Your guild is working on a difficult boss that you have not downed before. You put a few attempts in, discover a few issues, and refine your strategy to correct for the issues. You're making good attempts and doing better than you expected. It feels like you're very close to downing the boss.I've been thinking a lot lately about guild progression. What makes a guild progress, and what prevents a guild from progressing? The situation above is something I've experienced many times over the past 2 years of raiding, and it can derail your guild's progression if you don't look at it from the right perspective.
Then your progress stalls. You had an attempt where you got to the final phase of the fight very cleanly, but now you can't get there at all. Your raid ends in frustration because you were so close, but your progress backslid in the end.
Why Attempts Fail:
In my experience there are two factors that cause raid attempts to fail.
- Lack of Focus and Execution: I think we all know what I'm talking about here. Your raid knows what to do, but they're just not doing it. Your attempt fails because half the DPS stand in the fire or a boss ability is not interrupted.
These types of wipes are very frustrating and how you address them really depends on the personality of your guild. However, the solution is always the same. Your raiders have to play better.
- Lack of Knowledge and Experience: I am a firm believer that you have to make attempts to learn a boss. Reading strats and watching videos are a great way to prepare you for the general mechanics of the fight, but they will never be able to prepare you for every nuance of the fight. You have to do the actual fight to figure that out.
For example, when my guild was working on IC hard mode, some of our early attempts wiped because we hadn't worked out where the tank should die with Meltdown. The tanks needed to find the balance of being far enough away not to damage the raid, but close enough so that they can be rezzed quickly. It may take a couple of attempts to figure out but those attempts are not failures. They are valuable learning experiences that will help you in the future.
The Illusion of Success:
It is not uncommon for an attempt failure to be blamed on RNG, but it is rarely credited for your successes. It stands to reason that if you can have bad RNG that makes your attempt harder then you can also have good RNG that makes your attempt easier. Therefore not all of your successes are due to a full understanding of the situation or proper execution. Sometimes you get lucky and do better than you should.
Now, go back and look at the scenario I started this post with from this perspective. After you've had a couple of very successful attempts, it's easy to think that you've got the fight in the bag. Then when you don't kill the boss or even match your progress in later attempts it can be very frustrating. That is completely understandable, but I also think it is important to step back and ask yourself a question. Did your later attempts backslide or did your earlier attempt overachieve?
The answer doesn't really change how you prepare for the next attempt, but I think it is very important when dealing with personal and guild morale. It is important to try and keep your guild morale level in the face of both successes and failures. If your guild over values its successes the impact of your failures will be more significant and hurt your progress. Therefore, I think your best attempt is the one where you learn something to make your next attempt more successful.
(Edited by Flamedor)