Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mistake vs moron

The fail money I introduced on Saturday had a good, a strange and a nil effect. The good is that the good players ended up rich. A busted try provided lot of gold. I mean 3-4000G on a raid evening. The strange is the largest player influx in the latest period. People came praising the post, telling that this made them finally make up their mind and come to the guild. The nil: the "farm" raids are still not going as they should. They much more like progression raids where we gradually get better and kill the bosses. But we firstkilled them weeks ago, and it is a bad trade even with fail and veteran money.

I finally figured out what I'm doing wrong here. I wrote about the morons and slackers post that I threat the two groups equally as separating them would take lot of time. While it's a good move for random Arthasdklol (why should I waste my time analyzing him when I can simply /ignore him?), the one-size fits all obviously don't work on guildies I raid hours.

You can mess up a bossfight two ways: you don't know what you should do or you don't do it right. I think overcoming challenges needs everyone to overcome his own ignorance and natural laziness. The difference between progressing people in early stages and M&S is that the former tries to be better, the M&S doesn't, either because he thinks that he already knows enough (moron), or because he thinks one just have to farm harder (also moron), or because he don't want to work at all (slacker).

I finally found a way to separate moronic behavior from slacking behavior: instead of the raid leader tells who failed, at first everyone is called to point out his own mistake that lead to a wipe. In this stage no one can point on others, just on himself. If he believes it wasn't his fault but others, he merely says "I died because of someone else". By pointing out his mistake, one proves that he is aware of what should be done, just didn't do it right. In such cases the problem is slacking, insufficient effort to focus on the important parts. Slacking can be fixed by fines, inexperience with practice. Of course there must be an upper limit, if someone knows that fire is hot and still stands in it several times in a row, there must be some underlying ability issue (tunnel vision typically). This case he has to be replaced.

I'd say if someone dies due to his own fault (or kill others) 4 times at the same boss, he is out. Why 4 and not 3 or 5? I can't give scientific answer. I saw people failing, especially in early stages in stupid an need about 3 failures to adapt. I'd like to emphasize that I don't bother low DPS and HPS in learning stages. Of course it's no excuse for permanent low DPS and HPS. However if you are at a boss first time and rather move 10 times early than 1 times late, you are OK. With routine, DPS (the ability to cast while staying alive) will go up.

On the other hand not knowing what just happened is being ignorant. More tries won't fix ignorant. If you don't know that fire is hot, that running is preferred when Atramedes chasing you, why are we running clockwise, why are we together on Valiona P2, no amount of gold paid and tries attempted will make you any better. You must leave the raid and read up, think, ask, watch, learn.

The tolerance for ignorance (therefore being unaware of what is wrong), is one. If you need to be told how did you fail, we do it only once. On second time you are out. It's both to protect the raid from frustration and to save you from failing and paying without any hope of improvement. If you don't know what you should do, you can only rely on luck (by the way that's why "luck" is the favorite word of morons).

Here I'd return to chain-failers. If you know that fire is hot, but you still end up in it again and again, you have an ability issue. We all have ability issues. We must design protocols to evade them. For example different camera angle or distance. Powerauras addon configured to somehow visualize that debuff. DBM customized to show only that one boss ability that use to beat you. Taking a defensive talent. This needs thinking. Practically you must design your own, unique boss strategy "how to beat this boss with my disability". When you succeed, that will be true victory, not above a pixel boss, but above a disability that cripples you, most probably in other ways too. Of course you can't design it in 1 minutes between tries. You must leave the raid. You can return next time.

I will keep a piece of paper next to me, writing strikes and big X for ignorance next to every names. 4 signs or 2 X-es and you are out, no matter how much you pay.

PS: also, this time of self-error finding is enough to everyone to chill and not call a failer stupid, idiot, useless. I have to accept that I'm sometimes guilty in this. Forcing silence about others for a period is also my way to overcome this disability. When the silence is over, either my frustration over the failer have disappeared due to him admitting his failure or at least I'll be able to give objective feedback instead of "fire is hot stupid!"

PS2: We already tried it out and it seriously improved the raid. Also made a bad player (but I thought just newbie) ragequit. Valiona mourns this loss, she owes so many honorkills to him!


Squishalot said...

As with my comment in Saturday's blog, I would like to see you revisit the reasons you listed for setting up The PuG guild project, and assess whether you think that you're straying from the goals.

To me, both this post and Saturday's post indicates that you're moving away from the PuG mentality, closer towards that of a serious raiding guild. In your mind, you want a high-performing, asocial raiding guild. However, this was not the goal of The PuG originally. Again:

"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"

With the rules that you are prescribing for the farm-raid, you are breaching two of those criteria: it is no longer casual, and there is a dedicated leader of the farm raid (i.e. you, the person instituting the rules).

Is this an indication that the PuG has demonstrated that the original points are false, or a lapse in focus on your part for what you want this guild to be? Is the PuG no longer a project, and now simply a guild environment that you enjoy being in?

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: M&S is kept out with great effectivity, check how few morons are in the hall of shame.

There is still no attendance rule, you raid when you want. However if you want to raid, you must perform. It's not job-like, it's just obvious. Nothing happens without performance.

The two posts apply to MY raids. Anyone are free to make raids without them.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: Never disagreed with the first point.

I do disagree that it's not 'job-like' though. The fact that you're imposing HC raiding guild-style rules implies that it's not good enough for competent people to be in a group. Having rules on failure are essentially KPIs to be met. By definition, it is job-like.

I agree partially that it's your raid. However, you refer to it as the guild's farm-raid, not 'Gevlon's raid', and even went so far as to change the guild rules to prevent 'raid-ninjas' from stealing your player base without your knowledge.

In any event, the farm-raid has a dedicated raid leader (i.e. you), irrespective of whether it's enforced by guild rules or not. Remove yourself from raiding for a week or two and see how the farm-raid performs, and you will get an indication of whether the PuG lives up to the point it attempts to prove. While you're still leading the raid and instituting rules, it cannot demonstrate the points that the PuG set out to prove.

Azuriel said...

Obviously what "job-like" even means is completely subjective and mostly arbitrary, but I agree with Squish here. These rules are completely reasonable, but at some point you have to understand that the act of writing them all out (and keeping track on scratch paper on the fly) is a level of micromanagement that is not even approaching the "no-obligation and casual" gray areas unless you literally meant those as solely to be defined by "no-attendance policy."

Anonymous said...

Self-analysis sounds interesting, and of course people tend to accept a conclusion more readily if it's self-derived.

I'm interested in hearing how this method turns out in the long run.

What do you do with people who don't know they're messing up, and don't see their own mistakes, though?

Grim said...

Disagree on the part where you say that overcoming personal disabilities cannot be done on the fly.

That's exactly what I do in every progress raid I've ever been to (that includes me being new to some boss that others have on farm status). After every try, I think what I could do differently. Trigger cooldowns in a different pattern, point camera at another angle, use some trick - whatever. The best way to come up with ideas is while trying to down the boss, because you get immediate feedback from the boss itself.

Example - my first time on Lich King. P1 I was tanking adds. Had vigi on MT un just taunted the adds off him as they came.
Problem - when rapid-fire-taunting the ghouls, I often accidentally taunted the Lich King.
Solution - like 30 degrees of camera angle.

There's no way I could have figured it out without standing there on the platform and trying to target a ghoul behind LK.

Ðesolate said...

This selfanalysing system is something what usually happens automatically when you are in a strict constructive progress raid group. You usually know that no one wants to blame or insult you, so you can freely point out your own failures to improve the performance and relax the raidleader a lot.

I saw some difficulties in this system with new raidmembers, who were scared that they would be lyched, when they admit making errors. The fact that we used ts also made it more difficult, since you get "noise" and unappropriate reactions.

This motivates me a lot to reorganise my schedule for march and the upcoming semester to spend some time inraid (yet busy organising a rated bg group and new starting inguild raids on durotan). I think this system could provide honest self-critic to improve performance and envelop a behaviour what is not diven by the need to be respected but by the need to down the boss.

This behaviour, to announce your faults, in a group of potentual strangers is clearly asocial. Social behaviour would mask your faults in the need of respect.

Anonymous said...

Everything you write recently, sounds a lot like your problem is simply that you don't have a stable raid line-up and you constantly (have to) bring players to the raids, that are completely new to the bosses.

That's also exactly what slowed down progression on LK and Hard Modes back in Wrath. The end result was that most of the good players simply left very quickly.

Anonymous said...

@Squishalot: And to repeat what Gevlon has been stating all along: everybody is able to lead a raid.
This and the other post is the preferred way of Gevlon leading. It does not mean his raid rules have to apply if somebody else is leading the raid. Gevlon tracks strikes and "X", that does not mean the whole guild is becoming a "serious" raiding guild. But players who attend "his" raid should better be prepared, that is all.
To highlight again: Gevlon actually already posted about how to get *more* raid leaders active. But if he is the only one (unverified statement) actually getting out his comfort zone to lead raids, well this is what you get.
Gevlon also already stated that he would be glad to join a raid as normal participant. I believe it would be nice for him to "lay back" once in a while - of course, assuming that the raid he is attending is not all "fail" itself.

Jumina said...

This is starting to be interesting.

You are keeping the raid group open to the new players but the problems with them are leading you to higher demands for their preparation. In fact you are having the same demands as raiding guilds have except the attendance.

The problem there is the new players must always learn the tricks of the fight. No video or guide can make them 100% prepared. So by changing people you will always have some progress on the farm boss. This is unavoidable.

You can start to build more stable team but this is probably against you casual style. Or you can allow the new players coming to your raid and teach them what you already taught the others. This is tedious and will take its price from you. I can't see any escape from this situation for you.

The influx of new players tells me there is not enough organized guilds on your server and its my experience good players want a discipline in the raid. You could use it to form stable team but as I said it would be against you casual project. Seems to me there will be always a limit to what can be achieved by "casual playstyle". You will have to accept it or become "HC raider".

Orenja said...

I suggest GTFO to everyone having problems with Tunnel Vision or something similar...But it's also nice for everyone else as I think moving one of the things you have to be aware of from a purely visual to an audio cue let's you concentrate on other visual aspects more.

Healer24 said...

The only thing different from other guilds is the "no attendence" rule. Everything else has a lot of, sometimes complicated, rules and it requires a great effort from the raid leader (you, if i'm not mistaken - is there any other raid leader?). So, in the end, you have a highly regulated raiding guild with no attendence requirements. And that's it.

Do you disagree?

Gevlon said...

@Healer24: a highly regulated RAID, but not guild. Anyone can choose to raid without me and my regulations and anyone can choose to not raid at all.

kelindria said...

This is about the easiest way to find m&s in your raid. I still have bad memories of a hunter I raided with for a while. As she was the guild leader's sister and it was a social guild it was impossible to kick her. That aside, I remember her yelling in voice chat " What Just KILLED me".... The debuff thats been sitting on you for the last 3 minutes.....

Not knowing what killed you is a common thing amongst M&S.

Wilson said...

"Anyone can choose to raid without me"

Which leads to the obvious question, why isn't anyone doing that? It's been demonstrated that there's enough people who want to raid to fill a second team, even if it doesn't have an ideal composition. But other than that bizarre "ninja" episode, it doesn't appear that anyone has done this since the days of ICC farming with a 30% buff.

It has always appeared to me that this guild is really a "cult of personality", with the overwhelming majority joining because they want to be in Gevlon's guild, and the overwhelming majority of raiders wanting to be in Gevlon's raid. The "pug" aspect of it seems pretty much non-existent. But that's just an outsider's speculation - I'd be interested to know if anyone has a better / more informed explanation of why there aren't non-Gevlon led raids?

Squishalot said...

@ Anonymous - if Gevlon is always the first to organise the farm-raid, then by definition, nobody else will be able to organise it. Also, his posts continually suggest that this is 'his' raid, because all these rules that he's listing for the farm-raid are only for 'his' raid. My point is that even if the whole guild isn't doing that, his raid is, and therefore invalidates any success that his raid has, towards measuring the success of the PuG.

@ Gevlon - you keep referring to 'the raid leader' in your posts. If this was only intended to be for your raid, then you should be referring to yourself instead at all times. Instead, you reinforce the idea that these rules should apply to all guild raids, not just yours.

Irrespective of whether the PuG is allowed to raid without you, your raid cannot possibly prove that 1) there is no need for a job-like approach; and 2) there is no need for dedicated leaders, as you are requiring raiders to meet job-like KPIs for performance and you are always the raid leader. As a result, and as I've also said before, the success of the PuG cannot be measured by the success of any raid that you lead, and can only be measured by the success of multiple raids.

Anonymous said...

I think it's wrong to claim that the PuG is becoming job-like. A system for identifying faults is also great. In a random group, I don't think most people would feel comfortable admitting they wiped because of their mistake - if not for fear of appearing weak, then because they'd run a large risk of getting kicked.

One of the great advantages of this form of loot distribution is that it allows you to differentiate between the harsh reaction of "l2p you idiot /kick" and the non-reaction of "lets kill the boss this time guys" - here, you can take the middle path of saying "you'll get a smaller part of the pot". You can't really do that with ordinary rolling for loot.

All of this makes admitting mistakes and learning from them far more possible than in a random group, which is something I hadn't expected at all from the PuG. I might just have to transfer.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon and @Anonymous (second)
"@Healer24: a highly regulated RAID, but not guild."

This just reminds me of

So my question would be:
With the Cataclysm raid lockouts and you mentioning that the guild cant support 2 10 man raid teams how are "your raids" different from "guild raids"?

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely turning 'your' raids into HC-style raiding.

The single most important difference between "social/casual" raiding and HC raiding is in the length of time it takes for the raid-leader or officers to kick a person for under-performing.

In the so-called "family" guilds, this almost never happens - the pressure to be better (if there is any!) is almost always happening behind the scenes, or in careful "points" that try not to upset or frustrate someone. But no-one is ever kicked STRICTLY FOR not being able to raid. Usually those people are "handled", put on backup, they hear snide and implication remarks, they are pressured socially, which results in drama or them leaving silently or staying in the guild but stopping raiding. Or they continue to cause wipes, until the rest of the raid overgears the encounter, but which makes raid leaders burn out, etc etc.

So what you have as a result is the making of a HC guild out of people that define "casual" only based on "time-invested" aspect.

Your guild might not be becoming HC, but your raids most definitely are. What is happening is basically just a test of "can HC raiding be developed with no attendance requirements?". In translation this means "can HC raiding be developed with higher influx and high migration of people?".

BUT - the influx of people cannot and will not be infinite. You will have bursts (new expansions or other major changes) and then, over time, less and less new people. If the guild survives, the raids will gradually become pure HC with just a wider pool of raiders than an average HC guild has.

"the PuG" as a name is already becoming ironic, in the best case; it is definitely not "true" as PuGs, by definition, use resources that are temporary and try to do best of what is by chance/accident there in a very small and limited time frame. PuGs certainly do not operate under heavily regulated rules set, such as you presented in last few days.

Bristal said...

Wait, wasn't the whole point of the PuG to create a utopian asocial "guild" group which would magically (with "the rules") exclude M&S so you wouldn't have to waste time boosting them or answering their silly questions?

Now you've found that spending time identifying and educating your own morons and cultivating an atmosphere of restraint in CALLING them morons is really the answer.

That just sounds to me like your utopia failed, and that you still need to use social constructs to improve group coordination to succeed in your goals.

IMO it fails because your definition of M&S is not, in fact, global as you wish to believe. It's relative; to yourself, and your current needs. It also cannot fully define a whole person, only their current actions.

A person cannot BE an M&S, only ACT like one. Put people in a difficult raid encounter and you will see more fail behavior. Place them in a lax, leaderless enviroment and you will also see more fail behavior.

You cannot create a utopia where people will perform perfectly in all things all the time. Unless, of course, you could clone yourself...

Russell said...

Raiding requires 3 skillsets, and a problem with any one of them can lead to a 'fail' death or wipe (if enough people out of 10 fail).

1) Physical skills: aka 'muscle-memory. Knowing where your abilities are hot-keyed without having to stare at your action bars or keyboard to hunt-and-peck (or click) on them.

2) Cognitive skills: knowing and understanding your rotation/priority list to maximise healing/dps/tps. It goes beyond simply not using a one-button castrandom macro or mashing your keyboard at random; it incorporates external research into your class and spec, as well as making intelligent decisions on the fly. We can't all play as bots or automatons - we need to be able to shift our playstyle based on the environment and situation at hand. This also means knowing what abilities a boss uses (and when they use them) and forming an appropriate response to them in a timely fashion.

3) Perceptive skills: this is the hardest to quantify, but basically incorporates you as a player being aware of potential and actual hazards before they occur. Thinking 'a few steps ahead' so to speak. A boss won't drop fire in the same places every time you fight them, so you need to be prepared for that. You might realise that you're about to move out of range from the tank you need to heal because you're moving out of fire (but in the wrong direction).

These 3 skillsets take a large amount of time to perfect, and mistakes in a raid are usually caused by a lack of skill or practice in any of them. Physical skills take very little time to get correct (ie, levelling to 85, practicing in some dungeons or BGs) and should be easily mastered. Cognitive skills take longer to work on, but again being prepared for a boss and doing some research can help immensely. Perceptive skills are the hardest to master, and take the longest to learn.

Anonymous said...

I believe the "job-like" attribute to HC raiding is traditionally related to raid times? "You will be there every wednesday and thursday at 18:00 or you will be kicked." is nothing like "You can come if you want and there are breaks after which you can leave and be replaced if you want to." Also another "job-like" quality not present here is gear and experience. HC guilds often (if not always) require you to have the beast gear attainable before their stage of progression (or sometimes even better) and to have already beaten all of the content the guild has (again, if not more).

The idea behind the PuG is that you can beat most of the current WoW content with a non-consistent (no enforced raid roster) group of reasonable and competent people. The only thing that has changed over time (that I noticed) was the definition of reasonable and competent. And even then, most of the rules since then have only been put in place to guard against overzealous goblins since hurting the group for personal gain still IS better for you if you can get away with it.

Squishalot said...

@Anonymous: "I believe the "job-like" attribute to HC raiding is traditionally related to raid times?"

No, the job-like attribute to HC raiding is related to performance - "you will get at least X dps, you will not die in fire, you will not make mistake A, B and C," etc.

Consider the things that get you dropped from a hardcore raiding guild's raid. Then consider the list of things that get you dropped from The PuG's raid. Then consider whether you'd be dropped from a social / casual guild's raid for those things. Notice the similarities? The only difference between Gevlon's raid and a HC guild's raid is in the 'not showing up' rules.

Jumina said...


Gevlon claims: You can be bad player and not to be M&S. But if you attend the raid you should be able to beat the content otherwise you have unrealistic goals which makes you M&S.

He is just throwing M&S from the raid, isn't he?

Unlike HC guilds Gevlon allows players to come back to the raid and try it again even if they failed previously and were kicked from the raid. In an HC guild you don't get a second chance.

Caramael said...

Perhaps it's simply too early to be organizing farmraids. Maybe you should stick to noob/progression raids for now and try again later. Could save you a lot of frustration.

Squishalot said...

@ Jumina - if they were really M&S, they wouldn't be in the guild, which is supposed to be M&S free (see point 1). So by changing his definitions of why he's throwing people out of his raid, in effect, he's actually breaching the first point. Are they M&S or aren't they?

In a HC group, you don't get a second chance because someone else who is capable takes your place, and doesn't screw up. But that's an attendance question. The fact of the matter is that only HC raids will kick you for dying in the fire and making mistakes and being ignorant. Casual / social raids won't. Therefore, Gevlon's raid is taking a job-like approach to raiding in his lack of tolerance for mistakes and ignorance.

Jumina said...


The rules were supposed to keep M&S out of the guild. They obviously failed in the point of keeping lazy or bad players out of the raid. Whether they are M&S is a question. My opinion is they are and the rules failed in this point.

Social raids can keep bad player in a raid and carry him. But there is a price for it. If the content is to hard they will eventually fall apart for not being able to progress. I have seen this a few times.

I do not see any reason why Gevlon's "casual" raid should fell into the same trap. Players will abandon a raid without a progress and without raid there is no PVE guild. Just a social /g chat.

Trust me. The guild where raid leader says: "study tactics and come back when you are ready" is much more friendlier than most of the raiding guilds.

Squishalot said...

@ Jumina: "I do not see any reason why Gevlon's "casual" raid should fell into the same trap. Players will abandon a raid without a progress and without raid there is no PVE guild. Just a social /g chat."

Of course, if he were running it as a raiding guild.

The difference is, he's running it as a PuG. The philosophies of The PuG are completely different to that of a raiding guild. The point to prove was that he could set up a guild with non-M&S (fail), that would be able to generate sufficient players for raiding on a no-obligation basis (pass), that would achieve progression without dedicated leaders (fail) without a job-like approach (fail).

I fully appreciate that the best way to get progression is to lock the people who can't progress out of the raid, because they're holding the raid back. The problem is, the implementation of this is against the spirit of the PuG. Either they're M&S and should be kicked from the guild, or Gevlon has to admit that the PuG's original goals can't be met.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

I just recently came back to raiding (hadn't done a raid since we first downed LK at 15%) and noticed myself making some pretty basic mistakes.

While I had spent the time to understand the mechanics of the encounter I often found myself tunnel visioning health bars and having horrible camera angles which lead to panic moments of early death.

The 4 number you came up with is insanely eerie in that this is exactly the number I also have found seems to be the termination point. By the 3rd/4th attempt on any given boss I had managed to figure out what I was doing wrong and correct it.

Again great post, keep up the good work.