Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How to make a Goblin Cry

Goblins are business people. They thrive on information asymmetry to part idiots and their gold, and they strive to earn max reward with minimum effort.

Some Goblins write entertaining, informative articles about economic principles, while taking extreme but misguided positions on working in a team of other people.

Two big things make Goblins Cry:

1) Buying 10 Crystallized Fire for much more gold than 1 Eternal Fire

2) Boosting weak people through content, allowing them to earn epics without equal input (

Well, #1 is a little mis-placed because generally the Goblins are the ones selling the Crystallized, so it only makes them cry if they accidentally purchase an expensive item when there's an equivalent cheap item available. But Goblins are perfect, so they never make those kinds of mistakes ;-)

However, boosting the "dumbs"! That's a sure way to rub a goblin the wrong way.

A Shadow Priest's First Raid

While I was getting ready for our 25-person raid monday night, the uber gf was putzing around in Dalaran and saw some PuG 10-man looking for a Shadow Priest for Vault of Archavon.

She said she's going for it! And what's VoA? pst, its a raid, honey :-)

Woe-fully under hit cap, clad largely in quest greens with a couple Heroic Gumdrop drops, all nice and neatly gemmed and enchanted.

She lets them know she's a recent 80 new to end-game, and they're all good with it.

Rock On!

Luckily, VoA is a quick little run, so for a casual player jumping into a group can have some fun without a major time committment.

So I give my advice (stuff falls from ceiling during trash, move out of it. stalactites fall from ceiling/boss during boss, move out of it. keep vampiric touch up. have fun.) and she's off.

Quick like a bunny, she kills the boss and its on to looting.

And the T7 priesty pants drop, and they're all hers!

Gratz on your first epic, lady!

Boosting to make a Goblin Cry!!!!!!

A Shadow Priest's Second Raid

While all this is going on, we're getting our 25-person raid together. The plan is to do VoA real quick, then head over to one-shot Malygos, and then call it a night.

As it would turn out, some people were already saved to heroic VoA, which is pretty puzzling why we have folks running 25's out-of-guild, but I digress.

So we found ourselves short on players.

Around this time, I excitedly tell the team that the gf just did her first raid, 10-man VoA.

Many cheers, followed by the GM having the sweet idea of inviting her for some Big Leagues action.

And since she's already right there at the portal, all the better.

So, how did it play out....

1) More news to fuel the Goblin fires. Less DPS than the tanks. Taken on the surface, its boosting at its finest. However, when you look beyond the surface and consider these tanks are the best geared and skilled tanks on the server, and the player is in her first 25-person raid ever, 1200 DPS ain't too shabby, and provides a good benchmark as she works on getting a little +hit gear and a spell priority/rotation.

2) Take a look up top. We got your stealth nerf....RIGHT HERE!

No phat priesty lewtz on this run, which truly would have put the nail in the goblinish coffin, but whatever. It was fun as hell.

If only Greedy Goblin could have been there!

I just wish GG could have been there.

It was boosting in the finest form.

And it absolutely made my night!


Gevlon said...

Actually such articles make goblins happy. Especially since you just wrote a comment on my site saying that running a raiding guild has lower cost than PuGs since if you validated someone once, you'll raid happily ever after.

And in this post you presented the principal cost of guilds: friends and relatives. I'm sure that the other people were pissed off because they had to boost your GF but they had to shut up to prevent drama. I'm sure that if one of them tells: "kick this useless priest" either him or you would not be in the guild.

So thank you for sabotating an otherwise well-functioning raiding guild, making a very good point for my "second challenge" plan.

Kimbo said...

Actually Gevlon your attitude is why pugs fail

You fail to want to be able to teach new players what they need to do in order to be successful

The Idea of bringing in Socials or friends to learn and benefit from easy fighs for guilds is good for the community at large. The player is able to see and learn how to do bosses and is also able to learn what is expected of them DPS,Healing or Tanking. This then leads those players to become better for it

As for people getting "upset" because they had to "boost" said player is quite frankly insulting to a guild of our stature. When we need help to kill Archavon ill quit the game.

Anonymous said...

Aw man. Don't get her into raiding. I will come kidnap her away from you, because I clearly care more about her well-being than you do!

(Also I haven't seen her enough lately.)

(But mostly because...ugh, no, just no!)


Matticus said...

FYI, no one was pissed. She was asked to come along.

Abe_Froman said...

First, I'll do away with Greedy's specific argument. Because we were short on people for the raid, we likely would have gone with nobody had Guinan not shown up. So her DPS, while not a great contributor to the overall amount of damage done, was better than the 0 we would have had had she not gone. And while it's true that we could have gotten another player to replace her, that would have taken additional time. So whatever time we lost by having her low DPS in the raid, was more than overcome by the time we gained by having her ready immediately so that we didn't have to waste time looking for someone else or going without another player. The fact that she got some valuable insight into what a 25-man raid looks like, and we were able to make Amava happy with 0 cost to anyone else in the guild, are just bonuses.

With that out of the way, I would like to make a more generalized point about Greedy's life philosophy. Admittedly, he has some good insight as it relates to making money in WoW, and he should be commended on his ability to do so. The problem is that he extends his money-making logic, which is the end-result of an entirely individualized effort, to the realm of working together in a guild or with a group, which requires anything but an entirely individualized effort.

Richard Dawkins wrote about this kind of thing 20 year ago. His argument for evolution led to many people calling for government reforms that amounted to social Darwinism. The outcry was so great that Dawkins made a entire documentary (and devoted a chapter in The Selfish Gene to the idea) showing how and why, on balance, cooperation is often better than selfishness. Here is a link to the full video:

It should be required reading (or viewing in this case) for people like the Greedy Goblin that boil everything down to "ape subroutines" and impliedly, if not outwardly, argue that social Darwinism is always the right answer. It is just as wrong for a guild as it is for a government, and the Goblin would do well to realize that.

Amava said...

Nobody in the raid was upset or angry that we boosted a friend. This is VoA-25, hugely farm content, which our raid team could probably complete with only 10 people. We were short players, so no raider needed to sit on the bench, and no loot that a raider needed would ever be given to a boosting-friend. Boosting the player did not add any time to our run (we were going to run short-handed anyway), added no risk of wipes (perhaps she herself would die, but no risk of bringing players down with her).

We would not boost a friend through Naxx/Malygos/OS, because there is much higher risk they will add large amount of time to the run. These raids are for raiders, not social players. VoA is perfect for friends and family.

In fact, the very next night, in a new raid week, we found ourselves in the exact same situation, and half the raid asked me if my gf could come jump into a quick VoA kill.

This post does not contradict my recent comment on the Greedy Goblin site. Raid Guilds measure performance of raiders. If the guild does it effectively, you can dramatically reduce the cost of finding strong teams for difficult content.

In the scenario of bringing a friend into a 15-minute VoA farming run, the guild has no intentions of measuring the player, we're just having fun and grabbing a few extra Emblems of Valor.

Additionally, my guild is very performance focused. People challenge bad ideas all the time, openly debating with other raiders and officers when necessary. If a player had issue with bringing a friend, the culture of the guild is NOT to keep quiet, but rather to bring it out into the open without fear of consequences.

Amava said...

@Amanda - i don't think the raiding bug will really bite, but the occasional VoA or so never hurt. plus, with how evil and immature your average pug is, there's probably a big enough barrier to keep her from even wanting to take it too much further.

Oh, and @world...what a difference hit rating can make. The next night, another VoA-25, with the only difference being the addition of two hit gems and the +6 crit from the socket bonus on her pants. She went from 1200DPS to 1400DPS, a 17% increase from two gems. w00t!

Mokhtar said...

I love how Gevlon tries to aggravate every blogger around by trying to justify undefendable opinions.
So cute, so much angst :)

Willowbear said...

Great counterpoint. I would be curious to see GG's response. I especially enjoyed the lack of the ad hominem attack that typically occurs to argue against abrasive opinions. Those attacks fail. Your erudite response was infinitely better. Kudos.