The Benefits and Costs of Conflict

| Tuesday, June 15, 2010
"You're doing it wrong."

Inevitably, we will run into someone who is doing it wrong. An idiot. A moron. A retard. Being perfectly objective, rational, intelligent people, we will point out their many flaws. Since they are irrational, they will argue. What idiots!

Let me introduce you to MAWT: Mutually Assured Waste of Time

When you start a conflict, be sure that whatever is lost due to the conflict is more than offset by what is gained by winning. While the other person may be an irrational idiot, starting an overly expensive conflict just to make them do it right is just as irrational. Sinking to their level fixes nothing.

This is merely looking at one incident. If the conflict instead addresses a pattern, a habit, a persistent social problem, then the benefits are greater, though not always apparent. In that case, the conflict may be worth it in the long run. However this calls for a different approach. To solve a long-term problem, one cannot focus on short term gains. As satisfying as it is to call someone a retard, it triggers defensive reactions.

Are they retarded? By the dictionary, probably not. By common usage, perhaps. But if you are not changing their behavior, are you really any more intelligent? The retard in question may even repeat the negative behavior out of spite. Irrational, but if you triggered that irrationality, are you much better? Before your intervention they did it mindlessly, rather than intentionally, and didn't have much incentive to continue or not.

Retards are very good at being retarded, don't try to beat them at their own game. It's retarded.

P.S. I realize I used the word retard much more than I would normally. That is for contextual reasons.


Anonymous said...

I like this concept. I do have a question. It seems obvious to me and after reading your post I think i have an idea on what I will do. HOwever:

Say you have a special shaman in your 25 man raid. He is special for two reasons. He's the only enhancement shaman and he will afk on fights if he has not received his full buffs, usually being might. Now there's a myriad of reasons on why he doesn't get might, usually being that paladins switch roles or in and out of the raid and so who blesses might changes. However, this is not a rare occurance. When asked why said shaman will cost the raid a possible successful encounter he states it's hard to explain but will try, then goes on to give stages 4-6 on Kohlberg's stages of moral development and imply he's operating on level 6.'s_stages_of_moral_development for reference.


Ratshag said...

What? Somebody gets satisfactions from calling others retards, with no thoughts as ta what it costs him? Is very hard fer ta believe. Next you'll be tellin' me he shut down his guild 'cause not enough came ta his Wintergrasp party...

Klepsacovic said...

@Anonymous: It sounds like he's expecting the paladins to be operating at stage 6 without being at that stage himself.

I'd talk privately to the paladins about making sure blessings are properly set, including customized ten minute blessings. PallyPower is very helpful for this, but it does depend on the person setting blessings to know what role everyone is filling. He should be politely asking for a blessing at the appropriate time, not throwing a silent fit.

As for what is the appropriate time, it is when the raid has been buffed and a ready check is up, that's when it's more clear that the paladins have made a mistake. One of my pet peeves is when people demand blessings when no one has even started buffing or when the rest of their class is still out of range and there is clearly no pulling happening.

@Rashtag: It's not much fun when no one shows up to a party. Not much fun at all. I can sympathize.

Anonymous said...

It's sad. There are just some people in the world who are simply unable to learn the basic, simple skills needed to interact socially with others. Even worse are those who could develop those skills, but - for whatever reason - choose not to do so. They instead rely on others to make their apologies and smooth their way through life.

If only we had some convenient phrase we could use to describe these socially moronic and slacking players...

Anonymous said...

"Although Kohlberg insisted that stage six exists, he found it difficult to identify individuals who consistently operated at that level."

Yeah, right. Let's play the 'more likely game'. What's more likely?

Your shammy is a special snowflake, operating at a heretofore unobserved level of moral development, OR ...

Your shammy is a self-centered, passive-aggressive jerk who likes quoting Kohlberg because it makes him feel superior and justifies his infantile behavior.

SlikRX said...

Pally power is great for the Greater Blessings, but as you implied, it isn't helpful if there are 2 of the same class with very different specs within the same raid. (Holy vs Ret or prot pally or Resto vs Enh shammies are good examples)

Then yeah, the "regular" 10 minute buff is the only answer, but pallypower doesn't handle those very well. (I know you can customize per player, but it never works right for me)

But as you mention, if it comes down to Wis for the elem shammy (at the expense of might for the Enh) the passive aggressive one needs to pipe up politely.


Gronthe said...

But what if the retard IS doing it wrong? The retarded need to be told they are retarded so that they can learn to overcome their retardation. Then again, since they're retards it's likely that they will always be retards. But as any retard knows, you need to try to fix the retards or you're just being retarded. At least that's what this retard on my server told me.

p.s. Real men just call others retards our of retardidity. (It's a word, you retards just don't know it).

Klepsacovic said...

@Anonymous: SM&S?

@Anonymous (same one? GET NAMES!): This is why I prefer Kafka.

@SlikRX: Sometimes it's just easier to use PP for the greater and manually remember the lesser.

@Gronthe: I'm assuming that the retard is doing it wrong, since otherwise the observer is clearly the retard and nothing can be said one way or another about the observed. As I said in the post, the cost of the conflict should not outweigh the benefit gained. If it's a habitual retardation,t hen yes, it probably should be dealt with, but too often people confuse "dealing with and solving" with "calling them retarded and acting superior."

Anonymous said...

@anon, from anon :)

Yeah, i called him a special snowflake as well. And on the guild forums actually asked him to explain his line of reasoning. Normally when people say "well it's hard to explain..." then they don't grasp what they think they do. I informed him he was just being passive aggressive and failing at his own justice based ethics system. And i left it at that. Unfortunatly there is no win on the internet. i will (even though i hate it) make sure he has might. We normally run with more than enough paladins but sometimes they change rolls (like the shadowmourne wiedling ret goes prot half the time) so occasionally it gets missed. There's actually a larger issue but i'll bring it up to the guild officers. I thought this flowchart worked well

@klep: i hate pally power because it's large and try as i may my screen is more cluttered than i like. I will invest more time in cleaning up my UI some more. I can also remember to buff those i need to (healbot is nice for that and since we have enough paladins for each blessing all i need). I will also work on getting a name but i usually check your blog from work and signing in to google is blocked. I do however always sign my comments.


Killtehnoob said...

Oh just tried this

Cassandri said...

Well said! Now I don't feel so lazy for ignoring all the horrible players I end up with in PuGs.

MAWT my new favourite acronym.

Anonymous said...

Eg - don't start a conflict with a tank that might leave you waiting 20 min to replace..

I don't mind starting conflict ( Eg why did you pull without the tank? ) with DPS - they are easier to replace.

Anonymous said...

Save your breath.

Klepsacovic said...

PallyPower can be shrunk, if that helps.

@Cassandri: Thanks, I like acronyms. They make things sound official.

@Pugnacious: I wasn't trying to justify being a jerk to DPS. Not that I object. :P

@gnome: Ah, so you're saying I'm brilliant. Got it.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm yer... Something like that... Well at the very least that expending air telling retards they are retard is pointless because they know they are better than you... Unless they get educated enough to realize they don't know what they don't know at which point they will doubt that they do know and it will get worse cause then they will listen to the retards who think they know, even though they don't... annnndddd...

Yeah... like I say, don't waste your breath.

Educate the 0.00001% that read our blogs, forget the rest.

iapetes said...

Killtehnoob, the answer is obvious. Kick him from the raid, see if he shapes up. 4% melee haste isn't worth the bullshit.

Anonymous said...

hate your use of the word retarded. makes you look so ignorant.

Klepsacovic said...

@Gnomeaggedon: Educate my readers? You offend me. I have standards.

@iapetes: Replace him with a DK!

@Anonymous: I am using it in this specific context because it is one of the choice words of those I am targeting.

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