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Paelos
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Reply #210 on: May 23, 2013, 03:18:02 PM

This doesn't really resolve the problem of there being a way smaller number of working mechanics in a trinity MMO when you're allowing groups to be as small as one or two people. Chronicles also supported two players and it didn't make them any more interesting or long-lasting. What you're asking for, content for 2-3 players, is essentially what we got with Scenarios and you only need to look at this board to confirm that they didn't hold anyone's interest very long.

Scenarios were a tacked on replacement for dungeons that failed to deliver on both rewards and fun. They failed on their own merits, not because they happened to be for 3 people. They could be fixed somewhat by offering heroic versions of them and increasing the points, but they will never be raid content or dungeon content, nor were they designed with that intent. People wanted raid and dungeons that they ran over and over and over and over again in prior xpacs.

You and I debate this a lot, but the idea that any large majority of players want challenge in this game is mostly laughable. They want completion. They want achievements. The achievement tracker alone added years to people's subs because it game them something ridiculous to do besides the raid progression grind. They have also developed over the 8 years of this game a very keen sense of when the fun is intentionally being withheld from them and strung out over time for no reason other than retention. They don't like that.

People would run the same shit over and over if it's fun. They've done it before, they'll do it again. If they have a good time with it, they'll keep upping the difficulty in terms of a scaled system until they stop having fun. What causes people to quit outright is running into a brick wall where they have no shot at advancing. That's what happened in Cataclysm. As for the trinity concern, if those 2 people don't have a healer, give them self heals. If they don't have a tank, give them a pet. If they have a healer in the group, adjust the mob hitpoints. Lock people into their specs inside the zones. These mechanics are already in the game, and have been in several prior raid encounters going back to TBC.

Your friends love playing with you if they think they are getting somewhere and it's encouraged to do so (not mandated). Would a lot of people run something solo? Sure, but what if you got 3x the points and 3x the drop percentages by grabbing just one more friend? And what if you got even more for adding another? What if the system encouraged you to group without hitting you in the face with it? Not just in raiding, but in all quests and dailies as well?

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Rokal
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Reply #211 on: May 23, 2013, 03:43:53 PM

Scenarios were a tacked on replacement for dungeons that failed to deliver on both rewards and fun. They failed on their own merits, not because they happened to be for 3 people. They could be fixed somewhat by offering heroic versions of them and increasing the points, but they will never be raid content or dungeon content, nor were they designed with that intent. People wanted raid and dungeons that they ran over and over and over and over again in prior xpacs.

How were they a replacement for dungeons when they launched along side 9 dungeons in MoP? They were an attempt to create faster/cheaper content that could be done with anyone, not a trinity group. They are a reaction to GW2. They are fairly rewarding (VP wise) and they did add heroic versions in 5.3, but they aren't especially well-liked by the community because that style of content is inherently less interesting than something that is really designed for a larger and more specific (trinity) group and can take advance of those details to do more interesting things with the fights. All the scenarios and fights in them feel pretty similar but why wouldn't they? By being so flexible to group composition, gear, and skill level they have very inflexible encounter constraints.

You and I debate this a lot, but the idea that any large majority of players want challenge in this game is mostly laughable.

You're getting off topic here. I didn't argue that most players wanted challenge, it's pretty obvious that the opposite is true. What I'm arguing is that this sort of system would make the carrots that keep people subbed, which have vanishing appeal with every new expansion, even less effective. Players would be able to solo all the content in the game easily, decide (rightly) that it wasn't much fun or something they necessarily wanted to keep doing, and then unsub until something interesting comes along again. It's the sort of behavior we already see with LFR which at least has some mechanics to keep people coming back and vaguely has the appearance of having more interesting fights than tank & spank.

People would run the same shit over and over if it's fun. They've done it before, they'll do it again. If they have a good time with it, they'll keep upping the difficulty in terms of a scaled system until they stop having fun.

This is naive. Most players would not intentionally increase the difficulty unless the rewards greatly increased by doing so. Look at D3 and Monster Power for an easy example of this. Even if you increased the drop rate to incentive grouping I'm guessing that most players would simply play solo with the lower drop rate because it's the easiest thing to do which requires the least work. The suggestion that Blizzard could add pets, etc., to open up encounter design also sounds naive when you consider how unpopular vehicle quests/fights have been which attempted to do something similar and enable trinity gameplay with any group composition.
Paelos
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Reply #212 on: May 23, 2013, 03:55:45 PM

D3 and MP is a good example. The original version sucked because the rewards were off. Now that they fixed those? People are looking to do MP10 stuff as the goal.

People are driven by rewards in these games, not the challenges. It's the min-max thing. If you offer them much bigger rewards and chances for grouping, they will. They've done that before too, but the choice will be theirs, and the level of involvement will be theirs too. Right now it's a bianary decision. Do you have 10 functional people? Yes/no. All LFR does is toss in idiots to fill the gaps, but that doesn't increase the fun. That just makes it easier for Blizzard to convince players they aren't spinning their wheels. Fun with friends was what kept people subbed for years, long before LFR was even a thing.

The carrot that kept people subbed was other people they enjoyed. Going completely solo isn't the goal, but going completely organized isn't the goal either. What I'm proposing is a happy medium between those points where you can run whatever you like with people you like, and suffer no fools in the process.

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Reply #213 on: May 24, 2013, 12:28:00 PM

Heroic scenarios went in on Tuesday, by the way.

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Reply #214 on: May 26, 2013, 08:12:29 AM

Exactly.  Solo content in WOW is fishing or killing ten kobolds and getting shitty blue rewards at the end of a quest chain.  And the reason to want to solo it over a non-MMO game is twofold:  1.  The world in WOW is *huge*.  It's got a lot of stuff to do and will keep someone occupied for a long time.  Take a game like the Witcher-  there's only so much to do.  And this example brings me to my second point.....2.  It's very non-linear.  Most single player offline games are fairly linear, although you do get the odd gem like Fallout or Skyrim. 
 

I've often thought that an offline MMO will... not be the next WoW killer, but certainly scratch the soloers itch much better than shoehorning solo content into a multiplayer game.

In most MMOs, I turn off general chat, and ignore everyone. I'm pretty much playing offline already. Well, I use the auction house system if there is one.

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Reply #215 on: June 06, 2013, 08:42:46 PM

New feature for 5.4 is flexible raids. 10-25 people, loot/difficulty between LFR and Normal, separate lockout from either. Sounds pretty similar to what some people in this thread were looking for.

Quote
    -Bring anywhere from 10 to 25 people to your raid and the difficulty will automatically scale.
    -Works with battletags, so you can bring friends from other realms.
    -Item level of loot is between Raid Finder and Normal and loot is awarded with the Raid Finder style loot system.
    -Separate lockout from Raid Finder and Normal, allowing you to do all three difficulties.


Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raids in World of Warcraft have a long history of not just challenging players, but changing and evolving as the years and expansions go by. As with everything in the game, we’re always thinking about what more we can bring to raiding to improve the experience for an even wider range of players. While Normal and Heroic Raids are a great fit for many, we feel there’s another gap worth filling—and to that end, we’re currently working on the development of a new type of Raid for the next major content update: Flexible Raiding.

One Size Does Not Fit All
While it’s impossible to fit every player into a neat, tidy archetype, we recognize that we could be providing a better experience to one broad category of raider: social groups comprised predominantly of friends and family, and smaller guilds that do their best to include as many members in their Raid outings possible.

During the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, the 10-player Normal difficulty served these groups of players pretty well, but the unification of 10-player and 25-player into a single difficulty effectively eliminated that niche. While Raid Finder mode is extremely accessible, it doesn’t provide smaller groups with a tight-knit social experience while progressing through the content. In Patch 5.4, we’re planning to introduce a new mode of raiding that allows us to deliver the sort of experience that we think these players are looking for.

/Flex
To fill this void, we’re in the process of developing a new Flexible Raid system, which includes a new difficulty that sits between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty, while still allowing friends, family, or pick-up groups to play together. This difficulty will be available for premade groups of 10–25 players, including any number in between. That means whether you have 11, 14, or 23 friends available for a Raid, they’ll all be able to participate.

The Flexible Raid system is designed so that the challenge level will scale depending on how many players you have in the Raid. So if you switch between 14 players one week and 22 the next, the difficulty will adjust automatically. Keep in mind that unlike Raid Finder, no matchmaking is available, so you’ll need to make sure you invite people to attend—but if some can’t make it, it’s not the end of the world (or the Raid). You’ll also still be able to invite Real ID or Battle.net friends cross-realm. Who you choose to bring and what Item Level gear they’ll need to join your merry band is up to you, too—there’s no Item Level requirement for this Raid difficulty.

Dressed to Kill
A new Raid difficulty also means a new Item Level. Flexible mode will award loot with an Item Level that falls between Raid Finder and Normal quality, and will use the Raid Finder’s “per person” loot system, specialization choices, and bonus rolls, so you won’t need to worry about bringing the “wrong” person and having them win that piece of gear you’ve long been waiting for.

You Have the Keys
We plan to unlock the Flexible Raid difficulty in wings, similar to Raid Finder, but on an accelerated timetable. This new difficulty also has a separate Raid lockout from Raid Finder and Normal difficulty, allowing you to take part in all three if you so desire. You’ll also be able to complete portions of your “Glory of the Orgrimmar Raider” raid meta- achievement in Flexible mode as well as in Normal or Heroic to earn cosmetic rewards such as an epic mount. This will allow Raid groups the opportunity to switch off nights between raids to complete achievements. Finally, taking part in Flexible, Normal, or Heroic difficulty will provide access to additional rewards that won’t be available in Raid Finder.

Getting Down to Brass Tacks
As with any in-development feature, we’re continuing to refine how the Flexible Raid system will work, and we look forward to hearing your constructive feedback from your experiences on the Public Test Realm when the new system goes live.
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Reply #216 on: June 06, 2013, 08:51:53 PM

If it was 5-25, it might have been enough to lure me back in for a few months until Hex. It's a nice feature, and I'm not sure why it took them this long, but it just isn't enough for me.

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Paelos
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Reply #217 on: June 06, 2013, 09:06:17 PM

Wow. I never though they would actually do it. It's a great first step.

Now the next step is to take it to 5.

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Rokal
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Reply #218 on: June 06, 2013, 10:08:20 PM

Seems like a decent feature and, again, like LFR it's encouraging that they'll be able to balance normal difficulty for composed/consistent raid groups without having to nerf normal mode or alienate more casual raid groups.

Still, this now means they are balancing 4 raid difficulties for every patch (more if you count 10/24 separately). I'm also curious how many of the fights are going to work if the number of people you have in the group is variable. X people need to soak sort of things. On 10-man it might be 3. On 25-man it might be 5. On flexible raid it might be... 3-5, depending on your size, or maybe they'll just take the easy route out and make it not really matter how many people soak the ability, similar to LFR. Again, making the mechanics not matter makes the raid less interesting, but as long as it doesn't impact normal mode it doesn't really effect existing raid groups.

I guess this is the big 5.4 feature. Bummer, I was really hoping they'd add scaling for older dungeons so that I could run places like Mechanaar at 90 (95, 100, etc.)
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Reply #219 on: June 06, 2013, 10:14:52 PM

Haha, fucking Mechanar. Well, to each their own.

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Reply #220 on: June 06, 2013, 10:19:22 PM

Hey, at least it's not Arcatraz.  why so serious?

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Reply #221 on: June 07, 2013, 06:19:27 AM

Neato, good on Blizzard. Too late for me but I can't say I don't appreciate the change.

Sucks that flexible doesn't just replace normal level raiding period for simplicity's sake but well with established systems, what can you do?

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Paelos
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Reply #222 on: June 07, 2013, 06:21:55 AM

Sucks that flexible doesn't just replace normal level raiding period for simplicity's sake but well with established systems, what can you do?

I think if it's a success, it will in the next expansion. At least that's my hope.

There's a solid chance I will resub now with 5.4 considering they are adding pretty what I'm asking for, if just shy of the lower end numbers. I want to support this move.

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Lakov_Sanite
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Reply #223 on: June 07, 2013, 07:20:31 AM

Quote
    -Separate lockout from Raid Finder and Normal, allowing you to do all three difficulties.

 Facepalm

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Paelos
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Reply #224 on: June 07, 2013, 07:21:41 AM

Wait, wait. How is less combined lockouts a bad thing? It went over pretty well in Wrath?

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Reply #225 on: June 07, 2013, 07:25:25 AM

I can hear the hardcore now: Oh great now we have to do 2 extra raids between LFR and Flexible raiding!

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Paelos
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Reply #226 on: June 07, 2013, 07:27:46 AM

I can hear the hardcore now: Oh great now we have to do 2 extra raids between LFR and Flexible raiding!

I think the actual hardcore would look at it like: good, something that will get the gear up even faster in a week.

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Miasma
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Reply #227 on: June 07, 2013, 07:41:37 AM

I literally quit the game yesterday because our raid group was semi-breaking up due to having too much turnover and not being able to do even normal level difficulty because our dps numbers are so low.  This could basically solve those problems.  Make a raid group of twelve and then if a couple people can't show up or leave the raid group it doesn't matter.

I guess this is the big 5.4 feature. Bummer, I was really hoping they'd add scaling for older dungeons so that I could run places like Mechanaar at 90 (95, 100, etc.)
A couple days ago ghostcrawler said whatever the secret thing was it might not be happening now so this wasn't it.
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Reply #228 on: June 07, 2013, 07:52:27 AM

I can hear the hardcore now: Oh great now we have to do 2 extra raids between LFR and Flexible raiding!

I think the actual hardcore would look at it like: good, something that will get the gear up even faster in a week.
A 10 second glance at the topic in the official raiding forum indicates no; they are doing exactly what I said they would.

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Reply #229 on: June 07, 2013, 08:08:14 AM

It might not share a lockout with lfr but they could make it so that you can only get loot from one.  If it uses the same lfr loot system it already locks you out from getting loot from killing the same boss twice.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 08:09:56 AM by Miasma »
Rokal
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Reply #230 on: June 07, 2013, 08:26:53 AM

I can hear the hardcore now: Oh great now we have to do 2 extra raids between LFR and Flexible raiding!

I think the actual hardcore would look at it like: good, something that will get the gear up even faster in a week.

It doesn't impact hardcore guilds. Their heroic gear from the previous tier will still be better than the LFR/Flex raid gear (probably) and they'll blow through normal mode on the first week, long before the rest of the raid areas unlock for LFR/Flex. They'll probably divide their raid into groups of alts/mains as well, to gear up mains even faster and be done with normal mode asap. Who this affects is mid-tier guilds that don't have heroic raid gear from the previous tier and who will take longer to clear normal mode and will always looking for a leg up.

I'm hoping this serves as a replacement for LFR for the latter camp. You are now only playing with your friends/guildies and the fights will presumably have *some* interesting mechanics left. Maybe. Sounds like an upgrade in any case.
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Reply #231 on: June 07, 2013, 08:30:24 AM

A 10 second glance at the topic in the official raiding forum indicates no; they are doing exactly what I said they would.

Yeah I expect the normal raiders to complain, or the guys who are midway-dabbling in heroics. Not the top end guys. They don't really care. I checked the backgrounds of the guys posting in that thread. OP is a semi-heroic guy. Here's a quote from a guy that's done all the heroics, and 77% into Throne:

Quote
"Not too worried about it being mandatory if we have something in place to award us 522 loot every week or two like SPA rep. I also like that it's cross-realm, so I'll be able to OpenRaid the meta chieves or do random runs. It gives low pop servers something else to look forward to."

Compare to a quote from a guy who does all the normals but not really any heroics:

Quote
"To me, this shows Blizzard's lack of imagination. They are basically trying to backdoor us. They did away from separate 10/25 man lockouts because they felt people felt obligated to do them both. Now we have come to 3 separate lockouts. If they want us to be excited about a something new, don't let it be such a crappy thing. Give me an Undead Paladin, then I'll be excited. My 3 year old son excretes more imagination in the toilet than this."

I think that's the difference in what you'll see.
                                

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Mithas
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Reply #232 on: June 07, 2013, 08:35:47 AM

You will always find someone that isn't happy about a new thing or a change. One of the top comments I saw on the WoWInsider post was "Great now I have to do all three". Why do people feel the need to cry about MORE options?
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Reply #233 on: June 07, 2013, 09:37:25 AM

More options aren't necessarily bad, until they are. It's bloat, it's the same theory of giving people 6 different factions to grind in one expansion. "But you aren't forced to do them all at once!" Sure that's true, you dont have to use all three raid lockouts but some will feel you have to and it will also make people get burned out on content faster.

It's just more of trying to please all people all the time and what you get left with is a convoluted mess.

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Reply #234 on: June 07, 2013, 10:09:46 AM

If you feel like you have to do everything, this is probably not the game for you.
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Reply #235 on: June 07, 2013, 10:53:44 AM

I think for a large part of the mid-level raiding players, this could replace normal raiding. If you have 15 people, you no longer have to pick and choose. You can just roll whoever shows up that day.

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Reply #236 on: June 07, 2013, 11:01:16 AM

If this existed in Wrath/Cata my guild might still be intact and playing. We often had problems with 13-14 people wanting to go on a raid but only being able to take 10.

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Reply #237 on: June 07, 2013, 11:14:07 AM

If this existed in Wrath/Cata my guild might still be intact and playing. We often had problems with 13-14 people wanting to go on a raid but only being able to take 10.



You would still make me go because none of the extra's were a tank though!  Shaking fist

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Reply #238 on: June 07, 2013, 11:19:13 AM

They've said that 5.4 is going to include a bunch of new features, so maybe there is still hope for scaling dungeons.
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Reply #239 on: June 07, 2013, 11:38:38 AM

Is one of the raid options 1 tank, 1 healer, and 13 melee dps?
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Reply #240 on: June 07, 2013, 12:10:24 PM

There are no spec requirements (or even ilvl) like in lfr so sure you could do that.  You won't kill anything though.
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Reply #241 on: June 07, 2013, 01:23:15 PM

If you feel like you have to do everything, this is probably not the game for you.

It's not about doing everything, it's about a game being so bloated with mediocre content that none of it really excels.  Take an old school vanilla epic item:Benediction/Anathema.  It was hard to get even past raiding, it meant something and yeah it was sort of a status thing but now epics mean little when they grow on trees EVEN LESS when now you don't just have an epic, it's an epic of possible item level 1 through 500.  Instead of a sword being "a sword" it's now a bunch of random numbers and properties. Essentially all items have become greens in terms of their significance.

The same rule applies for raids too, it's not just "this is the hard raid, this is the easy raid" when EVERYTHING scales, nothing has merit anymore.  What people don't realize is this is not a hardcore/casual argument, you could easily make this all about 5man dungeons, it's not about how many catasses it takes to beat something, it is about how many different ways you can beat it.  Achievement and exploration mean nothing if the journey itself is a malleable and trite thing.

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Reply #242 on: June 07, 2013, 02:28:00 PM

That's not really the case though. There are hard and easy raids still.

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Reply #243 on: June 07, 2013, 03:00:30 PM

You won't see it scale down to 5 because it takes too many fight mechanics off the table.

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Reply #244 on: June 07, 2013, 04:52:34 PM

I guess this is the big 5.4 feature. Bummer, I was really hoping they'd add scaling for older dungeons so that I could run places like Mechanaar at 90 (95, 100, etc.)

Per Blue

Quote
This is just one of the things the development team is currently working on for the next major content patch (and beyond.) This is not THE one feature. This is one of the features that we believe could really help groups who are looking for a more social experience perhaps a bit more on their own terms.

So no, it's not the big feature.

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