Do You Feel Motivated, Punk?

So, we’ve been having some trouble with Malygos. It’s a bugger of a fight, the timer is always against us, we wipe a lot and people have gotten really discouraged. Maylgos is the first fight in WotLK that has been a true challenge for us, and it seems that since Patch 3.0 came out, some people in Impossibilium have forgotten what it feels like and what it means to really have to work to see content. We’ve steamrolled through Naxx and Sartharion and come to a full stop up against the massive blue roadblock that is Malygos.

We tweaked some strats and found some videos and begged, pleaded and cajoled our members into reading the strats, watching the vids and doing the Aces High! daily every day. And still, last night we went into Eye of Eternity and there were raiders who hadn’t taken the time to do any of that. And we’ve been working on Maly for three weeks now. There have been guild MotD posted about the vids and the importance of doing the Aces High! quest. There has been forum post after forum post after forum post about the importance of the daily quest and the strat videos and people just talking about the fight in general and still there are people who don’t care enough to come to raids prepared.

At least everybody flasked and food buffed last night. Thank god for small mercies.

So lasts weeks’ wipes were characterized by a complete lack of focus. People were using vanity trinkets and noncom pets and mounts and a very silly (but highly entertaining) mod called Gag instead of paying attention to the fight. Too many afks, too many DCs and just a complete and utter lack of dedication and motivation for success. It was frustrating. It was disenheartening. And people have stopped signing up for our Malygos runs. We’ll readily have over 30 signups for Naxx, any day of the week. But post a Malygos run and the signups vanish into thin air. And of the people who actually sign up – an even smaller fraction deign to show.

There was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. And loss of EP.

I thought about it, and I realized that the old school raiding mentality where you would toss yourself at the immovable object of a difficult boss fight over and over and over and blow through a week’s worth of gold in consumeables and repairs just because you were a raiding guild and that was what you did – well, those days are gone. That raiding mentality can go hand in hand with a lot of feelings of arrgoance, superiority, and a generally negative >”50 DKP minus!!!!1oneone” sort of leadership that is something we did not (and do not!) want for Imposs. Yelling and screaming and ranting and raving and shaming and punishing people was (in my mind) not going to work to get us a dead dragon.

What I did was go to our forums and post this:

Now I know that 100g isn’t a huge amount. I thought it would be enough to take the sting off of a night’s worth of repairs. (I also didn’t want to bankrupt the guild vault – any amount of gold I handed out would have to be multiplied by 25!) However, 1000 EP is an enormous amount of EP. In a good night of raiding Naxx, where we get three wings clear the average raider will earn between 600 and 700 EP. And a truly awesome item – like my sweet new gun or my beloved Black Ice – will set you back around 300 EP. So earning 1000 EP in one big chunk on top of the regular raid time and boss kill EP is something that I hoped would make people sit up and take notice.

It did.

I put that wanted poster on the forums on Friday morning. On Saturday night he was dead in 10 man. ON Monday night – 25 man. 2 Nights of raiding, 2 dead dragons!

So thank you Impossibilium. Thank you for putting in the effort, thank you for staying for wipe after wipe, thank you for doing your dailies and watching your strat vids and tweaking your gear and spec and trying a little bit harder after every wipe. (And thank you for your generosity in carrying those rare few who didn’t put in as much effort as you did.) The vast majority of this guild is made up of capable, competant, hardworking, wonderful players and I am very proud to be part of your successes!


  1. Tigerfeet said,

    March 19, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Check out this mod too:

    My biggest frustration was we were having trouble with people getting their Engulf in Flames stacks high enough to make a difference. I couldn’t tell if I was doing it right. Since installing that addon Malygos drops like a box of rocks on time and every time. 😉

    And congratulations on your kills!

  2. kyrilean said,

    March 19, 2009 at 8:38 am


    Two ways to look at this. First, you know you’re guild is more than capable of getting the job done and kudos to them! Second, you know you’re guild is more than capable of getting the job done and how frustrating is it that you had to actually bribe them?

    Too bad boss kills aren’t enough of a bribe… 😦

  3. Melissa said,

    March 19, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Congratulations! Last night was my guild’s first attempt at Malygos. We tried for about an hour (never getting to phase 2) before we decided to try again another day.

    It is a shame you had to bribe them. I have noticed on TB that the motivation has moved from getting through the content to getting some loot. When we finally reached KT, we had a new guildie actually ask if death’s bite would drop. If the probability wasn’t high, he didn’t want to go. Sad.

  4. oriniwen said,

    March 19, 2009 at 9:34 am

    @ Tigerfeets: I’ll take a look at that mod. I’m trying to get people to rely more on their common sense and situational awareness, rather than loading themselves down with mods and stuff that they just slavishly watch without thinking (Healbot – I blame *you*!) so I’m always leery of mods. Everytime I hear someone say after a wipe (on any boss/trash) “Oh it’s because my x mod wasn’t working” I want to stab someone. Mods should be like calculators were when I was going to school (do they still do this?). Learn the basic underlaying principles and actions – then add things that make your life easier.

    Erm … /rant. (wow, that was a lot of text! I may have some underlaying “mod issues” I need to talk to my WoW Therapist about …. )

    @ Kyrilean: You’re not the first person to say that “bribe” line :*( I know what you mean by it, but this is my thought process. Weeding out the people who are actually causing the problem (i.e avoiding Malygos signups cause they’re not willing to come to a fight that is long/expensive/hard) is going to take time (possibly several weeks of raids to see who just didn’t make it to Maly this week and who is actually actively avoiding Maly runs. Several weeks where we could just be killing that bastard and getting ready for 3.1) and effort and then I have to think of a suitable punishment for them and then deal with any drama that results from that punishment.

    Much better to put up a great big shiny prize that will reward those who were already putting in the effort and possibly get back on track those who have been slacking but are not “bad players.” And, because it’s something as visible as a huge EP bonus (which will show up on the log for the mod) then I *do* have a way of identifying people who were not at either of our Maly kills – and I can watch those people a little more closely to see if they actually are wastes of space.

    @Melissa: I’m curious as to what ThoBro guild you’re in, now 🙂 I’d reccomend bringing two DK’s and getting them to death grip the spark into the centre. That’s the strat that really made it for us, it allowed us to have two stacks of the sparks up almost all the time, and that made a huge difference for us.

    Dead bosses should be good enough motivation for raiders. But then again a job well done should be good enough motivation for most employees 🙂 I’m very sad to hear about your loot monkey. Too many people see loots as the be all and end all rather than only a segment of the whole raiding process. Like I said, I think of it not as a “bribe” but positive motivation that allowed me to save time and effort, reward the good players, return the stragglers to the fold and highlight the bad players all in one! 🙂

  5. Aleathea said,

    March 19, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Ingenous idea! I salute your creativity. You demonstrated a clear understanding of your people and what motivates them – one of the marks of a good leader.

    It’s interesting you mention the loss of the old school raiding mentality, as I encountered the exact same thing with my guild. We breezed through Naxx and OS with only a rare token wipe. Then we hit Malygos. Suddenly, we were wiping over and over, and we didn’t down him our first week, or even our second. People started to complain and talk about quitting after a few wipes. And that really bothered me. Because I felt like some of our people had forgotten what it means to be a raider. That it wasn’t always a walk in the park and there used to be actual work involved.

    In the early days of Classic WoW and even in BC we would spend weeks on a single boss. And when he went down, well, it meant something. You’re right that the old raiding mentality went hand in hand with a lot of unhealthy attitudes, but I missed that feeling of accomplishment that comes from defeating a worthy opponent. It was refreshing to find an encounter that challenged us and required us to grow as players before we could defeat it. The night he went down, I recaptured a bit of the old magic.

    Congratulations to you and Impossibilium on a job well done.

  6. Holy Dueg! said,

    March 19, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Grats very much on the kill! We were having the same issue with people more than willing to show up for Naxx but passing on the harder dragon kills. We ending up having a system that basically we did dragons before we did Naxx and after a couple of hours of wipes, we would move over to Naxx and finish the nights there. The idea of Naxx as a reward for toppling harder content motivated a lot more of our members to show up every night instead of just Naxx night.

  7. HP said,

    March 19, 2009 at 11:26 am

    LOL, OMG your method rocked! That’s so funny that you bribed your guild into downing something you KNEW they could do if they just hunkered down and did it!

    But yes, the easy raiding content is breeding bad raiding habits and I am guilty of some of them myself. I still don’t DC or AFK but I haven’t been paying as much attention as I usually would since the content is easy. I’m sure that Ulduar will force people to be more serious about raiding but Blizzard seems to have set up Naxx as introduction to raiding, like Raiding 101 when alot of raiders from TBC were in Raiding 102 or 103 =X

    Congratulations on your Malygos downing!! I’m going to ask the RL to try and implement a bribe too LOL Sarth 3d, let’s go!

  8. Melissa said,

    March 19, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I’m in a very small guild that formed just a few months ago. We aren’t even on wowjutsu and this loot obsessed guildie has only been a member a few weeks while the rest of us have played together for about a year.

    But I’ve noticed the “loot monkey” (much nicer than how I’d say) is more prevalent and not just in my guild. I pug heroics and find it there as well. Unfortunately, when you have no dkp-type system as our guild does not, then there is no way to deter it. But as far as using it as a tool to weed out the unproductive, go for it! That is the only reason I wish my guild would go for some point based loot system. To reward those of us that don’t just show up for certain bosses.

    And I’m Barrista on TB. I’ll say “hi” if I see you in Dalaran.

  9. Elleiras said,

    March 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    We had the same experience when it came to 3D. Players would log on for the Naxx shardfests, but it was incredibly hard to get a full group when it came time to dance with dragons. We ended up scheduling raid nights instead of raid events on GroupCalendar. Anytime we had the right comp/a strong enough group to attempt progression, we’d high-tail it over to the progression zone — even if it meant leaving Naxx mid-wing to do it.

    Bribe or not, I say this tactic was totally worth it for you. 🙂 I’m betting you see a renewed interest in raiding after this kill. Sometimes you just need a dramatic breakthrough to get your guild interested and energized again. Sounds like this was it!

  10. Tessy said,

    March 20, 2009 at 2:19 am

    We had a player gquit the other day because he wanted an easy Naxx run instead of going to Malygos (his assigned raid spot for the night) …

    Congratulations on the kill!

    And getting the raiders to shape up an get in line with a bribe like that was a genius move. Sometimes a carrot works so much better than the whip to get the horses moving 😀

  11. Oriniwen said,

    March 20, 2009 at 8:03 am

    @ Alathea: Thank you, I really tried to do something that would be better for the guild, even though my first instinct (and the instinct of some of my more hardcore raiders) was to yell and scream a /gkick everyone. I’m glad that this method worked really well, but I suspect it’s something I won’t be doing for every new boss that we want to down.

    I also miss some facets of that old-school raiding, but I still get some pretty nice feelings of accomplishment with WotLK – especially some of the achievements. It’s a different game, to be sure, but I’m not going to bemoan the loss of an outdated raiding system that never really benefitted me 🙂 I’m much much happier with Imposs and our methods – and our successes.

    @ Dueg: Thank you 🙂 We tried doing that as well, but people would take so bloody long to dawdle their asses from Maly/Sarth to Naxx and then they’d piss around getting repaired and lose all of their focus and we’d wipe on some random trash pull in Naxx – it just wasn’t worth it. If I’m going to herd cats, I don’t want to have to drive them halfway across Northrend.

    @ HP: Let me know if that method works for you 🙂

    @ Melissa: I do indeed recognise the name 🙂 Feel free to friend me or shoot me a whisper anytime if you need someone to bulk out a run. Even if you don’t need another hunter or healer, I might be able to recruit one of my guildies to help you folks out. I know what it’s like starting a guild, and let me know if there is any way we at Imposs can help you out – go ThoBro!

    @Elleiras: That was certainly something we talked about doing. We did that for a bit in TBC because people were happy to do Gruul/Mags but no so much SSC/TK and it worked sorta well for us. I really tried to come up with a different solution this time around.

    @Tessy: I’m very sorry to hear that, I know it always hurts when someone gquits. I know that I always take it a little too personally and feel like a failure of a guild leader. But I think in the long run, you got rid of someone who didn’t have the same goals as your guild, and that will serve your guild and that player better in the long run.

  12. Yakra said,

    March 20, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I’d worry about setting a precedent – will your group now always expect a bonus when something that requires dedication comes up?

    I recommend cutting off peoples supply of easy epics, and using that as your motivation. For both Malygos and OS+3, LOKI stopped running all other content until said bosses were finished. Its amazing how much people snap to attention when they realize that a roadblock isn’t only stopping them from getting the 3-5 items from the boss standing in front of them, but the dozens of items from Naxx.

    And while you may have some people leave for a purely naxx farming guild – you’ll be far better off in the long run for getting rid of those people. You’ll be left with a dedicated group that wants to progress, instead of just taking the low hanging fruit.

  13. Oriniwen said,

    March 20, 2009 at 9:31 am

    @ Yakra: I certainly will not be using this particular motivatonal technique for every boss fight. The leadership of Imposs has done various things in the past, and this was something we had not done before so it had the benefit of novelty as a way to really get people’s attention, as well as performing several tasks for me – motivation, remotivation of people who were lapsing, and highlighting those people who really can’t be bothered (“low hanging fruit, as it were).

    Part of the problems we were having in Naxx was due to a lack of gear – even in our most dedicated core of raiders who are coming to every Naxx run and making every effort to get the gear they need. Even though we are putting in a lot of effort the RNG can be against you, and so I didn’t want to cut off Naxx just yet. As well, there has been a week or two where Naxx wasn’t completely cleared for us, so it was still semi-progression content, and insiting on doing a lot of the achievements developed better teamwork and co-ordination skills within our raid group.

    Long story short 🙂 – this technique worked very well this tim for a wide variety of reasons. If we come up against a similar “me no wanna fight hard boss” mentality when we get to Ulduar, we’ll have to examine *that* situation and hopefully be able to find the motivator that works best at that time 🙂

  14. March 30, 2009 at 9:17 am

    […] around, listlessly doing dailies. Where have all our raiders gone? Is it because we’ve dropped Maly 25 (once!) and now there is a feeling we’ve “beaten WoW”? Is it spring break/exams? […]

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