Have you ever joined a pickup raid where the raid leader literally spends more time explaining the entire encounter then it takes for the encounter itself?

I’ve even heard of certain guild leaders who fall into this trap. Maybe we just like hearing our own voices.

Many a player have fallen into a state of boredom listening to the raid leader drone on. Raiders often have no choice but to suffer in silence because they don’t want to make that mistake of exploding and telling the raid leader to just pull already! Average attention span of an individual falls under 10 seconds and I suspect that number is going to drop even further.

How do you defuse leaders who don’t know when to shut up so you can get to the fun stuff? You know, pulling and downing bosses, right?

What is it with leaders and rambling anyway? Talking feels good! In fact, a Harvard study helped conclude that talking helps trigger a rewarding sensation similar to sex and food when a person decides to share their thoughts.

The Blunt Approach

Being direct is often best especially if you’re the officer or already have an established rapport with the raid leader. Cut to the chase, let them know how you feel. Tell them that you’re getting the sense that the raid is losing focus during long explanations or that no one is interested in the tangents that they go off on. Maybe you really do want to hear how their day at work went but now isn’t the best time for it. If you really want to take it to the extreme, start timing how long explanations take. Nothing is more eye opening than saying that the group could’ve spent an extra 20 minutes on attempts and pulls if there was less talking.

It’s difficult to explain everything. Take advantage of using your guild website and forums for any extra discussion or pointers.

Many years ago when I was an officer, I had a GM who kept re-explaining aspects and abilities of the encounter every week. I was sympathetic because there were new players who weren’t as experienced. If it were up to me, I would’ve assigned that player to a veteran for heavy movement fights and said “Stay with them at all costs.” Most people aren’t actually stupid and can pick up on common abilities fairly quickly. Really, the rest of the raid doesn’t have to know that the boss needs to be tanked and faced towards a wall.

Gradual Explanations

You’ll often run into an extremely lengthy encounter. How can the raid leader be brief in explaining all the phases and events during Garrosh? Or the 4 main phases of Imperator and the 2 intermissions? Sympathize with the guy who’s explaining because they want to make sure everyone knows their role. That guy spent solid hours watching videos, reading guides, and examining discussions and has the poor job of condensing that information into something that can be explained in under 5 minutes.

The key here is to not put the whole fight in five minutes. Deliver the strategy in chunks. Go over the first phase or two, then pull the encounter. As the raid gets further in, start going over the next phase. Otherwise, you’ll run into situations where a player gets confused and can’t remember which phase has the knock back or the exploding rings.

Use Ability Comparisons

Warcraft developers are good at recycling encounter abilities. The greatest one of them all is standing in fire. There may not be an actual fire in the ground, but players will pick up on the fact that they shouldn’t stand there. Mortal Strike debuff? It means the affected player is taking reduced healing and will need extra attention from the healers. Living Bomb debuff? The affected player needs to run out or else they’re going to smoke the group.

Note that this approach is best used for veteran players. Telling someone that Brackenspore has Sartharion walls isn’t going to do them any good if they’ve never played Wrath.

If you feel your raid leader does this, bring it to their attention. If you don’t feel comfortable having that conversation, you can link them this blog post and encourage them to give it a read. We all want to spend more time playing than we do listening.

Your raid will thank you for it.