The Daily Grind: Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community?

DPS meters, in theory, are a really great tool for players who want to push the envelope in content. That is, however, just in theory. World of Warcraft has made them more or less ubiquitous bragging mechanisms. Heck, even if they could be useful, they lack a lot of useful data; simply knowing that someone is doing lower DPS doesn’t necessarily provide a lot of information as to why. And since they’ve become almost constant bragging tools, most people who aren’t interested in that side of gameplay react negatively to meters no matter how important the meters might be.

Of course, it’s hardly the only example of a useful tool becoming less useful via implementation. Players can turn lots of things into ego manipulation. Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community? Does it seem that good tools wind up being used either for unintended purposes or find their useful elements get sidelined? Or do you think it’s more a matter of emerging uses that are equally as valid as the intended use?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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94 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community?"

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Schmidt.Capela

I would be hard pressed to name a single tool that can’t be abused, in games or in the real world. For starters just about anything under the sun has been used for killing, which for anything that isn’t a weapon is an abuse of the tool.

So, are DPS meters any less useful because they have been abused? Sincerely, no. A car isn’t any less useful because some asshat decided to run over his former wife on purpose. By the same token DPS meters (and gear score, and log parsers, and so on) are still as useful as ever, despite jerks using them to harass other players.

Tools can be improved to make abuse less common, though. Many modern tools are far harder to abuse than their counterparts from decades ago; safer, cleaner, more silent, easier to use, etc.

That is why I believe the hands-off approach MMO devs use when dealing with those addons is an issue. If you want to reduce misuse, intentional or not, you need to reach out to those that produce the tools and recommend (or even impose) certain standards; it’s what government does when it must make something safer, both on the personal and societal levels. IMHO MMO devs should do something similar, reaching out to MMO tool makers to help make the tools more useful and less prone to abuse.

miol
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miol

Or give players the power to choose what the API is allowed to share about them and to whom, placed as opt-in or opt-outs either way!

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Sally Bowls

I am not sure there is consensus on misuse.

1) Say you are pugging something where everyone doing 100 dps will kill the boss. In this scenario, is it OK to kick a dps who is doing 200 because you want and can find someone doing 300? That sure feels toxic to me, who is more likely to be the kickee not kicker. But the elitist jerks do have an argument; it is their time and why should they spend more of it if they can find someone who will make it go quicker? I.e., it’s a tougher call when replacing the DPS is not even a requirement to kill the boss, just a time saver.

2) Now say the boss dies with 4×100 DPS. Three people are doing 150, one is doing 80. Is it OK to kick the 80? In general, the 80 is not enough but in this case, the boss will die with the 80.

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Veldan

I’d say it depends on how the group is formed. If it’s an LFG tooled group, you have no right to complain about your team (as long as the dungeon is still completable), because the moment you press that queue button, you acknowledge that you can be grouped with absolutely anyone.

If you want a high DPS group, you go to chat and recruit one. Then, if people underperform, you have solid reason to kick, because they lied about their performance and joined a group that they shouldn’t be in.

Personally, I didn’t care about the exact number so much. Like, if I were making a group saying “LFM for random dungeon, req 30k ST DPS, /w for invite” and someone whispered me “hi, I can do 25k, can I still join?” I would usually invite that person. But if someone didn’t say anything, joined the group and then did 25k, I might kick them, depending on my mood and on who else is in the group.

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Arktouros

Fundamentally when you break it down it’s a people issue. DPS meters aren’t inherently bad as they just provide factual information. Ultimately it’s the people involved that create the abused where now they can use numbers to backup their agendas.

What is far more interesting is that those same agendas and natures to people still exist even without tools like DPS meters. You can look at early on versions of GW2 where certain classes (Necro, Ranger, Elementalist, etc) were all considered extremely bad despite having no actual DPS meters to back it up. It was only after people started creating pseudo meters via spreadsheets that Elementalist was put back into the meta where it’s remained.

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Byórðæįr

http://www.askmrrobot.com/ is a good way to tell if your hitting a base line, base on the gear you are wearing. So when you have trouble beating the boss you can run a dps meter to see what you are actually doing, knowing that dps meters don’t have a way to count for moving out of the pools of death on the ground.

Meaning you put your gear into the website it tells you what an optimal run would generate for that gear. Then you run a normal run logging to a text file doing what you normally do. Then you see how much damage you did. If your damage is way lower then you likely need to change your rotation to make up for when you are being interrupted or have to move or when you end a damage over time ability. If your damage is higher then you need to look into protecting the other players in the group that you run with. It is not perfect but it does help people figure out it if is a gear issue or standing in the wrong place when you need to be some where else in the room. Of course there are times when it does not tell you anything at all and times when people were just distracted by something outside of game. I would not recommend it these days but when I used to run with twilight guardians we used to make jokes about stuff that happened outside of game when someone’s kids would say they needed a drink because as a group we would use it as break point to go get a drink get up walk around and stretch so we did not get sore from sitting tense for a four to six hour dungeon. These days people are more likely to be weird about it and than laugh at people having kids that had to be helped before they could go back to playing a video game with their friends.

But the dps meters all through wow have been problems when people used gear score which did not actually measure dps it just randomly set a number and did not actually measure damage. I had one setup that was funny I would run a gear score set and swap half way through to the none gear score set as if I had picked up a new piece of gear and people would go wow what did you equip. I would laugh and say I can go back to that other piece of gear but this one looks cooler and does more damage. People would laugh and say nah keep used that setup.

I have to agree about most of the problems with the apps are that people use them to exclude people they don’t want to have to roll against for loot. When that is not an issue most people just use them to figure out if they are doing something wrong in dungeons. Basically when people use it for themselves they help when someone else uses them it is usually is to justify something they could not justify any other way.

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Sally Bowls

I am not a fan of DPS meters. At all. Especially how they are used.

But it’s not like MMOs inventing scoring. Fair Issac & Co, near where I used to live in the People’s Republic of Marin, came up with the credit score. Your financial rating is summarized as a three digit number. They sell that over 10B times a year. Their software comes up with a number. Other institutions, probably also software not people, use that to determine whether you get a loan and how much you will pay. (On a 40K car loan, a 589 pays $15,208 interest vs $3600 for a 720.) Perhaps also for jobs and insurance.

It is kind of convenient to come up with a number.

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Jadefox

All the arguments in this topic are really caused by one mechanic.

Enrage timers.

By devs setting a time limit on boss fights they created a monster. DPS is only a needed value because the group has to race the clock. Remove that requirement and DPS meters are a thing of the past, except for personal goals.

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Veldan

They’d still be a thing in any sort of content that’s “on farm” because people often don’t enjoy it, and want to get it over with, and then get angry if someone prolongs it by doing bad DPS.

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Rumm

Most people in this thread are vastly exaggerating the abuse that comes from using DPS meters. I honestly can’t recall the last time that someone was specifically called out in a group, and even then it was likely so absurdly bad that the person in question was either AFK or had a stroke at the keyboard. I like DPS meters because if I play with a really good player, it increases my chances of grouping up with that person in the future, and decreases my chance of grouping with people who clearly don’t have the same intentions in PVE content that I do. DPS meters are generally for group content, where there should be a reasonable expectation for other people in your group to perform – it is common courtesy to actually try, for other people’s sake. People who don’t like DPS meters are, from my personal experience, the people who expect to get carried through runs with suboptimal specs and gear, go afk and make the rest of the group wait for them, or roleplay their way through the dungeon. That’s all well and good, but do it with your own friends in your own groups so that everyone else can have an enjoyable dungeon/raid experience. I very much prefer the self-segregation potential that DPS meters provide me.

I wish that every game had a built in damage meter so that I don’t have to fuss with addons and 3rd party programs. Myself and my group of friends/guilds all compete with each other to see who can pump out the most damage – we find it fun to do so, and it helps us to push each other to be better. I also generally like knowing where I stand compared to other players, because I take pride in my own performance.

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steve

Any useful tool is a dangerous tool.

I mourn the loss of so many useful mechanics lost in the pursuit of an ephemeral idea of balance. Crowd control. Pulling. Stackable group effects. Our games have become nerfed kiddie parks, and I want to see useful tools returned to the players. The expectation that one can participate in a multi-user world without being acted upon by others is flawed at a basic level. I think the only answer to such abuse is to give players more tools to counter such misuse.

DPS meters are an easy target, yet an invaluable tool for gauging performance in spite of their obnoxious misuse.

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Rottenrotny

I’m on the fence about DMG meters. They’re useful sure, but it’s also nice to play without paying attention to them. I really don’t want to compete much in MMOs anymore. I guess I’ve been playing long enough to get to that point.
I would be interested to see an MMO disable to block DMG meters/Parsing capabilities via addons and instead offer an in-game equivalent that that players can see but only at the end of the dungeon/raid.
In other words, it’s completely inaccessible while you’re in the dungeon/raid.
Maybe at the end the group/raid leader has to click “End” which closes the instance off and triggers the availability of the in depth DMG/Healing meters to the players.

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rafael12104

Heh. You might as well be asking if boob physics is a thing in Blade and Soul.

Short answer is yes, and yes, and yes again. They are good questions really but no warm and fuzzy answers. People do abuse tools. They use them as unintended if it is to their advantage. And while many players may not abuse these tools, the ones that do make up for it with a vengeance.

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NeoWolf

In my experience ANYTHING that can be misused WILL be misused because thats just how some people are..sadly.

wandris
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wandris

” Heck, even if they could be useful, they lack a lot of useful data; simply knowing that someone is doing lower DPS doesn’t necessarily provide a lot of information as to why. ”

Actually they do provide every piece of useful data you could possibly need, although few people will take the time to analyze that data. Damage broken down by skill, hit, crit, proc, buff, consumable. Damage taken and by what. Uptimers builders interrupts. It comes down to technique, gear and build. A DPS meter like skada combined with WoW armory and you could determine how and why any particular person is underperforming given you have enough expertise on a particular class.

Depending on the content if you fail to meet a certain threshold then you should probably not be there if your group isn’t strong enough to compensate. Although it is wise to avoid leaders or groups which put too much emphasis on it.

Like a raid leader who says anyone who gets less than 600k dps on nythandrea normal. Yeah that’s a red flag for an asshole when you put ridiculous expectations on content when it isn’t required. Although not bringing people who do less than 400k to the tail end of nighthold is not unreasonable. You should be able to perform enough that the HP you scale onto the boss does not outweigh your overall DPS input by enough that it puts a burden on the whole raid.

In the case of WoW there may be a few weaker specs but overall every spec/class is capable if they are prepared in gear/skill/build/consumables. DPS meter is an excellent way to measure unknowns. Does it get misused? Yes, but not all the time. Any good leader/group will be able to interpret that data to clear content. Any good player will be able to use that data to overcome and improve on weak areas.

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Bryan Correll

You know the guy who dumps dps information into group chat after every fight (including trash fights?) Don’t be that guy.

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Dean Greenhoe

The best solution that comes to mind is a DPS meter that works on target dummies only. This way players can get a true measure of their current setup without alot of the negative side issues.

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Jeffery Witman

Of course it’s a problem, but mostly it’s a symptom of the underlying problem. The people who misuse and get obsessed with the DPS meters and min/max builds generally do so because of the endgame the developers have built. Rarely do you see these tools used at all before end game in most MMOs. The end game for many devs usually involve endless grinding to get “perfect” gear to give you max stats. Some even get worse and update the formulae every few months to make one specific build better than another, ad nauseum, to keep people on the gear treadmill forever.

That makes it a job. Many people leave at that point, and the ones who are left are chasing a fix they’ll likely never get. They’re addicted to getting that perfect number, and anyone who isn’t up to snuff in their group is to blame for them not getting it fast enough.

I’ve seen it in every MMO game I’ve played since Tibia. Pages of people talking in forums about the best EXP ratios for actions that level skills. Parsed loot tables from dozens of players that show where the best hope for that ultra rare, yet vital junk loot drop in Galaxies can be found to make your awesome new armor bit with your crafter. Or what set of feats have you max DPS or utility for each class in DDO, with some neck beard telling you in every raid that a Ranger with a bow was gimping the group because kukris gave 2% more DPS with a completely different set of feats. Some games even enforce DPS gates that seem ridiculously high, just so you can do end game content (I’m not pointing any fingers at any Gatekeepers in any way here. The World they are in will remain a Secret).

It’s that endless grinding that’s fueling this stuff. I’ve been in groups that are leveling through content where we fall a dungeon 8 times before completing it and everyone has fun figuring it all out. I’ve also had way too many end game dungeons and raids ruined by people dropping out with harsh words because of one hiccup messing up their points per hour ratio, or whatever imaginary system they have. I’ve even been guilty of doing it once or twice when taking a game too seriously and it’s always brought me to my senses that it’s just a game.

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Veldan

True. Your last paragraph gives a great example that I’ve also seen. In RIFT at some point I made a new character to experience the low level dungeons, because originally I leveled up entirely in the open world. I then had so much fun in those dungeons. Nobody was pushing for speed, nobody was talking about DPS or people’s build. People just did the dungeon, and if we succeeded everyone was happy.

It’s gear grind and the drive for progress that kill that atmosphere at endgame, and those things are entirely designed by the devs.

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Giannis Papadopoulos

DPS meters is the reason I dont play DPS classes in wow and go for a tank / heal. I just dont like the “competition” it creates. I am not bad player (not top either), I just cant ignore the meters and I “join” the “competition” it creates.

On the other hand I love playing DPS in FFXIV… even without the meters is still easy to spot a weak DPS.. you just dont have the feel of “competition” when playing…

I also want to say that is not only players that misuse addons/tools… Blizzard for example have admitted that they design their raid mechanics knowing that people use raid tools (DBM) and so they try to make it more complex, so it will not trivialized by the addon..

So it also affects game design too…

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Bruno Brito

Guild Wars 2 is the prime example of how the lack of a tool will not prevent such harassment.

It’s objectively worse, because without a proper tool, people has to rely on math in a void and benchmark tests that are flawed. Altho everything in GW2 can be cleared with any gear whatsoever, it didn’t help making the PvE aspect of the game less toxic. It’s still a big time pug-hell.

Same tip as always: Find a guild to suit your needs. People will be dicks, sadly.

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Robert Mann

Yes, but all tools can be used for evil as much as they can for good, intentionally or not.

django857
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django857

Whatever happened to playing mmo’s because they were fun. The players that can’t play mmo’s without these tools are not the players i want to play with.

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Veldan

That’s no problem. Get yourself a guild with likeminded people, so you can have fun in an environment where people share your attitude. Such guilds exist in every MMO I’ve played.

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Bryan Turner

Perhaps if the developer built their UI up to snuff then no one would need add ons.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

maybe using tools like thesde and meta gaming and such is part of the fun for some people?

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mcsleaz

You left out the most important part of DPS meters which is a MAJOR negative strike against them. They are also used by some players to cyber-bully,demean & embarrass lesser skilled players. This kind of behavior & any tool that facilitates it has no place in an online game.

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Veldan

And yet there are also legitimate reasons for players to have the desire to distinguish between players of different skill levels. The fact that distinction is possible is not the problem here, the bullying is. That’s a different issue that requires a different approach to solve. Taking DPS meters and other kind of addons away will not stop people from being bullies or assholes in general, it will at best shift their attention and make them find a different way to piss people off.

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life_isnt_just_dank_memes

DPS meters are the communism of MMOs. They are great on paper, but in practice they can only be abused because benevolence is required of leadership for them to work.

I am more interested in the way MMO designers create systems to abuse players. PK’ing brings people in but its just an abuse system. It’s always the heavily-geared players going and attacking people that aren’t as heavily geared so they are assured of victory. The bully never picks on the greater or equal threat. It’s always someone they know they can beat. Designers know that a LOT of people are into anonymously being able to impose your will on someone else.

Should players use cheats or tools improperly? Should players take advantage of bugs or dupe items or find loopholes in systems? No. Designers also though should stop designing false convenience items.

Games with PK Sytems are just “Bully Simulator 2K18.” I am interested in fixing that. Just add flag systems to your games so that it’s consensual and problem solved.

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Veldan

Most of the time, adding a flag system solves nothing. It often kills open world PvP entirely, and thus only appears to solve the problem for those who don’t wish to PvP. That doesn’t make a better game, only a different one, which caters more to the preferences of people like yourself.

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Utakata

I thought DPS meters where more a 1% thing. O.o

styopa
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styopa

DPS meters aren’t abused, abusive people simply use them as tools to be abusive a different way.

In short: some people are dicks. They can make anything a tool of bullying and cruelty. The problem is them, not the tools.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

that’s the point here – these people were dicks in these ways before addons and dps meters and gear score and such. that didn’t change. it wasn’t new.

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FreecczLaw

I agree with this. In the same way you have people refusing to use the tools and improve as well. People will abuse or refuse to use tools often not because of what the tool does or how it can be used, but because of how they are as players to begin with.

miol
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miol

But why should devs be enablers for them, and even nurture such behavior in the community?

A way would be privacy options, so that players can decide themselves if they want to share it instead of all the information be out in open and for grabs to anyone with abusive behavior in the API!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

they do it with or without addons.

they don’t need dps meters and dps meters don’t change their behaviour wrt being dicks.

as far as consent goes, you de facto consent to giving up that information when you group with people. they don’t see that info outside of group. it’s part of the contract when grouping with others along side stuff that often incites dps meter parses being posted like speccing and gearing coherently and contributing to the group in an efffective manner.

which it could be said that people who refuse to do those things but still demand to be included in groups are just as toxic and dickish as people who utilize addons in their already established dickishness.

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Veldan

“as far as consent goes, you de facto consent to giving up that information when you group with people. they don’t see that info outside of group. it’s part of the contract when grouping with others along side stuff that often incites dps meter parses being posted like speccing and gearing coherently and contributing to the group in an efffective manner.

which it could be said that people who refuse to do those things but still demand to be included in groups are just as toxic and dickish as people who utilize addons in their already established dickishness.”

As much as your lack of capitals still hurts my eyes, I wish I could upvote this post a hundred times. This is so true, and many people’s lack of understanding of this is indeed just as big a problem as elitism ever was.

miol
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miol

There is a difference between changing a player’s personality entirely and not nurturing such behavior in the community as a whole!

If you have something to break that up from spiraling up every time a group gets created, it’s a positive!

And why should consent entail everything and your grandmother’s heirlooms from the get go, without even the need for that every single time?
Like a simple dungeon 5 min run doesn’t need so much potential abuse, if the run is successful in the end anyway by 5 min and 20 sec!

“Demanding to be in a group” certainly is not anywhere near as abusive, as there is a need for consent of others to be invited in the first place!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

the vast majority of users of dps meters aren’t abusing them. and the people who do were dicks before them, are dicks without them in general. and that doesn’t change either way.

i think the scenario you lay out happens alot more in people’s minds than it plays out in reality. i’ve seen vastly more instances of it being brought up than i have seen of it actually happening.

hell i’ve seen people ask for parses to see how their spec is doing more often than i’ve seen people abuse dps meters.

and i’ve seen people abuse others by refusing to spec well or play competently even after having ample opportunity to get help with these things. regularly wasting people’s time over and over for hours on end on fairly easy content because they are too good for dps meters and think their spec being unique is more important than it being viable.

some people abuse automobiles. that doesn’t mean that building and sellign automobiles is nurturing the world to be dicks with them.

miol
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miol

My experiences are way different!
But hey, in the end: Anecdotal is anecdotal, isn’t it! ;P

And your automobile comparison is way too far fetched, as traffic rules and its controls are what nurtures behaviour on the street!

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

and devs define the rules in their mmo’s.

miol
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miol

Exactly, in the end they have the responsibility! :)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

people being dicks is a GM enforcing issue tho, not really an addon development issue. :P

miol
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miol

But if they want way less work, they can implement proactive measures! ;P

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

given that these people are diccks with or without add on support, i don’t know what you’d suggest beyond word filters which are already a common thing and also don’t stop people from being dicks.

miol
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miol

I’ve already mentioned some examples!

Less opportunities for abuse, the better!

Consent with many opt ins/outs is key!
The more detailed options the better!
It empowers the players against abuse!

But if you want to dive in this topic, I’m still amazed what Raph Koster said about it:

http://massivelyop.com/2017/03/14/raph-koster-explains-griefing-in-virtual-reality/

Don’t let VR deter you from watching, it’s only used (partly) as an example to show where *traps” for devs can be found! :)

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i don’t put much stock in any thing koster has to say these day to be quite frank.

and i don’t think any of those things you suggest will stop people from being dicks. they are dicks with or without those things. they don’t really factor in to dicks being dicks.

the thing about assholes is they will activley look for anything to be dicks to people over no matter how trivial the thing they are utilizing is.

if it’s not someone’s gear it will be their cosmetics or their avatar name or w/e outward or even entirely assumed and made up thing.

miol
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miol

But come on, can we at least agree that less opportunities means overall less opportunities to act on it?

And it’s not just black and white anyway!
Not all assholes behave as assholes all the time, and non-assholes can sometimes be assholes too! It’s a everchanging spectrum, as many things with people!

And you can influence that even! For example a quote from Raph Koster on a direct reply to you in that article:

People behave better when they have an expectation of future interaction with their interlocutor.

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bigangry

I don’t have anything interesting or relevant to say, I just want to see how thin the column gets.

Edit: Apparently I refreshed the page and the super-thin column went to regular size. Poo.

miol
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miol

If I reload, I see the width staying after 4 tiers.

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kidwithknife

Does a bear shit in the woods? Yeah, they absolutely are abused sometimes. One of the most frustrating experiences for me raiding in TSW was watching otherwise good DPS players completely abandoning add control in order to switch to higher DPS melee builds; this was fine when only one or two people did it (I’ve been one of those one or two), but it led to wipe after wipe after failed raid when people would leave add control to one or two people who weren’t quite able to handle it rather than grow up and swap to a ranged build.

That said, they are still awfully useful to players who understand that high raw DPS is only a part of a good player’s performance. Like most things in MMOs, when possible it pays to seek out and make friends with quality players who understand when their role involves more than just sick DPS parses. There’s not much you can do about players who insist on playing poorly in order to parse well, other than just not play with them. It sucks, but it is what it is.

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Veldan

Pretty much this. DPS meters are great as long as you understand what they’re for, and keep playing well higher on your priority list than the number. In that regard, nothing has changed since the introduction of DPS meters. Before them, you were better off surrounding yourself with good players, and after them you still are.

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Danny Smith

Achievements were a mistake.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Achievements are one of the best features in WoW, loved by pretty much everyone

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MassivelyMacD

Today’s games are still number shuffles. The only way to measure your own character evolution is always only by shelling out numbers. Levels, HP, Shield Points, Armor Points, Attack Rating…

That’s so far from reality still. It is so inferior. This is not how the world works.

This whole dps meter problem will only go away in games that don’t seduce players to play with a and according to a spreadsheet (oh, how I hate theory crafting). That’s where the real problem is.

Imagine a game that does not give you your hit points, your damage points, the damage points of your opponent. It only gives you behavioural hints on how healthy you and your opponent are. Is my playing skill (not my weapon level) good enough to finish off this bear before it finishes me? Can I outrun it in case not? Or am I too exhausted then? When is the right point to give up an attempt and run when there is no big red bar hovering over your enemy telling you whether you are “underperforming”? What aggressive of a thought is that even, “Underperforming”? As if it were some sort of to-be-measured work performance you need to apply to.

Are these still games in the sense of entertainment, if you are constantly measuring your and everybody else’s performance?

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

sounds like you don’t want to play rpg’s. but don’t worry you’re in luck! there’s a shit tonne of non rpg games out there waiting for you! XD

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MassivelyMacD

On the contrary. I played a ton of them and still do. I just want them to finally evolve beyond number games.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

on the contrary numbers and dice rolls is what defines rpg games. remove that and you have something that isn’t an rpg.

dialogue trees and story telling don’t define the rpg genre. numbers do.

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Jeremiah Ratican

This is completely untrue, roleplaying is not just numbers, this is all based on D&D but most people would agree the fun of D&D is the adventure not the math. I remember defeating the dragon not adding my 16 with my plus four modifier.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

RPGs as games are not defined by role playing, and that’s not wha tthe roleplaying in rpg acronymi even means, rather it means playing a role (like mage rogue fighter etc).

you can role play any genre of game or without games. that’s not dependent nor a defining aspect of the RPG genre.

RPG genre is defined by dice rolls and rulesets and classes and such.

most people who play dnd like both the adverture group story telling elements and the ruleset math meta gaming. they can do the former without the dnd ruleset as it is.

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Schmidt.Capela

RPGs as games are not defined by role playing, and that’s not wha tthe roleplaying in rpg acronymi even means, rather it means playing a role (like mage rogue fighter etc).

Sincerely, no. Not even close. RPGs, at least of the pen and paper variety, are about pretending to be someone else and playing that role, more or less like an improvisational theater.

RPG genre is defined by dice rolls and rulesets and classes and such.

Nope. Those are just useful tools to allow players to role play a character, particularly when its strengths and weaknesses are different from the player’s; there are RPG games without dice, without classes, etc. I’ve played a few myself.

RPGs without classes, in particular, are easy to find. Heck, one of the first RPG games released in my country was GURPS, which is classless.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

arguing semantics implicitly in defense of a definition under which games like half life cod and bfbc and the like would be considered RPG because they tell a store inw hich the player plays the role of antagonist is surely a winning argument!

but i don’t see you arguing with OP about his definition of the RPG genre which is so vastly broad as to include clearly not even remotely RPG games within it.

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athiev

There are so many tabletop RPGs without dice, and even more without classes. Pretty much all of them have rules, though, so I think I agree on that point at least.

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Little Bugbear

I think tools being misused in MMO’s is a tossup. I use DPS meters, and on occasion I will check peoples gear. Being able to check gear, using DPS meters are tools that help me improve, and allow me to help others if they want (Because MMO’s can be very confusing games.). That said, many elitist use DPS meters to harass other players. I’ve even seen people gear check players on entry level dungeons and expecting them to have the gear that is in the dungeon we were doing. On the flip side quit a few times my friends and I have used DPS meters to show the best in slot elitist that their DPS was worse than the noob in the group. So MMO’s tools can be use to harass and sometimes they can even stop harassment, it’s a tossup.

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Brother Maynard

The whole DPS meters situation and how they’ve been shaping MMOs through constant player / devs interaction reminds me of a couple of teenagers on a series of increasingly harmful dares.

While the first raids decade(s) ago might have had a relatively generous room for performance maneuvering, it has gotten to a stage where devs design encounters with millions or billions sized health pools around performance to the precision of thousands or even hundreds.

20 years ago, the peformance required to down a boss might have allowed a sufficient margin for error, simply because your DPS was never meant to be fine-tuned via specially designed tools; nowadays it’s all just math. It has very little to do with ‘RPG’.

A part of the problem in my opinion lies in the way MMO combat is still made these days. When the combat itself is fun even without in-depth statistical analysis of every encounter and of every player’s ‘rotation’, you won’t end up having to design your game around simulators. Simple example: ME3 multiplayer, where a nicely placed headshot across the zone is incomparably more satisfying than a single 3.14% larger hit reported by a DPS meter in your average 10-ability tedious rotation in a 5-minute fight in a random MMO.

Make your game fun and players won’t be forced to make it fun for themselves using any excuse they can find.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

me3 isn’t a very good comparison imo because it’s not even an rpg.

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Brother Maynard

True, but that was simply to compare how combat can be designed differently.

In one case, your co-operation with squad mates (setting up biotic explosions or tech combos and watching it all blow up) or simply managing a great shot as a sniper determines your game play experience, while in the other you have a ‘rotation’ to maintain and improve via small incremental steps that you can’t even notice on individual level unless properly summarised and presented by a special tool, thus inevitably leading to the whole DPS meters situation.

To push the latter philosophy further, you may as well be watching coloured blocks instead of characters, since all your encounter is about are numbers.

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styopa

What it comes down to (to belabor a point I’ve made in MOP comments several times) is that as long as devs put quest completion/story advancement behind a plotline that invariably ends with the sole event of the killing of a boss by a bunch of murderhobos, then what they’re incentivizing is the optimization of murderhobo-ing.

Ie: if every valuable piece of loot is hidden behind an iteration of:
If A>B, then loot.
(Where:
A = party hp + healing – boss’s dps
B= boss hp + healing – party’s dps)
…then all players are going to try to optimize their inputs in that formula to maximize their rewards.

OTOH, if instances were a) even slightly unpredictable, and/or b) about things other than a glorified 2-person dps race, players would be motivated to make their characters more well rounded or develop OTHER skills.

For example, an instance where you simply have to kill swarms of oncoming enemies fast enough (the Starship Troopers scenario), or if the ranged dps have to trade aggro on a boss so lethal that he one shots anyone within melee range, while other characters complete some task/minigame opening chests etc around/under the feet of the aggro’d boss. Or an instance where the healers have to get NPC toons healed and back into the line or the group is overwhelmed? Or how about instances like TSW sabotage missions, where the whole party has to avoid encounters completely?

In short: people are going to optimize their behavior around their rewards. If the only way to get rewards is killing, they’re going to optimize killing.

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Brother Maynard

While I generally agree, especially with the bit about gameplay goals and how it’s all now focused on killing stuff, you still have examples how it can be done without the DPS meter trap.

Take Dragon Age, for example (not Inquisition, which was too MMOy in this respect). You had tough encounters where you had to kill a difficult boss, like Arishok in DA2. While you could still cheese the fight in many ways, the whole encounter was more about control and avoidance than simply brute forcing it as a DPS character. Even if there was a DPS meter available, it would make no sense in such fight.

There are ways how to design even the most traditional fights in ways that encourage different thinking and even outright punish DPS tunnel vision. But we’re back to the whole problem of cheap and lazy game design, so much championed by Activision these days, among others.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

except typical “dps meters” actually show all the aspects of combat and when used effectively stuff like control and damage taken are considered.

which most mmo raid bosses include stuff that needs be controled and such too.

(also dao was super mmoish in terms of the combat and rules, to the point i don’t consider it a crpg at all).

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deekay_plus

giving people that want rpg controls and combat and meta shooter stuff doesn’t solve the market demand for people wanting rpg controls and combat and meta tho.

as it is there’s already an overabundance of games that offer those things out there while an increasing lack of proper rpg style games out there.

power gaming the meta happens in any genre rpg or shooter as it is. dps meters are merely a symptom of that. the shitty behaviour that is associated with that was apparent before dps meters were a thing. and the lack there of in other genres doesn’s stop people from behaving badly wrt to judging people based on the current meta of those games.

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deekay_plus

i think i see more people overreacting to the mere vague possibility of addons than actual abuse of them over the years.

do dps meters and item level scoring addons get abused? sometimes certainly. but i think the hostility towards addons in general and the myths surrounding them tend to be a more toxic element than the worst of dps meters.

and let’s be real here, long before gear score and dps meters all that bad behaviour that gets associated with them was happening anyway. these people don’t need those tools to be shitbags to other players and even their own guildies.

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kjempff

I have often seen players standing in aeo damage and soaking up heals instead of hiding to get higher on dps list, using skills with high dps over skills with less dps but high utility (debuffs, leeching etc). Of course this has lead to wipes; at the beginning not so obvious why it was a wipe but when it become a dps race competition it starts to become more recognizable.
In a guild I was in it was not allowed to link dps meter results on raids because of that, and it seemed to help on focus and wipes and at least unite the guild more.

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Kevin

Misused? No, not really. Sure, there’s always going to be that one person who wants to wag bout his DPS meter like it’s some kind of golden trophy, but the reality is, DPS meters are an important tool to use for progression minded guilds, or even trying to figure out where you’re going wrong in a group.

There’s a reason they’ve stuck around for so long. Most people that use DPS meters, or parsers in FFXIV, do so in order to understand if the group they’re going in even has a ghosts of a chance to kill a boss with an enrage timer, and if adjustments need to be made in order to ensure the boss goes down. Sure, it’s great you all can do the mechanics, but if you have two guys pulling incredibly low DPS, and are hitting the enrage timer each pull, then you know where the problem is, and what needs to be done.

DPS meters in WoW have also gotten a great deal more complex, and shows a surprisingly large amount of detail into where your DPS numbers are coming from, and are very important for theorycrafters to determine the best abilities, rotations, and talents to use.

So are DPS meters sometimes misused? Sure, but that doesn’t dismiss the importance they bring to the game. And let’s be frank, the number of people using DPS meters as bragging tools in WoW has gone down substantially, and can often be found by the guy who asks for recount. If someone is saying your DPS is too low for this ride, then that probably means it’s too low for this ride, and is causing problems for the run.

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thirtymil

I’ve yet to meet a player focused on DPS meters who couldn’t have improved their performance better by spending that time concentrating on how to play as a team instead. I’ve taken down all sorts of bosses in 4-person content (ESO and SWTOR) with only three people on the team because we knew how to play together, and none of us ever installed a DPS meter (well, our healer might have done, he’s funny like that).

So I would question their usefulness in the first place, because they emphasize a single part of the role over all the other parts, and for the vast majority of content that single part (DPS) really isn’t the deciding factor.

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Nordavind

Everything gets misused by somebody.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Having read the piece, thought “Seriously, dude?”. Saw the name. Yep, indeed was Eliot.

Noone misused DPS meter, it was always a bragging tool. No necessary through posting it in raid chat, but definetly bragging tool for yourself when you see numbers and think “Im doing great”

DPS meter doesnt need to provide information why a player underperforms. Because there are always only 2 reasons for that: either player is undergeared or he is a noobie who doesnt know how to use his ability rotations well. So those players reacting negatively is the same as if lazy worker who cant do his job reacts negatively at his superior giving him some bashing.

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Veldan

The problem with that reasoning is that there are legitimate reasons for having lower DPS. The classic example is that in MMOs where you can’t cast while moving, you get highest on the DPS list if you stand still as much as possible, so the players who top the DPS are typically the ones who stand in AOE dmg all the time and put a lot of unnecessary stress on the healers.

Now, real DPS meters such as ACT can give you tools to evaluate this by also looking at the damage taken instead of only damage dealt, but let’s be honest, most people don’t bother. 99% of the people out there don’t even have a HPS viewer enabled, all they care about is DPS.

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Jeremiah Wagner

The DPS race in early WoW made dungeons A LOT more exciting. I personally love dps meters since its by far the best way to evaluate you’re performance and get better.. Honestly I quit playing Rift as well as Secret World within a couple weeks just because I did not have a dps meter to be able to help me evaluate my character. Say what you want but it sucks not being able to tell how strong or weak your characters build/skill/gear is. I guess if you are ultra casual then you don’t really give a crap but for anyone that actually wants to push the limits, not having something like a dps meter will leave you with a bland experience. I thought a big aspect of an MMORPG was to try and become the strongest, richest, best player in the land. If you have no way to tell how strong you are then what’s the point? Now I do agree some of the other tools are questionable, like a quest helper… I love quest helper and hate them. They are nice when you spend hours and cant figure something out , but they are horrible when you just use them all the time to follow the bread crumbs from one place to the next without even knowing why you are going there.

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Veldan

Did RIFT not launch with addons? I really can’t remember… I do remember addons being present even in the “vanilla” state of the game though, so if it didn’t launch with them they must have been introduced shortly after.

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Utakata

Yep, they later added modding in to my understanding.

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Utakata

It is almost as though you are looking for a DPS meter MMO. You should make one up and /Kickstart it. o.O

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Brother Maynard

Both Rift (KaruulAlert) and TSW (ACT) have their own damage meters.

The key word in MMORPG is RPG. When I played the Witcher 1, 2, 3, Morrowind, Daggerfall or even all the way back in Dungeon Master times, there was not even the slightest hint of DPS (meters). It was never what the games were about.

RPGs are not about becoming “the strongest, richest, best player” – you and players like you have made MMOs into that over the past 10 years. To the detriment of modern RPG games in general.

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Veldan

KaruulAlert is not a DPS meter. RIFT does have plenty of DPS meters, though.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

people can and do calculate damage per round in dnd. have been doing so for decades. doesn’;t mean every group will have people that do it. but it does get done.

powergaming in general has long been part of dnd to the point that some DMs go out of their way to “discorage” it. sometimes in overbearing shitty ways in my experience.

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Brother Maynard

I’ve never played DND, so I guess I was lucky to miss all this.

But the point was that games (SP, mostly) of past years were simply about having fun (and about role-playing). That’s not to say there won’t be people who will speed run through Morrowind in 14 minutes, of course. But I think everyone understands those are special feats and not the normal way the game is played.

Whereas the introduction of DPS meters (especially with WoW and its huge influence on MMOs) and how then devs in turn started to design their games around them, turned this thinking completely around, to the point where people will not enjoy the game unless the numbers reported by their meters tell them they are indeed having fun.

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deekay_plus

i pretty clearly remember there being power gaming elements in jrpgs like final fantasy and in crpgs like kotor and such.

in fact one of the halmarks of crpg’s in teh late 90s and early aughts was being forced to power game and build your characters properly or else you wouldn’t be able to finish the game.

as far as mmo’s go, even back before wow in eq devs were tuning raids to the top performing raid groups. even wow vanilla’s raids were tuned this way (by a former top eq raider even).

and fi you think raiding is unenjoyable in teh age of dps meters and gear score, you should’ve seen it when all but a couple top raiding guilds on each server were expected to feed the raid guilds with new recruits as old ones burnt out for having to grind 100+ hours a week for consumables and such in order to raid for 10 hours a night on raid nights in raids infamouslty so painful that one of the top raid guilds in teh game once used hacks to skip hours of trash it was so tedious.

i mean doesn’t this sound just thrilling?:

oh and remember alarm clock raids at 3am? i do.

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Utakata

Moar dots? o.O

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Rick Mills

DPS meters are useful to a point – kind of like stats for a football player are good to a point. If you’re playing fantasy football, then it’s all about the stats – if you’re trying to get to the playoffs, there is no star player – it’s a team effort – the Patriots showed us that (much as I can’t stand them, they are a fabulous team).
If “taking one for the team” means sacrificing your DPS to add support (ie; using a secondary heal to save your buddy) then you’re attitude is messed up – it’s always about support.

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BalsBigBrother

If I can finish the content then I am strong enough no matter how long it take, if I can’t then I am not.

Also no not everyone plays mmos to stroke their egos or wave their epeen in the faces of other players. If that is your goal then good for you and have at it but realise it isn’t for everyone :-)

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pepperzine

Are MMO tools like DPS meters, HPS meters, and Threat meters being misused? No, I think they are being used how they were intended to be used. Whether that use is productive or harmful to the community at large is another question entirely.

I can think of situations where I have seen them be used to call out other players for not pulling their weight (which can be quite cruel considering we are all just playing a game), but I’ve also seen them be used in a very productive manner where you are able to identify who in the raid is not up to par and give them quality advice (be it build, gear, or rotation) that helps them improve their output. I believe both of these scenarios fall into the intended use of the tools.

At the end of the day, you decide who you play with. If people are using them in a negative way that you don’t like, choose not to associate with those players. That’s on you.

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BalsBigBrother

Six of one and half a dozen of the other. Sadly the people who use them legitimately tend to suffer because because of the few that don’t :-(

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bigangry

I’m reminded of Architect Entertainment in City of Heroes. Within days there were player-created powerleveling maps that everyone knew about.

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Ville Uusitalo

DPS meters are good for Self-improvement… Also it gives motivation to fail-after-fail-after-fail to try to do it better when you see you are progressing atleast dps-wise^_^

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