Thursday, March 25, 2010

The revenge of the zombie marshmallows

The undergeared project is in bad shape. Last raid time there were no healers up. I put "III. 27. we'll go raid or we disband" or something like that. And of course I mean it.

The project was always weird. There were many people joining, way above my expectations. There were many-many reaching lvl 80 or even transferring for real money. They gathered blue gear, most of them did a full-BiS collection what needs really big time and sanity commitment (using LFD takes more sanity than time, as you usually have to go with complete retards).

After all these actions, hundreds of hours of - often boring or M&S infested - farming... they disappeared. There were many who never came to raid. Not once. Now why would anyone do that? I mean paying the price, doing the grind for nothing? Also those who were present are disappearing despite those days we had anything resembling a good role composition we steamrolled the content. I'd understand if we were after weeks of 80% wipes on Gormok or something but we have not even encountered anything that proved to be anything of a brick wall. We have not even reached the end of Ulduar what is proven to be doable in blues.

The problem is deferred gratification. While one does the terrible grind of LFD, he receives little rewards instantly. Every time he gets in, the RNG can reward him with another blue, closing to the BiS set. (why would anyone farm BiS in an experiment that wants to prove that you don't need BiS???)

When it's ready, there are no instant rewards. Of course there is the big one: standing at the corpse of the Lich King in a gear that is not supposed to let you clear FoS or Ulduar. While this goal could be attractive to socials too (look how super-leet I am, I did it in blues), it's distant. He can't get it now. On the other hand if he logs to some other alt, he can get another flashy thing now. It will be pathetic and small like "explore Ashenvale", but it will be instant.

Passing the marshmallow test is necessary to be rational (as opposed to social). I'm afraid many people failed here, enough to drag my plan down. I still hope that there will be enough online this Saturday, but my guess is that the naysayers were kind of right. A casual group in blue gear can't clear the content. Not because of the blue gear, but because "being casual". If we would raid every day, the achievements would come fast enough to give enough rewards. But of course that would kill the point, as the M&S could keep saying "no lifers".

Luckily (or maybe because I knew this at some level), the ganking project is safe from this effect. The participants can log in any time and get rewards in the form of some more HKs. That's the conclusion: you must plan all group activity in a way to provide enough immediate rewards to the people. This can be pretty annoying. The good thing is that you can keep the big reward for yourself as they happily trade their share for some glass baubles now.


PS: before you'd post "they left because they found no fun", answer "why did they leave after completing their character and not on the first day?"

56 comments:

T said...

It's really a shame that it didn't work, even if you can recognize the logic behind it. I was always rooting for the project from my side of the ocean.

Wildhorn said...

Awww :(

That's sad. I was hoping at least ulduar full clear with your undergeared project.

Kaaterina said...

I have a confession to make. Even though I was extremely interested in seeing how this played out, my enthusiasm waned at about Outland leveling stage. (This is probably the reason why I only have one level 80 character.)

It occured to me that it's easier for me to just watch this experiment, than actively participate in it.

Secondly, I'm a raider at heart. Doing content again, after doing it one trillionth time did not appeal to me. And the fact that I got offered the opportunity to raid NOW (as in, saturday evening in my guild) as opposed to LATER helped it. Call it marshmallow if you will, but I never did quite buy the conviction that you'd be able to see the LK in Undergeared. (Especially after seeing his 50k damage skill.) So basically I got fun NOW in exchange for a junk bond with a C rating.

If I were you, I'd postpone the experiment a bit. The timing chosen for it was HORRIBLE. You're offering past content and uncertainty while most good raiders have seen the past content and can see the new content with certainty NOW.

It's not really marshmallows, looks to me like risk aversion.

Anyway, if you postpone the experiment till, say June or July, the interest may be bigger, since there would be no new content to compete with what you're offering. (Which, TBH, isn't much.)

Me said...

This is truly sad, I am bound to the woes of a US server that only mocks this wonderful idea. I wish there was US to EU transfer because I would happily undertake such an endeavor, as is I have been considering the current US form of this also. Best of luck in the ganking project and I truly hope that Undergeared will get a kick in the seat this Saturday.

- Wikid

Tazar said...

I think one problem is that you put too many restrictions.

I'm not saying about blue only enchants and so, because this was the point of project.

I see a problem with: "As unexperienced as we can be". Many people have alts, when they level alt they ussually raid with it. Now they had to take class / role which they found not entertaining enough.

We had tanks problem. I play DPS/DPS DK and not because I do not like tanking but because I allready have DK tank/tank.

Also many of our members are good players and play exactly tank/healer role so now they are DPS because of this.

Probably it's too late for a change. I still hope that we can gather up and raid (at least twice a month). On the other hand this project costs me allmost nothing now. On Saturday I either log in on my char and raid or do not log and do not raid. No AH, no farming.

Maybe you could get the same approach. Make guild invites / promotions only on Saturdays up to 1 hour before raid so it won't cost you too much time. I think you have enough gold to cover project allready. New people can start leveling without being in the guild as noone is going to help them anyway.

Anonymous said...

The choice of raid day might be a factor. Saturday is traditionally a day for family/friend types of activities. I know saturday won the poll, but it was a plurality, not a majority and very few voted. Yhe single choice nature of the poll can lead to misleading results. Try rerunning the poll with a list your 'top N' raid days format, or even a check all days you are able to come regularly.

Azzur said...

The problem is not deferred gratification. There are rewards along the way - clearing Ulduar, clearing ToC. Every boss dead in ICC is already gratification.

If the Undergeared fails, it will come down to one thing - attendance was not rewarded. Raids were cancelled because people didn't show up. This in turn made it more likely that others won't show up either. The people didn't log in because they thought that there was a high chance of no raid, and hence no fun.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame to see this project slipping, but have you considered that the people you had were not 'casual'?
That is to say, the raiders you had got better offers elsewhere (like working on their lk kills) or that there's a Europe specific reason (how is the us alliance clone project doing)?

Mari said...

Someone warned you before, yet you ignored it, yet you persistently stand by the "we want to be casual, everyone can log whenever he wants".

You touched the point but got derailed from it. Here: "That's the conclusion: you must plan all group activity in a way to provide enough immediate rewards to the people."

I will repeat what I've read in one of the comments long ago and which I wholeheartedly agree with.

YOU MUST PLAN ALL THE GROUP ACTIVITY.

If you don't, you give people NO REASON AT ALL to log in their characters, after they finish they solo grind, BiS list of blues, whatever.

"There's gonna be a raid today, yay, and I'm on the list to get the spot" - sure I'll log in.

"I have no idea will anything happen today. Will people come or no, will I be needed or idle in dalaran for 1 hour just to see raid disbanded or raid is happening but there's no room for me. Nah, what a waste of time, I'd rather play an alt."

I'm a casual player. Yet I raid on 3 characters. Yet more, I demand from any guild I raid with to precisely plan the raids, so I log before the raid, log out after the raid is over. Sure I play almost every day, but just few hours.

I'm not a goddamn secretary who is there to "be available on demand" when someone fancies a raid, I had a few arguments with "friends" earlier who said "you are never online when I'm doing the raid so couldn't invite you".
"Did you tell me you're making a raid so I could actually come online?"
If he says only nerds would do that etc... oh well.

Just to remind you.
Any "casual" group activity needs planning.
If you're "casually" doing sports, that is, not training 6-8 hours every day, then you're probably doing it like 3 hours 3 times a week or so. Your group has a schedule. When everyone meets in the gym, pitch, court, whatever it's called. And you don't hang out there every day just in hope "someone shows up and we play sports together".

If you're in any other hobby group, you probably have day, hour and place where you meet. You don't go there at different time, because you don't expect anyone to be there.

And if you're "rational" as you say you'd know planning saves time, effort and dead ends of wrong decisions by foreseeing them.

Calendar, sign ups, confirmation who gets the spot might seem bureaucratic but it's more casual friendly.

Oh, didn't you actually say once people would not roll a tank seeing there's an abundance of tanks in guild? Isn't it same for showing up? They don't show up because they don't know will the raid happen and if yes, will they be needed.

Maladroite said...

Don't strike us out just yet!
I'm hoping that the project will continue and that we'll get a raid going on Saturday. Maybe a part of the problem was that we raided too "linearly" (232 hcs -> Naxx -> Maly -> Sarth -> Uld) instead of just jumping right into Totc or ICC.

Ephemeron said...

Now why would anyone do that? I mean paying the price, doing the grind for nothing?

Maybe they just realized that sunk costs are unrecoverable and abandoned the sinking ship for more profitable ventures.

thenoisyrogue said...

My problem is Saturday, I just can't do it. I had hoped to be able to rearrange my work schedule and not go to work before 11pm that night but it just isn't possible.

Nils said...

There's the German word 'Vorfreude'. A translation might be 'pleasant anticipation'.

Grinding up produces 'pleasant anticipation'. Once you got there the 'pleasant anticipation' is gone.

'pleasant anticipation' is fun.

Tobold said...

And then there is the alternative explantion that the undergeared project failed due to a lack of leadership, which is what I predicted when it started.

Gevlon said...

@The "Saturday" people: It was always known we'll raid on Saturday. It would be completely understandable if there would be no people in the guild and lot of "I would love to join but Saturday is no good for me" comments on the blog. Why would anyone join to a Saturday guild if he can't raid Saturday.

@Mari: There was an exact schedule: Saturday 19:00. What more "calendar" work is needed?

@Ephemeron: the guild was always like that. Why did they not leave after the first two days, weeks, but stayed grinding for gear and THEN left?

@Nils: while your idea makes sense, it assumes that people are stupid and prefer anticipation of the thing over actually doing the thing.

@Tobold: you are not telling anything. What "leadership" you think was missing?

Chopsui said...

I joined because I wanted to participate. Saturday is hard for me, about half the time I have social appointments. I'm a dps, so nothing lost you'd say, but seeing only 5 people turn up is disheartening. I can handle the deferred gratification, but I consider every boss kill an 'achievement' and everytime I outdps a t10 donkey. Those are the small things I look for.

Am I an idiot for joining a saturday guild while knowing I had mediocre availability at best?

If I wanted to participate in this (kind of) project, did I have an alternative, barring organising it myself at the same time?

Noone in the guild took the initiative yet to take over the raidplanning role from Gevlon so far, because it's "his" project. I think just planning 10 mans every single night, and working with signups, would increase commitment and the amount of raids happening.

Bones said...

Gevlon,
You answered your own question in your "P.S.", and the reason they joined in the first place is that they liked the "idea" of your guild but it seems the "reality" was lacking.
Maybe its because the very construct of a guild is social in its nature and you tried to create an asocial guild, a kind of MMO oxymoron.
Maybe a guild full of alts will always go as a second or third priority to other in-game interests.
My monney is on a combination of the above, in other words, simple not enough pull on players interest combined with the odd insult to their "social" side

Anonymous said...

People who can't always play on Saturdays still join a Saturday guild because they know it is a casual, no requirements guild. They might be able to make it some Saturdays. If not, then they know they won't be punished.

@Mari: I find your conception of casual to be very amusing. 'raid on 3 characters', 'play every day but only a few hours' and '3 hours, 3 days a week'. In the adult world those are hardcore schedules. casual-hardcore is obviously a continuum and not an either/or, but you seem much closer to the hardcore side than the majority of the wow playing population.

Dàchéng said...

@Azzur
Azzur, you made an intersting comment:
"If the Undergeared fails, it will come down to one thing - attendance was not rewarded"

Thanks, that set me wondering, how would you reward attendance?

Foo said...

You aimed for the top. You achieved the impossible - ICC 5man heroic (look at the comments from the time). The experiment has already been a success.

However, your successes in part have come from the strength of your personality. People rose to your standards when they could, in a solo fashion. When it came to the 5mans, it still was largely solo efforts - with 5 competant players, under your banner that pulled the day off.

However, (at least in my opinion), 10 mans require a team effort as the content gets harder. For the majority of teams to work effectively, there is a social 'glue' to work together.

From where I sit, the difficulty has been in getting 10 niche players, without other commitments, to run at the same time. Your website advertisements are good, but maybe not be enough.

(for the record i'm in another timezone & dont have an EU membership - The EU membership I could fix, but the timeszone is a showstopper).

Sometimes the goblin thing to do is to provide social cohesion.
If you are willing to provide that glue, the team benefits.

nonameform said...

I left the project some time ago after reaching level 20 something. First of all, I'm not a really big fan of leveling (I have just one character at level 80 so far with many stuck at 50-60 range). I become easily distracted by some unexplored before area or some random activity (like fishing for 3 hours instead of doing quests), so reaching the level cap becomes a very distant goal. I just like to take my time on doing things that might not actually be needed, but still provide some sort of entertainment to me personally.

Also, since I'm busy on my main character progressing in ICC 10 and 25 heroic 5-7 days per week, I didn't find enough time to go back to my alt in and even though first 20 levels were pretty fast and I was sure that I will get to level 80 and try a new role as a tank, I failed to get past level 25.

Guess I will have to agree with you at one point that you made in the past: I'm fully concentrated on one character and my other alts only exist to provide some additional income from professions and nothing else. Considering that I'm pretty close to 10k achievement points from mostly PvE activity (some achievements are questionable though, since they made me spend plenty of gold, but at the moment I can't thing of anything in WotLK to spend my money on), you can tell that I've invested some time in the character and that this character always gets most attention. Even switching to another class is tiring for me, so I rarely get more than 2-3 levels per session.

Going back to main is always a pleasure, while some people find leveling yet another alt more enjoyable. Might be the case with : some came back to mains, as it's more enjoyable for them for whatever reason and some went to level other alts and completely forgot about the project.

Nees said...

I don't think the ganking project is safe from this, and I think Mari and Tobold are right.

You can be sure people in the ganking guild will play hours and hours for (near)BiS PVP gear once they reach 80. I'm doing it right now with my main who's waiting for your no-80's rule to drop.

But it's up to you to start planning and leading grouped activities, once enough people start hitting 80. Otherwise I'm afraid you'll end up disbanding this guild as well, for the same reasons as the undergeared one.

Larísa said...

You were experimenting on many different levels at the same time. Some parts went well - some parts didn't work out. I think the extremely casual raiding schedule was pretty much doomed to fail. I honestly think you need some sort of regularity to get a team come together and do challenging stuff in a focused manner. I don't say you need to raid 4-5 nights a week, but I'm pretty sure it would have helped to schedule at least 2 raids a week.

Anyway: I liked the idea of undergeared raiding and I'm sure you have inspired many to reconsider the value of overgearing.

Fifthlive said...

It reminds of something one of devs. on wow said at GCD about rewarding the player. In the way that if a system seams to punish the player for playing to much, then they don't like it.

His example were the rested system in the beta:
A player started at 100% exp at rested then he went down to 50% people did not like it.
Then they changed it to be 200% at rested and 100% at normal and people loved it, but it were only the number that change in fact there were no difference in the exp players gain.

Elaine Marley said...

I must admit I'm guilty of leaving the project without even saying goodbye (Niola here btw). I left when I was already in northrend because I really missed my guild. Leveling in Undergeared was extremely boring, guild chat is pretty dull and sometimes it really felt like people were doing things as they saw fit, not as a group with a common goal.

Your presence in guild chat was sometimes odd, and I didn't feel the excitement of the challenge any more than I did when I read your posts about the project. In the end it was not exciting at all.

I think you must improve your ways as a guild leader. You might not be social at all but you are leading a group of eople, and keeping them interested in the project it's also part of your job.

Well, that's just my opinion, I really hope you manage to do better with the ganking project.

Wilson said...

There's a real problem with your marshmallow test analogy. Marshmallows are real things, and easily quantifiable. Everyone can agree that two is better than one. Then they need to evaluate the deal you are offering them - how long do they need to defer gratification? One now or two tomorrow is a good test; one now or two in a hundred years, not so much.

With WoW, the rewards are completely subjective, since they are completely virtual and cannot be exchanged for anything. Is killing Arthas in blues after the encounter has been nerfed to the point where it can be done in blues worth deferring for several months? For you it is, but that is because you choose to make it so. Also, you have the additional reward of being able to brag to thousands of readers "look what I did!" But rational, intelligent people are perfectly capable of analyzing the situation and deciding "you know what, I'd rather do something else with my Saturday afternoons".

Cenota said...

I so wish I were on your server. This project would be fabulous to be a part of. I'd very much like to follow it through to completion, o I'm hoping undergeared knocks the dust off by Saturday!

I'd love to do a modified version of this on my server (Moonrunner), but I can't see finding good enough people with forward thinking frankly.

Good luck! And kudus to you.

dozenz said...

Your chance of success would have been higher if you had allowed people to trasnfer their 80s over.

I would have loved to take part in it, but had no desire to level from 1-80, and leveling a DK from 55-80 is not much better.

I've leveled two characters to max (Priest and Warrior) and have done both roles for each (Healer/DPS, Tank/DPS). None of the other classes interest me enough to do it again.

I would have loved to transfer over and change any epics to blues.

ardoRic said...

A lot of people seem to be blaming the lack of attendance to the fact that Gevlon has not provided the social glue for the guild. People only have incentive to show up on raid days, and since they don't know the other people, even that incentive is gone.

One thing I like to do on my characters is Glory of the Hero. I have that on three characters now (all my level 80 ones) and I find it a pretty enjoyable PVE activity. It served to bind a few social binds closer with my guildies and friends with whom I play.

I was planning to suggest this on the forums as soon as I hit 80 with my shammy, but that's still a bit far and I do think this suggestion (I imagine you can all guess what it is) is a good idea to get some of the people working together from time to time towards a goal besides just the raiding.

My idea is simple: why not get a group together and try to get Glory of the Hero to your blue geared characters? I'm sure there are a few of them who would enjoy it and embrace the challenge of doing it in blues.

While some of the required achievements will most likely be attained by just going in random heroics, there are quite a few that almost noone will go out of their way to do, and those are usually the ones which are a bit more challenging.

I will only be able to join in on the fun once my shaman has passed the remaining 29 levels, but why not have a group from Undergeared clear Glory of the Raider? Is anyone else interested in this?

Klepsacovic said...

I had a brief thought of a similar nature to undergeared content: under level. Attempt the heroic achievements before level 80, using the regular instance. Determine a maximum level (lower than the LFD maximum) and then freeze xp and attempt the heroic act; such as killing the last boss of OK in 2 or 3 minutes; it's before he can do a second insanity.

Some socials pass a far harder marshmallow test than you can imagine; their dreams of an afterlife defer their gratification beyond death. Irrational, but clear proof that being a social is not related to ability to not eat the marshmallows.

Sjonnar said...

@Mari: 'YOU MUST PLAN ALL THE GROUP ACTIVITY.'
He did. Saturday, 1900 hours is pretty clear. Can't really say that it's a lack of planning.

However, Gevlon, i believe the problem you're running into here boils down to this: some people put in the effort to show up, get no reward (because not enough people turned up to raid), and decide not to bother the next time.

Kind of reminds me of the socialism experiment that i heard of a college professor doing; the one where he averaged the grades of everone in the class, and everyone got the same grade, regardless of the effort they put in. Eventually more and more people decided not to put in any effort, since they were going to get the same reward anyway (bad grade, no raid). There's not really anything that -you- personally can do about that, except to keep the guild open for as long as it's worth it to -you- to show up and hope for a raid.

It really has nothing to do with a lack of leadership, as Tobold said, but rather a lack of people willing to risk their time for a reward they don't believe they'll get.

On the US side of things, i must confess i've been spending less time on Arkturos lately. My problem, however, is the levelling process. I have two options for levelling, neither of them attractive: i can quest/grind, but TFC being a PvP server, i get ganked -a lot- and corpse-camped until i either manage to get away or take a res and go somewhere else (where, inevitably, the same thing happens), or i can level in instances... except i constantly manage to get the absolute worst cases of M&S i've -ever- seen.

I get rogues with cloth spirit gear, spellpower hunters (with no pet out, no less, because it always pulls aggro and gets killed, don't ya know), pala tanks that don't have righteous fury up, never consecrate, wear cloth, the works. Melee warlocks, 13 year old internet tough guys, anal [kiddies]... the list goes on and on. And eventually, it just stops being fun and starts being a grind, and i hate grinding. I don't do dailies, i don't grind heroics for emblems, and it's getting to the point that i just can't be bothered to tolerate the endless ganking and groups full of stupid just to level a character to 80 for the distant reward of raiding.

I haven't given up yet, but that's mostly just stubbornness.

Dave said...

I responded on my blog after I realized that I was typing too much for a comment. It was hastily written, and I'm sure you will tear it to pieces because of this, but...sticks and stones and all that.

(click my name)

Anonymous said...

It's sad, I was thinking this could work.

You may want to try and change the raid night to 'any night'. If someone wants to start a raid and clear naxx, let them. Or maybe they want to knock off a few bosses in Ulduar.
Having a specific raid night and time for a casual guild is a bit odd. If it's truly casual, let the raids happen whenever.

I can see myself getting a little upset that after grinding up to 80 and gearing up in bis blues (which actually is harder than getting great epics - since blues are from heroics and you can only run them once a day. epic gear can come from badges), I can only use the toon once a week.

You were really looking for hardcore players, who are so hardcore that they can either squeeze in another night of raiding, or not show up for their real guild.

Casuals will want to play on their time, not on yours. So IMHO, relax the saturday raid-night, or just offer hard-core guild gold to prove that clearing icc is possible in blues, given you have skill.

Mmootimus said...

I think what Nils said is about right.

I once made a level 29 Warrior twink, pre-TBC. Spent ages gearing him up pretty much perfectly in terms of enchants and items. Did BGs with him twice, and then abandoned him.

I think maybe what you ended up with were not people focussed on doing blue geared raiding. You ended up with a load of people making the perfect level 80 blue-geared twink.

I don't believe this is neccesarily "stupid", as Gevlon suggests. One thing that repeatedly comes up in this blog is the fine line between what is a worthwhile activity, and what is something a M&S would do. What this fails to realise is most people play the game for fun (or in economic terms they "derive utility" from it). Some things I enjoy in the game - eg. hard mode raiding, dominating markets in the AH - would probably pass this blog's definition of useful and productive. Equally I also like to do "M&S" things like achievements.

This is because for me - and I suspect most people - we don't play the game to be productive, or improve ourselves as human beings we do it to have fun.

Whilst creating a perfectly blue-geared level 80 you never actually raid with is irrational and inefficient, it can still be fun (much like making my twink was much more fun than playing him turned out to be). Even good, rational players will likely do a lot of irrational things, because hey, its just a game. Do whatever gets those pleasure centre neurons firing.

I suspect thats why so many dropped out when they did - they may never have been totally committed anyway. But whilst they still had levelling and perfecting their gear to work on, they had something else to amuse themselves with.

ardoRic said...

"I will only be able to join in on the fun once my shaman has passed the remaining 29 levels, but why not have a group from Undergeared clear Glory of the Raider? Is anyone else interested in this?"

I meant Glory of the Hero (as can be inferred from the rest of my comment), but Glory of the Raider is also a decent goal.

Ron said...

I think you ran into the problem quite a few guilds ( pro and fail) run into, disinterest.

I think you're right that you need some kind of achievement to keep people interested, but I think its even simpler than that. You need consistent raiding.

The "We'll raid when we can" attitude only works if you have sufficient people that a raid can happen almost every time its scheduled. Miss a week or two in a row and people will get bored and do other things, or leave.

I think the nature of your guild, the lack of social "glue" as Fuu put it, accelerated the process. Whereas a normal guild could limp along until raiding picked up again, relying more on the social side to keep everyone interested, Undergeared didn't have that luxury.

Of course I don't have an EU account so I don't know anything first hand, but it seems reasonable to me.

Hope things pick up.

Jana said...

I believe at least making a calendar event for your potential raids would help a great deal.
Some guys even organize pugs this way.

Kristine Ask said...

At the point where you said that the Undergeared project didn't require time/effort and in such you could start the Ganking project - it was obvious how the Undergeared project would end.

Any successful guildleader will tell you that perseverance, consistency and the ability to adapt your strategies is elemental. However, the best ideas in the world won't matter if you are not there.

The difference between being in a guild and not being in a guild, is first and foremost leadership. You need to provide it, or they will leave.

Yaggle said...

I think people are way over-analyzing this. Most people want to use their new toys. People lost some interest after proving they could do well in blues and still not being able to play with their purple toys. It's not a failure, it's just human nature.

celandro said...

I don't know if Gevlon read my original comment about challenges in the game where I suggested that running a guild is by far the most challenging thing to do in the game.

To run a guild you must:
1) Decide what kind of guild you will have
2) Decide what conduct is OK and not OK
3) Decide the goals of the guild
4) Determine appropriate carrot and stick to encourage attendance
5) Aggressively recruit
6) Be more motivated, do better research, post strats etc than the majority of the guild
7) When starting the guild, its best to pick a key position such as main tank or healer.
8) Various intangibles such as fostering comraderie, shared sense of purpose, helping each other.

Gevlon quite clearly failed in the carrot/stick department and Im going to guess when the pvp thing started, he failed in the motivation as well. He also picked a replaceable class in mage and purposefully killed all comraderie with his 'everyones a goblin dont help each other' attitude. In a blues only raiding, there are no rewards in game at all. There certainly was no punishment for not attending. There was no social pressure to show up as these people arent your friends. They aren't even obligated to even do an enchant for you if you bring the mats.

So the failure rests solely at your own feet Gevlon. You fostered an empty shell of a guild that fell apart as most guilds do, due to lack of leadership and proper structuring.

Deathturtle Coilfang-US said...

@Kristine Ask-

That's exactly what I was thinking. At the point where Gevlon started his ganking guild, all of the Undergeared guild's potential applicants decided that Undergeared would die due to a lack of leadership and never joined.

Bristal said...

Totally agree w/ lack of leadership issues, as well as little opportunity for guild members to get to know each other, have fun, and develop social connections.

YOU set all the rules, days to raid, how to do this/that, don't chat, etc. unilaterally. That's dictating, not leading.

But of course, that's your credo. Nobody should need anyone else, nobody should need help from anyone else, useless social endeavors like chatting, cutting up or "e-peening" have no value.

Perhaps your lack of social abilities derailed an otherwise brilliant project?

Here's a challenge...loosen your grip and allow some more fun and interaction (lol) during raids. Assign some other members to lead. Allow attempts on other nights. Ask your more comitted members for ideas how to get people to show up. Increase your expectations and reward with encouragement.

Then give it another month.

Anonymous said...

Does it have to end?

If you choose to abandon the project after next saturday, is it nessesary to disband the guild and end the project completely?
Why not turn it over to one of the most dedicated raiders who have shown up and shown commitment to the project.

The casual part was part of your idea, but it could be possible to lower the standards of what is considered casual.
Demanding that raiders show up for one raid a week 3 times a month is not excactly hardcore.

I know that the no demands was an important part of the consept for you, but if that's what needs to change, could you give someone else a chance to lead the project with the nessesary changes?

Most players in Undergeared are goblins, or half-goblins so the project does have a decent chance without your sponsorship.

Just think about it.

Anonymous Undergeared member

Kishkegelt said...

Just a point Gevlon on something you said in your comment:

In fact, research seems to indicate that anticipation (whether of pain or pleasure) is considerably more punishing or rewarding than what is felt in the event itself.

I was reminded of this phenomenon most recently in a CNN story on research finding that planning a vacation creates more happiness than the vacation itself.

Perhaps it is different for Goblins, but I don't know why it should be. Anticipation is not a social effect.

Anonymous said...

I think most of you miss the point of this post. It is about a single question: why anyone would not take the last step of a long journey?

people started the spend time on their alts for this project. they started to spend gold even. now when everything is in place, why don`t they do the last step?

it is like missing an orgasm after some petting. you prepare everything, you buy some nice underwear, some candles, et, etc. you start `doing` it but at the end you say: well, I go watch TV.

but I think we cannot realy answer this question. we should ask those rather who reached the `raider` rank and since then they haven`t showed up...

Anonymous said...

If you were on the US realms, id have 10 new members for you. the US undgergeared project seems dead too (or never got off the ground)

it is the most interesting meta-gaming project i have ever seen. Its a damn shame if it fails!

Entrak said...

Problem for me is to get the gear that's BIS.

To get them, I'm forced to do heroics for hours a day. And then only to see most of them either DE'd infront of my face or lost on greed rolls by people who is either not responding or can't be arsed to hand it over.

It's a long, long road to get the gear needed to be advequate enough to heal, especially when most of the stuff I need is cloth..

Anyway, this is just another BS explanation as with the rest here.

The cost of effort versus the reward is just too low to invest this amount of time to the project.

Anonymous said...

But doesn't this project explore the issues of organizing people far more than anything about moving out of fire skills? Especially unpaid volunteers doing something against the typical gameplay for no other reason than a social experiment? Blizzard put numbers like 232 and 264 on their pixels to motivate and focus players; you don't have to like the game design decision, but it is WoW.

Say the success of this project saved Western Civilization and earned you a 10 million Euro bonus; failure meant you had to work for and with unionized government workers for the rest of your life. You would have spent much time contacting people on an ongoing basis, making sure they understood the goals/mission statement, addressing their issues, etc. standard management stuff. If your bonus were 100m, you might even have provided levelers the positive reinforcement of a ding. Actually, you would have hired someone with more of those organizational and leadership skills (e.g. not me) to deal with the process and people.

I am sorry to see this not succeed. But I think all you proved is that running a guild to be successful in doing nontrivial stuff is a lot of work and not a casual undertaking. The players can be casual; the guild leadership can not. Perhaps the more casual the members, the less casual (more effort) the management is. Explaining the goal to Ensidia or Vodka is simple; scheduling is easy. Assembling a 10 person casual raid is simple but not easy - recruit 15-25 people who promise they absolutely will show up.

Reassurance said...

"Guild sets new low upper bound for blaming failure on gear." It made a nice headline me. It was entertaining to see something embarrassing demonstrated with the necessary rigour.

When you talked about the experiment originally, it seemed to be your search for an endgame that involved spending a lot of money. This already seems to be somewhat against the grain.

A lot of guilds show similar problems. Most of Blizzard's changes have been supportive of social guilds: easier access to gear and consumables and reassurances that the stoic dedication of raiding as a full-time job isn't the only (or even best) way to play.

Even if it's just a bandaid, Blizzard's assistance doesn't seem very aligned with your experiment. Maybe your guild is in worse shape than other guilds because you're not in a position to benefit from their aid.

Chris said...

@ gevlon:

I think people missed the point of the undergeared experiment, and an eperiment it was.

The point was to see if a guild could clear through kt, yogg, anub and arthas in blues without the commitment and leadership and social aspect of a normal raiding guild. I think they got KT and then things stopped right?

Regardless, an experiment cannot fail, because all results are data, and collecting data is the goal of an experiment. Anything else is agenda-driven research.

Jeanie said...

"The point was to see if a guild could clear through kt, yogg, anub and arthas in blues without the commitment and leadership and social aspect of a normal raiding guild. I think they got KT and then things stopped right?"
That would essentially be "Can a pug group clear ICC in blue gears?", a question which I think everyone would agree on the answer (hint :"No"). A guild without commitment, leadership or socia aspect isn't a guild.

Dàchéng said...

This post is what caused Undergeared members to stop turning up:
http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2010/03/1000g-and-more-help.html

Once you started to criticize your team instead of praising them, you killed this project. It's bad enough posting recount numbers in raid chat; but posting it on a public forum is incredible. Now all raiders in Undergeared know that their slightest mistake may cause them to be the subject of public criticism on this blog, even if that mistake is simply having non-optimum gear (that's why everybody is after BiS; for fear of you criticizing them for anything less).

Blaming the failure of the Undergeared guild on your own guild members (for being unable to defer gratification) is wishful thinking on your part. I think Tobold is right to say the problem is leadership.

Your style, Gevlon, is to knock people down (remember your battleground posts?) and ridicule them for not doing what you think they should do. A more experienced leader would be building team members up by encouraging them for what they are doing well.

The battleground posts gave us the clear indication that you excel as a loner, and do not shine at roles that call for social interaction (to the point where you even use the word "social" as a criticism), and the failure of undergeared has proven it. The fact is that humanity is social, and that's what has made us succeed as a species.

Reread especially Ten's comments in http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2009/07/sitah-and-helcsi.html to see what makes a real leader.

Gevlon said...

@Dacheng: I've hesitated some time to allow your comment or consider it to trolling. Since the blogger interface does not allow personal answers (that only you see) and I think you really believe this nonsense, I rather allow to answer it. If you check all posts, you'll see that the activity was very sparse from the start.

The project started at Dec 14
The first action, ICC5 normal happened on Jan 18
- one week nothing -
ICC5 HC Feb 1
- two weeks nothin -
Naxx 10 on Feb 22
Sarth/Maly 10 Mar 1
- one week nothing -
A seriously undermanned raid Mar 15 when the post you mentioned was made.
- one week nothing -
- the current week -

Most of the missing weeks were before the mentioned post.

Creating logs and posting on the guild site is common practice in ALL guilds that downed anything beyond Noth the Plaguebringer. While usually the link is not available for the public, it's also not hidden and anyone bothers to search can find it.

Raiders (as opposed to socials) see it a mean to be better.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

If you bring 10 new members to the US project that are close to 80 or 80, it won't be dead.

There are around 10 of us that log on regularly, 3-4 who are ready to roll.

I haven't been pushing guild runs that hard because I was giving people time to level, and it did take time.

Tobold said...

From my professional experience I found that leadership has very much to do with mollycoddling the underperformers, which I'd assume is very much against Gevlon's beliefs. But to use Gevlon's own terminology, underperformers are morons & slackers. Now assume you weeded out the morons by only hiring those with a bit of brain, then the underperformers are mostly the slackers. Or in management speak the "undermotivated". Motivating people to perform better is the main activity of a leader, and requires some empathy into what bugs them, and soothing words to calm them. Somehow I can't see Gevlon doing that.

Taemojitsu said...

For a truly intelligent person to continue participating in the undergeared project would mean contributing to the community by providing further evidence of the small amount of preparation time that is needed to see most content, but this would have little personal benefit for someone who already knows for certain that this is possible (the previous successes of the project serving as examples).

If the project was composed of many blue-geared players on the same server all from different guilds, it would have more chance of success. With the constraint of not having scheduling constraints, there is too much variance in the expected number of raiders online and too few goals that don't require a full raid group for enough people to log in enough to consistently have a weekly raid. Looks like the threat of disbanding worked tho :p

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