Falling Forward

Falling Forward

Ah heck, we wiped again?! How about we paint a new outlook with all of that blood, eh?

Experiment

Each time your group wipes, be willing to try something new. As long as it sounds possible, at least! Maybe your team can mitigate more, or spread that out for a better control over incoming damage. And with you personally, maybe you can cheese certain mechanics or find the timing on when best to dodge. Rather than get frustrated at hitting the wall, try to rappel off of it! Gain something each time you lose, so that a failure is never a bad thing.

I personally feel that if you think you’re perfect in an encounter, you’re just not trying hard enough. The best players are always the ones willing to push the envelope and to try new things. They take the risks to learn from them, and are willing to wipe over and over to make things better by the slightest margins.

Sure, there comes a time to play it safe and do things right–but wipes are literally the best time to take educated risks to improve. That way, when it’s finally time for your group to make the clear? You can put everything you’ve learned together into “safe mode” and handle all of your mechanics while still pumping out the damage.

Communicate

This is going to sound crazy but… remember that your team has eight people in it! Well, I suppose that’s true if you aren’t PUGing anyone. And aren’t a PUG yourself, but I digress. You are probably raiding with seven other people who are going through their own experiences in this raid. Try to talk with them! Alright sure, you might not have any idea of what anyone’s job does in particular. That’s fine! And hey, you might even be worried that you might offend someone. Totally reasonable, especially in this “you don’t pay my sub” culture. But they want to win, too!

Open up and try to chat with your teammates. Ask them if there’s anything they can do to mitigate a mechanic better, or try to brainstorm ideas with them on ways you all can collectively work through a mechanic that’s been troubling. The obvious tips like “don’t die” or “avoid that next time” can sound haughty, holier than thou, and can put people off on being willing to try harder. Or my favorite from stream viewers during our Alexander raids, “Well if you guys did more DPS you wouldn’t have to deal with that mechanic!”

Stating the solution as though the solution were a single step doesn’t help out. Yes, you should assume your team has a degree of competence. But you should also understand they might be stressed out over offline matters or legitimately can’t see something that might be obvious to you because they’re focusing on other aspects that you have the time or experience to notice. A team is as strong as its weakest link, so always do your best to try and help them catch up. And be willing to accept help even from the weakest link, because they might notice something you’ve missed, too!

Study Up!

Let’s go a step further on the communication bit, and step into the community at large. Join the big raiding spots like the Balance Discord. Even if you don’t chatter in them, study the guides they link. Maybe if you’re courageous enough and you’ve checked the pins thoroughly, ask questions in the corresponding channels. Be willing to be humble and hungry and advance your play from standard and acceptable to awesome. Spend some of your free time outside of raid on studying and practicing however you can.

Go out into normal mode raids with PUGs. Keep the probably lesser skilled players alive, help teach them, pass on what you’ve learned to those willing to learn. The more you get used to teaching and learning from people, the better. The more you get used to handling the simplified mechanics with randoms, the better you’ll be at preparing yourself for the harder versions with your familiar team. Complacency is the biggest enemy with raiding, and it’s often a result from burnout. Dig deep and see if you’re willing to go to these extra lengths or not. Maybe even push yourself into them and see if the extra energy from doing things will help rekindle the fire.

’til next time, happy adventuring!

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