Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Yet another terrible boost raid

On Sunday we continued the boost raid. In three hours we killed 3 bosses: Festergut, Rotface and PP. 6 people got their achievement for plague wing, so it was quite a successful progression raid for new people. They improved every try and finally PP died. However it wasn't a "progression raid" for new people. It was a damn boost raid that is supposed to clear the 5 remaining bosses in 1-1.5 hours and then kill Sindy after a few tries.

At first, I'd like to emphasize that I don't give up on boost raids despite several failures, because I'm 100% sure that "boost raid" is the solution to the "new players and veterans playing together" issue, what is a must-be for any MMOs, as there are large amount of new players. The alternative is the "social guild", where good players selflessly help the few newbies and the swarm of M&S leeches. I believe I must find how to do boost raid right, or I'll have to give up on the purpose of the guild: to prove that proper rules can make people improve. That way the guild would not be fundamentally different from any raiding guilds that cannibalize good players from other guilds, so practically carried on the back of the thousands of nameless socials who trained and boosted these players when they were new.

What went wrong:
  • 6 achievements mean at least 6 boosted people. Actually there were only 2 selected boosters. I went by the assumption that half of the players I don't know are good transfers or rerolls of pros, so I'll run with 4 more booster quality players. No. Only a moonkin turned out to be booster quality. The tanks, 1 DPS and a disc priest were OK, 3 were plainly boosted.
  • 2 healers. ICC10 can be done with 2 healers. But not with people standing in the bad what naturally happens in boost raids. With 2 healers, the fire-dancer dies as the healers are busy with the tanks (or the other way if the healers are bad).
  • I finally replaced an underperforming DPS to a third booster in the break. The replaced wasn't significantly worse than the other boosted DPS, but I had to replace one. Since it wasn't fair, after the raid I checked his armory to give him some free advice as compensation. My head almost exploded when I noticed several missing enchants, gems and also low level professions. And I could only be angry with myself. These things are not against the rules of the guild. They are against the invite criteria of my boost raids. I should have inspected him and the others, who were also missing this or that.
Using this experience I decided to try another 25-men boost raid on Wednesday. I hope the 264 loot and the shadowmourne parts are enough to lure enough boosters to the raid. I will not allow the problems happening again, I won't even start the raid rather than saving people to a doomed ID. The following criteria must be met:
  • There must be at least 4/10 or 10/25 boosters or there is no raid. Boosters can be people I know to be good. It is an arbitrary selection, but no one is forced to join my boost raid. I'd also like to emphasize that if you are not selected as booster, it does not mean you are considered bad. There is the "OK player" in between the two .
  • We need 3/10 or 7/25 healers or no raid. The only exception is having 2 booster-healers in 10 or 5 boosters and 1 normal in 25.
  • The (non-booster) participants must qualify to the preparation criterias. Summary: no greens or ilvl 180- blues, all items enchanted, gemmed, having flask, max-level spells and at least 1 profession bonus. I will check every single (non-booster) people on invite and no invite if I find several mistakes.
  • I will use Treeston's addon that is close to perfection to speed up item auctions. You shall get it or type "[itemlink] gold" fast, or you can miss on loot that you want. I won't restart auctions if you couldn't bid because I don't want 10+ mins loot distribution.
Boost raid supposed to give items, rep, achievements and raiding experience to new people, some rare pieces, quick frost badges and lot of gold to boosters. It can only happen if the run is smooth. So I will not hesitate to not start it if people are not prepared to make it smooth.

No moron post today as you send no morons who would qualify.


Anonymous said...

"I went by the assumption that half of the players I don't know are good transfers or rerolls of pros, so I'll run with 4 more booster quality players."

I had always assumed that the majority of the people who are joining your guild are there because they are unwilling or unable to raid in the normal way; they don't want to or have been unable to join a guild, and don't fit into the trade pug culture that permeates most servers. Some probably have somen prior raid experience, some are probably very good player. others are new and many will be mediocre or worse.

Hate to say it, but your struggles and attempts to enforce stricter criteria seem to me like an admission of defeat: the GS dipshits are right. They just use the wrong tool.

Frnit said...

AddOn "ElitistGroup" would help that checking enormously I believe, especially with how well the "Raid summary" works when you let it inspect everyone near you. for that to give you an idea.
0% is obviously 0% good enchants, while some 70% gives you a "good try".

See for more info.

Zandathor said...

I was wondering what are your thoughts on the plans to let people downrank to do participate in lower level content. As many people have said the lower level content teaches cetain key concepts for higher level content.
Will this be successful do you think?

Anonymous said...

do you have multiple ranks in your guild structure ?

perhaps there is room for stratification of you raider rank.

Booster - meets all below criteria and you have seen them in action performing at booster level.

Decent - has proper gear and enchants. you have seen them perform at normal level.

Boostee - is missing some gear but at least shows some dedication to their gear.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: such official stratification is impossible. The core idea of the guild is that you are free to do anything as long as you are not acting like a leech or an idiot.

ANYONE can start any raid. These boost raids are not official actions of the guild, just one guy (me) has this kind of stuff.

Zazkadin said...

I have to agree with first Anonymous here. You hand-inspecting wannabe raiders defeats the entire concept of the PuG. You do inspection by hand, just because GearScore is too simple for this purpose, but if someone makes an addon that factors enchants, gems and professions into the equation (probably such an add-on already exists), you could make the add-on do the selection. Basically then you are doing the same as the "5.8k GS and achieve else no invite" guys.

Nerdrager said...

And yet I think that all the effort you're putting into this project is very ungoblinish.

Just deal with it, there are millions of socials willing to teach for free, capitalizing on their work is the easiest thing to do and that's how it works the raiding community.

You were on the right direction with your Ulduar guild (maybe you chose the wrong group of people, but the idea of paying to play when, how and whom you wanted was very goblinish).

Go back to your roots.

Gevlon said...

@Zazkadin: at first, I'm not the only possible raid leader in the guild. In a normal guild it's "my way or the highway". In this guild you can organize your own raids without me.

Secondly: GS punks check for gear level. I check for signals of brain and hard working. Ilvl200+enchants+gems are better for me than ilvl264 without, despite the latter give better stats.

GS is wrong in a sense that you can't get GS without getting into the raid where you can't because of your GS. Anyone can get gems and enchants.

Anonymous said...

10 man boost raids don't really work in my opinion because there's less room for slacking. In a 25 man raid you get somewhere around 8 (completely arbitriary but one I feel is a good number)slacker DPS and still clear a decent amount, however the same cannot really be said for a 10 man. You can generally take 1 or 2 slacker DPS before you start to feel the difference. But boosting a tank or a healer in either is just ridiculously frustrating and largely not worth the time and effort.

Anonymous said...

I am all for the boosting idea in a gdkp, you can quantify dps in a way that allows people 10% above the average to be declared boosters, people below the average as boosted. The same could be said for effective healing and healers. the only question I would have here is how could you measure the success or failure of a tank boosting where it can be quantified into a hard recordable number, because math doesn't lie.
and I've been in plenty of raids where a great tank made the raid while a lazy tank destroyed the raid or were unable to perform as needed to ensure success.

Ephemeron said...

On a related note, how well do the other PUG raids (i.e., the ones not led by you) fare?

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: the boosters are selected by the RL, completely arbitrarily. If you don't like his choices, you are free to not join and join other raid.

@Ephemeron: last week for example they did 5/12 HM

Bold - Runetotem said...

When leading a raid, and having to pick up someone to fill it or replace people who leave, i have found a quite good tool in this site:

it is an automatic character auditor, what it do is checking the Armory and give a short hint about the character, looking at exactly the same things you say in your post. For example, it will say "missing enchants" or "missing gems" if the guys is found having none, or "unoptimal enchants" if he has one but not the typical for his class/spec (in this case, you could maybe want to dig further and can do with a few click).
For sure it is better than GS or achievements, at the very least ^^

You could maybe want to check it out!

ardoRic said...

small suggestion for Treeston's addon:

Use "ID gold" format for auctioning instead of "[itemlink] gold". Should make it easier for people who don't have the addon to actually participate in the bidding.

when you start the auctioning you can just list the IDs for each item.

(ID here is obviously a numerical identifier for the auction. If you're having 5 parallel auctions IDs 1-5 should be used)

Treeston said...

@ardoRic: Will consider.

Gevlon said...

I think [itemlink] is harder to mess up. Or at least easier to notice if messed up

Shintar said...

Since you make such a point of emphasising that other people in the guild organise raids too, I think it would be interesting to compare them to yours. You already mentioned that they did hard modes last week, but do they use the same system as you do? Do they only invite people of whom they know that they play well? How many times a week do they run? Etc.

Wildhorn said...

[item link] gold is easy.

Just Shift + click the item that get linked into chat and type your gold then press enter.

ardoRic said...

You could always have the two options. Bidders without the addon can either use the link (for safety) or the ID (for speed).

I haven't used the addon but I imagine it gets hectic to manage several bids on several items if you don't have the raider side of the addon.

I've been looking at the images you have on wowace, and I have another suggestion for the addon (maybe I should post these there?).

Is it possible to add the name of the last bidder to the bidding interface? That way a bidder could make decisions about bidding or not based on the bidder (imagine a mage bidding on Zod's just to inflate the price).

I'm very tempted to try out this addon on the GDKPs I organize on my realm.

Wilson said...

From the June 17 post announcing this guild:

"The points to be proven (or falsified):

* The behavioral rules of the Ganking project work and perfectly capable to keep M&S out.
* There is no need for "job-like" approach for the raiding. It can be perfectly no-obligation and casual
* There is no need for dedicated leaders if the goals are properly set and feedback can be provided by the system and peers"

It sounds to me like you're getting pretty close to falsifying all three of these. You've got trade channel-quality people showing up for your raids, it's certainly turning into a job for you, and you have troubles getting peer feedback even when you offer to pay for it. Perhaps it's time to crack open a beer and call it a day.


Stop boosting. Just stop it. Why are you helping people? Why are you helping good players? It's not goblinish to do that. The benefits you're gaining boosting people, are they so great compared to the incredible amount of lost time?

Stop scratching your head making booster/boosted raids. Isn't one of the The Pug's objetives to create an unique guild where you'll find good players to raid with? All these esquemes you're making, all this roosters, aren't they against the very core of The Pug project? To Log in, invite correct players, raid correctly, learn new strats, make experiments in bosses, prove different compositions, kill bosses, having fun.

For all the gods' sake, stop boosting. STOP. BOOSTING.

Please, stop acting like Glotan ("Oh I'm confused I should have more 264 healing in mirmiron oh I realised I was wrong oh they were bad raiders oh it's ok ^^"), we want our Gevlon back.

This is a gobling blog. We come here to read a goblin do goblin stuff.


Anonymous said...

To all who say "inspect is the same as GS":

Yes "GS folk" wants to reach THE SAME goal as everyone else: have a good, successful raid where everyone performs well, bosses die, loot drops.

No one argues that the goal is bad. People only argue the tool used is bad and doesn't guarantee the goal.

Frostys said...

The only problem I see with all that booster raid idea is the the imppossibility to do it in a progressive guild. Unless some of the top player in the guild "burn" thier ID on a booster raid, the boostee will not get far anyway. It has just been sown by your latest one where boostee need to be at least close to a minority in the raid group to be pulled by the booster.

Any progressive guild willing to push forward would just keep doing hard-mode...

Time for a booster guild then maybe? Big guild literraly selling runs. It`s already present on my server at least where they sell 10 man drake from ICC. Problem is, they don`t do it to teach you but only for your gold so you get to see the content but you basicly sit in a corner while they 9-man the content.

Anonymous said...

no, the only way for newbies to play with regulars is already being tried. In another one of your projects, as a matter of fact. Undergeared is the prime example of newbies. The only way a newbie *should* be able to see ICC is if they are skilled enough to pull it off with lower-level gear without being a detriment to the group or as someone who is carried 'for fun'. Who in their right mind would give up their ICC lockout for some small amounts of gold when they could be doing LK for a shiny purple that would give them a .05% DPS increase? People's desire to min/max is actually good. Without it we would have no desire to become better, and we would end up like the native australians.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe you can currently do a boost raid with 4 boosters in a 10 man.

To me, boost raid means getting carried. So for example you see those advertisements for selling kingslayer title, that's something I'd call a boost raid. And in those advertisements, they say the best thing is to just die in the beginning, so you don't mess anything up.

So I'd guess you need extremely well geared with extreme skill about 6 players ... I'm guessing 6 players with 30% buff is worth 8 players without a buff. And since they got extreme skill and gear, that's practically another 2 players there.
So those 6 players could 6-man ICC, and so they can boost 4 others.

But unless those 4 players you got can 4-man ICC, I don't see how it's a boost raid. I guess it was further divided into boosters/boosted/regulars, but thats just a weird setup.

Anonymous said...

glotan! what is the point of your guild ?

that if you follow simple rules all go well by default just by picking random from guild ?

it's going bad so far (150 accounts that follow the rules and less then 15 seem to do something ? ) bad ratio.

if the rules are so loose : no attendance track, no leader (failed here bad, but sounded nice in theory) they why even keep them in guild ?

just keep your cliques (or whatever people that you know are good) and pug the rest if they obey your rules (i see no difference between this and them being in your guild)

Oh and stop with the b'shit boosters gold, GDKP usually works by having spilt people : guys that don't need gear (=won't spend much gold) and guys that need gear and have gold (remember windwalkers)

Anonymous said...

@last anon + gevlon, re:GS,

The point is that GS people think that excluding people based on the character (gear/achievements) is the best way to ensure the success of the raid rather than paying attention to the skill of the player.

As Zazkadin said, what if there was a mod to check all this stuff for you? and reduced it to a score? It could even just be a straight addon to GS which reduces your GS by the percentage of potential you have extracted from your gear (gems/enchants/glyphs). It could even include spec evaluations. Would that mod then be an acceptable tool? Or would it just result in everyone doing exactly what it takes to get a good number without actually knowing why or improving their skill in any way?

I thought the fundamental argument was that player skill is what matters and it can only be demonstrated inside a raid. That seems to be slipping away a little more with each PUG raid.

Andnethal said...

Firstly, in response to GS.

The problem with GS is it only looks at (or mainly looks at) the item level of your gear. When looking at applicants to your guild, you more look at thier gems/enchants/glyphs/etc. The difference between 251 gear and 264 isn't enough to turn down most applicants if they have every other factor down to a "T". may be enough to turn down a player in a PUG raid if you're using this arbitraty scoring system to judge future performance.

GS needs to look at gear secondary, and other measures first.

Also, many of the things that cause a raid to wipe (standing in fire) are not gear dependant and one can not use gear to deduce future raid performance - except in the most extreme cases.

Secondly. Mr. Goblin, for your seemingly vast knowledge and ability to determine the root of problems, it's my opinion that you're missing out on the reason why you can not "boost" players.

I'll assume that you're "boosting" players because they would not otherwise have a (successful) raid without some sort of help from *much* better players.
There is the first problem - Why are you taking players into a raid that need help from players magnitudes better than them to succeed?

If a player is skilled (at least to the point where you call them "OK" players), they do not need to be "boosted" as they can carry at least their own weight.

The only "boosting" that should (and - IMO - CAN possibly be done) is boosting skilled players with lower gear. If you have 4 "good" players taking 6 "OK" players through normal modes to get additional gear (because they still have 232 badge gear), that is the only "boostable" raid configuration.

No amount of rules will enable players with sub standard skillsets to perform to an adequate level in a raid. Even -as you stated - if you had checked for gems/enchants/etc before entering, would it really have made a difference in the success of the raid? Would placing gems in sockets suddenly make the player move out of fire, and DPS the correct target?

You're assuming the player is bad because of lack of gear. IMO - this is the classic "lipstick on a pig" arguement.

Not all players have the capability to raid. "Boosting" is the same as "good players dragging M&S in social guilds).

Vesoom said...

I am very interested to read what rules you use in the PuG and what works and what doesn't. However, you said that you had to find a way to train raiders and not "cherry pick" them from the ranks of the M&S.

I don't think that taking advantage of the socials to train future hard mode raiders is a bad thing. Economically you had posted that if there were no M&S all economic activities would return the same amount. ie. 300g/hr like doing dailies. It's only through the existance and taking advantage of the M&S that the goblins can make money purerly through the AH.

Nothing inherently wrong with that economically and nothing wrong with it in a raid setting either.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be taking a central-planning approach to these boost raids where you select everybody, decide the pay rate and how many bosses should be killed. Consider a market-driven approach instead where somebody who wants to be boosted needs to come to you with a booster. Instead of working for the state and getting paid with taxes, the boosters can be independent contractors working for those who are boosted.

Together, they need to meet some objective standard (maybe 8k dps combined). Somebody who does 12k could decide to boost 2 people and get twice the fee. Before accepting the booster/boosted combination, you judge whether they have a reasonable chance at success and whether it throws the group composition is out of balance.

You can publish market rates for boosting, but let them agree on the price. They put down an "earnest money" deposit, which they lose (along with a raid kick) if they fail to perform or get back if they are successful.

Anyway, just a thought on an alternate way to organize these raids.

Anonymous said...

A full group in 232 can easily clear ICC10 normal. For dps you need less gear, as long as you can do 3.5-4.5k dps in ToC (for example) you have the dps for every boss in ICC10+30% buff. 3.5-4.5k dps is early nax standard. If your players can't do that in a mix of ilvl 200-232 gear then they are bad players. We took a lock in leveling blues/greens/heirloom wep/heirloom trinket and some 232 epics on full icc10 clear, he was above the dps requirement on every boss.

Squishalot said...

gliI'll echo Wilson's sentiments. In essence, the boosting structure is essentially creating a profit-based sub-guild within the PuG.

@ Gevlon: "6 achievements mean at least 6 boosted people."

Why? Achievements has nothing to do with whether people have been boosted or not. If only one person has 12/12, when 9 people get the Kingslayer achievement, does that mean that 9 people were boosted?

Boosted people are identified due to their lack of aptitude, not their existing progression, or so I was led to believe. Any comments on that?

Anonymous said...

I always thought that the kind of people that actually read you blog were pretty much non-M&S/good players, as your posts often isn't "easy content" and any M&S wouldn't be arsed to read it "lolz this boring i be fun wif me mates ingame lol bye".

Do you recruit via trade or wow-forums too? I doubt you do.

But then again - maybe you don't belong to M&S for standing in fires on the ground :)

Squishalot said...

@ Anonymous - apparently the PuG recruits in trade as well (or so I've been told by other commenters). Funnily enough, that would explain the trade-quality players.