Quality of "whose" life?

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The difficulty in Vanilla was more or less the result if inefficiency, logistics and inconsistency within your character. In terms of gameplay itself, the game is multitudes harder today. But we are all better players with more tools today.

The thing is, we see "stuff" as complexity therefore difficulty. The more "stuff" there is we automatically think it's more complex.

But stuff doesn't equal complexity. Hit and expertise's existence doesn't suddenly make this game harder or more complex. The people who ignore the caps will invariably be ignoring other things (rotations ,haste caps, etc) and people who don't... well... it's just another mandatory stat. More "stuff" to check off a checklist.

Streamlining things doesn't suddenly make this game easier, just like adding more redundant things doesn't make this game harder.

Complexity needs to be something more than just "oh, have this in your bag, make sure you hit this cap... great" It has to be more than just another check mark on a list.

We've never had complexity within this game. We've had stuff. We've had a checklist. We've had a lot of pointless bloat and redundancy (Wand spec anyone?). Did we really have complexity within this game? No, not really.
Mimicing what a website guide tells you to do is not complexity... It is "Simon Says".


So don't mimic, try things out, run the numbers yourself, try to squeeze out that last little bit of DPS. Min/Maxing will always be a thing, until they reduce the classes to one dps and one healer that have standardized abilities (which I'm fully sure they will try at one point). We are losing the last bit of real control we ever had. This game basically has training wheels now, and people are still terrible at it. Why not just remove the middle men and just give characters standard DPS/HPS that you get from pushing any button.


Not at all true.

Boss fights have become more complex, pvp has become more complex. We have more abilities than ever, more land than ever, more content than ever, more gearing options than ever. Expectations of raiders have massively increased.


And you think that's what makes wow more complex?


Without getting into a debate over the definition of "complex" where people take it to mean fun or difficulty - YES.
I like reforging.

I know it gets rough on some classes, but as a disc priest we have a bit more leeway than most when it comes to reforging.

If blizz can design specs like disc so that they don't rely heavily on one stat and you can reforge your stats to fit your playstyle then I would love to keep reforging.

But if stats continue to be the same for some specs then we don't need reforging.

Quote from Snowfox
WoW has increased in complexity over time.

I don't know why people keep pretending the opposite.

Real sorry to come late, but that statement is 1000000% FALSE.
WoW has become so much simpler for the LIFE IMPROVEMENT of the bly testers, that an old Antari joystick with ONE BUTTON, can play most classes.

Just to list some things we had in our MORE COMPLCIATED days, but have lost because bly dev's QUALITY OF LIFE in testing was too difficult:

- Oils/Stones.
- Alchemy before Guardian, Battle NERFDOM.
- Potion of Invulnerability, once actually granted INVULNERABILITY.
- Flask of Petrification, actually granted PETRIFICATION.
- Tuber Roots, Healing Potions, and other varios herb pickups from Felwood used to have SEPERATE TIMERS, so you could have 3 heal types during a fight on seperate cooldowns.
- Potions for mana/healing could be re-used in the same fight, albeit after a 2 minute cooldown.
- 8 piece tier sets.
- Potions/Elixirs of resistance like Fire used to have 60 minute durations and could stack with other protection potions/elixirs.
- The old Talent Trees before we got the Panda Express Fig Trees.
- Multiple ranks of spells so we could do down rank spell casting.
- Pfft, before we had cauldrons, or food tables, having to hand out 40 stacks of things to everyone in a raid.
- Out of combat rezzers.

And the list goes on.
When a user has a large variety of choices available to them like the previous talent tree allowed, sub-optimal combinations cannot be avoided. You cannot expect Blizzard to be able to tune the game so all combinations available to the player will result in a viable spec.



why not? this game's revenues are in excess of over $1 billion dollars a year. it's not like Fred, and Ethel are busy in the backroom coding, and we can't work them too hard.


Software development is not an assembly line. Adding a another eyeball to a doll you manufacture (because ... you're insane, I guess?) and adding another person to an assembly line to install that eye isn't how a collaborative effort like software - and especially game creation which includes a lot of art and "feeling" - is created. Some of the reasons are encapsulated in Brooks's Law.

Anyway to address your "why not?" more directly, the difficulty in balance is really that we want classes and choices to feel meaningful and unique. When you play your warlock you want to feel like a warlock, and not like a slightly different mage. And so it's just a fact that uniqueness and equality are two opposing concepts (no, you're not a unique snowflake AND as good as anyone else at everything), and in that we have to find some middle ground we call balance. But you're asking why talents can't be truly balanced if there's choice, so let's draw on a piece of paper a grid 3x3 and in each we'll put a unique number 1-through-9. I'll pick 4 of those numbers, 6, 7, 8, 9, add those up, that's 30, and then you being the same class pick your own 4 numbers from the same grid and you choose 1, 2, 3, 4, that's 10. Those numbers aren't equal, and almost all combinations will not be equal. Obviously a very simple if not flawed analogy, but balanced and fun vs. unique and meaningful isn't a problem to be solved by adding more calculators to the pile because it isn't just about spreadsheet math.

But this is all waaaaaaay too off-topic.
Anyway to address your "why not?" more directly, the difficulty in balance is really that we want classes and choices to feel meaningful and unique


Then why has every single change since Cata aimed to make classes feel more and more alike, including giving many formerly-class-specific abilities to many more classes? Why have pure DPS classes been made to feel more and more alike? Why was active mitigation forced on every single tank class? Why is every healer now both a raid and a single target healer?

You guys started down this path with "Bring the player, not the spec" and look where it's gotten you; while I don't doubt that you "want" classes to feel more unique, your actions over the last 3-4 years speak to the contrary.
11/19/2013 03:32 PMPosted by Bashiok
So, you're gonna stack strength just to be different from other elemental next to you?


Kind of the interesting crux of a lot of these conversations is illusion of customization vs. actual customization vs. efficiency, and how all of those interplay.

If someone liked spending all of their talent points in the old system in strange ways and ended up being extremely sub-optimal, but felt better about their individuality and choices and therefore found that system more "fun", were they wrong? What should the efficiency gap be, and how should we as designers and game creators ensure looking up a guide vs. not looking up a guide isn't the difference between a playable game and an impossible one? If that player who enjoyed their custom build and choices saw they performed far below everyone else would they understand it was due to their choices, or would they feel like the game was being unfair to them?

All interesting topics.


Nice questions to ask NOW...
WoW has increased in complexity over time.

I don't know why people keep pretending the opposite.


Having more features does NOT make the game more complex.
that an old Antari joystick with ONE BUTTON, can play most classes.


Hahaha, no.
11/19/2013 06:33 PMPosted by Nassins
WoW has increased in complexity over time.I don't know why people keep pretending the opposite.


Furthermore, all available evidence indicates that the game is going to continue to become LESS complex in WoD: Loss of reforging, greatly simplified gemming, removal of ability bloat, item squish, true cross-realm BoA's...these are all "quality of life" changes that SIMPLIFY the game.

While I understand that there has been a shift towards "easier" MMO's in the past 10 years, it is not my personal choice; if I had any other options I probably would not continue to play WoW, for want of difficulty and achievement.


You can maintain difficulty and decrease complexity. Yes, there is no reforging, less gems, one or two abilities removed, item squish? (not sure where that fits in), cross-realm BOAs? (helps leveling alts in other servers, so what?), but you still have to PERFORM. You still have to deal with the difficulty where the difficulty lies. Heroic Raiding anyone? Arena? I don't want to sound like a jerk but why are you looking elsewhere for difficulty when you haven't even touched Heroics here? The players who have already conquered SoO Heroics did it by playing and knowing all their classes specs, inside and out. Changing their talents on every fight. Constantly shifting stats to find that extra amount of def/heals/dps. Bringing in a different class altogether. The top Guilds will wipe 500+ times on these bosses. The difficulty is here but most of the people in this thread complaining that the game is getting too simple and easy haven't even touched the ultimate test of complexity and difficulty in this game.
11/19/2013 05:43 PMPosted by Nyd
or, are the characters going to be even more simplistic, that it won't even matter.


This "omg they're dumbing down WoW" argument is so ridiculous and anyone who says so clearly didn't play in classic WoW?

In classic we had LESS stats. We didn't have haste or mastery. There was no hit. No expertise. No dodge or parry. No resil, no pvp power. We DID have resist gear, but that wasn't complex so much as it was a hassle.


You are wrong. Vanilla did have crit %, hit %.. where you actually got full percent changes in those stats on gear.. not the later add haste rating, crit rating, etc.
11/19/2013 12:17 PMPosted by Snowfox
Boss fights have become more complex, pvp has become more complex.


Wait, what? Boss fights are stupid easy. PvP is just landing instant, unavoidable CC and blowing all your cooldowns in the first 30 seconds of the match.

Nothing about this game is complex.
11/19/2013 08:14 PMPosted by Honeybádger
Boss fights have become more complex, pvp has become more complex.


Wait, what? Boss fights are stupid easy. PvP is just landing instant, unavoidable CC and blowing all your cooldowns in the first 30 seconds of the match.

Nothing about this game is complex.


For the sake of validity, can you please repost this on a toon that has conquered the difficulty in this game?
Not at all true.

Boss fights have become more complex, pvp has become more complex. We have more abilities than ever, more land than ever, more content than ever, more gearing options than ever. Expectations of raiders have massively increased.


Too many abilities.
Too many JC recipes. Most of those cuts are worthless and are only made while leveling to vendor.

Boss fights have gotten more complex, combat mechanics in general. They recently had to change how certain effects worked because healing every second was lagging the ever loving crap out of the game for people in 25m. After that change ToT LFR stopped turning into a slideshow. Heard it only really affected 25H, but once they made that change I stopped getting video lag in LFR too. Was *excellent*.

Most enchants never get made. Random stat crafted items with a chance to proc blue? Tailoring, leatherworking *suck* for this. You only want certain suffixes and even then most of the stuff you level on doesn't sell. Even at the start of the expansion.

Most enchants are either niche or not used. I haven't used a hit to boots enchant since Cata, yet I can make them. They don't sell. Pandaren Step or get out. Jade Spirit, Dancing Steel or get out.

11/19/2013 12:18 PMPosted by Cinnabuns
Taking away gems, reforging - those are QoL changes to me. Reforging for haste breakpoints, or hit chance, is annoying every time you get a new piece of gear, as is putting in new gems.. god forbid you have to regem for the proverbial stars to align.


Every single time I get a piece of gear I have to resim and reforge. Think my shaman and mage here combined have blown 800g in reforges alone in the past week. One piece changes and it can change ALL OF THE THINGS.

When the noob tank shows up in your dungeon and he's NOT wearing int plate, you will be a happier healer.


Had a DK show up in a HoT heroic last xpack with int mail on. "For gearscore".


why not? this game's revenues are in excess of over $1 billion dollars a year. it's not like Fred, and Ethel are busy in the backroom coding, and we can't work them too hard.


Software development is not an assembly line. Adding a another eyeball to a doll you manufacture (because ... you're insane, I guess?) and adding another person to an assembly line to install that eye isn't how a collaborative effort like software - and especially game creation which includes a lot of art and "feeling" - is created. Some of the reasons are encapsulated in [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks's_law"]Brooks's Law[/url].

Anyway to address your "why not?" more directly, the difficulty in balance is really that we want classes and choices to feel meaningful and unique. When you play your warlock you want to feel like a warlock, and not like a slightly different mage. And so it's just a fact that uniqueness and equality are two opposing concepts (no, you're not a unique snowflake AND as good as anyone else at everything), and in that we have to find some middle ground we call balance. But you're asking why talents can't be truly balanced if there's choice, so let's draw on a piece of paper a grid 3x3 and in each we'll put a unique number 1-through-9. I'll pick 4 of those numbers, 6, 7, 8, 9, add those up, that's 30, and then you being the same class pick your own 4 numbers from the same grid and you choose 1, 2, 3, 4, that's 10. Those numbers aren't equal, and almost all combinations will not be equal. Obviously a very simple if not flawed analogy, but balanced and fun vs. unique and meaningful isn't a problem to be solved by adding more calculators to the pile because it isn't just about spreadsheet math.

But this is all waaaaaaay too off-topic.


How about a better question. Now that blizzard has Heroes of the Storm to work on, can we stop trying to slowly turn WoW into a MOBA style game? Stop dropping features that provide immersion, depth, and complexity. These things are oppositional to the MOBA style game, but very much inline with the traditional D&D dice and paper board games. I signed up to play a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.

Removing reforging is meh. Sure hit / exp / dodge / parry are going away, but I remember the game before reforging. There was 1 item per slot that was defined as BiS. Any other item for that slot was trash. Reforging allowed the other items to be altered into an almost BiS set. More dropped loot was usable and viable. Now, the pressure will be on item designers to explain why everything is being sharded except the few perfect items. And there will be BiS items, the math nerds will have that list out in no time.

WoW has real problems. Engagement is low, subscriptions are decreasing. Server populations are down. Notice the ongoing server consolidations. (Although it's not politically correct to call them that. )

WoW progression rewards are limited to raiding. There is nothing in game that provides character advancement on an equal level to end game raiding. PvP rewards have been item level capped, so that's no longer a player power progression area. Find a way to solve player progression for non-raiders, then we can talk about advancement in WoW design.
11/19/2013 07:53 PMPosted by Bashiok
When you play your warlock you want to feel like a warlock, and not like a slightly different mage.


When I play my warlock I feel like a mage. When I play my mage I feel like a warlock.

Get rid of mage dots plz.
Just simplifying an already oversimplified game.. not sure why they're doing it.


I often see this comment or something similar...

Exactly when did complexity = fun?

If you want complexity, go to school, major in medicine or astrophysics... this is a game.
11/19/2013 08:03 PMPosted by Deathlicious
I don't want to sound like a jerk but why are you looking elsewhere for difficulty when you haven't even touched Heroics here?


Do not confuse difficulty with frustration.

I would love to raid current Heroic content given the opportunity to do so, but I do not have such an opportunity, and never will. I raided Ulduar, ToC and ICC and I promise you those fights were demanding at the time. A Heroic boss kill these days is simply a measure of your ability to execute to perfection. On a mechanic to mechanic basis, I do not think that Heroic boss fights now are anywhere near as complex as, say, Yogg 0, or H Putricide, etc were prenerfs and pre Varian buff...

Having 5% of a game (heroic raids/high level arenas) being difficult does not make a difficult game.

The only way to make any convincing argument that this game is more "complex" these days is to completely redefine "complex" to fit your argument, discarding any senses of the word that don't support the argument such as "difficult" and "feature-rich."

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