Greedy Goblin

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Racing vs preparation phase

I have serious trouble understanding the Voice chat supporters and they have serious problem understanding me. They keep telling that Voice chat works, I keep telling that voice chat boost bads and we are not really listening to each other. Now I try to separate "raiding" into two kind: performance and preparation raiding. Such separation can clearly be done for topguilds.

Until you killed the endboss HM, you are trying to be as fast as you can. While voice boost (relatively) bad players, these are the players they have. Replacing them would be a setback, as the new guy would be completely inexperienced on the bosses. Also, replacement is not even available as everyone who is good is raiding somewhere and unlikely to want to spend his time with interviews. It's stupid to let the weak guy die in the fire or just not performing properly due to being unable to predict switches (for example the rogue who doesn't notice that Atramedes will fly up in a second and he uses his last GCD to put on the fifth combo point instead of a finisher). I mean, that guy is part of your team, for better or worse. You must use every available tool to win or you are not playing to win. If voice chat is that tool, use it. If giving them a free gem from your own, to replace his wrong gem, do it! If it's giving him a free consumable because he is out and broke too, do it! Do anything to win what doesn't get you banned!

The endboss is dead, the game is over. Your WoWprogress position is set, you can't do anything about it now. All you can do is prepare for the next patch. You gather gear and adjust your roster. In this phase the focus is not on effectively kill the farm bosses but on being as ready for the next patch as possible. I guess even the largest voice-chat fan can agree that turning off voice in preparation phase is positive, even if it cost you wiping hours on the bosses you used to oneshot. The players who wiped you, who died in the fire, who stopped being able to do their job and those who got their DPS dropped by 20% are your weakest links, while those who perform just as good as with voice are your best. If you aspire for higher ranking next patch you should find replacements to the spots of the weakest or somehow fix them.

So use everything, including blatant boosting in racing period and stop using them to pinpoint the weakest links in preparation period. We can all agree in that, right?

Now let's forget the World top guilds and focus on the average-good ones. The ones who are progressing, but will not kill the endboss HM before the next patch. The fundamental question is: are they in a permanent race, or a permanent preparation phase? When you are promoting the No1 boosting tool, you implicitly claim that they are in the race. They should use voice because it can push them from #14325 to #13789. And you are right it can!

I claim that these guilds are in a permanent preparation phase. Their race was over before the patch was downloaded. There is no point pushing to the limit to get to #13789 or even to #8756. They aren't in the top league and must stop acting like one. Keeping up the delusion that they just have to push a bit harder only leads to burnout and drama. They have two choices. One is giving up and going friendly social. Those who mean that friendship > bosskills are happy players. They are not upset on the wipe, as they expect it. They are genuinely happy when something actually dies. The other choice is fixing their problems. Replacing the weak links, showing the proper sources to the salvageable ones. For that, the best is no boosting, letting everyone show what he can do without help.

I'm no longer saying that voice chat is bad for winning the race. I'm saying that it kills all your chances to get into the group that is actually racing (can clear the HM content before next patch) unless you are already there. Voice chat with some great leader can push you from #17852 to #7519. However you are much better off replacing the 3-4 failures holding you back and force that 2-3 mediocres to step up at the cost of staying #17852 and get to top 1000 in the next patch.

Undercommunicated is a similar project to Undergeared. Undergeared proved that to get into the "raider" group from "non-raider", you need to remove or fix M&S instead of buffing them with gear. Gear does change a 7K M&S into a 10K M&S, yet we all agree that you can't raid with 10K M&S. I'm now trying to prove that to get into the "good raider" group from the "raider", you need to remove or fix M&S instead of buffing them with voice calls. Voice call does change a dead raider  into someone survived the fire with 10% HP, yet we can all agree that you can't get to the top with players who stand in the fire. After you have these players, will you need gear and voice to be one of the very best.

What is the real world analogue: if you are a janitor working for minimal wage, you don't need a mopping machine, despite it could let you clean 20% faster, probably earning 120% minimal wage. You don't need "communication skills" that let you get a job at a top company who pays 150% minimal wage to janitors. You need a school that gives you "pointless" tasks, makes your life harder with exams and books, but at the end, will separate you from the janitors and turns you into a tradesman who make 2-5x minimal wage. Then you will need good tools and communication to be closer to the 5x than to the 2x. But not before. If you are a janitor, you must study!


Riptor said...

Now with that i can agree. I guess your idea was a bit misleading at the start as, to me at least, it sounded like you’d want to progress to the top world ranks without VC. I would however like to add one Point regarding Top Guilds and their recruitment. Most Top Guilds have a constant coming and going of Trail Members even during Progress. They usually test them during the fight leading to the current Progress encounter. When you check their sites you will always find some open spot for particular Specs/Classes as well as the free application in case someone thinks he is a better Player than the ones currently holding the Raider Spots. (I remember cycling through about 11 Holy Paladins during one Progress Phases until we found two that were actually good enough).

Clockw0rk said...

So in other words, your point here is:

"It is better to replace your bad raiders than to try and use voice chat to improve their performance."

Which is effectively the same as the Undergeared project of "It is better to have good raiders with bad gear than bad raiders with good gear."

I don't think anyone in the previous thread would disagree with that, though if you don't have the option to replace them then voice-chat seems like a sufficient alternative, as you stated and others argued in the previous thread, a good leader can make up for a few bad players.

But as far as the "Race you'll never win" I don't think that your average raid group cares what their world position is, they just want to see the content and improve their gear, and maybe feel like they are making some form of progress in the "story" or dungeon. They get as far as they can prior to the next patch then move on to new content. The assumption that every single raid group dreams of being a top guild seems unfounded. You're too quick to generalize all raids into "Hardcore" and "Preparation" (spinning their wheels) raids when a much larger and more diverse spectrum exists. Really what is missing is a good mechanic for shuffling like-minded/skilled players into the right groups. As it is done now through the clunky method of trial and error.

chewy said...

You've very cleverly polarised the argument between voice and bad players suggesting that more benefit can be derived from eliminating the bad players.

You're correct in so far as it can be one problem and if it is a problem then eliminating it will show an improvement. However, if it isn't the problem in the first place it won't change anything.

You have never used voice chat, so it isn't a problem; therefore, how are you going to demonstrate that removing something you've never had will help you progress ?

Mick said...

You don't even need voice chat to be the best guild in the world. Nihilum (who then turned into Ensidia) did not use voice chat when they were claiming all the world firsts in BC. So I guess you could say that the point you are trying to prove already has been proved!

Steel said...

Ok then, I promised I will call peace, and I do. Still maintain that certain VERY-VERY specific and complex coordinated moves MAY not be exactly called boosting (and yes, I’m sure for every such I can develop a thought process/other automated addon to not need voice comm), and I won’t call Paragon’s vent boosting… ok, yes, I see what you are doing there, but you need a quantum laser scalpel at this point to split these hairs and semantics. There is a huge spectrum of skill, lowest to highest, from guild to guild, as well as within a guild, and they all need to function in the real world, you know. I mentioned “reaching the limits of skill”, and I can see a maniac mathematician deconstructing the point where Arthasdklol reaches his (say 4.2 regular Hussam in i365) and the point where Paragon reaches theirs ( HC Rag25 in i372 prenerfs) and just label it x, y, draw curves, and then calculate d-boosting(X)=Xmax-Xmin where guild X in (0-inf.). No doubt you are such and I respect that…

Nice playing poker with you also! Cards on the table? Yes my raid lead calls “complicated tactical coordination” in vent, but also “chains, chains, get the damn chains”, while we were still wiping to ChoGall others were sharding Sinestra loot, we still have consistent deaths to Sulfuras Smash (damnit people), and H-Rhyolith 25 is still up and laughing his ass at us for wiping 4 days on him without anybody putting sunders on the legs. But he won’t be laughing for long. Here’s where my personal (non-quantum) scalpel fails though - I can’t judge, because I also got smashed once or twice and ate plenty of lava on H Rhyolith, while my raptor pet was collecting dust in stables, so I’m currently struggling hard to cast the beam from my eye, before I can go pull the mote out of my RL’s eye. And I’m an atheist and all… Are you sure there weren’t any logs in your eyes when you were healing Ulduar hardmodes? (incredibly lame pun)


Sten Düring said...

That's a lot better.

However, I disagree with the race part.

A normal mode progressing guild is still progressing.

Number 12k or 8k doesn't matter all that much. What matters is how many bosses you do eventually kill before the next patch.

1/7 is better than nothing (ok, if you're 1/7 you should probably stop wasting your time raiding anyway, but).

4/7 is better than 2/7.

More importantly, getting into the next phase of a fight is better than not being able to do so. If your raid-setup doesn't have a fixed setup, like The Pug, then it would make perfect sense to use VC the day when you have 7 competents and 3, well, not so.

You're not planning to kill the boss, but you're planning to make sure the seven competents learn phase three in the fight. In order to do so you just have to survive phase one and phase two. That means dragging the three bad alive through them by any means available.

Next raid you expect to have ten good players. It sure as hell helps if seven of them are familar with phase three from earlier wiping session.

You are, in short, racing internally as long as you're still progressing with the honest goal to actually progress.

As for farm content? No, you don't really use VC. You're connected to it, but the fights are all silent with the possible exception of the RL: "Ok, pull!" which arguably could as well have been written over text-chat.

In fact I sometimes get whispers from people despite VC being plugged in. Something about the lazy git not wanting to tell the entire raid he/she didn't pay attention during the progression attempts. In this case you could aruge that text chat is the sign of the bads.

Anonymous said...

I m a raid leader for about 7 Years (not only wow) and atm we have 6/7 hm, so actually your target with world top 1000.

I have to say, that i agree much more with this post, with the last ones. And i can see this having success.
However i have to say, that player skill isnt black or white. Even with world top 3000 you dont have players that stand in fire. On HM you cant even yell at ppl standing in fire, because of reaction time, they would already be dead. The only possible solution is the warn people (take care, fire is coming soon).
Usually the warning is needed, when the people have to deal with many other different things.

Because of that, it's not easy to identify year weak link, when you reached world 3k. Its more that Players have different skills.

- How good they are in performing dd rotations
- awareness
- Performing both together (multitasking)

only to name a few. You can have players that top charts on baleroc. While be a medicore player on al akir (Not failing/ dieing, but just pulling medicore dps.

Usually as a Raid you don t have 20 applications a day. Player's arent a unlimited source (thats why guilds usually always recruit).
Most of the time when you need very good players. You get applications of a few "only" good players. So you have to decide which player has the most potential. And develop them, you call it boosting. But if it works, its a long time investment, where the only good player improved and stays for a year or longer.

-As a Raidleader your first target is Raidprogress and you do everything to get it. Its your focus and you have to work with what you get.

A small example. While we were 7/13 hm we had a bad raid night, where 5 ppl couldnt raid and we were only 9 players. So we searched for 1 Trade pug player. For sure he totally underperformed, didnt even know the hardmode tactics. But as a Raidleader i knew, that we can do 5/13 hm with him or call the raid.
What would ve been your decision in the above example?

Grim said...

"I guess even the largest voice-chat fan can agree that turning off voice in preparation phase is positive"


You are missing the point of many comments to yesterday's post completely.

It seems that you are convinced, that voice chat can be used ONLY for boosting. That it is ALWAYS a more skilled player who sees everything, using voice chat to warn a less skilled player who has all the exactly same obligations in the fight and just doesn't see everything, because he is bad.

That is just a huge strawman.

There is situational info in fights and there are various degrees of focus required for various tasks.
Its not always "good player warning the bad one", it is often "tank warning healers", because tank is snoozing in many fights while healer has to see everything on Grid all the time.

Krytus said...

VC is about optimization. It's about having specialist instead of generalists. Even if you have 10/25 raiders capable of seeing 20 buff/debuffs/timers, they will perform better if they only have to worry about five.

Does the healer can see Ryolith's stacks of armor? Yes, he can. But in order to do so he must move his sight away from the health bars for a split moment every X number of seconds. And that for each buff/defuff/timer. Make the healer worry about the health bars and fire and let the DPS assigned to the feet worry about the armor and call on vent when the armor drops.

Efy said...

I think that you have not played a DPS class with a relatively complex/random priority before (i.e., frost DK). When you are playing a class such as this your DPS directly corresponds to the attention reserves you have available to put into it.
While it is totally possible to look at timers for upcoming boss abilities and still perform a perfect rotation, it's really hard - I'm at 2.4k arena rating and make some (dps-rotation) mistakes trying to focus on everything. I definitely do less damage if I have to pay attention to all timers as well as my rotation.

This is where voice chat is exceptional - you can have players with less demanding tasks and/or rotations calling out abilities for players with more demanding tasks/rotations and raid dps goes up quite noticeably. It's not that player X cannot follow a timer, but that if player X follows all timers his dps drops by 2k~ or so.

Incidently, I suspect this is one reason why dps in the PuG is generally low.

Steel said...

@Gevlon Aha, gotcha. You assume that you can “breed” skill indefinitely. That you can take any human being, and by applying enough […] eventually you’ll turn them into Paragon, or an 100m dash gold medal. Now each person has their own personal physical and mental limits, beyond which they cannot push. Say I do a preparation phase and reach the limits of my skill (and in the guild I’m currently now, #3683, I feel it plenty). Say this particular limit is 6/12HC, and factor out “ability/investment to play 16 hours a day”. By now using vent and boosting I could reach 8/12HC, going into “race” phase. Yet you are telling me that it’s pointless to do that, because the race is already over? Which one? There are many championships, faction, server, 10/25, US, EU, World. For example, my RL, just yesterday was being eaten alive that some guilds on the server “I’ve never heard of” got in front of us (2/7 HC). Sounds like the race is still on. Also you’re saying, if you are #X+vent all the time you may not be at max skill, you need to drop vent, then hone skills to max , then add vent. Problem is, there isn’t a “preparation” phase to do this, ever. Our HC Cho’Gall 25 kill (with vent all the time) was like 3 weeks before firelands, but still second of the server 25, and got us a lot of attention. Sounds like everyone is in race mode, all the time.

That also brings me to the business that really bothers me in this whole affair. Now, I have re-read the post, over and over, and all the fine print. I am willing to sign the contract, but I ask a heavy price:

“I claim that these guilds are […]” - "and why beholdest thou the #8756 that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the #19015 that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the #19015 out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the #8756 out of thy brother's eye."

What will it be, goblin?

Anonymous said...

The problem with this project, I think, is that it's insanely obvious. Anyone with brains has already realized it, and anyone who hasn't realized it yet is too stupid to be convinced by your project. The fact is that the statement 'Voice chat isn't necessary if you're willing to accept somewhat slower progress' is true, there's no subtlety to it. It's just flat out true, and obviously so. The problem is that the statement 'If you use voice chat you'll progress faster in raiding than you would otherwise' is equally true, and equally inarguable.

That said, I think the point where disagreement occurs is that you believe that voice chat only boosts bad players up to a level closer to the other players in the raid, whereas the rest of us think that voice chat boosts EVERYONE, regardless of how well they can do without it.

To illustrate my point, I'll use the Valithria Dreamwalker fight from Icecrown Citadel, since ICC was the last time I raided, and it just came to mind. This is a fundamentally easy fight, but even it provides several examples where voice chat is an unambiguous advantage. First, healers can inform the raid when there's likely to be only one more dream phase, or if they need an extra, without needing to stop healing or for anyone else to take their attention off the mobs. Second, it allows people to announce where certain mobs are popping up, reducing the chance any will be missed and do damage where they aren't supposed to. Finally it allows people to call out right away if a mob needs to be picked up for some reason, increasing emergency response time. Certainly all of these things can be dealt with in other ways. You could use macros to announce things, certain people could pay attention to other mobs than their own, and people could look around all the time to keep an eye on things. But voice chat does all these things better. It allows everyone to only focus on their own responsibility which, I think you'll agree, means they'll do their job better than if they had to split their focus.

Next, to address your theory that it's better to just let people improve on their own without voice chat after the end-boss is down, I personally disagree. It's a pointless, passive-aggressive way to say 'shape up or get out', any guild that really cares about raiding would just say it outright, possibly offer help, possibly not. But either way there's no need for everyone in the raid to suffer for it when you can accomplish it quicker in other ways. Also, I could be wrong but there's a sort of sub-text to your posts on voice chat where you comment on it being social that leads me to believe you think that voice chat, even during a raid, is loud and busy with chatter. I suppose it's possible in some guilds, especially casual ones, but from my experience it's quite the opposite in a real raiding guild. The most you'll hear over voice chat in a raid is the occasional piece of information delivered by designated people about designated events, if everything goes well it might not even be used on some fights.

What it comes down to in the end is that, yes, doing without voice chat does provide several potential advantages, it's true. However, to the last they're either trade-offs or of arguable utility. Giving up a valuable tool in exchange for some modest, arguable advantages just doesn't make sense for anyone. To expand on your real-world analogy it would be like a janitor refusing to use the machines his company gives him in order to use a hand-held mop because he believes it makes him a better cleaner, even if it takes longer and does a worse job.

Backthief said...

I never played with you (US), but if you don´t use voice chat, do you use written chat?

If you do use written chat, what would be the difference between them? In both of them you are telling the under-performancers what to do.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon, considering that you have (relatively) bad players who haven't killed any current endboss HM (or any HM boss in the present content), over the last 13-14 months of "The PuG", how can you justify your method?

For all your short-term effort and study towards greater things, your performance is not significantly better or more improved than when you first started out, once you start factoring in the additional rules and the wider pool of potential recruits you have to recruit upon.

So, for a group of janitors who are studying hard, seeing as you haven't found your 2x paying job, at what point will you finally bite the bullet and go for the +20%?

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: I was NOT doing that I outlined here. The original PuG mission statement was only to raid, proving that it is possible without class officers, raid leader shouting, attendance and all that.

It is now an updated, extended project. Judging it before even started is weird.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that you've never played with a top guild, so I'll just correct your incorrect line of thought regarding how top end, world first competitive guilds manage players during progression.

First, there are exactly zero guilds with 25 people online during progression and they're stuck with those people and have to put up with, and work around their failings. Our raid will have 30-35 people in the raid, with others who are on alts, or idling outside the instance entrance. If a player is playing poorly they are replaced quickly. If a fight favors melee (hah!), we will swap ranged for melee, and vice versa for fights that favor ranged. We don't have the supreme flexibility where we're able to stack classes for fights that greatly benefit from a certain spec, but we will do our best to maximize the favorable classes on each fight. We swap players on every boss in progression, and even on farm content. If a player is going to be swapped in on a fight, they're responsible for knowing their role on the fight, if it's very early progression, they will be in mumble, listening to our communications and figuring out the mechanics and our tactics for them as we do. Not once have I heard our RL explain a fight to a player we've swapped in, even if the swap has brought in someone on our fifth pull ever. There is often communication within our chat channels for classes, dps, healers, etc.

As for bringing in new recruits during progression? Every new applicant who meets our standards will be brought into raid, regardless of the current timing. If we're progressing on heroic modes and we get a new resto druid, he will be in on progression fights. A new rogue? Same thing. If these players get pulled in and start failing, or are unable to maintain the performance we expect of them, they fail their trial and we set them on their way.

People quit during progression all the time. They give up the game, or decide they want to go back to their previous guild with friends, or try to move on to a better guild. This has to be handled, even mid progression. Every raiding member of our guild knows they are expected to be dropped into any fight and perform without hand holding, explanation, or the tank telling them when to do their job. Killing a progression boss with trials is the norm.

Masith said...

I agree that most of what raid leaders call out on VC is indeed a crutch to worse players and you would do better to replace those players. The problem is the quality of recruits you get is pretty well correlated with the level of your progression.

If a guild that will finish this tier 4/7 heroic decides to follow your advice they will only finish it 1/7 heroic. This will then make it considerably harder to recruit good players.

Healer24 said...

"Those who mean that friendship > bosskills are happy players. They are not upset on the wipe, as they expect it."
I haven't read your blog in a while, but I'm glad to see you've learned and acknowledged this point. To extend that beyond WoW a bit, someone who truly has different priorities can be happy with a very different life than the one you advocate.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: You've been running without voice chat the whole time, by your own admission, and by the guild rules, so you can hardly say that it is either updated or extended in any way, shape or form. This post is simply your attempt at justifying why you currently sabotage your progression by denying the use of voice chat, and why you will continue to do so. You are not making any changes to the way your guild operates.

You can declare it a new project, but if the idea had any real merit, it would have been proven by The PuG under the existing goals. To suggest that you will somehow achieve different results by having different 'goals', but by performing the same actions, is completely irrational, and venturing on 'warm-and-fuzzy social'.

Anonymous said...

Most information is presented visually. The boss information presented by an addon is also visual. The brain processes different types of input (audio/visual) better than just visual.

The Multiple Resource Theory of Wickens suggest that there is not 1 information processing-system, but that several cognitive resources can be used at the same time. When its the same source of information (only visual like in wow) the responses are slower and more prone to errors. Parallel processing as in visual/audio information does not happen.
This could be solved by using audio addons, but they are non-existent (?). I can even see it impacting healers in a good way, because they have a raidframe they focus on and often don't target the boss (and it is easier for a tank/dps to call out boss abilities).

Voice chat has other advantages as well. It can be used to change strategy midway. 10-25-40 individuals on free reign will lose valuable dps/healing time to recover. -insert situations-
Setting up positioning plans for scenario's is time consuming and boring, I cant see how this can be a positive experience if it is typed out (slower).


Trelocke said...

When you remove your prejudice from the equation, your theory sounds good. However, you have had this theory in practice for a good year now and what have you proven? Despite

-M&S filtering from your guild
-3/4 of your guild roster being *active* 85s
-raiding 5-7 days a week
-aggressive fail-gold collection
-relaxing the alt rule to allow more raid adaptability

your best kill mark in all of Cataclysm was #5516 (world) Beth'tilac. On a server ranked near the bottom (#218 EU) your best finish has been Server 5th (Halfus). I'm not flaming you or degrading your accomplishments, I'm simply presenting the data available. This is what you've accomplished. Social and casual guilds throughout WoW have accomplished similar. I don't see how you can say your way is better. It may be more enjoyable for you and a few others but it certainly doesn't stand tall from the rest as being better.

Consider something else for a moment. Blizzard has stated they now design instances with addons in mind. Couldn't the same be true with VC? Couldn't Blizzard be designing instances with people using VC in mind? Instances are group focused. The larger the group, the more valuable team communication becomes. It doesn't mean it's necessary, but removing it from the equation completely increases the risk of problems occurring.

Look at professional team sports as an example. These people are all professionals. They are all extremely good at what they do. And they work, study and practice with their team mates on an almost daily basis. Still, when it comes time to perform, they don't do so in silence.

When it comes right down to it, VC allows a group with a similar goal to more easily and efficiently coordinate and focus their efforts. You can call it "spoon-feeding the bads" all you want, it doesn't make it true.

Anonymous said...

I like the challenges provided by bads. Social interaction is a huge part of my PvE game, without it I can not function. I am more of a PvP-er than a PvE-er.

Those who mean that friendship > bosskills are happy players

I was a friendly social player in PvE I guess, so feel free to disregard the text below (although it might be interesting to see it from another pov).

Progression did not interest me. Clearing things as fast as possible was not on my agenda.
I NEED voice chat to perform. The PvE content is too boring for me personally to do it without social interaction to make up for it. How can anyone manage doing farm content without voice comms? Don't people get the desire to rip their eyes out from the content alone (assuming you care more for clearing new bosses and being challenged than the loot they drop)?

Why would you do farm runs anyway without voice comms? The content is made easy enough to be able to make up for it by playing well (assuming you don't intend to run heroics). While progressing through the bosses you will get enough loot for the next content.
I personally would not run farm content without the voice comms. The social aspect is one of the only things remotely interesting to me. What else is there to get?!

Anonymous said...

Story time

I have been in a guild on my alt, a rl friend was in this guild and there was a summerbreak. The raid leader always played intoxicated and the quality of the the players was shockingly low. They were however willing to learn and to improve. You would consider the voice chat horrid. The raid leader talked about his weed smoking habits, random movies, even his unorthodox masturbation habit at times. I considered it interesting, because it was so different from my own life. I would not have stayed in this guild for years though. They however provided content (bosses to kill) that was tough to kill (due to a lack of skill). They did manage to learn and to clear Karazhan. Some of those players (the ones most eager to learn) are now in guilds that are 6/7HC.

Story of a guild
Me (healer), a resto druid and the tank were pretty much boosting a raid of 10/25 people. We would use stuff accordingly (like free action potions) and theorycraft. I would change spec if it would benefit the raid.
In TBC I could log my ele shammy who was tiers behind in gear and still hit top 3 dps. The same for my undergeared ret spec in WotLK. Dps timers were a pain (like 3D). We had however killed Kael, Vashj, Archimonde, Yogg among other things (including some hard modes).

The guild broke up when I was pushing my ratings in PvP. The tank had a break from wow till I was back. In that time the guild crumbled apart due to lack of boosts.

Playing with bads is fun
This is the most important part of my story. For me, progress does not matter. I see progress as a tool to impress other players who care about stuff like this, rather than something meaningful. Being challenged is where the fun is (and that can come from progressing). Playing with bads is fun, more fun than playing with good players. I have downgraded guilds 3 times now (to join a lesser progressed guild after a break from wow).

Why are bads fun?
The PvE content is dull but time consuming. You as player are not challenged and do not have to think outside the box (and use your class abilities) often. Even if you have to think outside of the box, strategies are available online providing this information. Playing with bads can be seen as raiding hard modes. The hard modes just are not scripted and involve adapting to new situations (the errors made by bads) and making up for it. It is good practice to try and continuously improve.
Having to heal for 2 healers while interrupting, taunting to reposition stuff and stunning can be fun! It creates awareness. You learn to spot mistakes and make up for them.

Casual fun guilds generally have a schedule that is less time consuming than hardcore guilds, the ones I join at least (I do make sure there is a willingness to wipe and improve/steady playerbase).

I have been in one casual 'good guild' after they offered me a spot. They raid 3-4 hours a week and are currently 3-4/7 HC. Everything was so professional, including a military like voice chat and players who did not make errors and who came up with tactics. The content they provided (scripted raid bosses) was less challenging than making up for terrible players. The lack of banter on the voice comms failed to get me distracted so that i would not notice the repetitiveness of the content. I left the guild after 2 weeks.

I have split up my two posts. This second part explains things from my PoV.



Anonymous said...

What you are ignoring is that voice chat is a tool. that's it.
And why would you not use all the available tools for the job?

voice chat is not mutually exclusive with skill. Which is essentially what you are trying to argue.

Yes voice chat can help carry bads. It can also help good players. People slip up, even good ones. Voice chat can help prevent this. Plus it's far faster and far easier for most people, even good ones, to go over fight plans, etc, by talking then it is by typing.

Plus... even if you hate to admit it... most people, even good raiders, actually...enjoy talking to each other.

If you are ignoring ANY tool that can help you succeed then you are acting like a moron.

Anonymous said...

"It is now an updated, extended project. Judging it before even started is weird."

Wait...what? According to your stated description of this "updated, extended" project:

"Undercommunicated is...trying to prove that to get into the "good raider" group from the "raider", you need to remove or fix M&S instead of buffing them with voice calls."

If you haven't been doing this all along with The PuG I must be crazy or completely lacking in reading comprehension. Are you saying Undercommunicated will be its own sub-group within the guild, raiding at set times with a specific group of people the way Undergeared did? Because if this is the case, it didn't really come across that way. To me it sounded like you plan on continuing to do exactly what you've been doing with The PuG all along but instead of emphasizing the "no attendance requirement" policy you're now just emphasizing the "no voice-chat" policy. In which case we *do* have plenty of data already to evaluate.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that defenitly does make more sense.

But I don't recall anyone ever telling someone to get out of the fire in any of the Cataclysm raids I've been in. Most fire (on Heroic at least) kills you way too fast anyway. You guys communicate too, you talk about the tactics, you sort out the assignments, the loot and such, just that you do it by typing and we do it by voice chat which saves us lots of time since we can clear trash meanwhile.

Also on fights like Rhyolith Heroic(mostly 25man but 10man aswell), Baelroc Heroic, Ragnaros normal meteor phase, most of Ragnaros Heroic, you sometimes have to improvise with your tactics which is almost impossible (or at least very impractical) without voice chat. So I think even though you have a fair point, raiding with voice chat is still better than raiding without it, at least when you know your raiders are good, or when you are in the "racing phase".

Oh and by the way, have you ever considered remaking the Undergeared project?

Anonymous said...


Would you join me in some hypothetical musing?

Would you consider the use of voice chat in arena as a largely superfluous tool?

Would you consider the use of voice chat as useful for the quick development and discussion of tactics for new bosses?

Would you consider that voice chat reduces confusion of message? (as the actual text of the words only carries 5% of a message in normal conversation, 25% is tone and 70% body language)

I ask these questions to see if you see any merit at all, other than to "boost" lesser mortals.

Anonymous said...

@anon 16:46

Except your first paragraph I could not agree more.
I am the RL of my guild, very casual (casual as in we waste more time between pulls and wipes then we actually do in attempts) in terms of progression, we raid 5 days a week for about 1:30H to 2:00H, we use VC, but usually what you hear on it is not "MOVE OUT OF THE FIRE YOU IDIOT", but more " Why was I life gripped into the lava" or "damm it stop MDing to me", and for me to say, healer X goes up with me on betty, dps Y kill spiderlings, I know i could type that but I am lazy and Speaking>Typing.

When I started to raid ( on 10 man, never liked 25 tbh), a couple of months before Ulduar came out, I did it with no voice chat, and I must say that all of the ones on the group were starting to raid at the time, no one had any great experience and we had no voice chat, we did clear naxx, Ulduar (a bit late on that tbh), ToC and when finally ICC came out we did went for a TS server for us, I didnt really noticed any big diference in performance, what I did noticed was that those bosses that we had on farm, started to be bearable again because of all the nonsense going on VC.

That being said I must say that I can not picture doing something like raiding or even RBGS and or ppl that I know from the server with guildies with no kind of VC anymore without being completely and utterly bored by it, and tbh, to act as if the other players on raid/bg/whatever are NPCs, I might as well play a single player game.

My guild is DeadlyEmbrace@bladefistEU if anyone is curious.


I dont have any atendance rules, I have no fail penalties, I've had to get pugs from trade some nights for the last 3 months because of vacations, I've had a ever changing roster with about 6 ppl forming the core of the Raid, I have VC, We are 6/7 and I can assure you that i am not boosting any "M&S" as you call them, they either get better or leave.

Yet you even with all those self made rules and penalties are only 4/7, wich is the same as THE social guild on my server, in wich everyone that is interested in raiding leaves after reaching 85, leaving only those that have almost no interest in raiding, meaning you have the same progress as those you would refer as M&S.
I wonder if its because of VC or some other deeper issue.

Please do not take any of this as a destuctive critique, because that is not the point, in fact I think you are a extremely smart individual, that suffers from a quite commom problem, the "I am always right, and if someone does not agree with me then He is an idiot/stupid/blind", please do try to beak this habit, it will make you a better person all around.

csdx said...

You still haven't addressed the fact that voice chat allows for better distribution of work. As an example: A ranged dps can warn the kiter where the fire is in advance so they can adjust their route to accomodate. This allows a better chance at beating the mechanic as both players get to input information to the equation, rather than relying on the kiter to have a perfect performance and the ranged just standing around.

Or say a tank makes a mistake and gets an extra debuff early, but this is easily corrected by tank swithcing early. Either the tank can call out the issue to inform everyone, or you have to rely on 3 people (OT+healers) to recognize this change independently, where failure will happen if any one of them miss the change.

I'd argue these are no more 'boosting' anyone than standing around and discussing tactics before fighting a boss.

Anonymous said...

If voice chat is like the mopping machine, then you should use that tool. You're looking at it wrong: It gets your job done 20% faster not so you get 20% more money, but so you have 20% more time. In this time you can then study more and advance quicker than the other foolish janitor who only wanted to clean with his hands and thus has almost no time to clean

Anonymous said...

Your goal line of the endboss HM is pretty arbitrary. It may be the limit of raiding but not every group aims for it. Clearing normals is a fine milestone to aim for.

There is a real world analogue in sports: you can play in a professional league or an amateur one. An amateur team won't ever win the world championship, but they can still play competitively to win their matches and use some of the same strategies, gear and training that the professionals do.

It makes sense to say that a pro team who won't make the playoffs this season is preparing for the future when they intend to give it a go. Their organizational goal is to win the championship but it's going to take years to get there. But it makes less sense to say that an amateur team, who will also not make the pro playoffs, is preparing in the same way.

I enjoy the people I raid with. We're not trying to be a top raiding guild. We're not preparing to be other than a casual, social guild and I don't really care about progressing further for the sake of it.