2011/02/07

Communication is the limit

I no longer stress in raids anymore. Our premiere 10 man group is completely self sufficient and no one needs hand holding or coddling. I don’t have to prepare for anybody. I know I can relax and play my game without even looking at the performance of others. 25 man raid leading consisted of constant attention to the actions of others and whether it needs immediate vocal correction to avoid damage and death. I now can completely focus inwardly and my personal game has improved.

Our problem is that our entire group is a bunch of loud mouths. Everyone loves the sound of their own voice. I don’t think that a moment of silence or peace and serenity has occurred in Mumble since we started raiding as a 10 man group. It makes for an entertaining night and I love the fact that going in, I am guaranteed to laugh, but I want to improve the way we communicate, especially during encounters.

Our group does not have a prominent leader calling out the shots during the encounters, so we are all personally responsible in whether what we say is appropriate or beneficial. Asking a question during an encounter is fine, but is not helpful when the question isn’t quick, the answer isn’t quick, it is preceded by a statement “I have a quick question”, and it is answered by multiple people at the same time who proceed to argue over the details of the answer.

We have an awesome resource in a bunch of videos of us communicating at Muradin Musings

I was going to analyze our videos and give some examples of good communication and bad communication.  I rewatched our Halfus video and was actually really impressed at how smooth the ventrilo interaction is.  Granted these are our "kill" videos and therefore prone to success, there really wasn't much bad communication that I could see.

I've been really busy lately and wanted to not watch an hours worth of videos to critique them for this blog, so I wrote down some general ideas on what I think is good and bad communication over VoIP.

Rules of thumbs for communication over ventrilo:

- Shorter is better. Treat vocal space during an encounter as an expensive commodity that shouldn’t be wasted. When giving directions, a reason for your directions is not necessary. “Jimbob move to your left” should be said rather than “Jimbob you need to move to your left now because a giant boulder is being hurled at you”. Human beings will tend to process the entirety of a sentence or phrase before deciding on an action. You can explain to Jimbob how to better avoid the boulder in between encounters.

- Don’t teach during the fight. This is talk that should be conducted in between attempts. This includes explanations of mechanics and the proper way to deal with them. During learning attempts we want as much input information from the fight itself.

- Direct your questions. Say a name when you are asking a question. “Hots, what is the enrage timer at?” will be answered quickly by one person. Not directing your question can result in multiple people piping up with multiple answers, or no one speaking at all.

- Keep your questions informational. If you have a question about mechanics or strategy, save it until after the encounter is over.

- Timers and reminders. When calling out timers or reminders, say it in the same manner and style. You want to drill these things into people’s heads and repetition is the key. For instance “Don’t break your stride” said over and over repeatedly will drill into people’s head that they cannot hesitate or change directions for the flame breathe on Atramades.

- Stay calm. A panicked voice is detrimental and almost always causes a wipe. You will derail the focus of every raider if you come across panicked.

- Don’t undervalue encouragement. “We’re almost there”, “We’re okay”, “We can still do this” are good ways to keep people on track when everyone feels that things are slipping apart. Deaths always have a huge impact on focus. When someone dies, get the focus off of the death and back on to the fight.


If you can take one thing away from this, take away that your voice and your words should be a supplement to the focus of the raiders in the encounter and never a distraction. 

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