Tobold's Blog
Monday, January 12, 2009
 
How heroic are heroic raids?

As I mentioned, Friday was my first "heroic" 25-man raid to Naxxramas. And I was a bit surprised that on the first try we already cleared the plague wing. While we definitely advanced slower in the 25-man version than we usually do in 10-man, the encounters themselves didn't appear to me all that much more difficult in heroic. So where is the "heroic" part?

It turns out that the real heroes in pulling a 25-man raid off are the guild officers and raid leaders. Very few guilds consist of people who are 100% focused all of the time, and raid leading in many cases resembles herding cats. The more cats, the more difficult it becomes. But the most difficult part is assembling the raid. You'd need to be very lucky if there are exactly 25 people turning up, and they have exactly the right class mix for a 25-man raid. That is especially true in a guild that does various activities, like heroic 5-man dungeons, heroic 25-man raids, and normal 10-man raids. Unfortunately taking five 5-man groups, or two-and-a-half 10-man raid groups, does not make the perfect 25-man raid group. You basically would want more than 5 healers, and less than 5 tanks, in the heroic raid.

I can understand why some top raiding guilds would be disappointed that heroic Naxxramas isn't much harder. But then I can also see the advantage of it being only slightly harder than 10-man: The average guild spans a wide range of players with different raiding skill, experience, and gear. Getting 25 people together at all isn't trivial for most guilds. Expecting that those 25 are all the world's best raiders would be asked too much, unless you run one of those guilds where everyone who isn't 100% focused immediately gets /gkicked. If you decide on a 25-man raid, you necessarily take those 5 players with you which with some justification wouldn't have made the cut if you had organized just two 10-man raids. I'm saying that in a total non-judgemental way. Actually I'm happy that large raids give a guild the opportunity to do something together with people that aren't necessarily all prioritizing raids in their virtual lifes. So ultimately it was probably a wise choice of Blizzard to tune the 25-man raid difficulty to allow for a few undergeared or less focused people.

What do you think?
Comments:
I think (and I'm not aiming this in any way whatsoever at Tobold, just because it's a comment on his blog), that I'm just tired of everyone complaining about how easy everything is. I understand you're not saying that, but the consensus seems to be that just because bosses can be downed, that WoW is now EZMOAD and omg-why-bother.

Getting 25 people together IS the hardest part of 25 man raids, but raiding with 25 people is more fun (for me personally) than raiding with an old UBRS sized group. Heck, I liked 40 man raids, because that's 40 individual personalities on vent. For me, getting together and doing something with 40 other people is the attraction, rather than what we aim our hurt buttons at. People are losing track of this, and it's hurting the overall perception of raiding.

Bleh.
 
25 people could gather in Ashenvale dancing naked around the moonwell and do a "raid" against the lvl 22 wolves of the zone if the point is "getting together". The point of the raid is a challenge to overcome in a group. If there is no challenge, there is no point. Yesterday I was in VoA25 PuG. Went down although 6 DPS-er damaged less than the BM hunter's PET. This environment encourages slacking and harbor stupidity the same way as welfare in the real life.

In BC there was outrage because of the AFK-AV epics. Now they are called autofollow-Naxx epics.
 
I agree with Gevlon. It's a sad state of affairs when the hardest thing about a raid is gathering enough competent players.
 
Gather them an ccordinate them: date, time... :)
 
The point of the raid is a challenge to overcome in a group. If there is no challenge, there is no point.

Agreed. But you make it sound as if "challenge" was an absolute term, which it isn't. Something which is way too easy for Nihilum might be just right or still too hard for the average player.

This environment encourages slacking and harbor stupidity the same way as welfare in the real life.

Again, no, because difficulty is relative. If there are some very good players in that raid, and some which don't quite achieve the level of dedication and experience of Nihilum, then yes, the less good players will have more success than they had in The Burning Crusade. But on the positive side a large number of people who don't have much raid experience, nor somebody to run them through raid dungeons, will have the opportunity to improve their game to a point where they can beat Naxxramas, which is after all the entry-level raid dungeon. So overall the environment encourages focusing and learning how to raid for a large population which previously was simply excluded from raiding. In total the sum of all raiding knowledge is going *up*, not down.

The only one slacking here is Blizzard, because they don't provide the missing ingredient: The post-Naxxramas raid dungeons that are challenging for the more advanced players. But providing the entry level raids *first* obviously makes sense, much more than first having raid dungeons that are too challenging for the majority, and then nerfing them, as they did in TBC.
 
Wouldn't the 3 extra adds (or whatever with Myg) be the 'The post-Naxxramas raid dungeons that are challenging for the more advanced players. ' they are shooting for? Rather then making the whole raid a certain difficulty, they add levels of optional difficulty.
 
There is a reason why Deadmines/Ragefire chasm is in the game, and no, the reason is not to spam trade "Can som nice feridly ppl boost me in RFC".

The reason is to learn tanking, focus fire, aggro management, AoE avoiding. I remember my first RFC well. We wiped a lot because I did not used HoTs just direct heal. Learnt my lesson. And finally that big demon went down. We won, and not just some loot discarded 2 levels later.

There ARE very easy raids in the game already. ZG can be done by 20 lvl 63-67 players. You can run Hijal on lvl 76 for add management practice, you can run Gruul on 76 for situational awareness practice. Do you see any "new player LFG other such players MH to get some experience"? I don't.

Why: because they don't WANT to learn. They want easy epics (status symbol in the gaming community). You can give them any help you can, they won't be any better because they don't give a damn. They don't care about their performance, just their social status (improved by purple pixels among WoW players).

They are not less dedicated, they are not unexperienced, they are morons and slackers.
 
I think people are forgetting that Blizzard has intentionally done this to get the casual base more in touch with raiding. It IS easy mode right now, and for good reason. It's a new design philosophy that Blizzard has adopted to prevent the alienation of the casual base as was the case in the past. Naxx is not the end-all, be-all of WOTLK and people should remember that. Ulduar will most certainly be more difficult as has already been pointed out elsewhere, and I'd be willing to bet the instance after Ulduar will be more challenging as well.

It makes sense that things are easy right now, both in terms of getting a bigger majority of the player base geared for Ulduar, and getting casuals who have never raided into the mix. Let's face it, you can enter Naxx 10-man with 5-man normal/heroic level blue/epic gear/items and do a full clear of the place. The key ingredient is how the encounters are designed. Patchwerk is a fight that revolves around dps and the enrage timer, but is still very doable if the SKILL level of the player is up to snuff, but not necessarily the gear.

People should stop using Naxx as the comparative beacon for WOTLK. If people want to set a good guage for how well a raid group functions together, and determine how well it is geared, then Malygos should be the lithmus test standard for WoW raiding in my opinion. Not Naxx.
 
Gevlon, I've already argued that 'easy raids already exist' on this blog before, and I usually end up with an angry response from Tobold.

Are those people who are tagging along really learning anything? I would like to think so, but I think 'Heroic' Naxxramas is way too easy. Forget the Achievements for awhile, Heroic should mean it is above average in difficulty, not that there are 25 players instead of 10.
As it stands, Sunwell is still harder than Naxxramas, for inexperienced players.
 
I've asked this before, but once again:
If the only persons who have a more difficult job in 25s than in 10s are the leaders/officers and some members in 25s will be so bad that you wouldn't even take them with you in 10s, then why are all members of a 25s raid getting better loot? Doesn't make much sense.
Actually I'm not even sure if leading a 25s-raid really *is* more difficult than leading a 10-man-raid. In a 25 you have your working formulas. You get yourself a DPK-System someone else thought out long ago, build a player pool of 30 people and start. You don't care much how good these players are, because Blizzard has already accounted for that and doesn't expect you to have progamers. And if your raids don't fill up, you simply begin recruiting again.
Perhaps organizing a 10-man-raid is in fact harder? Sure, you have to organize less people. But most of those also have a 25-man-raid somewhere and they usually value that raid higher than your 10-man-raid. So you have to find a time where not only 10 people can make it, but also a time where nobody of them has already a 25-man-raid. And you have to find people that play significantly better than your usual brain-afk-25-man-raider, because you can't afford weak links. When you invite a bad player, than 1/10 of your raid sucks instead of 1/25. Also this player is probably the only one of his class and the next boss behind the corner might require exactly this class to perform something special. And finally, a 10-man-raid is much more affected by missing people than a 25-raid. If two of your raiders a students who need to take a month of due to exams and another one has an urgent RL-appointment, then you won't raid that week. Having a too big pool works only when nobody expects to raid more than once every two weeks, which is not likely.

So then tell me: Why is it again that 25-players are rewarded more than 10-players?
The only answer I can think of is "Because otherwise nobody would take the hassle of keeping this much players together", but I don't think this is a good answer.
 
They are not less dedicated, they are not unexperienced, they are morons and slackers.

Are you, personally, as good a raider as the guys from Nihilum? I guess you are not. Thus if you were in a Nihilum raid, *you* would be the "moron and slacker". Now I'll further assume that you don't think of yourself as a moron and slacker. Why? Because you compare yourself to some other group than Nihilum. Although you are a less good player than the very best, it is totally possible that you are among the top in your lesser guild. Relatively you are an asset to your guild, although your *absolute* level of moron-ness and slacking hasn't changed. And the person that you consider to be a moron and slacker again might be one of the better raiders in an even less good guild. Skill and dedication of any raider are relative.

Or as some wise man said: Everyone who plays more than me is a no-lifer, everyone who plays less than me is a slacker.
 
I agree with Werit.

Don't use naxx as a gauge if you want more challenging content.

Do Sartharion with 2-3 Drakes up then come back to me if it's easy mode =). Actually it is for some guilds but theyre not your average guild.

If you want to experience content then here it is Blizzard has practically opened doors for everyone.

If you want more challenge then you can do achievements in Naxx25. Like Immortal( no one dieng in the raid), killing Faerlina w/o killing adds, no one messing up on Thaddius etc. As a guild we have been slowly knocking out some achievements.

What's that I hear? You don't care about that? Funny that's what I heard from other players when the raids were "hard" in TBC saying it was a waste of time. Again just player preference I don't judge just saying.

If you killed all the 25man bosses(Malygos, Obsidian Sanctum and Naxx) the normal way then there's your content.

Blizzard has given us the options to up the difficulty not just by putting on Heroic mode but by choosing how we deal with an encounter.



When Ulduar comes out
 
(sorry for double post >_>) but I failed at copy & paste.

When Ulduar comes out I have no doubt it will be more challenging for the average guild but there is no stopping for uber guilds in beating them in 2-3 days ... it's just what they do.
 
Why are you bringing up the experience of Nihilum and not instead focusing on your own experience with the 25man version of the raid? Nihilum is irrelevant, being so far removed from the circumstances of the average raider as to make comparisons silly.

You found the heroic version of Naxx to be easy and I imagine you don't consider yourself "hardcore." The point of comparison should really be between you and others like you and not with those who have nearly unlimited playtime. Do casual players find the heroic content easy? Should Naxx as the introductory raid be easy? Those are the types of questions that seem relevant here and not comparisons to uber guilds like Nihilum.

I haven't raided yet in Wrath but from what I've read, the content is appropriate as an introduction to raiding. It would be appropriate for the 25man version to be harder, if the difficulty was by virtue of the increased number of people being more difficult to organize during a fight. If that kind of organization isn't necessary at all, then there might be a problem, even if the level of organization needed ("ok all ranged dps target X and move by the wall when phase 2 happens, and melee...") is relatively low.
 
They said that Ulduar will be harder yes,but not so much harder that it won't be attainable by the same people doing Naxx. The main Encounter dev has said they really really like the optional difficulty they built in (ie Sarth) so we can expect to see mor eof that. He also said that Ulduar would have an entirely optional boss that is tuned to be really hard.
 
I agree with Herc. They have given the content a baseline difficulty, and guilds can tune their person experience / challenge according to the achievements they seek. Achievements are the new metric for progression at the moment anyway - no harm done. If you are after a challenge, there are still many out there for most groups.
 

Why: because they don't WANT to learn. They want easy epics (status symbol in the gaming community). You can give them any help you can, they won't be any better because they don't give a damn. They don't care about their performance, just their social status (improved by purple pixels among WoW players).

They are not less dedicated, they are not unexperienced, they are morons and slackers.


first of all only the very few top end guilds like Nihilum ever really beat the content. Every other "hard core" guild coming behind uses their strategies.

Second as hard as this is for my fellow type A personalities to get. Not everyone wants to crawl through glass and come out bleeding to get the feel of winning in a video game. Challenge as stated above is relative.

And the casual player base who play less, use less server resources and burn through content slower make more money for blizzard than the other 1/2 a percent.

If you have to throw out raids from vanilla wow to back up your point you show your disconnect from reality.

In the developers own words " We are trying to help people level faster to get to the REAL GAME" This attitude is what causes the state of the playerbase. That and I suspect there is a higher churn than blizzard wants to admit.

And the "hard core's" share just as much blame. In vanilla wow they trained and helped out the noobs and helped our thier own cause indirectly. It's kind've like public school. You can pay to educate the kids now and have intelligent well rounded adults. Or you can refuse to educate them now and pay for prisons and crime and welfare. Either way you pay. But the two choices end up with profoundly different results.
 
Gevlon, I've already argued that 'easy raids already exist' on this blog before, and I usually end up with an angry response from Tobold.

I wouldn't call my response angry. I'm just stating that NOBODY wants to raid for zero rewards. Thus your proposal of "we don't need easy raids, because people can go to Molten Core etc." is just not viable. We are talking about teaching raiding to people who already visited regular level 80 dungeons, and maybe a couple of heroics. For raids to be viable as next logical step, their rewards have to be equal or better than those of heroics. Offer zero rewards, and you get few or no participants. Imagine Blizzard had updated only the difficulty of Naxxramas, but left in the old level 60 loot tables. Would you go raiding there? Maybe clear it once for fun, but you certainly wouldn't go repeatedly, and you wouldn't be able to find people to go with you.
 
I don't buy into this "entry level raid" stuff. That's what heroic instance/10 man raids are for. By the time you 'progress' to 25 man raids you should already know all the fundamentals of being a raid member (eg move out of fires/green slime/stuff on floor that kills you) and what you need to practice is strategies.

It's not just raids either. Look at the heroic 5 mans. Then look at the heroic TBC instances. The level of challenge isn't even comparable. Most people I know didn't even bother with many instances on normal and just went straight to the heroic versions. Once there cc was non-existant and the places were cleared with all the tactical accumen of a sledgehammer.

This tuning of instances will make Blizzard more money in the short term as the previously regarded 'elite' content is discovered by more players. Infact, the content in WoW was never too hard - it simply requred more co-ordination and commitment to learn tactics and occassionally think for yourself. Even the highly regarded Nihilium weren't always great players per se, they just organised themselves better to match up against what was infront of them. WotLK has simply removed even this basic barrier to allow for those people Gevlon refers to as 'morons' to clear content.
 
Absolutely agree. The loot is only marginally better in 25 man because of the difficulty in organizing 25 people, not because the encounters are more challenging. You could even make a case they're less challenging than 10 man, or even heroics. The bosses are certainly not proportially harder to kill, given the extra people you have, and they may even be proportionally easier. I'm not sure.

So yes, the real heros are the raid leaders and officers, and any guild that can organize 25 people deserves rewards of a higher quality. But not insanely higher - because the encounters are not proportionally harder.

Your point about those 5 less skilled players getting into a 25 man seems redundant however. I dont think blizzard "tuned" anything the way you suggest. It holds true for any grouping... you always have a skill range of people, and yes, some players are not on their game. If every guild had to be uber to beat the content, WoW would be very unpopular.
 
As a side track, I think people (and Tobolds post title) are getting too hung up on the semantics of the term "Heroic" here. It is obviously (after seeing all current content) not meant to mean "Heroicly Hard", rather it is just separating "10-man Raid" and "25-man Raid".
 
@tobold: "I'm just stating that NOBODY wants to raid for zero rewards." The rewards are for use in the next raid... repeat until last raid, then nothing and said loot is pretty useless. There are really no rewards. That only leaves the challenge and the 'feeling of accomplishment'.
 
This is the reason why I'm opposed to raiding, philosophically. The difficulties imposed by raiding (and the corresponding skilled responses) are logistics and side-effect. They are not imposed by the game itself, they are imposed by the requirement of having so many people. That's bad game design.

As the actual game difficulty scales down, we see it more and more. If 90% of the effort is organizing, then a good organizer will succeed at 90% of raids. Yech.
 
"And the casual player base who play less, use less server resources and burn through content slower make more money for blizzard than the other 1/2 a percent."

I've read this argument on several occations and it never fails to raise my bloodpressure. Why the hell is this used in an discussion among players? This is like saying "I don't care who is right or wrong, the company would make more money my way, so they will follow my ways anyway".
Economical guesses like that can be used to predict the possible future course of a company, but in a discussion "how it should be" they have no place in my opinion. If we include economical guesses like that than we can also say it would be good idea if Blizzard would charge casuals the double price. There's so many of them, they would need to hire extra people just to shovel the money away!
 
"Blizzard has given us the options to up the difficulty not just by putting on Heroic mode but by choosing how we deal with an encounter."

I'm sorry but they never gave you the option. The option was always there, you just never got gold writing and a fancy title before for it. I find it somewhat sad that the 'development' of achievements via Blizzard is becoming the corner stone of the raiding arguments that spring up. Try it with two drakes, try it with three drakes, yadda yadda. Personally I would of preferred the boss to start with 3 drakes full stop. Or 2 for 10man and 3 for 25man if you want to be extra picky rather than simply waltzing in, getting my epics for the week an walking back out again. Optional difficulties should be left to 'Normal/Heroic' setting and nothing more. The introduction of specifics to fights to 'spice them up' simply reveals flawed content in my eyes. There should already be a set bar, the player shouldn't have to go out of their way to gain that challenge. It's sloppy development in my eyes.

The guild i'm currently in, which should be noted is slacker based, heavily overpopulated and lacks any form of raid discipline clears current 25man content on Wed/Thur. We're about ready to do all 25mans in one night and mop up 10mans on Thursday. Which currently means i'm paying to play only two days a week - not fun :(
 
@Tobold: NOBODY rewarded me for learning to read! I clearly remember that in the primary school the teacher did NOT gave me salary, despite my 30 hours/week work. When I asked my mom why do YOU get salary for work and I get none for school, after she could stop laughing she explained that she is doing something useful. I cannot, since I'm yet unskilled. I have to learn all the stuff in the school just to be ABLE to work. If I don't I'll be a toilet cleaner. The reward of learning is the knowledge. Only hard work deserves reward.

In the game: only hard raids/5 mans shall give anything that resembles a reward.

"Thus if you were in a Nihilum raid, *you* would be the "moron and slacker"": the answer will be a post on http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/
 
Heh, Tobold stirred up a good one! I've only been following for a couple of weeks and I think these are the most volatile comments I've read so far. I'm sure it gets worse, I just haven't seen them.

A number of these responses are suggestive of "successful" raiders. I did some raiding in TBC but I hardly consider myself successful. We ground out Karazhan for the better part of a year before we could even attempt to move on past Gruul's. We had a core group of dedicated players but everyone else came and went as soon as they had some Kara/Gruul's loot. We pugged at least 2-3 spots regularly and ALWAYS started late.

This is a nice combination of the logistic difficulties that guild leaders and officers face but also of the "Need more epeen!" syndrome. Almost every run we did had a different combination of classes. Once we out-geared Kara that didn't matter so much, but when the same problems followed us into the 25-mans past Gruul's our guild soon ceased to exist.

In spite of these issues, Wowjutsu rated our guild in the mid top fifty guilds on our Day One server.

Yes-leaders have a hard time of it.
Yes-players want to be rewarded. We could have lived in Karazhan and Gruul's forever, but eventually the rewards added to zero.
Yes-easier raids are welcomed. After Gruul's we only ever downed Magtheridon two-three times and Void Reaver once. We spent some time in ZA but that doesn't really count (we couldn't get past the first 4-5 bosses). We never downed Lurker, only wiped.
 
I liked the way you put it, in heroic raids the only heroes are the leaders. It's funny really how you brough this up the day after my first 25man WotLK raid really, I can do nothing but agree, trash went down much faster on "heroic" and bosses seemed generally easier, especially the ones that target some random raid member and slap some silly stuff on them, because you won't get hit by the stuff as often. I think it's wrong to call bigger raids "heroic", not just because they seem to be easier, but mostly (IMO) because I don't see how adding more people makes it more "heroic". Isn't it more "heroic" with less people facing down the baddies? Bigger raids feels more like strength in numbers, not strength of courage to me. But as a commenter said, that depends on your definition of "heroic".

I don't understand why people defend "slackers" though. Some people just refuse to learn and expect to be carried through content. It's those I call "slackers", I have full respect for those who really want to learn and try to get better, but I don't want lazy piggybackers in my raid. There's a difference, I know it, because I was one of those newbies without a clue once too. The people we who don't like "slackers" don't like aren't the casuals, but the lazy piggybackers who just won't pull their weight no matter how much you goad them. You meet those outside the game too, and they're just as annoying there as well. Hopefully I've made myself clear. :)

With that in mind, raids that allow for more people to get carried through don't sound like a good idea to me...
 
". Try it with two drakes, try it with three drakes, yadda yadda. Personally I would of preferred the boss to start with 3 drakes full stop. Or 2 for 10man and 3 for 25man if you want to be extra picky rather than simply waltzing in, getting my epics for the week an walking back out again."

And you can do that. It is OPTIONAL meaning if you want to do two drakes..go right ahead, and get better loot for it. For OS (the model they seem to like th emost)It's not just "gold writing and a fancy title " you get for the optional challenges they put in. They specifically reward you for going the harder route.

My guild right now could not do OS with one drake right now let alone all 3 (NONE of the guilds on my server have OS with more than one drake up on farm). So we clear them all and get a lesser reward. When we get the gear and the coordination we will have the option of taking the encounter to the next level and get rewarded for it.
 
"And you can do that. It is OPTIONAL meaning if you want to do two drakes..go right ahead, and get better loot for it. For OS (the model they seem to like th emost)It's not just "gold writing and a fancy title " you get for the optional challenges they put in. They specifically reward you for going the harder route."

I think the point is that there is a difference between 'kill the difficult boss' and 'kill the easy boss while jumping through a burning ring balancing a red ball on your nose'. The first one feels epic, the second one feels artificial. You don't feel that you are rewarded for killing a difficult boss, you feel like you got a extra big fish from Blizzard for being such a nice little animal. And those achievement that yield no reward but achievement-points are even more senseless. Even IF you would take the hassle to compare your achievements to those of someone else you wouldn't find the impressive ones in the big bunch of "waved at another player 1k times"-achievements.
I really liked the idea of achievements at first, but I don't like the acutal implementation. Most of the time it doesn't award you for playing extra-good, but for doing something really dumb or bad on purpose and surviving it.
 
I second what Kiseran said. Things get stupid and you know you have to move on when you have to do things with one hand tied behind the back and one eye closed or things like that...^^ Muckbeast and Wolfshead wrote excellent blog entries about the new achievement hype; they are mostly a questionable reward for doing things in the most artificial and silly way.
 
Tobold said, "I'm just stating that NOBODY wants to raid for zero rewards"

That all depends on your definition of "raid".

I had Onyxia attunement but I was never a true Raider. Why did I get attuned then? Why did Sir Hillary climb Everest? Because I'm an Explorer/Achiever, and it was there.

If we define "raid" as the practice of attempting an end-game Instance every week until its content is beaten and it can be said that your Guild has it on Farm Status, then yes, in that context nobody wants to Raid for zero rewards.

Ooh, but we also have to define "rewards", and of course the most obvious definition with respect to Raiding is ZOMG EPIX!!!

But what Epic did Hillary get for climbing Everest? He got an Achievement, and a Title. He didn't get any Epics, but his efforts were still rewarded.

So, what if we define Raid in a more casual sense? For example, if you told me (me specifically, not a hypothetical "me") that I could participate in a successful "raid" on each of WoW's end-game Instances but that I would not be eligible for any Loot, no matter what drops...I'd grab that opportunity with both hands.

Because for some, the journey is reward enough.

My wife likes to go on vacation by getting to her destination as fast as possible and relaxing there. By contrast, when I was growing up many vacations were spent on the road, and we spent each night in a different location to the last. I have a coworker who takes vacations in a similar way. He and his family have an RV, and they just go out and drive. They do have a predetermined route with predesignated stops along the way, but there's no destination (other than their home at the end) because for them, the journey is their vacation.

Likewise, some of us would be more than willing to experience End-Game content, with zero chance of reward, just for the experience. We are few and far between, but we are out there. Some of us are even Raiding, but not for the Epics, that's just gravy; like Sir Hillary, we're there because it's there.
 
"I think the point is that there is a difference between 'kill the difficult boss' and 'kill the easy boss while jumping through a burning ring balancing a red ball on your nose'. The first one feels epic, the second one feels artificial. "

All any hard raid boss is a mob that makes you "jump through a burning ring balancing a red ball on your nose". If Sarth with all 3 drakes was in Ulduar as a normal boss people wouldn't comment one word about him being "easy" he would fit right in. What Blizz has done is given the option of removing some of the rings and in return you get lower quality rewards.
 
"I think the point is that there is a difference between 'kill the difficult boss' and 'kill the easy boss while jumping through a burning ring balancing a red ball on your nose'. The first one feels epic, the second one feels artificial. "

I think this is partly because most of the raid content to date is Naxx, which was not built for achievements. Did you enjoy 3D Sarth? Ulduar is supposed to have just about every fight with a similar hard-mode option that turns it into a pretty different fight. Maybe they should make an "Epic" mode where you have to do every fight the hard way.

It seems like there is at least a consensus that people do not like the undermanning achievements because they have to sit raiders out. Hopefully Blizzard listens on that one.
 
Again it's up to the players if they want to participate in doing the 25man achievement ... or Sartharion with 3 drakes(You get better loot with more drakes up).

Saying achievements are senseless is pretty obvious but I don't go around Dalaran comparing my Achievement tab, infact who the hell does that anyway?

It is how I chose to play the game ... completing achievements that I want.

If you just want to kill all current bosses and be done with it then that's perfectly acceptable, it's what you chose and have every right to do so.


So I guess the question is ...

Is the current content's difficulty level perfect? Not by a long shot but it is better in terms of accesibility.

Should it be harder? Yes, but getting the Immortal achievement is tough enough for now that it's keeping us busy.
 
"Did you enjoy 3D Sarth?"
As a member of a guild that does nothing but 10s, Sarth3D is well out of reach for us as I suspect you need 25s-gear to beat him (which is another thing that angers me..). In fact due to christmas in december and exams in january/february we haven't even seriously tried Sarth with 1 drake up. Instead we are concentrating on clearing all raid content in less than 4 hours, allowing us to get it over in one day and concentrate on studying ;)
 
My major complaint is that encounters are reducing each class's ability to contribute in a unique way. Far fewer buffs and debuffs stack, crowd control is a thing of the past, aggro is never an issue unless your tank is insufficient. It feels like the game is slowly becoming Diablo.

I disagree about calling leaders the only heroes. In 10-man, my guild has a leader who forces his raid to take his incompetent girlfriend (they can hear him over vent telling her which spells to cast). On the other hand, we have about a dozen players who can be reliably expected to acquire 80+% of the best possible gear they can get outside a raid, and have read all the strats before the first time we run. Half of those will get their alts or hybrid off-specs well-equipped also, and know how to play every aspect of their class - in PvE, at least - so they can fill holes as needed.
 
@ Kiseran: You definitely have an argument as to whether 10-man 3d Sarth is overtuned relative to 10 man gear or 25 man 3d Sarth... not that I've seen him either. But I would expect a lot more encounters like that for the future.

I think what I'm trying to get at is that "deliberately make the fight harder for yourself" isn't much fun for a lot of people. But is "different version of the same fight" satisfying? We don't have enough fights designed that way to be sure.

@ Jeze: No argument that it would be nice to see CC and aggro matter a lot more than they do. The buff homogenization is nice, though, because it hopefully takes away most of the need to precisely stack and group certain classes. Cover your basic buff categories, then take whoever up to fill out your tank/heal/dps categories. Should be very easy to control your mix of tank/heal/dps when dual spec is introduced, too.
 
I've no problem with it. WOW is a social game, and raiding is the biggest social activity for the game. Keeping the entry-level raid easy also gives raid leaders a lot more confidence as raids are easier to organise. For TBC, Maulgar, the first 25-man raid boss, was VERY hard, with a lot of coordination required. Not only did you need the right group composition, you needed good players who bothered to get the correct gear in a massively chaotic fight. By making heroic Naxx easy, it's encouraging for someone who wants to get started raid/guild leading. - Dave
 
@Nissl: I suppose I could live with that. But I honestly would prefer to see a switch that allows me to choose between 10s-easymode, 10s-hardmode and 25s-mode, with 10s-hardmore yielding better rewards as 25s (and being substancially more difficult). I guess a 25s-hardmore would also be fine, but without better reward, that one would only be there for people who really prefer playing in a larger crowd and don't have to be lured into it by extra rewards.

@Jezebeau: My point was that for a normal player doing 10s and doing 25s is no difference. Its only different for leaders. Or..should be. It sounds like your leader isn't exactly a shining example (assuming that you are not a social raid).
 
Does really nobody understand, that WotLK (so far) is all about making things achievable for everyone? Naxx is a CLASSIC Dungeon, just tuned for 10 and 25-mans. It is MEANT to be easy, read: for everyone. All those selfnamed Pros and Hardcore raiders seem not to understand this, when they start to cry out loud about WotLK being too easy, and not having enough content. The real (raiding part of) WotLK will follow in the content patch.

WotLK is the greatest thing that Blizz has ever done to WoW. Quests, lore telling, adapting environments, dungeons, heroic dungeons, 10 man raids, 25 man raids... Everything accesible to EVERY player. There is more than enough content already for the average Joe, and for them (the biggest part of the player base), the existing content is not too easy, it is perfect for a relaxed 2 hours away from the family. The hardcores will get their part, when the actual new content is patched into the game.
 
In addition to the post above, I'd like to add that Naxx is also there to TEACH people how to behave in a raid environment. Remember, new players are likely to level up to 70 (at least) without ever participating in a raid. Heck, most of them will not even see a regular dungeon before Utgard, unless they start on a fresh server or are lucky to find some 80s who rush through one for an achievement...
 
What do I think? I think there is an inherent contradiction in Blizzard's design.

Tobold, you are absolutely correct that 25 mans aren't inherently any harder than 10 mans right now in wotlk. You are also right that the only challenge is getting 25 people together. And the instances are clearly tuned so that you only need about 15 people actually doing a decent job, the other 10 can be terrible at their role and the group as a whole can still kill the bosses (though it often takes more attempts due to human errors than 10 mans). I know for a fact you could have 30% of a 25 man raid simply die at the beginning of every boss fight, and the group can still succeed if it has a few good players. If 3 of your raid members die in a 10 man, your usually in big trouble and probably aren't going to succeed. So you can get away with a larger percentage of your raiders doing a bad job in 25 mans.

The problem here is that the 25 mans offer loot that is a full tier higher than 10 mans. Insert obvious disclaimers here: most people don't raid for just loot, etc. But it's still a facet to consider. Everyone likes shiny epics and stat upgrades, even if it's not their #1 priority. :)

So a player focused on rewards would see that 25 mans are a great place if you don't want to pull your weight in a raid. You can get loot better than you can get in the 10 mans (where one person failing to pull their weight is way more detrimental to the group).

This is already leading to a situation in WoW where it's actually easier to get the best loot in the game by being carried than it is to pull your weight in a 10 man and get loot that isn't even as good.

I think you can see the implications of that. It would be much better if people who weren't very good players could still see all of the content, but did it on some easy mode that gave loot that was just OK, and then focused, good players could do a hard mode and get the stronger loot. As it stands, easy mode gives better loot, all you need is a raid leader willing to do the work of herding 25 cats. I believe it's a bad decision on Blizzard's part.
 
@Kisaran: Thankfully I'm not in that particular raid.

I guess we can only hope that Ulduar is to WotLK as pre-patch Kara was to TBC
 
Calling it "heroic" using the "heroic" setting was a bad idea. They had stated that there would be parallel progression via 10s and 25s. They did NOT state that 25s would be markedly harder. This was a player assumption that seems to have spiraled out of control into a feeling of entitlement that will likely only be appeased if Ulduar is as hard as the goddamn Sunwell.
 
While we definitely advanced slower in the 25-man version than we usually do in 10-man...

I think what you need to realize is that the heroic version doesn't seem that much harder because you guys are already geared from the 10-mans. AND because you're already relatively familiar with the encounters. Raiding was much harder before (say in the original Naxx) when there was no "easier/harder" version in which to train and gear up first.
 
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