Borsked? The psyche of a player-coach.

19 February, 2010

The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert. –Vince Lombardi

The dynamic of a raid leading position in World of Warcraft is one that I believe is unique among all other team-based games.  Aside from handling loot (and it’s additional overhead, i.e. dkp) and coordinating your bench players, there are several plates spinning even before you reach a boss.  Everything from keeping the pace up through the trash to making sure everything is assigned and in order for the boss coming up soon.

The goal of the raid is to kill bosses, collect loot, progress through the content, and do it all while having a good time.

Re-read that sentence again and note the and. If one of the above tenets fails, then the goal cannot be completed.  You can’t kill bosses, progress, have a good time and not get any loot.  Take out one or many and the raid is not successful.

Sidebar: Wipe nights violate the above goal, but, obviously, are very important to progression focused raiding.  Wipe nights on new/harder bosses are the equivalent to practice in team sports.  You are working on strategy and fine tuning what you need to do to beat the upcoming opponent.  It doesn’t have immediate rewards and isn’t always all that fun, but the first kill on a hard boss always gives that little zing of invigoration that only a first kill can give.

Typically a team engaging in competition will have several coaches, captains (leaders on the field of play), and the remaining players.  Raiding’s twist is that everyone suits up to play.  The raid leader is the coach, the tanks and officers become captains, and the other players look to them for leadership and direction.  All still have an even stake, yet all are now participating equally.  A coach standing on the sidelines can call a play and give it to his Quarterback to run.  If it fails, the coach can find the reciever that ran the wrong route, grab his facemask and give him a stern, spit-laden talk on the sidelines.

But what if the coach was that receiver?  Well, he just got Borsked.

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