Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Brick wall

Pugnacious priest wrote: "Apparently to be a hardcore raider I am supposed to enjoy hitting said head against the brick wall. I disagree. I think there is a massive difference between productive attempts and attempts for the sake of it, and I think too many attempts are Die. Run Back, Die, Run back ect I want more dialog with the raiders as to why we died. What we did right, what we did wrong but too much dialog increases the chances of another dc, another afk, another slow person running back after a buff. Maybe we just aren’t hardcore enough."

Many intelligent, educated raider asked it before. I also tried to discuss what went wrong in my previous guilds, turning me into a "disturber of the peace" and a "complete jerk", despite I tried to analyze the situation as constructively as I could. Why can't we just talk about the mistakes?

I hated the "attempts of the shake of it", trying one more time although I'm 100% sure that we'll wipe again and I can't do anything about it. I can't interrupt for the rogue, I can't kite for the hunter and I know that they will mess it up again. Why bother?

The answer for both lies in being social. Remember, the goal of the social person is to be loved, accepted and respected, not killing the boss or win or achieve anything. All their actions in the real or any simulated world are motivated by their ape-minded need of the above.

Be also noted that "being social" is not yes or no. It's a scale between the "freindly heplfull guld LF peeps /w for inv :DDD" class beings and the true goblin (which I'm not but trying to be). While raiders are way above the average, they still have enough social tendencies to make the most obvious solution (analyze, discuss, point out errors, fix them) impossible.

Among true goblins if someone says "you're doing it wrong" and you find it true you'd say "thanks for you help", because that what he done, helped you fix your problem. For a social person on the other hand any kind of criticism means the very opposite of the social goal. If you say "you missed an interrupt", he doesn't hear that. He couldn't care less about "interrupt". He hears "I'm not amused by you", "You are not good enough", "I don't respect you". He won't even think of interrupting. All he will think about is "how to defend my reputation, my self-esteem against this attack?".

He will lie. He will claim it was lag. He will claim that someone else missed up. He will try to derail the conversation by ad hominem attacking you "you just say that because I outdamaged you". He will make it impossible to discuss the "interrupt thing", because it is dangerous for his "esteem", the magical quantity he wants to keep high because he believes it will make other people love, accept and respect him.

So talking openly about the problem causes nothing but drama. What can you do? Surprisingly: bang your head at the wall by quickly trying again. How would this conspiciously pointless thing work? If the person is 100% social, it does not work, however we can assume that in a raiding guild that killed anything above a plainstrider this is not the case. Since he was not called out on his fault, his "esteem-defending" mechanisms are not activated. He has a brain and he is able to use it if his ape-subroutines are inactive. There is a chance in every try that he realize his mistake. Since he is afraid that his error will be revailed he will try harder. If he cannot fix it, his failure will stress him stronger than it annoys you. So if he cannot fix his mistake, he will soon be so frustrated that he gives up and either drop attendance or leave the guild, solving the problem. So in one sentence: "the point of banging your head against the wall is that your head is harder than the error-makers, so his will crack first. You just have to hold out until it happens".

Since social thoughts are ape-subroutines, they are all vulnerable to ape-solutions. If the guild leader or an officer calls out the mistake, our little ape feels he was confronted by the alpha-ape, and should surrender (or the alpha ape attacks him). So he will have no other option than fixing his mistake. That's why highly disciplined guilds are so successful. However it has a trap. If the officer called out the wrong person, exactly due to discipline, the blamed person will apologize for the mistake he have not done and the mistake will obviously not be fixed. Also if the officer made the error, he will blame others and no one will disagree, quickly demotivating the raid. So the discipline only works if the officers are highly professional. If the officers are no better than the others, the whole thing goes down, that's why highly disciplined guilds are so rare.

Failbot is a wonderful thing because it calls out people on their mistake and it's not a person itself. Since claiming "failbot just said that because he just an asshole and hates me" is pointless, he has no means to defend his esteem, so he is forced to fix the mistake.

So in general you have one thing left: banging 25 heads into the wall and pray every time that the head of the failer will crack before yours. In the meantime you can wish that there would be no social thinking and you could solve the same problem in 10 seconds instead of 10 tries: "X, you missed the interrupt", "Oops, yes, I was too busy DPS-ing and forgot that that's my job, thanks for reminding".

BTW there is a reason that on the top of any activity you find lot of "elitist jerks". What the socials consider "jerk" behavior is exactly the most effective helping behavior: pointing out mistakes and giving good advice how to fix them. Other goblins take this as a help. Socials take it as "that jerk asshole attacked me, made fun of me, humiliated me".

Now I could write a paragraph how much I hate the socials for forcing me into sub-optimal solutions like banging my head into the wall, but there would be no point, right?

Note: please don't comment "in my guild we always discuss mistakes constructively". Congratulations to have enough people who are not so social to consider a constructive comment a hateful attack. 99% of the guilds does not have this luxury.


icye said...

This is why firefighter is the best retard check so far in the game. Running from frost bombs, laser barrage, shock blasts, bombs on the ground while not standing in fires that follow people shows who has the situational awareness and who is not tunnel visioning. I'm pretty sure Gevlon's guild will get it soon.

Being in the top 100 US guilds myself, I must say that I totally enjoy hitting my brick against the wall. It's the challenge and competitiveness of raiding that makes this game fun, which is slowly disappearing. If Pugnacious priest hates it so much, do the bosses after they nerfed them patch after patch then. And trust me, every guilds have their socials and bads, yes even ensidia. One of their trials said it before in Nihilum during an interview. It's how your GM/officers deal with them and make them improve that makes the difference between your guild and the others. No matter how high up you climb the ladder, there will always be bads. Trust me.

Leeho said...

Well, you pointed interrupting as an example, and it shows perfectly where calling a mistakes starts to be not a help, but showing a person that he's no good.
Cause when you say "you missed an interrupt" - you say nothing new and helpfull to person who did it. He knows it already. Yet he was late, or he failed interrupting rotation.
One time on Vezax i was on interrupts and organizing them. And we failed 3 times in a row - cause after 2 hours of raiding it was too much for me and melee group - counting if it's your turn or not for 5 mins. How pointing out the mistake would help us? We could just try again and hope we will be lucky and will not fail again, or will not have chain casts.
Same on many other bosses. Take Mimiron, first tries, when everybody is learning tactics. Some melee will die on bombs, some on shock, someone will die on next phases cause of various mistakes - you can point them all, and what? Every person that did a mistake knows it, and will try next time not to do it again without any pointing out.
And guild runs are not pugs - you have RL and officers there, they do know why the raid wiped, and after each wipe they are talking to those who needs an advice and help - advice and help, not simply pointing out "you failed this time, idiot".
And if you do not trust them - why are you in their raid?

You may say that it's slacking - doing mistakes in a raid. But tell me, don't you do mistakes? You do. But you do less mistakes, than a slacker? Still you do more mistakes than a player of world-first guilds.
There's a number of mistakes that's "allowed" for each guild - different for learning an encounter and farming it. Some math, and you will get to how many wipes it will lead in both situation.
So it's where you need to be goblinish and ask - if i need a guild where way more mistakes allowed than i will do? No, you don't need. But first of it you need to do that math, and realise, that 10 wipes =/= 10 mistakes of one person.

Kristine said...

Good morning Gevlon, seems like an ungodly hour to be up and productive.

Anyways, I applaud your outcry again wiping when "lets just try again" becomes a thoughtless mantra repeated after every death.

But, as usual I disagree with your conclusion of why these things come to be. And nothing is better then someone to disagree with :)

Reducing the "lets just try again and wipe" mentality to a social thing is overstating it. The reason you dont change strategy might be cause you dont know whats going wrong. You know you wipe, but have trouble finding the decisive factor (even when using tools to scan combat logs etc) - so trying again might be the only way of figuring it out.
Also, rng is still a factor in WoW combat. One more try might persuade lady luck to let the rng swing in your favour, let some sweet crits fly in and suddenly the raid total dps went up a few thousand and the boss went down.

I dont know what "social" players you have been around, but I can honestly say that the ones you describe here dont represent normality within social/casual guilds (never been much of a social guild type myself, but have interviewed plenty of players within such guilds).
Guilds formed with explicit social goals tend to be more open towards discussing what went wrong, being honest about own mistakes and finding solutions together. Why they are not succeeding is another story, but you keep ascribing behavioral patterns to social guilds that is not typical or representative.

So, in best goblin spirit - I am telling you that you are wrong and you are free to thank me ;)

icye said...

There are people in this world who couldn't care less if they wipe the raid or not, until they realize the seriousness of the situation, i.e they are going to get gkick, minus dkp etc. This is why not calling them out when they make mistakes isn't going to help either. They will just refuse to concentrate on raiding, laugh off their mistakes the whole night until people start to rage at them.

MLW said...

And yet people who trust each other are able to criticize without fear of rejection. You're not describing "social" you're describing paranoia among people who don't really trust each other.

Granted, this may be the norm among people who communicate across text and vent, even if we don't realize it ourselves.

Unknown said...

One time on Vezax i was on interrupts and organizing them. And we failed 3 times in a row - cause after 2 hours of raiding it was too much for me and melee group - counting if it's your turn or not for 5 mins. How pointing out the mistake would help us?
You actually answered your own question there, but didn't follow your train of thought through. If the interrupters are too fatigued, then all you need to do is to take a small break. Also, analysis doesn't necessarily need to happen on the spot: If you can't come up with a decent remedial measure, then it might be wiser to stop the raid then and there, get a good night's sleep and analyze the problem with a reinvigorated mind. Sites like WWS are great tools in that regard, allowing you to analyze last night's raid on the following day.

Leeho said...

I haven't meet such ppl. At least i was feeling guilty every time i died cause of something on the floor, or did something else wrong. And you know, we tend to judge ppl by ourselves.
Sometimes ppl don't care and need to be called - but sometimes ppl are too "social", and they will feel bad and perform bad after you call them for something like interrupts.
Again, every raid has a leader, who knows motivation of everyone who's in to fix this issue and keep real slackers out. Discussion, is it constructive or not, usually takes a lot of time, and most of it does waste. Such discussions should take place on forum. For leading and dealing with mistakes there's a raid leader, and usually assistants for every role.

Anonymous said...

icye: Are you saying that everyone who isn't in a top 100 guild and hasn't done firefighter is a retard?

I honestly think that most successful groups do some analysis on a wipe. Gevlon, you may have been unlucky.

Leeho said...

We actually had time only for that attempts, so there were no place and no need for break, raid was almost over. The issue was not only about we were too tired, otherwise i would ask RL for a break - even if we were not, counting for interrupts was new for our melee (no rogue in that time), and i think it would take us time to learn and keep rotation (as with rogue and FoK interrupts there were no need in this before).
Usually issues are not so easy to solve, but ppl tend to think that leader simply doesn't know what happenned and how to help it, or doesn't want to fix it. See, you think that you here do know the solution, and we were blind and mindlessly wiped without reason. As well as ppl that do not believe in their leaders think that they need to discuss mistakes, and do not believe that leader and assistants are already working with them :)

Ephemeron said...

My previous raiding guild was quite hardcore (we were among the few who killed M'uru 1.0) and oriented towards progression, not pleasant social feelings. If someone screwed up, he'd be promptly informed of that in no uncertain terms. Likewise, people didn't get offended by such criticism: they took it like professionals and did their best to rectify their mistakes.

And yet, despite all that, we've still done plenty of good old head-banging against the walls. The reasons for this are, in fact, evolutionary, but they lie in a slightly different area than the ape hierarchy-subroutines that you mentioned.

See, an average human's brain is not designed to operate well under conditions of high stress and informational overload. When people find themselves in such circumstances, they become prone to either panic or mental stupor, and thus likely to make stupid mistakes that one wouldn't expect of them otherwise. And this is not limited to games, either, as anyone who has seen the stupid things that people do during environmental disasters can attest.

Fortunately, humankind has long ago developed a method of combating such behavior: drills. If you repeat the same actions many times, they will become ingrained in muscle memory. Should you then find yourself under overwhelming circumstances, such as a fire in your building, an aerial attack on your military installation, or Kil'jaeden going into Phase 5, your reflexes will take over and carry your through.

That's why an endgame raider bangs his head against the wall: so that, when the time comes to face a wall of enemies, he'd headbutt them in the face without fear or hesitation.

Unglar said...

Quote from Ephemeron:
"That's why an endgame raider bangs his head against the wall: so that, when the time comes to face a wall of enemies, he'd headbutt them in the face without fear or hesitation."


From my perspective, calling people on mistakes is very much a matter of how, not whether or not it occurs. People have pointed out that usually the people making the mistake either know they made it or do not care. A raid leader needs to judge the best way to point it out, both as a normal way for the guild and for the specific circumstances of that raid and raider.
Anyone can have these "ape sub-routines" Gevlon mentions so often, and a good raid leader will use his social skills to avoid triggering them but still showing everybody that mistakes are noticed and corrected.

icye said...

No, what I mean is firefighter lets us know who are the bads who keep failing to run from laser barrages, shock blasts and frost bombs, every single time. It is one of the best fights to trial out new people to see who has poor situational awareness and who does not.

Yes exactly. This is what raid progression is about, wiping until almost everyone can react immediately to what happens next, wiping until you can heal, dps or tank subconsciously in chaotic situations (again firefighter phase 4 is chaotic and exciting.) And after that first kill for some miraculous reason it gets easier and easier every week, not because your raid has geared up, but because of experience and practice.

DarkKnight said...

Hmm. The brick wall. Hmm. Would almost just say: been there, done that. But that would be to shallow.

Nah, but I've been in a more hardcore raiding guild doing all of Sunwell and I'm now in a "social raiding" (for the love of God, I HATE THAT TERM!) guild.
And in both you can have brick walls, imo. In the hardcore one it is mostly presented by hard challenges that don't allow (hardly) any screwups. I still remember the M'uru attempting days, that was really just: Try, wipe, run, try etc rinse and repeat. Because everything we tried, we basically knew/saw what was wrong, but it required the right execution to kill it.
It can show who fails, but most of the time that might be a minor fallback in focus and that's it.

On the other hand, in the other guild, we have the famous problems with interrupts, people dieing in [insert badness on ground here] etc etc, you all know what I mean.
Best example is indeed Vezax. Last week I was asked to organize and call out interrupting rotation. Three times in a row the same guy failed to kick on his queue. That just does my head in... but anyways, we took someone else to interrupt, which was annoying as he didn't have any experience with it and less silencing on his interrupt. So all in all that also took a few tries to perfect it.
But... and then there comes the mighty human factor: people started to lose focus and get tired. While interrupting was fine, the rest started to make mistakes.

Best thing was that everyone complemented me with my announcing and organizing... Which is interesting, as I totally didn't agree that I did my job properly: I failed to get the interrupters to do interrupts good in time.

As to the being called an elitist jerk: been there, done that (hmm, circle writing?)
I just stopped pointing out what could be improved and what might be better to try after a while.
I don't mind being called a jerk, but at one moment everything I said was immediately answered with: "Maybe you did it like that in hardcore guild, but we here are more social and do it differently". And so they still fail at same things over and over again. Which I turned now to my amusement to laugh at. (Is that bad?)

Thebursar said...

A must admit I was kind of amused at the supposed difference between "social" ape-subroutines and the apparent "non-ape" subroutines of succesful high-end raiders. In the end, all actions are subroutines, also those by goblins. Just as you generalize "social" people by blame-shifting subroutines, goblins can be characterized by superiority and entitlement subroutines. They're no different, ie both "ape-subroutines", it's just that different people attach different values to certain patterns of behaviour.

I like your blog! Very informative.

Bernard said...

You're on the money with this one, Gevlon.

Before I moved to a HM guild, I spent 1 1/2 years in a social guild with a RL friend.

We breezed through the basic WoTLK raids but eventually we got stuck and the head bashing began.

In order to get people to shape up, I started using the mods Failbot and Big Brother. You would not believe the outcry I encountered!

I'd get angry whispers on farm nights when people failed on the slimes and it was announced in /raid.

People were livid and wanted me to leave because I was "spamming chat" and "being antisocial".

Naturally I obliged and now my current guild is making its way through HM progression.

Unknown said...

I have been kicked from guilds before for being the goblin you mention above. The person who analyses logs, finds problems, and gives solutions to people.
The most extreme example I can remember was Felmyst, We had a rogue who could never keep up on damage. I don't mean he was having trouble getting into the top5. I mean he was outdamaged by the tanks, repeatedly. In a sunwell guild.
I called him out, I asked if he wanted help sorting out his damage rotation, offered to look at it with him and find out what was going wrong.
He put me on ignore and whined at officers relentlessly until they decided to get him to shut up. How did you do that they ask? did they remove him, or demote him, or just tell him to stop whining and L2P ? no.. They sent me hunting for another guild.
To give an idea just how poor he did I submit my forum signature on their guild forum as I left:
This was a successful felmyst kill where he was mindcontrolled.

Being the goblin will often get you kicked. But eventually you will find a guild where they want people who analyse problems, and give solutions. I've since found a guild which fits this side of things more.

Inquisitor said...

Moderately social guild, here (in that membership is a bunch of real-life friends, so an /uninvite is not a threat to be used lightly) - and as a raid leader, I tend to go no further than one of three types of criticism:

1) "Okay, that started pretty well - and I think that's given everyone a clear idea of what the Shock Blast looks like, yes? Everyone getting the DBM warnings?" For situations in which it's blatently a few people who failed, and need not to. Tends to shake out questions about the mechanics from those who failed to read up.

2) "So. We seemed to wipe in phase 3 when the off-tank evaporated. Is that something we need to handle differently?" For situations in which the *apparent* cause is very obvious, but I suspect it's not actually under the control of the people 'at fault'. I want to give people a chance to say "maybe we need more AoE on the adds?" or whatever. Also more generally when I worry a role might actually be beyond somebody.

3) "Actually, that was really encouraging, and I reckon we'll get it next time if we just hold it all together." When there were a number of small mistakes, and I genuinely think everyone is well aware of that and likely to improve by themselves.

Number 2 is the interesting one, and we often get "No, I reckon I can deal with that now I know how the damage spikes will come" or "Any chance of an extra innervate as phase 2 ends?" or "I don't think we can heal through that - maybe try kiting?" back. Sometimes we end up throwing an extra person at a role in order that things hold together that side while it's being learned, and sometimes I have to say "looks like we don't have what we need tonight - X, Y - will you two please work on kiting/look at respeccing/sort out keybinds/get a macro/etc so we can have another go at this on Sunday. Talk to me tomorrow if that's giving you problems, and I'll see what we can work out."

I guess the short answer there is if I, as raid leader, say "I'm sorry, I messed up. I assumed you'd be able to handle that straight away, and that was unfair of me. Still, do you reckon you can go that extra mile and live up to my unreasonable expectations?", rather than "Stop failing at X, it's easy."... well, the result is the same, but you circumvent many of the kneejerk-defence reflexes, and make people a lot more likely to ask for help rather than keep wiping the raid.

Also, more insidiously, asking the question "We need X to happen. Y, what do you need to accomplish it?" often forces them to admit that all they *really* need is to concentrate - but that way it's them setting themself a goal, rather than being told they fail.

Very rarely will I start another pull without making sure the question "What are we doing this time to ensure that the problems of the last wipe do not occur again?" has been publically answered, and preferably not by me.

And, in general, I publically own up to, and apologise for, my own mistakes. Costs me nothing, and helps establish an atmosphere in which acknowledging and fixing mistakes is more acceptable than pretending they didn't happen.

I guess what I'm trying to say is 'it's quite possible to point out the failings of socials, and to get them to work to overcome them, so long as you phrase it with care'.

Or, alternatively, 'the best goblin doesn't necessarily *look* like a goblin to all of the socials.'

Tanelor said...

I completely agree with Unglar's comment. I know it's something Gevlon professes scorn for, but a key "social" skill that is just as useful in real life is knowing how to present criticism in a way that makes people feel positive about improving rather than negative about failing. Any successful manager of people has this skill.

One way to do it might be "Ok - almost there. If we can just get the interrupts nailed, we've got him.", focusing on the positive outcome of improving interrupts, rather than the negative of having failed (and without calling out the individual(s) by name).

I know it's not very goblin-ish, but then again we all respond to marketing and we're (almost) all more attuned to the presentation than the content for our emotional response.

Anonymous said...

there r two kinds of people:

1) you failed. "oh, you can fail too, you are stupid, i am human, stfu!" kind.

2) yo failed. "ok, i know, i failed because [insert random text1]. [random text 2] will help me in the next try." kind.

first kind of people are not suitable for a raids and must be gkicked if you want to progress.

yesterday we spent all night making the same mistakes once and again, its easy, DO NOT TOUCH THE F**ING CLOUDS! i dont touch them, so why the hell are you touching them!!! . we would have gkicked half of the raid, but we didnt. not because we are "socials" but because we can not recruit people enought to do it.

this points out a new problem in "the new wow" game. there are too many casuals and people who enjoy challenges are leaving the game, at least in my server, so wannabehardcore-semihardcore guilds have to be socials in order to gather 15 morons to raid.

there was a player who said "i can not interrupt because it makes my dps go down". i enraged and muted myself in ventrilo. why?. if i am not social enough and i say what i was thinking about him (you, fucking moron, are a piece of shit) we will not be 25 man in raid tomorrow.

i couldnt agree more with gevlon when he says that in a shit-guild there are always 10-15 really good players boosting 10-15 M&S players, i can see it everyday.

maybe the solution is to leave the guild but when we joined the guild we did it in order to work hard for the guild and to progress by our own. working hard implies dealing with such fucking morons until we get 25 good players in the raid again (once we were a really good guild). but, sadly, it will take months... or maybe will never happen.

Mike said...

It may shock him, but I think Gevlon's understanding of how the world works is slightly bent.

Just because something happens to you, doesn't mean it happens to everyone. You are tarring every social guild with the same brush.

I've been in 25 man pugs that don't demand epics or achievements, pugs that have first timers and guilds that raid for 3 hours once a week. All quite successfully. Maybe Life's RNG is being kind to me, but maybe it just isn't THAT bad out there.

If your guild is constantly wiping on a boss that isn't a pure DPS race (assuming you are correctly talented, have enchanted and gemmed your gear and are buffed, flasked and awake) then obviously, pointing fingers is a necessary evil. If the raid leader has an addon such as EnsidiaFails, this makes it easier.

Anyone who's standing in the fire is wasting healer mana and GCDs. Anyone who dies in a void zone is wasting a combat res or reducing the group's dps. They need to be benched - not carried.

Smeg said...

"that jerk asshole attacked me, made fun of me, humiliated me".

all behind a computer screen aswell.

fire up your webcam or get on vent, idgaf. you're going to hear it one way or the other.

the problem is society in general - can't critique anyone anymore because being a weird suckass baddy is accepted as "you."

Anthony Yeates said...

This is a very common problem in the Warhammer 40K community as well. When good players who want to improve the quality of competition at tournements speak up they are shouted down for "ruining the fun of others", or they are told "your whats wrong with the hobby", and so people bring crap armies to tournements and wonder why they get their ass handed to them.

Sven said...

Part of the problem here is the assumption that the person making the criticism is right and the victim of that is wrong. In my experience, the most vocal critcs of others are often the worst players, seeking to deflect blame from themselves. Because of that, people tend to ignore criticisms, as the chances of them being valid are slim.

As others have said, putting things in a positive way, e.g. "almost there, we just need to perfect our interrupts" tends to be far more effective than "It's all Bob's fault for missing that kick". Even if true, the latter is demotivating.

There's an old management maxim: "praise in public, criticise in private". A lot of raiders could do with learning from that.

Ashyni of Arathor said...

Our guild uses stuff like World of Logs heavily for this - one of the key things that causes issues is deaths, especially unexpectedly. We go back to the combat log, look at the World of Logs trace on death, and see exactly what events led to our untimely demise. If it's something that's fixable, then we fix it. Too much nature damage? We know that for that encounter, we need to stack nature resistance.

What we try to do in guild is not even "discuss" so much as analyze the log data. Every person can see for themselves why they died, what buffs they didn't have 100% uptime on, etc., and because it's a log file rather than talk from one of the officers, it's not personal, just data.

Lance D said...

I must admit that I find it amusing that I wrote about this yesterday. The most successful guilds are the ones who can and will LEARN from the wipe. They may learn what to do or what not to do, but they are learning. Unfortunately some guilds are saddled with players who lack the basics of the game. Without the basic skills necessary to progress, it doesn't matter what the majority learn if they continue dragging those in the fail parade.
Shameless self promotion:

Lee Quillen said...

You are banging your head against a wall so to speak no matter where you are in progress if you have not cleared it all. Talking about it is exactly what happens at Elitist jerks so I don't completely understand the difference outside of the difference being talking about tactic and talking about a player.

Talking about it is exactly how new content is beaten the first time... and then tactics are posted for everyone to read at Elitist Jerks. New strategies (such as a 3 Drake zerg) are attempted after someone comes up with the idea via talking about it. Honestly, talking about a difficult boss is extremely useful if your problem isn't simply some of the members.

If you are unwilling to change the members, talking about your attempts and coming up with tactics that work for your group is completely valid if you have people who can actually learn. I think you are confusing "Improvement through discussion" with "simply having bad players" which are very different topics.

Anonymous said...

I am a raid lead and MT.

There are 2 types of brick wall wipes...the stupid ones which you describe...with no apparent improvements, no analysis, on working on what went wrong. I will quit that raid very quickly.

Then there are the ones where most people are seeing what the heck is going on for the first couple of times...figure out how do deal with the chaos. My gruop--which only does Uldaur one day a week--is currently working on Hodir. In fights like this you can see people settling down and making adjustments.

As a raid leader I will often ask on wipes: ok what happened there? Any suggestions. I would suggest that my raids have a very different dynamic that the alpha gorilla assigning blame and the other accepting because I am alpha.

I am quite willing to step up into that role when the whip needs to be cracked but most of the time an open, dynamic leadership style is in effect.

Topher/Menglor said...

I personally think that if you mess up, you should be told.

I dont care if its not what you want to hear, I dont care that you been running for 4 hours on the same boss, so have I.

its the raid leaders job to know when enough is enough, and not for you to decide you had enough.

These in game mechanism's and mods point out when the same person isnt pulling their weight.

I once heard of a mage who had a Grey set just so she could looked dressed and not take gear hits because of repair bills.

when the team isnt functioning as a team, your not going to go anywhere. so You need to tell people when they mess up.

Why waste hours because someone who needs to do their job is tired of trying. it demoralizes everyone.

Yogg's smoke announce is a great addition to the game.

you cant miss it, if you stand in the smoke, your name shows up in lights! cant tell you how much this has helped us move on to Phase 2.

Successful raiding is when everyone executes what is required of them.

I think Fail mod while very Chatty is a great mod.

Anonymous said...

"Congratulations to have enough people who are not so social to consider a constructive comment a hateful attack. 99% of the guilds does not have this luxury"

Can you please show the source for this number, other than your imagination? I find it highly innacurate, even if only based on the comments posted here.

Yazilliclick said...


I'd say you nailed it on the head there. It's largely about running drills until people get so used to the fight they're not panicking about so much going on. Actions like running of things on ground or reacting to abilities become second nature that they don't need to worry about and can focus elsewhere.

That said, there are always some people that need ye olde slap in the face to break them out of a rut where they stop improving. Running drills to improve is about improving but it's possible that if not correct some will just reinforce their bad behaviour ("Oh I didn't die the last 5 times I ran through mimiron's mines so running through mines doesn't matter"). Those types of things you need to point out so that people stay on path to progress through drills as opposed to stagnating.

Unknown said...

The way my guild handles socials? Every one in the guild is known in real life to at least one other person. Some of us have been gaming together for almost 20 years. But obviously you don't build that over night.

Ayonel said...

Lots of great comments today.

Having been charged with leading raids, this is very topical for me. My chosen approach to leading raids is drill instructor. Why?

Because all the reasons people cite in the comments are the reason our guild's raids fail. People slacking off, screwing around, being sloppy, etc. (Who hasn't gotten a great belly laugh when the sneaky little rogue accidently pulls Patchwerk while the fight is being explained, causing a 25 man raid wipe?) We need to run a tight ship in order to stay afloat. While I hope that I can provide constructive criticism, if you don't care that you're wiping the raid and don't want to learn, I don't want you there. Yeah, this is a game, and like chess is a game, some of us take it seriously.

We currently have lots of guild noobs in greens and blues lighting up guild chat with "When r we running ToTC 10/25?!? I need lewts!!!" to which I now respond, "After you have run Naxx 10, OS, and VoA with me, and proven that you can learn fight mechanics, stay out of the fire, etc., then I will run ToTC with you." Many people don't like that answer, but given that running H ToC daily and chain heroics constantly is the best way to get gear, and these can and are pugged essentially on demand these days, I assume that they are in greens and blues because they don't want to raid or run anything. At least, from the perspective of putting in time and effort, they don't. I don't want to waste my time on them.

The benefit of running Naxx is that you learn the fights, you learn to work with the other raiders, and you gain the collective skill to understand boss fight mechanics. Given that Ulduar fights combine these mechanics and gimmicks, and kick them up a notch, running Naxx seems to be the best way to weed out the people I don't want.

Given that the current situation is due to the most senior officers' unwillingness to demand more from themselves and others with respect to raiding, this 'raid well or die' mentality is an essential regime change if we are actually going to be a raiding guild. If it doesn't happen, I predict high turnover...soon.

Anonymous said...

Lot of intelligent responses.

Very true. One of the reasons impartial addons,even when they are annoying, help.

As several people pointed out, doing it again "just for the sake of it" is not always just for the sake of it. If you have people new to the fight they should do better on the following attempts. Watching videos and reading about the fights is very different from actually executing it.

As far as being social when pugging, don't be. If it is a bad DPS and they won't adjust or work on the problem, kick them you can almost always find another one. This is a little harder with tanks healers but they are also less likely to be the problem.

Anecdote time:
Pugging 5m H.TOC. wipe on BK. Rogue yells at tank that he is not "pushing the aggro everything in the room button"(actual quote, wish I had SS it). Try again, wipe. 1 more time and wipe, rogue throws tantrum leaves. Pick up new DPS from queue. Bam, BK goes down 1st time, not even close. A glance a recount shows that the rogue was <1k dps.

Lessons Learned:
1) Check recount after any wipe
2) The person screaming the loudest is the first person to be checked
3) Don't be an annoying/bad DPS, you are very easy to replace

Unknown said...

Inquisitor FTW, that sort of raid leading strategy gets more done faster.

The difference between Socials and Gelvon's Sainted M&S is that Socials might actually play to progress, might actually have the chops, we just get annoyed by half baked hardcore raiders who want all raiding to be M'uru v.1.0 where not only do you need to be perfect in your execution and composition, but you need to get lucky as well. As Gelvon points out Ulduar is a filter. The people who have Ulduar achievements are much more likely to not suck than people with out them. However, that doesn't make them good players or even not idiots, I have had plenty of top tier raiders in PuG's (alright raiders from top tier guilds with achievements and gear to match) who can't play, who aren't prepared for things to go wrong, who can only function in a narrow band of risk. I am a better player because I know how to pull an emergency back from the brink. They can't.

Nathan said...

"There's an old management maxim: "praise in public, criticise in private". A lot of raiders could do with learning from that."

I couldn't agree more. I always found that pointing out a mistake in /w was usually met with a "Yeah sorry man, I got it this time," or something of the like. The same observation in /ra would be met with shifting blame, excuses, or the like.

I've also found an improvement after banning recount numbers in raid, guild, general, or anywhere like that unless it's done by me. Once the raid realizes that the priority is downing the boss, the "ape-subroutines" shift a bit since group acceptance is tied to a group goal rather than individual performance.

Hatch said...

I've seen multiple guilds fall apart because of exactly what gevlon posted here: bad social players who can't take even the most constructive or gentle criticism, even in private.

The key for me was just to keep them out of positions of guild power. The first two times a social person felt slighted, they were officers and the GM. This meant the entire guild would get fucked up, and even though most of the guild was on my side things were still a mess because that person had power. The most recent time, they were the lowest status member and just left, leaving the guild much better off. We couldn't down Vezax with this person in the raid because they would hit too many people with life drain, the very next week we replaced them with another player OF THE SAME CLASS who had never seen past hodir before and one-shot him, and then went on to clear Yogg for the first time and IC hard mode.

Encountering these sensitive people has driven me to be extremely sensitive to my raider's feelings myself. I try to avoid public humiliation, and try to gently word things constructively and privately. But some people just can't take that, and it really is because all they think about is their ape social status and esteem instead of caring about their performance at all.

Anonymous said...

Usually if I make a raid affecting mistake I own up to it and am apologetic. I know what I did, I know what to do next time.
If someone else points out I did something wrong (assuming they are right in their naming me) I accept it, apologise for my mistake, and try not to do it again.
I think most people in my guild can take the criticism, and if they can't, then in my opinion they just need to grow up.
I do however have my defensive 'social-(I want to be loved)' side kick in when someone says something along the lines of "A hunter just ninja pulled an add", because I don't like being blamed for something I didn't do.

Also, reading through the comments. I agree with Jormundgard that if you are social enough you won't mind being criticised because it is by someone you trust and believe to be your friend.


Stupid Mage said...

"Guilds formed with explicit social goals tend to be more open towards discussing what went wrong, being honest about own mistakes and finding solutions together. Why they are not succeeding is another story,"

So if they know what went wrong, and discuss it, why do they still fail?

Fricassee said...

"There's an old management maxim: "praise in public, criticise in private". A lot of raiders could do with learning from that."

There's a problem with using that maxim for WoW raiding. There are definitely people who treat it as a game (novel idea), and thus aren't worried about improving their standing in guild eyes. These are the people who would be fired for gross neglagence in the real world. The reason is that everyone's goals in the real world somewhat coincide (stay employed). In WoW Guilds, motivations and goals can often be different. So in raiding guilds where the goals are in sync (and the goal is advancing), they take criticism well even if it's not candy coated. Of course, those guilds are not the "social" guilds Gevlon is talking about.

Backthief said...

Although i love your blog, which i discovered a couple months ago only, and having read every single post, i tend to suggest you are devianting a little from the original purpose of it. I think your imputs on social behavior are very valid, but it has been extended trough so many posts, the economy factor of your writing (isnt it the main blog idea?) is getting lost.

Your economy analisys are incredibly interesting, and i wish you could write more about it.

Thanks Gav

Kristine said...

@ Stupid Mage "So if they know what went wrong, and discuss it, why do they still fail?"

Because figuring out what went wrong is only one slice of the big pai that is successful raiding.

There is also a big gap between knowing what went wrong and knowing how to improve on it. Just like knowing a strategy and have the ability to execute it is not the same thing.

Just cause things are related or interconnected, doesnt mean they are the same.

Anonymous said...

In the Business world where people are managed, and where performance and results are just as important - Giveing feedback/critque and how it is accepted lies in how it is delivered as much as what is being said. The officers/Gms of guilds for the most do not seem to have real life people management skills/training and like players are learning it as they go. If Management, regardless of the label of being 'social' didn't consider people in the delivery of things then businesses would fail - The richest capitalist still need people to answer his phones and make his products - In Wow there is no incentive other then achievement and social reason to stay in a guild. Your not getting paid, there is no mortagage to pay, but raiders are still people.
So maybe those trying to deliver advise are the ones that are doing it wrong. Your points are valid, but the way you do it cause people to discount it.

I guess we call some of people management handholding in wow., and the sentiment is generally you shouldn't HAVE to be told what to do.
But Managing people is different, maybe me wanting to talk more about mistakes, is why I don't seem to have performance issues, I am already looking/comparing thinking critically about what i did wrong - what could I do better. There was a time I didn't. Business have the same issue, people are there to pick up a pay cheque only, and don't want to put in the extra work - or want to care.
Remember also that people have different learning styles, while I am sure all people can 'learn' from the stock standard strats - changing the delivery of advise could make the world of a difference to the player.

Cassandri said...

I can't believe how much you just oversimplified a problem and stereotyped the whole raiding community into spit-on-them-socials and i-have-brains-skilled players.

Why don't you head over to Dreambound where a fellow WoW blogger is actually exploring real personality types and how they relate to situation and decision making in WoW?

What I got out of your argument is:

Logical, thinking people = only people who can succeed at raiding and therefore must be "hardcore"

Feeling, intuitive people = waste everyone's time and can only play the game as "socials"

Ah that's a nice Black and White attitude to have. Enjoy it.

Unknown said...


1) This is how Gevlon writes. Period, end stop.

2) all respect to Dreambound, but it's an online, self-selected survey. The numbers Dreambound is going to pull in are NOT going to be anywhere near statistically significant.

3) MBTI results are as much a shorthand as Gevlon's Goblin/M&S dichotomy. There's a touch more nuance to them, but their relationship to raiding performance is going to be questionable at best.

Anonymous said...

I think you mean "Attempt for the sakes of it", not whatever the hell you tried to English out of your mouth.

nugget said...

Regarding the criticism - one more thing whether public or private.

Make absolutely certain the person you're criticising is, indeed, doing something wrong.

I cannot stress this enough, since while I was playing, it's one of the things I left guilds over.

When I make a mistake, I will acknowledge and announce it, apologise, and fix it.

...but woe betide you if you blame me, in front of the raid, for something that is patently not my mistake *in any way*, but someone else's.

I can't be the only 'type' who'll own their own mistakes, but get really pissy if someone points the *wrong* finger. =)

Rob Dejournett said...

What I do when RL is point out the obvious. "We need to do X". We need to interrupt. We need to get out of the fire zone. For the truely clueless this is helpful. Go over the fight and strat in more detail.

The other RL in our guild always complains 'we dont have enough dps'. This may be true. The dps may be slacking. But we do, I know we do. It's that the dps are not doing the right thing. Just having more gear is no substitute for skill. Last week we didn't have enough dps for the 2nd and 3rd bosses of ulduar 10. So they wiped alot. This week they got the bosses down. Did dps really increase that much more, or did the 4 hours on the boss become the decisive factor?