Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cliques will form

Undergeared update: Frostheim of Warcraft hunter's union made an interview about us.

One of the most common problem that The PuG will suffer - according to critics - is forming of cliques. Since the raid leader is free to invite anyone to his raid, there is nothing to stop him from always inviting the same 10 people. These people practically disappear for "pugging" and the others either quit the guild as they can't get into the clique, or form their own clique and the guild will be nothing more than a bunch of closed cliques, formally functioning but completely against the set goals.

This was the one problem I was afraid of. I mean if I'm the raid leader, it's my personal interest to invite the best people available. The "leftover" people can form a "second best" raid. The best raid will down more bosses so will get more gear getting further from the second best raid. The only solution is that I artificially randomize my invites, making sure everyone gets a chance, like all good socialist would.

However the problem solved itself with Ruby Sanctum firstkill (world 3856, and we couldn't log in on Wednesday) . There was 18 lvl 80 online and I was a bit scared how can I form the group without either setting the foundation of an "elite clique" or excluding good players, making them rightfully angry and wiping because of the lack of them. Well, I could barely fill up the raid. We cleared the trash and the minibosses and did tries with only 2 healers, because the others did not come. One of our tanks have not been in ICC before RS (now he tanked LK pretty well). Some of those who did not come considered themselves undergeared, others were busy doing something. I assume there were some who did not want to wipe on a new boss and went VoA instead.

The word "clique" only has a meaning if it's exclusive-excluding. "Clique" is a group that does not invite you. For such non-invitation it is needed to have lot of people wanting the very same thing. However it's never the case. That's the reason why HC guilds need attendance rules at the first place: to force the members to go to a raid where/when they don't want to.

The plans of the player can be placed somewhere in the following list:
  1. does not want to play at all (RL issue, bored with the game)
  2. wants something random and light (daily HC, BG, AH)
  3. wants an easy farm raid
  4. wants a progression raid on a new boss/hard mode
Of course these are just milestones, there are all shades of gray between them like "let's make some tries on HM LDW, but if we wipe more than 6, just go normal". The guild stratification is based on the idea that players differ on this list, there are casuals around #2, there are "social raiding guilds" at #3 and there are HC guilds around #4.

While there are some truth in it, it ignores the fact that players change both on the long run (starts as casual but gets sucked into raiding, raids 6/7 but gets enough and want to scale back), and also on a daily basis (has a bad day and wants some easy fun, all set for some big score, has RL issues and doesn't want to play). These changes make attendance rules necessary. The guy who is usually #4, is forced to be #4 every raid day. Without this rule they would deviate from their "clique", destroying it.

In a "social raiding" guild, cliques are also escapes from the guild's restrictive rules. In such a guild the 25 man raid is usually boosting M&S in 6/12. The best 10 players form a "clique" to do 10 man LK tries where they are not forced to boost. It's their escape. The "clique", if defined as "group of friends" is the only legitimate escape for a social from the M&S. You can't say "I won't play with you because you are bad", this is "mean" and "not helpful". On the other hand you can say: "I'd like to hang out with my best of friends and you happen to be none of them". You obviously don't need such escape in The PuG.

There are no cliques in The PuG and theoretically cannot form. So you can join safely to the other 130 players. After reading the rules of course, because we still mean them.


Anonymous said...

people obviously trust that you wont let M&S in guild so they'll take anyone available now, but cliques will form.

There's only one way to avoid them:
- best players are encouraged to move in big guilds.

Sten Düring said...

@Gevlon Now I still would define The Pug as a 'casual, social raiding guild for fun', which probably goes counter to everything you stand for.

Casual? Yes, it's not defined as a main-character hard-core raiding guild.

Social? Actually yes, but in a very strange way. You DO have social rules, mostly barring people from being too social within the frames of the guild. However, the 'no gz', no 'welcome/nn' and no chitchatting in /g ARE social rules.

For fun? Absolutly. It's 100% NOT FUN raiding with retards who stand in fire, roll on loot and leave the raid after one wipe. Your definition of 'for fun' just happen to coincide with that of a true raider -- kill the damn content, and if you fail, learn from the mistakes and try again, and if you fail...

Riptor said...

It all depends on the average skill/experience Level of your Guild. As soon as you get 10-15 Players who have more experience or are just better then the others they will start to form 10Man ICC/RS hm to which only those 10-15 Players get invites.
Especially now, with RS being a ridiculously easy Farmencounter that only seems to have been put in the game, so that every mediocre Player can get his Lulw00t 271-284 Loot, you will probably get some bored Raiders who will join the Pug just to see how it works. Your 25Man runs will probably greatly benefit from their experience but in 10 Mans they will most likely start forming Groups with others like them.

I have been pug-ing for the last couple of weeks because I wanted to see if Players who by Definition are M&S are really that bad (Also I could not believe that a Person somehow not blood related to Forrest Gump could actually be 0/0/71). Soon I had to accept that there really are some god-awful Players out there. Shrimp boat Captains if you will.
But to be honest, the Rest was even worse. Most of the “better” Players I met in those pugs use those M&S as criteria to define of they themselves were good or bad. But the actual Gap between them and really skilled PvE Players is sometimes far greater then they are able to imagine.
So, even if a Player in his surroundings (the vicious Circle of Raiding in Social/Casual/PUGs) qualifies as “good” he might not be viewed that way by Players who actually know what could be done with this Toon in 245er Gear.

I think it is the way of WoW, that in every surrounding, be it the Trade Chat, PUGs, Forums, Guilds, Arenas, Battlegrounds, etc. the more skilled Players will find each other and ultimately start playing together because it is just easier for them to interact with each other as long as they see each other as equals.

Denethal said...

After having read through most of the comments regarding "The Pug" and claiming that cliques will form and whatever other failure people list, it's one thing they've failed to actually take into consideration:

If people, so desperately as you make it sound, wants to make a clique, they are better off forming their own guild. But they are not.

People are staying, the community seems to be thriving as more and more reaches level 80 and we get more and more people who is attending our raids.

We had a paladin with less than 4000 gearscore in our ICC raid on Sunday and he performed well. No noticeable mistakes and a decent output of skills.

The beauty of the guild is that we can pick anyone that's willing to go, as we know that the person isn't a M&S, as Gevlon would have put it.

It doesn't really matter that you got "low gs, lolz". When everyone in the pool is expected to know their class and how to perform a useful rotation, it's just about "What role do we need?" and then pick the first on the list that volunteers for that role.

And if you don't perform, such as a mage in the same raid who did way too low damage, you'll get replaced. You're welcome back next time, but we expect you to fix your rotation and read up on how to perform well.

Cliques will form, of course. But that's more because not everyone is able to raid at the same time and thus get locked to different instances. Not because "u suck, lawlz, l2p nab" and the likes.

We expect everyone to perform, including ourselves.

The only real questions is this:

What is it with the idea and implementation of this community that bothers you so much that you deem it unlikely to succeed?

Are you so adapted to the 10-man guilds that you have completely forgotten that once upon a time, there were 40-man raids with 50-60 raid-ready guildmembers, where 10-20 were on standby?

"The Pug" is not that different from the guilds back then. Except that the guilds had WAY harder requirements for raiding, even to just join the guild. And that was for just to raid Molten Core.

The Majordomus difference here, is that people are expected to know about the fight beforehand and that we're not supposed to be spending 15-20 minutes explaining the fight to those we grab from the pool of available level 80's.

We got 131 members of the guild now. Some are not logging on much due to the summer and other reasons, but we will raid 25-man content fairly soon, that I'm sure of.

chewy said...

So what your saying is cliques won't form because the whole guild is a clique ?

Mix and match at will and you'll always get players that you're happy with because the guild only encourages and allows the right type of player.

It's a great idea but I'm not entirely convinced. Human nature is to find some reason, other than ability to play wow, that will define and distinguish groups within groups or "cliques".

It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Gevlon said...

@chewy: no, I'm saying cliques need to be enforced to stay together when people's interest change. Even if 10 player would very much enjoy playing together, there are raids when some of them are not available and others get in. In a HC guild you ARE available, or you are kicked.

Bezzub said...

I am curious to see if you get an occasional M&S in your guild and whether you are swift in removing them or you let them stay because they are borderline decent.

We have people that significantly underperform in the gear they have, but that is still enough to kill most bosses. Yet they have poor awareness. The difference is that the boss is killed after 10 tries instead of only 1-2 with a top group. Or it takes them 10 clears to learn the mechanics enough to be able to 1-shot most encounters.

Assuming your filtering remains tough and you have the option to just ask in /g for 2 tanks, 2 healers, 8 dps and get the ones that respond first, ThePug will succeed.

Adrius said...

Clique or not, there are different kinds of pugs. There are ones going for 4/12 with 25% buff, there are ones going for 8/12 HM at least. You already said that there will form raid leaders after some time and they will lead their own pugs, often to different things and with different state of mind and different requirements on people.

The main categories among active raiders (came to a raid atleast once) of The PuG will be something like:
1) Normal ICC random pugging at not the highest level, simple clear up to 11/12, maybe some tries on LK with no dedication what so ever, maybe LK kill once and easier hard modes too. You barely see the same people 2 days in a row. The regular pug you see on trade, only ours doesnt have M&S and doesnt require 5.3k GS+ for icc10 with 25% buff..
2) HM group, people of skill, gear (or even more skill to perform at the required level), NOT REQUIRED higher attendance, people WANT to come and progress some hard things, DONT HAVE TO.
3) late night raiding at whatever level is available at the late time.

There already are plans to start HM group as well as the late night raiding group (10pm-1am I think), not by the same people obviously. And all these people will meet in 25man pug, not quite at the same level of gear and/or skill.

There will also be some inviting better players over the worse ones (in the HM group at least), its normal, NATURAL. Call me elitist, call me anti-socialist, call me whatever you want but world simply works like that. The HM group will still be a pug, just better pug. As said in the beggining, there are many different kinds of pugs and there are huge differences between them, between their goals.

Also the HM group will very possibly be extending lock out from time to time to progress so due to that it most likely wont be for people who still need a lot of gear from ICC10. The extension will be simply due to the PUG aspect, we finally get together, and dont have to clear tons of trash and other bosses to progress Sindragosa HM. Once again, its still a pug, there are pugs for ULD25 drakes for example which keep their ID for weeks.

All we need to make this happen are people. Yes, we do have 19 80ies online at some point, yet we cant very well put together one 10man, because obviously people dont have to raid. Some are at RL occupied, some arent in the mood, some are at the AH, some are saved out of guild, some might even be non raiders. So come, join us.

Sidenote: you can never go wrong by picking up a healing (at least off)spec if your class offers it.