I’m a stickler for communication. I like to know what’s going on. I hate making assumptions. I can be creative, by all means. However, when it comes to group activities (work, school, social, etc.), I like to know what to expect. In real life, this means knowing what’s expected of me. Why? I can make sure all my tasks are covered; it’s also so I know where the benchmark is so I can go past it! 😉 In gaming, that’s pretty much the same thing.
As a raider, I love knowing what we’re going to be up against on any given night. It also means that I get to know who I’m raiding with. I know what jobs need to be taken care of. I’ve learned over the past year or so that I’ve been a Raid Leader that the level of communication is positively correlated to the level of success of the raid. The more people are able to communicate what’s going on with them both in and out of raid, the better everyone is.
This conversation spawned all from a forum post from my SWTOR guild, Respected and Despised. Well, it’s not MY guild, but I’m in it. The issue came up because it clearly states in the mission statement of the guild:
The forums are our bread and butter. They need to be used not only to keep each other informed and up to date, but also to keep the cohesiveness of the guild intact and strong. I can’t stress this enough. Using the forums will enhance your gaming experience a hundred fold.
Look at the second line: “They need to be used…,” then he goes on to explain why. This isn’t necessarily an opinion about the forums, but this is one of the ways the guild continues to operate. I’m not sure about you, but I think two things when I read that portion of the mission statement.
- Thank God! I love an active forum community. It’s just boring for me to only know about the people I play with because I happen to log in at the same time as them.
- This seems pretty clear to me. This doesn’t seem to come across as an option. They expect us to use the forums to remain in touch both informational and social reasons.
Personally, I think that’s awesome. I’m not a fan of the “guild member” that signs on, does their dailies, raids without communicating or mingling with other members, and then logs off when they’re done. Not everyone is a socialite, and I get that. I just like to have some dialogue with the people I’m playing with. Perfect example is one of our druids and our other shaman. In the beginning, they were both pretty quiet, but they interacted with us for the time they were on. Over time, they’ve continued to open up and contribute on a social level. It’s awesome. They really feel like members of our team, not just people that fill raid slots on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I’m getting away from the point, though. In our forum discussion, it came out that some people just hate checking the forums. Understandable. However, I also hate going to work. I also hate warming up for a run, bike ride or anything physical. My point is that it’s been set out that information (and even raid sign-ups) are posted on our forums. We’ve been told that they’re not an option. Even though our roster boasts over 150 players, roughly half of them haven’t signed on since their initial acceptance into the guild. That’s sad to me. Even Trollsbane, our GM, wrote about it:
While we are a ways off from the game, and some people just don’t like typing in forums, I need to make sure you all understand that forums are not an option. They are mandatory. I write things in these forums that I need you to know. If ever it comes a time in-game that you tell me, “No, I didn’t see that in the forum”, you and I are going to have a little chat.
For right now, we’re a ways from launch. It’s not that big of a deal. But later on, that is different. You only get in raids by signing up on these forums. You only get guild info by reading these forums. We will make it easy for you to know what posts you need to read when the time comes though. So if you have no desire to wade through 100 posts, you won’t have to.
As a raid leader, I couldn’t put it better myself. Personally, I don’t think this is too much to ask of a guild. Yet there are some that come across as though checking the forums for important information would be the end of the world. I don’t get it. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you have to deliver information to a group of people, isn’t it easier to put it in one easily-accessible place and have everyone go there? If I institute some new rules in my classroom, I have my students just go to where they’re posted. Same thing is done at companies with bulletin boards. What’s any different?
There were some thoughtful responses to this communication issue, but the end point was still the same. If you want to remain active in the guild and be “in the know”, then utilize the resources that are there for you. I think you’ll be a better person for it!