Greedy Goblin

Friday, February 12, 2010

Is 2000 rating a lot?

I got a comment to the ding post where I wrote 2000 arena rating deserves a congratulation. The comment was not published since it was full of insults and "lol", but the basic idea worth reflecting, because it's one of the biggest anti-goblin mistakes. The commenter (who claimed to be gladiator) wrote that 2000 is nothing, it's just as easy as the lvl 43 ding.

If he is a gladiator, or anything near that, I believe it's easy for him. I assume if he'd start a new class, he'd pass 2000 in two weeks after 80. So is it easy? Once upon a time (but in 3.0, when it was the endgame), Larísa "celebrated" her twilight vanquisher title: "I guess it’s a sign that WoW seriously is casual friendly, when an old lady like me, without any previous gaming experience, in two years time can progress through the game and ending up doing the most advanced things. Some players don’t like this development. They wish that people like me were kept out." On the other hand I met several players whose abilities makes it a huge achievement that they found the way out of the Valley of Trials.

So what is easy? What is an achievement? Is there an absolute measure?

Yes there is: your position in the ranking of all people participating. When Larísa did Sarth+3, only 7% of the playerbase did that. So she was in top 7%. It is very good.

Jason lives in the USA and his household gets 80K year (in 2005 dollars). Is that good? Well, his boss makes much more. And his neighbor has bigger car. But his aunt Marlene cannot pay her rent and wants his help. And lot of people lost their home in the crisis. Is he rich or poor? According to Census Bureau, in 2005 he would be above 75% of the American households. So he is doing pretty good.

Both could do better. Larísa could get the title faster and Jason could be in the top 10%. With more effort they could get that. But they are already high enough and further climbing is not necessary. Possible, maybe even desired, but not needed to be considered successful. It's not like they must try harder.

So yes, Larísa is a good raider and Jason is a rich man. Not the best, but deserves congratulation. Many successful businessmen die in heart attack in desperate attempts to gain more. They compare themselves to the fellow businessmen, or even to the "I could be if I didn't mess up X deal" ideal. So they work 12 hours and die. Don't be that guy! Compare yourself to the whole basis.

Of course I did not say that Jason must stop trying to be even more successful, I'm just saying he deserves a pat on his own shoulder and a much more laid back approach. He is already on top. He can keep climbing if it's fun for him, but he doesn't need to grind more. He is good enough.

There are two big counter-arguments on this topic. One is that "everyone must be measured to himself or his abilities". That's crap because of two things: at first, one can easily act being dumber than he is: "im 12 yers old lol look i found if i press aracne shot i see yellu numbers lol they bigger than white ones lol i own XDDD". Do you think he deserves a raidspot just because that's all he can do? Even more goblinish: what if it's really all he can do? Aren't we better off without him?

The other argument is the punk (not meant offensively, I mean Woodstock-like). "Why should I compare myself to anyone? I don't have to be measured at all, I'm a person and that's enough" Because you need food, clothes and a warm room to survive. You get these from other people. You must give something to them in return. If you fall behind, one day they might ask themselves: "why do we carry this punk?" (here meant offensively). You don't have to be #1, not even in top 10%. But you should really not be in the bottom.


Anonymous said...

why do you have to compare yourself to anyone at all? It sounds so of you.

I much prefer Larisa's view on achievement: setting your own goal and reaching or exceeding it. What does it matter if someone else did it faster or wasn't able to do it at all? Does it change the fact that you set a goal and reached it in any way?

Terah said...


Not just people like Jason should do that, but also those that earn enough to make a living but see that more expensive car at the neighbour and want to have that too...

It's horrible to see them and they try to compare your life and do everything to reach the same, except make it truly possible. (as in earn more to get there, they just loan to get there)

Anonymous said...

I believe that any achivement that can't be earned through a grind (or the achivement being so mind numbing that the grind itself is why you got it, such as the title "the insane" would be a notable achivement and worth a congrats, this would include things such as sarth 3d (@patch level gear) or 2k rating, because without atleast some ammount of skill, you can't obtain these achivment. Thats my oppinion atleast

Troutmonkey said...

Even if that guy is a gladiator he is being a dick by saying 2000 is easy to get to. Im sure for someone who has reached that level of skill before, it is easy to get back to that point whenever a new season releases, but for the rest of us poor slobs, reaching 2k rating involves beating a LOT of other teams that we aren't actually better than, and don't have better gear than or better strategy or even better team make-up.

In my opinion PVE content is easier to learn that PVP, simply because the best PVE players are willing to share their wisdom. If PVP players released their tricks to the internet, they wouldn't work anymore, PVE obviously doesn't have that problem, Marrowgar cant google search the strategies to beat him and adjust his fight to compensate.

Conclusion: I think 2k rating is a lot. I'm admittedly not a good or skilled arena player, but I do understand how statistics and rankings work, and you have to be better than a lot of other players to make 2k. (and for all of you that are 2k+ arena players, good for you, i wish i knew your skills.)

MetaManu said...

there's a way out the valley of trials?

Anonymous said...


"In my opinion PVE content is easier to learn that PVP, simply because the best PVE players are willing to share their wisdom. If PVP players released their tricks to the internet, they wouldn't work anymore, PVE obviously doesn't have that problem, Marrowgar cant google search the strategies to beat him and adjust his fight to compensate."

You are correct on one thing; PvE content is easier than PvP content for one simple reason, but that reason is not the one you mentioned. The real reason is that in PvE you fight against scripted events. There is hardly any variation between the same boss fights. In PvP this is obviously different. On the tactical level, different fights between X and Y comps might seem the same, but an individual has to constantly make decisions that are not so obvious and that can be gamebreaking if he makes a bad one.

I'd also point out to Gevlon that once you reach a certain level in PvP, improving doesn't take more time anymore. At that point, you can only improve your rating by playing better.

Xaxziminrax the Second said...

Haven't you already said, 'the only opinions that matter are those that affect you?' Obviously the game thinks 2k is a lot, since it means you get to use an extra piece of gear over the people with 1999 rating. But since you patting me on the back gives me no more resilience than I had before, what you think is a lot doesn't matter.

Come to think of it, what I think of myself doesn't matter either, since facts will always speak for themselves, and if I think 1999 rating is 'good enough' for me, I still don't get the extra stats that having 2k will grant.

Isn't 'compare yourself to others' (including past versions of yourself) the least goblinish thinking there is? The 'good enough' idea states that you should compare yourself to a rigid, mathematical formula (= 2k for patchwerk dps). Is there any point in patting yourself on the back if you're not 'good enough?'

10 1500 dps players won't down patchwerk, so should they pat themselves on the back when they start consistently doing 1600 dps? 1700 dps?

The only possible conclusion I can come to is that 'good enough' is entirely goal dependent (as previously stated by Gevlon) and nowhere have I seen any set margins for what someone's goals can or cannot be. "Leech welfare for the rest of your life" could be a goal, and in that case 'good enough' and many pats on the back should be earned with little time or effort involvement (since getting fired once a week is not difficult by majority standards).

C'mon, Greedy-Green, give us some new information: Tell us what our goals should and should not be.

Bernard said...

Benchmarking only works if you consider value a result of your relative position with respect to everyone else.
It's a very social idea, really.

Imagine a version of WoW where death is permanent. None of the players would have died on their way to level cap (or if they had, they started again /quit).

Does the 100% of player base not dying make this less of an achievement?

Prick said...

Gevlon was talking about an absolute measure for achievements. The only way to measure if something is worth calling an achievement is measuring the difficulty. One of the easiest way to do this, is to measure how many people managed to complete it.
Of course, this is not always easy as you need to be sure only to take the people in account who attempted it.
For that reason, I can't agree with Gevlon's reasoning why Twilight Vanquisher is an achievement, as he compared someone who completed it with the entire playerbase, many of which never attempted it. (It can still be an achievement, but his reasoning was flawed. I personally lack the information to make a proper judgement.) On the other hand, 2000 arena rating is an achievement as you'll be compared only to the other players, and you'll need a reasonable amount of skill to earn it. Could you do better? Sure, and it'll be even more of an achievement. But as long as you can show you're much better than most people who attempted it, you've accomplished something.

Zazkadin said...

I fail to see the point of your post today. You're trying to define criteria to tell when someone is "good enough"? That's an impossibility, because it is always subjective.

And when you set relative criteria (i.e. someone must be in the top so-many percent to be "good") it is an inadequate way to measure someone's accomplishments. Because if everyone started to work longer days to earn more, we would all get heart attacks and still not improve our relative richness. And if we all practiced our pvp skills, we still would not reach 2000 rating, because the boy next door has increased his skills too.

It has been researched that silver medal winners at the Olympics are least satisfied with their performance, because they feel that have failed at winning, whereas the bronze medallists generally are happy to have won a medal at all.

Therefore true happiness through achievements can only be gotten when:
A) you're the absolute best (gold medal winner), because then you know that both in the relative and absolute sense, no one is better than you
B) you measure yourself to an absolute standard without comparing yourself to achievements from others (e.g. I am happy to have killed Ragnaros and I don't care how many millions have done it too).

And lastly, comparing yourself to others is something only a social person would do. It is an ape-subroutine to determine who is the alpha male. You seem to show your social side more and more lately.

Anonymous said...

Ok, wall of text incomming:

I think that the reason galdiators/pvp heroes more often bash people is that they are a diffrent type of peopl than the pve players. PvP players are more competition focused and to some degree more goblinish, while the pve players are team players and often more of the social kind. That beeing said there are also pve players that enjoy competition. There is a reason recount is that much loved.

Personaly i enjoy both parts of the game aswell as ah playing for the competative reason. Also i think alot of the arena players got something to proove for themself that they are skilled and pro and that with 3k rating people look up to them even though they are complete dickheads to everyone.

One example is flyn, the mage, google the dueling vids with him. He bet 5k that no one could beat him in a duel and then chickend out when he lost.

Well i guess its like every activity, someone is good at it and thats why they like it, someone is good at getting to the gold cap, some "pwn" no damage meters while other like to PvP. I bet you can find dickheads in all categorys.

By the way, sorry for any grammar errors, english as second language.

Larísa said...

Wow, thank you for the link love! This was indeed one of my happiest, proudest moments as a WoW player last year. However I'm not sure that it mattered THAT much that only 7 percent of the player base had done it. For me it was more about beating the encounter as such. We had spent so many nights wiping there, I was so motivated and focused on getting it right, so pumped up before the raid when we did it that I wrote an entire post about that, how I prepared mentally. And then it payed off, it just clicked for everyone at once. It was so sweet. Regardless of how many people had done it or not done it, it was difficult to me, difficult to us as a guild, and we didn't just give up, we pulled ourselves together and proceeded and proved to ourselves that we're not pussies who give up as soon as it gets a bit tougher.
It's all about attitude and mindset and about doing the best you can out of the material you have available. The guy with a 2k ranking might be a real hero or a lazy slacker. It depends on from where he's coming.

Jeanie said...

@Very first Anonymous: Not long ago, I still believed that whether a person is good or not should be judge not by comparison with others, but by what he can do. Sadly, it turns out that the idea is wrong.

Thousand years ago, you don't have to know that "1+1=2" to be good. Hundred year ago, you would be pretty illiterate if you don't. Now, a high school student have to study algrebra and calculus fomular that mathematicans used to spend days and nights working on (I'm not claming that high school students is more intelligent than the old mathematicans, it's just a progress in mankind's knowledge). Hundred year from now, if everyone get to understand all the complex aspects of Theoretical physics and you don't, you're a moron.

However, the real question would be "how much is enough" ? Is it being in the top 20% ? 10% ? 50% Or does it even have any relation at all with the ranking ? What if in the next thousand years, the humankind with the help of automated bot can produce enough goods that everyone technically never have to care about their living basis ? If you're literally at the bottom of the society and still have everything you need, will it be reasonable to try or to not try to climb up in the society ?(Yes, there are others that have bigger spaceship for space travelling than yours, but why would you care ?!)

The whole "this is enough" stuff is even trickier when you get field like science, you just can't tell scientists that "you've discovered enough, now go and rest" ...

That said, I think that we should not treat the result, be it an achievement or not, as the reward or the purpose, but rather the tool to continue the journey. It's the fun of tackling the challenge/going on the journey that is the reward.

Zeran said...

Here's the question though, how do you determine what's "a lot" for someone? I know for me grinding up 3 levels through questing and queueing in an afternoon/evening is nothing at all, but for my friend who suffers from cerebral palsy getting another level on her mage is a huge accomplishment. Does this mean that she shouldn't be cheered on because the feat is easily accomplished by people with working connections to their muscles, or that she should be congratulated because she's doing something most people in her situation could not?

This seems like your saying if your in the top 49% good job(and the % you choose isn't important), but you're not saying what X is in, "% of X." Do we only compare Jason to Americans, white collar Americans, white collar Americans in his field, white collar Americans in his field with his level of training/education, or do we zoom out and compare him to everyone(seems unreasonable to compare him to a malaria stricken aids infested starving African baby, or to even include her in the calculations).

Tanelor said...

Ooh - one of your best posts for a while, I think.

Pretty much the biggest failing of the M&S social structure we live in is that everyone strains for more more more and is constantly unhappy with where they are.

Beyond the point of being clothed, fed and sheltered, the trick to happiness of course is contentment with what you have. That's not to imply a boring existence: part of what you have may be an opportunity to progress towards mastery of some sort, but be content to be on the road, not upset because you haven't arrived.

Gevlon said...

Two paragraphs added to respond to the most common comments.

Terra said...

Get Glad or go home, IMO.

Also, somebody has to be last on the DPS meters. If it isn't the alcoholic moonkin, something has gone horribly wrong.

Anonymous said...

There's a strata of people in USA (and I'm sure they exist in other countries too) according to the standards set by the government, they live way bellow poverty level. Their cash influx is very small, and yet. They have roof over their heads, good food on their table, they do what they love to do for a living and they have plenty of time left over to do what's fun for them.

No, they are not welfare leeches.

Some of them are those self sufficient folks, making most of what they need, trading with their neighbors for what they don't. Some of them are full time Recreational Vehicle residents, traveling around the country, picking up odd jobs when they need extra cash, but otherwise, enjoying their life on the road.

By your very rigid judgment, they are no successful. But in their minds they are. They have achieved the goals they set for themselves and they are living the life that makes them happy.

The idea that you simply MUST judge and label people is a very social one. You are not setting goals to prove to yourself that you can do it. You are setting goals to prove to others that you can do it and therefore better then them. You are wasting your time caring what other people think about you. Why?

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of things that seem easy but really are not.

I was a photographer for the Canada Winter Games and was assigned to the gymnastics. These 14-years old girls made the balance beam look so easy, jumping and spinning on it without falling. But then they spent most of their lives practicing it.

Same thing for Ensidia and Paragon. They ICC-25 bosses look easy but are these bosses that easy?

I would guess that easy applies to something most people can do. I would even venture saying that since most people haven't killed the Lich King yet that he isn't easy.

Winter Seale said...

Heck, getting to 1600 would be an accomplishment for me, since I'm terrible at PvP (and I wouldn't inflict myself on someone who was good at it, so my teammates would be just as bad =D).

I'll tell you what I think the real value of "ding"s and "achievements" being reported to your guild is. It's not that the specific ding is an accomplishment worthy of praise, rather, it connects the guild together. You get a sense that the other members are playing and what they're up to. It helps build a sense of community and shared effort. When you're leveling in WoW it's a remarkably solo experience given that it's an MMO. Those little reminders that you're not alone out there are one way of bringing back that sense that you're in a larger group.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...


How did you ascertain that 7% (at that time) of people had achieved "Twilight Vanquisher"?

I can't find meaningful stats anywhere. Now, I realize that if one was to scan every character in the Armory it would be possible to compile that data.

I can find several sites that do Armory data mining, but not on raid related achievements.

Anonymous said...

Pvp is somewhat scripted. If you play a comp long enough with the same teeam you know what other comps will do. You know rogues will kidney every cooldown and priests will fear every cooldown etc. I know if a priest can fear and he runs to me exqactly what is about to happen. Pvp becomes scripted to some degree. I played ret/druid in s6 to 2400 and we knew some teams were not beatable and exactly how each fight would go. Were we wrong sometimes? Yes but even "scripted" pve can give you random difficulty. For instance on sarth 3d if the firewalls all went to the same side it was easier. If they swapped its harder.

Some fights like patchwerk don't have random things to change difficulty but don't make the mistake of saying pvp is not predictable.

I would say the big difference between pvp and pve is your opponents learn how to exploit weakness or error ( or vice versa). So one mistake can lead to a loss. In pve one person can die or misclick and the mobs aren't gonna be like: oh crap he blew pain suppression, whelps get the priest.

Djavulkai said...

Excellent post. Thank you.

Explaining the difference between being happy and grinding for more is really the core meat of this post.

Buthaleirus said...

To put 2k into perspective, Tom "Kalgan" Chilton has stated that a little less than 1% play at the 2k level. According to Tom, the average rating is about 1400-1500.


Sin said...

I think that gladiator title is the hardest achievement in the game by far. Odds are the person heckling your post was a gladiator because that's how they look at you when you consider 2000 rating worthy of tremendous praise.

In all honesty being good at pvp means you are a gladiator. Everything else just means you dabble in pvp and are not a master at it.

Brian said...

A very interesting post, but while I agree with what Gevlon is saying, I think he's missing the actual motivation of most people who say things like "lol, 2000 rating is so easy".

Basically, it's a social "trick" to make people think the person speaking/posting is so incredibly awesome at the game that achievements that most people don't have are easy as pie to the speaker. The key is that they almost always exaggerate how easy such things are, and very rarely offer details as to just how "easy" they found it.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, up to 2300 there can be complete idiots.

The stupidity of some of the teams we farm on alts is surprisingly high. They do not use any ability in the right way/time. They do not know when to hide/where to hide and why to hide. They do not have knowledge about the other classes and how to counter them. They do not know what DR are and how to keep track of them :)

Luck by choosing the right class, luck with some drops (VoA/PvE) and getting lucky with the right people who were willing to boost you once to get in the right community to find people with MMR.

I myself have willingly 'boosted' people up to 2000/2200 in 2v2 when I try to learn a new class. I will not bother good players with my mistakes -> I can maintain a good reputation while learning and experimenting (reputation is, sadly, important for arena).
I sometimes told the abilities they have to press in order for a win and we will win (even then, running to the most illogical pillar when I say hide behind a pillar could be frustrating).

What is an achievement? I myself believe -> achieving the goal you have set for yourself. May it be Lorekeeper, Jenkins, The Explorer, dinging 43 before the night ended, reaching 1600 rating when new to arena, Gladiator and even the idiot getting 2000 rating.

Anonymous said...

I am the whiny and moaning poster above.

I would like to add that achievements are not only obtained through direct goals. Indirect goals, things you obtain without even planning it, can be as much as an achievement.

I do believe that it is less of an achievement for me to get 2200 rating in a new season or on a good geared alt than it is for a player new to arena to reach 1700 :) I give genuine enthusiasm every time a guildie reaches such a personal achievement.