Guildleader chores: Happiness in game - how to promote happiness in guild

One of the things that does flitter on my mind sometimes is whether my guild members are happy.  How do you measure happiness and what can you do to promote it?

It all comes down to what makes people happy in game.  Some philosophical people talk about "pillars of happiness" which of course can be translated into game speak:

  1. Health
    Sick people are not happy people, generally. But in game, everyone is healthy, well, until they are killed in game, and their health is 0.  People don't want to be dead all the time, so the game needs to be just hard enough so that you're stimulated, but not so hard you're dead all the time.  Wiping constantly on a boss without making headway, or losing every single battleground with your guild does not make you a happy Frostwolf.
  2. Family
    A feeling of inclusion, respect and feeling comfortable around other guild members is important. Nobody likes to feel like an outsider at a party, nor does anyone like to have their playstyle questioned when it is what they enjoy.
  3. Friends
    You cannot choose your family but you can choose your friends.  Friends are people you enjoy playing the game with(whereas family in game is the guild), and it can be lonely if you can't find people to kill dinomancers with, or to quest/level/PvP with.  Friends don't have to be in the guild, but sometimes, it helps, as you would like to spend time with your friends.
  4. Wealth
    The accumulation of things, be that gold, items, points or achievements, are what I think of as wealth, and that includes loot, ingame items, achievements, honour/valour/justice/conquest points.  If rewards are given in game, it should be done fairly, so that nobody feels like they are working solely for the benefit of others.  On the other hand, you would expect that a member should understand that they are part of a team and that everyone takes turns in receiving their rewards.  Loot, or rather lack of it, is what causes a lot of angst.  It's a tricky thing.
  5. Profession
    I think of raiding/battlegrounds/arena as a job sometimes, as satisfaction in your work at these counts a lot to people's happiness.  
  6. Spirit
    This usually refers to religion, but ingame it refers to your attitude to the game.  Is the game a joy to you, or is it a chore?  Do you login because of guilt for letting your teammates down?  How do you feel if you login to raid and get sat out?  It is a person's game spirit that also helps to bring happiness and it is a very individual thing.

I realise that it's not possible to make EVERYONE happy.  Trying to make EVERYONE happy is just a recipe for heartache or stress for myself.  It's sometimes a little hard not to feel personal insult when someone leaves the guild for whatever reason, and I am always curious to why they left and what I could have done to improve it.

Obviously, the culture of a guild family will determine if that is what a member wants.  A hardcore gamer is not going to feel happy in a guild full of social players.  A female may feel uncomfortable in a male dominated, sexist guild.  However, before you have people jumping in and saying "you can't have that in game", you have to remember that freedom of CHOICE and EXPRESSION is a right that everyone has.  As long as those people are not using them to hurt or impose their will on others, then it's ok for them to all associate with each other.  That's what makes them feel comfortable.  You can choose not to go there.

This statement is not true, but damn, it made me laugh
What culture have I been trying to promote?  We are an adult casual raiding guild, with a heavy social aspect.  I like to know more about people - almost every guild member has been peppered with questions from me in whispers about what they like to play, how they like to play, where they live, what they do.  Call it nosy, but it helps me remember each guild member more and give me an idea of where they would fit into the guild.  I strongly encourage people who have friends who would like to be part of our guild to join and be with their friends, but I also do a quick spiel to each person about what our guild is like, what to expect, and what I expect from them.  Nothing fancy, but setting ground rules is important to know boundaries.

Just today I was reading some blogs and both talked about their dissatisfaction with what was going on within a guild.  One couple wanted to raid heroic content and felt their guild wasn't giving it to them and made the hard decision to leave.  The other person talked about conversation happening within the guild which made him feel uncomfortable, and wasn't sure if this was the right place for him.  I thought about what I would do if they were in my guild and how I would rectify this situation.

I've talked before about guild conversation and how it could offend people.  However, as Australians, I think we tend to take the piss out of ourselves more often than not, and so using derogatory terms, especially towards ourselves is acceptable, to an extent.  We have gay people in the guild - if they are not taking offence to gay references, should anyone else be?  Yes, we are an adult guild, many of us have partners, and children.  We do talk about sex.  We do use swear words.  I have never seen offensive sexist comments in guild, and had I, it would be stomped upon.  Even racist comments are hardly seen (is it racist if I use the term chinese farmer and I'm asian?) and I have said many times there is no bullying or abuse in guild chat.

It is raiding that has me concerned a little.  We had members leave because we didn't offer enough raiding, progressive raiding.  Back then, signups where low and we often had no raids. However, that is a lot less frequent now, and will probably be less frequent as guild members continue to swell, and people are getting geared for Flex raids.  I want to keep our good raiders interested in raiding, but I don't want people to feel like we're not getting anywhere.  Constant wiping without progression or improvement is bad for health and morale.  However, I think everyone is trying their best and we are still progressing.  Our guild seems to be attracting the former heavier raiders turned casual players and I wonder what this will be like when we hit Flex - I am hoping that Flex will be the guild bonding group activity that I miss from the days before the Cataclysm.

There isn't much I can do about spirit.  It depends on the individual.  The only thing I can offer is demonstrations of game spirit from other members in the guild.  Some guildies are generous with their time, and help out others.  Some are generous with their professions and crafting materials.  Some are generous with advice and on the best ways to do a quest/farm/kill (oh that looks bad, putting kill there) things in game.  Others are just generally supportive or encouraging (we still all yell out "GRATS" whenever someone spams an achievement in guild), or even just like to talk enthusiastically about whatever it is in game they enjoy, showing that there is more to WoW than raiding/PvP/farming/AH/Alts/questing/Achievements.  Being in that kind of environment tends to encourage that others to feel the same (herd mentality) if the inclination is already there.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that even though happiness is an individual thing, there are still small things we can do to help make people happy in guild, just as long as the individuals are not selfish, pig-headed bastards who enjoy torturing small animals for pleasure. I don't think that sort of person would find any happiness here in Frostwolves.

No mindless slaughtering of druid forms allowed in this guild


  1. I couldn't agree more. It especially helps when you have others who can support and understand the decisions made (when in that position of authority) but if people don't care or invest much, it makes it a lot harder.

    1. Oh, what happened to your avatar? Yes, it does make it a lot harder if people don't care. But I guess the trick is trying to avoid those people anyway!

  2. "selfish, pig-headed bastards who enjoy torturing small animals for pleasure"

    *Cough*Pet Battles*Cough*

    1. How are my pets being tortured? They get taken for walks and they get to fight and they get to kick ass! And they get treats!

    2. Yeah, I'm sure Nutkins the squirrel, Thumper the bunny, and Snuffles the battle-hedgehog ENJOY being set on fire, frozen, electrocuted, poisoned, covered in acid, slashed, stabbed, pierced, shot, throwed and blown up ... and then getting bandaged up so they can do it AGAIN. :p


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