Image courtesy of _AcE_
Your back is straight and rigid. Your eyes are glued to the screen. You’re screaming and yelling so loud your parents are wondering what’s going on. Your heart’s pumping blood at an insane rate.
But are they happening for the right reasons?
The above symptoms could either represent the elation of an imminent boss death or an incoming raid wipe.
Raiding can induce an unhealthy amount of stress. There are many potential sources of anxiety and frustration. There could be a variety of reasons for the pressure you’re feeling. Maybe it’s a bad night overall. Maybe there’s some internal business that needs to be sorted out in your life or in the guild that’s functioning as a dark cloud over everyone. Not everyone’s immune to it but there are ways to deal with it.
Inhale and breathe: Those breathing exercises you read about near the health section of your newspaper next to the horoscope and Sudoku pages actually work. When boss loot is being distributed, take a moment and close your eyes. Block out the raid mentally or turn them down if necessary. Inhale slowly, count to 5 then exhale. Repeat the exercise 3 more times before retuning your mind back to the raid. Of course, you might have to pass on this if loot drops that you need.
Reduce wiping on farm content: This is a separate blog post on it’s own. Wiping on farm content and farm trash is the biggest source of headaches for raiding guilds. Encounters that should be easy end up being catastrophes for raid groups. Stay focused and do your part. Play to your highest potential and respect the boss that you’re working on.
Don’t skimp on raid buffs: When we were killing Archimonde the other day, I had a Priest in my raid who dropped 30 minute forts on everyone. I cursed out loud in vent and applied my 60 minute Ferrari buffs. I had a feeling people were going to complain about the 30 minute buffs anyway. Instead of berating the other Priest about it, I bit my tongue and overwrote his buffs with my own. Even though the odds were good we’d wipe repeatedly on Archie, it was the principle of the matter. In the long run, you end up using more mana and spending more time individually forting people than you would with group buffs. Over a prolonged period, this time spent on individual buffs could have gone towards working on Archie.
Listen to music: I set my iTunes volume to 25%. Whether I’m mentally dancing to Chris Brown (Forever!) or swaying my Dwarf hips to Gloria Estefan’s Everlasting Love, music is an enormous form of stress mitigation. Just don’t play your songs intentionally over vent. Not everyone has the same tastes.
Prepare yourself the night before: I like to lay out my pants and shirts before major stress inducing days where I have to deliver presentations or crapshoot my way through exams. I do it to reduce the mental load I know I would get the next day. It’s bad enough I’m trying to remember certain points or formulas. I don’t need to add extra stress to myself by wondering what I need to wear and what color socks have to match with my shirt and stuff. Likewise, the night before the raid, check that you have enough potions, candles, mana oils, and other consumables in your bag so you can go through the next day without having to frantically scour the auction house last minute before your raid.
Grab a cold one: Nothing is wrong with a little alcohol during raids. Certain Resto Trees might prefer wines whereas certain Dwarves prefer the strength of beer or ale. Regardless of you preferred beverage of choice (be it alcoholic or non), it does help relax and ease the tensions accumulated during the day.
Take a day off: No, I don’t mean from raiding. I know some of you hold specialist positions in your raid. See if there’s a volunteer willing to do the job of healing assignments or marking sheep targets or even leading the raid. There’s a practical argument for this suggestions. What if you were running late or if an emergency prevents you from raiding? It’s nice to know you have a number 2 around to take over and cover for you.