Tuesday, February 3, 2009

MMO, Politics and Human Relations

While they may not to be peculiar to MMOs politics and human relation issues do seem more prevalent than in other gaming genres. Managing people from different cultures, different outlooks and of different ages can be a delicate affair. As most communication is in the written word, tone, intention and emphasis can be lost. Indeed when communicate orally we adjust out approach to individuals as we perceive their mood, bearing etc. This week I had a fine example of that.

Chat in our alliance channel took a very negative turn last week. You have seen it yourselves in your own alliance or in general chat, I am sure. A mood can suddenly be set that is unhelpful and doesn’t actually reflect the reality. What people were perceiving as a lack of desire to cooperate and an inability to play well together was in fact about low morale within the member guilds about the state of the game. We had had a large alliance event a week before where cooperation was superb and we all played well but the event failed due to short comings in the game.

To overcome this mood we decided to a meeting of representatives of all our guilds on vent. This was a task as we have 8 guilds but eventually on Sunday at 11am we got together. This worked very very well.

There were a number of reasons for this success. Voice coms are a far more efficient way of getting people to resolve issues. Guilds can build up reputations that are not wholly deserved and these can extend into rivalries with other guilds. Clearing the air between such groups is essential before you can tackle any practical or logistical issues. Secondly we had someone chair the meeting so we did not speak over each other, we also had a person record the minutes so our members can see what we discussed. Imposing a little structure on the gathering seemed to help us all. In the end we came up the following very simple conclusions. The may be of use to some of you in similar situations

Our Goals and Ambitions:

Having Fun
ORvR rather than ORvE
Locking zones and seeing end game content
Building on the strengths of the Alliance
We do not exploit


Try and be positive in Alliance Chat

Use the Alliance Chat with care, if we are doing Alliance RvR we should not use it as a general chat. This doesn't mean you can’t type into it or chat , just don't spam it with chitchat when we do events or massive RvR, use common sense when you use and you should do fine
Each guild will police their members in alliance chat
Support those leading Warbands and Raids
Channel criticisms and ideas through appropriate channels
A forum for alliance is available


We will try and have an Alliance event once a week even if its only jumping of a Bridge
We will also have Ad Hoc events
During the week if people ask for help in defence or attack in ORvR try and assist them where possible Help the Alliance: If someone requests help to lock a zone everyone that is up for RvR should go and help with locking that zone.
Fighting vs Farming: We should try to fight order instead of farming loot from empty keeps.

I am optimistic that will improve from now and am hopefully that our next event will be a success.

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