Tuesday Tip – Change is good

Ferrel Wears PlateOne of the easiest traps to fall into as a player is to become too comfortable with how something is done. This can be anything at all related to your game play. Perhaps you’ve always used Teamspeak or maybe you’ve always been a fan of a certain boss strategy. We all like what is familiar. The problem with this is there might be a better way, easier solution, or more robust program. The easy part is knowing that sometimes change is inevitable. The difficulty lies in knowing when to change and when to stand firm.

Recognize a rut

Advocating change for the sake of change isn’t the greatest approach to a stable and serene guild. That said, it is a best practice to always look for where you can improve. If a certain strategy is working for your guild but you believe you can do things better/faster/cheaper with a variation consider trying it out. If you look at certain processes in how your guild runs and ask, “why do we do this” and the answer is, “that is how we’ve always done it” you might just have yourself a candidate for change. When it comes to ruts look at what doesn’t make sense and what isn’t working. That is where you should focus your efforts to find change.

Change is healthy

The term rut exists for a reason. MMORPG players are notorious for getting into ruts because they’re comfortable. This run slowly erodes our appreciation of the game and sometimes even our guilds. It is for this reason alone that we must always embrace change now and again. Consider the activities you participate in daily or weekly and look at what minor changes can be made to them to add some variation. As a guild leader this might mean changing up the raid days every so often just to see if another day yields better attendance. Just because we assume one day is best doesn’t make it accurate. You’ll have some resistance but advocate trying something new. Players may grumble a bit but they’ll go along with minor changes and might actually find more enjoyment out of it.

Moderation is key

It is key that your guild remains a stable and serene place. Making sweeping changes often is irresponsible and dangerous(which is kind of humorous because this is often how MMORPG developers act). Make small, incremental changes. Introduce one item and sit back to watch the results of it. If things go well but still need tweaking change the dial a little more. Slow and purposeful changes show your guild members that you do care how they’re being effected. It is also easy to take small losses consistently over time than one huge hit in the gut. This is especially true to changes in the loot system or how the guild functions.

Don’t fear the anti-change

In some cases the changes we make or accept end up not working out. As leaders we always have the choice of saying, “we’re sticking to this” or “you know what, this wasn’t right.” It doesn’t show weakness to admit a mistake when it is abundantly clear. It shows great character to take a step back and repeal a bad change. Always keep this in mind. Nothing has to be permanent. As you move forwards look for ways to improve but don’t be afraid to turn the clock back to how things once were. To put right what once went wrong. Hoping that your next change will be your change home.

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip – Change is good

  1. Coincidentally, I just wrote on a personal topic related to this; that something fundamental in WoW has switched off for me, causing me not to enjoy the game. I think, after examining it, it’s the habit of it. My mind says I “should be” doing certain things in the game because that’s what I have done for months and months (or years and years), so I can’t enjoy the diversity of activities the game commands.

    Great post.

  2. Its funny the above commenter brings this up.

    If I may, I would like to share on this subject. To share I have to give a bit of background but I will keep it brief.
    I have played World of Warcraft on a competitive level (server first guild) since I started playing World of Warcraft. The day that I decided to leave was a week before Rift was launched (head start program), as I played Rift (CB1-CB6) and realized I didn’t enjoy playing “WoW” (After the GM and Co-Gm of my guild my best “WoW” friends decided to leave the game for IRL reasons) anymore I became more and more scarce to my guild, and more and more apt to play Rift. I played Rift to end game content (“Greenscale” / “RoS”) and found myself wanting for a different reason.

    Later I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the game, it was the people. The people make the game, the addiction isn’t the progression or the gear, or the satisfaction of killing a boss. The addiction is teamwork, knowing that you’re with a guild / team that has gone to hell an back with you and the not so obvious respect and comradery you have built with your brothers and sisters that spent hours together through thick and thin, just to wipe over and over again to get another step closer to that final goal, which is influential, but also a goal that can only be set and met with the people you call a guild.

    I realized this after playing Rift to end game. I’m not trying to bag on my Rift guild, I just never got that family “I’ll go to war with you brother” feeling that I had with my “WoW” guild. It was only a few days after telling my Rift guild that I was leaving the game that I realized why I was really leaving. Somewhere between taking that step away from “WoW” and tanking that step forward to the unknown, I figured out what gaming especially in MMO’s was about for me, and I believe that if more people took that step back and looked at the situation they would realize as well that gaming isn’t 100% about the game. A lot of it has to do with who you play with.

    I can positively say that I would likely have quit playing “WoW” a long time ago had “Oldschool” and “Strife” my two very best “WoW” friends quit sooner. I can easily say that the reason I left Rift was because I couldn’t take one more day with my guild or server for that matter.

    A lot of people blamed game play and homogenization of class mechanics and abilities for the reason that Cataclysm has been a colossal failure (which it was not) , but I think after a generation of people playing “WoW” together, real life called those who were just starting their lives to come be part of the real world, and the late bloomers and the older crowd (my crowd) that was already grounded in the real world were just left behind. Everyone got shuffled around and it was no fun anymore. All of those people that we had worked our tails off with to get T1-T9/10 were gone and replacing them was like replacing a family member, it’s just not gonna happen. A “decade of kids” grew up on us and left us to be part of the world, I did it after college, I left gaming only to come back to it after I had kids of my own. They will be back, families will form again, people will dominate content in some new game endlessly and effortlessly as they did before, and it will be fun again, but for most of us that played World of Warcraft in all of it glorious splendor it will never be the same until the next generation of “Almost adults” joins us and the “decade of kids that grew up” come back. Sadly I don’t think “WoW” has many more years to unite the masses, but another game will, that’s for sure.

    -Vudujoose

    1. Great post, great sentiment. Ferrel and I had this same exact feeling with EQ1, so it is good to see that the spirit continued with the newer WoW crowd.

      MMOs will always be about the people with whom you play. If you aren’t playing for those reasons, you likely won’t be playing that game long. The relationships and the memories of the social aspect of the game are what make them live long in our memories.

      I also agree about that certain time in your life. Your first real MMO experience, the group of kids growing up into themselves and learning about the world, games, and each other. You can’t replicate that experience no matter how hard you try. In many ways it is like childhood, forever reaching for that memory that probably never really existed that perfectly anyway.

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