitting the GM of your guild(if you're not the GM).

  12. #12
    Dreadlord Nykolas's Avatar
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    shout as loud as you can at the over team speak, then say "if you don't get your act together and start playing normally im totes gonna rage kick you from the guild".
    That should motivate them in to being a better player.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by diachroniko View Post
    They refuse to take gear, and complain later about not having gear
    This part stood out to me. Are you using a DKP or SK system etc., and they don't want to take gear to save up for something better later on? I've seen this occasionally in my guild and don't tolerate it. This is how I see it - if someone is refusing gear now to hold back for something later, then they aren't bringing their A-game for the current content. If they aren't bringing their A-game, do the deserve to be on the A-team?

    For the sake of progression I've had to sit out some really nice people in the past, and as a GL/RL it's pretty much the worst thing you have to do, but it has to be done to keep the other 8 people happy. There is only so much BS they will take before they start to look elsewhere, so you have to ask yourself who you would risk losing - the guy dragging behind & being carried, or the people doing the carrying?

    Before you go that way sit down and talk to them on a non-raid night:

    - Go over the numbers. Find dps logs of similar-progressed guilds who run someone of his class/spec, show him the difference between the 2 players. If he gets defensive then you need to calmly & rationally cut through all his BS excuses - hammer home the point that it's the bottom line that matters the most, regardless of the reason. I've had some very moody people before and have had to bring them back into a positive mindset. Seeing your performance stagnate while everyone else advances can easily make someone feel like it isn't worth trying, but that kind of mind set just doesn't have place in a progression team. Try to help him want to be better, because unless he really wants to they will just keep maintaining the status quo until someone pulls the pin.

    - Find out if there is a RL situation clouding his mind. This happens more than you might think, and if that's the case then you should give him some leeway to get back on track. Maybe ask them if they need some time away from raiding & find a friend / reliable pug for the interim. Not having that pressure to raid can allow them to deal with their RL stuff a little better, sometimes anyway. Just make it clear that you aren't kicking them out, and their spot will be waiting for them.

    - Try finding someone from another raid guild of the same spec/class (or an alt) and ask them to run LFR with the 2 of you. Give him someone to directly compete with. I've had people who were their only class-member in a 25m group, back when we ran 25's, and they often got slack or didn't try so hard after hearing nothing but 'shadow priests suck this tier' so they didn't really try. When we had a spot free I went out of my way to find another shadow priest to give them someone to directly compete with. Within a few raids they were lifting their game like you would not believe. You cannot underestimate the power of competition & having someone to compare notes with.


    And if all that fails, then unfortunately it comes to ultimatum time - shape up or ship out. Give them a deadline, and let anyone who is annoyed / at risk of quitting know about it too (to make sure they don't jump ship in the mean time, and that you take it seriously).

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    I don't know what your working relationship with this person is like. Some of this, or none of this, may be helpful. ...

    ...Consider having a sit-down chat with them *about* the numbers. Make it very clear that the discussion is about the numbers, and that the goal of the discussion is to come up with a plan to bring them up (i.e. "What can WE do to help you perform better?"). Gear is going to come up in that discussion. Since this is a numbers discussion (not a "you suck" discussion), it makes sense for them to get better gear, and it only helps the raid when they do, etc, etc, leading to a mutual commitment to make their gearing something of a priority. When the drop happens, if he objects, you can say "we talked about this" (which is the end of the discussion).

    Last, research. I will lay hard cash down that if you look at his combat log parses and compare it to an optimal rotation/priority list or WoL parse you'll see part of where the problem is (i.e. there's more amiss here than low stats). This is mostly for your information and understanding: the problem is more than numbers, and you need some idea of the non-numerical nature of that problem. IF you can build enough rapport with this guy (say, via a mutually beneficial "you tow the line and you get gear" relationship), THEN you can start talking about playstyle. Till then, you need this info because you're a raid leader (and it sounds like you've already done this anyway).
    The problem is that they don't accept proof as proof. They think they're doing everything right and refuse to believe there's anything wrong on their end other than their class/spec needs buffs. I think they're playing as if it was still Cata, not sure on that end though.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by diachroniko View Post
    The problem is that they don't accept proof as proof. They think they're doing everything right and refuse to believe there's anything wrong on their end other than their class/spec needs buffs. I think they're playing as if it was still Cata, not sure on that end though.
    You have to be stern and say "Improve or we will replace you."

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueobelisk View Post
    You have to be stern and say "Improve or we will replace you."
    Under normal circumstances I would. The reason I'm asking for the community's opinion is because of the stuff outside of raid. This person is nice beyond believe, unless you're trying to give them advice. Without them our guild probably wouldn't exist today. I'm just conflicted because they've helped so much in the past, but they're hindering us right now.

  17. #17
    Mechagnome GotMoxie's Avatar
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    They can't hold your raid group hostage because they contributed to the guild bank, or they basically bought their raid spot and can perform how they like. It really looks like your only options are to talk to to them about it and see how that goes* or put your foot down, replace them in the raid group but keep them in guild as that nice guy that used to raid.

    * You'd be surprised at how easy it can be to talk things through with someone, as opposed to worrying that you'll upset them and avoiding a situation entirely.
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  18. #18
    High Overlord CaptainCAPLS0CK's Avatar
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    I run a raid group (2nd group within the guild) and we're currently waist deep in the sewers of progress.
    When we formed the group, there were 5 of us - we knew each other prior to this raid team. However, as it went on and strong(er) players joined, everyone kept motivated enough to pretty much say, "oh crap, that guy's awesome, I had better step it up". Luckily, the raid atmosphere we have going on encourages that, people see other people doing better than them and decide to get competitive - probably the best way to see people improve as a raid leader.
    If you're scared of the blunt and up-front, "you suck, get better or go home" then try and make it more lighthearted and introduce the competition element.
    No no, it's meant to be spelled like that.

  19. #19
    im RL myself and we make raiding fun with bets etc like when your best dps on that boss you get awarded with gold from bank last night we did 500g to the person with the least damage taken etc
    keeps players motivated and can suprise you on some "worse" players
    maybe he or she is affected IRL /w hem/her and try to find out whats up
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