Greedy Goblin

Monday, October 12, 2009

Can you be honest with your guild?

Larísa wrote that the best way of handling a guild switch is telling the current guild that you want something else, you seek new guild, while still contributing to the current. That way both parties win: the guild has time to get replacement, the player don't have weeks out of raiding.

Like always, the technically best solution simply does not work. It's just like "why can't we all live in peace"? Because most people are irrational, driven by ape-subroutines instead of their interests.

The relevant issue here is group-representative deviation. It's one of the least know biases, it took me some time to look up a reference available in the internet.

The bias is: if the same person negotiates the same conflict for himself, he is more likely to make compromises and get to agreement than if he negotiates as a representative of a group. For example if you want to bargain in a shop, it's more likely to be successful if you are talking to the owner. An employee is more likely refuses your offer, despite it will make them not sell at all. Good luck bargaining in the Wal-mart!

There are two reason for that:
  • At first, a social person seriously overvalues his group. "We" are great. "We" are strong. As a representative of "we", he feels strong and negotiates from the position of power despite he (or the group) has none. He make demands, give ultimatums instead of seeking compromises.
  • Secondly, he is more motivated to keep his in-group image, than he is to the success of the negotiations. He fears that other group members will see him as "weak" or even "traitor" if he is not hard-liner enough. Sadly he is not even wrong in that, as other group members, knowing less about the negotiations and the other party, will be more biased than him, assuming that the group is even more strong compared to the other party. Even if the negotiator gets a very good agreement, the uninformed group members will think "we could get much better than that".
While it's true in any negotiation situation, the mentioned guild-situation is even worse. You are not just "someone". You are a group member, therefore you must act for the group, or you are "selfish" (= bad). No group negotiates with a member. They command him and upon disobedience, punish him. One of the greatest triumph of reason over social thinking was the independent legal system. The group leadership can no longer punish disobedient members directly. Imagine if politicians could put people to jail!

So, the guild officer, negotiating on behalf on the guild will definitely not accept such an offer. He will most probably gkick you at the moment you even mention the chance of gquit. You have no right to even think of leaving this great group. If you do, you are surely a bad person, since the alternative (the group has serious flaws) is inacceptable.

The only exception from this rule is the professional raiding guild. People there don't have the group feeling, they are just individuals assembled for a common goal. There is no "we". You can tell the server's topguild that you want to apply to Ensidia but will keep on raiding here if rejected and no one will seriously mind. But in a guild where any social connections exist, you must obey the goblin law:

If you are negotiating with socials, say anything but the truth! The best tip is say nothing at all, that's not even lying.


Sean said...


I'm not sure where u're getting ur information or ideas from. The situation that u're describing, it is something that happened directly to u to someone u know? Either way, chances r that ur sample size is 1; hardly a representative of all guilds.

I have a feeling most guild officers will accept the decision. I'm sure the parties can negotiate the conditions (e.g. no priority raid spot, etc) amicably.

U seem to think that only professional guilds can do this sort of thing...

Anonymous said...

Mmhm...Gevlon's right. This applies in basically all group situations. me on this. I'm fairly direct - and I've done experiments. Never give warning before you've found a new group. If you're feeling nice, just offer to stay an extra week or two to help with the transition.
If you're raiding - and contributing tanking/healing/decent dps - they've no cause for complaint or any justification to reduce loot priority. If they decide to reduce your priority, just leave immediately.
Mind...this doesn't apply if:
(a) The guild's been boosting you to get you up to speed.
(b) You're the main tank and guild policy has them passing you loot.
In those cases, I'd actually tell people ASAP so that they could adjust their expectations. My general policy, though, is...don't boost people or have a specific MT.
And, my general policy from the other end is...if someone switches guilds/groups a lot - there's always a reason - don't let them in.

Smeg said...

same applies with jobs/girlfriends/wives.

don't dump the current one until you've lined up a new one!

Wooly said...

Let me correct that. Don't say anything but the truth, say nothing. Ab-so-lute-ly nothing.

Anonymous said...

The second to last (third to last if you include the aesop) is exactly true. Just today I witnessed it in action. A high ranking guild member voiced displeasure at the fact that the guild had wiped on Kologarn. Which is fully understandable because, hey, Kologarn. Instantly the guild turns against him. Doesn't matter that he did more DPS than most of them and had pretty much carried them through past content. He was a baby-punching fascist for so much as implying that, maybe, tanking the adds next to the MT was a bad idea.

Unknown said...

I understand the social theories behind it, but from my experience it does not work in WoW like that.
It does in real life though :)

Ill explain my situation a bit. I have been in several raiding guilds. When I left I gave a 3 weeks notice.

1st notice -> I do not have the fun that I had when playing, I will quit.

2nd notice -> I will change my play style, please replace me if you have a suited player available. Will gkick in 2 weeks to stay happy with this game.

I have good relations with the officers. I played with them outside raiding (arena/pvp premades (pre-xrealm)/gchat/forumpost). It is a good compromise and I can return any time to the guilds I have left. This might affect the outcome...

Larísa said...

I don't think I said that staying in the guild while applying to others is the best solution. It's rather an exception. What I said was that I think you should be honest. Either you leave the guild before applying to other guilds - which is the natural thing for most players to do. Or you tell your officers and let them decide if they want you to stay while applying to other guilds.

There may be exceptional cases, such as some of my commenters pointed out, when the guild doesn't "deserve" honesty and decency. But on the other hand - if you've been treated that badly by a guild, why would you want to stay a second more than you need to? Is it all about loot?

Flex said...

I've gkicked (multiple) raiders because I found their applications on other guild sites. Harsh? Maybe, but the reasoning at the time was clear and well communicated to our members: We wanted people who would put in the effort to make the guild succeed. If someone wanted to bail, I'd save them typing /gquit and keep those who wanted to be there.

Group representative bias? I don't think so, we weren't representing the group to others. Maybe more like finding out a Sun employee has applied to IBM. If it was just a janitor, management might not care. But if they're your lead design engineer, maybe it's time to weigh your options.

And the options included that raider potentially ninja-looting items (which, back then, was a bigger deal), so we cut our losses.

It worked for us, but then, that was a long time ago in a 40-man galaxy far far away, and I was on the decision making side of the fence. If I'd been the one wanting to find a new guild?

I think I'd look at what the guild's policies were, or what it had done in the past in this situation, how much raiding I want to do before finding a new home, and decide whether or not they suck so much I can't stand another raid with them. And then it'd be either Larisa's or Gevlon's advice.

Which is kind of like saying, it's a subjective issue. Make up your own mind!

Peke said...

I fail to see why with a so-called 'professional' guild the scenario would not be the same.

Surely the individual members can have that detached attitude, but you will be dealing with an officer. The same 'your guild is not good enough' underlying comment will come across, and an officer is bound to find him/herself more involved (and invested) into the guild that the common member.

And, anyway, in the extreme example when that person is a 'professional officer', as attached to the current guild as to a job in which he/she happens to be management, wouldn't your leaving for somewhere 'better' imply, at that ape subroutine level you are so fond of, that the officer is not doing a good job and trigger similar hostile reaction?

scrusi said...

It feels to me as if you missed the empirical research while looking for obscure theoretical references. (Even if that research would only include reading the comment over at the ppi.)

I know for a fact that there are guilds that take unannounced applications to other guilds as an instant kick reason (I know my guild does) while certainly trying to solve things in a mutually beneficent way if you inform the leadership of your plans.

Now I don't have numbers pertaining to the amount of guilds that work this way as opposed to the way you describe - but neither have you. Claiming that the good solution "simply does not work" is simply false. I may or may not fail in a majority of cases but it definitely does in some.

Anonymous said...

My guild had this exact thing happen. Except the officers were morons about it.
We were within top 10 alliance on my server, had like a third of our core raiders apply to the top guild.
All of them got kicked, some more people left due to disagreement over the decision and the guild went from running every week and trying achievements to not even having a raid for about a month.

Go ape!

Jyi said...

"Larísa wrote that the best way of handling a guild switch is telling the current guild that you want something else, you seek new guild, while still contributing to the current. That way both parties win: the guild has time to get replacement, the player don't have weeks out of raiding.

Like always, the technically best solution simply does not work. It's just like "why can't we all live in peace"? Because most people are irrational, driven by ape-subroutines instead of their interests."

Well, I disagree. It is not technically the best solution either, because loot comes into the picture. In a decent, smart raiding guild loot isn't a reward, but an important tool. However, no one wants to see a tool given to someone who is not going to use it.

The person who wants to change to another guild obviously wants to keep raiding, but he does want to have a chance on getting loot. However, the guild doesn't want to give loot to someone who is not going to benefit the guild for long. It's just basic common sense. You give the tool to someone who is going to put it to use for the guild's benefit.

This only leaves emblems and loot that no one else needed for the person applying to another guild. Not a very good deal.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what happened to me in my last guild with tons of socials and M&S. After another failed Immortal run (failed on Thaddius as usual) I mentioned I'm thinking of changing guild. Next day officers forced me to leave, "leave now by yourself or we gonna gkick you".

And one of them said funny line: "You aren't a part of our family anymore since you are thinking of quitting, thus you must leave".

Anonymous said...

Some time ago I was in a somewhat casual guild doing 25-mans and 10-mans two-five times a week.
After a while people started being inactive and only one of our 10-man groups(group 1 with the best players) were able to raid.

I told the officers to take in more people in the guild or tell the inactive ones to be more active. I was told they didnt care and that if I wanted to raid I should start a raid myself.

After some days of arguing I left as they clearly didnt care. For some reason they got really upset and tried to convince me to come back. I dont know why, because most of them didnt reply back when I tried to start a conversation in gchat, we didnt get 'close' in any way and I was far from the best player in the guild.

I was glad to see people leaving every day since the day I left, mweheh.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I dont agree with your post, Grevlon :>

Kernunos said...

People always act in their own interest, even if you don't understand their choices, to them they are acting in their own interest.

And the difference between some one who has cultivated social relationships and developed the connections in their guild and some one who has not (social vs. goblin) is that the first has a better chance of getting a decent shake on exiting the guild. The later does not, because through their attitude and actions they have demonstrated the things important to them are not team work, they are simply there for personal gain. Now a true goblin would see that social relationships are simply another tool in the arsenal to make money and would cultivate them to improve profit. The purpose of manners and formal politeness is to provide lubrication in social situations. Machines without lubrication break down quickly.

Happyending said...

I think the point being missed here is that you do not need a guild unless you want to do hardmodes. And even that depends on what server you're on.

Blizzard has made the content so frigging easy now, that it has to be a serious fail boat not to clear the current raid content. Even before the release of ToC and Onixya, Ulduar was being pugged on a lot of servers.

So tell me. Why should I join a mediocre guild, when I can just pug whatever I want? Hardmodes are not enough of a carrot for me.

As for Icecrown, I have a feeling that it will be an easy raid instance also.

Armond said...

@Azzur: You seem to think your idiocy should be ignored when presenting an opinion. Learn to type, learn to think, open your door and get some experience with other people, and *then* come present your opinions. That order.

Stripes said...

Maybe more like finding out a Sun employee has applied to IBM. If it was just a janitor, management might not care. But if they're your lead design engineer, maybe it's time to weigh your options.

In tech companies at least it is common for folks to interview. Sometimes to see what else is out there, sometimes to see what size raise to push for at the next review. Some people do this publicly (take a half day off and dress up in "interview gear"), others less so.

As far as I know "interviewing elsewhere" doesn't constitute cause for termination in any state (but I'm not sure since I have only really worked in "at will" states for the last 2 decades).

So I would be surprised of Sun fired anyone for interviewing at IBM.

Ayonel said...

You know, it is completely idiotic to kick someone for looking for something better, whether it is in a WoW guild or in a large firm. The reality is that if you have a top talent, you need to do everything in your power to keep that talent.

Reality, of course, is that people are idiots. They don't always do rational things, in games or in life. While I can tell you lots of stories about RL job idiocy(and I'm sure many of you could too) let's stick with WoW.

For 90% of the people on WoW, having a guild is an act of vanity. Ok, let's say 85%. Another 5% is goblins or people who just want a guild bank. And 10% are guilds that are filled with people who do not suck and want to play well.

While the top guilds are not immune to the issues that other guilds experience, they at least have to account for that fact that the guy you think is an ass is the best damned tank ever, or is a 'lock who shows up for every raid stocked and pulls 5k dps (;p), and doesn't do too much to distract from the raid.

On my server, the majority of guilds can't field a 25-man team capable of clearing Ulduar, fewer than 10 have cleared ToTC 10, and only about 5 have cleared ToTC 25.

Why is that? Based on my experience, and this is just from talking to some people in a lot of guilds on our small server, most of the people who are pretty good don't want to play with each other, because they do not want to expend the energy required to actually work with other people. They would rather have a crappy guild of their own that can't raid half the time than collaborate with another guild and see some success.

I finally took Gevlon's advice and joined a top-ranked guild on my server, and I am much happier. I liked a lot of the guys in my old guild, but told them that I wanted to raid, not hang out with friends.

In my new guild, I have cleared ToTC 10/25, Ony, and some Ulduar HM, but my old guildies are convinced that I left because I was mad at someone or that someone offended me.

Anonymous said...

Heh...between 3-6 months from the time your manager finds out that you're interviewing elsewhere - there'll be a replacement in most companies.
It isn't that they're evil - it is just that you're likely to leave and they need to train new people in an orderly fashion. And, if they're training new people, they need to fire someone. For anyone thinking of the 'pay more' approach - it mostly doesn't work - people usually leave for social reasons.
With guilds - it can be different - but - usually - if the guild leadership could raid better - they would.
Y'know an interesting topic - guild leader compensation...besides ego - guild leaders mostly don't get much. That probably explains the rather 'inefficient' leadership style in most guilds. I believe guild leaders/raid leaders deserve serious dkp-style compensation.

Ayonel said...

@anonymous last

I disagree with you. Many large firms, certainly most financial companies, cannot get a req to hire a new person until someone leaves. This is particularly true in the current environment. And I would go so far as to say that you would have a lot of trouble trying to justify terminating an unhappy high performer when a good percentage of your team, statistically speaking, and based on review metrics, performs below average.

This is not to say it couldn't happen, but at the firm's I've worked for over the past decade hiring a replacement for someone who is still here is almost unheard of.

Erohe said...

" For example if you want to bargain in a shop, it's more likely to be successful if you are talking to the owner. An employee is more likely refuses your offer, despite it will make them not sell at all. "

The employee might also not know how his boss would take the fact that he sold an item for less than the official price. And that employee might also want to keep his job.

That is not much a "social" reason, is it ?

Hinenuitepo said...

A typical "Goblin post" and therefore suiting a goblin. But as usual, Gev is straying from his expertise (obtaining gold in Wow) to something he knows little about.

There's lots more fun terms we could spew about (dissonance being one of the appropriate examples), but the bottom line is: if you don't care about others (consistent with Gev's credo) then lying is certainly viable if not desirable. If you DO care about others, then lying is something you should do rarely, if at all.

Of course, even for the antisocial, lying can bite you on the butt, hard. :)

Anonymous said...

@Ayonel Heh...not that I'm admitting to this - but - for small to midsize firms - the performance criteria are a bit flexible. My observation is that faith in performance metrics is pretty optimistic.

Once a hypothetical manager has decided to fire someone - it'll take 6 months to turn out 2 steadily decreasing performance reviews and move them to noncritical assignments. Even if their performance is perfect - they will be the least vital person in the department within 6 months. If they don't take the hint...they won't make it through the next layoff.

And...regarding job requisitions - there's always a reason to bring in a temp.

Is this evil? Moderately. Is it practical? Depending on the position - usually. EG...a disgruntled salesperson really shouldn't have a list of new clients.

TL'DR: Yah...I really don't advise being honest with your boss. If other people have been honest and been well-treated - maybe think about it. The case is less clear with guilds.

Anonymous said...

Anone who can leverage a difficult profession such as inscription into a money-making venture through glyphs is more then qualified to comment on any range of issues pertianing to RL.

The same commenter, nay philosopher, would do well to take the very complex and explain in simple terms (dissonance, ape-subroutine) any event or situation to the 'non-MS' followers of the blog.

Come witness as no regard is paid to fact or sense by the posters who stumble to praise this blogger on his wit and intellect for they have been 'refreshed' by the revolutionary ideas and an innovative approach to all things virtual and otherwise.

TLDR: Critical thought and common sense are tools which you lack. However, credit is given for once again demonstrating that anything written in a bold style will be taken as gospel by at least 3,000 people.

Quick - 'The Onion' just broke a major news story!

N said...

Well, I told one person in my guild that I was considering leaving for another, and now I've been gkicked. So nope! You can't be honest with your guild. LOL.