Thou shalt not - dealing out punishments in raids
Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:34 AM
We decided to start penalizing. Die in a normal spout, you pay 10G to the raid bank, every time it happens. And guess what, we went from almost certain deaths to 0 spout induced deaths. Just by threatening to penalize.
Now yesterday we were at Lurker again, I was convinced to bring it down, because we had him at 30% eventually. But it didn't happen. People died left and right. Some (rare) spout deaths. Some stupid positioning (caster in melee-range of lurker after add phase, and MT seemlingy a split second not in Melee range or ranged getting WW damage&knockback or people coming out of the water too early and get the spout still, etc). In short, massive problems due to lack of concentration. And after enough people die, it breaks down, we wipe.
Too many died, again and again, we didn't get below 50% HP. After trash reclear and another awful attempt, the raidleader in charge cursed out loudly, complained about the utter lack of concentration, shot down any and all excuses and told everyone to get their act together for one last final attempt. And we bring lurker down to 11% subsequently. It still fell apart late, but it was like day and night from an execution based point of view. There was more concentration and you felt it.
Now we obviously have a big problem with concentration and need to work on that - so this is what this thread is about. How do you punish players in your raid for concentration mistakes that wipe your raid ? We try of course to go somewhere where we don't need to punish for concentration but at the moment we seem to need some penalties to get people to be on their balls.
I'm pretty sure that there are huge differences in attitude of the raid-players. If you're a top-end everyone absolutely wants to be in the raid this night kind of guild, it probably suffices if you all collectively laugh about who made a stupid mistake. And you may be able to threaten to replace the player on repeated offenses, because you have 4 people waiting outside the raidinstance anyway.
But what do you do if you can't do that ? How do you 'motivate' ? We're for example not there yet people-wise that we could replace anyone at a blink. I'm trying to push for more people in the raidgroup and having replacements ready. At the moment though we're running a "sign-up" type of raiding, which means that those who are in, are known in advance and there might not be any more people available except those 25.
So with that in mind, or for other raids doing likewise: How do you punish people doing idiotic things and wiping your raid ? What worked for you, what didn't work ? Where do you draw the line and really kick someone out of your running raid and replace him ? Is there some funny little thing you instituted which turned out to massively change the problem rate for the better, like for us charging 10G for every spout death ?
Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:42 AM
We speak with people who are repeatedly making mistakes, and if they don't fix them, they don't come to that fight next time round until they can demonstrate some sort of improvement.
I'd also recommend that you don't stick to a religious sign up rote - as all it does is emphasies the people who visit your forums a lot for raid places, rather than the individual's skills that your raid leader is in a better position to judge than anyone else.
You motivate people with success and couragement. PUnishing peopel doesn't motivate them, it just pisses them off in the long run for the majority of people.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:43 AM
It was easy in EQ. Every single person present had thousands of hours of play tied up into that character and they were trying to at least show a modicum of competence. Hell, a lot of us were striving to show above the crowd. There was also the AA grind which like or hate it allowed you to get to know every member of your (massive) raidforce at some point or another. The last mechanic that really turned the trick was the lack of instancing! If people were late, it wasn't just that we stood around with our dicks in our hands, it was that Guild Y popped a target that we wanted dead and lacked bodies to execute. That stung a lot more than "omg, finally another healer logged in!".
It is fun though to look at the scenarios and the various ways to deal with it. If I personally ever have to introduce gp penalties to my raids, I'll quit first. Take that as you will.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:45 AM
It leads to very rapid improvement, though we have lost a few members to accidents after they repeatedly failed to click cubes on Magtheridon
Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:45 AM
Seriously though if people cant step off a platform with 5+ seconds warning then you might want to start giving out some constructive criticism with regard to how they control their char (we are elitist c*nts who mock people who use their keyboard for turning etc).
If your having people die when rotating round then get them to move to the right of the MT when the spout warning comes up as it seems to only rotate clockwise these days.. Or just change to a dip strat as anyone who cant survive 7-8 seconds in the water needs more hp (you really should be clearing to get scalding water as the fish hurt like hell and everyone on the main platform would cause some serious geyser deaths to fish)
Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:08 AM
We're a raid group that was quite casual and we're currently semi-casual wanna-be hardcore. And thus we struggle with getting peoples attutitude to the right mind-set. There shouldn't be punishments, I fully agree. We don't want to, actually. We didn't ever do stuff like that before. But we did so, this week after there was just too much dieing due to spout: and it was extremely effective. As I wrote, after this was announced, people actually concenctrated fully on that. It worked, it worked brutally effective. We did say before to concentrate on that - with mediocre results.
So really, if constructive critique does not work ( we do that ! ) or does not show immediate results. What do you do ?
If your having people die when rotating round then get them to move to the right of the MT when the spout warning comes up as it seems to only rotate clockwise these days..
I've heard that before but it seems random clockwise or counter-clockwise for us. Not fixed direction.
I'd also recommend that you don't stick to a religious sign up rote - as all it does is emphasies the people who visit your forums a lot for raid places, rather than the individual's skills that your raid leader is in a better position to judge than anyone else.
You motivate people with success and couragement. PUnishing peopel doesn't motivate them, it just pisses them off in the long run for the majority of people
I'm pushing for a change in the way we put together a running raid. Though that is an entirely different discussion/topic (not an unintersting one, either).
Problem is, we demotivate people who are actively giving their best all the time by allowing or letting people get away with lack of concentration at this point. I rather have no punishments at all, true. We're working on that as well, but in the mean time, it has shown to work, if only to get people to focus more / better on stuff they wouldn't even if it is said explicitly before. Somewhat sad, I know, but there you are. It's not the main raid style by which we want to raid. But maybe there are situations where punishment doled out is warranted ? That I want to find out.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:15 AM
If that doesn't work, cancel the raid, no need to raid with non-motivated players.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:49 AM
One has to keep in mind that if people are extremely nervous about messing up, often it will cause them to mess up even more. Getting people to relax and feel confident is more important than scaring them.
Do you have to occasionally yell at people to shape up? Absolutely. But don't be too harsh on people who might be trying really hard but just messing up. Giving advice and being positive towards people who try will have a far greater effect than threatening to punish them.
If you are having general focus issues in a raid, don't be afraid to call it a night. Seriously. Pushing a raid too late, too long, or too hard will just result in mounting repaircosts. If you go from a 4% wipe to a 30% wipe to a 50% wipe with lots of mistakes in successive attempts, just come back the next day fresh. There is a time for toughing it out (especially if it's early in the evening) and there is a time for calling it. And, interestingly enough, the threat of calling a raid if things don't improve is one of the most dramatic things you can do--people generally care a lot more about losing raid time than 10 gold, after all.
The core issue in your example though sounds to be a "regular" lack of focus. In the end, you need to get your raid group to understand the need for focusing and to do it on a regular basis without the threat of punishment. Do us raid leaders have to yell at times? Sure do. But, if the raid group is having consistant focus issues it's time to sit people down and explain, "Hey guys, if we keep this up this way all it means is lots of wipe nights and lots of repair costs. I know you are all capable of playing at a much higher level, so please pull it together and focus tonight so we can kill stuff."
Save punishment for the dramatic cases. Overuse will usually lead to it being an ineffective deterrent in the long run anyhow, leaving you with less tools for handling the bad cases of poor conduct.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:50 AM
We never punished people for lack of attention!
We have Maulgar on farm, usually our main-healer finishes the fight with 30% mana without using any form of mana recovery.
A few nights ago we raided with a lot of newbies - they were new to Maulgar, not new to raiding, as we actively raided pre-BC - and we were wiping to Maulgar again and again. People didn't interupt the heal, the maintank was dieing, Kiggler was running rampant every other attempt and so on. After every try I reminded people to pay attention to all the things above, but something always went wrong. Morale with our regulars was running low after we had to clear the trash again. So I threatened to cancel the raid if we wiped again due to lack of concentration and all of a sudden Blindeye didn't heal, Kiggler stood in his place, the maintank survived and Maulgar died.
Shaking people up, threatening to do something (cancel the raid, kick unattentive players) is a useful tool, as long as you don't use it every other raid. If you're perceived as a choleric raidleader the effect soon wears off.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:25 AM
Voluntary punishment (like the pay 10g to the bank) requires players who agree with the punishment and comply. You can't force the players to send in 10g if they die by reaching into thier accounts and debiting it from them. Players usually have to agree that the punishment is fair. See this a lot in raising kids- this is time out in an open room, additional chores, and other unenforceable restrictions of freedom. If the figure of authority is strong enough or the sense of punishment is fair enough to the punished, everything usually goes along swimmingly. On the down side- leaders can be wrong, and people can be irresponsible or unwilling to submit to punishment even if the leadership has deemed it necessary. Since it's voluntary- it will only work for as long as the guild is willing to allow it to work.
Actioned punishments are usually enforceable. 50dkp minus. You have absolute control over something and are withdrawing it (or adding it, but that's pretty darn rare in punishments... the only example I can think of is blasting people with terrible music when they screw up). Usually they'll be related to the only things leaders in an online setting can control. Participation and rewards. There's no question of wrong or right, and in real life- there's usually no alternative. Locking a kid in their room. Denying supper. Spanking. Once a kid reaches a certain age though- those punishments usually stop cold. Usually around 17-20 the person being punished suddenly has realistic alternatives and the ability to walk out if they feel it's unfair- suddenly making most punishments voluntary. After a certain age most people simply won't allow themselves to be in a position so lacking in control that they can be unfairly (involuntarily) punished. They rebel. They get pissed. They walk away. Sadly, most people new to pure leadership positions try to fall back on this as default if they don't have other training. It can work.... as long as you choose people willing to allow themselves to be punished and who react well to that kind of environment. 50dkp minus guy still managed to run a guild with enough people to kill Onyxia. In my experience most guilds that use punishment as the only motivator tend to crumble once people look around and say "hey why the hell am I letting this guy beat me up over A GAME?"
Logic is basic. You lay out the facts and you let the people you're trying to lead make decisions. We can wipe 15 more times- or we can focus and kill him. Works great with adults and tends to give predictable results. Sadly it's not likely to give dramatic results- which is usually what you're looking for... but it's a great place to start. It can also go a little haywire when the herd suddenly chooses the choice you didn't intend them to choose. We can go left and spend 15 min clearing to easy boss, or we can go right and spend 2 hours clearing to hard boss. When raids detour....
Cajoling is basic too. It's begging. Pleading to the raid to do what you want them to do without reward or punishment. It's also pretty worthless in the scheme of things and only really works if you've managed to brainwash your guild into a cult that acts entirely on your whims with no regards to game theory. Cults are bad mmkay?
Positive reenforcement. Raids do it all the time. It's what the entire game is based around. Kill a monster- get a prize! Anything dealing with loot is already set up around positive reenforcement. It's proven to be effective at all age levels with long lasting results- I mean seriously. Need to see it in action? How long have YOU been playing World of Warcrack? Set out the desired outcome, and when it's done, give the virtual cookie. Wave the cookie in people's faces if needed- but find a cookie that will motivate them. Some guild's are going to be loot cookies. Some use world/server/faction/guild firsts- achievements. Some it's good enough to have everyone happy together. Reward good behavior often and meaningfully and you'll see long term results. What you WON'T see is instant results, the majority of the time. Every positive reenforcement eventually wears out- killing Ragnaros was an awesome cookie 2 years ago, but it's not really rewarding now. Drugs are great for the first few hits- but the death and decay down the road sucks. Only so often you can dangle really great incentives out there before those incentives wear off. It's not an incentive for Rebirth to get a server first anymore- we've had them for years.
What do we do? A lot of logic, some positive reinforcement, and a small amount of punishment- usually coated nicely. If the raid simply can't get it's shit together- raid is given a short afk with strong advice for everyone to get the wiggles out and come back focused. It's not a reward because most of our people WANT to raid and WANT to get stuff accomplished- and 10 min of sitting around "focusing" doesn't kill bosses. Constant reminders of the evenings goal and how close we are- little reminders of what's changed and how this solution is better... those are things that tend to work for us.
Screaming at the raid- doesn't work for us. We have enough independent thinkers and strong personalities that pushing it beyond polite and semi-mannerly adult to adult directions tends to wind up with the raiders simply leaving in protest- first raids, and then the guild. Some guild have raid leaders who walk out in disgust- we have raid members who do. That said, we've had our hair raising screams in vent before when someone is simply pushed too far and in the extreme short term it can work wonders for the raid. I think people just go into shock. Once the shock wears off though- the screaming had better have died down or everything will go to hell with no one focused on the raid at all.
All that out there, however, and we have issues with people who abuse the lack of punishments to goof off or not pull their weight and there's not a great solution for that aside from dismantling parts of the guild to force compliance. It's not the best for people who are constantly motivated internally and who have to deal with sometimes sloppy play and who really want to scream at people for not being the same. There's a certain amount of tolerance necessary to deal with a system that's strongest punishment is removal from raid- and that's 99% of the time a voluntary punishment (Guys, I'm really sucking right now and can't focus- can you get SoandSo to take my place. Fuck, I wanted to be here too.).
Every guild is a little different and what you tolerate changes as well.
Bad news is we're postponing those tests indefinitely. Good news is we've got a much better test for you: fighting an army of mantis men.
Pick up a rifle and follow the yellow line. You'll know when the test starts.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:26 AM
Basically, get to the point of why you wiped, and deal with it, and move on. But you can't be afraid to call someone out on something to figure out what happened, and why, and how to fix it.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:38 AM
For us part of the key was figuring out *why* people were "being stupid."
First we had a lot of DPS'ers staying in too long to try to maximize their DPS. When we pointed out "you can dps from the water," automagically mages/locks/spriests/hunters stopped dying.
Second we had healers staying in too long, trying to get more heals on the tank. Tank said "I only take like 3k, you dont' need to stay in spamming heals on me, get the hell out of there!" Less magic there, but it still worked.
Finally it seemed that we just had folks sometimes get too "heads down" in what they were doing. So we started consistently calling it on vent. Many of the remaining spout deaths disappeared.
Yes it was more effort and more gold than a guild where the raidleader just yells and people fall in line. But it was a more appropriate approach for us, and also pretty repeatable, since all the above reminders will work again next week (although I expect some struggling while things 'sink in'.)
Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:21 PM
Performance varies wildly from week to week. This week seems to be especially bad. We wiped to Magtheridon 4 times in a row, because we tried doing him without having to call out the click teams on teamspeak. Raidwarning messages do not seem to work. Yesterday we failed to kill Leotheras because people kept pulling aggro on transitions or failiing to kill their demons. After that we went beack to announcing "attention transition soon" on teamspeak and went through "how to kill your demon for all healer classes" which solved the problems, but let to annoying 1% and 2% wipes to the enrage because people were wasting dps time by standing around in fear of pulling aggro. As if we had not gone through all of this last week and the week before. We wipe to lurker because of sheeps that come out early and the dozing mage standing next to it and getting one shotted. We wipe to trash because people bodypull while the adds are being marked and rezzing/buffing is taking place (and that is the new 2.1 trash mind you). We wipe to Tidewalker because paladins buff salvation for themselves and the warlocks and neither of them notice...
Last week we cleared through ssc, mag, gruul in two raiding days and that included the new hydross (whom we had to relearn) and leotheras (whom we had practiced pre patch but not killed). This week we killed Void-Reaver (first time to TK, two-shotted him) and Hydross(5 tries) +Lurker(6 tries) so far, none of which was a clean kill.
I am 100% certain, that we could one oder twoshot every single boss we have killed so far and never wipe to trash if people where just as focused as they were when we killed them the first time. And if everybody took 5 minutes for himself to think about what was important for him to take care of in a particular encounter instead of letting raidlead figure it out for him three wipes later. Unfortunatly I have no solution to these issues short of wiping to them as often as need be until people can do the right thing half asleep and trying to motivate them as good as I can (which is not good enough as it seems). Or getting myself a guild with a more "proffessional" attitude.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:41 PM
Having been a GM and a raid leader for a considerable amount of time, I have found that the most worthwhile approach when attempting to keep people on their toes is to remind them about who they are and what they're doing. This is not an existential discussion, but rather a reminder that their position is a valuable one. On my realm, we have a fairly small raiding population, and I myself have always kept high standards when raiding. I have rarely gone and stated openly that a particular person or set of people was causing a problem with an encounter, but I think most people knew to whom I was referring. I have regularly stated, though, that I would be willing to replace anyone and everyone (including myself) who was causing an encounter to be incomplete. As many people know, Main Tanks can get egos, but when you find yourself willing to invoke this principle on them as well, their ego rapidly deflates. Some might argue that this just induces fear in individuals, and I have no doubt that it does on some level. I believe it also induces consciousness, though, and because I have always been very careful (or at least in my mind such) to limit the degree to which I would assail a specific person's efforts, the collective consciousness increased dramatically. Probably the first time this became clear was with Nefarian in BWL, as that was one of the first major raiding challenges for us. I also would regularly invoke a "last attempt" mentality, and the results became startling. In our early learning, every time I stated "last attempt" we would get a boss kill; we began to joke that I should start the evening with the same line to save us all time.
As it pertains to consequences, in the past we have had people voluntarily pay the guild bank money for wipes. For example, during the early days of learning Vael, anyone who failed to move when having Burning Adrenaline would, by accepting an invite to the raid, agree to pay the guild 40g. But it's important to note that this sort of punishment alone is not a worthwhile approach. When we had good nights with speed clears or we learned a new encounter rapidly, I would reward every member of the raid (and the bench, to a lesser degree) with cash for their focus. In pre-TBC, gold was a major influence in people's participation, and so I found this a worthwhile incentive. It was never guaranteed and was far from regular, but when people knew that their worthwhile productivity could net them more than an early raid night and a feeling of accomplishment, they tended to step their game up all the more. I suppose I started invoking this policy the most in late AQ40 and into Naxxramas.
I think more than anything you have to find people who are like minded as you, who admit to their mistakes and seek to avoid a reproduction of them. Sometimes this requires "tough love" in the sense of telling them quite plainly (albeit with an absence of vitriol) that they must improve in order to stay in the raid, but I don't think it's unreasonable given the amount of time and effort that raiding tends to require. (It dwarfs in comparison to other MMORPGs and is certainly not as bad now as it was pre-TBC, but for a guild like mine for which all its members have full-time jobs, it's an ample investment.) I think most people want to succeed, and I don't think there are too many "filler" roles remaining, but I don't think anyone should allow their ego to become so large as to forget that an entire other body of individuals are counting upon them to supplement their enjoyment. And because it's enjoyment that we seek principally after all, one must be ever mindful of that. Only when we choose to forget that enjoyment can still imply responsibility does it go south.
That's my take.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:46 PM
Works more often than not. You'd be surprised!
Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:53 PM
Performance varies wildly from week to week. This week seems to be especially bad. We wiped to Magtheridon 4 times in a row, because we tried doing him without having to call out the click teams on teamspeak. Raidwarning messages do not seem to work.
Just wanted to comment on this because I've dealt with similar issues in the past. This goes way back, but I'm sure many people here can still understand the example.
Back in my old guild, we would have the occasional stupid wipe on Corehound packs just because people would mindlessly DPS, kill dogs too fast, etc. (This was, of course, very early in our MC progress before you could brute-force it.) The guild got way too used to having to be babysat with "/rw SWAP TARGET NOW!!!!11111" type of things...and if they didn't have it (and sometimes even if they did) they failed to do what they "knew" they should do.
Fast-foward a couple months when we started a new guild, the first time we got to this part (with quite a few people who were new to raiding) I made a decision: I'm not going to baby people. I told people quite plainly what to do, and how to do it. We wiped once due to some mistakes. I explained again and let people know very clearly that THEY are responsible for keeping the raid alive. After that, we never had any problems. People swapped when they noticed their target was low and didn't require me or anyone else to tell them what to do.
Warnings can help early on, but I feel that it's important to help people understand that they need to take personal responsibility for their own actions. It's tempting just to "take control" and coddle them through it, but forcing them to step up will make them better in the long run. It will also take a lot more pressure off of you--nobody wants a situation where you forget to spam your macro or yell on Ventrillo and the raid wipes because people don't do what they should know to do already.
Also, nice post Zophos. I agree with many of your points.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:45 PM
I definitely have the bad cop role in the raid, and I won't hesitate to call someone out, but there is no direct punishment. Worst case scenario, someone just won't get invited anymore - and if it gets to that point they know they've had it coming. The most "calling out" that'll really happen is "healing was atrocious there, 22 seconds w/o a heal?" or "how is it even possible to do that little DPS and still pull aggro" - even this has been reduced to a minimum now since we've started using RDX, and Omniscience proves irrefutably if someone messed up, and how exactly. It makes the "bugfixing" considerably easier.
For Lurker in particular, the learning curve is fairly short, but inconsistencies and attrition are the main problem. While learning the fight (and even when farming it, in our case on bad nights) having *everyone* stay alive long enough to contribute sufficient DPS/healing to ensure a kill is not a given. It'll come in due time, and it's a painful learning process, and half the time you won't understand how people can be failing as badly as they do, but if you're in a semi-hardcore guild, there isn't really much you can do. What I ended up doing with a group that were particularily shaky on the spout rotations and about getting out of the water onto the platform was doing dry runs around Lurker's pool. Literally dry. No boss. Explaining to them individually what to look for, how to avoid whirls or boss aggro (by staying out of melee range) etc., seemed to help them to the point where it got us the kill that same night. Basically, I advertised the day before that night of Lurker attempts that anyone that felt particularily uncomfortable with any aspect of the fight should just show up at SSC an hour before normal raid invites, and the turnout ended up fairly decent.
Often times, you'll find individually talking people through their problems w/ a fight will work out much better than punishing/yelling at them. On other occasions, such as top DPS'ers pushing 550dps over the course of an attempt, or designated healers switching off their heal target for whatever outlandish reason and causing unneccessary deaths, there's just no other option than to give them a good "50dkp minus" speech, imo. Also, as I was saying, I tend to be the one pointing out mistakes and doing the yelling - having other raidleaders around that counteract this "bad cop" image with a "good cop" approach helps alot. My attitude would probably be vastly different from what it is if it weren't for the sidekicks I'm blessed with, but with our setup it seems to work fairly well.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:46 PM
Also, make sure people are not getting burnt out. Take time now and then to do some fun stuff, hit the arena in BEM or STV, raid Orgimarr, do some old content instances (Naxx for instance) as a change of pace.
I think there should be a strong leadership during a raid and people should try and have their heads in the game but don't be so strict that it sucks the fun out of it, for you as well as them.
And if people don't come prepared, or mess up regularly, get some others in the raid and see what they can do.
Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:56 PM
Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:09 PM
And you may be able to threaten to replace the player on repeated offenses, because you have 4 people waiting outside the raidinstance anyway.
This is the true key element. It has two effects. First of all, it gives you an effective threat if somebody repeatedly fucks up. That sounds important, but in reality it is completely pointless. If you ever need that, you have another problem to begin with and that is bad recruiting.
What it really is about is: Yor raid members need to feel that it is a privilige to be in the instance. Somebody else - in a decent guild one of their friends - is sitting outside and waiting. They hear everything, they cry on the wipes, writhe their hands but cannot do anything about it. The responsibility is on the shoulders of the selected 25.
If you know that it is either you or a blank spot, any performance is adequate. If your friend and good player is sitting outside, everything less than stellar makes you a waste of a raid slot. Who wants to be a waste of a raid slot?
ps: An anecdote about yelling. I have yelled once in my time as a raid leader, exactly once. The raid was *dead* silent. They didn't even move. Yelling works like a fairy. You have three wishes, but when they are used up, it's over.
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