That it?

90 Blood Elf Paladin
13840
04/28/2011 05:04 PMPosted by Bashiok
I think the thing to probably take away from this is that content is not infinite, and so we have to look at everyone who plays the game and try to be smart about where we focus this finite pool of development resources we have.


We've been hearing that a lot lately, and the fact that this hasn't been an issue in the past is exactly why all the rumors of WoW developers moving over to Titan keep popping up. Something has definitely changed if all of a sudden you guys are having to focus so hard on focusing your efforts.

Looking at WotLK, there were 8 months between Ulduar and ICC (with ToC at about the 5-month mark). We're about a week and a half away from hitting 6 months since Cataclysm released. Even if 4.2 breaks all the records in terms of PTR time, we probably won't see it for AT LEAST another month. That's an incredibly optimistic estimation that I'm basing on the hat-eating comments earlier in the thread. Puts us at 7 months from Cataclysm release to Firelands hitting. Yeah, one month faster than ICC, but it's got 5 fewer bosses and there's no ToC inbetween.

Somehow, last expansion, you guys managed to put out 17 new bosses (which were all quite challenging) in 8 months time. Now we're looking at potentially seeing the same amount of time, maybe a little faster, with 10 fewer bosses?

Something's changed.

BTW - wasn't this whole "make sure everyone can see the content" thing exactly why heroic modes were implemented?
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90 Blood Elf Rogue
6075
04/28/2011 04:02 PMPosted by Bashiok
Yeah, I mean that's a tough situation because our feeling is simply that people shouldn't be forced to play the game more than a couple nights a week to keep up on progression. We realize though that some people legitimately like playing every night, and having real reasons to be in the game and playing with raid groups and such. There's obviously things like alts, professions, achievements, PvP, to keep people busy, but it's ultimately something we'd like to get a better handle on. Having content that isn't forcing people to log in every night, but still offering something that's meaningful for those that do. Understand though that by definition those types of things can't lead to player power or else everyone will be back to having to log on every single night to keep pace. Anyway, it's something we very much want to get a better handle on, but it's not something we're going to solve easily.


I think hard modes go a long way to space the gap between casual progression and keeping more active players busy. My guild is enjoying the heroic content atm and it keeps us focused on the game. If it wasnt for that I really would have no reason to log on.

I hear what you are saying about balancing re-using existing models to create more content. One of my dislikes in WoW is the lack of new content (models etc..) so while my first reaction is to be skeptical of the number of bosses you are suggesting I will reserve judgement until I see it.

I do wonder if 7-8 bosses is enough. Maybe the size of the Firelands zone will boost the experience?

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I'm sorry, but although Firelands looks like it will be a great raid I will be extremely disappointed if it is the only one for this tier of content. After all, the whole design paradigm of Cataclysm was 2 or 3 smaller raids (which I thought was a good idea) that still totalled up to about 12-13 bosses. Even if a lot of effort is put into the raid encounters I still want the diversity of multiple raids per tier. By the way, this is also coming from a college student who raids about one night per week (two if I am extremely lucky). So I don't believe time spent in the game is a valid reason to knock down the size of the content.
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90 Gnome Warlock
12120
Yes, Firelands is the raid in 4.2, and 7 is the total number of bosses.

We think 7 is our current ideal for number of bosses in a raid. (We launched Cataclysm with two full raids of 4-6 bosses each.) We're also spending a lot of time making the Firelands bosses as awesome as possible - - creating unique models, animations, effects, sounds, etc. etc. Previously a lot of bosses were larger versions of existing models, which was fine, but that tradeoff is made somewhere. We shift to making fewer but more epic boss fights and there's a tradeoff somewhere. We're concentrating our efforts into a smaller number of fights so that each fight is bigger and better, they're still obviously going to be extremely challenging, but once it is on farm you're not having to spend two, three, maybe four nights just to clear it because the raid is so huge.

Our ideal situation would, of course, be to launch as many raids as possible with this current ideal number of around 7 bosses, but that's not something we're ever going to promise. We'd love to be able to produce unlimited amounts of content anywhere, not just raids, for that matter. We think one raid per patch with around 7 bosses is a super solid experience, though, especially with how much effort is going into Firelands. We don't think anyone is going to be disappointed.

On a side note, the whole daily quest thing hasn't sparked much excitement yet, but with the preview going live here in a few hours (and BlizzCast 16) hopefully we can impress how awesome that's going to be, too.

Again, there's a pretty aggressive development cycle for 4.2, so it's not going to be very long before we're on the PTR, and not very long (comparatively) before release.


So that whole statement about the Cataclysm design philosophy being multiple smaller raids was just a lie?

Maybe y'all shouldn't make promises you aren't willing to keep
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
13840
I'd also really like to know who the hell is looking back so fondly at Sunwell. Everyone I know hated that instance -- and we were the top guild on the server.
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85 Draenei Shaman
3715
I think hard modes go a long way to space the gap between casual progression and keeping more active players busy. My guild is enjoying the heroic content atm and it keeps us focused on the game. If it wasnt for that I really would have no reason to log on.

I hear what you are saying about balancing re-using existing models to create more content. One of my dislikes in WoW is the lack of new content (models etc..) so while my first reaction is to be skeptical of the number of bosses you are suggesting I will reserve judgement until I see it.

I do wonder if 7-8 bosses is enough. Maybe the size of the Firelands zone will boost the experience?


I think more people would be able to tolerate moderately better it if it was indeed 8. It's 6. The seventh boss is in BH, and thus doesn't exactly count.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
4875
We've been hearing that a lot lately, and the fact that this hasn't been an issue in the past is exactly why all the rumors of WoW developers moving over to Titan keep popping up. Something has definitely changed if all of a sudden you guys are having to focus so hard on focusing your efforts.

Looking at WotLK, there were 8 months between Ulduar and ICC (with ToC at about the 5-month mark). We're about a week and a half away from hitting 6 months since Cataclysm released. Even if 4.2 breaks all the records in terms of PTR time, we probably won't see it for AT LEAST another month. That's an incredibly optimistic estimation that I'm basing on the hat-eating comments earlier in the thread. Puts us at 7 months from Cataclysm release to Firelands hitting. Yeah, one month faster than ICC, but it's got 5 fewer bosses and there's no ToC inbetween.

Somehow, last expansion, you guys managed to put out 17 new bosses (which were all quite challenging) in 8 months time. Now we're looking at potentially seeing the same amount of time, maybe a little faster, with 10 fewer bosses?

Something's changed.

BTW - wasn't this whole "make sure everyone can see the content" thing exactly why heroic modes were implemented?


Blizzard if you are only gonna read 1 post. Read this.
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85 Human Paladin
4555
Might it be possible in the future to allow more practice for people who would like to continue playing but ran out of bosses?

Example: If a guild would like to work on heroic magmaw, but normal Nef has been giving them trouble, they will likely do magmaw on normal to play it safe. If they then have 2 hours left after clearing the instance, it'd be pretty awesome to be able to reset magmaw, with no chance of dropping loot. Or, have it despawn at 10%. Or 30% (where it goes into the last phase). Or 50% so you can just get a feel for the fight.

Real fights, real repairs, no loot, purely for practice. It'd be a nice middleground, with incredibly minimal requirements on your end.
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Community Manager
04/28/2011 05:31 PMPosted by Lore
is exactly why all the rumors of WoW developers moving over to Titan keep popping up.


No, it's used a lot because it's a convenient excuse for why someone doesn't like something. If it wasn't the B Team phoning it in it would be Activision controlling us, or Tigole hating casuals, or Chilton hating hardcore, or Horde bias, or whatever. They're scapegoats. Which is fine, people need easy excuses and labels to explain things they can't articulate or just don't understand. The great thing is that the posts that contain those types of conclusions rarely, if ever, contain actual productive or useful feedback. We make B Team jokes almost every week. They're ridiculous, we know it's ridiculous, it doesn't matter to what we're doing if people believe it or not. We'll keep doing what we think is right for the game and they can label that as a product of whatever they want.

04/28/2011 05:31 PMPosted by Lore
Looking at WotLK, there were 8 months between Ulduar and ICC (with ToC at about the 5-month mark). We're about a week and a half away from hitting 6 months since Cataclysm released. Even if 4.2 breaks all the records in terms of PTR time, we probably won't see it for AT LEAST another month. That's an incredibly optimistic estimation that I'm basing on the hat-eating comments earlier in the thread. Puts us at 7 months from Cataclysm release to Firelands hitting. Yeah, one month faster than ICC, but it's got 5 fewer bosses and there's no ToC inbetween.


Patch development length isn't based around # of bosses. Patches contain a great many more things than boss encounter design and balance. Certainly they're one part of some patches, but I would argue the patch history timeline proves that boss development time has little bearing on the length of time between patch releases. Which goes back to my point of finite development resources.
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86 Troll Priest
11670
Then why is it sometimes it seems the most time is required with the least amount of pure content, if you don't mind me asking?
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84 Human Death Knight
2605
04/28/2011 05:51 PMPosted by Bashiok
Which is fine, people need easy excuses and labels to explain things they can't articulate or just don't understand.


95% of all obnoxious drivel summed up in one eloquent sentence.
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85 Gnome Mage
9680
I have a question. With fewer bosses there will be a larger spread of gear on those bosses. Is there is intent on possibly alleviating RNG for 10-mans? It's already ridiculously easier to gear a 25man raid group than a 10man because so often items in 10-man will just be disenchanted. Having a smaller chance for each item to drop makes it harder to gear a 10man raid and having more loot per boss will only increase that (extremely frustrating) part of RNG.

A short example: Our raid is 5/13 HM, and has two hunters and a feral druid. We've downed Halfus (normal and heroic combined) 19 times now and have only see one Malevolence, which wasn't until our 7th or so heroic kill. 19 times and the hunters still don't have one. We also have never seen the plate bracers or plate shoulders (normal or heroic) from him. And this is just one boss. =/
Edited by Dinokaze on 4/28/2011 5:57 PM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
4875
I think raiders mostly care about raids, not daily quests or other trivial stuff that is in a patch. I think thats why we think 7 is a little low.
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86 Troll Priest
11670
In all honesty, I would like a serious answer to this question:



How is less content a good thing? You cut down the amount of content a raider could do when this expansion hit by having 10 and 25 share a lockout, which I can understand. But then you come out with a patch that has one of the lowest number of new content since you guys started doing this, especially since this is the first new raid content added to an expansion cycle. How can anyone not working for Blizzard so not having the big picture look at this and think it a good thing?


I was excited for Firelands and it's lore, I really was. Now I'm just sour about the whole thing when I realize it's going to be another stupid struggle to keep a guild together...
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85 Worgen Druid
4380
By the time we are fighting Deathwing, it will be 1 boss per tier.

Serious note though, hows loot gonna work. 10mans are gonna suck. Here is 7 bosses, 2 drops per boss. Have fun gearing
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85 Orc Warlock
9365
So the whole "We like multiple raids with a smaller number of bosses" thing is out the window already?
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85 Draenei Shaman
3715
04/28/2011 06:09 PMPosted by Lograr
So the whole "We like multiple raids with a smaller number of bosses" thing is out the window already?


Only partly, just cut out a few words. "We like a smaller number of bosses" is still accurate.
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85 Orc Death Knight
3305
I wonder what Blizzard has in store for us for 4.3 and/or 4.4 (I hope we get to a 4.5 :D)

Because after Firelands is taken care of the only other huge threat is the Abyssal Maw and Deathwing, unless Blizzard creates a totally new story with a certain threat and/or re-release some old raids.
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