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