Thursday, April 10, 2008


Yesterday amounted to nothing. Nothing from Dynamis. Nothing from BCNMs. Nothing at all. I hate Wednesdays. But lets talk about Dynamis for a minute. My Dynamis LS is very well run, and unlike many Dynamis LS it has a points system. Normally, I think point systems are rather easy to manipulate, but Obsidian has far too many people and far too many interests to be manipulated on the AF drop level. The reason I believe that a points system is necessary for Dynamis is because it literally is a place where you should be rewarded for your effort and things should not just be priority lotted willy-nilly. But to do this you need a good bidding system and Obsidian has this in spades. Gawayne has programmed an excellent bidding system that is very fair, forward thinking and generally does a great job to enforce bidding courtesy. But as with any system there are still ways to cause problems.

Now as a preface, I know that many other servers have many of their end-game LSs do Dynamis in-house, meaning that there are few to no external and independent Dynamis LS. This is not the case on Odin. Even those end-game LS's that do run their own Dynamis do not have all of their members at their runs, because most have been in one of the independent Dynamis LSs for a long time. So there is a large mish-mash of players in the Dynamis LSs on Odin, from independent people to members of the best end-game LSs. This can cause a clash of ethics when it comes to bidding on items though. For Obsidian, I believe their are two major no-no's when it comes to bidding. First, and this one is pretty universally agreed upon, is that snipe bidding is bad. Bidding has to end at some point, but good, honest people will bid up front so that an honest exchange of bidding can occur and the real price of the AF piece can be determined. But fairness and honesty are foreign concepts to some people, and these people will wait until the last moment to bid on an item to try to steal it from the other bidder. This is nothing short of cheating or theft, and it exposes a great number of things about the sniper. They are selfish and self-centered in that they do not care about the practices that are involved in bidding on an item or how people in general should treat each other. They obvious have no idea about the need for fairness or kindness or even common civil decency between people. They are greedy fuck heads that are willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want and everyone else be damned.

Sadly, this is the youth of America today. Self-centered, self-absorbed and completely oblivious to anyone else around them. To even defame them causes them to call into question your intelligence, because how can an intelligent person not think of their own self-preservation first? They wish for a state of nature, but do not realize that the society in which they function was created to be able to preserve their decision making power without fear of coercion. This is Ayn Rand's dream world. The complete ignorance of the fact that the society that constrains coercion best is the one that preserves fairness for all. Fairness can not be achieved through individual greed and self-satisfaction, and only a society that has preserved fairness by reasonable tying all members together with mutual ethical standards and respect can create the freedom to conceive without fear of reprisal the notions of a philosophy that disregards and even derides that vary fairness as a limitation on "individual freedom."

This is all besides the fact that Ayn Rand was pretty much a nympho. LOL

The second issue that happens is definitely not as universally accepted, but is the problem that causes me the most consternation. That is the lack of point preservation. The nice thing about Obsidian is that everyone knows how many points that everyone else has, and thus can make bids based upon that knowledge. Competitive bidding is a great thing, especially when someone wants multiple pieces of AF and has to make forced choices in how to bid their points. This system breaks down though, when someone only wants one item and are willing to bid all of their points on the item and can win that item. Many necessary circumstances, I know, but the case is not all that rare in Dynamis because of the low Xarcabard drop rate. In a case like this, if the bidders were rational, pragmatic actors with the information that is provided on the website they would be able to properly value the items and preserve their points for other situations.

For example, say we have AF piece X. Three people, A, B and C, want AF X, and they have 20, 40 and 60 points respectively. If they were rational, pragmatic actors person A would bid 4 points (4 is the minimum bid), person B would bid 5 points (A +1) and person C would bid 6 points (B +1). The reason they would do this is because they know that A can not beat B and B can not beat C, therefore it would only be a waste of points for A or B to bid more than their minimums. I think that the thing that most people miss is that bidding more points only risks hurting the lowest bidder, not the higher bidder. This is because if the lower bidder bids all of their points to drive the bid up on the higher bidders AND more than one piece of AF drops then the lower bidder is left with relatively less points than the higher bidder for anything else they may want later on.

This lack of understanding of the relative value of AF pieces is what really drives me batty. Many people counter this argument with the idea that "you should bid what you think its worth" but this is a false syllogism. It assumes that their can be some kind of constant value that can be assigned to the AF piece. "Bidding what you think it is worth" is ok when you have made the decision to limit your own bid on an item, but once it is obvious that someone is willing to bid enough points to win the item and can not be beaten by other bidders then the logic behind "bidding what you think it is worth" completely falls apart. For the inevitable winner, the rational and pragmatic bidder would set the cost at "the next highest bid +1". This is traditional, plain as day, rationality. Perhaps people have lost the concept of this because all of their daily prices are already set for them whenever they purchase an item. The real problem I think with people that think that "bidding what you think it is worth" is that they do not understand the concept of relative value vs. absolute value. An AF piece has no absolute value in a bidding system (well, except for the minimum four points you have to pay for each item) it only has relative value, the value that is placed on the item by comparing how much other people are willing to pay. People that don't understand this end up losing points on items because they will pay out the nose for something for which no one else is willing to even come close to their bid.

The final issue of abuse in a points system, which is pretty easily rectified (though for some reason it took some time to deal with apparently) but shows that someone is an ultimate douche is bidding something up then intentionally unsigning from a run when they find they can't win. This is the worst kind of person in the world, the "I am butthurt so I am taking my ball and going home" kind of person. To rectify the situation, Obsidian applies the Gorocry rule (named after Gorokai, a player that believed they had an entitlement to RDM AF2 hat and would bid up the points on the hat then whenever they lost the bid, would promptly unsign from the run and screw up all of the bidding) which drops the bids on the item back down to the next highest bidder (usually a substantial drop). There is still a problem with this in that because you can step your bids up the next highest bidder may not have bid that much if the person that unsigned hadn't been a total jackhole. This is the last place that I really have any conflict with the leadership of Obsidain about bidding (I used to have lots of conflicts with them ^.^) and I think it has to do with the false notion that the AF has an absolute value. If they understand that all of the items only have relative value (meaning that they were only worth the next highest bid +1) then they should drop the bidding back to the point at which the jackhole started raising the bids. This is somewhat hard to determine, and that is why I am generally ok with the notion that it should drop down to the next highest bid. But the real problem starts when the jackhole is the third bidder, forcing two people up in bids then dropping the run. In this case, they have forced up the price on the item without any consequence if the leaders do not reset the bids. I do have to say that in general the leaders have dealt with this pragmatically, and have done the right thing, but the notion that the bids would not be dropped because the other two people still bid more for the item therefore they have bid "what they think it is worth" is still mentioned from time to time.

Just the idea of "bidding what you think it is worth" is like mentally drawing fingernails across a chalkboard to me.

Anyway, like I said, I didn't get anything accomplished yesterday and everyone on the AH is undercutting absolutely everything I am trying to sell. So yesterday was worthless. BLAH! See you tomorrow with better news.


JESS said...

Above is a Blog from TTTO that I think is a really good read on Lotting LS systems. It includes some faults on our own LS also.

Ringthree said...

Actually, I think its kind of a blinding glimpse of the obvious. LOL It doesn't really provide any information we don't already know. We have a good lotting system, the only people that have ever complained about it have been insanely greedy people.

kallo landis said...

A++ Would read again. o.ob Couldn't agree with ya more Ring.

Glacian said...

Awe, all this dynamis talk and nothing about my completed NIN AF2 set? I'm hurt Ring. *crys*

Iz said...

YES! grats to Glacian on... another (totally not jealous but maybe I am) AF 2 set!

Anonymous said...

The Gorocry rule came about because Goro ran the bid up on Miriamel then kept challenging her to bid higher and taunting her (I think I have the screenshot of that conversation between those two somewhere). His subsequent unsigning was because his grandfather or uncle or someone close to him was put in the hospital and/or died (don't remember exactly). He never made a habit out of doing this, but this one incident garnered a lot of our attention because of his antics up to the run day with his taunting. He had a habit of running the bids up out of spite and running his mouth about it, but not a habit of unsigning.

Also, it's not that we're unaware that someone in third place running up bids can cause problems, it's that we have to draw the line somewhere. If we drew the line at third place for bid correction, then we have 3 people complaining because 4th place ran the bid up instead of 2 people complaining because 3rd place ran the bid up. The issue just compounds itself the further down the line you go.

The initial version of the Gorocy rule was leadership discretion though. After what felt like the 100th time someone asked for their 10, 9, 8 point bid "agreements" to be reset to 6, 5, and 4 because someone who bid 7 unsigned, we drew the line at 2nd place and stuck with it from there.

- Q

Ringthree said...

In general I prefer some discretion for the leaders, but the idea that someone could raise the bid on any amount of people then unsign and the other people have to stick with bids they would have never raised if the asshole hadn't jacked up the bids is asinine. Even if you have to open the bids again before the run, it is better than letting some asshole ruin a perfectly good bidding system just because they have no morals, ethics or even some common fucking courtesy.

Basically, if you don't step in an fix the bids you are saying that it is ok for someone to do this and get away with it. If you leave places for people to exploit the system, they will do it. It's better to just squash any hope they have of fucking other people rather than leaving the door open.

Thank you for the historical note on the Gorocry rule. :) I knew he was a douche about bidding, I just was just unclear on the method of douching. :)