Greedy Goblin

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another victim of M&S

Tobold just wrote that he refuses to go to harder content with his guild because "I don't mind wiping as long as I think that if I could just improve my own game, we would do better next time. But sitting there thinking that well, healing can't be improved any more, I'll just need to hope that the damage dealers get their act together, is insufferable."

He is not alone with this decision. My girlfriend officially ended her raiding carrier, declaring that both her surv hunter and prot warrior will not set foot into any group content. She is giving the game its last chance by leveling a resto shaman, hoping that healing is more challenge and control over the situation. I guaranteed her it's not, but hope dies last.

The problem of both of them is in group situation you depend on the performance of group members. If your capabilities are way beyond the "good enough" level, you can carry some M&S, but even you have limits. I can heal Naxx10/Sarth+0-10/Voa10 with someone who heals half as much as me, but can't heal them all alone.

Tobold just faced that trivializing the content does not help. While Malygos can be killed by people in lvl70 gear, it cannot be killed by a raid with too many M&S. The problem is that the M&S performs at the group tolerance level. They only make effort if their social acceptance is on the line: the group just told them to do X or leave. The problem is that social people won't tell it until they really has to. Tobold decided to not tell this. He was stressed to the "insufferable" level, yet he said nothing. He asked "Am I the only one resetting his Recount before every fight and noticing all those people consistently doing less than 3k dps?". I guess not. He was one of many who saw what's going on and did nothing.

Note that a blurry comment like "we need more DPS", or "everyone must be above 2K" is considered nothing. A statement that is considered something need to be addressed to someone and require a specified something, and also should include the consequences of failure to comply.

We can see two problems and four solutions here (one bad and one good).

Groupmember (player) level: The M&S pulls me back:
  • Bad solution: I help them more (Boost them one more time in Naxx). The effect is simple, the M&S gets reward for bad performance, so it will keep on performing bad.
  • Good solution: "I refuse to be the victim of the M&S. Either the lowest performer of the raid leaves the guild, or I do. I want the decision this week and I refuse to do anything until it is made". If the group chooses performance, the worst M&S is removed, the others are warned. If the group chooses social values, at least you can leave without any guilt.
Management (Blizzard) level: The overall group performance is low:
  • Bad solution: Lowering expectations (nerfing content). Since the performers can carry more M&S, they do to avoid drama. Noticing that, the M&S puts even less effort into the work. Result: the group struggles to reach the lower expectations.
  • Good solution: Increasing the reward for performance, and making it easier to remove bad eggs from the group. This way the performers will have more motive and also more means to get rid of the bad eggs.
In the game, Blizzard is not motivated to help you remove the M&S since they are also subscribers, so you can wait forever for a management solution. Actually they nerf to make it easier to carry them and the rare harder content give ridiculous rewards (titles and mounts), so no one is really motivated to move on to these contents.

Your only choice is to set the "Either the lowest performer of the raid leaves the guild, or I do." Have no hopes, 90% will choose to let you go. At this point you can either go for a topguild or abandon raiding completely. Either way you are free from the pointless grind of helping M&S.


spinksville said...

Nah, the problem here is that the raid leader isn't doing their job.

There should be a tier between group member and management. The raid leader is responsible for teaching the group to beat the content (it is a teaching/coaching role as much as anything) and that includes dealing with dps who don't make the mark.

If a raid leader can't even acknowledge that dps is the problem then you don't want to be raiding with them. Because what else do they not notice?

Kael said...

hoping that healing is more challenge and control over the situation

I can very much relate regarding the control aspect.

Originally tanking H MgT on my pally required a solid healer and two good CC. Very little room for M&S that didn't know their class.

When patch 3.0 hit I loved the level of control granted by aoe stunning, aoe spell reflect and combat charging. Unfortunately, it just meant more ability to make instance runs successful with M&S in the group.

After running every wotlk heroic on the warrior I was shocked how impossible it was to go wrong, until of course I tried going into them with unknown pug tanks on a dps toon...

Cingy said...

I partly agree with Spinksville. What is missing is the distinction between operational and strategic management. This in itself is not strange, due to the focus on short term results, both in RL and in games, the two get confused in many places.

I don't agree that it is the job of the raid leader to teach the players to beat the content. Although he has a resposibility to direct the operation, i.e. tell people where to stand and what to attack/heal, he cannot know for every class which spell to use, and how to optimize DPS/threat/healing done.

Individual performance is the resposibility of the player himself. Of cause the strategic management of the guild can help by assigning class leaders, but in the end, the play himself needs to go the elitistjerks and figure out how to play.

It is my experience as a guild officer that unless it is explicitly pointed out that performance is below standard, nothing happens. I even had to go into arguments at some points to get individual performance addressed.

It would be interesting to explore why people are so reluctant to look at individual performance in group situations.

Anonymous said...

Not being funny but there is no need to reset Recount for every fight as there is a 'View Current Fight' option on the third icon along.

If the option is missing then you can turn it on in Recount Settings (the little cog).

Jezebeau said...

Best Solution: import WAR's public quest participation system and balance it for the WoW raiding environment (ie: taking into consideration damage taken by a DPS member, giving due respect to healers and tanks). Take the pile of gold and marks (and maybe some free gems or enchanting mats) off the boss and hand them out, prize style, to the top 60% of the raid.

This threshhold should be broad enough that the major contributors get their due and still have room at the bottom for competition by the M&S.

Jonathan said...

Anonymous: Recount's "Current Fight" mode isn't entirely bug-free. Last night on OS1D25 it divided the last Sarth wipe into three fights labelled:

Lava Burst

And I have no idea why it did *that*.

Carra said...

I do it like this:
-> Check how much everyone should do (Boss hp / (enrage time * #DPS).
-> If people are consistently below it or are way below the average DPS or die every run, I'll complain to our raidleader and provide some objective statistics.
-> Here you can only hope that your raidleader fixes it and doesn't leave them "because they are nice people". Fixing it would be having a chat with them, see if they improve and gkick if needed.

And if that doesn't work, not much more to do then either live with it or quit the guild.

bodphrah said...

I know this feeling all too well, we, being a social guild who do raid have this issue alot, though we also have mamanged to do very well for a social guild, even out doing a few raid guilds (by no means compeating with say a guild doing sarth+3 of coarse) but from personal experience talking with the slacker does get them up a bit, part of me still hates blizzard though for nerfing the content so much that people stopped wanting to get better, we have had quite a big number of people in our guild turn from slackers to 3.5k DPS, just saying with some negotiation with the said slacker hope is not always lost, sometimes just pointing them in the direction of elitist jerks works quite well.

phoenixboy said...

Whats the big deal in telling the people that just dont cut it that they have to sit this attempt?

Sorry, you arent pulling your weigth so you need to leave. As simple as that. If you want to tell them what they need to do. If they get dramatic (and they will), more reason to kick them.

yuripup said...

Or you could actually believe in management and give, you know, feed back, that the DPS isn't there and people need to get their stuff together.

You know raise the player out of M&Sness and make them into a useful player. Of course that actually requires seeing the same folks more than occasionally. A commitment to something other than oneself.

I did enough pug raiding in EQ, just because it takes a 1/3 of the raids and there is voice now doesn't make pug raiding any more tolerable.

Indy said...

Ok, so what does M&S mean, as you're using it? It wasn't defined in the last post you used it in that I read, either.

RyanC said...

Your solution is totally unworkable...kind of like the "Wipe on Patchwerk to prove our DPS" solution. On paper it sounds...actually on paper that sounded stupid. This at least SOUNDS good but is unworkable.

Mostly, because it is a cheap knockoff of Jack Welch's strategy as CEO of GE.

Considering he went on record saying he did it TOO MANY TIMES, therein lies the solution.

The first few times you do this, you will undoubtedly be improving your raid, but you would be creating a total loot whore situation.

My line of thinking currently: Well, I could pass on that item because it's more of a well-itemized sidegrade, or I could let person X have it and we get better as a whole next attempt.

Under the kick the last person standing: Screw that guy, I'm rolling on that ring.

Plus, you never know when your top DPS's brother is the next guy you kick. Now you've kicked both people.

And if I'm borderline...then I don't show for raid night. I'd rather Pug with another group that week, get some more gear, and come back next week. Of course, that puts the burden on the guild to find someone. So you're forcing yourself to PUG, which is no guarantee of a competent replacement (and the gear the replacement gets may not stay in the guild, which means some other guild got stronger thanks to your policy.)

Also, melee fighters on, say a Grobbulus fight will have drastically different meters than on a Patchwerk fight, a Thaddius fight, etc. You're basically saying, I am going to ignore HOW you do damage, even though Blizzard is well aware of the difference and designs and balances encounters around it. That's just sloppy thinking.

If you are raiding, you should have a performance standard, for healers, tanks and dps, and uphold it. I finished in the top 5% of my class, therefore I got the good job. How hard is it to set minimum bars for the DPS, healers, tanks? (Dps, healing done, HP, avoidance, etc.)

Think of it as the NFL combine...where players are evaluated on raw stats then drafted to be part of a team.

Every tier of content should have a minimum requirement...if you can fill the spot with someone over the minimum, then you do. If not, let the people currently in raid know what the person not meetng the standard can do, and let them decide to take them on or PUG, or fold. Unless the boss has an enrage timer, as long as someone does NOT STAND IN THE FIRE, for the most part they're going to be OK.

So Patchwerk, Thaddius, KT...not fights where people can be carried.

Grobbulus, Heigan, Maxxena...these are fights where people reasonably CAN be carried.

Someone ungeared may not be unskilled, as there is NO correlation between moneymaking skill and raiding skill. They may just be a newly minted 80 who's crafted items suck. Regardless, there will be a cap on how much damage they could do.

Imagine a person who puts out 98% of his damage potential in greens vs. someone who puts out 70% of his damage potential but has 213 epics thanks to a guild that had 25-Naxx on farm.

In Ulduar, one of these players will far surpass the others, and it's not the guy doing more DPS in his epics currently.

This is a post for lazy thinking, and if there is one thing I disapprove of, it's lazy thinking.

(I prefer using recount to tell me Interrupts on KT, and that Mod that counts void zone failures...these are the things that tell me who is pulling their appropriate weight. A DK who interrupts his rotation to cast Mind Freeze, or a shaman who casts Earth shock, etc, etc. is far more important to a fight than straight DPS.)

Cdin said...

"Good solution: "I refuse to be the victim of the M&S. Either the lowest performer of the raid leaves the guild, or I do. I want the decision this week and I refuse to do anything until it is made". If the group chooses performance, the worst M&S is removed, the others are warned. If the group chooses social values, at least you can leave without any guilt."

I think this is a pretty bad suggestion. I've been in bad guilds before and it is rarely one person or even five people that is bringing a guild down. Therefore making an ultimatum like this is doomed to fail and will only cause drama and burn bridges.

In my opinion there are only two choices you have here.

1. Take over the guild and rebuild it to your level of quality. This will cause drama but who cares, if the new guild is successful.

2. Leave and find a guild that better fits your needs. This game has thousands of guilds and there has got to be a guild that fits your particular needs. Nothing is forcing you to stay with your guild. It sucks to leave friends behind, and nobody wants to spend the 25 dollars to tranfer a toon, but if your not happy you might as well go.

About 8months ago I left a guild that I had been in for about a year. The guild had been great at one time but the atmosphere changed over the year and by the end it was clear that the guild was going no where. I was face with a choice. Stay and play with friends, or try and find a playing situation that was more enjoyable.

What I learned is that the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence, but there is grass. If you dont' like it then move again.

The first guild I went to folded after a month, but I could tell before that it wasn't the best place for me. So I started looking around for a better option. Luckily I found a guild that fits my needs almost perfectly.

My point is, If you like the game but your guild frustrates you then quit the guild, not the game. There are tons of guilds at there and one of them has to fit your needs.


Ben said...

Indy, it's one of Gevlon's catchphrases, he means Morons and Slackers. And loves to use it.

Hatch said...

Or just do what I did: raid with a guild where everyone else performs at your level. Problem solved.

Sjonkel said...

The problem here is that Tobold and his guildmates don't have the same goals. Some people just want to see the content, and do the absolute minimum required to do so. Others want to do their best no matter how many timmes they've done Naxx. Obviously you'll have problems if these two types of people are in the same guild.

Simple solution, find a guild that shares your ambitions. It's really that simple. I know many people have problems leaving social guilds they've been part of for a long time, but you are actually paying money to play this game. Even your best RL friends will understand, but be polite about it, so you don't burn the bridges if things don't work out in your new guild.

Anonymous said...

Time is money. And everyone's time is valuable. I am a selfish guy so I value my limited playing time alot. I absolutely cannot stand raiding with clowns (or M&S, the way you call it).

I also refuse to be an officer because I refuse to deal with the guild drama and make everyone happy. I tell them straight that I bring top notch dps and skills to the raid. We can wipe on 3D Sarth for 3 hrs and not once was I hit by fwall or void. If the guild is to progress, those clowns have to go. If not, I will simply find a better guild.

But, I did not point out who the clowns are. But with tools like Recount, it isn't too hard for a competent RL to figure it out. Or just breakdown your WWS.

In today's WOW. Everything is theorycrafted, documented and videos with detailed strats and walkthroughs made. Not taking 3 mins to read up on the boss fight before coming to raid is a sign of laziness. I am not someone who claims everyone needs to do X amount of DPS. Tanks just need to hold aggro, not die and get adds off dps. Heals, just keep people alive. DPS will be considered sufficient for fights without enrage timers. So long it isn't something ridiculously low. I can accept the fact that someone have crappy gear. But I cannot accept the fact that someone dies to the void 80% of the time.

As a rule of thumb, guilds outside the top 3 guild of any servers are usually worthless and not worth your time applying. Unless,

1) You are a fresh reroll, no one knows you, and you need gear.

2) Your real life friends are there. And it happens to be the 4th to 6th guild in the server, and still have the capability to do 3D Sarth before 3.1

3) Your schedule doesnt allow you to fit into the raid timings of the top 3 guild.

If I have to carry clowns through and wipe with them on a seemingly simple boss fight because they are dumb and couldn't figure out what they did wrong after dying the same way for the 3rd time, I will usually start pointing out the idiots and let them know they are wasting my time. Either they buck up or they find someone less capable than me, but more willing to waste their life with them.

Same goes for some dumb raid leader who choose to execute the same strat 5 times and wiping the same way 5 times without knowing why the strat wouldn't work. Heard of Thoughts becomes Actions, Actions become Results. Obviously the same Actions will always give the same Results. I don't understand why some 2nd rate raid leader would think otherwise. Lack of common sense I guess.

You may call me all sorts of names, and apparantly I agree that I am kind of selfish since I have absolutely low tolerance of idiots. But I rather spend my time playing AH than helping clowns who is dead 90% of the time and gets gear.

Toffelholm said...

"I can heal Naxx10/Sarth+0-10/Voa10 with someone who heals half as much as me, but can't heal them all alone."

You got a point here. You need the help of other people to beat those encounters, you can't do them all alone. This is why a guild of "freindly helpfull ppl" can clear Naxx on a regular basis, yet a greedy goblin, on his own, can't.