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Dragon Slaying 101: Understanding The Complexity of Raids

Designating and Balancing Groups

Because most games restrict the size of groups to around 8 players, the raiding party that has gathered must be split up into smaller, self-contained groups that are well-balanced in capabilities. Alternatively, specialized groups are formed to perform specific tasks during the raid. This is another reason why attendance is crucial - because necessary roles need to be filled.

The Guild I was in was at War with someone new everyday, it never mattered who, it just mattered that we were enjoying a good fight. Team 3 was my squad.. 8 mages , 1 scout and myself, the Barbarian. Our objective was simple, Support support support. Follow team 1 and 2 and make sure no one made it near them. We travelled in box formation with myself in the center so that my run and damage modifiers would affect all my men/women. As we approached our destination I dispatched the scout to get me a head count and check their organization. Stealthers can cause a nice bit of chaos. Our summoners from team 4 were doing their job swiftly by calling out names in order of the people who are to be summoned to war, their secondary job was to summon the dead back to the fight, so they had their hands full and were not to be asked any favors at this time. [SB, M, 26]

Chain of Command and Communication

Due to the constrained channel of typed chat, and more importantly the limited amount of screen space devoted to the chat panel, communication has to be highly coordinated. Typically, this is resolved by instituting a strict chain of command that uses restricted chat channels to relay orders from the top.

In DAoC i led a few relic raid - the hardest part was to get everyone to do their part. We solved that by making a leader in each group, 8 commanders had a officer. I then made a chat group with the officers, who made separate chat groups with group leaders, who was in the group chat with their individual group. positive: important msg's didn't get lost in spam, so everyone knew what to do Negative: i had 3 officers - they had to relay commands to 8 group leaders each, and the group leaders should then tell their group what to do - a LONG chain of command that could slow down time from giving an order until it was carried out. the first raid i was leader of was a big disappointment since i tried to tell everyone what to do. and everyone was yelling their ideas of how it should be done. so my commands was lost in spam which got us all killed (stopper groups weren't in place when we started the assault) [Lineage2, M, 29]

The problem with a complex raid is always the same.. Communication. That is the one key factor in an effective. Not only the ability to communicate with others but having others listen to and understand what they are supposed to do. The most important lesson I have learned in running large scale raids is to get other player to be quiet and follow orders. Once this is established then the raid goes smoothly. I was able to stop the raid at any point and get players to listen to specific instruction before continuing. One raid in particular was well orchestrated using a Comamnd Chat which had only the group leaders participating. They then relayed the information to their respective groups and followed orders. Anyone who went rogue on the raid was immediately removed from the command chat and left to die. It was a harsh punishment but only rarely happened more than once. [M, 30]

More resourceful players use third-party tools to facilitate communication, but even in those situations, the communication channels must be highly stratified to avoid flooding a channel, and oftentimes, those third-party tools are difficult to set up.

One difficult attribute of a guild raid is communication, especially in games that limit the number of players in a group or team. My friends and i have been able to bridge that a couple different ways. The first is having 3 or 4 of us in the same room (LAN party!) and using each of is separate groups typing the concerns of the other groups to stay communicating (very tiresome). The other way is to use a third party program like (TeamSpeak) that allows people to talk to each other via microphones, handy but setting up and getting everyone involved in that it's tedious (some people don't want to, don't have the gear, ect) [Eve Online, M, 24]

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Posted on October 10, 2004 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)

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