The increasing memory demands of raids

90 Troll Hunter
11255
If you guys don't actually want to have a reasonable discussion, I'll just go back to my 60-80 hour a week job and the pile of 20 papers I have to grade.


What about your supermodel husband/wife, 15 kids, as well as being a full-time student? and let's be real, you ignored what I said earlier which is hilarious because your website graphs show nothing other than "fluff." You ignored what I said and showed.
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90 Tauren Druid
14930
I wanted to express my personal thoughts regarding this topic in the hopes that it will have some meaning to the devs and to other players. Before I continue I completely stand behind and support Lissanna's (the OP) statements and views on this topic.

The encounters in ToT have been bittersweet for me, more so than in any other tier of content I have experienced since I began raiding in TBC. I welcome new and challenging raid designs regardless of the difficulty and complexity. With that being said, I feel that many fights, including the Durumu fight are setting a bad precedent for future content.

Most boss fights seem to be overly complicated in regards to mechanics, abilities, etc. For some this is a welcomed challenge, for others like myself, it becomes obnoxious and frustrating. Sure, on paper some fights may seem incredibly vast but in action they seem much easier and that is fine.

What I do not believe is fine is the current trend of adding a long list of mechanics and abilities for each boss and then calling it a challenging, fun encounter. Having a few boss fights that are far more complex than the others is fine but when you find so many of them, especially in the beginning of a tier it becomes a road block and a very daunting experience.
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10 Blood Elf Paladin
10
blizzard should consider something like DBM as a baseline LFR feature. it's a given in normal/heroic raiding, getting people used to checking timers wouldnt hurt if they intend to start doing regular raiding after trying LFR.

of course people might ignore it entirely, but the option to enable a default boss mod would be decent if people arent used to using addons/are new to the game.
Edited by Sanctifìed on 4/7/2013 2:51 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8800
Thus, the LFR versions should either have significantly fewer mechanics than normal-mode does for ease of learning without outside strategy guides (and a cap on the number of potential mechanics you have to attend to in their design process), or they are going to have to keep making tons of mechanics in LFR just be trival enough to totally ignore and let everyone treat every boss like it's patchwerk (and let everyone continue to stand in fires that tickle instead of hurt).

I am suggesting that option #1 for LFR (fewer mechanics that are meaningful), is better than option # 2 (tons of mechanics that are meaningless because casual players who don't use outside strategy guides/addons can't attend to them all).


I'm not sure i agree. I think we'll see a mix in the future. They couldn't now/in the past, because there were so few mechanics. Turning stuff off in DS made things feel...empty (and more than a few of the encounters were empty at best).

Once we get closer to that critical number, they have room to turn mechanics off without making it a single mechanic fight.

Sure, this is really one of the points that is important. The dungeon journal for LFR in particular isn't helpful when it is a huge list of 20+ points and only 5 of them are going to matter for you. That requires outside knowledge for the fight that isn't found in the game, or to just make none of the mechanics matter at all. I'm just not sure that making none of the mechanics matter at all is a solution to the problem of the constant increase in demands for learning the boss encounters.


The problem stems from assuming it has to be short term learning. Doing that constrains what you can do in a fight considerably. I don't think it's sustainable to continue churning out Morchok's , as much as we joke about people only wanting purples.

People will get bored. For the same reason we have spell bloat (as someone mentioned earlier). Hell, they can't even add spells without making them extremely niche, anymore.

I'm not sure what to do. They've pretty much said flat out they don't want to do strats. i think the closest we could get in game would be a better summary. Anything else would be a monumental shift in design philosophy.

I think the best is to have the mechanics on, which adds confusion, but it does give the illusion of more "new stuff". I also don't think it's unfair to expect LFR/normal to use long term learning. People already do it. It takes awhile, but you can see them learn when/which trash packs to skip, a more efficient way to face a boss, etc

As long as you can convince people to not give up, it works pretty well.
Edited by Arianity on 4/7/2013 2:59 PM PDT
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90 Gnome Mage
13875
now you are talking about how in the future 10 years down the line content will ramp up in mechanics which is a complete assumption


Not an assumption, but a projection based on past evidence. Big difference.

When LFR is just a couple toned down mechanics and becomes nothing more than a Patchwerk fight it offers nothing but a chance of gear and a place to see boss room design, which is boring. When LFR has the normal mode mechanics and players can learn to execute them in a forgiving setting then LFR also offers a place to teach players how to dodge thing, how to not stand in bad, and how to perform a DPS rotation while executing mechanics


LFR isn't really doing either thing now. It seems to jump back and forth between two extremes. Either ignore everything and focus the boss, or wipe continually until you have enough stacks of the buff to do the same.

Based on personal experience, the only time it doesn't fall into one of those extremes is when you have guilds queuing together. Then they coordinate their efforts and succeed. This seems opposed to the idea of LFR, which is supposed to be designed for people who don't normally play together and thus don't have that level of coordination.

While I don't know if I agree that the memory thing is a problem, I do think that fights are getting to the point where they are just adding more stuff for the appearance of complexity. The fights aren't really any more difficult or any less difficult, there is just more stuff to ignore.

If these things were more interesting it would be great, but more often than not it just equates to more void zones of varying colors on the floor.
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MVP - World of Warcraft
90 Night Elf Druid
11830


I'm not sure i agree. I think we'll see a mix in the future. They couldn't now/in the past, because there were so few mechanics. Turning stuff off in DS made things feel...empty (and more than a few of the encounters were empty at best).

Once we get closer to that critical number, they have room to turn mechanics off without making it a single mechanic fight.


Yes, a molten core LFR version with fewer mechanics would have been boring and lacking in depth. :)

Having a LFR fight with 8 mechanics that can't be trivialized (more than a DS LFR would have allowed for), and allowing the normal-mode version to ramp that up to 12 mechanics for that same fight, and a hard-mode version with 15 mechanics for that same fight actually adds an incredible amount of depth to the game.

Having LFR fights with between 5 and 10 unique mechanics is still a lot of information to attend to and track, and can be done in ways that allow easy entry for newbies, without being totally boring for experts. Having the heroic modes with likely twice that number of mechanics, and normal-modes sitting somewhere in the middle, allows for people to choose the difficulty level that best fits themselves and their guild. However, it also requires being cognizant of what the thresholds are for human memory, attention, reaction time, and visual processing abilities.

Different levels of difficulty should ideally be focused around ensuring that the game offers people at different time constraints and ability levels access in more than just being able to step in the door, but actually feeling like the difficulty level is right for them. It's not really easy to do that at all, and different people are going to disagree about what the maximum ability level target should be for different content. Consistently raising the bar over time is important at the highest level of difficulty, but consistently raising the bar at the lowest level of difficulty by definition ends up leaving people behind.

Blizzard did a good job of letting people into the door, but they could do a better job of offering people of different cognitive abilities and time restraints content that challenges them but stays within their limits.
Edited by Lissanna on 4/7/2013 3:03 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Druid
17755
You're making a huge leap in assuming that if a mechanic exists, people actually have to learn it. Most of any raid probably has no clue what Triple Puncture ever is, and has no reason to, because it has nothing to do with them. Similarly, while, say doing Neff add tanking was a relatively high responsiblity job that required coordinated movement, for everyone else in the raid except tanks, it was "DPS boss/Heal, occasionally go 3 steps to the left".

With that said, as someone else mentioned, the timers are nigh irrelevant to most fights; they're not something you need to keep staring at, and plenty of players do most fights without them. I personally did LK-H with no timers.
The reason for this is pattern recognition. People are somewhat developed at this, and patterns stick in people's heads.
For example, I can tell you from sheer memory that this is how Rag went in phase 2.

Sulfuras Smash ---> Seed (few seconds after Smash) --> World in Flames (few seconds after adds catch up) --> Sulfuras Smash (right as World ends) --> Seed (~10-15 seconds later) --> Smash (as adds catch up) --> WiF etc.

Now the other thing you're missing entirely is that at this point, every dangerous mechanic actually gives you a warning, even if you don't have DBM. Even when you don't have DBM, Vizier happily announces that he's Inhaling, Exhaling, Converting, Attenuating and Force and Verving. Ta'yak tells you when he's Unseen Striking and Blade Tempesting. You get a prewarning for effects such as Durumu's maze, where he literally spends 10-15 seconds doing googly eyes at the wall giving you ample time while the maze forms to get in position. This isn't some world where it's "Have DBM or die" - those fights have been extremely rare, to the point that from Wrath on, there have been 2 fights that fit that category.
Edited by Slashlove on 4/7/2013 3:02 PM PDT
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90 Dwarf Death Knight
17655
or wipe continually until you have enough stacks of the buff to do the same.


Blizzard said VERY boldly, that if people were doing this, they would remove the buff.

The fact people go into encounters, ignore mechanics and stack it, is proof the buff is bad for the game.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8800
Somewhat unrelated (but i didn't want to edit again)- there is precedent. We saw a similar evolution in rotations.

They got more complicated in BC, then wotlk. Then cata toned them down (While still adding new stuff).

Different levels of difficulty should ideally be focused around ensuring that the game offers people at different time constraints and ability levels access in more than just being able to step in the door, but actually feeling like the difficulty level is right for them. It's not really easy to do that at all, and different people are going to disagree about what the maximum ability level target should be for different content. Consistently raising the bar over time is important at the highest level of difficulty, but consistently raising the bar at the lowest level of difficulty by definition ends up leaving people behind.


Agreed. But i think they also need to make people feel like they're raising the bar, because feeling like you're improving is really important in keeping people engaged, even if they totally suck.

The extra mechanics essentially end up being an illusion.
Edited by Arianity on 4/7/2013 3:09 PM PDT
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MVP - World of Warcraft
90 Night Elf Druid
11830
04/07/2013 02:59 PMPosted by Azane
or wipe continually until you have enough stacks of the buff to do the same.


Blizzard said VERY boldly, that if people were doing this, they would remove the buff.

The fact people go into encounters, ignore mechanics and stack it, is proof the buff is bad for the game.


Yes, the raid encounters should instead be designed in ways that people running LFRs don't feel the need to stack the buff and turn the fight into Patchwerk. :)
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90 Dwarf Death Knight
17655
Yes, the raid encounters should instead be designed in ways that people running LFRs don't feel the need to stack the buff and turn the fight into Patchwerk. :)


exactly, they should handle the mechanics, and kill the boss, not intentionally wipe 10 times then kill the boss before the mechanics happen.

removing the buff would actually make people learn the fight.
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MVP - World of Warcraft
90 Night Elf Druid
11830
Somewhat unrelated (but i didn't want to edit again)- there is precedent. We saw a similar evolution in rotations.

They got more complicated in BC, then wotlk. Then cata toned them down (While still adding new stuff).


yes, the class designers have recognized the limitations and stayed within the realm of what people can handle. We have rotations that are much more complex than the "lawl spam starfire" rotation moonkin had back in TBC, but have been designed in a way where the most basic aspects of the rotation can be fairly easily explained (and then the high-end DPS have additional tricks that beginners don't need to know).

I'm suggesting that heroic-modes can keep raising the bar while keeping the bar for LFR and normal-modes attainable for people who want to do that content, similar to how they kept rotations "easy to learn, hard to master".
Edited by Lissanna on 4/7/2013 3:09 PM PDT
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MVP - World of Warcraft
90 Night Elf Druid
11830
04/07/2013 03:06 PMPosted by Azane
Yes, the raid encounters should instead be designed in ways that people running LFRs don't feel the need to stack the buff and turn the fight into Patchwerk. :)


exactly, they should handle the mechanics, and kill the boss, not intentionally wipe 10 times then kill the boss before the mechanics happen.

removing the buff would actually make people learn the fight.


but the fights still have to be learnable, and in some cases, I'd argue that the fights people are intentionally wiping on need both that buff AND the mechanics examined to make sure the fight is still possible for those raids to do without the buff. The design of LFR (random grouping where many people aren't normal/heroic raiders) is going to constrain what people can do in meaningful ways that can be designed around to keep the LFR mechanics still enjoyable.
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90 Troll Hunter
11255
Yes, the raid encounters should instead be designed in ways that people running LFRs don't feel the need to stack the buff and turn the fight into Patchwerk. :)


They are. God forbid people do some sort of mechanic (the maze,) while the rest of the fight is a complete and utter joke for everybody, even healers. Right now - with the buff - people don't care about the mechanics since they can just bruteforce it after stacking it high enough. That is AWFUL and should have never come into play, did they truly believe it wouldn't be abused to this extent? that is foolish.
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1 Undead Priest
0
I pretty much completely agree with everything you’re saying about lfr. The fights just don’t make any sense if you haven’t read some kind of guide beforehand, especially if you aren’t using DBM. And that just doesn’t seem to mesh with what lfr is and who it’s for. Also it seems to lead to a lot of anger and yelling between people who know what’s going on, people who don’t, and people who kinda sorta do.

But as a casual raider, I’m really enjoying normal mode and I’m happy with the complexity there. To me, the difference between normal and heroic mode is less about complexity than about the margin for error - normals are forgiving of me and my guild not playing perfectly. Because we don’t play perfectly.

I like that Blizzard is challenging me and expecting that my team has done it’s research even though we’re not a heroic progression guild; I like that memory and coordination demands, interesting strategies, etc. aren’t things only heroic raiders get to enjoy. I like it when mechanics still exist in normal, but you can mess them up a few times without wiping unlike heroic - it lets us try but also lets us be messier than a heroic guild.

Reading up on mechanics or watching a video takes maybe 10 minutes if you’re being really thorough, that just doesn’t seem like an unreasonable demand on casual raiders to me. I don’t see how they could make it so you can go into a fight blind, but that fight is still totally interesting and complicated.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
11000
It's silly to even have this debate here because both sides are taking the same evidence and drawing vastly different conclusions from it as a result of their preexisting biases w/r/t design. One side says the buff stacking is obvious evidence that the buff encourages mindless play, the other says that the buff stacking is obvious evidence of a bad fight design that encourages a death zerg. You guys are talking past each other.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
8800


Blizzard said VERY boldly, that if people were doing this, they would remove the buff.

The fact people go into encounters, ignore mechanics and stack it, is proof the buff is bad for the game.


Yes, the raid encounters should instead be designed in ways that people running LFRs don't feel the need to stack the buff and turn the fight into Patchwerk. :)


There's two kinds of need though. Needing it to kill the boss at all is bad, but we shouldn't cater to the "need" to do things the most efficient. And the playerbase has shown, if something gets them purples faster, they'll do it.

Somewhat unrelated (but i didn't want to edit again)- there is precedent. We saw a similar evolution in rotations.

They got more complicated in BC, then wotlk. Then cata toned them down (While still adding new stuff).


yes, the class designers have recognized the limitations and stayed within the realm of what people can handle. We have rotations that are much more complex than the "lawl spam starfire" rotation moonkin had back in TBC, but have been designed in a way where the most basic aspects of the rotation can be fairly easily explained (and then the high-end DPS have additional tricks that beginners don't need to know).

I'm suggesting that heroic-modes can keep raising the bar while keeping the bar for LFR and normal-modes attainable for people who want to do that content, similar to how they kept rotations "easy to learn, hard to master".


Yeah, i agree. Im just not sure if they're already aware, we just haven't hit the threshold yet.
Edited by Arianity on 4/7/2013 3:15 PM PDT
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90 Dwarf Death Knight
17655
So,

In your mind of durumu

the raid stacks up and aoe heals through the maze

HOW IS THIS FUN, EXCITING, OR CONTENT?

Removing the Maze would be like removing Patchwerk's hateful strike.
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90 Troll Hunter
11255
The only person who says the buff stacking is obvious of a bad fight design is the OP. If you truly believe leaving the buff in is good for LFR, then idk what to say, because anyone with half a brain could see it would be abused.
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