Raid leadership is a tricky business – although I’ve never personally led a raid, I’ve watched my raid leaders closely and tried to learn from their examples. I enjoy working with all of them, and I trust them to take me into content both known and unknown. I heal, they lead, everyone’s happy.
However, over the last week I saw the flip side of being good at leading raids – occasionally my raid leaders join a raid that isn’t theirs and forget they aren’t in charge.
With the summer schedule being so variable for everyone, we’ve had little personnel gaps in our raids that needed to be filled with knowledgeable players. Enter Raid-Leader-From-Another-Raid. They know the fights, they know their dps/heal/tank roles, they often know the other people (as raids overlap so regularly around here.)
And what starts out as a helpful suggestion, sometimes even unnecessarily so, (“careful – there might be a shade here” or “the tank should really pull the adds over here”) can quickly turn into a Let-Me-Just-Do-It takeover of the raid.
In all the instances where I’ve seen this happen, there has not been a big, unpleasant fight. If a conversation happened about who held the reins, it was done so in whispers or a private chat line. Several times the actual raid leader took back control by gently, firmly, and repeatedly telling the group what to do next – with only a minimum of frustration in their voice on vent – until it sunk in to Raid Leader B that they were, in fact, Raid Member. Sometimes control was never relinquished, despite efforts to the contrary. Oftentimes the biggest issue was that Raid Leader B actually knew their stuff – it seemed like they were helping the raid by taking over the navigation through tricky terrain. Several times it was also the sticky situation of Raid Leader A being a regular raid member of Raid Leader B’s raids.
In contrast, when backseat-driving occurs with other regular members, the raid leaders tend to ignore it – at least in vent/raid chat – and plow right on with what they were saying. (Raid Member Talksalot: “Oh, and I think it’s important to note that everyone wants to stay alive when they have Light Bomb on them.” Really? Thanks.)
So I put it to you, the reading, WoW-playing public – when your raid gets taken over by Backseat-Raid-Leading, what do you do? Do you just turn your /follow onto the new guy? If it seems to be to the benefit of the raid, is it even an issue?