|Awards are relative.|
Late last week, I was contacted by a long-term reader of my Blog, with a simple question: she was debating what she would like to see her Guild improve in their pursuit of progression, and was trying to identify what was hindering the team she is a part of in general. I will admit, at first I wondered if I'd be in a position to answer her question at all, because I'm never been involved in Hardcore Progression, since it became the top tier of achievement. In fact, let's be honest here:
I may not be on the bleeding edge, but I think I know a bit about people. I'm also pretty certain that the only reason the best teams 'win' isn't about a brilliant individual performance each time. It's about every one of your 'group' understanding that the only way it ever works, in the end, is if THE TEAM turns up. Just ask the Germans after Sunday night's World Cup Final.
|One day. Maybe.|
That's why, at least in my mind, the England Football Squad has failed to bring home the World Cup since 1966. Too many leaders, not enough team players, and a lack of individual motivation to achieve a common goal, which is odd. You see, playing for your National Side should be the pinnacle of individual sporting achievement, but more often than not what motivates footballers and many sportsmen generally isn't the Three Lions on their Shirts. It's the wage packet at the end of their working week outside major international competitions. When driven by money, anything becomes far more attractive. For someone who's never made a penny from this website, I can tell you actually that's bollocks. If you want something enough (writing), NOTHING matters except that ultimate goal (doing just that.). Therefore, if we're talking about the motivation for raiding, well that's easy. You do it for the love of the 'game' and your reward is simply the satisfaction of a boss well pwned.
However, you and my long-term reader KNOW it's not that simple.
I hear people talk about things like 'focus' and 'motivation' being as much of a raid mechanic as not standing in fire, and that's not true. The only mechanics in the game are the ones Blizzard add into the fights: EVERYTHING else is up to players. Nobody teaches you to be motivated or focussed, you have to want it, need it and crave it for success. This is where it stops being an individual effort, when you combine people with the same goals and their shared momentum pulls them forward, and although people can write about how to keep teams all looking in the same direction via inspired leadership, the fact remains constant that People have got to WANT to Succeed. I could write reams on motivation, or balance or the need to manage individual players, but you know what? JUST DESIRE IT ENOUGH. Accept that if this is something you need to achieve, there's one way that happens, and that's if no-one fights and EVERYONE works towards a common goal.
I realise that's probably not very helpful in the general scheme of things, but it is the overriding point to make here, at least for me.
I did try: I wrote a list of 10 Things you could probably do to help maintain a Team Structure, but then realised that none of these are actually any use if your Team has no overriding desire to all achieve the same thing. The main factor for continued success isn't what YOU want, it is what can I DO to help the team: be it grinding for foods, helping runs for Valor for upgrades, being motivated and focussed in every pull, from the first to the last every session. That's how real progress is achieved, when everybody pulls in the same direction, and there is no instant answer for maintaing that, because if there were someone would have made their fortune by now selling it to anyone who'd listen. I'm certainly not going to attempt to ascribe my Comedy PoV to success either, so to my reader who asked me for the answers: I don't have them.
YOUR TEAM DO.
All you can do is get to know your raiders and ask them to help you, to stay on when content is on farm, to invest part of their life and soul into your Guild and what it stands for. You can't pay them, and you certainly can't expect to keep them as motivated as you are when Blizzard takes over a year to develop any new Raid Content. All you can hope is that the inspiration of raids past, of previous battles and great times is sufficient to make them keep coming back for more. If it isn't then it is time to find people who do, and that's how Raiding has functioned since Vanilla, more or less. I'm really sorry Everly, this isn't probably what you were looking for, but it occurs to me that I won't achieve anything by trying to pretend that I'm something I'm not. If your Raid Team/Guild really want to improve, then they've gotta want to stay in the game, and that's a problem I'm not sure I'm ever going to find an adequate means of solving.
You just gotta hope Blizzard turn up with the goods come Warlords.