It's been nearly two months since I was made an officer in our heavily shrunken guild. Things are kind of quiet now, but at the current point in the game I think that's okay. We're still running raids, even if a lot of them end up being retro raids or alt runs instead of progression.
Still, I have to admit that the initial shine of the officer badge has worn off quite quickly.
I used to think of myself as a pretty friendly and sociable player, but the way you have to judge people by their function an an officer and raid leader really doesn't play well with that ideal. I hate treating people like tools... but if you need another healer, you need another healer, not just another friend or guildmate. I have to spend a lot more time talking to people that I don't like as much, simply because of the role they fulfill, and I can't show my affection for those I do like a lot quite as much, because from an officer-to-raider point of view I should treat everyone equally. Leadership is srs bsns.
And it cuts both ways as well. I'm not just one of the healers anymore, I'm much more defined by my role as officer. On one occasion I was assumed to take responsibility for something that another officer did long before I was even raised to that rank, because clearly all officers share knowledge and responsibility across space and time, right? And if I get cranky with someone it's not just me being cranky, it's an officer bearing down on a poor guild member. I can never separate rank and person anymore, which is awkward at times.
It's all my fault!
Responsibility is another thing that I find quite challenging to deal with right now, especially while leading raids. As someone who mostly plays healers, I'm used to the concept of being responsible for other people and actually get enjoyment out of it, but when you're leading a raid it's all hugely magnified, and I haven't quite hardened my skin enough yet to not feel a little overwhelmed by it.
I mean, when I'm healing I feel responsible for people, but at the same time I know that there are limits to how much I can do. If someone gets one-shot, it's no fault of mine. If someone gets two-shot - well, I suppose I could have theoretically landed a heal right in that half-second between the hits, but realistically? No. I think this is something that players new to healing often struggle with, being able to judge these things correctly and to differentiate between when they actually messed up and when it's really not their fault.
Raid-leading is similar, except that at the moment I seriously do feel responsible for absolutely everything. Even if someone dies to a completely avoidable mechanic, I just find myself questioning my own part in it. Did I not explain the mechanic well enough? Maybe I should have called out a warning? And so on, and so forth. This isn't helped by the fact that many fights in ICC are very healing-intensive and I often feel that I don't have the time to spare to press push-to-talk instead of spamming heals. Hopefully this is an area where I'll manage to find my balance in time.
I thought I told you...
And finally, communication. This is something for which I criticised our old officers quite frequently, or rather for what I felt was a lack of it. Nothing like having a new plan or rule dropped on your head out of nowhere.
Walking in their shoes however, I find it much easier to see where they were coming from. First you discuss your idea with the guild leader, then with some friends, then on the forums... it gets bloody redundant after a while, so you eventually start to skip some steps or simply forget. Which works alright for a while, until something goes wrong and someone says "Well, how was I supposed to know?" and you realise that this is indeed something that wasn't posted anywhere where that person could see it. It's pretty tiring.
I think I'll have to take it easy in the next couple of weeks. I knew that becoming an officer would be a burden to a certain extent, but I didn't expect to feel it quite so quickly. I'm still convinced that I'll be able to handle it in the long run, but I think I need to be careful not to let too many things bog me down too soon.
Holy Paladin columnist at Blizzard Watch!
8 hours ago