Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good Enough

Gevlon had a post up about gear and effort where he states that "hunting for best-in slots, grinding an ilvl 213 to replace an ilvl 200 epic is pointless." He is immediately taken to task for this attitude in the comments.

However, I'm much more sympathetic to Gevlon's view. We all have our limits, the things we are not willing to do.

For example, here's a list of things I'm not willing to do:
  1. Switch professions. I'm Enchanting/Mining, and I really have no idea why. But I'm not willing to switch and power-level professions to whatever the flavor of the month currently is.*
  2. Raid more than 3 days a week.
  3. Take time off work.
  4. Give someone else my account information so they could play my characters if I am not there.
A lot of these items are common practices at the very top end.

Everyone settles for "good enough", it's just that our definitions of "good enough" vary. One of the important factors when looking for a guild is find a guild with a similar definition of "good enough". If one person's definition is much lower than the rest of the guild, or much higher, it will cause resentment, and eventually drama and unhappiness.

If you food+flask every fight, and other people don't, it will grate. If everyone uses food+flask, but you're unhappy about spending the time to get consumables, it will grate on you as well. In both cases, you would probably better off in separate guilds (or at least, in separate raids).

Again, it's about shared expectations. Groups work best when everyone is on the same page, and has the same understanding about what "good enough" really means.

*Actually, I am thinking of switching Mining to Jewelcrafting or Blacksmithing. But I don't have a gatherer alt, so I'm procrastinating.


  1. My point was that the content defines "good enough". You are right that you can select the guild. However the selection goes for content and not for effort. Effort is defined by content.

    For example you can say that "I want all bosses but not interested in achievements".

    On the other hand saying "I don't want to flask" is wrong. Demanding flasks is also wrong. Patchwerk needs 2200DPS. If you can reach it without flasks, you are fine. If you can't you'll need flasks. If you can't do it with flasks, you have no place in a raiding guild.

    You can select content. But after that, you have to make the effort demanded by that content (and not by people)

  2. As if people could understand the "flask if needed"... people need consistency. They need simple rules to follow. "Buff expires -> right click flash -> feel above average"

    They even cry 12 times before trash if they miss a blessing or such... can't you save your "missing buff drama" for the bosses? You know, there are PuGs even killing Sath 0D itself without kings...

  3. Currently I'm Mining / Jc and I'm going to switch to Blacksmith / JC for maxumium gear enchants. :)


  4. Switching prof's? I'd say since you are a miner already, to look online for leveling manual and use that to collect all the items you need to level while you are still mining. Or maybe just collect the more expensive metals and buy the copper/etc?

    Good enough?
    I'm not the type to worry too much about having the next best item. I use redcape's calc and some of these items are only 10 or 20 more dps. That 20 dps may not be much more when the boss's resistances come into play, not to mention the fact that I'm not expertise capped. So I try to be realistic when I'm spending my DKP.

  5. As long as what you are willing to do meets the expectations of those around you and the needs of the encounter, good enough should be fine. However, you can never have a case where one person defines good enough as less than what everyone else is willing to do as it will cause problems.

    For example, if your guild raids to pass the time for a couple hours a night, then it makes no difference if everyone flasks. You'll kill what you kill in those two hours and that's enough for everyone. If some people flask and others do not, then maybe you'll kill more in that time, but it cannot hurt.

    If, instead, you are a progression guild you might have different expectations. You might expect a specific schedule and attendance rate. You might expect specific consumables. You might expect that each raider knows and is actively seeking the best in slot items. If these are the expectations and one person declares good enough, there will be problems. All it takes is one person to decide that they don't have to show up on time every night to see your raids slowly but certainly start later and later. All it takes is one person to decide they do not need to bother with consumables at all and you'll notice others doing the same. Why should I have to spend gold on consumables if no one cares about that other person... it's a guaranteed conversation. The worst I had ever witnessed personally, the person who decided they did not need to wear their best gear for content, they would wear a funny santa hat or some dress. Next thing you know you have a raid full of people clowning around dressed in tuxedo and fishing gear and people get all pissed off after a few wipes.

    Yes, some people probably can get away without consumables or best in slot on some content, but others cannot. Unless you are prepared to have that conversation with each person every time it comes up (a remarkable waste of time to casual and progression raiding both) it is so much easier to have the standards defined in advance and hold everyone accountable. No one should ever have their own level of good enough. It should be a shared expectation, and everyone should meet that expectation without question.

  6. I think switching over to JC will be worth it for dropping mining. I'm a miner/JC myself and I sorta wish I could drop mining but as I don't have any other high level alts besides my DK, I just left my professions as is..

  7. I'm an Elemental Shaman. On average over a raid, I sit around 3500 DPS, which means I float around 6-9 on raid damage/DPS. I'll look for ways to improve, but I'm not going to stress over it. For me, that defines "good enough".

    Given that we bring ~15 DPS for Naxx 25, I'm sitting in the middle third. As the raid improves, so shall I. I'm not even as well geared as some of the DPS who are lower on the charts.

    One other key factor - I don't die. I had my first Naxx death in weeks on Tuesday because I got clipped running in to the Horseman who fires the chain damage spell.

  8. I recently switched to JC/BS from Skinning/Mining to attempt to maximize my health as a tank. I've gotten JC up to 400, and made my Monarch Crab. Sitting at 30k health unbuffed made it worth it. However, it did cost a small fortune, at least to those of us who don't adhere to Gevlon's school of WoW.

  9. Rohan has a good point.

    Gevlon, I think what you are missing is that contribution differences will grate on people.

    For instance, I do about 4500 dps normally on Patchwerk. If you do 2200, then I am carrying you. Even if you do enough to technically drop the boss. I should get twice as much reward as you, since I'm contributing twice as much.

    If it takes longer to kill the boss because you didn't flask (and I did), then guess what: I feel screwed, and I'm right to feel that way. So we need some kind of agreement about whether or not we flask.

    It's fine if that agreement is "just do the minimum to beat the boss". But not everyone agrees that that should be the minimum. And that's what you aren't getting. I want to kill the boss as fast as we can, not with the maximum amount of raid-wide slacking like you advocate. So you and I should not raid together. Rohan's entire point is that you should raid with people who agree with you, and I should raid with people who agree with me, and if we raided together we'd both be annoyed with each other and have drama.

    The absolute minimum you NEED to do to win IS defined by the content. What you should actually do is defined socially, no matter how much you wish you could ignore that, Gevlon. You are taking your standard and pretending that just because it is the minimum required by game mechanics, it is the only real standard, which is flat-out untrue.

  10. Hatch, I don't entirely agree with you. If the only way that you measure your contribution to the raid is whether or not you have the highest DPS, or highest HPS, or TPS, you're missing that people have roles to play. I think that if you're running with a mature guild, you're focused when you raid, and that you contribute towards the end goal, you are performing "good enough".

    I think that certain classes provide intangible benefits - something that cannot be measured simply by looking at the meter, and that as a result you may have a player putting out 2200 dps to your 4500 dps on patch. Perhaps part of your 4500 dps is there only because that particular player is there as well.

    It irritates me when people insist on measuring performance based solely on total damage output or on damage per second output. That tells part of the story, sure, and it can be useful for determining if you should work at your class, but it doesn't reflect the entire picture.

    I realise that you probably weren't saying that the Meter is the only measurement - this is just a sore spot for me because I saw a guild collapse because some people (myself NOT included) were below what the 'officers' considered to be an acceptable margin.


  11. @Hatch - rereading your post it seems that you're more saying that people should show up with the same mentality to the raid - and that I agree with.

  12. @Hatch: I think it's kind of ridiculous to say that a DPS character who does twice as much DPS as someone else is contributing twice as much and should get twice the reward.

    That's such a narrow view of what "contribution" means.

    In addition to the ways that characters "contribute" to each other in purely mathematical terms (e.g. buffs, auras, totems, etc.), there are logistical ways to contribute (e.g. maybe the lower-DPS character has better AoE capabilities, thus making the raid session go faster through trash than it would otherwise; maybe they've crafted a bunch of stuff for the rest of the raid to perform better), organizational ways to contribute (e.g. explaining the fight clearly and completely to members of the raid who are new to it, advising less experienced guild members on gear, specs, rotations, etc.), and even psychological ways (e.g. helping guild members who are feeling burned out or over-used by raiding).

    There are just so many ways that people can "contribute" to successful raid progression that to focus on only one aspect seems very narrow-minded and short-sighted.

    Also, in terms of loot distribution, I know Rohan has talked a lot about this before, but oftentimes one of the goals of loot distribution is to provide members of the raid that are less geared with upgrades, to bring them up to an acceptable level of performance, rather than to give "spoils" to the members who are already well-geared. If a particular piece of loot would boost that 2200 DPS character to 2400 DPS, but it would only boost you from 4500 DPS to 4550 DPS, wouldn't the raid benefit more from the 200 DPS increase? Think about it. Only when you've cleared all content in the game can you completely forget about progression and revert to a pure "spoils" system. Rohan had an excellent article about this at the end of Burning Crusade, when that legendary bow went to that Rogue instead of a Hunter (seems so long ago, doesn't it?)

  13. I didn't realize that the example I threw out would spark such a response. I only chose it because of brevity and because it's numeric, not to try to say that dps or hps or tps is the only way to measure contribution. :)


    If you want to give out gear based on need, or measure contribution differently, that's great! These things are just a matter of opinion, so I can't tell you if I you are wrong or right. I just have some different philosophies than you, and we'd probably be better off if we don't raid together.

    I have my attitudes because I've encountered the attitudes you have and don't like working with them. It's not that I hold my beliefs because other possibilities never occurred to me or something. It would take to long to get into all of the reasons why "give the gear to the least-geared people" isn't the end-all-be-all answer, even though you seem to think that your made-up example of one guy gaining 50 dps and the other 200 is conclusive.

    In fact, I lead all my raids (with a co-leader who is more adept than me at handling the psychological aspects you mention), and do often bring along people who aren't at the top of performance for other things they bring to the raid. I understand very well the other non-dps aspects of raid contribution. :)

    When I'm doing all the work and putting out all the performance, yeah, I feel like a sucker when someone who came in unenchanted blues and did half my dps outrolls me on gear. But that's just my opinion, not a categorical imperative that all other raids should be run like that. :)

    You can disagree with me, but you can't tell me I'm, like, ethically wrong or something. It's just opinion.

  14. Keep in mind regarding Gevlon's comment that the idea of "good enough" is a very business mentality. If there are no tangible rewards for exceeding the customers' expectations (and keep in mind, emotional rewards such as customer goodwill and word-of-mouth would count as tangible rewards to a business), then a business would be foolish to spend capital and resources to improve something that doesn't need to be improved. My guess is that our (somewhat) friendly neighborhood goblin is thinking along the lines of business efficiency in his gearing activities in WoW, and this is supported by his comments and ideas.

    As for Hatch's comments - the idea of 'carry-or-be-carried' and how it affects how you feel about a raid is somewhat problematic, as there are multiple factors involved that can determine effort or laziness.

    For example, how long has the player in question been raiding end content? If they're just starting out, asking them to raid at your level is indeed unfair, and while you may not be content to put out the lion's share of statistics, it's not like the new guy can do any better than he is, right? We were all new at one time to every activity in the game - criticizing those who are newer to the game than you are is problematic, at best.

    Now, take a similar performance character, and find out that he's decked out in higher gear, been running heroics for a while, but always is outperformed by the new and the undergeared, and yes, I would agree that you have a good argument to be upset, since it's obvious that there is either a skill deficiency or a possible lack of caring problem, and in either case, it does make it more arduous to run with that person.

    And Egamami isn't completely wrong - from a business standpoint (as long as the player's potential is taken into account when determining greatest potential upgrade from loot)it makes sense to invest your resources (the loot) in such a manner to provide the highest benefit to the organization (the guild) as a whole. The concept that needs to be considered, however, is that the 'increased benefit' to the guild is NOT mathematical in all cases - there are chances for synergies that can make an upgrade more worth it to the guild than just the statistic-based increases.

    For example, an DPS character is only going to be able to provide DPS (probably) which can be measured through the statistics pretty easily. If that character gains DPS stats, their value to the guild (in most cases) goes up by their DPS. However, let's just say that by giving a lower DPS character a 150 point DPS upgrade over giving a higher DPS character a 20 point DPS upgrade, that this allows the raid to burn down a particular boss in a fast enough pace to avoid or lessen some detrimental effect (such as an enrage). At that point, is the 150 DPS bonus worth simply 150 extra DPS points to the guild? My gut would say no – it improves their performance as an organization considerably. Would it be unreasonable to be upset if you were the higher DPS character that was passed over? Perhaps, but, even from a business point of view, it could be said that the decision was the best decision for the group overall, even if it wasn’t the best decision for the individuals overall. (And this issue – along with the myriad of problems that can come from being a regular member in a group of any sort – seems to be a core issue with Gevlon, as he sees himself as a champion of the individual.)

    What needs to be kept in mind is that it may not be immediately obvious which category an undergeared player may fall into, and that by signing up with a guild, you’ve agreed that the organization be allowed to make decisions that are, or at least should be, the most beneficial decisions from the organization’s standpoint. The hope is that your guild officers or loot council can at least maintain a degree of control and intelligence to the loot distribution process and allay some of the issues with ‘pulling weight’ over the long-term. That is, after all, part of the guild’s job.

    My 2 yen,


  15. @Hatch: I don't know that I said it was conclusive, you gave a numeric example, I extended that numeric example to show that "twice as much DPS = twice as much reward" might not be a wise choice sometimes. "Gear up everyone to the same level" shouldn't be accepted dogmatically either.

    No one rigid, inflexible rule is going to fit all guilds, or, sometimes, even the same guild at different levels of progression. There needs to be communication, consensus, agreement, or you're going to have resentment and drama.