Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Raid Achievements - Right, Privilege, or Something Else?

Tonight I'm launching a cleanup of LOKI's non-Immortal / 6MinMalygos raid achievements.

Some achievements make me question if some people are actually capable of performing as required - and how that may play out.

3 Min Patchwerk - Weak DPS results in failure.
Shocking - Slow Reactions / "Lag" results in failure.
Spore Loser - Self-Restraint required to not press certain AoE-flavored buttons.
Gotta Go When The Volcano Blows - Requires you to suicide early, and get wholly carried through (Therefore, a trade off over two weeks is required).

Most of the people in my guild have most achievements, and a second pass should be sufficient to give all the remaining people a chance to earn theirs. I say chance, because I predict that some people will fail the above requirements. And out of them, we may encounter people that still feel entitled to them.

Some of the above are more clear cut then others. If you can't do X DPS on patchwerk, you aren't carrying your weight, and someone more capable at stabbing/pewpewing needs to come in. Others will be tougher to break the news that you simply cannot do what is required, and what that means.

When we did Shocking the first time, people that crossed charges got sat, and we did it with 21. What happens when they are brought in this time, and the same thing happens? Then it becomes an issue of if its believed to be controlable performance (not paying attention, failing to run) or non-controlable factors (actual server lag, ISP performance, ect). And in either case, what do you then do as a raid leader?

I know we can do Naxx with 20 people. What that then complicates, is that we could do Thaddius with five people sitting in the back of the room. Enter the Moral Dilemma - do you sit people who cross charges in the back, or take them out of the instance and do it with less people / people that don't need the achievement? Same for Loatheb (though I'm less forgiving about "accidentally" killing spores) or Heigan (Safety Dance). And then the crowing piece - should we get Immortal, and then do a second run - we could sub in people who still need it for just KT to get it.

As of now, I'm undecided. I don't want to punish people who honestly have just the slightest degree of computer issues that makes Shocking/ect not possible, and/or potentially deny them the single achievement that may be the difference between a Black Proto-Drake or not. On the other hand, I don't want to breed the feeling that people who can't perform can just sit outside the gate and /popcorn while everyone else works harder to get the achievement.

Its not an easy place to be, and I'm sure there will be upset people either way I go, but I get the feeling that this is an important decision.


Tarsus said...

My guild has been struggling with this as well, as there are some people that just are not motivated by achievements (at least those that do not offer something more substantial as a reward than just another title or mount).

Essentially, the only solution we have found is that when doing sign ups for a week you also post whether or not your have or are interested in getting achievements that have been identified for that instance. Within the constraints for raid composition, priority is set by whether or not you are interested in the achievements.

Not delicate by any means, but it works.

Talldar said...

An interesting point to be raised. In my book achievements are the new raid challenges. Back in the days of one raid mode you had one chance: Get it done, or not.

These days, with content open to anyone, this only belongs to achievements anymore.

So I guess it's fair to say: "You can't make it, with you we won't get the achievement". It's the WotLK equivalent to "you can't make it, with you we are going to wipe".

Since I'm not in an achievement-hunting environment I can only suggest and guess. To me it sounds fair to offer people achievements who can't do them because of issues that are out of their influence (lag etc.), but not to carry people through if it's their own fault (too low dps for patchwerk).

In the end achievements do two things:
They make one person feel good about an outstanding performance.
They are a means of measuring someones capabilities (guild applicants, and so on).

In my book, carrying an underperforming player through an achievement corrupts both incentives. You may call it "achievement ninja-ing", then.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right, it's an important and possibly guild defining decision. Is going for the black proto-drake a 'no man left behind' effort?

I don't know the answer to it. I've been working through the 10 man achievements in our raids, partly because I thought some of them sounded fun (arachnophobia, and they would all go down together) and partly because I know some people are motivated by it. But I never had any intention of ensuring that every single raider got every single achievement.

I'm not sure about Tarsus' way. I'm personally not all that motivated by achievements, I like the social feel of being in a raid and the personal challenge of improving myself. I wouldn't be too thrilled if I found myself benched because some achievement-junkie was desperate to get Spore Loser (the one achievement we all voted not to bother with on the grounds that it was boring :) )

Tarsus said...

@ Spinks - For us it works because while Axiom is a very social guild, part of the guild's purpose is to be one of the best. It's already a regular thing that someone sits on the bench because we are looking for optimal configuration given what we have. It's non-discriminatory.

Needless to say that if you get benched for the achievement, they're not going to be pulling in someone who wants it if they're also not as good as you. For us, skill is really part of raid composition.

Bent said...

During a certian raid week identify your goals. If the goal is to get certain achivements and they is known before hand, that is the end of it. It shouldn't be decided on a case by case basis before each boss if you want to avoid drama.

Chad S. said...

I like how sprinksville used the term "no man left behind" effort.

I've had it in my mind that there very well be people left behind. One of the big defining moments for that, was who made it to the 20-Man naxx raids. Its something we probably won't be back for in awhile (till after we're immortal) - and people that missed it effectively eliminated themselves from the big push towards H:GOTR.

Bent - we certainly have identified our goals, as far as achievements on week by week basis. The issue I was having, is if we would bring people who (for whatever reason) couldn't actually participate in achievement (Shocking) to earn it off of the other 24 people's work.