Being Timely

I’m one of those people who would rather be 30 minutes early than 2 seconds late.  You may not have known that about me, so I thought I’d share.  I may be lazy about a great number of things but when it comes to punctuality, I’m your man.

I’m a big fan of my raids starting on time.  In fact if everyone’s there early, that’s even better.  Why is it so important to me for these things to get started correctly?  Because it sets a good tone for the raid.  At least in my opinion, a raid that starts on time is more likely to be successful than one that doesn’t.

Let’s compare this to the morning I’ve had so far.  For those of you who are unaware, I teach music at an elementary school.  Monday and Wednesday mornings, I meet with my chorus students before school for rehearsal.  Well, today being a Monday, I had set my alarm last night to make sure I’d be up and good to go well in excess of the time I’d need to be at work.

Before you ask, yes, my alarm had already been set to DST.  As I mentioned earlier, I’m a tad compulsive with time.

Anyway, I need to arrive at work by 7:00 to beat my students here, and on any normal day that’s certainly the case.  The exception today was when my wife rolled over to say “I think I heard your alarm go off earlier.”  Most certainly, she had.  The problem was, I didn’t.  I glanced at my watch which was reading 7:12.  Somehow I managed a power-shower and was out the door by 7:16 (1 minute after rehearsal starts).

Now, normally it takes me about 8 minutes to drive the 3 miles to work.  Today, it took 14.  I had to wait behind the school bus that picks up an entire neighborhood of children, and another that picks up students who go to my school.  I arrived at 7:30, much to the delight of my students that had been sitting in the hallway being watched by a colleague.  We tried to rehearse, but 10 minutes in, I canceled rehearsal, because they didn’t have it in them with me being 15 minutes late.

What does this have to do with raiding?

I mentioned before that I believe that raids that start on time will do better than those that do not.  I still hold that opinion.  Players are more focused when you start at a given time.  Any time that you have to wait on people or look for replacements, players often begin to lose their focus or attempt to down the AFK boss.

In fact, if it takes more than a minute or so to get everything sorted out, you’re likely to have lost the attention of some of the more responsible players that had been ready far ahead of raid time.  When you lose your focus it can be hard to get it back.  But the absolute worst thing is quicksand.


Quicksand is an explanation used in the movie “The Replacements”  (I saw it for about the 20th time this weekend) by Keanu Reeves’ character, Shane Falco.  Trying to describe his fear, he talks about quicksand.  What he means is that one thing goes wrong so you push harder, and another thing goes wrong. You push even harder and another thing goes wrong.  It’s cyclical. 

Does this happen in raids?  You bet.  I find that it happens even more when you feel your behind too.  When you see this happening, it’s often a good idea to either move on to a different boss / raid, or simply stop for the evening.  At least in my experience, this happens most often when we get a late start, shortening an already shortened raid.

Are all raids that start late unsuccessful?  No.  I try not to make blanket statements like that.  Is it more likely that a raid will be less successful due to a tardy start?  I’d buy that.

– Sam


9 Responses to Being Timely

  1. Elegantdeath says:

    Nice article. Glad I’m not alone!

  2. Windsoar says:

    Can’t agree more. Nothing aggravates me more than a 15-30 minute late party. By the time a half-hour has rolled around I’m tabbed out reading a book or looking for a new movie, and definitely no longer “raid ready!”

  3. Maker says:

    I feel like linking this to my guild. We have a terrible issue with people showing up late. One of our core dps works late, so he’s usually about 30mins late, but because of this, others have taken it upon themselves to be late as well. Our last raid started 90mins late. With handing out loot and assignments, explanations for 1-2 new people, we only got the first 5 bosses down in the remaining 90mins of raid time left. It’s pretty sad that pugs have a better track record for starting on time.

  4. Kihara says:

    I have definitely noticed this kind of thing in raids but I find it doesn’t only apply to the start of the raid. I’ve seen raids be off to a great start, but then lose momentum because of either poorly timed breaks or DC’s or whatever. In quite a few cases, a completely successful raid has been transformed into an endless series of wipes, something that just hurts to look at.

  5. SpearXXI says:

    As a new guild leader, and ran my first 10 ToC as master looter, I can agree with this completely. What also adds a lot of stress on me as well, is only having 4/5 out of 10 people online and ready to go at midnight, when I want to start the raid. Then I have to spend the time to PuG who we don’t have, and the whole time I feel responsible for punishing the people, who came on time, by waiting for so long. I might have to find a way to reward on time people some how, so that it will motivate people to not be late, which is tricky as we will still have to pug a lil bit first.

  6. Sanomi says:

    Back in my days of raiding Molten Core and Black Wing Lair, I couldn’t agree with you more.
    25 people are bad, that time was 40 people which makes it even worse.
    Genuine cases are forgivable, But we used to catch people playing dota which stretches into raid time, and they have the attitute ” Don’t worry they’ll wait for us.” So instead of being on time, they wasted 30 plus people’s time as well.
    And when we decided to let some on trial people in instead of waiting for the few black sheeps, these people logged on and expect to be let in and kick those trials out. And when we dun let them becaused we caught them playing dota instead of being on time, they kick up a great fuzz about it. To be fair, new comers and trials are there early even they weren’t expecting to have spot in raid, so they should be allowed to experience the fun of end game raiding as an reward. Even if they don’t do well. they still deserves a shot at it IMO.

    Some people… tsk!

    U may ask how did we know they are playing dota? To save $$ they use the guild vent for it. That’s how we know lol.

  7. Pingback: Respect, mon. « The Noisy Rogue

  8. Banibaq says:

    When we raid in our second raid group the starting time is usually set for 9pm server. After about close to 6 months of raiding with the group we have started only about a handful of times on time! Our record was to start 1 hour late. Now, there are several reasons as to why people are late, as our MT, for instance, closes shop at 9 server and one of our healer is raiding on his other toon in the raid group that runs before us. To prevent a quick burnout we obviously allow him take a break in between.

    Most of us already have the mind set that we’re going to start late. Now, I believe that it helps a little bit to take off the waiting if everyone is expecting to start later. I am not saying that it is an ideal solution by no means, just something that we have adapted to. Just recently we have agreed to start to form the raid and start clearing trashas soon as one tank, healer and a couple dps are online. If you have a core raiding group chances are that you will those ready to go, so maybe that’ll be a solution.

    In general I agree that we tend to get unfocused when we need to wait for too long. It is not unusual for our group to wipe repeatedly on trash throughout ICC, but buckle down on bosses and get it done. It’s frustrating sometimes, but the situational comedy that evolves through some wipes makes up for it as well.

  9. Lyndiana says:

    @ Bani
    I would argue that you have something else going on here. Unlike the apparent majority of WoW raiders, you aren’t raiding only for gear. You raid with a group you want to spend time with, so waiting for those people to join you isn’t exactly a delay of your end goal like it would be for a group that’s just together for the epics. I suspect that for each of you, spending time with a fun and enjoyable group is as about as important as the raid itself. I’m willing to bet that if half your group had a choice between waiting 30 minutes for the other 5 or pugging 5 more and starting on time, you’d all wait, every time.

    You said something I liked, “… the situational comedy that evolves through some wipes makes up for it as well.” In the comments of the Punked! post on this blog, Boe made an excellent point about exactly that, and I wish more WoW players would try to follow it:

    “The laughs that you have will far outlive any personal greatness that your character could ever aspire to.”

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