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Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

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  • 23

Requiring Savage Clears for Mentor Certification

Public
Some players suggested that mentor certification require clears of the current Savage tier, probably because in NA it is fairly common to meet mentors who have a very poor grasp on job or game mechanics. (Interestingly, I have heard that the mentor system works fine in JP, and it is only a problem here in NA.)

Well, I feel it is reasonable that battle mentors are asked to demonstrate competence at playing their battle job, otherwise, they are just the blind leading the blind. I also think Savage experience is valuable for mentors in general.

However, I still disagree with this suggestion for several reasons:


1) Attracting the wrong kind of mentor

I feel that the mentor system in NA suffers problems because some players perceive it as an elite status - to show that they are experienced, veteran or skilled players, or who want the glamorous crown icon. As a result, it attracts people who lack both the knowledge and willingness to help new players. It is always players with the worst attitudes and the poorest skills who seek some easy way to show how they are not that bad after all. Genuinely good people have little need to prove themselves to others.

Therefore, how can we propose to tie mentor certification to the completion of Savage tiers? It will become a badge that says "I'm skilled enough to raid Savage", and it will be more sought-after than ever. This worsens the root cause of poor mentor quality.

Furthermore, players who have cleared Savage will be tempted to obtain mentor certification even if they have no interest in mentoring, as it is a more visible symbol of their achievement compared to the raid weapon or mount.


2) Negative effects on Savage

If current Savage clears are required for mentor certification, players who merely want the crown icon but have no interest in raiding or mentoring will join clear parties trying to get carried through E4S, and this will disrupt players attempting to clear the fight. If they somehow succeed in getting carried through their behavior will then reflect on the raiding community as a whole, because only raiders will be able to mentor.

Groups selling clears of high-end content will profit. People are willing to pay $18 for a mog station outfit. Surely some people will pay more for an exclusive crown icon next to their name that means "I cleared savage".


3) Insufficient players to serve as mentors

NA has too few raiders to serve as mentors. According to the January 2019 unofficial LuckyBancho survey (which pulls public data from Lodestone), Aether datacenter had merely 2,237 players who cleared O12S out of 85,505 active characters (2.62%). The percentages for Primal and especially Crystal are even lower.

(Note: LuckyBancho counts those with the mount from O12S as having cleared the boss. Not all players who cleared have the mount, since only 1 key drops per clear, so it is an underestimate. Nevertheless, the number of raiders who cleared the whole tier is still small.)

If there are too few mentors, and the majority of sprouts' requests for aid go unanswered, new players will feel the system does not work, and stop seeking help from it.


Mentors should not be perceived as elite players

I agree it's annoying when you see mentors - even battle mentors - who not only give severely incorrect advice, but discourage sprouts from learning and improving their skills. However, perhaps mentors are not meant to be a source of expert knowledge, but rather just a volunteer force to help new players with common issues and fill queues.

If someone is willing to advise sprouts how to get Ironworks weapon, help them queue up for Toto-rak, and explain why they haven't got their next job quest despite reaching level 52, I think we should appreciate their desire to help out, and Savage clears are not really needed for this.

I would even suggest that the community emphasize that mentors are not meant to be expert players, and direct players asking questions on job mechanics to third-party sources such as the Balance discord, or recommend that they ask questions directly of skilled players that you know. SE could change the mentor icon to something more humble like a watering can as well.

This way, we will reduce the perception that mentors must be elite players, which is the root of the system's problems in NA and attracts so many players with poor attitudes to gain it in order to prove that they are skilled or experienced.
Comments (23)

Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie (Aether)

You are right Sig dear, people seeing Mentors as an elite status is the BIGGEST problem with it. Elite status brings ELITISM into the fold and that is NEVER a good thing.

Killing the 'elite status' effect will go a long way to fixing what is wrong with mentors and maybe attract people who really DO want to help others.

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I truly believe a mentor should complete a savage tier. However that doesn't guarantee that person will not be the elitist jerk who doesn't help players.

Funny what people would do for that shiney icon or title "mentor of mentors".

Tifka Stormmoon

Siren (Aether)

I always found the idea that you need to clear savage to mentor ridiculous. Savage represents a type of people that know their class, for sure. But, you're talking about of level of competence that MOST people DON'T NEED. Especially when most people just need to be pointed in the right direction.

As for the crown - just change the damn thing to a watering can. I'll proudly wear it. But tell me I need to be Savage level to teach somebody a basic rotation? Yah, that person can shove it.

This comment has been deleted.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

Tifka - I would say one does not need any mentor to teach him or her rotation in the first place. Just google "FFXIV the balance", join the discord, go to the channel for one's job, and click the pinned messages. You will get rotation and opener, and it takes like 3 minutes.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

Yoko, that's true. I think bad people are rare no matter the content, but not all who cleared Savage are necessarily people with the right temperament to mentor.

I do think that Savage experience is valuable if you want to be a mentor... if you have cleared a full Savage tier, it probably means you have experience with not ragequitting in a high-pressure environment, lol. And it takes patience and tenacity to progress.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

Annabel - The funny thing is that I have heard a lot of people say that in Japanese datacenters this problem does not exist. Indeed when I played there a while, mentors were much rarer compared to in NA. I did not get the feeling that people who go the crown for vanity purposes are common at all.

It is only we English-speaking players who perceive the crown as having an elite status. And I wonder if even non-mentors have bought into it as well, by having high standards for mentors.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

(cont'd) I feel sorry for the developers - they are trying to solve a problem for which Western, Anglophone culture is solely to blame.

Besides, consider that if onerous requirements are set for mentor certification, JP datacenter players will be negatively affected as well even though the system already works fine for them.

Lolo Menehune

Siren (Aether)

"Just google "FFXIV the balance", join the discord, go to the channel for one's job, and click the pinned messages"
In here lies the problem. I'll speak for myself.
FFXIV being my first MMO EVER, I had no idea, no clue what a tank was, what DPS meant, or what a "rotation" was or is. Some may argue I still don't ;3. I digress. It wasn't until two very well seasoned players took me under their wing and taught me what a rotation was, why, how, when. Did I have access to that thing

Tifka Stormmoon

Siren (Aether)

There's also the whole "who learns in what manner". Also see my post on "just watch a video"

That being said, maybe using Rotation wasn't the best example?

As I said in Panda's blog - most questions you see in NN are mundane and have very little to do with high-level play. I've been in the game a year now and taken several classes to level 80, I got a good sense of how the game is played. Why should my refusal to play Savage disqualify me from answering these mundane questions?

Lolo Menehune

Siren (Aether)

cont-
called the InTerNeT...why yes. Did I for ONE moment stop and think, hummm I should read up on this. NOPE. It wasn't until these two gentlemen took the time to explain things, offer me viable reasons on WHY learning what I was doing would benefit myself and others around me. THEN I took the time to search almighty google. Lo and behold, the YOSHIDA HEAVENS opened up...and I began my quest to wear the Burger King crown. Joking, actually I started to WANT to learn more.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

Well Lolo, my point is not that players should not teach each other (if they have the ability, of course they should).

Rather, it is problematic to try and enforce that mentors be experts in gameplay skill, because it becomes a badge of honor, and people will try to cheese it for vanity.

While this is well-intentioned (we all want new players to receive accurate advice), we must consider any unintended consequences as well.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

Tifka, one can ask questions in the Balance text channel too (no voice chat necessary) or on Reddit. If one does not like text guides, there are video guides too. One can read tooltips, practice on SSS dummy or use the 3rd party tool we shall not mention to gauge the results. There is a lot of support for different learning modalities.

And of course, nothing stops a knowledgeable player from applying for mentor certification. I think that would be a great positive.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

(cont'd) However, I don't think it is good to encourage the perception that "Mentor automatically equals a knowledgeable, skilled player". Because then people - especially the ones least qualified - will try to get it to show they have knowledge and skill. That is the whole root of the problem and one reason why it is not a good idea to tie it to Savage clears.

I agree with you that most questions in the NN are about mundane topics.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

(cont'd) By the way, I don't mean to criticize you personally, but I find it interesting that people always say "I chose not to do Savage" instead of "I don't have the ability to do Savage", despite the fact that skill level is a significant barrier.

I am not immune to this bias, and I once thought the same way. After all, this allows me to think "well, maybe I actually can do it - I just don't want to!" It is a form of self-enhancement - a way to maintain a positive self-image.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

When Ultimate releases, I won't do it. I chose not too, but that is because I don't have the ability. I have no illusions.

Tifka Stormmoon

Siren (Aether)

Just so we're clear, I am not arguing against your points, Siglinde. Your points are well-thought out and I agree with them. I'm just a little butt-hurt by this "you must do savage to be a good mentor" mentality. Really grinds my gears.

But yes, it is a "I choose not to do Savage" situation. I was actually considering doing it, but decided I didn't want to invest the time into it. Anytime I take a game THAT seriously, it always ends badly for me. I'm perfectly content just leveling classes.

Esper Eidolon

Diabolos (Crystal)

Honestly they should just do away with the mentor stuff imo.

Giving incentive and all has not lead to a very healthy environment.

I understand they had it in FFXI but that was a very different game for very different systems.

They way we have it here should be abolished and/or reformatted to help others, which in turn helps everyone else later. That should be the incentive

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

Esper, well, I can see that point of view. However, removing rewards in MMOs is always problematic.

If there is no other way to obtain Astrope, people will complain (especially those who have already done many mentor roulettes). If the new way is much easier compared to the old one, people will complain. If it requires different kinds of content, people not interested in that content will complain. Whatever the change, there will be a huge uproar.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

Besides, we must also consider the perspective of the JP players. From their POV, mentor system works just fine. It is the NA players who fail to use the system properly. They will not appreciate such a change.

Of course, we can say that SE should never have tied rewards to the system in the first place, but that does not help us resolve the current situation.

The one change I do think is practical is just to make the mentor icon something unrelated to rulership, skill, ability or power.

Bear Ironfist

Faerie (Aether)

They'll just buy clears if they want the crown. You know, I bet a player first heading into sastasha will learn more with a group where everyone is new than with a high level mentor.

Siglinde Skysworn

Sargatanas (Aether)

Lol that's what I'm saying Ronove!

Yoru Kuro

Phoenix (Light)

I described it on another post but I think:
- Combat Mentor must be split: Story Mentor and Raid Mentor
- Recert condition must be reapplied (from 0) for a 3-6 months period with the following
- Story Mentor must do X mentor roulette and X story/leveling/50-70 roulette
- Raid Mentor must have killed latest savage tier at least X times (the reason of the 6 months period)
- PVP Mentor must have done X frontline/rival wings and/or X The Feast
- Trade Mentor must have done X collectionable stuff.

Lalli Physalis

Sargatanas (Aether)

All that you've said makes perfect sense to me. One thing piqued my curiosity though: the bit you said about the system working perfectly in Japan. I wonder what kind of differences in gamer culture are at play here - for instance, after I watched Dad of Light on Netflix, a friend of mine explained that in Japan, it's considered rude to "spoil" a fight to a newcomer by explaining the mechanics. I wonder if there's a book on that subject, I'd want to read that!
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