Galroth Replies...

Galroth has led some very big raids, both MLs and his specialty: offensive RvR raids. Despite dealing with scores of irritable players, somehow Galroth himself never seems to get ruffled, replying to difficulties with a good natured "hrhr" troll chuckle.
  1. What kind of leadership do you do in DAoC? (e.g., guild leadership? leading multi-group PvE or RvR raids? RvR gank groups? all of the above?)

    a) My guild has several excellent leaders and I contribute when I can. My role as a co-GM of Bloodaxe Clan is primarily that of RvR leadership.

    b) As far as PvE goes, I have organized and lead some ML and Artifact raids, specializing in Artifact encounters around the Typhoon Reach and Ashen Isle area (mostly due to my early fascination with the Axe of Malice encounter . being that it was initially impossible to complete (bugged) and also one of the scrolls did not drop (3 of 3 bugged). Eventually thru constant feedback / VN posts I did my part to ensure they corrected the issues after much time spent looking under every volcanic rock. J My Berserker is currently ML 9 and taking a break from TOA with my focus back on RvR. I plan on starting anew with my Spiritmaster later on, and will try to assist late night / early morning Mids in achieving their MLs.

    c) RvR raids, I enjoy participating in RvR raids, in its many different forms. Many lump all into one category and maybe with some bad experience with lag, feel unable to contribute / enjoy them. There are many roles to fill on a large RvR raid and everyone, from those soloist scouts gathering intel, to the guy unable to play in a group larger than 8 picking off scattered enemy reinforcement, to the guy leading 20 groups of Mids on Excal, have a very important role to fill. One of my favorite big raids I've been involved with was a split raid of about 100 following Snapp and 80 following me in a simultaneous attack against both Relic Keeps. A very large raid in the morning, during my usual playtime is around 4-5 FG Mids, more often only being able to muster 2-3 FG out. Sometimes there are only 3-4 healers for example online in the early hours (total) and you're lucky to have two seers between those 2-3 groups.

    d) RvR "gank" groups can be a lot of fun. The term gank group is usually used in reference to a dedicated team of 8 that has an excellent class build and teamwork. This as opposed to the term "pickup" group that is forced to go with less desirable class builds (support lacking, such as no healer/no shaman for example) or have people just starting to learn RvR concepts and unable to compete on the same level as a more experienced foe. Individual roles inside a group are described in terms such as Driver, Main Assist, Main CC, Interrupt duty, Guard duty etc. and what makes a Gank group stand out is that everyone is very familiar with their roles in a particular group, and is highly skilled at adapting to new ones during a fight. I go with many different roles from Driver to Assister and all are important. I do get invited to some specialized guild groups at times, but more often form a group up. I always try to form a viable group with two main aspects, support and damage doers. 2-3 healers, 1 shaman, 1 skald, 3-4 dmg doers of any type is a template I usually try for. When I pick a class to fill, I ask people of that class if they are interested in RvR. The most important qualification is that they want to have fun.

  2. Have you had any formal leadership training in RL? (e.g., military, leadership seminars, etc.)

    Yes (no military)

  3. What background has helped you become the leader you are now? it>(e.g., raising kids, just plain leading raids in DAoC, having been a business leader, etc.)

    a) In-game experiences: watching other people lead raids, leading raids of my own are two large factors in improving my leadership skills. My mind tends to analyze, chess is a passion of mine. There is a saying I've heard that wise people learn from experience, but extra wise people learn from others experiences. I like to watch others and learn from their mistakes or successes, then try my best to avoid / implement when I'm leading.

    b) IRL- I have many roles such as a Father, Husband, Friend, Worker etc and I would say that my most important leadership lessons were learned in the home. My favorite extra-curricular sport however has helped with my patience levels, being fishing.

  4. What background/experience (in and out of game) has helped you with the *tactics and strategies* of RvR?

    a) In-game experiences: I would say being out there on the front lines has helped a lot. I also have extensively played both a caster and melee class to really understand most aspects of damage infliction. More importantly I learned a lot from my defeats. I mentioned earlier that I like to analyze. One simple question I ask a lot is: "what is the worst thing the enemy could do to us?" Then when I find the enemy in the same situation, I do my best to do realize my worse fears on them J. I have 8 50 accounts on Pendragon and test / keep up to date with the latest changes, adapting to them.

    b) Outside DAOC, I have always been a gamer with a favorite category being strategy, more recently Real-Time Strategy. I love games that involve imagination and brilliant execution like chess. DAOC quickly became a favorite, being my first MMORPG.

  5. What is your approximate age? (20-24, 25-29; or 20-29, 30-39, etc.)


  6. Do you have or have you had your own family? (i.e., live(d) in your own household (not your parents') with at least one other person)

    I have my own family.

  7. What are your goal(s) and motivation(s) as a leader? (e.g., to win? to make sure everyone has a good time? RPs? fame & fortune?)

    My main motivation is to have fun together fighting the common enemy. Usually this involves creating conflict in the morning (such as fort taking, threatening a relic). The goals differ, from defense to offense to just plain engaging the enemy without any overall objective. Sometimes you need to take a few forts to get some people out, sometimes you wish there were not so many enemy about J. I notice that quite a few groups break up after a solid defeat or two. I'm usually the guy who stays on thru the hard times to see the enemy at my feet, reforming my group as needed. I look at Realm Points as a side benefit to the fun and interesting fights they come from. While 8 on 8 is fun and usually has the greatest RP gains, the most exciting fights been in involve many groups, usually over a structure like a keep and occasionally in the open.

  8. What are the most important traits of a good leader, and what, in your opinion, distinguishes a good leader from a *bad* leader?

    a) A Good Leader: Clearly states directions. Repeats directions. Tests responsiveness before moving to next step. Helps others organize groups, find groups. Listens to feedback. Asks for input. Realizes he can't please everyone. Places higher importance on the Raid's safety / success over the individual (hard to do sometimes). Is patient. Understands he/she will usually receive more credit than is due for success and more blame than is warranted for failure and does not care either way. Is flexible and able to try new things. Can type reasonably fast. Shows public gratitude for the good play / assistance / selflessness of others. Constantly encourages proper tactics before/during/after encounters, especially during when the heat is on. Leads the charge into the sea of red names / places themselves in harms way (with a purpose) to demonstrate courage and increase moral. Is sympathetic to common situations such as LD, rallying, and tries to accommodate, keeping in mind how it will affect Raid.

    b) A Bad Leader: Shows a general lack of concern for his fellow players. Does not understand basic tactics and what counters are effective in PvE or RvR. Takes credit for everything and does not acknowledge / thank people for their important roles. Is focused on loot / RP, not people / feelings. Types at 1WPM J

  9. What should an aspiring leader always keep in mind? What mistakes should he/she avoid? (Multple answers ok)

    a) Always keep in mind that no one is perfect. Listen to others. Learn from defeat. Don't get discouraged. PvE leadership translates naturally to RvR and is less stressful; it is a good place to start. RvR is fast paced and requires quick thinking. You need to spend time in the field, learning the ropes before you start making more "right" decisions than "wrong" ones. No one is "right" all the time. Consult your generals, get a board of advisors. Above all get out there and keel, the front lines are where most of the learning takes place.

    b) Keep upbeat. You may be really upset about a loss that "shoulda, coulda, woulda" been a victory. Negativity brings everybody down. Some people are more prone to this than others. Look to the next fight. Pick out the good parts to any fight, especially a loss and emphasize them. Highlight a weakness and provide comment on it in the form of a solution. Don't finger individuals out and lay blame under any circumstance. Your being upset is perfectly normal and will pass soon, the way you handle these feelings are closely linked to the Raids morale. As the song goes, "Don't worry, be happy!". A successful raid is closely linked to how people feel about it, not only how much "loot" was achieved or Realm Points etc. do your part to create an atmosphere of fellowship and let the "good times roll".

  10. What, in your opinion, makes a good follower?

    A good follower "listens" closely to group chat, chat group chat, battle group chat and reacts fast to new situations. Some windows of opportunity come and go in seconds for both us and the enemy. By being responsive you are more effective and become a leader in your own right by example for the Raid as a whole. Sometimes a leader will make a bad call, or a call you don't agree with. However as a follower you are welcome to do whatever in your power to make the most of a perceived bad situation without undermining the leader's authority. Most leadership calls are initiated and completed within seconds. There is no time to debate in the heat of a battle. Do your best to keep the leader informed with accurate "intel" of enemy size, position (include specific info like directions), intentions, etc as you perceive them. Don't forget the leader is human and sees only a small portion of the fight, sometimes repeated sends is necessary to send important info in an intense fight, to ensure it gets thru. If the leaders call was an extremely bad one, it will only get worse if only one third of the army listens, 1/3 of the army hesitates and 1/3 of the army disobeys. Indecision fractures our force into smaller groups which is almost always the worst possible thing to happen, and results in the enemy eating up the pieces easily one at a time. Fight together, win together, die together and learn together. On a failed charge through say a Milegate against a superior entrenched force, on a bad charge would result in zero enemy casualties and less than a fourth of the army charging. A great charge would say result in everyone charging, waiting on CC, moving through together and keeling many enemies but still succumbing to the much greater force. Sometimes there is victory in defeat. I would call the second charge a Victory because we did our best given the situation and accomplished something with our teamwork.

  11. Do you have a leader role-model, or someone whose style you emulate in whole or part?

    I would say that I've met many good people in DAOC and IRL that have impressed me. I don't specifically try to emulate a particular person, although if I was to pick one person in-game, it would be Snapp.

  12. Who do you think are other good leaders (in game/out of game)?

    There are different types of leadership as you have pointed out. Here a few people that I feel are good past / present in-game leaders of large RvR or PvE events in no particular order (and by no means only): Sanger, Gisli, Odlaw, Delivis, Durgan, Bombarta, Peroden, Ketu, Clapperoth, Darlini, Laaug, Lensar, Sloane (aka Dragonslayer), Ravus, Cep, Oda, Rosso, Vinas, Leria, Zhadow (Vanaith) and Snapp (I love the detail of Snapp's maps / raid plans, and his near flawless execution of them).

  13. Any more comments on your own style of leadership (and/or "followship")?

    I really have grown to appreciate those people that I play with in the mornings. (Some are ex-morning players, now playing during much more sane daytime / evening hours J ). I would not consider them followers so much as people sharing a thirst for having some fun together. Thanks for the great times and I am looking forward to more.

  14. Bonus question: Some of you role-play while leading. Any comments on the role of roleplaying with leadership?

    I tend to incorporate some of the basic trollisms into my in-game speech. And of course immerse myself into the "us versus them" mentality of Midgard versus its enemy. It can make for some humorous moments too with the combination of the /em command and different in-game situations. A very important part of our experience in DAOC is role-play and I believe it plays an integral part in Leadership and in having fun out there.

  15. Do you think leadership in DAoC has had positive (or even negative) effects in you and your Real Life? If so, in what way?

  16. If you have alts that take up leadership, do you find that followers treat you differently when they don't know it's "you"?

DAoC Leadership Resources