Cataclysm Post Mortem -- Dungeons and Raids

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Fun topic.
I relate to the concerns of long-time players regarding the loss of challenge and sense of accomplishment, but I wonder if long-time players can ever really achieve a sense of accomplishment anymore. No matter what they do or don't do to the details of the game, it's still the same game as it ever was...which is the same game that all MMORPGs are: Hit Points.
MMORPGs, like FPSs, fighting games, and even some adventure/puzzle games and RTS, have only 1 central mechanic:

%HP lost/second vs. %HP lost/second.

Everything else is commentary and special effects. CC/stun/mitigate to reduce your rate of HP loss, heal to restore lost HP (thus reducing your overall rate of loss), and move around as needed, if needed. The side of the fight that dies more slowly wins. Goal based mechanics are built on top of this base, and are sooooo not the norm.

Your subconscious knows this, and it would rather be learning guitar.

Some of us, me included, have just been playing Hit Points way too long, and the next (hopefully) amusing and colorful way of having, losing, and keeping HP is never going to seem that great. --The numbers will just get bigger, more of the gear will glow, and your shoulders will look even more absurd. A player that has been immersed in it for over 5 years will be bored, cognitively. The myriad producers of video RPGs have done pretty well delivering a broad range of experiences based on this mechanic, but there is nothing new to learn, and there never will be. No crazy boss abilities or game modes will change that. A MMORPG is never going to produce a elegant elemental system like chess, or tell a personal story about your character like a table-top RPG. Victory conditions are based on a statistical continuum, where the only number that has meaning throughout the game is 0. 0 = Dead. No game theory required.

Anyway: Cata dungeons! I like them. They were mostly the same as all the other dungeons, which I also like. I would compare them to Classic or BC dungeons when they were current, but I was a different person when I ran those, and so were you. It’s a song we’ve heard many times before, albeit in different venues and on different stereos. But you can’t listen to “Purple Haze” on your ipod today and expect to have the same emotional experience as you did back in ‘67, when the vinyl still smelled fresh, and a dime bag cost a dime (tho well done keeping current on formats).

I have no problem with Cata vs. earlier content, but I would have a problem with seeing more of the same in MoP, no matter which earlier expansion it resembles. WoW started as, and still is, an escalation based game, in which you, your gear, and everything else in the world get more complex and “powerful” as you play. You get bigger numbers, and you need bigger numbers. It’s based on the EQ model, which is in turn based on earlier single-player RPGs like Final Fantasy. So, some of us have essentially been playing this game for over 20 years...maybe over 30. Most of us will keep playing because it’s very comfortable to do so, and it can still deliver the fun fairly often. I’m not expecting MoP to bring anything new to the genre (Bliz is better at design than innovation), but playing Hit Points with Pandas and running Panda themed dungeons will be fun for a few months, and the value added stuff like little pet fights will be fun for another month-ish. So it goes.

Unless dungeons start having more dynamic interactive environments, and outcomes that depend on player choices rather than toon stats, they’re all the same. You start in RFC, and you stay there. It gets bigger, the boss fights take longer, and the difficulty varies here and there. The only qualitative differences between dungeons and raids are the out-of-game logistics (more cats to herd) and the higher degree of prestige (in theory) that comes with making it thru that huge damn thing. It’s not a bad thing, really. I’ve had decades of fun with it, and others have/will as well...but...
Pandaria will be the 5th telling of the World of Warcraft story, and the 8th telling of the general Warcraft story.

Do something different.
46 Gnome Warlock
600
I can interact with You Tube, move characters around, and actually play WoW through it?When did this happen?


You are no more playing wow by going afk during LFR than you are by watching it on youtube. The only difference is that you get a chance at loot through LFR.
46 Gnome Warlock
600
03/14/2012 07:50 PMPosted by Sparklespark
or tell a personal story about your character like a table-top RPG.


I dunno Swtor does exactly that.
90 Human Warlock
9355
Simple point being made here..... bring back the difficulty level of heroics we experienced at teh start of cata, heroics are called heroics for a reason /sigh
90 Pandaren Warrior
16560
03/14/2012 11:16 PMPosted by Squeakydevil
I can interact with You Tube, move characters around, and actually play WoW through it?When did this happen?


You are no more playing wow by going afk during LFR than you are by watching it on youtube. The only difference is that you get a chance at loot through LFR.


As a tank or a healer, this is total heaped garbage. If you're going afk as a tank, you get kicked because you cause wipes. Same with a healer.

The main kicks I've pushed for are AFK/Bad tanks (And by bad I mean really bad...), AFK/bad/dpsing healers, and afk/less than 8k DPS.

Most have passed. So the claim that you can go afk in LFR is 100% dependant on the group you're in, never as gaurentee, and mostly a meme spouted by people with an agenda on these forums. Most LFR groups that I've been in call these jerks out and get rid of them.
Edited by Dorrell on 3/15/2012 2:06 PM PDT
46 Gnome Warlock
600
03/15/2012 02:04 PMPosted by Dorrell
So the claim that you can go afk in LFR is 100% dependant on the group you're in, never as gaurentee, and mostly a meme spouted by people with an agenda on these forums. Most LFR groups that I've been in call these jerks out and get rid of them.


I have no agend, simply pointing out how simple LFR is and how similar it is to youtubing the fight.

03/15/2012 02:04 PMPosted by Dorrell
As a tank or a healer, this is total heaped garbage. If you're going afk as a tank, you get kicked because you cause wipes. Same with a healer


I beg to differ. Ive been in a few groups where i simply went afk. Didnt get kicked. They actually blamed the other tank for the wipe in one instace because i said "afk a min" right before the pull. I had no intention of going back until the wipe happened. There are only 3 fights in all of LFR that you need 2 tanks. Ultraxion, Warmaster, Madness. So saying a tank cant go afk is untrue. The fights are tuned based on 4 good healers. the fifth healer is in case one of the first 4 is bad. so is the 6th. Healers can and do go afk as well.

90 Pandaren Warrior
16560
So the claim that you can go afk in LFR is 100% dependant on the group you're in, never as gaurentee, and mostly a meme spouted by people with an agenda on these forums. Most LFR groups that I've been in call these jerks out and get rid of them.


I have no agend, simply pointing out how simple LFR is and how similar it is to youtubing the fight.

As a tank or a healer, this is total heaped garbage. If you're going afk as a tank, you get kicked because you cause wipes. Same with a healer


I beg to differ. Ive been in a few groups where i simply went afk. Didnt get kicked. They actually blamed the other tank for the wipe in one instace because i said "afk a min" right before the pull. I had no intention of going back until the wipe happened. There are only 3 fights in all of LFR that you need 2 tanks. Ultraxion, Warmaster, Madness. So saying a tank cant go afk is untrue. The fights are tuned based on 4 good healers. the fifth healer is in case one of the first 4 is bad. so is the 6th. Healers can and do go afk as well.


Wow, gratz on being one of the problem people in the community. Everything you just typed screams, "I have an agenda, I want LFR to fail."

But you're even admitting that if one of the tanks goes AFK, you can't do the fights in LFR.... Meaning that it's a far far far cry from /popcorning a L2R video. /facepalm

And we check recount in our home when we do LFR and call people like you out. So hope that you never see my wife or I in a LFR, because with the attitude you just spouted, you don't deserve to use that amazing feature.
Edited by Dorrell on 3/15/2012 5:48 PM PDT
46 Gnome Warlock
600
03/15/2012 05:47 PMPosted by Dorrell
But you're even admitting that if one of the tanks goes AFK, you can't do the fights in LFR.... Meaning that it's a far far far cry from /popcorning a L2R video. /facepalm


No you misunderstood my post. LFR is ruining LFR, not me or people like me. As a tank I have gone afk. Short of ultraxion and warmaster the fights are 1 tankable.
56 Worgen Death Knight
90
I think that It is most defiantly not fair that when you go into a raid like Deathwing, you have people that are so greedy that they have to need on everything and win it when other people never have a chance. I think that people that already have the gear on should not be able to roll on it. it makes no sense. i wish blizzard would change this because its not fair i run every week and win NOTHING.
90 Pandaren Warrior
16560
03/15/2012 10:30 PMPosted by Squeakydevil
But you're even admitting that if one of the tanks goes AFK, you can't do the fights in LFR.... Meaning that it's a far far far cry from /popcorning a L2R video. /facepalm


No you misunderstood my post. LFR is ruining LFR, not me or people like me. As a tank I have gone afk. Short of ultraxion and warmaster the fights are 1 tankable.


You mean like they are on normal? /boggle

Does that mean normal raiding is killing normal raiding too?
100 Troll Hunter
XII
15740
I liked the initial difficulty of heroics when Cat first came out. Same holds true for ZA/ZG. They were like mini-raids because it took a little effort when they first came out.

When people started to out gear these places, the fun quickly wore off. The Twilight heroics never held much of a challenge. It seemed that if you had decent gear you could blindly blast your way through. (Well if you had a decent tank and heals)

As for raids, our guild only dabbles with heroic content, so I cant speak to that ( I will leave that to the guilds that push heroic content). The regular content was challenging enough to make it feel like an accomplishment, and the encounters became easier the more a group would run it, due to the gear they would get. I think that is ideal.

I liked that we had BoT and BWD as two different raiding options. It helped when we were stuck on one boss. We could clear our heads and go to a different raid the next night to get some sense of accomplishment.

All in all, catering to a divers community, like the hard core raiders who push heroic content while still keeping it challenging for a non-heroic raider, is a very difficult thing to do. I believe you did an excellent job in designing the raids and heroics.
Getting real old going into dungeon finder and having people leave because loot they want does not drop. Makes people have to wait to find replacement/s, when our time is as important as anyone elses. The penalty for leaving dungeon finder is a joke and needs to be increased so people wouldn't do this as much as they do. Please look into this.
46 Gnome Warlock
600
03/16/2012 01:55 PMPosted by Megâdeth
Getting real old going into dungeon finder and having people leave because loot they want does not drop. Makes people have to wait to find replacement/s, when our time is as important as anyone elses. The penalty for leaving dungeon finder is a joke and needs to be increased so people wouldn't do this as much as they do. Please look into this.


Would an hour or two penalty make you happy? It wouldnt matter in the long run because they can just log onto their alt. If their alt is a dps and spends 30 mins in que then 30 minutes in a dungeon that penalty is negated. If you bump it up too high you have people solely queing with guildies. If you make it too low its a joke. Either way someone gets screwed.
90 Troll Hunter
7380
End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight all provide epic play experiences to our players, but at the real sweet spot of difficulty, complexity, and time commitment.

Wat

So, I left WoW shortly after Firelands was released, then came back in early December and tanked all of the new heroics with the bare minimum item level required to queue up (with DPS items in my bags helping me reach that bare minimum - the set I was wearing was actually "insufficient," supposedly) without looking up any of the fights. I didn't wipe once. Didn't even dip dangerously low. And THAT'S the sweet spot?
Jesus. I thought the tier 1 Cata heroics were the sweet spot. =/
And here I was hoping for a challenge from the MoP heroics.
90 Blood Elf Rogue
8660
I really think the loot system should change in the raid finder... Honestly the way that can solve everyones problems of having ninjas is that haveing all specific unique equipped/only requires to equip 1 at a time such as Rings,trinkets, certain types of weps (polearms, healing weps, tank weps) shields, ranged weps, neck pieces etc, should make the roll auto pass if the item of its lvl or better version of the item is either equipped, in bags, or in bank. Also i would reconmend any player that rolls on loot, leaves before rolls are done ,, should auto pass it or dont get a bonus roll for it to allow others who stayed to recieve it rather than no one getting it.
90 Pandaren Priest
9455
Just gonna throw in my experience

Levelling up my first healer, the entire range of content from level 40-80 was a facerolling joke. There was no challenge. Wipes only happened when some !@#$%^ DPS pulled five groups and the boss at once. Even then, half the time I could heal through it. 20-40 was only difficult because I kept OOMing all the damn time and tanks at that range just run through everything.

Anyway, so I hit level 80, run some WOTLK heroics for a while. Faceroll. Ridiculously easy. Then I jump into Throne of the Tides for the first time with the bare minimum gear to get in. The tank was a DK with... 40k hp. Ooohhhh boy. That run was hard. God damn hard. I was OOMing and popping all my CD's on each boss, barely getting through, wiping occasionally, letting the DPS die often, and it was the funnest 5 man experience I had ever had. I immediately fell in love with Cata's five man difficulty.

Jumping into heroics was even harder. My mana regen had just been killed and I had nearly the same gear as level 82-84. Boss mechanics had turned from damaging to instakill. And I loved it even more. In Vortex Pinnacle, the group I had had almost no CC for the Temple adds. After a couple wipes we finally got through... with me MCing the Adepts as making them run off the ledge. XD

I hope that MoP doesn't reduce Heroics difficulty back to Wrath levels. That would entirely kill the fun for me.
85 Human Paladin
5225
Sticky necro:

1) Now having finally finally seen and attempted heroic spine, I really think it's a very engaging encounter for most middle-of-road players, not the least because the specc that GOT you this far might not work anymore, and it (at least for me) really made me question and rethink my class from first principles. My guildies are re-doing their reforges just for that fight, taking talents just for that fight, and even using oddball glyphs just for that fight. This part of the game brought out a side in everyone around me that really really blew me away. It's precise, and tax your patience and mental endurance, but every repercussion is a direct reflection of your execution. Not to mention some otherwise inviable builds really shine here. Here on the final exam of Cata, amid the feelings of doing in WoW what's equivalent of a graduation thesis, I can also see blizzard's creative way to "balance" the different talents of a class.

2) I have my rage points about Cata PvE, namely Abyssal Maw and castrated loot tables. But in retrospect I am still a Cata fanboy above all other xpacs (except vanilla which I have not played). Blue dungeons were legitly hard when they came out, and I have to say heroic Ragnaros is EPIC, and it brings back the BC concept of "battle for survival" with a blaze of glory, spiced with burn phases to boot. The feeling of that fight is absolutely the best blizz has ever done in a LONG time.

3) The nerfs: keep in mind that every player has a fuse, and guilds need victories to survive. Stagnant guilds collapse, and current trends are arid enough as is. For the middle class, it's too harsh to punish the half the roster who are willing to go forward just because the wipo-phobics have chickend out. Now having earned a little more right to speak on the subject, I have to say that even with nerfs, I have seen with my own eyes that heroic progression has made everyone around me better players. I think this would not have happened if more people were scared down into normal mode and then quit. Learning and killing a boss post-nerf today may be all that's needed to teach you the finesse for killing another boss pre-nerf tomorrow.

-TL;DR: some of the end-end-endgame content tests every aspect of your gameplay, and was thus IMO designed amazingly. The nerfs that gave the xpac a bad name actually is doing more to encourage people to improve rather than removing that incentive altogether.
Edited by Sábér on 4/15/2012 10:27 PM PDT
90 Troll Warlock
7045
The lvl 90 heroics should tuned the same as the 85 ones, in terms of boss/trash health and damage. This will actually make the instances themselves easier because there were about 4.5 bosses per instance in cata and there will be about 3.5 in mop. Also, we now have the dungeon journal to help out any groups with 0 ppl who have done the fights.
Just did DS in LFR and maybe its more fun when its more challenging but I didn't feel engaged because the environment was too easy to ignore. In Ulduar there was a massive scale vehicle seige and you coordinated with a team of dwarven engineers to take down the defenses just to get in. As you quested through wrath you learned what Arthas was up to and he called you out as you crept your way up his castle then you had an epic battle of good vs evil. ToC didn't even change scenery but the idea behind a tournament between the horde and alliance to see who should go on to protect Azeroth from the lich king was kinda cool. I don't even remember what DS looked like and I literally left less than 10 mins ago. I have faith MoP will redeem some dwindling faith as it seems they're putting in a lot of work. Just my 2 cents.
Sorry to rip as I'm sure some of these fights were probably hard work but I'm more entertained by the dungeons than the raid.

I agree with an earlier post too I'm sure there were more than one to link so I wont but I feel the dungeons should have remained difficult at first. Why give us cc if we dont need to use it? If its all just supposed to be for pvp then why not make pvp trees. You need strategy in a raid so teaching people to bull rush their way through dungeons doesn't teach them how to get any better in a raid.
Edited by Kerm on 5/11/2012 2:50 AM PDT
90 Dwarf Paladin
11875
The feature has proven to be extremely popular, and not just with people who had given up on raiding.


Do you people read the Dungeon and Raid forums? Seriously, how many posts complaining about the exploits of the loot trading system? Thousands.

The abusive behavior that the LFR loot system not only allowed but rewarded has turned the player base into a pack of flaming @#$@#. Its also a reason for a lot of people unsubscribing.
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