Punctuality

Things that are valuable are measured precisely and monitored closely. This is why diamonds sell by the quarter-karat and are kept under lock and key, while your water bill comes in hundreds of gallons and you might put off fixing a dripping faucet.

Lateness implies disrespect for yourself and others. You have only so much time, and treating it cavalierly suggests that it has low value to you. Or perhaps you are strategically late, on the assumption that everyone else will be waiting when you get there. You find others’ time cheap. All we have in this life is fading time, and wasting others’ is slow murder by degrees. But it costs you nothing, as long as you are the last to show up.

“It’s only five minutes. How impatient are you?” No, it’s five minutes per person. In a twelve-person raid, five minutes late is an hour wasted. And it is rarely “only five minutes.” In a forty-person raid, fifteen minutes late is ten hours. I have seen raids and groups that consistently take as long as an hour to pull together. How many entire days are wasted per week waiting for the raid to start?

Lateness cascades. The group is not together yet, so brb bio. He’s still gone, so get a drink. We’ve been waiting ten minutes, someone needs to go check on the oven. Now we’re starting too late, someone won’t have enough time to finish the dungeon, gotta run, good luck. Recruit again and repeat. People learn that being on-time means waiting while lateness is not punished (indeed, people seem grateful when a late-comer lets them get started), so why put any effort into being on time?

But it’s hard to be the guy who says, “We do not have a full group/raid logged on and available at the start time, so this week is canceled. We’ll try again next week.” “It’s only five ten fifteen thirty minutes,” and I guess we’re committed to going through with it after waiting a half-hour. No one wants all that time to have been wasted.

: Zubon

12 thoughts on “Punctuality”

  1. I was trying to explain this to some guildies the other day who seem allergic to signing on at the appointed time 20 mins before pull time. Instead people sign-on at pull time and you end up pulling 30 mins late. Drives me crazy. The problem is *how* do you punish them when you’re in a small-ish guild recruiting to fill spots? Cancelling the raid would likely make the rest angry at the officers not the offender. Replacing them with a pug isn’t ideal and saying they get no loot if they turn up late leads to late-comers becoming no-shows.

    1. fwiw We’ve tried to build our guild with that very problem in mind. The ONLY thing you can enforce on someone is whether or not they are a member of the guild, whether or not they are a participant in your activity. There’s just not much STICK online.

      So if you don’t have enough reliable people who are reliable because and only because they choose to be reliable, there’s only one thing you can do: go get more reliable people.

      Keep recruiting and keep promoting the philosophy behind your guild so that you build a large enough self-selected base of people who are all there for the same reason (to play the game) and GENERALLY through the same accepted policies.

      Quality via quantity via quality. ;-}

  2. Ah, but you’re implying that once the raid gets started that you will be existing in more than the vegetative state in which you had been waiting. However this is an MMO that we’re talking about, so you are simply existing in a slightly less vegetative state after the raid begins.

    By my reckoning, wasting an hour of a person’s time, if that time were to be spent playing an MMO, is probably only equivalent to wasting about 20 minutes of “real” time.

    1. I guess that’s what makes wasting other peoples time even worse. Not knowing about or honoring others people time in the first place.

  3. I would not punish offenders, but instead reward the performers. And by performers I mean those who are always prepared (on time with consumables etc.) and committed, not necessarily putting out a gazillion of damage/heals/threat or so.
    But what possibilities there are really depends on how you manage sign ups, loot and guild policy in general.
    Basically I would put the performers on top of the priority list whenever there is a decision to make that needs to choose one player over another ;).

  4. I think the only solution that works is over-recruiting and being harsh about keeping slots open for people who sign up and aren’t there at the start time.

    It causes drama but after a transition phase people adjust to the idea that if the raid start at 8, showing up at 8.15 means you probably miss out.

    It’s also not evenly fair. If your only suitably geared tank is 30 minutes late then you have to wait no matter how many spare hunters you have.

  5. When I was designing DKP for a (then Molten Core-clearing) WoW raid guild, I didn’t award points for boss kills. That’s stupid. I awarded 50% of the night’s points for being logged in and on location at raid start, 25% for time spent, and 25% for being there when raid end was called.

    If we didn’t have enough people within 5 minutes of nominal raid start, no raid that night, but everybody that was there on time gets their normal 50% of a night’s DKP points.

    It didn’t fix the problem, but it made it a lot less bitter to show up for a raid that didn’t happen.

    1. Pretty much the only solution I’ve ever come up with either. Got to use some form of DKP and got to base the awards primarily on group participation, team spirit, timeliness, and so forth. You’ll lose a few people who think that they should be rewarded for their massive DPS, but those people were generally just using your guild as a stepping stone to a hardcore guild anyway, in my opinion. I’d rather have 12, 24, 25, 40 people who respect each other and work well together; I can eventually train them to play the game better.

      In any case, though, it’s stuff like this that convinced me to ditch time-sink games (Dark Age of Camp-a-lot), avoid endgame raiding, avoid guilds, and ultimately to lose interest in grouping overall. Ever since I first started playing these games in 1999, I’ve wasted (yes, wasted) far more time waiting to find a tank/healer, waiting for everyone to arrive, waiting for everyone to agree on where to go, etc. than I’ve ever spent actually participating in group-based content. I finally just got sick of it and accepted that I got far more entertainment value for my time by soloing.

  6. I need another way to punish people for not doing their job in PuGs other than leaving. Oh wait that is punishment enough as I play a healer and can find another group almost straight away :D

    I love the “you get points for just showing up on time” deal (but cannot usually reply to specific comments as the submit button disappears).

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