Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The worst 25-man ever

On Monday we went to continue ICC25. From the experience of the first half, I was sure about 10/12, and hoped for 11/12. Well, we killed Rotface with a terrible mess and 12 dead, and wiped on PP. Please look at this wonderful damage chart:
Now please look at this other chart, done by the blue-gear only Undergeared on our PP tries with 10-man buffs, 25% ICC buff:

So no, it wasn't lack of gear. It was terrible performance. Were these people watching TV? It doesn't matter. I called the raid instantly. I won't boost such people. Now comes the question: how to fix it? I promised that following the guild rules guarantees good raiding performance. That's why I blacked out the names of the near and below-tank DPS: "name and shame them on a highly-visited blog" is not something that most guild leaders can do. I must fix it within the rules, by the rules to prove that the rules work.

At first one fixing had happened instantly: the raid was called with the "so many people sucked" reason. It stopped their leaching. Unfortunately it also stopped the good performing people from having their well-deserved loot/pot.

Second fixing: I won't start/participate in any more 25-man raid until we have at least 5 people sitting outside so I can instantly replace the underperformers. If I have to take every warm body to fill the raid, I can't replace them, and they know that. Don't forget that the personally optimal way is leaching and it can only be stopped by punishing it. If you boost leeches you'll get more leeches. "You get what you pay for" is an universal rule.

Now I can just leave these people be and go my merry way of 10HMs but this would be the start of forming cliques. I want a system that allows poor players who want to be good to actively participate and become better. Of course I want it in a way that does not include any kind of helping.

So I'll modify the boost raid rules. Please note that they were never rules of the guild, they are just the rules of my raid. Anyone can start a raid and invite those who are ready to play by his lead. There will be no fixed booster positions. After every kill and loot distribution we'll have an evaluation. We will discuss every performance-related questions. After this, the raid leader (on my raid me) will place everyone into one of the 3 groups:
  • booster: this guy did great job on this boss. He gets 100G extra from the pot
  • normal: he was average. Did not sparkle nor suck.
  • boosted: he messed up bad. His DPS was low or he pulled aggro and died, forgot to decurse/interrupt, healed the boss and so on. -100G
There is no need to make 10 trades after every boss, I simply put a + or - sign next to his name on my paper and adjust the pot at the end. This way good performance is rewarded, bad performance is punished but also instantly corrected. Please note that everyone is motivated to pick mistakes of others: if you prove that someone made a mistake, he won't get +100G and your pot will be bigger. Also, the underperformer is told exactly what he shall improve, he can ask questions, explain his reasons and so on.

What the hell is the connection between the above arbitrary rules and the mentioned "magical" skill: asocial behavior with peers? Simple: the open discussion of errors demands the people to not be defensive, nor to feel bad about criticizing someone. In a social guild this is simply impossible as every discussion would end with "gg, some ppl had bad luck but we progressed and had fun". Here the discussion is possible. The "magical skill" is a foundation that is capable of holding several effective behaviors and systems. It's like reading&writing. You can't read a book if you are illiterate, but "writing" won't write the book for you either, someone has to write it.

Other question: what guarantees that the RL is just? The market: if I'm an unjust RL, soon no one will raid with me. The guild rules allow this and especially stop me from forcing anyone to raid with me who doesn't want.

So on Wednesday I hope there will be enough people for 2 10-men. I will try to create a balanced group of boosters and boosted. I know that if we get saved to 2 different 10-men, we can't do hard modes this week. But again: the rules allow me to skip HMs if I want to, and currently fixing this mess is more important to me. Of course if the other good players want HMs, they are free to all reject to join my raid and do hard modes without me.


Anonymous said...

How many of the raid had no experience of PP? I ask this because the active time of everyone bar the tanks is very low. In our raid (PP25 HM though) the lowest active time this week was 98%, the majority of the raid were 99.xx%. Even those topping your meters were below 90% active time, most were much lower. This suggests to me that there's either a lack of understanding of the fight or that the positioning of the boss/melee/casters is inefficient. Is the tank moving PP out of caster range when he takes the gas bombs from the melee? Are the casters in a position from where they can hit PP and ooze/gas without moving? If positioning is good, gas bombs are being moved out well and gas/ooze positioning if fine then there isn't a single dps in that raid performing well.

Anonymous said...

Two questions about this:
One thing I hate about bad groups is not only bad performance but also so much of time-wasting. Ppl going "afk smoking" or "brb" for an unknown amount of time really annoy me. YOur raid may discourage this behaviour, but won't discussing performances and lack thereof consume a LOT of time? Considering the M&S that don't accept your "flames" and such. Of course they can be replaced easily then, but it all costs time.

Secondly, you always talk about DPS. Can't Healers or tanks be boosters? YOu would kick an underperforming healer or a bad tank, but how to tell they did especially well? I know, most of the time it is the DPS that suck, but I have seen raids fail due to lazy/bad healers standing in fire or not knowing what incinerate flesh is.

Gevlon said...

I do not claim that only DPS can suck. It's simply easier to put on the screenshot as DPS sucking has a numerical value.

Squishalot said...

@ 1st Anonymous - low active time, I'm guessing, is a byproduct of being dead.

And I agree with 2nd Anonymous - it sounds like it'll be a huge time killer in between bosses. I'm fairly certain that you said something recently about minimising down-time between bosses; this is going to be fairly counterproductive in that regard, for not a significant benefit - I don't think that -100g is enough of a penalty for poor performance.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: the benefit is learning. Most people don't mean to suck, they just don't know how to do it right. Yes, it will cost time. But if he remains bad, that will cost us much more time.

The 100G is not primarily to their punishment, it's to pay for the others time.

DKS said...

Welcome to 25M raids, Gevlon, which give us Raid Leaders plenty of headaches!

Problem with PuG approach with 25M progress is, exactly the reason why you can kill 10M raids with quite ease - Asocial activity. And whether deliberately or not, you've actually taken a social approach to fix the situation band-aid -calling the raid because people are slacking. These people named and shamed (Even if not intentionally, but it's easy to see who has failed and people will put a social stigmata on it).

Sad truth is, while for most people in WoW, they would like to down bosses, they're also much less motivated to go the extra length of mile to do so. Sometimes this is conscious ("I cba lol"), sometimes it's not, because the player doesn't know any better. In my experience, for vast majority of players, especially in Wrath, Raids are just an extension of 5M instances and only bigger. Just like they have no problems going afk in a random dungeon, they will do so in a raid setting as well.

I fix this problem in my guilds through a-social means as well, because I don't want players performing only well because there's a social pressure, which indicates, once that pressure is lifted, that guy is going to be another slacker in the end -which would explain some of the ICC 25, even HM geared players in PuGs that perform terribly.

What I try to do instead is, I allow everyone a one time fail on a boss. I died on my first safety dance too, which was the last time I died on it too. Another sad reality is, while I have problems understanding how can people fail on PP Heroic, people do fail on even normal modes.

You're currently contemplating two decisions -old system of communism (ie, everyone gets the same share of pot despite putting in different amounts of work) and an arbitrage of RL decision. For second one to work, a "benevolent dictator" is required, and I ask you if you count on other The PuG RLers to do the best decisions on this matter.

The matter of fact is, most raid guilds have survived through eliminating infected cells (Slackers are cancerous cells which infect the rest of your raid and the guild, because through their incompetence, the healthy cells get depressed about the value of their work, and don't get the stimuli).

-100 gold is a relatively weak tool, in my opinion. "lol I caer abot gold, ppl killed pp and I watched it was mazing" What I'm proposing is arguably against the spirit of The PuG, but I've never seen any other way.

What I propose to you is a method of finding the why -most 10M handpicked raid groups have been considerably better than 25M hand picked groups. In a 10M, when a dpser dies, raid loses %20 of its DPS and everyone knows that. In 25M, when a DPSer dies, it's only 100, it's only %6.6, not even really visible most of the time (especially considering that the people that tend to die pull less of the % of raid dps in most situations).

While technically speaking, %6 is such an invisible number that people don't care about, the vast amount of progresses right after another %5 buff is so high that it should be a clear sign that yes, it does matter. And people should realize that, yet they do not. They see their work unimportant, their role insignificant (The "I'm just another dps, a tiny bit of dust in the vast cosmos" complex). You have to figure out how to make people understand this better -I certainly have no clue how, in a setting such as The PuG.

Anonymous said...

The problem I see is that you do not offer and efficient way of teaching people fights. Learning by "osmosis" doesn't really work, learning by observing others will cripple own performance on raids.

I do agree with the principle that some people do not suck, it is that they do not know better. So now, how do you teach (or show)them better? And this goes behind from knowing the mechanics of a fight, as it also involves speccing, rotations ...

Anonymous said...

I'll be back next week to give you a little more DPS.

Anonymous said...

There was lot of people who did stop dps after a wipe was called. That's why numbers seem so low. Check numbers from boss kills and you will see that those exact same people have higher dps, sometimes even 20-30% higher.

Frederick said...

I think a large part of this is that some of your members were simply unprepared for the massive step up from 10 man to 25 man difficulty - somebody who is accustomed to avoiding something like malleable goo in 10 man PP is going to get hit by it *all the time* on 25 man until they figure out that although the animations are very similar, the 25 man goo covers a much larger area. Also, proportionately more DPS is required, because the gear requirement is higher. I would love to see a WoL for that fight to look at it a bit more in depth!

Tickles said...

Yes, i personally stop attacking when wipe is called.
We actually did PP 10 man after the failed 25 man raid. The dps was quite different.

Shadowstep said...

Putricide can also wreck your dps for any number of reasons especially as melee. Bad tanking, slow switches to oozes,not enough dps on oozes the list goes on. There were likely some fails in there but a few fails can make everyone look bad on this fight, for me its the difference between doing 10 k or doing 7. Also do people know all the little tricks to maximize dps. Are rogues vanishing for teargas, mages poping invis? are people taking the orange to the corner to make it reset? Double potting, bladeflurry and cleaves on the green ooze when spawning next to the boss? do you have that rogue doing a 2 point expose armor on the ooze? what about hunters feinting when a green ooze gets close? Its the little optimizations and tricks that make the difference on this fight.

Anonymous said...

If people have had their exp in 10man ICC maybe they don't realise that 25man is harder than 10man ICC in every aspect, not just more people involved. The active time of your ranged in that log is shocking. The top dps did 8.5k dps for 85% of the fight, that's unacceptable. I'd rather see someone do 7.5k for 99% of the fight (would be more damage done overall), in fact I'd rather see someone do 6k for 99% of the fight - at least they were pressing buttons, switching fast and using instants while moving from goo, kiting add etc.

Wilson said...

If the whole point of your guild is to create an environment where you can be confident that whoever is on-line is a decent raider, and you believe it has failed in that, why are you only modifying your personal raid leader rules? What reason does someone who wants to lead a raid have to select from guild members, if in fact they are no better than the regular shmucks you find wandering the streets of Dalaran?

Kiltarion said...

PP is a boss with a lot of movement and stuff to watch out for.

I do the damage Rawr says I should on a straight fight (just over 8k in ICC), but add in fight mechanics... I've never set foot in ICC or even raided before this character. The ONLY way I can get better is by raiding.

Being kicked or punished for being new is unfair. I can accept that you don't want to take the time to teach us, which means making our own raids.

Bristal said...

"Simple: the open discussion of errors demands the people to not be defensive, nor to feel bad about criticizing someone."

So, your leadership philosophy is to encourage everyone to criticize each other's performance? And as long as nobody is allowed to get defensive quality will improve?

That's certainly unique.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, if I were in the PuG I wouldn't be interested in doing ICC10 Normal instead of Heroic or 25-man. I'd do it on my alt, but if I recall, my alt wouldn't be in the guild.

The kind of asocial people you want have no interest in boosting people in ICC10 Normal, even if you do pay them a few extra gold. Self-starters who hunger for progression want to run a raid where they can progress by downing new bosses and upgrading their gear.

I agree with you most of the time, but deciding to run neither 25 nor Heroic 10 wouldn't please me. I suspect you are incentivizing your strongest performers to not show up (because the raids being run aren't interesting to them), but incentivizing the raiders you complain about in this post to come more often. And once that cycle starts, it's hard to turn around.

Anonymous said...

You honestly believe people will stand outside ICC for threee hours, just in case someone drops out and they can fill the spot?


Anonymous said...

last Anonymous:

Yes, they do. Ever been in a serious raiding guild? There are always people in backup who are supposed to be available on call from RL.

In fact I am surprised that you are surprised. It's quite common in every raiding guild I've been in, or heard about.