When I am not in Azeroth, I am a high school teacher.
Yesterday my school had its graduation ceremony. It’s a huge event, held in a large indoor arena (where the Orlando Magic play). We had over 500 students graduate and nearly 8000 guests in the seats watching. The ceremony begins by the playing of the well-known song Pomp and Circumstance. The faculty, dressed in graduation robes, files into the arena and makes two parallel rows. This provides a path for the students to enter, walking between the two rows of teachers. Its a great photo opportunity, and it is very exciting for the students to walk proudly past all of the teachers that they have had for the previous four years.
For many of the students, high school graduation is the biggest moment thus far in their lives. Its nice to go to lengths to make it special for them.
What the students don’t know is that a portion of the teachers don’t want to be there. A whole bunch would rather do anything that sit through the two hour ceremony. A few years ago the rows of teachers were so obviously small that it drew negative comments. After that, the principal made it mandatory. Still, several teachers spend they days before graduation trying to find ways to get out of it. Some feign illness, while others show up, make sure they are seen, and then duck out a back door when the ceremony begins and no one will notice their absence.
Yes, the ceremony is a time when the teachers are not accomplishing anything. They sit in a chair for two hours and gain nothing from the time spent. But their presence makes the event memorable for the students. Isn’t that worth it? Is it such a problem to spend some time for the benefit someone other than yourself?
There is a life lesson there, and it applies in WoW as well.
You are online farming in your fully epic-geared raiding toon, and a newly dinged 70 in your guild asks to put together a Shadow Lab run. Do you stop your farming to go, even though there is nothing for you to gain from Shadow Lab? Do you spend the time explaining the fights, perhaps using consumables, and paying a repair bill even though you personally stand to gain nothing?
Or do you feign afk? Maybe claim that you were just getting ready to log off, then quickly switch over to a toon that is not in the guild so no one knows you are still playing? Perhaps say that your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/mother is coming over and you don’t have time for a run?
For many players, dinging 70 is the most important moment in their WoW lives thus far. It opens up a whole new aspect of the game. There are a slew of new instances that are only for 70s, lots of gear, flying mounts, etc… that might eventually lead to raiding. The path to 70 is long and arduous and when a player gets there it would be nice if it were special. But in order to make it special it takes help from others.
A guild is not just there to help YOU. It is there for the benefit of all involved. The most important contribution you can give to a guild is not your gear or your skills. Give your time. Make the game fun for others beside yourself.