Rock on Titan

My raid team, Rainbow Draw, cleared Titan Savage on December 21st, 2019. It’s late, but let’s talk about this whole tier!

Feelings All Cleared Up

I haven’t personally cleared a raid tier before the lockout since my coil days. Now granted, that’s likely primarily from a lack of trying. Never did I want to have to step foot into Party Finder to constantly attempt to PUG the raids for my clears. More power to those who do! I’m easily crushed under the weight of other’s expectations of me.

I’ve been part of many different raid teams over the years, with varying levels of success. The most difficult aspect to keeping a raid team together is exactly what forms it: the people. Trying to gather people for a team is hard. Keeping them around is even harder. And honestly, culling those who don’t fit or can’t keep up is the hardest. A team is only as strong as its weakest player. And bad attitudes only create worse problems.

As a leader, I’ve always fallen into the “wanting to be friends with everyone” category. That doesn’t work with Free Companies. You need to remove those who are being a problem to others, even if they’re your friends. Nor does it work with raids. One thing that’s helped me this tier is realizing one simple fact. Just because we don’t raid together, doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends.

Rock Solid Foundation

An important thing to remember through life is that everyone learns differently. We learn at different speeds, in different ways, and often have different solutions for recollection and analysis. Math teachers would roll their eyes at how I handle basic mathematics, but it works quickly for me. (86 + 37 = 80 + 30 + 6 + 7 = 110 + 13 = 123) It’s extra steps sure, but simplifying how those steps are handled helps me out a lot. And that works for me in more than just math.

With raiding, especially savage raiding, you’re going to have some who just rock at what they do. They’ve got consistently high parses under their belts. They’re able to resolve mechanics efficiently with minimal experience. And there are likewise going to be people who just can’t seem to get something, even if people explain it to them in their own way. One of my fellow raiders had a difficult time with O3S tethers and directions until they figured out their own method.

I think it’s important to give people a chance. Work with them closely and try to build those who might be falling behind in your group up. One of the issues I had in my first FC was that the second raid was upset with the first for having cherry picked members. Instead of building up their own team, they wanted to start off with good players.

While I understand that desire, it’s so much more satisfying to reach a point where you can trust someone who wasn’t experienced nor confident before with a difficult task that they pull off with flying colors. Be there for those who ask for the help and are willing to put in the work. The results will pretty much always amaze you.

Even Mohs Difficult

If people can’t perform no matter how hard you work with them, it might be right to consider replacing them. If they bring a bad attitude to the raid and bring the atmosphere down, and talking with them makes it worse? It might be right to consider replacing them. That said, I know all too well how difficult that can be–especially later on in the tier.

The most challenging aspect to raiding is finding seven other people. They’ve got to match availability, consistency, expectation, and relative skill level. On top of that are the more obvious in their level of preparation, equipment, and what roles they play best. From there, keeping the raid going involves keeping these seven other people around and interested to clear a tier together.

It’s crazy difficult, and I’ve found it’s best to start your team with the understanding that you won’t clear with the same crew. That does happen quite often, but as time goes on people have work, school, and other obligations that make sticking around difficult. Sometimes outright impossible. When that happens, or when you need to replace someone for other reasons, it’s time to start the search again. And now you’ve got to match one person with the same ideals that the other six have loosely lined up with, which can be super tough.

Chisel Away Sleep

The progression hours for Rainbow Draw are on Fridays and Saturdays from 11pm to 2am Central. While most of us are on the US east coast, it’s easier to rely on CT so we don’t have to explain which midnight to show up on. These hours work extremely well for those with unusual work schedules. We chose them specifically for our caster, accepting that it’d mean some sleep adjustment for many. Thankfully, it also works exceptionally well for our west coaster, raiding from 9pm to 12am.

While you might think that’s late, and I could just go to bed right after to not endure as much deprivation, unfortunately I’m also loaded with adrenaline thanks to raid. Eventually I end up thinking, “let me burn this extra energy” and play Destiny 2 with those still online or progress a little further in Code: Vein. Neither of which do me any favors for reducing the energy rush!

For someone who will be marrying a medical assistant who deals with sleep, I sure as hell don’t practice what I preach. Regardless, I do think it’s good to get the best sleep you can while raiding. More than once across the years I’ve had members doze off through raid, doze off during raid, and I’ve even done both! So get plenty of rest and look for ways to get good quality sleep no matter what raid schedule you’ve accepted.

Pride Rock

I’m so damned proud of my team and how far we’ve come. While sure, we should’ve cleared a good month or two earlier, we had a significant loss in progression time between school, work, and family stuff. We had to rewind a bit as we picked up new members. Yet we still managed to clear E4S on the weekend before the raid lock was lifted.

Some of us were on less than mastered roles when we started out. I hadn’t tanked in a raid since coil, so there was always tanxiety bubbling in my heart. Others were switching roles in a heartbeat whenever we lost someone for a weekend and needed an easier role to fill. Special kudos to Josh for this especially, as tanking with him always felt extraordinarily fluid. Synchronization is fantastic.

Many of us put in the extra time to analyze logs beyond just “what’s my parse?!” We’d properly discuss and often break down strategies to implement for the raid ahead, rather than just ask people, “Did you watch the video?” each night. And arguably most important, I’m proud of most of our fashion sense. I mean–just look at those beautiful people!

So on we go to another raid tier: Eden’s Verse. Hopefully we can deal with progression delays a little better this time, and hopefully we cycle fewer–maybe no–members. Onto another set of raids where my team apparently can’t see me with how small I am, despite me being 0.6cm taller than Nikki. Another tier where I am the Lalafell of the group, right down to the snackrifice for the clear jokes.

Unless…?

Don’t worry, that was temporary. Happy adventuring!

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