Blizzard gets social engineering, and my RSS changes

Firstly, Tobold will like this first blue post. Secondly, I’m changing my RSS feed. See below.

Blizzard very directly talks about the social aspects of slack people, and how behaviour is driven by goals. Shows a good understanding of the human element of gaming.

Rated battlegrounds will not let you join solo; requires a pre-formed team. Why? Blizzard answers with so much truth I’ve quoted it entirely.

There are several reasons (these are the highlights) not to allow players to solo-queue for rated battlegrounds.

1. When players have no commitment to any other members of their team, they’re much more likely to try to game the system for minimal effort (afk’ing, or near afk-ing). If they’re required to form a group in advance, it implies there is a previously agreed-upon power structure in the group (somebody is the leader, and can kick players that need to be kicked).

2. If players can queue for rated battlegrounds as either solo or as a group (and any mix thereof), it becomes far more difficult to matchmake teams appropriately, or determine how difficult of a win a win was, or how significant a failure on the part of the losing players a loss was.

3. The endgame structure we have for WoW rewards for organizational effort (this is the primary reason that 25-person raids are rewarded more highly than 10-person raids). There is no organizational effort in solo-queue’ing for battlegrounds, yet the ilevel of the rewards are on par with 25-person raiding.

Then to leadership, this really grabs me too. I worried about how the ‘reward for using inter-realm LFM tool’ would work, and Blizzard have clarified they’re not so stupid.

This was a bit of a miscomm. The idea is that you would be rewarded for trying to use LFG to form a group. A separate feature of LFG is that we allow players to identify whether they are comfortable leading the group or not and then we try to make sure each group has at least one leader. You are probably going to have a much worse experience joining a pug of 5 players when none of them know anything about the encounters.

I think a lot of drama would result from arguing over who should be leader if that incurred extra rewards, as well as encouraging players with no business doing so to lead. Really, the focus should be on the group. The leader just marks (though everyone could do that too) and describes the fights.

Change to RSS feed

Update 7:18pm: I’m going to self-host, so ignore the change below. Thanks for the quick feedback guys. I reverted the feed.

For my RSS readers, I’m sorry but am changing the feed to only include the first 500 characters. This is to stop “splogs” who take my content and stick in their own site, sometimes surrounded by advertising.

I didn’t quite appreciate the negative effect they have until I did a google search for content I write about, and an aggregator site was rated in the results above me. Following that link I find people commenting there (not at pwnwear), and of course not getting any answers from me. This also means I don’t get statistics on the articles people are reading the most; which is one of the feedback loops I use to write more content (eg. the DK tank specs posts are hugely popular).

If this RSS change causes a problem for you, comment at the site and let me know. I have an alternative solution but would require paid self-hosting so I can use IP banning, custom RSS feeds and/or apache rewrites.

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5 comments to Blizzard gets social engineering, and my RSS changes

  • This is as good a place as any to comment that your insights and articles are incredibly helpful and entertaining. I have been reading you through an RSS reader during my lunch hour at work for some time now. Although I predominantly play a bear tank, I find your articles on tanking and leadership to be especially applicable beyond the DK audience.

    Having said that, it is dissapointing to see your RSS feeds move to only including the first 500 characters. It is more difficult for me to read your content straight from your site on a regular basis. I do understand however, and probably would do the same thing were I in your shoes. It’s just too bad that the idiots of the internet ruin it for the rest of us.

    Keep blogging and providing such great content. I will read when I can, even if it is a bit less often than in the past.

  • David

    Limiting the RSS feeds to 500 characters means I can no longer read your site at work as it is blocked. So whenever that change happens you lose one reader for sure.

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    Ahh… I didn’t consider that people’s work internet might allow RSS but disallow websites like this. Clever loophole you guys have found. I’ll definitely self-host then, use full-size RSS content and find alternative ways to block the splogs.

  • Ghosthorn

    Thanks for the quick update to full RSS feeds. You definitely put a high value on your readers, and I do appreciate that.

  • [...] tooltips working, along with RSS feed that continues working whilst protecting my content with a copyright notice. The new site doesn’t look exactly like I want it to yet, but it’ll get there. [...]

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