Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What's wrong with networking skills?

Kevin asked: "You look disdainfully at anyone who gets into raids because they know someone rather than have the skill to be there. That's exactly who you are except the someone you know is gold and you waved it in front of a guild's face and it got you into a raid that you didn't have the skill to get into without the gold. So why is buying your way into a raid legitimate when networking your way into a raid makes you a slacker?"

It's a common question, I get it often in several forms. The short answer: there is nothing wrong with networking. There is everything wrong with "being networked".

I pay something for my raid spot, namely gold (= time not spent earning it for the recipient). The "networking" person gives nothing in return for the services he receives. He merely uses loopholes in the thinking of his victim.

It's quite common that I ask a question from the "cud u boost me in RFC" people: "why should I do it?". The common answer is "being sweet" (I assume it's a small talk for "being nice"). The loophole is simple: social people want to be perceived positively by peers, though this is pointless and useless.

The networking also relates strongly to M&S behavior. I try to be as useful in raids as I can, not only because I'd like to meet challenges but also because I know that by underperforming, I make the "raid for gold" deal worse for them, increasing the chance of termination on their side. If I would wipe the raid every time I get a light or gravity bomb, I could pay a million G, they would still kick me as I destroy the very reason they need gold. Simply speaking the contract lives as long as having me pulls them back smaller than having my gold pushes them forward.

On the other hand the networking person does not have to care about his performance. There is no contract, just parasitism. The victim does not calculate any kind of cost/reward, he simply acts according to his ape-subroutines controlled by the networker. He already rationalizes his behavior like "friendship is more important than bosskills", so why should the M&S bother to run away with the light bomb?

Claiming that "dumb people are dumb people" is simply dumb. Verbally lashing the M&S is pointless and doing this would make this site useless. The purpose of this site is to increase the resistance of non-M&S against "networking".

If you can run away from the light bomb and raid with people who cannot, you are the idiot and not them. They get loot from your efforts. You get nothing for lot of work (as you are already geared and they need it more).

This site is not against the M&S behavior. This site is against the social behavior, feeding, protecting, carrying the M&S just for "being nice", "being friendly", "being ethical". If some magic trick would remove all M&S from the game, they would reappear in months from new players and people getting lazy. If some magic trick would remove the socials, the M&S would disappear (saying "everyone here are arrogant elitist jerks") and would never come back.

Yes, even the badge loot couldn't keep them here. After all, they need someone who holds aggro and some other who heals him while he AoE down the 5 man in the middle of the only fire patch of the instance. Without socials, the badge loot would be easy gear for good beginner players and good player's alts, while would be endless sucking for the M&S. You know what does 5 M&S do in an instance? Blame each other for the wipe.

This is probably the reason why I personally hate the badge loot. After all it does not harm personally me, and makes the recruiting process for raiders just a bit harder (as both beginner good players and M&S will have the same gear and no achievements). What made me angry on this change is that I know that many good, but social people will be doomed to boost M&S during 90-100!!! 5-man runs. Actually it's quite un-goblinish. They get exactly what they deserve. Sucking 100 5-mans with the M&S is proper punishment for being social.


Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity Gevlon, is there room in your world view for a person to be selectively social? By selective I mean a person who is concerned about who s/he befriends.

Eaten by a Grue said...

Do you consider your blogging the equivalent of "being networked," as you just described it?

You are seeking a social reward - to have your work read and admired. Your readers give you little in return. Occasionally someone posts an interesting response, but most are M&S, and are effectively parasites, consuming your content but giving little in return.

Gevlon said...

@Eaten: I don't seek admiration. I get much more trolls/haters than supporters. The point is to spread the goblinish thoughts and it's pretty selfish: I want to live in a much more goblinish world.

Sweetcherrie said...

Have you ever tried that whole networking thing though? Because to have a true network, one that you can work, and that works for you, takes a lot of hard work. It also takes a lot of time investment, and at that point it's only natural that the time investment returns results.

Almost like making gold, only maybe you should see it as social points perhaps. You create a lot of social points by networking, and at a certain point you get to cash in by using these social points to buy yourself into a social situation like raiding.

The sort of networking you're talking about (can u boost me?) isn't the real networking in my eyes though. These people go at the same line of beggars.

Panos said...

As always provocatively interesting, or interestingly provocative. I understand your point though and I personally agree. But I do feel its rather more complicated, not everything can be normalized to binary options.

Tobold said...

Person A gets something for free, due to his networking skills. Person B lacks those skills, and has to pay to get the same thing. Who of the two is the "dumb" one, the "moron"?

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon. Why do you want to live in a more Goblin world? I'm by no means trying to convince you to stop blogging, since they're a good read, but if everyone was a Goblin, it would be impossible for anyone to be Goblins, since don't they rely on the M&S?

Observ said...

I was following your blog for quite some time to see your char/wealth/whatever else grow/fall :)
One of the main ideeas i got from your blog is that you have an opinion (and the right to it) like everyone else but you try as much as you can to make it legit (calculations, using general truths, etc)
If i would have the time to actually raid one night a week i would gladly do the same. And from my POV is not about the gold i (you) pay but rather about seeing content you otherwise do not have access with your play habbits. So basically is an fair exchange:
I give you something you would have to invest a lot of your fun playing time to get (gold) for something i would have to invest a lot of my playtime (aka gear + skills to go with it + min 3 nights a week)

LarĂ­sa said...

Gevlon... I know that using contrasts is a great, classic tools in rhetorics. Make it simple. Use the extremes to make your point. But still... there's something in the M&S concept that is bothering me.

We've been into this before, I know. I keep telling you that I'm sometimes a moron (like failing sometimes to get out of shadowcrashes at General Vezax, when I'm not the main target and the addon doesn't warn me).
And you keep saying that I can't be such a moron as I think because after all I've killed sarth+3d...

Anyway: what I'm trying to say is that it isn't all that easy to draw the line, who's a m&s and who's not. As a matter of fact I think many of us jump back and forward over the border from time to time. Not the slacking part - I never ever slack - but the moron part.

Much of mastering the game is about climbing the learning curve, making your muscle memory adapt. Some of us are quicker at this. I guess you are, from what you tell about your own performance. Others will have to fight much harder and longer to get anywhere.

If you haven't seen it already, I suggest you read Jong's post from the other day, which sums it up pretty nicely.

For players who are slow at learning like me, some sort of skill in being a team member, in networking can possibly compensate a little bit for our shortcomings. Do we parasite on the players with better and more adaptable muscle memory? Maybe. On the other hand - if those players are morons and slackers when it comes to team work and keeping the guild and the raid group together, aren't they parasiting on our networking skills?

Players have different strenghts and weaknesses. And everything isn't about the muscle memory.

Oh well, I'd better stop rambling in your comment section, I should probably make another rant on the endless "what is skill" debate instead, though it feels as if I've been over it too many times by now.

Ephemeron said...

Nearly every raiding guild has certain limits on the amounts of failure that it is willing to tolerate in its members. Everybody screws up now and then; however, if the same person makes too many mistakes, they'll swiftly find themselves subjected to benching, DKP fines, lack of invites, demotion and even the dreaded /gkick.

External factors like your gold tithe or a networker's connections merely extend these limits and allow for a greater margin of error; however, they don't completely eliminate them. A goblin who deposits thousands of gold into the guildbank every week but stands in Hodir's icicles probably won't be invited for Algalon first kill. Likewise, a close friend of one of the officers who routinely screws up the kill order on Freya isn't likely to be present during Yogg's hard mode attempts.

Anonymous said...

"Tobold said...

Person A gets something for free, due to his networking skills. Person B lacks those skills, and has to pay to get the same thing. Who of the two is the "dumb" one, the "moron"?"

Did you even read the article? Neither of those is the "dumb" one. Gevlon's point is that the dumb one is the person who carries the person who lacks those skills.

Anonymous said...

there are no friends in high tier raiding just like there are no friends in high levels of business.

if you keep dropping the ball, no one is going to want to play/work with you.

@Larisa, unfortunately +3Drakes is not really an achievement as you can still be carried. die right at the start of the battle and you get the impossible dodge the meteors achievement and the "coveted" title that everyone has. can also do 3drake with only 20 peeps so probly max 5 can be carried for 2k gold each if necessary!

Anonymous said...

@Tobold Actually I think they both win because they are both able to use their respective skills to get what they want.

Just I think that networking AND gold will win you many more opportunities than gold alone.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how much of what you write on this blog translates into your every day life? Are your beliefs just something you practice in your workplace/WoW, or do you treat your friends and family with the same attitude?

While I can see the point of looking into how a given situation improves your own life, I just can't agree with your apparent disregard for what others think about you. Sure you my come out better monetarily in the end, but is it really worth it if your reputation is a shitpile?

Hypothetical and highly unlikely situation:
A mentally retarded boy gets some bad disease and requires a kidney transplant. Lets say you are the only person (for whatever reason) that is able to give him that kidney. In the end, you will most likely be fine, just minus one kidney and the kid's life would be saved. Given the fact that you don't stand to gain (other than the kid and his family's adoration, which you have said you don't care about), and also that he probably would be a drain on society for the rest of his life (equivalent of an "M&S"), would you save his life by giving him the kidney?

Unknown said...

You know what does 5 M&S do in an instance? Blame each other for the wipe.

I lol'd.

Carra said...

@tobold: Person A gets something for free, due to his networking skills. Person B lacks those skills, and has to pay to get the same thing. Who of the two is the "dumb" one, the "moron"?

The goblins point is that he who gives it for free tho Person A is the moron.

In any case, I don't see much wrong in getting into a guild through networking. But once you're in you should have to prove yourself. And not just be kept in the guild "because he's friend of our good player X" which happens all too often. The problem here is that people are afraid to kick the bad player because their good player friends will follow.

kyrilean said...

" people want to be perceived positively by peers, though this is pointless and useless."

To the goblin? Yes. To social people that derive some sort of satisfaction and fulfillment from it? No.

I find it funny how some of us, including myself, sometimes get really worked up about what you write when we forget that it's written with a certain point of view in mind.

It's like trying to convince someone who levels alts with an occasional lvl-80 dungeon or raid that he's playing the game wrong, when in fact he only likes leveling. Just because he plays for a different purpose doesn't make him a M&S, it's just that we perceive them that way based on why we value the game.

Grinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I have more topics for discussion:

- Is it alright to break the law if I win something by doing so? For example, at my uni the cafeteria's cutlery is easy to steal. Still, I feel it's the wrong thing to do. You really cannot get caught and nobody would bother pressing charges.

Anonymous said...

"Okay so this migh sound stupid, but what does M&S stand for again?"

This gets asked often enough, it deserves a line in the "About Me" section at the top of the page!

/cheer Larisa

csdx said...

I think you're mis-defining networking.

It's about forming bonds with people, more social than direct trade relationships, but the analogy is still there.

To take a few examples recently, some friends of mine moved out, they managed to get people to help them moved for free because of their social connections. However it really wasn't free as they've done things for the group as well such as host parties and transportation.

In WoW, you might help boost a guildmate's alt through some instances. You're actually not just being a fool, because you can expect some consideration in the future. Whether that's your own dungeon runs, or them passing on some item you want, or perhaps just even the opportunity to raid by having an extra geared _class_.

So I agree with you that in cases where you don't ever expect to encounter the person again, helping them is likely useless to you. However, I don't define that as networking, that's charity.

althals said...

I often try to imagine what Gevlons apoartment would look like if he truly followed all the things he says here.

The living room has a desk with his computer with a decent chair. Maybe a TV on a small stand, and nothing else.

How do you justify luxury items in your own life when you pound on them in WOW terms? A vanity pet is exactly that, vanity somthing someone wants. You call it a waste.

Would that apply to a nice desk? Good food to eat? I mean damn. Is a guy who buys a mustang a M&S? Yet you arte a great minded person driving your geo metro?

Rob Dejournett said...

I sorta agree with Gevlon, which is rare. I know i'm tired of carrying people who are too lazy to get geared enough to do heroics, and we wipe because I don't have enough to carry them through.

Ex: last boss in hHOL. HOL is a very easy heroic, I mean really. But i was in a fail pug because the tank was okay, the healer was okay, my dps was great (naxx25 geared), but the other two dps were just not there. As geared as i was, i couldn't make up for the fact that i had two really bad dps with me.

Ex: all of hUP. My healer is fully naxx25 geared, but the tank was just terrible. We wiped and wiped at the 3rd boss (the gauntlet). Now granted that's a hard boss, but when the tank is doing 500 dps there really is not much a very well geared healer can do.

On the other hand, if your social network is not that strong, and not many are running heroics (except the M&S), then you really have no choice in your party. Well you always have choices to go or not go, but if the only people who want to go really suck, then either you go with the M&S or you don't go. Hopefully patch 3.2 will fix this, I like heroics but I hate wipefests.

(And i don't mean to imply i always carry people; when i was poorly geared there usually was someone doing much more dps than me; but then again even with poor gear I didn't set foot into heroics until I did 1700 dps on bosses).

Gevlon said...

@Tobold: the idiot is the one who boost

@Krylean: how can you get worked up on letters? They are just black pixels between white pixels. Have no effect on your life, unless you want them to.

@The Grinch: M&S stands for people who cannot or too lazy to read the "about" section

Anonymous said...


The last week or so your comments have been mostly libertarian philosophy and how you think they apply to wow.

Can we get more to how to deal with the current economy?

Rather than what the economy should or should not be.


dozenz said...

Ex: all of hUP. My healer is fully naxx25 geared, but the tank was just terrible. We wiped and wiped at the 3rd boss (the gauntlet). Now granted that's a hard boss, but when the tank is doing 500 dps there really is not much a very well geared healer can do.

Not to discount the reasonable desire to not carry people that don't deserve to be there but perhaps you (and others) should always look at themselves and their friends before judging others as M&S.

From your example you and the healer easily outgeared the instance....I've three manned it with much lesser geared people (myself included) and didn't have a wipe....i thought we the 2 idiot dps kept dying within seconds of a boss pull but we made it. I've 2 manned Skadi and my 800 dps was enough to kill him while my Naxx 10 geared priest kept me up. Long and we pulled every trick in the book we knew but it was done.

Its easy for people who are overgeared for an encounter, or in an exlcusive raiding guild to be compalacent or think they are aoutamatically better than people who are just at or nearing the minimum recommended. So before you judge make sure you still brought your A-game.

Kinzlayer said...

Just as paying gold for a raid spot, the person being given a spot because of them being someone's friend is just a foot in the door and in no way guarantee them staying in raid. If you, paying for spot, pulls your weight in the fight and not be the causes of wipes then how can you assume that all social spot are weak players? Too large an assumption on this one me think.

Bitwise said...

Larisa: In my opinion, M&S are people as described many times by Gevlon, but, the difference between them and new players, or them and slower-learning players are that M&S don't improve. They don't care about the time of the people they're leeching off of, and make no effort to contribute.

The Rokk said...


I don't think that he's saying that social spots are weak players. It's that taking a social spot can potentially allow for weaker play.

If you pay for a raid spot and stand in the fire, you get the boot. Gold is gold, and the raid can always get more on their own. The paying raider can be cut without subsequent damage to the rest of the raid.

However, when the poor player is a good friend of someone else in the raid, or even the raid leader perhaps, you have a host of other problems. Cut that person, feelings could be hurt with the remaining raiders, and performance suffers. Keep the poor player and performance can still suffer.

So no, players filling "social spots" are not necessarily poor players (generally speaking). But they can have a more lenient eye cast on them by their friends, and that has the potential to hurt the raiding experience for others in the raid.

Anonymous said...


I'd be very interested to hear your list of who is to blame for the recent financial meltdown. I saw a post similar to this today on this guy's blog:

Martin said...

Given you claim that "social" behaviour is defined as

""the social behavior - feeding, protecting, carrying the M&S just for "being nice", "being friendly", "being ethical""

You are tarring all people who play "socially" with the brush of those who would slack and whine. That is completely unfair and I cannot see how you can justify it. For example you claim that the networking person does not have to care about their performance - yet the same accusation could be levelled at those who buy their raid spots. Within each camp ("networkers" and "buyers") there will be a spectrum of ability and "worth" (as you deem it). Yet you seem happy to take the extremes of each as your arguement requires.

You may know how to make money (assuming it wasn't all bought for the hell of it) but you seem to know very little about human interactions and real life.

Unknown said...

Lifeboat rules, I am a big fan of people stopping being passengers and taking up the responsibilities of crew members.

Networking is not about brown nosing, networking is about meeting people, becoming friends with them, or at least friendly, and both of you benefiting from the relationship. If only one party benefits then it is not networking it is a con.

Gevlon said...

@last anonymous: I've already wrote about who is responsible for the economic crisis:

Sven said...


I think you undervalue networking here. The longer you know someone, the better you understand their strengths and weaknesses. Giving a raid spot to someone you know has a lot of advantages over giving it to someone unknown who claims to be more skilled but may have hidden disadvantages. So, for example, the stranger may indeed do higher DPS than the person you know, but won't follow raid orders because "I know better".

For all their flaws, those "ape subroutines" are remarkably accurate in judging people's team-working skills. These are the ones that are hard to learn. A good team player who hasn't run the encounter before can be taught. A disruptive "expert" probably can't be.

For all their flaws, those "ape subroutines" are pretty good at identifying troublemakers, who have a far bigger impact on raid performance than those who merely underperform in their own limited area.

Tobold said...

Gevlon, your assumption that the person who boosts automatically is an idiot relies on the false premise that it is always the same person boosting, and always the same person receiving. Game Theory (the behavioral science type, not WoW game theory) tells us that networking can be beneficial if you help somebody one day, and he helps you the next day. The effect of that is greater benefit for everyone in the social network than if everybody would have done everything alone and never helped.

Kitha said...

There has been a lot of posts regarding pros and cons of the badge loot changes. A lot of diversity and rifts regarding the "harcore" and "casual" and just curious on your one post regarding how it is a welfare system. The reason I bring this up, is I do share a lot of views with you, read your blog as often as possible and will say you are a a "learned" person.

That being said, I will admit I have no clue on how long you have played WoW. I bring this up since your post doesn't seem to take into affect the history of "raiding" and it's rewards in WoW. So Molten Core opened and people raided it with the items garnered from the older dungeons (Strat, Upper, Lower, Scholo, etc). Which the Teir One was needed for the new, harder dungeons, BWL. Then ZG was made in an effort to hold over guilds/raiders and give loot to help in the AQ dungeons and I will admti I stopped playing around the time Naxx came out to being with. The first expansion comes out and all the old stuff is worthless until the new maximum level. Which the TBC kind of did the same thing as before but now with badges.

So the morale of my story is this, from watching the traneds and changes of WoW. I can honestly believe that this change isn't a pure help the poor. I see on the horizon harder and newer raids. So in aspect yeah this might be to help your poor who can't help themselves, but is more of a fix to help those starting to get to a point where we were before it is now. So when the new raids are out and Ulduar gear becomes the "entry" gear needed...without the change there would be signficant henderance to newer players, since it becomes an issue of not trying but not being around at a certain time. So I do not think of it as a wellfare system but as a typical Blizzard approach to obsolete content.

I do see the point in scrubs being on par, but it is the lack of foresight because honestly I do not see that much of a change of "WoW Society". Raiding guilds will still be getting better loot then what is out there now, the only thing I can think of is this allows players (new or alts) to have the opportunity to get gear to even be considered to be brought into raids old Ulduar and higher.

Kitha said...

Sorry, my comment was meant for your post of, "Why Blizzard doesn't sell Honda Accord?" on July 2nd.

More specifically, the line of: "Blizzard can give all titles and top gear to anyone with a click (and in 3.2, they will do)."

Sorry for the mistake of where my comment went.

Copernicus said...

Gevlon, have you done any kind of study into personality theory? Research something simple like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and you'll see people are different in many ways, which can be described by a personality style, not because they're "morons or slackers".

Another point of interest might be the concept of multiple intelligences.

Your view of the world is very much black and white, when there really not only shades of gray, but colors of varied and vivid varieties.


Thunderhorns said...

This post is amusing.

I seriously wonder how many people do what I do when they are in a bad group.

I do things like the following:

1. Don't heal the stupid caster or AoE class that has pulled aggro because he didn't wait for the tank to generate threat. I let them die because it is more mana efficient to do so.

I've been doing this the entire time I've been playing. I still recall going into ramparts with a dumbass moonkin who wanted to dps while my enhancement shaman healed. Then kept Aoeing and overnuking. I let him die three times before he left the group. I was happy he left because things went better after that idiot was gone.

2. Don't taunt off moron dps that pull aggro because they didn't wait for threat generation. When I'm tanking, I do this. I have no interest whatsoever in protecting dumb dps.

3. Leave group after two or three wipes if the tank or healer is obviously bad. I have no problem saying saying "Goodbye" when a group is obviously bad. I have no interest spending my coin on repair bills because the moron tank or healer can't do the job.

The only time I've ever toughed it out is when it's a real life friend. And even then I try to avoid grouping with them in the future.

I guess I don't like M&S, though I call such players gimps or pathetic. It's tiresome to be grouped with such people and I avoid them like the plague.

Given this post, I have to wonder are there really that many players that actually tolerate M&S?

To read Gevlon's posts you would think the M&S dominate the game, but that's never been my experience. Most of the game is played by players of fairly average competence who don't do too bad in five mans and lower end raid instances with a decent raid leader.

They're not top tier hardmode players, but they're not too bad. So how does Gevlon judge and M&S I wonder? How bad do they actually need to be to fall into the M&S category?