Greedy Goblin

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Servant in heaven or lord in hell?

Drotara wrote a post about a recent loot drama. In short: Sharpened Twilight Scale dropped in RS. The loot council gave it to the guild master who was already arp capped, so was replacing another arp trinket. Other people had much worse trinkets. Drama started, some were kicked, some left on their own.

The story could be dismissed with "lol@noobz dont raid with ninja", or in more civilized ways: "the loot council is infamous of giving every little upgrade to the GM, officers and their buddies, you should avoid such guilds equally as the trade pug organized by the #1 ninja of your server".

However there is more than meets the eye here. Let's look at the armory of Dorotara who "don’t expect many loot council decisions in my favor as I only have 66% raid attendance". His gear is about 10 ilvl higher on average than mine. Not bad for someone who raid with a bunch of ninjas! How could he get this gear without being in the good graces of the loot council?

Simple: his guild is 10/12HM25, so they have lot of high level loot to distribute! Even if he is on the bottom of the food chain, he'll get some stuff now and then simply because no one above him want it. The point is that the loot disenchanted by a HM25 guild is better than the best loot seen in a social guild.

Loot council is a great tool to have total tyranny over the membership. In any other loot systems the leadership can only punish the player by removing him from the raid, losing his services. On the other hand in a loot council they simply don't give him loot, despite he is contributing. So everyone is doing his best to avoid the bad opinion of the leadership. If the leaders are actually good in the game, such slave army can steamroll the content. Of course if the leaders suck, the raid falls back to the level of a trade PuG with a ninja leader.

So the question is when hesitating about joining such a guild is what you prefer: being a slave in heaven or a lord (or at least an equal) in hell (or at least in an average raiding guild). The random member of a hard-mode loot council guild will have more achievements, better gear than 95% of the playerbase, at the cost that he will always be an underdog in his own raid.

The question is similar to: "do you want to be a 70hrs/week working guy in perfect suit/costume all the time, doing lowly work to some jackass investment fund manager for $200K/year" or would you be a small business owner for $50K? Freedom or money? Both have their pros and their cons. I made my choice, but I don't claim it to be the one and only.

And the moron of the day: Zsylvana on Destromath-EU sent me a german screenshot about another wannabe monopolist. I just post the translation:
[about 20 lines of "buyer found your Eternal Belt Buckle" messages]
[Lots of buyout messages]
Myres: ^^^^
To Myres: Thanks ;)
Myres whispers: np
Myres whispers: I repost it for 5-10g profit each
To Myres: hf
Myres whispers: so don't repost for some time
Myres whispers: pls
Myres whispers: ^^
To Myres: too late sorry ;)
Myres whispers: ...
Myres whispers: are you running out soon?
Myres whispers: I want to do this
To Myres: depends on what's "soon"
Myres whispers: yeah well
Myres whispers: i have 407g left
Myres whispers: I can buy 15 more with that
Myres whispers: :D:D
To Myres: not that soon, sorry ;)
Myres whispers: then fuck u
Myres whispers: I only make 38g profit
Myres whispers: -.-
Myres whispers: because posting cost 40 already


Squishalot said...

Learning to get to the stage where you're the jackass investment fund manager is yet another option open to you :) No less freedom though, unfortunately.

(On a side note - you're not going to call out the moron contributor for having an 'Arthasdk' style of name?)

Anonymous said...

I think the way you present it, it's best to start of as a slave in heaven, learn the ropes, then leave and be a lord in hell (which should then be other people's heaven)

nonameform said...

Probably moving to a 10 man guild in Cata. Been raiding in HC guild this expansion and I've noticed few things about loot distribution:

1. [b]Doing 10 man content punishes you in long run.[/b] Since I was attending almost all 10 and 25 man raids, I was "stuck" with 10 man heroic loot, while other raiders in my guild, who weren't doing 10 man content had better gear than I did.
2. [b]/roll is bad.[/b] Before joining this guild I had some experience with DKP and I really didn't like it (bad implementation). At first I was really excited about rolling on gear. However, that's only great while you're gearing up in a tier of content that's almost finished and most people already got their upgrades. Upon moving to a new tier you might run into some problems such as worse geared guildies for whom you will have to pass to make the raid gear distribution "even". Also there is a problem with attendance: even if you attend seven raids per week and the other guy comes once, he has same chances of winning an item as you do. If he decides that he doesn't have time to raid next week, you get an offline epic.
3. [b]No matter what sort of loot system you have, someone will always feel that it's wrong.[/b] I do feel that the mentioned loot system is wrong since I spend most of my time in 25 man just boosting bad players and giving them gear, as I already got upgrades from the constant 10 man heroic raids. Even though gear hardly makes much of a difference at that level of content, it eventually starts to piss you off that your /roll is always beaten by someone else (gotta love when a shaman rolls for cloth since it's BiS). Both in ToC and ICC I got 2-3 items from my BiS list for those tiers of content just because I wasn't lucky with rolls or because I did waste my time to get gear in 10 man first to better perform in 25 man.

Riptor said...

what most people seem to forget when it comes to a loot council, is that in this System not only attendance counts.
It's also the overall Performance, Survivability and Reliability of the specific Raiders that counts. This is also the very weakness of the system, as many Players, as soon as the made it into the “Top Tier”, completely negate the Fact, that they still have to work on them to become better, thus are not able to objectively review their own performance.
Even in most HM Guilds there are huge Gaps between the Top Performing Players and the Average Member. Hell, I play in a 12/12 Guild and still get the feeling we are boosting some Players through ICC (although they would probably belong to the top Tier in a 10/12 Guild).
Anyhow, I think it’s very difficult to objectively review the Pros and Cons of the Loot Council. It also seems that most of the commotion was caused by a degraded Officer going on and about. The whole Post of Drotara has a bit of a Soap Opera Feeling to it.
It also sounds to me that due to the low summer attendance, his/her Guild runs with Backup Players (strange, since they apparently are still working on LK hm) who seem to not play at the Guilds usual level.
I still think Loot Council is the single best System for a HC Raiding Guild. It just needs the right sort of Raiders. As long as they are not capable of really reviewing their Raid Performance they will always have a Problem with the Council.

Andru said...

Ah yes. The eternal mass-produced items flipper monopolist.

Only second in moronness to the vendor-sold flipper monopolist.

Bobbins said...

The market has no morals or ethics. No consience or wisdom.

I am a slave of the AH and I do as it tells me.

Jeanie said...

I suppose your choice is freedom .But ... isn't the concept of "freedom", "liking", "lowly work" just artifical subroutines that can be manipulated? I mean, isn't it very social to give up a lot of money just for "freedom" and "things you like to do"? Iirc, you once said that you can train yourself to like something, so wouldn't it be better to train your brain to just like the work with more money instead?

Anonymous said...

If you're smart, you can retain a nice money income without sacrificing freedom. Of course, it's not that easy within the borders of a (real) society, cause it's trying to fit you in the "servant in heaven or lord in hell" concept( faceless "it", always), which is the standard one for a normal funtioning capitalist state in my humble opinion(<-room for argument).
Your friendly Anonymous.

Shadowstep said...

I am a very strong supporter of dkp over loot council, but both have their merits. In this case the leader abused a little but actually getting that trinket when you are already arp capped is when it is most valuable, because suddenly you have 8 arp gems that can now be another stat and that trink is notorious for large dps boosts in the hands of someone that understands the stats.

But like I said I prefer a dkp system since it rewards the main pillars of good raiding (if done right) [Attendance, Kills, Progression]. And punished the pillars of bad raiding [missing food/flasks, repeated/caused wiping, inactivity]

The only thing to it is that it is biased towards tanks and healers, especially tanks since they only compete with 1 or 2 players and therefore need to spend less dkp on upgrades and save it for things like Heroic tokens. But if you get down to it they have alot to do with success and failure in a raid so its something that I am fine with, I would rather gear my raids tanks and healers over my dps any day.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

Thing is, Miles strategy wouldn't necessarily be a bad one -- if he had enough gold to handle the risk.

"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." -- J.M.Keynes

Anonymous said...

Why replace an ArP trinket when you can wear two? HC DBW and HC StS are BiS for most classes that use arp.

If you're arp capped already then you can replace arp gems with str or agi and replace gear with arp for gear with other stats. In addition to this you gain an amazing proc.

My dk uses both, my hunter only has dbw but if i ever get a sts from a pug I'll be changing my boots+regemming some agi.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting analogy. The only caveate I would suggest is that having a real life job making 200k is fundamentally different b/c real life money is worth something.

Whereas, functioning as a slave in a Loot Master guild doesn't provide any benefits b/c your achievements, gear, etc. are all actually worthless. With the exception of a very small number of people who make money off of being in a top world guild, the only point in raiding is to have fun.

Anonymous said...

I think Zinger misses that the post sounding like drama was the point; LC has some pros but the main problem is in fact the drama. The top guild on a realm probably should be LC; people are focused on being #1 and are willing to accept many constraints towards reaching the team goal. I would think LC are clearly less stable than guilds where every loot does not risk drama. Take all the reasons a guild disintegrates, and LC just adds another major source.

Theoretically, competent, benevolent dictators are more efficient than democracies. In practice, it rarely stays that way for long. Human nature and self-evaluation being what they are (e.g. polls where 70+% of men rate themselves above average in attractiveness or sexual skill), there is considerable room for conflict. And when loot starts going to LC members, the drama chances increase.

Personally, I do not pay to play a game to deal with office politics and school cliques so I can never see joining an LC guild.

Of course if 90% of the playerbase were not so infected with socialism or altruism, a nice, simple gDKP would work.

Adnade said...

"the loot council is infamous of giving every little upgrade to the GM, officers and their buddies, you should avoid such guilds equally as the trade pug organized by the #1 ninja of your server".

That's why average guilds should stick to dkp, you don't have this situation in decent ones. A solid loot council will award items solely based on attendance and performance, not on who is whose friend.

Loot is just means to an end and Loot Council is just as good as the ones forming it. It allows you to form a meritocracy system and award your best players first and foremost, whilst encouraging the others to step up their game in order to reap rewards faster.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to be either.

If you are a goblin, you should have no problem gearing through GDKPs.

I raid 1 night a week for 3 hours, 9/12/12 HMs 25 man + Hal25.

I have 7 specs in 6000-6300 gs gear and now working on 2 more.

Yes, raiding 1 night a week, no nights of learning/bashing head against new bosses to earn Guild Council Rep/DKP.

Anonymous said...

Odd, for all your rants about the filthy socials, I always considered loot council the worst offender.

The question posed pre-assumes that the loot council is inseparable from the elevated progression. If a loot council system favors officers, implicitly or explicitly, the question is simply if you pick up enough extra progression to offset that favoritism. Too often with loot council it's a choice to serve in hell or rule in heaven.

So, to maintain their favored position, the officers not only have to convince the rank and file that the officer contribution is greater than them, but better in proportion to the gear favoritism. That can be a hard sell, the common situation I've heard of is to give an officer a minor upgrade over someone for whom it's a large upgrade, supposedly because the officer did more dps. Meanwhile, the officer did a marginally higher dps count while enjoying a far larger gear advantage, so they obviously weren't performing as well given the same gear levels. If the difference between performance and reward is large enough, then a guild swap or guild splinter starts to sound really good.

Part of this is a reflection of the guild members, even a fair decision could look unfair to an idiot or vice versa. Another is that it can blow the doors open to a lot of social manipulation where the officers try to cultivate this aura of infallibility to justify themselves while the rank and file want a great deal of face time so that they're the first to come to mind when it's time to distribute gear and giving out gear to a popular non-officer can deflect the idea that they're merely useful idiots being abused for gear by the officer core.

Much like the benevolent dictator, it's potentially the most effective method when everything is going right, but is also the most volatile and prone to exploding horribly the moment the wind changes.

Anonymous said...

"Loot council is a great tool to have total tyranny over the membership. In any other loot systems the leadership can only punish the player by removing him from the raid, losing his services."

Not true.

There's always DKP deduction, your moron tax, etc.

Anonymous said...

The other thing to consider here is that there are high end guilds where Loot council does in fact distribute loot fairly. This is not to say that there will never ever be drama over loot, but in my guild's rules it clearly states if you cause too much drama over loot you're done.

I joined this guild late in ICC and was well geared to start, but I was practically spoon fed the holes in my BiS setup because no one needed them anymore. However, people are still in need of heroic tier tokens and they are getting passed out one by one to different people, eventually I'll get a 4 set, or cataclysm will hit, and I'll get equal loot priority on whatever the next tier set is because I preform well and have good attendance, which is what is required to be a member!