Raid Leading 101: What’s your motivation?

Welcome to Raid Leading 101! I’m Thespius, and I’ll be writing weekly about the in’s and out’s of what we see (or what you can expect to see) stepping into this coveted leadership role. I plan on covering a variety of individual topics: Tips, Lessons, Conflict, Loot Systems, Recruitment Systems, Scheduling, Add-ons, and whatever you feel needs to be covered. I am a new Raid Leader myself, so I look at this entire experience as a discovery. I’m certainly not perfect, but then again, no one really is.  If you have a topic you’d like covered on “Raid Leading 101”, email it to

On your mark, get set, GO!

I don’t believe any of us woke up one morning thinking, “Wow, I think I’m gonna be in charge of 9/24+ people!” For the most part, our desire to lead has come from experience. You may have started raiding for the first time, and saw the command that the raid leader had. He/She knew the encounters inside and out and what everyone’s job needed to be. People listened to that “General” and obeyed orders.

OR, you had a horrible Raid Leader. Maybe you felt he/she didn’t have a good hold on the situation, using out-dated or unrealistic strategies. You just felt that the job wasn’t being done correctly, and you started to see all the things NOT to do. Therefore, you take it upon yourself to be a better and wiser Raid Leader.

In either scenario, you most likely learned from what you saw. Something in your past experience guided you to this position. You’re taking the lessons you learned and the stories you lived through, and you’re putting it towards your own system. You have a great trust in what you think is helpful and what is not. The question you have to ask yourself is, “Why?”

Meaning of Life My Leadership

I got my raiding feet wet in Karazhan, and I wanted more. My original guild <Sword Through the Horde> didn’t have the roster to do Serpentshrine Cavern or beyond. I joined <Rise of the Phoenix>. Drama on a low-population server tore it apart. I joined up with the newly-minted <Team Sport>, but the raiding was just too casual. I got cozy with <Concedo Nulli>, but drama crumbled that fun to the ground. I aligned myself with Lodur’s <Unpossible> and found a great home, but it was missing something.

I was missing the friends that I “grew up with” in the game. You’ll probably hear about them throughout this “column”. They’re near and dear to me, which is why I decided to go back to <Team Sport>. However, I knew (as they did) that we needed to implement a more solid structure. They all loved hearing the stories of our boss downings in <Unpossible>, and I would even invite my friend Jayme over to watch our Lich King kills. They were slightly jealous and wanted similar. It was at this point I started to tip-toe into the leadership position.

I’ve discovered that the most important thing to me is to progress through raid content with my friends that share the same mindset. There are 6-7 of us that share the similar belief of a light schedule but with solid progression. Hence, I’ve tasked myself with creating a Raid Team based around that. My closest in-game friends and I taking on 10-mans with force.

Your turn, Grasshopper

So you have to take an inward glance. If you’ve ever thought about taking the “Reins of the Raid”, you have to ask yourself, “Why?” It’s not an easy job, so you need to be passionate. Know what it is you want to accomplish, and stay true to what got you here in the first place. Maybe it’s friendship, maybe it’s hunger, maybe it’s adrenaline. Whatever it is, take some time to identify it. It’s going to be the backbone of your leadership.

What drives you to be the Raid Leader? What is it that convinced you to take on the role?

8 thoughts on “Raid Leading 101: What’s your motivation?”

  1. I “helped out” leading raiding for many years until I was in a guild with a guild/raid leader that wasn’t patient enough to lead either. I was stressed but could accept that for myself. What I couldn’t accept was seeing all of my virtual friends around me desperately wanting to have fun raiding but they couldn’t. So I found myself taking the leadership reins because I knew I could provide a guild home for my virtual friends that would allow them to have fun in the game while still pushing raid progression. Nearly 2 years later, we went from struggling through Ulduar to 11/12 25m Heroic ICC (and 7/12 25m on current Cata raids–surely 9/12 this weekend!) and a guild atmosphere that is virtually drama free with a prolific sense of community and team work.

    That has transformed me from taking the reins to create a stable home to maintaining that stable home and growing it even better. All because I love providing for and helping people accomplish their goals.

  2. Back in Burning Crusade, the hubby and I watched our raid leaders and were quite impressed. A time came when our 25 man regular raiders were geared and were planning to completely drop tier 4 content, despite a second wave of people behind them needing the gear. We objected and basically got told to put our money where our mouth was. So we got thrown into the raid leading… Our other real option was to not raid at all.

    We found that as a team, we could help and inspire our people to pull out some seemingly “impossible” successes. In WotLK, our predecessors left and we stepped up because no one else was interested in raid leading our 25 man content [we also lead a ten man]. And again, some measures of success. We never got to LK25 [though all three 10 man raids did down him] but we did good 🙂

    As frustrating as it can be at times when people won’t listen/won’t dance/etc, there’s nothing like that rush of downing something for the first time and feeling that pride in your raiders.

  3. There are two reasons that I continue to raid lead after two years of leading in 25s.

    1. It drives me nuts to be in a raid and not be leading. I used to pug runs on an alt in Wrath and I’d spend the whole time saying to myself, “If I was in charge I’d do it this way.”

    2. The “puzzle” or it all. No strategy is going to work perfectly for your group out of the box. I love going out and seeing how other people are doing it and then tailoring that strategy to our group comp and each individual’s strength or weakness.

    I’m incredibly proud of how our team has grown as raiders since the early days and that keeps me going. We’ve gone from the uber-casual group that you wouldn’t want to pug with to a competent group of casual raiders that progresses at it’s own pace. I rely on my raiders and I know that they rely on me to offer that same steady positive leadership (with a little kick in the ass when they need it) that they’ve had for the last two years.

    Three nights in 25s and two bosses down! That’s a far cry from where we were back in the day.


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