Feb 14, 2012

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Halls Of Healing: Building A Healing Team, Part 3 – Motivation!

Each week or thereabouts here at Ask A Jedi, we’ll meditate on the finer points of the healer’s role in Star Wars: The Old Republic. No matter where your allegiance lies, you’re sure to find guidance here in the Halls Of Healing!

We have now covered ways you can find and recruit healers and how to build up a good base of communications in your team, but something we haven’t covered is motivation. As far as raiding goes motivation is probably the most important factor of them all when you’re aiming to make progress. If your fellow players don’t have any desire to be around, you will come across problems such as people not showing up, poor performance, attitude issues and general burnout. Issues for players who aren’t new to the raiding scene are probably all too familiar with.

How to actually go about this is very different for each and every Operation team, as every team and member has his or her own ways of gaining motivation. However, since all your members are in your Operation team you can assume that they are either interested in progression and loot, tactical challenges or they are just interested in doing something fun with their friends. I’d say that every team needs a little bit of each of these to be successful, and if you make sure you have all these things you will keep the majority of your players interested and motivated.

If you see this list of things the way I see it, you probably identified what the most problematic component in Operations are, and it’s also probably where you have seen most Operation teams fail in the past: the progression nights. These nights are those when you focus on one or at least a few bosses and you just hit a brick wall. You don’t see much progress, and when you do see it, it’s only a few extra percentages on the boss’ health at a time. At this point all the people that are after progression and loot will tend to get demotivated. Notice here that people that are interested in progression are often very reluctant to actually make commit to the progression themselves, they ideally want to breeze through the content as quick as possible. And when these players are demotivated it’s very hard to keep people interested in the social side of things motivated, as they are very dependant on the emotional atmosphere in the team.

It’s very important that you recognize that your group has limits here, as you cannot push a group too hard without serious side effects. There are however ways you can push this limit a bit, and if incorporated can make the overall enjoyability in your Operations go up.

Gamification

It’s a word you might have heard of in the business world, and it’s still seen as a quite controversial approach to doing business and keeping your colleagues motivated. So what is gamification? It is the idea of applying concepts that you usually see in the gaming world into an environment that doesn’t utilize this. Such as giving points for showing up on time or doing something unusual that benefits the company. Basically using positive reinforcement instead of punishment to motivate people.

Most guilds already use some form of gamification through loot distribution methods such as DKP and EPGP but are often overlooking doing something extra when it actually matters, during progression encounters.

Healer Games

Healer games is something that I’ve used quite successfully in the past.

For example, we were on the trash leading up to Teron Gorefiend, a raid boss in World of Warcraft, and the raids in the weeks prior to this particular raid we had some issues with healers taking breaks and going afk on this particular trash. There were multiple patrols and quite a lot of spiking Area-of-Effect damage on the raid and with a few healers down it slowed down the pace of the group considerably. While we could have just enforced no-afk during this trash it wasn’t something we wanted to do, cause it was pretty much only this part we had troubles with. Normally we could easily cope with a few healers down. Our solution was the bring in a trash-pot of quite a lot of gold to whoever was highest on the healing meters during this trash. I know healing meters is a quite inaccurate way to measure the performance, but after all that wasn’t what we were trying to do. The result: We had some crazy healing going on and people trying to over-heal pretty much everywhere. We managed to cut the time we did this trash in less than half.

This wouldn’t have worked in every scenario but in this case it was just what was missing.  Another way you can inspire your fellow players to be better is with something GhostBoy suggested where you vote and give arguments for who you believe were the best player, and then whoever receives most votes will receive a previously set reward, similar to how MVP votes work in Warzones. Remember, in most situations it is much simpler and more fun to deal with issues in your team by inventing a game or challenge than to enforce harder rules.

Reedyn is the chief nerf-herder over at Force Heal, the healing community for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Artwork is done by strawbeki.


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