Greedy Goblin

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Will the TB macro diminish?

Several commenters seem to be upset about the sounding success of the TB macro. They say that the success will diminish as the lured socials will be fed up with constant losing and stop coming, reducing the macros effect to new players or very casuals, practically people who have not been fooled by it yet.

This assumption is bases on the good old "the social player is just someone like us, with less time, gear and experience". No. The social is a social. He plays for social fun instead of winning. Sirlin would call him a scrub. Actually the macro is gaining power. To understand why, we must understand both the "play 4 fun" social, and Tol Barad.

As we are currently winning TB so most of the battles we are defending. How does it go after the initial move of horde zerging ICG from the bridge?
  1. The horde has one base, having a zerg there. The allies have 2 bases, having half raid in both. 
  2. The horde zerg leaves their base, leaving only around 5 defenders and go to one of the ally bases.
  3. The horde zerg arrives and 1-2 mins battle starts where the 2x outnumbering horde is winning and moving the capture slider by their superior numbers.
  4. The resurrection pulses every 30 secs, so within 30 secs some allies who died on the zerged base resurrect and go to the old horde base. After the first or the second pulse, enough dead allies resurrect to outnumber the horde defenders at the old base, the slider starts to move.
  5. The zerg wins, all allies there are dead and moving to old horde base.
  6. The zerg captures the ally base, the dead allies capture the old horde base.
  7. Goto 1
Obviously, the horde will never ever have three bases, actually they never have two, either the ally has two and they have one, or the ally has one and the other two are being captured. If we figure out why the horde keeps doing this terrible strategy we'll know why the macro will keep gaining power. Let's analyze this strategy from all relevant point of views:
  • Play-to-win ally: we start at a base. Horde zerg kills us. We run to the old horde base. We kill 5 hordies. We wait while the base is captured. We wait while the horde attacks the third base. We wait until they finish there. They come and zerg us. The cycle starts again. We are clearly winning the game, feeling great.
  • Social ally: we start at a base. Horde zerg kills us. We run to the old horde base. We kill 5 hordies. Little fun. We wait while the base is captured. Waiting sucks. We wait while the horde attacks the third base. Waiting sucks. We wait until they finish there. Waiting still sucks. They come and zerg us. Being pwned sucks big time. The cycle starts again. We have only 30 secs fun when we pwn that 5 hordies followed by 3 minutes waiting and then being mercilessly pwned.
  • Play-to-win horde: these damn idiots don't understand that we will never-ever win by circle zerging. I try to break the cycle. I defend the old base. We are too few, when half ally raid is killed by the zerg, they come and defeat us. I try attacking the third base instead of the second, running into the other half of the ally raid. There is nothing I can do to win because these mindless idiots are keep zerging in circle.
  • Social horde: I go to the first base, pwn the ally there. Then I go to the second base, pwn the ally there. Then I go to the third and pwn the ally there. Then it starts all over again at the first base! Everywhere I go I PWN THEM HARD CUZ IMA L33T LOL! And I even get guild XP/rep for honorkills so soon I'll have an awesome pet!
See? The social horde guy, who derives his fun from being better than peers (pwning) does not feel defeated by the lost match. He had fun and wants to do it again. If we ask him why did the horde lose, the ones with more than two brain cells say that "because other hordies couldn't pwn the ally on the other bases like I did at the bases where I was". The average horde social will say "idc i had fun lol". The chance of him coming next time increases.

It's the play-to-win horde will get frustrated and either nerdrage himself into a suspension or simply gives up on TB. On the winning side, exactly the social player will say "we won but wasn't fun so meh TB is bad design" and won't come again. You think the macro is a lie because it fails to deliver the hordies wins. But most hordies want "PvP fun" and the macro delivers exactly that.

Do you want to see it in action? Do you want to show the World how much it is true by locking the horde out for a whole week from the 378 loot pinata? Join us, we go for Occu'thar monopoly!

PS: Are you a game developer or a PvP fan who is sad that PvP games have 20K players? (don't tell me EVE, most players never leave high security zones) Or just simply interested in games? Don't miss tomorrow's post, because I believe I just bumped into the Holy Grail of PvP games: a game where people are having fun while losing, therefore keep playing, subscribing in masses!


Melinei said...

Hi, I'm a newcomer to your blog, and while I don't agree with all of your theories, the Tol Barad one makes absolute sense. I have NO idea why people feel the urge to run around in a circle all the time. You'd think that their strategy would be obvious the first time it happens.

Oh, and don't forget the Ally social who gets bored of defending. Waiting sucks, so IMA GO PWN SOME HORDE AT THE BASE LOLOLOL! I cannot count the number of BGs (Arathi Basin in particular) that we've lost because people feel the need to validate their e-penises by picking unnecessary fights instead of just parking their butts on a flag and waiting for a smooth, easy win.

Squishalot said...

Who was upset about the macro, exactly?

You know, Gevlon, you've just managed to demonstrate that there is utility in the actions of the social horde player, the one who runs around from base to base and constantly sits on assault, never defends against the counterattack.

As a result, you can no longer claim that all such people are blind morons, as you cannot distinguish between those who are morons and blindly following, and those who are making a utility decision to follow the zerg and gain honor and HKs, over a decision to defend and wipe against a counterattack.

You said it yourself - a play-to-win person has "nothing [they] can do", but to maximise their utility by joining in the rout.

Otterlover said...

Might it be worth having one of your guild members get on a Horde 85 alt and have them report any Horde that belittles others? Sure that could happen anyway but you could speed up that process if you wanted.

Anonymous said...

I see your point and I understand it. That said, I am inclined to join the horde on your server in order to have that fun that you say the horde noobs are having. I don't care about winning. Honest. I would gladly let you have your win if I have my fun.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: yes, they have utility, to their enemies. And to the game makers. But never for their teammates.

Azuriel said...

This is an important step for you, in that you recognized the fun the social Horde are having without being overtly judgmental about it.

I do not queue for TB to "win" it - the raid is a waste of my time and so are the southern dailies. I queue because it is otherwise too difficult to actually fight groups of the opposing faction on my own server (hence the PvP server). City raids are zerg-fests and once you die you spend 5+ minutes before you get to rez safely. Ganking is, well, ganking. Attacking or defending a base however, that is a test of wills.

Winning the overall battle is icing on the cake, but largely irrelevant outside the bonus honor for alts.

Azuriel said...

@Squishalot: yes, they have utility, to their enemies. And to the game makers. But never for their teammates.

1) They have personal utility, the only utility that matters.

2) Teams are random, so using "teammates" is almost a social construct on your part to imply responsibility towards an unshared goal.

TB and BGs have objectives, but there is no social contract that obligates you to NOT just kill people midfield. If your teammates cared about objectives, they would have formed a premade or done RBGs. Now if I expected everyone else to carry me to a win while I had my fun elsewhere, sure, rage a bit. But there are days when all I feel like doing is chain-sheeping someone or kiting two Horde from Farm to Stables or similar nonsense. Are two people teammates if they are playing completely separate games?

Grim said...

I'm sold!

After initially joining every battle, I could, I have only visited TB like three times in the last two months. I was bored and I didn't bother to figure out why - I just did something else.

Now You've explained why I was bored - I was playing to win. Spending half the battle guarding a base with no enemy in sight and the other half hopelessly trying to keep an overwhelming force tied up until the enemy are all in one place and I can die and go capture the empty base.

When you lay it out like that, its just obvious how I can get the most utility out of TB - circle-zerging. I will go try and start a circle-zerg tonight after work and see if its as fun as you make it sound.

What utility is losing TB you might ask? The best utility of all - real life utility. Recreation is why I play the game in the first place.

Gevlon said...

@Grim: except you have to be stupid to have that utility. The lolkid is genuinely happy. But you are aware that the zerged enemy is hopelessly outnumbered, without the chance of winning and also that they expected that, you did not surprised them.

Your "pwn" will be just as shallow as beating up a 8 years old in chess. Only the stupid ones can be happy who can make themselves believe that they just won a good fight.

Bernard said...


I hope you're on the opposing faction on my server. Make sure you invite your social friends and guildies as part of the circle zerg - they'll get lots of HKs and have lots of fun.

You deserve your recreation!

Grim said...

Is having a different idea of "fun" stupid?

So I don't win a "good fight" that way, but who cares? You claim 4-minute victories on assault due to your macro spam basically lining up the WoW equivalents of 8-year-olds at chess. How is that a "good fight"?

So you get some honor that you don't need, access to quests you don't need (unless you find them fun or smth) and access to BH that you need once per week.

I get 30 minutes of roflstomping 8-year-olds at chess.

And I find that fun. The same fun that I might get from some single-player games. Crimsonlands pops to mind as the perfect example - the whole game is just mowing down hordes of enemies. And its fun.

Sum said...

"Your "pwn" will be just as shallow as beating up a 8 years old in chess. Only the stupid ones can be happy who can make themselves believe that they just won a good fight. "

And obviously using a ad macro that's meant to lure newbies without much skill to make up the majority of your opponents makes the fight "good"? Instead of trying to beat the other side as it is simply by having better tactics and leadership on your side?

Either you want to win at any cost and and find fun in that or you want to have a "fair" fight and delight in outsmarting a "worthy" opponent. Can't have it both ways, surely?

Andru said...

Last time I checked, Gevlon's horde macro was an inclusive invitation for everyone to join.

Or are you guys arguing that only 8 year olds are lured by a positive-emotion macro?

In which case, well...

You can't argue that the macro has no effect AND argue that the macro only draws 8 year olds to the battle, at the same time, surely?

Squishalot said...

@ Andru: Who is arguing that the macro is having no effect? Nobody that I can see. Grim certainly isn't.

The point is that there is utility to be gained from circle-zerging. You get more honour from zerging and losing than you would from defending and losing. Therefore, if you're in a team that's started circling and there is nothing you can do to stop them (as Gevlon suggests the 'play to win' horde players can't do), then the optimal utility strategy for yourself is to join them and cash in on the available honour points.

@ Gevlon: Azuriel has answered for me. Personal utility is all that matters.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: No one questions the personal utility in being a leech.

The whole point of this blog is to prove that the M&S are NOT team players, doesn't deserve helping as give nothing in return. Socials believe that these people need and deserve help to be good and should be included despite their "shortcomings".

Anonymous said...

But as you point out, after enough iterations eventually the players will sort themselves so that only horde who enjoy the fruitless zerg battles will be queuing for WFs. So at this point, the "leech" behavior is actually positive-sum and team-contributing for everyone horde-side, because it advances the mutual goals of everyone in horde.

energybomb said...

you guys forget one thing:

the M&S DON'T think of it as "I earn the most utility". They think that "LOL I JUST PWN'D A ALLY ME STRONG XD"

Gevlon has advocated leeching if it gives you the most utility. This is NOT his point.

Sthenno said...

I was one of the people who said that I thought the macro would have some kind of diminishing returns. This analysis makes a lot of sense, though, and I can see how it could keep working over a long period of time. In short, you pit your team of people who want to win against their team of people who want to fight in a battle ground where fighting is rarely conducive to winning so both sides get what they want. I'd like to hear if this works out over the long term. It would also be interesting to know whether or not the fact that you are openly describing how the strategy works and calling your opponents idiots makes any difference, but we'll never be able to figure that one out.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon I recently picked up a book for my psychology course that I think you would find interesting. It is called "Zero Degrees of Empathy" written by Simon Baron - Cohen. The book itself explains "evil" by stating the it is merely a lack of empathy.

The study of emppathy can help explain your success and why your observations seem acurate. I only started reading it today but The key point is that When people lack empathy they only care about themseleves. This means that since the "M&S" are playing for self gains they lack empathy as they regard them selves more than the outcome for their peers.

While not completly accurate as i only just started on the topic It means that there is justification to your believe that "M&S" are bad. Also since your actions seek to benefit most players I could argue that you have empaathy and as a result are more "good" as a result.

This would actually mean that the real anti-socials are the M&S as they only seek self benefit while your actions dont not seek harm from others.

Squishalot said...

@ energybomb: The only moron is the one who claims to know what other people must be thinking, without actually asking.

Gevlon is assuming that people who circle-zerg are "wheee so strong!" types, when there is evidence to suggest that asocial, utility-maximising players will end up circle-zerging as well. By definition, this means that you cannot assume that all circle-zerging players are of any stereotype.

@ Gevlon: Caring about utility for one's teammates is a social thing. I didn't think you cared for such, unless it can result in a positive utility gain for yourself (a la prisoner's dilemma).

There is no utility for others in either choice if you use the assumption that 'there is nothing you can do' about the Horde strategy if you are the N+1th player in the game. Therefore, the correct thing to do, rational, social, scrub or goblin, is to zerg and maximise your own returns. Our criticism of your blog is that you are calling someone who zergs a social player, when in fact, they may be a utility maximiser.

Anonymous said...

squishalot your make alot of bad points.

1st it is not moronic to know what someone is thinking. Theory of mind states that we can read what people are reading by using existing knowledge and reading that persons body language. for example seeing someone eat food that you know is cooked well and seeing them eat it with a look of happiness on their face you can deduce that they think the food is enjoyable. it is moronic to claim to read minds e.g i know what number your thinking of.

Also they only case where circle zerging can ever maximise ones return is if your whole team is filled with m&s. For other players, the best way would be to form a pre-made with as many players you can rely on and hope you minimise the m&s present on you team, as gevlon is doing. all it take sis one person on the horde side to get fed up up of losing and say "forming guild for pvp and tol barad, anyone can join but must follow instructions so we can win". essentially what gevlon has done.