Wednesday, 20 May 2009

CPP: when the store stops extending credit

Gevlon tore into the notion of the Consumer Producer Paradigm recently based on a flawed notion that it is identical to his own paradigm that WoW has two types of players: competent players on the one hand and morons and slackers on the other.

There are several reasons why CPP is a more robust model for raiding than tolerating underachievers and the most significant is that you are able to set a minimum standard. (For other reasons I refer you to my response over on Gevlon's site).

The minimum standard varies from guild to guild and changes over time. As far as Might of Kalimdor is concerned we're still finding our level. However we start from this single basic principle:

1) However good or bad you are currently you must be set up to improve. We want people who are paying attention, interested and enthusiastic. Our best dpsers I can remember being under 1k dps on some early heroics when we were all in blues and greens. Our highest throughput healer is completely new to WoW with this character that he rolled in January.

Effectively attention is the currency in which we producers expect to be paid and improvement is the verification that you are paying.

Some things which show as positive in this regard are:

- meter performance
- performance of an assigned task (eg if you're a healer did you let your tank die?)
- coping with raid boss gimmicks (eg safety dance, not standing in fires, not faceplanting etc)
- listening on Vent
- participating in chat, jokes are a great sign people are awake and alert (we have very light-hearted raids)
- supportiveness. We need you to be in our side and not out for yourself at other people's expense. We recently removed two players who complained about not getting more loot.

Over time the guild will be raising the bar. At the moment we get 20-25 people logging on for each 25 man raid which is not really viable. We just need to push a little past that and then the management can focus more on helping people to meet the standards needed to push us through Ulduar.

So I'd welcome feedback on this: where do you set the minimum bar and what in particular shows that someone is failing to meet the minimum?


  1. I'm not in a leadership position, so I don't set minimums, but the current standard seems to be "can show up, if they feel like it." If I set it, it would be something like "if the raid was 25 of you, the boss would die."

    Don't be surprised that Gevlon doesn't like it. Any system that doesn't allow him to be an asshole is terrible.

  2. In order to qualify as a paradigm you have to fundamentally re-imagine the terrain.
    I can't see any practical difference between the M&S model an the CPP except how the participants feel about themselves and other players.

    The interesting part of your earlier analysis was the idea that there were different areas to produce and consume in. If you were to broaden that out so that everybody had a way to contribute according to their own lights... that might make all the difference.

    Gevlon's already doing a primitive version of this. ie he produces gold therefore he doesn't have to produce attendance.

  3. @ Klepsacovic I like that standard but several of our players are completely new to WoW and so need specific guidelines. I'll come back to this soon but sometimes it's not obvious to new players that you have to do certain things old school raiders take for granted. In other words some of our people would look at your standard, look at Recount, multiply by 25 and think "I'm sorted."

    Well, there's a real practical distinction in that I'm not calling half of my guild morons/slackers. (And then watching the guild collapse in drama).

    M&S is a paradigm conceived by someone who really hasn't seen much guild raiding, let alone organised it. Gevlon's background I believe is that he didn't raid pre-wotlk, was in a crappy guild until Jan, ran pugs for a bit until he got frustrated and now has purchased a once per week spot in a decent guild. Not only has he not created any player-created raid content but I would suggest that he cannot create any while adhering to his M&S paradigm. Because you don't just go out and recruit 25 perfect players who don't mess up. (Possibly it could be done by poaching but I suspect you would create a ticking timebomb of a guild waiting to explode if you just offered top guild raiders 100 000 gold each to join your guild).

    And I'm not just picking on Gevlon. Any player who tries to start up a raid guild based on intolerant elitism is going to fail. You have to have a process for turning bad players into good players as opposed to just gkicking.

    The next crucial aspect of CPP is consumers are not M&S, in fact they are quite possibly not even your worse players. A couple of our raiders are astonishing on the meters, have great situational awareness and platform skills but don't like organising content, leading raids or even a 5 man. Very much consumer types and we're lucky to have them.

    Also CPP specifically shows us where the strain is at the management level. Many players I have seen burnout because they believe they have to do more than they are comfortable with to make the guild work. The solution that CPP offers is to identify more producer types and give them authority.

    For example we no longer really manage 10 mans. If people want to do them, they can do them. Unfortunately usually people don't bother which is a shame and shows we lack producer types.

    One possible solution is a merge as opposed to a mass recruit. Recruiting 10 people from forums/trade/tells generally nets you 10 consumers. Recruiting 10 people who are in a little guild will give you several producer types, the people who were previously running that guild.

    Do you see, without CPP you wouldn't see the distinction between recruiting 10 more people by open recruitment as distinct from recruiting them by a merge? But it has fundamental long term implications for your guild.

  4. "Not only has he not created any player-created raid content"

    Sorry I mean guild raid content. His pugs were great and I applaud him for trying to get that to work.