Do You Raid in Control?

Raid encounters are fast-paced, hectic and chaotic. We do our best to mitigate the madness with alerts and warnings. We carefully plan our strategy, and communicate using Ventrilo and Mumble. When the boss is pulled, the bolts start flying, and things begin to go South, are you in control?

Does your adrenaline start rushing as victory is in site? Do your actions and demeanor change when the health bars of your comrades start moving in the negative direction? Do you fight Garrosh with the same aplomb as you do the target dummy?

Do you stay in control, carefully executing your rotation, or do your react as if your hands suddenly doubled in size as you fumble to press the right buttons?

Is vent a calm place or a picture of anarchy? Do you hit push-to-talk and in a soothing voice say, “attention healers, deterrence and cookies are on CD, we have no way to mitigate this next empowered whirlwind. Assistance needed.”, or do you send cats running from room by yelling, “HEAL ME, HEAL ME NAO!”

I think back to the “Miracle on the Hudson” and the actions of Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger and air traffic controller Patrick Harten. The calm and composure they displayed in the face of this dire situation is nothing short of remarkable.

When you listen to the cockpit recording (see below), what you hear is training and professionalism executed to perfection. You’d think that commercial planes ditching into bodies of water was something that happens several times a day.

As NTSB board member Kitty Higgins said, “These people knew what they were supposed to do and they did it and as a result, no lives were lost.”

Was there luck involved in here? Absolutely, but because these people stayed focus and didn’t panic when hundreds of lives were in the balance, they gave themselves the opportunity needed for a positive outcome to occur.

I think it’s safe to say that screaming, panic, hesitation and uncertainty would’ve meant certain doom for the passengers and crew of flight 1549. 

Garrosh is a great example of a fight that requires everyone to stay alert and focused right up until the end. On normal mode any team can easily wipe at one percent or under. There are specific tasks that need to be executed that don’t involve DPS’ing the boss and everyone needs to communicate. If there was ever a phase that rewarded keeping one’s composure, this is it.

I would argue that most wipes in this phase occur because folks are flustered, trying to react too quickly, playing with tunnel vision, and not focused on key mechanics. They simply are not raiding with the control and precision needed to win.

I can honestly say that I’m mixed. If I had a copper for every time I thought I was hitting deterrence only to then see myself fly backwards across the room because I hit Disengage, I’d be a rich dwarf. I’ve tried to fire abilities that were on CD, abilities where I didn’t have enough focus, and I’ve hit Kill Command a split second before I hit Bestial Wrath. All because I was in a hurry, and felt rushed. All because I was wrapped up in the moment. All because I immersed myself into the perceived dangers of the fight and the need to win as quickly as possible.

I’m in no way saying that raiding is as important or even remotely comparable to handling an emergency flight situation, but I believe there are lessons that can be applied here.

If people can learn to stay in control when hundreds of real lives are on the line shouldn’t we be able to keep calm in the face of few Internet dragons?