Greedy Goblin

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Good enough

As business is zero-sum action, businessmen are usually competitive people, motivated by winning. No wonder that many are way too competitive for their own good. I'm not only referring to the managers dying at the age of 40 in heart attack, but also the time (=money) wasted in stupid cockfights.

OutDPS provided a perfect example in a comment on a topic where I'm advocating that if you have 75% of the stats of the theoretical maximum, you are good enough. He wrote:
Bringing bad gear, no matter how skilled you think you are, just means that at some point you'll have to be carried by a player with skill who's willing to work for the gear.

I'm sorry to say this, but this post puts you firmly in the category of morons and slackers you're always complaining about- a skilled player can always get decent (above the minimum level for the gear check fights) gear if they're willing to work at it for a bit. The fact that you're not willing to do so means you're willing to let these pick up players you always deride carry you through content that's designed to exclude people like you.
He claims that if I'm not as geared as the others, they are carrying me, and I'm not good enough (as getting to content that is designed to exclude me). To see what's fundamentally wrong with his point, let's see Patchwerk:

In 10 mans, he has 4320000 HP and 6 mins enrage timer. Considering 3 healers, 2 tanks that as half DPS, we get 5+2*0.5=6 DPS players. To kill him before enrage, you have to provide 4320000/6/6/60=2000DPS. In 25 mans he has 13M HP, 6 mins enrage. Considering 7 healers, 3 tanks we get 13M/16.5/6/60 = 2188DPS.

This is good enough level for Patchwerk. This is an absolute value, and has nothing to do with competition with others. If you can make 2188 DPS, you are not undergeared/skilled for Patchwerk as you can carry your own weight. If everyone else perform like you, Patchy will hit the ground.

If everyone else makes 5K DPS, they are still not carrying you, as you still put in enough effort. The fact that they do much more effort does not change the outcome of the fight, just the time spent. While time = money, the most time wasted is not in longer fights but in wipes and AFK-s. So a 4K DPS who AFK for 10 mins once slows the group more than a focused 2.2K. So this argument is very weak.

In competition people can easily forget that they are here for a goal and not for competition itself. The work done to elevate 3K to 5K may increase e-peen, but completely wasted if the goal was to clear the current content.

One can hope that Ulduar needs more. Sarth+3 surely need more as you have to kill the drake before the next one lands. However that will still be an absolute number, like 2.8K, 3.2K, 4.0K. The question of that content will be the same as now: do you have enough? If yes, you are good to go.

Sydera asked in the same topic: "how would you feel about being adequate, but lowest among the druids, all of whom have good skills?". Very important question. I would feel perfectly as my goal was not to top the chart but to get the job done. The chart shows that among all people I had the best investment/return ratio. Everyone else worked harder to get the same result. Of course for someone who came not for a certain challenge, but to enlarge his e-peen (her e-tit) this result would be terrible. But I'll be doing somethin fun while he grinds for that extra 1%.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to agree with the goblin here. If his gear is adequate for the job, then there is no point in arguing about his gear, as the end justified the means. I think it all comes down to that point - adequacy. If you want to down Patchwerk, you go for people who can do AT LEAST enough dps to kill him before the enrage timer. If you want to get the achievment, you set the standard higher, but in the end, a person who was doing 4k dps will have put in the same effort as the as the 5k dps if the end result was the phat lootz. Lesson here: The numbers don't lie, and gear is Pinnocchio...

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the first sentence. Business is not a zero sum game. If it was, no one would hire anyone to do anything, because the cost would be the same as the value received. Business is a game where the whole ends up being greater than the sum of its parts.

Tal said...

I agree. I'm even going to go further and say that even if your gear ISN'T adequate for the content you are attempting and you get "carried", so what?
Although boosting is a waste of time, getting boosted is much more profitable than doing your share of the work... If the raid has enough DPS to down Patch with 9 people and let you in wearing vendor trash, they're the ones being stupid and deserve to be taken advantage of, no?

Stabs said...

Gevlon, sometimes people die and others have to carry their slack. If everyone is functioning at the minimum one death or disconnect = wipe.

In truly hard raiding everyone dies sometimes. I think you're basing a lot of your ideas about raiding on Naxx which is designed to be a farm raid pretty much immediately. On hard content you beat it if people aim for excellence and you fail if people aim for adequacy.

Townes said...

I thought the quoted comment was reasonably incisive. If you have to invoke an imaginary player going afk for 10 minutes to show you're... not slowing the raid down as much as the imaginary person - then your skill isn't making up for your lack of gear.

Stabs is also spot on.

Love the blog, though. :)

Daniel said...

But why on earth would you settle for good enough? Why would you want to aim for good enough? Sometimes "good enough" happens. But it shouldn't be the goal.

Honestly I am surprised someone who is so intent on working the market striving to have such a dominance over one aspect of the game would settle for such a half-assed attitude towards another. But I guess that's the difference.

Gold-cap, dominance over a economy, etc. But still mediocre in another area. And then you have the people who will out-heal you, out-DPS, etc but may be scrapping by on raid consumables.

I guess someone people just pick where they want to excel.

Anonymous said...

On one hand - I can see the value of the good enough attitude. it measn that you will not be one of those people who are never satisfied, never happy.

on the other hand. the attitude of good enough promotes the oposite of progress. good enough means - what's the point at getting beter, being more efficient, learning more. I have to say - I'm a little buffled that you feel this way, the same person who despises people who do dailies, or grind a bit or use whatever less efficient methods of making gold then the ones you promote. becsaue essentialy - they are just like you. for them - its good enough, so they see no point in improvement.

you say you ar a good player. I don't know about that. you know what makes Larissa a good player? I know you do. its the constant effort she makes to be better, stronger member of her raiding team. whether its improving skills or getting better gear that allows the skills to shine even more.

no, its NOT good enough.

anything worth doing is worth doing well.

Gevlon said...

@Tal: theoretically, you are right, the most cost effective way to reach anything is boosting. However only a fool boosts. If you are good enough, you don't have to afraid of being kicked.

@Stabs: there will be a post from that.

@Daniel: I got so rich exactly because I did NOT strive for dominance. I was mediocre in SEVERAL fields. If someone came to dominate any of the fields, strongly undercutting, I let him be. I had mediocre results for very little investment therefore I could do lot of investments. That's why I got rich. Do you think I could ever get 20K/week if I bothered when someone tried to take the business of Glyph of Whatever from me? I had another 100 glyps to make up for the loss.

Anonymous said...

Again, the math is faulty. Yes it works for 10-mans. Patchwerk 25? A raid composed of players at your i-level will only wind up with repair bills.

The major flaw in your mathematics is that those tanks are going to stay up, and that the healers can keep them topped off. Given the level of gearing, neither is likely. Though the tanks may in fact remain upright until the enrage timer, Patchy's mechanics are going to cause raid fail through attrition.

This is because of his mechanic whereby he targets based on both overall aggro and current health. You have too-squishy tanks who will be jumping all over the board on their health meters with 85% gear. Assuming for a moment that the healers can in fact keep them up, it's less reasonable to believe that those same healers in 85% gear can keep Patchwerk-25 tanks topped off completely - and you know what happens the moment he looks to deal a Hateful Strike and all three of those tanks are at 75% - he'll target a melee DPS. in fact, he'll probably target a high DPS one to boot, due to that player's intrinsic threat - and unless a lucky dodge happens, that player is going to be one shotted. He'll continue to do this every time that the same situation prevents itself, too. Thus, as the fight goes on, you can watch raid DPS drop by 2000+ for each hateful that doesn't land on a tank (because they aren't fully topped off).

"Aww, Manch, that's no problem at all. We'll just have melee jump in the slime so that their health is lower and he doesn't hit 'em!" Bad idea on two fronts: #1, spells like Chain Heal jump automatically to the lowest % health player after the initial targets. All your tank heals are belong to melee DPS. Problem #2, now he'll just punk the highest health tank left - and that guy is gonna fold like a tent at least half the time, because an 85% tank needs to be more or less at max health to eat the HS and live to tell about it.

The math can be spun any number of ways to say that portions of it *will* work for those fights. yeah, the absolute DPS for Patchy isn't a very high requirement - but DPS and his enrage timer really isn't the issue. Tanks without the necessary avoidance = "No more play?" = raid wipe, no matter how many healers you have.

Thus, you need to have superior gearing on a tank to run with 85% healers, or you need some i213 healers for those 85% tanks. BOE epics frequently have a limited band of stats that are afforded to a played (for instance, Tempered Titansteel may have stam and def - but no parry, dodge, shield block, etc - and thus, bad avoidance stats) that their BoP raid counterparts do. It's an inherent weakness, and the price for what is comparatively "easy to earn" gear"

Of course, there's this to think of: "However only a fool boosts. If you are good enough, you don't have to afraid of being kicked."

Your tank is thus either not geared (or is outfitted comparably to you), in which case he is not prepared - or, he's got the gear and is accepting of an inferior healer. If that tank will place his repair bills in the hands of such gearing, then the likely answer to "how did he get this gear in the first place" is, "on the coat tails of a better raid" and you shouldn't expect the skills.

If the tank is both geared and skilled? They'll wise up fast to the fact that it's them boosting you, and /kick the "dr00d in blues and BOE epix" for a better healer from a friends list, or guild, because only a fool boosts.

The moral of the story: fun though it may be to thumb your nose at those who do the runs for the gear, you're going to hit the high water mark soon enough - and when you do, the wave breaks, and slowly rolls back, because there is only so much you can push before that gear check nails you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the goblin here also. There's a point of diminishing returns for effort. It's nice to have the best gear you possibly can, but that shouldn't hold you back from attempting content that you're perfectly well suited for.

Works in business too. You can spend years polishing a product to be the best it possibly can, or you can go to market with something that is good enough, perfectly fit for function, and probably a lot cheaper.

Knowing when a team is good enough for a challenge is also a really useful management/ raid leader skill. Best possible is a luxury, that means you can do without it.

Confident people will try things when they aren't sure if they can do it or not. Sometimes you have to say 'I think this is good enough, let's give it a go?'

Anonymous said...

Please ignore the above comments about the patchwerk fight mechanics. He will only hit the highest health character out of the top three on the threat meter(on heroic, top 2 on normal).

More time spent learning fight mechanics and less time grinding for gear maybe a good idea for the above poster ;)

Marc said...

Overgearing the fight leaves room for error. Players are not automatons to perform perfectly every fight and some breathing space is always welcome.

Anonymous said...

I find the difference between a 'good enough' run (which works okay when everything goes right, and has enough margin for error that it takes human error, rather than random factors, to make you wipe), and a run that's 20% better to be huge.

Whether I've enjoyed an evening instancing has a lot more to do with how smooth it felt, and how much room for error (and subsequent lack of bad feeling at said errors) there was, and a lot less to do with success.

(The point is the journey, not the destination, yada, yada. If I wasn't enjoying playing, I wouldn't be - I'm not working towards some goal, because there aren't any - at least not 'end goals'.)

So, by improving my gear (and preferring that people I run with do the same) past 'good enough', I'm not just inflating my e-peen, I'm also substantially improving my experience of the game.

Rational choice, different value system. It's also a value system which is liable to leave you benched come 3.1. The environment (social, that is) in which you are playing is not something you can ignore.

Also, much as it depresses me to agree with the top Anonymous poster (who I suspect needs to look up 'zero sum game'), business actually isn't zero-sum. The server has money-sinks, and by making the right srvices available for sale, you can channel more money away from those sinks, and into your pockets. Not every bit of profit you make has to be clawed from the hands of another seller, some of it can come from the vanity mount sellers (or, of course, from 'sitting around in the bank, deflating').

Carra said...

Very well, your goal might be to clear naxx. 2.000 DPS will do that trick (the tanks add a bit of damage)... in a few days.

Our goal is to do naxx in 3 hours (one evening). So I wouldn't want to take a 2.000 DPS as that would certainly not arllow us to get our goal done.

Anonymous said...

Well, the point here is that a member of the raid needs just to get to a certain number of stats, and either damage, healing or threat generated.

This isnt the real world, this is a world where everything has a number and its calculated, where with theorycraft you can calculate exactly how much you need to do for beating a boss and/or getting an archievement.

Killing your self for being the best is not a good policy, being good enough for pulling our weight for the CURRENT goal it is.

That means you just need to calculate what you need to do for your current goal an then do it.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong folks- my comment was specifically attacking his being undergeared because he only wants to run naxx once. I wrote assuming that (were he dps) he wouldn't be at 2000 or 2100 dps in 10 and 25 man, he'd be at 1500 and rely on a 2500+ player to prevent that from mattering.

He's a healer of course, so measurements are different. heals out is meaningless, overheals don't indicate healing ability, and the best way to measure a healer is by measuring how often you can ignore them and stay up. That said, healers still have to roll on gear to improve their unmeasurable performance

Anonymous said...

Clearing Naxxramas is not a question of gear or raid composition. It's all about knowing the fights and doing the right things. It is the starter dungeon of Wotlk.

Your posts remindes me of a presentation I saw a year ago. One guy suggested "Just in time delivery" because "you get it, when you need it". But he forgot to tell, that you lost all your flexibility and room for errors. And errors happen even to the most skilled people because you never controll everything by yourself. Consider lag in wow or the weather in the real world.

Karthis said...

I have a nitpick:

"If everyone else makes 5K DPS, they are still not carrying you, as you still put in enough effort. The fact that they do much more effort does not change the outcome of the fight, just the time spent."

I don't think the "effort" matters one drop, it's the results. Some people have to try really hard (i.e. exert a lot of effort) to top 2k dps even with good gear - others can do it in their sleep. Results matter, effort is just an intermediate step.

Anonymous said...

The Goblin's point was that if you need 2000 dps and can do it, then you don't need better gear.

No-one can argue with that, except it assumes that the whole raid is still standing at the end of the encounter.

Of course, in slightly harder raid environments than Naxxramas, it is often the case that you will lose dps, so the HP/party members = dps required argument, doesn't hold up.

"But I'll be doing somethin fun while he grinds for that extra 1%."

Or maybe in his opinion, you are grinding the Auction House while he is out having fun. It's all down to your own preferences.

Anonymous said...


My hunter alt, freshly dinged, in the swiftarrow set (L78 crafted PvP gear), with a suboptimal hybrid survival spec, wielding quest weapons from Sholazar, and completely unenchanted, was doing 1500 DPS immediately. (5 man heroic, boss damage).

The addition of the epic engineering gun, and two BoE L80 blues pushed me to 2200 DPS in VoA25. (PuG, some buff slots missing, most notably any form of shaman). Still no consumables or enchants.

I'm not even playing very well, yet. I obviously know the fights, and enough about the fire to avoid everything avoidable, but I'd just switched spec, and my shot rotation was all over the place.

But yes, there I am, with a /played of about 4 hours at level 80, doing DPS that is *good enough* for Patchwerk.

(This was last night, in case anyone is wondering where in the hunter nerf/buff cycle I was. Also, 5-man DPS is now up to about 2k).

I can't see any reason that with gear and skill equivalent to that he claims for his druid healing, he wouldn't be posting 2.5-3k DPS if he went kitty, or some DPS class. That's not the 1500 you seem to imagine.

(Also, talk about the M&S brigade. I was worried I was being a bit cheeky going to a VoA25 run with 4 hours /played, but the aforementioned 2200 DPS put me *fifth* on the meter. How on earth can people be so *bad* at a game they have spent 200+ hours playing?)

Sydera said...

I'll tell you, Goblin, what I always say to people who leave a guild I'm helping to lead, and what I said to my former guild when I left them. Each of us has to find our bliss in this game. Knowing what makes you happy and doing it is what makes gaming a joyful hobby.

For me, it's about many things. First of all, personal improvement. "Good enough" is fine for certain things--like my lesson on indirect object pronouns in my language class, for example. I don't stay up all night figuring out just the right way to present that, and if I did, I'd be taking time away from my research, which would be stupid. However, "good enough" is not sufficient when it comes to my hobbies. I'm going for my personal best. That means I'm going to--without being greedy about it--participate in enough raids, even if I'm tired or grumpy--to work towards my ideal. Gear is a part of it, but I'm working just as hard on my skills. Right now, for example, I'm picking up and banking pieces with extra haste and pieces with extra regen so I can swap them in based on Ulduar conditions. It's something I enjoy. I'm also working on making my UI cleaner and timers more visible so that I can be even faster and more precise in a hard raid environment. This is my bliss.

I spend an hour or so a day selling stuff at the AH. I find it very dull, and the whole time I'm wishing that I could be off doing something else, like questing on a lowbie. More time for the AH business, for me, would not be fun. So I like the raiding and the repetition. When I criticize you, I'm trying to get you to see that there's a certain advantage to the "traditional" approach to raiding--which involves farming the content. When I suggested that you improve your gear, sure, that comes from my perspective on things. I thought you might enjoy seeing the ceiling for your personal best rise. Yes, it takes skill, but usually, as people improve their skills, they also improve their gear. In that way, you will see even a very easy fight like Patchwerk change from week to week as every time you confront it with a little better rotation, a little more oomph, a little better regen. It feels pretty good to know you've improved, and that's all personal--it has very little to do with the group.

It's a tradeoff. I play my way, you play yours. Yours is more effective for certain things, as you'll never be in a raid if you'd rather go to bed early that night. But mine will get me hours of enjoyment in my own way, and I'll get through the week's raid content faster and with less wipes, because I found a guild of people who play the way I do. You see? Priorities.

Anonymous said...

Is this perhaps related to the Scandinavian concept of "good enough," as described by Garrison Keiller of "A Prairie Home Companion?"

Anonymous said...


You're a hunter. We're imbalanced at the moment. Why don't you ding a heal druid to 80, walk into a patch fight (which is a healer gear check) in level 78 blues, and see whether you need the tank or the other healers to carry you.


Anonymous said...

First off, I love the histrionics of people who feel you need 25-man gear to clear 25-man content. Seriously?

I want you to take two steps back from the keyboard, and reflect on how incredibly stupid you sound (are).

Some of you really put the M in M&S.

Oh noes, your epic ilvl 200 gear isn't 133t. Wrong. People were clearing Malygos in ilvl 154 (Sunwell) gear. It's not the gear, folks.

The hard truth #1: Skill beats gear, when the geared aren't skilled.

Hard truth #2: Half of the people who raid Naxx, are below average raiders.

You can clear the content you want, with epic ilvl200 gear if you're not a total idiot. If you are an idiot, you will need the extra gear to compensate. It's just that simple.

Patchwerk? If you're melee dps and you get killed on Patchwerk, you're an epic failure. They should rename Hateful Strike to Moronic Strike, because if you can't wait for the tanks to get aggro and keep it under control for 5 minutes...well...all the ilvl 226 items in the world won't help you.

You know what, I've seen plenty of people who can't be bothered to be 'good enough' to be in the heroic/raid/heroic raid they are in. So why are you people whining about a person who can run the math, and figure out what he needs to accomplish a particular task?

The only legitimate argument you can make, is that the Goblin does not factor dead DPS into the equation. So depending on the difficulty or complexity of the fight, assign a 5%-15% mortality rate to the raid, recalculate the DPS, which acts as a cushion in case things don't go perfectly.

Any extra effort is totally wasted. Totally. You don't get any extra heroics for finishing first in the damage meter, and for those who try, by all means...keep doing it. Someone has to...

The way the game is set up, is that you're supposed to be able to clear the next level of content with your current level of gear more or less maxed out.

Never have I seen something so misnamed as 'heroics' but those provide equivalent gear from Naxx 10. You can easily make up the rest from reputation epics.

Since I know the Goblin is capable of buying ALL the EPIC cloth ilvl 200/213 bracers, shoulders, robe, gloves, cloak, necklace, & rings...WHAT THE %&$* ARE YOU PEOPLE CRYING ABOUT?

This raiding content is incredibly easy; Naxx is a joke, unlike Sarth3D. Develop some perspective, people.

Once Ulduar comes out, the Goblin will just buy the crafted Epic 226 items, while you run Ulduar over and over farming the orbs for him.

Which, once again, will mean his gear will keep pace or outpace most of the people who feel the best way to beat T8.25 content, is to show up in T8.25 gear.

My characters have also made a ton of money through manipulating certain sectors of the AH, and I can think of things like the Titansteel Bonecrusher, Ice Striker's Cloak, etc. that made the gearing up process childishly easy.

Gold used to not go far when it came to gear and items. Get over the Burning Crusade, because in the new world called WOTLK, you can gear yourself to the ABSOLUTE HILT without ever stepping into something more dangerous or complicated than Vanialla Sarth or VoA.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you logically, though I have two peices of advice for you Gevlon.. First never stop leading the raids, and second pray that other raid leaders dont take your advice to heart.
In your last example it doesnt matter if you are doing 4-5k dps if the fight requires only 2.2k, as long as you are doing that is true. But being at the bottom of the chart hurts for various reasons.
If another goblin is leading, they will know you have skills but will prefer to take a raider who has skills and higher gear that can accomplish the task better. Nothing against you but as in business, they are going to try and find the best person for the job because it increases chance of sucess. You said yourself you check armory. I am sure you yourself check first to make sure no stupid indicators that are M&S but past that I would guess you dont leave it at that but are more preferential to raiders who have better gear and achievements because that indicates success in the past and more likely for sucessful completion at the work you are hiring them for.

Anonymous said...

on the 'good enough' subject:
Let's play reverse the roles.

When raiding you really don't need more than .5k gold/week (likely a gross overestimate).

...This is an absolute value, and has nothing to do with competition with others....

If everyone else makes 20k gold/week, they are still not carrying you, as you still put in enough effort.

The work done to elevate 12K to 20K may increase e-peen, but completely wasted if the goal was to clear the current content. goal was not to top the chart but to get the job done ... Of course for someone who came ... to enlarge his e-peen (her e-tit) this result would be terrible. But I'll be doing something fun while he grinds for that extra 1%.

As you can see, different strokes for different folks (to be trite). For most raiders, putting out the big numbers (DPS,HPS,TPS) is what they like to strive for, for you it's all about the GPW (gold per week).

Carl said...

Viscount has a good point.

The armory doesn't show the skill level of individual players, so the raid leader can only judge a prospective pug by his gear (and possibly achievements). Gevlon says he will armory everyone in the raid on trade chat. How can he make the choice between a skilled player in "good enough" gear and an M&S in full epics (check out class forums if you don't believe such players exist)?

On top of that, the idea of "good enough" gear is very dependent on the class and spec of the player. A skilled mage in leveling blues can easily pull 4k dps with the right raid buffs. A skilled hunter in leveling blues won't find himself in top 10. A skilled fury warrior in leveling blues probably won't outdps a tank.

I, for one, was a skilled holy priest in leveling blues, and I outhealed another priest in full epics in my first Naxx25. A month went by and I'm in full epics, but only my overheals went up and I find myself outhealed by lesser geared healers.

The fact is, with the current easymode content, a competent healer can get by with very little gear requirements. A geared healer can only show his worth when a) you bring less healers than the standard raid composition, or b) too many M&S in the raid taking unnecessary damage.

Anonymous said...


Still overpowered? Damn. Given the QQ at 3.0.9, you'd think it was fair again.

Anyway, since my druid is level 23, let's try a little theorycrafting.

I pulled up some WWS reports from Patchwerk25, and found about 14,000 HPS needed across the raid. Call it 7 healers, and that's 2,000 HPS required, each, discounting overheal. (I took some of the slower kills, since we ought to assume 'good enough' DPS and tanks, too)

Druid overheal seems to run at 20-40%, so call it 30%. Total of 2600 HPS required.

Keeping Rejuve active on three tanks, at Gevlon's projected 1500 per tick (quest blues, enchanted and gemmed)? 2250 HPS. Taking roughly a third of your GCDs.

(Actually, Rejuve showed up as having much lower overheal than 30%, tending to be about 10%, but let's ignore that).

So... there we go. Look plausible? My raid-healing experience is... limited.

The only way to define 'not being carried' meaningfully is in terms of 'would it work if everyone was at that level', and the numbers say 'yes, by quite some margin'. I daresay if you tried it in a better geared raid, you'd register lower HPS, but healing is odd like that, because of the finite supply to go around. In a well-geared raid, you could drop *any* character, and 24-man it, so are they *all* being carried?

Anonymous said...

I consider the charts to basically be a form of advertising. I'm a dps, so available raid slots for me are limited. By taking me instead of a lesser dps, you're downing the boss faster and buying some leeway in case somebody dies or gets disconnected.

Secondly, I have gobs of cash (thanks in part to your advice!) and not a whole lot to spend it on. Sure, it's wasteful to spend 80g for a gem that gives +3 more stats than a 5g gem. But what else do I use the money for? Saving for retirement? Putting little orclings through college? Buying 50 mounts for that silly achievement? So I go into raids massively overgeared because I have no reason not to.

Hagu said...

"As business is zero-sum action" - I am appalled, Marx is so last century. If an herbalist gathers herbs and sells them to buy bars and the miner gathers ore to buy the herbs for their flasks, that is much more efficient than each having to drop and learn a new profession. People in Canada and Norway are better off getting their bananas grown in Central America in exchange for oil.

You also fail to consider the non-technical aspects of the situation. I'm selling a product/service to the raid and one of the components of any product is availability. If a 9-person raid with 11k DPS has been looking for a while, then my 1k DPS makes me better (more valuable to them) than the entire Ensidia team asleep in Europe. Especially if it is Monday night and the raid cycle will be over soon.

@anon - the term I learned in business school was "Satisficing." In the artificial Patch example, a 9 person LFG with 9kDPS would take a jerk PUG DK with 3k. A team with 11kDPS might instead take a friend that can do 2k, even though it is less than 3k, but it is good enough so they can look at other factors. Once the alternatives are "good enough", you examine more subjective criteria.

Your point about increasing costs/diminishing returns in gear is quite valid. Especially considering @Ryanc point that BoEs are different in WotLK; I find mining saronite more enjoyable than mining PuGs, so tend to just buy the gear to get alts Naxx-able without doing instances/heroics.

I am a bit confused as to your feelings - reconciling "I would feel perfectly as my goal was not to top the chart but to get the job done." versus "only a fool boosts"

Say when you inevitablely down 3.1 content, and there is a Sydera (BiS,great skills, lots of effort), you (good not great gear, less effort), and slacker (worse gear, worse skills, missing a gem,chant,flask, even less effort).

I certainly understand the Sydera bliss, I'm probably a bit too lazy and with dramatically poor twitch-skills to ever achieve that, but I understand and admire it. Re saying the goal is to see the content/get the loot: In the same way you want to give your buyer's the minimum number of crystalized fires for their 100g, I can understand the philosophy of "what is the minimum I need to do to see X die?". You don't seem to care about your ePen, yet seem to mock M&S who see the same content as you with less effort. If someone sees the same boss down as you but got it with less skill and gear than you, then under the "just get the job done" goal, haven't they just achieved the same goal as you, albeit more efficiently?

Sydera said...


With my style of raiding, I'm never at the ideal. I'm always working toward it. With skill, with gear--it's the working and striving that are fun.

I'd love to raid with Ghostboci to see how good his skills are. I'm just curious--he's got an admirable level of confidence.

I know I'm not perfect, but I'm very good and getting better every time I tweak things. Of course, I'm one of those people who things that perfection is a theoretical, not actual value, and I'd probably find something to nitpick with any level of skill or gear I achieved.

Anonymous said...

the more I read Gevlon and the coments he gest and how he replies to them - the more I realize is that he's a victim of his own theories, the same ape subruitines he mocks.

think about it in a contex of the theory of mixed stereotypes. Gevlon is a perfect example. anyone who makes more effort then him is investing too much for not enough return. anyone who makes less effot then him is a moron and a slacker. as well as people who are more socialy oriented then him.

the truth is - when it comes to his personal goals, his methods are sound, becasue they bring him the exact result that he's striving for. and the truth is - his methods and goals are neither absolute nor right for everyone. and i'm afraid that those of us who are stil trying to convince him otherwise are fighting a losing battle.

So I think I'm going to get back to my own bliss of minmaxing my characters and making them perform the best i'm capable off, playing with like minded people who actualy manage to socialize and have fun with the game and each other, while working on being the best we can be as individual players and as a team.

it was fun while it lasted, thank you for the gold making ideas that I haven't thought of myself.

Anonymous said...

There is a FUNDAMENTAL FLAW in Gevlon's logic. You can NOT treat DPS (or healing for that matter) as a zero sum game. Let me explain.

Gevlon is using the benchmark as "Just enough" to get the boss down. For the consistency of argument, I am going to stick with Patchy for my argument.

As Stabs pointed out, there is some random element to the game. Every strike, and every heal has a randomness to it. For example, a dps pally might have a really bad string of no crits (it happens people, and it sucks). Or, for that matter, patch might hit for the top end of his damage range every single time.

For Gevlon's premise - that raiding is a zero sum game, to be correct, and the benchmark of that is that you do just enough to get the boss down, there is one thing that everyone has missed. IF YOU ARE DOING JUST ENOUGH TO GET THE BOSS DOWN, YOU WILL HAVE ONE PLAYER - ONE - LEFT STANDING WITH ONE HIT POINT LEFT. Anything more and you are working too hard, and expending too much energy.

I am sure that 100% of the raiding community (except Gevlon himself, maybe) would not ever ever ever want to raid on a regular basis with the group that does that.

But I digress.....

So, in order for Gevlon to be correct, one must take the gear and get JUST enough gear so that the minimum heal, with no crit, would be enough to heal through patchwerk. Also, dps would have to go by the minimum strike damage they do. Conversely, tanks would have to gear to take the maximum amount of damage Patchy does (which is what tanks do anyway, right? :)

But then the randomness comes in. Patchy doesnt do the most damage he can do. DPS gets a string of 100% crits. Heals are hitting harder than average. By Gevlon's premise, they have geared too far, and expended too much time.

So, what this all goes to say is that gevlon would have to go for "Middle of the Road." If you are middle of the road, where half of your gear is below the minimum (to make up for the strings of really good crit luck), and half over (to make up the strings of really bad luck).

Every player would have to be at the top of their game, and even then 50% of the boss encounters would fail (statistically speaking).

I guarantee Gev, every raider in the world would kick your butt out if you kept letting 50% of boss encounters fail. And then what of your zero sum? You arent raiding, and you dont have the gear to get into ulduar, and soory... everyone else who did their best will be gone, only to leave naxx to the terrible raiders who are going to fail 90% of the time. And what does naxx have? That gear you need to "Just get by" in ulduar. *Waves* so long you greedy goblin! Youre greed finally bit you in the hiney!

Carl said...


I'm pretty sure Gevlon says business people are competitive because business is zero-sum action. Raiding is not. Therefore each raider is only required to pull his minimum and not worry about where he stands in the charts.

Nor does Gevlon have any problem with people "gearing too far".

You just spend half an hour typing up faulty logic to debunk some logic that never existed.

Renthala said...

What is so hard to understand. Do the math, find out what you need to get the job done, (figure in a bit of leeway) and do it. No one is saying do the very bare minimum, but that doing 3x what is needed for the goal at hand is pointless. The viewpoint isn't even contradictory when you think about it from a goal oriented viepoint. Money making goals are different from raid goals.
MoneyGoal: Make TONS of money.
RaidGoal: Beat the raid.
Sure, you may have time constraints, or immediate purchase needs, so you alter your goal, and redo the math.

This fixation on gear is retarded. My 2.6k dps was suddenly invalid cause one of my trinkets was green. Guess my 2.6k dps is worth less than the other guys 2.6k dps apparently. (cept when you figure in that i would gain more from a drop than guy 2, and may have a good increase in dps)

Me said...

"You know what makes Larissa a good player? its the constant effort she makes to be better, stronger member of her raiding team. whether its improving skills or getting better gear that allows the skills to shine even more."

I don't think having better gear says anything about being a stronger player and likely has nothing to do with Larissa. She is a very team oriented person who likely knows how to run a raid. That is more important regardless of what anyone here says.

I have run with people who did >2k dps and people where most of the dps was 1.6k and lower. Guess which group cleared Naxx? The lower dps group. They had better grouping and leading skills.

As for Gev making up the limiting returns theory, he's not the only person who thinks so. And I'm not talking about commenters, I'm talking about other theorycrafters.

The people who do the higher dps and can't finish naxx? They are all loot whores. Personally, I love to see the content. These people are more concerned about loot and they can't finish it.

These people have more than "good enough" gear and dps, yet in 7 days they can't finish Naxx. While the people who do have what most people would describe as "good enough" or "low" dps finish it in 2 nights.

"This fixation on gear is retarded."

It's not retarded.
It's insecure. Maybe a bit competitive (my dog's bigger than your dog). I thought raid's were group activities, but they have become who is better than who and who can get what.

Anonymous said...

@Anon (most recent):

Redefine 'good enough' as 'good enough to have a 99.99% chance to get the boss down, with no deaths, assuming good but not perfect play from every player.

Random factors... are random, but a *lot* of random factors are fantastically unlikely to end up *that* far from the expectation.

Assuming you happen to have studied mathematics to 6th-form/high school level, think about normal distributions with a very small standard deviation: you can never guarantee that you won't have a string of the worst possible luck, but you can allow enough threshold that the probability is vanishingly small.

(The same applies to player failure, and to disconnections, although since single specific failures can doom you, you can't reduce that as far as you'd like.)

But, anyway. Pick a threshold of performance which you consider acceptable. Remember that effort expended in going further is wasted. I don't agree with the goblin's argument, but you should probably try to understand it before arguing with it.

(I would modify 'wasted' to 'has lower value', and then argue that said value is quite likely to be worth paying the cost it incurs, especially for people who view raiding as a pleasure not a chore.)

Anonymous said...

if you are top dps its true that you dont get extra loot for that raid. You might not even need the loot-top dps is usually good geared and skilled. So why do people try to get top dps? So that people remember them.
Do you remember the top healer in a raid? no because healing at the right time is more important than the total healing done. Do you remember the best tank? no because how can you tell (now that there is no cc which might break so that a skilled tank can taunt it just as it breaks).
people like good dps because if they are making for example a timed cot run they will see if you are online and ask if you want to join.
So the theory is if you have higher dps you get to join more raids because people remember you and they want your help to succesfully do a raid with less wipes etc.
So going on more raids you get more gold, loot and fun.

Me said...

"Do you remember the top healer in a raid? no
Do you remember the best tank? no "

You've obviously run with good tanks and healers and take it very much for granted. Or maybe you are just being a smart-ass. I sure hope it's the latter.

Yaggle said...

I agree with what you said about Gevlon and the theory of mixed stereotypes. In fact, I thought about this as well. However I don't think Gevlon ever said he is above those stereotypes or claimed that now that he is aware of the theory that he was above such stereotypes. He seems to be part of the intellectual self-aware self-control group, which I think, especially in these economic times, has proven to be very successful and resilient. The truth is, all people cannot be goblins. I do not think if everybody were goblins, that enough money would be wasted on unnecessary things that everybody could have a job producing something. However, in this world, the ape-subroutine persons seem to be in never-ending supply, so no worries.
I will throw my own two cents in here and say that our economy does thrive on people who never quite feel what they have is "good enough", when in fact what they have is good enough. It's better to be in the group of persons who realizes this and uses that knowledge to achieve some level of economic freedom. What sorts of things do people buy to feel good enough? Cars, bigger houses, more expensive clothes, exercise equipment, plastic surgery, or even smaller things such as televisions, cosmetics, sports equipment, etc.

Anonymous said...


You don't gear up properly and learn to play, you don't get to accomplish the same things as the other players. The one thing I've noticed about people that don't bother to learn what gear is best and what spec is that they don't see the end of Naxx consistently.

While the people who gear to be as good as they can be on top of being skilled, they see all the end of the high end content and see all the game has to offer. They don't wipe as much. They don't spend as much time wasted on recovery or as much on repair bills.

They finish Naxx 10 in one day versus three or four days. They finish Naxx 25 in one or two days versus three or four times that and probably not finishing very often.

That's a choice people make when they choose to be the casual type of player that doesn't mind getting by with less. They won't be viewed as the greatest player or much wanted in high end guilds or raiding guilds. But they probably don't want to be there anyhow.

If they can accept being lower on the totem pole when it comes to content, then more power to them.

I just know the players that choose not to gear up as well as master their class, they don't see as much as often as the players that do. They may never see a full set of T 7.5 gear or any of the sweet items that drop from Naxx 25. It will be even less likely that they will see much out of Ulduar or future raid instances that keep upping the ante.

They probably won't see a Malygos 10 kill much less a Malygos 25. They will be hard-pressed to get by annoying bosses like Instructor, Thaddius, Patchwerk and other bosses on heroic.

If you as a player can accept all that, then by all means be the "minimum to get by" geared guy. You'll be just like all the other PUGGERs who get an occasional nice loot item, but have to spend twice as much time and money to do it since you haven't bothered to ensure you're ready to go and won't be doing consistent clears of even Naxx 10, much less Naxx 25.

Anonymous said...

Not all ends are limited and not all tools are limited. Only limited tools and goals can ever be good enough.

For example, "killing Patchwerk" is a limited goal. "Making money" is an unlimited goal.

A player's goal might be "to do as much dps as possible". In this case, no amount of dps will ever be sufficient for this player.

If one said that the "point" of dps is to kill bosses, that really just depends on the player's preferences. It is no more the "point" of dps to kill bosses than it is the "point" of gold to buy gear.

Again, we're back to the problem that WoW has no set goal. Players need to set their own goals. Some of them might be "killing bosses", while others might be "making gold" or "doing dps".

Your distinction is very helpful for limited goals and for those who complain they are "carrying" others to limited goals.

However, it doesn't apply to all goals, and dps might be one of them.

Hatch said...

Sorry Gevlon. You make a lot of good points, but you are just wrong on this one. The previous commenters gave all the reasons why, so I won't rehash. I will emphasize that if you have just "good enough" gear and you run with a group that has worked for excellent gear, then yeah, they are carrying you. Just because the easy boss falls down doesn't mean you are carrying your weight.

You keep trotting out healing meters to prove yourself, but they are a terrible measure because they are too dependent on how much damage people are taking and how good the other healers are (causing your heals to get nullified because they already healed the target, etc). DPS meters are a way better objective measure of performance, if you need some type of numerical thing.

Now that I have lots of 25-man gear, I do literally twice the dps that I did when I was "good enough" (ie doing 2200 dps on patchwerk in blues). If every dps in the raid is as geared as me, then we clear the place twice as fast, which is what my guild is experiencing now with one-night clears of Naxx 10 and 25 each.

I like this efficiency. I believe you are willfully choosing to ignore it because you need to rationalize your own lack of gear so you don't have to admit that you yourself are being carried like a slacker. Sorry.

Zanathos said...


"I do literally twice the dps that I did when I was "good enough" (ie doing 2200 dps on patchwerk in blues). If every dps in the raid is as geared as me, then we clear the place twice as fast, which is what my guild is experiencing now with one-night clears of Naxx 10 and 25 each."

I think you're confused with what's actually causing you to clear Naxx twice as fast. The biggest time sink in raids is wiping. Once you are well enough practiced in the area you no longer wipe, your raid will greatly speed up. This will be far be the biggest factor.

Beyond that, the speed at which you clear trash will be a large factor. Individual DPS is far less important there than learning which packs you can safely skip, having tanks know when it's safe to chain pull, and of course having healers and AOE to chain pull. As a personal example from this week in Naxx with the advent of dual specs, the other tank thought it would be quicker to clear trash if he switched to a DPS spec and I AOEed everything. Another DPSer makes clearing trash quicker, right? Wrong. I was forced to be more cautious, there was no tank on the lookout to pull the next pack when the current one was nearly dead, and AOEers were at more of a risk as my cooldowns were more strained and they were used to being able to AOE with impunity. Many guides to speed clears encourage you to have your plate DPS toss out tanking gear for clearing trash to facilitate chain pulling and aoeing and it's easy to see why if you've tried with and without it.

There are certain time sinks in a dungeon which cannot be managed. You can (hopefully) eliminate people dying at frogger, but you cannot remove the time to takes you to walk from patchwerk to grobblus's room. The time it takes you to actually walk through a raid is significant and will never be reduced from gear.

Minimizing afks and only taking scheduled breaks will also speed things along greatly. As you learn the instance and spend less time in it, you will need less breaks for you raiders, so assuming you're not completely lax about enforcing break times, this time loss should shrink significantly as you advance.

That leaves time spend killing bosses. Doubling your DPS will kill Patchwerk in three minutes rather than 6, at a saved time of...three minutes. Most of the 14 bosses in Naxx take around a similar amount of time to kill, with Sapph and KT closer to 10 for a starting group. So halving your time on boss kills will save you slightly more than 45 minutes throughout the entire instance. A significant amount of time to be sure, but less so things listed above. I doubt you were clearing Naxx in an hour and a half your first trip, or would have if you teleported from boss to boss.

Healing is a little harder to evaluate than DPS with who's being carried. There's the blindingly obvious carries, the healer who always dies in the fire or the one who can't be trusted to keep a tank alive. Other than that, if they're not going afk to watch TV and they don't need non-assigned help keeping their targets up, who cares? If they have enough regen/mana/spellpower to output healing throughout the fight at a rate to prevent deaths, more is unnecessary. If the raid is so confident in their overgeared healers, they can also choose to take another DPS rather than a lesser geared healer (and that can be a perfectly viable alternative). If they choose ti bring along a healer with less gear as a safety net and no one dies, sounds like he did his job.