Cataclysm Post Mortem -- Dungeons and Raids

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
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This just in: nobody ever said normals were hard.

Having said that, I have never really understood the ideas of Heroic 5 Mans. I often see people, when discussing difficulty of raid content (or lack thereof in normals) referring to a statement somewhat similar to the following - "then do heroic modes cause that is what they are designed to be, hard modes for those that want a challenge".

Accordingly, I would have thought, that "heroic" 5 mans should be designed for those that want a challenge in 5 mans. Now I am not sure if it is because the Heroic 5 mans have been essentially put in the position of being "Required proression" for gearing before raids (or whether it is something else entirely) but Heroic 5 mans seem to be caught between the point of view that they should be heroic and the point of view that they shoud be accessable - a confusion that doesn't happen with heroic raids.

I think that is partly the intention of the new challenge modes for dungeons - adding in that heroic challenge - but I think Blizzard needs to be more explicit in defining Heroic 5 man, even to the point of actually renaming them if necessary. If it has the "Heroic" tag then it should be designed that way. If people want clearing 5 mans with gear that will lead them into LFR then maybe the person that suggested three difficulties for 5 mans as we have with raids is the more appropriate option.

Personally I do not think that the 5 man heroics were too hard - I think people were for the most part disregarding the Heroic tag and assuming they should be easy and ultimately was an issue with 5 man design and the inflated (or very low depending on view) expectations people had of them.
The crappier this game gets the more Blizz sounds like a bunch of politicians. There is no integrity in this Q and A; it's just circle jerking.

The number of negative opinions on Cata is not a small minority, it is the overwhelming majority of players, all of whom are trying to express their opinion that the game went and is continuing to go in a direction that is not fun and we do not want. Blizzards response to this is to simply ignore it and pretend everything they are doing is great; it's pathetic.

Think MoP is going to be good? Well the developers think they did great in Cata and don't need to change anything so.. what do you really think MoP is going to be like?

Yeah from this post it really seems like MoP is just going to be more of the same boring, and sporadic crap we've been getting lately. I really hope this isn't the case.

Also, in before WoW subs take a massive hit once all the people who signed up for the 12 month subscription plus diablo 3 deal don't renew their subs.
I refute many of the claims in this article.

Heroic dungeon difficulty was excellent when Cataclysm launched, and it was pretty good through the Z's the final 3 dungeons are so lacking in challenge that I pretty much never run them.

To me, the 5 man dungeon is very core to the game. It is not a right, not every player will succeed in every 5 man dungeon. Much less the heroic ones. The current model seems to be based on the idea that barring serious error - the group will succeed, and this model saddens me. I want to have to play my best, and have other people play their best to succeed in a timely manner.

The model which appears to be on deck for PoM where heroic dungeons aren't really heroic, and just something you spend time in to gear up doesn't sound like much fun.

I wish dungeons were harder, and enjoyed the mechanics of most cataclysm dungeons.

I do NOT like the last 3 dungeons, as their mechanics are generally for show only.

Dragon Soul is one of the least interesting raids that this team has put out. The recycled modelling, combined with a large # of fights which have limited tank requirements, and very repetitious final fights, you have done so much better many times before.

Spine of deathwing, while interesting, repeats the exact same phase 3 times. Combine that with a very specific class-limiting dps check, and the very fake healing requirements, and it could be so much better. Plus the room it starts out in makes me feel claustrophobic before the first plate is blown away.

Deathwing, mostly feels lile a repeat of the same 4 phases. The fight takes too long, has a very contrived tanking mechanic, and well.. Lich king was better, Ragnaros was better, so many fights were better.

I like Morchok (heroic), I love the gunship (not lfr)

LFR needs to require more of the dps in terms of mechanics. Often only the tank requirements are left once the fight is pared down. I presume this was to lower the chances of one poorly played dps wiping the raid, but if you don't give people the ability to make poor decisions, then making the right one means nothing.

Demand more of players in LFR and LFD.
Q. What didn’t work out as planned or expected?
Initially, we started off the Heroic dungeons at too high of a difficulty. The difficulty level rather abruptly changed when compared to the Heroics players experienced at the end of Wrath of the Lich King. This major change caught many players off guard, and frustrated some of them. The difficulty also increased the effective amount of time required to complete a dungeon to a longer experience than we wanted. With the release of patch 4.3 we’re now in a much better place. We’ve always talked about being able to complete a dungeon over lunch, and the Hour of Twilight dungeons get us back to that goal. End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight all provide epic play experiences to our players, but at the real sweet spot of difficulty, complexity, and time commitment.

Ok, I know it was hard and all, but srsly, that was the fun. It was terrible because of the valor grind, but not boring. In 4.2 Zul was even harder. Really cool. The patch was small but considering the difficulty, things became fun. Then the jump to 4.3 was like "wtf?". After this last one, I think they just dropped the ball. It's toooooo easy. Barely need any info or equiment or coordination to do anything. It's more like an "event" dungeon than a real dungeon.

No problem with storytelling, it's just that, in Grim Batol and all other dungeons, they felt REALLY rewarding.

I think that, if there must be some sort of grind/farm to JP's or VP's, keep them far far away from dungeons. Make them like Raids, normal and heroics, something that must be hard with rewards from the dungeons themselfs. Something that makes people put effort on what they do.

And this quote, is something that troubles me a lot. I don't want see dungeons heroics like 4.3 again. Ever. It's ridiculous of how easy they are.

Here's one idea:

- Create another dungeon difficulty, a "easy" mode, that would be like the 4.3. And keep the Normals and Heroic like in the beginning of Cata. Heroics should be like a real challenge for the most interested in PvE, the same kind that wants to raid heroics, but don't want to have to group up with a dozen of other ppl.

This way, you guys keep the content accessible to everyone and keeps the difficult on all dungeons. So, for God's sake, keep 5-man Normals decent and 5-man Heroics HARD and no more "4.3's" around.

Edit: Also, Loot:

I think every lvl should prepare you to another. You shouldn't be able to PvE on LFR without normal gear at least. If Heroics are going to be THE challenge, then you shouldn't be able to raid normal/heroic with at least the 5-man Heroic gear.

Doesn't have to be epic. Only good and fair enough for the difficulty.
03/05/2012 11:26 PMPosted by Xerel

This attitude and argument is what is wrong with the WoW community.

The problem is that a fraction of a percent actually believes this garbage, but they actually believe that they speak for the majority of "serious" players. The reality is most players aren't rushing through the content "too quickly". Most players are engaging in content where earlier this expansion they weren't bothering to do so at all.

You may not accept that as valid, since those players aren't "good enough" to meet your expectations, but the simply reality is that the developers have sensed, and seen very clearly when the "not good enough" players spoke with their wallets during 4.0-4.2, the future for the game is bleak listening to the sprsrsgaiz.

How is this what is wrong with the WoW community when it represents like 5% of the WoW community, and is completely ignored by the WoW developers?

Really not following your logic here at all. Anyway, I think you'll come to realize what a slippery slope you're on when every piece of content in WoW reaches the point where it can be completed in the first run, and suddenly you have no reason to play the game for more than 5 days every expansion.

Why have heroic gear at all if everyone can get it? No, really, why? Just think about it. Gear is relative. If everyone can get it, heroic gear is not good, it is mediocre. This also has really terrible effects on the way people play the game. Why bother to perfect your gameplay when you can just wait 2 months for a 30% nerf that will let you ignore every mechanic and do 50% of your potential throughput?

People will always change to fit what the game expects of them. Make a really easy, really trivial game, and you'll have a playerbase of transient !@#$%^-s who don't care about much of anything. This is an easy argument to mock, but it's also unfortunately very true. There's a reason people are super passionate about Dark Souls, but not Maple Story.

exactly. well said.
throwing gear at players and taking away the REWARD of beating raid bosses - which is what happened with raid finder - and earning progression, rather than breezing through the story with a bunch of raging and impatient players from other servers is not what it should be about.

people want to feel the comeraderie and achievement of passing these milestones with their friends, and not have raidfinder speed through each encounter so that even raiding (on raidfinder) becomes exactly like a group of people doing a heroic dungeon in super fast time...

for me at least, it's embarrassing to see how little credit players are given for wanting to experience a sense of achievement - something that is taken away when gear is handed out like sweets at christmas and legendaries are everywhere to be seen
I hope you don't make Heroics like you did in WotLK blizz. I loved the fact that you actually had to think and react a bit during the Cata heroics. It kinda made me sad when you took a step back in difficulty with the Hour of Twilight dungeons. It really sucked the fun out of the experience. Sure, some of the heroics at the start of Cata could be frustrating and you wouldn't win all the time, but isn't that the point of playing this game?

Isn't it more satisfying that you actually had to think to overcome obstacles rather then just mindlessly aoeing everything down? Isn't it more interesting that there is a chance a both success and failure? Don't you feel better knowing that you work for your gear?

So please blizzard, give us a challenge in MoP. Don't fall back to nerfing the game just because a few people cry that it's too hard. Make "Heroics" heroic again and let us have some fun.
Seems to me, the lead designer only wanted to mention the bare minimum and not acknowledge any elephants in the room.

I think that, if there must be some sort of grind/farm to JP's or VP's, keep them far far away from dungeons.

You need to make that a thread all its own!
The disconnect between Daelo and the community on Spine is very concerning. He really needs to get over how "cool" the fight sounded during the design stage and confront the reality of how it turned out. Basing the success of popping plates on a ~20 second burst window shone a spotlight on spec imbalance in a way that Blizzard was prematurely forced to address (i.e. independent of the escalating 5% zone nerf). The repetitive nature and "throw another tank at it" aspects of it sure didn't help either. Ugh.

To me, Spine is exactly like the entire expansion: cool concept, abysmally bad execution.
Were the old content dungeons changed at all with cataclysm? I just started playing when cataclysm came out and I'd have to agree that the cata dungeons were a few steps up on the difficulty curve compared to the older dungeons. Having moved on to raiding now, I think they did a good job of introducing the mechanics that were later used in the raid boss fights too. I had to actually pay attention to some of the fights in cata instead of just blazing through like the older content.

I only really have 3 complaints with cataclysm and only one of them is related to the dungeons:

1. The Zandalari dungeons were far too long for being the only dungeons in their tier, especially with the high chance of getting a bad group in dungeon finder. I only ended up doing them a handful of times because I either didn't have time, or didn't want to deal with the headache of trying to find a group that would stick together long enough to finish a run.
2. When playing a healing class you pretty much have to respec to a different class to finish questing through cataclysm if you want to get through in a reasonable amount of time. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just very inconsistent with everything up to that point.
3. The price. I started out with just vanilla wow when cata came out, and it had all of the storyline changes from cataclysm. When I capped out at 60 and was thinking about upgrading to cataclysm, the $100 price tag that was involved was a little ridiculous; especially considering the rather small amount of content you were paying for at that point (basically paying 5 times as much for the amount of content that came with vanilla wow). They really need to bundle everything together at a lower price if they want to keep pulling new people in when mists comes out because at that point it would be close to $150 or more plus a monthly subscription for a new player and that just doesn't really make a very appealing deal.

I think that, if there must be some sort of grind/farm to JP's or VP's, keep them far far away from dungeons.

Oh, I actually really like that. Dungeons could be for the gear, and 'tier points' could be accumulated by doing in-world stuff like quests, and also as a bonus for doing raids. Make some of them group quests, and suddenly you have a server community again.
I've never felt the urge to try any of the end game raiding content...
Never stepped inside Firelands, never stepped inside Dragon Soul.. Never will.

I started reading up on them, looking at video's and couldn't be bothered.

SSC was fun, hard, and vashj was a !@#$%.
Hyjal was pretty cool.

TBC rocked.

Wrath ICC was great,
I loved my Holy pally in Wotlk, i'll admit it was easy, but it was fun. (never did heroic or see LK btw).

Trying to gear my healer this expansion especially with the early heroics, was a pain in the ^-*, every dps in greens blaming the tank or heals for not being able to keep them up.

The only saving grace for me in cata has been pvp,
although the only reason thats been interesting is because of 5 85's to gear up and play with.

Here's to hoping MoP gets better, but already pre-ordered Tera! might try that instead.

biggest regret! = Anual pass ><, fkers got me good.

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