Can bad players be improved?

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
WoW has a serious problem in terms of the skill differential between good players and everyone else.

It comes down to a couple things combining.

The first, and most important one, is most people have no clue what they are supposed to be doing. They don’t use addons, they don’t use outside guides, and most likely don’t know they exist.

The second is, the game is pretty mechanically simple. This is a problem because of the first part. When you know what you are supposed to do, you are going to do very well even if you aren’t the most mechanically sound player.

These combine to create a significant gap between the top and bottom players. In a vacuum that’s not a problem, people can be blissfully ignorant, but those 2 demographics wind up meeting in LFR and LFD. (Even in mythic dungeons or pug raids it happens). And those bad players get absolutely wrecked in dps.

So is there anything Blizzard can do to get those bad players the knowledge to actually be somewhat competitive with the good players?

They’ve tried bandaids in the past, like rppm trinkets that prevent knowledgeable players from abusing the old icd trinkets. They added tutorials with the class boosts, they’ve added in game weak aura-like visuals, but nothing has worked so far.

So what can they do if anything?
Well the first step is making them aware that they're bad but since that applies to a majority of players and because people seldom can see their own shortcomings that's a lot harder than it might seem.

Take the mage tower ... at first it was "impossible unless you outgear it" even though people beat it in 890 gear.

Then it was "impossible without specific legendaries" but again, truly good players overcame that too.

Now it's "the mage tower is overtuned" because even after overgearing it and having the "required" legendaries many people still refuse to admit they're just not very good so it MUST be a game problem that Blizz should fix and not something they could do better.

TLDR is bad players don't know and refuse to admit they're bad and when Blizz points it out (see Proving Grounds in WoD) then they riot.
Yes, its called having a progression curve.

WOW used to be very good about having one, leveling taught you the basics of the game, lower tier raids taught you not how to die to fire, higher tier raids taught you how to manage multiple mechanics happening at once.

Sadly, the game as it currently is designed is designed around the end game, leveling teaches you nothing, lower tiers are effectively non-existent, and everyone is funneled into the current highest tier of content with welfare/catch up mechanics, so there is no chance for bad players to learn.

This is why a major part of the playerbase is stuck in LFR

Edit: I would also like to point out that the game has become significantly more complicated to play due to rediculous proc based DPS rotations that require multiple addons just to manage CDs and procs properly to maintain proper DPS, ontop of boss mods telling you how to play the game for you.
What is a good player to you? Maybe from the eyes of a M raider, you are bad. Are you good in everything to call yourself a good player? PvP and Pve wise.

Maybe those players are new to the game or returning back after a break, you don't know.

If you use addons for the fights then you are not a good player. Addons only make it easier but if you take them out 100% sure in some fights you'll fail at the mechanics.
Better way of putting it: there is an extremely large difference in dps between someone who is doing something resembling the correct rotation, even if they are just picking talents and specs because it’s “fun”. And someone who is pressing random buttons. Even if they have similar gear.

That is a big problem. It shouldn’t be in magnitudes of double or triple the dps difference, which it is right now.

Also, the game never taught people how to play. The difference was 1. The lower skilled players and higher end players never interacted with each other before LFD came at end of Wrath. So you never noticed if you had no clue what you were doing.

2. The skill difference between good and bad players was much smaller than it is now. I don’t believe many people knew how ICD trinkets worked until the end of Wrath for instance. Right now there is essentially an arms race between theorycrafters and those who read their boss and class guides vs Blizzard developers.

Blizzard is struggling very hard to challenge people anymore outside of just pure number checks. And the theorycrafter community has gotten very good at pushing specs to the absolute limits of their performance.

Another thing Blizzard is struggling at is the consequence of keeping players on the gear treadmill. There is so much power that you obtain now outside of raids.

But those who don’t read guides are being left behind. It’s very easy to see this too, just go into LFR, look at the bottom dps and they’ll just have awful ability useage. And on top of that now, how many are actually using the netherlight crucible or dps legendaries? Those small things add up to where people are getting obliterated on the meters.
Tl;dr, it is not good for the game when 1 person at 930 ilvl is doing 1 mil dps and someone else at 930 ilvl is doing 500k dps. The 2nd person will get absolutely demoralized.

The best way to fix that is have people play their character more correctly. Is that even possible? What more can be done?
Implement some consequences for failure and don't make the lower end of content so easy that it doesn't even matter what you do, to the point of being able to literally AFK. There is no reason for bad players to improve, so they don't. Blizzard is not going to be able to make someone better at the game, which is why they have progressively removed any sort of difficulty from a majority of it.
I ran the first wing of LFR last night (to get Mistress for the mythic cache quest) and on Goroth I saw 3 players who didn't even move when standing in bad.

I could give 2 flips about LFR either way... I only use it when I need a quick boss kill or when leggo farming... but eliminating such a joke of a raid would be a good start to helping bad players improve.
Tl;dr, it is not good for the game when 1 person at 930 ilvl is doing 1 mil dps and someone else at 930 ilvl is doing 500k dps. The 2nd person will get absolutely demoralized.


Yeah but a lot of that problem comes from titanforged stuff/bad stats/etc...

The problem right now is the current loot system, not everyone is going to armory/wowprogress everyone to check if they are decent or not. Almost all the community is looking for a really high ilvl and not really skill.

Another thing Blizzard is struggling at is the consequence of keeping players on the gear treadmill. There is so much power that you obtain now outside of raids.


Pretty much.
Removing LFR isn't going to make players improve.

Those players just won't raid.

It's been shown over and over the vast majority don't "rise to the occasion" they just don't participate in that content.
11/24/2017 12:37 PMPosted by Brissandy
Well the first step is making them aware that they're bad but since that applies to a majority of players and because people seldom can see their own shortcomings that's a lot harder than it might seem.

Take the mage tower ... at first it was "impossible unless you outgear it" even though people beat it in 890 gear.

Then it was "impossible without specific legendaries" but again, truly good players overcame that too.

Now it's "the mage tower is overtuned" because even after overgearing it and having the "required" legendaries many people still refuse to admit they're just not very good so it MUST be a game problem that Blizz should fix and not something they could do better.

TLDR is bad players don't know and refuse to admit they're bad and when Blizz points it out (see Proving Grounds in WoD) then they riot.


QFMFT. I did the mage tower on my warlock and demon hunter in nighthold gear at 900 ish the week it came out. I didn't have sacrolash either.

Did it take a few tries? Of course. Did i whine on the forums? No.

The real problem is exactly what you've laid out, they don't recognize THEY are the problem. I'm the A-hole in my raid, i call out peoples failures and we progress because of it. We've lost some people who can't handle being criticized, but we're stronger for it.

11/24/2017 12:50 PMPosted by Sairia

Edit: I would also like to point out that the game has become significantly more complicated to play due to rediculous proc based DPS rotations that require multiple addons just to manage CDs and procs properly to maintain proper DPS, ontop of boss mods telling you how to play the game for you.


Are you joking? The game has been simplified drastically. Entire stats have been removed, "multistrike, MP5, hit" and talent trees simplified. At one point you could spec into all 3 of your specializations, you just had a number of talent points to spend. Most dps rotations only involve 2 or 3 key skills with 2 or 3 buff/long cd abilities. Addons have been a thing since vanilla, heck us lazy hunters used to have a cast sequence macro that entirely automated our "rotation," so not sure where you're taking that addons are new thing from.
11/24/2017 01:53 PMPosted by Tuarlon
Tl;dr, it is not good for the game when 1 person at 930 ilvl is doing 1 mil dps and someone else at 930 ilvl is doing 500k dps. The 2nd person will get absolutely demoralized.

The best way to fix that is have people play their character more correctly. Is that even possible? What more can be done?


No the best solution is to stop giving people who can only do 500k dps gear that gets them to 930. Maybe if you weren't just as geared as the people who were competent you wouldn't be expected to perform as well as them.
11/24/2017 06:44 PMPosted by Crítikz
Tl;dr, it is not good for the game when 1 person at 930 ilvl is doing 1 mil dps and someone else at 930 ilvl is doing 500k dps. The 2nd person will get absolutely demoralized.


Yeah but a lot of that problem comes from titanforged stuff/bad stats/etc...

The problem right now is the current loot system, not everyone is going to armory/wowprogress everyone to check if they are decent or not. Almost all the community is looking for a really high ilvl and not really skill.

Another thing Blizzard is struggling at is the consequence of keeping players on the gear treadmill. There is so much power that you obtain now outside of raids.


Pretty much.


If anything I would say titanforging is an eye opener more than causing a problem when one guy 1 mil DPS and another does 500k DPS at 930. Obviously there are class differences/legos/etc but even running sub optimal DPS builds should not equate to half as much output, I would call that a balance problem if that were the case. Of course there could be other issues but ilvl is something to compare yourself to others at a basic level.

On the topic of the community, I will admit that people are very concerned with ilvl primarily but I would also argue that taking a higher ilvl has been a trend since GS (gear score). Just from the perspective of a PUG leader, if I see someone at 930 ilvl and the trend has been 700k - 1 Mil for any class at this ilvl, then I would expect that they could pull somewhere in that range at the very least. Regardless of your progress, I would think you can at least pull numbers within a certain range based off what I had experienced in previous PUG/Guild/Friend runs. Of course, this is just a perspective I would expect a PUG leader to have as many of us know that in reality the ilvl means almost nothing, especially in Legion. I have had players at 920-930 ilvl doing sub 500k and after wowprogressing them found they had less than 20 traits in their weapon. Once that went up they came to good numbers.

TLDR; Item level has become the quick/basic metric to assume average performance in a raid/dungeon environment, even if there are other reasons for DPS gaps.
The people in this thread insisting that the guy doing 500k dps at 930 ilevel is indicative of a balance or a training/progression problem ... you need to realize this thread is probably about YOU.

It's like that old cliche ... every group of friends has that ONE friend nobody really likes and if you don't know who that person is then it's probably you.

If you're really going to argue balance/tuning in a thread like this then you're "that friend".
consequence and personal response would go a long way in improving the median caliber of player.

In most group settings, a single player or two can carry the mechanical burdens--and groups can adjust according to what the stronger players are able to 'carry'. In those environments, the player who never needs to stun or interrupt--who can't see or understand the result of doing that job (or the consequence of not doing that job) aren't learning anything. But--when you introduce mechanics that have a direct consequence to the player, a lot is learned.

In terms of game-design that works at raising 'the bar of average expectations', you'd want an influx of mechanics with high personal responsibility that can't be covered by others.

spitballing ideas here (and bear with me, some of these aren't "fun", but highlight interactions that train players):
1. An interrupt/stun that targets a player, but can only be stopped by the targeted player using their interrupt/stun first.
2. A damaging ability that applies a 'heal absorb' that can't be removed by external heals, you cease to healable until you use personal heals or perform an action.

being careful not to design something that can't be easily seen in the default UI. There is a risk of "training mechanics" that need specialty UIs--and that's bad.

I'd be a really big fan of seeing a boss mechanic that targets everyone simultaneously, and everyone has to burn their interrupt to stop it from personally killing them. (maybe it's designed to target the player on a timer relative to their spec so that it's not simultaneous, but everyone gets hit with it based on their CD time... just not every 15 seconds for short CD people, make it use their 40s stun or something.)
A lot of people just don't care to get better. They're comfortable with their level of play and their time investment in the game, and no amount of clever tutorials are going to get around that.
11/24/2017 01:34 PMPosted by Tuarlon
That is a big problem.


WoW is a video game. This isn't a problem.

If people want to get good, they have all the resources and help in the world to do so. If they don't want to, it's their $15.

11/25/2017 09:55 AMPosted by Pyri
A lot of people just don't care to get better. They're comfortable with their level of play and their time investment in the game, and no amount of clever tutorials are going to get around that.
11/24/2017 01:53 PMPosted by Tuarlon
Tl;dr, it is not good for the game when 1 person at 930 ilvl is doing 1 mil dps and someone else at 930 ilvl is doing 500k dps. The 2nd person will get absolutely demoralized.

The best way to fix that is have people play their character more correctly. Is that even possible? What more can be done?

It's not a problem. It's the counter to the idea that the game is too easy.

If the game was actually so amazingly easy, then the delta would be minimal. The fact that the game is a whole lot harder than most people give it credit for (We live in an era when the definition to many people of "easy" is, they can beat it. Which is a terrible definition.), means that you see huge deltas.

Because what a great many people do not understand, is that gear means less than content completed, and personal content completed. Honestly, you can stand around in a big city in your shiny raid gear, but the only person inspecting you is you. But you know if you killed that boss because you were good enough, or because you bought it. And it will never feels as good as when you know you did it on your own merit.

Also, only by having those giant disparities do people learn that they suck. That demoralization only happens to people who care. People who find out that they care, are the ones who eventually head down the road of improvement. If the sucky person, and the good person, both in 930 gear, did within 5% of each other, the person who sucks has zero incentive to improve.

As for what Bliz can do, very little that's actually reasonable. Specifically regurgitating in-game, what the theorycrafting says is the best thing to do, is a terrible, terrible idea. Allowing people in a multiplayer game to seek help from other players is already an option, and really the best choice. Those who don't care, won't be convinced, and those who do, will eventually work to improve.
I do think they are able to improve. But most of it has to be self-motivation.

I started in WoTLK and I was a !@#$ter back then, I didn't know it. Then I quit due to RL situations and didn't come back until the patch that HFC hit. I didn't know what I was doing when I came back. I joined a heroic only guild so I could see the content and go from barely knowing how to play to being able to somewhat form a rotation and executing mechanics. At the end of WoD I told myself I wanted to get better because quite frankly I didn't want to be seen as a burden to the raid.

I joined up another guild that had intentions of raiding Mythic and I went on the internet and tried to soak up as much about my class at the time. I didn't know you could pre-pot until I started raiding Mythic, I didn't know you could pop CD's in the middle of the fight when they came off cooldown. Throughout this expansion I have learned alot about how do to mechanics and alot about my class. I now regularly parse in the oranges and down Mythic relevant content.

Alot of the super casuals have this thing in there head that Mythic is super hard and they tend to get so wrapped up in it being "super hard" that they get nervous and can't perform and if they can't perform, what's the point to them? How do I know this? Because this used to be me. I was legit afraid to step into Mythic because I had a pre-assumed thought in my head that it was super difficult. When in reality Mythic content is not hard. It is repetitive, but not hard. The hardest thing about Mythic content is getting 19 other people to log on at the same time and execute things properly and a little bit of RNG.

Another thing I see is: They don't want to commit to a schedule (which most Mythic raiding adheres to). They think you need to be raiding all night every night to do Mythic, which is entirely false. Many guilds, including my own, only raid 2 nights a week for 3 hours a day (grand total of 6 hours a week) and we down Mythic content.

And like many have said, in order to get better at something you need to look at what you're doing wrong. So many people in this game think they are gods gift and that they can't do any wrong. So when you tell these players that they are messing up on something they take offense to that and get pissy with you. They are not willing to learn.

And my last point is: Alot of people in this game are lazy. It's human nature to be lazy. A majority of this games population want everything handed to them with only putting forth the minimum amount of effort possible.

TL:DR: I do think bad players can improve, they just need to put forth effort to improve.
no,
its mostly reaction speed and understanding of math, so people don't really "pick up" on those things.

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