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Posts Tagged ‘communication’

I’m a raider. That means I have to be on time, be prepared, and, most importantly, follow directions.

In return, though, there are a few things that I want from my leadership, whether in a raid or just in guild chat.

As a note, this is not a list of things I wish my guild leadership would do.  Some of these are things my guild is very good at – others, not so much.  Regardless, with any guild I’m a part of, this would be my wishlist.

Clarity

This is numero uno.  From clear guild policies to loot rules, things need to be spelled out for me to feel really comfortable.  A lot of this is work upfront when creating a guild – what loot system you use, if there are any exceptions, how to move up in guild ranks, etc.  Whatever your rules are, I’ll probably be okay with them – just let me know what they are.

This impacts the raid schedule, too.  For example, if, according to our raid calendar, we’re scheduled to clear Mount Hyjal on Monday, and Black Temple on Tuesday and Wednesday, what happens if we don’t clear Mount Hyjal on Monday?  Are we going into Black Temple on Tuesday as originally planned, or is it more important to clear Mount Hyjal first?  I don’t care either way – just let me know.

Maybe I’m more paranoid that most raiders, but before going into a T6 raid, I skim the bossfight tactics on our guild forum, WoWWiki, or shadowpriest.com – even if it’s a boss we’ve downed several times before.  Having a clear plan for the raid that night helps me prepare as a raider.

Negative Feedback

Auz, from Chick GM, caught me off guard in her post about interviewing recruits. She asks her recruits:

How you you like to receive feedback about your gameplay?
This is for me. Every single raider in my guild has received feedback from me. From “good job” to “dude quit that shit.” Each one of them prefers to get it in a different way. One of my shaman likes for me to call it out in vent. One of my priests gets very defensive if I call stuff out in front of others. One of my pallys likes to hear stuff right then in the raid. Another shaman would rather I give them a short instruction in the raid but always after the raid would like me to explain my feedback in detail. I will have to give you feedback and your preferred way has to be something I can actually do.

The first thing I thought was “Dear GOD this woman is a genius!”  Everyone doesn’t respond to feedback the same way.  Personally, I hate being called out on stuff in front of others.  I already know I screwed up, and I already feel like crap because I caused others to have a higher repair bill or just plain work harder to make up for my messup.  And you know what?  Other people probably know I screwed up too.

I want the negative feedback, but please give it to me in private.

Positive Feedback

Larísa of The Pink Pigtail Inn wrote earlier this week asking, “when did you last tell a fellow player that he’s great?”  It’s a great reminder to thank your fellow raiders (and leaders!) for all the hard work they do.

I LOVE positive feedback.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and really makes me feel like I’m contributing to the success of the group. It doesn’t have to be lavish praise, either.  One of our raid leaders will consistently throw out words of praise like “great shackles,” “good job on that sheeping,” or “nice pickup on those adds, tanks.”  It truly gets the raid pumped up, and we feel like we’re on top of the world.  But the important thing is that this praise can’t be contrived, or tossed out like it’s a formula for success. This praise affects me because I know the raid leader means it.

Respect

Starman over at Casual Raid Leader noted in his recent post that communication can be essential to avoiding burnout.  He comes at the question from a raid leader perspective, but it’s definitely applicable to raiders.  If, for whatever reason, I am unable to raid, I’ll let my raid leader know.  In return, understand that I’m not flaking out – I just need a night off.  I’ll let you know what I need from you – just tell me what can happen, what can’t happen, and why. Mutual respect goes a long way in creating a great raid team.

Fun!

Yeah, remember that part of it?  It’s a game!  Okay, so this part isn’t strictly about communication, but it sure is important.  I love raiding with my guild/raid leaders, but some of my most fun with them happens when we do a 10 man we way outgear, stomp through a heroic dungeon, or just hang out in Vent or guild chat poking fun at each other.  We play this game to have fun, and even though you’re leading a guild, we want you to have fun too.

Communication Series

Communication Part 1: What I Want from Blizzard
Communication Part 2: What I Want from my Leadership
Communication Part 3: What Others Can Expect from Me

Photo Credits: lukasd2009

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There’s been a lot of talk about communication lately here in the blogosphere. Specifically, how do we want it?

Where is this coming from?

I started thinking about this a few weeks ago when I saw something on the shadowpriest.com forums. With constant revisions of talents and nerf bats coming seemingly out of nowhere, the snippets we’ve gotten from the blues have been, at times, very confusing. Someone called Koraa out, claiming incompetence, and pointed out various “oops, I meant…” statements scattered across several class forums.

Nijessi of Burning Legion responded in the thread:

Fact is if blizzard DOESNT have the man power to communicate effectively and accurately than all they are doing by attempting to communicate is creating turmoil. I would rather effective communication above all else – but if it’s not available then I would say make it a walled garden.

A couple weeks later, 2nd Nin from Life of a Nin wrote a piece about in-game design. While the piece focused on tanks, there’s some really insightful nuggets that apply to everyone. She notes that:

… none of the beta testers have seen a vision statement for each class or talent tree and instead we get limited snippits from dev from time to time. By hiding (or rather not revealing) the overall plan Blizzard minimises the chance that we can give useful and productive feedback to them.

Though this is focused on our ability to give feedback, it points out something very important – we don’t know where Blizzard is going with any of this. Wrath is like a completely new game and we don’t know what Blizzard is trying to accomplish with each class and/or spec.

Merlot from Misery posted a great view of how the response from shadow priests to Blizzard is really a study in trust. She, too, points out:

[there is a] lack of transparency with the development process. We have no clear iteration of Blizzard’s vision for shadow priests, so we have no context in which to view certain decisions.

The rest of the article is fantastic, and gives a great perspective on the shadow priest-blue dynamic.

So what do I want?

I don’t expect full transparency into the developer thought process. Blizzard is a business – it will make whatever decisions it feels is right for their game. But among those millions of players, there’s a strong group of people who will theorycraft, simulate, and make alternative suggestions.

It’s just really hard to do when we don’t know where you’re trying to take us.

I don’t want a “walled garden,” but I would LOVE a little something more cohesive than what we’ve seen so far.

So here’s my wish: Give us a road map, a vision statement, or any number of other business clichés. For ALL classes and specs. What are you trying to do with each class? Where do you want them to be at level 80, at the top of the raiding/pvp/soloing game?

Blizzard, you’ve created a wonderful, insanely addicting game, and have facilitated the creation of a massive community. I wouldn’t still be playing if I didn’t like what you’ve created – so I have to trust that you have the best interests of the game at heart. But since you want feedback, please let us know where you’re trying to take us, so the suggestions that are crafted with so much love for our respective classes can match up with what you want us to be.

I don’t need all the nitty gritty details of each decision – just an idea of what it was based on.

To come:

Communication Part 2: What I Want from My Leadership
Communication Part 3: What Others can Expect from Me

Image credit: Pontuse

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