Greedy Goblin

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Fair" is sometimes profitable

I'm rotating players in the farm raid, and I mean not only that I remove the underperformers. When there are more players than spots, I ask who want this boss, and bring those. Of course if you sit out, you get priority over the next boss.

I did not really think about it, it merely looked "fair" and "equal". Not really goblinish values. No wonder that someone questioned it. He is one of the best players therefore preferred meritocracy: the best ones shall get spot.Of course it is not perfectly meritocracy as performance affected by gear, and the more you raid, the more gear you have. It becomes circular, the better player newbie don't get a chance as he can't out perform a (bit) worse player in better gear. But hey, life isn't fair, why should I be?

His idea sound much more goblinish, right? It sounded like one, and it took some time to figure out why the "fair" system is more profitable: because if someone wants a boss, he most probably wants it for loot. If he wants that loot, he will bid for it. More bidders: higher pot. There were serious bidwars for almost every loot, only the hunter gloves were disenchanted (as hunters had tier gloves).

OK, so far so good. But hey can't I push it to even better? What about selling spots? I mean at every boss the spots are auctioned and the 9 highest bidders (+ the raid leader) gets spot. Of course if someone fails, he still gets replaced. I'm not sure about this idea and want to discuss. The positive is obvious: more pot. Also, bidding goes for tank, healer and DD spots, so if any of the roles is underrepresented, you can get in for less gold, motivating players to go for such spots.

However it has a big risk: as the pot is distributed among the players who get in, the gold can just rotate between the same 10 people (as they bid highest, and then get the pot from the same money). They get very rich and a new player, unless he is a major AH-goblin can't get in. Having no new members is the death of any guild.

So, shall I settle with "who wants this boss" or shall I sell spots? Which is more effective?

Edit: as I read the comments, the more I am convinced that selling spots is a bad idea. However I keep this up for further discussion.

Clarification: currently when I'm leading a raid and there are more (able) people than spots, at every boss I ask who wants him. Those who wants him gets him. The next boss someone who skipped a boss have priority over someone who did not.


Anonymous said...

Your idea of "selling" the raid spots is interesting, but this will mean a rich PG will have more chances to raid than a poorer PG.

I find some parallels with private schools, in which your goal is to make money and have high quality instruction and high quality students (read: high quality raid with high quality raiders).

Since money is not always correlated with being high quality you need to have ways to support high quality poor students (raiders) because it's in your interest to have them. Also no matter the money if someone is simply unacceptably low quality should not be able to simply buy his place. Adding an increasing "tax" for every substitution might be an interesting idea.

Chopsui said...

You can sell spots with a cap on the amount offered. Use some sort of silent bidding for it or so. If more than the number of slots bid for it, random roll.

Xaxziminrax II said...

Since gold is a fixed amount amongst all your raiders, I don't see how the difference in pot could be that large between these two choices. Giving up gold to buy a raid spot will simply mean smaller bid wars.

Anonymous said...

If a player buys a spot, and then gets his hare when the boss dies, then he gets back exactly what he payed for the spot, plus the gold for items sold. This seems pointless.

However if a tank spot is cheaper than a healer spot, then tanks get more and healers get less than they put in. This may encourage speccing for the least common role, but the punishment for having a common role might be seen as unfair.

If a player is replaced then he does not get his gold back and the pot grows, however this can be achieved with a deposit, that is returned when not failing. And does not move gold from the more to the less popular roles.

Keep in mind that a spot may have value determined by competition, if an enhance shaman can get a spot with no hunters thats much better than a spot with 2 hunters, as items will be cheap due to no competition. A plate tank might want a spot more if the other tank is a druid.
This means that selling spots can compensate for low item bids due to lack of competition. But it's hard to tell how it will really play out.

Anonymous said...

You need to first decide what "more effective" means to you.

If you were not the PUG, them want a "progression raid team" and should pick the members of the team who attend raids and is part of the team you are gearing up.

If you are trying to help the guild, you would choose the worst geared raid team who could still down the boss in an acceptable manner.

If it's an income source, pick the ones who will pay the most.

If it's speed, choose the highest performers (e.g. top DPS).

If it's meritocracy, then choose the best performer (e.g. something like DPS/GS)

I.e. who does Mr Meritocracy think should go -someone doing 16000 DPS with il359 or someone doing 15500 DPS with il340? ( One can argue either way. )

And you do not want to get so clever that, even in these days of BTPNTC homogenization, that you miss out on time warp or mana tide or even a buff. The benefit of playerA is not just their direct contribution, but also how much they improved the group performance. If you can bring a third mage or a lock/spriest that bring a new buff, then the lock/sp would be bring the most benefit even if they are slightly behind on the DPS meter.

Shouldn't this be a decision of the raid leader as to the type of raid this is?

Anonymous said...

I think the fair thing to do is to sell the spots, but distribute the pot that was acquired this way amongst the bidders (and not just amongst the raiders as they would keep on bidding their own gold over and over). Those who got outbid now, will get in eventually as they accumulate gold by trying to get in, and if they win the bid, but fail, their part of the bidding will pay for repairs.

Kewi said...

Theoretically if you every player in your guild is capable of carrying his weight you should rotate. For the guilds sake. You can't rely on every player to be present in every raid for current tier. So the more variety of properly geared members you have, less headache you will have when 1-2 steady raiders stood out. With this chance for every raid to be profitable gets higher than having half of raid 333/346 geared. I'm not saying that gear is crucial but makes things a lot easier.

Uranax said...

If you try to sell spots to raids the same "bad circle" as with gear and achivements. Rich players get in, they get their money back when the boss is dead and can bid highest for a spot again. So the result will be that the 10 richest players that want to raid will get the spots, every time, with no chance for poor players to get in.

What you need to do is something similar as an anonymous mentioned. Distributing gold amongst all bidders, not just the one that got in, but then people would bid just to get a share, similar to abusing second bidder rule. And if they happened to win, they got a raid spot and will get their money back when to boss is dead.

Honestly I think it's a bad idea and would only cause trouble and drama. The only one that would win on having such a system is the raid leader, who would get a nice bonus for not having to buy a spot and then take a share of the probably massive pot.

Zazkadin said...

I'd say too that if you were to bid for places in the raid, the gold should be distributed over everybody who put in a bid.

Your raids will become like a stock market though: while you're at it you might want to sell options to buy gear - if it drops- for a pre-arranged price too.

Skeddar said...

To encourage new players (like me when I hit 85) to buy a spot, you could collect the fee from the raiders and distribute a low percentage (say 5-10%) to those who didn't get chosen. In that case, I would try to get in the farm raid instead of waiting for the B-raid.

On behalf of me being a new player, I'd like it if you had a fixed page like the "rules", which gives the requirements for raiding in your guild. That may sound stupid to the veteran players, but besides wowhead and elitist jerks I'm not very familiar with the sources out there.

nightgerbil said...

Hmm this reply took some thought. To clarify something; you set out to build a guild where I can log in one friday night, state in guild chat that I am "lfm bwd hc" and that I wont be burdened by the filth that infest /2(trade). I just have to run the raid via your guild rules. I am correct here?

So it is in the interest of any raid leaders emerging in the guild to have as large a pool as possible of potential raiders. You have already noted that part of the guild doesnt raid as it currently stands. Will limiting the number of raiders able to enter the raids not make the situation worse? I for one can't buy my way into a raid. When I do get in I wont get any gear from it for the first 2-3 runs as I build up my "loot gold" from the pot. (by the way isnt this just like epgp, just the ah goblins get to bypass the hard bit?)

I see a more hardcore attitute entering your posts/rules and its interesting to see the view of "its possible to progress while staying casual" falling by the wayside.

Do you want the guild to consist of a hardcore of skilled, rich, elite goblin raiders who clear content with/for you while a large mass of blog fanboys hang on the sidelines helping in tol barad and obeying your guild chat rules?. There is nothing wrong with that, if thats how you want to direct your project. Its your guild. You tell us.

Ephemeron said...

I believe that you're trying to reinvent the wheel here. A square wheel made of solid stone.

You already have a perfect working solution to the exclusivity flaw of performanced-based and sell-spot approaches (i.e., the geared becoming more geared and the rich getting richer). It's called the GDKP system, and it's neither meritocratic nor egalitarian, but utterly pragmatic and efficient.

So assemble your raids as you would assemble any other GDKP raid. Invite a balanced mixture of boosters and boostees, geared/greedy and undergeared/rich. Instead of instituting a single fixed criterion for invite (performance or gold), allow the players to make their own choices between paying and being paid for raiding.

Of course, those who have neither money nor gold don't get an invite, plain and simple. After all, the whole point of PUG is to avoid boosting non-productive leeches. If they want to get a free ride just for having the same guild tag, there are plenty of "helpful social casual friendly raiding guilds" out there to provide them with it.

Panthro said...

What? You are creating an incredible complex way of raiding, I though "Pugging" was about raiding whenever you want/can, doing it well and getting severely punished when not, to encourage better skills. This way of considering gear, skills, biddings etc., it's startintg to sound like another progressive guild, with "normal" attendance and raiding rules.

Also, this kind of spot selling is not encouraging the forming of more raid teams within the guild, just pouring down yours.
If you organized the raid and you wanted to invite a "newbie" who needs gear as a future investment (this guy would improve, would get better gear and remain in the guild), it's ok, who cares? It's your raid. If someone wants to make a meritocratic raid, he or she should form it and forget yours, right?

A theory: are these questions coming from the low attendance in the guild? If it's because you can't form 2 raid teams of 10 players, what you should do is encourage recluitment or re-rolling (going from healer or dps to tank, etc.)

PD: ^My english sucks as hard as a Charlie Sheen's goodness, sorry.

Anonymous said...

If a raid spot costs gold, then gold may become a barrier keeping good raiders out, while without it it's simply a delay on getting gear, as every boss kill will provide the poor player with gold.
Raiding in the pug seems like a nice way for a competent raider to farm gold, gold needed to gear up for progression.
I think of this as a fundamental strength of the pug, and changing it could have negative effects on the amount of available raiders.
If someone has to farm a lot of gold to get spots then I assume fewer will bother to transfer to join the pug.

Shannon said...

I see potential hypothetical problems for you if you implement buying spots for raids. The main one being this: Say "Joe" really is a great player, but a poor one. However, "Sam", "Bud" and "Terry" really want him in the raid. Let's say they say, "Hey, Joe, we really want you in the raid. We'll front you the gold to bid on the spot."

Now, "Steve" comes along, thinks, man, I want that spot. He may not have the skills that "Joe" does, though, and he knows it. So "Steve" goes around doing "favors" for the raid leader and key members he is sure will get the money up and be in the raid--making flasks, armor, Mechanohogs, whatever it takes to get the leaders and key people in the raid to take notice, AND he can come up with the gold to bid on the open raid spot.

I am not a hardcore cutthroat raider. Even so, I think you are opening yourself up for a lot more trouble than it's worth.

Gevlon said...

Distributing the "get in" pot among everyone is a bad idea as it would allow people who did not even want to raid to bid a few gold, make sure they lose and get gold for nothing.

However I'm more and more convinced that the "sell spots" is not a great idea as it would just make the poor player being unable to raid at all, even if he's good.

Dangphat said...

We run a system where everyone is piled into 4 groups tanks, mellee, ranged, healers. For each type you are chosen based on a priority system.

If you are skipped over for a raid you gain top priority for the next raid you log in for (up to a maximum of 2 weeks later). If you attend a raid you get medium priority for the next raid you log in for (up to a week later) everyone else is on low priority.

For a group with double the number of possible raiders for the group size logging on each night you are guaranteed a spot every other night.

Anti said...

"as the pot is distributed among the players who get in"

the pot needs to be distributed amongst everyone bidding. if they bid and never intend to go they need to be sanctioned.

if people realise you usually have 18 people bidding for spots and 8 of them can make a profit from standing outside in the "wait pool" then very soon you will have 25 people bidding. then everybody goes.

soon you have 29 people bidding. next you have 3 x 10 mans. eventually you have a 10 man and a 25 man. soon 4x 10 mans.

Anonymous said...

"he more you raid, the more gear you have. It becomes circular..."

Just like in RL, where the ones making the most money are those who already have money to invest.

Talderas said...


Merged the two concepts. Keep slots that are by request with those sitting out getting preference over them. Reserve a number of slots that are auctioned off with the benefit of buying the auctioned slots being that you don't lose priority on the unauctioned slots.

KhasDylar said...

Selling spots is a bad idea, as you've already noticed. If you try this out, you could easily end up with the following strange situation:
you start a raid, people are bidding for spots, highest bidders get in, you go to the instance and before you pull any mob, simply distribute the accumulated amount and disband the raid, without killing anything. People who payed much, get less, but players, who payed less get more money. Stupid, isn't it? Yes it is, but you are just want to try something similar.

If you want to kill bosses, you need a balanced raid - as someone mentioned this before me. Gold bidding will not get you a balanced raid, not even close to it. This will be a much greater problem for your raids, even greater than "poor but good players don't get in". Simply your raid will be not that effective with gold bidding for spots, than a carefully selected set of players. Being a good AH goblin (i.e. having much gold) and being a good PvE player (i.e. good DPS, good healer, good tank, good CC, etc.) not always have a correlation.

Wildhorn said...

Selling spot is very bad... many players won't like the idea to pay for nothing (if no interesting loot drop). They will start to deserte the raid, making less people wanting to go for a spot, making the spot cost less, so in the end you don't get much gold from it but you discarted potential good players.

Anonymous said...

Selling/buying spots will most likely lead to problems. Stay with the "who needs this boss" when choosing who is invited. Better yet, say, "Link me the loot you need from this boss." If someone hasn't done the research for upgrades and where to get them, they shouldn't be raiding anyway.

Bill said...

Giving everyone, including the poor, a chance to succeed? To show their potential? To make the system as a whole better? Pfft. Sounds like the ideals of American Democrats, and the Amercian National Football League. Lets just hope that you don't hold the guild hostage and force a PuG shutdown because you feel the raiders (no, not the Raiders) get paid too much.

The alternative is closer to the ideals of the Republicans and Baseball: Having success and profit lead the way to more success and profit, albeit for a smaller group of people.

Given the size of The PuG and its authoritarian government, and reliance on having a minimum of 10 or 25 people to raid, you need to keep the poor coming back. Especially since you are more like China and watch what everyone says and kicks them if they don't all follow the rules. Everyone is well behaved.

sha said...

The problem for the best raider getting replaced has a few issues. 1 you are making more gold at his expense. 2 you take his valor away for that boss. 3 personally i hate sitting a boss for no real reason.4 you make you run slower. So the better solution for you (unless you sit yourself on some bosses) is to just sit the best person that doesnt need anything for a newbie that wont wipe the group. But i'd personally start a different raid if you always sat me and never yourself. Dont forget the valor. It's either gear or 10k gold in a week or two.

Anonymous said...

Gev, since wehn have you cared about the the "poor player"

Thought thats what you first made this blog for, and if they cant follow you simple blog and make gold arent they M&S???

Anonymous said...

Selling spots runs contrary to the point of GDKP runs. The point of GDKP runs is to ensure that all participants benefit from the raid - and not only those that are lucky to win a gear roll.

Anonymous said...

You know, if the guild is about farming the gears, though your guild is not really about farming gears, then would it be a better system for the guild to auction the looted gear to the entire guild instead of just the players that participate in the raid? With this system, the pot still split between the raid players, but any member in the entire guild can bid for the items. It's like the best of both worlds where the raiders raid because they want to raid, and other players get carry because they want to get carry. You only need to add an extra tax to bidding players that don't raid to the raid group at 300 G or higher.

Trash said...

I've had some serious wall of text here, but I've decided to scratch : meritocracy for progression raids, spot selling for farm raids.
That way you would reward the good players, but you would also give a chance to new players to show themselves.
I'd let the progression players to have free spot at that specific new boss the next ID you kill him again, aka "if you progress and kill this boss now, you have guaranteed free spot next time".

Anonymous said...

How does that system work exactly? For example you have 11 people who want to raid and 1 says he will skip a boss and come to the next. You kill the boss and when it's time for the next one who exactly leaves the raid?
For example if the 11th one is a DD, then you have 5 people over whom he has priority, (you can't replace a tank or healer with DD although that's irrelevant) but which of those 5 will leave?

Drakantus said...

How about this as an alternative:


The possible drops of each boss are a known value. Simply ask everyone who wants loot from the boss to send you bids. Give the spots to the highest total bidders.

Example, boss drops loot A, B, C, D. C is a healer item and D is a tank item, A and B are usefull for DPS.

You only have 2 tanks and 3 healers which you need for the boss, but 6 dps want to go.

DPS 1 bids 1000 for A.
DPS 2 bids 2500 for B.
DPS 3 bids 1500 for A and 1500 for B.
DPS 4 bids 500 for A.
DPS 5 bids 2000 for A and 500 for B.
DPS 6 bids 700 for A and 1500 for B.

You tell DPS 4 he doesn't need loot as badly as others and you take DPS 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6.

Gevlon said...

@Last anonymous: usually there is a volunteer who give up his spot at the next boss to get priority to the one he wants.

chewy said...

Why don't you bid for the potential gear before the boss to decide who goes, stays or joins ? Think about it.