Cataclysm Post Mortem -- “Ghostcrawler”

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90 Human Warlock
11355
one thing that I would like to see the return of is an Entry raid one that is suppost to be the one that everyone does frist.

BC had it with kara
LK had it with Naxx & The black dragon shrine one.
Cata had 3 raids with no clear route in which to do them.

I liked cata the frist 2 sets of heroics were great the end times ones remind me way too much of the easymode that was LK.

also give people a reason to Not use LFD there is no reason as of now to not use it you only get valor if you use it.


LFR is their new entry level raid. They will continue setting up their raids up as easier bosses upfront and the further you go in it, the harder it will go. This happened for the most part minus the exception of Madness.

I would love for them to stop punishing people for putting together their own groups. I would love if a group got valor after finishing a run even if they run there and zone in that way. I also would like them to remove the LFD buff -- this punishes people that choose to group with guildies. With the addition of challenge modes, I see no reason to be able to do this.
85 Dwarf Mage
8425
A much better Post-mortem than the last one, thats for sure.

As I have stated (and others have too) MoP will make it or break it for me. It sounds like Blizzard has heard and understood about the mistakes they made in Cata.

I look forward to being in the beta and seeing if Blizzard can right its stated wrongs.
90 Gnome Priest
17350
I would just like to add one wish for your goals for MoP. I'd like to see more challenging quests. I really liked the epic class/AQ scepter chains in classic WoW, and the ring of blood quests just don't cut it for me. It's like the ToC of questing. Maybe add the group quests into the LFG tool?
35 Night Elf Hunter
11150
Well written and much more substance, but absolutely off the mark when he said they are their own worst critics.

The big goal was to deliver more content faster, and it simply failed to happen.

There was a serious problem of too few normal 5 mans.

The developers' keep talking about how diverse the playerbase is, but continue to think the developer perspective on what is fun is accurate. The perspective on what is fun for healers is flawed, and will remain flawed as long as they only listen to the praise, and think something is wrong somehow with anyone who posts criticism.

Posting criticism is not to personally attack the developers, but instead to get them to consider other perspectives. There is plenty of lip service paid to wanting feedback, but with all the feedback posted for the entire time cata has been out, and then to read how little they (the developers) were not pleased with in how cata worked out, seems to show the contrary.

My impression is the developers think cata was the best expansion ever, and personally, I feel like it was the worst.
85 Human Death Knight
9370
Having new quests along side with a new area to play in was good. Sitting in a city and queuing for a random dungeon was a better choice.

I liked when I could go out in the world, do quests and meet new people. I loved having to go find the dungeon and getting whispers from people in the area to join. This game used to be a social experience.

People thrive on social mediums like this; look at Facebook or Twitter or perhaps look at your very own Forums. Bring back the social ability of the game. Do this and the gear, dungeons, raids, difficulty level will not matter one bit.

Sincerely,
Long Time Player (yes, I was the dwarf rogue in feralas ganking you in vanilla)
Edited by Belialdkni on 3/7/2012 12:56 PM PST
90 Pandaren Shaman
17350
I respect you, Ghostcrawler.

Over the years of playing this game, you have become more of a "virtual friend" then "Some guy who I pay to play this video game".

All the best luck, and see you in Mists!
85 Human Paladin
890
Well written and much more substance, but absolutely off the mark when he said they are their own worst critics.

The big goal was to deliver more content faster, and it simply failed to happen.

There was a serious problem of too few normal 5 mans.

The developers' keep talking about how diverse the playerbase is, but continue to think the developer perspective on what is fun is accurate. The perspective on what is fun for healers is flawed, and will remain flawed as long as they only listen to the praise, and think something is wrong somehow with anyone who posts criticism.

Posting criticism is not to personally attack the developers, but instead to get them to consider other perspectives. There is plenty of lip service paid to wanting feedback, but with all the feedback posted for the entire time cata has been out, and then to read how little they (the developers) were not pleased with in how cata worked out, seems to show the contrary.

My impression is the developers think cata was the best expansion ever, and personally, I feel like it was the worst.



What he meant by diverse is people are different. You feel healing is *flawed or whatever* is your opinion and maybe even mine. I don't even touch healing. As for delievering the content faster? I think they did but everyone's definition is different. I think the issue was a lack of things to do and they already stated that like twice.
90 Pandaren Warrior
8050
I'm glad they recognize the suddenly small world they have created. One of the things that got me *most* excited about WoW when it first came out was that I could fully explore the Universe I had fallen in love with over the years. Now that sense of wonder has dwindled, as it should with time. But I still love the world, it's just so lonely out there. If I fly out past Stormwind and see who else is in the zone I usually get 1 other person at most. Maybe 4, which seems a little odd for a Medium Population Server (my realm has always been Medium-High).

I wouldn't want to go back into the stone ages and regress all the convienence people have come to expect. But actually having to go out into the world to reach a dungeon, or a raid, or maybe even a BG was kind of nice. First of all you were more connected to that BG or Dungeon being an actual place in the world. Now many dungeons feel like some alternate reality from WoW, on some different plane (though some of them actually are so...). What people seem to miss out on with this is actually seeing their fellow players out in the world, and building a sense of community. Perhaps even two guilds or raids coming together to stop a raid from an opposing faction that is blocking the entrance (for PvP server folks).

Now my player interactions come down to jokes in trade chat, and limited conversation with the random pug I get into through LFG or LFR.

I don't expect a complete return to Vanilla, but some reason to leave the cities and see other players would be nice. And maybe a few small areas where you can't just get on a flying mount and avoid everyone (like Tol Barad, loved that place).
89 Night Elf Death Knight
3140
I'm personally pretty sure that tanking as a whole going closer to the Blood DK model is something that would be great, in the minds of the developers; however, what about the players? I personally felt that the Death Strike model of healing seems not quite thought out fully, as far as interactions go between dodge and parry slowly causing Mastery to heal for less, the more dodge and parry one gets, due to fewer enemy physical attacks landing.

What plans if any are there to address the tanking model, and how that can be shared, now or later on in the expansion cycle as Blizzard comes closer to Beta?

I'd really hate to feel that such a great game is going to burn me out, however, right now, it's not as rewarding as it once was; active mitigation as Blood DK's knew it in Cata was projected to be potentially hair-pulling, and it feels like it was to me after just doing five mans. I don't want to imagine the feelings of some of the raid Blood DK's out there, if they did not find the model as it was in Cata rewarding.

Edit: I guess my point is this: please understand that math can only be proven to work in one way, and that way can indicate there's an issue with a design well before it manifests.
Edited by Relesa on 3/7/2012 11:27 AM PST
90 Night Elf Druid
12195
Good job, I'm actually really excited about MoP right now. If they are able to fulfill those 4 goals, it's going to be an awesome expansion!
Count me as someone pleasantly surprised by the quality of this post-mortem.

Personally, I was very excited by the way Cataclysm began and am pretty disappointed as to what I consider to be an anticlimactic ending in terms of the DS raid, the latest "heroics", and the one raid per tier pattern that has emerged.

For the sake of the game and the community, I hope that Ghostcrawler can achieve his objectives.


This sums up almost perfectly my feelings about the expansion. When Cataclysm first came out, I was thrilled, it addressed pretty much every single complaint I had about the game in Wrath of the Lich King. The 4.0 heroics were, though frustrating sometimes, generally so much more fun than the Wrath ones (and the new HoT ones). I really enjoyed them. And, it's weird to be called an elitist for it, because frankly I always considered myself, and still do, a very casual player. I really don't have the time to raid a set amount of hours every week, so I really enjoyed being able to log on and enjoy content that made me think and pay attention to the mechanics.

That said, I had a lot of friends that were frustrated with it, and I really did sympathize with them. It was much more of a challenge than they were used to and they had people say awfully nasty things to them. Honestly, if I really was going to point my finger and blame someone for the nerfed heroic model, it wouldn't be at the people who had difficulties with the dungeons, but at the people who refused to explain it to them, kicked others at the drop of a hat. They made the dungeons unenjoyable. So, I really don't mind the addition of a raid finder or even the existence of easier heroics, as long as the challenge modes provide something to those of us who really enjoy dungeons and raids with harder (but still fun!) mechanics and not just a time trial (in my opinion, that isn't as much harder as it is a pointless DPS race).

Ghostcrawler's post itself was great. I was sort of scared after the last one that Blizzard had just decided to make everything easy. But, this post really showed that Blizzard still is thinking very deeply about what changes are made in Cataclysm. I am really sorry that an Abyssal Maw raid didn't make it in, but I understand why. That being said, I really hope something is implemented there again in the future and I would be so excited for it. Furthermore, though I was perfectly happy with Cataclysm's talent trees, I completely agree with the way they're being revamped with MoP. As someone whose job involves lots and lots of math on a daily basis, it's nice to take a break from it in game. Plus, it's exciting to see that the fundamental concepts of the game are still evolving. Great post!

P.S. Ghostcrawler was an oceanographer before a game designer? He is officially the coolest person on the planet.
90 Gnome Warlock
10240

More importantly why buy into the hype when the lies that were the promises for this expansion have not yet been addressed.

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/features/
More Raid Content than Ever Before
Enjoy more high-level raid content than previous expansions, with optional more challenging versions of all encounters.


As much as I know I should have more faith in Blizzard, I have to reluctantly agree with this statement. With everything they had slated coming for Cataclysm going by what was presented at Blizzcon 2009 and 2010, there is a severe discrepancy with what was actually introduced. GC is mostly an honest guy, and I would like to think he's being genuine in these claims. However, I'm going to reserve judgment until substantial feedback from the MoP beta becomes available. I had high hopes for Cataclysm based on the blogs and previews and press reports that we received, and it simply failed to deliver a lot of what was anticipated. In other words, I'll believe it when I see it.
Edited by Andraste on 3/7/2012 11:08 AM PST
90 Tauren Druid
15945
...we also weren’t particularly happy with how accessible legendary items became in Cataclysm...In the future, legendaries will be more legendary, perhaps so much so that not every raiding guild will have one.


For me, as a boomkin without Dragonwrath, this was the best thing I read.

It means that in Mists they won't have to balance everybody's expected dps numbers around having the current legendary for your spec/class. Sad to see that he didn't address how they had to increase physical damage dealers power in DS to compete with the masses of Dragonwrath holders, while leaving those casters without it in the dust. Oh well.

And of course he mentions Ulduar.

All-in-all, GC's post mortem had the most spin of any of the 3, but unlike the others, he has a finger on the forum's pulse, so he knows exactly what to say to get a positive reaction. It worked for me. After reading this, I'm looking forward to the mist beta at the end of the month. Hopefully, they can deliver on all of those goals that GC outlined.
86 Dwarf Hunter
7940
It's very refreshing to see one of the Devs talking at length about what went wrong with Cata. I'm personally interested to see if it's possible to make the hard rewards actually feel rewarding and not like everyone should be entitled. Or, more specifically, how are they going to combat the wave of inevitable QQ?

Great read!
90 Tauren Druid
15945
03/07/2012 11:11 AMPosted by Freynor
how are they going to combat the wave of inevitable QQ?


Hopefully, they'll just stick to their guns. The way he describes it, many of the most desirable rewards will be cosmetic (transmog armor, mounts, pets). So when players do QQ about the challenge modes and rep grinds, Blizz can simply say "It's not required for progression, so you have no right to get it just for logging into the game and sitting in the Mists town hub".

I doubt that will actually happen, but I'll try to be optimistic that Blizz won't cave on this, for a change.
90 Night Elf Hunter
19160
Ghostcrawler actually hit on a lot of things that went wrong / right with Cataclysm.

It's good to see that Archaeology will get some (positive) changes in MoP, that they WANT to get people out of the cities and not just stay huddled in there waiting for queues, and the fact that they're looking at giving ease in dungeons along with challenges.

Hoping for the best in MoP!!

90 Night Elf Druid
12195
03/07/2012 11:11 AMPosted by Freynor
I'm personally interested to see if it's possible to make the hard rewards actually feel rewarding and not like everyone should be entitled. Or, more specifically, how are they going to combat the wave of inevitable QQ?


I think LFR did a pretty good job with it, at least for raid content. On the forums, instead of getting "I can't get raid gear because I can't complete it!" threads, we got "I can't get LFR gear because I lost the roll!" threads instead; with the focus of the more "casual" players directed toward easier content, it's easier for Blizzard to provide rewards to the "hardcore" playerbase without making the "causals" feel like they're missing out.

I think that's the model they're going for in MoP: letting casual players complete dungeons and raids on easier versions and giving them lesser rewards, instead of them not being able to complete the content at all and getting nothing, like at the start of Cataclysm (we all saw how much QQ that generated).
Edited by Falerin on 3/7/2012 11:24 AM PST
I think one issue regarding raid difficulty that I haven't seen mentioned much is the small gap between a previous tier's heroic gear and a new tier's regular gear.

Our guild (due to real life stuff, we're more of a casual guild) didn't raid much for part of this expansion, and when we picked it up with DS we entered with gear in the 370's. We found the content appropriately challenging, and progressed at a slow but satisfying pace. When our gear improved to the 390's average ilvl, much of the content quickly progressed to farm level for us. Since many of the better guilds came IN to DS with gear in this level range from heroic firelands, it should be hardly surprising that the regular content was essentially immediately on farm for them.

I understand the dangers of gear and stat inflation, but if the lowest level LFR gear was ABOVE or at least equal in level to the previous tier heroic gear, the raids might be more challenging to everyone without hurting the lower progressed guilds.
90 Tauren Death Knight
12200
Unrivaled communication from blizzard, an official way of admitting that they screwed up for the duration of cataclysm. I however will be taking this one with a grain of salt, GC is very well known and respected by the community, and he knows how to talk to us in the way that we want to hear it.

On the other hand... im totally stoked to jump into challenge modes and hope that they never get a nerf (outside of statistical impossibility). they are a challenge for a reason, dont whine about my vanity gear, get bettah! Cata heroics imo were just right at the start and then they got the nerfbat and while you can still see the occasional wipe in Grim Batol in the lower gear level.. its really just boring now. The challenge imo helped create the epicness.
85 Troll Druid
14745
Ulduar Ulduar Ulduar
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