Cataclysm Post Mortem -- “Ghostcrawler”

(Locked)

87 Orc Shaman
6190
I really enjoyed GC's assessment of Cataclysm. It's refreshing to see him be openly critical of their design decisions because it gives me hope they will actually improved things going forward. I'd say point for point he's pretty much spot on with everything.

I hope MoP delivers!!!
100 Undead Mage
17885
That was a very good article. Obviously Blizzard is aware of most of the issues with Cataclysm.

There is a reason for the opposite viewpoints on difficulty. It takes a lot of time and work to learn about crowd control, pulling, focusing on the tank's main target, etc. When people overpower a dungeon, they stop using those techniques because they seem like a waste of time. Then they come to an actually challenging encounter and aren't ready for it.

I think that everyone likes challenge, but we all measure challenge differently. Cataclysm made heroic modes essential, so players feel robbed if they can't complete them successfully in LFG. It's just an expression of frustration, and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the actual difficulty level.

It's also impossible to balance the difficulty level so that it is challenging for raid-geared characters without being insanely difficult for ones who are actually there to gear up. Given that, I think the new "easier heroics" are actually at a good level. I do find it a little silly that you can get the same gear level in Hour of Twilight as in Firelands at a fraction of the challenge level. But the Troll dungeons went the opposite direction - Only raid-geared characters could reasonably handle them, and then they gave below-raid-level gear.
100 Human Mage
19795
I figured the Abyssal Maw raid wound up looking lame when they mentioned it was in Nespirah a while back. Nespirah wasn't all that visually interesting once you finish that zone and just 3 bosses... yah...Though I wanted to see the end of the story - is Neptulon alive? Did he escape? I would love to see more of the actual ocean stuff which was very pretty and looked like an oceanographer had a hand ;) Also, the naga story arc was awesome, I hope to see more stuff like that in the future.

I also agree AN deserved an entire zone or large raid to get more info on the lore and it's the most beautiful place in Wrath. I remember being so sad to not get anything more at the time.


I find myself nodding in agreement with pretty much everything said. My random thoughts:

I hope healing isn't brutal to start with like at the start of Cata - it really scared people away from trying who used to be core guild healers.

I'm a crazy person with 10 level 85s so I can't wait to see how much variety in questing you create so someone like me doesn't get bored of quests until maybe the fifth time through. I did enjoy the Cata zones and the phasing made me feel great in Hyjal - Deepholm needed more impact! I love seeing changes I make to the zone - more of that if you can pls! They were a tad too linear but I forgave them because of the phasing and strong story arc.

I am also curious about leveling monks and pandas from level 1 - it seems like not much fun going from panda turtle isle to stuff we've already hashed through for a daunting number of levels. I still love all the zones and the 1-60s indeed have really cool arcs in just about each one, but been there, done that 10+ times in Outlands and Northrend.

I'm really looking forward to hard modes like Ulduar where the fight changes in a meaningful way and not just painful damage output and higher health. I'd also love it if you could add medium modes - those were so sweet and would work better with groups like mine (well my dk) who find hard modes this expansion a little too hard but normals a little too tame.

And while I can agree the legendary was running rampant in 25s I still think 10s got left behind in the dust on this due to trying to avoid 25s splitting into 10s to get them faster.

Finally, any chance we can get very large dungeon crawls not on the LFD to appease those of us who sometimes might want a longer experience to satisfy our exploration craving without having to resort to raiding?

Oh and for sure this was the best post mortem yet - I felt it was pretty honest and talked about some of the challenges in a way that makes me feel like you guys 'get it' and are trying to 'fix it' in MoP. Keep on keeping on :)
Edited by Elm on 3/7/2012 11:58 AM PST
100 Undead Mage
17885
Ref plans for Mists of Pandaria, Ghostcrawler's ideas look great. I have one disagreement. I think the Legendary weapon quests are currently "just right". There is no problem with 3 or 4 people in a guild eventually getting Legendaries.

To do that, they have a successful guild that is completing all of the current content tier or is willing to go back and spend many hours in the previous tier. In my guild, people working on Dragonwrath have had to go to a lot of effort to convince others to help them form full raids for Firelands now that the guild's focus is on Dragonsoul progression. Every one of those players has earned his or her terrific weapon.

I did stage 1 just for the challenge, but do not expect ever to finish the whole quest line. Ditto on my Rogue since he is not in a regular raid. Those who are committed enough, and get enough support from their guild, to complete the whole quest line... Those players deserve their impressive Legendary weapons, and I see no problem with having a dozen of them (out of thousands of players) on a server.
90 Draenei Shaman
13805
03/07/2012 11:46 AMPosted by Fimbulvinter
I think, part of what made the WoTLK questing memorable was that I could follow an overall story arc and you had a good villan in the Lich King who popped up in the questing experience. Deathwing's presence is much more sporadic and for a giant dragon, he doesn't actually feel particularly menacing. I see the login screen and his giant claw marks on the towers in SW, but I don't actually get to see him burn a phased version of it to the ground in-game. That'd have helped.

I second this. The cataclysm areas felt very disjointed. The Hyjal, Deepholm, and Twilight Highlands storylines were peripherally connected to Deathwing, but Vash'jir and Uldum bore no relation to that story whatsoever. Those other storylines were compelling and the Harrison Jones quests were lots of fun, but I agree that they detracted from the overall Deathwing story arc.

03/07/2012 11:46 AMPosted by Fimbulvinter
In a similar vein to how you present the story line, I think you've got to do better than tooltips for spells and abilities for new players. I'd not have known about a rotation if I'd not been told to go look at EJ. I had no idea Impact spread DoTs until I discovered that completely accidentally on some trash mob. Sure, it's on the tooltip, but I wasn't reading those while levelling. I was too busy hard casting Pyroblasts because clearly that's what Fire Mages would want to do. Many of the game's features are completely invisible to new players, and in my opinion, fairly critical to actually playing reasonably. I'd have no idea how to use macros if it weren't for external sites, and lets face it, if you want to keep Living Bomb up on 3 targets, you're not going to do it without mouseover or a focus target macro.

I agree with this too. I'm not particularly happy about the fact that you need to look up rotations on external web site or even create custom macros to play your class effectively. In my opinion the built-in game interface should provide everything you need. As DPS I would rather focus on prioritizing targets, interrupting casters, properly positioning myself and reacting to fight mechanics without having to worry about mindlessly repeating a sequence of buttons or managing a priority button queue.

03/07/2012 11:46 AMPosted by Fimbulvinter
Another issue I have with the leveling experience, is just how expensive everything is if you are actually a new player. There is no way I'd have been able to afford 283 flying if my girlfriend hadn't played and had that kind of gold sitting around. Basic flying is so painfully slow that it actually detracts from the experience of flying. And this is still an issue - I don't sit on near the quantities of gold some veteran players have, and come a new expansion, things like new Darkmoon cards are simply going to be completely out of reach, and that is going to have consequences come time to raid. Leveling professions was fabulously boring and expensive and the primary reason I can't stand creating alts.

This is where I disagree, but I think the game could do a better job of introducing players to gold-gathering. I am currently leveling a paladin on a new server (well new to me) and he has 680 gold in the bank without help from anyone. The Auction House is the key. Don't vendor greens. With the Auctionator addon you can find out the market price of the mats that your green would enchant into. Post it on the auction house for slightly less than that. You will usually get between 5 and 100 times what the vendor would have paid you for the item. If you find a BoE blue put it up for auction, especially if you can't even use it. Twinks often pay some pretty hefty prices for those items. Same with the results of your crafting. Don't vendor those items unless they are worthless on the AH. In most cases you can recover a significant amount of your crafting investment and sometimes you can even turn a profit.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
7570
03/07/2012 12:04 PMPosted by Rentrenus
But maybe it's not a WoW problem; maybe I'm discovering I hate MMOs.


I think you just hate working with others.
85 Tauren Priest
12695
I like most of what I see. But as someone farming archaeology, the tone GC took regarding its issues is somewhat... disquieting.

"It could be punishingly random, especially for players who imagined that it would be a guaranteed delivery mechanism for Zin’rokh (which was never the intention)."

How are you guys planning to address this? The problem with making it NOT a "guaranteed delivery mechanism" was that at launch, the archaeology ultra-rare epics were best-in-slot outside of heroics for everything except Agility DPS and tanks (and then you added ANOTHER ultra-rare which was an extremely good tanking shield). I'm pleased that you at least recognize the unending farm-and-vendor cycle was not fun, especially when our odds were as poor as certain fishing achievements (looking at you, Crafty and Ironjaw) or raid mounts popping up, but I get the feeling that you're planning to go in a direction *counter* to how most players want Archaeology to be.

Allow me to draw a comparison to the most similar activity in the game: Fishing.
When fishing, there is very little RNG unless you are chasing achievements. If you want to make it functional, you need only fish in particular nodes to get the materials for seafood feasts, making your guild appreciate you that much more. Travel time is short because pools of similar fish are almost always within a single zone, or nearby zones. You even stand a chance while you're doing that of accidentally fishing up a Sea Turtle or something else.

If you're chasing achievements or vanity pets, it becomes a long, boring grind, but because chasing those often results in the above scenario, it feels like we're at least getting something for our time.

By contrast, Archaeology's only reward for endlessly farming for the rare, RNG-driven rewards is some gold from common artifacts. This should obviously be the wrong answer when you already have to put a massive price tag on transmogrification and void storage just to drain gold from the economy. Gold is too easy to acquire as it is. I can do my dungeons for the week in a few hours and be roughly 1,000 gold richer -- more if I get Call to Arms -- plus the AH price of anything I win a roll on.

I feel like this is very similar to Positron's post above: completing Archaeology's commons once is guaranteed, and will almost certainly net you 20 rares while you're at it, so the "easy" crowd gets done with it very quickly. The "hard" crowd who are capable of ignoring the burnout for days of /played time will eventually get their epics. Maybe. Possibly. Shortly after they get a Big Love Rocket. In between - "medium" territory - is a vast gulf of pointlessness.

(Lastly, it's a massive slap in the face to open a Canopic Jar and receive the Vial of the Sands recipe on a non-alchemist main and find that it is BoP instead of Bind-to-Account.)
100 Gnome Mage
13080
I began playing this game in September, it was my first MMO, and I can't figure out if what I hate is WoW or MMOs. I seriously think I will quite this game once I achieve loremaster. Only one zone to go, and a few more weeks of dailies, I've have 100% quest achievements done.

But no cares- it's all about itm level and where you stand on wow progress. Would be great if I could aim for it on my own; but what I HATE is having to depend on others for things, hate putting in the same effort, and having the loot master decide who gets the new loot. Furthermore, you can't solo raids, and I HATE having to join a guild, follow all these rules, just so I get the chance to experience the hardest content in this game. You know how I experienced difficult content in the past? I clicked hard mode. I was THRILLED about LFR, then REPULSED when I discovered it was SO SIMPLIFIED that it basically gave no preparation or real comparison of what to experience in harder modes.

FURTHERMORE, after reading this blog post, I honestly think I should just QUIT this game.
I never had to deal with any of this BS from a "community" when playing my PS3 games.
The comments about allowing players to have "bragging rights" and the whole sense of "elitism" and being a "special snowflake" in this game is disgusting. Frankly, outside of this game, no one in the real world cares if you put that you got the legendary on your resume.

and then the comment about legendaries. The current situation is that with no legendary, you fall way behind as a caster - so that's why casters work so hard to obtain it, and why they EXPECT one. The top guilds won't even consider you unless you have it! Having begun this game in September, reaching level 85 two weeks prior to 4.3, there's just no chance of me now getting it before MoP. Guilds working on it even already have their designated people.

If they are going to legendaries, things for you elites to feel like special snowflakes, then make it so it doesn't penalize players without one. Rather than the current situation where classes are balanced with the expectation that certain classes will have it, making it so that players who don't have a legendary unable to compete with other classes in the game.

I get the impression that many of you have been playing for many expansions, truth to be told, this is a HORRIBLE game for new players. I amount of drama, BS, expectations, rules, I have had to endure just to play a video game is CRAZY!

But maybe it's not a WoW problem; maybe I'm discovering I hate MMOs.


Am I the only one that went "holy crap, you got 7k+ achievement points in just 5 months?"
100 Human Warlock
12590
03/07/2012 12:04 PMPosted by Rentrenus
I began playing this game in September
I recommend trying out a Sandbox MMO or just quitting MMOs. You aren't interested in any kind of group mechanic and want to be held on the same level as the people who do group to do the hardest stuff. WoW does an excellent job of giving you things to do, let it be solo or in group, and are only offering more things in the coming expansion. Best of luck somewhere else.
87 Orc Shaman
6190
Why? If players wanted to be out in the world they would be out in the world. Travelling is a nuisance so people strive to minimize the time they spend doing it. That's why players are willing to pay 5k gold for permanent speed boosts. I don't understand why you would want to force players to do something that is clearly not enjoyable to them. Please give us portals and hearthstones. Exploration is great the first time through, but I don't want to be forced into it for the sake of giving explorers the illusion of companionship.


If you can't understand the value of an MMO as a "shared gamespace" which is enriched by the immersion of a shared worldspace, then I dare say you really are playing the wrong kind of game. It's not about "making travel longer".... it's about giving people compelling things to do in a shared game environment. That's the essence of an MMO. Of course, instances like BG's, dungeons, and raids can be wonderful (and they are) but when the WHOLE GAME becomes that (as it is now) then the entire experience suffers and the less the game become an RPG and the more it becomes a co-op game with 3d game lobbies.

What's interesting is GW1's major drawback was being to heavily instanced and now with GW2, Arenanet is going fullbore openworld experience. WoW started as a true open world game and now resembles GW1 than it does original Vanilla WoW. It's good to see WoW getting back to it's roots as an MMO.

TLDR:

Please go away...



100 Blood Elf Paladin
7570
03/07/2012 12:16 PMPosted by Rentrenus


I think you just hate working with others.


No, for example, I LOVED the multi-play aspect of portal 2 for example. and I enjoy playing with players whose company I enjoy. I also really enjoy multi-player games with good solo content.

What I dislike to having to schedule my life around a raiding schedule, and living in fear I'll lose my spot as a core member if I decide to do something different that saturday night.


Then definitely you need to shop around for more guilds, or play with people you do know in a real life setting. Most guilds who wanna run raids will treat it like a second job. If you can't deal with it, you don't have to stay. If you are good at your role, you can definitely hop around guilds to find one to your liking.
87 Orc Shaman
6190
03/07/2012 12:16 PMPosted by Rentrenus


I think you just hate working with others.


No, for example, I LOVED the multi-play aspect of portal 2 for example. and I enjoy playing with players whose company I enjoy. I also really enjoy multi-player games with good solo content.

What I dislike to having to schedule my life around a raiding schedule, and living in fear I'll lose my spot as a core member if I decide to do something different that saturday night.


Ren, what is it that you want exactly? Is it a loot thing? Or is it something else? If you clarify I think I can help you.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
7570


Then definitely you need to shop around for more guilds, or play with people you do know in a real life setting. Most guilds who wanna run raids will treat it like a second job. If you can't deal with it, you don't have to stay. If you are good at your role, you can definitely hop around guilds to find one to your liking.


I've known been in 10 different guilds, across 3 different servers.

For how long must I honestly keep shopping?

It's just the same problems over and over again.


At this point I don't see why you haven't made one yourself.
85 Human Paladin
7275



I think you just hate working with others.


No, for example, I LOVED the multi-play aspect of portal 2 for example. and I enjoy playing with players whose company I enjoy. I also really enjoy multi-player games with good solo content.

What I dislike to having to schedule my life around a raiding schedule, and living in fear I'll lose my spot as a core member if I decide to do something different that saturday night.



I don't understand this logic. Most guilds allow you to say "Hey I am going out this weekend and can't raid." Most are understanding and allow for flexible schedules, however if you miss 2-3 weeks of raids giving the same excuse or no excuse at all then you would lose your spot.

If you don't want to dedicate yourself to a raid schedule then normal/heroic mode progression is just not for you. That is why Blizzard created the LFR and it is why the LFR is a success in a lot of people's minds because it lets people see the content without having to conform to a raid schedule. (All the loot drama aside which btw is a total crock).
This topic is locked.

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)

Reported!

[Close]