Saturday night was not a raid night, so as usual I logged on, picked up my dailies, checked the guild list and inquired what people were doing. A guildie said that he was trying to reform a Sunwell Plateau group that had downed Kalecgos and Brutallus the night before, and invited me. I accepted on my newly transferred resto shaman and headed for the Isle of Quel'Danas - ah, memories! ;)
It took some time to find people to fill the raid, and a number of the people were below 80. It also became clear that no one really knew the Felmyst fight, and since I had progression killed these bosses on my rogue back in BC, my guildie made me leader.
BAM! Welcome to hell, and oh, by the way, could you please lead our little expedition?
A few tidbits from our little pug adventure into the Sunwell:
-at least 8-10 different people asked how to get to Felmyst, despite replies every time in raid chat how to teleport to Kalecgos, and repeated spammage of vent info.
-at least 8-10 people never got on vent, despite the fact that only a few people had ever done the fight, and it requires coordination to successfully complete.
-after the second wipe, every attempt had people dropping the raid, necessitating stopping every couple of attempts to find new people. I guess they thought a few higher-level alts could waltz into Sunwell Plateau and get free level 70 epics. :)
-some random person kept holding their push to talk button and then coughing LOUDLY into the mic.
-we never did down Felly. She laughed at our silly efforts and sent us packing.
The View From Above
Anyone who's tried to Raid Lead in general knows what a demanding task that is. Doing it with pugs who don't want to put in effort, don't know the fight, and are higher level but undergeared - NOT A GOOD THING! This is why I prefer GM/officer jobs because I'm generally only involved in leading guildies, not failpuggers.
I learned a few lessons though.
-Be polite and nice on vent and raid chat, but also be willing to kick people, even if it means their buddies leave. Sure, there's lots of abrasive raid leads in top guilds, but that's even less likely to be a successful leadership style in pugs than in guilds. And anyway, a mean/nasty RL makes for an unpleasant instead of fun, raid. The kicking part is necessary at times to get rid of fail. Our healers were trying to keep squishy sub-80s up and we kept having to kill mc'd puggers who weren't following instructions and got Felly's deep breaths. (Felmyst's Deep Breaths > Onyxia's Deep Breaths btw).
-Similarly, be selective who you invite to raid. If you can't fill it properly with the right people, you're better off calling the pug raid.
-Do a ready check and ensure everyone is listening before explaining.
-Don't assume everyone knows the fight. Apologize to the experienced, explain for the noob.
-Have the attitude that you're just there for fun. If you get bosses, great. If you don't, it's ok. If you think you MUST get bosses in a pug raid, you're probably setting yourself up for failure. (there are exceptions to this if you know the people you're pugging).
Finally, be ready to step in and lead ANYTIME. If you're an experienced raider, others may look to you to for guidance. When you log in, be ready to lead. It's nice to take a break and let others run things, but you should be prepared for whatever the night may bring. :)
Incidentally, a guildie who was in the raid completed Sunwell on an alt last night very quickly with a group of all 80 toons who mostly knew the fight. Color me jealous.