Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Why be mean with people?

Being mean is the opposite of being nice. It means criticism of what the other guy did wrong, not being tolerant to his mistakes, calling him bad if we think he is. No one likes mean guys. Yet I urge you to be mean!

There are several reasons to be mean. At first it's quite fun. Being nice with idiots who waste my time and resources is pretty stressful. Telling "You did 600 DPS again! How can you be so bad?!" relieves stress and let you smile again. Well, the less social you are, the less stressed you are from idiots, but even I can get annoyed by kids doing pulls (not tanks) and littering the chat with "lol hav u seen drhouse hes soo cool XD". It feels good to point out the fact that they damaged less than the healer.

The same effect is on the other, more social groupmembers. They are too social to be mean themselves but just as annoyed by the M&S as you are. If you are being mean with the M&S, they also benefit the stress-relieving effect. "Finally someone silenced that idiot" they think. You are their champion, the savior of their day and sanity. There is also a chance that they get courage from your example and on the next run they dare to be a bit mean. Do some good!

The third benefit of being mean is to get a reputation among M&S. If they put you on /ignore, they can't join your random dungeon! You can ignore only 49 M&S and chat addons doesn't save you from the group finder. If you are lucky, his whole guild will blacklist you, saving you from grouping with dozens of 0/71/0 shamans, frost presence DPS DKs, spellpower hunters, rogues with "chance on spell crit" trinkets and tanks in full "of stamina" greens.

The fourth and greatest benefit however is opening a new way of learning. You are not perfect you know? Strike that, even I am not perfect (who would have guessed that?). The chat listed below is from a HC UP run. The first boss does a chat with Arthas. The tank thought to take the time and clear some trash. However he forgot to mention it to the team. He just rushed down. I'm (being healer on main) followed him blindly. Unfortunately I was mage, so after he pulled 3 trashpacks, despite my "all cooldowns + flamestrike + arcane explosion spam" they were at 10-20% when the tank bit the dirt. I iceblocked and the trash was running to the other two DPS and the healer waiting peacefully for the first boss to finish her chat. Luckily they could could somehow kill them with the healer doing awesome job. Then the boss aggroed and we killed her too.

You see? Not? From the point I was mean with the tank and listed his errors he was so kind to dedicate all his attention to my mistakes. I really slowed Skadi, not knowing that non-skull level bosses are also immune to slow. And I also didn't know that blink breaks PvE stuns. So just for a little nasty insults I received valueable teachings about how to play a mage. Thank you dear sucktank! And to return your favor, if you somehow find your way here, let me direct you to the EJ forums about Amplify Magic.

So being mean:
  • relieves your stress
  • relieves the stress of 3 other people
  • make one or more M&S avoiding you
  • getting free teachings how to improve your work
Pure win! So the idea for today: Be mean!

Of course I don't support "content-free abuse", like "you suck", "you fail", "you are worthless", "you n00b". Such statements mean nothing but "I don't like you". They don't contain anything that the target could change. They are pointless and drama-making even if accompanied with real statements like "you're a fail tank because you pulled while the healer was drinking". Simply say: "you made an error pulling while healer was drinking".

PS: if you think this post was evil, just wait until Monday. Some seriously wicked financial advice is incoming!


Anonymous said...

Being mean will probably get you kicked a lot of times when grouping with retards. Although getting kicked out of a group with retards isn't necessary a bad thing. In good groups you might learn something indeed, but if it's a good group you can also just simply ask why people are doing what they are doing.
So be mean to retards, be nice to skilled people.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

At least you own up when you didn't know something about being a mage, of course, I assume everything else you had is good?

I remember you mentioning having slow, in case of adds, so I guess no one called you out on it, not thinking about bosses.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: unlikely. It needs 4 guys to kick me, and the vote is anonymous. So I can only be kicked if all 4 agree that being mean to a 0/0/71 is a bad thing. If just one laughs his ass off behind his screen, I'll stay and they can quit if they like.

Nagbag said...

As an offtopic example i can say that i always pull that abomintaion after (or, rather, before) first boss in upper Utgard. And not everytime announcing it. This acts like a test of some sort - if whole party keeps up and does a quick work of the pull, then i can be sure for the run and chainpull hereafter, which results in completed dungeon before LFG-debuff expires.

Pasky said...

I'm pretty sure that Slow counts on bosses for Torment The Weak, so it IS useful for pve.

If I'm wrong, then any attack slowing effects work (i.e. Icy Touch)

Leeho said...

That's the thing i like about ru realms. You will not go any far with 0\71\0, the very first player inspect you will directly tell you what's wrong with your spec. He might add also what's wrong with you and some more insults, but usefull info was already provided for free.
Being mean is the general rule here. And it really works. What i can say to prove that it helps is that you can pug anything you like, up to ToGC-10 45 tries achiev.

Stormz said...

Being mean depends on the group. I prefer constructive criticism then being mean. Its more time consuming of course and it is easier and FASTER to just leave the instance and queue for another when the group sucks (i.e. the tanks not holding aggro, the dps is low etc.), but I like to believe that some people can learn.

LFG tool is there to help some folks get to understand the group dynamic and their role in that group. I find that more often the not, one good word of advice and in a to the point manner can help the other player in improving his performance. Being mean might make sound like an elitist asshat and no one wants to be the elitist asshat – I don’t for sure. Being precise, to the point and constructive can be more helpful in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be all ‘kitten gloves’ about it, just to the point without the ‘noob’ ‘tard’ addon. You’re just straight forward and professional.
But mean has its moments – and its worth it sometimes, cause to me there is a difference between newb and n00b.

A newbie can learn and will follow advice, check the armory page next time, look up the mechanic etc. a n00b just won’t learn and he’ll just call you an idiot for trying to teach him. Its not even worth it then - just initiate kick or leave group.

Quicksilver said...

I do agree Olga. The right-wing severeness of eastern European culture forces people to shape up or suffer the consequences.

In opposition to the bullshit-left-wing-"leave no man behind"-western-european-crap-ideology who is just good at creating a huge mass of losers used to being carried by the system.

How's that for a perspective on the wellfare system?

Shintar said...

It doesn't take four votes to kick someone from a party, I know I've voted "no" before and the guy got kicked anyway.

I also find that people being mean often causes me more stress than it relieves, like having a dpser who does 6k yell at the others for "only" doing 2k. Why does it matter for a heroic, where 2k is still more than enough to make it? I just want to get on with the game instead of being slowed down by other people's shouting matches.

Anonymous said...

The point is that I had such groups yesterday. I was tanking and a rogue just couldn't stop pulling. I said something about it. Mean yes. Now they started on me because 'he was just a kid'. I was saying I don't give a damn if he's 'just a kid' he's screwing things and should be removed. They refused, so appearently they think it's ok. I just quitted, but if I would be going on they'd probably kick me because 'he's just a kid'.

Ken said...

For a minute I thought maybe we were in the same run. I was healing hc up last night. During the npc dialogue we killed the first abomb in the hallway. Then four of us went to the Skadi's altar while the tank continued down the hall to pull the next mobs. After a few moments I noticed he was out of range an taking damage. I hurried toward him, meeting him at the door as he ran back in, the mobs trailing behind. I blew my cds on him but he went down anyway. I b-rezed him, but by this time Skadi had engaged and joined the still alive mobs beating on everyone. Wipe ensued shortly.

Afterward, we all demanded wtf hedid that without saying a word or verifying the rest of us were with him first. He
insisted that it is common practice to down the first two mobs in the hallway. We all disagreed as none of us had ever been in a group that did so.

I wouldn't have objected if he had said something before hand, but he kept insisting he didn't need to. I decided I didn't want to group with an uncommunicating tank like that so I bailed and returned to my hodir quests. Looking back, I should have initiated a kick vote. The other three seemed just as peeved that what should have been a quick and easy set of badges went so wrong so fast.

Tonus said...

Those are not really examples of being mean, they are examples of being blunt. Some people equate bluntness with being mean, but that's not always the case.

Here is what's mean- doing horrible DPS and slowing or stalling your group's progress, then being uncooperative when people point out that you are a drag.

Here is what's mean- knowing that player X is doing a terrible job, but defending him from the others because you think you are being "nice" to player X.

If you are always "mean" or always "nice" you are socially retarded, and need to learn how to judge situations and respond appropriately.

Stormz said...

@ Ken

I believe the TANK needs to communicate with the group, and for me the art of marking mobs up and typing a single msg "r?" is common practice - I even once let the tank go and pull and wipe the group just to prove the point.

Asking for "ready?" before every pull especially in pugs isn't hard, dosn't take a lot of time (you can macro it) and helps to guid the group along.

I bet my money if he had followed these steps, none of this would be an issue :)

Fricassee said...

It used to be important to have slow, as it was the only thing that triggerd TtW, but now all the tank attack speed debuffs count.

That's why slow goes up on bosses and doesn't say immune.

cmill said...

I have to put up with people who are idiots often in real life and even more so in game. Being mean to the said idiots only makes me look like an a hole to them, and myself.

At the end of the day, I'm the one that has to put up with myself, and I don't like thinking of myself as a jerk. You can correct someone in a manner that is kind.

Strutt said...

Gev, you say be mean... But yet the first things out your mouth is "Great Healing"

And you only need 3 votes to get kicked as 3/5 is majority

Unknown said...


It is not uncommon for tanks to pull that single hallway abom during the RP of the first boss of UP.

However, you address a big problem with the LFG tool without realizing. The system is only working and getting queues as quickly as it is because of tanks joining. If you initiated a vote kick, you guys would have likely been sitting there waiting until another tank joins the queue. That issue is going to get worse as time goes on or more bosses in ICC are released.

In fact it already has on my server. My guild has been grumbling about queue times being longer than they were a week ago. The truth of the matter is that tanks don't need Triumph badges, and that the payoff for doing more random heroics (the gold reward) beyond the the one for frost badges is not worth it. One wipe, bad DPS and the time/effort quickly isn't worth it. As more bosses in ICC are released, the need to do random heroics for frost badges will diminish, and that need will also diminish as more gear is purchased.

The truth of the matter is that good tanks can easily afford to be mean. If I want to skip two bosses in Old Kingdom, there really isn't anything the rest of the group can do about it. They can't go ahead without me. I can easily let them die or just leave the group. They can choose to kick vote me, which isn't in their best interested since tanks are in the highest demand for LFG, and there's no guarantee that the replacement tank will be competent.

It doesn't matter to me one way or another if I get /ignored. It does matter for DPS and to a lesser extent healers, to /ignore me because that reduces the number of good/competent tanks that they can possibly queue with.

In the LFG tool tanks hold most of the cards, so you're better off abandoning in most cases rather than trying to force a tank to do what you want.

Personally, I only do more than 2 heroics via the LFG tool (TotC & Random) if one of the following conditions are true.

#1 - I have 2 guild members filling DPS/Healer
#2 - I have 3 guild members filling DPS/DPS/Healer
#3 - I have 4 guild members making the group entirely in the guild (all you lose out is the buff for 5% damage/healing/health buff).

Strutt said...

As long as the healer has mana, then EVERYONE needs to be following the tank and paying attention. You shouldnt need to do ready checks in Heroics. While it might "help", people need to be doing there jobs and paying attention is what it boils down to, Its not a raid its only a heroic. doing Ready checks... thats being nice, people should always be ready. Unless healer has no mana. Healer should be the only one slowing up pulls.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not tanking your groups - groups that need a repeated "r?" before every trash pull. Lethargy makes me mean.


Nielas said...

I have to agree with Tonus. I really so nothing 'mean' in that conversation. The group wiped when it should not have so someone screwed up. Pinpointing the mistake is a good idea and is not 'mean'. In this case you had a problem with communication with multiple people making assumptions how people 'always' do specific content. (I have never been in a UP group that pulled trash while waiting on the boss).

In this scenario being 'mean' would have been posting deragatory comments about the others after the issue has been discussed. It would have been 'mean' to keep badgering someone after they accepted that they made a mistake.

There is a clear difference between being 'mean' and being 'professional'. A professional can give out criticism and accept criticism without insulting or being insulted. You discuss the issue in a clear manner and then either come to a consensus or agree to disagree and part ways.

In this scenario Gevlon was not 'mean' but he was not really that professional either. Of course the tank also lacked professionalism in this disagreement.

I use the Rankwatch addon to show when peopel needlessly use lower ranked spells. It notifies the person/group about what it finds. I do not consider this to be 'mean' but just me being professional (it is quite emberassing when the addon catches me with bad spell ranks). I will not badger people about it if it does not hamper the group (ie heroics affords us a lot of leeway). If the person I notify thanks me I consider that very professional. If they are offended they lose my respect and I will consider just dropping group.

The official Blizzard word is that it takes an unanimous vote to kick someone from a random.

Lee Quillen said...

I have trouble with the "be mean" strategy. My ignore list is full for avoiding folks in pugs, and I have to pick and choose who to remove while you're having no issue avoiding many more than my limit of 50.

Something to think about. I wonder if I politey ask them to ignore me if they would do so? :P

More than once I have entered an instance in enhance spec, swapped to resto as I was brought in as the healer role (now mana is gone) and had tank blindly rushing mobs immediately after I typed wait on mana. You can get through a first group like that, but when they continue to pull at that pace while you're sitting with an empty bar a wipe is right around the corner. I can't argue that a tirade about his stupidity would achieve more (avoiding grouping with him due to being ignored) than placing him on ignore and having to remove another idiot.

Definitley something to think about.

Apostasy said...

You got mad at me for not being able to aggro the mobs while im trying to speed the heroic up with chainpulling. I notice the healer isn't walking so i run back hoping he can still save me. I blow all my defensive cooldowns and see you AoEing. Trying to manage aggro and staying alive didn't work and i died result you calling me dumb?
Then i see you casting slow on a boss which is o.O. If you raid-or have alot of experience in the game with raids or PVE you should know that every tank has his own Slow abilities. Also you comment amplify magic which is a bad thing to use unless there is NO magic damage going on. The magic damage is increased which is very good yes healing is higher but it doesn't compare.

Have Fun ingame.
Apostasy - Al Akir EU

Anonymous said...

Great comment. And that bullshit-left-wing-"leave no man behind"-western-european-crap-ideology makes the person who has any criticism a "mean" person... figures.
I think western-europe still needs to suffer communism (or any other kind of extreme collectivist bullshit ideology in practice) before they finally understand that their leaders are wrong and evil. Though I'll make sure they'll have to suffer it without me if that time ever comes.

Unknown said...

I am somewhere in between, with my main focus being on expedience. If correction some one will lead to a faster run I do it. If correcting some one will simply lead to drama, I ignore their stupidity and just get the run done with.

As a note, things that will speed up the run:
"Tank, you should start marking mobs so the adds don't get pulled off and wipe us"
"Healer, forcing the lock to eat/drink after every fight because you don't want to heal his life tapping is just slowing us down, toss him a HoT and move on"
"Tank, you suck, if you don't know how to tank, don't Queue up as a tank" And vote kick (or just get them to rage quit).

Subpar DPS I mostly ignore unless they are pulling stupid tricks (all the classic "You might be a Huntard if..." lines) that will get us wiped. I mean, I don't enjoy carrying crappy players, however if they aren't really slowing us down (wipes) I'm not going to start the drama as that WILL slow us down.

Anonymous said...

I disagree being mean is not profitable, its more work, and the reward is minimal. I try to think in terms of profit and loss when it comes to my social interactions. Basically, these idoits aren't worth my time, so its a profit loss even talking to them. As for making myself feel better, thats nice in all, but all it does is introduce "Complications" such as having to explain myself, or follow up on my opinions/advice, or even having do deal with the negative opinions of others. I just keep it to myself, and if they suck too much, I simply leave the group.
Again, its important to think of profit in social interactions. Berating someone may feel good, but its just as useless as a non-combat pet. Better to focus on useful stuff.

Anonymous said...

The tank has two jobs; keep aggro on him/herself and communicate to the group where/when the next pull is going to happen. NO ONE freaking grabs the abom before Svala is engaged unless they're going for the achievement... but people always ask before attempting an achievement. It's just stupid to assume that everyone is watching the tank when the tank shouldn't be doing whatever they were doing.

Sad, though... considering the minimal wait time for tanks, it makes more people who should NOT be tanking heroics try to tank them... stacking stam on quasi-tank gear in a DPS spec. It's not about HP, it's about damage reduction and abilities! Idiots... -_- I don't hesitate to call these people out when I see them.

For the people who have issues with DPS doing the pulls... tell them, "If you pull it, you tank it." Their repair bills might convince them to stop pulling.

Strutt said...


Just curious, but why would you ever more than the first time have a lower rank spell that you are using? Its not like you are still learning spells and forgot to put the new one on there.. Plus there is no benefit to using lower lvl spells anymore.

zahorijs said...

I can be quite mean person, especially in the mornings. And yes, it really relieves the stress. But I have never gotten good advice in PUG. I have been kicked from group for not dps-ing as a healer and going too fast as a tank ("It's too stressful!"), but I have never been advised. Maybe I should expand on reasons and instead of "Tank, you fail, your gear doesn't allow chain pulls" I should say "Tank, you fail, lack of gear makes you get too much damage too fast and its gets unhealable at one point, especially, if you run away while I drink"?

The Gnome of Zurich said...

@pasky: it does count on bosses for TTW, but it turns out not to be worth the global cd in an arcane rotation, unless it's a raid in which you have 3+ mages with TTW, in which case one of them can be the slow bitch.

@Gevlon: I'd be very interested to hear your take on the rules I posted for US side of undergeared. I specifically ban what I call abuse, which is basically content-free meanness. i.e. Be mean only by specifically telling people what you think they are doing wrong and what they can do better. You can't do anything helpful with content-free abuse, so why bother -- if someone isn't worth educating, you kick them, or get someone who can to kick them (in the context of a guild like undergeared anyway).

We are all social animals, and negative comments hurt performance. Even goblins have ape brains, and it is rational to understand this and work around it. When deferring to your ape-brain keeps you from educating or understanding, we have to work hard to overcome these no-longer useful biases. So I agree completely with what you did here. We should not be afraid to tell people what we see them doing wrong, and listen for and learn fro the true criticism of others even if it's in the middle of an otherwise foolish tirade. But content free abuse merely goes against our ape-nature with no useful counter-function. It will hurt the performance of the raid. If it helps at all, it's when we all collaborate in being an asshole to some poor slob whom we are about to kick, but that's purely about coddling in-group vs. out-group ape-subroutines, that I don't particularly want to encourage either.

The "feel good" bit when you are mean to someone? That's an artefact of our in vs. out group social subroutines. Fine if it's a side effect of doing something useful, but I don't think we should encourage going after that feeling, because that same mechanism has the potential to drive some terrible rationality errors.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

your tank has a point about chain pulling.

dps is so meter happy now that everybody wants to drop aoe as soon as a mob is tagged. Which makes it impossible to pull large groups cleanly, because a tank can't run to the next set of mobs *and* hold aoe (or even single target) aggro strongly. same with positioning mobs on single group pulls. Drives me crazy as a tank. Sure I can keep aggro even if you play that way, but we do the dungeon *slower* if you are trigger happy, not faster. If I can pull two groups at a time, my mana is infinite instead of occasionally having to drink, and when we have aoe dps, dps is *much* higher.

Katmai of Shadow Council said...

I would love to hear your opinion of people with 5k dps who run through instances leaving anyone doing 2k in the dust. I recently ran normal Pit of Saron with my cat druid in order to do the quest line. The tank pulled so many things at once the healer was too busy to heal dps. I did the best I could with my gear, but was left dead and kicked. I expect this kind of thing when running heroics, but normal? Would you consider them M&S or just raider-jerks?

Thank you for the blog. I enjoy it greatly.

Unknown said...


You are a fail tank. Simple as that. You didn't bother to check to make sure the group is following you, you just assumed that they were.

You're just as bad as the protadin that was in my Naxx10 group for the weekly raid quest. Bitched about two tanks (I agree unnecessary) and how my health pissed him off (ignoring the fact that he was using about 3 buffs to health that I wasn't). Lo and behold the idiot decided to run off ahead of the raid, then bitched when he died. Of course, had I -not- been a tank the raid would have wiped.

Awareness is an important trait for tanks, awareness of what mobs are around you, awareness of who's following you, awareness of the mana bar of your healer, and consequently awareness of what you are pulling onto yourself. Based on the story, you failed on at least knowing whether you were being followed which lead to you making the mistake of pulling too much trash which nearly lead to the party wipe.

Hell, when I was farming some trash in ICC10 to get friendly, someone triggered a trap. I picked up the skeleton and started to back to a wall. I didn't pay attention and aggroed another mob. I died because I got webbed by that mob. I screwed up, I acknowledge my mistake and I learned from it.

You on the other hand, you're trying to displace your mistake by pointing out the mistakes of others in the screenshot provided by Gevlon. Your pride is so wounded you've even attempted to defend yourself here on these blogs. So shut up, man up, and accept the fact you screwed up and learn from it.

Talderas, Protection Paladin- Gurubashi (US)

Bristal said...

"Mean" is in the eye of the "victim". I have a high tolerance for and appreciate straightforward feedback. I have a low tolerance for power hungry or controlling asshats and I recognize them easily because I have a high degree of self confidence in my performance.

I don't QQ about someone being "mean" to me. I just assume that their favorite kitty died when they threw it against the wall too hard.

What will make me QQ is a leader who doesn't appreciate my worth, won't communicate directly, or leaves me out of a raid when I clearly signed up early, showed up on time (or early) and I get passed up "accidentally" without a word.

Thankfully, none of that happens with dungeon finder.

That said, if someone really wipes a random heroic because they didn't take their ritalin, /kick or I'm gone.

Tyra said...

"Also you comment amplify magic which is a bad thing to use unless there is NO magic damage going on. "

In game, you merely said 'never'. your in game statement was wrong, this is more correct.

Also, if you ran ahead without checking for a healer, it was your fault. What's standard operating procedure on your realm might be different (on mine, and in new lfg, we only do the extra Abom). You should just admit it didnt occur to you that people might not clear more trash first, and apologize. problem solved, no qq fest.

Gevlon said...

@Gnome: I inserted a clarification part to the text.

Nielas said...

Strutt said:
'Just curious, but why would you ever more than the first time have a lower rank spell that you are using? Its not like you are still learning spells and forgot to put the new one on there.. Plus there is no benefit to using lower lvl spells anymore.'

There is actually a bug/design flaw with the way dual specs handle
new ranks of spells. When you train up on one spec, your spell ranks will not automatically update for spells you have on your action bars for the other spec.

On my hunter I leveled using BeastMastery while having a Survival spec as secondary. When I traines my last rank of Serpent Sting I did it in BM. My spell ranks in my Survival spec did not update automatically and up till this week I was using a lower rank of Serpent Sting. It was also the only one of my primary shots that I did not have macroed as I did with Explosive Shot and Multi Shot (macros sidestep the issue).

I will admit that I get a bit of perverse pleasure out of pointing out that other people missed it as well so I need to be even more professional about it.

Zan said...

Random heroics have brought out the worst in me. I'm something of a mean and blunt person, though I realize that as a guild / raid leader that the team is usually more productive when I'm positive and constructive than negative.

I usually snark back at people who fail at being DPS, often with ungemmed and unenchanted gear. Undisicplined cocky dps in full T9 welfare gear makes a baby tank very sad. :(

I'm doubly mean if they die to the stupid.

Tree said...

Erm, maybe its just me, but nothing in that screenshot strikes me as particularly "mean". Honest criticism and mean are not synonyms. When somebody critiques your performance, even bluntly, they're doing you a favour. Even "socials" realise that somebody who can't take constructive criticism is dysfunctional.

Jujee said...

Wishing my fellow introvert a Happy New Year! Keep the moron blogs coming because they add laughter to my otherwise miserable work day.

Leeho said...

Unfortunately, applied to real life this principle fails hard.
My uncle was seriously ill for last half of his life. He got Multiple sclerosis. Medics don't know what causes it (wiki says "unlucky combination of factors"), and they don't know how to help it. If someone got it, he will be fully paralized in 10-15 years, but from feet to face, so half of the time you cannot walk, but can do something with your hands, can talk, etc.
So he had to use wheelchair. And here, in Russia, you can't get out of your home with this. Stairs and curbs everywhere, no special passages, nothing - you will not even be able to leave your flat without two ppl carrying you. You can't get into bus or train, or even shop. You can't go to the park.
Add to this that welfare here prevents any leaching beaing dramatically small.
So he was traped within his home.
Being not moron, but unlucky person irl in society like this will cause much more issues than being kicked out of group cause of numbers in recount.