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Raiding: Feedback

Yesterday, half way through a raid, one of our DPS triallists left the raid the guild and the custom chat channels.   He posted about his reasons on the forums as well.

Now, I felt sorry for the guy.  Previously, he’d explained about having to miss a raid at short notice because he had to leave the house (with his young family) for their safety – to live under that kind of pressure must be overwhelmingly difficult – I have a young son, and to have my family living with that burden would be extremely hard.

The thing is – the guild officers are not unsympathetic to privately expressed difficulties – I sometimes wonder (as I am not an officer) if they are overburdened by the things that they have to deal with – the things that are not part of the visible officer job.  Some of the officers seem to be unaware, however, of how hard the trial seems from the point of view of the triallist.

I came to EO completely new – I had never been raiding, and I was joining a progression raid guild having never raided before.  I had previously applied on my holy paladin, but there was not enough room for a holy paladin at the time – so I levelled a priest and applied on her – having not healed on her before she hit 80.  The gear I applied in was from heroics and from the Conquerers emblems available at the time.  I was a true noob – new to using Grid and clique (having been a healbot paladin), new to holy priesting, with under-par gear, in instances that I had never seen before, new to a regime that I had never encountered before.

I found the trial very difficult – and I was in a small team – the DPS team is much larger of course.  The reason why?  Because I died too often, and the fail angel is kind of obvious – because I was too busy staring at Grid and the little boxes, and not moving.  Because when I started, my healing figures on recount were very low indeed – and I knew it.  And I knew I was not carrying my weight.  And I felt very low about that.  Because I did not know my spell priorities and cast times so well, and because I was still trusting grid to be accurate – whereas in a raid, the lag on feedback make it almost impossible to heal those with health deficits unless you are either layering them alone, or you have smart heals or HoTs – if you wait for the deficit to be “healable” then you are too late – the heal cannot go off fast enough, and they have probably died by then anyway – it’s just that you don’t know it – it’s like the speed of light – the star is dead by the time the light shining from it reaches our solar system.  Blaming lag will not help – it is considered Not Done – Naming the Beast that shall not be done for if he be named thrice etc…..

I passed my trial – and it was not extended – but I felt I was still underpar – one of the healers in the channel kept “helping” me by worrying with me about how I might improve my HPS, and suggesting addons to assist me (which I already had) – and I felt there was a deafening silence about whether I brought much to a raid – when the druids seemed to be pushing out far more effective healing than I could.  I wish now that I could have had someone tell me what I am now coming to understand about spell priorities.   And who could have kept me company in the darkness of struggling to learn.

What I can say is that the officers of my team did keep putting me in raids.  Time and time again – and never made adverse comments.  And meanwhile, I concentrated on the rhythm of fights, on the movement, on the casting, on the reading of blogs and so on.

I know I have improved.  And I finally realised it when the “helpful” healer finally noted that I seemed to have finally found a good rotation, and whispered to me about it (I had just reached above him in the effective heal charts, go me).  And I began to realise that each raid wipe was not my fault when two other healers joshed me about it all being my fault, because it always was – those healers being people I trusted not to be out to score points against me.  Those two incidents have been within the last month or so.  I have been raiding since about October.  It has been a long time, and no doubt I shall feel down and under-confident again.  But I have achieved a few milestones in my learning.

Which brings me back to this guy leaving because he felt he was not liked, that his trial was being extended (for attendance issues partly) and because he felt the guild was too hard core, too serious and too much like work.  People in the DPS channels said that he was always looking for external validation, he was looking for friends, he wanted everyone to like him and so on.

The thing is, I’ve felt like that.  And I have blogged about it.  And I have been seriously emo – but (hopefully) not in raid chat, or in the healing channels.  Because no-one likes you washing your dirty laundry in public – and when no-one knows you (as a triallist) no-one *does* really care about you – if you are lucky, someone will suggest different spell priorities, or different gemming choices.  But mostly, you are just opening yourself up to be stabbed at, laughed at, or *pointed silence* at.   If you can be confident and funny, people will like you – if you are silent, then no-one can mock you, but silence can be a heavy weight – but at least it aids concentration.  If you are emo, too personal, or asking for validation and feedback *during* a raid?   Not cool.

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