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Now, keep in mind that I am going to minimalize arguments into simple expressions. If you are not okay with that, quit reading.
I see two very distinct arguments playing out. While there are they obvious outliers (those that respond with the "QQ Moar plox" or the "You live in your mothers basement at 40." Removing those, I must say that we really need to get our act together and come up with some probable solutions to what appears to be a possible failure and/or what could potentially become a failure (pending on how you look at the variable in question).
I would like to also point out that forum viewers and respondents are a minority group amongst the community. While our opinions might be similar to that of the whole, this should be used for feedback. Or you can just ignore it completely.
A) The "casual" player. While there is no specific log or identity associated with this individual, I would assume they have a play range of [1, 20] hours per week. We'll call them "part time WoW players. Don't be ashamed, Americans watch more television on average than that. Commonly takes the traditional sense of a game as a mean of entertainment.
1. Learning curve associated with dungeons and/or heroics. Should the healer be responsible for, for a lack of a better description, herding the team into cooperating?
2. How long, on average, should a dungeon take to accomplish? Is it thirty minutes, one hour, etc? Keep in mind time is of the essence in this particular players mind - whether it be work, school, family, etc. Who cares. Point being they have a limited amount of time to play.
3. Are heroics for casual players? If not, should normal raids scale with normal dungeon loot and hardmode scaled with heroic loot?
4. Should mana and healing ratios be adjusted. If so, what raw data can be compiled to review for possible review?
5. Is bring the player not the class officially over? Not all classes have the same methodology of healing/crowd control/tanking/etc.
6. If the era of player/class is over, should the Dungeon Finder be removed?
7. What other variables are currently offsetting dungeons/groups?
There's probably more questions to be had, but I think if we're going to review this we should probably start here...
The primary problem associated with all of these questions is that, in quite a large way, they're correlated and given the dynamics of the situation have either a positive or negative correlation. They frequently have causation associated with them as well. As such, we're very limited in measurable outcomes unless the situation is evaluated on a class-by-class dungeon combination (e.g. Healer(X1), DPS(Y1), DPS(Y2), DPS(Y3), Tank(Z1). Symbolism example Z1-Z4 (Pally, Dru, DK, War), and it would require a rather lengthy collection and analysis. On top of that, by purposefully establishing a specific class to tank to healer it creates a paradigm that invalidates the randomization of a group (as you are selecting specific individuals and the least likely individual you would select would be a bad or new player[ which we commonly see in the random dungeon queues]).
Edited by Guppie on 12/14/2010 8:13 AM PST
On this note, I would have to agree with casual players that there is something wrong with the dungeon queue system as it stands in reference to the demands of dungeons.
Also, does anyone know of a database that shows the scaling associated with heroics to normal? The damage output for each encounter? That would be very useful in seeing exactly what is mandated of players in normal versus heroic - fight dynamics pending.
I have heard a lot of individuals say they are cancelling their accounts. I wholeheartedly agree with them if they’re being restricted to the smallest available content.
B) The hardcore player, commonly always challenging themselves to achieve specific agendas – especially in-game. I was once one of these players during the era of Everquest and I enjoyed the content tremendously as well as the motivational boost/feeling of achievement associated with beating difficult puzzles and other tasks (which is another way of looking at a game: the strategy). I would assume playtime between [20-40] hrs per week.
1. Feel that altering the current state of play might make for a poorer gaming experience/level of difficulty that they enjoy.
2. Enjoy the ability to invest a large amount of time into learning each boss fights, and the dynamics of the events. Enjoy using a multitude of different buttons – and fear that it will be trivialized if difficulty is, again, reduced.
3. Feel, generally, that Wrath of the Lich King was not of the caliber of gaming they want to experience.
4. Think that players should increase communication, and fear that failure to communicate is a primary cause for a large quantity of problems associated with casual players.
5. Think that responsibility needs to be kept on tanks and DPS to react in dynamic situations, and that if they increase healing it will just continue the trend of healers carrying the group.
While I have not really seen many other arguments/fears from the more hardcore portion of the gaming community, I am sure they have a lot of concerns beyond this. This is just what I have collected over the past few days. I have seen quite a few enjoying it. I think right now they are definitely enjoying the difficulty of dungeons as well as the ability to take groups of friends into heroics and find it fulfilling to complete taxing tasks. I can understand their fear that they will be tunneled into one source of difficulty: raiding hardmodes. They should be given more outlets to enjoy content, just as much as that of casual players. I am really not sure what else there is to point out here…except that they want an honest go at the content as is before caving into the previous system.
I must say that I watched the downfall of Everquest as the casual base just deteriorated with more and more raider/hardcore oriented content. It troubles me to think that there would be a mass exodus from World of Warcraft – and that is possible. I think that, as a community, we at least owe it to ourselves to have some valid and original discussions about these topics, and come up with solid recommendations to that of the designers. The one thing Blizzard has done correctly, over the plethora of failed MMOs in the past, is that they actually listen to the player base. Let’s have a little compromise here and discuss things like adults (or teenagers if you happen to be one).
If you have anything constructive to add, please feel free. If you have any consolidated data please let me know.
Please keep in mind, also, we're not going to turn this into Elitist Jerks. This is meant to be a discussion of what can be achieved between two different player bases - explicitly as a healer and the role you need to fulfill for your group.
Honestly, I think this is a great post which should orient Blizzard's reaction to the massive amount of QQ going on right now.
We were just discussing that yesterday after trying Omnitron Defense System 10man and wiping for 3 hours (some people def. weren't geared enough and some of us aren't the greatest players)
Basically, we came to the conclusion that healers are going to get rarer and rarer, because every consequence of a tank or dps fail is always "taking more damage" - and it's impossible to heal everything up. Also, there are so many mechanics to know about and stuff to avoid that people that are clueless/bad are just going to quit.
We also have to keep in mind that DBM hasn't been released for raids, which makes it even harder for people that aren't used to being full aware of what's going on.
Honestly, I enjoy it when there is a challenge, but it starts getting annoying when you can't even carry your less hardcore/smart/aware friends through raids because it is too hard for them do it.
I think that part of the problem also is that they have taken away the niches that many of the healing classes happily found themselves in. At the moment, everyone presses very similar heals for a very similar result. They just have different names.
Holy Paladins remain in their position- bigger heals on a single target. But Resto Druids can no longer efficiently use their hots to fill the roll they once did, Disc Priests can no longer shield people effectively (as far as I know they pop far too soon to be referred to as "effective"), and a Resto Shaman's chain heal has been hacked at so hard that, while I still use it in certain situations, I've heard of people removing it from their bars entirely.
At the moment, we all seem to be single-target healers under different names and appearances.
I think that this is very unattractive to a lot of people- casual or hardcore.
I know that it is an unattractive prospect to me. I had an 80 of every healer, and at the moment I am not feeling so sure I want to level the others. What would be the point? There isn't a magnificently different experience like there was. This might change with the more gear we obtain, but somehow I don't see it changing all that much.
This probably isn't a polarizing argument. I don't think anyone wants their class to be so similar to another one. But it is something (I believe) the devs should be considering when or if they tweak the healing classes.
I am of the opinion that the majority of the content should cater to the casual population. I'm in a guild that raids seriously and the players are all very good at what they do so I'm not saying this because I'm a casual player myself. I'm kind of not. But I feel that WoW should not exclude people on the basis of how often or how "pro" they are. I was happy with the content in Wotlk in so far as, there was regular content that anyone could do, and then there was heroic content (raids, I mean). Perhaps Wrath-style heroics were too easy for a lot of the more serious raiders, but the level of difficulty can be changed. I say- allow everyone to see the content with different levels of difficulty.
As far as healing relates to this- I don't want to say one way or the other how healing sucks or doesn't suck. We're a week into the Cata conent. The more gear I get the easier it gets. I feel that healing at the moment (at least for shamans, I have nothing to say for other yet) is currently okay. Not as fun as I would like it to be. But okay.
I'm sure I left out points somewhere. I had some pretty good points. I'll remember them later.
but it starts getting annoying when you can't even carry your less hardcore/smart/aware friends through raids because it is too hard for them do it.
I have to agree to an extent. I don't really want to carry anyone through content. I want all of my raid members to know what they doing and how to do it. But I also don't want one mistake to be unfixable. We are healers and we fix things by definition almost, else why do we heal? What is the point of health bars at all if all we do is fill them, slowly, back up with nothing else to show for it, and no threatening danger? I enjoyed being able to fix mistakes, I enjoyed being able to turn a tide, I enjoyed being an essential part of the fight. At this point, I feel like any mistake is probably a fatal one. Maybe I have it wrong. I haven't been in any raids yet in Cata.
Edited by Preston on 12/14/2010 9:02 AM PST
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