Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Everyone knows the level-up sound and animation, despite it's rarely shown. Every character sees it 79 times in its life.

I always thought that the clearly visible "ding" animation is barely a reminder to visit the class trainer, to put a talent point into the tree, to go to the bank and pick up the piece of gear I'm holding for days.

I also believed that the purple "+100XP" jumping up is merely to help us measure the effectivity of our current activity, it's a min-maxing tool for those who want to level up fast.

I was obviously wrong here. The first warning was the "ding" spam in the chat of leveling guilds. People wrote "ding" and others congratulated. I did not see why. I mean what makes leveling up so special? It's by-product of the journey in this fantasy-world if you see the game this way, or merely another milestone in the long "grind" for max level (if you see it that way).

Why would anyone be proud of reaching lvl 31? And even better, I did not understand, why do everyone congratulate for this. It is not an achievement. It's not something that needed skill. It's not like soloing a group quest 2 levels above you or your first dungeon tanking. You killed a monster, got 100XP. Killed another, 108XP. And so on, and so on, DING! Who cares?

I'm reading an MS thesis, sent to me by wickedgirl. The author, Daniel Roy says "Every time I kill a monster in the game, a frequent activity, an announcement pops up on the screen saying, “+100XP,” or some such. This means I've gained another hundred experience points, moving me closer to leveling up (reaching the next level of mastery). Furthermore, there is a bar running across the bottom of the screen that fills with a solid color as I move closer to my next level. When I reach the next level, my character is consumed in a tower of golden light and the success sound plays. It's like a slot machine that rewards the player periodically with lots of flashing lights and sounds. WoW makes growing mastery obvious to me."

The "mastery" theory runs in the whole thesis. It claims that people want to be "stronger" (gaining mastery), and computer games give them just that feeling. They also make this "mastery" socially relevant. Everyone knows that I'm now lvl 43, stronger than before.

He claims that players play, and later grind, to upkeep this feeling of growing mastery. They see the increasing power of their character as part of their own self, feeling that they got more powerful. This relevance increase to them as if the "mastery" has social relevance: other people around him see this and judge him among that. The "must have 5K gearscore" is a very direct way of this judgment: unless you achieved this level of gear progress, you are judged "worthless" and excluded from group activity.

I find this theory pretty good, and this also explains the lack of death penalty in the game. The game creators do not want the players to experience decline of their mastery. As long as you keep paying subscription, you can feel stronger every day. ... In a pixel world.

The problem is not simply ... well this is all nonsense, as you gain absolutely no power just some pixel number increased. The problem is that this "increased mastery" is a lie, even in the social context they believe in. You gained lvl43? So what? The lvl 39 monsters give less XP now than before, you must kill lvl 40 monsters to be in the yellow region or you'll lose XP. And a lvl 40 monster is just as strong vs your lvl 43 character, as the lvl 39 monster was against your lvl 42.

Also, exactly because the game has no death penalty and offers the feeling of progression to everyone, your grinding of gear gives you absolutely zero growth of relative power compared to the other players. They had full T8 and excluded you for your crappy 4500 gearscore? Now, after weeks of boring grind you have full T9, 5300GS, that will show them! ... Except all the random guys in Dalaran have full T9 and those who demanded gearscore now demand 5500 plus ICC achievement.

The flashy animation, the largely inflated itemlevels and on the huge, jumping up crit numbers are all created by Blizzard to cover the otherwise obvious truth from the eyes of the socials: they are not going anywhere. After hundreds of hours wasted and hundreds of dollars paid, they are still just mediocre players in a silly video game. While their fundamental failure is that they want "higher social standing" in a video game, their most obvious failure is that they don't get any. That's why they burn out.

What can you do against it: stop congratulating to and announcing of trivial achievements that can be (and usually is) gained by anyone bothered to log in:
  • leveling up
  • gaining an item
  • getting X HK
  • completing some holiday nonsense, catching 100 fish, completing HC Nexus
Save the congratulations and announcements to actions that displayed some skill like:
  • 2000 arena rating
  • hard mode raiding
  • completing content below level (not carried)
  • doing something hard your own way (melee hunter, naked warrior, blue raiding)


Saturas said...

Every level is a milestone in the long way to lvl80. Therefore I don't see anything bad when congratulating on other people's "ding". Furthermore it shows to guildies, how fast you are in leveling, when they are waiting for your new alt to be ready for lvl80 content.
Also, courtesy when saying "gz" doesn't make you any better player, nor less M&S.
Or maybe it works only in my guild, where the members know each other IRL.

Kaaterina said...

A couple of clarifications must be made.

1) While I personally don't like GS, (I would much rather use ElitistGroup), the problem is that using GS is akin to negative traits statistically positively linked to unrelated traits. (You treated this subject when you explained why 'kids' are often excluded from raiding guilds on basis of their comparison to the 'loud immature lolling punks' iirc.)

Basically, Gearscore imposes a standard of gear in order to buteforce content in PuGs. (The purpose of PuGs is not to 'progress' despite what the loud vocal minority of anti-GS lobbyists would have you believe, the purpose of PuGs is to go in and get loot, and occasionally, a missing achievement.)

Thus, from the perspective of the raidleader it makes perfect sense. High raidwide GS: higher bruteforcing chance (who cares if you don't move out of the fire, the 6k GS healer would heal your butt through Koralon's Flame, Gormok's Flame, Vesperon's void zone during S3D, AND Heigan's Dance at the same time), AND lower chance that the raidleader would get competition on loot he wants. (A very discrete form of proactive ninja-ing, without the drawbacks of social stigma associated with being a ninja.)

High GS does not equal good player (a mantra recited by the anti-GS QQers), but unfortunately for them, it is absolutely irrelevant. I'd rather have a M&S suck in epic gear (and do 2.5k DPS in T10 by the occasional facerolling), than have a M&S in green gear doing 800 DpS by the same facerolling.

And yes, of course, the anti-GS QQers will whine that if I don't want M&S in my raid group (sorry, undergeared people who have the slight defect that their busy RL schedule does not allow them to move out of the fire, nor do basic math, like, say, addition), I should only go with guild groups. Yeah. Sorry, I play the game the way I want it, and if you don't like it, make your own PuG raid.

2)I've never called ding! either it seems exccedingly stupid to me, and refused to thank anyone who did that to me in a group. (They called me antisocial, but I don't go into LFD to be social, I go there to tank. I socialize in my spare time while I idle in Ironforge- and I idle in Ironforge a lot)

Thing is, you're making a mistake by putting equivalency between social and moron. I'm moderately social and I realised that ding! every level is stupid.

3) I forgot what I was gonna say. Bah.

Kaaterina said...

Oh yeah.

3) melee hunter, naked warrior @ co. are only real achievements when the activity is done in a group that accepts and is aware of that player's intention.

I'm under no obligation to like melee hunters in my LFD dungeon, simply because When we sign up, we sign a contract that the tank will tank the mobs, the heal will heal the tank, and the DPS will put a reasonable amount of effort into killing them.

If I accept melee hunters, I might as well sign up in my black mageweave set and tank with a two-hander.

Brian Inman said...

I would congratulate you on your article, but it is a trivial feat since you are always posting articles.

I have hated DING since I left EQ. Do people really say ding still? That is so 1998.

I distinctly remember everyone saying Ding for every level in EQ, but it soon wore off its charm.

When I see anyone do it now I instantly think what an idiot. No one cares. I really mean it. No one cares.

Anonymous said...

I like seeing "partial progression" in what I do, so I display the level bar, track reputation I'm working on or partial achievement progress. I like nearing to a milestone, even if it's artificial.

Same in real life, why do teachers tell students to write small parts of their work every week instead of just telling them "do all this until the end of the year"? Dividing the job into smaller parts makes it smoother, and even with the "yearly" works you're usually asked in the meantime about progress made.

However I dislike the Pawlow-dog reaction of some guild members.
[someplayer] has come online.
5x "hi" in guild chat.
Achievement pops up.
5x gz in guild chat.
No one cares what is it, they just repeat a standard reaction.
I really like one guild where I have an alt, guild chat is usually silent, unless someone speaks about something. No stupid useless spam. If they even chit chat or joke or otherwise play "social" that's ok, but no one talks for the sake of "guild chat is empty, we have to fill it again".

And people who yell "ding!" in the guild chat for some level 43? How pathetic attention-starved kids they can be... Maybe they start yelling "I completed a quest!" "I killed a mob!" and expect an avalanche of GZs.

Flex said...

all created by Blizzard to cover the otherwise obvious truth from the eyes of the socials: they are not going anywhere.

So perhaps the best thing for the guild to do is congratulate them on the hardest achievement of all: not logging in again.

But of course to do that, the guild has to be online, and they don't really want to congratulate others for being better than them, do they?

Olga said...

About hardcore raiding - i think that here everyone has his own scale. As long as you achieved something in game you wasn't able to do before, you are progressing. Mastering your rotation, learning new tricks, killing new bosses.
Even if my guild is on stage that couldn't be considered hardcore - we are still on Putricide in 25, mainly due to insane lags and disconnects of the whole team as we are from one town - i feel like we are progressing. People are learning to squeeze a bit more dps, a bit more healing, switch targets a bit faster, so we are coming closer and closer to the kill.
There are the stage where this progress ends - guilds that go for world firsts are obviously on top of their game - but even being somewhere behind is interesting enough.

Kaaterina said...


If people are so anxious to see how fast you're leveling, then can SHIFTclick your name every hour, or stalk you in armory.

The burden of gathering info is on them, you're not obliged to spoonfeed them information.

I agree with partial milestones, but partial milestones are often worthy to a person's INTERAL wellbeing.

I don't go telling the internets about how I got an A on my partial exam in whateveriology, simply because no one cares. They might care if I get a doctorate in whateveriology (or reach level 80), but until then, partial milestones are only good for myself (and to evaluate how well I'm doing).

Riddla said...

To Anonymous:
You know, there are actually addons out there that announce in party chat how many pieces of shit someone just picked up for their quest or when they hands in said turds to the quest-giver. It seemed beyond ridiculous to me when I first saw someone with it and it always repulsed me when I saw the typical "ding! gz gz gz" spam in guild chat. As if killing a 100 boars is some sort of an achievement.

Speaking of which... Who cares you just /hugged a rabbit in Elwynn Forest or "explored" Nagrand to reveal its "hidden" areas. I totally agree with you, Gev, and wish they would get rid of all these useless achivements that have absolutley no meaning other than showing you posess enough brainpower to use a certain item on a certain creature, or run around the map. Nobody cares! Or at least they shouldnt...

I guess its all to give the M&S a false sense of accomplishment and boost their little egos with big achievement scores. The fact that all they have accomplished is running around old maps for hours and completed every single level 1-60 quest at level 80 for those points doesnt matter to them.

Zazkadin said...

People celebrate their birthdays and are congratulated for having one, evne if the achievement is another year without dieing. Being one year older doesn't give you any advantages relative to other people, who all age at the same rate. Yet still people do it.

It's a social, cultural thing. Just accept it. It doesn't make your more pro or hardcore by refusing to congratulate people on another milestone.

Gevlon said...

@zazkadin: I can't tell how much I hate birthdays. Not only people expect congratulations, they expect presents. Yes, they expect me to spend money to celebrate that another year passed without them being dead.

I never give them. And they call me mean for that.

I'm fully aware that it's a "social, cultural thing". And no. I will never accept it.

skeddar said...

On behalf of "gz-ing" in guildchat I just think its again some kind of ape subroutine. I don't mean apes typing congratulations literaly, but if you stay near someone who has achieved something, e.g. best hunter for food, you're less likely to starve (IRL). So basicaly you try to get on good terms with someone who is better than you and who would otherwise never notice you.

I rarely see a "gz" by someone who's lvl 80 since 2 weeks after WotLK-release. Just because they don't need it (usually).
It rather comes from some players in the mid 30s-50s, followed by a whisper for some gold or boosting.

And if an achievement pops up the first one to "gz" is the one who will be remembered by the (social) achiever if it comes down to helping someone. It also says "I know what you did and its grand!!!!!11!?!", so others might think the one who "gz"s first is the one with a deeper understanding. And thats because you usually see 5-8 times "gz". It does not matter anymore how meagre the achievement was, because theres not enough time to check it "and" be the first to "gz".

(I would write "sorry for my english", but I don't care)

Aloix said...

I agree with the dings and easy achievements being a bit .. silly to congratulate. I generally remain silent. I'll 'grats' milestone/meta achieves and such.
I feel the same way about my own. While I am admittedly an achievement collector, I really wish there was a way I could selectively choose which ones were spammed automatically in gchat.

Terra said...

I personally say grats out of a misguided sense of tradition. I don't get it in return, but I say it anyways.

If it's something actually impressive, I'll legitimately congratulate them. Not with an acronym, but with words.

dev said...

I'm sure you buy your girlfriend a present on her birthday, or you don't have a girlfriend anymore. Social or cultural that it might be, sometimes you can't ignore it even if you don't understand it. For me its just an extra reason to go out with friends and have fun. Oh and i only buy presents to the people that have bought for me or i know that they will for my birthday.

As for "Ding" every level, yeah it was annoying and i bashed people who did it. Its been a while since i saw anyone spam it in my guild at least. Don't be passive aggressive about it, tell them how moronic it is.

It had some meaning back when achievements didn't exist so you announced at your friends that you reached the max level (60 or 70), but now they know it from the achievement.

Sten Düring said...

Some social strangeness is easiest just adhered to.

If I visit a company one of the first things that happen is that someone believes that I want to hold an unknown persons hand. And yes, I DO shake hands.
It costs me a few seconds, and the alternative cost (for refusing to shake hands) is likely to be a lot higher.

I'm tanking pugs. By being "polite" I increase the size of the pool of people I can raid with. By doing so I increase the number of known non-morons I eventually raid with.
End-result: I spend less time and repair-money in the instance, even if I include the time spent being polite.
As long as sales-costs result in a higher overall percentual net-gain then those costs are a sound investment.

Chris said...

I think that "congratulations" is appropriate for a few grind achievements... specifically, level 80 ("Congratulations on not having to grind levels anymore") and on skilling a profession to Grand Master ("Congratulations on starting your business").

Neither of these mean to imply "congratulations on your accomplishment."

Also, for birthdays, if you really like someone, why not gift their parents...

Anonymous said...

I think that the quoted author is using the term 'mastery' not necessarily as a descriptor of player skill but as a way of describing growing power. What was difficult at 30 becomes easy at 40. What happened in between can be called 'growing mastery'.

Inquisitor said...

I've been playing a priest alt, recently - running a lot of LFD (why? because I want to learn the real-life skills associated with healing, and I figure good groups are insane xp/hour, and bad groups will give me a lot of practice).

Now, due to some optimisation in my Pitbull setup, I can't actually see my XP bar. For a week, I couldn't work out how to fix that without swapping unitframe mod, but I've now worked out how to turn it back on.

Thing is, I'm quite enjoying playing without it. I'm not in any hurry to the level cap, this time (although guildies have expressed shock at my rapid progression) - I'm actually doing what I want to be doing right now, rather than simply making progress towards somewhere I feel I want to be.

In a related note, I'm also not running my main through heroics for two EoFs a day. In fact, pretty much all I'm doing with him right now is tanking (and leading) the progression attempts as our guild works through ICC.

I feel like I should be making analogies with Eastern spiritualism, but I don't want to, so I'll cobble something together: The journey is the destination. Be doing what you want to do, or at least know clearly how what you are doing will get you there - don't just chase 'winning'.

(On a purely practical note, levelling with no XP bar means I sometimes end up travelling inefficiently, and don't train everything ASAP. There are maybe 4 levels in the game where training gets me something so awesome I'll drop everything to go grab it no matter what - and the rest... *shrug*, it can wait.)

Anonymous said...

Im in the blue raiding guild on EU, and one of the things I like about it is not having to take part in meaningless social rituals like saying ding when i level up, and and saying GZ in guild chat every time someone gets an achievement like explore Moonglade.
I never saw it as someone thinking that exploring moonglade was a feat that deserved a response, and gaining lvl37 isn't something anyone considers a great achievement either, the whole thing just seemed like an empty social ritual with the intention to show you are "nice" and to create the illusion of bonding with guildmember.
Someone gains an insignificant achievement and others pretend to care. The whole thing just seems so fake.
And when i read this post it seems like you are desperatly trying to find meaning where there is none, it's not about a partial completement of the long journey to max level, it's a social ritual made up entierly of empy gestures, and nothing more.
The purpose of theese social rituals is to create an illusion of bonding and belonging, and create a sense of social connections between guildmembers. However no one will not get a real social connection to anyone in their guild by saying GZ anymore than a catholic is realy cannibalizing Jesus when the priest gives him crackers and wine.

wickEdgirl said...

The main difference is always in the existence or lack of aim. Your examples are aim-based (measuring the current activity): I level so I can open up new areas of the game (raiding, pvping). I get gear cause that allows me to beat hard modes. M&S do have *some* aim(s) but they are not the whole context of playing for them.

The "problem" most of the population faces is that there is no actual in-game means to measure soloing skill. This affects M&S most, so they get the "dings pretending to be skill" congratulations *from* the game, in the forms of the golden lights, trumpet sounds and verbal messages when you level up in experience or professions.

But since this is not enough, people look for validation of invested time from their social circles as well.

The next step was posting screenshots, and now is posting fraps of achievements on youtube, for example: some are ingenious (ab)use of mechanics, some are guides, some are pure boasting - even this is done by those that are more skilled or are just trying harder.

But the truth remains that for soloing content there is no "official" measure of skill, and I cannot think of one single solo-based achievement in the game's system that measures skill instead of persistence/time invested or gold invested. This makes M&S very uncomfortable, and hence the whole congratulatory "business" made up by them.

[[Of course, this is a game that heavily favors grouping, from 2 to 25/40 people, and group achievements are much more radical and obvious in their ability to "reward" excellence and separate less-skilled from the more-skilled groups.]]

I am also sure that lack of real life achievements is making in-game ones that much more important - and if this or any other game did not exist, something else would take its place, like it was before, collecting stamps or Hello Kitty pencils (examples of what my elementary school class mates did).

But Gevlon, I feel you need to allow that even what you cite as real achievements in this game is also very subjective (even if I myself and probably most of the community would agree with you), and that the line of "real" and "fake" skill is always arbitrary in a virtual world that offers no degrees of monetary compensation for what you know, except in a very very narrow population of professional gamers.

And there it is: since it is a hobby and not a job, the majority of people will use and misuse their freedom to make up their own rules about what is worth and what isnt. And, after all is said and done, freedom in any shape has gotta be respected, even if none of us posting here do not take part in it :)

Cirian said...

Different people play the game for different reasons. As an MMORPG WOW has a large amount of potential facets that any one player does not need to be interested in all of them to have a reason to play the game.

For some people the enjoyment from the game comes from an absolute sense of advancement of your character. These people usually are not altaholics, dont really care whether you did something that was much more difficult than the next person (unless it confers appropriately superior rewards ala hard modes), and dont really persue achievements.

Their interest is not so much in increasing their relative strength since, as you brought up, this tends to remain mostly stable due to progressing content to accompany progressing levels, but rather merely an absolute sense.

Since level 43 has 130 more hps and 47 more attack power or whatever than level 42 did, it was part of their goal, and therefore no matter how trivial, it was actually an accomplishment.

That said, even for someone like this, gaining one level should be a minor enough gain that there is no reason to seek commendations from your guild for it. It seems to me that some people unconciously put a lower value on their time and what they might be able to accomplish and as such tend to over inflate minor successes for fear or not being able to attain more significant successes.

Alternatively, announcing your dings can possibly be an other way for someone in some way to assert themselves as superior to other people, but that generally requires some extraneous reasons. It is not the fact that they gained the level that is significant, but possibly how FAST they gained that level, or in what way they gained it. I am not generally inclined to be impressed merely by someone reaching level 80, but the player who managed to hit level 80 without gaining a single achievement outside of the achievements for each 10 set of levels has definately accomplished something that required a LOT of effort and planning.

Anonymous said...

Congratulate on achievements only. Anything else (Ding!) is just stroking of the epeen.

Anonymous said...

autogratz is a great addon for the useless achievements. My guild is social and they have gotten to the point that no one says grats for stupid achieves because my addon has made that "seem worthless". Says grats when people say ding as well. Really killed the spirit that i have started turning it off and still no one says grats.

I do still say something for the big achievements though as you stated.

Ratshag said...

Gevlon, on Dec 16:
"Granted, on lvl 20, our damage increase was huge compared to 19, without serious gear changes. "

Gevlon, on Feb 10:
"The problem is not simply ... well this is all nonsense, as you gain absolutely no power just some pixel number increased."

So.... which is it? Power goes up, or not?

Honestly, are there guilds where people routinely call out "ding" every single level these days? Perhaps some exist, but I've never seen it, despite playing in multiple social guilds filled with altaholics. Between Blizz accelerating leveling, and easy access to heirlooms, you would think I would be buried alive in the "dings". Yet I can't remember the last time I ever saw one. I suspect they exist more in the minds and selective memories of those who dislike others than in reality.

Anonymous said...

One thing I've noticed while levelling a tank and a healer and using the LFD tool a lot, is people congratulating hunter pets on gaining a level. Twice I've seen this happen, both times in quiet groups where hardly any other words have been said apart from gz on level ups. The first time, I just thought someone heard the level up sound and said grats automatically, but the second time they even said 'gz to your pet'.

Talderas said...


You point about passive ninjaing. It's so true. I did a PUG ICC25 Monday night. There was a good DK tank in there. I pointed out that my guild does occasionally run ICC25 PUGs and that when we do, we always bring myself as a prot paladin and our ICC10 DK tank. Then we get a druid PUG for our third tank.

That is passive ninjaing. We stack our raid specifically to favor tanking items to our guild (partially because we have shit for luck on tank drops).

Secondly, when I organize ICC25s, I try to minimize the number of Paladins/Priests/Warlocks in the raid to around 5-6, and stack those with guild members as much as possible. The reasons for this are two-fold.

First, it increases my chance of getting tokens to upgrade my T10 to T10.2. Secondly, it increase the odds that those tokens go to the guild.

Kristine Ask said...

If the game grants the player emotions that makes the player enjoy the game (in this case mastery), it is successful (as that is the goal of most games, other creating revenue for it's investors ofcourse).

That you wish to connect mastery with a different set of actions (such as blue raiding) held up to a different set of ideals, is how YOU give meaning to the game. It does not invalidate other players experience of mastery when they ding, get an achievement or equip that green Mace of the Whale.

It doesn't make increased mastery a lie, nor meaningless or non-existant. If you wish to refrain from applauding it, it's another matter entirely.

Following this theory; Your blue raiding guild is another way of achieving that kind of control, experience of overcoming an obstacle, enjoyment of learning and sense of (yup you know it) Mastery.
That it is somehow an achievement of greater value to complete these feats in blue gear is a SOCIAL construction, largely perpetuated by yourself.

sam said...

One word. PAVLOV.

Its why they have 10 million players. Conditional stimulus is a powerful thing.

Gx1080 said...

A guy in my guild already automated the gratz for archievements. I don't blame him.

About GS, my guild uses WoW-heroes because it also evaluates correct gear, gems, spec and enchants.

Also, there's the fact that some fights just cannot be face-rolled because either a)Have one-shot gimmicks (was PuGing for a week until I killed Malygos for the weekly) or b)There isn't the gear level for it (this weekly is Marrowgar).

Wiggin said...

Great points brought up here Gevlon. I've thought about it myself, the idea of "progress" in a RPG such as wow is more of an illusion. This illusion is literally created by an inflation of numbers. Many (or I'd say most) either don't realize this, or just don't care.

We could be playing a game with a max lvl of 10, with a max damage output of 100 damage per attack, on bosses with only 10,000 hp. Instead players have nerdgasms as their 40,000 hp toons take on bosses with 2 million hp, and deal 5000 damage to that boss. It call becomes relative, but gives the player a "sense" of progress.

This is true of many RPGs. The context of which is enforced by allowing players to feel "powerful." Similar to my comment on Tobold's rewards vs gameplay, players need to be confined in a world of overpoweredness in some areas and underpoweredness in others.

This not only helps guide the players, but provides a sense of where they are in relation to the game itself. Areas that make players feel powerful show those players how far they have come, while areas that they are not ready for remind them how much farther they have to go. This works for both leveling and end-game.

With core designs around this philosphy, it doesn't matter if you form a raid to take on a squirrel or a dragon, so long as the game is balanced around the encounter. This constant progression of balance is core to rewards based RPGs such as wow, and others long before.

What's my main Again? said...

"I was obviously wrong here. The first warning was the "ding" spam in the chat of leveling guilds. People wrote "ding" and others congratulated."

Keyword in this paragraph is LEVELING GUILD. If you are in a leveling guild is not the sole purpose to level? Therefore when you do hit a new level does this not equate to a sense of accomplishement?

In any serious raiding guild I doubt you will see a lot of this kinda of activity... but that is because the focus of the guild is different.

"doing something hard your own way (melee hunter, naked warrior, blue raiding)"

Isn't this just purely for epeen stroking? How is this different then yelling Ding out in guild? You accomplished something just as meaningless as dinging 31 when you look at the big picture.

When I'm leveling I look foward to certain levels because of the abilities you gain. Each new ability gained is something to master so that when you hit 80 and have all of your abilities that you aren't a facerolling 800 dps moron.

Tyra said...

Are you talking about average guilds, or the "LFM, social, fun guild pst plz" guild?

I consider my guild average, and it tends to be pretty social by your standards. But we don't say grats for 100 fish achieve, unless it's sarcasm. We do say grats if someone gets gladiator, or downs a new boss. Then again, my guild isn't the type to say 'ding' every level, although most will at 80.

It feels like you missed a teir of the social-->average--> goblin scale. I don't see grats spam for random crap like 100fish, unless it's a dregs of the server bad type of guild, but perhaps my luck is off.

Epiny said...

I think this is one of those things we took from EQ and just applied to WoW. In EQ it was a huge achievement just to get a level, considering it sometimes took weeks or months to gain 1 level. It deserved recognition.

WoW is easy and fast by comparision. You can make 1-2 levels a night at almost any point in the game. Saying Ding! is moronic now.

Frgrbrgr said...

By the same logic, birthday parties are largely useless, and people should only be congratulated when they are made the CEO of a company, rather than simply being hired. When I congratulate somebody for a level, it's generally not for anything that is important to me, but rather important to them. People who bother to alert their guild that they have leveled show that they have interest in their own meaningless progression, which I find remarkably similar to everybody's own travel through life. But I still show up to their birthday parties with a card and some wrapped DVD.

Quoted for truth: "After hundreds of hours wasted and hundreds of dollars paid, they are still just mediocre..."

Bristal said...

"Gratsing" new players to a guild who are leveling is one of the few ways to make them feel like part of the guild. When I joined my first guild, I loved it. Seeing all those names pop up was cool. I couldn't wait to get to max level to join them. It also let me know who was available for help if I needed it.

Gratsing leveling alts is dumb, and if they are g-chatting "ding" they are just bored. Gratsing stupid seasonal achieves is also stuid and I ignore it.

But dude, do you say "bless you" or the equivalent when someone sneezes? Also pointless, but it's polite. Gratsing is also just polite.

Jujee said...

It's the ADHD children, they need constant reinformcent. Positive or negative.

Quite often, I don't notice when my characters level.

At level 80, there is reason to rejoice. At 34...nay.

Anonymous said...

This is really only an issue for unsocial Luddites. The socials enjoy saying ding and intelligent or at least tech savy anti-socials (e.g. me) have an addon to congratulate dings and joining guilds. Why do I care who my addon congratulates?

There is the project management aspect of leveling. There is a lot to criticize about the WoW philosophy of "only thing that matters is maxlevel," but that is the way it is. You have 26,106,500 XP to get to level 80. I like my addon that tells me how many more kills I need for this level. Based upon the South Park episode, I think of this as PTL - Pigs to Level.

Look at it from a guild management perspective: congratulating for a ding is good for the guild, most of the things you want to congratulate for are *bad* for the guild. If all that matters is 80 content, then positive reinforcement to get more people to 80 is in the guilds best interest.
But look at your things: arena 2000 - almost all guilds I know about are focused on PvE, encouraging a member to spend time on arena is bad for the guild. Doing hard, above level content, is, unfortunately, with the current design probably going to be slower to get to 80; and thus less optimal for the guild. Similarly, congratulating on raiding in blues may be a noble, eBushido thing, but it is suboptimal for the guild. How is raiding in blues different than raiding in ungemmed, unenchanted purples? Both are just inefficient.

Anonymous said...

I agree, one is not going anywhere.

I remember my first toon in Auberdine, shooting bears.

Then I as soon in Ashenvale, shooting deer and wolves.

The spacing was the same.
Each zone had the same mob spacing until they began to group in threes.

And it's the same game at each level. The scenery is different, thank goodness.

Michael said...

I saw a guild almost split over Ding! getting announced in guild chat. Its wasn't that exact event but some things that were said and misunderstood afterwards. English phrases are interpreted differently in different countries.

Anyway. Really its the same as having your real world "net wealth" past some round figure e.g. $100K or $1M. It's really just a sign of time and effort spent. IF you are more skilled or exploit you can get it faster, but mostly its a matter of time/effort.

Real world inflation acts like level cap increases to diminish the previous achievements. As they say $1M isn't what it used to be. Level 60 isn't what it used to be.

Bindu said...

First of all - i guess I'm something like a european social. That being said, my opionions (and mediocre english skills) can be seen from the right ankle.

For me WoW is a game of objectives / targets. These can be varying in extent. When I log in, I do have a plan for the day. When there is nothing to be achieved, I have no motivation to play. I know there are a certain amount of people idling around in Dalaran or something but i have better things to do with my time. Anyways, objectives can be "get mats and craft this or that" or "level shaman to 40". Of course this is no "great" achievement or something, but when the task is finished i am pleased with myself, because a goal is achieved, whatever its extend.

In its self this would of course be enough, yet seeing that in concerns of employee motivation, one of the cheapest ways to rise productivity is making people feel good with what they are doing, congratulating makes sense.

You achieved what you wanted to do and let us know by writing *DING* in Guild chat? Well, Good Job!

There. A few seconds of writing something inconsequential made a guild mate feel good. I also use "guildgreet" Addon to have a better overview who's login in and say hello. Little effort to make people feel noticed, feel important, feel good. But a lot of "feel goods" make people think not only do you appreciate their efforts - how ever small they may be - but it also lets them feel you care for them in a certain way, thus making them more inclined to grant you favors, but it also gives them motivation to achieve things, to play and to play with you.

Of course, as some kind of social, I don't do this to get favors, but because i care for my guild mates. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, barring the usual argument regarding GS... pretty much.

In my (raiding) guild, pretty much everyone has an auto 'grats' for people who reach an achievement. For the achievements that actually mean something, there's an actual real response, like, "oh wow, nice!" or something of the kind. As far as the leveling thing is concerned, we mostly rag on one another for having ANY alts that are lower than 80. "What, only 50? How long have you had that toon, and you're not 80 yet?" But then again, we have a lot of pressure to have multiple ICC-geared alts, for alt runs and to fill in roles if needed.

Anonymous said...

I think sometimes you read to much into stuff... your making saying ding and being happy you leveled up a bad thing. I'm not saying its a huge accomplishment but your definitely one level closer to 80. One level closer to actually beginning to play the game. The game is designed around end-game raiding and PvP. Can't do that at level 42...but your 1 level closer to 80 so you can actually start doing something useful and getting gear that isn't swapped a every other day for something more useful.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. However I think either u are making an unwarranted assumption, or you are completely overlooking one possible aspect of the concept of improvement.

Many a parent faces the problem of their child coming home with problems at school. Whether it's bullying or lack of interest, or excessive shyness; a pretty famous line is :
the most important type of respect is self-respect.

Wow is no different. Yes we all feel the need to progress and improve, but since when does that neccessarily mean improve in comparison to others. As we lvl up, we learn new skills. Yes we might take just as long and use up just as much mana to kill higher lvl mobs. But the fact is... We are killing them, whereas before we were unable to. With 2k gs we couldn't do a heroic pos... But now at 4300k, maybe we can't go 25icc hard mode, but we can tank that H pos.

As for announcing dings in guild... It does not neccessarily have to be about attn. How many people in RL exclAim in happiness outloud when they accomplish something. Many people out loud say "yes!!!" or "fuck yeah" even when alone. A vocal stimulus is not 100% in need of a response and it is highly egotistical of you to think that every vocal stimulus is in some way directed at you and is an attempt to elicit from you a response. Why do you think your responses are so valued? When a tennis player yells "yes" after an ace... He is not doing it to hear the crowd cheer for him. He would probably do it every time no matter the circumstance.

Back to the topic of progress. If you are constantly comparing yourself and judging your progress based on others opinions of you, chances are you will not be a very happy relaxed person. Granted, no man is an island and progress is viewed in the context of the surroundings, however that is by no means the only way to judge progress, just as there is more than just one type of progress.