Just Some Thoughts on the Game

Just Some Thoughts on the Game

Good friend and fellow Matticast host Borsk has called it a career. Whether or not he’ll Brett Favre his way back in after another WoW expansion, who knows? After reading his thoughts on the game and his guild plans, I reflected a bit on my guild and what it’s long term plans are. I’ve recently made the transition to go from a “simple” WoW guild to a multi-gaming organization.

Let’s be real. These days, players aren’t confined to just one game anymore. Might as well harness that and set up a base that encompasses the interests of other players within reason. The community site’s being slowly revamped to include sections for WoW, League of Legends and The Old Republic. I am debating of getting into Battlefield 3. I know I’ll be snapping up Counterstrike: GO (and most likely investing in a public server for it because I love pub servers).

There’s something about Conquest where people that have quit the game or explored other guild options years ago decide that they want to come back. Even now, I’m sitting on several applications from former players who were part of our roster during Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader. I’m not the best or the greatest when it comes to this stuff. But you can damn well bet I’m the most motivated. The drive to keep working and keep going with all this management stuff hasn’t gone out despite the efforts of individuals who continually try to get me to throw in the towel (Sorry kids).

Be careful with your relationships in WoW to other players. Guys who I had known for years would just leave without even a courtesy goodbye. Of the things that upset me the most, that ranks the highest. It’s a chilling reminder that people who you treated as friends and brothers will just as quickly abandon you.


There is an extremely limited recruiting window during content cycles. It is during this window when the amount of players looking for guilds are the highest. This is a time frame between a new content patch date and 2 or so weeks after a new content patch is updated. Your guild has that narrow window where there are a plethora of players searching for guilds. You have players who are unsatisfied with their raids or maybe their guilds broke up due to boredom or something. Everyone out there looking for a guild is posturing and deciding which organization looks the most promising to join.

So what happens after that week is up? Recruiting dries up again. The best way to secure a stream of players applying is to take down the end bosses. Sooner you do that, the sooner you are more appealing to others.

On GMing

I completely echo Borsk’s sentiments. Thinking about forming a raiding guild? Don’t do it. The typical chain of command has the GM on top of a pyramid (you have your officers, then your raiders and then friends and family or something).

I’d actually argue differently.

I’d say it’s the reverse with the leader being on the bottom of the food chain. Why? Because crap flows down. Everything is the GM’s fault.

Not enough recruits: My fault for not being able to bring an influx of players in.

Crappy play: My fault for not being punishing enough or having enough players to immediately replace the crappy players or for bad players not being able to do what they need.

Hurricane Irene: My fault for not having more players replace the ones affected by bad weather.

Progression: My fault for not being able to lift the play of everyone else around me and getting us further.

Depending on who you ask, some of these will be true and others not so. Either way, if you’re not prepared for the onslaught, it’s not for you. It’s one of the contributing factors as to why there aren’t as many 25 man raiding guilds today simply because the administrative headache of 10 mans is considerably less so than 25. The rewards of 25 man raiding with the additional gold, the loot, and valor points clearly does not appear to be enough to offset the efforts.

On the Dwindling WoW Population

Chalk it to boredom. Chalk it to the atmosphere. Blame the lack of friends. There’s a large variety of reasons as to why players are suspending their WoW accounts. I can’t say for certain there’s any one factor. There is a segment of the population that I’m happy to see go. It’s the players who had difficulty transitioning to Cataclysm. You know, the ones that had a hard time with healing or tanking or other mechanics. They’re the players that you dread finding in the dungeon finder. I suspect some of those players have also decided to quit playing.

To me, that’s a good thing. As much as I’m all for trying to help players improve and get better, I know it’s not the case for everyone. World of Warcraft isn’t meant for everyone. To not have to deal with such players in the game in pug raids and other areas is a blessing for me personally.

On skill and feedback

Heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes.[1]The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. As Kruger and Dunning conclude, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others” (p. 1127).

I did not realize there was a psychological term for this. However, this effect does not appear to be applicable in certain areas of the world. No where is this more prevalent in games like League of Legends. It’s baffling when you have an AD carry grab AP boosting items and then complain about how everyone else on the team is bad when their score is 1/16/4 (that’s 1 kill, 16 deaths and 4 assists). When trying to point out flaws in their build or the ability to play, an immediate defensive reaction occurs. Even some pointers and tips get blatantly shot down.

(To translate for WoW players, it’s the equivalent of a hunter gemming all Intellect and Stamina)

I’ve encountered many WoW players who also behave the same way and because of this, does not lead to any growth or improvement for them (and consequently, their guild). But what can you do? Nothing other than cut and recruit.

However, the effect does not appear to affect all cultures.

Regardless of how pervasive the phenomenon is, it is clear from Dunning’s and others’ work that many Americans, at least sometimes and under some conditions, have a tendency to inflate their worth. It is interesting, therefore, to see the phenomenon’s mirror opposite in another culture. In research comparing North American and East Asian self-assessments, Heine of the University of British Columbia finds that East Asians tend to underestimate their abilities, with an aim toward improving the self and getting along with others.

Clearly the solution is to recruit all Asians, right?

I’m sorry to see Borsk go. He’ll still be on the Matticast once we get back and going. By the way Borsk, I’ll be happy to take in any players of yours looking for a raiding guild *grin*.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. Kimboslice says:

    Hardcore Star Wars co GM right here.

    If console gamers play PC gamers on CS:GO they will get they asses handed to them

  2. /cry at Borsk leaving 🙁 I loved that man!

  3. Yeah, Borsk was a good dude. I highly respected him. He will be missed. And speaking of the Matticast. Give us an update Matt. When should we expect to see the next one??

  4. I love you guys too 🙂

    I’ll be kicking around in WoW, just not guild/raid leading, and much more in the background.

  5. Normally I enjoy your posts and mostly agree with your comments, reading this today however saddens me.

    Firstly there are some sly comments designed to insult your past raiders, personally I was not impressed with that, however well you try to cloak it in the text.

    Lastly your comments about the lower skilled raiders and the dwindling population, is in my opinion off the mark. However much you don’t like it but World of Warcraft thrives because of these so called bad players, they pay their subscriptions as much as you do, and personally I am fed up with lazy raid leaders who only want the best.

    There is only so much of the best to go around. As Borsk elegantly put it on his leaving post, he wishes he valued loyalty above skill. My raid group specialises in taking these so called “bads” and working with them to fix the problems. There have been players who have started out with a bad reputation on our server for there lack of skill, who have gone on later to learn their class and the game with us and had successful applications and trials with the hardcore guilds.

    I admit its hard work but we value only one thing in our raid group and that is Attitude. Regardless of skill, if a player has a good attitude we can work to improve their skill and get our progression. Sure we will not be competing against the hardcore raidgroups. However we have a great time raiding. Its very easy for the people in the hard progression raid groups to look down on others around them. However those people you dismiss so willingly could be your greatest asset in the future.

    Its because of this welcoming and accepting attitude that our raid group has an extremely high retention of players with about 80% of our raid group having been with us for around 2 years.

  6. Hmm I’m intrigued by the notion of a “multi-game guild”. Recently I’ve seen an influx of raiders take breaks in anticipation of other games coming out or just taking breaks due to boredom of wow. And we’ve lost them since we’re a WoW raiding guild. I like this idea of keeping them in the family / community and opening it up to other games than just wow. Great idea!

  7. “Clearly the solution is to recruit all Asians, right?” I LOL’ed for real.

    Very interesting psychology, thank you for sharing!

  8. I definitely agree the GM “pyramid” is not really a pyramid in the sense that the GM is on top. Rather, I think the GM is the foundation, and the members themselves will vary in their support. They might be the top block(s) you can do without (and, hence, can be easily replaced), or they might be lower, and thus more important to the integrity of the structure.

    The GM should definitely acknowledge his or her weaknesses, but the GM should also be aware of what he or she is doing right. Also, take heart in the positive criticism you’ve received (as much as the negative criticism that you know is true).

    Then build on that as a foundation. And, more importantly, knock out the blocks you don’t need. I made the mistake of not doing this, and it burned me in the end. Even if it means dropping below critical mass, it’s better than enduring the crapfest that will inevitable lead to raid death.

  9. Ahh, another WoW guild making the leap to gaming community. I think you will see this a lot in the next few months.

    We did the same thing earlier this year. I talked to some of our ex-WoW folks and asked them why they didn’t hang around the forums more and whatnot, and the vast majority of people said, “You guys are a WoW guild, and I don’t play WoW anymore.”

    Now we have guilds in WoW, RIFT, LotRO, and plans for SWTOR. We have Minecraft and TF2 nights and people trade tips on painting minis. I have to delegate a hell of a lot more, but I love the increased bustle of people playing multiple games.

    As it stands now, tying your whole organization to one game that you have no control over seems… trusting, at best. 🙂 Anyway, good luck with the change!

  10. If you remember the old mage blog Critical QQ, he made a blog post about the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It’s interesting how prevalent it can be in the kind of environment WoW has.

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