Someone once told me that raid progression should be treated as a marathon. That at the end of the race it didn’t matter where you placed, just that you crossed the finish line. This really hit home with me, and in a lot of ways I agree with this philosophy. Raiding is about endurance and stamina. It’s about accepting a challenge, recognizing that it will challenge you and working with a team to overcome that challenge.
But what I’d like to start some conversation on today is what to do when you are halfway through that race and your legs start to turn to jelly – and if you’ve ever done any kind of competitive sport you likely know exactly what I’m talking about. I was a distance swimmer. For me when my legs started to go numb I constantly reminded myself to kick – one two three, one two three. I stopped looking at the markers at the end of the lane and thinking about how much more I had to go because they became daunting – and I took the race one lap at a time.
The problem that I’m struggling with right now, however, is what do you do when your raiding legs start to turn to jelly. How do you motivate your team to “KICK” halfway through the race?
After the past two grueling weeks of raiding, we’ve found ourselves sitting at 7/13 hard modes complete. And this is fantastic – I’m quite pleased with it, in fact. It puts us about 54% finished with the current tier of content – or on the 14th mile of our marathon, and hopefully in line to have completed it before Firelands is released. However, I’m starting to see and feel that we are running on legs of jelly, with the hardest part of the race still ahead. Every one of the remaining 5 encounters is a step up in difficulty from the previous one – and I’m growing concerned about the stamina and focus that is going to be required to cross the finish line.
I know that for me, personally, I’m a bit worn down. And it’s not 100% from the push or the game – although some of it is. I have not been sleeping well, and I’m physically exhausted in a way I haven’t been for some time. I’d be remiss not to recognize that some of this will absolutely carry over into raids, regardless of how hard I try to keep it bifurcated. To add to that I’ve done something to my right hand that makes it painful to play after a few hours of time, and it’s having an effect on my performance – which irritates me. (Don’t worry, I’m looking into it).
I do try to keep raids positive, to say “ok – pick yourself up, dust off, and let’s go again”. However, I don’t have the patience of a saint and after our 50th wipe of someone failing a mechanic that they shouldn’t (FU Rohash) – I start to grow weary and my optimism starts to wane. I find myself torn between trying to offer something brilliantly inspirational or becoming Sebudai, all in an effort to motivate performance for success. And that in and of itself is moderately draining.
Jelly Legs. I feel a little bit like I have them as well.
In an effort to combat them, we are going to make an attempt to move just a little bit slower this week. We intend to continue on our progression – but not push is quite as hard. Take a week that’s a little bit easier – take the time to really focus on cleaning up our “farmed” or previously killed content. Let everyone re-group, get the mush out of their minds, and start clear headed with our next push.
Because, really, if you are too tired to cross the finish line you won’t finish the race .
Which, of course, brings me back to the topic at hand. How do you push through that 14th mile? What do you do to spice your raid team up and keep them sharp, fresh and focused?