Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The PuG in the dance world

When I started The PuG, raiding (or at least the normals and the early HMs) was output based. A good player, who knew how to gear, what talents to take and what buttons to press seriously outperformed the one who did not. The idea was that I can spot these players without any kind of in-game metrics, simply because it needed basic intelligence and reading. I told that those who are capable to keep the simple anti-lol rules are good players.

The dance-design of Cataclysm messed it up at one point: voice chat. While voice chat can't help stupid, it can help the lazy and mediocre. Yelling "switch to leg", "AoE now", "All to me", "X debuff on you", "taunt!" make it possible for mediocre (non-retarded) players to kill bosses.

The boss-specific dance also defeated my original point with no voice chat: if you boost a bad one to a kill, he stays bad and will remain a constant problem. Better to wipe, fix or kick. Boosting always works in the short run. I want to prove that forcing bads to improve or replacing them works better on the long run. The problem is that there is no more long run in WoW raiding (at least in normals and early HMs). Every boss is an individual short-run challenge. There isn't any more "WoW-skill", just "Shannox-skill", "Beth-skill"...

What can I do? I find a gameplay where long run is unavoidable: PvP. The opponents are players too, so you can't give them different abilities every battle. The maps can't be varied either as they must be balanced. Finally, you can't make output irrelevant, as you have the same "dance" abilities as the enemy. So I change the focus of my play to PvP, especially rated BGs. It's not a rule change, everyone can form any raid or BG as he wants. I merely decided to raid much less (1-2/week), and RBG much more.

What can I say about our current PvP activity? We never missed to max out CP only by rated BGs since I can't remember. We got the rated bg challenges the first week it was theoretically possible. Despite we don't have fixed roster and having huge rotation, sometimes having to play with undergeared people or with no stealther, we are 1500+, which is not great but above average, as 1500 is the defined average MMR, and most players don't RBG at all, so it's actually above the average of the PvP-ers. When we go in TB, we win easily and we'll intensify that action to get more players from the server, just got a new record, offensive victory in 4:19.

Feel free to join now, even as lvl 1. I don't expect huge player influx for this change, as we have to prove ourselves first at higher levels. I have several plans to increase the rBG roster, the one in motion will be shown tomorrow (it's pretty evil, don't miss it).

PS: the BG strategies are linked in the PuG page now and I'm starting to get ideas how to build a working strategy to that damn Twin Peaks.


Anonymous said...

I find hilarious that often PvPers use to mock PvEers with "Ha! You only fight a scripted event! PvP is always different and so that's where the real skill is!" while now it seems that it's PvP to be more predictable and so, in a sense, "easier".

Squishalot said...

Although you claim voice chat was a big part of your original point, we can clearly see what The PuG's goals were by going back to the original post.

"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"

1) To suggest that your people are 'bads' that can't succeed in the individual short-run challenges would seem to suggest that you haven't succeeded in keeping M&S out (as defined by the inability to improve sufficiently to clear content).

2) Dance-design or not, it's possible to clear content without voice chat. There were dance fights throughout WotLK that you were willing to fight through with The PuG, suggesting that your view on the approach to raiding should be valid, irrespective of the style of fight, be it output based or dance-based.

3) As I've stated many a time in the past, the fact that you continue to lead raids in the absence of any other players willing to lead suggests that a) leaders are necessary, and b) that the feedback provided by the system and raiding peers hasn't been sufficient to raid.

At what point are you going to admit that the original goal was a failure, necessitating the need to change targets? After all, dancing simply requires players to know what buttons to press. Surely your anti-lol rules should have been capable of acheiving that.

Grim said...

Nope, PvE is still scripted and even more choreography than it used to be.

However, WoW's PvP has always been broken in at least half a dozen ways at any time, so that's just a non-issue.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: "dancing" requires memorizing and executing moves. They are not more logical or straightforward than learning the phone book. I never said being non-M&S make you be able AND WILLING to learn the phone book.

Still, most players did not raid at all or despite our very bad progress way behind us. So the original claim that simply following the rules puts you to the top 20% is proved.

Squishalot said...

One further point - learning dance moves is no different to learning a DK rotation. Both are unnecessarily complicated, yet both are necessary for success (in their respective areas).

If you can't remember and execute a dance move, even with all of DBM's prompting, you really are M&S and have no excuse. Why else would you have to charge fail gold?

Anonymous said...


The only thing that was in fact proven was that given a stable structure most players can and will kill raid bosses. The diference in the progress they achieve will only depend on how stable are the structures and how much interest they have on killing those same raid bosses.
Skill will only influence how fast they progress because blizzard eventually nerfs all of them to a level that braindead players can down them.

Now to call things by their proper names, your project in 4.0+4.1 was a mild sucess but on 4.2 ,be honest and admit it was a failure, dont make exscuses with dances,because there were dances on the previous tier already and the pug cleared them during the proper time.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: our FL progress isn't worse than our 4.0, #17000 both.

Wilson said...

"our FL progress isn't worse than our 4.0, #17000 both."

You were around 17k when you killed Nef, but are currently at 15k for Tier 11 due to two heroic boss kills. For Tier 12, WowProgress shows you at 21k as of today. I'd call that worse.

Anonymous said...


WoW Progress shows your 4.2 progress as 23145 and 4.0/4.1 as 14949.

I don't know where you got 17000 for both.

Michael said...

I think the major problem here is that you're trying to show that you can still win if you do things your way. You don't show that things are actually _better_ if you do it your way. It doesn't matter if it's possible, lots of things are possible. You need to demonstrate there's benefit to switching.

Also, you'll never convince me with this approach because I measure success by how much enjoyment (fun) I have per time per cost. This is entertainment, after all. If you're trading enjoyment for rbg points, your fun/time ratio is falling, so you're losing.

Also pvp is about hurting people, and that's mean. I play to kill internet dragons, not to be mean. :o

Sten Düring said...


Seems you've managed to prove what you wanted to prove, and now it comes back to haunt you.

You now have your guild with decently individually skilled anti-social raiders.


You're now beeing chewed up and spat out by guilds who have long since known that the group is bigger than its component parts.

A social unit with internal demands on individuals will always beat the unholy crap out of 10/25 skilled individuals who accidentally happen to be in the same place and who all spit on the concept of 'group'.

Gevlon said...

@Michael: contacting with lolkids is a major funkiller for me. Any kind of action that keeps them away from me increase my fun.

Anonymous said...

What you say seems reasonable. But if you accept that, why would you choose to do PvP in WoW? I don't know many players who PvP much; the arena participation % was quite low. And little I read is complimentary of WoW PvP.

WoW PvP seems similar to achievement points; an "elder gaming" niche to keep max level players subscribed.

Do you have new goals for the PvP guild? In particular, voice chat seems to be significantly more valuable in unscripted PvP. Not required, but certainly a help.

Anonymous said...

Learning dances is the new gearscore. In placing so much emphasis on not boosting bad players, you've created a structure that also undercuts effective means by which good players accelerate their learning curves.

I don't know what your raid roster is like from week to week, but is it possible that your "no fixed roster" approach means you have new people on many raids who haven't had a chance to practise the dance? After all, there's no target dummy for these bosses and many people need to experience game mechanics before they can execute a dance consistently. I expect that new players wipe the raid while they learn which must be frustrating to the players who already know the dance. Without attendence expectations, I know I'd skip a raid where I anticipated lots of wipes, meaning you'd find it hard to fill a raid with experienced players and need to bring in yet another person who doesn't yet know what they're doing.

You've realized that this tier is full of new learning curves and you haven't found a way to create an environment that supports quick learning. Rather than figuring that out, you're abandoning the effort and switching to an area where the learning curves are less steep.

Anonymous said...

"...most players don't RBG at all, so it's actually above the average of the PvP-ers."

That's an odd way to look at it, comparing yourselves against people that don't play. I would rather say that all the top PvPers play arena, but only a few of them chose to take part in RBGs, mainly due to the fact that no one ever cares about someone elses RBG rating.

If you actually want to make a statement or any kind of worthwhile studies, go with 3v3 since the majority of the PvPers, good AND bad, play that.