Tobold's Blog
Friday, May 14, 2010
 
Could you still dance with Heigan?

When we were discussing heroics and people talked about moments where some of their actions really stood out in a World of Warcraft raid, I remembered one Naxxramas raid where we were fighting Heigan the Unclean, the second boss of the plague quarter, and 8 out of 10 raid members died early due to not having moved correctly to avoid the erruptions of the floor in phase two. It was only me and one other player left, but we happened to be a tank and a healer. And we kept up the fight for a full 10 more minutes before we eventually wiped, to the amusement of our dead guild mates. Maybe not heroic, but sure memorable.

But that encounter also showed that Heigan even back in the days where we were wearing iLevel 200 gear wasn't hitting all that much, so a single tank and a single healer could fight him for a very long time. What wiped raids in that encounter was the back and forth "dance" you had to perform correctly to avoid the floor erruptions, moving at exactly the right point in time, and neither too short nor too far. Even if you had watched a video before, and read the strategy, a group of people doing that encounter for the first time always wiped a couple of times before they had learned the steps to this dance. Just like ballet practice, a group of people has to study such series of coordinated moves together, even if the moves aren't very complicated.

I wrote a few weeks ago about a raid I joined to ToC, where we cleared the much "harder" ToC, and then wiped several times in Naxxramas on Instructor Razuvious, because the people who had to control the two understudies had forgotten how to do so. Since then I've come across several posts on other blogs telling similar stories: People having trouble in rare excursions to places like Naxxramas and Ulduar, while doing well in Icecrown. For many people it is already a year since they last visited Naxxramas, and they simply forgot the moves to some of the encounters.

I am pretty certain that if you take any raid that just did well in Icecrown, and moved it to Naxxramas, you would wipe on Heigan the Unclean.

And that is exactly what I don't like about raiding in Wrath of the Lich King. There is no real "progression" from "easier" raid dungeons to "harder" raid dungeons. It is all just the same, various different encounters for which you and your friends have to practice the moves until you all can do them without fail. Places like Naxxramas become obsolete because of the loot they give, not because of a lack of challenge. New guilds forming now go directly from heroics to Icecrown. There is no such thing as raid progression any more, Blizzard just go us to visit the raid dungeons in sequence by the simple trick of opening them up one after another. So even though Cataclysm isn't here yet, if you missed Naxxramas or Ulduar, it is already too late. These earlier raid dungeons aren't much easier than the later ones, but give out loot which is worse than what you get from running heroics, so nobody goes there any more except if required for weekly raid quests. I don't remember Molten Core standing empty at the end of vanilla WoW, or Karazhan at the end of the Burning Crusade. I like choice, and right now you don't get much choice in which raid dungeons you could visit.
Comments:
Good point. It's sad but true. The progression isn't so much about the order in which the instances opened (although it is that also) as about the gear.

The instance giving the highest gear is the most progressed. And that's all there is to it.
 
You make a great point here! I was one of those lucky enough to have experienced Naxx in its original 40 man version, and I certainly had a hard time the first time I did Heigan at 80.

This is part of the problem I have with many games that don't have logical progression of skills learned. With most of WoW there is not very much symbiotic relationship with the spells and abilities you learn. For most classes, especially while raiding, you use 3-5 abilities primarily - and usually these abilities don't work together.

I wonder if it would be possible for a game, MMO or otherwise, train you to play their game. You could go from 1-80 using only auto-attack and keyboard turning the whole way, but this wouldn't make you a very good character. Many times, when faced with a particularly horrible player in a 5 man I don't fault them for not knowing what to do. If not for other people helping me and going out of my way to learn the nuances of the classes I played, I would not have been as good a player as I thought I was.

I'm not entirely sure of the point I am trying to make... Perhaps my problem is that the WoW single player game doesn't really prepare you for the MMO aspect. This design ideology is reflected throughout every aspect of the game.
 
The flip side is that in BC it was a real pain to recruit players for the late content. I ran a raid which progressed all the way to Illidan with only to raids per week. We worked hard to gear up a few new players only to find them guild-hop to a sunwell raid.

In vanilla and BC the forced raid progression led to people guild hopping their way up. In Wotlk if you missed the start you have at least a chance to bring up your gear through other means.

Even if Blizzard arguably overdid it a bit I like the situation in Wotlk better. It is far easier to recruit for a raid and to be recruited for a raid. I played Naxx, Ulduar and ToC when they were released and have no desire to go back.
 
I'm not sure I fully accept your "no progression" theory here, Tobold.

If that were the case, we'd see similar numbers of players having completed each level of content, which simply isn't the case (see http://failpug.blogspot.com/2010/05/too-easy-or-too-hard.html).

What I think we're seeing is a general progression with an excepton, which is that Coliseum was exceptionally easy.
 
Another example of what I don't appreciate about the direction MMOs have taken since about 2003. If I wanted to play a dance game I'd get a Wii. If I wanted to play Simon I'd get a Simon.

If the whole end-game thing was just what you ended up with there, with the tank tanking and the healer healing then I'd be much more interested in playing on once I hit the level cap. Throw in some DPS and crowd control and you have all the fun I can use.

End-game content didn't get too "difficult" or too "easy", it just got too fiddly.
 
Personally I'd love if it if you HAD to complete each heroic before being allowed into a raid, then each raid (in release order) before the next, seriously.

I have been running Naxx (kt only) for the achievement and I'm sick of wiping. People simply think "oh I overgear it, we can zerg". Noone even listens to the "stay 10y away from each other".

Force people to do ALL the content or at least add in attuenement and long required key quests.
 
Tobold, I think you are mistaken in one point: you seem to think that every content should be topical. It is not for endgame raids.

While every instance on the way to 80 will still be run by leveling characters, only the last two endgame raids are current content.

Would you do Dead Mines other than just for fun at lvl 50? It's the same with raids, once ICC came out Ulduar went from current to historical content.

That's just the way it is, get over it ;)

In regards to Heigan: I think i still could do the dance. On the other hand last weekly quest we died horrible on Noth because none of the 4 druids and 1 mage remembered about the curse :-D. So maybe I could not do the dance but I'll probably never know because Naxxramas is dead.
 
While every instance on the way to 80 will still be run by leveling characters, only the last two endgame raids are current content.

But why would that have to be so? If you can make EVERY level 80 dungeon current content, why can't you make EVERY raid dungeon current content? You'd just need to give out the same rewards for everything, just like heroics all give out the same level of rewards.
 
You know that I agree with you about this :)

My suggestion on how to change this and still have every player see all the content can be read here.

And the
Bossfights which don't resemble a scripted choreography, but feel like a bloody fight.
is number 36 of my wish list for WoW.
 
But why would that have to be so? If you can make EVERY level 80 dungeon current content, why can't you make EVERY raid dungeon current content? You'd just need to give out the same rewards for everything, just like heroics all give out the same level of rewards.

I think the answer is time.

Imagine Naxxramas, Sartharion, Malygos, Ulduar, Trial and Icecrown were all current content. Some players would want to run all of them every week which would translate to 5-6 raidnights if all raids have more difficulty than just farming.

We did that in 2006 when raiding Molten Bore for trousers, Blackwing Lair to equip everyone and Ahn Qiraj as endgame. It did burn out people and I'm kinda glad I never got deeper into Naxx40 than AnubRhekan.

Today it's hard enough for average raid guilds getting people to show up 3 nights to get some progression done. I guess even more guilds would break than do now with only ICC as raidguild content and ToC for offnight pugs.
 
I remember an ocean of tears in TBC when keying and gear progression were much stricter and there was a high need to run "older" content again (SSC/TK as opposed to MH/BT)... and again... and again. And that was an ocean made by a considerably lower number of people, since raiding was still not made with the "everyone should see all content" philosophy.

The question you would want to answer here is "does learning the Heigan dance really improve raiding skills?" Answer would probably be very subjective, but I'd say, yes, in moderate amounts, especially melee and the tank, since it develops the skill to dps and tank (use abilities) while having to watch what is happening on the ground in front of you, and while constantly moving.
This goes much less so for healers and casters, who only have to move while "dancing", which honestly, I dont see as a major learning stepping stone, since they are not doing anything else raiders usually do.

Putting aside the particular example, I do agree that experience in raiding more different content produces better raiders. Especially when that different content is, for example, Ulduar done in appropriate gear.

All other things being equal, I would always choose a lesser geared guild-recruit who did Ulduar in 213/226 gear, than a 264 geared player who only did ToC and 11/12 ICC. But this does not mean I would like to have to run Ulduar for the millionth time just because 1 person needs it for the "keying", "attuning" or any "prequest" necessity there might be :)
 
And one more thing, to answer your comment:

"But why would that have to be so? If you can make EVERY level 80 dungeon current content, why can't you make EVERY raid dungeon current content? You'd just need to give out the same rewards for everything, just like heroics all give out the same level of rewards."

Because then Blizzard would be balancing the number of badges needed on: Heroics, Old raids, New raids, which would basically mean you HAVE to run all content (at least in the start) to get the necessary emblems to get gear.

In terms of gear, it would be much much worse: gear would be spread out, and there would be pressure to do everything. Imagine that best melee trinket is in Ulduar on Vezzax... and best caster trinket is on Saphiron (and you cannot enter Saph's lair without clearing 4 wings, like it was before), and best tanking trinket is on Sart3D... that would be hell-ish, to say the least.

Being made to run all content for specific piece of gear that might never drop would mean extending your raids thin... and possibly even more managerial nightmare for officers.

Content that takes hours (raids) opposed to minutes (heroics) needs to be made obsolete (via rewards), so people can let go of it.

I know I would be seriously pissed if I had to do one more Thorim10 HM for the Trinket That Never Dropped.
 
We are a new guild. We started raiding less than 3 months ago. We cleared Naxx a couple of times, including The Dedicated Few. We regularly venture into Ulduar, our first Yogg kill happened Monday last week, now we're working on getting to Algalon and wondering with how few Lights in the Darkness we can get away. We did TotC a number of times, obviously quickly got bored with it and are now looking at trying TotGC. We're also 6 bosses deep into ICC, which we're doing without the buff, because it's more fun that way. Not everyone does what "everyone" does. You just need to stand up and say "I want this" .. and then you need to put your money where your mouth is.
 
Because then Blizzard would be balancing the number of badges needed on: Heroics, Old raids, New raids, which would basically mean you HAVE to run all content (at least in the start) to get the necessary emblems to get gear.

This is done in Cataclysm, there will be a cap on how many badges you can get per week and it will be less than you could get when running all content.

I'm very glad about that because frankly I am very tired of running the same 5-man heroics to get raidgear faster. All through T7 T8 T9 T10. Yikes.
 
The question you would want to answer here is "does learning the Heigan dance really improve raiding skills?"

I don't think so.
I think Tobold just thinks that old raids should be easier and due to the 'scripted choreography' they often aren't.

From my point, of course, I ask wonder about this:
So, I fight Heigan and this guy is obviously able to do this acid splash thing. Now, why does he do it in this fixed pattern? How am I supposed to get the feeling of fighting Heigan when he behaves like an idiot who doesn't even want to win?
 
My guild took a run through Naxx a couple of months ago and had one death. Not one wipe, one death. So I disagree with your overall point.

But, I had a similar experience on Heigan. 8/10 raid members died, me (healer) and tank were alive. We made it 22 minutes until the tank lagged out and died.

I have still never died to the dance on that fight, not even my first time there.
 
I disagree. Noone was in Molten Core because they wanted to be.

We were in Molten Core because that was the only way to gear up new raiders so we could do the content we actually wanted to do. The rewards in the earlier raids were ALWAYS worse than the ones in the later raids.

Encounters in MC were not EASIER that BWL or even Naxx - they were just tuned for a lower level of gear just like the raids today.
 
We were in Molten Core because that was the only way to gear up new raiders so we could do the content we actually wanted to do.

And why did you want to do the 'content you actually wanted to do' ?

In my opinion this kind of argument is dangerously near to the 'I want epics, but don't want to spend time to get them.'

I prefer to grind MC+BWL to grinding BWl twice as long. For: In the end content is added to the game at a fixed speed.
 
@Nils

To clarify, out of the 40 people needed to do Molten Core ~35 had gotten all the learning, wiping, excitement, and enjoyment out of it that we could when it was progression and gearing up time for us.

I am talking about having to be there on 'off-nights' to gear up the recruits so they could contribute to the content were were doing on 'real' raid nights. The pool of already geared (and skilled) people wanting to jump guilds was painfully small.

Today, I like that we can add people (often alts or rerolls who have alreaded experienced all the glory of Naxx and Ulduar) and gear them somewhat quickly without having to revisit the content we already got all of the fun out of.

I like the option of never having to go back there again when I can still recite Kel's speech from memory.

P.S. Love the Heigan dance. So. Much. Fun. Also love Malygos.
 

To clarify, out of the 40 people needed to do Molten Core ~35 had gotten all the learning, wiping, excitement, and enjoyment out of it that we could when it was progression and gearing up time for us.


That's a massive overexaggeration.
40 mans didn't require 40 perfectly equipped people.

You didn't go back to MC to equip 5 people. You instead just equipped them on-the-go while doing BWL.

Now, sometimes people still needed stuff from MC, because the item-turnover rate wasn't as huge as today. But that's not what you complain about.
 
The issue with progression is that WoW is based on two contradictory impulses. First, to have endless progression and achievement--somewhat inherent in the diku genre. Second to be accessible to even the most casual players, which is what separates pre- and post-WoW diku. If you make people go through those older raids first, you cut off a lot of folks because they're just not going to find groups to do it. If you make the rewards equal, you devalue the new content.

Their compromise is heroics to gear up and one small set of current content. And old raids stand empty.

EQ2 dealt with the same issues by a more shallow gear progression and only raising the level cap every other expansion. The release of a new expansion usually sees more casual players using new improved quest gear to take on the previous expansions raids and perhaps working their way into the new content towards the end of the development cycle.

As an aside, the Heigan dance is exactly what I find so awful about WoW raiding. It's overly scripted and gimmicky. I always preferred EQ2 because I felt my actual ability to play my character was more about our success than my ability to play a complex SIMON pattern or have the perfect set of gear.
 
The issue with progression is that WoW is based on two contradictory impulses. First, to have endless progression and achievement--somewhat inherent in the diku genre. Second to be accessible to even the most casual players, which is what separates pre- and post-WoW diku. If you make people go through those older raids first, you cut off a lot of folks because they're just not going to find groups to do it. If you make the rewards equal, you devalue the new content.

The current way to solve this is also the one they want to perfect in Cataclysm:
There will be Tx and T(x+1) players. Whenever new content is released, the Tx players grind the T(x+1) gear in heroics and other trivial content and the T(x+1) players grind their T(x+2) items in the new raid dungeon.

Thus, at all times you either have the best or second best T-set.

This solution combines the contardictory impulses at the cost of a whole lot of immersion:

"Fiery Crown of Elements"
Could be a lot of things..
In WoW it is the head part of the Tx set. Yeah.. I am not impressed.
 
But that's not what you complain about

I am not complaining, I am saying that changes are good.

In Classic WoW the option to gear up to go to raids were previous raids. Period.

No way would we have taken an alt in dungeon blues and geared him 'on the fly' in BWL. For us thw margin of error was too narrow. Maybe you were way more leet, Nils.

I am saying I like having the option not to go back to Naxx after we've progressed past it. You can always go back for fun for lower level gear just like you could go back to MC. Dungeons have always been a 'progression' in the sequence released and/or tuned for a specific level of gear NOT in complexity.

The changes are good, man.
 
At the end of vanilla people were still raiding MC, but few people saw Naxx, so I'm not sure which approach is better.

In modern WoW raiding, raids need to execute (by which I mean don't stand if fire and do the dance) and also pass gear/player skill checks. Naxx was under tuned even at launch so it's hard to see either in that place, but one example of a gear/player skill check is patchwerk. Another would be not getting overwhelmed by adds on gothic.

When you come back and do the raids while overgearing them, you will basically get the impression that every fight is an execution check since you'll pass all the gear/skill checks easily. However, when you do raids (at least in Ulduar and ICC) in the gear for which they were balanced, then you will find that you wipe because you're tank didn't mitigate enough, or your healer didn't heal enough, or your dps didn't do enough damage. Also, you will wipe because someone stood in fire.
 
No way would we have taken an alt in dungeon blues and geared him 'on the fly' in BWL. For us thw margin of error was too narrow. Maybe you were way more leet, Nils.

You took 40 people and had them do the whole MC just so that five of them were perhaps a little bit better geared for the subsequent BWL run?

If you had so much time: What had you done if there wasn't a reason to do MC?
Would you have logged out after BWL?

We also always did MC, but not just to gear ourselves, but mainly because we enjoyed playing WoW and the gear was a good motivation.

I'm sorry for being so stubborn :), but you were the absolut minority.

On our server there were BWL and MC and later AQ/Naxx raids. You just participated if you wanted. We had a server wide DKP system.

Now, our server didn't finish Naxx, so, Yes: This system was less efficient. But it certainly was a lot of fun, because everybody could do any raid he wanted and the old content was never forgotten.

The underlying point is this:
Blizzard released content at some pace and that pace is the real limit. You can concentrate all players only at the latest content, what is what they do now, or you can distribute the players over some range of content, what is what they did before WotLK.

If you concentrate players on the latest content only, however, you need to consider that the players spend all their time just grinding that! wich is rather boring.

In my opinion, it is a terrible waste of ressources to throw away content every few months.
 
Nils, the one thing that you and Tobold both miss is that after a few months of raiding the same place it gets really really tiring. I would say you are very wrong in assuming people who raided MC for fun were the majority (after it stopped being relevant of course).

Here, let me give you another example from TBC - before they removed the attunements from Kael & Vashj, if you were short a healer and you wanted to take an alt or a reroll instead, you had to slog through both dungeons to attune them. Let me tell you, there were loud groans and sighs in vent when the decision was called for another attunement run, and the reasons should be obvious.

In conclusion, to make previous content mandatory (or mandatory through relevance) is an absolutely disastrous design decision. They are optional at the moment (nobody is stopping you to go there if you want to) and that's good game design.


P.S. Tobold, MC was very much empty at the end of vanilla, everyone went to ZG to outfit their alts. Nobody did MC for fun. And Kara was different since that was the 10 man content, but take SSC which was the first real raid of the expansion - that was 100% empty at the end of BC.
 
@Nils

A lot of people developed a drinking problem during those MC 'gearing run' days. Classic raiding was a bit more hard core than I care to remember. If we weren't doing MC runs we might have done more BWL or PvPed or whatever else. The point is for most of us it was no longer fun but something we were doing 'For the Good of the Raid'. Based on conversations I've had with other old timers I really don't think we were the minority. But just like your experience that is really empirical evidence.

I think we are talking about two separate things:

(1) Raiders who have been through the progression and now have a short-cut to catch a toon up somewhat in gear terms to current progression raiding - I think having this option is good. As Tobold says, having the opportunity to play different classes can be fun and prevents burnout.

(2) People just starting to raid having a short cut to ICC and NEVER experiencing the rest of the raid content because that's where the leet lootz are. I believe you think this is unfortunate. I am glad I got to see all the content while it was challenging so I am likely to agree with you.

However, to me it seems there is nothing stopping a guild through starting in blues and progressing through all the content other than human nature. If this is what you and Tobold are rueing I am with you.
 
..to make previous content mandatory (or mandatory through relevance) is an absolutely disastrous design decision. They are optional at the moment (nobody is stopping you to go there if you want to) and that's good game design.

This.
 

However, to me it seems there is nothing stopping a guild through starting in blues and progressing through all the content other than human nature.


There's also nothing stopping anybody from enjoying the 1000th MC run other than human nature, either. Human nature is what it is all about.

I agree with your points (1) and (2). The current system can be perfected in my opinion. It is not as good as it could be.
 
Great post here. I think you can go even further and comment on how the 'buff' completly ruins any type of progression as well. If you are having trouble on an encounter you can either farm more gear, save a lockout and spend your time just working on that encounter, or you can wait a couple of weeks until the raid gets another buff and kills the boss.

It has made it so the only difficult part of ICC is actually getting a group together consistently (which is easy). I was never a PvPer until ICC, now I don't care about being 10/12 in hards like I am, cause it feels like the only reason I am 10/12 is because I showed up, so now all of my time is going to PvP.
 
"I don't remember Molten Core standing empty at the end of vanilla WoW, or Karazhan at the end of the Burning Crusade. I like choice, and right now you don't get much choice in which raid dungeons you could visit."

Yes but less than 1% of all players finished the end instance, Naxxramas. At least now most people have seen the latest instances.
 
Yes but less than 1% of all players finished the end instance, Naxxramas. At least now most people have seen the latest instances.

Nobody says that vanille WoW was perfect. It wasn't. But the current version isn't perfect either.

Some things have been lost on the way and I think Blizzard should try and find them.
 
Heigan was probably my favorite fight in Naxx. It was the only fight I knew of where 25 people went in and 3 people could still complete the encounter if they knew what they were doing.

I like the current system where you can gear up and go straight for the end, but I think there should be some form of progression path even if it was just "Clear each of the prior raids at least once on one character." That way people have to go through the gear and coordination checks at least one time (possibly have specific fights in older raids which must be done such as Heigan, Thaddius, Hodir, or Mimiron).
 
@Nils

I don't think forced raid progression is one of them. ;)
 
Blizzard didn’t kill progression raiding because they hated progression raiding. They killed progression raiding because it kept people from raiding. Raiding has been much more popular in Wrath than in vanilla or TBC because it’s so much easier to get your foot in the door.

The price we pay is that the progression raid model, which is a neat idea, had to go away. But it’s completely worth it to get more people raiding – the goal should always be to have more people enjoying the game, right?
 
WoW increaed it's subscriber numbers until BC. Since then Blizzard didn't make any number public any more...

Maybe that's because of the chinese problems, but I am nor sure that's the only reason.

Repeating my comment om Numtinis blog:
My sincere hope is that Blizzard is moving WoW into the instant gratification corner such that it can be complemented by their new MMO: This new one would then be EVE on the ground. A fanatsy sandbox with trade, distances to overcome and ONE massive world on one ONE (or a few) massive server. *dreaming*
 
Nils, fitting ~300k accounts (with many of those being alts) in a game that's all about the vastness of space is one thing. And even then crashes occur when there are large battles going on. Creating a single shard experience for 5-10 million players in a world with terrain rendering, physics and decent quality graphics is technically very difficult. I agree it would be awesome as hell but unfortunately don't see any magical technical solutions that would allow for it.

Also, I am not sure sandbox games can sustain a AAA quality title. We know PVP oriented MMOs cannot, for example.
 
Also, I am not sure sandbox games can sustain a AAA quality title. We know PVP oriented MMOs cannot, for example.

This is derailing the topic a bit. But if Tobold doesn't mind ;)

I disagree with your statement. So far I have seen exactly one really polished MMO: World of Warcraft.

All PvP and sandbox MMOs were incredibly unpolished - even compared to AoC or WAR. Consider Darkfall or EVE. Those GUIs could have been made by me and a friend 15 years ago during summer holidays.

The trick with one shard is to distribute the population. WoW servers need to be especially small, because everybody can teleport wherever he wants instantly. It's not a problem to have many players online in one universe at once. It only becomes problematic if they come together in one place.

Besides: A sandbox doesn't necessarily need one shard. I'd be perfectly happy with a sever with concurrently online 500 players. But one universe is very good for advertising.

Think about Blizzards options: They want to make another MMO, but what should it be like?

Blizzard were fools if they made a WoW clone. Firstly, because they’d only steal subscribers from WoW and secondly, because the clone would have to compete against WoW – and it would lose in all aspects but graphics.

The new MMO has to stand out! Blizzard is too smart to clone WoW.
 
raid progression makes sense if you actually participate in it. Tobold, you skipped virtually all the raid content this expansion, if you had actually raided the whole way through you would see the superiority of the current raid setup vs. Vanilla/TBC.

My only complaint is that every week my guild has to steam through the first 4 easy bosses in ICC before doing anything more important; in Ulduar/Naxx you had more freedom of movement.
 
Dance moves made me quit WoW.

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24702401849&sid=1&pageNo=1
 
Perhaps I missed something but what is the problem here?

Blizzard feels like they have the mandate to make all of the normal mode content accessible, which puts a ceiling on the difficulty of any normal mode encounter. If they were to adopt your suggestion (rather assumption) that progression = rise in difficulty of encounter mechanics, then everything less than the final raid of an expansion would be very uninteresting for everyone above the lowest common denominator of skill. You can't plot out a difficulty/learning curve for an expansion's raids, and tune them appropriately, without alienating your casual player base that drops in and out of the game frequently. What curve there is is shallow (most everything in ICC at release was an order of magnitude more difficult than Naxx fights), and each raid has its own progression in difficulty from the first boss to the final/wing boss(es).

Cataclysm might go a ways towards addressing these concerns by having more, smaller raids per tier and destroying the disparity between 10 and 25 man gear. "10 man strict" raiding in the current does exhibit the sort of progression you're looking for Tobold; that will be the norm come Cataclysm.
 
@ Ben:

So what you are saying is that Blizzard solved the problem by making more players hardcore players. That's funny :)

The casuals, those who do not raid regularily, still don't see every instance (just the latest one), but at least the hardcore can easily replace players now when they burn out.

I don't think Blizzard intention was to make life easier for hardcore raiders. I thought they wanted all the players to see as much content as possible..
 
@Nils

"It's not a problem to have many players online in one universe at once. It only becomes problematic if they come together in one place."

I don't disagree with that but I think you ignore the fact that people tend to congregate. There are always focus points where people get together. If nothing else than to spectate the latest attraction du jour. And that can become problematic when you scale up to the population needed to support a AAA title.


"The new MMO has to stand out! Blizzard is too smart to clone WoW."

Clone? No, that would be silly. Going to raid SpaceCrown Citadel with marines and medics won't be the brightest choice to make. However that does not automatically translate to sandbox free for all gameplay. If there is anything that Blizzard has mastered these past few years it is how to control the player experience. You have little to no such control in a sandbox. There are still plenty of ways to differentiate from WoW while still adhering to a theme park MMO, however, and my $0.02 guess is that they won't move away from it.
 
I haven't read up on Cataclysm in a long while, but isn't there a possibility that it might give old raids a make-over, both visually and content wise?

I may be just out of the loop, but it seems to make sense that if the world is being changed dramatically, the dungeons and lairs, and hence the raids would be changed as well.

Anyone know about this?

I have a feeling I missed the news that this is confirmed either in/out of Cataclysm, and at work this one of the few safe sites or I probably would go find out right now.

In any case, this will of course be much less a problem for most players once Cata hits, as re-rolling en masse restores the progression for most people.
 
@Nils

You said: "Bossfights which don't resemble a scripted choreography, but feel like a bloody fight."

I'm curious as to what you mean by that statement precisely? Does Patchwerk constitute a "bloody fight"? Marrowgar? Versus the highly scripted encounters like Heigan, the Four Horsemen, how about Freya, Mimiron, or Yogg? I'm just curious as to where you draw the line and what consitutes the fun side of the line for yourself.

For me, however, I enjoy the scripted battles a lot. The technical execution challenge that comes from them is refreshing, as opposed to it being simple race between the boss and the raid (whether it be racing to hit the enrage timer or racing to keep the tank/raid healed up).
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
@ Talarian:

Patchwork feels like a bloody fight, although I'd prefer a less artificial concept than threat/aggro.

Of course, WoW cannot simply make all fights tank/spank and be done. Boss fights would need to be very different.

This is more a general point I make, not really connected to WoW:
It is possible to make fights that do not need scripted moves, and are still interesting. WoW went in the other direction.
 
There is a real simple solution to this problem- have dynamic loot tables for bosses and dungeons.
Like "tier1" loot , "tier2" etc. And assign the better loots to all dungeons. This way the old content would not be forgotten .

Another very simple but nice thing to do is split models from stats - so people could look unique and not wearing the same exact tier du jour.

Frankly it puzzles my why blizzard never implemented those things

maybe they saving them for next rpg?
 

Another very simple but nice thing to do is split models from stats - so people could look unique and not wearing the same exact tier du jour.

Frankly it puzzles my why blizzard never implemented those things


Because this will be the final deathblow for the idea that items are actually items and not abstract stat-increasing buffs.

No doubt, WoW will eventually go this way. But I certainly won't like it.
 
I don't know, scripted events always felt like riding a bicycle to me. you might get blurry on the steps, but you never really forget them and after a few tries - you're back to perfect form again.

at least I never forgot vast majority of those mechanics, but that may be due to a fact that I always had to compensate for certain playstyle quirks with better knowledge of encounters, so its hard to forget something you worked so hard to remember until its subconscious.
 
Late to the party here but I want to weigh in anyway. BTW there is a huge thread on the official WoW forums (US Raids and Dungeons) covering this topic right now. Topic suggested by Blizzard Tobold? ;)

Some thoughts: a gear reset via badges was a critical stopgap measure at the end of TBC, when most content was 25-man only and came in one difficulty setting, medium to very hard. People who had not geared up were left behind with little or no hope of advancement; people who did not want to run 25's ran out of advancement options after Kara.

However Blizzard went too far with the reset this time in the name of accessibility and obsoleted everything but the current tier of content. From what I read it is extremely hard to find a PuG for something like say Ulduar. Bored of running ICC after 4 months? New alt to 80 = get carried through insanely easy heroics for a week by overgeared players running for badges > go right back to ICC. It actually shrinks available content. Not only that but as people start to expect absurdly easy gearing up from the reset it seems more and more pointless to put a lot of effort into gearing up by raiding the current tier.

Making the heroic badge reset model permanent was an overreaction given that there is now 10 man "normal" (easy) and extensive badge gear options at each tier. It's way way more viable now for the average casual to do raiding progression with a weekly PuG or two even if the groups they get cannot kill all bosses in the dungeon.

So what is the solution? The suggestion I like best is to reinstitute progression, making gear drop at a high rate in raids that are more than a tier old so people do not get stuck too far behind. At the same time you can introduce 5 man progression that is a tier or two behind, being careful to set new dungeon drops/badges so it is worthwhile to raid old raids but 5-man only supercasuals never hit a brick wall in progression.

Another possibility would be to drop frost badge equivalents from the old raids. However you don't want an incentive that forces hardcores to run every dungeon every week for the entire expansion. If you had been running Naxx every week up until now you would be extremely sick of it. This is particularly true in WOTLK, with 4 versions (ToC) or 2 versions (ICC) of each dungeon to run each week. Cataclysm will knock it down to one run per dungeon per week, reducing burnout somewhat... but it still would not be ideal.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool