Moving On

I’ve enjoyed my time here immensely, but after a long and hard think, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on from <Harvest Moon> for new pastures. Some people will be wondering why; others will be wondering why they should care. I hope to convince everybody that their time hasn’t been wasted.

As a raider, I want several things. Primarily, though, I want my raiding experience to meet a few golden rules;

  1. The raiding is appropriate to the skillset of the group
  2. … as well as the gear of the group
  3. The challenge of raiding is balanced by steady progress
  4. The people around me are like-minded in their approaches to raiding
  5. The raiding atmosphere must be one where constructive (and reasonably worded) criticism is both taken onboard and given freely
  6. The raiding atmosphere must be sociable and not tense
  7. The distribution of skill in the group is reasonably even

If you read that and thought “this guy asks a hell of a lot!” then you’re right. But then again I put in a hell of a lot – I work extremely hard to achieve and I expect that in return, I can get out of raiding something similar to what I put in. I think that this is reasonable.

So what do I feel has gone wrong for me in <HM>? Well, the social atmosphere is excellent – I’ve not seen a nicer set of players in my entire history of the game. I also can’t complain that the distribution of skill is uneven – I’ve even had the privilege to play with some ex-heroic raiders from whom I’ve learned quite a bit. I like that. I think that the content our raid faces is also relevant to the gear level, so that’s 3 points that I don’t worry about in <HM> at all. Where I think that my relationship with <HM>’s raiding fails is in the other points – what it boils down to is that my attitude towards raiding is significantly different from that which is displayed in <HM>.

Don’t get me wrong though! The raiding atmosphere in <HM> is great, and it works for the guild because it’s a perfectly sound idea – “play the game how you enjoy it”. I’m not detracting from the guild at all – just stating where my differences lie: these are the reasons I think I would be better off elsewhere.

I think that the content that <HM> tackles isn’t the right level for the players’ skillset – many of the players here in <HM> have done or could happily do hardmode content if they wanted to! The fact is that most of them don’t want to – that’s perfectly reasonable, but I do. My enjoyment of a raid hangs on working hard, striving, putting everything into bringing down something that is a perfect match for my ability and gear. In that sense, <HM> doesn’t really meet two of my wants as listed above (1. and 4.)

So that leaves two more of my wants – progression, and criticism. In terms of progression, I think <HM> is doing very well for a guild raiding 1 night a week! The challenge for me has been doing only one night a week, though! I feel that any reasonable progression requires two nights – one for farming, and one for progression. Many times, <HM> has had a matter of minutes in which to make progression before the night is over and we reset. I didn’t like that very much. I do understand, however, the reasons that <HM> is on one night a week and I think it’s perfectly valid. Again, it’s just not what I want.

Finally, criticism – This is a controversial thing in the guild. Our GM certainly believes that praise is the best way to inspire increased effort, but due to my background and attitude I believe that the best improvements always come from raiders looking for negative feedback. I honestly haven’t seen a lot of that in <HM> – I think raiders should go looking for their weaknesses rather than only wanting praise for their efforts. Those times that I have attempted to give some kind of negative (but constructive and tactfully worded) criticism in any open channel, it hasn’t been welcomed. That does disappoint me somewhat, and it’s been the only real thing that I feel I’ve disagreed with our GM about. Still, it’s perfectly fair to take the approach that <HM> do – but it’s not really for me.

I think overall it’s fair to say that while I love and respect <HM> for raiding like they do, I feel that I’d fit in better in a different place. I’m not leaving on bad terms with anyone, and I don’t want anyone to think I look down on <HM> or anything laughable like that. I love it here – but it’s not for me.

My GM took this news very well – to his credit, he explained why he wants <HM> to be the way it is, and it’s only served to strengthen both my respect for the guild and my resolve to leave. With his permission, I’m going to reproduce what I think are the most important points he brought up. I agree entirely with the validity of his approach.

Harvest Moon’s raiding approach has always been to clear normal-mode content while it’s current (regardless of nerf/buffs), with a casual but focussed approach. You’re right in that we could, as a team, be more focussed and that some of our members are perhaps not as committed to the minutiae as others such as yourself– however at the end of the day we’re not a progression guild. Neither myself nor XXXX have the time to manage a progression-minded guild, be it juggling the roster or the politics that come along with it.

Having lead a progression team, I sympathise entirely with the sentiment of the above. I think that they’re right to be organizing things on the level that they want and like – good on you guys.

Empathy and consideration of your individual team members’ nature need to be of utmost importance, and this will inform how you deliver your feedback. Some people take one-to-one feedback better than discussing it (or having it discussed) across the entire team. Calling out individuals post-fight, in mumble, will be fine for some who have come to expect it, but rankle others.

Again, this is true. The disparity between our GM’s approach and mine is mostly idealogical – I think that people should expect and welcome criticism in an open channel on principle. It’s just what I expect – or perhaps what I’ve been trained to expect as a scientist. Either way, I have to agree that wording the feedback correctly is important – that’s something that I feel is important and should always be paid attention to. Finally;

While without your contribution we would not be 8/8 at this point in time and I hate to lose you, I also know that you need to do what’s best for yourself.  As I always say, again and again: play the game how *you* want to play it.

Therein is shown the mark of an excellent leader, a good friend, and (most importantly) a respectable philosophy on what is, ultimately, just a game. I can’t tell you, Rel, how much respect I have for the job you are doing with <Harvest Moon>, and how much I will miss talking to “the Moonies”. Thanks to every single member who took the time to read this; if you’re upset by what I’ve said, I’d urge you to reconsider: I’m not ragequitting. The time I’ve had in <Harvest Moon> has made me very happy.


About stoove

A physicist, researcher, and gamesman. Likes to think about the mathematics and mechanics behind all sorts of different things, and writing up the thoughts for you to read. A competent programmer, enjoys public speaking and mechanical keyboards. Has opinions which might even change from time to time.
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12 Responses to Moving On

  1. Very sad to hear you’re leaving but as I can’t be around.. well gosh I haven’t even so much as logged in in weeks myself, I can’t complain either. I’ve always had the philosophy that this IS A GAME and if you aren’t happy and need something else, go for it. If people don’t understand that then they do have their own problems, so long as you’re mature about doing so, which you definitely seem to be.

    Personally, I have the issue that I’ve done the raiding thing and I just don’t think it’s for me any more. I tried, I really did, but it didn’t work. I raided in Burning Crusade A LOT. I did what could have been considered the heroic content for BC, though there wasn’t any there was DIFFICULT content and we did a lot of it. That was great at the time, and I went on to raid through Wrath and do a few hardmodes there as well. It’s where my own skillset lies in all honesty. I like to tackle content with likeminded people who know how to enjoy the game while also getting the job done and that is impossible to find. In my experience.. you either have to expect elitists and drama whores, or the casual lot who are lovely but perhaps not matched for the former content. (and I’m not saying anything bad about the Moonies by any means, should you take it that way)

    These days, I can’t be arsed to bash my head against a wall. I feel bad that halfway through a raid I get bored and want to leave, but can’t. That’s not how a gaming experience should go! You should enjoy it, and if you don’t, you should do something to fix that. Whether in your case, you find a new guild, or in mine, I stop entirely. We do what we must and I hope you’re able to find what you’re looking for.

    Hope to keep relatively in touch! You have my Real ID if I ever pop on, and Twatter. 🙂

    // Hannah/Jaedia/Soupy

    • stoove says:

      Yeah, I understand the frustration TBH. I have to admit that the problem of looking for that fine balance is something I’ve struggled with several times, from waay back in Wrath! I’ve found that there are a few guilds out there that have all the things I want. They’re there, but they’re extremely difficult to distinguish from the rabble AND they tend to want 4 nights a week of raiding (there are exceptions) – I just can’t give 4 npw at the moment! 😦
      Having said that, I’ve found some excellent potential guilds on Ghostlands. Once I move, I might well do a retrospective “looking for guild” post.

      Thanks for your comment Hannah, I miss you on WoW 😦

      • My problem is everything I want to do currently is on my Priest, but I want to play with the Moonies.. and can’t afford to move her over (£35? No thanks). So everytime I consider it, I remember that and go do something else. 😦

      • stoove says:

        Sadface! I think that perhaps one thing Blizzard could do which would improve community is making it cheaper to move like that. OTOH, good things like x-realm raiding already exist. Pity that there’s no cross-faction raiding yet! 🙂

      • Yes but I don’t want to raid on her 😉 She’s my achievement hunter and pet/mount collector. 🙂

  2. Wabbage says:

    It’s a shame to see you go Stoove, it really is. I know Reliq really appreciated everything you did to help Harvest Moon, especially in it’s infancy when I was MIA due to illness and for that I thank you.

    But personally I think that a certain element of this post should have gone up on the guild forums prior to being a public post. I understand that you’ve wanted to speak to people in game etc before making your “announcement”, but still I feel it should have been public knowledge to the guild before hitting up your blog. I also feel to an extent like now that you’ve made up your mind 100% that you’re moving on that you’re using Harvest Moon as a go to until you have your new guild sorted. Both these things leave me disappointed in the way you’ve handled the situation.

    • stoove says:

      I understand your concern Wabby and I’m sorry to have disappointed you. On the other hand, I believe that I let the people know who I really needed to; those who were online in the past few days. I logged in quite a few times specifically to let those people know who were around. Other than that, I tried to get hold of one person who I really didn’t want to suddenly leave.

      Perhaps I should have commented in the guild forums. On the other hand, I’ve let the majority of the people who would have read it know already. I didn’t mean any offence by not posting it there.

      I don’t know what you mean by “using as a go to”. The reason I’ve not left yet is because I like it here and I don’t want to just leave. I’ve been staying here out of respect for the social atmosphere that brought me there, as well. I’ve tried to strike a balance, but I know it might not be to everybody’s taste.

      • Wabbage says:

        Not sure you’ve picked up my points the way I’ve meant for them to come across.

        I think of respect to Harvest Moon you should have posted on the forums – even if you think that only a certain amount of people would have read it, you’d be surprised by how many people lurk but don’t post.

        As regards to using us as a go to, I mean that every other time someone has left a guild that I have experienced it’s been done in somewhat of a certain way. Person announces they are leaving, insert random “sorry your leaving comments”, person leaves. It’s kind of like someone being dumped but the person then hanging around for a little bit, becuase it’s nice.

        Best of luck in your new guild, and I really hope you find what your looking for especially with Cataclysm being in it’s lull stage.

      • I think he’s just sticking around because he likes the guild, Al. 🙂

      • stoove says:

        No, Wabby, I think we’re approaching the idea of who we’re respecting from opposite directions. I’ve been using “the Guild” as a sort of shorthand for the specific people who made it good for me, and who still make it good. In the sense you seem to be using it, it appears that you’re referring to “the Guild” as a separate entity, which doesn’t sit well with me. Either way, I’m happy to concede that I could have posted internally first. OTOH, I would have felt like I was seeming rather aggressive about it (something I’ve been taking pains to avoid).

        I sincerely reject the analogy you made. I’m staying around because I like the people here, I want to spend any time I have left with them whenever I can. Saying “I quit” and just leaving always struck me as rather rude to those people who’ve made your time good.

        I feel that, compared to many other ways of handling it which I could of taken, it’s a little unfair to say I’ve not handled it well. After all – Reliq has known for a while now, the least I could do was hang around until he’s properly ready for me to leave.

      • Reliq says:

        To be honest, I can see where you’re both coming from.

        I’ve spoken with Stoove privately about this already (which is where the quotes above have come from), and also spoken with Wabby privately (as he’s my right-hand man and sounding board for *everything*). Like me, Wabby is extremely protective of the guild. However, Stoove was also there at the beginning of the raid team and was instrumental in its success, along with the rest of the ‘core’. I doubt anyone can doubt the sincerity of either of your contributions and opinions.

        Personally I don’t see why you would want to leave the absolute best guild in the world, Stoove, but I can also see why 😛 I am not a wise man (ref. bringing Stubbs in on a guild run >.>), but I am perceptive xD And, as I have mentioned in my email to you which is referenced above, it is all down to what *you* want from the game.

        I can also see, and understand, Wabby’s point of it appearing like you’re hanging around until you get the nod from whichever guild you apply to. You can reject that idea as much as you want, but you can’t deny the perception. But, from experience, this is possibly simply due to it not being the norm with how people do it. They say sayonara, and leave even if they don’t have a new ‘home’ yet.

        I have added nothing to this discussion, but as always felt the need to pipe in 😛

        Sitting on the fence,

      • stoove says:

        Thanks, Rel.

        I think you’re right – the perception may be that I’ve been waiting for a nod from a particular guild. The reality has been somewhat different – without wishing to say who, I’ve had offers from several guilds since I talked to Rel about this initially. All of them wanted me straight away, and I told them all I’d be staying in for a while. As it happens, I’ve moved over to a new guild now where I’ll be starting raiding again soon (stupid business trips!). I think that you’re right in saying that the perception might be how it is because of the way the norm is – but then I think it’s the norm that is at fault, and I’m not afraid to say it should be otherwise! 🙂

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