Be a Cheerleader

When was the last time someone thanked you for doing your job in-game: your healer who saved someone, your tank who took a death for the team, your mage who devastated the boss mob? We have all been pleased by others’ simple thanks or annoyed by people who are demanding or lack gratitude.

In our continuing theme of improving our in-game happiness, make yourself happier by making others happier. Show some gratitude and let happiness resonate through the ten thousand things. Thank someone, not for doing something really unusual, but just for doing a job well.

Crafters play in a way that baffles and stultifies many people. Do they actually enjoy making swords or robes or magic muffins? Not always and constantly, but yes, we do. What we do not enjoy is dealing with people who whine about prices or availability. Look, it took me two minutes to make that ring after a half-hour of collecting materials after 150 hours of watching a little green bar fill up so that I could gain enough skill to make that ring, so yes, I would like to make 2% profit on my materials cost when I sell that ring, especially since I am spending ten minutes traveling and talking to you for the sale. I could have made more money killing rats.

Instead, the next time you buy something from a player (directly, via vendor or auction, whatever), send a quick thank you note. “I just bought a Shimmering Silver Sword from your shop, it was just what I needed. A fair price, and thank you for crafting for our realm.” (And it might get you a future discount, since you are the only non-complaint message his shop received that day.)

Shopkeep: how about a thanks to those buyers who don’t whine? A simple “Thanks for shopping at Aaligard’s Discount Sword Shop” is an unexpected addition to someone’s night. The cashier just automatically says thanks at the store, but here in game, you had to devote special attention for that little gesture. Now that’s personal service!

Do you thank your healer? Most of us do at some point, usually after pulling someone out of the red three times in the same fight. “Nice heals!” Why not extend the same thanks before things get bad? You may not realize it, but that healer is sweating over keeping you alive all the time, and he is constantly worrying about people who are not nearly as good as you getting themselves (and everyone else) killed. Show your understanding and competence by thanking him once it is clear he knows what he is doing. (And it might bump you up the priority list of who gets healed if things start to hit the fan.)

Healers, when is the last time you thanked your tank? You realize, of course, that you would be paste without that guy sucking up damage. You are the one who thought it was a good idea to go fight dragons in a dress. Think of how surprised you would be if someone showed your wizard respect and gratitude for dealing damage. Give it a try.

Please thank anyone who teleports you. You don’t need to do it every time, but the guy just saved you running across half the zone through things ten levels higher than you.

Who else can we thank? Buffers, debuffers, crowd control… Actually, these people will probably appreciate thanks the most, since they get it the least. The less visible your contribution is, the less likely you are to be thanked. People notice getting hit (and healed); they do not notice how much less they are getting hit with a Force Field, or that the enemy is attacking 20% less often (and so hitting 20% less often) due to a slow spell. City of Heroes recently implemented little “Deflected!” pop-ups to help you appreciate these buffs, so show your appreciation to someone who will really appreciate being appreciated.

It does not need to be a “thank you.” Any form of compliment serves the same purpose. Hence, “nice heals” is more common (and easier to type) than “thanks for saving us all from a horrible fiery death back there.” Of course, extra typing shows extra effort, which signals greater appreciation.

Any show of appreciation works. “Woo! Speed Boost gets rid of all my endurance problems.” “I love weapon buffs.” “A Bard, finally!” “Nice, not a single death.”

That last one is notable, since everyone on the team can mentally take credit for it. “Great team” means to each person, yes, your contribution is the most important one that makes everything work. Share your small victories with your teammates, so that they can share in your joy.

Congratulations! Just by trying this out a bit, you have increased someone’s enjoyment, thus making the game better. Yes you, with a few simple words, have improved World of Warcraft or whatever game you play. Good job!

: Zubon