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Officers' Quarters: Elegon, the Raidslayer

Elegon
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Oh, Elegon, you magnificently annoying Titan-created celestial Internet dragon. You are far from the hardest boss Blizzard has ever designed, but you require precision in all phases in order to win. One mistake by any member can botch the whole attempt. You are part of the tradition of unforgiving first-tier bosses such as Magtheridon and Blackwing Descent's Nefarian. It's no surprise to me, then, that some guilds are struggling with you. This week, one raid leader is questioning what he can do to improve his chances before his entire team falls apart.

hello Scott,

i really need some advice here. i am a officer and raid leader in a progression guild. i run two raid teams - the second and third for our guild. when i joined here, i came to be with friends, and with the understanding that there was no raid spot for me in the primary team, so to raid i would have to start my own progression group. that was almost a year ago. I already had a group that i raid my primary alt with, a casual fun group that i love, and now this progression group for my main. Both groups joined the guild with me.

so, in a nutshell, here's the problem: I'm not much good at raid leading.

I mean, i can handle the secretarial part, getting everyone there, making sure we have flasks and pots, gems and food - but calling a fight , planning a strategy - not so good at that. I have a core of about six really great folks, and the other four slots are often pugged in. So, here we are almost a year later, in a new tier , stuck on Elegon, and i'm exhausted. I've worked really hard to get us going, to get all the flasks and food and everything (guild policy is for me to provide this for both my raids, it's hard work) and i have raiders that want to leave, find a new group - because we aren't progressing as we should. I have no idea why we aren't getting this fight, i've reviewed strategies and logs and talked to everyone i can find, and i'm completely at a loss. This week we will be cancelling raids, because dps is now going out to pugs to down this boss, using their lockouts elsewhere.

Is it time to give up? Should i continue try, and include the folks who spend lockouts elsewhere? Should i boot the raidmembers that do that, even if they're top dps? I'm so tired. i don't know if i can keep doing this. How do other raid leaders get past these problems?

please help
Sad and Tired.

Hi, S and T. Every raid hits these brick walls sometimes, and as I've said, Elegon is a challenging boss. There's no shame in getting stuck on this one.

I have a few theories why you might be stalling on progress and what you can do to fix them.

1. PUG players are wipe machines on fights like this.

If someone falls into the hole or fails to kill an early spark, the attempt is basically over, especially in 10-man. This is simply not a PUG-friendly fight. The healing is challenging in the final phase, and the tanks have to be on the ball with positioning and swapping throughout. There's a lot going on. Bringing in new people each week who may or may not know the fight is a big problem.

You said you have two raid teams. Maybe it's time to combine them into one rather than pugging. That may require scheduling runs on different nights, but a raid that has to PUG four people isn't going to get very far in progression content. Recruiting more players is also a solution, obviously, but that is much more difficult.

2. Your team has no strategist.

Successful raid teams have at least one player who is good at strategy and adjustments. If that's not your talent, you need to find a solution. Get the entire team involved. Tell them to research the fight, discuss what can be done better on your forums between raids, and encourage conversation and brainstorming during the raid. It doesn't all have to fall on you.

Silence in the face of repeated wipes, however, is very discouraging. If nothing else, make sure there's a dialogue.

Are you only looking at your own logs? It helps to look at other guilds' logs who have beaten the boss you're stuck on. Look at the DPS and HPS of its members. Look at the specific spells or abilities that are being cast and how often. Look at uptime on important buffs/debuffs. Then compare all of this data to your own members of the same class on attempts with similar time totals. It's possible that one or two people simply aren't doing enough to power the raid through, and it can be tough to identify that problem unless you dig deep into the logs.

You should also talk to the other team in your guild and find out how they've beaten Elegon (assuming they have). We do that in my guild. By comparing notes we can often identify a blind spot that a certain team might have about a particular aspect of an encounter. Sometimes, we simply figure out a better way to deal with an ability or realize that we've been forgetting a certain tool at our disposal. Talk to other guilds' teams, too, if they're friendly.

3. Your team lacks confidence.

Leading a raid team is about more than just logistics and strategy. You also need to inspire your players to work together and win. Your team is crumbling right now, and you are the only one who can keep it together.

Don't let Elegon destroy your team. Talk about all the things I mentioned above, both during, after, and in between raids. Get people to come together to work on the problems at hand. Don't let them give up on it.

If people have killed him with other teams this week, ask them to come back next week and use that experience to get your own team back on track. Don't ever imply that you should all just give up or that the boss is unbeatable. Keep a cheerful, upbeat attitude even when things are dire, and your raiders will be more likely to remain hopeful and motivated.

All it takes is one good attempt to turn the entire team around. Focus on that, believe in yourselves, and you'll put that stupid sparkly reptile in his place.

/salute

Officers' Quarters keeps your guild leadership on track to cope with sticky situations such as members turned poachers or the return of an ex-guild leader and looking forward to what guilds need in Mists of Pandaria. Send your own guild-related questions and suggestions to scott@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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