Boosting Friends – A Rebuttal to The Greedy Goblin

Many of you may already know a blog that I frequent, The Greedy Goblin. For those that don’t, you might take a gander at it (it has a perma-link in my sidebar). The premise of The Goblin is to relate economic principles to WoW. I may not agree with everything Gevlon writes, but I do like the blog. It has the one unique and truly awesome gift (one which I hope that I will learn with time) of sparking discussion and thought.

His current topic is a recurring topic – that of boosting lower level players. To paraphrase, he thinks that it is a bad thing to do. It teaches the boostee to leech off of other players, and the Booster to lose otherwise valuable play time.

I would like to point out a few fallacies in Gevlon’s logic, especially with it pertaining to boosting a friend to end game:

First, Gevlon says that boosting will teach the player to constantly “leech” from either you or the guild by constantly asking for things, such as runs, free crafting, etc. I think that Gevlon too easily assumes that the person would continue his leeching ways. You have to take into account that there is another person behind that keyboard. I would be insulted if Gevlon said something like this to me. He assumes that I will be “Trained” (for lack of a better word) into leeching.

Most people I know that join the game early want a higher level toon to help out and get him/her started and used to the game. Gosh, I started the game on my own, and didn’t have a guild until about a month after I started. If I had a mentor of sorts to show me the ropes, I might have saved a lot of trouble. After that initial mentor, if you are playing with a decent person, you are going to see that person flourish and start doing things on his/her own. I doubt that that person (especially if it is a friend) will consistently leech. They will want to be self sufficient, so they could pursue their own interests, be it raiding or PvPing, or tripping out on alt-itis (this is a certified syndrome, of whom I know many have contracted).

One of the things that Lich King introduced was achievements. Many of these achievements can be profitable (such as questing) and running old instances (I know I made a bit while I was grinding out BC instances – those greens DE and mats well well on our server). Gevlon assumes that 1. the booster has no interest in completing those achievements, and 2. that the booster could not profit from this. Both of these depend server to server, and person to person, but I am sure that if the booster was keen on boosting, they will probably also put some value in the achievements, and probably make a fair chunk of money (maybe not as much as goblineering), but a fair amount.

Gevlon also mentions that boosting is a one way street – that the boostee will not be able to return favors. I consider boosting a long term investment. I have alt’s that I like to play, and I know other people do as well. If I choose to boost a person (or a friend), I suspect that they are going to help me by boosting an alt when that person gets to a decent level. Many times, I even confirm this by saying – Hey, if I give you a SFK run today, my little healer would like a shot at this gear tomorrow. More often than not, the boostee agrees outright. Even aside from future runs, Gevlon is not taking into account the additional professions that the Boostee is probably leveling (or will level) that you can guilt trip (*Shock* ME? Guilt trip people?!?!)them into crafting things for free for you. Again, I have to re-iterate that this is a long term investment.

Finally, although not directly addressed in this article – though he has in others – I would like to point out there is a fallacy in end game skill with leveling. Simply put, most of end game is not about questing any more. It is about raiding. And you would be hard pressed to find an at level run of anything in the 1-60 levels anymore. You might argue that you could skip those dungeons, BUT this is exactly what I am addressing here. Skipping those dungeons completely misses the group play dynamic that you will need in end game. Questing just does not cut it. At most, questing tells you how to escape in the event of a catistropic wipe. Boosting a player is a non-issue in lower levels because the experience does not equate to the skill of the player at endgame.

I’m sorry Gevlon, but I just can’t agree with you that boosting is detrimental to the booster or the boostee in the long term (discounting the usual M&S, of course).

2 Responses to “Boosting Friends – A Rebuttal to The Greedy Goblin”
  1. Benty says:

    If you are in a ulduar guild, and a “friend” starts playing and you help boost them through RFC, SFK, SM, and then they develop “alt-itis.” How do you or your raiding guild benifit? Fun is Fun and all, but how has your guild or toon become stronger from the effort?

    Sure if you roll another alt, their lvl 40 may be able to boost you through SFK in return but how does that help you progress (under the assumption that the “goal” of the game right now is to clear Ulduar).

    A past guild of mine had a problem in BC. We had a lvl 80 paladin (the guild’s first 80 and also the GL) in BoE purples and quest blues, that played a ton. He’d run EVERYONE though all the normal BC instances. At this point in the game paladin tanking made the game easy mode. You didn’t have to use any crowd control just DPS stuff down. So the guild members start trying to do heroics and kara using what they “learned” by being boosted. Just DPS everything down no crowd control. Horrible Fail. Wiping for 3 hours in H-Ramps, Wiping for an hour on attumen trash.

    Most of the guild was RUNIED as players. I was able to PuG heroics and Kara with strangers, while unable to clear any heroic or raid with my guild without a ton of wipes DPS simply didn’t know how to crowd control and to not break crowd control.

    So the guild pretty much gave up on heroics and raids and people just kept rolling alts and asking for boosts through BC normal instances. About halfway through BC the GL releaized to an extent what was happening and said he would no longer use his paladin to run people through normal duegons, there was a ton of crying but in time people left or improved.

    If you “know how to play” getting boosted doesn’t hurt you and can speed up your lvling time. If someone doesn’t know how to play, boosting them won’t really help them to learn how to play well. I’ve tanked PuGs where I’ve dowe 60% of the total DPS as a prot warrior. Fights took forever, if the tank/heals in that group weren’t geared the healer would oom on trash and the group would wipe. Heroic groups were the DPSers are below 1000 over-all DPS? The people are either lazy or don’t know how to play. In either case if I carry them through the instance they have zero incentive to improve themselves. I mean you can do 1000dps in lvl 70 greens. I have grouped with “friends” that were pulling 750dps in lvl 80 blues. I told them that was low and they bring it up to 900dps and get excited. Point is they never HAD to learn how to do better DPS because we’ve carried them. Contiuing to carry them doesn’t help me, or them. It keeps the game fun for them, but doesn’t teach them how to stand on their own.

    • Firespirit says:

      @ Benty

      First off, Alt-itis still has its benefits. Even if they do this, they are likely to have many toons with different professions that you can secure benefits for (even if it is just for equipment for your alts). Even if the “Goal” of the endgame is to raid, I’m sure they are days that you would rather do something else than mindlessly grind. If you are a follower of the Goblin Gospel then you wouldn’t be grinding out anyway. You would make enough money to get what you need either by purchasing it or getting the mats to have someone craft the item. Enter Alt-itis.

      Secondly, you seem to address the last paragraph the most. I will freely admit that BC was a different puppy to play with – everyone would. It was much more difficult (I know that my guild struggled with heroics for a while, while we were trying to teach players better group dynamics), required CC, and required a skill to play your class. That simply isn’t the case with Lich King. Through the first tier of raiding, nothing is about crowd control (that includes heroics). Its mostly a dps race, or figuring out a gimmick.

      1-60 content is (I think) making a bit of a resurgence. You see more people looking to do BRD in trade than ever. But there still is not enough people to simply make an at level group most of the time – they will simply outpace the dungeon by several levels before they find a group for it. That isn’t teaching them crowd control techniques. When they outpace the dungeon by several levels, it becomes much easier than it ought to be.

      Outlands content is just about wholly abandoned. People are sick of being there. The vast majority of groups there are people that are just trying to get in and get out, so to speak. If you can find a group that isn’t made of 4 DK’s (even now, 6 months after the expansion launched), you would be far better off than my server is. So, again, the person ends up outpacing the content.

      The first real group the player is going to get will be the dungeons in Northrend. By then, if they are not boosted, they have zero experience in group situations. Is that worse than having a negative, or wrong view (such as the example that people don’t know how to cc, etc…)? I don’t think so. I think it is worse to have no view at all. They don’t know what to expect at all. They don’t understand the concept of bosses, trash mobs, dungeon designs, nothing. You could argue that they might be more cautious and willing to learn at that point, but M&S wouldn’t. M&S would steamroll through the place and end up not liking the content at all because of the constant wiping (mostly attributed to them).


      About halfway through BC the GL releaized to an extent what was happening and said he would no longer use his paladin to run people through normal duegons, there was a ton of crying but in time people left or improved.

      At the end of my rebuttal, I did discount M&S. Those that left would be the M&S, those that improved are not. There will always be M&S, WoW is a casual friendly game, and it just attracts the young ones, and players that otherwise would not be in an MMO. Your guild just weeded them out.

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