Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.
As a raid leader, you say it over and over again: read the strat, read the strat, read the strat. More than anything else, reading the strategy for beating a particular boss (or watching a video of it) is the most important part of progressing through new encounters. These strategies are readily available once the hardcore guilds have figured them out, which they typically do before the boss even makes it from the beta server to live.
But what if your raid leader didn't want you to read the strat? What if he or she wanted you to learn it the way the beta guilds do? This week, one reader is faced with this situation.
I am a mid-rank member of a fairly small and pretty casual (about 130 members) raiding guild. We had a guild meeting over the weekend and a few topics irked me a little bit. [. . .] Aside from our GL not wanting to appoint a Death Knight class leader [. . .], he insists on "raiding blind." He does not want people looking up strategies on beating the Naxx bosses.
Now, I understand wanting to pave our own way, but that is a little much. In my opinion, reading how others accomplished downing bosses and then setting out and trying to do that is difficult as it is. To my knowledge, none of our core raiders (GL and myself included) did the original Naxx. To me, dying over and over again and spending my hard-earned gold in repairs when I have three other toons that I wand to buy epic flying training for, is a waste of time. He said that "anyone caught" learning the fights ahead of time and telling others would have to sit out a few raid nights and if they did it again, it would be /guildkick for them. [. . .]
On top of all that, I've already researched most of the Naxx bosses on my own just out of curiosity. I enjoy being in my guild (I have RL friends in the same guild) but I'm curious for your take on how to handle a situation like this.
Let me get this point out of the way with first: Anyone complaining about repair bills at this point in the game doesn't deserve to be in a raid. Repair bills have barely gone up over time, whereas gold has become increasingly easier and quicker to obtain. The days of farming for hours to cover your repair costs are over. And besides, if having epic flying mounts on your alts is more important to you, then I recommend you stay out of dungeons altogether (and don't even go near Heroic Halls of Lightning).
I bring that up first because obviously you will have more repair bills if you don't read the strategies. And your progress will be slower.
To balance that out, you'll have the excitement of going into a dungeon completely unspoiled -- something very few guilds can claim! Of course, if you've already read the strats, it's too late for you. And since Naxx has been around for years, technically, it seems like most people would already have a general idea of what to do, if they don't already know the exact strategy.
But any brand new content, like the Obsidian Sanctum, the Eye of Eternity, or the upcoming Ulduar raid instance, can easily be unknown territory for most people.
So the question is, is it worth this tradeoff? That's up to the raid members. What disturbs me about this situation is that it doesn't seem like your guild leader is giving anyone a choice. It's an extreme decision, and ideally he would make sure it's what the majority of raiders wanted to do.
If he's the only one who wants to do it that way, your other officers need to step up and have a talk with him. But before that happens, I think everyone involved should really think about this choice.
There's been heated debate lately about the difficulty (or lack of difficulty) of the Wrath raids. Many guilds have already blasted through all the content. All that's left for them is to farm it or go for special achievements. When they've done that, maybe they'll start gearing up alts. When they've done that, they'll be waiting, bored, for new content.
So if it takes you a month to clear Naxx instead of one week, you are definitely behind the curve on gear and content. You might have to wait a while before you can open up the Eye of Eternity. But while the other guilds are bored, you'll still be having fun -- and you'll have the bragging rights that you did it the hard way.
If you still don't want to raid that way, there's nothing wrong with voicing that opinion. If your guild leader won't listen, it's his prerogative to ignore you. But it's also yours to raid with other people, on your own terms, if you want to. If most people in your guild feel the same way you do, finding players to fill the slots might not be that difficult. Make sure you explain what you're doing and why to your guild leader, so there are no misunderstandings. He might actually ask you to leave the guild, and then you'll have a decision to make.
Even so, if I were you, I'd at least try to do it the way your guild leader wants to. You might not wipe as much as you think you will. Most of the fights in Naxx are pretty easy to figure out after a few tries. Very few of the encounters are as complex as most Outland raid bosses are. And some fights can basically be overpowered by competent DPS and healing without knowing the strategy at all.
Is anyone else raiding "blind"? I'd love to hear about it below!