Greedy Goblin

Friday, August 19, 2011

The "no lifer" concept

The "play for fun vs play to win" permanent page is updated with a new find. You can comment it here.


Anonymous said...

what about "playing because of boredom"

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment made about the level of bad.
It says that if playing to much is bad, then playing a little is still bad. Then references a smoking analogy.
Unfortunately, things do not work like this. Counter examples listed below.

Eating calories.
Too much is bad
The right amount is good
NONE is deadly

Drinking water
Too much is bad
The right amount is good
NONE is deadly

Too much is bad
The right amount is good
NONE is deadly

Playing wow
too much is bad
the right amount is good
none is also good

Jack Le maniac said...

To Anonymous 19 August, 2011 16:15
(second comment)

Drinking too much water is deadly. But it is very difficult to reach the amount needed for this.

You can't do if then statements for every fact of life. Sometimes you have to do it as go; common sense.

That said, if the players believe having a life means impressing friends... we'll have very busy people doing chores all the time.

Social will never change their mindsets.

Anonymous said...

Snorting cocaine:

Too much is bad
A little bit is bad
NONE is the right amount

We can do this all day, if you like. No such thing as a perfect analogy - that's why they're called "analogies" and not "examples".

Careless said...

definitely an insightful concept. growing up playing nintendo 64... i always did what it took to win when I was with my peers, and was top kid in the neighborhood on Goldeneye and Super Smash Bros. I was called "cheap" i don't know how many times....

But when I wasn't playing with my peers, I wouldn't play like that. With my little brother, I'd futz around and let him beat me. And I had one friend who was just awful at goldeneye, so I'd let him win matches a lot just to encourage him to play.

I think it's important to understand that you're not always playing with your peers (mature adults) that often the person controlling that avatar is an 11 year old kid. and yes that 11 year old kid thinks your tactics are cheap because he's a dumbass 11 year old kid. there's nothing wrong with that, really, we were all dumbasses when we were that age.

the problem is, a lot of these 11 year old kids are just *mentally* 11 years old in adult bodies...

Alrenous said...

Unjustified denigration of conscious experience.

'Fun' is a sensation, specifically one kind of pleasurable sensation. Anything that causes it is fun by definition, hardly illogical. Second, anything that causes it is rewarding by definition - though you're welcome to argue that fun doesn't exist and nobody has any.

It's just that certain fun things like sparkly mounts have side costs, which are more punishing than the fun is rewarding. It's impure fun.
Similarly, if your goal is fun, rational creatures consider opportunity costs - say a sparkly mount is fun. Yeah, well, taking your kids out for $25 of ice cream is more fun. Do that instead. Though this rabbit hole goes very, very deep...
Don't forget that goals are inherently arational.

You can't sleep too much. Being woken up is always suboptimal.

Eating too much doesn't make you fat. Eating a lot just makes you not hungry the next day. Having a broken metabolism makes you fat, and chronic sugar eating breaks your metabolism. Eating 'too much' is necessary but is a symptom, not a cause.

This shit's auto-regulated, yo. You can try it with water too; your body tells you to stop before you have too much. Indeed, let's return to sleep. If you sleep 'too much,' it means you have sleep debt. If you don't stop, you'll slowly start sleeping less as it is paid off. And you should, because you'll end up significantly smarter and healthier.

The body can't, however, properly sense WoW and thus it isn't automatically regulated. You have to regulate it on purpose, same way we can't sense ionizing radiation and have to use technology.

Azuriel said...

If playing is bad, than playing little is bad too. If it's not bad, than playing "too much" is not bad either. You never hear a smoker who smokes 10 cigarettes a day, calling a heavier smoker an "unhealthy addict". Also, you can get the "no-lifer" title in situations which are uncorrelated with play time. I typically get it in a battleground when criticize the bridge-fighters. Guarding GM definitely doesn't need more hours played than mindlessly grinding on the bridge.

Your argument has two extremely crippling flaws in reasoning.

1) There is, in fact, a difference between a social drinker and an alcoholic. Or a social smoker and someone who smokes three packs a day, to use your example. You can eat fast food once or even twice a week and be fine. Eating fast food every day of the week, however, is extremely unhealthy. So there can be, in fact, a line beyond which an activity becomes bad despite the activity not being bad in of itself. Or, rather, many activities have non-zero amounts of bad qualities that only manifest themselves as unhealthy in excess.

2) Those players are not calling you a no-lifer for guarding a base; they are calling you a no-lifer for criticizing the players on the bridge. Remember when you talked about fundamental attribution error the other day? You are assuming that the players "mindlessly" grinding the enemy on the bridge A) care about the outcome of the battle, B) are trying to gain honor in an efficient way, and C) are yearning for your combat direction. I know you enjoy winning the BG (who doesn't?), but have you ever enjoyed PvP combat for the sake of it? Reveled in the wanton slaughter of badly geared players while you and a pocket healer mow down wave after wave of red names? You many not have if you heal all the time and/or only have that shaman - there are few thrills as visceral as a DK or Ret paladin or Arms warrior (assuming pocket healer) wading into the enemy.

The players on the bridge are playing a different game than you. And honestly, insulting your team in a random BG - no matter how accurate the criticisms - makes you indistinguishable from the morons who insult their BG team with bad advice. You are just another random player spazzing out in text form about strategy in an environment with no matchmaking or lasting consequences. Rated BGs are much more conducive to your style of play, and give Honor once you hit the CP cap besides.

Fex said...

@ 2nd anonymous

The smoking analogy is the correct one. Its an analogy closely linked with addiction. Wich is the way a non gamer would percieve hardcore wow gaming. ( and even not so hardcore gaming probably )

Your analogies all referr to basic needs in life. As if you percieve wow to be one aswell.

You've changed your analogy to match by saying not playing wow = also good.

That suggests to me you consider wow to be a basic need in your life, as in deadly if you stopped playing. Perhaps you should go find some help.

Wow has a high addiction rate, its the only way games like this excist. If you play it moderatly there is no problem, if you play it excessively you get in trouble, you'll not pay bills, forget to shower, stop going outside, etc. And any time spent in game, even if played moderately, is better spent elsewhere. There are healthier hobbies the wow. Hence the smoking analogy fits the glove better then your eating, drinking, sleeping analogies.

Anonymous said...

@Azuriel I agree with this wholeheartedly. Just to pose an example: twinks. These are players who play to win in the sense that they are willing to be cheap in order to kill their enemies. At the same time, they play for fun in the sense that actual bg victory is not their primary goal. Indeed, at lower levels these twinks might even attempt to prevent victory of their side, just to avoid waiting in queue. (eg. Holding wsg flag but not capturing).

They play for fun regardless of social or peer respect (the bg group will hate him for it, nobody else cares he grinded some lvl 15s). They prioritise their own enjoyment of the game over helping other players grind honor. You as a goblin must be able to sympathise with this mindset.

These players play at high level pvp too: they 'mindlessly grind' on bridge exactly because that is what they enjoy. You calling them out while defending GM is worth exactly the same as them calling you out for not joining the epic fight at bridge: you both play for fun, but have different views on what gives fun.

You clearly derive fun from winning the bg (achieving a strategic victory), while they derive fun from killing the enemy (tactical victory). Each side of the argument is equally valid and calling one mindless is hypocritical. They would be just as right to call you a no-lifer for 'mindlessly camping GM for 15minutes'.

I therefor think your argument is fundamentally flawed. There is no such thing as 'playing to win regardless of personal enjoyment'. If people do not have fun playing they wouldnt play. Hence everyone plays for fun. Prioritising personal fun over the fun of others is the logical and goblinish behaviour. You ordering them to play to win is asking them to participate in social behaviour: you ask them to prioritise your fun (a peer) over their own.

Let me point to one of your other posts: the killers vs achievers MMO scenario. This is essentially the situation you have found yourself in. Due to there not being a bg or game mode where this concept is explored, the killers have to be put in the same group as the achievers. This is obviously the cause of your frustration.

At the end of the day you ask them to be altruistic, and they refuse. They make the rational choice. They are (with some exceptions) the same as you or me. The exceptions are the people who want to win but dont know how, and those that want to kill but are incapable (both low skill and/or m&s). They both make the irrational choice of playing in spite of being unable to personally achieve enjoyment. And even these people will enjoy the game if being carried, and thus continue queueing.

Play to win is an illusion. Everyone plays for fun, but some may achieve fun by winning. This applies in every field of competition.

Jack Le Maniac said...

@ Azuriel and Anonymous Under Azuriel saying he agrees with Azuriel:

Most of the people do it to impress peers, or to feel superior to those they killed, to validate themselves. A minority do it for the simple enjoyment of seeing dead bodies. If they did for the simple enjoyment of chain killing stuff, the trash in dungeons would be more popular, and so would be random mobs in big spawn areas. Dunno about you, but those quests on a vehicle where you one shot masses of enemies, or the grindfests that were LK heroics where not fun, despite the heavy similarity to "mass murdering hordes of enemies on a bridge".

A further proof they are M&S is that the behaviour they have here is also a behaviour they will often have in real life: By focusing on grinding enemies on the bridge, they don't see the big picture (and they don't care) but that's exactly the core of M&S behaviour.
They can't see the forest for the trees.

While this has no consequence in game and can be justified as FUN, the fact is that they REPRODUCE this behaviour IN REAL LIFE.

Meaning that they will fail in the big picture of life. But since there is no "average" success, we can't define success (it's all subjective), we can simply say that those who don't see the big picture and focus on the tidbits, won't be able to do what's necessary for succeeding and have an average income, leading to leeches or underpaid workers.

They're the kids in school who keep staying up late playing games and only notice the big picture and the consequences in their fute AFTER school's over and they failed.

Their FUN was costy. In WoW, losing BGs is suboptimal. An optimal behaviour is the road to success. Success is defined in WoW as being the best geared, while being the most skilled, and by WINNING. Other man made definitions because they find it fun is stupid.

Why couldn't they find fun in winning? The fact your strategy and teamwork proved to overcome 15 other people's strategy and team should give them a good boost of much needed, rare self esteem. But why doesn't it? That's a question for another time, but my guess would be that they're not THE one, but just a gear in the mechanism, and that sucks their self-esteem. Re-read first paragraph and see how acting solo boosts it.

The point of Gevlon is, I'll reiterate, that people who play for fun and not for win, are social morons and slackers.

Finally, you're preventing your team to win, for your selfish desires, by bridge camping.

It can be argued fun is only a state of mind, where you give your brain positive sensations... sure... and people have different way to do that, sure... But why prevent other people the right to win the game by your desire to kill stuff on a bridge, repeatedly?

Perhaps those players would be better off in minecraft, where no one can tell you what to do, you can get your armor in diamonds, and then go slash through hordes of enemies on briges, tower, floating islands, caves, whatever you want. Or Even players. And also, lots of 14 yrs olds wanting to impress pears with their obsidian, portals, leet diamond gear, wolves, and stuff.

Anonymous said...

@Jack Le Maniac I will go through your post commenting as I go along. First of all though, do you have any references or facts at all to support what you are saying? Exactly how do you know that most of the people grinding at bridge do it only to impress their peers? Is it because Gevlon told you so and thus it must be true?

Chain killing human adversaries in PvP is different from grinding mobs in dungeons. The analogy simply does not hold: mobs are computer controlled, are 100% predictable, and never pose a challenge to the player. This is all in contrast to human enemies who are unpredictable and able to pose a challenge. If playing vs humans is the same as playing vs bots, then why have PvP at all? Besides, I know many people who are top end raiding players, but who utterly fail in a PvP environment, and vice versa. Ergo, playing vs bots is not the same as playing vs humans.

Your next few paragraphs confuse me. You not only seem to know exactly why everyone is doing what they are doing, but also how everyone who acts that way behaves in real life. And this is supposed to provide to me a "proof" that they are actually M&S. Excuse me, WHAT? You don't 'prove' anything by applying circular logic to connect a baseless assumption on peoples ingame behavior to a baseless assumption on their real life behavior. Paraphrasing your argument: People on the bridge are M&S, so they act like M&S in real life, therefore I proved they are M&S. This is so far off track that I'm not even sure you meant this seriously.

Sure there are probably people who exhibit both the in game and the real life behavior. Hell there might even be a strong correlation. But to claim each and every player is exactly the same in that regard, is seriously oversimplifying the situation.

Next, you claim a set of arbitrary conditions is the only way to 'succeed' at WoW, and all other arbitrary conditions are stupid. Tell me, what is this 'success' that you talk about? Do you possibly mean 'peer respect is obtained by being the best geared, most skilled and WINNING player'?

Success in WoW is in fact not predetermined by a fixed set of rules. Hell some people think they have 'succeeded' at WoW when they've collected 100 mounts and 75 minipets. I don't understand them myself, but claiming they are stupid for following the wrong set of _arbirtrary_ rules is both hypocritical and arrogant.

Reading further, 'why don't people find winning fun'. Just to name an example, say you are among the top PvP players in the world. You have spent several weeks grinding all the gear and best items (not to impress peers mind you, but to be more effective in combat). Your main playing area is arenas and RBGs. When you casually join a normal BG, why would you want to win this BG? Winning the BG has nothing to offer this character. He plays to find a challenge in other players, not to be stuck guarding stables for 20 minutes. This is just an example.

There are undoubtedly many more kinds of people who simply do not care about the BG victory. Again, I don't belong to that group, but I acknowledge their existence.

Your next arguments are already covered in my post: my claim is that there is no 'play to win regardless of fun'. Perhaps the act of winning alone provides enough fun that it becomes the de facto target to aim for, but when taken on its own nobody would play solely to win if there was no fun involved.

Just a quick example: do you enjoy cheating in singleplayer games? Obviously it's a 'cheap, play to win' way to victory, and quite likely the most effective strategy to win. However it will not provide fun for a significantly long time. The same might be true for games that you can not possibly lose. The victory stays the same but the fun is less. Play to win does no longer exist, as the win does no longer generate fun.

Continued in next post

Anonymous said...

Continued from previous post

Moving on: your argument of "it's selfish to prevent your team from winning", is extremely social at heart. You seem to agree with Gevlon mostly, surely you can see that this type of behavior is exactly what his guild is trying to abolish? Your argument of sacrificing personal desires in order to help the team is as far removed from the goblinish mindset as you can possibly be.

Again: why are people different in what things they find 'fun'? I do not know. Why do people collect mounts or pets? No idea. Why do people collect gear and gems? Why do people even play WoW at all? Something in there provides fun to those individuals, or they would not do it. Arguing which way of obtaining fun is "better" than the other is irrational at worst and meaningless at best.

Finally: yes perhaps some of these players would enjoy MineCraft as well. I would not be surprised if that was the case. On the other hand, this has very little of an argument. Perhaps you yourself might be better off playing Tic-Tac-Toe vs CPU's instead, where you can live in your completely social-free life, playing to win in an environment with impossibility of losing and complete absence of M&S. As you can see, this form of hyperbole works both ways and is equally wrong both ways.

In conclusion, I was pretty underwhelmed with your post. You provided no evidence whatsoever to back up your absurd claims, and some arguments you gave made me wonder if you even understood or read my previous post at all. I enjoy reading Gevlon's posts (or I would not do so) but he has been wrong in the past, and I think he is wrong now. Play to win only exists if winning provides fun. Therefore play for fun vs play to win is a nonissue.

Lyxi said...


So, which is it?

The people grinding players on bridge do it because the other players pose a challenge (as you say) or because they don't pose a challenge (as Azuriel says?)

Moving goalposts is fun, yo.

For someone not having a consistent argument, you're quick to judge others.

Anonymous said...

Which is it, either the original smoking analogy is correct and no amount of play is good, or the analogy is incorrect and a moderate amount of play is good?

Way to project with that post as well. I see entertainment itself as a basic need, and wow as a form of entertainment, which my analogy with wow explained can be overdone, but can also be done in moderation.

If you are to say that entertainment is no a basic need, I don't think this conversation will be able to continue, as I don't describe a basic need as only the things that keep you alive, but the things that keep you of sound mind as well.

Jack Le Maniac said...

Anonymous: Quite the condescending tone. You can say you disagree without saying my post is crap, put bluntly.

Like Lyxi said, make up your mind.

First: Like you said, killing players and computer programmed enemies is different... but felling enemies on the bridge must show they pose little challenge (the way they put it in their post, people who did that created piles of corpses).

A geared, skilled player, who plays Top PvP will find no challenge in lower games, because people don't work as a team, and that depending on the class he plays, if he gets overwhelmed because his team doesn't work with him. You can't improve if you always get killed. In TF2, for instance, if you always get killed as a sniper before you get to take a shot, you will not improve your aim. Logically, you only improve by fighting equal or better playings and defeating them.

What makes Top PvP players is a mindset where they play to win. Meaning they will not stand on the bridge, because they are aware it will teach them bad habits. They must learn to do the right thing, not standing around pwning on the bridge, which doesn't serve victory. And you can only pwn on the bridge if headless chickens throw themselves at you, meaning bad (worse) players, who won't help you improve.

A Goblin is selfish. He wants gain. A goblin understands when it's the time to work socially in order to gain something. Hence why they are not always selfish, yet altruistic. And being Altruistic and Goblinish isn't mutually exclusive. Millionaires alike are altruistic by giving to charity, but they are goblinish because they gain something from it (they pay less tax).

But I digress. Let's both stop the straw mans and address what Gevlon said. Why people call you no lifer when you play to win. You disagree with Gevlon, yet cannot give a good alternative possibility. Azuriel however did, saying that they actually call Gevlon a no life for telling them to stop acting stupid to win the BG, assuming that is what they want, perhaps wrongly.

So, why do they call him no life, when he tells them to stop farming on the bridge? Because doing something else is not cool, or because they get true enjoyment from this? I believe some do, I believe some have other reasons. But an axiom of reality is that alot (the majority) of people want and must feel superior to others and that drives them. Or at the very least, feel good about themselves. And that drives their actions.

Last, you don't understand me at all, which is normal, on the Internet. I stand not for one person, for the singular beliefs be it my or Gevlon's, or any individual's. I stand for the objective truth in EVERYTHING. You do not have it, I do not have it, Gevlon neither, but part of our beliefs may be part of it. By piecing them together, we may find it. My reasoning is made of questions, not facts and beliefs.

By rejecting what I say as a whole because you personnally disagree, you distance yourself from it. But if finding it is not your goal, that's fine.

I consider everything. But thoughts can contradict each other. But to put these into words, they cannot contradict anymore... hence I need to take a side.

Tonus said...

I think that the scrub player in that post by Sirlin has a very small competitive drive. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself, although it limits him in many ways (it's a component of ambition, which can determine success or failure in many things). I believe that most people do not understand how much influence our subconscious mind exerts on our actions, and that they instead prefer to make excuses for those actions, instead of trying to understand the underlying impulse.

So you get explanations about how the scrub prefers to play for fun, or how it doesn't matter because it is pixels, or that the other guy takes the game too serious, and so on. The truth is that the scrub doesn't have the ambition to succeed at any cost, and thus falls short sometimes, and doesn't want to admit that. Most of us are like that, IMO. The ultra-competitive people who believe in winning at any cost are fairly rare and often highly successful in their endeavors. They keep trying after the rest of us have decided that we've had enough.

Anonymous said...

@Jack Le Maniac The reason I reacted so strongly on your post is not because of what you said but how you said it. Like stating a) people grind bridge mostly to impress peers, b) they are incapable of doing anything else and c) they exhibit this type of behavior in real life. You stated all this without any evidence. You can not expect people to just take your word on these matters.

Second & third. The point I was trying to make is that there are people who play bg's without having the bg victory as primary goal. If you had all the gear honor could buy, then the victory of the bg is exactly the same as defeat, especially if you are asocial and don't care about your team.

Also, if you are among the top 10% in gear and skill, you can do both at the same time: you can annihalate 9 bads while still able to find another player on the other side who is able to pose a challenge.

But this is going too deep into the example, what I am trying to give are counterexamples to your argument. I could name another group: people that have only little time to play. If you could only play an hour or so per day, would you want to spend it standing alone at stables? If you are someone who thinks killing the oponent is fun and standing around camping is not fun. Then in this case the game would be more enjoyable for you by grinding at bridge even though your actions cause the team to lose.

Note I use a different meaning of the word fun than Gevlon uses. I say fun is a feeling you can get without impressing peers. You can have a lot of fun alone. Impressing peers is just a minor part of what makes thing fun.

Fourth: a valid point but one that I already adressed: if you gain nothing by winning, then the goblinsh way would be to do whatever you want. While gevlon is right the letting everyone work as a team gives a higher chance to achieve victory, if the victory means nothing then why bother? This is what Azuriel and me have said, the players on bridge do not care for the bg victory, because they have fun doing other things. They call him a no lifer exactly because gevlon calls them morons: neither group can understand why the other would have fun in doing what they do.

Also, if those people are being driven by the axiom of reality, what makes them different from gevlon? Gevlon wants to feel superior to the others by achieving strategic victory. Even assuming this axiom is true, it would make no difference in the argument because it affects every involved party equally.

Being altruistic is by definition not goblinistic. Altruism is doing something without any gain for yourself. Goblinistic is only doing things if you gain something. I personally believe altruism does not exist and everyone is goblinistic. When people give money to the poor, they do so to feel better about themselves, or they would feel worse about themselves if they didnt. For every action that people call altruistic, I have seen gain for the person who performed it.

Objective truth is a noble goal, but objective truth without proof is religion. While I disagreed with what you said, it was the way you said it that made me reject the post. Reality is always more nuanced and never as black - white, and it is time gevlon sees this too. What he calls m&s and what they call no lifers, are fundamentally the same people.

Gevlon said...

@last anonymous: if honor worth nothing to you, the goblinish thing is to avoid the random BGs like the plague. They give you NOTHING.

The only thing they give to the social is the "fun" coming from the belief that he is observed as "pro" who is "pwning noobs". Just because he is unaware of it, this is the source of his "fun". If killing itself would be fun, he would be grinding mobs (they have loot too and no queue).

Again: I'm NOT saying that the bridge fighter enters the game with the idea "I go and impress peers". He, like an animal, is unaware of his own motivations. He just follows his instincts. The frog doesn't "know" why he returns to the lake. The biologist knows that he returns because his hormon levels changed as the mating season arrived. The lolkid doesn't know why he is on the brige, he just feel good about it. We know that he is there because this setting is optimal to prove to non-playing peers that he is better player than the others.

Bronte said...

I would have to agree with the first comment, "playing because of boredom". I played WoW for a long time because I was bored with everything else. And then again for a long time because I was bored of WoW, but too used to it to quit.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon, if your theory were correct, games like Call of Duty wouldn't have both single player and multi-player custom games. Everybody would only play one or the other.

However, this is incorrect. The FPS PvP player doesn't play multiplayer to show off his epeen. He plays for the personal satisfaction of both a) killing mass numbers of weak opposition and b) defeating individual hard opposition. The same principle applies in WoW.

The issue isn't that he's going and having fun on the bridge. The issue is that you're making assumptions and drawing the conclusion that he's doing it to impress peers, rather than for self-gratification.

Why do people solo old raid bosses? Items / points? Poor investment, considering the time taken - better to group with other classes and race through to get items for transmogrification. Epeen? Nobody else is there to be impressed. Instead, it's the thrill of knowing that you're unstoppable and that nobody can kill you. The same reasoning would equally apply to 1 v many PvP'ers.

Eaten by a Grue said...

Gevlon, mowing down opposing players is nothing like grinding mobs. The pleasure is in knowing the grief you inflict on others. Mobs feel no grief.

m said...


if honor worth nothing to you, the goblinish thing is to avoid the random BGs like the plague. They give you NOTHING.

The only thing they give to the social is the "fun" coming from the belief that he is observed as "pro" who is "pwning noobs".

I do mainly PvPing nowadays. I don't give a flying fuck if anyone thinks I'm pro or not, and I'm fully aware that I could be a lot better than I am (case in point: I heal in PvE specs).

I don't care about honor, either, as I will level the toons to 85 and then stop playing them - I spent 2 expansions constantly gearing a max-level main for raiding and I'm bored with that (I also have all heirlooms).

The thing I enjoy in random BGs are running around keeping people (and myself) alive, and doing that outside of a scripted instance/raid encounter. That is my fun.

I don't care one bit as to whether the BG is won or lost (or, thinking about it, I think you could say I prefer less XP so that the leveling process is slower, so I do care, but the other was that I "should", according to you).