Greedy Goblin

Friday, November 26, 2010

The misery of K

About a month ago, there was a player in our guild, let's just call him K. K had a properly prepared but really starter gear (blues, some epics) joined up an ICC10 boost raid and off they went. However someone sent him a whisper that his gear is low. Not the raid leader, just someone from the raid. He left the raid and whispered his disappointment to my girlfriend, who is one of the most talkative people in the guild, despite her limited English knowledge. Soon she told me that there is some mess in the guild as someone was kicked from a raid for low gear, what is against the rules. That's what she could figure out from the whispers.

I logged in and start asking questions about what happened on the guild chat. It took some time to gather up the information since it was weird. I mean if something is unexpected like "a pink elephant landed on my car", you assume misunderstandings, bad English, jokes, sarcasm before you start to believe that the guy actually mean that a pink elephant landed on his car. So finally I understood that no one kicked the guy from the raid, it's not even the raid leader who "asked him to leave", it was just a random raidmember who criticized his gear and he left. OK, no rules broken, all fine, bye.

After I logged out, my girlfriend got more whispers from the guy. He was logged in the whole time, and despite I was asking around on gchat, he did not say a word (I assumed that he is logged out). So he told that he is disappointed, since he believed that this is a guild where GS doesn't matter and it's just like another random guild where you must farm X GS before you even have a chance to raiding. My girlfriend tried to explain him that he was not kicked and he can raid with his current gear. K left the guild at 1AM that night.

Was he right to be disappointed? In a sense yes. We are advertising ourselves as a non-GS guild and he was criticized for low GS.

No system can guarantee that its members doesn't break the rules. The rules are needed exactly because people tend to break them. All rules mean: "you can't do X, but in turn no one can do X to you". People join systems because of the "no one can do X to you" part and try to skip the "you can't do X" part. That's why rules themselves are not enough, enforcing them is needed.

The no GS rule is enforced in the guild, that's why no one ever was kicked from a raid for low GS or lack of achievement. Check out Smeker's ICC10 achievements. It's a pretty short list, as he has just one: the frozen throne. And he was a tank.

A "good" system does not mean that you are safe from "bad". It means that when "bad" happens, you can expect the system's forces to fight on your side. The fight itself cannot be avoided. If you are not ready to fight for yourself, even when the whole system is on your side, you are hopeless. All K had to do is whisper back "read the rules again moron" to the guy who mentioned GS.

Such cases are not at all rare. Several crimes have very high latency because the victims refuse to turn to the police or even claim it never happened. Many-many people refuse to turn to a lawyer and file a lawsuit when their company or neighbor or business partner breached contract or the civil laws. I could never understand why. I still can't. I just accept the phenomenon as I accept the existence of catapult-riding morons and being grateful for not being one of them.

PS: I can't process comments until the afternoon (about 10 hours after post appear)


Bith said...

You had said something along the lines that "he had received a tell saying his GS was low". It doesn't seem like it was a flat-out "gtfo nub" kind of statement but I'm guessing this to be author shorthand to actually get to the important part of the post (a respectable decision).

I cannot understand K's action, knowing that the tell was not from a RL. Why leave when this person is not able to kick you? So, in my limited perspective as the emotions behind it are more complex than it seems, it seems that K made not just one mistake but two: 1) Reacting to an inexistent threat and 2) Not utilizing the resources of the system you created.

As usual, you made a great post: many people, including myself, often misunderstand one of the facets of rules (and, by extension, laws), the facet that you had discussed in your post. I will be sure to keep this in mind for the future.

Anonymous said...

From my experience sometimes people do not fight back because it will just do more damage to them. For example I have a friend who's father was specialist (he's dead already) for making law suits as long as possible. He was hired by companies on cases which were lost from the beginning just to make them last for years before real damage to the company is done. And in many cases opponent just had to give up and make a deal with them outside of court because he run out of money to continue law suit.

Ðesolate said...

(happy processing comments)
on Topic: Well if you have soft spots about your gear / value inside a raid when you go to a booster raid, well I´d say he´s in the wrong guild as the same as the guy who /w´d him is.

I remember you once stated out, that violatings against the rules have to go directly to you. So crying in /w about the injustice that happened is not recommendet.

Oh yes and someone who is that emotically unstable that a single person gets him to leave a asocial guild...
...I´m stooping here, driving in circles because this complaining without saying anything destroyed two guilds I´ve been a member of.
This gets me a bit more personal than pure analysis should.

Caramael said...

"Many-many people refuse to turn to a lawyer and file a lawsuit when their company or neighbor or business partner breached contract or the civil laws. I could never understand why. I still can't."
It's simply a risk-reward decision. I know a lot of people who choose to ignore crime, because they know the system won't "fight" for them.

As for "K", he's a moron. Voluntarily leaving a raid because some random idiot criticizes your gear? Pardon my French, but, ROFL!

Antze said...

Quote 1: "However someone sent him a whisper that his gear is low. Not the raid leader, just someone from the raid."

Quote 2: "OK, no rules broken, all fine, bye."

Quote 3: "It means that when "bad" happens, you can expect the system's forces to fight on your side."

In the rules it is mentioned that "Demanding gearscore or achievement is forbidden. Even mentioning gearscore is forbidden." This goes in the "group activity rules", therefore it is related not to the guild chat but to the group activity context, which definitely includes whispers about the raid itself (otherwise the "bad" raid leader can discuss gearscore with raid members in those whispers which is strange). Then, the rules don't restrict the "not mentioning gearscore" rule to the raid leader only.

Also, in the 3rd quote (and the whole post) you imply that K had the right to be protected by the rules.

Therefore, the guy who had mentioned gearscore had to be found and brought to justice. That's what should happen, not "OK, no rules broken, all fine, bye.", hence the K's /gquit.

In case you don't consider the bad guy's behaviour a punishable offence, you should have included that in the rules in the first place, and then the last part of your post (quote #3) becomes invalid, since the rules don't protect anyone from random personal gearscore bullying. You cannot expect the system's forces to fight on your side, because quote #2.

Grim said...

The gear rules are actually not very clear at the moment. Mentioning GS is forbidden, but there is nothing stopping a RL from demanding avg ilvl 277.

It does say "demanding [..] at least ilvl 200 blues are allowed", but that doesn't really forbid anything - its just an example.

Anonymous said...

I know people like the one you posted about, and the thing with them is that they are not confrontational. They will only open up in whispers to friendly people. I think it's not entirely just of you to expect everyone to fight for themselves. The guy may well have joined the guild to avoid arguments over gear, and now you expect him to do just that. Also, speaking up in a guild channel can be intimidating when surrounded by confident extroverts. Lastly, in general society as well, there are plenty crimes which are enforced statutorially, meaning the state is obliged to prosecute even if the victim doesn't complain. This is done to protect the weak and vulnerable who may be too intimidated.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that banning based on gear score overtly is prohibited, but trying to accomplish the same by criticizing lack of gear is not. Considering there is no redeeming value in that particular attempt at getting the player to leave the raid, it is possible that it should be banned as well being against the spirit of the PuG.

If no action was taken against the offender, I think there is a lot of untapped potential in ways to discriminate based on GS without breaking the rule directly. It's like a country with a law against discrimination in firing, but allowing the employer/employees to make the workplace hostile to the minority employee so they will quit.

Ismaele said...

I think I'm a friend of K and I was in that raid. Even if mostly I agree with Gevlon's line of thinking, I feel the need to add something.
It was not one raid meber but three who, apart from whispering directly K to leave, asked in raid chat to kick him because of low GS. Apart from me, none else said nothing about that bad behaviour and moreover when i pointed out that GS was forbidden in guild run I was criticized from other raid members.
After K's leaving, I decided to stay in raid to see how it goes. During raid a DC hunter was kept for something like three bosses, even if he could partecipate only to first 10s of the fight before disconnecting. After three bosses I was asked to go dps, even if i joined only as healer and my dps in ICC with buff was below 3k, i was keep as dps for three bosses and none pointed put to my dps so after so much talking about low GS 3k dps was fine.
In my first raid I've seen breaking at least a couple of raiding guild rule ().
This experience got me some thinking. Why more than half of the raid members had GS addon even if the decided to join a guild that has in its millstone "NO GS requirment"? It's really contraddictory and in some way it can be called as M&S.
In conclusion, I really appreciate PUG's idea and I'll try the experience a bit more, but at the same time no guild can work without leadership/authority. I've seen emoticon/kiddie speak/"any miners online?"/"mage are so overpowered after patch"/"nerf shaman healers in pvp they can't be killed"/... in guild chat, most of the time none take care of that.
Last month i didn't play much so maybe in last month things are changed in better. I still believe that the idea of the guild is good, but you must put some effort to make the idea real, instead what i've seen is idea and rules on one side and efforts to win WG on the other side, as if guild was only about WG win.

Anonymous said...

K might suffer from outside issues such as depression that makes him unable to see things the way that others might.

I've been on a GDKP run on my realm and a notorious rogue player /w me about how s*** I was. I pointed out to him that's the point of GDKP but he replied people shouldn't be boosted...

*vlad* said...

I think this guy's problems were not in his gear, but in his own mind. The only person to blame for him leaving the raid and the guild was himself.

Yaggle said...

Unless you are the guild leader or raid leader, when you tell somebody that their gear is low, what you really are doing is announcing that your own self is too low. You are showing that you are one of the persons who is insecure and has to point out others' shortcomings to make yourself feel validated.

Anonymous said...

Even the last kid picked for kickball is part of your team and can help to get a win. Mocking him and making him feel badly about himself will either cause him to play harder or give a halfass effort. If you mock him and he quits on you, is it your fault or his? Selfish person says its his fault. Helpful person realizes that mocking him will do more harm than good.

Laws only apply when there is someone there to uphold them. There is a reason for sayings like 'when the cats away, the mice will play'. Millions of laws being broken each day with noone around to enforce them around the world should be proof enough for that.

Your people should hold each other accountable rather than let the outspoken person try to think he/she is in control because people dont want to rock the boat and speak up against them. Your rules are in place for a reason. Cleary K's threshold for how much he can be pushed before he feels unwanted is lower than everyone elses, it doesnt change the fact that your rules were broken. K could have turned out to be a very good(albeit timid) player. You will never know now because a rule was broken and the debate seems to be if K did anything wrong or not. The guilty party is clearly the person who broke your rules.

Anonymous said...

" Many-many people refuse to turn to a lawyer and file a lawsuit when their company or neighbor or business partner breached contract or the civil laws. I could never understand why. I still can't. I just accept the phenomenon as I accept the existence of catapult-riding morons and being grateful for not being one of them."

lack of proof would be a reason. Another one would be that the whole thing going public would hurt you more than the benefits the law could give you. Of course its not always the case but often it will be a reasonable argument to let things go.

Simple example:
a)Let your neighbour know that they are to loud.

b) call police cause youre right and be known as the person one should avoid

Caramael said...

Ismaele, you're right.
I've mentioned this before; people are ignoring the rules behind Gevlon's back. There are plenty of morons inside The PuG, which imo need to be tracked down and kicked. But this is hard and definitely something Gevlon cannot do alone.

Matt said...

"Because the victims refuse to turn to the police or even claim it never happened." This is what happens Italy in some cases due to omertà (à) "prevents" people from going to the authorities, even going to the point of denying anything happened to them, although they are expected to go avenge themselves.

Gevlon said...

@Ismaele, Caramael: you are free to make screenshots and send them to me. That's how the violators can be catched.

@Those who say "the whisperer broke the rules", see Monday post.

Coa said...

"Many-many people refuse to turn to a lawyer and file a lawsuit when their company or neighbor or business partner breached contract or the civil laws. I could never understand why. I still can't. I just accept the phenomenon as I accept the existence of catapult-riding morons and being grateful for not being one of them."

Lots of reasons. The end result might not be worth the hassle you would have to go through to get there. You could lose the case and completely lose your reputation etc. Lack of proof on your side. Loopholes in the contract that were abused and may seem like a breach, the courts generally tend not to intefere in these unless the 'loopholes' were implied without having been specifically stated. It's generally not as simple as 'there's a breach, time to sue'.


I was in the guild for a while and I quite honestly don't remember seeing those many 'rules' being broken. Pretty much all of that was kept in casual. Of course there were a couple of emoticons used from time to time or a couple of silly abreiviations.

chewy said...

I will only endorse what others have already mentioned - without policing, laws/rules are worthless.

@Gevlon - The correct usage is "caught" - That's how the violators can be caught.(English is an odd language, I'll never understand how it became so popular.)

Anonymous said...

I believe K. wanted drama and found it. Any sane and reasonable person would pay no attention to the whisper or report the whisperer. If you forget the spirit of the rules, and start following the letter, then either you are a moron/emo or you don't really want the rules.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

Learned Helplessness maybe?

nightgerbil said...

Whats with the "Learned Helplessness maybe?" Ismaele makes it quite clear that what happened was at least 3 raid members ie one third of a ten man raid; was it a ten man? were not only /w the guy and telling him he sucked and "to gtfo of their raid and go farm hcs" or whatever they were saying. Plus they were doing it on raid chat.

Now why the raid leader didnt say:
a) Read the rules, its a boost raid you dont like it leave.

b) /w "k" and say why you just leave my forming raid? "oh you dont like the morons? dont worry about that its my raid I say you can come, now accept this invite mister!"

In "k"s postion my reaction would have been to w the raid leader offering to leave if it was causing that many issues while putting 3 guildies on /ignore and taking screenshots of their most damning posts. If the raid leader replied "yeah night, leave" thats when I might have talked to an "officer" in /w. What I WOULDN'T have done though is caused a big stink about it on guild chat. Not only am I sure that drama would get a gkick (rightly so) it would hinder chances to get into future raids. Why get tagged as a member "of the awkward squad"?

And may I paraphrase totalbiscuit here when he says Ks $19 a month entitles him to raid but the £179 says hes not entitles to raid with them if they dont want him to. Honestly why stay in a raid when a third are asking me to leave? why stay? to grief them? rather go and find a new raid.

So please dont insult K by giving him battered housewife syndrom or making out hes a "life victim".

Anonymous said...


You aren't considering all the details about learned helplessness. Yes, 3 people or whatever were whispering him about his gear and maybe he left so as not to cause immediate trouble within the group.

That's fine.

The learned helplessness applies because when he had a chance to do something about it (ie: When gelvon came online) he did nothing.

That is learned helplessness and that isn't fine.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem here is the guy thought he had joined a guild that would welcome him if he followed the rules.

He was wrong.

I mean really, isn't the POINT of a boost raid to have low geared people join to buy the gear?

Unless, of course... K is also broke, and was joining as a "booster". Then the reaction would be entirely justified. But there's no real indication of that here.

Beyond that, it's the raid leader's responsibility to make sure the balance of boosters and boostees is correct. It seems to me the raid leader failed to properly run a boost raid.

Wherein lies the real problem here. Gevlon has failed to train the raid leaders and has not constructed a system by which raids can be run in the spirit of the guild's intent.

Franchise operations don't work by magic. Nowhere in the guild's rules is a comprehensive guide for raid leaders. If Gevlon wants to build a guild that supports self directed raid leaders and informed raiders all following the same program, then that program needs to be spelled out in specific detail.

It would be like Ray Kroc (The founder of McDonalds) just building McDonalds stores and hiring people with the only instructions being "Sell cheap burgers. Hire teenagers to keep costs down". McDonalds would have failed in a year.

Ismaele said...

One more thing to think about. For me and K that was our first raid with PUG, we did joined after reading rules on this blog.
If you join a guild for a reason and in the first spot guild offer quite the opposite of the programme wouldn't you leave? Why fight? It would be irrational.
Raid is made of 10, two were me and K, 8 left, 3 whisper you asking to leave, other four don't say nothing and/or support whispering member in raid chat, raid leader say nothing.
Do you see anything to fight for?
And about drama, no drama was made by K, I was the one taking the topic on guild chat. What was happening for me was against the idea of guild and should have been discussed in guild. K was just upset and logoff. After Gevlon non-decision and passing over the situation, K gquit because there was no reason to stay.

Ismaele said...

@Bith: I'm not sure the system created by Gevlon as some resources useful ot this situation. Antze's comment stated the contrary with proof.

@Caramel: you said K is a moron for leaving a raid for some random idiot criticizing him. I'll take it ofr true, so there were 3 random idiot over 9 member (as K left) in a Pug only raid. Taking this raid as a representative of PUG, someone could say that this guild contains at least a 33% of random idiot. Dear Caramel you got two choice: or you're a moron Caramel for playing in a guild where one third of its members are random idiots or you're one of the 33%.
Moreover if I was right, as you stated in your second comment, you should have apologize for your first comment.

@Learned Helplessness' fans: the example doesn't fit in this situation. He reacted, helped himslef moving over and finding a new guild as this one was not offering what promised. Moreover, you can't use example B to support your vision in situation A unless you can prove that A is equal or quite similar to B. (Not to mention the fact that is quite hard to believe that free people behaviour can be explained by observing tortured animals).

Squishalot said...

@ Anonymous: "The learned helplessness applies because when he had a chance to do something about it (ie: When gelvon came online) he did nothing.

That is learned helplessness and that isn't fine."

He understands that there are social implications for speaking up. A rape victim doesn't suffer from learned helplessness, he/she understands that the repercussions of speaking up are worse than not speaking up. Hence the /gquit - there's no point staying in the guild and kicking up a stink, because that would result in worse treatment than not being in the guild at all.

Anonymous said...

Except, you know, if handled properly there wouldn't be much (if any) drama at all.

The proper way to go about it would be whispering Gelvon explaining the situation and providing screenshots if necessary. Gelvon would have then kicked them or whatever other punishment is proper.

The improper way to go about it would be making an issue of it right then, pulling more people into it and causing drama. That would raise a stink and make a big issue out of a small one.

Or you can take a third option and do nothing and have people white-knight you on the internet.