I was doing an LFR Dragon Soul with Redfyre last night, and we were talking a bit about our DPS, what we hoped to get from the LFR, why we were doing it, and what kept us trying to perform on things like the trash.
Thinking about it, it all comes down to motivation.
Why are we there? Once we are there, what spurs us on to perform at our best? If we do try to do our best, are we always going full bore, or do we slack on the trash?
This isn’t a theater class, but still, what is our motivation?
We’ve all seen people in incredible, god-like gear who nevertheless do barely auto-attack levels of DPS on the trash, and if we’re lucky wake up long enough to use a rotation and pop out 33k DPS on the boss before going back to sleep… or trying to get the raid to boot anyone under 20k DPS.
What is there to spur us on to join, and then to do our best.
There can be positive motivation.
For joining at all, and contributing once you are there, if you complete the run you get 250 valor points. If a boss dies, there is a possibility of loot.
For negative motivation, if the group fails, then you wipe and pay some gold out of your pocket for repairs. You have to spend more of your time in the group to get to the positive motivators.
What keeps you from simply coasting, and if the rest of the group doesn’t make it while carrying you, leaving for another group?
Long queue times, and a deserter timer, basically.
Plus, if you coast, you run the risk of being booted, but that is mostly reserved for the blatantly afk… until the boss fight starts, and it is too late to remove you for stopping what you are doing and getting carried.
For many of us, especially for those people I consider my friends, the lure of shinies and valor and participating in grand battles may be enough to get us in there, but self-respect keeps us trying our hardest, even on the trash.
Self-respect. Not epeen, showing off to others, but to earn the satisfaction of trying your best and knowing you did everything you reasonably could to contribute to the win.
There is something else that is also a fun motivator. Pride, pride and peer pressure.
Who wants to be the one that does something stupid, and not only do YOU know you did something stupid, but now everyone else is looking at you and pointing and laughing?
Fear of ridicule can be a powerful motivator, and I think most of us recognize that, which is why when asshats ridicule people unjustly, we want to punch them in the snout or defend the one being persecuted.
I was thinking about motivation, and game mechanics, and how I see people talk about how Blizzard failed with boring iterations of boss fights that have all been done before, nothing new, nothing challenging.
And I was also thinking, “Boy, I’d love to see people auto-attacking or AFKing their way to boss kills have some motivation to step up their game, since they clearly don’t have any self-respect.”
Redfyre and I were on Hagara when this train of thought was going through my head, and as we fought the powerful Shaman boss, it occured to me, I knew of one way we could see some motivation in a fun fashion.
Now, Hagara is a Shaman, and clearly has a mix of enhancement and elemental abilities. Most of her abilities could be placed solidly in the elemental theme, but she still dual wields her axes, which gives her an enhancement-specific touch.
In LFR mode, she does not Ice Tomb a player, but I think something else… unique… could be added in it’s place.
Instead of casting Ice Tomb, why not have her summon a pair of Spirit Wolves, which she then sics on whichever player queued as DPS actually has the lowest DPS?
I’m talking the same kind of mechanic as we see in Firelands on the Shannox fight, when Rageface picks out a target and then starts chewing on them until someone else lands a big honkin’ crit.
Just, you know… in this case, instead of being a random target, it’s more refined.
Suddenly, there is a motivator to getting you off your ass and doing some DPS, isn’t there?
All you have to do is follow the strategy employed when chased by a bear. You don’t have to outrun the bear… you just have to outrun anyone else with you who is ALSO being chased by the bear.
And if you’re afk and doing no DPS?
Wolf lunch. Doggie snack. Pup kibble. Wear your bacon suit and have a nice day.
Would it make any difference? No, no it absolutely would not.
But, come on, I would SO look forward to the Hagara fight JUST to see who is going to get nibbled on, and if anyone is going to step up and crit the wolves, or if they’d be left to get chomped on.
We know the answer to that. The only person stepping up to save them is anyone they queued with. And, really, aren’t they the MOST likely to laugh when seeing a friend munched on?
I won’t even talk about the possibility of changing it from a flat DPS ranking to something more organic like checking for effort/rotations/active use of multiple abilities so that an AFKer doing more damage than someone in entry level gear trying all out gets preferential eating privileges.
More complex, probably infinitely more complex, but also more satisfying.
Come on, can’t you see it with me?
You know you would see people actually put our more DPS if they knew they would be eaten if they were at the bottom, and if the criteria on how hard each person was trying to do their best was judged by an impartial Blizzard software algorithm that was not fully understood…
Let’s be honest. If Blizzard tried it once, we’d want to see some similar mechanic on every damn LFR fight, including trash. Try your best or get eaten.
I’m not a cruel bear, though. If everyone was trying, at a certain minimum rate, then I could see defusing the mechanic for that fight.
I’m not cruel. No, really.
Harsh enough to make slackers actually TRY once they step up and volunteer to be in a group raid or get eaten? That I am, my friends, that I am.
Motivation. If you don’t bring your own with you, I WILL dream of ways of imposing some on you, or making it not worth your while to join.