Friday, January 9, 2009

Take your leave

Note: this post does no longer hold my opinion. It is here only for historical purposes and to save the comments. You can read the new post here.

This post was not prepared, I wrote it because of two events. One of them is reading the post on World of Matticus. The other is a current event in my own life. Let's start with mine: I quit the guild I've joined after reaching lvl80. When I got in, things were awesome, we raided a lot and we did it well. Than the exam season started and the guild master and two of the officers disappeared. Officially it was called "Christmas break" and I accepted it since most people have heavy family duties this period and even a greedy goblin has some understanding for these poor fellows forced to spent time with relatives.

However this is the second week of the new year and raiding has not started. We tried to set up a a 10 man raid, but without the leadership standing there with -50DKP the same people who excelled weeks ago turned AFK, 80% autoattack damage, no poison cleansing totem from 3 shamans... This is not what I want from a raid, so I gquitted on the scene.

The post of Matticus is a bit different. There a holy paladin decided to stop raiding until Ulduar, since he is properly geared. He did not left the guild, just stopped playing. We both followed our own interest. Both of us wanted raids of our own skill and gear. For me it means finding a guild actually doing Naxx25 (as opposed to have it on calendar and cancel it). For him, to wait until challenging content arrives.

What is similar in the two situations, is the reaction of the people, for me it was whispers and the guild chat (watched from an alt, they forgot that this alt is me). For the paladin it was the post of Matticus and the commenters.

At first, people do not question the validity of our point. No one claimed that my ex-guild raided enough nor that people were not slacking on the last raid. No one claimed that the paladin could have be "more prepared" for Ulduar. They said that our point is irrelevant, what matter is the point of the guild. While people are slacking and raids are sporadic, the guild still get gear upgrades from Naxx10, so I should just suck it up and run back 10x and res people 8x10x times every evening to "help the guild". For the paladin a commenter wrote "He could just have sucked it up and continued to contribute to the guild just like your other raiders are doing." and Matticus replied " He could’ve done what you’ve suggested."

People expect us to serve them, not personally but as part of the group. Practically in both cases it meant boosting. The paladin should keep on raiding without loot, I should keep on raiding with little loot and suffering lot because of the laziness off others (52% Regrowth and 12% Tranquility is not the proper spell distribution of a resto druid). And we shall serve in silence or ... "I’ll [the guild leader] certainly have to think things over when he does get back in terms of his status."

I got overgeared compared to my guildmates because I spent 20K gold on crafted gear. The paladin got overgeared because he was the only holy paladin, doing 2 or 3 men's work alone. He could have raided less, but than maybe Matticus's guild couldn't raid at all in lack of healers. I don't think anyone has noticed his effort. My guild did not noticed me being #1 on healing meters all bosses all raids, that's for sure (save for one healer, he left the guild also for a more advanced guild). So:
  • people ignore our interests
  • they call us selfish if we don't
  • they justify their own interests as the interest of the group (gear the guild up = gear ME, or my alt or my buddy's aunt up)
  • they does not keep any account of personal effort
  • they want to punish you if you disobey
You cannot change that. The reasons are ape-subroutines like the follower-subroutine. In the ape-horde there was no "individual effort" (since every ape does the very same thing) and everyone was everyone's close relative. By contributing to the horde, even by sacrificing yourself you supported your own genes (in your relatives). So there are lot of ape-subroutines in people's head that demand them to contribute to their in-group and force others to do so. You cannot convince them to remember your efforts or try to notice that "spending 10 hours a week in a boring content without loot" is not what you deserve.

However you can circumvent these things at three loopholes. Remember these are just ape-subroutines, not intelligent ideas, it's not hard to beat them:
  • Keep a written record of individual efforts. The worst kind of DKP is better than the best Loot Council. Matticus meditates over the possibility that Loot Council failed them and of course he and his readers reached the result that it did not. Well, it did, not today, but when they try to raid Ulduar. When a top-geared and (I presume) skilled holy-paladin will return, they will not be able to use his services. They will be compelled to bench him just to punish him, even if it means not being able to raid. The paladin will have to leave this guild. Since he is top-geared I doubt if he get a problem to get into a new guild. Finding a similarly geared paladin will be a problem for Matticus. If there were DKP, no one could claim that he "took from the guild".
  • Never-ever try to explain your own needs to others, it just make them hate you more. They already hating you for not serving the group but you'll get extra hate for doing it because of "evil, selfish" reasons. The paladin could prevent this situation by claiming that he cannot play because of "lot of hard exams" or "terminal phase cancer patient aunt" or simply "out of money to buy subscription". He could play with an unguilded alt. While people would be a bit cold with him when he returned and may get some benching if there are "more reliable" paladins around, in time he could "regain trust". Now, that he was honest with his needs, he is doomed in that guild. The point is whatever you do, always blame the circumstances and never ever mention that you have needs too.
  • Use them the same way they use you. Remember, they are not purposefully abusing you, they just follow their ape-subroutines. They want everyone to support everyone. All you have to do is make sure that you are member of the latter "everyone". If you are less geared than the others you will get more loot than them, so don't hurry to craft/PvP/buy from badge upgrades. If you ask them to go to Nexus before they ask you to go Violet Hold, they will boost you instead of you boosting them.
The only place where you don't have to use "dirty" tricks is where people make hard effort to overcome their ape-subroutines and keep detailed records of effort. With DKP system you can gather DKP for boosting them in Naxx what you can use in Ulduar, and never have to worry to be called someone who "takes more than deserved". With "benching decided by WWS stats" system, you never have to worry about your raid spot taken by someone more "loyal" (meaning something between buttkisser and highly assertive person with high EQ).

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello there,

I've been reading your blog for a while now and most of the time i agreed and there wasn't a reason for me to comment.

Now this, first off, i'm sure the pally felt he was carrying more than his part but he should've made this clear earlier imo. Apart from that being "fully geared" can never ever be a reason to stop raiding.

Both raid attendance aswell as DKP can be a reason for this.
Which brings me to your lootcouncill point.

The guild i'm currently in is somewhere in the top100 worldwide. (nothing to brag about of course since we all know how "hard" the content is atm)
Raiding for us currently means gearing up our alts and getting everyone the black / plagued drakes for our mains.

A big part of our success is because of lootcouncill. When handled fair it's the best way to progress as a guild. DKP just causes problems when you know you got good players and i'm sure anyone will take a good player who raids 4/5 days over someone who isn't as good but can raid 5/5 days. Because of the councill the first 2 weeks most of our T7 tokens went to tanks and in a lesser degree to healers.
And this is how it should be imo. There's no use in giving that Vanquisher token to a rogue if your tank is dying due to gear issues. DKP can cause this.

So to not make a long story even longer. I think your pally should've made his problems clear earlier when your guild was gearing him up and should've left then if they didn't work out a sollution.

As for you, i think you deserve better. I can understand your anger if you spend alot of gold and effort on getting crafted gear and than having to carry the people who don't through a raid.

So i hope you find yourself a better guild that's worth your time.

Good luck with your blog and keep it up cause i really enjoy reading your view on things :)

Sakima said...

I think you're a bit too forgiving on the holy paladin.

Lets not forget that 24 other people invested time to allow to him get fully geared, it seems incredibly selfish to turn around and deny them your services just because you have acheived your gear goals before them despite having the same time and effort input.

To flip the coin, I'm sure that Paladin would have been delighed (sic) had he still needed 4-5 upgrades and the raids fully geared main tank decided he could no longer be bothered running.

Sounds like your typical Gear >Fun and teamwork to me. Wouldn't want him in our guild.

thcgirl77 said...

hi there, i`m an officer in the guild Insight from Stormrage EU, a top alliance guild on the server.
i understand why you left your guild, because it stopped raiding, we had similar problems, some downtime in raiding and some people left.
but i don`t agree on your attitude towards the paladin. so he gears up, gets all he needs from the instances and then takes a break. well cool, he got all the items coz he was the only one he could use them, fair and square. geee, i wonder where all guilds would be if the ppl that are geared would take breaks until a new patch or instance comes up.

Gevlon said...

@anonymous: I will write about loot systems

@sakima: the paladin worked exactly the same amount than the other 24 people. If they have not geared up, that's not his fault. He did not ninja the loot, nor he made the raid invs maliciously kicking all other paladins. Even if the situation was not "fair", it's bad luck (or rather bad recruiting) caused it, not the paladin.

@thcgirl77: how about recruiting, giving a chance to a new or ungeared but ready to learn players? Now overgeared, bored players boost slackers instead of equal players fight content.

Anonymous said...

From my point of view, that paladin was geared because of his guild. Now he's stopped raiding, it's going to hurt that guild. And I bet they're wishing those T7 tokens had gone to people who would use them for the guild.

Ok, so gear is a personal reward for raiding, but guilds aren't like a business, theyre more like a club, or social group.

Comparing it to real life, then sure, board members can retire when they have enough money to live off. And in that respect, you could blame the guild for paying him too much.

But since guilds aren't a business... theyre a collection of people who are working together for common goals.

This paladin wasn't working for common goals, he was working for his own goals. As soon as he was done, he was out. That meant that other people who had raided just as much, and put in just as much effort carry on raiding, either for themselves, or because theyre not so self absorbed that they see the wider picture of the guild.

I truely hope that this paladin gets his just deserts and is benched for 90% of uladar, while other people get the gear they want - who can then give up raiding until T9 content, leaving this paladin in his T7 and behind everyone else.

In terms of your own situation, I do understand where you're coming from. If a guild can't raid to your expectations, then join one that can. I don't think "boosted" is the right word to be using. Theres no way a tree could solo naxx with 9 people standing behind him waiting for their loot. You still need at least 7 or 8 other people doing a half decent job to get anywhere.

Sure you might be topping heal meters... but heal meters mean nothing (I'm a COH priest... I'd own you on Sarth with a drake and you'd own me on patchwerk), but that doesn't mean youre that much better than anyone else.

You may be better geared, but that doesn't say anything for your skill. I'll assume you're decently skilled, but being a big fish in a little pond doesn't make you the messiah. Being the person with the most purple pixels in the guild because you have the cash to get them doesn't make you above someone who's had to run 30 heroics to get 3 items they want.

My point is that guilds are a team, and if everyone was just out for himself then guilds would never be together long enough to get anywhere. Your case is different since the guild seems to be crumbling.

But in the case of the paladin, if I was the GM I'd be really pissed that we'd geared someone to that level who then couldn't be bothered to raid afterwards. It's the same reason guilds don't let trial members roll on loot. If they stop raiding or gquit its a wasted drop. That paladin just wasted a whole lot of that guilds drops.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymus: thanks for your ideas, the answer will most probably will be a post. However a quick response:
The guild CANNOT bench him for Ulduar. He can gquit anytime and with his gear he can find a better or equal guild in a day.

Anonymous said...

If the guild can cope without him while they continue to gear in Naxx, then by 3.1.0 they'll be able to cope without him in T8 content.

In one of my former (less hard core) guilds, raid spots where given to people who put the effort in. In that environment, he has no business being in the raid when other people put in more effort regardless of gear.

Its a shame hes basically using the gear hes BEEN GIVEN by the guild as leverage for raiding on HIS terms. The guild can't win - they kick him they lose the gear. They don't kick him, and he's basically a law unto himself.

Not the sort of person I'd want to raid with, thats for sure

Carra said...

That paladin shouldn't expect a raid spot in the next raid tier if it were up to me. Of course he's geared up if he's the only holy paladin. Other players will have spent as much time as him but because they have more competition, they won't have as much gear.

As for DKP. I really don't think it would change anything. If an item drops only you can use, you get it for minimum DKP. If you're happy with the non set, plate items, the only things you will have to bid on is one ring (you bought the other from kirin tor), one trinket (you bought the other from darkmoon fair) and a necklace. And all those can be gotten with badges. Result: your paladin gets *every single piece* of his gear for minimum DKP.

As for saving up DKP for the next raid tier, my guild used to reset the DKP between raid tiers or keep seperate DKP lists per instance.

Overall, I'm not happy with DKP systems.
-Some people benefit more from it. In the paladin example, he has tons of DKP to bid on trinkets, rings,... because he had to spend less on armor items.
-Deflation. If the first item goes for 50 DKP, the last player is guaranteed to get it for the minimum amount of DKP.
-Loot wasting. Yes, that item is an upgrade but I want to save my DKP for uber item X. This is my major complaint with the system. Upgrades should never be passed on, not even if they're minor! But if people have to pay for it, they might not want to pay the price for a minor upgrade.
-In my old guild, we gave DKP on a kill ratio. This would mean doing simple content gave you a LOT more DKP then wiping on new content. I don't have to explain why the first ones were a lot more popular. Ideally, it's the other way around. Progression raids give DKP to spend in easy raids.
-Hard for new people to get in. If you haven't reset your DKP at any point, your 4 year old guildmates would simply get every nice item. Although it's of course fine to give more items to people who have worked more for it.

Ryan said...

Anyone who still think gearing the Tanks/Healers is your top priority has not heard of an enrage timer.

Usually, those who make that suggestion are...surprise, surprise, Tanks & Healers.

Here's a blanket generality: There is no point in giving loot to (Class X) if (Class Y) (is dying, can't heal enough, can't do enough DPS).

Pre-BC, gearing your Tank/Healers was the smart thing to do because fights could last indefinitely. As long as you didn't keel over from exhaustion, you could tank and heal most fights forever.

Enter the Rage Timer...

Anyone's who even knows what the phrase "DPS Race" is, SHOULD know that it's important to distribute the loot to ALL classes, not just your tank/healers. Why not distribute it on merit, or ability, or WWS stats?

A lot of guilds are like Unions...where no matter how crappy you are, you still get to go.

How are the carmakers doing again?

I totally feel for the Goblin and Matticus because of a 25-man Archavaon raid last night, where some of the bottom tier-DPS got booted because we weren't killing the boss fast enough.

Their natural response: They got angry.

My guess: Their guilds are following the Tank/Healer gear philosophy (I quit the guild they came from, a year ago, and I know this to be true...btw, the guild leaders are a...wait for it...Tank & Healer.)

I have epic crafted bracers, legs & Main hand weapon and the rest are Rare 80s I bought; all are enchanted, gemmed and socketed (I was #4 on the DPS list, btw, having dinged 80 6 days ago).

I took, and continue to take the time to show up to the raids each week, with new and better gear that I earn in my off-time via money or rep.

For example: Getting exalted with the AC will yield me an Epic 80 chest & ring. No guild can do that for me. I run heroics with my tabard, and have been cleaning up quests in Zul'Drak & Icecrown.

Getting exalted with Sons of Hodir gets me better shoulder enchants - again, an individual effort; 9 more badges and i can get my epic 80 hands; some more PvP and I will have my Epic 80 belt.

Good for both of you, on refusing to carry the people who don't put in the extra effort. Honestly, if you just run heroics and build up your rep with certain factions, there is no reason you can't be nearly 100% purple.

Mix in Wintergrasp and run PvP on the PvP weekends, and you'll be downing any and all content.

Nothing would chap my ass more, than from one week to the next, INDEPENDENT OF RAIDING, I would show up in improved gear (My goal was always at least one Epic/week outside of raiding) while others showed up in the exact same crap.

There is nothing FUN in a raid wipe, and progression stalling. That's what the undergeared guild-mates bring to the table.

Yay!

Some of us find FUN in accomplishment; it's the same reason some of us graduated College and some of us serve Orange Julius's in the mall.

Some people just want things more, and it doesn't make them bad people TO want it more. It makes them goal-oriented achievers without which the guild would not be downing the content they're at in the FIRST place.

I want 100% Epic gear, like I had in the BC. (On both my 70s) I want to have fun and see the endgame with some fun people. These are NOT mutually exclusive goals.

The exception to this would be if people from his guild ARE, in fact, going outside of raids to improve their characters and he took off anyway. It's in his best interest to help the group that will ENTER Ulduar be as geared as possible. But how is HE geared and everyone else isn't?

One answer: His activities outside of the guild caused him to get geared up that much faster.

Everyone says the same thing: Oh, he put in the same amount of time as the other people.

You know what...Horseshit. If he's geared way beyond them, it's no doubt because he put in effort above and beyond the raid. Some people would do well to learn that philosophy.

kyrilean said...

"People expect us to serve them, not personally but as part of the group."

Yet you say: "people ignore our interests they call us selfish"

Aren't you ignoring theirs? Does that not make you selfish? Aren't you expecting them to serve you? This part seems rather hypocritical to me.

"I should keep on raiding with little loot and suffering lot because of the laziness off others"

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I have this problem in my guild. People want easy runs with little effort on their part and it shows. I've always been a stickler for those that never used buffs when Kara was on farm. I even got into a heated argument with officers about it once. Under no circumstances should you ever have to suffer because someone's too lazy to pull their weight.

"They will be compelled to bench him just to punish him, even if it means not being able to raid. The paladin will have to leave this guild."

Hopefully they aren't benching him as punishment cuz that's just stupid.

"With "benching decided by WWS stats" system, you never have to worry about your raid spot taken by someone more "loyal" (meaning something between buttkisser and highly assertive person with high EQ)."

Buttkissing is not loyalty. A guild needs geared dependable raiders to continue through content. The pally in Matt's guild is not dependable as he got his gear and disappeared. He may have gotten gear through crafted gear, but he may have also gotten gear just by the luck of the drops. Shouldn't he return the favor to others that helped him get his gear to get theirs?

Dependability and WWS reports combined need to play a part in deciding who gets a spot in raid.

Should Matt not be able to find a dependable or competent healer to replace him, then Matt should continue to use the pally.

kyrilean said...

@ Ryan

There still needs to be a little bit of the tank/healer gear mentality though.

Not every tank and every healer needs to be geared before the DPS.

Tanks die the raid wipes, so obviously tanks need gear, but they aren't competing much with others anyway so no biggie.

It's the caster dps / healer gear issue that's apparent and one I had an argument with some people in my guild about.

Healers die or run out of mana the tanks die and the raid wipes so obviously healers need gear and fast. Problem is that not every healer needs to be geared before DPS because of those timers. If DPS can't down the boss then you are correct the raid dies anyway.

In the few cases where an enrage timer isn't a problem, mana for healers becomes a problem so DPS need gear again.

I think the old gear the healers before the DPS has been modified, but not thrown out. Gear a few healers quickly, but not all at the expense of DPS. There needs to be a balance.

Wilgototem said...

Well you have it completely wrong about the pally but I totally understand your reason for leaving your previous lame guild.

Take 1: Noone should have to put up with 10-20 wipes for Naxx content. Thats just stupid players that want to eat their Cheetos while trying to "Safety Dance". It doesn't work. You have every right to /gquit those idiots and get into something that works. We one shot everything in 25 man Naxx every Tuesday. My guild pays for all of my repair bills and they provide free gems for my gear at no cost. Free enchants as well...why? Because we all need to be decently geared to crush the content. We can't have raiders with broken gear, no enchants, and TBC gems in their slots. On the flip side, they expect me to come prepared with food buffs, raid elixers, and weapon buffs...and I have to perform. If I can't get move out of a viod zone, they don't need me. No reason why you can't find a good raiding guild that needs a good healer.

Take 2: The pally that gears up and than leaves without helping others gear up can screw off in my opinion. It will take no time to gear up another who actually wants to help himself AND other raiders in the guild.

Ryan said...

@kyrilean

That's a reasonable enough assessment, although the healers won't go OOM if the DPS burns down the boss fast enough. Slow DPS = Long fight = everyone goes OOM.

It's a big circle of gear, with universal spellpower; thankfully the MP5 stat has become the big, fat, blinking sign that reads "Healer Gear".

Honestly, who hasn't crafted their specialty robe? I have a Lock tailor; I had Frozen Shadoweave Day 1 of dinging 70. He's 74 now, and by the time he makes it to 80 I'll have enough cloth available to choke a horse.

As my main is a Shaman, with Agility offering 1 AP, I'm now constantly in competition with Hunters for gear...which is why I don't run Heroics with Hunters or other Enhance Shaman. That's how a relatively common 33% drop, becomes 16.5%, or an 11% drop instantly.

I look at party composition ALL the time when I run ANYTHING...maximizing my time spent. It's true there is a lot of RNG involved with gear and drops, but you can stack the odds in your favor.

When Blizzard made PVP Epics the low hanging fruit, people came out of the woodwork and bitched about Welfare Epics. Now they're standing out in the cold, waiting for the Welfare Check that's not going to come (at least not this soon in the expansion!)

Recipe for Full Epics: Go to thottbot and research the Epics for your class, who drops them, and what % they drop(Including rep...like my mail boots for Exalted Kirin Tor and chest with Exalted AC)

Run those instances exclusively, and when locked out of them, do Wintergrasp and PvP.

Run Archavaon every week, without fail. Or you fail.

Be aware of Epic crafted items (for me, it's leggings and bracers and MH weapon) and don't try to get those through drops. Play the AH and buy those or buy the mats and have it made.

I could tell you with reasonable accuracy, what my next 5 items are going to be. How do I know this? Because I planned it out. It will take you a half-hour to figure it all out, but you'll save HOURS on the back-end.

I would love to read the Pally post, but my work has his page blocked. Thankfully, this one is clear! (Again...if people aren't moving up the ladder independent of what Matticus does, he has every right to retire. If they're getting better and getting FASTER at clearing content, it might be good to ease another, lesser-geared healer into his spot and offer to assist them on some of the truly harder fights.)

Michael said...

In most raiding guilds there's an implied social contract of "We'll get you some loots if you promise to keep raiding with us"

The trouble is that the contract is IMPLIED, and not explicit. This is why you and Matticus disagree.

In the long history of raiding in WoW, most HC raiders simply assume that this contract exists, and is agreed upon a /ginvite acceptance.

kyrilean said...

Gevlon, just saw your updated note about possibly changing this post.

I will say one thing. Initially this post really upset me, but when I calmed down you've got a lot of valid points here, when you look at it from another angle. So I hope it doesn't change too much.

Spinks said...

I don't understand why a raid would want to force someone to stay with them if they were obviously unhappy and wanted something different out of the game. If it was my raid, I'd say "good luck, hope you find what you're looking for" and get recruiting someone who was a better fit. And in the case of the paladin, it's, "thanks for all the time spent raiding with us, enjoy your break. we'll look forwards to having you back but won't be able to guarantee you a raid spot."

It gets my back up when raid leaders act as if they own 'their' raiders.

felfire said...

Gevlon,

I, too, am a long-time reader of your blog. I don’t often agree with you, but I find most of your posts thought- (and occasionally ire-) provoking.

In this case, I’m not sure why you identify with the paladin in Matticus’s guild. Granted, the Internet filters at work have prevented me from following the comments too closely, but from what I’ve read on your blog and his, the circumstances seem entirely different.

You joined a guild to raid … but the guild wasn’t raiding, and the officers didn’t seem to have much interest in changing that. You stuck it out for a few weeks, then left in search of a guild that was doing what you wanted to do. That’s fair, and I don’t think anyone could legitimately blame you for your decision.

On the other hand, the paladin raided with Conquest until he had everything that he needed, and then decided to call it quits — effectively abandoning the 24 other players who helped him get what he needed before they got what they needed.

The flaw in your logic is that unless Conquest ran with two or three less healers than it would have had additional paladins been available (something I seriously doubt, given the guild’s relatively fast progression), the paladin in question did not do “2 or 3 men’s work alone.” He may have been the only holy paladin in the raid, but he was certainly not the only healer. He was one member of a team.

However, because he was the only member of the team who could use spell-power plate, he geared up at a much faster rate than other members — including those, presumably, who had the same attendance and a comparable healing output. He geared up first was because he had no competition for loot, not necessarily because he was a superior player.

The paladin didn’t “boost” anyone. He put in exactly the amount of time and effort required to get what he wanted, and then left.

For most of TBC, my boyfriend was the only feral druid in our guild’s raids. He was effectively “gear-capped” long before we retired each tier of content, but continued to main tank zones long after any possibility of personal gain has passed. Why? Because (1) he was committed to helping the same people who helped him, and (2) because raiding with people you like and respect is fun, and a reward in and of itself.

I hope someday you’re able to experience the latter; it may just change your perspective!

On a side note, if this happened in my guild, the paladin could very well lose his raid spot in Uldaur — but it wouldn’t be “punishment,” as you suggested. It would be because we recruited another paladin to replace him for the remainder of T7 raiding. If a raider retires, he loses his raid spot. Period. It isn’t because we're petty or vindictive or want to punish him; it’s because we aren’t going to 24-man content while we wait for his eventual return, nor are we going to bench his replacement if and when he decides to grace us with his presence again.

The Standing Dragon said...

Interestingly... well. This is something of a perfect example of why capitalistic self-interest doesn't always work to the market's advantage, wouldn't you say?

You have a business owner who is in the business of being a paladin. In return for those services, his guild provides him gear, with an implicit promise to perform for receipt of that gear. That's the loot council for you.

In his guild, he has a monopoly on holy paladining, so he became wealthy very quickly relative to the others in this microeconomy who competed for equivalent resources. We don't know the details, but we can probably assume, for instance, there's a couple mages, a couple hunters, a couple rogues - perhaps the guild is heavy on cloth healers (who now share gear with DPS). We don't know. But - we /can/ say that holy paladin plate is fairly specific, and the guild paid him well for his services.

The thing is - for the guild, this is an investment. An expectation of future time in assisting others in the same process - the sensibility is closer to putting someone on 'retainer' for work, rather than simply paying for services rendered. After all, the guild's goal is /not/ gear - it's taking down bosses. You pay your contractors to help you do that... in gear.

However, our holy paladin monopoly simply decided that the retainer fee was insufficient.. or . Well. FOr whatever reason, the Paladin decided to walk away with the retainer, saying there will be no more service until the guild hits certain parameters that he dictates.

Monopoly. The supplier dictates to the consumer how things will be handled, no matter what the consumer's original plans were for the services consumed.

DKP is the reverse system - you get 'paid' in DKP to go on a raid, and you can 'cash it in' after the raid's done for gear. Leave the guild, your DKP is worthless elsewhere. "You load sixteen tons/and whadya get/another day older and deeper in debt..."

Is either one fair? Sure. Both are.

The paladin is an independant contractor. While the guild may have made an unwise investment in attaining its goals, it /did/ get some work out of him and saw some of its other contractors profit from his presence. They have options open to them: they can cut him loose, they can endure it and attempt to live up to his demands.. in the real-world, they could take him to court (as he worked under certain expectations - a 'contract', if you will). In-game, they can spread the story - and will - and his reputation will suffer for it as a contractor who does not live up to obligations.

Even if he has a monopoly on holy-paladining, the guild can work to overcome that monopoly by choosing a different set of contractors to accomplish the same goal... much as a 'drywaller' who walks out on a project that's nearly done can be replaced by a GC with an attitude if need be. May not be as good a fit, but they can get the job done in a pinch.

Ultimately, though, saying he's boosting them ignores the implied (or possibly stated up-front) contract a loot-council guild sets in place. Namely, "we'll give you stuff with the singular notion that you'll help everyone else take down bosses." The cost is reputation, goodwill - human and societal costs. And they're deserved, if you're in breach.. you welched on an agreement, after all.


It's alright to be mercenary. However, manipulating a local monopoly ultimately is destructive all around. Monopolies are bad to everyone except the holder, because self-interest is only protective when there is competition. And in WoW? That monopoly doesn't really exist.

I wish him luck, though. Bad choice, perhaps, on his part.

The Standing Dragon said...

@Ryan:

The cool part about a market economy is that he owes them nothing (much as you owe no one anything) for the gear he got himself.

Keep this in mind: if you go and build up your /own/ business, as an independent contractor.. bully for you! This makes you better at working with others, and ultimately better at the job the guild-companies out there are all competing for: taking down the bosses. Your achievement ups your value.

On the other hand, if you are, instead, paid wholly by retainers from a single company, and that enables you to grow your business.. the rules change.

In the Real World, our paladin-company would expand to get other paladins other his banner. He'd subcontract skilled labor out to other guilds, getting retainer contracts with each.

(... hmm. this could be fun... note for later.)

Anyway. Eventually, he'd have a stable of skilled labor. Perhaps he'd diversify into mages-for-hire, or tanks-on-demand. He'd be a heck of a mercenary company leader, and he'd have his own company of highly professional staff contracting out for one-shot work.

(See the business model, here? "We have tanks on demand, we take no gear, we're fully geared (or overgeared) for every encounter and conversant with every boss. 500 gp gets you a professional tank for three hours.. wanting to go to Naxx but your healer can't make it? Call us!" ... this really /could/ be fun. :) )

ANYWAY.

The two situations create different outcomes. In the former, his 'retainer' is far less - if the guild only helped him get a piece or two, his ultimate commitment to them is low. He's a part-time contractor, at best.

On the other hand, if the guild got him /all/ or /most/ of his gear, his retainer is high.

It's a matter of scale - and one that's likely to be blown out of proportion from a human perspective.

However, as an independant contractor, despite the reputation hit, sometimes you have to drop a bad client. If the /client/ who /says/ they're in the business of taking down bosses isn't, really, the you run the risk of stagnating, or of having your rep go down with theirs, or.. well. Any number of other pitfalls.

The most valuable commodity you have is time - if you take advantage of business arrangements, then it will come back to bite you. On the other hand, if others aren't living up to professional expectations, you have every right to find another client.

We won't know which way it really is - but the implication is that the /guild/ geared this guy. Not himself. The /guild/ invested in him - and he cut on his retainer.

Again, we'll see how it comes out. :)

Gevlon said...

@all thanks for the comments, the reworking of the post using your ideas is underway.

@The Standing Dragon: very interesting ideas will be used in a later post, thanks.

thcgirl77 said...

Gevlon: well we did recruit and rebuild the guild after people left and we took players that seemed nice people and wanted to learn and did not look at their gear necessarily saying if you don`t have epics than we can`t take you. of course we refused obvious lazy players (no sockets, no enchants, greens+purple, etc)

Justin said...

Even just looking at the palandin's self interest, taking a break because he's achieved his own goals is a fool's errand.

Matt may not do this, but in most guilds, he'd be jettisoned ASAP and reported on any available public forums that he doesn't help his guilds out. His reputation would then suffer and he may not get that Ulduar guild in a day the way you said he would.

All of a sudden, taking a break because he's geared up means drastically increasing the likelihood of missing out on future gear, especially if he decides to defend himself in public.

To spout cliches, no man is an island, and his actions do not exist in a vacuum.

ecr2 said...

I think people need to wake up to (virtual) reality here. Several posters have approached this issue attacking the paladin for doing wrong. I think he should have just left the guild.

Remember though, in WoW one man CAN be an island. This is not the real human social world; people can transfer servers, change names, and even change race. Escaping a little short-lived bad press is easily achieved; this 'carebear' mentality that people owe their guilds something harkens back to Gevlon's post about tapping nodes of ore. This is an unwritten grey area - there are no rules. Harsh, but true. Failing to acknowledge this, as frustrating as it may be to some, would be naive.

Nissl said...

The main point I want to emphasize is that the paladin was outright stupid to say what he said. He was probably feeling some burnout from running the same instance over and over. He should have said that. He should have framed his move as an offer to rotate out for the good of the part-timers/undergeared guildies. He should have suggested he would be available as backup sometimes... even if he was going to magically not be around 70-90% of the guild's raid nights. He should have sucked it up and shown up once every few weeks so he didn't get benched/kicked. There's selfish and then there's stupid. This was probably a case of burnout and lack of social skills more than any deliberate plan to screw Matticus's guild over.

Jesse said...

Yet another reason why I think gear should be a bit more realistic* stat-wise. If gear wasn't so stat heavy then a lot of stress from DKP/loot systems is negated. This may cause some people to lose/change their interest in raids, but it would also mean that groups that have a bad run of luck loot-wise can still progress on skill alone. *This means a weapon determines damage type, attack speed, phallic symbolism, but won't make up for lack of skill.

Anonymous said...

For a bit more specific information.

I'm a guild member of Conquest.

This situation wasn't a big deal really--we had sub healers to promote to full time. It sure made a great blog post though, and gave people a lot to think about.

I think it's a case where a couple things happened.

The paladin in question is a good healer. He was one of the first 80s in the guild, so he did a lot of instances early on--and maybe burned himself out. His gear, consequently, is good--but not the best. With Conquest's current farm content, in the two weeks he's been out all of the other healers at raider rank have passed his gear right by. It wasn't a question of getting "all" his gear--rather, just enough to do Ulduar, I think, and maybe not enough to have an easy time in there.

Could we have used a paladin for the last couple weeks? Of course. Could we replace this player? Absolutely.

The problem is Matticus probably feels bad about filling in the gaps around the paladin. There's a sense of loyalty in our guild among the people at raider rank. My suggestion, of course, was promote an interested person from the substitute rank. If the paladin doesn't want to play, why not give someone else a chance? There are a lot of people who love this game, and I want those playing in my team. The gear is neither here nor there. It's plentiful, and no one begrudges anyone their drops. I'm never mad about the gear when people "gear up and run"--I'm more concerned about the health of the team.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing new. Serious raiding guilds have been dealing with this since the dawn of time. Let's not even get into the era of attunements when, if someone quit, you had to go backflag new players through old content.

Now that raiding is available to all scrubs, it hits the mainstream.

But, the irony is that it would take all of a week to replace that paladin and his gear given what a walkthrough today's raids are.

Anonymous said...

The real question--as far as Conquest's leadership is concerned--is are we free to seek another full-time pally? We haven't done so out of loyalty to the one who quit on us. Instead, we've been making do without him. It's going fine, and our other paladin has, well, been just outshining the one who took a break. When we try Sarth 3 drakes this week we'll miss the second holy paladin, though.

The Claw said...

As in all things, you should strive for a balance between the extremes.

For sure, announcing that you're taking a break from raiding as soon as you've fully geared yourself up, is a bit of a dick move. Yes this is a game and yes people should play to have fun, and I'm not suggesting people should be compelled to do things they don't enjoy for the benefit of others - but come on, at least treat it with as much respect as you would a social sporting team or something. Don't ditch team-mates when they need you just because there's nothing in it for you.

But on the other hand, there's a point where you've just got to put your foot down. As recently as a few weeks before WotLK came out, I had guildies begging me to come and heal Kara runs, so they could gear up yet another alt with epics. I was bored of Kara by the middle of 2007, lord knows I ran it enough times to help out, with no potential gain for myself, and eventually you have to say "no more".

My advice to people who are geared and getting bored is to cut down. I'm now in a situation where I'm fully 25-man epic geared, sure there are pieces that could be upgraded a little to other pieces with better stat distribution, but basically, I could retire from raiding now and be fine for Ulduar. But instead, I'm just stepping back from stuff like Naxx-10 (where people are already starting to gear up alts) so I'm fresh and keen for genuine challenges like Sarth+3, which we're working on.

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