Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't Break The Shadowbind!: The balancing act.

>Don't Break the Shadowbind! is our Wed-weekly column brought to you by Omoikitte. Endgame isn't just killing mobs and splitting up the drops, that is the easy part. Omoikitte will provide her insight on how to do the hard part: the administration and planning of events, deciding on how to divvy up the drops, and how to deal with that one whiny LS member that just won't shut up about their abjuration. In this post I want to take a look at how you actually structure events to please both the veterans and the newcomers of your linkshell.

Every linkshell tends to fall into tiers. At the top is your leadership hierarchy, then you have your top end linkshell members, who come as any job, are keen, dedicated and good at what they do. Then you have the middle layer of membership. These are members who are slightly less polished than your elite players but generally make up the bulk of your ls. They show up to events, carry the weight and help you get things done. Finally there are the floaters. The people who you can't quite work out why they are in your ls, they don't really care and can be more a hindrance than a help.

What ever tier you fall into, at some point you are either a noob or a veteran of the linkshell you are participating in and everyone (particularly Americans) have their opinions on their rights and entitlements within the structure of the linkshell.

To a degree, this is correct, while we have no official charter drawn up that states what rights your members have in your democracy/dictatorship/senate (My linkshell is run on the benevolent dictatorship theory)for a linkshell to succeed you need to minimise the amount of corruption at the top therefore allowing the members to believe they are getting a good deal from the situation.

There are things I feel you are morally obliged to do when you decide to be a linkshell leader. Of course not everyone adheres to things like this but that is a personal decision and potentially leaves a lot to be desired about your personality. Screwing over other people is never a pleasant thing whatever the "justification".

I have always believed that to be a good leader, my members come before me. Which is why when people leave Versus getting angry at me, it is always intriguing as to why they are very upset at me, which is invariably the case. Presumably because I am not giving anyone favouritism. Another thing I wish to avoid at all costs, whether you are the person who started last week, or the member who has been in the shell for 4 years, I expect everyone to be a valuable member of the linkshell.

Of course I will tailor my expectations to be flexible, there is a learning curve you can allow for the newer members that you would haul your older members up for, but I don't shy away from admonishing veterans who does stupid things. Being in the linkshell for a long time should not excuse you from silly mistakes and errors, you have been there long enough and really should know better.

In amongst all this, before I digress too much, heheheh, is the tricky act of balancing your events. You need to do events tailored to both the Veterans of the linkshell AND the newer members of the linkshell. The interesting point about Versus currently is that we have been doing things for so long now that it is very easy to get the easy stuff very quickly.

Its the ultra-rare drops there is a queue for. This can cause an air of dissent, the Veterans want to be entertained and not made to feel like all they are doing in your linkshell is playing catch up to a bunch of noobs who may or may not remain in your linkshell after getting that 1 drop they have waited 3 months for.

Sadly we have had a LOT of members who have used the linkshell as a stopping point to clean up and move on, you can't predict who is going to do that and it is very hard to be vigilant against such abuses. It is frustrating, however the best thing you can do is move on.

The thing I think I struggle with the most is the senior members who think that doing certain zones, such as Sky, is an event that is beneath them. I don't agree with them at all, I think that encourages an attitude of complacency, and just because you do Salvage/HNM/anything fancier or more expensive than god abjurations, doesn't mean that it isn't the best gear for other people until they can hit the same stride as you.

The decision to pick what is best event wise for the linkshell is hard as you will receive a lot of pressure from those ensconced veterans who are like Waldorf and Statler from The Muppets. Crotchety old men who like to heckle about how it wasn't like that in my day. Don't let them cower you into submission, remember ultimately you are still the boss.

You need to find a path that juggles everyone's happiness so that you don't have people leaving or causing problems, its a narrow path to walk but it is possible. Good luck its a fine line but if you do it well your linkshell will follow you anywhere.


JESS said...

Hey those are my favorite 2 muppets. LMAO

Anonymous said...

well played :)


Almont said...

I have always believed that to be a good leader, my members come before me.

This is a key concept which a good number of linkshell leaders seem to be lacking. Your linkshell members are fortunate to have such a person heading up their efforts!

Anonymous said...

Even if we had our differences at times, I look back on it as a good time.

Shame my timezone misses out on the fun times lol

Being EU is such a drag at times lol


(darnit open ID aint working)