Greedy Goblin

Friday, June 17, 2011

No, you are not special!

I often hear whining in the guild: "damn we lost Tol Barad because of X, Y, Z". This mysteriously happens when the more TB oriented players were offline or in raid or rated BG instead of TB. When I ask "who led the raid?" and "did you recruit horde?", "how many inactives you reported?", the answer is silence.

These people sub-consciously believe that they are good enough to beat the horde. They are not. Me neither. We are just little fish in the pond. Maybe we are much better players than the average, but even if we assume that you are twice as strong as an average player, your presence increases the strength of a 30 men raid by 3.3%. Not much. You are not special!

How come that if I'm there we barely ever lose? Am I special? No. I do special things. These things are available to anyone and not at all connected to my person. It's not a "skill", just basic knowledge that anyone can learn. What are they?
  • Recruiting horde. If we assume that a /trade punk is half as good as an average player, then if I recruit only 5 such morons to take the place of average players, then I already weakened the horde raid by 9%.
  • Leading the battle. It means telling new players where to go (veterans know already) and morons to leave the sieges and midfield. These players have 0 contribution to the strength of the raid. So if I just direct 3 such to their places, I already increased the raid strength by 10%
  • Reporting inactives. There are always leeches who farm honor while being AFK and also kiddies who were pulled away by mum. And DC-ers. They have 0 contribution and you can get rid of them by reporting as away. So if I report just 3 such and call out on /raid to do the same, I increased our power by another 10%
Whoa! I alone increased our power by 20% and decreased theirs by 9. I'm practically providing 1/4 strength of the 30 men raid alone. I'm awesome!

Except it's the 3 basic tricks that are doing it, not me. I'm just using them and anyone else could. They just don't, as they are focusing on playing instead of doing them. They sub-consciously believe that by being good, they matter. They are wrong. Doing good matters.


The moron of the day is this specimen, found by Noodleguitar Auchindoun-EU. No glyphs, gems, 0/0/41 talent and has 1 enchant: Intellect on head. He is a hunter by the way. What can I say? He is special. So special that the state operates a bus especially for him. A short one.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

on the moron: resto shamans gloves and legs, tanks cloak and ring. Got to the trinkets and just stopped there. Reminds me of the dailey blink web comic episode: http://www.thedailyblink.com/2010/12/patch-notes-from-my-happy-fuzzy-dream-world/.

This moron is why they gave us poo flinging monkeys while killing our class in pvp. Hes happier that way, I just rerolled.

Anonymous said...

Strength on ranged weapon... /facepalm

Anonymous said...

What you are doing is cool and I can see why it can increase your winrate. What I can't see is what makes playing in this way interesting.

That's not a critique of the way you play in any way, just an honest question. Why, in a game that has spells and stats and items and bosses and objectives, the most effective way to "win" ends up being reporting AFK'ers and barking commands to newbies? What fun is it? Are all MMOs doomed?

Anonymous said...

It's probably for the best that the hunter there only has 2 enchant. I'd hate to see what the others would have looked like. I could maybe have understood if this guy was really new with the spec but he is doing dungeons in what resembles a terrible pvp spec on both specs. Though I suppose the 484 spirit bonus on his gear will make up his shortcomings...and if that fails then stack that parry...ring of the three lights ftw...

Got to give props to blizzard though. Somehow they created a game where you can make pretty much every mistake possible for your class and still clear content. I hope Tobold sees this guy. Some people are blind to the obvious.

Anonymous said...

I would disagree with the semantics. It is absolutely a skill; you can call it management or leadership or whatever.

It's the same way that a boss who doesn't do anything but makes the 50 people in is department more productive and working on the right things is providing more value than the worker who knows he is better than his fellow worker bees.

Re @anon 8:11 - It is the nature of groups. A guild with players who aren't as good at the "spells and stats and items and bosses" but who have solid guild leadership making sure that recruiting and scheduling and enforcement happen, has a much higher chance of lasting through the expansion and consequently killing bosses than a guild with better players but nobody willing to spend the effort on guild management.

Pirim said...

@Anonimous with an honest question.

What Gevlon described is exactly an MMO in action: recruiting, organizing and leading. Spells and stats and items and bosses come from the "RPG" part.

That's why MMO goes first in the acronym: without organizing you can use spells and items to no end without a hint of success. The more players you're massive-onlining with at the same time, the truer it gets.

And I don't think there is any other "win" in an MMO. If you can win by yourself, you're either in god mode, or playing a single player title.

dehna said...

About the moron: do you notice how trinkets have a "heroic" tag on them?
I really wish I could see faces of people who were grouped up with him!

Seen many +intellect geared hunters in low level dungeons, so I was wondering - when the insanity stops? Apparently it doesn't.

Bobbins said...

To sum it up then.
Teams win TB not individuals

So the objective is to be part of of 'special' team of players

Anonymous said...

@Pirim:

"That's why MMO goes first in the acronym: without organizing you can use spells and items to no end without a hint of success. The more players you're massive-onlining with at the same time, the truer it gets."

Thanks (and thanks to the Anonymous above you).

I get what you are saying. But look at what it boils down to: in order to "win" you end up practicing your people skills, your character comes secondary. Yes, I understand this is "how it should be", but look: you join a BG, report player A, bark at players B and C, report player D, then bam, you win. You don't bark and instead use your spells, you lose. Is it fun?

That's not a rhetorical question, I am really wondering. I don't find this fun at all, but maybe there are people who truly enjoy organizing people in the game instead of, ugh, playing their character. (Don't get me wrong. Working with people is part of my job. I do find that rewarding, but that's real life. Organizing people in a game... for fun... really? that sounds alien.)

Besides, does it really have to be that way? Are MMOs really about pushing people to organize more? There are other aspects of MMOs, which seem equally fundamental and which work differently, like the auction house (having many players is essential) and diverse professions (having many players is essential as well or some professions won't be covered). I wonder if BGs and several other aspects of MMOs have gone too far in the direction of FPSes and strategy games... But that's a tangential point, the main question is still: is it fun?

Barbeque said...

The hunter is 2 ilvls away from being able to queue for troll heroics.

And there is nothing you can do about it.

Alrenous said...

Err, except being good is constituted by being the kind of person who does good things.

In other words, I'm a genius and you can too.

Gevlon said...

@Alreonus: It doesn't take a genius to do things right. It just needs and INFORMED person.

Pirim said...

@Anonymous 11:29

"you join a BG, report player A, bark at players B and C, report player D, then bam, you win. You don't bark and instead use your spells, you lose."

Let's put it this way: bark is a spell too. Report is a very powerful spell. And you use this spells along with everything else you have. When there's no one to bark at and no one to report, I don't leave the battle, I enjoy playing my class. But if cooperation is crippled by newbies or AFKers, why would I ignore my powerful abilities, designed to deal with them?

Main answer: yes, it is fun. I understand playing alone and enjoy it too. Team play is just another kind of fun.

Anonymous said...

"That's not a rhetorical question, I am really wondering. I don't find this fun at all, but maybe there are people who truly enjoy organizing people in the game instead of, ugh, playing their character. (Don't get me wrong. Working with people is part of my job. I do find that rewarding, but that's real life. Organizing people in a game... for fun... really? that sounds alien.)"

Are you trolling or not seeing the point? This whole blog is not about playing for fun! I'm basically repeating what already has been said: the end result of nobody leading is you lose no matter how good player you are.

If you don't like to lead queue with a person who does like to do this (Gevlon). If you don't like to lead but CAN perform the task, do it! It boils down to this ancient saying: "Do you play for fun, or do you play to win?"

Speaking of Auchindoun EU. Tons of individually skilled PvP players. Tons of good geared PvP players. Yet the winning team in TB (almost) _always_ wins. And hardly anyone follows any tactics like alliance on Agamaggan does. People attack sieges, people fight outside, in the middle (although horde also engage/gank people running from middle to one of three bases). As healer with 3k resi I go down like a sack of shit though, it appears they do attack healers first. And actually CC/interrupt them.

Noodleguitar said...

@Barbeque
Indeed, there is nothing you can do about it. We kicked the DPS that went offline which meant we couldn't kick the special hunter for the rest of the heroic (Throne of Tides).

Can I add that he used 0 Chimera and Steady shots? Instead, he used Cobra.

If this isn't true evidence that you can identify a real life moron by looking at his wow character then I don't know anymore. 85 levels! And still have no clue of what you're doing. Where is the fun in that?

Xenxu said...

@anon

If you don't find those kinds of maneuvers fun, you should find a new game. Starcraft 2 requires zero people skills and you win by only using in-game actions.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous at 14:36:

"..."Do you play for fun, or do you play to win?""

Indeed. How do *you* answer this? I don't see anything wrong with playing to have fun and to win simultaneously.

I admit I am not keen on what was going on in this blog lately, it can be that the topic of "fun" vs "win" was beaten to death already in one of the recent posts. If so, I apologize and would appreciate a link to that post.

I did read this blog in the past and I know that Gevlon is not a big fan of people who make it difficult for others to play with them and justify that by saying that they play for fun. That said, I believe expressing "fun" as something that runs counter to "win" is going much too far.

@Pirim:

"yes, it is fun. I understand playing alone and enjoy it too. Team play is just another kind of fun."

Thanks again.

I have a hard time looking at typing things in chat and thinking of that as a team play, because that just seems so out of the game, but I understand that different people can enjoy different things, so, fine. At least someone gets their pleasure from that.

Xense said...

@Barbeque
"The hunter is 2 ilvls away from being able to queue for troll heroics.

And there is nothing you can do about it."

Perhaps he actually knows how to play (unlikely to be sure) and just really wants to troll while in instances about trolls?

Darraxus said...

@ Noodleguitar: How much DPS was that Hunter doing. I once saw a Boomkin similarly geared in Wrath. He was meleeing with a tank weapon.

The next day I saw him getting a pug ICC together.

@Xense: "You dawg I heard you like trolls, so here is a hunter so you can troll while you troll." As Xzibit would say.

Azuriel said...

By the comments listed so far by several people, including Gevlon himself, it sounds like MMO companies are missing a market for a game where you simply tell other people what to do all day. Maybe there should be a "Queue as BG leader" option like what implicitly exists when you queue as a tank in LFD?

I would venture to say the vast majority of players in WoW know how to win a BG or TB, insofar as strategy goes. What they lack is a desire to take a thankless job upon themselves, and/or open themselves to criticism when/if things go wrong. There have been multiple studies done that Public Speaking is feared more than DEATH in the US, at least. Worse than death. It obviously it not quite the same in an MMO space... but it kinda is. Do successful progression runs happen without Gevlon? Is there any raid group that consists of 10 people all willing and capable of being raid leader?

I lead raids and BGs if I have to, but I always prefer to focus on the actual battle. After all, if the actual gameplay is not fun then why are you playing in the first place? Leading and winning is nice, but not leading and winning is better. Similarly, leading and losing is worse than not leading and losing. Thus we have a Nash Equilibrium where not leading is the default position of most everyone. And much like the Prisoner's Dilemma, the "default" is not actually the ideal outcome.

Anonymous said...

@Azuriel:

"By the comments listed so far by several people, including Gevlon himself, it sounds like MMO companies are missing a market for a game where you simply tell other people what to do all day. Maybe there should be a "Queue as BG leader" option like what implicitly exists when you queue as a tank in LFD?"

(I am the anon who kind of started this discussion with the honest question in comment 3.)

I think this is actually a good idea.

Here's how it can be implemented:

Place a special vehicle-like object for each faction on each BG (eg, a throne). Allow only one player to "enter" that object. Whoever enters the object loses the ability to use his / her ordinary spells, but gains the ability to see whatever his teammates can see (through their eyes or by "flying" over the map with a fog of war, or simply just seeing only the enemies seen by teammates). The person sitting inside the object would concentrate on giving commands to his teammates, and his teammates would concentrate on executing these commands.

The above can be tuned in many ways, eg, the vehicle can have hit points so that the other team can destroy it, people can be allowed to enter / leave the vehicle at any time (jump out, help cap the vital node, jump back in), etc.

Win/win?

Noodleguitar said...

@Daraxxus
He was doing 3.6k DPS overall.

Amazingly he did use First Aid and Gift of the Naaru after I refused to heal him.

He also managed to launch traps when we needed CC, although he fired them onto the wrong targets.

Anonymous said...

"Indeed. How do *you* answer this? I don't see anything wrong with playing to have fun and to win simultaneously."

They don't mix well. You either play to win and optimize for that, focus on it. Or you play for fun. That means you get lolmounts and lolachis. You get lolpets and lolgear. You slack when you faceroll halfus for the 20th time. You lol when someone fails and dies while the team has downed the boss for tons of times. Maybe you try to lol in a BG, and when you die you just "lol oh well I had fun". Especially laugh at anyone who is trying to lead and make good calls, since you're just there to have fun. You don't care about winning. It is an excuse for people to feel good when they behave horribly; when they lose.

Instead, the person who plays to win will feel like "oh well, I _learned_". This person wants to progress, and when losing, tries to see ways to improve. It is very much in contrast with playing to win. It is an entire different modus operandi.

The only way to have fun AND win is to have fun while not aiming to win. After you cleared 13/13 HC you go do some lol to get "the Insane". Or you go on some lolalt and lol with some friends, PuGing, and looking cool. But that still means they don't combine. You can have fun while you play to win, but it is a _byproduct. Same with playing for win. Any fun you may experience will be a byproduct. However, if the only way to have fun is by killing a boss, you will have more fun when playing to win.

You can read the whole explanation here: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/p/play-to-win-vs-play-for-fun.html

"Perhaps he actually knows how to play (unlikely to be sure) and just really wants to troll while in instances about trolls?"

I know a warrior who has a full epic "mage gear set" for fun. Why? Because he can. Yet, he would not use this in a PvE environment because he likes to play to win. He will act like a moron in Stormwind when it is of no harm to anyone. Again, he is not provocating/trolling ("fun") while playing to win at the same time (doing raids).

If this hunter likes to troll he surely is wasting not only his own time. However, it is difficult if not impossible to identify a moron from a slacker (or troll). Heck, for all we know it is a Blizzard employee checking out how well the vote kick system works.

Aabrahm said...

guys,.. Im starting to think that hunter was trolling Gevlon's group. He wasn't just playing bad, he was doing everything wrong. The chances of that ever happening? I mean, Knowing what CC is, but ccing the wrong target, cobra shot??? Plenty of people like this in the lfd these days sadly. Still morons, but not in the way you are oerceiving them to be.

nightgerbil said...

@ anon who things this guy is a troll: I dont think so.

As a hunter I can tell you its very easy to get yr traps wrong. It does take a little bit of practice. Most people screw it up a few times until they have it down, normally around the time they reach level 70.

Cobra shot makes perfect sense given it hits over twice as hard as a steady shot for the same effect and with it refreshing your sting (if he even use that) why use chimeras?

A rotation based entirely on aimed shots and cobras makes perfect sense from that perspective. no glyphs no gems (cos hes not made of gold you know) gear hes picking up randomly it all points to moron not troll. If he was a troll he would be better (and worse).

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous at 18-Jun, 15:31:

I don't find what you say about win vs fun particularly convincing. Example:

"Or you play for fun. That means you get lolmounts and lolachis. You get lolpets and lolgear. You slack ..."

This does not follow at all. If someone plays for fun, it does not follow that this fun is in collecting mounts or in slacking. He might as well find fun in barking orders to others and being super-effective.

Same with Gevlon's post you linked to (thanks), although it's more of a mixed bag.

Perhaps that's a words thing. Perhaps "I play for fun" has been used to justify slacking so often that people now associate that phrase with slacking, and are no longer taking it at face value.

That might be a problem as this makes it harder for us to understand each other. I would vote for going back to taking "play for fun" at face value, but that's just me.

Anonymous said...

"That might be a problem as this makes it harder for us to understand each other. I would vote for going back to taking "play for fun" at face value, but that's just me."

In that sense everyone plays games for fun. Since we do it in our leisure time, not business time. We're not earning any real-life dime.

You can however take the business into a game, and start playing it more... serious. Poker, for example.

If you don't enjoy your work at all, you've chosen the wrong job, but it goes too far saying your job is the "fun" in your life. At least, for most people, their leisure time is that.

The connection between fun and slacking is wide-spread in our culture. Take a trip with an airplane and you'll get asked: "business or pleasure?"