The future of WoW raids?

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
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01/17/2012 11:06 PMPosted by Murdina
Recruits come in two varieties: the refugee from the 25 man who broke up or the 10 man 1/8H.

Thats because there are no normal-mode 25-man guilds anymore, 25-man hard modes must mostly recruit former 10-man raiders. Which I get the impression 25m guilds hate to do as they often don't regard 10 mans as real raids, or 10 man raiders as real raiders, but I guess they don't have a choice.


25 man guilds don't hate to recruit 10 man raiders on just principle. Please. I wouldn't consider a 10-man Firelord and a 25-man Firelord on the same level though.
Very well written post, it is very nice to see something constructive on these forums and at that something not dealing with LFR.



IMO the fact that the first 2 tiers of this expansion can now be skipped is hurting raiding and endgame more than it helps.


I couldn't agree more with this. With the raid finder, re-implementing "attunements" would be a good idea.. not long, elaborate, difficult quest lines.. but having to clear tier 11 before doing 12, and having to clear 12 before doing 13 would make it feel like there's more to do, more to experience.

One extreme is guilds spending an entire expansion in Karazhan. The other extreme is being able to buy a bunch of Vicious craftable gear and enter the expansion's final tier the day you hit 85. The best idea is to have it somewhere in between... where you don't necessarily get to do the latest raid tier almost instantly on hitting 85, but you have the option to progress through all of the available raid content at the pace that is fitting for your play style. "Skipping to the end" is not a play style.

To me, it's a tragedy that most of the player base STILL hasn't seen most of tier 11, and this is where the Raid Finder would've come in very well. Having 5 mans give entire sets of gear that is so much better than what was available back then, however, means nobody will go do that content (which is far superior than anything released in 4.3).


Put simply, no entire raiding tier should have fewer than a dozen bosses, unless you're releasing multiple tiers at once (like Tier 4 and 5). Every raid tier should also have a very clear difficulty curve. Dragon Soul has 1 super easy boss, 5 moderate bosses, and 1 brick wall with a gimmie at the end. It should be more like: These 3 bosses are easy, these 3 are moderate, these 3 are a bit of a challenge, these last 3 are truly difficult.

At any rate, Mists of Pandaria needs to be a much richer raiding experience than the last two tiers of Cataclysm for me to want to spend anything on it.
but having to clear tier 11 before doing 12, and having to clear 12 before doing 13 would make it feel like there's more to do, more to experience.


The mechanics of T11 and T12, even nerfed and with a bit of overgearing, will still wipe you if you don't know them or respect them. Even if you've got a bunch of decent players - its going to take some time to learn them. Imagine having to down Ragnaros, even on normal, before you can tackle Morchok.

So you get a new or returning player who's skilled and ready to go, but you have to run them through every raid in T11 and T12 before you can hit DS with him. I guess you just tell him to stay out of the way while you get him attuned, and hope he doesn't wipe you, and that you can 9-man the raids. Probably on Ragnaros you'd tell him to die early and go make a sammwich or something.

Perhaps even worse, imagine you're a new raiding guild and before you can hit the latest content you have to spend weeks learning old content before you can try normal Morchok. I think many people would give up in disgust.

Blizzard tried this sort of model earlier and after the debacle of Naxx-40 and SWP, which cost a lot to develop and very, very few people saw while current they swore never again (I know these raids didn't have the sort of attunement you describe, but the gearing requirement acted as something similar).
Please just put more bosses in your raid tiers I don't care if they are forgettable
01/17/2012 10:20 PMPosted by Gorea
Was there ever a time when trial accounts could spam trade or whisper people?

I think I remember talking to people on a trial account... I'm not sure if I had to ask someone to have them whisper me first.

Trial accounts did used to be able to invite people to a group... maybe just other low levels? I remember that happening, joining a raid group and being spammed with ads.

Trial accounts also used to be able to talk on the forums. I might have gotten that nerfed. (Feb 2008)

But gold spammers didn't need to be able to use chat to do something like this lol
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4qG-q2u0tI
01/18/2012 02:09 AMPosted by Murdina
Perhaps even worse, imagine you're a new raiding guild and before you can hit the latest content you have to spend weeks learning old content before you can try normal Morchok. I think many people would give up in disgust.

This only happens because of a lack of a culture of allowing non-guild members into a raid group.

If you think about it, it didn't make sense for such a large number of casual guilds to be stuck in T4 and early T5 content in TBC. Why didn't they just group up? The only reasons were difficulty of coordinating, raid ID locks, and disagreements on loot distribution. All of these problems are very solvable.

In your example, what should happen if that guild lets you in even you're not prepared is either
1) They carry you through current content, and you reimburse the guild for feeding you items. (Such as GDKP)
or
2) You join other groups to do the older content, before or while progressing with your guild on more recent content.

Attunements are an entirely different issue from gear resets that introduce 5-person Heroic dungeons dropping better loot than previous tier raids. Going away from the gear reset model does not require a return to attunements as well.
The cost argument really isn't very convincing

Content development is a sunk cost. The money is spent whether 0% or 100% see the content. The best thing you can do is reallocate in future content.

As far as quality go, I see raids go down, but I do not see it go up elsewhere.

So at this point, they are combating sub loss through cutting cost altogether, as opposed to reallocate them to the "more casual" side of the side.

The mechanics of T11 and T12, even nerfed and with a bit of overgearing, will still wipe you if you don't know them or respect them. Even if you've got a bunch of decent players - its going to take some time to learn them. Imagine having to down Ragnaros, even on normal, before you can tackle Morchok.


Heh, I'm not saying people should have to do it at their current difficulty. I'm saying you should need to go through that content instead of skipping through the end at an appropriate difficulty level. The raid finder allows that to be relatively quick and easy. Not "weeks of grinding and learning". Certainly not even as much time as gearing your character to the appropriate level for Dragon Soul through 5 mans.

You are missing the point. I'm not saying go do Firelands normal before you can do Dragon Soul raid finder. I'm saying if you're doing Dragon Soul of any difficulty level, you should need to already have done the raid finder difficulty of BoT, Throne, BWD and Firelands (which obviously don't exist) and acquired some gear along the way, perhaps partially in place of 5 mans. It's the model of how to set it up for the future that I'm suggesting, not right now literally implementing a "Firelands" achievement requirement for Dragon Soul.


I tend to find a lot of people in support of having content accessible instantly on hitting 85 are thinking strictly in the present, the "right now", when instant gratification is never a good thing, even if you think it will be. A game like this survives by bringing people back tomorrow. The game needs to be developed to have lasting appeal and replayability.

Having Dragon Soul open to you the day you hit 85 severely shortens the lifespan of the game for the new or casual player.. and it cheapens the entire experience for the hardcore veterans. If you're somewhere in between, it does both.
Well done OP /cheers for you

I consider myself a moderate-high end raider who across three toons have performed at the 10/25 heroic level and achieved a server first. I started this expansion as a higher end casual raider to playing at a high level of raiding. I wouldn't say "wow is dead" but there are several red flags that need to be addressed ASAP.

RP in raids
I don't mind RP in raids as long as they don't break the "flow" of the raid. Blackwing Descent Heroic did what should be done in a raid. That jerk endboss mocks you per se (and in heroic mode would switch what was good to be bad for example). BWD did everything perfect, the raid balance was there, the fights were interesting, the trash while minimal did its job of being interesting but not relentless and lets face it Nef interfering in the fights was a great addition.

Dragon Soul took this too far. "Skyrim" (the twilight drake assult protecting the Aspects) is an absolute abomination to this game, I have yet to hear any praise from this trash. The only RP I think that was acceptable in DS was the assult where the people follow you, sadly the voice acting was just terrible. Also cutscenes outside the final boss kill, never again! I know its nice and all but after 20+ weeks thats going to get old very quick.

I think explaining the storyline outside Dragon Soul would have been better and added more content for the casual player. Blizzard missed a big opportunity. Lets say Dragon Soul was set up like this: You recieve a letter in the mail (thats super secret mind you) to go to X place in your capital. This player will teleport you to Dalaran (set your hearthstone there for the raid) and you will be instructed to go to a flight trainer. The flight trainers is Blackhorn (oh look introducing bosses and their face-turn-heel) and he will fly you to an area that was once tained by Old Gods, so what better place than to set the story up than a Phased out Ulduar. At Ulduar we meet the aspects and a few more familiar faces (Hagara is a major quest giver too) and we find out Deathwing as recieved a "gift" from his master, he is unstoppable and Nozdormu agrees he knows we are all going to die, hense why later he started the Infinite Dragonflight over his remorse that he knew how to fix it but didn't (not a lore fan so if I am wrong whatever). We as heroes convense him we need his help but can't go to the past without going to the future, Hagara hears this escapes with Blackhorn to warn the Twilight Hammer. There we set up 4.3 DS raids/5 mans and we clean up one of the older storylines that started in BC. There I saved you all the RP in the instance and its optional to so you only need to see the storyline once if you want to.


LFR
Great idea but as expected this is going to cause issues over the long run that going to badly damage raiding recruits. LFR teaches players to be bad, not good, even to raiders. Like when you discpline your kids for doing bad, Blizzard is being a bad parent teach new and old players that they can do whatever they want without repercussion because noting can outright kill you. The checks are so minimal that it actually encourges bad play by raiders and doesn't teach new players right and wrong. Don't lie to yourself because I've done these too, Standing in black blood with minimal cds, not target switching to bloods on yorsaj, how about that guy who dps blood for no reason other than pad the meters because your so bored on spine. Ironic considering Blizzard stated that they didn't want you to run a raid twice a week to stay competitve (their justification to split 10/25) but bring it back for LFR.

Things that should kill you in Normal should in LFR. If you dont want to go that far hit them with a debuff that said you should have died so now you will do 50% less damage or something as punishment. Ideally the LFR and Normal should have the same strategy. How not to do a LFR boss is Warlord and Spine. You need to teach people to bounce the ball as a group. Worried about people dying on spine, have them get knocked off a few times that will teach them. People forcing a barrel roll, have a emote sayin X,Y,Z caused one. A Blizzard "failbot" should be included for raiders and casuals to learn from their mistakes.

Hagara is how you should a LFR boss. It teaches you the basics, you can be oneshotted, can't cheat the bubble and it builds up to normal by adding "ice tombs" that adds to a heroic mechanics "frostflakes". Thats how you do LFR bosses.
The 10/25 Man Split

This is what will kill WOW Raiding in my humble opinion. I have never been a doomsayer but this cannot stand past T13. T11 had some great mechanical fights but didn't translate well into the 10 man raiding especally on fights like Nefarian, Sinestra, Halfus). While they did nerf 10s and allowed for necessary quality of life issues to be adjusted (Interupts are always hit) you can tell in T11 the fights were designed with 25s in mind but downgrades to 10s but in T12+ the fights were planned with 10s in mind and expanded to 25s. Due to this nature the fights past T12 have been "bland" because fights were designed to have X tanks (never more than 2) and X healers. Due to the general nature of 10s not having all required buffs it created 2 signficant issues: 1. The DPS/HPS check could be so minimal that you could get away with 1 tank and/or 2 healers. This additional DPS check will "nerf" the encounted because it was designed with a certain check in mind. 2. With 30 (soon 34 specs) in the game how can you balance those to do the same damge and bring the same buffs? This encourages FOTM classes and adding in factor 1 makes several 10 man fights trivial compared to their 25 man counterpart (Like Baleroc, Yorsaj and Ultraxion). On the other hand having those mimimal body count hurts badly on fights such as Blackhorn and Warlord. This fact alone means the two are an apple and the orange but Blizzard and the majority of the wow community don't see it this way.

This in turn badly effects the 25s who don't have that luxury of "cheating" mechanics that you can in 10s. Added in the fact they are easier to manage, can raid at any time (10 v 25 on at the same time), lower roster (12 people for a 10 main raiding crew compared to say 35+ for a 25), same gear, same achievements why do 25s? Those 25s who are not US Top 50 or on high population servers morale are at a all time low. On our medium population server when I go to recruit all I see is things like only 10s. I see many of my friends on Real-ID are upset when they see 10 raiders man do Heroic Ultraxion yet US Top 50 guilds are still only able to kill it with less than 20 seconds remaining at best. Nobody wants to do 25s anymore and its next to impossible to recruit for a medium population server and what is happening more and more the core 10 make a new guild leaving those 12-13 players to find new homes or leave the game. This adds up for overall subscription costs.

Not only that is making a "civil war" between the raiders. 10s think that 25s are just as hard as 25s and they are "as good or better" although the math shows that if you can exploit numbers with FOTM and dropping healers this isn't the truth. 25s think that 10s are not real raiders because they have an easier format due to Blizzard's balancing against the standard raid comp because if they tuned to the highest potential then we are back to T11 10s. To me there is no progression in T13 because 10s naturally have the advantage of raiding in the numbers game with DPS/HPS by a large amount. Question what kill of Spine 25 H had the lowest amount of Arcane Mages, Rogues and Resto shaman in the raid at the time? Not all of us 25 man guids can recruit 6+ mages/rogues.

The 10/25 split can be explained with a very well known quote from Harry Potter: For neither can live while the other survives.

10s will never be balanced to 25s due to the nature of FOTM and Buff availablity. 25s cannot due to their logistics and recruitment needs. We need to have 1 raid size. I think 10s are by far to small. Blizzard do the right think. I am a proud 25 man raider but I think 1 raid size at 15 is the way to go. This allows easier time to recruti, more manable raid roster, everyone is on the same page with raid progression and that gives you more time to create more content than balancing 5 different raid sizes.

If Blizzard wants to save raiding go to 15 man raiding with LFR, Normal and Heroic

(I am not a 10 man raid hater. I do both 10s and 25s about the equal time. I have done the same fights on 10 and 25 and with personal experience I can tell you 10s without question are easier using the sitatuation above. My alt (A mage) is just as geared as my paladin and actually better progressed than my main toon).
Raid Zones are what MADE wow what it is.

25 mans is what made it a REAL MMO. Loads of folks meeting in raids and becoming future friends / enemies / whatever. Fighting evil bosses together. 10 mans just doesn't have the raid feel to it.

They take 25 man raiding out, they're going to lose substantial revenue. The only question is, is that revenue loss lesser than the salaries of a few designers devoted to making raid zones ?

Slowly but surely, their subscriptions keep going down. You just know because a company that won't give so much as a free realm transfer and sells in game pets suddenly dishes out a free D3 game with a 1 year wow sub. Even their charities are paid for by our purchase of a pet.

Whether they think 500k subs x 15 bucks a month = $7.5mil a month == $ 90 mil a year is worth losing because they dont want to develop 25mans remains to be seen.

01/18/2012 02:09 AMPosted by Murdina
Blizzard tried this sort of model earlier and after the debacle of Naxx-40 and SWP, which cost a lot to develop and very, very few people saw while current they swore never again

And yet, people keep asking for it, even though the reasons it doesn't work, and can't work, has been explained again and again. I want to get out the cluebat and whack people a few times whenever I see it come up again.
Yet another who misses my point...

Naxx40 and most of BC were one extreme.
Current is the other extreme.
My suggestion = happy medium, because extremes are bad.


Having to go through tier 11 and 12 raids once as a part of the preparation process for seeing tier 13, as well as to just, well, expanding the lifetime of the game, is a good thing.

People generally don't know what they want. Or they might know what they want, but they don't think "will having this make me happier?" chances are, if it's given to you, no, because you didn't work for it, there was no journey, you just got it right away.

On one hand, you have people complaining about there not being enough to do at 85. On the other, you have people complaining for years that raiding is too hard and inaccessible. Would it not make sense to meet in the middle? Having 3 tiers to go through at 85 would give you a lot more to do than having one tier. As long as it's reasonably easy to do, my idea is a win for everyone involved, and a win for Blizzard because it keeps people logging on.
A good thread on RND. Who would have thought. All I know is if this is the way raiding is in mop ill be spending 300 dollars for windows to try out other mmos. I play to raid. If raiding isn't fun I'm gone.

I honestly don't have faith in them either. As the person a few posts up stated that with raiding development obviously going down you should see cost going up elsewhere. And I'm pretty sure DMF doesn't cover the cost cutting of the last two tiers

They are cutting expenses in face of subscription losses when you should be doing the opposite and inject more money into the game to get new people or old people back.

Unless they consider it a lost cause and are aiming for a soft landing instead of a crash in subscription losses.
Not only that is making a "civil war" between the raiders. 10s think that 25s are just as hard as 25s and they are "as good or better" although the math shows that if you can exploit numbers with FOTM and dropping healers this isn't the truth. 25s think that 10s are not real raiders because they have an easier format due to Blizzard's balancing against the standard raid comp because if they tuned to the highest potential then we are back to T11 10s. To me there is no progression in T13 because 10s naturally have the advantage of raiding in the numbers game with DPS/HPS by a large amount. Question what kill of Spine 25 H had the lowest amount of Arcane Mages, Rogues and Resto shaman in the raid at the time? Not all of us 25 man guids can recruit 6+ mages/rogues.


If you really believe 25s are *that* much harder than 10s, I have a practical question for you.

What exactly is so difficult about 25-man raiding that you believe I wouldn't be able to handle?

The answer is nothing. If you can hack it in 10-man Heroics, you'll do just fine in 25-man Heroics - and vice versa.

Sure, your logistics are harder and you have to hope more people you raid with aren't complete morons - but I choose not to be bothered with that stupid !@#$ because that isn't what is fun about raiding.
10s are harder in only one sense - they are more subject to requiring strict class/spec compositions. If you can't come close to meeting them, yes, 10s are harder than what 25s will generally throw at you. Tier 11 had a lot of good examples of this.

25s generally don't require quite-as-strict compositions, but are made harder by the fact that they require 2.5 times as much group coordination, both in combat with coordination and assignments, and simply keeping the raid group running - consumables, repairs, and especially recruitment.

25s are harder because they require significantly more effort on the leadership's part. As a member of the raid with no out-of-combat responsibility, your skill requirement is roughly the same.



All of that said, I'd really rather not let this degrade into a debate about 25s being harder than 10s, or 10s being harder than 25s. It's a debate that cannot be resolved. The simple fact of the matter is that they are different and it is a major mistake on Blizzard's part calling them the same.

What this thread is about is having bigger, more engaging raiding tiers while retaining a purpose for past tiers, and making the game feel larger by doing so.

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