Greedy Goblin

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dancing causes yelling, berating and quitting

Rohan, who once supported playing well and was raiding hard modes so is now fighting against the "elitists" who call out bad playing. He also claims that the ones who do the best are not surely right, which is a direct rejecting of meritocracy.

However I don't think Rohan is wrong. I think he bumped into some truth just can't formulate it. The problem, like lot with WoW raiding, is "the dance", aka responding to bizarre and unique boss abilities by some non-standard way (not by healing, damage, tanking). The dance has three consequences which turns a raiding guild a very unpleasant environment with yelling, whining and raging.

The first is the difference between "good" and "bad". On a Patchwerk fight DPS matters. The "good" does 1000, the "bad" does 900. 900 vs 1000 isn't a terrible fail, it's just slightly worse. In a dance boss you either did the mechanic or you are dead. Dead is not 10% worse than alive. It's 100% worse. If you failed the mechanic, you are literally as good as an AFK. If we'd replace you with Arthasdklol in his ungemmed PvP gear mixed with spirit cloth for higher ilvl, we wouldn't be in a worse situation. If we'd try 9-manning we wouldn't be in a worse situation. According to the hard data, you are a worthless waste of space. This alone moves people to berate you. People consider someone 10% worse much less of a problem than a 0 DPS corpse and react accordingly.

Secondly, the good is helpless to help you. If the boss needs 1000 DPS to die and you do 950, he can step up and do 1050 and get a win. If he can do 1040, he has a reason to improve his character. He can do something about the wipe. And if he does, he isn't just "good", he is a "hero", someone who went above and beyond the call and got the win. He is rightfully respected and self-respected. On the other hand he can't dance for you. There is nothing he can do to make the kill after you failed (in progression race, later he can 9-man it). He is powerless to affect the outcome and this causes frustration, which causes anger and yelling.

Thirdly, the good one is unable to teach you. If someone does 100 DPS where the good does 1000, the good can teach him rotations, tell how to gem, enchant, which gear pieces are terrible, where to go farm. Unless the bad is braindead, he can take the advice and improve significantly. You can't teach someone to dance. You can tell meaningless advices like "press the button on fading light" (of course he knows that, he just don't notice the debuff), or "move faster" (he can't). Practically all you can tell to the bad dancer is "stop failing", which is useless. Again: being powerless to gain improvement causes frustration.

The above make the good one both emotionally frustrated and rationally coming to the conclusion that he can't do anything else for the kill than forcing you to improve or kicking you.

While Dragon Soul is much less dancy then Firelands, it's still too dancy. The dance must be eliminated completely and from every level of playing including hard modes because it's completely anti-social (and not a-social): it supports yelling, cursing and kicking while Patchwerk supports teaching and helping (which can be done socially for friends or a-socially for gold or "until we find a replacement")


Rodos said...

To all those who are about to come out with "WoW was always dancy, and here are some examples", well in my experience those dancy bosses were the ones that caused the most frustration and yelling in my (casual 10-man) guild in BC. Shade of Aran blocked my group for weeks, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, pointing at flame-wreath dancers and such. Again in ZA, on Dragonhawk the group almost fell apart permanently due to frustration at a few bomb-huggers.

Other bosses could be beaten by getting better at your role. Moroes? Keep your CC up. Curator? Do decent dps and switch targets quickly. Bear? Tank swap properly, be ready with BoP if taunt misses, heal preemptively rather than reactively.

Jumina said...

"You can tell meaningless advices like "press the button on fading light" (of course he knows that, he just don't notice the debuff), or "move faster" (he can't)."

You can tell him how to setup DBM. You can explain him when he can use the button. Many don't understand the mechanics in the first place. You can tell him where to look, when to move and how to move. The whole "dance" can be split into series of steps with logical order. And you can change the tactics in order to make life of raiders easier.

There is always a lot you can do. Just stop yelling and try to explain. Ask people what the problem is. Always check if they really undestand you. That's the basic communication strategy.

Péter Zoltán said...

Dance itself is not bad. Excess dance and dance that requires too fast reactions are bad. In classic and BC there was much less dance and usually they were easy to complete unless you were REALLY REALLY bad. We should return to that, instead of cloning Patchwerk 20000 times.

chewy said...

There seems to be a thin line in your definitions between educating and carrying.

Turn on voice, speak to those who don't get it, tell them as it's happening what they're doing wrong - Is that carrying or educating ? Of course it depends on the person receiving the information, if they learn and progress it's education, if they merely do as they're told it's carrying.

It's not the dance it's the person.

Grim said...

Actually the main point I saw in Rohan's post was that to maintain a raidgroup it needs reserves and those reserves need to get some raid time even if its at the expense of better players raid time.
Otherwise the reserves leave and when the time comes that you actually need them, you are forced to settle for someone shittier. Then progress stops and it all spirals downward.

AFAIK, this doesn't really affect the PuG due to it being the PuG.

But of course You are correct about the evils of dance even though You've said all of this like a dozen times already.

Anonymous said...

1 question:
Why do we need patchwerk-like bosses in this game?

There are Practice Dummies in all of the cities that do the same. We could as well group wit the person who does low dps and ask him to shoot on the dummy.

We don't need raid bosses for teaching people how to make their rotations right.

With your idea of raiding we could as well organize the following raids:
LF9 more people for Raid Boss Dummy. 25 mln HP we have 5 minutes. If we make it everyone gets the loot from Blizzard admins.

You know what ... that's fun! Only dps, no healing no whining no room for errors! If you are low on the dps chart we kick you and get someone better ... hell yeah. If you "killed" one raid dummy you gained the knowledge to kill another one easier ... oh my god thats the raiders heaven

Anonymous said...

We managed zero fails on the dragon boss afer hagara (always forget the name) by calling out debuffs on players in teamspeak

you can help the dance by giving valuable information people won't notice on the screen but process over voice

Azuriel said...

You are correct, for the most part. Voice chat can help with the dancing bits obviously, regardless of whether that is helping or carrying (assuming there is a difference).

However, I would also say that one of Rohan's points was that one of the dimensions of merit in a "meritocracy" should include not shitting on the team. Dance fails are frustrating, no doubt, but what possible good comes from voicing them in such a destructive manner? The raid team is presumably more important than 1 raid boss, or 1 tier of content. If it's not, why are you wasting your time in that guild?

The PuG aside, the ideal for most players is to raid with people they enjoy being around; since WoW conveys no real-world advantages, it's silly to subject yourself to grouping and teamwork unless you actually enjoy the social aspect of the game. Given that, making the social experience worse through poor self-control is the most asinine, non-productive thing one can do.

Unless you are rage-quitting, don't shit where you sleep.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon I was wondering rather then mention patchwork all the time as your go to example, why don't you explain what your favourite raid is. I feel the reason Blizzard has gone down the dance route is that ulduar or more specifically fire fighter as hugely popular.

I feel another reason is that blizzard feels if thy revert back to making fights about fine tuned dps, heal, mitigation,is that it would place a greater influence on "farming gear" among the community.

However Blizzard could solve that by not limiting pve crafting recipes to raids and implement a system like they did with crafted pvp gear. In return just increasing gold dropped of current tier raid bosses or have boss drop a "bag of coins" to compensate raiders.

Anonymous said...

So you think, everyone will be happy if they create a raid instance with 9 Bosses, that just hit the tank. The healers have to heal, the dds have to deal damage without any movement or reaction to any encounter mechanic.
Tell me, what difference would be between those bosses?
Do you think its entertaining to kill 100 of patchwork bosses?

Also patchwork bosses / gear checks, are hated the most. Because they are brickwalls and you just wipe without any progress.

Also in a Rotation Performance fight system, there would be much more blaming. Because you deal not enough damage and the other players are already at their limit.

I m sad, that you happen to be in such a bad raid, that made you hate the dance that much.
I know its much more difficult to measure player performance on dance fights. But is that a reason?

Riptor said...

I think all-Patchwerk Style fights can also be very difficult to tune. If the Bar is set too high, the Encounter becomes a brick wall for most wow players. If it is to low, the content becomes lackluster and face rollable and will drive even more of the so called "elitists" away
Look at Patchwerk fights in the past. Vanilla Patchwerkn was brutal. Speaking of brutal, Burtallus demanded every last 0.00% of DPS and HPS. This Fight also introduced "Stacked healing" that lead to Healers specificaly haveing to gear towards a crtain Haste %.
Saurfang hc before the Buffs required some trickery to pull off.
Also these fight promoted very specific Raid Compositions. For Brutallus you would simply stack Destro Locks with Mana Batteries and the minimum of support for debuffs.
Saurfang? Get as many Arc Mages as you can and bring 2-3 Vala'Nyr Healers to the Fight.

On the other hand, if you take into consideration how many good Players (Top 100) have stopped playing competitively or entirely, the tuning might become easier than in previuse expansions.

Sum said...

How to help with one-shot mechanics?

On Hagara, avoiding the ice walls is trivial once you realise they always spawn at the same locations and that by stacking on a totem you can't be hit at the start. then just wait for the walls to form and run in the middle. People who don't know this panic and die, people whho do clear it every time.

Fading Light on Ultra? Posted a power aura string on the guild website that does a big in-your-face countdown. solved the issues some people were having. Last week I RL'd a 25 man pug where we called out _every_ Hour of Twilight and Fading Light for the newbies' benefit and guess what? It worked.

Also, none of the dance mechanics in DS is a on fail -> wipe mechanic. Besides the obvious fact we have combat resses, I've killed dHagara plenty with 3 people dead or the ship with 1-2. the fail -> wipe only happens when you're low on gera and really need to play perfectly, farming DS for a few weeks will allow a lot of room for mistakes.

Also, Patchwerk? Yeah, would be the best raid ever with nothing but stand and nuke fights? don't think so.

Kodaline said...

I understand the points. Dancing needs to be there for variety and fun. It needs to be hard enough to be memorable and a decent accomplishment, but not hard enough to be an absolute wall. Blizzard usually makes things harder than that perfect balance, then nerfs as needed.

On the subject of berating; it's cumulative. If you don't hold to a higher standard, every night, then you miss that last attempt that would have downed it. Not every night, but some nights, you miss that last try success. This stacks; people don't get as much loot, they don't try as hard, they don't try as long, and you become second tier. Then people become tolerant of people leaving early, showing up late, and wanting to call it after two wipes. You don't make meaningful progress with only two wipes a night.

Antivyris said...

As a raid lead that has a guild containing people that these apply to, let me explain something for some of you that are completely missing the boat here.

The "meaningless advice" is meaningless advice. Yes, I can (and have) shouted over vent "Move now". These are not what is killing people. Yeah, people die in ice-waves on Hagara, but just 'assuming' that it's them not moving is a bit short-sighted. Why do you instantly assume it's them not moving and need told? If it's a lag spike, perhaps video glitch, dead battery in mouse? All of those take a few seconds to clear up (one of our raiders can change his wireless mouse batteries in about 2 seconds flat), but those few second cause a death, and on most dance fights this means a raid wipe.

While there are less 'dance' mechanics in Dragonsoul as we are seeing, the DPS is more tuned, meaning while you dance less, it's only because the fight time is less. I'd wager that % of movement / debuff watching is the same.

In the guild I am in, we have a very good resto druid. He's a bit slow in getting out of fire, but otherwise he's great. I've seen him heal many things that most other druids probably would just give up at. However, in a lot of BoT/BWD/TotFW and Firelands raids, the 'dance' mechanic was far too quick for him to react to. You know something is wrong when Shannox goes down like a bad house of cards, Baleroc just as fast, and Bethtilac downstairs, and Staghelm fast, but Alysrazor, Bethtilac upstairs, and Rhyolith are stumbling blocks. And I mean hard stumbling blocks. The wipes were fast and DPS/healing/tanking were good.

And remember, for the 'BC had dance mechanics' crowd. Tell me, if you raided BC...

When you fought Prince, did you tank him where he stood and constantly moved, or did you do the strategy where you stood in the doorway and tanked him just barely at range to greatly reduce risk of Infernals? How many guilds did you know that skipped Netherspite unless you absolutely needed something from him? Or ZA where Oddly Eagle and Bear were not bad, even Lynx was doable, but everyone dreaded Dragonhawk? I think those fights definately prove the point.

Goodmongo said...

here's a concept. Instead of having missing a step in the dance kill you, how about it prevents you from healing or dealing out damage till you get to the right spot?

The thing I absolutly hated the most about the dance is if I lagged at just the wrong time I was dead. You basically have around 1.5 seconds to react to something. If lag spkies to 800 that cuts your response window in half. So instead of killing be how about stopping my DPS with a defubb that goes away in say 3 or 4 seconds?

Bristal said...

The dance is only a true wall within the confines of the PUG's rules: any non M&S player should be successful without any voice comm. or putting appreciable "work" into the game.

That way Gevlon can prove his point that it's the evil M&S ruining his game (or that they exist for that matter).

The "OMG, dance is fail" is a smokescreen.

Progression raiding requires social skills like team building, planning, organization, practice, and voice comm. The PUG can't do it, big surprise.

Everybody trying to offer advice are wasting their breath.

craig said...

What I find funny is that nobody will ever be happy. Back in the day players asked for fights that require more "skill" because fights were becoming too trivial and.boring. Then when they do that players complain that its too "dancy"
Just accept the fact that bo matter what the implement you'll never be 100% happy with it.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon has already admitted "the pug" has nothing to do with the "hardcore" in the game when he gave up the DS progression already. He stated as much in the comments. the 3k+guilds that killed him in the first week were just that much better than current people

Dzonatan said...

I dont think the idea of dance in raiding is bad. It's just that Blizzard's current implementation of dance is bad.

Instead of draconian "one fails everyone dies!" they should go for "one fails! one is gimped hard" with the mechanics that are "not fun".

It really connects to your last post Gevlon. They should make mechanics that check peformance and fails on those checks should penelize on that which failed with cruel "unfun" mechanics likes stun or -50% swing time/cast time.

Anonymous said...

Really, Ultraxion is your example?

BigWigs yells the 2 people (in 10 man) who have the debuff in the middle of the screen. You have the debuff too which you should notice. You can even add it in PowerAuras/WeakAuras. I am sure other mods like DBM do similar but I don't use those (if they don't, stick to BigWigs). If you still do not notice you can add audio warning (BigWigs allows this). Heck, flash your screen.

By nature you still want to maximize your performance so you may have to push the button during a cast. Maybe you have network or interface lag, play it safe then. For example, I found out my UI had some bugs which caused interface lag. When they were fixed I was able to push the button later (at 0,5 sec I survive now). If you are new, you also press it earlier. You should also seriously consider to keybind the extra button (possible without any addons whatoever, don't even need macro just in Blizzard keybinds).

Everyone can make a mistake. If you consistently do not notice either your bossmod telling your name nor notice a debuff nor are able to use your keybind (fading light you have 6-8 sec to respond, other one 5+ sec) then you have issues. Voice chat would not be able to carry you more than a bossmod: you're hopeless. Because apparently you are able to perform by being a monkey doing your rotation, but you are unable to learn something new as simple as this. Such a thing Gevlon then calls "dance". Yet, even a drunk would perform better than this failer. If you fail on this mechanic maybe you are simply not fit for this game, and should stick to something more relaxing which does not require a "quick" response. Like chess, Stratego, Scrabble, or Pikachu. This has little to do with dance.

Vanilla, TBC, WotLK had also dance. But then if people failed (tossers fail) then the healers were to blame because "they not heal enough lol." This is similar to LFR Ultraxion. In LFR Ultraxion doesn't one-shot you unless you are a tank. The only thing the tank has to do is smack some buttons (no matter what order he will keep aggro), taunt at the right moment, check the bossmod, and pop CD when staying out. Woah, hard. Not. LFR teaches the DPS and healers the wrong behavior ("just soak dmg (what dmg? (oh, not my fault lol)) I survive and healer will heal lol").

What causes anger is when something which is easy for you is being failed at by others. It is easy for you because you have done it before and you are (over)geared for it, and know your class, have good hardware and such. The failing fellow however is lagging, braindamaged, undergeared, doesn't know the tactics, doesn't have the experience, or a combination of that. If he wipes you it does not matter why since you have done the fight many times and were unable (with your experience, gear, hardware) to carry him. Not wiping on dance is easy: just focus more on the dance aspect and less on the output. Learn the fight first, then perform to your max.

If there is no dance at all you get tank 'n spank like LFR: no challenge, but an excellent place to learn your rotation (I do it on alts).

"All of those take a few seconds to clear up (one of our raiders can change his wireless mouse batteries in about 2 seconds flat)"

A wireless mouse has a slower response time, and has the issue that the battery can be empty. Not a smart hardware decision for a raider. You want to minimize all factors which can cause a wipe. I remember this resto shaman always dying when Sindragosa pulled her in. She did not use ghost wolf, nor did she use movement increase on boots. During break I HSed to grab a boots enchantment because I was tired of her dying to the same simple thing and guess what, she survived it more often.

By the way, Hagara has an interesting debuff which is only bad for melee DPS. It can be LoSed by ranged.

Unknown said...

Please tell me you're being sarcastic. Of course dancing produces conflict in groups. But what would life be without conflict? Dancing mechanisms punish tunnel vision and provide an extra layer of content variety. We are in the 3rd expansion of WoW, it's only natural that dance got more complicated. They've already used up all the simple dance moves. It probably won't get more complicated than it is now, because combining 4-5 (cata) different mechanics in a boss' skillset allows for more unique combinations than when each boss has only 1-2 skills (Classic) or 2-3 skills (BC, Wrath).