Friday, April 1, 2011

Raid Building 101: Angry Monkeys Throw Poop

Raid Building 101 is a weekly article detailing the finer (and sometimes the not so finer) points of building and leading a successful raid group. Be it a world first or super casual, Raid Building 101 has something for you.
So we’ve talked about bad raiders and ways they can mess with your raid and what type of measures you can take to get things straightened out, but what happens when the poop being thrown around is from the officer ranks? Why would some officers resent you or wish to make your raid fail? Why do some seem to always cause issues in raids? There are just some types of people that can never get along.

How do you deal with angry monkeys throwing poop?

 When I first was made a Guild Officer (most senior officer) in Malice I had been in the guild for about seven months. I had used the end of BC to solidify a raid slot and prove I can lead a raid. The GL correctly thought that I could help create the early 9pm raid slot into a progression raid for WotLK. Not everyone saw things this way. Most people were happy for me in the guild, but there were a select few officers who began to resent me. They hated the fact that they had been in the guild longer than me and had yet to be promoted to a Guild Officer. At the start I got a lot of snide comments about special favors I may have done to get a rank or that I was trying to push a raid slot just to get Guild Officer. These types of things often happen to new officers, so do yourself a favor and ignore them. The GL and other Guild Officers knew the truth about me. I was going to work my butt off for the guild and for the raid slot with or without a rank in the guild. Let’s talk about how to deal with all types angry monkeys.

Jealous Monkeys
Some people crave power and recognition. These are the people who may work really hard and believe they deserve accolades because of it. However in their quest they may rub everyone the wrong way and seem way too eager, which easily turns people off. 

How do Jealous Monkeys affect your Raid and Raiders?
  • Start rumors about other officers and guild officers.
    • Often they feel if they can reduce the status of competition they will get promoted faster.
  • Start trying to divide a raid for or against someone.
    • They feel if they can get enough raiders on their side they can push for things they want or think they deserve.
  • Start down talking anything the raid can accomplish.
    • They try to get raiders to think the raid can’t progress or accomplish anything so that maybe it will change or that they may be needed to help “save” the raid time.
    • They just want to make your life miserable.
  • Encourage people who have a bad night to report it straight to the GL.
    • If enough people complain about the raid the GO over that raid will get reprimanded right?

What can you do with a Jealous Monkey in your Raid?
Jealous Monkeys have a lot of energy and passion. The only thing you can do other than ignore them is try to use that energy in your favor. They often just don’t know how to apply their energy to the right things to get noticed and promoted.

Give them an outlet.
  • Have them help lead the raid.
    • As long as they aren’t trying to take over the entire raid time slot to get glory having them help you lead a raid is a good use of their energy.
  • Have them help with rosters, attendance or other administrative busy work.
    • Depending on how much they can be trusted, have them help with some of the paperwork.
    • This may or may not help them actually help them get noticed for a promotion.
  • Have them write out strategies used to kill bosses.
    • The more you can have them do for the guild and for the raid the better their energy.
    • They may actually get ideas on how you can improve certain strategies.
  • Have an open door with all officers.
    • Creating after raid meetings with all officers involved to discuss things prevents people from feeling used or neglected.
    • Make sure you don’t take offense to a Jealous Monkey; they want you to react and do something they can use to get an edge on you. Always have someone else there to witness any interactions.

If all else fails talk to the boss.
  • If you feel they are disrupting your raid or the officer ranks just talk with your GL.
    • If you were promoted chances are you may not know the entire story on other people who have been there longer at not promoted.
    • GL can calm whoever it is down or at least talk with them.
    • GL can assure you if you are doing the correct thing with your Raid or not.

you can count on me! errrr
Flaky Monkey
Some officers just don’t take a schedule for raiding as seriously as others. Sometimes an officer signs up and doesn’t show up or just in general doesn’t really care about if they come or not even when they are put on the roster.

How Flaky Monkeys affect your raid and raiders?
  • Cause people to waste raid time finding alts.
  • Stresses out the whole raid because things are balances when rosters are created.
  • Sets a bad example that other raiders might start following because if an officer can do it why can’t a raider?
  • People may stop signing up every time the flaky Monkey signs up to raid.

There are only a few things you can do about a Flaky Monkey.
  • Start alting them and let them know why it is happening.
  • Just sit down and talk with them about texting someone if they aren’t going to make it.
  • Let them know that not showing up actually affects 9 or 24 other people.
  • As always you can leverage the GL to help push to have them recognize it is an issue.

There is only one real thing you can do with a Flaky Monkey if they don’t change – alt them. They are a great person to alt in if there is an open spot. Just let them know if they are not sure they can make it just to sign up to be alted if they are online they can be brought in. Or ask them to not sign up at all and bring them in if needed. IN FIRE?????
Angry Monkey
Angry Monkey Officers aren’t actually that hard to find. All of us at some point get a little frustrated with some part of the game.  The issue is when an officer is always angry when they log in. They can be extremely distracting to the raid and can turn off potential raiders who don’t like the stressful environment this can create.

How an Angry Monkey can affect your Raid and Raiders?
  • Raiders in a casual guild may run for the hills from such a stressful environment.
  • Raiders may feel abused and singled out and quit the guild or even the game.
  • Feelings get hurt, fights break out.
  • Other raiders and officers may get angry as well and a verbal fight could break out.
  • People may just stop signing up for your raid to avoid the Angry Monkey.

A couple things to try to deal with Angry Monkeys;
  • Tell them to avoid the push to talk button.
    • They can scream and people and their computer all they want, they can complain to the wind all they want, but don’t bring it into the Vent channel.
  • Create a new channel for them to vent.
    • Create a password protected channel with just you and them, maybe some other officers and have them use it to complain and vent about whatever is bothering them.
    • Make sure you respond in the channel or you may just make things worse.
  • Give them a good talk about how officers should act during raids.
    • They are an officer after all; they should be able to control themselves.
  • The final straw: mute them from voice chat.
    • If you have do that then you have to do that.
    • Make sure you have an agreement with other officers to mute them first.

How to use an Angry Monkey for your Raid;
  • Angry Monkeys love to throw poop, have them throw it at a boss.
    • These types of people give the best pep talks before boss fights ever.
    • Their stress and anger can be used to loosen people up if they just go off about how much a boss sucks and how it crushes idiot raiders who can’t move out of the f’n way because they are too busy trying to play one handed because that stupid blood elf priest looks hot when she is casting. Note - Doing this before anyone actually dies to the boss makes it more satirical then a harsh criticism of the raid itself.
    • They can point out why they think everyone keeps dying and may actually help people remember to keep watching the screen when bloodlust/heroism/Time Warp is up instead of standing in the fire watching just their spell timers to get the highest DPS rotation with the least amount of actual damage done to the boss because they were burned to death because healers only care about themselves and don’t heal stupid.
  • There is a time and place for an Angry Monkey to be unleashed.
    • Raiders are just not concentrating or keep screwing up on the same thing over and over and over?
    • Unleash the Angry Monkey on them to not-so-gently remind them that when the damn robot goes offline you need stack up and if you can heal have a stupid button on your bar that says “I should use this to heal myself so I don’t end up eating floor with my dumbass face.”
    • Make sure they know exactly what to scream about and only on that subject.
    • Make light after they are done by saying something like, “See I had to let the Angry Monkey out of the closet. Get this right and I won’t have to bring him out again.”
  • How do they DPS?
    • If your Angry Monkey of an Officer is a healer perhaps they should roll a DPS so they can destroy something and see giant crit numbers of 140k Arcane Blasts on Magmaw, or 30k DPS as an OP Spriest, or a Hunter who puts his shot rotation on the scroll wheel of his mouse and actually face rolls his way to victory. (true story, ask Titleist about it)

we're LEARNING!!!!!
The “I-Love-To-Argue” Monkey
This is my pet peeve of a Monkey. There are some officers who just seem to want to argue for arguments sake right in the middle of the raid. During boss attempts is not the time to start arguments about strategies and raiders.

How do “I-love-to-argue” Monkeys affects your Raid and Raiders?
  • More time arguing less time killing means a less productive raid.
  • People may get worked up and turn into Angry Monkeys while arguing.
  • Newer raiders can get confused if someone is always challenging the strategies that work just to have a good reason to argue about something.
  • Loot is great to argue about, it ruins raids.
  • Communication during boss fights and strategy explanations can be interrupted by arguments.
  • People may stop signing up because of the “I-love-to-argue” Monkey.

How to handle an “I-love-to-argue” Monkey;
  • Most of the ways of dealing with this type of Monkey is the same as the Angry Monkey.
  • Limit talking time.
  • Have them move the push-to-talk button someplace weird so they have to work to hit it.
  • Have other officers tell them there is a time and a place for arguments.
  • Globally muting is an option.
  • A password protected private channel is a good option, then the Angry Monkey and the “I-love-to-argue” Monkey can throw poop at each other all night long.

How to use an “I-love-to-argue” Monkey in your raid;
  • There are some benefits to questions and arguing out everything.
    • Some things can always be adjusted in strategies.
  • In the “What went wrong” phase of discussion after a fail wipe they may actually have some good input on what might have gone wrong.
    • Avoid them pointing fingers at specific people!
  • Not much else you can do with them other than let them help dissect strategies and give input after wipes. Do NOT let them control communication during boss encounters.

but that is clearly hunter plate...
The Drama Monkey
You know who I am talking about. Those people that are overly dramatic about losing rolls and every time a reminder goes out to a group of raiders they think you are yelling at them individually or calling them out.

How Drama Monkeys affect your Raid and Raiders?
  • Raiders get reminded of why they escape the real world and stop signing up.
    • There is enough Drama in most people’s lives already.
  • Sets a bad example for other raiders to start causing drama as well.
  • Drama can break up a good group of raiders because people don’t want to deal with it.
  • Can turn people off from raiding if there is “too much drama” in your raid time slot.

How to Handle a Drama Monkey;
  • Call them out.
    • Straight up just tell them to stop causing Drama.
    • Remind them no one is calling them out so they should stop taking offense to everything.
  • Get a witness
    • GLs hate drama as well, get other officers to agree that the person is a Drama Monkey and have the GL talk with them.
  • Assure them that they will get loot and get boss kills even if it isn’t right away.
    • Everyone eventually gets loot right?
  • Consider alting them for causing drama.
  • NOTE: All of these will usually drive the Drama Monkey to cause even more Drama, but then everyone is exposed to what they are and they either stop the drama or they can be the ultimate drama monkey without a raid or maybe even a guild.

How to use a Drama Monkey;
  • There is only one good use for a Drama monkey….
  • You can use them as an example of what happens if you complain or throw fits or cause Drama in the raid/guild.

have you heard about HellscreamCare?
The Politico Monkey
There is always someone, and I’m guilty of this, that once and a while brings up hot button topics involving religion or politics. A raid is not a forum to be used to lecture people about how they think, if raiders start seeing each other as red and blue the end has started for your raid. Officers seem to think because they are officers they can bring this stuff up without anything bad happening. They are wrong.

How does a Politico Monkey affect your Raid and Raiders?
  • Bringing up RL issues that people are very emotional about distracts everyone from raiding.
  • Some people think anyone who doesn’t see things they way they do are idiots and arguments can break out.
  • People can get really upset and never want to raid with another person again.
  • Your raid signups can very quickly plummet if people think politics or religion is going to be talked about in your raid.

How to deal with a Politico Monkey;
  • Stop them before they start.
    • Remind the entire raid to keep things off topic and sensitive to some people out of the raid.
    • Remind all officers that keeping the raid focused is their number one priority.
  • Crush it when it starts.
    • If anyone starts immediately crush it by stopping everything and reminding people to not discuss these things during raids.
    • Saying “I don’t want to hear it.” any time someone tries to bring it back up is a good way.
    • If you don’t stop it when it tries to start it gets out of hand very quickly.
  • Enforce it after it happens once even if you crushed it.
    • If it happens during a raid night remind the entire raid the next night if people bring that up and distract the raid they will be removed from the raid.
    • This has to apply even to the raid leader.

How to use a Politico Monkey;
  • You can’t and just like a Drama Monkey their only use is to make an example out of if they decide to push their luck.

judy told bobby told jimmy told
The Gossip Monkey
There are officers who enjoy the politics of your Guild and WoW in general. They may think that playing politics inside of a raid time slot is a game or something to do instead of looking at the auction house or working on other things. They are often instigators of extra rules being put on raids because the GL may think something is going on and wants to make sure things are being run by their rules and not someone who thinks they are the GL. They have more fun “playing” Guild politics than actually raiding.

How does a Gossip Monkey affect your Raid and Raiders?
  • Gossip is never good and just like Jealous Monkeys problems that never existed could have rules created to stop them.
  • Officers may start taking sides on issues that do not exist.
  • Officers may get distracted during a raid.
  • Officers may stop going to certain raids because they think something is going on with that raid when nothing is happening at all.
  •  Rivalries can start to be created because so-and-so said that this raid timeslot was cheating or purposefully alting certain people, etc.
  • All around bad moods can start popping up if people think others are telling on them or reporting them for stuff they didn’t do.
  • Officers stop talking to each other and never find out the truth of what was really said or what really happened.

How to Deal with a Gossip Monkey;
  • Talk to other officers first about anything they have heard.
    • Communication is key to keeping an officer group together.
  • Make a list of things said or supposedly done between officers to find out if there needs to be something addressed.
  • Call them out on the floor in officer chat to discuss what they are saying and how things should be communicated.
  • Remind everyone to check with other officers before believing bad things about them.
  • Remind the Gossip Monkey that putting officers at odds is bad for the guild and those who keep putting officers at odds may find themselves demoted or worse.

How to use Gossip Monkeys;
  • Floor mat in the bathroom.
  • Mounted on a wall of shame.
  • Made an example of for all officers to know not to start spreading stupid stuff and not getting the full truth about something before reacting.

Misc Monkey
Sometimes there will be other officers that you just can’t get along with no matter how hard you try. Consider having them run another group in your time frame if they are good enough to raid lead. For other officers I don’t get along with I blissfully make myself unaware they are mad at me at all. I ignore rumors, I just let my raid and it’s achievements do the talking for me. If they have a problem with that they can take it up with the GL who knows exactly what I am doing and how I am running things. If he really disapproved in what I was doing he would let me know. I am here to make the best raid I can and down every boss in the game, not to play politics with other officers.

Closing Thoughts
Everyone at sometimes gets Jealous or Angry, misses a raid they signed up for, argues about something, and causes drama. Just be on the lookout for the ones that do it all the time without any type of behavior change. The best thing you can do is talk to them about it as soon as you know. Bring the subject up very truthfully with them. “You seem to want to argue a lot in raids, I know you are a raid leader, but when you aren’t the one leading give suggestions and don’t argue it looks bad on all of us.” Always let them know they can go to you or the GL with any worries they have about how they are being treated in the raids and the guild. Do not tolerate anything from an officer you wouldn’t tolerate from a raider, they should be showing an example of how you act in the raid and guild, not trying to be exempt from the rules of it. Use your Monkeys for what they bring to the raid and not for what they take away from it. Angry Monkeys are some of the best entertainers and motivators before fights, “I-love-to-argue” Monkeys help come up with great strats, Jealous Monkeys can be your best Raid Leader and roster maker, Flaky Monkeys can be your best alt when you just don’t have enough raiders, and finally Drama Monkeys can go drown in a river as a lesson for all the other monkeys to not try to swim there.

Malice, Early Raid. Our latest kill, 25 man Chimasshole.

Gordrin is the current Raid Leader of Guild Malice - Early Raid. He has dodged the poo from every monkey over the last two expansions.....and thrown some himself. If you ask him nicely he'll pick the bugs out of your fur,, as well. Gordrin can be reached at


Titleist said...

All true.

Gordrin said...

but did you actually take the mouse and roll the wheel up and down your face to actually face roll?

In bc I was in a BG once and this warlock was just owning everyone and someone said in the general channel, "Yeah it's so hard to top the charts as a warlock, bind every key to corruption, wrap your head in bubble rap, and roll your face around on your keyboard to win!"

Fenix said...

I. Am. THE. Angry. Monkey.

Titleist said...

Acknowledgment is the first step in recovery.

Fenix said...

Proud of my status = No recovery necessary

Ivy said...

This is an awesome post and would help any guild.