25 November 2011

Inefficient Use of Time

"conflict in wow" Sun 18 Feb 2007 01:05:38 PM PST

The basis for conflict in WoW

"The solution to warfare is simple in essence:

When fear is removed from conflict, conflict becomes choice.

Just as when a person's mind is in a state of conflict, it can cause sickness, powerlessness, and depression.

When a person's mind is in a state of choice, it can cause health, clarity, power, and joy.

When a conflict in a person's mind is transmuted into choice, it becomes the basis of self-expression.

What does this mean for the ultimate fate of world PvP in WoW?


On my mage, I don't gank. I never did. I thought maybe this had something to do with the fact that I'm in the military IRL; casually killing people isn't something you want to get into the habit of, even if it "isn't real". I never even went to the battlegrounds, because they were and still are such a cheap and adulterated imitation of true PvP.

I stopped playing my mage on live. On the PTR for 2.0, I finally was able to play in and understand the meanings of the various BGs, and discovered that some of them weren't that bad, as long as you weren't PvPing just to farm gear. As we found out in December, when the only reason people play in BGs is to farm gear, the BGs suck horribly.

But I still had questions about why me and everyone else did what they did in terms of PvP. Why do some people gank, and others don't? Why are half the servers in this game "PvE" servers that avoid world PvP almost entirely? What is the "bloodlust" that causes people to say, Red = dead, and kill anyone and everyone of the opposite faction they encounter without provocation? This is an essential element of world PvP, but why does it exist, and why didn't I feel that way myself?


I think I found the answer. Why do we gank? "Because otherwise they'll kill me instead." "Because if I don't prove myself against them, why am I playing this game?" "Because everyone expects me to, and I'll look like a carebear if I don't at least try."

The basis for conflict, both in the world and inside one's mind, is lack of choice, which results from fear. Is it possible for world PvP to exist in WoW without fear? I say it is.

25 Nov 2011

1) increase in society's ability to measure things, simultaneously with decrease in obvious problems that cause a unifying sense of purpose and common goal (historical/cultural)

2) differing ability to perceive remaining problems and 'residual' variation in measurement accuracy lead to separation in priorities and 'countersignalling', or growth of hidden value, by entities with higher intelligence and unusual circumstances

3) encoding hidden value based on understanding of ideal measures of achievement, not on a flawed sample of values existing in a population

4) prediction of low error rate in accomplishing goals means that changes in hidden value have negligible cost, and inaccurate values in population do not need to be corrected immediately without an identifiable negative result

5) timing error: situation where communication does not convey adequate range of information. frequency of occurrence in population is unknown

6) unexpected change in importance of errors in value of a population that seems to indicate misplaced priorities and incorrect evaluation of benefit from countersignalling, due to unexpected conflict with truth value due to situation that results from previous assumptions.

7) search for solution in immediate environment leads to inconclusive results, which causes contradictions with any previous understanding of designed systems working as expected and the feasibility of common goals in society. prediction of importance of goal accomplishment in similar situation has broad significance for both the possible existence of solutions in the non-local scope and also for the accuracy and verifiability of possible local solutions, both for the individual and for the general population

8) promotion of values and strategies that are perceived to lead to avoidance of the problem in the optimal case and goal accomplishment when the problem cannot be avoided. awareness of problem in population is unknown; conclusions on optimal local or global strategies are also unknown, but directly affects understanding and prediction of ideal values in society.

Resulting values can include "It is important to avoid countersignalling", "Dishonesty is acceptable if it does not lead to an identifiable victim", "People cannot be trusted", "The true incidence of 'avoidance of conflict' strategy is low enough to assume any given sample of opinions is not biased based on benefit to society", with the actual rate of occurrence of these values in the general population subject to large deviations from what is predicted due to the complexity of the situations from which predictions of incidence rate are derived.

19 November 2011

Method of Distributing Items Between Several Groups

each group has an 'item fund'. the amount available for each purchase is a set proportion of the total current funds, which can be changed. the history of contributions and deductions can be accessed. payments are made to groups. a group can consist of a single individual.

1) a member of a group (problem, inflation due to lack of defined exit of cash from bidding circulation regardless of whether bids can be lowered or contribution varies on item type)

1) make cost equal to benefit, so net change is zero for everyone, then decide winner

single bid
announce highest, no name
option to match
lower initial bids have smaller chance to win RNG
distribute costs to group?

depends on how groups are viewed, complexity costs, ...

method of determining value of an item. number of bidders, size of bids, all might not be accurate. largest problem is advantage of late response. should be a way for an individual to 'win' regardless of collaboration by a majority of participants on most items. if value is accurately determined for usable items, lack of accurate measure of value for other items is not a problem. standard bidding process does not equally distribute risk to all participants in case of collaboration, since value is not properly measured unless a non-collaborator accepts risk by revealing their own value for an item.

consequently, there is a decrease in benefit from collaboration by including a penalty for underestimating value, in all cases where the top bid is lower than the true value for a collaborating player.


16 November 2011


. . . Which leads to the second conclusion:
2) If items are squished, raiding needs to be made more fun and less elitist.

This is not about casual players being unskilled n00bs. A lot of players who COULD perform well in current content do not want to, for reasons that go beyond real-life scheduling priorities. While the content itself may be enjoyable, as seen by the number of players protesting the possible removal of the ability to solo old raids, the social environment often is not. A lot of this has to do with the fact that most raiding guilds are focused on completing content instead of having fun. This sounds completely natural at first glance, but the reality is that raiding is this way because the game does not allow people to agree on what, exactly, is fun other than achieving the end goal of being able to loot the body of a raid boss.

What began as a simple inquiry, of how to squish items without upsetting people who enjoy soloing old raid content, leads to an examination of the very foundation of raiding itself.

This has a lot to do with the overall complexity of an encounter, and whether the actions the group must take can be easily understood and announced by a single entity (the raid leader, or a Deadly Boss Mods 3rd-party addon) or whether a raid group will perform best when most people are willing to take actions on their own initiative without needing directions from higher up. Another very important consideration is what are the consequences of being given the opportunity of a challenging situation but failing to succeed at it: does it wipe the raid group, or does it offer other players a further opportunity to recover from that mistake and even benefit? In real life, it's not always easy to identify what would have been the correct action in a scenario, because the consequences depend on being able to adapt to both good and bad situations and turn them to your advantage. You might normally try to avoid risk, but when the amount of risk you face suddenly increases it is just as important to know how to handle it. Unexpected levels of risk should not by themselves constitute a failure for the raid group.

In general, the connection to an easily recognized, larger group goal is very significant for the community values that will tend to evolve and stabilize. The most healthy situation will always be one where the goals of the group that someone directly interacts with has a clear relation to a larger group, of which the group one works with is a subset. The standards and defined benefit of the larger group form a way of evaluating the progress and goals of the immediate group and provide an outside, stable way of justifying any lack of progress or complications that may arise for the immediate group.

The scale of the larger group is not, itself, particularly important, as long as interaction with members of the larger group by the individual is completely optional in clear contrast with the accepted closer connection to the immediate group. The larger group must be neutral in relation to the smaller group with which the individual is associated, meaning that the smaller group's influence is strictly limited by the legitimate goals of other entities within the larger group at a level where no conflict has a priority high enough to require immediate action by any involved subsets of the larger group.

When benefit to the larger group becomes unclear, motivations have the potential to become distorted within the smaller group. For WoW in particular, faction PvP rivalry once defined a benefit to the faction from the acquisition of PvE rewards by the group, in the absence of any other clear benefit to the faction or other larger groups to which an individual belongs. (guild, roleplaying origin, faction, playerbase, national origin, etc.) In many cases the potential benefit would be of a specific accurate standard of achievement or the discouragement of inaccurate evaluation of achievements in general through the promotion of complex goals, but the actions of much of the playerbase indicate that in their experience, 'hardcore' raiding does not provide either of these two results.

Consequently, there exists a clear benefit from ensuring that raiding goals in WoW are harmonious ("river crab") to the commonly recognized goals of a larger group with which the individual has no direct connection, whether by influencing the goals of the group or by changing the recognition of how that larger group will benefit.


higher wages for overtime, lower cutoff point = unambiguous increase of profits for firms from tendency to want to work less, leading to permitting high amounts of overtime due to marginal benefits to supervisory structure and low utility of money for the firm. high variance/skewing of total income encourages production of goods with low utility per cost and further income inequality.

lower wages for higher amounts of work = increase of profits for firm depends on job responsibilities and elimination of inefficient work practices. any tendency to want to work less does not naturally result in higher profits for all firms, leading to resolution of conflict only when firm competitiveness is high enough for profitability prior to work reduction. contrast between worker outcomes based on firm profitability leads to congruence between the firm's goals and benefit to workers and society, compared to overtime system where variation in firm profitability with low overtime cutoff would lead to adverse outcomes for same.

a profitable firm should cause benefit to workers and society. with overtime system, both are harmed instead of benefiting.