Personal Accountability: A Raider’s Checklist

It’s really easy to be that guy who posts a complaint in your guild’s forums about how everyone did a crappy job last night in the raid. Or to start pointing fingers via raid chat and vent when things start to go south. But regardless of how thoughtful or valid your criticism may be, if you’re not doing everything you personally can to help your raid be successful, your comments are going to fall on deaf ears. Because if you don’t demonstrate personal accountability, frankly, no one is going to listen to your point of you.

What is personal accountability?

Personal accountability in a raiding setting can be roughly defined as being aware of how your personal actions and decisions contribute to the overall success or failure of the raid. That’s right, YOU. Regardless of what your raid role is. Your choices and actions affected the outcome of that last raid in which you participated. Not just what everybody else did.

When tempted to start diagnosing the causes of a less than spectacular raiding night, you need to start with looking at yourself, and answering these questions:

Did I come to this raid prepared?

  • Did I read the strats/watch a video of the fights with which I am less familiar?
  • Was I online, gear repaired, with all my reagents/consumables, en route to or already at the raid location at invite time?
  • Did I ensure my significant other/parent/dog understood I was going to be unavailable to them for the course of the raid time and was OK with me spending the entire raid time online, not tending to them?
  • If I know in advance that I cannot stay through the end of the raid for some unavoidable reason (think called in to work, not buddy called and wants to go grab some beers), did I tell the raid leader beforehand so I could be replaced either for the whole raid or the portion I can not attend, or better yet did I line up my own replacement?

Now that I’m at the raid, am I focused on the task at hand?

  • Did I turn off IM, minimize the Farmville, turn off the TV so I can pay attention to the raid?
  • Am I listening to Vent/TeamSpeek/Discord at a reasonable volume so I can hear anything my raid leader is trying to tell me?
  • Have I turned off any downloads/backups/console Internet connections that might cause me to lag horribly or DC?

Am I correctly performing the role I am assigned?

  • Did I switch targets when the raid leader asked me to do so, or did I stay on the boss or AOE instead?
  • Did I get in my fair share of interrupts/dispells/cleanses? Or did someone else on the team get stuck doing all that heavy lifting?
  • If I was asked, for the good of the raid, to swap into my off spec, did I do so pleasantly, or did I grumble/whine/complain/threaten to log off and hold up the raid for 10 minutes while arguing that someone else should have to swap roles and not me?
  • If someone else had the same job assigned, did I perform roughly the same as they did?
  • Did I die in a pool of slime, or in a fire, or in some other place I should not have been standing?
  • Did I die from pulling aggro off the boss?
  • Was I the first to die in every fight, due to some sort of avoidable issue/mechanic?

Am I playing my class to the best of its potential?

  • Is all my gear properly enchanted and gemmed?
  • Do I roughly understand the stat weightings for my gems and enchants, to evaluate which gem/enchant is better?
  • Is my main spec gear appropriate? i.e. I am not trying to heal in hit gear, or tank in DPS gear, or DPSing in PvP gear.
  • Do I know what a good solid rotation is that makes the most of my special abilities and cooldowns?
  • If there is someone else in the raid with my same spec, am I performing roughly as well as they are? If not, do I know why not? (Hint: If they are doing 2K more DPS than you, blaming their two pieces of better gear is not going to fly as a reason for that disparity)
  • If I am in a raid with someone who plays my same class/spec and they are a superstar, do I check recount and raid logs and armory or even PM them to see how I might improve my performance?

Tough Love

This is a big checklist. And from time-to-time, we’re going to slip up in one of these areas, such as by not knowing, after a patch, our most effective rotation. Or maybe we forget and put on a piece of gear we got last night and didn’t yet gem. These kinds of goofs happen and are forgivable. But if you can’t confidently check off most of these items, you are not in the best position to be offering up your unsolicited advice as to what the raid’s problems are.

Because you are, in fact, one of those problems.

But the good news is, the checklist doesn’t just show you potential issues, most items also include the “how to resolve the issue” portion too. No one expects their raid members to be perfect. But most folks do expect you to give a damn, and to make an effort. Addressing any gaps you have ID’d via this checklist is a great start.

12 thoughts on “Personal Accountability: A Raider’s Checklist”

  1. Yikes, for a minute I thought I was a kid been told to confess my sins.
    Anyway, I would add “Do I do may daily random in order to fill any gap / better my gear as fast as I can”.
    Good luck Nexxi

  2. Hehe. Well, I think we all need to start with looking at ourselves before we try to point fingers at each other as to what went wrong whenever a raid night is not as successful as folks may have hoped. I’ve been working on this post for a while now.
    I’m lucky to have just had a super easy 5 boss clear in an hour last night in ICC 10, in large part to having a team that could check off all the items on this list. Peeps went in there and kicked butt and had fun and were successful. And who wouldn’t want all raid nights to be like that?

  3. When you say: “…post a complaint in your guild’s forums about how everyone did a crappy job last night in the raid”, you mean the usual, “it’s the healers fault”? That’s a great way to make healers respec DPS.

  4. It’s a generalization not a specific reference. Personally, I have seen peeps blame tank, blame healers, and blame DPS for fail. It’s almost never on the ball. Peeps also often blame gear, as in “gear isn’t good enough” and “need better gear” which is a cop-out. Better gear can’t play for you, and won’t make up a 2k DPS difference, for instance.

  5. First off. LOVE the post.
    I agree with the blaming the gear. We had two 10 man groups running ICC. One was progressing and the second was stuck on the second boss. We all believed the second group was stuck because of the gear they had. They had a lower average item level and lower DPS than the other group. Until… The second group came to a realization that it didn’t matter how high they could get their DPS, if they didn’t commit to the mechanics of the fight and ALL commit, they would fail. They concentrated and downed the boss. Eventually both groups got to the same progression, but the second group produces much less DPS, and gear.
    Gear however does play a role. That same group has a new tank, and since they don’t have as much gear they cannot take the hits. SO the group wipes.
    Just saying there are always exceptions. 🙂

  6. Absolutely awesome post. Should be required reading for raiders. Here’s a couple of additional points some folks in my guild came up with:
    For the “Now that I’m at the raid..” section
    * Am I AMK (At My Keyboard) when required? Am I back in time at the end of called breaks? Am I running back with everybody else after wipes? Am I not going AFK unannounced (during briefings, trash pulls, etc.)?
    And for the “Did I come prepared…” section
    * Do I know what gear from what bosses is a main spec upgrade for me?

  7. Those are *great* additions. I’ll definitely add them. Glad to hear the post is generating some discussion. And I hope more folks take it to heart rather than driving their raid leaders crazy…
    And it is seriously annoying when loot distribution takes 10 min due to folks needing to do the math to see if a drop is better than what they have — have a wish list on hand!

  8. I will admit that one of my buttons that gets pushed is the “we need better gear” button. When you are hitting a boss enrage timer, and wipe, you might need better gear. When you are wiping in phase 1 on a boss, it’s strat fail. RAWR!
    I do agree that bringing in a lesser geared tank into progression content is a challenge, and that a gear gap in that area can cause much raid pain in the short term.

  9. The is an excellent article and I’ve mentioned it on my guild’s blog for our raiders.
    To address folks not running back on a full wipe, we’ve begun reducing those player’s next roll by 10. If you don’t have the respect or courtesy to run back when everyone else is, then I don’t fully respect your roll when nice loot drops.
    Of course, there are exceptions if someone arranges a rez with a rezzer, or asks politely in raid chat. A simple “rez me” will NOT get you a rez. We will wait a reasonable period of time, then replace you.
    Another issue is prolonged wipes. Once the raid leader calls for a wipe, just die. Stop healing. Stop tanking. Turn your back to the boss. Run into the fire. I don’t care, just die as quickly as possible so we can have a quick turnaround and make progress.

  10. Agreed RE: those who do not run back. If I need an emergency AFK during a run back, I secure a yes from a kind healer before running AFK. And if we call a wipe and I see someone do some ast ditch meter humping including heroic measures to keep themselves alive, I do nerd rage internally. “Just die already!!”

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