Greedy Goblin

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A place where you don't have to hide

Klepsacovic wrote a post about healers hiding by not logging in. They don't want to heal and don't want to be pushed by "friends" so they don't log in. Once upon a time - like everyone in the beginning - I was in a friendly social guild. It was considered obvious that I shall heal my "friends" when they "need" me. Since I was always an anti-social, and back then I knew little about sociality, I simply said no. And the drama started. I was "unfriendly", "selfish" and "jerk", "not a teamplayer", "placed my own petty interest before the need of the whole" and "responsible for the team not being geared". You can guess I did not last too long in any of these guilds.

Fast forward to this Tuesday. We were in ICC. 8 of us, despite 13 lvl 80 were online. 1 had to go (and did). 2 was saved to another raid ID. 1 was doing various errands. 1 was waiting for a 25 man PuG. Outrageous, right! Saving yourself to some PuG ID??? Doing fkn errands instead of helping friends??? Placing a damn PuG over the TEAM??? Kick these terrible people!

Or not. In "The PuG" you owe the others nothing besides not harming them. While we wished these people were available, we knew they owe us nothing. They have every right to not raid when they don't want to. We went in 8 man, cleared some trash. Someone came online, and joined. The guy who did not come because he had to go in 20 mins was offered to join for one boss and accepted. After VD was down, he left, but other came online and wanted to come. Bad for Blood Princes. Another guy had to leave (announced before) but someone just whispered for a guild inv. He got it and was asked if he want to come raid. He wanted. PP down. Break time, 1 left but the guy with the errands has finished and joined. Some tries with 300G donation to the pot (for being friendly with BQL). Another guy had to leave (he told in the break he can't stay full but we had no replacement). But the one who was waiting for the 25 man PuG (that never started) gave up and came. Too bad for BQL.

No one did a bad comment on those who were saved to wrong ID. No one demanded the errand and the PuG-waiting guys to help us. They were informed that we have opening, but we filled the hole other way when they declined. If we couldn't fill it, we were prepared to kill Sindragosa's trash for Ashen rep.

So "The PuG" is not just a slogan. You have all the benefits of being unguilded: no one demands you to help him. If you had enough from people demanding to help them in your play time, join us! By the way Klepsacovic is most probably right that it's the healers who are affected by these demands most. We are always healer-heavy as "The PuG" is a healer's heaven. Have you tried to kill BQL with 4 healers? Not easy. But we had no other options, as no one else wanted to come.

One question remains: why do people feel entitled for the help of other players? Because of two social conventions:
  • the members of your group are your friends
  • you are entitled for freebies from your friends (and they are from you)
I was wrong for long to try to defeat the second statement. That can't be done. The brain of the people is hard-wired to be helpful with friends. I even catch myself helping my GF! However it's pretty easy to defeat the first statement. It's easy to remind people that the others are not their friends. Friendship is a connection between 2 people who mutually agree being friends. Joining a group do not make you friends with the people inside. Being friend of X won't make you the friend of the friends of X.

Finally I must address the No1 mistake of the socials: "being friends increase effectivity of the group". No. It increases formal effectivity. If we were a friendly guild, we could formally fill the ranks. Fill it with people who wanted to be elsewhere. People who couldn't care less. People who are thinking how could they get away instead of how to kill the boss. People who passive-aggressively punish us for forcing them by wiping us. We had harder job filling the raid, that's true. But those inside were motivated and positive. We discussed the mistakes instead of "try harder FFS". The bosses fell one by one.

Forcing someone gets you a body. To do something needs a mind. The mind cannot be forced, you can only gain one if it volunteers. That's the difference between failing "freindly social" guilds and the "The PuG" that kills bosses one by one. I know that 10/12 is not much nowadays, but for a 1 week old guild it's pretty good.


Anonymous said...

I think there is another side to this.

Some people really really like to feel needed so they keep putting themselves in positions where they have to get begged to bring their healer, and then they go along (complaining all the time). But at the same time, they love that they have to be asked because it makes them feel important and loved.

I've seen friends agree to go raid on their healers when they didn't really want to AND the group would have been fine if they'd just said no. So they say yes so everyone thinks they're happy with it, but they bitch in private about how much they hate being dragged on raids.

Go figure.

Andru said...

I guess you're excited about the raid ID changes for Cataclysm.

Should rightly be so, always thought the current system is anti-intuitive.

Hmm. Aggramar is a Blackout battlegroup realm yes? Might transfer over then.

Andru said...

Aggamagan, sorry. Bloody names, sound the same to me. Well, I like Blackout, it's a very good BG to be Alliance, despite it having only a few PvP servers, and only a few PvP-minded Alliance players at that.

Instant BG queues, and 60%+ win ratio makes me happy. I'll see whether I can transfer.

Andrux51 said...

Just curious, did all these people coming and going take a toll in the form of large periods of downtime?

The PuG sounds like a decent guild to be part of, but it is very unlike a pug despite what you've stated; in most pugs people would not hesitate to whine and/or hate at someone who needs to leave or won't join for "selfish" reasons. You have rules in place that prohibits this behavior on threat of /gremove, and while maybe (likely, even) that you have more mature members than the average pugtard, it's hard to say that none of the people in your run didn't resent those who refused to join.

To be honest, I for the most part feel the way you mentioned "the people who are there want to be there" about my own 10-man guild. Since 10-man is not the "best" way to get gear, it does not attract those who only care about gearing themselves. I feel like this applies to all forms of "non-optimal" progressive styles of raiding, especially something like Undergeared. People are much more interested in playing well when they are playing for a cause that is fun for them.

Gevlon said...

@Spinks: I did not think about this combination (comes and whines) but it's impossible in PuG since he would get "leave in the break if you don't want to be here" instantly.

@Andru: yes, Blackout and Agamaggan was choosen exactly for that.

@Andrux: Maybe some resent them SILENTLY. Who cares?

nonameform said...

10/12 might not be great with 25% buff, but PuGs on my realm still aim for 6/12.

I've been raiding 4-7 days per week for a year and now I'm exhausted and bored. No one forced me explicitly to raid that much. However, for a very long time I was the only shadow priest on the team and we didn't have a moonkin, so even if I didn't want to raid on some night, I would pretty much have to join, as my guild was doing Ulduar hard modes when I applied.

Now I barely log my main character, as I can't care less if someone needs me for an ICC alt run. Place is boring as hell, too much of a faceroll with the current buff and all the experience people had a chance to get in the past 7 months.

By the way, according to Blizzard's own Raid browser tool, one can go to ICC 25 with some lvl 200 items ("epic" or "rare"). Go figure how GS works.

TyphoonAndrew said...

This is interesting, but not representative of an actual pug. While I get the point you're making by running a quasi-pug guild; it is not a pug. You have the advantage of your blog as a high profile advertising tool, and by setting clear rules up front it acts as a lever for control. A true pug has only their own expectations and rules as a baseline at the beginning, and the negotiation starts when the Instance does. Also you have the advantage of public humiliation to those who kick-back in the group if you wish too.

So the players who will pay to move over are good: they want to participate in that style, have chosen that interaction in advance (this is a key point), and also like the appeal of a no promises, pure effort based reward system.

Great experiment.

MLW said...

I wish I was in your timezone, I would join you for this.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

Something you said struck with me, and reminded me of something very annoying about Facebook.

Friends of Friends.

If someone comments on a comment I made, their friends see it, even if I'm not friends with their friends. And that is a problem that will be brought to WoW with the RealID.

A system that many "socials" I know don't like, because they sometimes like to hide.

No matter what any social says, I believe that your experiments help show a better dynamic for grouping.

ardoRic said...

@AndruX "in most pugs [...]"

The idea of "The PuG" is to have a pick up group (pug) where people aren't complete morons. "in most pugs" they are. "The PuG" is not about simulating your average pug, it's about simulating what a pug SHOULD be.

I've been in some pugs where people are actually nice and can cope with wiping, but those are very rare.

"but PuGs on my realm still aim for 6/12."

On mine too... I never join people with such low expectations. Yesterday, on my druid, I joined a group (mostly from the same guild) aiming to kill the LK. We one-shot everything to Sindragosa, spent some time wiping on her (phase 3 is not about damage done, so the buff doesn't help), and then went on to the LK, where we got to P3 once.

On this group I wasn't asked for gearscore, I was asked for experience, and I got in.

These are the kind of groups worth joining, not the morons who aim for 6 bosses asking for 5.5k GS having a 25% buff to health, damage and healing.

@TyphoonAndrew "it is not a pug."

Stop saying that. It IS a pug. People are picked up for the group. The player base from where you pick those players is what's different. The difference is "The PuG" strives to keep morons out.

AKA Tha Schust said...

@ardoric: "It IS a pug...The difference is "The PuG" strives to keep morons out."

Which is, ironically, why the average PuG raid leader loves Gearscore. So, really, there's no contradiction in terms; "The PuG" is pretty much a more regulated trade chat.

Will said...

I left a social guild to join "iPug" shortly before Wotlk. What I was looking for in the guild is basically exactly what you have here. For the most part the guild offered that, and I was happy - but after a while i left the game.

I would consider coming back and trying out your guild, except I am Australia based and get quite high pings to Europian servers.

Inquisitor said...

How much time do you lose messing with the raid lineup every boss or two?

Not so bad for progression, of course, but when it's farm night, every round of hunt-for-more is going to cost time, and every couple will cost you a boss kill (and thus cost people gear/DKP).

Would it be fair to charge people for the trouble thus created?

Still, beats real pugs, in which slow refilling is likely to actually kill groups.

Gevlon said...

Luckily we have a pretty active warlock, so replaces are instant. The guy leaves the raid, I invite the replacement, the lock pulls him in.

Anonymous said...

The number one mistake is not that being friends increases effectivity of the group. You're wrong there. You're assuming that one "has to" help someone - forcing someone or doing something forced is not optimal to anyone. But doing something that you want to do AND being friends, icnreases the effectivity. It's a proven statement. Look through History: do you think that the little-more-than-300 spartans defeated the enemy several times because they didn't care for each other, for example?

Or put it this way:
What is most likely to happen: that you'll help your girlfriend or that you'll help a total stranger?

chewy said...

10/12 after a week is to be entirely expected, I would have been more surprised if you hadn't managed 10/12 at least.

You've recruited a guild using your very successful blog, you've got a huge target audience from across probably most European realms. It's a dull time in WoW with a lot of heal kicking going on and good players looking for something else to do before the next big release.

You'll down the LK and be ripping through hard mode in a week or two. Good luck to you, whether you prove some abstract point or not you're at least doing something interesting and different.

nonameform said...

From my own experience, ICC became very easy.

In my guild we reached LK on heroic (both 10 and 25 man) and stopped there, so I started going to ICC with people whom I knew from before I joined my current guild. However, we couldn't actually get 10 people every time, so we started taking friends of friends in. To tell you the truth, after the raids I had some fights with the group leader about the people he has invited. It wasn't about me being top damage done in ICC 25 heroic gear, but about performance of some other people in group. For example, we had a lot of trouble on Valithria. Though healers also sucked a lot (very late bloodlust, losing stacks constantly), one mage was really low on damage meters. With druid and paladin tanks he managed to finish last while alive. That was with 15% or 20% buff. His gear was absolutely fine and on easier, "patchwerk" fights in ICC (LD, DS, Festergut, BQL) he was doing OK, but Valithria/Sindragosa/LK were really bad. Unfortunately, even though leader agreed with me (especially since I wasn't the only one who noticed poor performance), he still continued to invite same guy every week.

The point I'm trying to make: this group consisted mostly of alts, undergeared people and people who have very little experience on some fights. However, we reached LK heroic with 20% buff in about 3 hours. We also didn't have bloodlust on all fights (shaman kept lagging and disconnecting), so it's pretty disappointing how difficulty curve suddenly changes, when you reach LK. I doubt it's possible to kill him in that group. It's not only lack of gear for some people, but also lack of focus.

Probably in whole WotLK the only fight that I enjoyed was Yogg-Saron with no keepers up. It was really tiring to clear whole Ulduar every week while we were working on it and really enjoyable to actually one-shot it after a month of tries with the person who never been to the fight before. We actually missed the clean kill achievement on the same night by 5-7 seconds, as immortal guardians killed the tank and started killing melee. Even Algalon wasn't that impressive.

Maybe if I ever have a chance to kill LK on heroic (during this expansion) I will change my opinion, but with the current 25% buff I don't really feel like going back: it already feels like cheating. That reminds me of a discussion that other guild started on my realm's forum about how we killed Algalon just because we had a paladin with "trivialize mace". Eventually we went back and got "Herald of the Titans" during ToGC. But with a boss that is not killable with no buffs at all (any no buff LK heroic 25 kills so far?), it's either flat 25/30% buff or a complete waste of time. I believe the only guild that killed LK heroic on my realm did so with 20% buff. Meh.

Unknown said...

They are not at all freebies if you're trading them for freebies from your friends...

Denethal said...


While we have a decent amount of accounts bound to the guild rooster, it's the minority of those who are level 80.

That will change in about a months time, when more people reach level 80 and can start participating in the project fully.

Already now, though, people can form pugs and go for easier raid content, such as Zul'Gurub and the likes, for gear that will give them a pretty decent boost for their leveling. They can also grind instances for fast progress in levels that way.

Klepsacovic said...

"# the members of your group are your friends
# you are entitled for freebies from your friends (and they are from you)"
I actually agree with both of those conventions, in a way. Members of my group might be my friends, but they don't have to be. They do get freebies, but not necessarily every time they ask, the moment they ask. Good friends let friends say no.

Sometimes I think the "social" you're after isn't actual a social, just someone with no free will of their own.

Anonymous said...

@Andru: Umm... Bloodscalp, Blackout, 40% win rate Alliance side, 1-2 min queue. I might transfer to your server to see what's the deal there. Today I got out of 6 bg's 2 won. Yesterday out of approx 20 7-8 won.

Tobold said...

"Sometimes I think the "social" you're after isn't actual a social, just someone with no free will of their own."

A social is someone who puts other's will in front of his own.

Anonymous said...

I do think there is a reasonable distance between altruism and anarchy.

Helping guildies run heroics whenever they want is altruism. Making a personal sacrifice in order to benefit the group, and thus yourself, is an investment.

Unless you are a really big guild, it works much better to have people log on at the same time. I might prefer raiding at 18:30 but will wait for the guild at 19:00 because the benefits to me are greater than the costs.

Anonymous said...


I must say that you comments about being “helpful” hit home because I learned the lesson the hard way. I was in a guild that was very far progressed into ICC 10/25 when the buff was around 5%-10%. We had our mounts and only a couple bosses to go in heroic mode. Yet, the guild forced people to run old content, Ulduar, because a certain member wanted their legendary. I was one of the main tanks and was pressured to show. Well most of the guild didn’t want to do Ulduar and the person that wanted his legendary complained to the guild leadership. So the leadership decided that that one person’s legendary was more important then progression night and Ulduar took the place of ICC for one to two nights a week. And if you didn’t show for the Ulduar run, you would be docked gear points. The runs were horrible because most people wouldn’t play well (i.e. dpsing mobs before the tank picked them up) and degenerated into a bunch of people complaining. I did show up to be “helpful” as I thought that was part of being a tank. Yet, when I wanted to organize a 10 man to work on heroic Lich King, the “helpful” people were no where to be found. I learned later that doing those runs for the benefit of one person burned me out and wound up leaving the guild and taking a break from the game. It’s funny; when people need you are “unhelpful” if you simply want to do something else. Yet when you need help from them, they are nowhere to be found. I guess I learned my lesson that you need to look out for yourself.

Andrux51 said...

The last "AndruX" is not me. Why would they want to be? I get bitched at by everyone whose blog I post on, and this makes me a role model?

@Gevlon: I suppose if your guild has no goals or anything beyond "we raid every night" it doesn't matter whether people come or go, but does it matter if they enjoy their time in the guild? In established raiding guilds people are required to raid because of the snowball effect, i.e. if I let the priest go run his errands instead of raiding, the death knight who showed up will see that freedom and want to leave, and will not only begin to resent the priest, but also the raid. Maybe not the first night, but each time it happens it eats away at people's desire to "stick with the pack".

As I said in my previous post, people who show up because they want to raid are the best people to raid with, and they are not affected by even my above statement. However, as time goes on this will become more annoying to people than it will be in your first few "fun let's get to know each other" raids.

I don't need to wish you luck or anything on your guild's success because it has no goals, although you sure act like you're out to prove something... Enjoy the ride!

PS: Fake AndruX, I don't usually make such short posts or talk like an idiot, l2walloftext, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me of a US guild that runs in this manner. I have, for years been looking for a guild that allows one to raid on his schedule, not theirs. If you know of one I will instantly transfer to that server and apply.