Sunday, August 04, 2013

Group Dynamics in Raid Finder

I had an interesting experience in a Raid Finder group yesterday.

We had killed the first boss and were clearing trash to the second boss. One DPS player called out one of the tanks for not pulling fast enough. The other tank spoke up in support of the tank in question. Other people in the group chimed in saying that everything was fine.

The DPS player persisted in his comments. Then he got vote-kicked out of the group.

If this is a trend in WoW, it's a good one. Vote-kicking people who cause drama will make Raid Finder groups more pleasant. But most people would say that this is unusual behavior, and that normally the "elitists" hold sway.

So what made this group different?

I think it was the vocal support of the other tank. Followed by the agreement of a couple other players. In my experience, Raid Finder groups follow the lead of the first few people who speak up, and of the "skilled" people. I think there is a majority of people who don't like the "elitist" rhetoric, but they will keep their heads down and defer to the tanks and the top healers and top dps who do express an opinion.

Which leads to two conclusions. If you want to promote a positive Raid Finder group, you have to be:

  • Vocal. You have to make your voice heard early, when the first sign of conflict occurs. You can't let the elitists hold sway, and attempt to reclaim the group later.
  • Competent. No one questions you if you are the top dps or top heals or a strong tank. Maybe it is unfair, but as far as WoW groups are concerned, "might makes right". This is, of course, because the presence of a strong player makes the run more likely to be successful. Deferring to their wishes means they are more likely to stick around and shoulder much of the burden.
The thing I've found about many of the people who complain about the quality of WoW groups is that they don't put enough effort into the second requirement, into being skilled.

If you want to contribute to a better environment in WoW, you have to be competent. Otherwise your voice is discounted. Maybe this is unfair, but it is remorselessly practical. A tyranny of skill.

6 comments:

Kring said...

That only works as long as the toxic person doesn't get support from another toxic person. Whatever you say is quite easy to counter with a personal attack on you. I've seen LFR groups develop in both ways.

Redbeard said...

LFR's main advantage is that there are more people, but it is also its biggest disadvantage. Throwing that many disparate people together of varying degrees of skill will cause drama. People have to actually run LFR to get competent at it, but at the same time people don't want to give others the same slack to learn.

JThelen said...

There's actually a better, and more accurate description of what you're talking about here Rohan; it's called arguing from a position of authority. Players who have run the content on harder difficulty levels, or who have better grasps on their characters all get to. Players who haven't, or don't, well, don't.

Real world comparison, it's no different from a guy with his CS Associate's Degree trying to argue a point with a Doctor of CS. The PhD simply has more expereience and more broad base knowledge than our Community College graduate.

DurtVanDutch said...

Real world comparison, it's no different from a guy with his CS Associate's Degree trying to argue a point with a Doctor of CS. The PhD simply has more expereience and more broad base knowledge than our Community College graduate.

Someone with an Associate's Degree who has been on the job for the same amount of time as the PhD could very well have as much, or even more, knowledge than the person with the PhD.
That is almost akin to saying that general laborer who has built trenches for 15 years could not adeqautely explain himself to the engineer who designed the trench.

neowolf2 said...

As someone with a CS PhD, I have to agree with DVD. In theory there is no difference between practice and theory, but in practice there is.

Vicki and Stephen said...

I'd add one note to this that the person speaking up in support of someone can't be from the same guild. From experience, if that happens, the trolls call it out and the rest of the raid assumes collusion and that the trolls are right. Frustrating.