Entitlement Mentality, the difference between punishment and reward

The release of the new scenario system in WAR has spurred many interesting conversations on the boards, and one that I found most intriguing is the emergence of a new arguments people use to support the continually cried-for PUG/Premade system. I even dived into this issue myself, not two months ago. For me, it was mostly a spitballing of ideas to achieve a desired outcome. I somewhat agreed with the idea at the time, and found it interesting to explore some of the concepts that drive grouping and competitive dynamics. However, I think I have settled on my opinion of the matter as a whole. After re-reading my previous post, I think I discovered that my original assumption of the problem may have been inaccurate, particularly given the stated intent of the game developers.

My original premise was that farming, and being farmed are no fun, and this is true. However, my train of thought to fix the problem was for Mythic to do something about it. It’s a “problem”, and it’s their game, so they should “fix” it. Thinking about it now, I’m actually a bit embarrassed to admit I held this viewpoint. I hate relying on organizations to do things for me. I don’t want the government to tell me how to raise my children, how much fatty foods I can or cannot eat, how I should spend my money, or any other slew of life choices. By the same token, why did I believe it’s Mythic’s responsibility to equalize the disparity between what it is inherently a player created situation.

See, as much as WAR is a themepark, PvP inherently introduces aspects of the sandbox into a game. A themepark dictates what quests are available, what zones you can go to, and has a script for how the enemy behaves. It’s all planned out ahead of time with pre-determined responses on player participation. But, when the competition is another person, all pre-planned ideas are thrown out the window. Nothing can be counted on, and that enemy player very well may surprise you, whether you like it or not. So, in a game like WAR, that is based around the idea of competitive group play, why does that focus and design vision need to be changed?

I don’t think it does.

In one of the recent Q&A sessions, a Developer succinctly responded to a question about PUG/Premade scenario separations. He said (paraphrased), “Coordinated groups should have an advantage over disparate solo’ers. We have no intention of taking that away.”

Coordinated groups should have an advantage. Coordinated.

I felt, on behalf of those losing, a sense of entitlement. I saw their loss as punishment. Their inability to get crests, renown, gold, and experience points as punishment. It was an entirely wrong view. Punishment is the withholding of an earned or deserved commodity. In a game that is based on competitive gameplay, the reward is given to the victor. The loser cannot be punished with a lack of renown, crests, or insignia, because they never earned it to begin with.

It is this reasoning that is being used to champion the cause of the PUG/Premade rally cry again. Proponents of the separation support their pleas by stating that PUGs are being destroyed by premades, and that because of this, the solo’ers cannot advance, and cannot earn a reward. What they fail to recognize here are a few things.

  • First and foremost, they can still advance, slowly.
    • I have never in my WAR career, walked out of fully played scenario (one that didn’t end due to pop imbalance) with no tangible character advancement.
    • I imagine if I had, I still would have gleaned some practice in game-play, a less tangible and rewarding return, but still there.
  • Secondly, but still important, rewards are not given for attendance.
    • Despite the modern era of handing out participation trophies and celebrating mediocrity, a reward is for an accomplishment.
    • Being given something that I have not achieved/earned is the worst kind of insult I could imagine. In life or in a game. I don’t receive favors, I barter an exchange of services.

This entitlement mentality is a pervading paradigm in todays gaming world. It has stripped the meaning from accomplishments in games, and reduced the purpose of playing these games. If there is no reason to coordinate with others to achieve the stated goals, why should anyone do so? It’s one more reason for me to add to my “Why I love WAR” list. Competition and victory mean something. I can advance in the game by going with the zerg, and hoping from zone to zone chasing locks. Or, I can rely on those who have proven their competence, and work together to create our own rewards.

If anyone wants to be successful, they need to recognize the conditions of the realm they are participating in. In WAR, there is no separate scenario structure, and it’s been declared publicly, that none is intended. It’s also obvious that coordinated teams do better. You can respond in one of a few ways. Organize to compete, abstain from the system, or accept the situation and continue to participate. I personally hope more people go with the first, but I imagine the majority of the detractors will follow the path of abstaining.


About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

13 Responses to Entitlement Mentality, the difference between punishment and reward

  1. Brian Inman says:

    I still see flaws in the system. It is the design of the game, and newer players will always struggle.

    A premade of 75+ RR players wearing full sets of Sovereign will destroy almost anyone. They have better gear, weapons, jewelery, and etc. They have their renown talent pts maxed out which will give them better stats.

    I think a premade of fresh 40’s with RR40 won’t stand a chance. Even if these players were twice as good as the other premade they still wouldn’t have a chance to win.

    The difference in a RR80 player, and a RR40 player is huge. I don’t care how skilled you are you can’t compete at the same level.

    You claim that you never leave a scenario empty handed so its worth it. I can’t say that is true. I have seen many scenarios where players who were in the whole time leave with like 25 xp, and 2 renown. Do you really think that is worth 15 minutes of a players time? Is that really fair to the other side who earned 6k renown farming you over, and over?

    You know what eventually happens right? The new guys stop playing scenarios. They just join the zerg in Orvr because at least they can RvDoor at get renown at a pretty good rate compared to a scenario.

    Eventually the premades start crying that the scenarios never pop, but they caused it by destroying people who didn’t stand a chance.

    What about all these new players coming to the game? Is it fair for them to have to pve tier 4 because getting 25 xp in a premade scenario isn’t worth it? Scenarios were only a good way to level up pvping when the game first launched, and everyone was below RR40.

    I still think Mythic needs to look at making tier 4 stop at 39 for scenarios, and Tier 5 scenarios would be based on RR’s. Basically RR40-45, 45-50, 50-55, or something similar. The problem is that method would only work if it was cross server scenarios so there wouldn’t be issues with scenarios never popping.

    • shadowwar says:

      Fair is an overly used word. By far, the more appropriate question to ask is, “Is it equitable?”. In PvP, fights are never fair. Nothing will ever make a fight between two groups fair. Someone will have better gear, a better rank, a better group composition, a better latency, a better UI layout, a better hotbar setup, a quicker reaction time, or any other number of variables.

      MMOs, by there vary nature are based on progression. Time spent on advancement reaps rewards. The rewards become exponentially further apart and require more time to achieve, front-loading the bulk of a games progression. It’s a core concept that forms the pillar of what the entire genre is based upon. Understanding this concept means that those who have put in the time will be more successful in a head to head confrontation. That is better than fair, that is equitable.

      So yes, a premade of RR75+ vs a PUG of RR40s will usually win. If the 40s are a premade as well, highly skilled, and have perfect group composition, the gap narrows drastically. If all things are equal outside of rank, yes, the Sovereign will win. Always. That’s how it should be.

  2. Tuffett says:

    back when i was a fresh tier 4 shadow warrior i got my face whacked in for months

    no joke i reached Tier 4 on Gorfang during the era of destro dominance and would have nights where i didnt win a single sc out of the seven or eight i played

    it was rough, but i kept going, and now im the one whacking peoples faces in

    last night with my RLH premade we won 20 scs and didnt lose a single one

    it all even out in the end if you dont suck and try to get better

    • Alex says:

      I think Tuffet is right. Yeah, it’s difficult to get started in the game when the playerbase is so advanced. However, given time, the problem goes away.

  3. Pingback: Scenarios are making WAR a ghetto « Druchii Journal

  4. zizlak says:

    I’m pro separation of PUG/Premade scenario queuing, but I see the problems getting the right criteria there.

    The problem is how you define coordination.. just playing together using common sense and text chat..or using voice chat systems? Just by having this advantage of not having to type orders and to announce targets in chats (not using something silly like calling-addon) you gain a huge raise in effectiveness as a premade over pugs. This is one of the reasons why bombing setups are so effective. They tear pugs easily apart and you need fast communication to counter them..This is something pugs can’t do.

    Just this little difference is a big reason why pugs lose to premades. Adding RR-difference there emphasizes it just. So you punishing them for not having voice chat..you are not just holding back rewards because they play bad.

    The reason why I want the separation is not any tokens..I want competition. I want to earn my rewards..not farm them.

    Sometimes I just want to hit some Greenskins and queue solo for a sc, but this is not possible anymore, because without the proper group-setup and voice chat there is no competition. It’s farming or getting farmed. 1/20 (and I’m being positive here) fights maybe is fun..the rest is boring.

    • shadowwar says:

      The problem I have with this, is that instead of encouraging them to coordinate, work together, join guilds, or whatever, it encourages players to continue in the same style of gaming. Outside of my dislike for playing solo in an MMO, it’s also counter to the stated intent of the game. The game is meant to be played in groups. Coordination is desired to achieve the greatest success. Solo play is the ancillary game-play, not the primary, and definitely not equal.

      This conversation, when it boils down, gets brought back to the old solo vs. grouping argument. That has been done ad-nausiem, but if anyone is playing WAR, they should realize that it’s NOT solo-friendly. Casual friendly, yes. But casual does not equal solo.

  5. zizlak says:

    The problem is that you are playing on the same battlefield with different rulesets…types of play.

    I have no problem with better coordinated teams winning over less coordinated. The problem that arises here is that one team gets the benefit of having such things like voice chat and the other has not.

    In this type of setup there is no competition. So lets put some pugs together and see who’s winning..and put some premades together and lets see who’s winning there. I can say from my experience with the premades from our guild, that we can compete with rr70+ groups even though we have an average rr of 45. The difference is just communication.

    As long as pugs have no chance of communicating as effectively as someone with external voice chat, addons, etc.., those sc’s remain no competition and therefore no one deserves to be rewarded for it…as well as no one deserves to get rewarded for failing in a sc.

    I’m with you when you say that the team that loses shouldn’t be rewarded as it is done right now, because they get rewarded for doing nothing.

    I don’t want any gifts in that game..I don’t care about equipment that much.. I just want fun fights with lots of blood spilling, but those fights aren’t rewarded in that game the way they should.

    • shadowwar says:

      Maybe I’m just less forgiving 😉 Every time they are solo, and click the “join scenario” button, they made the choice. They know full well that they are facing the possability of fighting premades. Does it suck for them? Sure, but it’s the intended design, and I’m not convinced that I disagree with it.

      I want those solo puggers to stop pugging basically. I want them to form groups, guilds, and premades of their own. I wish solo queuing for scenarios was the exception as opposed to the rule.

      • zizlak says:

        Being intended design doesn’t qualify it for being a good design choice 😉

        Sometimes there is no chance to form a group..e.g. we left our alliance some weeks ago and now have sometimes only 2-4 people online. Not all of them in T4..so am I not allowed to do scenarios?

        Population can matter..and if I don’t want a massive guild/alliance, but more a RP-one, is this exclusion of scenarios the right thing?

        What if I just want to hop in for one or two scenarios..or do some PvE with an alt and scenarios just for a RvR-intermission while leveling.. Always to run in a premade is a option, but it shouldn’t be the only one that is allowed by the design. Scenarios are meant to be not only an arena for premades.

      • shadowwar says:

        You’re completely allowed to do these things. The option is there. But doing so, expectations need to be kept to reality. Being able to do something doesn’t mean that it will be a fun and rewarding success.

        More PvE analogy: In EQ2’s second expansion “Kingdom of Sky”, the raid Deathtoll was the highest level challenge. Sure, I could have gone in there and attempted to complete with a raid of fresh 70s, but we would have had zero chance of survival/completion. WAR is a game that focuses less on progression of gear, and more on group play. Playing solo in WAR, as I understand it, is like skipping raids in EQ2 (or WoW, or w/e).

  6. Erbse says:

    Not rewarding both sides in War would be pretty disastrous considering what Mythic dares to call class balance.

  7. zizlak says:

    I think that my expectations are not too far off reality.. but I wish are more balanced system.

    I don’t expect to win every scenario.. I want an option for the not being able to form a premade with people I know..or having a diversion from questing. On the other hand if I happen to be in a premade..I want fights that are hard and not dominating a bunch of r32 chars.

    Scenarios aren’t the highest level of challenge in that game.. they are the easiest way for premades to farm renown. Nothing more..nothing less. There premades don’t have to fear any warbands. On Drakenwald many to me well known guilds start to hide in scenarios when the opposing realm is starting to own ORvR. Only a few stay in RvR lakes and do some guerilla fighting. Scenarios are not an addition to RvR..they are not RvR in any way.

    I don’t want a hard separation between premades and pugs.. I want sc to be more of a competition. That’s the whole point I’m talking about. Imho the current system just doesn’t support competition in a good way… if I’m in a bad mood, I would say in any way 😉

    WAR is all about the easiest way. Zone-locking tours for renown.. premades (some of them even leaving scenarios when they face too strong opposition) farming renown…

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