Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kicking Underperforming Players

Gevlon is turning into a real social type of player these days, on a crusade to improve the level of play in instances. Whatever happened to goblinish profit-above-all motives?

Still, I can't help but think his methods are backfiring. Attempting to kick the lowest DPS resulted in the group kicking him instead. To be honest, that exchange was probably the funniest thing I've seen all week.

People generally aren't going to kick someone for underperforming, so long as the performance does not affect success. If success is a bit slower than it could be, that's okay for most people. However, causing the group to wipe--as Gevlon did--will get you kicked.

In my experience, people are very lenient about trying. As long as the player is not just /afk leaching, people are tolerant of performance, regardless of how good they are actually doing. It's only when wipes happen, where the lower performance results in actual failure, that the tolerance disappears.

I think the carrot might be a better weapon than the stick, at least in random PuGs. Post the meters, say that X could do better, and then point her to Elitist Jerks. That probably will have a better success rate than attempting to play power games, even if you are the healer or the tank.

21 comments:

Kring said...

It's a game and a lot of people don't want to perform at the level others expect them to. That's fine. They don't have to.

Someone who only wears blues on purpose and doesn't break 2k at a heroic boss is slacking by my definition. There is no reason to not wear T9 these days and if you don't for whatever reason, you're slacking and let the group pull your wight. Even if it's only the tank and healer.

The LFG system throws you in a random group which is most of the time sufficient to beat a dungeon. But you can't pick who you play with.

Advantage: You get a really fast group. Even 10 to 15 minutes for DPS is fast compared to how long it took you to build a heroic group in the second half of TBC.

Disadvantage: Your run takes longer then it would with the best group you could create.

The advantage is normally way bigger then the disadvantage.

And I would do the same. Kick whoever disrupts the progress on purpose:
- let someone die, be it tank or healer.
- go afk for an unjustifiable period.

I just want my badges and fun, I'm not interested in your codex and I don't want to join your crusade.

Brian Inman said...

If you want elite players in your group than you probably should be doing guild runs only.

Pugs are like Marriages you have to give, and take. I would rather do 5 slow instances a day than before LFD it may take you 3-4 hours just to finally get a group together, and you could still end up with idiots.

Andrew said...

I dislike how much play Gevlon gets in the Wow blogosphere. All he does is preach the same illogical libertarian screeds, just about a new world.

He treats a game as if it's this life and death struggle for survival. He preaches the whole objectivist "ability makes right" in a game that has an pathetically low bar for entry.

I've always wondered why Gevlon doesn't play Eve or Darkfall? Would his attitude not stand up to a proper "libertarian" environment?

Grr.

For the record, I've only ever voted to kick someone who basically said he wouldn't heal while a (good) dps was in the party. The healer had just died and had to run back because he healed the dps instead of himself.

Derek said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rohan said...

Uhh, yeah. This post isn't a license to insult Gevlon.

Argue with his ideas if you wish, but be civil.

Gevlon said...

You are surprisingly bad in comprehension for a blogger. The issue when I was kicked was a failed, and yes, social attempt to get rid of the leech. You know, people don't just get the good answer, there are several failed attempts before that.

Below that there are two working solutions that never caused me to be kicked: to threaten to go AFK or simply just go AFK.

Of course I could miss the failed attempt, but I wanted to show, that not everything works at first, and also to encourage people not to give up trying on the first try.

Your article suggests, that my search for the M&S kicking failed, while it's succeeded after several ill attempts.

Rohan said...

Well Gevlon, your post doesn't say anything about being successful.

The picture you have (after the failed attempt) shows the lowest player voluntarily leaving the party, not a successful kick.

You offer up a strategy, but show no proof that the strategy is a successful one.

sam said...

And his strategy is completely contrary to all advice ever given prior to starting up his own raid guild.

Thats what I find amusing.

Kazim said...

Sorry if this isn't nice, but the behavior exhibited in the linked post borders on being downright sociopathic. In my experience as a tank, dealing with a player who is impatient and has anger management problems is FAR more destructive to a pickup group than an underperforming player. Dealing with a player who is predisposed to see everybody as "morons and slackers" at the slightest excuse, and who thinks it is acceptable to manipulate other players' behavior through blackmail, makes an easy run ten times more stressful. If I were in Gevlon's battle group I would have /ignored all his characters already, to avoid the risk of having him ruin a run.

Billman46226 said...

Or you could just not be a massive Bag of Douche and leave the group if you think its not going the way it should. No reason to insult and put down other people, and if they are performing that badly why would you want to be there with them anyway, right?

Billman46226 said...

One more thing: threaten to go AFK? How fucking passive aggressive can you get? Do that in a group with me and I will mock you endlessly. Most of the people I run with would have votekicked your whining ass the first time you started bitching so maybe I am just lucky to know people who arent stupid...I dunno

Graydeath said...

I was on a run last night where all the dps was doing less dps then the tank. I merely spelled it out to the group that I'm not going to be healing you if your doing less dps then the tank.

We finished the run with the SP actually playing his class the hunter and dk looked to be really new to heroics, they both still did less dmg then the tank and managed to not take very much dmg also.

Hatch said...

The person underperforming is the one "playing power games". They are abusing the LFD system to get carried through things and force capable, appropriately geared and gemmed players who aren't AFK to do all the work for them, while everyone gets exactly the same reward (or the lazy cheater gets MORE reward for much less contribution).

Underperformers should be more considerate and stop forcing high performers to carry them. That's a "power game".


I'm disappointed to see you coming out on the side lately of people who demand to get carried, Rohan.

Tzatziki said...

As baffling as elitism in 5-mans is I find the topic rather uninteresting compared to what I've come to expect from Blessing of Kings. 5-man dungeons is entry level content designed to be enjoyed by the broad mass of fresh lv80 players. There are no written rules about "minimal performance", and it certainly isn't the place for personal vendettas and blackmailing. The only person I would ignore in a situation like this is the obnoxious guy with the DPS meters.

@Kring: Isn't the statement that "there is no reason to not wear T9 these days" a bit of a catch 22 since you need to do heroics in order to aquire the T9 gear to begin with?

Hana said...

While I roll my eyes at the 400 dps warlock as much as anyone, unless they are a deteriment to the party (we're wiping because they suck so much) I don't try to vote kick them because I figure my time is more efficiently spent just going through the instance rather than going on strike to get someone kicked.

I pretty much only vote kick ninja AFKers and bad performers (bad enough to cause wipes or endanger the party).

Kring said...

> @Kring: Isn't the statement that "there is no reason to not wear T9
> these days" a bit of a catch 22 since you need to do heroics in
> order to aquire the T9 gear to begin with?

I probably misformulated my post. Sure, if you're fresh at 80 you
can't have T9. But as you run heroics you'll accumulate emblems.

If you don't spend these emblems on gear although you could, just
because you think blue gear is good enough, then you're slacking.
You're underperfoming *on purpose*.

Is your contribution to the group good enough to succesfully finish
the dungeon? Most likely.

Is it any different to the person who does not read EJ or the person
who watches TV while running a heroic? No, it's not. You decided to
give less to the group then what you would be able to give.

Everyone plays the game in the way he wants. That's cool.

Calling someone a slacker while wearing worse gear than what would be
accessible to you *on purpose*. That's not cool.

Gevlon once said he would kick anyone from a group with an empty gem
socket. I think he should then also boot anyone from a group wearing
no piece of badge gear when the statistic shows that they have already
obtained 50 frost emblems. :-)

arrowrest said...

I have to agree with @Kazim, this behavior is borderline. I don't understand how Gevlon thinks it's ok to be disruptive to other players in a PuG merely cause he's running some sort of personal blogger experiment.

We're talking about running freakin' heroics here, not raid progression. In addition, his main piece of evidence for calling out "slackers" is using his damage meter which can be horribly inaccurate in heroics since the mobs die so fast with geared players.

I use a damage meter to help improve my play but never pull them out in instances for this reason. They are limited in their usefulness and do nothing but cause unwarranted drama. If the run is going well and no one is causing wipes, what's the point of Gevlon's experiment other than to make himself feel superior in some way to other players? I just don't get it.

LabRat said...

I expect my raiders to be geared, knowledgeable, and on their toes. The success of the raid depends on it, and we're all in the same one because we've made an implicit contract to put forth that effort.

I expect my pug-mates to have a pulse, not be AFK, not pull for me, keep up with me to the extent mana allows, and not disrupt my night with drama.

The guy doing low DPS could be a minty-fresh 80 in bad gear, not knowledgeable about their class, only have an hour to play a couple of nights a week, an alt-o-holic with their efforts spread across legions of characters, or a genuine lazy asshole, and I just can't muster the time and energy levels to care enough at that level. If they're causing wipes, they go, otherwise... well, I guess I carry people sometimes. It doesn't really bother me that much, any more than being the best player on an office softball team does.

So far 90% of the people I've been moved to kick from heroic pugs have been people who thought they were just too good for the group who did the "disrupting my night with drama" thing.

Anonymous said...

"As long as the player is not just /afk leaching, people are tolerant of performance, regardless of how good they are actually doing. It's only when wipes happen, where the lower performance results in actual failure, that the tolerance disappears."

And that's why my beloved WoW players DPS can be clueless slackers while tanks of the same level get a /kick.

Useless DPS does "only slow a bit", useless tank makes the run impossible or at least very very tedious, painful and costly.

And that's why we have an overabundance of DPS and a shortage of tanks.

All of you people who support the "let's be nice to underperformers as long as it doesn't cause a wipe" approach are voting for current situation to continue and deepen, for less people bear to tank in PUGs and more people want to join the "easy and stress-less" job of a dps, not because dps is "easier" but because you voluntarily put no requirement, no expectations to "pug dps", and anyone who will demand anything from them, same as you demand from a tank (because it's a requirement of the run to succeed), will be branded as everything bad, including being a "sociopath".

Problems do not "solve itself", like the tank shortage wasn't solved with the addition of Death Knights, because the problem lies elsewhere than in just "having a variety of tank classes".

Anonymous said...

I felt bad because I was only #6 or #7 on the DPS list (recount) while doing ICC rep runs... but I was doing 3.5k dps... and knew my rotations...

Kazim said...

@Anonymous:

All of you people who support the "let's be nice to underperformers as long as it doesn't cause a wipe" approach are voting for current situation to continue and deepen, for less people bear to tank in PUGs and more people want to join the "easy and stress-less" job of a dps, not because dps is "easier" but because you voluntarily put no requirement, no expectations to "pug dps", and anyone who will demand anything from them, same as you demand from a tank (because it's a requirement of the run to succeed), will be branded as everything bad, including being a "sociopath".

Problems do not "solve itself", like the tank shortage wasn't solved with the addition of Death Knights, because the problem lies elsewhere than in just "having a variety of tank classes".


Yeah, all that makes perfect sense, as long as you can talk yourself into believing that acting like a sociopath will actually improve other players' performance. Let's try to imagine a scenario in this fantasy:

Gevlon: "That DPS is a huge slacker! I demand that you kick him immediately, or I will go on follow mode for the remainder of this dungeon!"
Other players: "Yes, oh wise Gevlon, we accede to your demands."
(Slacker is kicked)
Slacker: "Woe is me, I have lost my spot! I think I will drop this character and become a tank. I will also become a five times better player so I can tank effectively and lead teams to victory."

Um... no. I can't see this actually happening.

Frankly, being bad at the game is its own punishment. As a competent tank, I jump to the front of the random queue instantly, and I usually finish the dungeon in a short time. If the other players are good then we finish with ease; if there are a handful of bad players, we still survive most of the time.

On the other hand, for a bad DPS, the ONLY time they're gonna win is when paired with other players who are better than them. They have naturally long queue times just by being a DPS; their groups are liable to wipe more often just because they're in it; and they often won't finish the dungeon. So why should I care if they score the occasional victory by joining my group? Is it worth throwing a tantrum about?

Personally, I think the tank shortage is awesome. Since I like tanking, this makes my life ridiculously easy. If you're bad because not enough players are available to tank for you, I can't see what it benefits you to bitch out weaker players who, for whatever reason, would make terrible tanks anyway. Quit bitching and play your tank, and show those people how it's done.