Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Guild loyalty

We had a heated conversation before the raid in the ganking guild. Some members were already saved to ICC. A well geared, ICC HM experienced player told them "I also got lot of offers to go but sticked to the guild". One of the saved guys replied "it's your problem".

You can imagine the flamefest starting, plus the whispers to immediately kick the "traitor". Of course he was not kicked. At first because there is no mandatory raiding here - PvP guild - so if he doesn't want to raid for any reason (including saved elsewhere), he is free to.

Secondly, he is right that if someone kept to the guild run, it's his choice. It does not force anyone else to follow him. If it's a bad choice, it is literally his problem. It turned out not to be a problem. The "traitor" was saved to a PuG that failed after Marrowgar, while the guild run reached Saurfang, wiped once there and couldn't continue as some had to leave and it was impossible to find replacement (as Marrowgar was the weekly, so everyone on the server was either saved to some 1/12 PuG or did not want to come since he wanted to kill Marrowgar.

I don't punish anyone for not being loyal to the guild, simply because loyalty only matters if the guild fails. If the guild is great (or at least better than the available alternatives), the selfish choice is to be with the guild, and "help" the guild, simply because it gives more rewards (loot in raid, honor in premades, faster, smother run in HCs, no annoying behavior).

Mentioning loyalty, trying to incite guilt is the way of the M&S to get boosting. I don't need boosting. I don't need any raider more than he needs me. If there are 5 good raiders already in the raid, the guy need us 5x more than we need him. So if he prefers to be disloyal, it's his problem!

Moral of the story: if you find someone wanting you to be loyal, you just found an M&S wanting boosting or someone who is not confident about his abilities and fears that he may need boosting.


Eluzis said...

"No communist collective!"
= one of the rules

I really don't give a damn about what they think. Main aim is PVP combat. PVE was not even mentioned at the start of the project.

@Gevlon - update rules section with "no boosting = no M&S methods"

P.S. I would even send warnings to those screaming for "kick the traitor"

Dmitry said...

Where did you get those screaming guys from, in the first place?
Surely they haven't read your blog. :P

Ronnie said...

I was thinking the exact same thing.

The kids yelling "traitor" are the problem in this situation, so my question is: How do you deal with retards in your guild who are obviously afflicted with the M&S syndrome?

Gevlon said...

@Eluzis, Dmitry, Ronnie: there is every shade of gray between "lolling 900 DPS 0/0/71 DK" and "perfect goblin HM 12/12". I warn them, I tell them that it just make them look stupid, and if they don't stop, I kick them. I can't kick everyone who is not perfect because we would have a pretty short roster. Of course it does not mean I don't kick anyone either. But in the gray area, a warning usually helps.

Also, many does even know why their action is stupid. They WANT to learn, and I really can't blame them for coming from an M&S neighborhood. Of course it's no excuse if they keep that way.

Le Vagabond said...

this is what most guild leaders fail to understand.

there is no "loyalty" anywhere, if you think rationally : you stick with your guild because no other can give you a better offer; if one does, then no shame in moving on.

most of the time when someone leaves a raiding guild, all the "social" types go : "he stole loots and ripped us, he was only gearing up for ".

he deserved loots during the time he was a member, right ?
he might even have earned and spent DKPs for them.
so why would you go and label him a traitor/liar/thief ?

meh, socials will never cease to amuse me, I guess.

ps : Gev, long time reader, first time poster. I appreciate seeing that I'm not the only one in the world with that kind of PoV.

I couldn't find any explanation for "M&S" though, care to give the full meaning please ?

Tonus said...

If they are true M&S they will leave anyway. Most M&S think that they're a special snowflake, and if the guild master does not treat them as one, they will decide to head elsewhere.

ardoRic said...

«I couldn't find any explanation for "M&S" though, care to give the full meaning please?»

I read it as Morons and Slackers. I think that's the meaning bestowed upon M&S long time ago.

Atle said...

It's quite simple.
If you are in a raiding guild, you don't PuG raids that are on the guild raiding list.
If you are in a PVP guild, you raid wherever you see fit.
If you are in a social guild, you raid wherever you see fit.

Wilson said...

"It turned out not to be a problem"

So, if the PUG run had cleared all the way to, say, Putricide, it would have been a problem?

Gevlon said...

@Wilson: obviously. If the guild run performs below a random PuG, it means that the average guild member is below the average PuGger (who is by definition brain-dead). So the non-retarded guilmembers are better off running away. This way the members are better off sticking to the guild than PuGging

pambuk said...

@Tonus, @ardoRic - Gev's about page:
"M&S means Morons and Slackers, if you ask it in a comment, it's you."

Shame on you ;)

Sjonnar said...

@Le Vagabond: 'I couldn't find any explanation for "M&S" though'

Check the blog's 'about page': [this blog] link in the 'About Me' section.

To offer a personal example of why 'guild loyalty' is a bad thing, I recently got asked to leave my social guild, The Crimson Fists of Lothar US, because I dared say that melee huters were crap and T9-10 geared tanks that couldn't keep aggro off 5k DPS were bad. I stuck with that guild for two years, doing only very little raiding, because i counted it more important to stick with my 'buddies'.

Lesson learned. True friends wouldn't toss you out on your ass for telling the harsh truth. Guild loyalty = M&S behavior. Treat your guild as a business association: you agree to give them X level performance in their raid/BG/arena and in return they give you access to raids/loots/whatever. Keep your friendships separate from your guild relationships.

TechDeft said...

Le Vagabond, from the about this blog link....

"M&S means Morons and Slackers, if you ask it in a comment, it's you."

Andru said...

"there is every shade of gray between "lolling 900 DPS 0/0/71 DK" and "perfect goblin HM 12/12"

Why would a goblin want to raid heroic modes? Or raid at all? A goblin should sit near the AH and make money. No? Everything else falls in between those shades of gray, which is the majority of the social base.

Another thing: if this had happened in the Undergeared guild would you have reacted in the same way?

Klepsacovic said...

Loyalty is not just for boosting or perceived boosting. It's also for stability. Keeping a consistent group is helpful for people to know the habits of other players, makes loot easier to distribute, and makes it less likely that the new recruit will be trouble in the form of drama or lack of skill.

Just ask any company if they want high turnover. They don't. It's a waste of time to be constantly losing and replacing people, even temporarily.

Kish said...

I don't think there's anything wrong at all with the guildie in this case running a raid in PUG.

But I assume as with business, so with guilds. When both parties have good reason to be insecure (most people, most companies, etc.) loyalty is a desirable characteristic. Loyalty does not arise automatically out of self-interest in a given moment, because the definition of a situation which requires loyalty is one in which the needs of the two parties are not always in sync.

I enjoy this blog Gevlon but one thing I sometimes see especially with commenters is a lack of appreciation for how different "short-term-thinking" goblinism is from "long-term-thinking" goblinism.

Wilson said...


"We raid better than an average pug" is a reason to stay in your guild? What if someone stumbles upon an above-average pug? What if someone looks at another server that isn't FUBAR'd, and notes that 51% of pugs clear Lower Spire, and that guilds with more raid progression are a dime a dozen? You're saying that the smart move would be to transfer? I thought the point of a PvP guild was to, you know, PvP? if you need raid successes to keep people in, then you are doing it wrong.

nowiamtree said...

"...or someone who is not confident about his abilities and fears that he may need boosting."

Uh, WHAT?! And this is a problem because? I would sooner recruit someone who's not as confident and questions themselves in order to better themselves, than the other sort. See the paper below.....

Cathy said...

I don't hold anyone to be "loyal" to the guild. However, if you signed up on the calendar for a raid I would expect you to be there as thats just courtesy.

Many people have friends outside their guide they like to run with which I have no problem with. Just don't make any false commitments to
raid if you aren't sure you will make it or want to run it with others.

Coeur-de-fer said...


Stability is better maintained by making your guild appealing, in whatever way that may be. Invoking some fanciful moral injunction regarding "guild loyalty" is just lazy. Give your members a clear incentive to be there. No company wants high turnover, but if they have people leaving in droves, it might behoove them to take a good hard look at their hiring policy and business practices. People leave when they have more appealing options, whether it's higher salary, better working conditions, or any number of other things. "Loyalty" is only a tool for those with nothing to offer.

There's really very little that can be achieved via loyalty that can't also be achieved (and perhaps to better effect) with a little enlightened self-interest.

Sjonnar said...

@Klepsacovic: 'Just ask any company if they want high turnover. They don't.'

If a company wants to keep turnover rates low, they need to offer competitive salaries and benefits to make it more worth their employees' time and effort to stay with them than to go somewhere else. Expecting (and relying on) 'company loyalty' to keep turnover down is idiocy on the same scale as the M&S that send those in-game mails trying to protect their monopolies.

Loyalty to friends, or to family, or to country is a good thing, and a great virtue. But guilds in the game are just groups of disparate people with (sometimes) similar goals. Oftentimes, members of the same guild don't even like each other. In short, WoW guilds are very like companies. You owe them the same degree of loyalty, which is to say, none.

Also, @Andru: 'A goblin should sit near the AH and make money. No?'

No. A goblin should do what the hell ever he wishes to do. But he should do it without standing in fire, or adding 'lol :DDDDDDDDDDD' to every damn sentence, or expecting crafters to work for him for free. In other words, without being a goddamned idiot.

Le Vagabond said...

thanks for the info, I still don't think I am one, but then again all of them would say the same :P

Klepsacovic said...

I'm not suggesting loyalty to a bad company or to a bad guild. That would be stupid. Bad structures should be fixed or allowed to fail, scavenged for those materials which are worth reusing.

Loyalty should be a weak glue, one which keeps us from drifting at the first sign of distress. Imagine if people left at the first sign of a problem; it would then become worse and be self-fulfilling. You might better know it as patience and persistence, of not giving up instantly and jumping ship.

I'm not claiming anyone owes a guild loyalty, as they've made no contracts to be loyal, merely that persistent disloyalty is disadvantageous. Where you found a moral argument anywhere in my post, I do not know.

River said...

To me Loyalty and Trust are more important then gold. They are earned, not freely given. You have to ask me to be loyal then you haven't earned, or lost that loyalty.

Those that lead by example, and show me they have what it takes to deserve my loyalty, and trust. They have it. If not well you know what they say, Money talks...Bullshit walks.

Anonymous said...

Yours is a perfectly rational policy. Yet in that situation, why have a guild? Wouldn't a chat channel provide about the same benefits?

It's interesting to see how Cata changes people's behavior about guilds. Sounds like there will be perhaps small but nonzero negatives for a person and a guild if someone leaves.

Anonymous said...

The problem is flakes.

As a raid leader in a progression guild I have less then little use for a raider who saves himself every other week to another ID.

Well, sorry - I do have a use for them - they would be the second to last person I'd ever invite to a raid (Right before I'd invite the social).

It's impossible to schedule around people who are off doing their own thing every other week.

Now, I wouldn't try to get that person kicked from the guild. I'd just stop inviting him to raids.

Steven said...

Of course they shouldn't save themselves for the group. This is a goblin guild; they should do whatever action they believe will give the greatest reward or reward:cost ratio.

Yes, sometimes the longer view needs to be taken. But I don't believe Gevlon's projects attract many "new" players. These players all bring their own experience into the guild. To appraise the value of something, short or long term, one needs to include their own experiences.

I'd wager that many of the players who come to Gevlon's projects have a history filled with M&S and other failures. In Gevlon they may trust to some extent, but that doesn't necessarily extend out to the entire guild. Successful raids will encourage players to keep their raid saves open for the chance to join the more successful raid.

For the leaders of progression raiding, do you think you get many quality raiders who weren't at one point in a terrible guild as well? What if they had stuck it out longer, would they have ever actually gotten to join your guild?

Andru said...

@next-to last Anonymous.

Guilds provide the calendar for in-game events. Way easier to structure actions with a guild roster than inviting everyone by hand.

There's efficiency, and there's also the moral impact on the enemy M&S. The enemies need to know who is beating them all the time so they grow mad, frustrated and leave the server and not blame it on 'bad luck lol'. A seemingly random string of events needs a glue to hold it together so that it's perceived more than such.

@fake 'Andru' *sigh. I don't agree. You sound just like Allene on the message boards. Things 'should' be like this and things 'should' be like that.

Bad news. Things 'should' NOT be in any way other than they are.

Within the scope of the game, we all play to have fun. Different people find different things fun. However, once a goblin has earned enough gold to buy everything he wants 5 times over, what is the point of MORE gold? Gold is never an end in itself it's a means to doing something.

The view that a goblin 'should' do this or that and that a M&S 'should' do this or that is entirely myopic. Goblins and M&S are not defined by WHAT THEY DO, but by WHAT THEY ARE.

Mark said...

i'm sorry, I've been reading your posts for a while and i enjoy them, but what does M&S stand for? Ive seen it referenced elsewhere

Coeur-de-fer said...

In reference to the "weak glue" analogy, I think that kind of adhesion, as it were, is still better obtained with a bit of foresight and rationality on the part of the player/guild member. Leaving at the first sign of turmoil usually isn't in one's best interest. Most guilds go through rough patches, and if someone's jumping ship every time the water gets a little rough, they won't be in any one of them for any great length of time. They may even find themselves worse off than if they would have at least attempted to see things through. No one wants to recruit a serial guild-hopper, for the logistical problems outlined before. Establishing oneself within a new guild's framework can be a task of its own, as well. Rather than disloyal, running off at the first sign of trouble instead strikes me as short-sighted and, frankly, stupid.

I've had this discussion with people before, and I think the biggest difference is a semantic one. I'd touched on rational self-interest before when describing these sorts of decisions. A lot of people (not saying you, necessarily) can't get past the negative connotations associated with any flavor of "self-interest," and/or positive connotations around the much-vaunted loyalty. We end up describing the same thing, with a different lexicon.

Anonymous said...

Where do you draw the line? Boosting is so easy to fall into with WoW, but do you ever see someone making short-term sacrifices to benefit themselves and the group long term?

If a goblin warlock is pugging, then they will need on epic plate even if there is a pally in greens because the 10g will benefit them while getting the pally geared will not.

What if this run were a guild run? Should the lock boost the pally guildie by forgoing the 10g?

Should a goblin inconvenience themselves to raid at a time more beneficial to the group? If the group will never advance, or if you or the group leave before you advance, then pug.

If you are in a large guild that does several 25 groups or there is always dozens in LFG, then free-lancing is not an issue. Dual specs help, but if encounters are designed for two tanks, it is hard for a 1 run per week guild to have more than 3 ambitious tanks. So if a couple of them free-lance this week, organizing the guild run is a lot harder?