Cataclysm Post Mortem -- “Ghostcrawler”

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03/07/2012 09:39 AMPosted by Fairadey
Loved healing in Cata compared to the past, but mana regen does feel too potent because of the strength of intellect (and related regen mechanics)

I'm going to have to say that you're idea of what is fun isn't the same as other healers though. Too often it's healers who are punished by people who refuse to use CC, or won't move out of bad thing or interrupt a spell, or groups that won't wait for a healer to drink between pulls if needed.

I see no reason to attempt to punish healers even more by making it so people complain at them for having to drink between pulls.

Yeah, that was a big deal at the start of Cata....people simply would not wait, would not CC, and would blame the healers any time something went wrong. I had a run from hell one time early on on my shaman, and just quit healing LFG for about three month. Came into a run already in progress, tank tells me I'm the forth healer they've had, they all sucked, and he hoped I wouldn't suck too. So then he proceeds to run in, agro two groups, dies in about 3 seconds, and then rages on me. So I explain to him how to CC this particular group, and how the pull should work, do the CC myself.....and then he runs in breaks the CC, agros the second group again, and then dies in about 3 seconds again. Then says "I'm tired of all these !@#$ty healers" and leaves group.

I armoried him afterwords, and his gear was completely screwed up, and he hadn't taken mitigation stats into consideration at all. There were just so many tanks like that early on....tanks that'd pretty much gotten their freebie tank tier gear in wrath, so all their mitigation was done for them, and who had only ever AoE tanked with easy threat, and just had no idea how to play, but consistently blamed the healers for their own failures. It wasn't that those heroics were too hard, it's that too many people had come up in wrath doing the "hard" jobs when they were trivial.

Shortly after this happened, enough of my old guildies, that I'd been playing with since early in BC, made it to 85, and we blazed through all of the heroics in a couple of days, getting the guild achievements. Way easier to do then the heroics were back in BC.

So, I guess the point to this all is that PuGs heroics suck when they aren't really easy. But, as introduced in wrath with the 3.3 patch and the badge consolidation, running PuG heroics is pretty much the main way to gear up. And that's what made the heroics early in Cata such a PITA. LFG + a difficulty level designed for well coordinated or well geared groups was horrible.

I liked when I could go out in the world, do quests and meet new people. I loved having to go find the dungeon and getting whispers from people in the area to join. This game used to be a social experience.

I completely agree. Here's the dilemma I'm faced with now. If I want to raid (not the silly LFR) I restricted to the cities to find a pug. I don't really have a choice in being free-lance. My random work schedule prevents me from committing to a guild raid. Pugs can be pretty decent and that doesn't bother me. What bothers me is having to sit in the city watching the trade chat for LFM posts. I'd rather be out in the world doing SOMETHING (archeology, old dungeons, whatever), but if I do I miss out on a good pug opportunity. I could throw myself into the Looking for Raid module they have. . .but NO ONE uses it. In fact despite having two separate channels for the cities (Trade and LookingforGroup) no one uses LFG. Occasionally someone will accidentally post there. But since you can't see LFG unless you're in the city, the channel is completely worthless.
If you want people to get out of the cities more, bringing back a global LFG will really help. Thanks.
I guess I already knew, but I never expected a developer to confirm it. He counts the 1-60 content as part of the expansion - and one of the few parts that actually worked out alright. Cataclysm really was just a fancy way to get us to buy vanilla WoW a second time...
While GC said all the right things, I am skeptical of how they are going to achieve all of that. They gave us no actual definitive answers other than "We will be doing this and this and this for these players and this and this for these players." Quite frankly I'd like to see more actual specific information on certain things such as the Challenge Modes and such so that all this "Hype" which in and of itself is bad would be replaced with actual excitement at what the expansion is actually going to bring to the table.

With that said I am hopeful for MoP but I am not so hopeful that it blinds me to the fact that Blizzard really screwed up from ToC to present.
"Speaking of raids, we also weren’t particularly happy with how accessible legendary items became in Cataclysm. Multiple characters in a single raiding guild were getting, and worse, expecting a legendary weapon. Legendaries are supposed to be rare and exciting, not a bar you fill up like some reputation grind, and certainly not something you feel entitled to get because it’s “your turn.” Dragonwrath in particular was usable by a large variety of class specs, which coupled with the guarantee to completion, just made them too ubiquitous. In the future, legendaries will be more legendary, perhaps so much so that not every raiding guild will have one. In that model, there might be those who almost, but not quite, complete one, but there will also be those who finish one and feel truly honored."

That's definitely what I'd like to hear.
As much as I don't see Dragonwrath as being overwhelmingly common simply because it's BiS and people go back to get it, this'll be a wonderful change. :) Scored some positive points with me GC!
BRAVO! I could not stop agreeing with everything written there and it felt true and honest. That was an excellent article and is why I absolutely miss GC on the forums. Seriously with those goals in Mists your subs will be coming back no doubt about it, I just cant say enough how I personally enjoyed this post mortem with GC, take that other post mortem off the internet lol.
I just have this feeling on legendaries that they should be more prevalent among hardmode raiders. I doubt most people agree with this, but it just comes from the concept that the best rewards come from the hardest challenges.
Ghostcrawler post mortem got me really excited for MoP! Wooooo!
03/07/2012 11:32 AMPosted by Dazarune
Ghostcrawler post mortem got me really excited for MoP! Wooooo!

Which makes it slightly bad.

Hyping up MoP without actually giving any details is a big no no and was done at the end of Wrath and created problems coming into Cataclysm. Now they are doing it again and haven't really given a lot of details about what they plan to.

Saying "We will give you more battlegrounds!" Does not translate to, "There will most definately be more battlegrounds of this style and this style!" I'd prefer the latter to the former, because saying the former means that they could give us 1-2 new BGs and that is it and the new BGs just be rehashes of the old ones (TP comes to mind).

I want more details before I get excited about MoP.
I think one issue regarding raid difficulty that I haven't seen mentioned much is the small gap between a previous tier's heroic gear and a new tier's regular gear.

Our guild (due to real life stuff, we're more of a casual guild) didn't raid much for part of this expansion, and when we picked it up with DS we entered with gear in the 370's. We found the content appropriately challenging, and progressed at a slow but satisfying pace. When our gear improved to the 390's average ilvl, much of the content quickly progressed to farm level for us. Since many of the better guilds came IN to DS with gear in this level range from heroic firelands, it should be hardly surprising that the regular content was essentially immediately on farm for them.

I understand the dangers of gear and stat inflation, but if the lowest level LFR gear was ABOVE or at least equal in level to the previous tier heroic gear, the raids might be more challenging to everyone without hurting the lower progressed guilds.

Nice example. Content that is trivialized too quickly is not fun for anybody, no matter where you are on the progression path.

I bolded the part I agreed with most. Between the quick nerfs and the access to overly strong gear at the very start of a tier, this is the spirit of what has been lost in progression raiding IMO.
GC, I will say your post mortem was a much more interesting read than Daelo's and wasn't just a self-congratulatory pat-on-the-back. Thanks for restoring some measure of faith in you guys not having completely lost touch with what made this game great.

I really do wish you guys would start providing information about your raid setup for MoP though.
Is anyone else disappointed that there wasn't an ending to this, like on his blogs?
... we also want players to see other players out in the world, questing, trying world bosses, engaging in PvP, and just travelling from place to place.

Why? If players wanted to be out in the world they would be out in the world. Travelling is a nuisance so people strive to minimize the time they spend doing it. That's why players are willing to pay 5k gold for permanent speed boosts. I don't understand why you would want to force players to do something that is clearly not enjoyable to them. Please give us portals and hearthstones. Exploration is great the first time through, but I don't want to be forced into it for the sake of giving explorers the illusion of companionship.

We are designing the initial zones to have features similar to the Molten Front daily area, so you don’t feel like questing is something you finish at level 90 (and so you don’t feel like daily quests are synonymous with ‘boring’ or ‘grind’).

Sorry to break it to you, but daily quests inevitably become boring and grindy and these are especially so. Don't get me wrong. I love the one-off quests leading into this area, but after that you have to repeat the same series of dailies over and over again for a week to unlock more dailies. It starts feeling like a grind by day 3. Then after that you have to do the same quests you've been doing for a week just to get the opportunity to do the new dailies. So by day 3 of that you have a new grind in addition to the old grind. Ideally the time it takes to unlock all the dailies will be cut in half going forward. We should have the option of doing about 20 dailies early on. You can still limit the rate at which items are obtained by adjusting the tokens awarded. Also the idea of having to pick one set of quests on a given day to the exclusion of another works to reduce the grind. I think that making more use of that mechanic will help to combat the grindy feeling. I would love to have about 60 quests to pick from with only 20 available on any given day. That would keep the quests interesting. What would be even cooler is if we had a choice between doing a hard quest for triple rewards or doing three trivial quests. Then if I had the gear and talent to do the harder quest I could save myself a little bit of time. If I wanted to be lazy that day or just grind out mindless content I would have that option too.

We want Exalted to be something you earn for bragging rights, not something every player has.

The raiding reps are kind of like this already, depending on your server. Unfortunately you usually make reps like this hard to obtain by way of a grind. For example suppose it takes 10 full clears of a raid to max the rep. I guarantee that by the third full clear I'm ready for it to end. At that point I feel more like I'm performing a job rather than playing a game, except I'm actually paying to do this job. When players feel like they've become workers they tend to quit.
Actually a good interview, especially coming right after that other really terrible one by that dungeon guy. It definitely felt like GC was at least listening to the player base a bit. Nice job.
Huh...I actually liked this one. Say what you like and then actually acknowledge that you've heard what people didn't like and have concrete ways (giving a few examples) of how to deal with them.

The only two things I didn't like were:

1) Abyssal Maw - you guys COULD make it a 2-3 boss "filler" raid like RS to keep us from getting bored... -hint hint- If it really was mostly reused art assets and all. Finish up the Neptulon story and give us a hint into what the Naga and N'zoth have planned in/for Pandaria/the future.

2) The talent system - I was talking to some friends about how much I liked Baldur's Gate. I don't think I even ever finished the second one, but I just had so much fun playing with the mechanics of the characters that I got hours of enjoyment out of it. That's what the pre-Cata talent trees were to me. The Cata ones were boring and bland by comparison, and I didn't like how it wasn't always as easy for me to tell which talents were mandatory and which were optional (mandatory is fine as long as you leave us free talent points and there are plenty of optional talents. Mandatory = +X% damage/healing, Optional = snare, CC, and some QoL talents.)

In Cata, I really can't tell which are which. Things I think are mandatory, well, turns out aren't. And some things I think are optional are actually mandatory! I have to read the stickies to figure out which is which and it isn't as straightforward as pre-Cata was.

The thing is, I that's the one thing I'm really not liking going into Mists. I liked being a HYBRID, damnit! (And I know the bearcats among us feel the same way now.) By forcing TOO MUCH specialization on players, it begs the question: "Why don't we just have four classes, Warrior (Tank), Priest (Healer), Mage (Ranged DPS), Rogue (Melee DPS)?"

-I- know that there are still differences (one of my characters is an Arcane Mage and I know very well there are significant differences between the way the three specs do damage), so there's the flavor argument. But there's no real point in having hybrids if they can't actually hybrid (and it's still odd to me that a Rogue can self-heal better than a Retadin. o.O)

So yeah, those two things bug me. But...other than that, I actually liked this one overall. Pat Greg on the back for me. ^_^

EDIT: Although I should note one other thing:

It seems like there may be "gaps" in the difficulty level of content. What I mean by this...let me use the 5 mans as an example.

5 man normals - for leveling, useless at level cap, really.
5 man heroics - used for gearing, will probably be made like the HoTs (easy) due to them being a grind
5 man challenge - think raid hardmodes, very difficult.

Okay, so we have trivial, easy, and uberhard. what if I want a medium difficulty challenge with medium difficulty rewards? Does this make sense? It seems we should have easy (normals), somewhat difficult (heroics - even with normal raids), and uberhard (hardmodes, in this case, challenge modes.)

The simple way to do this would be make 5 man normals award VP for doing them from LFD, take heroics out of LFD but make them harder (though not as difficult as hardmodes), and then put in challenge modes as the "hardmodes" of 5 man content.

In other words, make 5 man normals the VP grind for gearing (parallel LFR), 5 man heroics parallel to normal raiding, and 5 man challenge modes parallel with hardmode raiding.

Spread the difficulty out a bit so that people that want SOME challenge (but not 100 wipes) have something for them, too. :)

It was kind of this way with T11, too, just in the opposite direction. The normal mode was too hard for a lot of decent players, but there was nothing easier for them to do. Now we have LFR, but that's so easy as to be trivial. It's like there needs to be something...I dunno, to fill that gap, both in the raid difficulties and the 5 mans.

In the case of the 5 mans, it's easy to fix. I'm just not sure you guys are going to do it. Trivial, easy, uberhard isn't that great to me. Easy, medium, and uberhard would be better.
I'm probably going to end up one of the odd ones out posting in this thread as a "Cata baby". I started playing because my girlfriend was fishing after Cata release, and when she was done fishing, she mounted her green proto drake and actually flew in-game near Hyjal under the branches of Nordrassil. I'm a sucker for dragons, and that single action perked my interest in the game considerably more than your Chuck Norris TV spot could have ever.

I've never gone through the old questing zones so I've no idea if the new versions are better. All I can say after leveling through them is I don't remember the vast majority of them and a bunch of what I do remember is the questing in WoTLK, which you didn't revamp. Somewhere in the leveling experience, I started following the yellow arrow on the minimap and looking at the quest tracker underneath it and simply killed whatever needed killing to get the happy ding sound. Once I got to 85 and wanted lore, I found myself on wowpedia and wowwiki a lot.There has to be a better way of communicating what the story line is than the quest blurbs in game. It's not with full voice acting.

I think, part of what made the WoTLK questing memorable was that I could follow an overall story arc and you had a good villan in the Lich King who popped up in the questing experience. Deathwing's presence is much more sporadic and for a giant dragon, he doesn't actually feel particularly menacing. I see the login screen and his giant claw marks on the towers in SW, but I don't actually get to see him burn a phased version of it to the ground in-game. That'd have helped.

In a similar vein to how you present the story line, I think you've got to do better than tooltips for spells and abilities for new players. I'd not have known about a rotation if I'd not been told to go look at EJ. I had no idea Impact spread DoTs until I discovered that completely accidentally on some trash mob. Sure, it's on the tooltip, but I wasn't reading those while levelling. I was too busy hard casting Pyroblasts because clearly that's what Fire Mages would want to do. Many of the game's features are completely invisible to new players, and in my opinion, fairly critical to actually playing reasonably. I'd have no idea how to use macros if it weren't for external sites, and lets face it, if you want to keep Living Bomb up on 3 targets, you're not going to do it without mouseover or a focus target macro.

Another issue I have with the leveling experience, is just how expensive everything is if you are actually a new player. There is no way I'd have been able to afford 283 flying if my girlfriend hadn't played and had that kind of gold sitting around. Basic flying is so painfully slow that it actually detracts from the experience of flying. And this is still an issue - I don't sit on near the quantities of gold some veteran players have, and come a new expansion, things like new Darkmoon cards are simply going to be completely out of reach, and that is going to have consequences come time to raid. Leveling professions was fabulously boring and expensive and the primary reason I can't stand creating alts.

I don't have too many complaints about instances - I didn't do many of them while leveling but even as a new player, I didn't feel the Cata dungeons were particularly hard. Sure there was the occasional wipe (i.e. Corla) but overall they were manageable as long as the tank took the time to mark targets. I was perfectly happy to sheep things, because Poly is the second greatest single spell in the game (right after Blink). I did think some of the instances were a bit too long though - Deadmines, SFK and Halls of Forever in particular. Also running ZA/ZG, repeatedly over and over and over for months to get Conquest points was terrible. I'd love to have the endgame versions of dungeons scale with gear and drop current loot. There is no reason for me to run any of the Cata dungeons in my current gear. They don't drop anything useful and they aren't a challenge - Benedictus' RP before combat starts lasts longer than combat.

I love LFR - I'd not have gotten to raid at all unless I'd been randomly thrown a guild invite into a casual 10m guild that raided a little, and then had a raid leader than deigned to bring me in one night thanks to an absentee for farm on Magmaw. We only managed to clear the normal modes in T11 but it was fun and I loved finally killing Nef. I've got my legendary now and get to work on hardmodes in a lovely semi-hardcore 25m guild in which I'm an officer, but this is all a complete accident. With LFR, even if that hadn't happened, I'd have seen some raid content. I do think the nerfs in Firelands did make the first six bosses trivial, and brickwalling on H. Rag was fairly painful for some guildies but the DS nerfs seem better.

Re the legendaries, the drop rate on 10m vs 25m was terrible and it really left many of us in 10m guilds quite bitter. Also please fix Tarecgosa's wings and underbite.
In regards to BGs and LFR, I feel that people like myself in the "medium" range is left out.

LFR is great not because the content is easy, but because grouping is easy. You seemed to have left out that many people have criticized the difficulty of LFR being too easy. Yes it should be easier, but I believe it can too easy as well and because it was too easy I didn't find it fun at all. Even if it's not fun you still have an incentive to do it just for the loot so now it becomes boring and a chore.

BGs are similar in this aspect. Part of the popularity is the ease of grouping. Queues are fast or near instant and off you go, but the "difficulty" is a mixed bag.

What this means is that the "hard" crowd has always had their content with rated and raids. Now the "easy" crowd has their content with LFR and BGs as usual, while the "medium" crowd is left in an unsatisfactory limbo.

Does this make sense? Is it just tough luck kind of thing here or do you see some reasonably attainable solutions?

I suggest using to find rated BG groups. Blizzard hasn't really implemented anything for "I want to raid, but can't find a group - but don't want to play with drooling masses in faceroll content". may promote a similar solution to PvE as it grows, and hopefully current raids are permitted xrealm.
Thanks for the blog, GC! I have to confess, I haven't been this excited about an expansion since Burning Crusade! (That's saying a lot, Outland has been my favorite part of Warcraft for a long long time.)

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