Monday, July 7, 2014


Recently one of my characters – Jessyl the lizardman ranger was appointed as the number 2 of The Order of Arcanes. Having never been a leader of any organisations it has had me thinking about leadership and what one should be aiming to do. Around the same time I found this article about leadership in MMORPG’s on Massively in their Guild Counsel that got me thinking as well. It breaks down the different qualities the author believes are needed for successful leadership into being visionary, motivating, coordinating, arbitrating, fairness, listening and prepared to make mistakes. My thoughts on each point are as follows:

I agree that having a vision in mind of what you want your organisation to be is needed to make it better. Having goals, plans on how to achieve them and celebrating when accomplished will help any group. For Arcanes my vision includes having the best knowledge in the game, allowing new and experienced players to develop their own skills, a sense of belonging and community for members, the ability to take on the biggest mobs in the game and having a reputation for these things through out the Realms of Despair.

Already Arcanes has many of these aspects of my vision but there is always room for improvement. our forums have a lot of information on them and many of our members including myself are trying hard to add to them. We are welcoming to new players and help each other out with equipment, gold and other items. Lately there have been more activity killer some of the newer and multi-avatar mobs in the game. There is an opportunity for us in the latest incarnation of the Cry of Despair to help promote ourselves and our ideals in.

As for the sense of community and belonging it is definitely there.

Motivating myself let alone others can be a challenge. There are different type of motivation – intrinsic/extrinsic and positive/negative motivators which can be represented on a two dimensional continuum as shown below:

Intrinsic and positive motivators are the most succesfful – things like wanting to figure out some puzzle or kill some new mob so that you feel good about yourself. An extrinsic/negative motivator would be being told to lead X runs or log in every day or you will be removed from the order.  In short doing things that make you feel good and give you a reward work best – threatening with punishments is least successful.

One of the most common responses I get from people who read this blog is promotes interest in parts of the game they may not have seen before. The motto of the game is “Endless medieval adventure” – just sometimes people need a point in the direction of an adventure they haven’t yet seen.

Coordinating a group of players is another challenge. Between in game note boards, ordertalk, tells and mudmails plus out of game forum boards and emails this is doable but does require constant monitoring. One of the big complaints with some organisations at times are when leaders don't log often enough to monitor all communications. Arcanes has got leaders who are on regularly.

Being able to settle disputes is at times necessary for a leader though this issue doesn't concern me much. Last week in real life I had to deal with two 15 year old girls who wanted to beat each other up because the first one's boyfriend had like and posted a flirty comment on the second girls facebook page. I'm not saying that Realms of Despair players are like angry, catty hormonal teenage girls but, well, maybe sometimes. Still I'd rather them than any real life issues as in a game you can use the ignore command.

A good leader does need to be prepared to listen to other members. There's few things worse than when the people running an organisation will not listen to the members and think they have all the answers, or worse will not listen as they feel it is personal if people don't like their direction.

People are always most unhappy if they think that a situation is not fair to them. In an organisation like Arcanes people will complain about fairness of equipment loot and access to running bigger mobs. We have systems in place to make this as fair as possible and sometimes as a leader you do need to put members and the organisation ahead of your own particular wants.

Making mistakes
Finally it states that a leader needs to be prepared to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. Risks do need to be taken and things will go wrong. For the members I believe it can mean a lot for people in power to admit to mistakes and fix them when they do occur.

Those are my thoughts on leadership. Feel free to send me a tell or post a comment, and if you are interested in joining the Order of Arcanes.

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