I play the mmo Lord of the Rings Online, or LOTRO (which I love. I will probably rant at some point about how much I love it, but I’ll save it for later). So at the beginning of this summer our kin leader left because of real life stuff, and the player who stepped up to take over the position asked me to take the #2 spot in case if he needed a successor. I was a little skeptical because I didn’t know how much time would need to be put into it, but I was very honoured. Because I am one of the players that has been in the kin the longest, it seemed to make sense, so I agreed to take the position. Well, the past few months has taught me one important lesson: I suck as a kin leader.
I don’t mean that I want in and was intentionally bad. But I was in school full time, I’m doing a research project, started dating a guy…real life just got busy! I did manage to get on a few hours a week, but I never felt like I had the time to split between actually playing the game and doing kin leader stuff.
Different kins have different types of leadership, but in our kin the leaders are tanks. Not only do they go around and recruit new members and solve any issues players might have, they also volunteer their time to help lower leveled players, they make potions, food, clothing dyes, weapons, shields, etc. But most impressively, they keep track of each player’s armor and craft them a new set whenever they’re about to level up. I swear, being a kin leader could be a full time job. But we all love our kin leaders for doing this for us, and we all love this kin. But after becoming kin leader, I was feeling pretty guilty about my absence.
I logged on earlier this week, mulling over whether to play or whether to do leader stuff, when I noticed a few things going on. There was about 8 people on at the time, and while I watched, 2 kin members started working together to make a good set of armor. Then another member asked for help, and immediately 2 other members volunteered and teamed up to complete the quest. I realized I’ve been seeing this a lot lately. At some point during the summer, the kin stopped depending on the leaders, and started taking care of each other.
So I’ve realized: some kins don’t need a “leader” in the leader sense. While they may need someone to stand in the position, or maybe to help recruit people to the kin, the kin members will take care of each other when there is a need. We have always said that our kin is more like a family, where the “Mom and Dad” leaders help everyone out – but this week I think I truly saw the kin acting as a family and taking care of each other. I can’t wait to log on again and see what they’re up to. :)