Did heroics really need to be THIS easy?

90 Blood Elf Paladin
ONE
8505
TL:DR- With the systems MoP has in place to satisfy everyone, there is no reason there can't be more interesting heroic dungeons than we see today.


Before you get angry over what you've most likely jumped to assume is "another casual vs. hardcore" thread, let me just preface something: While I was a really big fan of the initial release cata heroics, I do recognize their fatal flaws that ultimately lead to what we see today with the 4.3 and 5.0 heroics. I'm not here to ask for a return to gruelingly challenging 2 hour heroic dungeons, I just kind of want to take a little time to analyze and discuss both the previous system and how we are now, and why I think there is a better balance somewhere else.

For starters, I just want to list off the pros and cons of both systems. (Considering gearing method and things to do are a part of this discussion, I will also include other relevant items such as point acquisition, rep. ect.)

4.0:
pros:

They were many and varied. I didn't really start getting bored of them until long after we had been raiding.

Bosses were reasonably challenging and had very interesting mechanics. Some of them honestly felt like mini raid bosses to work on and achieve a kill, especially at lower gear lvs.

Due to a mix of factors such as guild lving being a new thing, the difficulty of the heroics, and the benefit to having a comp with a good # of interrupts and CC, it was the environment that formed guild bonding through dungeon groups, something that sometimes gets lost in a large 25m raiding guild. We would hop on vent and spend the next 2 hours or so having a blast trying to work our way through heroics.

Cons:
Because of factors such as the importance of group comp, the healer mana changes, and the overall coordination needed to complete them, they were extremely painful to PuG, and there were some days where if a guild group wasn't on I didn't bother, and even with a guild group, early on you could expect to be there for quite a while if you got one of the longer or more challenging instances like HoO or GB. You had to be pretty dam sure you had the time to run it. This obviously caused a problem for a lot of casual players who simply didn't have the time to risk wasting 2hrs in a heroic for a failed PuG or even not getting any drops. Also: trash being hard just wasn't any fun... there really isn't any way to dispute that...

To add to this problem, you could only earn valor from heroics once per day, so you really NEEDED to play everyday if you didn't want to fall behind.

There wasn't a lot else to do if you wanted to PvE, but you couldn't dedicate the time for brutal heroics. There were only 3 max lv normal dungeons that certainly didn't cover a full gear set. (also keep in mind that at this point normals gave far less JP than they do now. If I remember right bosses didn't even drop any, and you only got a little from daily completions.)

There weren't a ton of daily quests to do for rep, the ones that were there were relatively static and uninteresting and at the end of the day it was faster to rep up through tabbard dungeon grinding, something you couldn't easily do if heroics are an issue for you. (and even then, not a whole lot of gear out of there, even if there were some nice upgrades.)

Crafting was almost not an option since the only way to get 346/359 crafted gear was with chaos orbs, which were BoP, dropped from the difficult heroics, and because of how valuable they were people charged a fortune for any crafted gear that used them.

Finally, raids were really not PuGable, and if you had no heroic gear good luck getting into one in the 1st place.

Continued...
Edited by Darthelmet on 10/3/2012 6:38 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
ONE
8505
5.0 system:
Pros:

There are a LOT of options to get gear, and generally do what you want. Questing sprinkled with normal dungeons and maybe a crafted item provide you with decent gear by the time you hit 90.

From there you can: Do dailies for rep items, (which are now far more accessible with the recent hotfix) do scenarios for random spec appropriate heroic dungeon level loot, kill world bosses (which can be downed even if you aren't 90.) for chances at epic drops, get crafting gear which is much easier to skill up and gather mats for now, (although if you're just a gatherer and not a crafter spirits of harmony do drive up prices quite a bit.) do PvP for gear that no longer has it's budget taken up by PvP stats, (epic pvp gear wasn't nerfed, so that's still good for some classes.) or PvP then convert to JP for the rep items, you could kill rare spawns that drop decent blues and even some epics, you can run heroic dungeons which are short and simple to accomplish in a PuG, and finally, when it comes out, LFR provides an easy way to get into raiding without a big time commitment.

Cons:
For any reasonably serious raider, all of this stuff we "can do" becomes stuff we need to do. (I'm really not going to get into a "you don't NEED to" argument here, that's not really the point of this thread and the topic never goes anywhere.)

Heroics are mind numbingly easy, uninteresting, and quick to complete. The feeling of "mini raid boss" from cata is all but completely gone. Most of the bosses don't do anything noticeable, and the ones that do something are really gimmicky and don't really require a strat or skill so much as just clicking whatever button or cog wheel that pops up. There's nothing to get you excited about getting to a boss since a lot of them aren't much more than a trash mob with a lot of health. On top of this, the overall short length of the instance just doesn't feel right. It ends just as you feel like you're getting started. And it sucks even more to wait for a long DPS queue then get an instance that's over with in 10 minutes that didn't drop any loot you needed anyway.

Because of the facts that the heroics are short and easy, people need to do dailies while queuing, and the lack of new guild lvs means I almost never actually run with a full guild group. Every once in a while someone will ask for a heroic run and 1-2 people will join up, but most of the time we're all too busy to bother helping run a heroic when there really isn't any real benefit to going together since you don't need the coordination, you get a buff for pugging, the lfg mostly balances out armor types so there isn't gear overlap, and tanks/heals sometimes even get the mystery satchel for going alone. So it's rare that we'll go out of our way to get in vent and have a guild run.

Besides that, nobody ever talks in the randoms unless they are calling someone out, arguing over loot, trolling, ect. Not once have I seen a group have a friendly discussion during trash or stop before a boss to discuss the strat any more than "lol nobody stand in stuff PULLING!"

Continued...
Edited by Darthelmet on 10/3/2012 6:36 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
ONE
8505
So now that we have an idea of what made the systems work and what didn't, I come to my conclusion, with the hopes of having at least a reasonable discussion:

I really like the interesting, challenging heroic content of cata that brought guilds together. The problems stemmed from a lack of ways to progress for people who didn't want to do heroics or didn't have the time. There was also the obnoxious daily valor instead of weekly valor. MoP no longer has these problems, there is plenty to do besides heroics that all reward you reasonably well, and there is now LFR to ease you into raiding. So my thoughts are, now that heroics aren't the end all be all to the early expansion progression system, and you can get valor enough ways that playing every day isn't mandatory for capping it, why can't heroics provide a reasonable challenge and length again to give that kind of guild group experience I and I'm assuming a reasonable # of people enjoyed about cata? They would be just one option of progression out of many, and they would be a bit less severe than the original cata heroics, but not the snoozefest the new heroics have become.

Maybe have them tuned to take 30-60m depending on the instance, (compared to the 1.5-2hrs some cata heroics had on launch.) not be so comp dependent by toning down focus on things like interrupts, slows, non-magic dispells, and CCs and focus more on making the bosses have awesome interesting mechanics. The best example I can think of is actually a raid in this case, but the same principle applies: FL had a lot of great boss encounters based around movement and coordination rather than needing interrupt rotations or slows. I'd like to see a similar thing done with 5 mans, where the boss is challenging, but not because your group comp sucked or because healer mana is broken, but because it provides you with entertaining obstacles to overcome.

On the subject of "challenge modes are the hard dungeon content now," because it is guaranteed to come up as a rebuttal: While I haven't tried them yet, I do like their addition to the game. I think its an interesting system that's going to appeal to very specific kinds of players. The problem is, by their very nature, challenge modes are quick to complete and don't give you any time to have fun and chat with guildmates. When you're in a challenge mode going for that next goal, be it gold or the #1 rank, you're going to have your plans laid out ahead of time and mainly just call things out as needed. I doubt there's really any room for friendly banter or strategizing when a slow down somewhere can mean the difference between success and failure. And if you do succeed... congratulations! You've just completed it in like 10 minutes... "What just happened? Are we going to start the instance soon? What?! It's done!? We have gold?! Ok!..."

Like I said, really cool for people who like time trials, probably not what I'm looking for.

Anyway, let me know what you think, please try to stay reasonably on topic if you can.
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90 Orc Warlock
5950
didnt read your wallo of epic text but i really feel that challenge modes are what are going to be the new heroic content... queing for the hardest mode of 5m content isnt best imo... having to have a tight nit 5m team to cc stun
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100 Dwarf Death Knight
17795
at least raids have made up for it so far.
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90 Human Paladin
16345
The problem is, by their very nature, challenge modes are quick to complete and don't give you any time to have fun and chat with guildmates... Like I said, really cool for people who like time trials, probably not what I'm looking for.


Your assumption is incorrect; challenge modes won't be easy or quick to complete in the first few attempts, if actually being able to complete it at all... Give it a try before you are drawing conclusion to it...

ps: I haven't tried it yet but based on my guildie's feedback, they are more difficult than Cata heroics during release... they weren't able to complete it in first try but then their healer was a bit undergeared...
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90 Night Elf Monk
14435
Heroics are normal instances, Normal instances are LFR difficulty.

Challenge modes are Pre nerf Scholo difficulty. Example, those Angry dogs (Not the starving dogs that you can put to sleep with the buckets) on the chains in challenge scarlet halls? They hit me for 80k with shuffle up. Essentially they hit harder than almost every boss in Mogushan Vaults. Now imagine all the trash hits this hard.

Yep, Challenge modes. Go try those.
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100 Dwarf Death Knight
17795
10/03/2012 10:16 PMPosted by Lightvoid
Heroics are normal instances, Normal instances are LFR difficulty.


It's just sickening how slippery the slope has gotten with WoW over the past ~6 years.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
ONE
8505
The problem is, by their very nature, challenge modes are quick to complete and don't give you any time to have fun and chat with guildmates... Like I said, really cool for people who like time trials, probably not what I'm looking for.


Your assumption is incorrect; challenge modes won't be easy or quick to complete in the first few attempts, if actually being able to complete it at all... Give it a try before you are drawing conclusion to it...

ps: I haven't tried it yet but based on my guildie's feedback, they are more difficult than Cata heroics during release... they weren't able to complete it in first try but then their healer was a bit undergeared...


I wasn't really referring to the difficulty of them, as I was aware of the challenge they presented, I just meant that they didn't really provide the same kind of experience as I described where it's something fun you could do with guild mates for a while. With challenge modes, your goal is to go faster and faster and faster. If you're going for a top time, or even gold, you're either going to complete it even faster than the heroic version, or you're going to spend most of your time resetting after little annoying blunders like maybe you take a little long to find Janice Barrov or let one too many barrels pass by without being used on Ook Ook.

I just really don't think this is the same kind of enjoyable instance experience that would be provided by heroics of reasonable length and difficulty.
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90 Night Elf Death Knight
8325
New heroics are designed to get fresh 90s geared up for LFR and raids. Challenge modes are designed to give you a *gasp* challenge, and from what I can hear, they do not disappoint. So what if they don't give loot? If you want a challenge, go get challenged.
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90 Worgen Hunter
10835
Heroics were never hard. Just the same exact thing normal is, with better gear, and an extra boss ability. To say they had difficulty to begin with is kind of, wrong... IMO obviously.

That's why they came out with challenge modes, to provide the sense of difficulty you are looking for, but if you thought heroics at the beginning of Cata were hard, then I think C-Modes might be a bit difficult for you.
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96 Human Paladin
13345
10/03/2012 07:40 PMPosted by Postonforums
at least raids have made up for it so far.


We'll see how that's working after LFR opens next week. Should be interesting!
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90 Orc Warlock
7195
I'm glad the dungeons are a joke. Basically how the game is set up at the moment you have to do BOTH dailies and dungeons every week (you can cool down on dailies once you have your rep and enough coins for the quest each week). That's a lot of time needed currently. We have to gear up from heroic dungeons all while questing for rep/coins every day. The exclusion of rep tabards made the QoL much worse imo, since you don't really have an option of just running dungeons for rep instead of dailies. Dungeons are still going to be the best way to get valor, so you'll be running those for a while. Dailies are the way to get coins so even after you're exhalted you're still going to run them. If, on top of all that, they also made dungeons slow crawls that took forever and were filled with frustration of dying because of bad pugs no one that can only be on for a few hours a day could get everything done in the week. I get on after work and can be on for about 3 hours, and even with the dungeons in the state they are I find that I still feel like there isn't enough time to grind rep and get gear.

Sucksbro
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100 Pandaren Priest
16405
Easy? Well then, all the groups I'm in find creative ways to MAKE them hard.

I'm starting to get really f'ing sick of SPM, people standing in fire, tank standing in fire AND breaths, eating FoF on the second boss, standing in cleaves, exploding the volatiles all over each other, failing to kill gripping hatreds...

And over the course of one healer-locked-outside-while-drinking, one legit wipe, and then successfully killing Armsmaster in SH, I saw a warrior die FIVE TIMES to his whirlwind.

If players that bad can't be forced to stay in non-heroic dungeons, then they have to at least be easy enough to 3-man anything.
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90 Orc Warlock
7195
It helps that I usually run with a guild healer or tank because I don't want to wait in queue, so I'm rarely in a full pug group.

That being said I hate SPM and if it comes up I will always leave after the first boss. It is the biggest waste of time I've ever experienced. Even with a full guild group the instance just takes forever.

Just remember that dungeons are meant to be more difficult at the beginning of the patch. When you're running these same dungeons after the next raid comes out they'll be a lot easier. The dungeons are gonna last a long time, and it's the worst it'll ever be for their "difficulty."
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90 Night Elf Druid
11260
to discuss the strat any more than "lol nobody stand in stuff PULLING!"

I am guilty of this....
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8840
The thing about challenging content: It's only fun the first time. Once it becomes what most heroics are to us now, something we grind to get gear, then the challenge becomes nothing more than a chore.

Challenge modes do a great job of giving that challenging content, now Blizzard just needs to do a better job balancing things like damage output between single target and AoE, and stuff like that, so that everyone has a realistic shot at it. The fact that Blizzard said you want a bloodlust / heroism in the group if you're aiming for gold should be a HUGE hint at they failed.
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90 Pandaren Priest
6185
Jesus, has challenge modes and it still isn't enough. Has great, interesting raids but wants to whine about heroic dungeons. You have options if you want more difficulty.
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91 Draenei Paladin
11185
Personally, I raid for a challenge, not do 5mans. When I queue up to spend time with random people, I'm happy with it being faceroll easy. And if I want to do those same 5mans in a challenging setting, there's challenge modes.

I can't wait to see how fast these instances get done in T16 gear.
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