Tobold's Blog
Monday, April 12, 2010
New addon: Blame Meter

Gearscore doesn't measure skill. Damage meters measure damage or healing, but can't say whether that damage or healing was put on the right target. And threat meters only show the situation right now, without a history. As everybody knows that the most important thing after a wipe is to attribute blame, the previously existing addons were obviously not sufficient. Enough of that! Now the same team that developed FailBot developed Blame Meter, the ultimate addon to correctly attribute blame *after* the wipe.

Blame Meter measures damage and threat at the same time, and thus is able to determine whether you either did not do enough damage, or whether you overaggroed the wrong target. It also measures healing while simultaneously checking which target you *should* have healed, thus giving out a score based on how much healing you did to the right target, with negative scores for letting people die. And for the tank it determines how well he held aggro, as well as how well he mitigated incoming damage. At the end of the fight every participant in the group or raid has a positive or negative blame score, with the player with the highest negative score being the one who is most to blame.

Forget about all those other addons, Blame Meter is the last judgmental addon you'll ever need. Blame scores are sent and saved to a server, where other players can look at them. Thus for organizing a pickup raid it is obviously much better to check Blame Meter score, which includes both gear and performance, than just check Gearscore, or easily faked achievements.

Recently some blogs have discussed the changes to responsability that Cataclysm will bring, with Greedy Goblin Gevlon thinking that DPS will have no responsability, and Troll Racials are Overpowered Klepsacovic thinks that this is a good idea, because "the majority of players are somewhat lazy and uncaring", and only the minority of responsible players should play healers and tanks. There is an endless fight going on for years in which the healers and tanks blame the dps, while the dps blame the healer or tank. Blame Meter ends that discussion by clearly showing to everybody who is to blame.

The only problem with Blame Meter is parametrization, which is heatedly disputed on the Blame Meter forums. As the addon measures different things and converts it into one single blame score, it must apply statistical weight parameters to everything it sees. How many negative blame points is standing in the fire worth, and how many of those do you put on the priest for not healing him, or in Cataclysm for not pulling the player out of it? If a dps overaggroes, how many blame points does the dps player get, and how many go to the tank for not holding aggro better? After it was discovered that one of the addon writers plays healer, accusations flew on him having unfairly put too low blame weight on healer faults. This is why currently Blame Meter has been removed from all addon download sites, until the correct parameters can be determined. Hold your breath, that can't take too long. Or can it?
I actually want this addon :( I'm afraid you're joking!
I wish I could troll this hard!
While I agree it is very difficult to measure healer or tank "skill," it really isn't that hard for DPS. Simply look at their DPS relative to their gearscore.

If you have two DPS, one with gearscore X and one with gearscore 2X, and they both do the same DPS, the guy with the better gear is less skilled. It's not that hard to compare DPS to the average of their relative gearscore.
So much hatred for the poor DPS...

Now, on a side note, if I were the addon author, I would be completely impartial... :p
Samus, I think you must be a tank or a healer, for you have a very simplified view of what the job of the damage dealer is.

For illustration, let me give you the ICC25 raid I was in last night - all well-geared players, we cleared the trash easily, and stood before Lord Marrowgar. Then the raid leader, who was also the MT, announced that he was going to kick those damage dealers with the worst DPS. After complaints that AoE DPS on trash is an unfair measure of DPS, he agreed that he would wait until after the next boss fight.

Needless to say, Lord Marrowgar did not die that night. Why? Because of the idiocy of the raid leader. On being told that they were only being measured on recount DPS in the next fight, the damage-dealers did the rational thing, and maximised their DPS. You don't maximise you DPS by changing targets, and running around trying to find bone-spikes. Well, you already know the result of that. All DDs had high DPS, yet the raid wiped.

Of course, the DDs pointed out to the raid leader that Marrowgar isn't a straight DPS fight, and he agreed, and withdrew his threat. Nonetheless, the damage had already been done, and nobody trusted a raid leader who wanted to kick DDs from (what would have been) a successful raid based on his personal blame-meter (recount).

Anyway, the point of the story is that in a real raid, DDs should be doing more than just DPS; and those other things they do will naturally be at the expense of some DPS. By measuring a damage-dealer only on DPS, you immediately label as worthless all those important jobs such as aggro control, moving and retargetting, crowd control, decursing and so on; skills that are not used much in 5-man instances any more due to overgearing, but which are still needed in raids.
You are kidding about this... right? Or is this a real thing?

I can't believe people want to cram everything about another person and their abilities into one number. It is unbelievable. Sometimes I think everyone just needs to take a breath and chill out when it comes to playing MMOs.
You might come to regret this joke when some bright spark decides to make it happen.
Returning to WoW after a half year break i suddenly see the "LF DPS, Min GS 2000". It's a new hype.

It leads to crazy things. I've seen someone ask for a DPS with a gear-score far above mine for a Naxxramas run. I've ran Naxxramas until I had everything I needed for it. Why would someone with an even higher gear score want to run the damn place?

People want to be able to quickly see if someone should be invited. It used to be a quick gear check. Or show us the achievement that you already did the instance once before.

Of course it's not always as simple as that. That imba geared player can still be a shitty player. And maybe that guy who got the achievement just ran behind all the rest and leeched his victory.

Addons like failbot are none the less interesting as they provide statistics for an entire night. You'll usually see a trend. Player x walked in the fire five times more than player y. That's a problem. And it's important to keep track of those players who don't play well.
save a hunter, download this addon today!
It is not that hard to see who is responsible for a fail.

A skilled player who knows the tactics and has the situational awareness needed can easily see those who arent doing their job.

Furthermore, what wipes the raid, is usually dumb shit like standing where you're not supposed to, or failing to kill adds.

It is so rarely that the wipe reason is so subtle to be captured by a meter and not with the naked eye. No raid is designed as such that doing 8.5k dps instead of 9k is the difference between wipe and a kill.

- DPS can usually wipe the raid by:
* doing absolutely horrible dps (think 3k in ICC25)
* standing in the shit
* failing at killing adds
- Healers can usually wipe the raid by:
* running oom too fast
* losing the tank (by not using cooldowns or some shit)
* letting dps die w/o the dps's fault(as in long time w/o healing on a target) - very rare.

- Tanks can wipe the raid usually by:
* failing to move the boss
* failing to taunt
While I do believe that this post isn't entirely true, but just one of Tobold's attempts at making us think I must still say that this is one of the reasons I really don't want to raid. We aren't that far from having this kind of addon.

Games are supposed to be fun, not a second job or that you have to have the right qualifications to join.
2 Things. Wow doesn't allow any addon to go online. And since the addon is run on your pc, it would be trivial to manipulate the data. I DO think that some way to rate people's behaviour or skill should be implemented. The things you get to experience in random raids are unbelievable - and then again there are some really good players there.
"Blame scores are sent and saved to a server"

It would be bad for addons to automatically send information for you. This is where I realized no matter how cool it would be, this is just an April Fools day thing much too late.

Who knows, several addons have started from posts like this.
I agree with Okrane. If you have raided enough you get a good 'feel' for how a particular encounter is going. One can usually spot the moment where a fight breaks down and a wipe is imminent. It is the fights that go 'perfectly' and still wipe that the problem is based on stats (too little DPS, not enough healing, tank health too low)
@Tobold: You're being overly sarcastic by writing: "the most important thing after a wipe is to attribute blame". This is actually true and not nearly as bad as you make it sound. It's better descibed as identifying the cause of the problem and gently reminding the player in question to improve their performance.

@Dàchéng & @Tobold: I find it somewhat baffling that people label themselves and each other as "healer", "tank", "dps", or a specific class. "Know how to play your class" is a terribly misguided statement that only ever causes a decline in player skill. Regardless of which spec or role they usually play, each and every player should have some knowledge of *every* spec and role in the game. I'm not saying that someone who usually plays a resto shaman should know the details of gemming&enchanting for a shadow priest, but if he doesn't know what Mind Sear is, he's doing something wrong.

TL;DR: "Know how to play your class" is a lie. Each and every player should have some knowledge of the game as a whole, including every role, class, and spec.

And to wipe away all this seriousness, allow me to state that, in my opinion, this is Tobold's best post in quite a while. :)
just one of Tobold's attempts at making us think

You say that as if making you think was a bad thing. :)
I can't help but giggle imagining the look on a player's face who would install such an addon thinking it will tell him who keeps screwing up and wiping the groups he's in .. only to have it actually tell him who keeps screwing up and wiping the groups he's in.
You say that as if making you think was a bad thing. :)

Hehe, I'm sorry, that wasn't really what I meant. Maybe I should have cut the "just" from that sentence.
I believe the Umpa-Loompa's are working on a machine to determine who to blame.

The guild version will even generate a song that plays over vent....

"What do you do if your rogue is a brat? Standing in fires like a Cheshire Cat....."
Gearscore, Recount, Achievement requirements, Blame-O-meters, etc. All of these addons/requirements have been implemented in the absence of meaningful gear.

In TBC, gear meant somthing (OMG not this argument again). Ok, well it meant you were in a raiding group of capable individuals, based on what tier you were wearing.

A couple pieces of tier 1, random PVP gear and still a few blues: likely casual player.

Full tier 1 with tier 2 helm: semi-regular raider, but perhaps his guild was small

Partial tier 2 with sick weapons: progression guild with a dedicated raiding philosophy

Tier 2.5-tier 3: top guild, committed, raiding 4-6 days a week.

Simply, people could evaluate others by looking at their gear. You can't do that so well anymore. Encounters get nerfed, emblems fall from the sky and epics are the new blue (got any oranges nub?)

All these addons do is allow others to instantly judge someone else. Gear was a decent reflection of performance pre TBC, but now, a blamescore is needed (I guess a version of the often joked about "skillscore")

The irony is, all the while, as people became more and more elitist about who can play with them and how they judge others...content has gotten easier and more accessable. The problem Blizzard hasn't noticed (or can't properly address) is these two facts are correlated, not coincidence.
You make me sound horrible out of context. We're lazy and uncaring because for most people it's "just a game". That's not my perspective, I think it's not "just a game", but I see absolutely no problem with people wanting some mindless fun.

But I'll never refuse more readers, so link away. :)
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