Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It was a bug!

We were doing Atramedes. All was fine. I was busy kiting the flame in P2 when one of the 3 healers just died. I mean from 100% to 0 in seconds. Well, the flame was on me. Even if you tunnel-vision and stand in a disc, you get 30K. How? I mean, not even the most terrible newbie ever did that.

Recount said that he got several reverbating flame damage. It means standing in the middle of the big nasty fire. OK, it was some really bad tunnel vision. Or mega-lag. He pays 300G, we try again, no big deal.

The nasty part came when I asked who failed. It was rather academical question as the answer was obvious to everyone. Not to him. He claimed it was a bug. Blaming a bug for a rather bad failure is low even for árthasdklől. There are bugs in the game, but they appear in weird or new features. I mean it's possible that a bug kills people on Sinestra firstkill attempt. Or using some forgotten lvl 60 item can bug a bossfight. Or kiting adds from the other end of the map to him make him do unexpected things. But reverbating flames are a basic ability of a commonly killed boss. If it bug-kills people, the forums were all over it.

No, it wasn't a bug, it was an utter failure and a disgusting denial. Is his little brother playing? Is he drunk? I can't care less. He failed, he pays, we go on.

But he just couldn't stop mentioning it was a bug. Now that was annoying. I told him that he either stop it or I fine him another 300G for blaming a bug on failure. He didn't stop. I wrote up another 300G for him. He told he'll leave. I told fine. No failing, lying M&S will threaten me with leaving! I want them to leave. Finally someone asked: "what are your graphics settings?" They were low. From that point the situation became obvious. He set it higher and next try Atramedes hit the ground.

No, I did not revert the 300G. Not bugs changed his graphics settings. It was his failure, even if not the way I thought. He disagreed and claimed it was a honest mistake, not a failure, therefore I shouldn't fine him.

I can't care less if it was "honest" mistake. The damage was done, we wiped, about 100G repair cost, a feast and 8 minutes of 10 people's life was wasted. With even 500G/hour, the total damage is around 800G. This damage must be paid by someone, as there is no free lunch. If we say "that's OK dude!", it's still paid: by everyone. The mistake was somewhere around him, so it's much more fair if he pays for it than making others pay.

I understand the social reason of denial of payment: socials consider "intent" the focus of responsibility instead of action. If I beat you up badly in racial hate, I get much mere severe punishment than I'd get for killing you by ignoring a road sign and crashing into you, despite being killed is much worse than having some broken bones and being called some racist crap. That's why socials always make up excuses: if you manage to make others believe that you did not mean to do harm, they won't punish you despite everyone agree that you did harm, as it was "mistake".

However in the real world, actions matter. Intents can't move objects, actions can. I don't care if you meant to wipe us. I don't care if you were negligent. All I care is that we wiped and recount said you were in the fire. I don't care about excuses. I don't care about reasons. No more than a glass of water on its free-fall to the ground would care if you meant to drop it or was it an accident. You damaged us, you pay the price.

Same for DC. I'm completely sure no one DC on purpose. But he still wastes our time. The damage is done and must be paid and everyone can see that you are more responsible for your DC than I am. I'm completely powerless to stop you from DC-ing, while you can fix or upgrade your computer or network connection.

What if you are powerless too to stop it? Then you are out of luck. I find someone who can raid without DC or invisible fire or you must compensate us every time when it happens. Here, just like among real world objects (as opposed to social people) your actions matter, not your excuses. If I'd do otherwise soon everyone would make up excuses instead of paying, making the raid a hopeless debate over nonsense.


Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, Atramedes does have an extreme amount of bugs, and we have had numerous inexplicable deaths (Even after the hotfixes).

Every kill for the first month (+/- time depending on your definition of exploit), for example, was exploiting one bug or another. It is possible, although unlikely, your raid member was telling the truth.

~World top 20 raider

Anonymous said...

"If I break your nose in racial hate, I get much mere severe punishment than I'd get for killing you by ignoring a road sign and crashing into you, despite being killed is much worse than having a broken nose and being called some racist crap. "

Honestly this is a pretty ridiculous statement to make. I don't think *anyone* would think the racially motivated punch is worse than vehicular manslaughter.

Blueberrie said...

"If I break your nose in racial hate, I get much mere severe punishment than I'd get for killing you by ignoring a road sign and crashing into you, despite being killed is much worse than having a broken nose and being called some racist crap."

I'm not sure how it works in your country, but in the US this isn't remotely close to the way things are.

First, hate crime laws serve mainly to enhance punishment for already severe offenses, not relatively minor stuff like battery. Rape might become aggravated rape, or simply have additional years tacked onto the sentence to make it stack up higher than ordinary homicide. Frankly, that's the way it should be, because of 2)

2) Hate crime laws in the US aren't predicated on the belief that the motivation of the criminal matters, but on the recognition of the simple existence of a certain type of crime, a type of crime that is common and destructive enough to warrant targeted legislation.

I know this wasn't really the main thrust of your argument, but I think it's an important point on its own, and an object lesson that we need to be very careful when analyzing a complex system.

chewy said...

I'm in two minds about your reasoning today. On the one hand I agree that accepting excuses will lead to a proliferation of excuses. On the other hand if a workman repairing a gas main puts an axe through your ISPs cable and it takes a second or two to route a different way then you will disconnect, for this you will be fined. No one playing in the raid can be predict, mitigate or be more individually responsible for this act than another.

There's an opportunity for a business man in your guild to sell "wipe insurance".

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous, Blueberrie: "Punching" was changed to more serious assault

USBastard said...

I don't know why he died, I didn't quite get that from reading through the post. However, there is a very common bug on Atramedes that wiped our guild every week, for weeks, until we figured out what it was. This bug is also all over forums, we googled for a while trying to find a solution, no one knew of any.

The bug I'm talking about happens when he does his Sonic Breath. After he's done chasing his target, he'll turn around and breathe on the spot where the targeted person first stood. He only does it for a split second and it's not something you visually notice, but it happens. And when it does, it gives everyone who's still standing in that spot higher sound. If this happens more than once then a persons sound can get extremely high without said person doing anything wrong, at all. I've died on more than one occation without getting hit by even a single tick of anything beyond the Modulation.

Oh okay, so he died from the Searing Flame. This makes sense. If he was a victim of the aforementioned bug, then his sound would have been high and the Searing Flames would've done more damage than it was supposed to. Keep in mind that the damage of Searing Flames scales with your sound bar. If it's above 60 and you get 2 ticks from Searing Flames, odds are you'll die.

I'm not writing this to excuse him or even say that was what happened, I'm simply writing it because you seemed pretty darn sure that there were no such thing as bugs that could kill you on that encounter, and that's just not true.

For the record, the bug I was talking about can easily be avoided if the entire raid just stays away from the spot where the flame was first targeted, until Atramades starts beating on the tank again.

zenga said...

There are bugs in the game, but they appear in weird or new features. I mean it's possible that a bug kills people on Sinestra firstkill attempt. ... But reverbating flames are a basic ability of a commonly killed boss. If it bug-kills people, the forums were all over it.

Reality is that the current raid content (even the normal modes) has a ton of bugs. More specific on atramedes: my soundbar was nearly full, while I was standing exactly where I was supposed to stand. I was lucky that I recorded that run, and every non blind person could see that it was not me doing anything wrong, but my totem/fire elemental being hit by discs and fire, adding sound to me. It still happens now and then at random in that fight, that is with video settings nearly maxed.

This is not to defend the raider that you fined, but towards your claim that 'the raid instances are bug free because else it would be all over the forum'. Which is a short sighted claim that is not really true.

Riptor said...

There are very few things more frustrating, than wipeing on a Boss because some Members of the Raid have crappy Hardware or Connection and thus are not able to react as fast or in some cases just plainly do not see incoming Effects.
Sure, if a Wipe can be traced to such a thing it might be soothing for the Raider to know that it is not due to is inability that the raid wiped, but never the less it was a wipe and therefore should be punished.
I really draw my hat to you, as you stick to this kind of punishment while even some hc Guilds seem to be unable to enforce such rules.

Jumina said...

This is interesting because you are actually more strict about such mistakes than most of the raiding guilds usually are. But it is understandable for your casual raid system.

Everybody makes mistakes sometimes but with stable team of good players you can be content mistakes don't happen to often. Because you are giving chance to raid to almost everybody I guess you must be more strict than me.

Grim said...


Hatecrime is a type of crime that is defined by the motivation of the perpetrator.

Regular assaults, rapes and homicides are all common enough. Dealing a harsher punishment for these if it qualifies as "hatecrime" is exactly what Gevlon was talking about.

Camiel said...

This reminds me about that great english police movie 'Hot Fuzz', where a zealous police officer reminds a colleague that according to a guideline car crashes should be referred to as collissions rather than accidents, because the latter word suggests no one is to blame.

People should understand that having no intent does not automatically relieve you from all repsonsibility.

Kerschdje said...

Concerning the Atramedes bug thing: Yes there's definitely still quite a few. For instance, during one kill we had a modulation, that pushed everyone's (yes everyone's) sound bar instantly to 90 and did around 90k damage.
Luckily, we were all at nearly full health so it didn't wipe us.
But yes, the current content - and especially Atramedes with his quite unique mechanics - is far from bug free.

Caramael said...

It must have been the "Projected Textures" setting. If you switch that off, several aoe effects will become invisible (I found out on my shaman casting healing rain and not seeing the effect).
I don't understand why this setting is an option which can be switched off, because having it switched off will handicap your gameplay a lot. Blizzard could at least put a warning in the option tooltip.

Anonymous said...

It really pisses me off when people blame stuff on everything except themselves. Especially in a video game which is are controlled environments where it's very easy to reason about things or just test them out. "My buttons didn't work", "You just died!!!" etc. It's inane, really. Like Gevlon said in the post, if such a basic functionality were broken everyone reading the forums or WoW-sites would know about it. Still, be a little patient because bugs do exist and as slim as the chance may be, someone is always the first to encounter it.

The part about intent over consequences is spot on btw and it's pervasive in society nowadays.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand why people still insist on not being at fault. Get rid of your social conditioning. In a raid there are ten spheres of influence that end at the blizzard's WoW-servers ethernet port. It doesn't matter of a worker cut your internet cable because it's not about blame, it's about responsibility. (Gevlon, it might be worth a try to talk less about failing and more about being responsible).

It's your responsibility to be at the raid and perform without fail or disconnect. If you disco for whatever reason you are responsible and must pay the damage. Yes, there are circumstances that are totally outside your control but those are the same for everyone so everyone will end up paying equally (for relatively common occurances like simple network-glitch disconnects) or very little (for extremely unlikely stuff like the man with the axe).

What's different is that with a fee based system people have an incentive to:
- not make excuses
- get their house in order (keep their pc malware clean, call up the isp and complain about bad service, get a good router, move to ethernet cables instead of WLAN etc).

In the end it often turns out that there extremely few people that are simply unlucky and quite a lot that don't give a shit until they are made to.

Babar said...

Sounds like he just got to 100 sound and was instakilled? Atramedes will do that in the second phase. Probably stood in a ring or walked through flame and was insta-killed.

And I agree in general, it annoys me to no end when people just cannot admit that they fucked up. Especially during progress, when someone has a difficult task, is it so hard to just say you made a mistake? It's not like you'll ever improve if you keep blaming other things.

Squishalot said...

Interestingly, there was one VoA raid some time ago where I found myself unable to use any direct-attack abilities (target invalid). No Arcane Blast, no Arcane Barrage, no Arcane Missiles, nothing. All I could do was drop Flamestrike 8/9 and Blizzard as if I were AoE'ing, and try to manage my mana accordingly.

It didn't cause a wipe, since the bosses in VoA are typically on farm status, and people are more than capable of picking up the slack. But it's an example of the fact that bugs don't necessarily occur on fight specific events, and indeed, can be outside of one's control, despite being specific to a single player.

Having said that, if we did wipe because of it, I'd be the first to put my hand up to be excused and ask to be replaced.

zenga said...

A great read, titled 'rng is not an excuse', from one of the guildleaders of Paragon. Offers an interesting look on the subject (

Anonymous said...

@Caramael: The only fight I find projected texture off usuful is Maloriak Heroic in 25-man. During the black phase, there are adds that put black puddle on the ground and it seems that projected effects are drawn over them, hiding them (add the demo-warlock with hellfire, all the melee chasing them and the healers AoE heals and you see nothing).

But I do agree that relying on a graphic setting to see the danger zone is on the thin line of bad design.

Anonymous said...

I dont know about this one. I remember when we first went to magmaw, for no apparant reason my hunter would open fire on the boss, would just auto attack for no reason.
Happened 3 times, I would fd, it would reset, I stood up and it auto attacked again. I stood out of range, stayed that way until the tank pulled. Alot of people were getting upset with me about this and I am sure Gevlon you would have heavily fined/kicked me for it, even though I wasnt even targeting the boss and the auto attack would start. Anyway it is a bug, Blizzard fixed it, I saw mention of the fix in one of the release notes (I forget which).

Unknown said...

The instant-sound-cap bug still exists, it's just a lot rarer than it was a few months ago.

The fact that bugs like that are, in fact, real, makes troubleshooting Atramedes a pain.

Anonymous said...

Atramedes is still bugged. Just last night we had him do his flame tracking breath while on the ground right after he landed.

So yes, there are bugs in current content.

Anonymous said...

Other people seem to have hit home the point about atramades still occasionally bugging out, so I'll simply suggest that you explictly add to the rules that bugs don't absolve you from fail.

In your real life comparison, you compare hate crimes versus negligence, which I don't feel is a fair comparison. Hypothetical: In a raid, HighEgoHealer thinks that JimmyNewRogue is a M+S who doesn't deserve a raid spot. Jimmy is actually a good player who hasn't picked up tons of gear yet, but gems/chants proper, moves out of the bad, and is on track to be a great raider. HighEgoHealer let's Jimmy die out of misguided spite and brags about it afterwards. I can't imagine anything but swiftly kicking HighEgoHealer and never talkimg to him again.

Violent crimes and hate crimes carry a stiffer penalty than crimes of negligence regardless of the result, for multiple reasons: As a deterrent, and because violence and hate crimes are more likely to have repeat offenders, so you are keeping society safer by locking the offender away.

Carl said...

I find it somewhat ironic that you need high graphics settings to kill a blind dragon. Unfair advantage!

Sheldon said...

Comparing a hate crime to vehicular manslaughter is awkward at best, given historical realities, differing penalties in different jurisdictions, etc. So let's simplify it by instead comparing vehicular manslaughter to premeditated murder. In every jurisdiction I am familiar with (present and historical) the guy who ran a stoplight will get a lighter sentence than the guy who deliberately put a bullet into someone's skull. In both cases you have the exact same result - a dead body - but very different intents. Do you really believe that the punishments ought to be identical?

Floyd said...

Don't you know that the deadliest killer in WoW is lag? Every time someone dies for a stupid reason in the raids I'm in, they always shout out "Lag!." I'm all for cutting through the excuses and holding people accountable.

Bugs and lag may occur in the game, but in the end, someone has to pay.

Hartog said...

I'm not really suprised you'd post about this.

Thanks to some of the more helpful raiders in the raid we found the problem and solved it, and you still got your chance to double fine me.

The cause, and solution, were indeed the ones mentioned by Caramael. And have been resolved.

Not that I'm suprised that you did your obvious biased post. We've seen that before though. Some of your readers and fellow guildmembers will probably remember the Ninjaraid incident?

Blake said...

You was still wrong on why he died, but you seem to take comfort in hiding behind the fact he died, he screwed up so he has to pay. You should pay for not understanding how he died. Its amazing how you want people to pay for their mistakes but not when its your mistake or when you fail at understanding what happened.

Azuriel said...

I cannot tell if Gevlon is being intentionally obtuse, or if he is so deep in his premises that he cannot possibly see any logic in social actions.

You compared a racial assault with negligent vehicular manslaughter. Why split hairs? Compare 1st degree murder with 2nd degree murder. Should the punishment be worse, or the same, when someone systematically plans your death as compared to a "jealous husband"/emotional rage/etc kill? Or how about 1st degree murder to manslaughter? Are you arguing that the punishment for intentionally running down someone with your car should be the same as trying to catch the traffic light before it turns red and hitting someone who was jaywalking? Should both people get the electric chair (or life in prison, whatever)?

Intentions do matter. As Anon stated above, if you intentionally beat up someone for racial reasons, you are probably more likely to do that (or worse) again as compared to the neglectful driver who likely will be haunted by their mistake for the rest of their life. Pure speculation, but I imagine you would actually outright admit this point if you had someone in your raid intentionally wiping people - or hell, that one dude who was (potentially intentionally) usurping your raid days.

As for the larger case about who pays for wiping, yes, non-amoral guilds typically shoulder the burden of individual mistakes as a group. The difference is that in my raids, people actually accept responsibility for their mistakes because there isn't an extra punishment they have an incentive to "get out of." They already know they wiped the group, everyone else already knows who was responsible for the failure, no further punishment is necessary. As long as that person learns from the mistake, the guild grows stronger as a whole, on every level.

Brent said...

I always thought your initial premise on this project of your guild was interesting. It seemed fair at the start but appears to have evolved into one odd set of rules that I am not sure many guilds would even have a number of these rules. Sure there will always be some but you are highlighting the type of guild I would avoid.

No one is perfect. People make mistakes. Its a fact of life. Your rules have evolved into fines for mistakes. What about checking logs of dps to see they are using their abilities in the right order to do the most damage. What about healers using wasteful spells that use too much mana so they dont have enough at the end of a fight.

There are lots of errors going on in every raid. I think there are more that you can fine to show how bad they all are. You report on the negative so much that it is all I expect to read.

I did think you would evolve further but you appear to be going down one hardcore mode of extremism.

For me your guild experiment is just too odd to continue to follow. Hopefullyl you do something else of interest as you have done some interesting writing.

Anonymous said...

I would call this a flaw in the game design and/or implementation of graphical settings.

Even on absolute lowest graphics settings one should be able to see basic dangerous stuff on the ground to avoid. Even if its a simple ungraphical red circle.

To not be able to see at all what killed you sounds daft. If a tank turned his detail levels to minimum, would the boss vanish also? No? Didn' think so.


Anonymous said...

What say you to a more relevant comparison: You make a mistake at your job. You didn't intend to, but you did. Now your employer is going to dock your pay. How do you feel about that when your rent/mortgage/car payment/whatever is due. You reason that accountability is synonymous with punishment without accepting the obvious fact of life: no one is perfect and mistakes are expected. When people are punished for merely trying, you breed a mentality of fear, eventually preventing people from even having the desire to try for fear of honest mistake.

There is some irony here. Your most recent "How to lead a raid" post you say "The personal failures should be identified and punished" yet in this post you say "I don't care about reasons." One stroke you rant about not caring about reasons and the next you stress the importance of identifying the reasons. Don't retract your words either: you said REASON. You didn't say identify the PERSON who made the mistake. You said identify the REASON. In this case you make no note of trying to investigate and identify a reason. Perhaps you did, but you don't mention it here, all you do is rant about not accepting it as a bug.

From this irony, it is clear you lack consistency and raiding with you must feel like a job with absolutely no fun.

csdx said...

So if I joined your raid and intentionally failed at a task which wiped the raid, then my griefing should be treated no differently than an "honest mistake" right. I should be allowed to pay the 300g penalty each time and continue on until the point where you'd kick out someone accidentally making mistakes. Then I should be allowed to come to next weeks raid just the same because hey, no roster or favorites from week to week right?

Intent matters because it indicates how likely the person is to try and break the rule again. If the goal is to minimize the times the rules are broken, then it makes sense to have different levels based on intent. Offering a light punishment for an accident serves to keep people aware of the laws and be mindful of their action. Harsher punishment for those intentionally breaking a rule prevents people from trying to 'game' the system (as in the example above). This way not everyone has to be sent to jail for life for punching someone, but someone who wouldn't be deterred by a light sentence would have to weight the risk/reward level with the higher punishment.

Unknown said...

I do not agree that a DCer should be levied the same fine as a M&S.

There are factors the player can control, and there are factors the player can not.

That being said your logic is sound and you are consistent.

Good post.