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Posts with tag constructive-criticism

Officers' Quarters: Helping a tween tank

Orc tank
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.

This week's email is from a guild leader in a delicate situation. One of his younger raiders is holding the guild back, but he doesn't want to upset her. Her highly protective father is also a member.

Heyo Scott!

My problem comes in the form of a raider who's enthusiasm and dedication are impressive, but who's ability are not.

I'm Co-GM of a guild that's been together for about a year. In that time, we've gone from only having one or two people on all day to regularly having 10-15 at any given moment. We raid 10-man normal and Flex mode, everyone in the guild who can make it to raids regularly is happy with the situation, and even those who leave for greener raiding pastures always leave behind their alts because they just enjoy the community so much.

The problem is that we are slowly bleeding away some of our best raiders due to our lack of progress.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Drama Mamas: The case of the good friend who's a bad tank

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Last week, we talked about getting unsolicited advice from strangers. This week, we talk about giving unsolicited -- but necessary -- advice to friends. Regardless of whether you like Lisa's or my answers, I think we all agree they are both better than GLaDOS's passive-aggressive approach.

Dear Drama Mamas,

I'm a raid leader in peril, and I'm and officer in a conundrum. I'm the leader of a small raid team, attempting to start the cataclysm wow content. We are a small social guild, and come together as a family tried to built a home in Azeroth for our family away from our real families. Each of my guild members are valued members of my online family. However, I do come from from the role of a fairly hardcore raider previously. I really enjoy the challenge of progressing through content. My problem is when these two worlds collide.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: Destructive criticism, part 2

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, available from No Starch Press.

Last week, I began addressing what is one of the most complex and difficult duties an officer or raid leader must occasionally perform: giving out unsolicited constructive criticism. As the email that sparked this discussion proved, such conversations can be volatile. With the wrong approach, you can destroy friendships and lose guildmates. Let's continue to examine the right approach.

To recap, here are the first two steps from part 1:
  1. Consider your guild's criticism culture and adapt your approach accordingly.
  2. Plant the seed of taking personal initiative to research and improve play.
At this point, you have to be a little bit patient. If your guild is on the brink of collapse over performance issues, you can't always afford to let this situation play out. However, the safest bet is to give the underperforming player another week of raids to show an improvement. Keep a close eye on him during this week. Examine his spec and gear to see if he's made any adjustments. Record a combat log to see if he's using the appropriate class abilities. Watch him during boss encounters to see if he is following instructions and executing the fight properly.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Destructive criticism

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, available from No Starch Press.

In the day-to-day duties of an officer and a raid leader, few endeavors are more fraught with the potential for drama than doling out performance advice to your players. Constructive criticism, no matter how well-meaning, can become destructive in the blink of an eye if it's not approached delicately. After scaring off a healer, the officer who wrote this week's email is looking for a better way to deal with these situations.


As an officer in my guild, I take care of several things, but the big three are raid leading our second 10-man group (which is not easy as a healer, by any stretch of the imagination), making sure our priests are doing what they are supposed to be doing both as dps and healers, and any extra healers, making sure they're doing their job right. The first two are interesting enough, especially since there's very little consistency with our group, and our number of priests waxes and wanes with the seasons. But the big problem here is when I have to "fix" a healer. Now, I know no one likes to receive constructive criticism, and officers like even less to give the constructive criticism for fear of running off the guild member.

Recently, I've had to talk to two different healers to try to help them out with their healing, one was a holy priest, the other a restoration shaman. Now, I have some pretty hefty experience with both classes as healers (I have two max level priests, and a max level shaman, and I've healed in raids on all of them), so I find myself at least somewhat knowledgeable about the classes, but by no means do I consider myself an expert. I'll leave that to Elitist Jerks. At any rate, the two healers, after speaking with them separately in tells, I found that the priest was more willing to work with the suggestions I'd made, and there was a huge improvement the following night in our raid. The shaman, however, was very adverse to my suggestions. Here's where the meat of the problem comes in.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Don't freak out about the Cataclysm changes yet

There has been a lot of debate about some of the announced class changes for Cataclysm this week. Some people absolutely love the announced changes while others are either upset or confused about what these changes mean for their spec.

One important thing to remember (and something Ghostcrawler and other devs have stressed multiple times) is that almost all numbers, coefficients and bonuses are going to be changing when the expansion ships, and none of the abilities are final. This means trying to say that using certain spells or stats is a "horrible idea" because of particular issues in the current game doesn't really hold up, because your class might end up needing that stat or relying on that spell when Cataclysm hits.

Also, being as the entire stat system is getting a revamp (with a lot of the current stats going away or being repurposed completely), all of your current gear's stats will also be changing to reflect this including increased armor for cloth, leather and mail users.

There is also the fact that these previews are not the whole story. There might end up being additional talented spells for your spec or revamps of various class abilities that will change your current rotation. Some classes are getting simplified and others will be getting a little more depth.

All in all, please look at these changes with an open mind and leave any preconceived notions at the door. We still have the entire beta for them to tweak and change any of the current ideas that might be lacking or might not mesh well with your class's existing kit.

Always remember to leave constructive feedback (Note: "This sucks!", "Blizzard obviously doesn't play my class," and "Ghostcrawler promised me a pony!" are not examples constructive feedback.) and tell them what parts seem clunky, good, lackluster or just simply feel "off" of what it should be for whatever reason (and always include the reason why). If you're eloquent in your post (and sometimes even if you're not), you might be the voice that gets things changed.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From goblins and worgens to mastery and guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

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