Greedy Goblin

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pay to people to like you

I keep getting a troll comment. My little troll(s) keep posting to almost every post as anonymous. The post is always something like "how are you feeling in the guild where you paid people to like you".

As I always said, I see trolls more than simple annoyments. These people dare to say the stupid things that the socials think, but don't tell because they know it's stupid or pointless.

This case the troll reflect to the core of the social thinking: "the point of life is to be liked/loved/respected". The (obviously social) troll cannot think of anything else than me paying for the guild to like me.

I couldn't care less if they like me or I'm the No1 target of jokes when I'm not around. I pay for raiding experience without keeping high attendance or forcing me to play differently than I want. For example I don't want to play DPS as druid. In a normal raiding guilds it would be a normal request to "come as moonkin today". Not here. When I play, I play resto, the way I want to.

I don't pay my barber to like me. I pay her to cut my hair.
I don't pay at the supermarket to like me. I pay them to give me food.
My employer doesn't pay me to like him. He pays me to do my job.

There are things, moments, experiences that we like. Some of them are done with people. Some of them cannot even be done without them. However you don't have to like the people. You just have to not sabotate their experience (can be called "respecting them").

I'm not sure if "to like a person" have a meaning. People do/want/think so many different things, that it's impossible to like every single one. You may like everything they do in a role. But people are not just one role you know. I mean you like playing squash with Peter and like having sex with Jennifer. But would you like to have sex with Peter? If not, how can you say "I like the whole Peter"? The truth is "I like good squash players when playing squash and Peter is one of them".

The point is that Peter could be replaced with Amanda assuming she is just as good in squash and you'd like playing with her just as much. If there are not enough players around to fit to your schedule, why not pay one to be there when you want to play?


Wayne said...

The problem is that most people still think that one can be rich in game without being skilled at making money. They have this bias carried over from real life against wealthy people who they feel did not earn their wealth.

But in WoW everyone starts with the same amount of money and the same opportunities. Nobody has been left a fortune by a deceased uncle or won the lottery in Azeroth!

Some raiders bring their skill at raiding and their time to a raiding guild. Goblin raiders bring money. Both help the guild progress and both are highly skilled in their areas so neither is less deserving of a raid guild spot.

But the above is a "fairness" argument and should be irrelevant to any true goblin!

Anonymous said...

first time poster here.
this may be the best post you've posted thus far. i love it and i'll be your friend for free!!

Brian said...

Perhaps this is too obvious of a question...but why can't an experience be both goal oriented AND social? I can like playing squash with Peter and also just hanging out with him while we play. Or for an even easier example, I might enjoy sleeping with Jennifer on a purely physical level, but it's also great because we're very close on a personal level, maybe even in love. Sure, I could swap Peter or Jennifer out for someone who's equally good at the task in question, but it wouldn't be the same because there is no social connection.

The mistake I think Gevlon makes when discussing socials is assuming that they are ONLY social. Ideally I want a WoW guild that lets me play the way I want and experience fun content and runs...if that guild ALSO provides fun social interaction, all the better.

I give up nothing to try to find a group like that, the world (of warcraft or otherwise) is big enough that I don't have to choose social interaction OR having group experiences. Social isn't a bad thing all by itself, it's bad when you let it override your own personal desires and goals. But the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Eaten by a Grue said...


This is the best way I can explain what the sentiment behind the "buy your friends" comments are.

Let's look at two opposite scenarios. In one, you have a business, and so you need to hire employees. As you described, you pay these employees, and you do not pay them to like you, but rather make the business work.

Another scenario is a group of friends who get together socially for dinner and conversation and things like that. Let's say someone lacks such friends but still desires something to do on the occasional evening, so he pays some actors to pretend to like him and hang out with him.

The disconnect here is that you perceive the paid raid spot to be in the first scenario, whereas others perceive it to be squarely in the second.

I think the truth is somewhere in between and definitely depends on how much social pleasure (funny chit-chat, personal bonding, etc.) one generally engages in during raids.

Gevlon said...

@Eaten by grue: funny chit-chat during raid? How? When? During fights we try to do our jobs, between fights analyze logs and such or listen to the RL about the changed strat.

Nils said...

Some raiders bring their skill at raiding and their time to a raiding guild. Goblin raiders bring money. Both help the guild progress and both are highly skilled in their areas so neither is less deserving of a raid guild spot.

Assuming the goblin donate the gold to their guild just like the raider (raid leader) does.

Yaggle said...

I work at a supermarket so I was thrilled to see you say that you don't pay the supermarket to like you. I feel the same way when I shop, and I do not understand why my company makes such a huge deal about how I should not only smile and be friendly, but also make short conversations with the customers to make them feel valuable. I think they come to the store to get what they want at a good price, and to be able to find it and check out quickly. I think they expect me to be polite and helpful if needed but that is all. In my opinion those people who need more are psychological vampires who want to drain me of my happiness somehow just like the socials in WoW.

Unknown said...

Gevlon, I enjoy your blog and have to say I totally agree with this entry. Many people spend their gold on mounts, gear, and other useless items; you are just spending your gold on the raiding experience you desire. You enjoy top tier raiding on the schedule you choose, instead of having a prescribed schedule.

Anonymous said...

There could be 2 reasons to play squash:
You want to play squash and you can't play it alone, so you play with Peter.

Or: you want to spend time with Peter and both happen to like squash.

DarkKnight said...

"funny chit-chat during raid? How? When? During fights we try to do our jobs, between fights analyze logs and such or listen to the RL about the changed strat."

Oh, please, gimme one of those raids for a change. I really don't have the need to know what the kittens of [insert one of four/five names here] do and basically screw up a try for us.
I don't not mind talking during a raid, but keep such nonsense to whispers or gchat (which I can ignore...).
Ahwell, I'll just keep hoping (and keep shouting on Vent to people to shut the fuck up during tries at least).

Dr. Scepticu said...

Gevlon, why do you raid?

Dr. Scepticu said...

And, also, would you replace your girlfriend with Amanda? If not, why not?

Gevlon said...

@Dr Septicu: GF has several good skills in several fields. I found her after a LONG search. Theoretically a mythical Amanda could exist who is better in these fields (or good in more fields) AND also finds me good enough in enough fields to be my GF. If I'd bump into this Amanda, then yes, I would change. However I think the chance of her existence so little that I don't even bother to look.

Anonymous said...

Trash was a blast. Chit chatter won nearly everything. We use the forums a lot to give input about fights after a good think.

We use designated officers where members give input/things, parts of the tacs they are not comfy with for example. In this time we chat as well. Same for the scrolling part, what else do to when scrolling the 1000th log?

This is our inefficient way to keep the morale high on wipe nights. Less burn outs and more fun for most members on those endless wipenights.

Unknown said...

@Eaten by grue: funny chit-chat during raid? How? When? During fights we try to do our jobs, between fights analyze logs and such or listen to the RL about the changed strat.
Casual Danger Dialog also exists in WoW, and is frequently used as a pressure valve to get rid of excess stress. Naturally, pertinent information gets priority, but the rest of the chatter can be completely casual. Especially when you're using voice comms and thus can play and talk at the same time.

Granted, I'm known to mute certain people who are vulnerable to meme infections..

Anonymous said...

I've been known to learn how to play squash so that I could play it with Peter in the hope of having sex with Peter. Guess we all have different motivations!

Sten Düring said...

Gevlon, in this case I fully agree with you for reasons where I equally fully disagree with you.

It's a matter of terminology.

Applying "social" terminology any succesful individual behave in the socially most accepted way during work. Burning personal, let's call it "individual human resources", to get "social brownies", when you should really concentrate on getting the job done and your salary in your pocket, well, it IS the same as getting the job done in the most efficient way possible.
Your co-workers are both an asset AND a disturbance for your spending the least amount of effort in order to get maximum (economical) reward. You grease those social wheels in order to minimize friction, and, in the end, to get the job done, etc, etc.

At the other hand, it's equally correct to state that you ALWAYS pay for results, even in what's viewed as an 100% social context. I pay my friends to be with me. However, government-issued cash is NOT a normatively accepted currency in these situations. The currency used is a smile, keeping up a pretense of being altruistic, not yelling at your friend when he/she is being a moron, etc etc.

The moment someone says he/she spent resources without demanding anything in return is also the moment said person demand that your respond by telling him/her what a nice person you're talking with. Hence that person made a risky investment in order to possibly receive a future reward in the form of you spending your time with uttering kind words.
Looks very much like when I buy up "overpriced" enchanting materials from the AH in the hope of getting my scroll-enchants sold before those materials plummet in price again.

Compare with you paying for a raid-spot. WoW-gold is useless unless you have something to spend it one. You spend it on a raid spot, but in order to do so you have to amass the gold first. Conversely those you raid with pay you by clearing the content in a competent way to avoid a wipe-fest, and they do so in order to get your gold (which only has a value if they can spend it on something, etc, etc).

Vlad aerie peak said...

''I do not understand why my company makes such a huge deal about how I should not only smile and be friendly, but also make short conversations with the customers to make them feel valuable. ''

The problem is that you assume every customer that comes into your store is a goblin, where in reality maybe 10% of them are. rest (90%) are most likely socials who will gladly give up 5% shopping cost to feel better (hence they wont go to the cheaper / further store, but come back to you- yet that only assuming you flatered their ego more than the other store and the $ difference is not too big...but thats another story i guess)
all in all they demand you to be nice becaus thats making them get more profit from socials.

Chris said...

Eaten by grue: funny chit-chat during raid? How? When? During fights we try to do our jobs, between fights analyze logs and such or listen to the RL about the changed strat

You've proved yourself that you can do an Ulduar run in blues. Why not do it in epics while cocking about? My guild was half way through nax in 1.11 (40man version) and we spent our fights very seriously, but when the time came to do BWL or even MC, we had a great old time laughing, joking and still taking down bosses because you just don't need thta much concentration for them.

I haven't raided much since BC, cleared ulduar once or twice on easy 10 man mode with my guild (yes they do 25m hard too, just keep a lazy social along with them for old times sake sometimes) but even there it was the same, it does not take full concentration to complete a run, just like it does not take full BiS gear, so why not laugh while doing it.

Robert said...

The problem with the views portrayed in your posts, Mr Greedy Goblin is that you tend to lump groups of people into The Stupid (Socials) and The Clever.

Someone once said that stereotypes are the “devices for saving a biased person the trouble of learning”.

We are all human and we all suffer from the same inadaquecies at some point in our lives. We are also, from our own perspective at least, incredibly complex individuals with the ability to offer contradictory reactions and feelings depending on the situation we find ourselves in.

Also, I think you'll find that the 'Socials' would not think that "the point of life is to be liked/loved/respected" but rather that "the point of life is TO like/love/respect". Oh dear, there I go stereotyping - see how easy it is?

Lots of Potentialy Trollish and 'Social' Love,


Azuremyst EU

Ayonel said...

The thing you describe in RL is an issue of maturity. I recognize it as a milestone in my professional development that I can dislike someone and still work with them productively. In fact, if they are quite good at their jobs, recognition of that turns into respect and perhaps friendship. Similarly, I have known people personally with whom I had great friendships, until I started working with them and realized they were useless. This inevitably had a negative effect on our friendship.

When I was in the military, we kept it simple; would you want to go into combat with this person watching your back? Like, dislike, i don't care, as long as you keep me alive.

If I work with someone, and they are good at what they do, *and* I like them, well that's a bonus.

And like in Gevlon's examples, many large corporations do in fact employ large percentages of dead weight. The social an political networks of the company make it almost impossible to excise the dead weight.

One problem with WoW is that (I'm hypothesizing here) since it is an MMO game, people think that they have to be social. The question is, do you want to be liked by the people in your guild, listen to the wise-cracking, and wipe constantly on almost every raid, or would you rather have a successful raid with people you are ambivalent about but who down bosses and assign loot fairly?

Personally, I'd rather be in the latter, and I'm betting that I'd come to like those folks just fine over time.

Ayonel said...


You have to be nice and friendly because you are working and represent the company. While customers do come in for food at good prices, they also expect to be treated with respect when they require assistance. And frankly, human interaction is much nicer for both parties if even a superficial congeniality exists.

Having been in sales myself, I can tell you that having a friendly, helpful sales staff is what builds customer loyalty. Yes, a customer may still shop elsewhere if they can get a better deal, but if you build a rapport with them, they will prefer you to other people when all other things are equal.

In your environment, you get the whole range of people. On average, most of them do just want to get what they need. Being nice doesn't really cost you anything, and reflects well on you and the company. I'm not suggesting you have to be Mr. Happy, but you also probably shouldn't treat your customers as if their presence is an annoyance, which seems to be the default stance in the US retail workplce today.

Dr. Scepticu said...


Brilliant commentary. Very nicely said.

Kristine said...

Ayonel said: "One problem with WoW is that (I'm hypothesizing here) since it is an MMO game, people think that they have to be social."

Regardless of what they think or not, if you are intending to play in a PvE raidsetting (which is largely what we are discussing here) - teamwork, cooperation and coordination between players are not just an expectation from the player, its a coded challenge from the game.

Of course you can defeat the content with a bunch of people that you strongly dislike as long as you are able to communicate and coordinate with each other. But, that kind of cooperation is alot easier to achieve if the social aspect is working. Its why companies fork out money to send their employees on work parties, trips and KickOffs.

And isnt it the goblin ideal to get the maximum result for minimal input?

Social investment is a valid investment, and doesn't have to be the antithesis of success or profit.

Anonymous said...

Everything you say is true, but people don't like hearing the truth. They much prefer candy coated lies. The truth is too blunt for most people to appreciate.

The fact is that people rarely do anything for anyone unless they get something out of it. That's just the way it is. That's life.

goth said...

People can't seem to do anything without putting an emotional label on them. Emotional connections are just that - your emotions - not anyone elses. Your arrangement is a win win for both sides = I'll let you fill in the labels.

Anonymous said...


Two part question:

What is the guild getting out of your donations? What are they doing with the gold? I've always had enough gold looted from raids and a daily or two to cover all my repairs, gems, and enchants for new gear. Most guilds also have a bank full of mats for enchants, inscriptions and gems. So are they just hording gold, or do they do anything with it? Does it sit in the guild bank or is it distrubted to the guild members?

Secondly, what do you get out of this transaction? The gear you get will be replaced shortly. The experience you get isn't a social one. Perhaps you have nothing else to do with the gold? You have already said you get to raid on your terms, so why not just start your own guild? Even if you are paying this guild, do you think they would keep you around should you stop paying?

RyanC said...

As anyone who is a reader to your blog's comments can attest, I could give a rat's ass if I'm liked. I'm not against it, but it's not something anyone should strive for.

My friend sent me an email talking about how he "likes the challenge and difficulty and sense of accomplishment" of hard modes. I told him I like to amass gear in the shortest amount of time humanly possible.

That's why he can spend hours fighting the same hard mode boss and failing for no loot, and I left that guild to join one that has progressed MUCH further and provides better gear and progression.

Nowhere in either goal, was anyone trying to be liked, and I think we have two of the most common goals in the game: Accomplishment (meh) and gear (yay).

To be liked, you have to do things like A) never point out someone has forgotten or not using consumables because people get defensive and quite frankly, they're poor. (Poor people are cranky) B) never point out someone is standing in the fire becaue people get defensive, and quite frankly they're stupid. (Stupid people are also cranky.)

God forbid they're both. So you can't point out the people holding back the raid for fear of being unliked.

I don't know these other raiders, and I never want to know these people. Ever. By all accounts from Blizzcon, the general populace reeks, is overweight, and is primarily male.

Don't buy it, go watch "Second Skin".

If the WoW population were hot females, with real live headshots instead of character portraits...I might care. Eh, I'd still tell a hot chick she's standing in the fire and flaskless, but I might do it nicer.

As it is, I don't care. The only person I care who likes me is my best friend who plays Horde, and my other poor misguided friend who plays Alliance. Why? I know them in real life, for years before the game.

P.S. Who posts as Anonymous. What a goddamn, unimaginative loser. You could post as Oprah Winfrey just by clicking the name function. One asshat tried to post as me, then clicked 'post' rather than preview and posted a half-completed entry because I am not liked by idiots who can barely make their computer function.

P.S. Are you going to make a Goblin when Cataclysm hits???

Fricassee said...


I completely agree. If your goal is to see content and defeat challenging situations, then you may not want a social guild.

I love how the same people that say "It's a game, I can play it how I want lol" are the same people that say "You pay people to raid? What a loser".

Gevlon plays the game to beat content without spending 80 hours in game a week, and they can't STAND the game he plays.

Tonus said...

@Yaggle: "I feel the same way when I shop, and I do not understand why my company makes such a huge deal about how I should not only smile and be friendly, but also make short conversations with the customers to make them feel valuable."

That falls under Goblin thinking. Different shoppers value the total shopping experience differently. Some of them do not care how they're treated as long as the prices are low and the selections are to their taste. But other shoppers respond very positively to friendly staff, even if they're not providing much help!

I doubt that there are many people who will be upset that the staff at a market is cheerful and friendly, so asking the staff to behave that way is a method of maximizing profit. If a smile and a good word keep a customer coming back to spend his money, you smile and offer a good word. And he keeps stuffing cash in your pockets.

Aberron said...

These trolls can't be reading the same blog I am.

If only one person ever completed a transaction without regard to emotional exchange it's you Gevlon.

And you're not even the only one. I don't remember any melodrama buying my Malboro Lights this morning.

Hey! That newsagent doesn't really love me, damn him. It's like I don't even exist to him.
I only wanted to be loved...
Oh and smoke...

Well, mostly just smoke.

Hugo said...

On personal basis i much prefer a good atmosphere, fun, relaxed "wipe fest" to a very professional, mechanical, sometimes even opressive sucessfull raid!
That only happens with people that you know and like.
I don't raid anymore (ocasionally) i'm one of those "socials" that you seem to dislike but to be honest i do not miss raiding at all.
Everyone gets a kick out of the game in a diferent way, so that makes me accept your views. But i do like going to a supermarket and to be served with a smile :) even tho they are just doing their job!

Graylo said...

If you think about it, the notion that you can buy friends or “pay people to like you” is pretty ludicrous. Obviously you can force interaction between two people with the use of gold or money, but interaction doesn’t necessarily lead to friendship or even the person liking you. Every year Warren Buffet auctions off a lunch with himself and donates the proceeds to charity. The buyers pay thousands of dollars to interact with him. I seriously doubt Warren Buffet has ever walked away from one of those encounters thinking of the buyer as a friend. If he has I bet it has more to do with the quality of the interaction then the money paid for the interaction.

Put another way, what would happen if you decided to stop paying the guild? Would the GM immediately kick you from the guild and none of the members ever talk to you again?

I doubt it but if it did happen then it is pretty obvious that you were not friends with them. All you did was pay for an interaction and if that interaction met your needs then what’s wrong with that.

More likely, they wouldn’t kick you from the guild, but would just stop including you in the raids as much. Outside of raids they would probably interact with you just as much as they did before. If this is the case then all you’re paying for is the access to raids as you’ve indicated, and the personal connections you made as a result of the arrangement is a side effect.

Ultimately I hope the trolls realize that they are just jealous. You have been able to achieve something in a way that they have not.

Idletime said...

I loved the post today.

It's true though, most serious raiding guilds don't care if people like each other, only that things get done and the bosses die. If you're joking around during a raid, then you're not focusing. It's fine to joke on occassion, but constant inane banter about whatever that distracts from the duty at hand wastes people's time.

Yes, people are for hire in this game just like IRL. Any employee of yours will "like" you when they work for you, because you represent their freaking income. Guaranteed they can say whatever the hell they want when you aren't around, who cares, as long as they do what you demand, they get paid. Get rich and find out how many high end people on your server you can make dance for your alts. Give them a day's pay, which for them would take a month of dailies, but only a day for you. Buy arena rating, top of the line gear, everything. Who cares when you're rich?

jpnodisplay said...

Yeah I saw that comment about you the other day. Oh well fuck them. Your posts are awesome. I will keep reading. Those guys are just fail who can't make gold. Don't worry those losers will get flamed by all your subscribers. It's not your job to flame them let your fans hate them for you :)

Anonymous said...


And if you really want to break it down, if your guild "requires" you to bring pots, flasks, food buffs, pay for your repairs, be properly gemmed and enchanted, respec to fill needs of the raid, etc. You are paying for them to like you, only with less desireable results.

Anonymous said...

The obvious disconnect I see here is that your "troll" does not seem to understand that, yes, you pay for rading priviledges, but that this no way means you are buying friends or a spot in a guild.

You're a resto, you have a skillset that enhances the raid. Did your gold enhance the raid? Did it enhance the guild? No to both. The only thing your gold brought to the raid or guild was the ability for those with the permissions to remove money from the guild bank the ability to pay for gear or mats or training for a skill-up.

Pure and simple, this "troll" is either unable or unwilling to putin the little bit of work it takes to increase their own wealth and feels the need to attack anyone who has more than they do.

This falls under the same catagory as Noel Gallagher vs. the world. His beef? Everything is rubbish to the Oasius guitarist/singer, including his own brother. Why? Because everyone has more or has more fun than him.

To the "troll": grow up, get out of your Mom's basement, and get a job.

Bitwise said...

I think you're all wrong.

A more proper analogy would be: someone has something you don't, and you're paying him to use it.

For example (yes, it's ridiculous, but it's only an example), you would like your shoes polished. One person in the world has a machine that will do this. You pay him for the right to use the machine to polish your shoes.

It's the same situation here. The guild leader has something Gevlon doesn't- a list of 25 non-M&S players, who want to raid and are capable of it. He pays to use that list, by raiding with them.

Anonymous said...

I just have to ask, why WoW?If you remove the social aspect of the game, then why don't you just play a single player game. They can offer the same challenges (better in most), more intuitive interface, controls, graphics, etc...

I'm not an overly chatty person in the game, I have real life friends, so its not like I use WoW as a social outlet, but it is at least a PIECE of the game for me. If it was no a piece of the game, then I would just fire up an Xbox game or something like that.

Anonymous said...

You seem to me like a person that is really great at whatever you try to take on, but at the same time have never really enjoyed anything.

Why would I want to treat my leisurly activity like such a business?

Anonymous said...

Paying people to like you*

mzolton said...

@Graylo -

Ist that how mr buffet met Alex Rodriguez?