Greedy Goblin

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Be warned: goblin philosophy can be easily found offensive or evil to many people. So read these posts only if you are open to controversial ideas.

The title of this post could be: "how did I missed the whole BC endgame raiding by not knowing the goblin philosophy", but it would be a bit long.

When I started playing, leveling up, I got bored quickly doing the same content over and over again, wanted more, more challenges, new bosses. If you asked me a year ago, where will I be in the game now: I'd say "all endgame content cleared", without any doubt. The truth is that the furthest I got in 25 mans was Hyjal second boss.

It's not about knowledge of the game. Several new and ambitious players, with terrible spell rotations asked advices after seeing my name No1 on the healing meter, and soon their performance increased greatly. Then they disappeared. /gquit-ted at 2 AM, never gave any explanation openly. When I asked them in /w, they said, "I wanted more". Some of them reached SWP, the instance I have not even seen.

It's not about skill and gear. When one of these ex-protegees, in 7/8 T6 asked me to jump in a ZA bear run since one of the healers of their usual ZA group cannot play, the healing meters ended like this:
***************** 7/8 T6 CoH priest
************* 5/8 T6 Holy pala
************ T4 and badge items myself.
This run was the first time I could participate in Lynx kill.
This run was the first time I saw Hex Lord and Zul'Jin.
This was the glorious moment, when I passed on a bear mount, since it's useless, making 9/9 end-game raiders think there is something wrong with me.

And they were right, of course not about that useless vanity mount. The reason of my failure is ignoring the goblin way. It's about not understanding, that some things just cannot be fixed.

If you ask me a year ago, what is the life-cycle of a guild, I'd answer: "people reach lvl 70, they start instancing, gear up, go to T4, T5, T6". I could not even imagine that a guild that want to kill Illidan, can fail. I mean, a chineese guild killed Illidan 52 days after they could access BC. It's a video game, not the cure for cancer!

In the guilds I was, I soon seen that the wipes are caused by people who either don't pay any attention, come unprepared, or having absolutely no clue about their class. I had no clue once, and I read forums, calculated spell HPS and HPM until I got better. Some of the other people did the same: asked, learned, became better... then disappeared overnight.

There were also others, who did not asked for advice, but listened to reason. They - reluctantly - changed spell rotations, replaced that purple spell DPS item to a healer blue, farmed some mana potions. They got a bit better.

And there were the majority, who refused to learn. Those who said "I'm playing since beta, don't come and play smartass", or "It's my toon, I play the way I want".

And there were the officers, who usually played better than most, and agreed that my suggestions were technically right, but "It was unfriendly to lecture him. Please don't do it again, we want no drama". Or: I know that he sucks but he is a great person and good friend. Soon I found out that even posting a damage meter result can be "drama-making". Growing impatient of the guild's failures, I started suggesting strats, posted HPS-HPM calculations on forums, archiving nothing but guild drama. There were /gquit-s and gkicks. One guild after the other with the very same problems.

Now I would say:
  • There are leveling guilds. They either grow up and start raiding, or remain leveling forever by mutually boosting each other's alts and the alts new low-level buddies.
  • There are fun, RP and PvP guilds, who don't want to raid.
  • Tier guild, that raid a tier again and again and again and again. They consistently get undergeared players from leveling and lower tier guilds, gear them up, while they consistently lose geared players to higher tier guild. So the average gearing level stagnates, except when blizzard provides an out-of-raid gear upgrade to everyone (S2, badge). Tier guilds either form from leveling guilds who reach the limits of the current membership but unable/don't want to replace membership, or from dropout players from progression guilds.
  • Progession end-game guilds. Usually 1-2 exists on every server's every side.
The list of the members may change a lot, but the guild name usually stay in the same position. This position is defined by the attitude of the guild leadership. How much they tolerate ignorance, how much they tolerate not paying attention or being unprepared? Who do they reward with gear? How much teaching a member can get? The guild leader, the officers and the core players define this mentality. This makes the difference between a tier guild and a progression guild.

While the member list can change even completely, this mentality stays. You cannot change it! No matter what you say, what phrases you use to tell them to improve, they will hear you say "You are not good enough!". They get pissed and angry and not an inch better.

This problem was also completely strange to Xixil Makspocket. The goblins don't have long-term cooperation, the word "loyalty" is unknown to them. They align for a common goal, if they reach it, they distribute the income, if they fail, they got their experience and disband anyway. New goal, new team.

So the goblin way is: cut your endgame progress into smaller objectives. There are guilds working on the same objective. Join them, reach your objective! For example if your current objective is getting Kara gear, a Kara-guild is your place. When objective completed, move on! Don't blame them for not being able to kill anything behind Gruul, it's not your place to lecture them. Just /qguit, go to the next phase. Things won't get any better in your current guild! They will never-ever reach higher level content as a guild. Of course some of the current members will, but under a different name. The guild: never! (only exception: new leadership, new rules, new mentality, serious /gkick-/ginvite rounds)

Took some time for me to learn the goblin way. I lost the opportunity to change things in BC, since it's almost up, people no longer raid. In WotLK, I won't waste my time with people who don't want to go further. I will reach the end of the endgame, Arthas will be down. And since on the top there are progression guilds, there is a hope that I will find a guild which provide enough challenge to stay, as Larísa said.

What about the others I left behind? What if without me they can't even down Gruul? The advice of Xixil Makspocket is simple: while I was there, I pulled my weight (or even more). Everything I gained in experience or gear, I worked for. I did not ninja anything from them, I earned everything. I owe them nothing! Those members who deserve better but get into worse with my /gquit are free to also move forward. If they choose not to, it's their call, not mine. There are guilds out there, who need and deserve them.

Xixil Makspocket also talked about the deeper philosoply behind /gquit, claiming that leaving such a guild is not just a selfish act, not only good for the individual, but for the whole world too. But that's a totally different post.


Anonymous said...

As in real life I have encountered people in-game that took helpful advice as personal attacks, simply amazing. With each character I've played I've always tried to improve and appreciate helpful advice from those who might know more about the class than I. It's one of the ways I can continue to improve.

Larísa said...

You really seem to have been a bit unlucky with your guilds.

I may be a bit naîve but I do hope and believe that there are guilds which are able to proceed from one tier to the next one as a guild. But of course there are a lot of guilds which never will (stuck in the casual mindset, in a negative way).

This said - I must admit I have changed guilds a couple of times. From non-raiding to Kara-raiding. From Kara raiding to T4-T5-raiding. And no finally I'm in a T6 raiding guild.

But when I look into the future I really hope my T6 raiding guild will stick together and progress in WotLK as one guild.

Having a long history in common I think can add a special flavour to your gaming. But it's rare.

I hope the gem I think I've found now is a solid one.

krizzlybear said...

It's possible to progress pretty far, but it's an inevitability that people will come and go in a guild, depending on the needs and wants of its members.

But the guild that actually does progress does so because of a very strong core. That core is the sole factor in a guild's progression, not the goblins who stay for only a little while, but are a great help when they were there.

Lately, I've found myself blurred along both sides, unsure of where my place is in my current guild. I'm torn between personal improvement/progression and being really helpful to other guildmates (and believe me, they are very gracious to accept help when they need it!). I'm giving it a bit more time. Good post.

Gevlon said...

@diva: those who reached something all gladly took advices from each other, strike that seeked knowledge on forums. Those who didn't learn, didn't succeed. I doubt if it's a coincidence.

@larísa: there is a goblin saying "there is no unluck just unskill". I stuck to those guilds for too long, in vain hope to concquer new content together. I did not want to lose T5 content by joining a guild already farming it. So I lost all content.

While I hope your guild stays together, I'm sorry, but a realm/side 22.nd guild ( has low chance for that. You are a skilled and devoted player, I would bet you will reach lvl 80 much faster than most. You will be ready raiding Naxx while they are still questing around 78. And somewhere there will be an application for "Naxx raiding guild lf mage".

Larísa said...

I hope you're wrong, Gevlon, about the expectations about my guild. The thing is that the guild is pretty new (or maybe not, depending on how you see it) - it was started by a guild split, when the raiders of an old guild formed a guild of their own. (But we still have a channel in common and good relations with the mother guild.)

So we haven't had much chance to advance high on the ranks, especially with the summer downtime....

To tell the truth there are so many players in this guild having much more time to spend in the game than I have, so what I fear most is that the one being left behind, not levelling as quickly as the others, will be yours truly Larísa. I can only hope there will be a raid spot open for me once I reach 80 as the core (which seems to be pretty strong, what I can tell).

But of course, the expansion, the competition from Warhammer etc, is a threat to any raiding guild. It's hanging over us all. Noone can really tell the future.

Anonymous said...

The nice thing about guilds is that they can have very different philosophies regarding the game, which cater to individuals who may or may not share those same ideals. For the vast majority of the community, it is a game and, as such, should be played as the individual wants it. And, fortunately, there are guilds that stubbornly cling to that philosophy and reap what little rewards that there are.

For guilds who want to progress, a goblin attitude is almost necessary and is probably encouraged. While they may not go out of their way to rock the boat and point out follies, they do invariably foster communication of the game's mechanics and how to optimize performance. That or extreme competition drives everyone to perform at the best. These guilds either succeed or they fail, usually more due to personality conflicts than actual performance.

Having been in both the twenty-hour-a-week progressive raiding scene and the guild that was still struggling with Prince fights after almost a year in Karazhan, I'd like to think that I've found the happy medium: a guild of knowledgeable players that foster communication, provides support, and is a friendly community.

Here's hoping that your decisions in Wrath give you what you want!

gnomeaggedon said...

1st up, interesting juxtaposition with Electronic Estates recent post.

2nd. I don't have a whole lot of experience with raiding guilds, bar one that I was a leader in.

But it strikes me that there are:
1) Leveling Guilds
2) Tier Guilds
3) Progression Guilds.

Now 1 & 2 might want to be (even believe they are) 3, but most likely the time and energy that is spent in:
1) - Leveling new members/alts
2) - repeating Tier'd runs to get everyone up to speed

This prevents true progression, so people get tired of it and use Goblin progression, just ship & find a new place to set up shop... one tier up.

I know that our group of mates wanted to progress, but with <10, we were constantly pugging the rest and even those puggers would move on when we weren't moving on.

I guess it would be easier if we had more than one night a week to raid... then we could cross tiers, which would make it feel more like progression, and encourage people to a) stick around and b) set new progression goals

Siha said...

Interesting post. I don't agree with your assertion that guilds can never progress to the next level of content - were that true, every guild would still be in the entry-level raids - but I certainly agree that a lot of people miss out on meeting their goals because they don't intelligently analyze what their guild is capable of.

Gevlon said...

@gnomeaggedon, Siha:
Thanx to the comments, post corrected acordingly. Your comments also inspired a new post which will be posted tomorrow. Thank you.