PvMP Raid Leader

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Interested in Leading Raids?

So, you are interested in information on Raid Leaders in The Ettenmoors? Welcome to the world of expectations that can NEVER be met.

Leading a raid of up to 24 players, communicating with other raids, groups and individuals, knowing how to outsmart your opponents at each encounter, directly facing enemies just like everyone else in your raid while knowing that HALF your raid is liable to break and run at the first hint of trouble with you having to convince them to stand and fight, or ordering a withdrawal when it *looks* like your raid is doing really well... Leading a Monster Play raid is not an easy task.

Yes, you WILL make mistakes. You WILL be wrong at times and you WILL NOT have a plan for every last potential situation that may pop out and bite you where you sit. The Raid Leader gets credit as a good leader for wins -- shared with the raid "we kicked butt!!!" style. The Raid Leader gets "credit" for every foul up and failure the raid runs across -- often as THE individual responsible for the failures "why did you have us split up when it was OBVIOUS that they would do that?!?!?" (usually from a 20-20 hind-sight perspective and only after a discussion to get that "obvious" clear enough for "everyone"/"ANYONE" to see...).

So... If you really want to take on "being the boss" and figuring it all out, read on. If not -- welcome to the mass majority that can't do the job but will criticize those who are willing to at least TRY and do something about leadership in the Ettenmoors. It isn't a thankless job but it sure as hell has its "ouch" factor.

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PvE versus PvMP Raid Leading

For PvE raids, you pick the team based upon the classes you will need to take on a particular target -- if you are going to The Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu or Helegrod or any other major raid location, a Raid Leader will make sure certain roles, tasks and functions are covered within their team. Tactics tend to be based upon a pre-set game plan and, because you are running against "scripted" opponents, you can predict each fight, schedule breaks and know when/where you will need to do which specific things to "win".

Well, in Monster Play you tend to get a "team" based strictly upon who shows up. You really don't get to pick the types of troops nor "quality" of the troops (gear + traits or ranks) nor how "supplied with consumables" nor any other such "pre-set" team benefits that PvE raid leaders are accustomed to and, pretty much, cannot lead successful raids without.

The joys of getting a mixed bag of folks to "be a team" when even they don't know what each other can or cannot do... Yes, PvMP raid leading is much more difficult than PvE raid leading while the success or failure of a raid still lays heavy upon the shoulders of the raid leader. You will be expected to get "the team" through the fights and adjust your tactics based upon your troops' strengths.

What you tend to have is an assembly of those who are willing to come along to "fight the good fight". In most cases, you end up with a mixed bag of folks, at various ranks and levels, with various degrees of "supplies" on hand. Few, if any, will hand supplies to those that "forgot to stock up" to see that you succeed -- if "those others" didn't spend the coin/stones to get those supplies... Sucks to be them 'cause they're gonna die more than those who did stock up and are prepared. Such attitudes don't float well in PvE land but in PvMP... That *IS* "how the world works".

Thus "tactics", for any given situation, will really depend upon what quality of what classes with which supplies happened to "show up" to your raid. This will require a lot more flexibility in how you approach any given encounter. Yes, a PvMP raid leader can't just read a "battle plan" to "follow a script" to "beat the boss". They have to think and change tactics on the fly as the situation changes.

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Freep vs Creep Raiding

The creep side tends to have a bit more difficulty determining your raid strengths and composition than the Free People's forces.

When freeps enter the moors, they come in knowing that they will be at risk to fight. The "safe" areas, for them to stock up on supplies, get coin, etc... are the ENTIRE world outside of the Ettenmoors so they have as much, or as little, time as they decide to spend preparing for a PvMP session. Yes, there are some that go to the moors to collect resources (it is a resource rich area of the world) but those numbers tend to be smaller (by far) than those who came there to "fight the creeps".

Creeps are always in the moors. There are no "safe spots" to stock up on coin, supplies, etc... Once a creep leaves Gramsfoot, every minute, in every last location, has some degree of risk of them being attacked by one or more freeps and you cannot get coin (nor DoF stones for barter) to stock up on supplies sitting in Gramsfoot.

When the freeps check on /who for the zone, every last person they see on that list may be free to help them out in a raid. For the creep side, you will usually have several creeps "busy" doing quests, deeds (for maps and/or DP) and hunting to get coin/DoF stones for the supplies that keep them alive through combat. Just because there are a lot of creeps showing in the /who window, doesn't mean all of them are available to help fight. Many are unwilling to go join a raid until after they are done collecting what they need to advance/supply their character.

There isn't a single creep, who's spent time in the moors, that hasn't seen some angry/frustrated messages in the OOC channel about "where are all the creeps?!?!?" when the creeps are having tough fights. Simply put -- SOME are "always" busy doing what they need to do to improve their character and that does not mean being in a creep raid every hour they are on-line. If the delving hasn't been available for a bit, you can expect some (through most) of your creeps to be a bit busy restocking on stones from there. Those stones let them barter for skills, corruptions, traits, and -- even at the highest ranks -- those potions and supplies that require the stones from DoF to get. If you've ever seen the difference between a rank 5 without supplies versus a rank 5 packing +100 armor, +20% run-speed, +1k healing pots, etc.... You can easily see why some of those creeps are quite willing to invest the time to get those advanced potions and use them.

Most often, you will not be able to convince these folks to stop their PvE style hunting, which is to improve their characters, simply to join "one more raid" when that is where they usually spend their time. Without those traits... Without those "costly" consumables... Their characters pay for it by more defeats and less victories so they will hunt when they can versus when others may feel they should. It won't do you much good to yell at a fresh rank 5 about not being in the raid when they don't have their "first class trait" from the barter vendor nor many lower ranks from "getting DP" to purchase skills. They aren't going to be interested in a raid when they still need their skills and traits fleshed out.

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Raid Types -- Open versus Invitation Only

You have 2 types of raids that are generally set up. Open Raids -- that anyone can join -- and more traditional "closed" raids that require either the Raid Leader, or someone who has been promoted as an assistant, to invite those who wish to raid.

Each type has certain advantages and disadvantages to how much management will be required of the raid leader.

Open Raids

Open Raids may be seen from the Open Groups tab from the /who social panel. Simply bring up your Social Panel, /who style. At the bottom of the page is a tab with "Open Groups" or "Open Fellowships" on it (depending if you are creep or freep side). Click that tab to bring up the screen.

Creep Freep

This is where you can find fellowships/groups and where you can create/post your fellowship/group/raid as open. If there is an open fellowship or a raid, you'll see something like the following (with the mouse-over tooltip shown):

Creep Freep

To create an entry, simply enter a brief comment/note and click the Add' Button near the Note field. (not required but helpful -- sometimes folks will create open raids and groups for other things such as warg- or burg-only groups, raids into DoF, etc...)

Creep Freep

If your raid or group is overflowing with a certain class (such as when the Defiler class was created) or you want to limit your raid/group members to a specific class or the like (such as a warg/burg pack), you can limit which classes may join the raid.

Creep Freep

The Add or Update button (same button, just shows different text when you have an existing entry) will apply any adjustments you wish to your entry, or you can hit the Remove button to remove an entry from the listing.

There are a few conditions that can cause your entry to be removed from the list:

  • If your raid fills up, it will automatically be removed
  • If, for any reason, leadership of your raid changes (disconnect, transfer leadership, etc...)
  • If the raid leader removes it from the list via the Remove button.

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One of the first things you'll need to deal with is communications within your raid team. Whether you are a creep or a freep leader makes little difference in this respect. You will need to figure out how you wish to get your instructions to those you are fighting with.

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Voice Communication Channel

Many raid leaders prefer this method of communications but it does have some drawbacks. There is a lack of ability to adjust the volume controls for each individual member so you can end up with one person sounding like they are shouting and others you cannot hear at all. This also can happen to your voice and it isn't always consistent with how it works.

Other drawbacks are that, to hear, you often must adjust the volume of the rest of the games sounds so that the voices take precedence over other sounds from the game (combat sounds, spell effects, environmental sounds, etc...). This can and does "mess with" some players' enjoyment of the game.

Then as folks join your raid you have to watch to see that they have voice turned on. If someone doesn't, you'll need to let them know how to turn it on and, potentially, help them get it set up. Some players don't know how to do this. If everyone doesn't have voice enabled, those without it will not hear your instructions and tactical information which can cause many tactics to flop.

Overall, this is the easiest/sloppiest way to run the raid. Voice is much easier to deal with than typing and, with typed instructions, you won't ever hear back "sorry, I didn't hear..." or "you didn't say that earlier..." and the like. "Look at the log" usually covers any such missed communications versus voice which has no logging effects from the game (and even if it did, do you REALLY want to replay a raid to find if someone did or didn't say something?)

As the easiest, it is quite common to use and has a lot of benefits when it is used and managed properly. Let's look at that again...

... when it is used and managed properly ...

As in keeping chatter down when it's important. You don't have to stomp on all conversations but keep it on topic when the fighting starts or gets busy. Also see that folks actually do understand what is to be done versus "ok... that's the plan" with several not understanding (or not hearing) "the plan".

'Major instructions should always be issued with /Raidshout. such as "pull back to ..." or "move up now..." or "groups 1 and 2 up, groups 3 and 4 guard entrance..." and the like. Do not rely upon voice to get everyone back unless you actually are willing to shout and get called names for blowing folks eardrums out by shouting...

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Raid Communications Channel

stub for now...

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OOC Communications Channel

stub for now...

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Know your troops

stub for now...

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Know your opponents

stub for now...

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"Star" Troops

Stars are the symbols you see around the portraits of some players in the Ettenmoors that display their rating; you have a base rating of 1.0. for every .1 increase, a half a star will show up next to your portrait so 1.1 = .5 star, 1.2 = 1 star, etc.. up to 2.0 rating which shows 5 full stars around the portrait.

Freep Creep
Half Star Star Half Star Star
See the Rating article for further details.

Pursuing stars has no real negatives to it unless that is the focus of too many of your troops when you are going to find yourself in tough fights.

As a Raid Leader, you are liable to be blamed for every defeat and star ranking loss any of your troops take. Heavily starred troops do have skills but don't expect them to do anything that would risk their defeat in a fight. Literally I've seen half a raid "disappear" when the raid was pushed by a smaller opposing team simply because half the raid had 3+ stars and those members didn't wish to risk a defeat.

As a raid leader, you can count on this when looking at your opponents and you can cringe at it when looking at your own troops. If you have a lot of "stars" in your raid, do NOT expect those people to do more than break and run if they are pressed by the enemy.

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