In my last RLP post, I mentioned briefly “Story Time with Brae”. For anyone who has raided with me, you may remember these. As we approach the next boss, I generally start explaining. And explaining. And saying silly things…
And thus was born “Story Time with Brae”.
I’m not your typical raid leader – I’m a woman, I’m a healer, and I don’t always remember the exact names of stuff. (Like, almost never!) So, my explanations and coaching and suggestions…. they’re different. But, they’re effective. And I’ve learned a few things about those moments before a boss pull – things that might be helpful for other Raid Leaders, too.
You’re going to have to explain this stuff. I guarantee that there are a few people who haven’t seen the fight, or have forgotten something, or haven’t had a chance to view the strats online. That’s ok. It really isn’t something to lose sleep over – just move on and start coaching. That’s really what a Raid Leader is, right? A coach. A teacher. A director. A guide. That doesn’t mean the troops can slack, just that this is part of what we signed up for as raid leader. It’s not just a title and the power to give away phat lootz.
(oh geez, that looks ridiculous… if you could only see how hard I’m laughing at “phat lootz” coming from my lips… er… fingers). Anyway…
Even if you’ve been here before, some amount of refreshing is necessary. This is your team, so you’ll get a sense of how much or little you need to review. But, review you must (or… should, in my opinion).
Review the key spells and abilities that we need to be looking out for. Review placement, if necessary, if there are special spots to stand in or run to (I’m thinking of the safe spots in the Heigan dance). Review special abilities that folks need to use at certain times: “Brae, use your wings on Kurby right before Impale or he’ll go squooooosh.”
After putting everyone to sleep with the details (come on, we all know you zone out), I always end with a quick summary.
For example, on Heigan: Phase one: ranged pew-pew from the platform, melee and tank dance; Phase 2: everybody dance, I don’t care about your dps; Rinse and repeat. Do not give up if only tank and heals are alive, it can still be done.
No one will remember everything you said in the details part. “Let me ‘splain. [pause] No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” Inigo Montoya was right. Explaining is too much! Sum up!!
Call out stuff
During the fight itself, I will generally coach out loud. Obviously, the more we know it, the less of this we need; but it does help for 2 reasons.
1) It keeps everyone paying attention to what’s coming next. Sure, they all have DBM or BigWigs installed, so they have nifty timers running somewhere on their screen. Doesn’t mean they won’t miss one in a panic of controlling a runaway pet (not that my hubby’s imp ever goes AWOL).
2) It keeps people from chattering too much. Yes, we’re here to have fun! Yes, we’re friends. Yes, we want to chat with each other. But sometimes this can get a little out of control – and can affect the concentration of everyone. So, as a sly little trick (which I guess isn’t so sly anymore, since I’m telling the world), I will call out fight mechanics and instructions as a way to clear vent and get people refocused. Then I don’t have to be all “big sister” and tattle on everyone. Just calmly and efficiently turn our attention back to the task at hand.
I call it “Story Time” on purpose. It evokes memories of happy childhood things (usually). And usually gets a giggle from folks. If I think of it, and talk of it as telling a story, I’m less apt to get dry and boring. And we tend to have more fun with it.
So tell your team stories. Keep things short and sweet. Remember that it’s not really important that everyone know the name of the spell or ability, as long as they know how to recognize it and react to it.
Have fun killing bosses with your team! And remember: when Heigan jumps back up to the platform, you have to run to those dark gray boxes on the floor in the right order at the right time… or the green lava will owwie you to death!