Summer blues and the One Man Raid
Even if you've only been in one guild, if you've been playing the game long enough, you are likely connected to multiple guilds through in game friends - people who have left your guild, or knowing others in your guild that know others, and so on and so forth. There is no excuse for someone who has been playing the game on one server long enough to routinely say they have no social resources. What does this say about you? That is your own failing.

There is great incentive to be proactive in maintaining your in-game relationships.

If you let your in-game relationships fall to the wayside, you lose critical resources. You'll find yourself sans healer in a 10 man raid, sitting there helplessly. When things start to get messy and political, it may be time to take a step back and get back to your roots. Don't abandon your guild mates and alliances just because times are tough. If you can't seem to dig up new people, maybe it's time to turn to those golden friends and strengthen those relationships.

If you are having trouble growing, consider this: Are your numbers staying the same, despite bringing in new people? That, my friend, means you are losing your older players. You are making the worst mistake a raid manager can make - Forgetting about the individuals you recruited previously because you are so caught up in trying to bring in new people.

Take some time to reassess and regroup. Turn around and strengthen those bonds again. If you keep moving forward without looking back, you'll find yourself all alone at the peak of the mountain, with no one to help you get down. You've had your head in the clouds, relishing your own glory and patting yourself on the back for being an awesome raid leader, and you forgot to look down to the people who were holding you up. Did you take away their voice, their power as individuals, with the excuse that it's all for the "greater good"? Did you ignore them, or worse, not even let them speak, because you didn't want to have to deal with what they might say?

Summer is a good time for this. Things get messy and unpredictable in the summer it seems. People suddenly want to do things non WoW related, and who am I to tell them that's unfair? Everyone has to prioritize their lives - and let's face it. WoW should never take priority over your family. Instead of flailing about helplessly, wringing our hands in frustration and begging our friends to level up their level 24 druid to heal, take a deep breath and count your blessings. As guild, alliance, and raid leaders, or at least those of us who focus on recruitment and raid organizing, it can be a very stressful time. We can get caught up in the pursuit of growth, and easily forget about those individuals we've pulled together in the past.

It needs to be said. I've been listening to people wail and moan over the past month about how times are tough for raid organization.

But I'm getting sick of hearing the complaining, because people are not looking at the problem with perspective. We get so caught up in issues of rules, and policies, and maybe if we vary things up a bit people will want to raid again - if we build it they will come! And then, lo and behold, no one comes.

We have lost sight of the individual. If an individual player does not feel needed, does not feel important, if we continue to solely enforce this idea that it's all about "the greater Good" (zomg Dumbledore love), we lose the individuals that make up the successful team. I'm all about pushing that philosophy when it comes to gear. But as leaders we get so distracted in thinking gear philosophies should be the precedent we use for other aspects of raid management, that we lose sight of what makes each individual player important to every single raid.

Why should Joe Warrior sign up for our raid to tank? It's thankless. He can sit in LFG for 5 minutes and get 10 tells from people desperate for a decent tank - desperate for HIS help. No one in our raid specifically asked him if he would join us. We just frown at him in disappointment when he fails to sign up. It's not about the gear - it's about feeling wanted and needed. It's a human desire, and we can't lose sight of human desires, even in an abstract world. You shouldn't have to beg someone to join you, but have you tried simply asking as an alternative to assuming?

We recruiters go after individuals and convince them to join us. We court them. Who doesn't like to be courted? We pursue them as individuals, and then ignore them when they join the group. We hand down laws and policies that directly affect them without asking them for their thoughts - because we don't want to deal with the messy disagreements that such endeavors inevitably entail. We know what's best for them, right? It's all for the greater good. If they have any thoughts for themselves, then they are selfish and we don't want them. We turned their head in the beginning with chocolates and flowers, and then left them sitting at home with the TV on Saturday night while we went out to the bar seeking a pretty new blonde.

We can go at it for days talking about how it's all about efficiency. You know what else is super efficient? You know how you can avoid any messy loot disagreements? A fool-proof way to lay down the law and ensure that no one will make it difficult for you to do exactly what you want to do?

A one man raid.
4 Responses
  1. adam/ "gordin" / Says:

    /blown mind. J-belle, you speak so much truth- truth that many think yet don't take the time to 1) write out, 2) share. it has been said so many times that wow is more than a is a social event, a meeting place, therapy for hard times, and a geographically limitless venue for .. uhh..everything else that is geographically limited? weak, i know. i digress. for me, there seems to be a breakdown between avatar and self. consider this: what if your in game name was your IRL handle? would you, as a player, act differently? (you as the collective, not you J-belle). I would. during my peak of play, i logged in every night and was present and accounted for between 8 and bedtime (midnight and 1). i carry weight of the day into this 'game' as i would if i met with the same group of friends every night at any given bar/house/bowling alley/whatevs. yet the oddity is that i am interacting with avatars through an avatar which , not unlike copious amounts of alcohol, socially lubricates, if not amplifies, my behaviors. nobody wants to be an avatar. people want to be people.

    /end random

    fact is that there is a fine line between using a resource to achieve in game success and maintaing a relationship with the person controlling said avatar.

    i am in management for a huge company and it boils my blood when my leadership staff refers to the 'grunts' as resources, and they do. people are not resources. they can be a resource to whatever goal you are trying to achieve, but a person as a person needs to be treated as such. i can see an immediate impact to the productivity of my team when i get too busy to walk around every other day or so to just ask people how their weekend was or if they got that new car they were talking about getting. why? because in my self proclaimed over-busy-ness, i forgot to treat them like people who have needs like feeling valuable. they simply become a resource when i do not have the time to treat them like people. not good.

    that applies to the game. it applies to gear. it applies to guild operations and raids alike. the beardies (now lothar swingers club) are a tight knit group of 5..yeah, 5. we have ups, we have downs. the awesome at the end of the tunnel is that when the shit hits the fan with an alliance, or raiding, or whatever is that we tend to fall back to wanting to just be with each other and that is one of the best feelings in the world. it means that we do a good job treating each other with respect and act as friends. we are not resources. we have run so many terrible 5 mans because we didn't have the proper group make up- but it didn't matter. it isn't always about personal gain. sometimes zul farrak sucked so much ass, but it was still fun. you can chose to adopt this mentality on any scale for any scope. thing is, you have to chose it.

    take a look at the raiding requirements for the largest gaming guild the world has ever known:

    is that you? if that is you, then i don't want to be around you because i don't come to this game to be rule bound. i respect structure and i like baseline rules. i have enough of that bullshit in the real world.

    if that is not you, then sit and think about why you play. do you need a break? you can achieve anything that FOH does, it just might take some more time. truth is, you might end up having more fun taking the road less traveled. too many people think about the destination, not the adventure.

    i have a motorcycle and i love to ride. i dont have the time but that is another story. when i first started riding, my dad told me that i didn't seem to enjoy myself. i was in too much of a hurry to get where i was going. he said, "it isn't about where you going but the ride on the way." how effin true is that? i enjoyed riding a lot more after that. the trees got more colorful, the fields were more beautiful, and the ride was more amazing.

    apply it.

  2. Fulguralis Says:

    Sometimes its imperative that you "get back to your roots".

    Gordin - I think that's the most I've seen you type... closet blogger or ranter extraordinaire? You decide :-)

  3. Jessabelle Says:

    What do you think Ful? How long before we can sucker him into the blogging world?

    @ Gordo - I absolutely love your analogy to the workplace, because it's the same damn thing.

    When your troops are spread too thin, time for everyone to fall in. Time for one of those ridiculous team building exercises. Group up together, and get to know one another again.

    I need to know what the people I recruited for this alliance want. I need to know how they are feeling about current goings-on. I need to rebond with them so that I can bring them back in, stronger, and let them know that when I courted them before, I meant it when I told them I thought they were special.

  4. adam / "gordon" / Says:

    lol u silly kids.. i blog all the time on my site, and every weekly show is like a real life audio blog..just for gaming though...

    i twitter, thats microblogging. follow bigknutty on twitter to see just how exciting i am... lol. silly kids...

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