Ghostcrawlers article on dungeons

General Discussion
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I don't really understand the complaints about heroics right now. Yes, they are hard, but aren't they meant to be? I remember early Wrath, those heroics weren't easy either.

Gun'drak was a nightmare for people just getting into heroics. Clearing Culling in time to save the drake took some amazing healing and a really durable tank. Then Uld hit, and we really started outgearing heroics.

I started in on Cata heroics about four days after launch. It was terrible. 4 hour wipefests and groups dissolving, leaving poor dps to sit in another 45 minute queue to try again. But that was with late quest greens and regular blues and no one really knowing what was going on.

Heroics now aren't easy, but very do-able. There are a few encounters that just suck, but I don't have to plan on being in anything for four hours now. There are very few wipes now, even in a full pug. This in only a month and a half (Or so)

Give it some time, get a little gear and know your encounters. It is hard, but you can do it. When 4.1 drops and we see the next tier of gear and JP gets you (now current) tier, you'll wonder how you had such problems. It'll be something you laugh about with guildmates who shared in your pain

Enjoy or hate the difficulty as it is now, because it's going away. Even if Blizz doesn't nerf the hell out of it, we'll outgear it at some point. It's inevitable. If you find the game unplayable right now, leave for a few months and come back when you can easily farm epic gear. For those who don't mind drumming your heads against a wall sometimes, you can join me in grinding heroics as they are now. Enjoy the difficulty, it's good for the raider inside.

And show your healers some more love when they save you from death. They are working the hell out of their class. Priests: Thank you for dropping lightwells. Those have saved my skin more times than I can number
I get grouped with random players through the dungeon finder all the time, it may take a couple wipes but it almost always gets done. Don't forget that this expansion is still minty fresh - these instances are not going to be anywhere near as difficult once you get out of that blue armor.
01/20/2011 9:00 PMPosted by Convicted
It doesn't solve any problems to make people run the normals 100 times before doing the heroic version that adds new mechanics that were not able to be practiced in the normal version.

this is one of the more ridiculous things I have read in a while

If it's so ridiculous, care to prepare a counter-point?

You do a boss in normal, he has mechanics A and B. You learn to deal with them and how they work.

You go do the same boss in normal, mechanics A and B are there and hit much harder if you screw up; however, you suddenly have mechanics C and D that you have never seen before. It's not just the mechanics hit harder, it's that they are new and unless someone explains that to you or you visit a 3rd party site for information ahead of time - you have no idea how to handle them.

As an example, I got to be quite pro at hanging with the wind in Altarius on normal. The tornadoes on the first time through on heroic? What a learning experience to be juggled off the platform repeatedly.

Now, your turn.
Posted by Aurene
Personally, I'm quite put out by Ghostcrawler's article. It only demonstrates the hubris that has consumed the Wow development team. Thanks for the lesson on how games are made, dude. Now listen to us to hear how they are played.

Translation: "I'm horrible at this game."

This is exactly what I am talking about....How does this help?
01/20/2011 9:05 PMPosted by Stuhby
As long as Blizzard adds new mechanics (and additional bosses) to heroics that normals do not have, attunements are pointless.

Heroics will, and always will (as well as should) have new mechanics. Otherwise they're just normals that hit slightly harder.

If that is the case, then attunements (requiring keys, reps, etc) will be pointless.
I tanked a lot of heroics in BC (was considered pretty good, but then again tankadins shined for heroics) and a lot more in LK. 95+% of those were pugs (very small RL guild). I have almost no desire to tank heroics in Cataclysm (I'm grinding out rep in regular 85 dungeons). Wiping because someone didn't interrupt (ala Throne of Tides) is crazy. I don't remember heroics in BC being like that. As many people said, there was something to be said about 25m raids being easier than 10m raids due to having more people to call on to do what must be done or die....
... in a Cata heroic I have 5 random people not on vent who may never have see the dungeon before.


Very disappointed by the direction of Cataclysm (and I like tanking and healing). It isn't fun unless you are in an organzied group (i.e. a guild run). And my guildies don't want to run heroics, so I guess I'm relegated to reg dungeons for Cata... 3 of them, which I have run over and over and over again. How not exciting and not fun.
The problems for me right now:

1) Healers seem to have a hard time.
2) Dungeons are too long. I know this is mainly due to constant wiping, but there comes a point where if you wipe x times the dungeon starts to become a complete waste of time. This is why you have tanks/healers leaving groups. This is also why I play a tank - I can leave group anytime if its going no where. Selfish? Maybe, but put it this way - for a game I pay to play every month I'd like to get stuff done. Gotta love instant queues.
3) DPS queues are too punishing. You wait 45 mins, get in a group , wipe at a boss a few times, then everyone disbands. So out of about 1 - 2 hours you accomplished... nothing! That sucks.
4) One hit kill mechanics. I get it - its a great way to make a dungeon hard to out gear; if you get hit for 300K by letting the fire guy ram you... well no amount of gear will save you. But I'll say this - one hit kills suck. If this happens you might as well just suicide and start over. IMO all mistakes should be recoverable within reason. I can understand if 3 out of the 5 people in the group screw up - ok maybe a wipe should be likely, but if ONE guy gets hit - maybe we should let him live.
I think the main reason for these issues it that they missed a tier... before it was always
1. current content (serious gamers)
2. 1-patch behind content (semi-serious/semi-casual)
3. heroics + anything else (casual)

at cataclysm launch, it is
1. raids
2. heroics + BH

while regular dungeons exit, it really isn't something anyone wants to do; with no points and very little rep there really isn't an incentive for anyone to want to do it, so they skip to heroics and struggle. When these players join the heroic queue they make an already challenging dungeon near impossible because of their sub-par gear/skills. Before, when heroics were easy, good groups didn't mind carrying one or two sub-par players because even if it was slow, it would still get accomplished; this is no longer the case anymore. Therefore the good players now just do their 1-a-day with guildies to ensure a clean run and never queue again, leaving sub-par players to run with other sub-par players creating a nightmare scenario. quick fix - let normals grant 70 JP each run and not just the first one. It's pretty easy to get JP capped as is, so adding another path I don't think would ruin the game.

the other thing that is missing right now is PUG-able raids. wrath came out with VOA/OS/NAXX/MALY10 all reasonably doable in a PUG raid. Wrath probably overdid it in the ease and free epics, but i think if you ask the majority of the subscribers, they would find that the wrath model was more fun than the current cataclysm model. Maybe these pug raids could drop 359 blue instead of 359 purple gear so they would be an improvement over heroics/jp gear but not up to the standard of regular raids or a way to farm crystals.
i've read none of this except the first post, but i did just want to throw a question out there:

who is more arrogant: the person in charge speaking in a condescending tone, or the meek follower who feels entitled to being treated as an equal by a superior?

When you feel like you are being talked down to, first you should ask yourself if that person actually is 'above' you. If so, in which direction, other than 'down', should they talk such that you can hear them?

There is this strange idea going around that the ignorant and powerless inherently deserve to be treated as though they are knowledgeable and affluent, which is accomplished through a process widely known as "political correctness." While it does serve to gain the support of those with low self-esteem that cling to any opportunity to behave as though they are more important than they are, those who don't need constant soothing are put off by the fact that the rulers are using these theatrics to trick everyone around us into accepting our situation of being ignorant and powerless. Please: don't encourage manipulation. Of course, this goes a little beyond the entertainment industry, but it's the same attitude: in fact, I would say when you are complaining about how non-P.C. a game developer was, you just need to grow up and face reality.
01/20/2011 9:16 PMPosted by Raeln
If it's so ridiculous, care to prepare a counter-point?

Well I care to counterpoint what that poster seems to have been pointing and that is the part where you said:
01/20/2011 9:16 PMPosted by Raeln
It doesn't solve any problems to make people run the normals 100 times before doing the heroic version

Really how, what, where, when? Needing a 100 runs of normal dungeons to get 329ilvl is just bizarre. I ran a few normals and jumped right into heroics. Questing alone should get you close or at the required level to jump into heroics.
Some of these comments baffle me. I did not find hubris nor condescension in ghostcrawler's post.

Yes, heroics can be difficult, especially with a random group. If you're playing the game entirely for fun and would not like a challenge, neither the heroic nor the LFD tool are by any means mandatory. The heroics exist for the people who would like a challenge (and the lfd tool is simply an option). If the developers are going to try to please both sides of this argument, there may just actually exist both difficult and non-difficult things in this game. They are not mutually exclusive.

The expansion is new as well. Soon, the tiers will shift down and you will be able to buy higher ilvl items with your justice points and heroics will quickly become much less difficult if you're so inclined. I think Cataclysm is tuned fine, personally. The endgame content will almost certainly be playable by anyone who would like, just perhaps not two or three months after the release.

Again, heroics are by no means mandatory. There are plenty of people who enjoy the challenge and are extremely glad that it is there. I know there is a tendency to feel perhaps left out or short changed by not being able to easily complete them. But, think of the logic of what you're asking. If they're too challenging, why do you want to run them? they're almost identical to the normal versions, just....harder. It's not like being unable to see Sunwell Plateau in BC because of the demands of the raid. You're not missing out on any content. You're just missing out on the challenge which is the thing you don't want.

I guess I'd just ask that you try to see the other side of the argument that many people would like some challenge in the game, and the developers are doing their best to please this part of their playerbase without excluding the rest. I think so far this expansion, they've largely succeeded.
I'm seriously kind of shocked by the number of people that think Heroics are soul-crushingly difficult. Yeah, the first time I qued up for a Cataclysm Heroic I got Stonecore, and it wiped the floor with my group. I thought "DANG! They weren't kidding about making Heroics hard!".

But then I stuck to it for a couple other Heroic runs (several with my guild) and you know what? I learned something. They really aren't that hard at all.

Seriously, by the time I completed my third Heroic I was pretty much breezing through them. Sure, you wipe here and there, but what's the point of going into a dungeon where there is almost no chance of dying? If your group is willing to stay even though you wiped on trash you begin to find that Heroics are actually quite manageable with some coordination.

I wiped probably 5 times the first time I attempted Heroic Lady Naz'jar. We replaced our healer and a dps over that time for various reasons, but we stuck it out and eventually downed her by learning the fight and getting it down solid. The hunter was ready to go with a trap when the adds spawned in and by our last attempt we only had one instance of someone getting hit by a vortex. Yeah, it took a few shots, but we did it and we were darn proud.

Then earlier today I got my butt handed to me by Ozruk. I've cleared Stonecore before, but this time he just seemed to give me more trouble than normal. I had ended up in a guild group, so when I wiped the third time I got kicked. They didn't even offer any suggestions or say anything polite, just "Tank is fail" and "what's wrong with you?". Thanks guys, really helping the community there. Now I know to always avoid members of that guild. Before that, they had wiped us twice on Corborus, due to standing in the shards and rumbling earth. When that happened i didn't get mad, I just mentioned to watch where you're standing, and to burn the adds. But when I messed up? No advice, no consolation, just kicked. They weren't interested in trying to help out others or learn how to adapt, they just wanted to get in, get their loot, and get out. That's definitely a very bad approach to Heroics.

I know some people are saying they want to do Heroics to get the gear to raid, but if you don't have the patience to handle the heroics how do you expect to handle raiding?
See this toon? full resto 346 gear + epics.

I quit heaing. forever.

I got all the gear and healing was still terrible. The difference between a good healer and a bad healer is tiny.

I am worthless, I am powerless, I am stressed.

Yes WotLK was healing spam, but you know what I did MATTERED.
I no longer do heroics outside of the guild, 40 minutes queue is bad enough, having to suffer arrogant, incompetent and mean players makes it intolerable. Still, even with a guild run we wipe couple times per heroic, especially when class combination isn't ideal. This should not be happening.

As to raiding... its soul-crushingly inaccessible for our guild. While we were tackling hard modes first in Ulduar then in ICC, this expansion we are getting nothing but wipes and zero raid kills.
What's wrong with the article, exactly?

Since when does "we're not making dungeons faceroll fests" equal hubris?
01/20/2011 8:31 PMPosted by Deathjacob
GC needs to stop posting blogs available to the people that pay his salary until he takes some classes in customer service and etiquette. He's a horrible front man for Blizzard, and needs to realize that if people stop playing this game, he's out of a job.

I read his post. I saw nothing wrong with it. He explained his point of view, but acknowledged that there will be those who disagree. He outlined how the developers expect people to approach instances, if they're to be successful. Essentially, he made sure to clarify Blizzard's intent, their reasoning for the current dungeon design, without pretending that Blizzard is somehow all knowing; and, in fact, admitted to some mistakes.

It's a bit astounding to me - truly - some of the statements brought up in support of the "he's arrogant and needs to learn proper customer service" view. The simple reality is that there is no CM capable of pleasing you all. Certainly, all of Blizzard's CMs (and GC) know that extremely well. By "GC needs to stop posting blogs," you really mean that Blizzard needs to stop trying to communicate with their playerbase at all - perhaps until you agree with all their design decisions, anyway, at which point I'm guessing they'll suddenly have learned proper customer service.

On a different note, while I saw nothing wrong with the article from a customer service point of view, I don't think he emphasized the right issues. Sure, fix the Dungeon Finder and all that. The main problem, though, is the absence of normal content.

In BC, there were 7 max level normal dungeons. None of these were mindless, either. They weren't especially hard, but neither did you simply AoE everything as you rushed through them. When I first raided Karazhan, it was mostly with blue gear from normal dungeons, too. In Cataclysm, there are 3 max level normal dungeons. From 80-85, the great majority of the normal dungeons are incredibly easy, and they don't have decent lifespans at all. The difference in difficulty between normal and heroic is usually pretty huge, as well.

I read something interesting recently, something that struck me as completely correct: because of their ease, WotLK taught people that "heroic" = "max level version of a dungeon"; and because of the absence of max level normal dungeons, Cataclysm reinforced that. In the minds of many, heroic dungeons constitute endgame, and anything beneath that isn't meaningful at all. The game does a terrible job now of letting people know "hey, those normal instances are valid content, too," or even of supplying those normal instances.

Most games have at least 3 levels of difficulty. With 5 mans, it's usually either "mindless" or "hard." And unfortunately, with the spread of AoE, gear doesn't merely make things easier while still giving you room to excel, but reduces them to mindless. But that's a different topic.

In any case, what Cataclysm failed to do is give people a "normal" option. The problem was amplified because Blizzard's game design has been somewhat schizophrenic: going from undertuned heroics in WotLK to what we have now in Cataclysm; from a healing model where healers have no mana issues and powerheal through damage, to a healing model where mana is limited and our heals are tiny in comparison to health pools; and so on.

And yes, some of the problem is that people are comparing the end of WotLK to the beginning of this expansion. That's definitely shortsighted, but is it really surprising that people expected the Dungeon Finder tool that Blizzard is so proud of to be work well? That's another example of schizophrenic game design, in my view.

All in all, I see a lot of structural problems with PvE at the moment. (I want to emphasize that "too hard" is not one of those.) I can still appreciate what GC was trying to do with that blog post, though.
blizzard created this game, it is theirs and they can do what ever they like with it. the fact that ghostcrawler actually took the time to make that post means that blizzard care a lot about the player base.

what confuses me is that people are actually getting offended by what he posted.. all he said was that team work is required and content cant be facerolled anymore. how and why is that offensive? if blizzard wants to make the game more challenging then it is their decision. for someone to actually get offended by what was posted is absolutely ridiculous imo.

wow, dungeons are hard. yes they are. there have been times when i have died in fights and it has really annoyed me because it was my fault for not following the mechanics. did i come here and cry to nerf the content? no i didnt. i sat back and thought about the exact reason why i died and made sure that the next time i came up against the same encounter i wouldnt die by the same mechanic again.

it seems people in this game just dont want to improve which seems extremely strange. you should aim to be the best no matter what you do in life and that includes your hobbies. its not fun for anyone to get smashed by content, so why not realise your mistakes and learn from them? it will make the game a lot more fun and rewarding not only for you but for the people you group with.
Good heavens, there are some people in this thread with weird aggression issues. Like, all the "omg, Ghostcrawler, why don't you come over here and say that I should enchant my gear?! HUH?! TOUGH GUY?!" Seriously, you're threatening to beat up a guy who wrote a blog for a game company because you think he's getting sassy with you? How do you go through the day without punching out someone in rush hour traffic?

I hardly agree with all of Blizzard's game decisions, although I do usually stand on the "do not nerf" fence, but Ghostcrawler is just this math nerd who happens to lead a team of math nerds who work on a game. He's not an evil superhero or out to ruin your life.
01/20/2011 9:27 PMPosted by Oniangel
If it's so ridiculous, care to prepare a counter-point?

Well I care to counterpoint what that poster seems to have been pointing and that is the part where you said:
It doesn't solve any problems to make people run the normals 100 times before doing the heroic version

Really how, what, where, when? Needing a 100 runs of normal dungeons to get 329ilvl is just bizarre. I ran a few normals and jumped right into heroics. Questing alone should get you close or at the required level to jump into heroics.

The "100 runs" came from the guy that I originally quoted. It's not a number that I just made up out of thin blue air.

No, I don't think anyone should have to run normals 100 times before doing a heroic - though, I have read that sentiment in this thread and others lately.

The point stands - you will not be prepared for mechanics, C and D, no matter how many times you practice the normal boss fight - because, they will never be present anywhere except in the heroic. Thus attunements will be completely useless, except to familiarize the player with the zone map and mechanics A and B.

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