Greedy Goblin

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why The PuG need rules?

As always, Saturday and Sunday posts address technical issues about my projects. At first an update: there are 64 people in the guild already. Come!

Many commenters seen direct contradiction between "simulating a PuG" and a long-long list of written rules. Some claimed that my guild is one of the most regulated ones among WoW guilds, so any result will be useless. While the guild itself can be successful, it will prove nothing besides the trivial "well disciplined HC guilds progress". I'd like to solve this contradiction.

The solution is that my rules are actually "anti-rules". None of them tell you what to do for the guild, they tell you what not to do for the guild. I mean, the culture of WoW (and possibly the culture of people about IRL groups) implicitly set rules. Breaking these implicit rules is considered "selfish" or "jerk". My rules tell the people to break these rules. So these "anti-rules" are not restraining people, they are liberating them from the implicit rules.

Let me give an example: "No gz spam". Would you tell "gz" to random strangers? Of course not. However in most guilds people find it "obvious" and some even give a tantrum if no one "gz" their wonderful achievement (like explore Ashenvale). The "congratulate to your friends achievement" is considered polite both in WoW and RL. My rule simply undoes this social convention.

Or look at "no communist collective". You would never give discount to strangers, yet find it "obvious" to "help out friends". It's another untold rule in WoW, coming from the lie "guildies are your friends". No they are not. Some of them maybe, but most of them are just people who want the same thing in the game.

I could continue, but no point. Only the raid times and the loot rule are actually restraining, in the sense of "limiting you from other options". The other "rules" could be summarized as "you don't have to act like a random guildy was your best friend". I'd like to emphasize that the rules do not ban friendly behavior in /w where you are "face to face" with a person you choose to be your friend.


Anonymous said...

One question:

I´m in your PuG and rerolling. the raidtime is not a fixed rule? Am I allowed to make a PuG & "waste" ICC10/25 ID´s if "my" raid in the morning / afternoon is better and I´d have to face only the strong competition of evening raids?

MLW said...

I think that those who disagree with the "PuG" label have an interesting point. I'd guess the problem is that you define "PuG" differently from some of your readers.

Your system is constrained, albeit it in anti-social ways. Those who disagree, on the other hand, might equate PuGs as unconstrained gameplay.

I don't think it's worth getting into a semantics fight. Regardless of what you call it, I still think it's an interesting experiment, if only to point out that many popular guild rules are not about raiding, but about babysitting.

Ulv said...

Interesting clarification but you're setting up your rules as being non-rules. They're not - they're just rules.

Rules come in the two flavours you've essentially stated: written and un-written rules. Un-writtenrules are our social conventions and mores. Written rules are our laws.

Both come in two flavours
- You must
- You must not

It seems to me that you've stated the don't do this set explicitly and the things people should do are implied.

For example it is implied that people who slack will not get raid spots, etc.

Rules setting out to proscribe a guilds ethos and culture should be, in my experience, as simple as possible and a few as possible.

Your rules are essentially banning bahaviour you don't want to see (either as a personal dislike or to give the project boundaries).

It's an interesting project and I have a feeling it'll attract a lot of very good players that are currently unhappy with their guild (probably because they're among the competant few) and good quality people who generally pug their raids.

Griddlebone said...

Question: how do you know most guilds aren't made of friends?

Gevlon said...

@Drilski: the 5-man guilds are most probably made of friends. On the other hand an average guild has 20+ members. If you say you have 20+ friends in the game (or even 20+ including IRL) you are either lying or have no idea what "friend" means.

John Newhouse said...

I am in the guild and I must say that these "rules" allow the best guild experience I ever got.

Klepsacovic said...

My guildies don't have to be my friends. They only have to be the people consistently in the same raid as me. That gives us a common goal and linked self-interest.

spinks said...

The only rule I wonder about is always using GDKP for raids. It would be an interesting experiment to let raid leaders pick their own loot scheme, and see which ones are most popular with the other players.

ahri said...

Speaking of the rules:
What's the point in using GDKP in the guild? It has much sense in real PuGs where people have (more or less) nothing to do with each other, but in a guild which will share the Raid ID evenly it does not. The reason is that you won't have people that are just tagging along for gold (boosters); all the raid needs loot, and it's quite silly to distribute it to ones that have enough spare time to be Goblins, or enough RL cash to be goldbuyers.
You may call it a PuG but as you are all in the same guild with scheduled raid times, it's not really a PuG.

Rohan said...

Eh? Most rules are "anti-rules".

Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Most rules set out proscribed behavior, and tell you what not to do.

I don't see how your rules are different.

To continue, you say that your rules liberate people from having to obey the implicit WoW-community rules. But freedom also includes the freedom to choose to obey those rules. If someone likes to use Vent, saying they cannot limits their freedom, just as surely as forcing someone to use Vent limits that person's freedom.

Now, I have no issues with your rules (save the 1/3 GDKP thing, which I'll probably discuss in a post on my blog). If you decide that these are necessary and sufficient structures for your guild to thrive, that is your call as guild leader. People will join, leave, or not join in the first place as they see fit.

But trying to pitch the idea that your guild has no rules when it does have rules is disingenuous.

Rules are not bad. They provide structure and direction, and--most importantly--promote a common understanding. Too many rules will stifle a guild, but too few rules leads to confusion, misunderstandings, and drama.

Promoting a common understanding is precisely what your rules do, and they do a good job.

Achiever said...

I have a question to basicly anyone from your new project.
I might be a bit slow or not exactly understanding but from what I see we (you) are required to only raid or more likely start a raid anytime from 19:00 to 23:30, is that correct?
So basically if I decided to start say "LFM NAXX 8MAN achi run with Undying attempt" or "LFM ULD10 Drake Run" at 14:00 I am not allowed to do that? Or when we win WG or there was a reset so new weekly is up I cant start a group for that at say 10am on wednesday? Or does this raid time only apply to ICC?

I am highly considering transfering but this seems kind of odd to me, especially for a pug. Thanks for clarifying.

Gevlon said...

No, it's not against the rules. You simply won't find many people online.

VoA is usually pugged with randoms (not guildies)

John Newhouse said...

@Achiever: The 19:00 to 23:30 raid thing is the official raiding time of the guild. Not the only allowed time.

Winter Seale said...

I really love your rules, honestly. If I had my way I'd use them with my main guild, and that's one that's explicitly only made up of people who know each other in real life. Though like any group of more then two or three people, not everyone's friends with everyone else... it's more of a graph of a relationship chart. Unfortunately, the founders what to pretend that everyone is friends with everyone else, rather then (in most cases) acquaintances at most.

Jobu said...

I like your rules.

The arguments given in this comments remind me Berlin article:

The idea is that we have two types of rules. And contrary to common thoughts the negative rules are very good for democratic working societies. Basicly it says that you can do what ever you wish, as long as you don't hurt someone else (the negative rule). This allow for a much wider options and advance. And if you check most of the democratic laws, they are of the negative type: "Don't pass in red light, Don't X and Y". In driving lessons OTOH, they tell you positive rules - drive carefully et cet. This is the difference between Law and Common sense.

I hope I managed to pass the important difference. I strongly suggest to read the references.


Tobold said...

Well, you have to admit that you're not simulating anything. A PuG is made of a variety of people, social, anti-social, morons, etc. So... you're constraining the behavior from the start, thus invaliding the simulation.

That competent players can achieve goals is a known fact.

But you know what? Friendly guilds, and not all of them are made of M&S, can also achieve goals. I promise you that greeting someone for getting a useless achievement won't stop anyone from downing a boss.

Before this expansion i was in a guild made mostly of friends. We helped each other, we greeted each other and we downed every boss of TBC before the nerf.

So, i'm not sure of what you're trying to prove other than that anti-social people can ALSO be competent players.

But don't call it a "simulated pug", because it is not.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever taken a look at the guild Alea Iacta Est on US-Earthen Ring? I think you would them pretty hilarious. It is pretty much a guild of nothing by M&s.

Particulary funny instance I read about recently is a guy that was going to realm change to join the guild. He was trying to transfer a bunch of money over so he made a post saying this and saying that he was seeing if anyone would like a mechano-hog at just the COST for materials.

So, an officer replies to his thread, saying "Selling stuff to guildes, even at cost, isn't really the way AIE rolls. Sell them in the AH or better yet, do what many have done, and give them away to needy guild-mates."

Check them our at '' You'd get a great laugh out of it.

Anonymous said...

Your rules not only undo the myth that guildies are your friends, they also discourage guildies from becoming friends.