Monday, March 14, 2011

Givers vs. Takers

The other day, I noticed a guild recruiting in Trade Chat.  (I tend to notice these more lately because I am also tossing guild recruitment messages in Trade Chat occasionally.)  It was, apparently, a social guild, for the message focused on Heroics, professions, fun activities, and the large number of people in the guild.  It closed by saying something to the effect of "there is always someone to help you."

My first thought was that the recruiter had no clue what his message was saying.

What kind of people will that message most likely attract?  I know the type, and I call it the Takers.  These are the people who want their guild to hand them the mats to raise their professions and who whine when people say, "Go farm your own."  These are the people who say, "Anybody want to do something?" and then become offended when five people don't immediately say, "Me! Me!"  These are the people who say, "Can someone come kill this Horde who is camping my body?" and then gquit in a huff when nobody responds.  "Some helpful group you are!"

You've met this type before.  They don't want to have to do any work themselves.  They don't want to go out of their comfort zone to maybe join a PUG by themselves.  They don't want to have to deal with a PVP situation themselves, either by learning how to defend their character or to have the patience to log out and play an alt while the ganker gets bored.  Their enjoyment of their gaming experience depends entirely on the efforts of others or the willingness of others to answer their beck and call.

Is this the type of person a guild really wants to attract?  Do they really want a guild full of whiners and takers, taxing the patience of the few good-hearted people who try to hold it all together?

If I were running a social guild, I think I would be looking not for the Takers, but for the Givers.  I'd be looking for those who like to feel they are a contributing part of a group, or a part of a team.  (In a social guild, it would be much more difficult to have a team goal, I think, but there might be some angle which could be worked here.)  Instead of advertising that there are people available to give you materials for your profession, advertise that this is an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

I can hear the question now:  "But if you have a guild full of Givers, won't that cause a similar problem?  Everyone wanting to give, and nobody wanting to take?"

I don't think that would be the case.  After all, Givers can take, when they need to, but only because they know they will be giving back later.  The raiders in my guild are a case in point, being made up primarily of Givers.  For example, someone might need some cloth to raise tailoring.  He will assume he will need to either farm it himself or purchase it off the AH, and he will move in that direction.  But others, hearing about his need, may offer to hand over the stuff their alts have been collecting, just to help him along his way.  This budding tailor knows that sooner or later, he will be able to offer some spellthread to those contributors or maybe an enchant from his other profession, so he feels comfortable accepting the offer of help.  When everyone looks for an opportunity to contribute, the whole group wins, and nobody gets burnt out or feels they are being used.

Perhaps the recruiter for that social guild should take a moment and rethink his message, if he hopes to have a guild which survives longer than the time it takes for restless teenagers to decide nobody loves them.

My husband listened when I told him these thoughts, then countered with this one idea:  "But, Ana, perhaps their goal is simply to have the largest guild out there.  If that is the case, they could be going about this the right way.  After all, there are a lot more Takers than Givers."

He does have a point.

Random pic of my daughter's Flat Stanley at Sea World.  She has decided she wants to be flat, so she can be mailed to fun and interesting locations.

No comments:

Post a Comment