Greedy Goblin

Friday, April 22, 2016

Idea for the next project

Preaching does not work. Many people do it with little avail. I can't even dream of writing in the quality of Ayn Rand and still, her ideas don't have much following. I thought that in games it's easier to reach people, because the games are competitive, so if the idea is right, then its users will win and those who reject it lose. Perfect example is the recently defeated Goonswarm, who believed in "metagaming" and having lots of friends and culture and whatnot by players who had money. Every EVE player learned that money > friendship. Also, games are open and fair, no one can say that "you are rich only because your father was rich".

But for this to continue, I need the next project and I have an idea, in WoW, where the next expansion hits in Aug 30. While WoW openly caters to casuals, raiding is very competitive and top raiders are rockstars among the players. I already had projects in this field, like raiding in blue gear and PuGging Ahead of the Curve Imperator. I left WoW simply because I felt it way too controlled and on rails: you must always do what the game tells you, there is one right path and the best "dancers" win. Even if I could join the world first guild and perform well on firstkills would only mean "Gevlon is a good dancer, good for him, so what?". I want to do things differently instead of just 0.1sec faster and WoW had less and less room for that. When they hotfixed Wintergrasp to disallow my winning strategy (kicking bad players from the random raid), I realized that out of the box thinking is probably not welcomed and went for the sandbox EVE. I was naive of course, it's even less welcomed in EVE and at least WoW devs didn't start a cyberbully campaign when I was beating their favorites.

But I now have an idea how could I replant my EVE method into WoW. In the GRR project I didn't kill Goons myself, I was donating to my "champions" to do that. How about competitive raiding the same way? Picking champions and supporting them to greatly increase their performance. So the idea in a nutshell: forming an "industrial" WoW guild that partners with a raiding guild and supplies them with valuable tools during competitive period. I'm fully aware that everyone and his mother is goldcapped, so giving gold would mean no help. However now they announced that professions will be a game of their own, rewarding powerful, bind on equip items. Such items will be in very limited supply in the competition period, because there will be very few industrialist players, while raiders who do industry make items for themselves. So the powerful items won't be available on the market until they no longer matter. So the idea is to gather competitive players who have the skill and effort to make the items fast, and not equip it themselves but give it to their "champions" who use them to jump greatly ahead on the raiding toplist.

Of course for this to be even theoretically possible (=/= success) the following criteria must be fulfilled and I realize it's a hard list:
  1. The crafted items must mean significant advantage for raiders. It was true at the beginning of Draenor, not sure for Legion. We can assume that top raiders get every piece of gear from 5-mans, quests, world bosses and lower tier raiding bosses using extreme amount of raid time and alts. The crafted item must be better than these.
  2. Getting the crafted item needs significant effort and skill. In Draenor this wasn't present, professions only needed you to put items into your garrison and capture beasts for your barn on many alts and raiders already have many alts. If hunting recipes and materials will be a hard task, outsourcing it to industrialists free up lot of precious time for the raiders. Here we must address gating: if the raid content is delayed enough so raiders have weeks when they can't raid, they have nothing better to do than craft anyway so the project can't work.
  3. I must find a topguild (world top 300) which wishes to cooperate to have a visible effect. Boosting a #8000 guild to #2000 isn't interesting and also no one would work hard for the "honor" to do such "huge" result. Pushing a #98 to top 10 or a #8 to World First sounds much better. The problem is that at the moment I have nothing to offer to them but my resume which has year-long holes in WoW performance. Blue Raid was a huge thing, but it was 7 years ago! If I can't find a topguild that gives the project a shot, it can't even start, as the guild must be created on their server, with their name (X financials) and with their open support.
  4. I must find players who are ready to put in the needed effort and have the needed skill without their personal names on the toplist or them getting achievements or loot besides the "thank for the support of X financials, it would have been impossible" line in the victory report of the raiders. I struggled to find industrials to donate for the MoA board.
1 and 2 are factual, someone deep in beta can give a definitive answer. Then I can find a guild for 3 and players for 4 before the project even lift off. Pretty challenging I must admit. If you have beta information, interested to join or know a topguild interested in partnership, please comment.

A weaker version can be tried, where a server is picked and the server first guild helped as a community effort to a higher position. Here the results are lower, but so are the barriers (the guild and the server are already there and there are some ties between the players. There is no need for the supporters to switch guilds, it can be an "all for the server" rally).


Eaten by a Grue said...

Assume you succeed, and let's say rank 300 guild gets into the top 10. OK, so with enough help from other players willing to give up their in-game time, an guild that is overgeared compared to the competition manages to do well. I am not sure if this is impressive.

An analogy would be a pretty smart but middle class kid who is having to divide up his time in college between school and a part time job suddenly inherits some money and can quit his job and then improves his grades.

Rohan said...

Honestly, I don't think this is a good idea. The current top guilds already run gearing alt raids where they funnel loot to specific mains. I doubt that crafting items will be able to top the efficiency of that.

Second, the Mythic races are over fairly quickly. Within a month at most, and usually two or so weeks. Given that you have to earn and learn all the recipes and gather materials and everything, I don't think you will be able to have a serious impact. The timeline is just too short.

If you look at your previous projects, they had goals which could exist at any time, not just in a brief window.

Essentially, crafted gear is meant to boost the Aristocracy tier and lower, the tier of guilds who work on Mythic during the lifespan of the game. I don't think it will have a significant effect on the Royalty tier which actually beats Mythic raids.

Little SNOOObie said...

I highly doubt this project will work, based on three things:

a) People rarely speak about guilds that were not the top 2 of each region. The reason behind that is simple: It is the best guild that monopolises all headlines due to the virtue of kill dates, and it is second guild that gets some leftover support because players might have a feud with the top one (They are elitists / They were accused of hacking / I am a hipster).

B) People in Top 100 guilds that are interested in reaching the top already try to maximise their characters by farming / crafting 10 hours a day. This is mostly due to gated content that makes sure the players have a lot of time to spend outside of raids and in preparation of the next one. If we add BoP items to the equation, there are very few things you can provide for said players.

c) If they add an "extremely hard to get, extremely useful item" (Think Glaives but with questing / farming instead of 0.2% boss drops), the top guild will simply poach the ~top100 player you will give it to, assuming he is any good. If he is not, you simply wasted your time, didn't you?

Unless Blizzard has a "Gates of AQ" equivalent event, I doubt your financial contribution would be worth enough for a top guild to even spend time typing an article in your favour.

I have been in world first guilds in WoW and Rift (and various top guilds in other games) and I really wouldn't have a reason to take up your financial offer. It sounds cool, but in reality it has no substance. I can only recall one player in my "career" that would be in favour of it (Hi Jujus!). Everyone else was just happy farming in guild groups of all their shit.

It can be maybe useful for the first two weeks of a new expansion if it comes with a new raid that you can enter for the beginning, simply because we tend to fight the bosses completely undergeared at first (current blues and last expansion's good raid gear) but, again, I doubt it is worth the hassle over this performance increase especially from your financial guild's side of view.

That wall of text gone, let me know if you feel like I can provide some further insight that might help you. I would be happy to chat.

Gevlon said...

@Little SNOOObie: the idea is that every minute a top raider is spending farming is a minute he isn't spending wiping on the next progression boss. If farming the profession item takes 20 hours then the guild that receives it from outside effectively kills every boss 20 raid hours (about 2 days) earlier. I understand that it can be meaningless if
- raid start is gated, so they have 20 hours while they can't raid
- they have 20 non-raiding hours (because they raid "just" 14 hours a day, leaving 10 hours doing other stuff)
- they can effectively poach from lower tier guild.

@SNOOObie + Rohan: I do realize that this is a limited time project, a one push for the first Legion tier raiding, since on the second tier, everyone will have full Mythic Tier 1 gear. It's not meant to be permanent - unless of course Blizzard realizes the value in it: making hundreds of players being involved in the performance of a single raiding group and designs further content around it.

Tithian said...

Mythic guilds already do this. They level to the cap within 24 hours and then farm all the gear they need, to go in the raid with pre-raid BiS. Usually there is a delay in opening Mythic, so they have all the time they need to gear themselves out to the max. They even have multiple alts each to work around crafting cooldowns and such (and with WoD dragging on this long, all those alts will also be maxed).

All high end progression guilds (i.e. top 100) make it mandatory for their members.

Kevan Smith said...

Gevlon, for native English speakers, Ayn Rand's writing was very simplistic (it was part of her appeal). It was her ideas that drew us to reading her, especially during the Cold War.

Cathfaern said...

I think the problem is that to get world first not only gear and "wiping time" needed but superior strategy and addons maker (many top guilds write their own addons for bosses). And these are can be missing from lower tier guilds.

Anonymous said...

I might have outdated info about wow, but i dont think you can give anything to top tier guilds.

Lets get a example of a major expansion. Every gear will be more or less useless and are needed to replace. If you look the sources, alot of them are bound on pickup. All the tradeable items are either too rare or random to count on or need to be involved on limited group activities(5-mans, raiding). That means on start, leveling speed(both main and several alts need to be leveled up) and organizing right groups so that no BoP items will be wasted, gives more advantage then any wealth or craft can give. Only difference what i can see is random world drops on sale. Bigger the realm more drops will be on sale. And its was actually pretty cheap to buy out every usable item from auction whatever the price where. If your raid got everything, it quickly sells later back with profit from raid drops.

Now there is gated content whats the main problem here. Daily 5 mans and weekly raids. That is the limiting resource, even if you have all the wealth, you still cant get over from that limit. Who can "craft" from raids BoP items most out get small advantage. Instead of 25-man raids or 5 man dungeons, make 24 or even 20 man raids or 3 man dungeouns with mains and alts. More raids/dungeons you make, more items you get and on long run, faster you get top tier items to all the mains and alts. No wealth involved.

Well, i have not played wow for years too, it might have changed a bit, but i doubt that its soo much different.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, seriously, come back to EVE. There is a lot of work to do, Goons still don't undock in anything meaningful, SOV doesn't matter at all (Mittani is actualy right when he sais nobody stages in sov-null with current sov mechanics), and these BRAVE and Pandemic Horde swarms in their shitfits, massblocking entrence gates 23/7, are no different at all, compared to Goons.
There is so mch work to do and so much room for new projects...

WOW has changed a lot, not only the game but the community (it's worse than EVE actualy)

Little SNOOObie said...

@last Anonymous:

The fact that they are no different to goons is the problem, and the main reason why Gevlon is leaving. There aren't a lot of things you can do if CCP is pushing to a certain direction.
It is easy to blame Citadels and their trillions, but if it wasn't the Citadels it would be the new moon material that only exists in sov 0.0 or the new ship that needs a corp with atleast 10k pilots before you could buy the BPO. People want to be in large groups and CCP does everything in their power to make said groups happy at the expense of balance.

As long as the powerblocks get all the toys, the game will stay in a questionable state, regardless of how these powerblocks are named.


The problem is once more the gated progression. When we were waiting for new content we were farming consumables and gear we thought we could use on the upcoming raid. When that raid was released we were wiping for 12-14 hours per day. It wasn't because we were out of consumables, but rather because the players had other things that they need to do in their life. The only way to change that is by having more players ready to substitute leavers. This has been shown to not work as in order to bruteforce the encounter (because, lets be honest, that is what we do at world first kills) you need experience and muscle memory.

In an ideal "everything is open and superhard" WoW, your financial guild would be godsend. Now blizzard makes us farm between the content patches.

Gevlon said...

Pushing big groups isn't horrible. It constantly generate wars and people like big groups. The main problem is that New Jita is unique. You have it and then you are all-powerful or you don't and you are nothing.

About WoW: so there are enough gated time for the top raiders to get everything they need for the next progression phase. Then my plan is indeed hopeless.

shamus said...

I thought the top guilds all honed tactics pretty much on PTR and hence don't really need a lot of progression and learning time come live.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read Rand in original, but I must say her writing quality is far from perfect. Sometimes she uses too many unnecessary words, sometimes repeats herself, sometimes looks like she's overcoming some childhood trauma, sometimes she's just obviously plain wrong. Those are the reasons the term "objectivism" has a very bad image in my circles, and those people are quite rational and meritocratic. Also, her preaching does work, but sometimes in a wrong way. I personally know a couple of morons who, being on moronic level, read her works and got the stupid "to hell with socials" idea which cemented their idiocity forever. You wrote about the importance of presenting correct ideas for people on correct levels of understanding, and that's where Rand goes dangerous. Her imperfect wording can plant totally wrong conclusions into minds of clueless people.

You, on the other hand, made a huge step forth in perfecting objectivism. Most importantly, by going from theory to practice. You make mistakes, but far less than Rand, because you verify your thoughts, and not just write about your perceptions of the world. In my view, you are not a game blogger, but a modern philosopher (I believe it's wrong to consider only well-known classical philosophers to be worthy of the name, it's just the occupation), and your objectivism is far better to present to people, than Rand's. Because it differs, because it's verifiable, and because it has way less blank spots and wrongs.

Your preaching also works, but in a nonstraightforward way which is not measurable. I advertise your thoughts for reading to many people I come across, I attempt to enforce asocial and rational rules in mmo guilds I pass by. Probably I'm not alone.

Please note how some people advised you to write a book (via possible hiring a writer). I'm not saying "please consider this idea", because it's indeed risky and questionably profitable, you might lose more at it than you would gain. But it shows that your own thoughts are worthy enough to be not belittled in Rand's shadow, and that you are considered being able to present them in high quality form.

Rand is important as being the first person to raise a question and direct people towards the way (not always the right one as I mentioned, but still), but being the first does not mean being the best. There's much room to expand.

Keep it up, and I wish you good success rate in your future projects.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what you are trying to show, and there are two reasons I do not think it will show a measurable bump.
1. You will not get a lot of crafters giving away their produce for free. Anyone interested in professions will want to cash in for premium prices at the start of the expansion.
2. Top raiding guilds will buy up the majority output of their entire servers. Compared to a full server, the impact of your crafters will be small.

Gevlon said...

@Dobablo: these aren't problems
1: everyone is already goldcapped, selling for premium is irrelevant. This way they can buy themselves into glory and fame, the only real "resource" in a video game
2: the AH will be empty, so they can't buy much. The point is to greatly increase the production of a server

The ways it can fail is what other commenters said: production will be too easy and top raiders will do it themselves on the side.

Anonymous said...

Ask kungen or other .1% top raid leads.
with all the timewalls in WOW I don't see any need. they kill bosses and wait until the next one is activated. plenty of time in between to get bored and do whatever .1%s do.

Anonymous said...

The inherent problem of your project is that is it going against the way Blizzard is going with WoW. I believe Blizzard is intentionally capping the amount of benefit you can have by grinding / putting hours in. It can be circumvented to some extent by alts or a close group of friends / glory-seekers working for you, but the direction is that more and more of the work done by a toon can only benefit that toon.

The fact that gold has become irrelevant could help you for a very short-term project in the first few weeks, but I wonder that, even if production is not too easy, the amount of effort you'd to personally put in to get this project going is going to weigh against the relatively small benefit of ending higher up a 'world-first' list. Defeating Goons is a something the EVE community will talk about for quite some time (maybe not your name, but the fact that it happened and how it happened), but I doubt that a 100th -> 8th guild will get much coverage outside a few congratulatory whispers on their own server.

tweell said...

My raiding guild has their farmers and crafters set up in an informal structure. I am no WoW raider, I'm too old and slow, plus do not have the time required. I am in a raiding guild as support - gold, crafting and farming to help the raiders. In return they let me come along on raids they have on 'farm', where my poor dancing won't cost a wipe. I get to experience content I wouldn't otherwise, and they get my goblin production.

That's the only serious raiding guild I belong to (my other guilds are banking guilds) so I don't know if others are that way, but I suspect that we're not an exception.

jkmack said...

I havent played WoW since it first came out, i didnt even make it to the first expansion for the same reason you cited, it was on rails, there was no sandbox aspect to it at all, although back then there was some interesting pvp aspects to it, but i was a fairly solo player just exploring the world a bit, too casual i guess.

From what i have read in this forum and comments though, there seems to be a third option. finding a group that does not excel at the off time production, but does excel at the raids and your group being the value added to put them over the top and allow them to be a top raiding guild.

perhaps i am reaching for straws though. As such a group would not be a "play to win" top tier ration mind type group, but probably just an anti-social group in it for the competition and perhaps too much sentimentalism for the underdog status....

Akvyr said...


Long time reader, first time speaker here. Just a quick point: You live (?) in Hungary, probably the most anti-meritocratic, nepotist, populist, broken country in the EU. Talented youth with a grain of ambition flee to wash dishes in London. You hunt M&S and cheaters, and I remember that you used to reflect to IRL issues, which I really enjoyed. Have you considered doing something meaningful IRL? As a researcher and policy expert, I'd be happy to support.


Anonymous said...

I don't see it making a huge difference in a top guild. They don't need many items and as you say, everyone is gold capped. Regardless, if you are willing to spend 500 hours on the PTR and during the race, why would you quibble about spending a few hundred dollars on tokens. There will be carebears around and top teams can and will pay. The EVE thing to do would be to buy all the items on your rivals server and then realm change to bring them back to you; double win. After all the PTR testing and planning, in the couple of weeks in the world first race after launch, can enough be crafted to make a significant difference? IDK but would think not.
If they allow you to use your Legendary (BOP, rng drop) in mythic, then the most power would come from a good bot.
As others said, so few people know or care about #3; you probably want to aim for #1 or maybe 2.

OTOH, people are frequently wrong about you. I hope you try and succeed.

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for ages. Gave Eve a go because of your blog - but got bored with nastiness and the amount of data crunching I needed to do (yeah I'm lazy).

And now you're done with Eve - I've been waiting to hear where to next for you and I am saddened that you think it's going to be back to WoW. Not saddened in you - but saddened that it seems there are no good MMOs out there to play anymore.

It really does seem to be the end of an era in gaming. Eve and WoW were the only two MMOs that seemed to have uniqueness and stickability - I've played heaps of others but only lasted weeks because of the extreme 'Meh' of them all.

And here we have you Gevlon - the leading gaming contrarian of our generation of gaming adults and there's no MMO fields to plow?

Sad for all of us who have derived so much fun from following your leadership (yeah I bet you hate that - but many reading your blog have wished they had your drive and imagination).

RIP the MMO contrarian movement!

Gevlon said...

@Akvyr: I don't see what political project would be meaningful. Everything is covered and doesn't work. What policy makers and western "democracy prophets" don't see is that the people they want to save either don't want to be saved or way too dumb to even recognize the situation. For example corruption is all over the place and no one bothers. (Nepotism isn't common). Also, the government got awful lot of credit from the intelligent people for the handling of the migrant crisis. There are lot of educated people saying "they are corrupted and populist and steal everything not nailed down, but they saved whole Europe from the migrants, so I vote for them no matter how repulsive that is".

About my "mission": I believe games have two unused opportunities:
- games reach apolitical people who wouldn't read a thesis or editorial on anything
- games allow players to try out their beliefs. For example everyone was free to believe that "friendship is best ship" (nepotism) but they now face eviction, forcing them to reconsider, all without anyone being hurt in real life.

However if you have an offer, you know my e-mail.

Matt Varnish said...

Honestly, why not try to be a huge influence on a new game? Let's say Camelot Unchained. While its beta isnt out for a few weeks, it will have RVR, sieges, crafting. I think you could well in that game, or something like it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think WoW is that game anymore - the endgame isn't really working, people are a LOT less interested in top raid guilds than they used to be. Probably the only people interested in the top 300 guilds are the people in the top 301 guilds. Still, Blizz usually can make an entertaining levelling game so it might be worth a look, see if any ideas present themselves.

I think you also have shown that for all the MMOs you've looked at, the economy game is an adjunct. The devs will tweak the economy if they need to do it to keep things running smoothly. So it's not the fair simulation that you are expecting - at least, only up to a point. Even in EVE, and that was the interesting part. (In EVE you also get to think about whether some corruption is inevitable if players are able to use the game to pay their mortgages. It may be that any game is a better simulation if people can't do that. In game theory they call this 'the magic circle' - only things inside the game can affect the game.)

Anonymous said...


I still think you should have a look at Black Desert. When they open up the nodes to guild capture it's going to get very interesting.

Anonymous said...

@anon It really does seem to be the end of an era in gaming. Eve and WoW were the only two MMOs that seemed to have uniqueness and stickability - I've played heaps of others but only lasted weeks because of the extreme 'Meh' of them all.
I remember people saying that over some early patches from everquest. I doubt it is the end, tho with smartphone rapidly conquering PCs-market MMO entertainment like we know it will have to change.

Guildwars 2, Secret World, wildstar, age of conan, aion, star wars the old republic, star trek online, eve ... they all have good things going. But they are all niche like some shawarma tent run by two brothers at the corner of a town where on the other hand wow is like McDonalds.

sad to see you going back to WOW. I'm very busy with Black Desert Online the past few weeks, maybe look into that. When they finally activate nodewars I think someone like you can find multiple grandscheme projects.

Yaggle said...

I would enjoy very much reading your blog about any new World of Warcraft project you have. I enjoyed the other ones you did, and it seems the game is changing quite a bit. Not saying better, just more different this time around. We will see. I look forward to reading your blogs about it.