Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Are You a Selfish Player?

I have a confession to make.  I am a selfish player.  Always have been and always will be.  But there are different levels of selfish as I have come to learn over the years.  While I am always looking out for number one, the dashing night elf hunter that I am, I would never turn a fellow player down if they asked for help.

If you need help with an old achievement, ask and I will be there.  If you need a portal somewhere, I'll switch to my mage and get you there.  If you need a tank or healer for a quick queue, I'll help you out.  If you need 8 primal air to make that transmog piece you were looking for, no worries my bank alt has them and you can have them for free.

I have always tried to be helpful when I can.  If there is something you need that I can help you with you can be damn sure I will help you.  You can always count on me from something that would need a lot of effort to something even as simple as it can be.

If you have a question about the game I'll help you out as best I can.  If I do not know the answer I will look it up for you.  I will help you with setting up addons, I will help you making macros, I will help you learn to key bind.  I will spend time looking over your logs trying to see how you can get better.  Even if it is not a class I know I will read up on the class just so I can help you.

With all that said, I don't sound very selfish do I?

The thing is I help people because they help me.  I do like to help people, that much is true, but there is always that little voice in the back of my head reminding me that if I help people then they will help me.  So even if I don't mind helping, I am helping for selfish reasons.  Because some day I might ask them for help and I hope they remember I helped them so they will, in turn, help me.

In the grand scheme of things I don't think me being selfish in the way I am is a bad thing over all.  It might just be me rationalizing, but I believe that if all selfish people acted the way I do it would be better for the game.  We would all be helping each other that way, in hopes to get some help later in return.  Not a bad thing right?

There are different degrees of selfishness of course and I've experienced a lot of different levels of it but there is only one I really dislike, one I will call compete selfishness.  I've experienced it most recently when someone who signed up for the normal run on the weekend said they did not want to come because they did not need any of the early bosses, but maybe they would come when we got further in to a boss they needed something from.

They wanted us to find another tank, let that tank do all the work on the early bosses and then when we got to the bosses they needed they wanted us to kick that tank and let them come in.  Sorry, we do not work that way.  If someone is going to kill the first 7 with us, they are welcome to stay for the last 3.  We are not going to remove them just to accommodate your own selfishness.

They had that attitude that they would only do something if there is something in it for them.  They did not care that it would help everyone else around them and then in turn those people would help them kill the bosses they needed.  Nope.  They only wanted to do the bosses they needed and did not care if they had to displace someone else because of it.

This is the type of selfishness that I think the game can do without.  The sad part is I am seeing this type of selfishness a lot more in the game lately.  More this expansion than I have seen in all my previous years playing combined.

Someone might call my selfishness just as bad, but at least I admit that I help others hoping they will help me in return.  I am not just a take take take individual, like this selfish person is.  I help others, even if I might have ulterior motives.

I wonder if it is just something I noticed or if others have as well.  That people just seem to be way more selfish than they used to be.  They seem to not go by the old standard of I help you so you can help me that I use and it seems like everyone used to use.

Do you think it is a generational thing?  The people in the game are the next generation of gamers, the xbox generation as I call it.  The type that only wants what benefits them and nothing else.  Or do you think it has something to do with the way the game has changed over the years leading people to act like this more.   Maybe a little bit of both.

I believe, to some extent, we are all selfish to some degree.  But this complete selfishness it just getting out of hand.


  1. IMHO only expected taking a look at the development the game has been taken. In Vanilla you could not do much unless you started to work together. Going for Hogger was one of the first lessons in teamwork. With group finder, LFR and your own Farmville there is little reason for social interaction.
    That drives away those who played the game to find friends and to be with friends. And leaves more room for those who play the game for "achievements" - and those usually try to take the shortest route to the biggest benefit.
    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. It does make sense that it comes from a design perspective the way you mention it. You no longer need as many connections so there is less give and take, which is how I always did it, because you don't have it in game.

      I think the two are connected in a way. The new generation of the instant gratification gamers of the xbox generation and the game giving them the ability to get the fix they want.

      Did the game make the player that way or did the player make the game that way? It is an interesting question.

  2. At the very least I sometimes fit into the "complete selfishness" category. My Ally hunter's guild is continuously struggling with having enough people to do mythics (even though we have lots of heroic capable raiders, we're very lacking in mythic-ready raiders), so the GL/RL is constantly having to recruit new players, and we're then stuck doing the exact same content, over and over and over and over... And while I'm certainly aware that if I help gear more people, eventually we'll get some mythic-capable raiders, and in the long run it will help me, after a certain number of times farming the same content, it just gets old... Especially after so many times of gearing a new recruit, just to find out they either just aren't good enough, or they decide they don't like progression raiding (many will think, because farming heroics is so easy, that that must be what progression raiding is like, etc).

    Meh, maybe that's not exactly what you're talking about. I feel selfish not wanting to carry people this much. But at some point, I'd rather be viewed as selfish while not being miserable, than be viewed as gracious while hating the game.

    1. I think the "after a number of times" thing has more to do with us getting older. When I was still need to raiding I could do the same thing a million times. Now, I don't care. Once I down it I no longer wish to do it again. I don't care if there is better gear to get from it. I downed it with the gear I had, I do not need better gear.

      I think that happens to everyone that has been doing this a while. We just start feeling like it is not worth doing the same thing over and over.

    2. I joined this game during Wrath and I made it my personal responsibility to learn as much about the game as I could, gear myself up with what was available (Valor Gear and pugging raids, etc.) work on my skills with the character I wanted to play and THEN I applied to a raiding guild. I applied AFTER I did everything I possibly could on my own and could progress no further with out a progression focused raiding guild.

      I think that's what's missing with the players I have seen. Welcome to the Entitled Generation. All the things that make is "easier" to get into content also has the downside of making it harder to form lasting relationships with others in game. It's a double-edged sword. For those that are all about themselves, these systems that have been added to WoW to make grouping easier have also made it easier for those that are self centered and have an entitled mindset to thrive. Those people wouldn't have lasted a day in this game without the systems we use to group up now - so, by design, you would see them less frequently in WoW's past than you see now.

      I am almost the same level of selfishness that you are Grumpy. Except that I am not willing to help people if they are not willing to put forth their own effort first. I'll link you the wowhead site for that question you asked, but if you constantly ask for information and I've provided that link to wowhead a few times already, I'm NOT replying to you any longer. I've already taught you how to fish... I'm not going to fish and gut them for you. I had to learn this on my own, I expect others to do the same after they have been shown the tools to use. If I hand you the tool and explain how to use it... my job is done. It's on you now if you refuse to pick up the tool that you have been shown how to use.

    3. Agreed. One day I need to make a post about my first days raiding. Sitting in front of the raid all my food made, my flasks made, my potions made, my food for my pet made and happiness food to. I had mana waters, I had speed potions, you name it. I was as ready as ready could be. I had watched every single video I could find, read every single guide I could find, and all of that without even knowing if I was getting an invite to the raid.

      I stood outside waiting to see if someone had to drop, or if I needed, even if only for kiting duty, which I practiced so I would know how until that one day I got in and I never gave them reason to let me sit again.

      That was back when you earned a raid spot, even in a casual guild, which it was. I had to earn it, prove I was worthy to raid. Now it is come as you are, no knowledge, no problem, no gems, no problem, no enchants, no problem, etc. Entitled generation, absolutely. As it has not been a good turn for the game as a whole. At least in my opinion.

  3. It depends, I have heard theory's where there is no such thing as pure altruism. Springing from the idea that our generous ancestors gave away extra food in part out of kindness but to also advertise the extra resources to potential mates.

    So I think a lot is going on here, I think that Del irium is describing pathological altruism, where he continues to do the “good thing” even though the results are the same and not good. If repeated carries don’t lead to boss kills, its irrational even destructive behavior when that energy could be used to get gold, resources etc.

    On the other side of the coin is the narcissistic behavior. It could be the game design which increasingly has solo content. It could also be a new generation of gamers, pushed the design in that direction. But the result is the same, the standard building block of the game is no longer the group but the individual player and garrison. Why sweat it out in a raid with nothing you can win. Its your garrison that dreanor pivots around, your legendary quest completed in LFR/work orders not the weekly progression raids and you were solo’ing elites while leveling. Hey you can even make every profession piece you need. You, you, you, you, you.

    With each sides main capital being rebuilt after Mists and Cataclysm, Blizz left the opportunity for a whole section of the town to become the garrison un used. Yeah I still think an instanced garrison is a good idea but it has to be a shared one, across everyone in a guild. Everyone would still have had a common shared trade center and chat in the game, fostering a community a word lost in Warcraft after the Titans finished shaping Azeroth. Guild Garrison’s would have been about unlocking perks like in Cata, not about personal profits. And this part of the town could still be open to any player not in a guild. Just have them run into the quarter and be randomly instanced into any guild’s garrison that is listed as “recruiting”. Have them complete some simple profession quests there, they get the skill ups, the guild gets progress on an achievement and the world feels larger for it.

    Okay maybe there is something more to the game direction aspect to this…..

    1. Seems like you are getting what I am trying to aim at. It seems almost as if we are being trained to be more selfish. Look at this expansion with so many materials being needed for gems or enchants. Each expansion I recall making them for everyone all the time. Now I look at it as I don't have enough to share. Not because I am being selfish, or maybe I am. But if it is going to cost me 250 (I think) crystals to make one new gems and I only have 400 on me, I really can not spare any. The game is basically telling me to be selfish.

      I am old school, help others to help myself. But I find myself drifting from that and I really do not like where it is going, the way people act and the game by designing for that.

  4. I sometimes go into LFR and go up to the boss and press the same 3 buttons over and over again to deal 60% of optimal dps while I watch youtube. Funny thing is, I'm usually about average in dps charts. I do not do anything above lfr because time.

    1. Funny part is mathematically speaking if you can do over 50% of your maximum potential you are better than most, even heroic, raiders.

      Not kidding, just take a look at open logs. Most players can not reach 50% of their potential. So you do 60% is actually better than the majority of players.

      I guess that makes you one of the elite. ;)

      You might think it is "slacking" off or being selfish in LFR doing that when in fact you are helping the group. What you or I might deem as doing poorly others think of as great. All depends on where you are coming from.

  5. I learned something from a great guild leader over a decade ago that still finds its way in my decision making today when i play MMO's. This was prior to WoW, when gear took years to acquire so it was that much more amazing.

    He made it a habit of giving himself gear last after everyone else in his guild received theirs. He was our main tank, main motivator, and guild leader, yet always differed gear to other first. This fostered ridiculous amounts of loyalty that I've not seen since and probably will never see again.

    Would this work today with todays players? I'd like to think it would but i seriously doubt it. Players are here to use you to get the gear they need so they can move on to bigger and better and repeat the same things there. It was a different time with different mindsets.

    1. I've been the same way since I started as a raid leader. I always let everyone else get gear first. Still do and I think maybe that might be why so many stay loyal, never thought of it that way.

      It is also why I was happy with the coins, because even if I pass on gear, I can still get some if I get lucky. Not that I get lucky of course, but the idea is nice.

      So will this work with players? Some, yes. There will always be the people that will jump to the next thing as soon as they can, but I have, and still to this day, seen people stay even if they could have moved to a more progressed group, maybe it is loyalty. I never thought of it that way until you said it.

  6. A relative of mine subscribes to this "give freely in the hope that others give back" philosophy, and after hearing her disappointed expectations regarding other people multiple times, I adapted my own "focus on self vs group?" philosophy to one partly based on the best strategy for iterated prisoner's dilemmas.

    That is, "tit for tat." Cooperate once, and then wait to see what the response is. Return kindness with kindness and if taken advantage of, return non-cooperation instead. Offer forgiveness if the other party comes back with a cooperative offer.

    The other thing I like to subscribe to is the "teach a man to fish" philosophy. If someone comes and asks me specific questions about how they can catch their own fish and shows interest in learning/improving, I'm usually happy to share what I know.

    If someone comes and asks me to catch fish for them, I'm more likely to go "uhhh, no." Selfishness be damned, this is more about self-preservation.;)

    If someone asks me to catch fish -with- them, then I might or might not depending on how social I'm feeling and how much time I have.

    1. That idea is nice, but needs to be adapted. Give freely that which you are willing to part with. This way, you will never feel bad if you do not get something in return. If you give something you yourself wanted you are only putting yourself in a position to get let down.

      I look at it, personally, from the old saying about lending money to someone. Never lead anything you are not willing to lose. It has worked well for me over the years. If I lend someone 20 bucks, I don't care if they screw me, but if I lend them 2,000 and they do not pay me back I would be upset. So needless to say, I never lead anyone 2,000.

      I do the same teaching when it comes to game. I've taught so many people in game how to make gold (back when it was not raining down like this expansion) and they have been gold making machines ever since. Sometimes they even give me gifts as a thank you, even if I did not ask for them. Teaching someone is always better than giving it to them.

      I do have a personal line however that I do no cross. I will only go so far to help someone and then I need to see some return on their end. Like if someone asks me to help them with their rotation I will work with them, but if the next few weeks I see no improvement on their end, I am not going to keep giving my time to help them. I will help people who help themselves. I will not waste my time. I have very little patience for people that waste my time.

  7. I help people if they ask for it or if I really want to. I try to live my life without regret so I don't expect things in return or I might be disappointed and regret helping them. Every action is taken by asking myself if I am ok doing it as is, no outcome needed. So I'm basically selfish in the way that being happy is my priority.

    1. I do not look for a specific return when I help someone. But lets say I switch to offer someone a mage port, if the time comes when I need one, I just hope that the person I helped remembers and helps me. If they don't, no biggie, I will just make my way there myself. But I do remember things like that. If someone keeps asking for help but never offers to help anyone else, you can be sure after seeing such selfishness I will just happen to be busy every time they need something. Do unto others they say. ;)

  8. The generation is different and much of it has to do with the changes in game for convenience sake. LFD was one of those nice changes. Spamming trade chat and then flying to the instance portal could take up most of your night for one dungeon. Not to mention how quanky those party portal stones could be at times (they had specifics on who you could port based on their level or your own).

    I would say that players now can't appreciate these conveniences because they don't remember life without a mount at 20 (remember having to run everywhere until you hit 40? And all those quests that forced you to cross continents; the Shaman Water Totem quest was !*$)@*)($!!). Running from Thunder Bluff to Crossroads while avoiding mobs that were 5-7 levels higher than you (Camp T didn't have a flight path back then and you couldn't fly to where you hadn't been). You know, other than that span of time where Blizzard "accidently" gave us the ability to fly to places we haven't been, it had been hard to level toons the traditional way with the convenience of power leveling through dungeons. If you decide to take a break from doing LFD, you are forced to ride to a new zone to start up quests. The time running there doesn't make sense if you are power leveling so you go right back to LFD. I'm sure if they brought back the flight paths to areas we haven't been, more people would be inclined to do some content there to take a break from LFD.

    Got off topic there. It's like when we went from Car phones (for the <1% of the population) to giant cell phones to pagers (I loved having a pager because I didn't have to return the call!!), to cell phones to digital phones to smart phones. Now these kids can't survive without a smart phone and are always connected to the internet. That's why we see so much more now (stupid pics of people's food, etc).

    I just read today that Jerry Seinfeld want speak at Colleges because they are too privileged and politically correct. I'm an old man playing a college/high school game (but I've been playing games since Pong and Atari 2600, TRS 80, Commodore 64, and all the other gaming systems that evolved from there. I first computer was a Tandy 1000 SX with 640KB RAM!!! It had two 5 1/4 floppy drives!! I was all kinds of excited to get a 20 MB hard drive!!!! It was super fast at 7Mhz. 1986 doesn't seem like that long ago).

    1. I actually have fond memories of those globe trotting adventures that brought you to all ends of the world. Admittedly I never did them on alts, but I loved doing them on my main. It made the game feel epic, to use an over used word.

      Ah, I still have my commodore 64 in a box in the closet and used to bust it out from time to time to play games on it. We are probably around the same age because I remember all the same stuff.

      But all this making things easier, does it really mean that people need to be more selfish? I don't think so. The, I do for you, you do for me, mentality could still work in game but people are stuck in me me me mode now.

    2. I'm 41 and retiring after 22 years in the Navy. If you remember the Commodore 64 you probably remember that it used a fux Atari 2600 joystick and that there was no quality control on the games that came out for any gaming system back then.

      Not sure when or why we have so many selfish people but I remember a previous guild I was in and the Pali tank asked if anybody wanted to do LFD. I volunteered (why not? Shorter que time with a guildie). He proceeded to destroy the instance and rolled need on every piece of gear. His attitude was if they didn't want him to need on it, they wouldn't have allowed him to do it. I was really put off by this attitude and told him so. I didn't reque with him either. I can understand need rolling on frost orbs/chaos orbs, but gear that you didn't or couldn't use?

      And this brings up the original loot mechanic for LFR when Dragonsoul came out. Since you could trade what you won to anyone, it wasn't uncommon for guilds to roll together and have everyone need roll so they could gear up fellow guildies. Or hold an item hostage for a possible trade (that wasn't as bad as you could still bargain with that guy).

      I think as more people play, we find they come from the unregulated, free speech bad lands of social media. If you use an anonymous name (such as mine, Savvy Mark is not a real name, it's a thesaurus translation of "Good Shot"), you can successfully troll, be a bully and cause general havoc without repercussion. Since Servers don't mean as much in WoW anymore, there is no way to control bad behavior besides ignoring the offender. Back in the day when a player was offensive to the point of ninja-ing loot, you could bad list the guy and guilds wouldn't take him.

      I don't see the behavior getting any better. I was in LFR last night and got stuck with Raid Leader Role (doesn't mean much but you can influence some change). We wiped on Thogar and a call was made to kick both of them. I reminded everyone that LFR is there for learning and unless they had grossly screwed us intentionally, then these should be given the opportunity to learn. I did admonish the Tanks a bit by not even letting us know that they had not done Thogar before (they kept bringing Thogar to the end tracks and were even hidden from the ranged and healers (I was a healer).

      But society has gotten worse too. If you do something wrong, everyone wants to fire and hang you. So what did that solve? Since society has already judged the offender (and I'm not referring to serial rapists and murderers, etc), he might as well commit suicide because who is going to give him another chance?

      For one time it would be great if you could find out who an internet troll was (name address and phone number) and put the fear of God in them. But as long as there are no repercussions, we will continue to see bad and selfish behavior.

      How about that example I used when the tank didn't get the loot off the first boss in HOR and dropped group? COMPLETELY SELFISH! Since he did one boss, he didn't get the abandon group cooldown and could reque. HOR regular didn't have a daily cooldown like heroics. How many groups were abandoned by selfish pali/warrior tanks?

    3. Congrats on your retirement. Yeap, we are around the same. Over the hill as they say. ;)

      I ran into a lot of tanks in randoms like that. Their attitude seemed like we needed them, they did not need us, so they deserved everything. I hate people like that and refuse to play with them.

      I often believe that the trolls and bullies we see online come more from people with hard lives or people that are always being crapped on and put down. So they do it as a way to empower themselves, to make themselves feel better. Most definitely not defending them, but it does put them in a more appropriate light I believe. We should feel bad for them but in the end we end up just making fun of them and insulting them and putting them down, which was what was happening to them in real life to begin with that made them act out like that. So I have to wonder, what is in it for them? Wouldn't they be better off being a decent person and having people like them because that is really what they need in their life more than feeling a fake sense of empowerment.

      I used to see that HoR dropping all the time. I don't see why. I did it on mine too and finished the whole thing, I mean why not. I am already there. They helped me down the first boss so I will help them down the rest. I think the game needs more people that think that way, but by societies standards and game design, they are reenforcing that acting selfish is better.

  9. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    Sacrifice for the good of the group/guild is one of our core values. It is written into our charter and emphasized in more than one way in that writing.

    Grumpy is right about his being the least favored player when he raid leads. I have seen it, and god knows, I have preached it by my own actions. I too, always put the happiness of my guildmates first when I was a full time raider. I knew our Warlock, L, was going to be there, same as me and that despite the fact I needed the gear badly to improve my shadow priest, improving his warlock meant more for the raid. I still wound up being well geared because I was correct in assuming L would help me out at a moment's notice.

    Many times, I won a /roll and yet gave the gear to some other player rather than see them unhappy. Maybe that makes me a sucker, but I always wound up with both holy and shadow sets complete and upgraded. Largely this was because the folks I helped get there before me returned the favor as a matter of common sense.

    For the longest time our loot distribution policy centered on /roll and then a discussion (not an argument) on whether or not someone else needed it more. The discussion sessions included the player who won and was subject to their veto in theory but in practice, nearly all of the other players felt the group dynamic was important enough to over shadow individual desire.

    Changes in the looting system have obviated that to some extent in present day parlance, but the principal remains the same. Putting others first in a group dynamic is something that is self-rewarding, despite this not being an obvious principal. When I put someone else ahead of myself for rewards, then psychologically that person is pre-disposed to feel like they owe me one. When the other filters for unsociable people (read that as asshats) that we have in place in our guild, the folks we actually play with tend to be willing to accept the social responsibility of favor owed and returned and after a while, "who the hell is counting anyway, sure I'll come."

    1. I think that is one of the reasons I miss 10 mans. Because of the really tight group we had no one ever rolled on gear, we always gave it to who needed it as a team. There was no such thing as loot drama when all 10 people work as one single unit. Now with people coming and going in a flexible format, while it does have its pluses, it has changed the game, raiding and the core group and not in a good way at all. I don't like it.

      I sort of miss the team effort, but I think that is because over the years with all the turn over we have had, the team I fell in love with raiding with is no more. It is just me left. I look back with rose tinted glasses sometimes and remember how great it was and realize it will, and can, never be that way again due to game design changes and that makes me sad.