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Officers' Quarters: Hot-headed healers

Scott Andrews

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

A little healthy competition among your raiders can be a good thing. It encourages people to push to play their best, to show up completely prepared, and to gem and enchant their gear with the most effective possible options. A bit of banter can enliven your raids and ease the tension when your run is struggling. But what if your players take it too far? What if their drive for personal accomplishment becomes detrimental to your raid? This week's e-mail asks how to handle two healers -- and officers -- who are turning their personal competition into public drama.

Scott --

I'm the raid leader in a growing progression guild with some pretty hot-headed healers. While our raid healing shaman is competent and professional, I've started to suspect that the other healers (the paladins in particular) are engaging in behavior that hurts the raid and creates drama. As an example, one paladin healer in particular will overwrite the other paladin's Judgement of Light at every chance to inflate his numbers on the meters. Both of them vie for having "the biggest", whether it's mana pool, meter numbers, or SP; it's something new every week. This has also encouraged similar behavior in some of our other healers.

It's a situation where I can't just sit down and talk to them about it without hard evidence, as they are both officers in the guild. I've considered assigning Judgements (like I've had to do with Blessings and Auras) at the start of the raid, but I'd feel better knowing I could say "and this screenshot here is why." Is there an addon or tool I can use to see them doing this? What're your recommendations for handling the situation?

All the best!

Just Trying to Tank

You must tread carefully here, JTtT. Competitive officers like that don't want to be shown up and they certainly don't want to be dressed down in front of other members. So, unless you want more drama, be delicate with your approach and handle this situation discreetly among the officers.

You have a couple of different options for catching them red-handed with the Judgement situation. Recount can certainly tell you who's casting what, as can any combat-log parser like WoW Web Stats. WWS provides more detailed information on an encounter-by-encounter basis, so it may be more helpful. The one drawback is that it requires a bit of upfront work from you to set it up.

Depending on your raid makeup, this could be a highly effective issue to confront. If overwriting Light means the boss no longer has Wisdom judged, then doing so is in fact hurting the raid's chances to succeed. In a quick, easy fight, it might not matter. But in a tough scrap, it could lead to OOM players and enrage wipes.

Even with this evidence, however, it will be easy for a paladin to claim that he or she switched Judgements because the other paladin died or "didn't keep it applied." You'll have to examine the data beforehand very carefully to counter any fabricated excuses. (By the way, does anyone else absolutely hate that Blizzard spells "Judgement" with two e's? It messes up my macros every time . . .)

I don't think it's a good idea to broach the topic using this evidence as an opener. It will immediately put the accused on the defensive. The better approach is just to be honest and straightforward with your officers. They are supposed to be setting a good example. If their competition has become a big distraction, just ask them to help you out by toning it down.

Officers of all people should know how hard it is to lead raids. Hopefully, an earnest request from you should be enough. Once other healers in the guild see that the officers have taken it down a notch, they should eventually follow suit.

If you feel the need to say something to the raid, don't point out any specific individuals. Just ask for people to stay focused when they start in with their chest-thumping contests.

In the worst-case scenario, the officers don't listen to your request and deny everything. This is where you break out the big guns: your combat-log evidence. If they didn't take you seriously before, this will get their attention. Just remember to remain respectful and keep your cool, even if they don't.

Depending on your guild's policies, you probably have no true recourse if they decide to ignore you. All you can do at that point, if you feel that you have no other choice, is to take the issue to the guild leader and ask him or her to speak with the officers personally.

With any luck, it won't come to that. It's hard to argue with a reasonable and respectful raid leader who has the best interests of the guild at heart. Although, as I'm sure you already know, people will try . . .


Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!

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