Greedy Goblin

Friday, January 8, 2010

Can you fight the global optimum?

Yesterday's post got several comments. Maybe I did not choose the best example for inequity aversion. My example was that the healer must run in anyway after a wipe, so why make everyone else run in (suffer cost) if it has no gain for me.

They pointed out that by rezzing people I (and others too) suffer further costs: the time of the resurrection spell (usually 10 secs and the time while I drink enough to make up for the lost mana (another 4 secs, mage food regenerates 19200 mana over 30 secs). If he is mana user, he also have to drink, while he would regenerate mana during running inside the instance, another 15 secs. All together 30 secs are wasted for everyone, including himself (assuming he is there at the res moment). Of course I'm assuming he can use the time AFK, if he couldn't he would surely run as there is no gain waiting for res. Now waiting for res for one person costs 30*5 = 150 secs to the whole party. Running in an instance is usually around 5 mins, so the group as a whole is better off if just one member get a res.

If no one runs (except the healer), the equation is even better, as 4*5=20 minutes are saved, and only the resurrection time is multiplied, as they can drink together, only (15*4+15)*5/60 = 6.25 mins are wasted. If just one more person is capable of ressing, he is ressed first, so he can drink and res 2 people (he won't be on full mana, but hey, he's a DPS, he can drink while the others pull), so we are down to (15*2+15)*5/60 = 3.75 mins. That's 18% of the lost 20 minutes with everyone running in.

So if we look at the group as a whole and assume that just one person can spend his AFK time well, we get to the efficiency of"everyone runs" is 50-82% of ressing.

Of course we are not communists where "everyone gives according to his abilities and gets according to his needs". So one can say that while ressing is good for the group, it's bad for the healer, who selfishly refuse to serve the greater good and you can do nothing about it. That's not true. The "lazy" can simply sit down and you can do nothing to make him run. I'm not just claiming that every minute you spend arguing him is a minute wasted for you and 3 minutes wasted for the 3 other runner. The trick is that you have two options:
  • You also stand by the spirit healer until you see everyone else running and spend your time arguing him, or votekicking him (and I'm generous here assuming that all the 3 others are on your side and kick, which is dubious as most people never kick anyone as it is "rude"). This case you surely waste the time until the kick is complete. Kicking also has costs, like the risk of getting an even worse player than him.
  • You run yourself and notice the "lazy" only when you are in the instance. There can be technical issues for that, I'm unsure that you can see people from other servers outside the instance. Also the guy can autorun to the right direction, so you only notice his slacking when you are inside and he is not. When you are already at the corpse, it's faster to res him, than making him run, even if you can magically make him run.
The conclusion is that if one chooses to not run, every option costs you more time than ressing him. That leads you to either ressing, or punishing him. "Punishment" means that you harm yourself just to harm him more than yourself, forcing him to don't do it again. There are three problems with that: at first, if the group is random, you won't benefit anything from "teaching him a lesson", as you won't be around when he runs in the next time. OK, this can be fixed by acting in a union. You help another healer by disciplining the DPS, and he helps you the same way.

The second problem is that several people take great pride over his independence, and he will not bend to punishment as "no punk can push me". There are lot of such socials, you can see them all the time answering insults when someone give them a hint how to do more than 800 DPS.

The third, fundamental problem comes directly from the fact that you want to enforce a globally sub-optimal situation: you win less from your victory than he wins from his. I mean if the "healers union" could force everyone to run, they would gain 0.5 mins/case/healer. If the "DPS union" could force everyone to res, they would gain 4.5 mins/case/DPS. The difference is equal to the (sub_optimum - global_optimum)/persons. It also means that the members of the "DPS union" will be 9 times more motivated to fight than the healers. Seems like a lost case to me.

Of course in a repeating situation you don't have to fight, there is a much better system for handling "unjust" situations: business. In guild groups, raids, and handpicked PuGs you can introduce a "res cost 10G" system. The DPS saves himself 4.5 mins, so it's 133G/hour loss to him. The healer loses 0.5 mins, so it's 1200G/hour for him. With business everybody wins!

Now we shall ask how can a sub-optimal situation exists in the light of the above:
  • Ape-subroutines: while someone could have a huge profit by fighting for the optimal solution, he chooses not to, due to "being fair" or "being moral", or he can't even think of doing things differently than "it's used to do" or as "others do it". For example most DPS would find it unfair that the healer runs and he doesn't. As he always runs, he is also ready to judge and punish the "lazy DPS".
  • Serious power-differences: if the winner of the sub-optimal situation is more powerful, he can block the change. However him being powerful usually comes from abusing the ape-subroutines of others. For example healers are more rare than DPS, so if a healer says "kick this lazy punk or I quit", most people will choose kicking the DPS, as he is easier to replace. Of course this "power" came from the fact that the healer obeyed the market and geared a healer, instead of following his "fun" and stay DPS.
  • Hidden reasons: often the rules protect something that is not obvious. When idealists "fix" a system that was sub-optimal considering the visible reasons, the effect is often disaster. For example the "no one gets a res, everyone runs" rule is an effective prevention of ninja-AFK. It's common that people don't accept res for long time after the healer ran in because they went AFK and did not notice how much time passed. However you can reveal the hidden reasons and fix the rule while not damaging the hidden point. For example my macro says: "I'll res everyone, don't bother run in, use the time to go bio, etc. But if you don't accept res in 5 mins FROM NOW, you'll be kicked or I'll leave the party, and have fun waiting for a new healer".

PS: Thenoisyrogue and Pugnaciouspriest wrote about the same topic.


Erex said...

You have the last option that my healer used for a while (I am tank). He did state in the beginning that everyone was running. When someone did not without an explanation, he did not ress and we just continued. I did not mind since most of the time loosing that dps did not really make a lot of difference and it normally only happened for a few pulls anyway. Never did any calculation on the time lost for not ressing the dps, but going from 11kDPS to 8 for a few minutes can't mean you loose a lot of time. (And normally it looks like the no runners are not the top players)
I mean, in most old HC's today you can do with just a good healer. So that a DPS laying dead at the entrance is a no brainer.

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't just look at the most effective solution for the moment, you should think about what you're actions will give as result.

If you rezz the guy who doesn't walk, the next wipe everyone will wait for you to rez. So by choosing the 'optimal solution' on short term, you're creating a 'very non-optimal solution' in the close future. Maybe not for you, but other healers might just get to hear bullshit.

"The last healer didn't mind about rezzing, so why don't you want to rez us?" and more crap like that.(Doesn't make sence, but hey, morons don't have any feeling for what makes sence and what not) Because they won't see the difference between rezzing one character, and 4 characters.

So by choosing the optimal solution at first, the healer after you has to waste time explaining the difference. This costs even more time.

You could say that you probably won't see the people again because of the random system. This could be true, however we're looking for a solution for every healer, as most of them meet his problem at some point. If they all choose the 'optimal solution' you advice, they will all the the hassle, as the next group they are in will also have a healer, dps and tank. So the morons will meet healers, and more healers will meet morons.

Jethro said...

This is a situation that happened to me just last night. In lieu of your last two posts, I'd like to know what you think the best course of action would be

We run normal UK, I'm tanking as a 71 DK, healer is a 71 priest, there is one ret paladin doing under 600 DPS (for comparison, I was doing 1.1k DPS single target tanking).

The problem started when I realised the other two members of the group were the same person. a 70 hunter and a 70 druid. The player had his druid /following his hunter (therefore contributing nothing to the group) while the hunter was doing around 500 DPS (majority of the time it was 90% auto-shot with a few special abilities thrown in).

I called him out on the first few pulls when it took a VERY long time to kill the mobs. I simply showed my disapproval and figured I might as well continue at least until the queue cooldown expired.

Just before we engaged the first boss the healer's arguement with the hunter had gotten to the point where he said he had refused to heal unless they left the party as it was hardly fair that myself and he had to carry someone taking up 2/5 of the group but doing considerably less "work" than his allocated 1/5.

Needless to say, we wiped, the ret paladin told the healer to "stop being so grumpy and just play" while the hunter claimed we could not continue without him. all 3 of them continued arguing so I simply ressed, left and requeued.

What would you have done had you been the healer (or any other role) who was doing a competant job?

Anonymous said...

You could benefit in the short term by 'teaching him a lesson' if the group wipes again and he runs back after this wipe.

Unknown said...

Your math is theoretically ok, but you focus on the wrong point.
If only one group member runs in, the others indeed 'save' 5 mins running each, and the group 'saves' 20 mins. But this doesn't really mean anything, because it's not the group's individual sum of gains you want to optimize. It's the time between the wipe and the next pull, you want to optimize. If everybody runs in at the same time, the running 'costs' 5 mins, then you eat/drink (which can be done ) so that's 5mins + 15 s. Now you are ready for the pull.

Everything else, from someone taking longer to run in than the fastest one to someone you have to res, is less than optimal.

What I see is that people usually use 'running in' as an excuse to go on a non essential afk, if it was essential they would have gone afk before the wipe. They use it to go pee or get a drink. They could do this afk after the run and it would cost the group nothing. By not doing it after the run, they cost the group time. Assuming the AFKer is even back before the other 4 have ran in, he has cost the group the time it takes to res him.

Anonymous said...

Well, when I'm healing I ussually ress. Just because it's faster than waiting for late runners.
But when I'm not in the mood for ressing or when I want to go afk as well I just run and than went afk (for toilet and such) untill all run. I would go afk anyway so they would have to wait for me or just go without healing. In that case it's better to run, because it's easier to go without 1 dps than without 1 healer.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with this post.
Whenever I play my healer, I feel that I have to res people. But now that I see ressing a party member really accounts to saving time, I'm going to do it more often.

Infact, everytime I don't play my healer, I ecpect the other people in party who can res to just res the party members. I think it's part of your character's job.

Same goes for interrupting mobs in a fight, saying : I'm not going to interrupt the mob's spellcast because other people have interrupts too and they should also use them.

Some classes have other "jobs" other then just Tank,dps,heal and ressurecting a party member when you have the ability just seems like the logical thing to do.

Great post, enjoyable read.

Samus said...

I am curious, Gevlon. Let's say I offer you and Tobold the same deal from your last post: $1000 as long as you can both agree on the split.

Tobold, having read your previous post and this one, will not agree to anything else but $800 for himself and $200 for you. Do you accept?

If you are both presented with the same deal a month from now, how much do you think Tobold offers you then based on your response the first time?

Gevlon said...

@Jethro: they choose to do nothing and you had no power to stop them (you can't vote-kick a dual-boxer). You should have left after the first pull.

@Anonymous: Unlikely. Most people won't accept me to teach them a lesson. They will bitch and resist just to prove who's the man. Maybe they won't want res for the NEXT healer, but in the same run he makes a habit of not running, just to prove I can't break him.

@Sven: you assume that people cannot use their AFK time and want the run ASAP. For such people running is more effective, AS MENTIONED IN THE POST.

@Samus: you currently pay me $0. If Tobold would bless me with $50 I'd be $50 better off. If he gets $950 in the process, I won't mind.

Anonymous said...

I really think the problem is in the game design that dictates:

a) at least one resser MUST run, everyone else has the option to either do it or not.

b) long tedious runs back to the instance.

c) no actual personal incentive to run back. If running back meant less repair bills than being ressed, people would do it.

zahorijs said...

The problem with asking money for res is that then everyone decides that he or she is entitled to some sum. Like locks for summoning stone or everyone who buffs for reagents. You MUST have antisocial raid group for this thing to work. Or otherwise disputes will begin and you will loose much more time(money) then you would have saved just by ressing for free.

Rem said...

While it's quite popular to do the "persons * time" calculation to present fancy numbers, it really only makes sense when measuring effort. Does it take less total effort if only the healer runs and resurrects everyone else? Sure thing. Does it matter? Not really. What matters is the time - real time - that passes while the following things happen:

- Healer runs back in (has to happen anyway).
- Healer regens some mana (may happen in the process of running).
- Healer applies (obviously) non-combat rezzes, which seem as a general rule to have a cast time of approximately forever.
- Healer searches for scattered corpses, because someone definitely tried to run away and ended up dying behind a pillar.
- "Oh no sorry, I can't get range", which results in additional run-back time for the person who died at the far end of the boss cave, but decided to wait it out just in case he'd be in rez range.
- Mage gets rezzed and fires his Arcane Brilliance group buff.
- Warlock gets rezzed and complains he didn't get Arcane Brilliance.
- Everyone spends the next 2 minutes reading their buffs and discussing whether Blizzard should introduce Bloodlust/Heroism drums.

- The whole buffing-and-regenerating ceremony being delayed by inevitable AFKs, tab-outs, bio-breaks of those who are "waiting".
- Someone, either a resurrected person failing to immediately get their bearings, or a healer trying to get range, accidentally pulls; obviously, this has a high probability to get us back to square one.

I (tank) insist on releasing and running back after a wipe, not because of some weird "group building experience", but because it ensures that everyone is on the same stage, at nearly all times:

1. Release.
2. Run back.
3. Stop before the first place where you'd have to fight.
4. Wait for everyone to be there.
5. Buff.
6. Eat/drink.
7. Pull.
8. Profit.

Anonymous said...

Say you were going to the movies with friends. One of the friends in your group says he refuses to go unless you (who are the strongest person in the group) unless you carry him there. Would you?

Gevlon said...

@Thebarrenscat: the friend is not needed for the movie. He won't give me any services. I can leave him with no consequences. If I leave the tank on the ground, that will have consequence.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Let's say 5-a-side football then. Now what?

Gevlon said...

Then I must decide which of the 5 cost me most:
* losing the football "fun"
* finding another guy to his place
* carrying him

The least costy will be done.

Carl said...

I'd like to show you an addon I wrote over the holiday break that does just that, among other things:
allow you to alt-tab out of the game when you die and notify you when you get ressed.
You can see it at

If you look through the addon description, you'll see that I never mentioned resurrection, even though it's included in the code. I decided to hide that function exactly to conform to the social thinking. If my addon blatantly promotes "afking" after death until res, it would be looked down upon as unfair and evil?

csdx said...

ok but how 'costly' is carrying the guy? Is it less costly to you if they had a legitimate reason (and assuming the activity requiring them was less physical)?

Of course you missed out on what I think is the optimal solution. Everyone runs in, and does a /follow on one person. Then it maybe takes that person an extra 15 seconds to make sure that no one gets stuck, but in the meantime you get all the benefits of everyone regenning mana (and hps) during the run. Also then you can alternate who the leader is, not necessarily just the healer. Of course this may be difficult to get a random group to agree to it.

Sven said...

(not the same Sven as the one above)

There is an additional problem with having to rez everybody: the "go go go" brigade. They will often charge in without waiting for the healer to mana-up & cause a wipe. By running in & rezing & re-healing everybody, the healer is often left perilously low on mana, which these idiots ignore.

Making people run is, to some extent, an insurance against this. it also adds a cost to failure, which makes people think more carefully about doing dumb stuff.

Nielas said...

I believe we are essentially trying to address the question of "is this a slippery slope?". By giving in, are we creating a system of entitlement? If we let it slide that people slack off on this thing will they slack off other stuff in the run, making us carry them more and more?

In the other direction, how far do we have to push things before the people 'going the extra mile' start finding out that all the extras they are doign are adding up where it is just not 'profitable' to play a certain class. ie if a priest decides that they like playing a rogue as much but a rogue does less work there is no reason to play the priest.

If everyone but the healer refuses to run in then you will be adding about 10min to the run (Gevlon's math is too optimistic). So a healer might easily figure that it might be just easier to leave the group and queue up again. Once that happens the lost time just keeps escalating.

The problem with any system where someone is expected to do something with no benefit to them simply because the cumulative benefit to everyone else is greater than the cost, is that the person doing the extra work will decide that they too want to get part of the benefit. If everyone is gettign something for nothing, why should they not share in teh spoils as well.

Let's not forget that not only the healer in a group can rez. Tanks, and DPS can also have rezzing abilities, so the healer might as well decide that he will not run back and the pally tank should do all the rezzing. Of course the pally tank also wants to partake of the 'free time' you get if you do not run and the system breaks down. And since this is a short random instance run, you cannot alternate. It becomes a game of chicken where the person who wants to complete the run the most will give up first.

Anonymous said...

Coming from a Hardcore Raiding guild and now being in a very casual guild on a PvP server, I had to change my outlook on ressing people... Purely because if a raid wiped, we were all expected to run in, get full raid buffs and be ready again within about 5 minutes. The raid leaders also ran in and all of us were still able to talk about the problems that caused the wipe along the way. If someone went afk or what not, it didn't matter, we had a waitlist for a reason. Having that waitlist gave people the incentive to stay and not go afk. Being in a casual guild, even doing 10 mans can get pretty hectic. It's the closest thing to a PuG group without actually pugging, so I pretty much have to res no matter what the case there... I've pretty much taken the same course of action with heroics. There will be instances where I will gripe on occasion about it if the person had more than enough time to get back to the instance before I got back. (I'm usually the last person to die in a wipe, and usually just to give people more incentive to run back.) But really the only wipes I usually are involved in are when the tank pulls 2-3 groups up in Heroic PoS nowadays...

Braille said...

I think your math is faulty.

It seems you're assuming that the run back takes 5 min in itself, so I'll start with that.

1 person runs back = 5 min X 5 players = 25 min group time wasted.
2 people run back = 5 min X 5 players = 25 min group time wasted.
5 people run back = 5 min X 5 players = 25 min group time wasted.

No matter how many run back, you start with 25 min of group time wasted if everyone else is sitting idle while the person runs back. In the cases where the persons running back includes the healer, anything that has to happen between the moment they get back to where they wiped and the first pull is additional wasted time added onto the 25 min already wasted. Observe:

1 person must be res'd = res (10 sec) + buffs (4.5 sec for priest) + drink (~4 sec) = 18.5 sec X 5 players = 1 min 32.5 sec group time wasted

2 people must be res'd = drink (~3 sec) + res's (20 sec) + buffs (4.5 sec for priest) + drink (~4 sec) = 31.5 sec X 5 players = 2 min 37.5 sec group time wasted

3 people must be res'd = drink (~3 sec) + res's (30 sec) + buffs (4.5 sec for priest) + drink (~5 sec) = 42.5 sec X 5 players = 3 min 32.5 sec group time wasted

4 people must be res'd = drink (~3 sec) + res's (40 sec) + buffs (4.5 sec for priest) + drink (~6 sec) = 53.5 sec X 5 players = 4 min 27.5 sec group time wasted

This is true for every time the death is "healer + other(s)", so it's cumulative as the group continues through the instance. Which means if it's just one person dying with the healer each time and this happens 4 times, that's now 6 min 10 sec group time wasted on top of the 100 min of group time wasted from the fact that the group had to sit idle while the healer ran back.

So anyone who is not running back along with the healer is adding this additional time to the entire group's experience. Most healers want to nip this kind of behavior in the butt as quickly as possible, even if it's just the one person who didn't run back.

Darren said...

There are two points I'd like to make here. I'm a long time reader/first time poster here on greedy goblin. This comment applies to most of the blog posts I have read here.

1 - Something not taken into account for all this social/non-social talk is the concept of personality wiring. You will act and behave based to a large degree on your personality type. One of the most accurate descriptions on the field is the Myers-Briggs psychology temperaments.

Gevlon is a glaring example of a Rationalist ( Rationalists are not swayed by emotions, but are moved by facts, being accurate, competent, and efficient. These are also the people you listen to for advice when math or hard logic comes in to play. Gevlon is an excellent source of financial knowledge in or out of game. I've also learned a few efficiency tips from him as well about squeezing out a bit more performance from my WoW character.

Tamarind is more than likely an Idealist ( Idealists are warm, friendly, and also sensitive people. They have ideas that are important to them and base their actions on principles. These types of people make good teachers, counselors, people you go to when you need help and some sympathy. They are generally nice people, but they don't react well when not given the same "warmness", for a lack of a better word.

There are two other types in the Myers-Briggs temperament types, but that's outside the scope of this comment. My point here is that these blog posts are set up as a dichotomy as if one perspective is right and one is wrong based on some mathematical formula or some other speculative scenario. They are just clashes of two different perspectives, each having value in their own right. Gevlon might be the guy you listen to for making gold or improving your raid performance, but it is a Tamarind type you would want in your guild to be the diplomatic glue that holds the guild together. The two types are like peanut butter and jelly. You don't accept one and reject the other, you put them together.

Darren said...

2 - I'm going to state the obvious here, ok? WoW is a game. Why does anyone play a game? For recreation. For fun. To enjoy some free time. Why analyze every little thing as if we are engineering a bolt that will go into a space shuttle. Why does Gevlon play a game when he could be spending precious time (money) giving real financial advice to real money paying clients. Him spending his efforts playing a game making fake money and raiding in blues sounds about as useless as those socials getting those vanity pets. One person feel superior that they have a mount no one else has, and someone else feels superior because they can clear content with sub optimal gear. Nothing is wrong with either. But it sure does sound like a kettle calling the pot black.

Wow isn't a job. I write software for a living. When my rationalist boss or peer inspects my code and finds it inefficient or lacking, I have to put my emotions aside that I was just criticized and improve what I do. As an idealist myself, it is hard to put my emotions aside and admit they may be right and take action especially when the person is quite crass about it. I get paid for writing the best code I can, not to comfort the guy (or myself) who got his feelings hurt.

Socials, as Gevlon would call most of the population, need to appreciate the truth and cold logic that comes from the rationalist. But equally so, the rationalists need to embrace the fact, most humans are not logical machines or cold blooded reptiles and learn that tact is a respectable life skill.

Aside from all the above, I enjoy Gevlon's posts for the reasons I stated above. Like any given disposed perspective, it can become unbalanced. I consider myself a skilled wow player, but when someone shows blatant sign of noobness, I try to help them out in a nice, helpful manner. Not start off with a "moron, listen up..." type of meanness that Gevlon advocates as relieving other's stress that only a rationalist would respond well to. There are some people that won't listen and you don't have to play with people who refuse to listen to sound reason or refuse to put an appropriate level of effort into the game.

ZachPruckowski said...

Braille - Gevlon is assuming that time not spent running back is employed doing something non-WoW and useful (bio, food, email, etc.). I have little sympathy for this, because the DPSers just spent 10 minutes in the queue.

Refusing to run-back has an additional wrinkle - most players seem to have an internal clock whereby they get frustrated (and more likely to quit) if a run lasts longer than about 40 minutes. Given that you just wiped, that timer is more and more relevant. If someone perceives the run is still going "on schedule", they'll be more tolerant of wipes or deaths. If you want to avoid people quitting, your best bet is to do whatever you can to minimize the total run time.

What I think would be an interesting addition to the discussion is the history and rationale of the run-back. In WoW, I suspect it exists for two major reasons: progression raiding and healer elevation.

Progression guilds force runbacks in many instances because it reduces wipe-recovery time in those raids. While it may not have been the case in Karazhan or other (non-Hyjal) TBC/Vanilla raids, in Wrath, runbacks are faster (because of teleporters (Uld/ICC) or dungeon layout (Sarth, ToC, Naxx's wings)) or mandatory (can't rezz people on 4H, Thaddius or Maly P3) for pretty much every boss (Loatheb, with the instant-respawn hallway, is the obvious exception). Generally, those standards filter down from raiding guilds into the non-progression population.

In PUG 5-mans, healers and tanks had a lot more influence than DPSers did, because they were rarer. Wasting a healer's time or ticking him off was a bad idea. Ditto the tank (if he ran back and you wasted his time, that'd be bad). To a limited extent, LFD has made it harder for healers/tanks to retaliate (by refusing to run with you later or kick you) like they used to, but I suspect the run-back is a holdover from those earlier days.

Anonymous said...

am i wrong or does all this just assume, that only healers can ress? what about the tank-paladin or the shaman?

Braille said...

"ZacharyPruckowski said...

Braille - Gevlon is assuming that time not spent running back is employed doing something non-WoW and useful (bio, food, email, etc.)"

I noticed that as well, and from what I've seen, the person who doesn't run back is most likely to be the person who is the M&S of the party. So the likelyhood that the same person is also doing something useful instead of running back is non-existant.

This person, this M&S, is not running back because they feel entitled to a res by the simple fact that the other person has a res spell. That sense of entitlement is another big reason why I don't support the idea of people not running back along with the healer. What gives them the right to waste the entire group's time and my materials (bread from a vendor or buff food, mages don't heal and aren't in most 5 mans)?

Personally, if everyone else in the group is cooperative and the dungeon debuff is still up (can't kick them) I encourage the group to just keep moving. When they see they can do just as well with 4 as they did with the M&S that's still waiting for a res, there usually isn't any trouble getting them kicked.

Or the M&S gets frustrated and leaves, either way, the group doesn't waste time on them. And more often then not, the group finishes with 4 with no more wipes or gets a decent player as a 5th.

Jyi said...

Your maths and logics in this post are absolutely idiotic.

You're not saving ANY time for the GROUP by having healer run in and ress everyone. You know that, you're a healer. If everyone runs in at the same time, they can start drinking at the same time. If a healer runs in alone: well, he doesn't drink every time he resses someone (like you calculated), but he does drink twice. Once before he resses and once after. Every ress takes 10 seconds. Every person who gets ressed starts drinking/eating to gain health and mana (or get healed). The healer and the last person to get ressed start drinking at the same time, the rest do it in unison. So 50 seconds in ressing and 15-30 seconds for buffing and drinking. Fairly over a minute regardless, versus the 10-15 seconds if everyone had run and eaten/drunk at the same time. A minute's loss for the GROUP.

That might be 2-5 minutes of time you could've gone AFK and done something "more important", but if you have that busy a life that you must spend every possible minute doing "something important", you shouldn't play WoW in the first place. However, you're doing something very "sub-optimal" and playing a game to amuse yourself AND you are in a group with other people. You don't know these people and their ideals. So by not running, you might be wasting yet another 5 minutes because the healer refuses to ress you.

Also, you forget the random factors. Yesterday I did an oldschool run in UBRS and we wiped. I asked everyone to start running in, but a rogue refused. Of course I would've ressed him when I got inside, but in this case it was impossible. You see, he was right in middle of a mob pack that was at the top of stairs in a hallway. There was no way around them and I couldn't ress him from down the stairs because of LoS. If I had run close enough, I would've aggroed the mobs. There was no way I could've ressed anyone in the group if I had run in alone. We could've cleared the mob pack with 4, but the rogue started yelling and crying and swearing and that was the point I snapped and votekicked.

Yes, an "abe-subroutine" of anger. However, now that I think back, it was very useful. He was an idiot and I suspect he was the one who caused the wipe in the first place by accidentally pulling 2 more packs. He refused to run even when it would've been beneficial. His dps sucked even for a stupid, uninformed lowbie. His behavior was annoying and stressful and in the long run that would've most probably caused other problems.

Well, my point is that there are no optimal solutions to these problems. While I agree punishing someone for not running is idiotic, I think your logics (in this case) are just as idiotic. These kinds of situations have a lot of different variables and as such the solutions should also be situational: try to make everyone run in, because it saves time for the group and might prevent unseen random variables, but ress people if it's possible and faster. Take into account that not everyone thinks like you do and adjust your behavior accordingly. Sometimes it's fastest to just humor the idiot and get over with it.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon I feel like your oversimplifying the point a tad. Yes it is more efficient for you in the above example to rez the slackers. But in reality the social norms that say "everyone must run back" benefit every one over all because over time they teach and weed out the slackers. As a mass social movement the expectation that they won't be given a rez causes them to act in a manner that while personally marginally detrimental is socially optimal.

Thus the ape subroutines here are actually in the long run more efficient for you to adhere to. It may cost you a little bit to force the lazy dps to run back but by doing so your helping discourage lazy dps in the future, thus saving you and everyone else who pugs net time. Given that you started this blog as an exercise in teaching people, it seems like it contribute more to the M&S free world you desire to make the pugs suffer and run back.

Also your assuming that the time they spend as a corpse is somehow valuable. Maybe in raids this argument has some merit but since we're talking mostly about pugs 5-mans the reasons for failure should/are blindingly obvious and can generally be pinned down to sloppiness (or occasionally a string of very bad luck), hence there is no real need for reflection.

Unknown said...

I can usually tolerate one person doing this once, but any more and I would just leave the group.

So I get a 15 minute debuff...who cares? I can use that time to craft/purchase/sell/AH.

I lose very little by leaving the group. Queue time as a healer in my battlegroup is less than 30 seconds.

I don't lose badges/hour, because I only do the random once to get the frost badges.

Realizing this fact, has made pugging more enjoyable for me. I just don't have to "suck it up". If it looks like I have idiots for dps, I leave. Takes all of a few minutes to figure it out. (first trash pull)

Anonymous said...


The claim in this post rests on an idiotic splitting of time into 'wasted' (running) and 'not wasted' (afk). This is because it assumes two things: first, that players have other small tasks they can do while away from the computer and, second, that players can use this time with perfect efficiency.

For some players, there are not other small tasks that can be done while away from the computer. If my bladder is empty, the dishes are done, and the floor is swept, my home is usually ok. Other things that need doing, like driving to the store, cannot be broken into 5 minute chunks of afk time.

Also, afk time is not used with perfect efficiency. Players must step away from the computer, remember what needs to be done, etc. There is an overhead cost in each transition from WoW to afk. Moreover, player time is often limited. For example, a player may only have an hour to play before going to sleep. In that case, efficiency is measured in terms of heroics done before bedtime, not non-afk-minutes per heroic. In other words, your efficiency metric makes sense only in a small number of cases.

Here is a question for Gevlon to ponder: if everybody in the group is capable of rezzing, who runs?

Sten Düring said...


This is a non-problem for me.

I tank; therefore I can hand out punishments.

If I tell people to run in they run in or I leave the group.


I wait five seconds for a new group to form. Healer waits 15 seconds. DPS wait 15 minutes.

You do the math.

Kira said...

My first 2 mains were DPS, my current main is a healer. As a DPS, I have always felt that if the healer runs back, I run back. However, I will also add that I am typically one of the first people to be back in the instance, sometimes ahead of a healer.

Neither of your posts on this subject take one thing into account however: boss rooms.

If we are fighting a boss and the group wipes, sometimes people die in horrible places where a res isn't even possible. Or perhaps just entering the room itself will start the encounter. Those people have to run back. And yes, there have been times where people have died in boss rooms, wait dead expecting a res, only to find they can't be ressed and they have to run back anyway, wasting everyone's time.

Also an issue is difficult raid trash. Some of the packs in Freya's room can be difficult. If a few people die during the pull, it can sometimes be the case where if they released upon death, headed back in, took the portal that is right there, mounted up, and ran back in a timely manner, they would be able to help their raid finish off the rest of the pull, sometimes even avoiding a wipe.

There are all sorts of situations involving dead people in WoW, and those should be taken into consideration.

I will add however, that there ARE slow people in WoW. You've grouped with them. They're always the last one to arrive at the dungeon (before summoning stones), they are the last one to release, they are the last one to run back from a wipe. Now, whether this is a result of long loading screens, or simply because they are a slow person, they are out there. Every group and raid has at least one. If it means sparing a few seconds ressing that person so I don't have to wait a few mintes, I'll gladly res them if possible.

Pike said...

I think it's sort of just natural human nature to feel that the person running back is lazy. I've often felt that way myself, but then I sit and "logic it out" and come to the conclusion that I've no logical reason for feeling that way, so I push it aside.

Yarral said...

In my experience this is never an issue in guild groups. People either run back or have a good reason not to do so and ask politely for a rez for a good reason.

On random groups, if the run is going well I'll reluctantly rez because it's in my interests to keep the group going. If I don't the group I'll wait two minutes and then say XXX doesn't seem to want to continue so it looks like the group is over and leave.

Unknown said...

Ok 3 seconds off topic to say I'm definitely one of the "warm fuzzie/social" folks, in guild. Because of the communistic approach I have to supporting guild (I need to take more business classes to learn how to be more effective). I love reading your posts though. You come off very well in your discussions. I'm excited to read your next post. :) Please slam me if you have the desire. I find it fantastic interesting to consider your opinions, thanks for spending your time. *wink*

To res or not to res.
1) Sometimes the healer needs to go AFK for something as well. If there is always someone needing to go 1/5 times it will have to be the healer right? And 1/5 times a tank or dps will be able to res as well, right? The healer and the other folks have the option to set one of the runners on follow and can follow them to the instance while afking, but it requires someone to start the run. If the dps always assume it will be the heals then setting the heals to follow may help save some of the res, recharge hp/mp, and buffing time (but they'll be right outside the instance and likely have a res shortly if they don't come back on time given it will drop follow once they zone, so it's only good for short afks). But that assumes the heals will always be more reliable than the dps to run. Socially if this is set it will slow down the process 1/5 then (assuming the same consistency within character afks and 5 man groups). Unless you are saying these afks are never necessary and the dps should try and occupy themselves otherwise.
2) Some instances (toc, ulduar.. icc second set is longer) given the less than 10 second run (often back before the mob is down on trash), it's actually better for DPS to run (especially if the only variable is next pull start time), but depending on their own understanding of rights and responsibilities and times :) they may or may not. If they understand the time/investment and react appropriately it's less of a bother. Many don't read your forums.

Unknown said...

3) If you can assume a guild environment and that your somehow get benefit from them saving time or from the social aspect of being seen as benevolent to them, resing has it's merits. Only a small lecture while resing to get them to change if the run is short is often all that's needed to get them to comply, but is very appropriate socially to res them (and discussion can take place while resing). And longer runs, them going afk to bio may lead to the faster pulls in the long run (only if they accept on time, and assuming 1/25 will always have to bio during these afks and can't make it to the set bio break that many raiding guilds have in their schedule). But for the most part having folks run back starts the pulls/buffs faster than waiting to res 18 dead dps,"it's not the group's individual sum of gains you want to optimize" but then the group as a whole. If it's only 4 min tops to do so across those capable of resing (often less with cross class). You will always have to wait for the last one to accept... so the pull always as slow as your longest bio afk over time+resurrection time+ food buff time+if they are required to buff/remana (priests have 3 buffs occ.. buffs often go up, but do not take longer to remana than the person eating their food for the initial food buff for themselves, unless they are responsible for the buff). There is a limited time before others get ansey afk, warp to get that one gem out of their mail/bank/etc since we're still having downtime... etc. Setting rules for engagements is important so this can occur timely across 25 folks. Assuming that it's only the 1 healer's 3 min is not always app, adding these times across how many wipes would be and total folks.
For 5 mans (sometimes has pugs rather than guild).. multiplying that for a 15 min FOS (10 min for some 45 min for others) or other heroic (though you don't wipe unless the group is.. having problems unrelated, and likely increasing time in instance) it's worse per time limit, not so bad, but in a 4 hours raiding schedule.. it adds up.
4) Saving DPS time AKA "it's not the group's individual sum of gains you want to optimize." I'd rather them waste theirs than mine. And acknowledging that you are a limiting reagent and at current market value of time more than theirs... is it better for the server as a whole to have your time used better if we are indeed the limiting quantity for most groups. But who really cares about server as a whole is a great question. That's like taking time in trade to discuss where to buy milk rather than selling those folks milk. When it comes down to the group, the fastest way to start/finish would be to not bottle neck/wait for cast times. Correct? It is unfortunate that teaching a dps would take time on 10/25 (you could use that for your own afk (f it read amusing posts)! Doing whatever it is that they are doing on their afk?), but on many servers this is set and can continue to be set rather easily. I guess if you wanted you could macro either on entering an instance (I will not res on wipe, run back... or I will res everyone etc) but it's also easier to maintain your group if you do it mid way.. folks are likely to think of the time they've already invested rather than the time to continue. On many of the days I log in I have my days set after about 30 min of logging in (have to limit it to 5-6 hours or they'll take 10). I spend it on my guild mates as I'll receive more out of it as a whole (some of it social bonding, some of it appropriately gearing them). Spending it on pugs I'll never see has very little net gain for me (collective gearing and social banking) given I only need to finish instance for reward. Unsure about the time needed to invest to set a server social norm. But social norms spread fast in a game. Often just occ need to reeducate newer players. Also depends on time on the server (5 years in my case).

Unknown said...

5)If everyone gets back at roughly the same time, you do not need to res folks, you can all take part in the buffing/eating etc at roughly the same time. Waiting to res folks to start this process slows down things modestly. It's not as bad on 5 mans, but in 10 and 25, can be a real pain. (just like not having a set reser... makes 4-5 of the resers start the cast and sit there.. while tank goes forward and then folks die because the healers "were resing" all the same guy. Just set 1-3 person for the whole instance and everyone else move up). These are only small nuances. But it can aid if these socials are set.

6) Training folks on a server is of interest (especially my small server before the 5 man Xserver pugging (with limited crosses) and after) and is very evident of the culture of the server. When folks see someone get booted for EITHER refusing to rez or refusing to run.. the actions of the party then set the social norm. This is then talked about and depending on the reinforcement they get from the piers they then talk to (guild or trade chat or what have you)... the socials will then set their behavior. This does change if they swap guilds sometimes or servers too. It's interesting feeling/seeing the behaviors of others with the new cross server pugs. You do not need to spam trade to set socials, but it is amusing. You even have folks defend you not out of principles, but on if they like you. Once again.. strange. They are more likely to defend you if they were taught a lesson before. Trying to grasp for importance of the lesson they learned and then teaching another on the social merit, rather than the value of their own time. Is there not a term for looking back on your actions and reassigning purpose and importance, so there looks like reasoning.. even if it wasn't there at the time? Placing a purpose of a lesson, rather than actually having one initially.. rationalizing it so there is one they can grasp onto. "I guess I really deserved that." (Sorry, I wish I recalled it, it's a psych tidbit).

7) You can also have arguments that it's often the person who's worst in the mix starting it. Whether or not they've been trained in the current server's policies on running or not and are unaware of the social norms. Haven't realized yet that it will take longer overall to start (so if you're just sitting there at your comp run), or they just don't know where they are going. The thought comes up to kick them or now. With the current queing... does it really take that much time? Waiting for a dps takes under a min (under 10 sec often). If they are bad and they wont run, should you always kick them, as now you have 2 reasons? You can keep pulling. Setting social norms then would require almost no time as that new dps can warp to the dungeon. (it's almost like setting a price on the AH, why worry about social ettiqute if you can make it occur for almost no time change, and can sometime imp your dps). In a 15 min Daily H, adding 10-30sec is seen as a large time, but it takes longer to wipe or res and can be 10 secs for a new dps which may improve dps now, arrive faster and full health and hasten dungeons from there on out.

8) There are always the folks who ran and are now unable to get res, and we have to wait for them anyhow. Or the reser trying to get in range and pulling instead starting a wipe festival again. That isn't accounted for in time.

Unknown said...

9) Social norms are often also set by the raiding classes on a server. If someone complains about the healer on a server, their guild often backs them, other folks who've raided with them back them, their "friends" online back them, their pugs who know them back them (raiding folks often have the better gear, have been playing longer, and folks know they are good players.. so even without knowing the situation will socially rebuttal). These are app or not are social and have no bearing on right or wrong, but can set the mood of a server. So if you have friends being an "ass" helps you set norms. But only for folks who care, socials, but above there are arguments for time as well. Given as a whole it decreases time to pulls, and this training they'd go through doesn't waste your time now (with new dungeon warp/dps surplus), training folks in 5 mans would then decrease wait time in 10/25s as well (folks will continue following the same social routine applying it to all situations until they have reason to change "aka get em while they're young"). Those that don't will eventually have more issues with trying to maintain a group and then conform. Also social pressure being more important in the age group we're currently playing in (pier pressure) this is easier now. But that's not really a discussion anymore. For 5 mans, the new configuration helps healers/tanks set the social norms.. for better or worse.

10) If you're wiping on a 5 man though, someone sucks. If it's the person not running.. then your option would be clear, it will take as much time to res him as to replace him (kicking him for sucking, and yet making it seem it's because of a social norm he's not performing, would set both without more time loss and possibly improved dps output); without all that lovey dovey social stuff. Harder in 10/25 because of the que, needing to put down a stone, summon, but not if you're in a raiding guild with folks on the sidelines. Speeding up the pulls a few min... after 20 wipes in 1 hour by 2-3 min each wipe... Kicking 1 person often has that effect rather than having to kick all the dps. Or placing DKP loss on it sets the social standard fast within that small unit.

11) I'm not sure the dropping penalty wont get worse. The main reason to design a game like this would be to make sure that sometimes the folks who suck get some enjoyment from the game. This includes occ being carried. I'm surprised the detriment to kicking or dropping group wasn't stronger. Those who are better players.. assuming.. would get enjoyment out of other areas and this random daily badge thing is to not only give random players something to do, decrease the ability for folks to do things outside the game or to rush to the game or plan around getting their badges for the day and to intensify the feeling of loss for not logging in for the day... to overall increase folks using the game and older content so they don't need to reprogram as much (also yielding initial greater monetary rewards as their own use of badges decreases swifter as their collection occurs faster)... this has to help the regular folks utilize the game more... relying on the back of the other players by giving them a carrot of 2 frost tokens. Allowing the poor players to receive enough gear to allow them to do the instances on their own by about the time the better players stop needing to run them (yet still extending the poor players use, as they acquire badges slower 2nd inability to play 10's 25's).

Unknown said...

12) I'd argue that it has nothing to do with how long it takes them to get back, or the ability to train monkeys, but in the overall time it takes you to enter and exit an instance. Kicking the healer to train them would take more time to get the slot filled and is a loss. Kicking the dps less. Arguing the worst possible time waste. Do which ever is faster. Allow someone else to train a monkey. Self righteous responsibility aside. Depends on how you want to get your jollies that day, but making someone conform to your principles to help them down the road (kinda' like dating and fixing up losers) or to just get it over with till you don't have to do them anymore.

* I like neila's slippery slope discussion. But It's the same discussion you had on swapping professions. If it's not profitable, then don't do it. You do it because you are getting more out of it (easier time to get pugs etc). When you stop getting more out of it, it will stop being an option and will either change or die. It's not dying, so stop complaining because you are getting enough out of it or you'd change. It is possible to train the healers just as it's possible to train the DPS. Now it's just easier and doesn't take time with the new group finder. Healers if you want to make a bid for this and train folks to not do it, the 5 mans currently are a great service and wont cost you time.

** Darren, I think we analyze stuff because it's fun an interesting. It may be work for some folks, but this is part of the fun for others. Some folks want other parts of their mind to work in fun, other folks want other parts. Why do folks go to a park, just to sit on a bench.. benches are boring... it's not the bench dear. I like to help folks, but was told in ZF back in the day by someone hysterical (as we dragged his lower level through the instance), how dare I expect him to stay back and not experience the pulls!.. he's the only person that I know of that has me on ignore. :) As I tried to explain it to him nicely. I haven't read far back, but his avocation on the weekly folks is to not troll them, but to give them honest responses and then have them go social bonkers at them. It's interesting to see them try and form monopolies to "hurt" others and profit more themselves, but get totally "butthurt" when someone undercuts them. They try and form unions to drive up costs and manipulate folks that aren't in the same professions, trying scare tactics or abuse to get folks to fall in line. As a social who's trying to understand others.. these folks seem CRAZY to me. They are often the highlight of my entertainment here. I spend 1/3 of my time here laughing, 1/3 shocked to breathlessness, 1/3 of my time learning about myself. Feeling and logic aren't separate and often the best folks (only IMO) are able to combine them. Capable of social engineering yes, but more so capable of understanding all sides. And sadly, able to make the harder decisions that are necessary to lead. They often have to make the hard decisions to kick someone, to recruit to replace, to delegate someone out or take someone aside because they aren't worth it to continue to invest in them. This is part of guild leadership. Saying the only folks who can keep folks in guild are the touchy feelies, is incorrect. They can help and often do (spend personal time to keep folks connected, learn how they feel, branch out and fulfill the social needs of a guild), but they are only part. Losing either the guild can tear swiftly. One must acknowledge the other as important. The socials do not have to hurt folks, and the rationals do not have to deal with the aftermath as much. Each playing to their strengths, very difficult for folks to do both, as it's hard to hold both titles at the same time. It's often easier to hate and therefor undervalue the rational officer unless you are faced with having to do the deed yourself.

Unknown said...

Interesting considering to wait for guild groups or to pug 5 HDailies(off the topic a bit, but next thought in the setting social standards discussion)? If it's a value of time/chance. Does it really benefit the guild more to wait (if you are a class in high demand) or to just go? The social bonding aspects (keeping those folks feeling wanted/desired in the guild can help retention of the low demand socials(in 5 man) classes given the ratio of tanks/heals/dps in 5's is often using up the main classes much faster than on 10s or 25s (1/1/3 on 5, 2/2/8 on 10s, and 5/2-3/17-18 on 25s). Some of the only way to keep those folks feeling connected is to wait for the DPS to satisfy them or to pug either of the tank or healer to get them through quickly while risking a slower start or a usually overcomeable awful of one of the tank/healing class so at least one of them is present helping the group get through, but also decreasing the guild's overall wait time as dps alone have a longer wait in que. I heal on 3 classes, so I have no sense of average dps wait time. It's always under a min if a heals is in the group and under 10 seconds if a heal and a tank.

Anonymous said...

If you want to play an MMO without people "slowing" you down, seriously pick up a single player game. There are MANY reasons why everyone should run back.

This kind of thinking turn players into nothing more than NPC's.. I mean think about it. If running wastes time... then so does talking? Right? Everyone should just memorize every encounter...

WoW has had a trend, a "mad" dash towards logic... but if there if one thing I have learned in life... logic is a tool, not a way of life, when you start to apply it to life... and people (more importantly) then it starts to break down... Because humans are irrational by nature... to apply rational concepts to an irrational species... well.. it's like putting a square peg in a round hole...

Honestly that is the MOST irrational part of the whole post... to assume for some reason that a human being is to be reduced down to a simple process of numbers is COMPLETELY miss the point of playing a Massively MULTIPLAYER GAME..