Greedy Goblin

Friday, February 11, 2011

About the M&S

I was pretty surprised that Tobold does not believe in the existence of M&S, considers them only a creation of more hardcore players who look down on the more casual ones. I also get troll comments writing "u didnt kill sinestra u suck u sudnt takl about mns". These people (obviously at their intellectual level) believe the same.

So I created a sticky page about the M&S to clarify that they are not bad players, but crap people, who shouldn't "l2p" but "learn more adaptive values in real life".

You can't comment the sticky page, you can comment here.

On Monday, very nasty philosophy post incoming! On Saturday an extra post with internal info for the guild. On Sunday, another extra post explaining naming rule, because we are having lot of issues with applicants.


Dadaikata said...

Am i wrong or you are saying, behind the lines, that you can tolerate and play with casuals and newbs, if they are aware of their condition? (IE: A newb that in heroic ask for help to set his rotation, or ask what he can do to not die in a particular encounter)

Squishalot said...

Interesting sticky, and worth posting up, in my opinion.

One point - it's fairly clear from your descriptions of casuals and slackers that it's impossible to tell the difference in game. If you run a heroic with someone who doesn't make an effort, you cannot possibly know whether they choose not to make an effort as a casual player, or whether they expect to be carried to great riches by Blizzard for his $15/month.

You don't know what a fellow player's goals are, unless they tell you. As a result, it would be poor logic to assume that everybody who makes zero effort in heroics are slackers, when they could simply be casual end-game players.

Gevlon said...

@Dadaikata: of course. I was a newbie once. Everyone was. I gladly help a newbie.

@Squishalot: wrong! If he CHOOSE to go to a 5-man, he must be able to do it. If he don't he is an M&S. Being casual only applies to his right to say "I don't run 5-mans".

Pheqbeast said...

A S&M is a crap player, because he's not willing to improve. And unless he wants to stop being bad and start being good, he has to do something about it, but again, in his own mind, it's everybody else and not him.

They are bad players.

Frnit said...

Dadaikata, when I leveled my rogue to 85, I was at first a bit clueless regarding the 80-85 skills. Mutilate rotation is simple enough to learn from EJ but eg. Smoke Bomb has a few nifty tricks that I didn't know. Solution: /whisper other 85 rogues and ask if they have anything useful to tell to a new rogue.

Everyone was new at some point, not everyone was willing to improve past that. "DKs should use diseases." "Fukk u, i play how i want!"

I don't believe its a 'casual' decision to choose to not press buttons. "I don't have a lot of time" would IMO logically lead to "I don't have a lot of time so I don't want to waste what I have" or even to "I don't have a lot of time so I'm going to do my best to spend it well".

Spending multiple hours in a heroic doing 3 or 6k damage with 50% focus while reading a magazine or whatnot is not casual. It's stupid.

Lars Norberg said...

I find it kind of interesting how some people deny the existence of bad players, of M&S. I personally credit this to the hippie bullshit we've all been spoon fed from our births about how everybody is equal.

I don't think that everybody is equal. I don't think that everybody can be an astronaut, a rocket scientist or a president. What I do believe, is that everybody should be given the same chances from birth, then the rest will be decided by genetics, environment and free will. And thus based on this I am still a human rights activist even though I fully accept the existence of morons and slackers.

I don't blame those that do well for M&S not doing well. Everybody has a choice, and M&S choose to not do well. They'd rather curse the darkness than light a candle and all that.

We measure IQ. We give test scores. We pay people to work. Different jobs have different pay. If everybody was equal, and M&S was something evil people had invented, than there would be no need to test people.

Yeah, denial of the existence of M&S is definitely some socialist bullcrap.

*thumbs down for Tobold*
Is it just me or does the dude seem totally oblivious to the human factor?

Jumina said...

I read Tobold's post and one thing hit me. He says he is not as good as Paragon players because he does not have their super fast reactions. But raid encounters in WoW very rarely require fast reactions. WoW is not like FPS. Raid encounters have always warning periods and special effects to tell the players what is going to happen next. Blizzard also allows boss mods addons. It seems to me he is saying: "Those lucky bastards were born with better reactions than me. That is why they are better than me". This is generally what slackers say. But he does not have the goal to become a raider. So I do not know if he really is a slacker.

Ðesolate said...

I think it fits pretty good. The only categroy a bit missed are the math & statistic nerds who want to decrypt the games mechanik for a better understanding.

Standing beside a Boss dummy varying only little stat differences to get the exact dps/p value easily consumes one or two hours a spec. You can read the outcome at different platforms (ej etc.).

Bit I think it fits a bit into casual since "nerds" usually abandon a huge portion of progress to wow-"science" (or is it just "different" progress?).

The funny thing is when you don't really know where you stand yourself. I think that's the case in over 50% of all players.

Anonymous said...

I think I met my first genuine M&S recently, when we accidentally recruited one to our guild. He was a class that we were desperate to get, so we decided to give him a chance. Big mistake.

He asked no-brainer questions like: "When does the raid start?" (raid times are always in the gmotd and our forums).

He didn't know what a flask was. When told to bring a flask to raids he asked: "Like this?" and linked to a Conjured Mana Cake.

He didn't know a single website where to read about boss tactics.

After we demoted him to our lowest no-raider guild rank and told him why, he still asked the Raid Leader: "Hey can I switch with someone in the raid later?"

He specifically said in guild chat: "I want to join raids so I can get loot." Then he proceeded to link all of the available loot for him in the instance we were raiding.
So, he could make a loot wishlist, but not read boss tactics or even know what a flask was?! There were not enough palms available for my face that night.

We kicked him and ignored him. Lesson learned.

chewy said...


"Or is it just different progress?"

In my opinion it is different progress. I am a firm believer that your enjoyment of the game is your own choice. If you enjoy reverse engineering the mechanics by trial and error that is just as worthy as world firsts.

Interestingly this doesn't detract from Gevlon's definition of M&S. If you choose to study the mechanics it is a self goal which doesn't rely upon other people to achieve on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

>Yeah, denial of the existence of M&S is definitely some socialist bullcrap.

That is actually incorrect. Socialists do not deny the existence of skill differences, but they claim that even stupid and lazy people deserve as much rights (and luxury) as intelligent and hard-working people.

Not that I agree with that ;)

Ulsaki said...

"That is actually incorrect. Socialists do not deny the existence of skill differences"

Unfortunately I beg to differ. The prevailing trend in UK politics under the last 12 years of a socialist government has been effectively this.

Tests and courses have been dumbed down, scores inflated, and standards have dramatically dropped. Even respected universities on well regarded courses have to spend time covering basic material that previously would already be known.

Telling someone they're intelligent is "elitist". Telling someone they're stupid, or they need to improve is "demoralizing". In essence, many things have been done to deny or minimise the differences in ability between people.

Enk said...


I think it's been said, but an experienced "casual" (i.e., the category I'm in) will not necessarily have trouble with a 5 man.

I'm a casual - I work super long hours IRL, am going through a (somewhat) messy divorce, and have a social calendar. I don't have time to raid regularly, or even run 5 mans every day.

That being said, my warrior was able to drag most LFD fodder groups through heroics, in many cases without a death. My rogue dinged 85 and was doing 10-15k DPS on (normal 5 man) bosses the next day (my gear was too low level to queue for heroics).

But I am decided 'casual.' I play maybe 5-10 hours in a good week, much of which is spent just dinking around and doing dailies or farming while chatting with friends to decompress.

Casual does not equal bad. People need to stop acting like it does.

Graw said...

I can agree with your M&S definition, but, being what you seem to describe as a casual myself, I want to pinpoint that, content-wise, casuals and M&S are closely related.
Heroics, when using the LFG tool, were so hard that, unless you were ready to give hours of your life to WoW, you had no hope of finishing them. That destroyed what had been the cornerstone of casual play in Tlk, punishing M&S and casual players without any distinction.
You may be able to differenciate a casual player from an M&S if you talk to them, but to Blizzard, they are pretty much the same person : someone who doesn't want to play more than two hours a day and who still wants something to do in the game and some recognition for doing it. If providing that something means being lenient towards M&S, I see that as a lesser evil to destroying casual play.

John said...


Well said, that is modern socialism in a nutshell. Everyone must be dragged down to the same lowest common denominator level in the name of "fairness".

Anonymous said...

@ Jumina

Reaction time really matters in WoW, most of all when interrupting spells. In some PvE encounters, spell must be interrupted or group will either wipe (in current raid tier, Chromatic Prototypes' Blast Nova in Nefarion encounter does that) or suffer too much damage for healers to handle (Arcanotron, Halfus, Maloriak, Cho'Gall's adds).
Spells have a cast time; if you can't react in this time frame, spell will go off.
Bad reaction time is further amplified by client-server latency.

Eaten by a Grue said...

Honestly, the reason you find so much of what you call "M&S" in this game is simply because you are playing a game that 12 year old children play. These people are not mature, so yes, you will find people who cannot/don't want to make efforts, but expect gear to be handed to them.

In time, they will mature, and may even become top performers in their chosen fields. Many of us were stupid immature brats when we were little, but we grew out of it.

So I am confused about your constant railing about being surrounded by M&S, while you play a game that 12 year olds play. Quit this game, and you won't have so much M&S to deal with.

Enk said...

@Graw "You may be able to differenciate a casual player from an M&S if you talk to them, but to Blizzard, they are pretty much the same person : someone who doesn't want to play more than two hours a day and who still wants something to do in the game and some recognition for doing it."

Heroics are not really that difficult if you play with some level of control, and two hours a day is more than enough time to run heroics.

Part of knowing how to play is knowing how to apply and deal with CC. If you don't know how to effectively CC (which, combined with a proper kill order, is what is needed to solve most problems in heroics), you should practice a little.

If you're running with a group that refuses to CC or breaks your CC and is getting smashed, the problem isn't that you're casual, it's that you're playing with M&S.

In my experience, Cataclysm heroics have been much more fun than WotLK heroics, despite the fact that I don't run them as often due to more limited playtime. There's something to be said about actually having to use your skill set.

sha said...

M&s can play for many hours in a week. A lot of altoholics i know have7 85's and cant play any of them despite play 30+ hours a week. Casuals and new players can learn. M&s cant.

Brian said...

The comparison Tobold makes with real life activities doesn't really make sense. Sure, not everyone is a professional athlete and that doesn't mean they can't play in a casual league with their friends. But "M&S" in WoW don't do that. They insist on playing at a higher level than their skill supports. The real life equivalent would be demanding a spot with the Chicago Bulls because you like shooting hoops. Or for that matter, showing up to a work league basketball game without having the slightest idea how the rules work or how to dribble the ball.

There is a lot of easy content in WoW for less skilled or more casual players. They can level alts, run lower level dungeons, run regular 5-mans, etc. Or they can improve their skills and do harder content like heroics or raids. The problem with M&S isn't that they are unskilled, it's that they choose to participate in activities they can't do correctly, rather than improve their skills or stick to things they can do (or at least that don't affect other people). And because this is a social game, they're essentially demanding that better players carry them through activities they couldn't possibly do with a group composed of people of their skill level.

And that's the real problem. It's not that M&S types are bad at things, or that they choose not to get better. It's that they intentionally participate in activities where their behavior negatively impacts others. In a real world context, I have no problem at all with people who have no interest in driving a car well...I have a problem with people who choose to drive poorly on the highway where their shoddy driving can kill people.

M&S isn't really about the mechanics of the game or of the real world at all. It's a social issue, where some people have no problem dragging down the group as a whole, and never thinking to either improve their behavior or avoid the group situation.

Tonus said...

I think you nailed it. I guess we could quibble over the term 'moron', which originally was used to refer to people with mild mental retardation. These are people whose ability to learn and improve is limited by genetics.

The classic definition of 'stupid' might be more apt, as it refers to someone who refuses to learn from his experiences, or to apply critical thinking to solve problems. Moron describes the guy who doesn't move from the fire because he doesn't understand that it is causing his drop in health. Stupid describes the guy who doesn't move from the fire because "it's the healer's job to keep me alive." He knows that he can improve his (and his group/raid's) performance by moving, but he refuses.

Soge said...

@Eaten by a grue: The average Wow player is well above 20 years old. Also, many of those who will hold your group back will come with things such as "but my wife called me" or "sorry got to take the trash out".

Most online games aren't fit for short bursts of play time, at least not in the higher levels. A better solution would be finding alternative challenges for high level players that may be completed at 10-minutes at a time, and have some kind of reward and challenge level (which excludes most achievements).

Anonymous said...


In my own small sample, 9 out of 10 of the M&S I have played with and raided with over a long term were adults, and not children. Typically their unrealistic expectations of entitlement translate into their real world relations as well.

Your supposition that most M&S are children is demonstrably false for my own case. Maybe everyone else is different, but I doubt it.

Jumina said...


Reaction time 2 seconds long is not super fast reaction. This is normal reaction time for most of the humans. I do not have super fast reactions yet I tanked Archimode back in TBC when you had 1 sec cast time (minus latency) to change a stance and pop up berserker rage. First I thought its impossible. Than I gave it a second thought. I put a macro under my index finger, watched DBM timer and when the Archimode's CD on fear was over I stopped doing everything and fixed my gaze on boss nameplate, my index finger hovering over the key. And than just... now ...push, push, push. And the skiller was born! No sorry, just a little bit of logical thinking and planning.

The Standing Dragon said...

Oddly, until this post, I've always been a little leery of Gav's definition of M&S - simply because it seemed to be driven wholly by the concept of 'raider'.

In truth, though, the sticky points out something specific: it doesn't matter what your goals are, or what you enjoy as part of the game, only that you should be considered in the "M&S" category if you're unwilling to put your effort in to achieve your goals.

Put another way: you're not in the M&S category if you, say, really enjoy roleplaying and choose it as a focus, or if you're just mad about Archaeology and that's all you want to do. You jump into being "M&S" when you want something for nothing, or are an ass about it, or if you're unwilling to learn to move into other areas of the game... or any other endeavor.

Correct me if I'm wrong here - but this? This I can get behind. Excellence isn't restricted to a game.. and lord knows I deal with enough "M&S" in my daily life who fit the definition Gav puts out here.

The notion of "it doesn't matter what you do, but do it well and recognize your limitations?" Win. Definitely.

Clovis said...

Hey Gevlon -
I wrote a reply to this on my own blog. Link here:

Nice post. I really don't understand how anybody could say M&S don't exist.

Daniel Chapman said...

If you look at it, the gist of both categories is 'entitlement.'

In other words, 'Do you wish to put forth the appropriate effort to achieve your goals?' (Learn encounters, learn your rotation, learn the value of the various stats to your class, get your own pre-raid gear, put in enchants and gems in that gear, and so on.)

And 'Do you have a realistic understanding of what your effort can achieve?'

If your expectations of the rewards for your level of effort are way too high, then you're calling them an "M&S." If the efforts are on target, then they're ok. (and if they're putting in more effort than they need to, then they're most likely being held down by dragging someone else.)

You're just divorcing "newb" and "casual" from that M&S classification, but it almost seems like at that point you're just calling them "entitled bastard."

Anonymous said...

I read Tobold's post as a semantic one. Moron is a description of intelligence

First there is the difference between stupid and ignorant. The fact that a Nobel Laureate or Business executive can not install a Windows 7 driver or rebuild the Registry (and are referred to by many tech support people as stupid) does not make them stupid; just ignorant of computer arcania.

What you call a moron is clearly a bad player. Probably ignorant. Almost certainly this shows many character flaws such as lazy and unmotivated. I did not see *this* post of his as disagreeing with your criticism of the player and the person behind the toon.

Tobold's pointed out, obviously correctly, that you were merely incorrectly using the word "moron" which has a scientific definition.

A further extension of this argument is that "stupid" is probably not the most appropriate dimension to criticize them on. It is perfectly reasonable for you to say that the class of people you label as "morons" were obviously lazy, unmotivated, iunwilling-to-learn ncompetents who you never wanted to be around in game or in real life. It is not at all clear that means they are stupid. There may be a weak correlation or not. I am sure that some of them have higher intelligence than you or I.

Soge said...

A "normal" reaction time for most people is of about 200ms, and it rarely goes much higher than that (except for muscle memory, which comes into play in "twitchy" games). 100ms should be a minimum, unless you predict when something will happen. More than 300ms is too high. The values may be higher if you need to interpret some information, or if you must also consider a network delay. However, there is NO reason to consider anything about 1s as needing "reaction time". Even with bad network delay, the only situation is if you are simply not paying attention.

Xense said...

I find that this post really hits home for me the true nature of the M&S. However problems may stem from different standards for effort and skill, as well as differing goals.

Some people like to be fully prepared ahead of time for heroics and raids by reading up everything, getting a working rotation, and finding important boss mechanics to take advantage of/dodge.

However, if a self-proclaimed casual goes into a heroic and knows he can adapt on the fly and so wishes not to fully prepare himself, he may ask a lot of (supposedly) stupid questions. To those of us that understand newbies exist it's not a problem to take a second to explain/let him have his discovery fun (taking some small incidental damage). But for some people this delay is untenable and therefore this person is a "nub". I would posit that the "elitist" is actually the slacker, as he wants to go into a random queue without dealing with random players' abilities.

However, I fully beleive that a properly skilled newbie will not fail Corla's beams in heroic BRC more than once. It's a simple concept that any non-moron can understand.

Question: if a social guild drags in X (a person unprepared for raiding) to a raid merely to fill it out ("just need warm bodies! :-D") and X voices hesitation... if X wipes the raid, do you blame him for being stupid? Or do you blame the guildies for dragging him along?

I used to blame X. Now I'm thinking I should blame guildies.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty easy to tell the difference between someone who is trying vs. M&S. The newb will apologize and admit to their shortcomings... the M&S will act like a 9-year old.

Ðesolate said...

Eaten by a Grue: I personally can confirm that a big part of the M&S is above the age of 18.

THAT is what makes me a bit unfompfty talking about M&S. This behaviour does not know age or origin. You will find 60 year old russian M&S and 12 year old american serious player. It is pretty impressive what you get when you put some efford in backround research.

In Age of Conan M&S are also common.

Sthenno said...

I like the sticky page explaining what is meant by M&S, but I don't know that this always lines up with how you use the term.

You say that the dungeon finder buff is for M&S, but that isn't the only target audience. There could be lots of people out there who fall into the following category:

1. They do not have a lot of play time (little effort)
2. They enjoyed playing dungeons in Wrath (dungeons were easy)
3. They aren't having fun with Cataclysm dungeons because:
3a. Knowing their own level of effort, they don't feel like they can reasonably set a goal of beating heroics (casual)
3b. There are only 3 normal level 85 dungeons so they are bored of playing them

If you listen to Blizzard, this is precisely the kind of person that the recent Luck of the Draw buff was meant to help. Is this person a slacker because they wish they could enjoy the game they used to at the level of effort they are putting in?

To put it another way, suppose blizzard decided to make all bosses very close to unbeatable on heroic, so that only a handful of people in the world ever beat them thanks to their immense skill and time commitment. Would I be part of the M&S group because I was disappointed with this change and thought it took away from my fun playing the game?

We are actually paying Blizzard for a service. Normally when that happens and you don't like the service you are getting you either walk away or you make your unhappiness known to the service provider. Your definition seems to suggest that making your unhappiness known makes you a bad person. In that way, it makes it seem like you are saying that there *cannot* be anything wrong the the service itself.

lancore said...

Omnitron: hitting shielded boss (your pet counts)

Pets don't do anything at all to the shield. Exception is Magmatron

Jumina said...


200ms or less is a reaction time for a single event you expect. When you drive a car and something unexpected happens 1 second is considered a normal reaction time before you start to brake. In raid encounter people are watching more than one thing. So there is always at least 1 - 2 seconds time to react for various abilities. Watching timers and a preparation is the key.

Townes said...

The sticky post seems more reasonable with the caveat at the end about its being OK to try to move to harder content and to improve.

That caveat reminds me of The Peter Principle, a book whose thesis was that "everyone rises to his level of incompetence". At work, if we do our jobs well, we get promoted. We keep being promoted until we don't do our jobs well and don't get promoted any further, landing in a job at which we are incompetent for the rest of our lives. It was meant to be a humorous but realistic explanation of why people are so incompetent in general.

I wonder if it applies to computer games at all.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon and others:

The irony, of course, is that you can successfully complete a 5man dungeon (not talking heroics) with 6k DPS damage dealers. You can do heroics without terribly much more, providing that they can use their interrupts and CC correctly.

The problem with suggesting that one person is carrying another is that they're not binomial discrete values. You're not 'carrying' another person, you're 'making it easier' for them. Is a group with a very good tank and 3x 15k+ DPS damage dealers carrying the healer, who doesn't have to do as much? No. Is it making it easier for the healer? Yes!

You can do a heroic with 8k DPS. The fact that you WANT him to do more is irrelevant to the fact that, as a casual, he's doing the minimum that he needs to in order to complete his share.

It's possible to identify a minimum benchmark of performance to complete a task (measurable in DPS, avoiding getting killed, and interrupting / CC'ing properly). Provided that they hit those KPIs, whether they're ilvl 320 and being good, or ilvl 359 and being bad, they're making the effort they need to hit that content.

The difference is, you look at someone with ilvl359 average gear who only does 8k DPS (despite CC'ing and interrupting) and say that they're M&S. I'm saying that someone in ilvl359 gear who does 8k DPS (and CC's and interrupts) is putting in the minimum effort required to achieve their task. The same principle applies to any task in WoW.