Greedy Goblin

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reputation, boosting and bullshit

Out of all people, Big Bear Butt wrote the following story. BTW I think many people misunderstand him. He talks about respecting human dignity (treating all with respect) and not altruism (giving them anything).

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times, then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly. Probably wasn’t the same fucking elephant.

This is for everyone who sends me those heart warming bullshit stories.
Why do I cite this wonderful story? Because I got 2 in a row. Amava wrote one story about the good feeling of boosting, and another about the wonders of guild reputation. Too bad that a little research can prove that it was not the same elephant!

In the first story he published the recount picture seen above. He talks about his GF being boosted by the guild and that does not bothered anyone, strike that they offered it freely!

In the second posts he talks that the same girlfriend behaved strangely when selling titansteel cooldown but the customer did not bothered since "I'm not worried, I respect your guild. I dont think she'd stiff me." So what do we know:
  • his toon is a hunter named Amiva
  • he is a herbalist/miner (same post)
  • her GF is a shadow priest
  • she is lvl 80 since she is raiding VoA and others
  • she is a 450 miner
  • she is in the guild (otherwise the customer wouldn't refer to his guild)
So all we need is to check armory for Amiva! I found 1 lvl 80 Amiva, on Ner'zhul. To be sure, I've searched his own blog for "Ner'zhul", and found "WTF is up with Eternals and Crystallizeds on Ner'zhul? No matter how low I price them, they barely move on AH.". So we found Amiva.

Let's check his guild for lvl80 shadow priests with 450 minig shall we! There is one: Wooldoor! Except that Wooldoor killed Sarth+2 on Jan 20. So VoA wasn't her first raid this week.
So the possibilities:
  • His girlfriend is not in the guild, so the second story cannot be true
  • His girlfriend is not 450 miner, so the second story cannot be true
  • His girlfriend is Wooldoor, who raided Sarth+2 two weeks ago, so the first story about a fresh VoA and boosting in Naxx is not true.
One way or another it was not the same f... elephant.

People, especially advertisers and boulevard media writers use to set up heartwarming stories to sell their stuff. They make you concentrate on the good feeling and not on the product (which is usually a scam). Too bad that with a little research such liars can be caught without difficulty. Whenever someone approaches you with such a story, be extra careful!

Question: if reputation is really important, can he stay in his current guild after his lies about a non-existent guild member (or a non-existent boosting event done by this guild)?


Darraxus said...

BURN. In the end, who really cares to be honest. It doesnt make sense to lie on a blog.

However, I do find your detective work hilarious. The more I read your blog, the less I get annoyed at you and the more I enjoy.

Now how bout some damn AH tricks! Stop being so damn greedy!

Anonymous said...

Well, as I read this, there is no connection between his GF and him in the same guild.

Dink said...

Thats some serious detective work.

Willowbear said...

Maybe good detective work. Maybe not. The character name was actually mentioned in the comments by Abe_Froman - Guinan. Doesn't sound like Wooldoor is correct.

Neil said...

First, many of Amava's guildmates have commented on his post about her experience in VoA. Either she was in fact there or Amava and his guildmates are going to unreasonable lengths to perpetuate a lie. Which makes more sense to you?

Second, there's a very reasonable explanation for her not being in his guild that meshes perfectly with the story.

* Amava tells Customer: "I know someone with a Titansteel cooldown."
* Customer trades mats to Uber GF.
* Uber GF runs to trainer.
* Customer thinks: "Well, I don't know who she is and I don't recognize her guild, but someone in Conquest recommended her to me. I can probably trust that."
* Customer tells Amava: "Don't worry, I trust your guild."

You ought to consider all possibilities before jumping to a conclusion.

Neil said...

A footnote to my previous comment:

How about spending less time bashing people for having friends and treating them well, and spending more time discussing how to profit in World of Warcraft? You earned my respect and readership with discussion of the latter, but your obsession with the former threatens both.

Sydera said...

Oh my god, the Goblin discovered the character name and server of a blogger! Holy hell! Next, it'll be his credit card info.

Most bloggers openly share their name and server. I certainly do. A lot of us put an armory link on our site, even, so you can see our progress. I haven't, but I wouldn't mind. I want people to be able to armory me in case they're curious, or in case they want to see what talents I take or what gems I use. The character information isn't any kind of secret, and it doesn't tell you a thing about the player.

And, as a Conquest guildie, I'll tell ya, Wooldoor is not connected to Amava in any way. This is what sloppy research gets you! Here's hoping that your financial posts have a little less inference and a little bit more accuracy.

Nuff said...'zhul&n=Guinan

Sydera said...

Actually, rereading the post, I think the error that led to this has to do with the Goblin's reading comprehension. I don't think the Goblin is a native speaker of English and we can just excuse him for not realizing that the information he thought was certain was not, in fact, certain.

The titansteel buyer trusted Amiva's guild, not the girlfriend's. There's a certain ambiguity in the original post, to be sure. "Your" can be a second-person singular or plural possessive. The buyer could have meant "just Amiva's guild" or "Amiva and the girlfriend's mutual guild." I read it correctly, but then, I know Amiva. I think, though, that most native speakers of English would have come to the same conclusion I did, especially if they had read Amiva's prior posts.

There's a lacuna there in modern formal English, which is why I sometimes insist, like the good Southern girl that I am, that y'all and y'all's are grammatically convenient.

We could all be more clear when we blog, the Goblin as much as the rest of us. I usually don't criticize people's English, though, when it's not their native language. It's kind of petty, and I speak three foreign languages myself, so I know what it's like. However, I probably wouldn't crow over an ambiguity that I found in a blog written in a language other than English. It's not good politics to be so hostile in the blogging community anyway.

Mokhtar said...

@Sydera : point taken but the pettiness of the comments is pretty much dictated by the pettiness of the original post.
AKA : but mooom, he did it first :x

PS : I'm not native english speaker, however to my untrained eyes Gevlon speaks English as well as any blogger around.

Mokhtar said...

Oooh I'm getting censored :) , my earlier comment disappeared !
I'll restate my earlier comment then (have to check comment policy if stated) : I'm eager to see if Gevlon will apologize for this. It's common practice in serious blogs that, when faced by inconsistencies pointed out in comments the original post gets modified to incorporate corrections.

xxxiii said...

Gevlon has based this entire post on the assumption that the GF was in the guild. It was never stated that she was.

What an embarrassment for Gevlon.

That said, inviting and carrying GFs is a bad practice for a guild to get in to. I've seen so many problems started this way.

But realistically there must be balance. In every raid, anyone who needs loot is being carried. And some people bring more than skill/gear to the table. Some people are just fun to play with. I've been in instances with groups who were only there for the loot and couldn't stand each other. If I had to do that every day, I'd quit.


Gevlon said...

@Sydera: At first, OMG I'm really a crappy investigator, just noticed that Amiva's guild is your guild too! I guess I walked into a nice little war here.

On the topic what you say is correct grammatically, just does not make any sense. If the GF was not in Amiva's guild, than how could the buyer trust in the guild? He saw a NON-Conquest member running away with his stuff, so his trust in Conquest cannot have any effect.

My guess: the first post was revealed in his own comment well: the guild was short by 1 person therefor the spot was offered to any friends and family. It's common and irrelevant (even I don't check armory for VoA since it can be done by 25 braindead plainstriders), yet he made up a heartwarming story around it. It's not a lie, just pimping up a bit, like a Hollywood movie based on a real event.

He got very positive critics for his post, and maybe even some extra visitors. So let's double the fun, he made up the second post. No screenshots, no witnesses this time and a nice little logical flaw where the guy trust in Conquest, so he also trust in a NON-Conquest player.

I'm sorry to say Sydera but most people who say the same principles as you, just SAY them. I respect you because I believe you mean and live by what you say. You are an opponent, but a worthy one. But most who preach altruism actually mean "be altruist with ME (and my in-group)".

Gevlon said...

@Mokhtar: yes your comment is deleted, because trolling is not tolerated. You DEMAND apology on my blog for something that was not a mistake and you provided no argument against it, just STATE that it's the truth and I must bow to it. You divine statements are not needed here.

@xxxiii: the second story does not make sense if the GF is not in the guild. I never said that BOTH posts are lies, I told that one of them is.

Mokhtar said...

As I said English is not my first language, but I'm pretty sure I didn't demand anything :)
As for you not being mistaken, I don't know how to call it if not that...
You can try and twist things to your liking but the simple truth is a good part of your reasonning goes to the trash with the comments, all I'm doing is wondering how you will react : will you do what I consider the right thing and apologize, or at least acknowledge the error or will you leave your post as is ?

Willowbear said...

@Gevlon: Actually the second story makes perfect sense from a banking viewpoint. It happens all the time in lending. When someone of less 'reputation' requests a loan that the bank would not give them they can get someone of better 'reputation' to cosign for them. In this case the cosigner was Amava and his guild provided the reputation necessary for the 'lender' to trust his GF.

I enjoy the viewpoint you present in your blog. It broadens my perspective on how I view things. But in this case, just do what you typically do and bluntly admit you jumped to a conclusion that was based on ambiguous information at best.

Dechion said...

Just to clear things up a bit I am going to for a moment assume that he was using an anynomous WWS report where the names are changed.

He states in his blog several times, most obviously on the sidebar for his hall of shame list, he and his guild are on the Kael'thas server.

He has also stated the guild name in his blog several times.To make your search easier the armoury link for the guild Sidhe Devils is'thas&n=Sidhe%20Devils&p=1

I respect much of what you say here Gevlon, and I have no personal stake in this, but I think you may have had a bit of a musunderstanding in this one.

Dark said...


Of your 3 points:

His girlfriend is not in the guild, so the second story cannot be true
His girlfriend is not 450 miner, so the second story cannot be true
His girlfriend is Wooldoor, who raided Sarth+2 two weeks ago, so the first story about a fresh VoA and boosting in Naxx is not true.

The first is rendered false because the original stories never said that the GF was in the guild. The second is rendered moot because the Uber GF is a 450 miner, which validates the second story.
The Third statement is also rendered moot/worthless, because you made a baseless assumption without doing proper detective work.

I'd say you made a mistake.

Amava said...

Your post is a slanderous reaction to my recent story of a team of high-performing raiders having fun boosting an inexperienced friend, and my recent story of a guild's reputation adding value to a business deal. You provide no actual thought or analysis in this post. The "research" you claim to provide is flawed and the conclusion you leap to is a failed personal attack on my credibility.

I've got an armory link on my blog, which makes it much easier to find my toon than the elaborate process you document here in an attempt to create the illusion of revealing evil. Nice work, Sherlock!

I have never questioned your business ethics up to this point, however your blatant theft of content from both BBB and my site is unacceptable.

In this post,
1) You claim that I am a liar.
2) You claim that Brand Value / Reputation is not a real thing of real value.

On both of those points, you are wrong.

You fail to recognize that in the economic transaction I described, I was acting as broker. I located the consumer. I located the producer. I arranged for the two to meet up, and I did the communication between them. The customer's reaction was based upon the reputation of the group of apes the broker is a member of. Reputation of the producer was irrelevant in this situation, all titansteel is of equal quality.

The three bullet-style points you assert at the end of the post are full of holes, leading to a false conclusion. That is not the only part of the article that fails.

While I do enjoy an intellectual debate, such as you and I have had in the past via our blogs/comments/email, you have crossed the line from adult conversation to immature name calling. I will not tolerate being called a liar, simply because you disagree with me and are unable to figure out the full story.

Neil said...

Another postscript to my earlier comments ...

I've referred several friends to your blog, since many of the ideas you've presented (e.g. you make the most money just sitting in the AH) have worked very well for me.

All of them have since told me something along the lines of "all he does is rant about his beliefs, where's the WoW advice?".

Please bring back the moneymaking tips and put the name-calling on the back burner :)

Durgan said...

If you read Amava's blog you would realize how often he has stories just like this. Its not out of the ordinary for him, and it sure wasn't a lie. You made some huge assumptions and couldn't even be bothered to check your facts before you started the name calling.

I don't know if this is you just trying to stir up trouble with Conquest or what but it was a waste of time which according to you was a waste of income.

B&K said...

Wow.. a lot of Conquest fanbois here. Did you ask all your guildies to come and troll?

Gevlon's logic is accurate based on the information provided in the posts.

The issue is that said posters from Conquest did not provide accurate and full information.

also note: Gevlon stated "so the possibilities" based on this info are....

All in all... QQ more to all your people QQing here about Gevlon's opinions and logical conclusion.
Rather then cry and stamp your feet like children why not be civil and just clarify the situation.

Marc said...

What you people don't realise is that we are spending too much time discussing this and hence losing money in WoW. Time = money (gold). Let's go make some money.

Yo Gevlon, how is the Magtheridon-EU project coming along?

Willowbear said...

@BK: I'm no fanboi and I have no connection with Conquest, but even I can see where Gevlon errored.

Your flawed defense of his post smacks of fanboism too. Gevlon's list of 'possibilities' was incomplete because of a flawed analysis of what was written.

You defend Gevlon's position by claiming that he is only speculating. But at the end of Gevlon's post he unequivically calls Amalva a liar.

You also qualify Gevlon's post as a 'logical conclusion'. Just because someone offers a logical sounding analysis doesn't make it logical.

And finally you play the "let's be civil" card to offer yourself up as a rational and benevolent mediator. In Gevlon's words...Bullshit. You just finished accusing the folks of Conquest of being fanbois and QQing. That is not what I would call being civil. That is called antagonism bordering on an ad hominem attack.

After all is said and done here this whole thing smacks of either:

a) a goblin stirring the pot to generate page views and thus revenue...a very goblinesque ethic.

b) an immature blogger reacting to another blogger who decided to do a beard the lion a little. (we all know how dangerous it is to goad a well heeled goblin.

You decide which.

Moomajick said...

Wow... You guys think you could flame anymore here? When I first read Amava's post I thought the GF was in-guild as well. I had to re-read it and Gevlon's post.

I think what happened here was a matter of ambiguity. Amava whispered a guy he had just done business with. His whisper was basically to the effect of "Hey, my gf/friend/someone-I-know can give you a TS CD." This guy knows Amava is in Conquest and trusts the guild therefore he assumes, let me repeat that he assumes, that since Amava is the go-between/middleman, he can trust the other person. Maybe he assumes that if the gf (the seller) rips him off, Amava will cover his expense. Either way, it is a matter of his guild's reputation being a good one. It's no bright imo to trust anyone you can't reach with a ball bat but it wasn't my show. And so, Amava's post in this case wasn't so much inaccurate as it was unclear as to why the guy trusted that his mats weren't gone.

@Amava- When I read your original post, I thought it was really directed as a direct slap in Gevlon's face. You kinda dedicated an entire post to showing how wrong he was, I wasn't surprised by the response personally.