Saturday Superstar: Self-destructive self-interest

| Saturday, February 20, 2010
As I was reading the forums recently I came across this most distressing claim by a low level alt.

All trolls aside, if the need button is lit for you, you have the right to push it.
You helped kill the mob and you have every right to roll on the loot.
And rolling greed only means your vote won't count if anyone else votes need.
And for why you want it. It is not anyone's business why you want it unless they are paying for your subscription, nor is it their business what you do with it.
Your needing enchanting mats is just as valid as billy wanting it for gold or suzy wanting it as an off-spec or bobby wanting it as an upgrade.
notice how all the posters are calling you bad, fail, greedy etc etc.'
That is their attempt to use social pressure to make you comply with what they want.
Next they'll be threatening you with ostracism.
Why are they using such tactics?
Because Blizz said here you go, this is the loot system and you can greed on anything, and need on 80% of the rest.
And that is the only rules that you have to obey; Blizzes rules.
The rest of this is fluff, threw up by people who think their wants are more important than your wants, and are willing to insult, belittle, bully and threaten in an attempt to get their way.

In ant decent world this would go unnoticed. Or ideally Blizzard would notice and rig things so he'd lose every single roll ever after that. Preferablly in horrible ways, such as hunters getting SP mail, DKs SP plate, and warriors any weapon at all, except the physical weapons which would go to elemental shamans or warlocks.

We don't live in a decent world. Someone got the stupid idea that the post wasn't short-sighted and stupid. And stupid.

I went with the short response
Being an anti-social asshole is not the foundation of an argument. It's the foundation of a lot of backstabbing and ninjaing. It's ignoring any concept of greater benefit, of an upgrade being worth more than a 5g dream shard. When everyone ninjas, everyone gets ninjaed from.

Afterward I realized that this wasn't just about greedy douchebags who can't see past their own noses, which are up their asses, which they find to be delightful because then they don't have to give away ANYTHING, beside the usual benefit of not having to actually see the world. I wondered how this affects gearscore or other elitist methods used to put down others. How many times have people had upgrades turned into void crystals and dream shards? Could the same people who steal everything out of 'self-interest' be the same ones complaining about 'the undergeared noobs who need to run heroics more'?

There is the hypocrisy of course. The blindness. "People who think their wants are more important than your wants" comes from someone who makes no attempt to even consider the needs of others. Is a 20 DPS upgrade more important than a 5g shard? That depends on how much you value a point of DPS. Some don't care much at all and would take a 5g shard any day while others will spend thousands of gold for tiny upgrades. The person who ignores the needs of others is saying "no matter what your need it, mine is at least equal". Note that it is AT LEAST equal, since if he perceived his need to be greater he'd take the same step of rolling need. This sort of anti-social douchebag is the true greedy one.

Add to this the fact that for every ninja-victim pair, there are likely to be three other people who have zero immediate interest in the outcome siding against the ninja. Why would they care if they have no incentive? Because they do! They are able to see past this one roll and see a pattern and seek to prevent it. They can see a month later when a hunter ninjas a spell staff because it looks cool. They can see such strange things as expectations of behavior and how setting low standards results in low behavior.

Oh yes of course, the social pressure. Ooh, such a mean word. Social pressure. That's like... coercion! From people! Yea, social pressure. I have a secret to tell you: laws are 99% social pressure. They are social ideas that we wrote down. They're mostly self-enforced. I won't encourage you to try it, but think about how easy it is to steal. Or to wander a dark street and pull a gun. Who would know? How would you ever be caught? If you're smart about it, you could steal enough to live off, sell drugs, murder and rape and burn down everything in sight. What is stopping you? The law? Like I said, you can get away with it.

It's social pressure that truly keeps us civilized. Only a small number of people actually need laws and police to do the right thing. They often don't anyway. Some of them are sneaky and adapt to loopholes and oversights and they still kill you and rob you; they just call it something else. It's a war or a tax or a fee or the free market. This last one is the latest and greatest invention: pollution isn't slowly poisoning you because the free market doesn't discourage it. Brilliant. I wish I'd thought of that first, I'd be rich as hell.

Where were we? Oh yes:
It is a mistake to assume that Blizzard makes all the rules. They make surprisingly few. There's the anti-scam policy, some stuff about hacking and RMT, and that's about it. Loot rules? Those aren't rules. Blizzard never wrote them down or justified them. They are the laws of physics; the basic reality. Those aren't a moral code. After all, the laws of reality allow me to steal, yet we'd hardly say "gravity didn't stop him, so it must be okay".

The fact that Blizzard makes no explicit rules is not because they believe we should do whatever the hell we feel like and screw everyone else. It's for practical reasons, such as being damn near impossible to program a decent looting system. Can you imagine trying to combine upgrade size, number of times killing, and vague concepts like how much they want it or how much effort they've put in and make that an automated program? It's far easier to say "sort it out as it works for you and here are some tools to assist". If it was intended that we grab everything for ourselves, there would be two loot systems "DE or vendor" (which we'd choose based on AH and vendor prices) and master looter. They expect players to create social systems to handle it. Guilds make loot rules, people state loot rules at the start of PUG raids, sometimes they do it in randoms. We're free to leave, to kick, those are the tools given to us. But we are smart and prefer to not disrupt the instance run; it is far more efficient to just not be an asshole.

Ah, efficiency. So wonderful, is it not?


kaozz said...

I have noticed a lot of people will roll need on anything they can. I NEED it for my off spec.. blah blah.. they just need it to vendor it.

The majority of puggers are greedy and will abuse the loot system. Blizzard tried to change that some with the new loot system, you can't make people act decently- this goes to show.

People like said player post on alts because they know nobody would want to group with them if they posted on their mains- Because it is wrong and indecent.

Eversor said...

When I was leveling my priest, an enchanter, I remember my first instance run, RFC. The pally tank was also an enchanter. And he literally told everyone not to roll on items because he needed them for disenchanting. It was hilarious. When myself and another dps called him on his bs, he made this big stink about how cheap everything was and why we were being so cheap. He continued to need everything (as did myself and the other dps). After about 10 minutes of this he got mad and dropped group. Amazing. This guy who had other 80's literally felt that he should get all of the benefit...because he needed it. Greed keeps people from seeing the big picture. "What?" "I want it, so I should have it!" A prevailing attitude even outside WoW...maybe more so.

Klepsacovic said...

@kaozz: I have no problems with people picking need for a role they queued for, even if it's not the one they were given. I hate offspec needing unless no one else needs, but maybe other people don't use the dualspec/secondary designation like I do.

On an idealistic note, I wish people used anonymity to say what is unpopular but necessary, instead of so often picking unpopular and unnecessary.

@Eversor: But if it's so cheap, it's little loss for him to not ninja it all. Oh oops, that's logic. Sorry, totally not applicable to his thought process.

Stabs said...

"greedy douchebags who can't see past their own noses, which are up their asses,"

Dear Doctor Kleps,

I've spent half an hour trying to discover if I can see past my nose while it's up my ass and now I have a cricked neck.

Does this make me a greedy douchebag?

Shintar said...

Thanks for another very insightful and intelligent post, and especially for making the point that laws are at the end of the day nothing but another set of social rules. There are a lot of things in the world that you can do without being arrested, but that doesn't make them okay.

Klepsacovic said...

@Stabs: It doesn't count if only done for scientific purposes.

@Shintar: Wait long enough and someone, somewhere, will try to make what you are doing illegal. We should probably stop them.

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