Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Everybody raids" progress

Since I noticed how most people in raiding guilds are not raiding. I've been thinking about how to increase activity. Running out of own ideas, choose the brute force method: a week ago sent a mail to every lvl85 who haven't killed 5 bosses (even 5 Argoloths) and ask them why they did not raid. The chart shows the answers.

Or rather the lack of answers.The biggest part of the people are raiders who did not get mail. The second biggest bunch have not logged in the last week, so they couldn't see my mail. The third group seen it but did not answer.
Only 1/4th of the guild lvl 85s have not raided and answered. They are the only ones I could do something about. I can't actually figure out the high lvl 85 inactivity. I mean they did not transfer away, so it's not the guild they did not like. Did they got enough of the game? Was our guild some kind of last chance for them where they expected some miracle to revive their interest in the game? Maybe. Many people are leaving this game. Most bloggers who started with me or were large when I was small, already quit. Tobold is quiting now. If you check Larísa's armory, you'll find her sitting in a lvl 1 robe only with no new event this month. What if there is a huge exodus from WoW?

However let's focus on the few who answered. Those who don't want to raid mostly called themselves PvP-ers. For them I can only increase PvP activity of the guild. I already lead more TBs. Those who have no time blamed exams or having a little baby. I obviously can't make their baby disappear just to make them raid. I'm also unable to fix time zone problems besides recruiting more people who may be online that time.

The only group that can be helped is the 10% unprepared. Of course "gearing up friends for raids" is the major activity in social guilds, and the direct reason of their complete failure. I have to figure out a non-welfare helping method for them. It won't be easy, but hey, if I wanted easy, I'd be in a social guild asking "friends" to help me "gear up".

I see three ways how I could make more people raiding:
  • Leading more farm raids. Nefarian attempts are not the best place for a new raider to start. I start to realize that people not leading raids or even not enough progress is just an effect, the real cause is too few raiders. So fixing the most important problem, I'll lead more farm raids, allowing new people to learn raiding. Of course I'll take my 500G/boss leader fee, proving that it's not a selfless boosting, but a viable, self-sufficient goldmaking strategy.
  • Gear auditing service: for 100G I make a full inspect and give you personalized advice how to improve your gear. 100G for 5 mins isn't bad.
  • Writing a complete "how to start" guide, coming tomorrow.


Dafikz said...


I've been reading your articles for about two years and the idea of leading more farm raids so new raiders can learn the encounters-get gear, seems very social. Even with you keeping some of the gold for leading the raid doesn't seem goblin enough. Maybe you should charge for a ”teaching farm raid”

Gevlon said...

@Dafikz: the main problem is that people assume they have no gear, when they actually have no skill. So they waste time farming more pre-raid gear instead of actually step into a raid and learn.

thefriendlybotter said...

One thing you have to remember Dafikz is that Gevlon is not only gaining the gold from those farm raids, but also he can take advantage of the new raiders and use them to help him progress. Sounds pretty Goblinish to me.

Łukasz Sz. said...

@Dafikz & thefriendlybotter: I also thought that the whole idea of leading farm raids is not so goblinish. If you take into account the goal that Gevlon set himself (in short: proving that social-anything is nonsense), then all actions taken in order for the PuG being "the raid guild to go to" are justified - as long as they're not pure-social that is.

Makira said...

Thinking about a long term investment with additional short term revenue.

Anonymous said...

I just can't be bothered to learn another set of dances for purple pixels that are only good for learning the next dances. And leveling another alt ... been there, done that.

- Liliane

Dan said...

The idea of forming more farm raids is perfect. There are folks who simply need training. There are folks like myself who fall into the "mass exodus" category - veteran raiders who have unsubbed for one reason or another. There are new folks to the game who, like myself when I first started raiding, need both training and guidance.
This would work perfectly for The Pug due to the relaxing of the alt rules. Gev, or someone else in the progression raid, can extend lockouts on the progression raider, using an alt to run the farm raid. This is one reason why my main and raiding alts share compatible roles (ranged DPS and healing in my case - boomkin main, hunter and ele/resto shaman) so that one does not necessarily need to relearn fights between the characters.

Yaggle said...

I think a lot of reason people do not have the interest now, is that there is no Deathwing now. There is not even a confirmed dungeon(s) with drops that people know will gear them for the "Deathwing Dungeon". There is no end goal, nothing for people to focus on. Why shouldn't people wait to raid some more? Maybe it will be a whole year before Deathwing even exists. I realize there is still a lot of challenge and rewarding feelings for defeating challenge, but I think most people need more.
Probably when there is a Cataclysm "Ulduar" people will get more interest as they see they need to get ready for the big bad dragon that is coming soon.

Anonymous said...

I will be curious to hear how your "farm raids" for bringing new raiders in work out. In the current tier, margins for error are somewhat lower, and the ability to carry less experienced players reduced, making for a less efficient raid when new players are present. I can see your incentivisation for leading the raids (gold), what is the incentivisation for the other experienced players, or will it be you and 9 or 24 new raiders? We should recognise that the "costs" of the inexperienced raiders are not only borne by the raid leader, but by the whole raid. These costs include higher repair costs, fewer boss kills, a lack of progression, and a slower pace / less fun overall.

The cost issue aside, at some point, the game must provide adequate net incentives to raid (potential gains of character advancement / fun outweighing potential costs in repairs, time wasted, and low self-esteem from dying). You might be able to change the perceptions of raiding, and if it is only the perception that is the problem, then you can succeed and make a profit from "correcting" those perceptions. But if the actuality of raiding is the problem, you are unlikely to have a sustainable goblin business.

Fifthlive said...

I know that some of the answers have changed since you sent out the mail.

I have since then geared, lead a raid and raided both farm and progression raids.

I just think most people don't know that you only need 333ilvl, skill and preparation for a farm raid.

The gear needed is just some pvp blues from AH and a few normal/heroic items.

Skill is somewhat gain from heroics and preparation is reading the wowhead article on the boss and having it up for reference.

Wilson said...

"I can't actually figure out the high lvl 85 inactivity."

My hypothesis has always been that these people have a high-level alt in your guild because it makes them feel special. Just as if they had a card in their wallet that said "This certifies that the bearer is not a moron." All they have to do is log on to that character once a month, and they can play how they want the other 29 days.

Anonymous said...

Many might simply be away due to Easter. In my guild we were usually around 30 raiders online but in the Easter period you had at most 10. We will be back in action only today.

Unknown said...

Hey Gevlon,

Try pointing people to

I am in a very casual guild after burning out on raiding that has a reputation of being the biggest M&S guild on my server.

A lot of people in the guild are family members, older, brand new to the game so they usually do not know better, but are willing to learn.

I have found that point people to Mr. Robot solves the gear problem and getting people to know the stat priority is 75% of the battle.

You cant help people that want a handout, but ponting them to a site takes 2 seconds which I can do for anyone. If someone follws up with a question and have visited the site I answer it and if they have not I ignore them.

This has worked wonders on my nerves.

Anonymous said...

Could be just the Easter holiday period or the exceptional weather (like here in the UK)...

Or, maybe the general apathy that seems to surround the game at the moment?

I too have quit WoW, after all my RL friends and a load of guild members seemed to have stopped playing.

And, I can't see the patch this week changing anything!

Mhorgrim said...

@Gevlon ~ In regards to Larrisa, she retired both her toons and her blog over a month a go. I think she still peaks in everyonce and awhile but she parked her mains in retirement mode some time back. Toblod has been out of WoW for a bit of time as well.

Daavos said...

My unscientific personal opinion based on my wow experience which may differ greatly from the reader.

I believe Blizzards pandering to the masses of everyone gets a trophy makes good business sense but it makes terrible game play. There is something very unsatisfying about spending hours learning new raid mechanics, obtaining new higher level gear only to have the next patch make all your gear expendable and the raids nerfed.

One could argue the real suckers of WOW are the ones who play at the beginning of an expansion and spend 2 years learning fights, acquiring trade skills (gold); balancing issues; fail guilds; waiting for new content, etc. As opposed to a new player joining in the last 3 months of expansion who can jump right in with a level 1 toon and finish all the content in a few months.

I don't feel I'm being rewarded for the time invested in the game compared to a player who will join in the spring of 2012.

Alrenous said...

The no answer segment is actually completely normal.

My current hypothesis is that most people are basically non-interactive. You can poke them with a stick, but they won't flinch.

If you don't already fit into their habits, then they can barely see you, let alone respond, let alone respond meaningfully.

You could try sending the mail a few more times to the inactives, like once a week, to see if you can penetrate their obliviousness.

The alternative hypothesis is that they're overwhelmed already and can't deal with even minor requests like this, either from their life being too complex or difficult already, or because they're terrified of being manipulated.

Reboot said...


I suspect you got carried by experienced raiders with better gear. Try it with ten rookies in 333 gear, who have only done a few heroics previously? Enjoy your night of brutal wipeage.

Fifthlive said...


Actually it wasn't that great geared persons and around 1/3 of the raid paid newbie gold. It were mostly about me using my mana right and not waste it to much.
Still there were wipes, and wipes and other such non-sense but it were on the whole raid.
We only did Magmaw and Omnotron over 2 hours so it wasnt a great success.
I am not saying go for it in 333 but rather get some 333 and mix it up with some 339 PvP gear to remove some of the greens remaining

Ðesolate said...

At the moment I use some spare time to write some raidpreperation Guides as a commission for 4.1 starting up with paladin-class. I could forego some of the payment to publish it in english. (Since the "work" is done in german there would be no big conflict of interest).

It includes BiS-5mangear, talents, reforgeing and gemming. Also it includes "rotation" and raid behaviour tips, as what to do when you have to run around and can't channel anything for more than x seconds, etc.

More farm raids will be needed. At last when heroic raiding starts seriously.

nightgerbil said...

Hmnn my last post bugged out. Anyway I thought it would be relevant(to the subject of debate) to share this from another blogger I follow: paticularily the last few paragraphs:

"In WoW, the perceived "challenge" is generated by how unforgiving it is - a slight derivation from the "always win" set wastes a lot of time for a lot of people. And then there's actually recruiting people who can execute the "always win" action set, and motivating them to do so for several hours per week. Maybe you don't know the "always win" action set before you walk in, but a few hours of attempts and you'd probably figure out 99% of it. Essentially, the challenge is still the human factor - finding others who can individually succeed and then sycn'ing them up. But on an individual level, the game is relatively easy. Every player knows their personal "always win" action set. They know their rotation, priority system, and what to watch out for in the fight. Everything becomes reactionary, requiring very few decisions, and by extension, very little skill.

Maybe that's the general appeal of WoW, however. The fact that you don't need to be that skilled in order to competitively succeed is a huge draw for "mass" gaming. While you might not be seizing up the "world first" or "realm first" kills, you can at least feel like they're attainable. Not only that, but you can surround yourself in atmospheres in which you feel successful. If you want a drive for higher performance, surround yourself with players that are better than you. If you want to feel proud of your own capabilities, join a guild in which you're the best. Regardless, you're in control of your competitive matchmakings."

Squishalot said...

Gevlon: "I mean they did not transfer away, so it's not the guild they did not like."

Most people who joined the PuG wouldn't bring their mains into it. For the most part, you'd have alts joining you on the back of your blog, with a few core people who transferred over (and are currently raiding with you).

Those who paid to transfer an 80/85 into your guild are probably the active ones. Those who build up a character (alt) from scratch are probably inactive, because they're busy with their mains. That'll be even moreso the case now that 4.1 is out.

"I'm also unable to fix time zone problems besides recruiting more people who may be online that time."

Note that this won't fix the time zone problems when you have fixed raiding times. You can fix time zone problems - allow people to raid at whatever times of day that they want!

Reboot said...


If you aren't saying it, then don't say it.

Bottom line is, 2/3 of the raid were geared and experienced and it still was no walk in the park. Which proves my point.

Anonymous said...

People aren't raiding because the raids have become harder and they are afraid they won't measure up. For most, this is a valid fear.

Most peoplers, in my opinion, play this game for the artificial ego boost, to be told they are better than they actually are. With failure there is no ego boost, often the opposite. So, when the content becomes hard, if one have some doubt of one's ability, one avoids the hard content.

Farming out of date content doesn't provide much ego boost either, so I don't expect Blizzard's scheme of having the M&S doing earlier tiers to work very well.

I think Blizzard somehow got the incorrect notion that challenge motivates most players. This mistake is biting them with a vengeance now.