Motivation to Perform
Xeppe at An Absolutely Ordinary Priest wrote a post about motivating raiders that really got me thinking.
Stress is Good
When I think about the fights that I love healing, they’re often the hardest ones. I remember trying to heal Saurfang 10 when it felt like a single cooldown you spent the wrong way would wipe the raid – and it made me feel alive like no other fight did. I always went into that fight with a huge surge of adrenaline and focus and I knew every single second mattered. I remember the first time I saw hard mode Putricide 25 in phase three and thought “OMG, this is insane”. There was a recent moment where I ended up solo healing Festergut and it felt the same way.
Nothing about that had anything to do with fear of anyone getting angry at me. The encounter was pressure enough.
We Get Sloppy When the Fights are Too Easy
No one is going to doubt that…just run a lol Heroic nowadays. One of the things that made that Festergut work was that every single person in that raid knew there was one healer and if they did something stupid I didn’t have extra globals to save them. DPS get sloppy when they know a healer can rescue them from standing in The Bad without even thinking. Healers get sloppy when we know that a Healing Stream Totem could keep the raid alive. Tanks get sloppy when their health is so high they can chain pull in heroics without a healer at all. We all relax when a fight is on farm and we really don’t think the raid could wipe no matter what we do.
Yelling is Bad
When someone yells at me in a raid I get locked up and tense. I don’t play as well as I could, and I really need a few minute break to decompress to get my game back on. That’s me. I know I never want to be in a guild where yelling is considered “motivating”.
But is it? Well, you can argue it is. Lots of hardcore world first guilds are like that. It must be statistically successful to play with unforgiving assholes. Obviously it works for some people. There are also lots of people who don’t want to play in that setting, and I think there’s an assumption that they must “sacrifice” progression for a good environment. I think there is some middle ground out there. Our guild is 11/12 25 ICC with our drakes from the metas. We didn’t get there first, but we got there and it’s not exactly a casual achievement either. And no one yells. Or makes comments that aren’t constructive. Ever.
WoW is a game I play to relax and socialize. It is not a job. It is not supposed to add stress to my life. And it is not going to be constantly miserable to play – or I won’t be doing so. Spending it angry and fighting and frustrated and scared are not options.
Don’t get me wrong – I take it seriously. I spent a few hours this week min/maxing a gear upgrade before we start pulls on H Lich King. I research my class and gear, show up on time and focused on getting those dragons slain, and scour the logs after a raid to see how I could do better.
Making People Feel Stupid
In this guild, I’ve also never feel like people think I’m stupid for asking a question, and I’ve certainly been in guilds where you can get reamed for doing so. Talk about dis-motivation there. When you start encouraging people to play badly and hope no one notices instead of speaking up and getting things straight and working an issue out, something is horribly wrong. I love an environment where people want to support you to play better.
Constructive Criticism Can Work
I love how my guild does this – it’s a nice balance. If you wipe the raid, you’re going to get called out. Calmly and constructively. I hear a lot of “Hey ShamanGuy, what keeps killing you?” And it’s followed by “…and how can we all help you get past that?” Everyone in the raid feels able to point out something that seems to be going wrong and suggest strategy. But it all feels like we’re working together for a common goal.
Nothing is more motivating than that to me.