Saturday, April 7, 2012
Random Ramblings: BRD Leveling, Group Play and Marketing, Recount and the Prisoner's Dilemma
I'm about halfway through leveling 3 characters though the 50's now, and boy have I about had enough of BRD. It's always been one of my favorite places in WoW, with so much fantastic design poured into it. Since I've made a special study of it over the years (It was the place I started out soloing on my Hunter, easy start plus nostalgia), I can lead a group through it in a fairly efficient manner with very little downtime.
I look forward to this instance while leveling new characters. Finally being able to tank it is a bit satisfactory, since I can keep a group at a comfortable pace, and usually everyone completes the quests they need to. I've found that asking about the quests at the beginning and assuring an effort to completing them can really get a group involved. It's my attitude that a more engaged healer allows me to pull more, and more engaged DPS gets them down faster.
I work in marketing, and I've learned that there's three kinds of customers, generally. There's the ones who want what you have, so they're typically easy to sell to. There's the ones who will not buy no matter what, so not much effort is spent there either (Two no's and a go). Then there's the ones who are undecided. Those are the customers who should hear just how great a service I have to offer them.
My participation in group play can be considered a service. I know that sounds elitist, just bear with me, arrogance comes later. I provide that service for something in return, which in BRD is the opportunity to gain a lot of XP in little time, with a chance at some nice gear along the way. The players that I trade that service with seem to share similarities to the types of customers I work with.
The seemingly smallest group, players who play well for it's own sake, are a godsend, especially when it's a competent DPS (sorry healers, you're just not that useful until later). Players who want to be carried and can't be kicked are a drain on time and energy. All I can do is ignore them until they wipe us by pulling 5 packs and dropping. The majority of players, though, are those undecided. If I can convince them that more fully participating in my group is to their benefit, then we all have a better run.
The way I do that is by prompting positive feedback from others. Not everyone has to talk. So long as someone responds nicely, everyone can feel a little better about the run ahead. This get's players more amiable and inclined to give a little. In return, we have a better run. A quick apology can go a long way toward resolving any mishaps, even when not at fault.
I've started to see more DPS apologize for pulling adds after I started to be more friendly. I used to be completely silent (still am sometimes), and spitefully would never pull off of DPS, and would even punish bad healers. (/use Arrogance) To be quite frank, I can solo much of the content LFD drops me in while leveling. It may take a while, but my gearing, buff food, elixirs, etc. and experience make it so I can go toe to toe with most packs of elites and more bosses than not. I don't need the group, and I've often gone off on my own to clear instances while 1 or 2 players refuse to re-queue. (/cancelaura Arrogance)
It doesn't make it right, though, and when my goal is to level quickly, I'm just screwing myself. I've become somewhat bitter at times, due to failed attempts at serious raiding, but what I'd forgotten was that a bit of kindness upfront is actually the most advantageous multi-player gaming strategy.
The Prisoners Dilemma makes it so that contributing less effort in return for a smaller reward is safer than risking wasted effort for a less likely larger reward. In LFD, this takes the form of coasting on other players effort, staying just good enough to not be kicked. This seems to be the norm in LFD at all levels, especially at the top. It is definitely the curse of LFR. Altruism seems to be folly, logically, since you get nothing in return. (It isn't, of course, but not many people understand that Nice Guys Finish First)
Enter Recount. Finishing a fight on top of the DPS or Damage Done, as the opinion varies, is a bragging right. As a DPS player I feel the desire to play better than other players. I want to deal more damage while avoiding unnecessary damage, etc. As a tank, I want to push DPS players to higher performance, just to stay above tank DPS. All the epeen jokes aside, it's a game. We all want to win.
Recount doesn't really help a tank very much, and is dubious at best for judging a healer's ability, but for DPS, it creates an extra goal to achieve. That goal distracts players from the prisoner's dilemma.
Give being nice (at first) a try. See where it takes you.