In conjunction with what Khlysti said, another tip that was given in an earlier, similar thread was to always ask questions. Don't know which classes decurse? Ask. Don't know how long Mind Control lasts? Ask. It'll make you appear a hell of a lot more intelligent than if you tell a Priest to remove a poison.
I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring with the other raidleading fanboys here and say a vent recording of Gurg would rock.
Back on topic however, in addition to the points that Mosh has already raised (as he and I have very similar leading styles), one of the most critical things for me is momentum. As a raid leader you should be the number one voice on vent that people hear, and even if you feel your brain cells burning at a ferocious rate, make sure that the basic elements of keeping a raid moving forward are always being done. After every single pull I tell people to res, rebuff, drink, you name it. A very useful little tool on bosses is to time your wipe recovery. Set targets for your guys, work on recovery efficiency (aka dont res rogues and warriors first), and give people a sense of improvement, even if its only relative to the single aspect of getting a raid back up and ready to go. Patchwerk is a great example of a fight where, if you are efficient and quick, you can get twice as many attempts as you can when the raid just sort of hangs around waiting until every man and his dog is ressed, buffed and ready.
Also, always make sure to give credit where credit is due. If your healers pull off an amazing last gasp save or your dps manages to pull it out of the bag when it looks grim, make sure you commend them for it. A lot of players will gladly do their job well without any mention or comment, but positive reinforcement goes a long way in getting the best out of your players.
Being positive is nice and all, and the atmosphere is critical to surviving...
But I disagree that you have to be a happy pleasant guy 24/7 when you're doing encounters.
If someone messes up I'm going ot call them on it, and most of the time it isn't done in private tells. Everyone makes mistakes, and getting better and working through that is part of the game. You have to target those mistakes and work on them. You cannot get personal or nasty, but when people fuck up, if you don't call em on it, and even comment on it publically, someone else will make the same mistake later. If someone is missing their sheep or shackle or whatever repeatedly, thats just lack of focus and not paying attention.
I'm not talking about yelling at people like a spazz either though. Yelling at people is generally unacceptable. But getting your point across and not being shy about it is incredibly important. People will make every excuse in the book as to why they die 3 times on every Anub'Rhekan.
Attitude is key, but if you're always happy everytime things fall apart I'm not sure thats really leading or helpnig anyone. If you're worried about it, hire a clown and make him morale officer who can make your members some twisty balloons or something to play with... but we're all adults here mostly aren't we?
Don't the most hardcore members want to have mistakes addressed immediately? Even if they're the ones making it? Nine times out of ten when our best players mess up their reply is "yeah I know, I missed this or that, and I have an idea on how to fix it." The rest? Well you already know "Lag, someone else's fault, wasn't me, I rule!"
Shaman02 keeps running through the room on C'Thun 1 - tell him to wake up and point out whats going wrong, and move along? Maybe I'm missing the positive thing. I do totally agree you have to keep the atmosphere in the guild a fun one. Why do people log in? Generlaly cause they enjoy the game. You can't make your guild into some prison where you log into a raid leader accusing you and blaming every mistake on you for no reason... But you probably want to log into a group of friends, where if someone makes a mistake, it gets dealt with so as to not happen again?
It's also probably a good idea to keep people from telling others what to do taht aren't raid leaders: IE. DPS telling healers to heal the tank, DPSers telling people to remove debuffs(usually incorrectly: PRIESTS REMOVE THE CURSE or DRUIDS REMOVE THE DISEASE, that kinda stuff). Leave that to class leaders and the raid leader.
Can't agree more with this. Especially if your a tank, the healers KNOW your a tank, they KNOW you need heals, no need to yell over vent 'omg heal me gonna die'. We have class chat channels, and an informal class leader(s) for each class. I bet you 99% of the time whatever issue you yell about randomly on vent (decursing/dispelling/healing/tanking) has been addressed already in its respective class channel, and sometimes healers just can't top you off, or dispell fast enough.
It always drove me nuts on my priest, who was on horde, when people would scream for dispells on Chromaggus within 1-2 seconds of the mana drain going out. People need to realize that theres a global cooldown on dispell, and I'm sure as hell dispelling myself first if I am the dispeller for groups 1-4.
Originally Posted by Ardente
The vet gave him an enema and he fucking assploded everywhere.
Everyone makes mistakes, and getting better and working through that is part of the game. You have to target those mistakes and work on them. You cannot get personal or nasty, but when people fuck up, if you don't call em on it, and even comment on it publically, someone else will make the same mistake later.
Absolutely - when a player makes the wrong call or doesn't get it, you have to address that quickly and clearly.
I think the general idea of being positive is largely based in the context of those "you've gotta be kidding me" kind of wipes where you can't really pinpoint a particularly person screwing up, but just the general focus of the raid isn't as good as it should be. There are fights of course like C'thun where you can pinpoint the numbnuts that still die to Dark Glare, but I can think of countless times in my raidleading history where the entire raid has just.....sucked. Whatever the reason, I think in those circumstances its better to shake it off and get people back on track rather than to criticise.
Lots of really excellent advice above. Part of this is a matter of personal style, but I agree with striking a balance between public and private criticism of errors. If you never call any individual out for his errors, in public, that does two things, potentially:
1) You risk creating an atmosphere where mistakes are seen as acceptable and something to just shrug off. If no one is ever held to account, no matter how badly they play, then why bother trying to play skillfully as an individual?
2) You frustrate your best players. Believe me, they are watching and they know who is making dumb mistakes time and time again. When some idiot chains a beam onto them and gets them killed on CThun Phase 1 for the third time in a row by running out of posiiton, they're going to be pissed.
That said, if you're bringing someone new to a fight or it's someone who is generally inexperienced, recognize that. You probably didn't live through every Heigan speed phase on your very first time doing the fight, why berate someone else for also needing to learn? The likelihood that someone gets bitched out on vent for an error is directly proportional to the extent to which they really should know better than to make it in the first place. That said, you have to know people's personalities -- some, regardless of their experience, will respond best to a private tell, and would be mortified if they were called out in public, to the point that it'd affect their performance going forward.
Also, make fun of people who get defensive whenever they're accused of something until they realize how silly it sounds and stop, or quit. The best players in EJ are, not coincidentally I think, the ones who will almost always say, "Shit, yeah, X happened and I screwed up. Sorry, won't happen again." Those people you barely even need to criticize because they're already pissed enough at themselves for screwing up in the first place.
Edit: Oh, and one more thing. When it does come to criticism, avoid the pitfall of being irrationally or unfairly angry at, or critical of, someone who makes a dumb mistake at a really bad time. Is it a hell of a lot more frustrating when it happens 20% than at 90%? Well, yeah. But is the mistake qualitatively different? Or sometimes you just have someone do something staggeringly dumb, like accidentally pulling a boss before the raid is ready, after you've already had a rough day, and it's kind of the straw that breaks the camel's back. But that one straw isn't any more to blame than all the ones that came before it, as a general matter.
Well I don't know how we compare to other guilds on the criticism issue. From what the 4H server transfer has shown me is how much danger other players in high end guilds are in of just being /gkicked. I know when something goes wrong I can just say "I started to bandage when I was trying to get a spore and that's why I died to loatheb", because I'm just going to hear something like "Ok sounds like you know what went wrong and you'll probably avoid that in the future." Fostering an atmosphere of accountability is really important so you don't end of arguing with someone about the mistakes they made like it's a moral issue.
I think praetorian just said word for word what I did about excuses. Amazes me how similar things sound between our guilds. I agree with people and making silly excuses... one of the harder things about being a leader is controlling your anger when people mess up at the most critical times. Its very frustrating to see things fall apart due to tiny errors by individuals... but imo, thast what makes naxxramas such an amazing zone. The difficulty and individual skill factor is finally up to a really nice level.
I agree that it's tremendously frustrating to see things go wrong on account of individuals (this happened often to us while learning Sartura). During BWL we had beaten into the heads of our raiders the concept of standing still and healing X tank, which of course goes out the window when you've got a giant lawnmower or four headed right for you. Even more frustrating is the fact that even when the entire raid can see someone make a mistake, i.e. pulling aggro on Broodlord, some people just refuse to own up to it.
As stated said earlier, the best way to reverse this is to foster an atmosphere of accountability amongst the raid group. This begins with you and your officers. Everyone makes mistakes, it happens. When you or another officer makes a mistake that has dire consequences for the raid, own up to it. Tell them what you did wrong and why it was wrong, apologize and get them moving for the next attempt. It goes a long way when it comes time for others to start owning up to their mistakes.
Yes, I've done some genuinely stupid things in my time, and I always explain immediately what I did so everyone can laugh at me ("Haha Gurg messed up lolol") but I don't think anyone can accuse me of being defensive or trying to avoid taking responsibility for mistakes. That said, it kind of helps if, as a raid leader, you also perform as a high level as a player. I'm not the most skilled player in EJ, but I think that I do well enough that I'm not embarrassing myself. If I were dying to every Heigan speed phase or blowing up the raid on Thaddius or whatever, it'd be a hell of a lot harder, if not impossible, to criticize and/or assist other players who make those mistakes. The unavoidable reaction would be, "Are you fucking kidding me? How about you try learning how to do it yourself before you tell me what I should do differently?" There are some people who aren't suited to raid leading because they can't multitask effectively enough, and while they may be competent players normally, suddenly when they have to lead they're only devoting 10% of their attention to their actual gameplay.
That said, it kind of helps if, as a raid leader, you also perform as a high level as a player. I'm not the most skilled player in EJ, but I think that I do well enough that I'm not embarrassing myself. If I were dying to every Heigan speed phase or blowing up the raid on Thaddius or whatever, it'd be a hell of a lot harder, if not impossible, to criticize and/or assist other players who make those mistakes. The unavoidable reaction would be, "Are you fucking kidding me? How about you try learning how to do it yourself before you tell me what I should do differently?"
I believe this to be very important, and this applies not only to raid leading and playing skill, but also general leading and general knowledge of things. I always believed that unless I played very well and knew exactly what I was talking about, I didn't have the right to call anyone out on anything, or to point out someone's error. If I can't do something, I cannot expect it of anyone else. You need to earn the players' respect, and unless you are very good at what you do, they won't give you that respect, no matter how good intentions you have.
I believe that as a leader you have to set yourself above your emotions. I've always felt it very important that since I'm in a position where my doings affect a very large amount of people, I have a responsibility to control the negative aspects of my personality so as to not affect the playing experience of those I'm responsible to just because I have a bad day. Hence, I've always thought that one of the most important things is that you never lose your temper. That doesn't mean you can never raise your voice or call people on their mistakes, but never do it out of anger.
The way I see it, you want people to do certain things and to behave in a certain way. You can affect people by what you do and what you say, all that you then need is to find the right things to do and the right things to say to get people to perform the way they're needed to. What you say and what you do is not the point as such - what matters is the effect it causes in the people you want to affect.
Different people require different kind of leadership, some perform better if you rationally and calmly explain to them why something needs to be done, some need enthusiasm from the leader in voicecomms or in general, others might even need to be bashed a bit so they want to prove they're up to it and play sharp - it's surprising, but certain types of players can play very well if you piss them off, just make sure they at least afterwards understand you only do it to get them to play well. It takes a very long time to learn what works for the different people in a guild, and sometimes, to provoke some players to do their job well, you have to learn to go against your own personality.
EDIT: Obviously I'm not claiming I've always been able to do what I said, since it requires a highly rational approach to everything all the time, and I so far haven't met a person who's able to control their own personality all the time. It is, however, what I always aimed for in leading.
Moral of the story, never order a pizza when learning C'Thun.
Stay positive is a very good one. It's not "Just 80 % left" but "only 80 % left.". Point out the small niceties. Keep an eye on the raid and don't be afraid to inquire what went wrong and when it can be done, don't be harsh in public, but at the same time, as Gurgthock said, do have the balls to call out if someone really does a pisspoor job. A personal preference is a raidleader who is just him or herself. If you sound 'forced', it can backfire on the raid. Don't have the mindset of "must be happy, must be happy", cause you ain't happy then. Oh, and when raidleading, the raid is as strong as the weakest individual, so remind people on the abilities to refresh their memory.