Monday, June 29, 2009

The fall of goblinism 2

I've already faced something that obvious according to the goblin philosophy, yet does not work: PuGing. Theoretically the most time-effective way to do an instance is "LFM n people wanting the same". Practically you won't be able to do anything due to the swarm of useless M&S swarming to your group.

The other fall of goblinism is bigger. As most readers noticed I'm a big supporter of ideas similar to Ayn Rand's. Too bad it doesn't really work in the real life, despite no logical faults are included.

I found the reason it cannot work in WoW. Maybe we should get all the IMF people play WoW and they don't screw up more developing countries.

The fundamental question is: "why can't WoW be a fair game, like baseball. I mean "fair" as the rules are set, and the field is even. The outcome of a baseball match depend only on your "skill", your ability to run, catch and hit. If you are worse than the other, you'll lose.

Many people claim about nerfs that "it's just a game, why not?". Baseball is also a game. Other computer games are also games, yet they are more fair and consequently are considerably harder. If you die, you'll get death penalty. That ranges from "round over" to XP loss. The tasks cannot be performed by scripted bots. Other games are far less popular than WoW.

WoW is already easy, not penalizing losing (no death penalty), or actually rewarding losing (honor and badges for lost PvP match). But it's not enough. WoW is nerfed again and again, making content and items easier to get by every patch. Why? The commenters were all correct on my Welfare Epics posts, that without it, large playerbase would leave.

There are fair games, like Half-life counterstrike or even Blizzard's Starcraft. My zergling is just as good as yours, and you get no welfare-ultralisk if you are half as strong as me in the midgame. There is no instant-get max-level research building for the "casual player" (who plays 40+ hours/week BTW). So fair games can exist, just much less popular.

Commenters use to write "you must give welfare to the real world poor or they revolt". I found it silly and used to handle it with "make sure the cops have enough ammo". I meant it literally. My guess was that the RL M&S who are too skilless to do any jobs, are a little minority, like 10%. Let the cops handle them, they won't be missed.

Not anymore.

I see now, that they are many more. Remember the wowprogress data on Ulduar raiding? It said, 32% did Siege of Ulduar. 32% of the playerbase did Siege of Ulduar? No, 17150 guilds, approximately 680K people did Siege of Ulduar in the US and EU. That's less than 10% of the playerbase. 32% of those guilds who ever bothered raiding did that. OK, it's a game, let's say that everyone else are PvP-ers and RP-ers, and 6 hours/week casuals. Let's believe it and stick to 32%.

68% of the people who wanted to raid failed to clear the first 4 bosses of Ulduar in the easiest modes. What else can we call these people than M&S?

OK, they are M&S. So what? The "so what" is the "goodbye free-market". If we form a free-market economy, a fair game, these M&S will fail the same way as they failed to get out of light bomb. They will take and give subprime loans, buy stocks of companies having subprime loans, give their money to banks that will use it to handle out even more subprime loans. And they are very-very surprised when it goes down and all start whining: "we are innocent victims, save us Mr President, QQ"

Blizzard can give the M&S nerfs. Blizzard can give the M&S welfare epics. It's just a keypress for them. The real world cannot be nerfed and the real world welfare needs to be supported by taxing the non-M&S.

The success of the completely unfair, M&S catering, always-nerfed WoW over Starcraft, EVE, Darkfall is the ultimate proof that most people are just too stupid for a free-market system.

All the economic books start with something like "the economic actors are following only their own interest". In the real world it's not true for 70-80% of the population. They are just too dumb to recognize their interests. After all, which is harder:
  • to properly approximate the changes of the interest rates in the next 25 year before signing a mortgage contract, finding out how our paying power will change during this period (coming from the average changes in the industry you are in, your approximated health changes, the number of competing employees coming to the same field, the recession/boom rates of the whole economy and your ability to compete with peers)
  • standing out of a big, bright red fire while DBM shouts "run away!"

The problem with the different "free-market" philosophies is not that they are elitist. They should be. If all monkeys would be mediocre, we'd still be on the trees.

The problem is not that the useless M&S would starve. They wouldn't be missed.

The problem is that in the current level of education and the cultural value of learning, the useful/useless boundary is simply too high. You cannot discard 20-30% of the population and you cannot let other 40-50% live in low wages. They won't accept it and they are just too many to handle by cops.


PS: if you think this will change me into a socialist, you couldn't be more wrong.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Baseball is not exactly a
"fair game". There are random factors (wind, temperature, stadium design, umpire calls) but I understand your point that its based around skill. Chess works too.

Look, Blizzard is a corporation first. Corporations attempt to maximize profit for their shareholders. Blizzard will do whatever it takes to get more subscribers within a reasonable limit. People want to play a game where they can succeed and accomplish things easily. Who wants to pay $15 each month to fail? You want to walk a tightrope where you make sure the "M&S" still want to pay for your game without upsetting your subscriber base.

If you want a hardcore capitalist game I recommend Eve Online (free 14 day trial). Enjoy the learning curve.

Anonymous said...

I would actually love to see Gevlon try out Eve online and turn a profit there. I'm not saying this to be mean, but it would be more of a feat to make a profit against other goblins vs M&S.

Granted he would probably have to create a new section in his current blog or a new blog all-together, but It would certainly be interesting to see.

Abandon said...

I am torn on welfare. I absolutely agree that if the poor revolt because they don't get their free handouts, they should be delt with. The problem is that if these poor people come into my neighborhood and start to steal things, my safety is decreased. As they are "delt with" my property value and quality of life goes down. The entire point of paying more to live in a better community is to be safer and happier. If we stop welfare, my life will get worse indirectly.

On the other hand the current system actually makes it more attractive to people to sit at home and collect other people's tax dollars than to get a job. These people might be worthless M&S in regards to social status, work related skills, and education, but they can absolutely be expected to do what is best for them, which is sit at home and collect checks.

Capitalism is about winners and losers, you can't have one without the other. However Blizzard can't afford to let people lose (even if they should). The losers would take their $15 and go play something else. Then there would be a whole new batch of losers. Nerfing encounters keeps bad players paying their subscription fees so that good ones can get new content.

Daniel said...

I have always thought of welfare as extortion and racketeering from the poor of the rich. Except education/health care for people under 18 years (that's investment)

When you see it this way the taxes begin to hurt less. You are paying for your security.

The worst part is - you cannot do anything about it. When every vote in democracy have the same weight - you cannot by any means decrease the amount of unnessesery welfare.

Sven said...

@Gevlon

"All the economic books start with something like "the economic actors are following only their own interest"

Unfortunately, this is not always well phrased, even in economic textbooks. The real idea behind that is not that every individual is correctly following their own bets interests, but rather that on average they do. In other words, the hypothesis is that the errors made by the over-optimistic and the ones made by the over-pessimistic cancel out, so that when doing bulk studies you can model them as being rational on average.

So you shouldn't conclude from that that "people are dumb" invalidates the hypothesis, unless you can show that people are dumb with an average different to the correct outcome.

Sven said...

Oops - typo. In the above post, I meant to say "best" rather than "bets". I wish you could edit Blogger comments after you post them.

Naj said...

The success of the completely unfair, M&S catering, always-nerfed WoW over Starcraft, EVE, Darkfall is the ultimate proof that most people is just too stupid for a free-market system.

This is dumb.

Your analogy would have worked better if it attempted to describe economic behavior of people who are:

(a) mostly young and still on the way to their personal economic independence (thus, not very experienced with managing time and money), and

(b) not being rewarded or punished for their actions in any significant way.

This applies to many other analogies or yours as well. You keep painting things with too wide a brush.

Thunderhorns said...

The real problem with people is not that they are too dumb, it's that the education is not adequately preparing them for the modern world. The original purpose of the public education system was to prepare people for work, not to "broaden their horizons". Yet the public education system has not kept pace with the skillset needed to navigate the real world.

I'm a strong advocate that business and finance studies should be part of a school's core curriculum in the modern day. Basically I'm saying financial and computer literacy should be requirements for High School graduation in America.

We have so many financial instruments available for use from credit cards to options trading that at least a bare minimum of financial literacy should be required for all citizens.

Our education system is underpreparing people for the real world and then when these lost folk complain, they offer them a socialist means of correcting the problem such as overregulation or a handout. Where if they had prepare these people in school to begin with, most could avoid the traps that come from being ignorant of how various financial instruments work.

Knowledge is the best way to even the playing field and give people a fighting chance. But tossing a bunch of undereducated people into the workplace and expecting them to know why a no interest loan is bad in the long run is not the best way to start them off in life. Most people can't even compute the life of a loan because they weren't taught to do it because a High School eduation in America is laughable.

I'd like to start seeing people better prepared from a young age for operating in our modern economy. People develop their habits when they're young, and if you teach them good financial habits they will do better in the real world.

As far as WoW goes, it's a game. I can't say it's really representative of the real life M&S. But it's funny how you use what occurs in WoW as support for your social theorizing. It's amusing to read.

Okrane S. said...

@Gevlon

Your main mistake in the series of posts about the nerfing of the game because of social reasons is the fact that drawing a parallel between the real world and the game is incorrect in this case.

You've actually seized it yourself by saying: "Real life can't be nerfed". Its a bit more complicated than that.

The actual difference lies in the fact that the game has an extra subjective agent in the equation: Blizzard. In real life, even if we're talking about God, Free Will, or Pure Randomness, you clearly get the idea that most likely there is no deciding factor that adapts reality to the desires of people. People must change the reality which is not true in game.

So where does that leave us? Its simple. Blizzard is making a bussiness decision. QQ about people being too dumb to live with the game and whining so that it got nerfed is, even if you are entitled to it, completely irrelevant.

I believe that it is purely the social factor that kept this game going for so long. Take other games, for example: games that were better because they involved skill. Those games died off, simply because the majority lost interest. Warcraft 3 and starcraft, they were nice games, there are still pros playing them, but let's face it, how long does it take for a normal person to get tired of the same build order, units with same abilities and a repetitive gameplay.

What makes this game last, is not raid content or arena seasons for that matter. Its the useless vanity shit. Mounts, titles, tabards, non-combat pets, shiny epix. It gave people a long distance goal to work towards and kept them playing to obtain all these useless stuff. The serious stuff (Arena and raiding) is just the "warcraft3 or starcraft" around a social game.

Without the social support this game will die off pretty quickly simply because the casuals will leave. Not because they suck at the game and they fail at the raiding attempts. They do, but that's not the point. They will leave because, well, its boring to do the same stuff over and over again without a social factor to reinforce it.

So this is to what blizzard is catering. The large player base supporting the game. Without them the game would not exist simply because it would not be profitable for blizzard to invest time into implementing new encounters and stuff.

Wow is already at its second expansion and there are speculations for a third on the way. Other successful games, like warcraft3 and starcraft had only one expansion and then the game faded away. What do you make of that?

Anonymous said...

"The problem is that in the current level of education and the cultural value of learning, the useful/useless boundary is simply too high. You cannot discard 20-30% of the population and you cannot let other 40-50% live in low wages. They won't accept it and they are just too many to handle by cops."

I got a simple fix to that, Call in the Army.

Mallika said...

To the anonymous snarking about Gevlon's grammar:

You do know there are other countries in the world? Countries where people don't speak English as their first language? You may have noticed that Gevlon is one of those people. And you may notice, if you have ever had any experience with people who have certain other languages as their mother tongue, that some particular grammatical errors will commonly pop up, due to the fact that in their particular mother tongue, the error isn't an error at all.

For example, let's take my (Spanish) husband. In Spanish, the word for "people" (basically 'la gente') is considered singular, which means someone saying "The people is crazy" in Spanish would be correct -- which also impacts the way he sometimes speaks English. It comes out from time to time that he will say "The people is crazy" instead of "The people ARE crazy."

I'm not entirely sure why I bothered to write this; I suppose it could be that, grammar fanatic though I may be sometimes, I still understand that English isn't the only damn language in the world. (Hell, I come from SE Asia, so English isn't my first language either. If I were like Anonymous, I suppose I should bitch about how foreigners are never able to pronounce things correctly in Thai, which consists of five tonal sounds.)

Mark said...

@Mallika

There is a vast difference between being able to correctly reproduce foreign tonal sounds and being able to correctly reproduce a language in writing. The brain is processing each completely differently. I can write Spanish fluently, as long as I have the vocabulary I'm trying to write, but I cannot for the life of me roll my r's and I often stumble over the enye.

That said, Gevlon's grammar doesn't bother me that much (for the record, I'm not Anonymous), but it's a great irony that he berates those for getting "welfare epics" (a term I hate, incidentally, as I'm one of those without a guild and not much time, so I run 5-mans, and I'll have to run a lot of them to get any gear) because of a lack of skill whilst he commonly makes mistakes concerning subject-verb agreement.

More on-topic:

Gevlon, your comparison with other games is irrational, as they're all entirely different from WoW. I, like others apparently, would love to see you give EVE a try. I think it's emphasis on economics would really intrigue you.

And read some Hemingway. It's much more palatable than Rand. She's so sanctimonious.

Mark said...

Its emphasis, rather than it's. It's late. :)

Anonymous said...

Gevlon you don't need to fear being called a socialist by anyone, since your ideas are pretty much at the other end of the political spectrum (extreme right-wing)...

As for your continued crusade against "nerfing" this game, if Blizz wouldn't have nerfed this game so much for the "M&S", no amount of gold would have bought you a raid slot to anything but old and tired farming content. For example, back in pre-nerf Sunwell, not only did every single player count, but often their every single GCD and how they used it did count. No guild would have taken you along for those tries, not even for a million gold and free enchants for life because taking you along instead of a higher skilled and geared player who can raid at all dates would have meant not being able to progress further.

p.s. Regarding the "grammar" issue (which is actually a morphology issue to be technical), "people" singular (the whole of all human beings in a state) and "people" plural (several men and/or women) are two completely different words and thus misusing them in a sentence where you try to condemn other people because of their alleged stupidity - that's just ironic. :P

SilentJoe said...

I would offer a slightly different thought than the last poster.

Stop making parallels with real life. You are not good at them. Stick to WoW. I am a long reader of your blog and the posts which do not attempt to draw big parallels are much more interesting and much more informative than those that do. It also looks like the ratio of posts that attempt to draw big parallels has increased in the past few months and continues to do so. Whom would you rather have as your readers? People who want to discuss the game? Or people who want to talk big things like welfare and taxes? If you want the latter, you are fishing in the wrong pool.

I realize you will likely ignore the advice. Still, someone has to say it.

Bjørn Hegstad said...

GEVLON: I think I solved your issue.

If 50 percent of the population revolts because of lack of money, then the marked demands more cops. Increased demand = increased profit.

Just hire a M&S to protect you from other M&S, and pay him well.

Wooly said...

Your threshold for being called M&S seems to grow higher every day. A few posts ago you called players "upper middle" when they were raiding Ulduar siege only, now you call them M&S.

I'm bracing myself for being called M&S too a few days from now for not being exactly as far progressed as you are at that moment, or further, as we're still stuck at Hodir and Freya.

I also don't understand the title tbh: "The fall of goblinism". It's almost as if you think there is no place anymore for goblinism, or that it fails as the only true way or something.

Your comparisons to other games and fairness don't really make sense to me either. Even in baseball there are M&S, they're benched, or shouting from the sideline with a beerhat. Formula 1 f.e. get's nerfed regularly too (to give other teams a fighting chance), so does Football (Soccer). The games you mentioned get balancing fixes too. I don't see any major difference between those and wow.

You kind of lost me with this post. I do see where you were heading, but to me the reasoning is not correct.

If you mean what I think you do, the real world is actually the worst scenario to compare with. To be a top contender in wow, you need to have skill + gear, with the latter being the hardest to acquire. In all the real world games gear is rarely the issue, everyone is able to get all items required to be a top contender so only skill matters. There are games where gear does matter, like my example of Formula 1, where you need an good and expensive racing car for starts, which is not available for the poor, and the richer you are the better the car (hence, it's the most nerfed real life sport).

dozenz said...

why can't WoW be a fair game, like baseball.

In baseball mistakes can lead to losses....and enough losses can result in missing out on a chance to win the World Series.

WoW and no other game punishes (like they used to). M&S can throw thesmelves headfirst into encounters enough times and they will win....similar to high end raiding guilds (which is what they do). only difference is high end raiding guilds have better gear and corodination from working together to will throw themselves fewer times.

Algalon has so far been the only encounter in WoW to properly reward skill and punish M&S...but in a limited fashion since the only people this rewarded/punished were those achieving World Firsts.




Sorry Gevlon but not matter how many times you try to squeeze "welfare" into your posts about gaming does not make it true. Nothing in any game today even remotely resembles Welfare as you know it. The day you log in and see that gold has been deducted from your account, an epic taken away and given to someone else, or even your time spent on Steelbreaker Hardmode achievement being discounted is the day you will be right.

althalas said...

your premise is flawed from the get go. You assume that everyone that plays the game wants to raid. this is just not the case.

so right there your numbers go all to hell. You ahve no way of establishing what the numers are of what people want to do. You assume everyone wants to/can raid. This takes your whole argument and throws it out the window.

A better data point would be how many peopel have entered ulduar and failed to beat the bosses. Then take away fromt that the people who were jsut "poking in thier heads" to see the place.

Kali said...

Gevlon,

You said: "The fundamental question is: "why can't WoW be a fair game, like baseball. I mean "fair" as the rules are set, and the field is even. The outcome of a baseball match depend only on your "skill", your ability to run, catch and hit. If you are worse than the other, you'll lose."

The obvious answer is that Baseball is a game where two sides compete directly against eachother and there are clear rules for winning the game. WoW has neither of these. There is no way to "win" at WoW unless it's a BG or Arena match which are fair like baseball.

WoW is simply not a competitive game no matter how much you and others wish to make it so. Parts of it are competitive to be sure, but as a whole it is not.

Eaten by a Grue said...

I think the data you are gathering from WoW may be a little distorted by the fact that there are a whole bunch of adolescents playing the game. These people are not adults, and you cannot draw accurate life parallels from this group.

Brian said...

While I was originally going to argue against Gevlon's comparison between real life and WoW, after giving it more thought, I think it highlights an important part of this issue.

It could be argued that it's unreasonable in real life to expect people to, on their own, deal with every negative situation. A bank with billions of dollars and thousands of people to throw at the problem is not on a level playing field with an individual when it comes to mortgages. Of course this might be just an excuse for the dumb and/or lazy to get moronic mortgages they can't afford, but I think the point could be intelligently argued either way. As Gevlon points out, even if intelligently getting a mortgage is possible, it can be a little complicated.

But Gevlon also compares that to not standing in the fire in WoW, and that's where I think the discussion gets interesting. Blizzard makes it pretty obvious where you need to do something, mods like DBM make it REALLY obvious, and the things you need to do are usually pretty simple. A fight like Thaddius is the perfect example of this...

-If you have a positive charge, stand on the right. If you have a negative charge, stand on the left.
-Your charge shows up as a big plus or minus sign in your buff list, or all by itself if you have DBM, so you can't miss it.
-If your charge changes after Thaddius does a really obvious cast, change sides as quickly as possible.

That's pretty straightforward. I could see not understanding it until you do it once, but after that, Thadd should be a really easy fight. Except it's not. We've all been in groups where people just can't figure it out, where the raid wipes time and time again because someone is standing on the wrong side. The raid leader, DBM, and Blizzard tell them EXACTLY what to do and when to do it, and people still can't figure it out.

I think this kind of behavior is more at the root of "free market" issues than more complex causes like a bad education system or people being outsmarted by powerful corporations. Of course real life is not WoW, but there are plenty of real life situations that are similar. Ever seen a driver try to merge into highway traffic while going much slower than the traffic he's trying to merge into? Even when he's got a long entry ramp that you could use to get a golf cart up to speed. But several times during my daily commute I see drivers putter along the ramp, then try to dive into traffic at a fraction of the speed of the highway traffic. That's incredibly dangerous, and moronically easy to fix, yet people continue to do it. I'm sure those are the same people who would stand in the fire in WoW, and you can't tell me that ANY amount of education or information would help them make intelligent decisions about their mortgage. You could have an expert financial adviser standing over their shoulder yelling "don't sign that!" and they'd still agree to a badly designed mortgage.

I don't think it's a matter of them being moronic, because even with REALLY easy problems, people struggle. I don't think they're "M&S" so much as they are just "S". Not behaving like an idiot is just too much work, so they just do whatever they feel like without taking the 4 seconds to think about how to do it correctly.

Unfortunately for WoW, this means there is a point of diminishing returns for nerfs. Back when only the top few percent of players could get into successful raids, there was a group below them who were OK players, but just didn't have the time or skill to get the last few percent necessary to do well in a raid. The bar can be lowered enough to let them in...but it CAN'T be lowered enough for the slackers without totally removing the content. The small nerfs that people complain about aren't going to make the slightest bit of difference for the slackers.

Khrys said...

WoW used to be easy. And there were 4 million players. (circa 2005)
WoW was made even easier. And now there's 11 million players. (circa 2009)
8 million more players = Blizzard putting more money and effort into WoW production. We $15 M&S&Socials are the reason that Ulduar exists.

Look at other MMOs with smaller populations (Age of Camelot, Darkfall, Ultima Online, etc) and compare the speed and vastness of the expansion packs. They are smaller and released mroe slowly than what Blizz puts into WoW.

If you want more "Ulduars" to be developed and released, then you have to accept that M&S&Social money is required to build them as fast as you can conquor them. You don't have to PuG with us. You don't have to have us in your guild. But if you think M&S&Socials are of no use in your world then go to a game that has few of us and be prepared to get fewer expansion packs with less content.

Wooly said...

I wanted to refine my comment some more, but I didn't have time that moment.

Wow is not a regular game, it's a game and a virtual sort of life in one. You need to work and/or trade for money or items, and also be liked enough by a few to get anywhere, as the game is targeted on teamplay.

The big difference with other games is also the required gear. Wow gear is not just a means, but also a goal. This part alone makes hard to compare it with most other games.

The way of acquiring the gear here seems to be the discussion of being "welfare" or "earned". Not fairness of the game. Let's call "true" game being the raids/arena's for us. Let's call the welfare "job" (bit of a contradiction of course) the BG's and HC's.

I think there's the problem here. You're calling the game unfair because the simpletons are getting better gear for less work. So you're calling the "life" part of the game unfair. The game itself (raiding/arena's) aren't really affected by this. If anything, these are getting more fair, as everyone get's a chance win by skill, not only gear.

I do agree that the life part is not fair as we worked our ass of to get our gear, and now it get's given away to the crying masses. But the game itself isn't any less fair. Idiot's will still lose, but now it will be (hopefully) clear(er) to them it's because they suck, not because of the gear.

So, let's compare this to Formula 1 once more to finalize my rant: you're a top racer, and you have a great car, which you have worked years and years for. Suddenly you're evil welfare twin get's the same care given to him by a higher power. Whether he wins or loses a race from you is not the deal here, the race is fair as it's only skill that matters now. It's the fact that you had to work to get there, and he just get's boosted to your game level for free.

Yaggle said...

There is a movie about what happens when the M&S are boosted too much in RL called "Idiocracy" that I strongly recommend. Let's put it this way, in a few hundred years, the most popular t.v. show is "Ow, My Balls!". I think WoW is going the same way.

dozenz said...

@ Wooly
So, let's compare this to Formula 1 once more to finalize my rant: you're a top racer, and you have a great car, which you have worked years and years for. Suddenly you're evil welfare twin get's the same care given to him by a higher power. Whether he wins or loses a race from you is not the deal here, the race is fair as it's only skill that matters now. It's the fact that you had to work to get there, and he just get's boosted to your game level for free.


Perhaps the big uproar about "welfare" epics is now people need more skill to distinguish themselves and can't simply rely on gear.

That M&S who happens to be carried by a top guild now has to worry mroe about competition...in his guild with new recruits becoming available and when taking part in non-guild raids. Where before he could say "just wowarmory me...you can see I'm pro", now he actually has to measure up either socially or performance wise.

It's a lot easier for people with skill to stand out than back in the vanilla days which was good. BGs heavily favored PVE guilds back in Vanilla...so you knew skilled people who could take down top PVE and PVP farm teams armed only in Blues and a couple tier 1 epics.

Anonymous said...

You need to look at comparative advantage. Gevlon's goblin instincts puts him in the top 2-3% of all industrialists in WoW. On the other hand, there are a number of other professions/objectives where people specialize. Gevlon does not appear to be in the top 2-3% social communicators in WoW. Top 50% raider perhaps, but top 2% seems unlikely. If avatars and players are imagined as individuals holding a collection of expertise, it follows that some of them will lack (relative) financial skills.

Jeff said...

Every one always acts in their own self interest. Now, define self interest.

This is a fundamental flaw in economic modeling, and why Keynes is considered more accurate than the Austrian school. People do not react with their brains, no one, not even our esteemed blogger. Ask any half competent hypnotist and he or she will assure you that every one always reacts based on emotion.

After that emotional reaction they will then rationalize their answers to make them seem like an intellectual response. Even Our esteemed blogger.

Humans are not rational creatures, we are rationalizing creatures.

Gibbiex said...

Your comments regarding pretty much all wow players as morons and suckers; you don't seem to understand the game has a scewed demographic; i'm not sure what it is, but my guess is at least half of the players are under 18, and 90% are under 25. Further, i am also willing to bet that 90% of players dont have a college degree. Maybe they are aspiring to one or not. I am going to guess that you've never even set foot in a college classroom, because your rants about socialism and economics are so far off base, its like you don't even have the first idea of what those fields of study actually study.

Sorry to be so harsh, but maybe you should listen to your readership and post more WoW based things. It is interesting to see the correlation of these posts with your raiding, which I can only assume is due to your new-found elite status. Wait a year or two, it wears off fast. I was in a high-end guild, now I don't raid. I don't miss it really. In the end all of this just smoke and mirrors, because nothing that you do in WoW means a damn thing in RL.

Hirvox said...

There is a movie about what happens when the M&S are boosted too much in RL called "Idiocracy" that I strongly recommend. Let's put it this way, in a few hundred years, the most popular t.v. show is "Ow, My Balls!". I think WoW is going the same way.

But sometimes the cure might be worse than the disease.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first poster, take your mad skillz to Eve ... and of course, start a blog so we can follow your exploits!

Anonymous said...

Ayn Rand's stuff only works if the the producers are the ones with the resources. In the real world many of the M&S are very wealthy. They currently scream about going galt, but are not producers. I think Rand would be upset with some of them, because they are the moochers that galt was supposed to rebel against.

In wow however. Rands ideas don't work for a different reason. Because there aren't any real items. Everything is time. And the producers are the ones that create items, which is almost everyone.

Omestes said...

Wow, I actually somewhat agree with you.

Though, have you ever stopped that the poor are doing the exact same thing as the rich; looking out for themselves? In any economic system there will be a top, and a bottom, the top has more traditional forms of power, while the poor only have numbers. Whats wrong with the poor revolting? Lets look at political and economic systems like competing companies in some ideal philosophical free-market paradise, the vast majority of customers want something else.

Ah, fun but futile discussions such as these make life worth worth living.

Thank you for also pointing out that flaw in economic text books, it always bugged me that they think everyone (or actually anyone) is a fully conscious, intelligent, actor making informed decisions as a given, when a vast majority of the evidence out there is to the contrary.

Its like the old philosophical model of humanity, where we are "thinking machines", where most research is increasingly saying we all think very little most of the time.

AHAntics said...

"It said, 32% did Siege of Ulduar."

Uhh... so?
My raidgroup skipped Siege of Ulduar in favor of pushing deeper in. Instead of spending time on Ignis, we opted to go with FL->XT->Kolo->Auri->Keepers/AssemblyOfIron

Basically, you picked a meaningless statistic as your yardstick.

Both Ignis and Razor are optional, meaning those that want to work on the Keepers(or is it Watchers?) are better served by ignoring Ignis/Razorscale. Granted, we often have a Razorscale nightcap if there's time at the end of the raid, and we did eventually go ahead and take down Ignis, but for us, Progress was more important than Achievement or optional bosses.

Stormtrail said...

This whole series of posts by Gevlon ranting about the badge changes is confusing because it seems so anti-goblinish. Why does Gevlon seem to care so much that people can run heroics and get Conquest level (tier 8.5) gear?

He's already stated and proven that he can perform nearly as well as someone who has much 'better' gear than him. His own gear is improving as he is a part of a successful raid so he can't be worried about his raid slot. So why, other than 'social or M&S' reasons would a successful goblin and raider care what some M&S can have access to after 3.2?

A real M&S still won't gem or enchant their gear properly, they will buy the wrong pieces or have a terrible assortment of pieces and because people know what badge loot items are, it will still be blazingly obvious to smart raid and guild leaders who the M&S are.

People can already wear full epics or very nearly full epics from running heroics. It takes a long time running the heroics to accumulate the 500+ badges I think Gevlon talked about, especially if these people are truly M&S.

How will 3.2 be any different than what they already have access to? This isn't a situation where someone is handing a fresh 80 a full suit of ilevel 226 epics. It's simply that for doing the same work pre-3.2 that same character will get better ilevel gear, similar to a cost of living adjustment, or adjustment due to inflation.

Could it be that the Goblin himself wants to be adored for wearing fancy raid epics and is annoyed that some noob is going to be wearing similar epics? The epics aren't going to hide the M&S, they aren't going to make them run out of the raid any faster if they have Gravity Bomb or the Mark from Vezax.

Anonymous said...

What exactly are ms players?

I've been Reading this for a few days and can't see what it stands for... I can understand the idea but not the correct abbreviation

Sven said...

What exactly are ms players?
M&S stands for morons and slackers. It's Gevlon's catch-all derogatory term for people he thinks are stupid or lazy. It's defined on the home page of the blog.

Wonka said...

I wish you'd proofread and rewrite. Some passages are virtually unintelligible, but I suspect you may be making a good point.

The more passion in your post, the less understandable it becomes. Take pride in your writing and improve it.

Lazinator said...

Gevlon,
Depending on what you think the point of the game is... no one has been given a free handout.

If you only play to acquire gear... then it's a handout.

If you play to accumulate wealth, casuals constantly changing their gear makes this even easier and widens the gap between the haves and the have nots further.

Lastly, and more importantly, if you play to beat the content, then those you describe will still not be able to achieve the same success as those working for it. This one is most important because this has been the intent of the developers going into WotLK. Doing an instance no one else had seen was no longer to be the sign of your success... it was to be the achievement system. There is no "I win" button in this regard. Most players are not getting the hard mode achievements and thus they are still the badge of honor for those trying to beat the hardest content.

There are many parallel games going on within WoW outside of raiding. there is Battlegrounds, arenas, and those who just like to farm or fight to finish newly introduced quests before the next person. The fair game you talk about in Starcraft is was actually compromised by the wide gear discrepancies between those who raided and those who did not. the gap is much narrower now which is why I say was. How well would Starcraft (a very popular game) do if every time you won a match your zerg damage increased an additional percent? How popular would multiplayer continue to be if you could finish a very difficult and time consuming single player campaign that doubled the damage of your zerg? Those are issues that gear as a reward introduces and the wider the gap in one area iof gameplay... the more it creates a gap in other areas.

Take me for instance. Raiding happily in 10 man Ulduar. No desire for more, but even with that acquired gear I have undeserved success when I step into BGs. I am a terrible PvP player and do considerably better thanks to a large gear advantage over other players. Pre-BC when the gear gap was much larger I could walk into a BG with BWL gearand do ridiculously well. I had a huge PvP advantage due to raiding. When I am killing mobs for dailies I also have a huge advanatage over those average players. Pre-Raiding (casual gear) I would average 2000dps... now I am hitting 3500+. Those are additional handicaps "I Receive" for being a better (read:beatinf raid content) than the next guy.

The above paragraph isn't a knock on a system I take advantage of, but instead only an explanation of why you can't compare WoW with a Single Player game. The fault lies in thinking the only competitive aspect of WoW is the Raiding and Wealth game. They are not. The necessity of having a way to get casual players more gear (even if still slightly below most raiders) is that giving better gear to the best players gives a handicap in all the other sub-games to those who generally already had an edge... thus widening the gap further. The issue with widening that gap being the already understood loss of subscribers.

So, in a nutshell:
1) Casuals get better gear... but still of lesser quality than hardcore raiders.
2) Casuals will get to see slightly more content due to outgearing content... but still be unable to complete hard mode versions of most raid bosses.
3) Those who understand the system will profit off the introduction of all these new items.

To me, everyone wins. And THAT is only possible because it is a game and not a real world market. A game, where someone might very well jump in, have fun, and not even be aware of all the extra stuff they could have accomplished (nor care). Of course, I don't have anything nice to say at all from those players who think all this is still not enough. What more could you ask for from developers than the ability to see all the content for your 15 bucks. They have done that and I have no complaints (even if I can outfarm the heck out of them :D )

Carl Lewis said...

The sub prime crisis was a result of governmental involvement in the financial industry. The Community re-investment act was enacted to end the practice of redlining. Redlining is basically refusing to offer financial services to persons from a particular neighborhood or of a particular race. The only way the government could force these banks to make loans. The way the government did this is they used the CRIA to give each company a score based on criteria in the act. Companies with a low score would have a harder time completing transactions requiring federal permission, which means just about everything for a publicly traded company.

The Carrot in the deal was the loosening of mortgage requirements such as down payments and income levels and a loosening of the restrictions on what could be considered to determine the value of a prospective borrower and therefore his risk level. This new classification of debt would be called sub-prime henceforth. That is the front end. The real devil and the primary trigger to this crisis came from the back end. The end no one sees and even fewer understand.

Freddie Mac a sister Goverment sponsored entity to Fannie Mae, was changed to no offer a service bundling mortgages for banks and then selling a federal guarantee on those bundles, lowering the risk and there for raising the price of the resulting security.

Basically making Sub-prime notes equivalent to cash. In other words the govenement made something worth 30cents worth a dollar. These securities were traded and traded and traded and then investors got scared, dumping these Credit backed securites. not so bad until you realize that attached to these derivatives was another dervative called a Credit Default swap. Which is a hedge against the loss of the value of the security. The people who sold the swaps were the banks that were selling the securities.

So people start selling, the security loses value, the credit default swap is now call able, all these banks are now on the hook for billions, and they have no cash because large amounts of thier assets are in, YOU GUESSED IT, credit backed securities. So with no cash on hand and large liabilities becoming due, the price of cash skyrockets, (interest rate) the government prints money to increase the supply there by decreasing the demand, and devalues the dollar. So now you have banks paying of debts with Junk dollars, Not making loans because they can't and the economy grinds to a halt.

Now who was in charge making all these decisions? Elites that's who the smartest guys in the room did this. They did it in 1929 and the 70's and 80's and the 90's. The M&S didn't cause this crisis The Elite Radiers did.

Which if you compare WOW and the Economy, you can see a definite lesson. Wow has been more successful each year as blizzard caters to the "M&S". The Economy went into Recession as the Government Catered to the Elites.

If you look at games that are more geared to the hardcore, they aren' doing nearly as well as WoW is.

Russell Abbott said...

"The sub prime crisis was a result of governmental involvement in the financial industry. The Community re-investment act..."

Sadly, no: "To sum them up -- the bad loans at the heart of the meltdown came overwhelmingly from unregulated, non-bank lenders who weren't even covered by the CRA. In addition, the CRA loans did very well."

See also here: "The root legislative cause of the credit crisis was excessive deregulation. From exempting derivatives from regulation (2000 Commodities Futures Modernization Act) to failing to adequately oversee ratings agencies that slapped a triple AAA on junk paper, the pendulum swung too far away from reasonable oversight. By taking the refs off of the field and erroneously expecting market participants could self-regulate, the powers that be in DC gave the players on Wall Street enough rope to hang themselves with -- which they promptly did."

EvilJohn said...

Heinlein said it this way:

"For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader--the barbarians enter Rome."

Anonymous said...

Just when I had unsubscribed from your site's feed, you become interesting again.

Now you believe as I do, and it's really interesting where you will go, conceptually speaking..

So, cops can't handle it... then what?

Anonymous said...

So, you see, this is why suicide is illegal, so that people don't unsubscribe when they lose the game.

Anonymous said...

@Thunderhorns
"The real problem with people is not that they are too dumb, it's that the education is not adequately preparing them for the modern world."

Education is to keep people dumb. Some people figured out this "cops can't handle them" thinggie long ago and decided to milk the M&S by messing with their minds.

If they can't be intelligent, they can at least be motivated. If motivated, why not motivated in a good direction, such as giving their money away *to me*? Perfect logic.

Jaggedsteel said...

So where does one draw the line for who is M&S?

I have a toon that has the Feats of Strength "Champion of the Naaru" and "Hand of A'dal", which can probably be compared to the LK raid achievements that reward the special proto-drakes and are also limited in time.

So should I draw the line with today's active raiders whether they have the special proto-drakes? In that case, the vast majority of the "elite raiders" would be M&S in my eyes, including the author of this blog --- I mean come on, 3 out of 17 achievements completed in "Heroic: Glory of the Raider" and 1 out of 17 in "Glory of the Raider"?. I am sure there are countless thousands of "morons and slackers" out there who achieved more than that...

See how snobism is a double-edged sword?

Anonymous said...

As a kid, I considered 80% of my classmates to be less intelligent than myself. People exaplained to me that I am elitist. Nowadays, I believe that 80% of the world are not only below me, but in fact utterly stupid, true M&S. To put it optimistically: At least there is a billion clever people.

Ends said...

I have 1 main that has completed 10/14 bosses in Ulduar 25, 11/14 in Ulduar 10, and all prior Northrend raids on both 10 and 25 man. But I also have 12 alts of varying levels (including one that is 80) -- none of which have ever set foot in a raid (Vault excluded).

Does that make me 1/13th M&S?

I wonder if people like me are skewing the numbers.
If 10% of the server population has stepped foot in Ulduar and if, on average, a single player has 5 characters, then aren't we really looking at a 50% player participation rate in the highest-level raid currently in the game?

Or are we expected to have time to raid on all of our alts?

howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg said...

55% of all World of Warcraft players have never, and will never see 85% of the worlds content.

That's from an analytical report taken for WoW.

You desire to create a sub-culture to seemingly hate is giving way to inaccurate data and facts.

"casual" as described in the video game industry are short term games that are accessible to the largest possible audience(basically anyone who can breathe)

Maybe you'll be happier when Blizzard's new MMORPG comes out. They've already announced they are making WoW a casual game.

Vyr said...

Welfare is not needed even in the real world. My country gives 0 welfare. Probably some food items or coupons if you belong to the "old, dying or too sick to work" category. And it isnt even given by the the government. More like voluntary associations or some other government linked agencies.

I always believe that if you are going to stop work over here, you are prepared to starve to death. Since I was brought up in such a culture and country, I could never understand why would any country want to implement social welfare. Giving non-producing citizens money for doing absolutely nothing is a dumb and moronic move.

As for those who said that removing welfare altogether will compromise the lifestyles of "hardworking" personnels due to the rise in crime rates. The answer is, stronger law enforcement and harsher penalties. You can have both: NO welfare and Low crime rates.

Some might think that what I have mentioned is totally not possible since most of them, being M&S are too poorly equipped to contribute to the society meaningfully. Well, the way to do it is through education. Our government did the logical thing by enforcing or should I say provide basic compulsory education to every citizen so that after they have completed their most basic of education, they are equipped with enough skills to contribute and not be a leech to society.

But I have to say this country is also very competitive. It is a meritocratic society in which the best will survive. You are chosen and picked based on your abilities and there isn't discrimation on your race and/or religion. There is no room for slackers here. If you are an M&S, you are probably going to starve.

Unbelievable? Or you suddenly realised this is your dream country. Welcome to Singapore

Yzy said...

Once again Goblin, you defend a "Might is Right" idea but fail to see that Muscle powered might is as moral/effective as brain powered might.

You must cater to the unlearned because you depend on muscle powered tasks you don't want to do and because if they are too unsatisfied they will start flexing their biceps your way.

Anonymous said...

lol. I think gevlon fails to see that everyone in wow produces. That is unless you only do resale.

A level 1 that kills something or does a quest produced. A gatherer that found something produced. A prospecter/miller produced. Someone that didn't gather but made a finished product produced.

Why? all of these methods makes either gold or an item or both. Gold can be used to "make" items from a vendor. Even the M&S make items that makes them producers.

Contrary to popular belief resale and convenience fees don't produce anything.

Because of this libertarian ideas don't work in wow. And if you don't like moochers then don't play with the moochers.

I don't think people understand that wow being easy mode really isn't that easy. I still think the qq is because the established don't want any new players in their domain.

Carl Lewis said...

@ Russell

The door opened for those no bank lenders i.e. brokers i.e. Countrywide by the government and the money underwriting those loans came from commercial and investment banks subject to the CRA. They underwrote those loans because if would gain them points vis-a-vis the CRA. Also I never said the CRA loans did poorly at all seeing that only 9% of those loans defaulted which is a marginal amount compared to the devastation caused. I didn't say the sub-prime loans caused the meltdown themselves.

You misread what I wrote I didn't say the cause was over regulation I said the cause was government involvement. Difference being that a regulation is something akin to the government saying, Don't discriminate on the basis of race when giving loans, or establishing objective standards by which to make loans. Involvement is saying make sure 25% of your loans are to minorities. That's a big difference.


The oversight of rating agencies is irrelevant too since, they were in some cases rating too harshly. In fact the rating agencies helped this crisis along by downgrading insurance companies and other financial institutions, forcing them to either sell assets to generate liquid capital or to issue equity to maintain their rating. When a company could not do this they would get downgraded their securities would get downgraded and the holders of those securities would lose value and/or sell the security of the down graded company. when that happened the security the insurance company insured would see their interest rate skyrocket and force either a refinancing or a default.

you're right about insurance companies like Ambac and and FIGC, who are in the business of selling insurance but they didn't slap triple A ratings on junk paper. they insure very good paper that's what they do they gouge municipalities and strong companies that have less of a likely hood to fail. They won't even touch junk paper, even in the good times they wouldn't touch you if you were in the C's unless you were paying lots of money.

The problem with the insurance companies was that the asset they used to back up their insurance contracts was Mortgage backed securities and Credit default swaps.

Fannie mae and Freddie mac underwrites (purchases) mortgages from banks, mortgage companies, and other lenders and bundles the mortgages and sells the bundles with a variety of services. Investment banks like Lehman purchase these one illiquid now liquid assets with government guarantees on them mind you and then sell a derivative called a credit default swap which is a hedge against the security losing it's value. The problem is the value of the security is grossly inflated.

The deregulation of derivatives had little do do with the crisis, These particular derivatives were being created by and with the blessing of the federal government as a means of eliminating the risk lenders were encouraged and in some instances forced to take. and then these derivatives were sold back to those same financial institutions as cash equivalents.

Better regulation should have been in place yes but the laws were already on the books to regulate these transactions the regulators/ the government didn't because they were playing the game as well, the government was an interested party.

Bjørn Hegstad said...

Maybe this has been said before; I'm not sure, but this is very important:

A great deal of WoW players are children and teenagers. Of course they are M&S. You can't use them as an example for 6 billion people.

Hank Rearden said...

You seem to miss the point, Gevlon. We, the creme de la creme, the elitist titans of gaming, simply permit the 68% to exist for our own benefit. These mindless drones do my farming while I manipulate the auction house and make thousands on their backs. Give them welfare epics, and my skill will still give me the edge in combat given the same gear. The can do nothing to take away my ambition or tenacity; it is Blizzard who ultimately decides who to bash with the nerf stick. Inevitably, this parallel to the legislature will guide the zombie public to the FotM; yet they will find no advantage their. My hard work and dedication has paid off in the form of 80s of almost every class, and therefore you see, I am undefeatable.

In reality, 90% of people probably aren't worth the air they breathe, yet we endure them anyways. If you can't beat them, USE them: we hold no obligation to the public good.

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