…I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back. ‘Til things are brighter…I’m the man in black. -Johnny Cash
The brief story of the trials and tribulations of one guild leader, a raid on the edge something great, and his best efforts to push his team over that edge.
It’s been too long
That was the last time I’ve posted something here, my (somewhat) brief take on the strategy of Al’akir. Why such the long time between posts? This blog has always been more of a raiding journal for me than anything. A little place to collect my thoughts on a raid week or disperse some knowledge or advice for a specific fight. Those little things you only learn after a few kills that trip up everyone.
You can find raid strategies at better places. There are shaman out there that do a far better job of breaking down mechanics than I ever can. I’m not interested in commenting on the ever-changing PTR, or the latest hot-fixes. You can find that news anywhere and reacting to it is the epitome of premature chicken counting.
Most of the content I would normally write here, I end up talking about on the Matticast with my good friends Matt and Kat.
So in a nutshell, that is why you’ve seen no updates here, our raiding progression stalled. Why report when there is nothing to report? I don’t like to complain in print. I voice any issues with my guild before anyone (as it should be).
In the past month I’ve had to take my free time (and not-so free work time) and devote it to my guild 110%. Blood Red Moon is a group that I am incredibly passionate about. It isn’t all about raiding for me and for our members. We’ve had folks in guild for 6 years, this is their home.
Why are you complaining?
Looking at our progression, one would assume I would be elated, thrilled to be in a guild that regularly clears Tier 11 (with some hard modes) on 25 man, every week. And I am. We can get jaded at times and forget the amount of effort and skill that our raiders possess. I’m more guilty of it than most.
Where the frustration creeps up is in unused potential.
You can see it. It’s right there. It’s inside that glass case. The only way you unlock it is a key made of pure confidence. To say our raid group lacks confidence would be to say the Sahara lacks an abundance of lemonade stands.
Confidence is an easy thing to lose, and it’s even harder to get back. You see it in sports. The one guy on a 9 game streak with no goals. He finally pumps in an empty netter and the goals just keep coming.
That is where we are. Through a combination of raiders leaving, raiders lives abruptly changing, and a lack of new blood, we’ve hit a wall. That wall isn’t in gear or untuned mechanics. It’s in the 6 inch space between our ears.
Leading a raid and calling mechanics are but a fraction of what a raid leader performs. Everyone knows this, no one talks of it. I’ve gone years with little to no structure, little to no changes in my leadership. A time for that change came this month.
Some of my longest standing officers lost their positions of leadership and new ones joined the fold. Talking with each and every one of them, giving my thanks, it was the most difficult time I’ve had in this game.
The goal of it all? Through a collective team effort, raise the skill of the guild. Our track record speaks for itself. Through TBC and Wrath of the Lich King, Blood Red Moon has been near the top of progression on Zul’jin, but something just hasn’t been there in 4.0.
I’ve treated my past dips in progression like sliding off a rocky hill. You’ll fall faster while flailing to regain your grip. Stay calm, let the chaos settle. Start climbing again.
But sometimes, you just need to go a back down the mountain, and find a different path to the top.
Officers were assigned raiders with a goal to identify issues as soon as possible, keep things positive, and improve our skill as a raiding team. With the delivery of concrete, honest, and constructive feedback. The system is there, it works.
The fire just isn’t lit.
Why the recruitment?
There are holes in our raid composition that cannot go unfilled for much longer. Do to forseen, and unforeseen events, our roster hinges on the appearance of a few individuals that fill key roles. Having a substantial bench with redundant positions is something every 25 man needs. Beyond that, a brief tale:
Before I became the raid leader of BRM, our guild leader at the time had asked me to fill in because I told him I “read about a lot of the fights.” Our current raid lead was stepping down and we were in transition. My first boss happened to be Lady Vashj in Serpentshrine Cavern.
I poured everything I had into it. I made diagrams, planned out roles, everything. When it was all said and done and we were preparing to finish our attunement at Kael’thas, I was approached to take the raid leader role officially, as well as be a second-in-command to the guild leader.
BRM is a unique community, and one that I appreciated. My philosophies were far more hardcore than a lot of the members, and I expressed a concern that I may alienate folks that have raided here far longer than I have. That’s what was wanted, by a majority of the players. With a vote of confidence from the guild leader and the rest of the officers we moved ahead.
More than 2 dozen alliance firsts, an instance full of server firsts (Ulduar), and accolades ranging from titles to top 200 US rankings, we forged ahead stronger. Now we sit at 12/12 Normal Modes, 2/13 Hard Modes, at a cross road of sorts.
Call to Arms
With that message I put a call out to all raiders looking for a home. Blood Red Moon, as a guild, wants to continue to be one of the best on Zul’jin, and continue our long-standing reputation as not only the guild that gets stuff done, but enjoys more camaraderie than any other on the planet.
I know all of my raiders inside the game and outside, heck, I’ve cooked dinner for them on more than one occasion! We enjoy our time outside the game, but where it all starts is inside the instances where the pixel dragons hold the purples.
What I look for in raider:
- Pride in your own play. Missing a call or not performing a simple raid mechanic is not an option for you.
- Performance of a strategy. You know the mechanics, you see them, you execute them.
- Class fundamentals. You can adapt your play and leverage your class abilities to execute your assignment.
- High attendance. We raid 3 nights a week (Tu-Th), and I want to see you there every night. If making WoW a priority is not an option for you, I respect that, but we’ve been at this a long time. Just like a rec league softball team or poker club, this is an activity we set aside time for. 100% attendance is the norm, not the exception.
What you will get from me:
- Full raider support. We pay for repairs for you, your alts, and your friend’s alts, Maelstrom crystals, and soon enough, Cauldrons
- Feedback. If you are doing well or could use some work in some areas, we’re open about it.
- A strong foundation. We’re not going anywhere. For our raiding core, this is our one and only home. You’re not entering a situation wrought with burnout, we’re looking to kill bosses for the entire expansion and beyond.
Gear, extensive experience, Wonderlic scores, all of those are just minor plusses. People that enjoy playing and want to do it at a high level are what I’m looking for. If you want to kill hard modes, and clear content as it is released per tier, we want you.
Immediate Raid Openings (in order of importance) :
Our World of Logs is public. Take a look, see how you stack up, and put it in an application. You can log on and speak to any of our officers if you want to talk a bit or have any questions: Izellah, Eranthe, Darick, Rynor, Kromagnon, Talisman.
If you’re not a player looking for a new guild, I hope my little tale shows that while raid groups may never be as good as they seem when they’re doing well, they also are never as bad when they’re at their worst. Leading often means making changes and making some difficult decisions. Just remember, if you have the support of your team, you never really fail.