Ask The Devs #8 - Firelands (Answers)

90 Orc Warlock
12295
I've found out what's happenening, most people complained that wotlk was the worst expansion they did full of flaws. They're just proving us wrong, it makes perfect sense.
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87 Worgen Druid
0
All in all out of the toons i have run throuh Vajir, the quests do get rather tedious with loss of control, but at the same time, it felt to me as being necessary as often time, you would end up swimming for hours trying to locate that one cave that that one person said you needed to go to do that one thing for your quest rewards (which sums up most of the quests, find a hole, make a base, live in hole). I wouldn't mind if they held off on the raid everyone seems so upset about for a mini patch update (like Ruby Sanctum was the connection raid between wrath and cata).
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100 Goblin Rogue
10535
Q: A majority of the fights in T11 favored having little or no Melee DPS. Are there plans to fix this? – Merissa (NA), Espiritu (NA)

A: We view this more of a class problem than an encounter problem. It used to be the case that casters really suffered whenever they had to move, which was the penalty they paid in order to make up for the fact that melee took a lot of extra damage. Nowadays, melee classes don’t really take that much extra damage, and we’ve also given casters a number of movement-oriented tools designed to keep their DPS from dropping as much as it used to when they are asked to shoot-and-scoot.

Whenever there are situations in an encounter that encourage grouping, the ranged often move into melee (with the occasional exception for hunters), but melee never move to ranged. Any of the fights that punish clumping also tend to punish melee more. We recognize all of these problems, as do many players, but it’s challenging to address them quickly. For example, without compensation, casters would suffer a lot in PvP if their movement tools were suddenly stripped away.

In the meantime, we don’t want to over-constrain encounter design, or worse, make it feel very formulaic by getting to the point where players expect the “melee fight” to be followed by the “adds fight,” followed by the “Patchwerk fight,” then the “ranged fight.” We’re making sure that melee have some fights where they can shine in Firelands. To use just one example, the Sons of Flame on Ragnaros tend to be better handled by melee than ranged.


So, basically... you know its a problem and things will continue to favor ranged classes, but its ok because the adds in the final encounter of the upcoming raid are melee "friendly"? Thats a pretty big slap at all the melee players out there, especially when getting to the end is the goal, and we will be sitting if there is a similar geared/skilled ranged player available. What happened to Bring the player not the class?



they left out the part as long as the player is RDPS...
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100 Goblin Rogue
10535

I am encouraged with the acknowledgement of the disparity between ranged/melee and the suggestion of at least one key mechanic where melee may outshine ranged, however the quoted response doesn't seem to indicate clarity in viewing the primary cause of the disparity.


This is so true, here is 5 gold, buy a clue about MDPS vs RDPS ratios in raids ...
I would bet that most raids have less than 40% MDPS in them because of the encounter design...
I would be stunned if there were any raids that had more MDPS vs RDPS on purpose...
But this is a class problem, not an design problem...
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100 Goblin Rogue
10535
05/25/2011 05:58 PMPosted by Verelyse
About melee DPS getting the short end of the stick in T11...
A: We view this more of a class problem than an encounter problem.
When can we expect this "class problem" to be dealt with? =\


Soon...

0.o
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8 Night Elf Druid
0
No underwater raid in this expansion is a crime agaist the playerbase.
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90 Tauren Druid
14850
I would be stunned if there were any raids that had more MDPS vs RDPS on purpose...


Our initial raid composition consisted of one ranged DPS, a Elemental Shaman, since we all wanted to play the class we enjoyed. Having a melee heavy fight introduces its own version of hard modes on most fights where it's such a huge pain to provide instructions for or to rely on the raid to not wipe due to clumping melee.

On fights such at V&T, we have to kite Theralion around the room while our melee is clumped on his tail and our healers/ranged to trail behind in the event of the Engulfing Magic debuff or have them run into melee if they get targeted by meteor while melee is dodging the void zones, staying stacked while moving, and looking out for Valiona's breath.

It's easy for us to do now, but it took us a while to get the hang of the concept but it's a head ache and a nuisance to jump through those kind of hoops while having more range makes the fight much more trivial. Ascendant Council with this composition? No such luck which is why we are still at 2/4 in BoT.

Most of us have recently made the decision to bring ranged alts in order to take one for the team for the sake of progression so we won't be banging our head on design flaws. Where we began with one caster DPS, we've actually transitioned in to only having two melee DPS and the difference is night and day on how smooth the encounters have been handled.

These are not class flaws, these are design flaws by those who work on the encounters and it's mind-boggling how they can try to spin it in such a way. Two tiers of content with the same design issues is a big slap in the face to anyone who enjoys playing melee.
Edited by Barada on 5/26/2011 10:27 AM PDT
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85 Undead Death Knight
10350
Look at this there is no Abyssal Maw in 4.2 because they chose the firelands so most likely 4.3 will be the abyssal maw! :D
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85 Human Priest
2345
05/26/2011 03:35 PMPosted by Runeclad
Look at this there is no Abyssal Maw in 4.2 because they chose the firelands so most likely 4.3 will be the abyssal maw! :D


its most likely rehashed AQ 5man heroic. Since AQ20 was removed... (I think it was removed)
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90 Tauren Druid
14850
05/26/2011 03:49 PMPosted by Killada
its most likely rehashed AQ 5man heroic. Since AQ20 was removed... (I think it was removed)


AQ20 has been retuned as AQ10 and has not left.

I'm not even sure how they would fit the Qiraji back in to the storyline unless they intend to rely on a book to explain this and simply flip a switch as they did with The Shattering and the transition from WotLK to Cataclysm.

The only association is that the third Old God, N'zath, is the one who may be responsible for the corruption of the Emerald Dream which the Qiraji have knowledge of as well (General Rajaxx did, at least) as well as their time spent dealing with Fendral Staghelm and his son, Valstann.

I mean, now that Fendral became corrupt and serves Deathwing, who he himself was corrupt (likely from N'zath as well), they could find some goofy way to associate that with the Qiraji and revive their race alongside of the Emerald Dream whenever they intend release it.
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Is there a reason I feel Blizzard is not holding up to their promises and getting kinda lazy, I've been looking forward to more content and them holding their promises. Anyone agree?
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85 Human Priest
2345
05/26/2011 04:06 PMPosted by Barada
its most likely rehashed AQ 5man heroic. Since AQ20 was removed... (I think it was removed)


AQ20 has been retuned as AQ10 and has not left.

I'm not even sure how they would fit the Qiraji back in to the storyline unless they intend to rely on a book to explain this and simply flip a switch as they did with The Shattering and the transition from WotLK to Cataclysm.

The only association is that the third Old God, N'zath, is the one who may be responsible for the corruption of the Emerald Dream which the Qiraji have knowledge of as well (General Rajaxx did, at least) as well as their time spent dealing with Fendral Staghelm and his son, Valstann.

I mean, now that Fendral became corrupt and serves Deathwing, who he himself was corrupt (likely from N'zath as well), they could find some goofy way to associate that with the Qiraji and revive their race alongside of the Emerald Dream whenever they intend release it.


According to data miners, silithus update is in the tube for patch 4.3 so I wouldn't be surprised with return of AQ as the new 5 man heroic. Besides, their recent track record proves that this is a likely possibility. Besides, they really don't want to create new 5 man content, they will probably give rehashes as 5 man content and concentrate their resources to create new raid content. Sucks to be a non raider this expansion.
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90 Tauren Druid
14850
The only reason I would be inclined to believe this is that a) they turned War of the Ancients in to a dungeon rather than a raid b) they want an easy way to introduce a dungeon along with the War of the Ancients raid or c) the zone itself within the raid is being datamined.

It's not that I don't believe there is data shown to indicate a change in Silithus, it's that I would not even be able to wrap my mind around how Blizzard feels like reintroducing old content is better than creating new content outside of raids.

I guess time will tell...
Edited by Barada on 5/26/2011 8:41 PM PDT
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05/25/2011 10:11 AMPosted by Kaivax
. For example, WoW doesn’t try to explain mounts that you can pull out of your pocket or how the global economy is affected by things like Hearthstones


lol that one made me laugh for real.
Imagin going to your state's major city during rush hour stopping at your bank or shopping what ever it is you need to do. Go outside where sidewalks are full of peds reach into your pocket as if you are trying to find something... Ah here it is found it, you then pull out a small object rub your hands over it then 1.2.3... A horse pops out of no where you then mount it and ride off as it is a every day normal thing. You will have people scratching their heads and wondering what they just saw.
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85 Dwarf Warrior
8250
Q: A majority of the fights in T11 favored having little or no Melee DPS. Are there plans to fix this? – Merissa (NA), Espiritu (NA)

A: We view this more of a class problem than an encounter problem. It used to be the case that casters really suffered whenever they had to move, which was the penalty they paid in order to make up for the fact that melee took a lot of extra damage. Nowadays, melee classes don’t really take that much extra damage, and we’ve also given casters a number of movement-oriented tools designed to keep their DPS from dropping as much as it used to when they are asked to shoot-and-scoot.

Whenever there are situations in an encounter that encourage grouping, the ranged often move into melee (with the occasional exception for hunters), but melee never move to ranged. Any of the fights that punish clumping also tend to punish melee more. We recognize all of these problems, as do many players, but it’s challenging to address them quickly. For example, without compensation, casters would suffer a lot in PvP if their movement tools were suddenly stripped away.

In the meantime, we don’t want to over-constrain encounter design, or worse, make it feel very formulaic by getting to the point where players expect the “melee fight” to be followed by the “adds fight,” followed by the “Patchwerk fight,” then the “ranged fight.” We’re making sure that melee have some fights where they can shine in Firelands. To use just one example, the Sons of Flame on Ragnaros tend to be better handled by melee than ranged.


So, it is a class problem not an encounter problem. Fights that favor ranged over melee, means it is the melee classes bad? Our classes are broken? Our classes do not have the spells or abilities to be competitive?

You can't fix this or you do not want to fix this?

You just do not get it do you? Making encounters that favor ranged over melee means we get left out of content. That sucks!

Making 1 or 3 encounters in a raid with 20 encounters melee biased does nothing becasue the majority of encounters are going to be ranged biased and that means it is still better to bring ranged over melee.

You basically just told us that as developers you like ranged better and the current design model is going to stay the same. Melee is going to stay Broken or whatever you want to call it.
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100 Worgen Death Knight
11200
the Molten Front questing area was turning out to be really cool
But it's really not, sure the opening is just quests we've already done in Hyjal the first time around only now they're dailies...

The case for Abyssal Maw pitch was that we could reuse a lot of existing assets (the fights were to take place in a giant shelled demigod like Nespirah), and while we are willing to do that, we thought Abyssal Maw would just pale in comparison to the magnificence of the Firelands.
You reused a lot of things in the new dailies too.

We’ve decided for now that the Vashj’ir quest line along with the Throne of the Tides dungeon does a pretty good job of finishing the Neptulon story.
Sorry, we're definitely not playing the same game if that's what you think...

All in all it just comes off as "We want to get things out asap so instead of including things we promised we'll delay/cancel them to get out other content quicker."
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It's pretty disconcerting to see the development staff already abandoning plans to add more content other than the absolute basic. Granted, I don't play PTR and I should hold my judgment How long will firelands be the highest tier raid and we are going to be in another six-seven month limbo of only seven bosses?

Other than that, I appreciate the frank and honest answers.
Edited by Areh on 5/27/2011 9:13 PM PDT
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