Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

M&S vs beginner

I got lot of comments along the line "screw and replace those who can't perform high enough" to the post where I asked patience for those who are new to The PuG. Also a bunch who accused me for turning "helpfull peep" for not gkicking everyone who get twilight cut.

Besides the amusement over the people who are more Catholic than the Pope, this gave me an insight why lot of good players remain helpful with M&S: there are beginners, they do deserve patience, and the social consider every M&S a beginner. The commenters considered no one "beginner" and everyone M&S which is equally stupid.

So I decided to write a post about being and handling beginners. I'd like to emphasize that these are not rules of the guild, there is no punishment to violate them. They are tips to beginners and help to others how to discriminate between beginners and M&S. However they are criteria to get into my boost raids. I won't take anybody with me, not even as boosted if they don't fit. The boost money comes from the pot and paid for bosses. If there is no kill, there are no items to auction, so there is no pot. So while it's completely normal for boosted people to pull less than the boosters, it's not to pull less than they could.

Before I start I'd like to talk about why should we suffer beginners. I mean we were all beginners once but needed no help or patience, we did everything the hard way, and we made it. Why should it be easier for them? Because the game design changed. Once upon a time, the game was stratified. You couldn't go to Nefarion without Onyxia cloak and couldn't go to BT without vials. This meant a living low-raiding community. There were lower guilds running Karazhan only, maybe adventuring to Gruul sometimes. So a beginner could join this community, learn the basic tricks from them, get starter gear, see a wider spectra of players and when he was in the top of the low-end guild, he was ready to apply to a middle guild doing Eye and SSC. Here he was free from blatant M&S, could learn more, see serious raids with tricky bosses (Vashij anyone?), master his skills. By the time he got his vials, he was ready to join a BT guild.

With the new "everyone is a top raider" scheme, there is no low-raiding. There are no guilds where you can run Naxx to gear up and learn tricks. Naxx is easy but still miles away from the 5-mans, where you are just pressing a single AoE button. There is nowhere a beginner could learn. By rejecting the beginners, you limit yourself to cannibalize other guilds. What happens when you run out of guilds to cannibalize? The PuG does, and always will accept beginners.

Now let's see what a beginner should do before coming to a raid, and what an M&S will never do:
  • Gear: getting starter gear needs no raiding. So "I have low gear" is no excuse. Especially not for performance below the Undergeared team. Obviously I'm not telling to farm full 245-251 badge gear, that's stupid. But having leveling greens, offspec pieces are the sign of an M&S. A worthy beginner's gear contains:
    • maybe a few some ilvl 200 in-spec blue items. It's OK to have them. They drop in "heroics" and good upgrades to leveling blues, also better than low ilvl offspec items. 1-2 remaining ilvl 180+ leveling or crafted blues.
    • some ilvl 200 epics, from 5-man endbosses, reputation and crafting
    • some ilvl 219-232 from the new 5-mans, weekly raids and so on
    • some in-spec ilvl 245 triumph badge items, maybe a pair of ilvl 232 tier items
    • some ilvl 264 PvP items. While resilience is worthless stat for PvE, there are enough budget left in a 264 to beat a 232. Amulet, bracers, cloak and ring sold without rating requirements. Wintergrasp gives honor in large amounts, along with the daily random BG.
    • a few frost badge items
    If someone shows up with such variety, I have no doubt that he is neither a veteran, nor a hopeless idiot. He is new and working on his gear.
  • The gear must be gemmed and enchanted. Period, no excuses. There are pretty cheap enchants for items you plan to replace. There are also green quality gems. If you have some item that does not deserve an enchant, then you should be working on replacing that item and not wiping my raid! This applies to belts (buckle), pants (blue quality spellthread), shoulder (SoH honored) and head (spec-appropriate enchant, revered rep with a faction).
  • The professions leveled to the point where you can use the profession bonus. Having 1/75 tailoring on a mage is definitely lazy. Also, having 2 gathering professions is not for raiders. 1 gathering profession is tolerable as one has to earn and playing the AH is not exciting to everyone. Having the profession level and not using the bonus is simply stupid.
  • Having flask, food, potions.
  • The strategies of the raid you'll attend read, video watched. I won't explain strategy before the fight. You can ask question about tricks like "can a mage skip spores by ice block?" but not "what the hell are spores?". We pull, you fail, you pay 300G.
  • Proper talent spec
  • Max level spells (getting caught by rankwatch is the worse thing that can happen)
  • Rotation practiced on the dummy for DPS, tanking and healing practiced in PoS-FoS-HoR.
In the raid the beginner and the M&S make mistakes. However the beginner recognize them and learn from them. Getting cut by the twilight cutter once is normal. Again and again is not. Also blaming the gear for failures, lying about your death reason (recount sees you!) , being defensive is even less.

On Sunday Halion died again, with 5/10 people getting their achievements, after I replaced a healer who got cut too often and a tank-level DPS. Sindy also hit the ground with 4 people getting their firstkill achievements. There is and will always be place for beginners. There is just wasted ID and multiple 300G fines for M&S.

32 comments:

Rades said...

I thought of your philosophy towards mistakes earlier this week when my friend begged me to come heal a RS10 Halion attempt. Apparently they had been wiping 4-5 times on Halion and had lost a healer.

Since I had not been planning on attempting him I had only vague memories of his strategies (rotating lasers, split DPS in phase 3). The first time someone got the explosive debuff I cleansed it right away, and was quite surprised when a few people (myself included) went flying. I took note and the next time the debuff went out, I cleansed it and got knocked back again, and then knew the cause (the first time could have been something else). I never messed up the cleansing again in our 5 attempts.

HOWEVER, these people who had been already been attempting him 5 times STILL did not realize they were supposed to run to the outsides when they got the debuff. As I sat there mentally yelling at them to run out, run out! I couldn't help but shake my head that I had learned the debuff after 2 times, yet these players were just blindly DPSing away and ignoring their surroundings.

Needless to say we didn't down him.

Anonymous said...

good article and I agree with all the points except one which I semi agree:
"The professions leveled to the point where you can use the profession bonus. Having 1/75 tailoring on a mage is definitely lazy"
Indeed it is and, as a rule of the thumb, it is correct BUT.
There are exceptions, specifically dk's. I have leveled 2 dk's, 1 at the start of the lk were I decided to first level the proffs, reach outland levels and then go to outland.
The 2nd dk that I made for the IG I just power-leveled in less than 1.5 weeks to 80. After than I was queuing to dungeons while farming for the proffs at the same time.
It was way, way more efficient.

Anyways, my bottom line is that for the dk's, being 80 with no proffs and suddenly the proff's starting to level might be the opposite of a sign of an M&S.

But yeah, for the rest I agree. Most of my characters when I ding 80 have 450/450 both proff's with a few exceptions

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: a professionless DK is one of the dumbest thing one can do. A DK should have his late profession or some gathering profession to pick what he already found.

The One and Only... said...

@anonymous

that wasnt powerlvling.. 1.5 weeks and no prof is lazy.

it takes 2-3 hours to lvl any nongathering prof through the ah... you can lvl any gathering prof in 1 day...

and you even dont need questrewards/dungeondrops when you hit 58... so no excuse at all.

Anonymous said...

Can you please please define M&S for those readers who have never heard the term before.

I've been reading this blog for over two months and I'm still trying to figure out what M&S means; it would be nice if you could give it a definition more often than assuming everyone understands it.

Thanks!

Sjonnar said...

@Anonymous: The definition of M&S is available on the blog's 'About' page: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2009/07/about-page.html

As for lv80 DKs with no profs, that's just silly. First thing a DK should do after he gets out of the starting zone is pick up two gathering profs and get them up to outland level so he can make money as he levels. Passing up the free money lying around all over outland is incomprhensibly stupid.
The exception here is enchanting. From my experience, enchanting is a bastard to backlevel due to the lack of low-level mats in the AH. If an 80 DK is still levelling enchanting, it may but mean that he has bought all the low-end mats and disenchantable items and has to go back to old content to grind for enchanting mats.

The One and Only... said...

yeah... its realy stupid not to get at least one gathprof with a fresh dk. gathering all this crap when you hit 80 and you should be gearing up is stupid.

hit 58... go pick a gathprof and bring it up to 300 and then start with outlands.

fresh 80 means doing heroics and shit like that... lvling your prof when fresh 80 just costs time that could be spent much better.

Tully42 said...

@Rades: Einstein once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". I think Blizzard should change the Insane title such that it is gifted to those that fail same way on multiple consecutive attempt.

That aside, I often wonder what raiding would be like without the vast quantities of information available outside the game about the encounters. What percentage of the player base has the critical thinking skills to reason how an encounter works and develop a strategy to beat it? I'm guessing it's relatively small.

RaduKing said...

you know that the "more Catholic than the Pope" expression is only used in a couple of Central/Eastern European countries :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, proffless dk here, thank you for your opinions.

@the one and only: 1.5 weeks but with very limited hours (aka, it wasn't /played week, it was an actual 1.5 week with limited time scheduled. Thus yes, it was power-leveling.

Also, your point with me not needing quest rewards at 58 is well....laughable. Xp is THE biggest quest reward and, trust me, we need loads of it.

@gevlon definatelly disagree. leveling the proffs as 80 instead while leveling as a dk has some great advantage:
i) fills the downtime between dungeons. You convert useless time to useful.
ii) When you are a lower level (58 in this case), you will get aggro and need time to kill the mobs. With an 80, aggroing will be a rare event and even then you can 1-2 shot every mob.

@sjonnar: no, it's not. If i was able to start immidiately with outland-level proffesions then yes, it would be extremely stupid. But i need time and effort to reaach outland levels which made leveling the proff's early inefficient in my observations.


My bottom line is that leveling from level 1 with proffesions is definatelly useful.

Going back as a dk and leveling the proffesions until they match your level when you could just power level to 80 and go back and grind your proffesions to 80 while gearing up is more time-efficient.

Again, this are mine observations. I could be wrong and, for some people I am wrong as people tend to do things differently. But for me these things are propably true.

Anonymous said...

Can you please please define M&S for those readers who have never heard the term before.

I've been reading this blog for over two months and I'm still trying to figure out what M&S means; it would be nice if you could give it a definition more often than assuming everyone understands it.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"you know that the "more Catholic than the Pope" expression is only used in a couple of Central/Eastern European countries :)"

And western. Pretty much all over Europe.

Anonymous said...

good article and I agree with all the points except one which I semi agree:
"The professions leveled to the point where you can use the profession bonus. Having 1/75 tailoring on a mage is definitely lazy"
Indeed it is and, as a rule of the thumb, it is correct BUT.
There are exceptions, specifically dk's. I have leveled 2 dk's, 1 at the start of the lk were I decided to first level the proffs, reach outland levels and then go to outland.
The 2nd dk that I made for the IG I just power-leveled in less than 1.5 weeks to 80. After than I was queuing to dungeons while farming for the proffs at the same time.
It was way, way more efficient.

Anyways, my bottom line is that for the dk's, being 80 with no proffs and suddenly the proff's starting to level might be the opposite of a sign of an M&S.

But yeah, for the rest I agree. Most of my characters when I ding 80 have 450/450 both proff's with a few exceptions

Anonymous said...

it takes 2-3 hours to lvl any nongathering prof through the ah... you can lvl any gathering prof in 1 day...

Wilson said...

@Tully42-

Of course the numbers would be smaller if we had to figure out everything on our own. But how many people would use cell phones if they had to develop the technology and build the components themselves? How many would drive if the only way to learn was to get behind the wheel of a machine they knew nothing about and go? How many would learn to effin' read if they were just handed a book with no explanation?

Figuring everything out on your own doesn't mean you're clever, it means you're a barbarian living in the dark ages.

Anonymous said...

"it takes 2-3 hours to lvl any nongathering prof through the ah... you can lvl any gathering prof in 1 day..."

and what if you don't have/want to waste ~10.000g to do that?

It is far more time AND money efficient to level your proffss in-between random dungeons

Tully42 said...

"Figuring everything out on your own doesn't mean you're clever, it means you're a barbarian living in the dark ages."

No, it means I'm clever. If i chose to figure it out and actually do it, I'm clever. I often don't read explanations so i can reach them by myself. That's why they teach us how to do add and subtract numbers and they just don't give us a calculator.

If you can only think with someone's brain you're, by definition, a M&S.

Glyph, the Architect said...

The comments on the page made me start thinking I was going insane. People quoting other comments without denoting them as quotes had me think I was stuck in some kind of Mobius comment loop.

But to the person who asked twice:

Morons & Slackers. Or simply put: Retards.

Normally I would just point people to the search function, but it seems to be broken at the moment.

Duskstorm said...

@Gevlon, for DPS, wouldn't it be easier to just have newbies post a recount with them going at it against a test dummy?

Since you don't want people to feel forced to flask/collect buffs, you could do this:

"It costs 100g to have an officer 'test' you. The officer will party with you (and only you). You will declick any and every buff. The officer will then observe your DPS sustained over a 5 minute period against the test dummy. Must exceed 5k."

The officer could even periodically spam a raid warning "MOVE 15 YARDS TO THE RIGHT" and they have to respond to the raid warning in adequate time.

The 100g ensures that the officer's time is compensated, and there's no need for the newb to ask his friends to all get together and give him every raid buff.

I'm not sure the best way to test tanks and heals, though.

Tegoelf said...

I can actually think of one case where downranking is still viable. A disc priest with bubble against one of the debuffs cast during LK (sorry at work cant remember the name and wowhead etc blocked from work) I wont claim to know disc priests, but I do know from one of the other raiders that they can get mana returns from a bubble popping from damage (again could be spec or base spell or glyph I do not know) and by using a specific rank of bubble she could absorb pretty much all the damage, and then give her the mana she needed to continue by popping. This is a very special case, but it points out that to every rule there is a valid exception.

Wilson said...

Tully42 said: "That's why they teach us how to do add and subtract numbers and they just don't give us a calculator."

I don't know about you, but when I was in school they didn't expect us to re-invent algbera. They said "Here are the answers. Here are some tricks to help you. Now memorize it." Similarly, if I need to know the kinematic viscosity of water at a particular temperature, I don't spend all day building an experiment and measuring it. I just look it up.

If you think being able to figure out a fairly basic (but poorly documented) video game without taking advantage of on-line resources is a sign of cleverness and not obstinacy, then you are living in a simple world. And I cannot help you.

Honors Code said...

Do you consider enchanting to be a gathering profession?

chewy said...

@Tully

"If you can only think with someone's brain you're, by definition, a M&S."

The indefinite article you were looking for is "an" because the consonant M is pronounced in M&S.

It's in the manual but I'm sure you would have worked it out eventually.

Sidhe said...

"The professions leveled to the point where you can use the profession bonus [...] having 2 gathering professions is not for raiders."

I strongly disagree.

Unless you are a hard-mode raider who has to min/max everything, the profession bonuses won't make much difference. You can be a perfect "normal" (non-HM) raider and have dual-gathering to make money grinding mats. And I think you won't find many beginners doing hard-modes, for obvious reasons.

The whole point of your undergeared project was to prove that knowing how to play will make more difference between a successful raider and an M&S than having +105 more agility.

Anonymous said...

@ Sidhe : except having 1 gather and 1 craft will make you much more money that having 2 gathers...

The only situation where having 2 gathers is correct is when you have no AH supply of raw mats and you need the 2 gathers on an alt to fuel the 2 crafting on your main.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

"you know that the "more Catholic than the Pope" expression is only used in a couple of Central/Eastern European countries :)"

Are you kidding? My irish-american mother-in-law and wife use it all the time.

And with all the italians where I live, and all the poles and irish where my m-i-l lives, they are not out of place. I think it's a catholic cultures thing.

Azzur said...

@Tegoelf
I can actually think of one case where downranking is still viable. A disc priest with bubble against one of the debuffs cast during LK (sorry at work cant remember the name and wowhead etc blocked from work) I wont claim to know disc priests, but I do know from one of the other raiders that they can get mana returns from a bubble popping from damage (again could be spec or base spell or glyph I do not know) and by using a specific rank of bubble she could absorb pretty much all the damage, and then give her the mana she needed to continue by popping. This is a very special case, but it points out that to every rule there is a valid exception.

You are right. Disc Priests regain mana from the Rapture talent when their PW:Shield gets broken from the LK's Infest. If multiple bubbles (PW:Shield) breaks simultaneously, the Disc Priest will regain mana from all of them (it's sort of like a bug). The Disc Priest downranks because they normally stack Spellpower and their max-rank Shield would not break from the Infest (and thus they won't get their mana back).

Sidhe said...

@last anonymous: And what if he doesn't want to have professions at all? Since when are professions required for casual (non-hardcore) raiding?

Understanding "casuals" as "those who don't strive for hard-modes or server firsts".

Gevlon said...

@Sidhe: "casual" means "play non-scheduled" and not "a lazy dumb expecting boost" which is the case with someone who don't have professions.

altaholicsdiary said...

@ Dusktstomr

Your idea of the DPS test of a new player is actually really good. It gives you at least a lab-like testing environment to determine someones DPS abilities.

The ability to test healer and tanks is not necessary really. One reason being that most M&S do not play tanks or healers because if one of those two roles mess up there is a BIG knock on effect, so they stick to DPS which your test covers well (note: I am not saying all DPS are M&S just that most M&S choose DPS).

In addition, after one or two attempts at a boss or even trash in a raid you will be able to tell if a tank or healer can cut it. If a tank can't hold aggro on a pack, after having had so much practice in HC's, then he's not cut out (barring bad DPS not watching aggro). If a healer can't get the healing out again its obvious.

Tegoelf said...

@ Azzur You are completely correct in the instance I was thinking of. Not playing a disc priest I couldn't remember the names of all of those things, but that is the situation our disc priest was referring to. It was mostly to say that there is an exception to every rule, sometimes rankwatch mucks up. Personally i get dinged for it because when I end up with morons they get rezzed rank1 It saves me nothing, but it does remove some of the frustration.

stilhelm said...

Having 2 gathering professions is not such a big deal even for a raider. For example, my rogue is skinning/mining. Suppose I decided to be skinning/leatherworking, I would trade the +60 stam mining bonus for +80 attack power (+88 with the +10% ap raid buff). That is just over 1% of my raid-buffed attack power. Assuming 10k dps (all buffs, patchwerk-style fight) on a 5-minute fight, that would be 30K total damage out of 3M. RNG can rob me of far more than that, a string of non-crits on mutilate means I don't get the extra combo point, combined with a string of ruthlessness not proccing (extra combo point after finishing move) means my dps goes in the toilet because the envenom buff doesn't have enough uptime.

Sure, the point could be made that any particular enchant/gem doesn't matter, but most are essentially free (some small amount of gold/time). Crafting professions can be expensive and time-consuming to level (although so is mining if you don't do it while you level) and you might not even like it.

OTOH, if someone has no professions, no gems, no enchants, etc., then they clearly don't care and should not be expecting to raid.