Cataclysm Post Mortem -- Dungeons and Raids

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
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03/05/2012 07:15 PMPosted by Cariono
Ok then I take it back from you, but still heroics aren't suppose to be mini raids..... that's what LFR is kinda is. There are going to be Heroic dungeon challenges for MoP, hopefully by then you can get 5 people together for them.

I truly hope the challenge modes are actually challenges with CC, complex boss mechanics, require strict positioning, and other elements expected in a heroic raid.

The way they detailed them at blizzcon and on makes it seem like they are pure time-trail versions of regular modes. There's no challenge in that; instead it promotes facerolling as fast as possible.
I hope you get what you want in the end, but I also hope one day you get back into raiding, GL
HoT dungeons were and are extremely easy even in minimum level gear.

Z dungeons and the starting heroics were just right.

If the only difficulty in doing a dungeon is overcoming the stupidity and ineptness of fellow players, dungeons will not be for me.

I think dungeons need a third difficulty level that doesn't let you queue in a dungeon finder for them. That way we can keep the challenging level of heroics, and not hear any whining about how hard they are - the players that are awful won't pass the "walk to the dungeon with 5 friends" boss, and LFR proves they won't complain about it. I'd prefer if said dungeons didn't give enough gear to roflstomp them too. Current HoTs are vaguely challenging the first time you run them, and after that you outgear them to a ridiculous degree.

That said, I'm not keen on doing challenging dungeons for nothing more than statless transmog gear. Mostly because I'll end up having to do them again on normal or heroic to get real gear, and keep doing them to get valor. I only have so much time a week - I'd rather do something fun for a tangible reward than something boring for a tangible reward PLUS something fun for a cosmetic reward.

Spine was not a great encounter. Neither was madness. Doing the same thing 4-5 times over doesn't make for a fun fight. I'm surprised ragnaros went unmentioned: to me that was a far superior encounter, purely due to the variety of mechanics. It made you excited to see a new phase. Spine and madness don't. They feel like trash gauntlets. And I've yet to meet someone who actually likes trash gauntlets enough to like fighting 4 of them in a raid.

Another thing I hated about the HoT dungeons and DS? NPC blather. If an NPC has something to say, don't gate me to force me to listen to it. Make it interesting instead.

BWD, BoT and Firelands >>> DS.
I for one am generally pretty happy with Dragon Soul's difficulty, and am definitely enjoying the LFR (Note: I still would love it if all of the drops in there were 1. Not disenchantable and 2. not vendorable, just like the Brewfest trinkets to help encourage people who don't need the drops not to roll on them for vendor/shard fodder) on my main and all of my alts (9 of them; one of each class).

In my opinion, the Hour of Twilight heroics are indeed correctly tuned for the average level of player gear that is coming in there. What we are missing, however (as one of the prior posters said) was an intermediate ilvl 365ish series of dungeons.

For a 5 man (non-raiding) player or alt, your gear's ilvl went 333>346>353>378... with the exception of that Thrall cape or any Firelands BoE/crafted gear that they picked up along the way to Hour of Twilight. That's why those instances seem so 'soft' for their lofty ilvl 378 rewards: its because they had to be easy in order to make up for the gap between 353 and 378 and fill in for a set of totally missing 365ish instances.

On a different note, I would like to point out that the primary disappointment that I have with the actual Dragon Soul raid itself... and that is the boss and environment's artistic design.

Very few bosses (notable exceptions are Spine, Deathwing himself) are unique or 'new' creations, and most of the environments are not new to players either (again, the most notable exception being Spine). Tentacles? Seen 'em. Morchok? Scaled up Ozruk. Wyrmrest Temple/Eye of Eternity/Random Old God Cave-or-Hole-in-the-Ground? Done that. (Note: The Hour of Twilight instances on the other hand were beautiful and unique; keep up the good work on those! The creative and artistic team really put a solid effort into those dungeons and it shows in the story, environmental imagery and many of the boss creatures' designs. Kudos!)

The artistic measure that went into the Firelands raids (yes, yes, I know about the 'OH GOD, ALL THE RED!' complaints about the overall color scheme in there, but stick with me here for a moment) should have been diverted to providing unique and fresh environmental/boss creature creations for Dragon Soul, and Firelands should have had a re-tooled/re-tuned Molten Core type world.

Ragnaros' room is lovely in Firelands, with delicate embellishments and design intricacies that harken back to the architectural beauty of Magister's Terrace and the Sunwell. Why did Deathwing get a non-unique, large swirling potty of ocean water and barnacle-encrusted rocks as the site for his final fight? Why did Rhyolith get a unique model and not Hagara or Blackhorn?

Note: In spite of some of the negative tone of my comments, please do not construe this as a 'flame' or a 'troll', but simply as constructive criticism from an overall, generally happy player/customer. I have had many years of fun and happy memories with this game and my friends within it, and intend on having many more. <3
We learned we could create a crazy encounter like the Spine of Deathwing.

LOL. Please Blizzard never again. Spine is literally the worst raid encounter I've ever done.

Another thing is, while the HoT dungeons weren't terrible, there was FAR too many things beyond the player's control. I could literally complete Hour of Twilight in around 5~10 minutes if we didn't have to follow Thrall the whole time. The biggest offender to this is Well of Eternity. There isn't enough player interaction in these dungeons, and it makes them have NO replay value. The first time I did them I was like oh these are cool. Now after having done each and every one of them at least 15 times, I never want to hit the que button again.
O spine worked? This is new information to me. I will let my guild know to expect the need to stack 8mages and 6 rogues rofl. wow.

On a constructive note please separate 10 and 25man they are NOT the same and will not be the same. I am not saying one is harder or whatever but they need to be 2 different brackets much like in Wrath (not difficulty wise just achieves and such) with separate achieves (specifically server first achieves).

Most 10/25 man guilds don't even compare themselves to the other bracket please stop making us please = /.

Madness was a GREAT fight but had so much taken away from it because it was supposed to be a huge climactic fight that most guilds have killed in less than 70-80 pulls the fight felt like it should have been before warmaster blackhorn in terms of difficulty but the mechanics in themselves and the idea behind it i really enjoyed so thumbs up there. But spine was just completely broken 23secs of burn when there are so many classes that have ramp up damage is just silly. I really don't see how this fight was a success. The over all mechanics where cool i guess but 23secs of a burn when it required so much damage??? Not sure how that was a good idea.
reading over others posts, i think they definitely bring up a ton of things that daelo could have been discussed but didn't.
03/05/2012 06:55 PMPosted by Empirical
There are so many legitimate player concerns and questions about the state of and well being of a game many of us have been playing for almost a decade, and the best you can muster is a couple softballs and a promise that the upcoming press tour will fix it. Very frustrating and disappointing, to say the least.

I think this eloquently sums up my views on this particular post-mortem. In particular the comment about "some of us have been playing for almost a decade;" i can't tell you how many times i've thought to myself "I've been playing for years, and have an incredible number of 'days played' even as a casual; so why does blizz keep feeling like they need to make the casual content EASIER!?" MoP is gonna be like the 4th expansion in 7 years, imo blizz should be aiming to constantly add a little something to each expansion, instead they seem set on making MoP's casual content easier then vanilla!! HUH?
03/05/2012 06:18 PMPosted by Maigraith
I'm all for a challenge, but pass/fail mechanics are unnecessarily frustrating for those who are still learning them, and boring once you master them. I prefer mechanics that are difficult to avoid but don't guarantee death as opposed to mechanics that are easy to avoid but will instantly kill when failed. Jin'do, while over-tuned, was a good example of what to do right mechanically; Corla was a mistake that should never be repeated.

Definitely agree with this stuff. There should always be lots of "room to play better" type of mechanics that don't insta-gib you and wipe the group cause of 1 fail.
03/05/2012 06:48 PMPosted by Siory
Maybe this is the level of difficulty the player base at large needs to get all of them through the instances, however, I feel there is something wrong with the design when I'm not even asked by the content to play my role at all, let alone with any competence. Without the content asking that of me, I don't care in the slightest that I can do these instances over lunch because doing them doesn't even involve playing the game in the way I would like to play it.

I'm in the same boat. Look, i totally understand if you thought that some of the cata 5-mans were a bit tough at release (i have to agree that some fights were a little tough for a lot of the LFG Population)... but there is a wide divide between:
-"we want everyone who is reasonably competent to get through the content without a huge amount of problem or time spent"
-"we want terrible children in greens & PVP gear who have zero idea how to play their class and no concept of the fight mechanics to FACEROLL content with 0 deaths"
I'm no super-pro elitist, but even I am disgusted by some of the flat-out terrible & lazy play I see, that blizz seems to think is acceptable.

This is one of those things I think that, if the people writing this post-mortem had any courage, they would have confronted head on: "Listen people, we want all our paying customers to be able to easily see the content. And we have plenty of players who just are flat-out bad. So the logical conclusion: we have to keep most content very easy. Sorry, but that's how its going to be." I would have been unhappy, but appreciated the frankness, and more importantly better understood blizzard's thought process.
You feel like Spine delivered on an epic feeling of being on Deathwings back? I have to say... I didn't feel that at all. There's no rush of the wind or environment passing us by, and it's completely unnoticeable when you actually roll. The only way I even know he rolled is because the Amalgamations go flying away, besides that I have absolutely no sense of him being rolled.

It really feels like a collossal failure for the environment. I do think the concept of being on his back was a cool one... but ultimately it never delivered. It's odd to see that you guys think you delivered on that.

Madness is very similar. I absolutely the love the setting of Deathwing crashing into the Maelstrom and clawing his way back out, and we have to stop him with the help of the Aspects. That atmosphere never really transferred to the actual fight though. 10 minutes of doing the exact same 4 platforms over and over was very boring, especially when learning. The concept of the Aspect order changing your options was neat, but the platforms themselves were too long and became very boring when having to repeat them.

Really, both Deathwing encounters had great and epic concepts, but.... just didn't come together in execution.
I read things like this and I realize that the Blizzard designers have to put the best face on things but really, didn't they learn anything? Well, I guess they learned that the heroic dungeons in Cata were too hard but all he can talk about is mechanics in the raids.

Seriously, do the vast majority of subscribers care about some neat raid mechanic. I know the WOW designers do but isn't there anyone in the company that says: "oh, by the way, is this going to enhance the play enjoyment of the majority of players and not a handful of them?" I doubt it.
03/05/2012 06:10 PMPosted by Styill
Hour of Twilight dungeons hit the sweet spot in terms of difficulty? May god have mercy on us all.

Yeah, this piece makes me think raiding is doomed going into Mists.

The only thing they seem to take away from the t11 is that it was too hard, but it was probably the best group of designed fights this whole expansion. Firelands was ok, but short as hell. Dragon Soul was even shorter if you consider the last 3 fights, one of which is lauded in this piece, are nothing but glorified trash fights. They're neat in how they work, to be sure, but still trash fights.

If this is how mists is going to go, only 7 paltry fights per tier, we're screwed, big time. No comment either on the whole 10 vs 25 man thing. Don't get me wrong, 10 man should've been made into a real raid too, but it sucks as a server competing against 10 man guilds that need 15 less bodies to even do anything. Hell, I don't even think there are any other 25 man guilds left on ours. :\
So, any comment as to why Dragon Soul has 8 bosses and is expected to be and end-of-expansion tier?

Or why 5 of them are copied textures with copied area designs?

Or perhaps where the development time for Abyssal Maw ended up going? (It certainly didn't go into Dungeon design!)

Also to the rogue above at how WOW raids are designed I'm surprised people always keep expecting more.

Is it crazy for me to expect the atmosphere of the fight to reach the intended goals of its concept?
So, any comment as to why Dragon Soul has 8 bosses and is expected to be and end-of-expansion tier?

Or why 5 of them are copied textures with copied area designs?

Or perhaps where the development time for Abyssal Maw ended up going? (It certainly didn't go into Dungeon design!)

A required field is incomplete

Also to the rogue above at how WOW raids are designed I'm surprised people always keep expecting more.

Is it crazy for me to expect the atmosphere of the fight to reach the intended goals of its concept?
To me the atmosphere was very well done, especially on the madness fight...Deathwing looked.....well to be honest completely !@#$ed up. The giant hole in his chest made by the dragonsoul was disturbing, you could see through the other side!
And if you zoom out as much as you can you can really appreciate it. The whole fight was about putting the final bullet in a wounded, caught in the corner animal, to me at least.
So, any comment as to why Dragon Soul has 8 bosses and is expected to be and end-of-expansion tier?

Or why 5 of them are copied textures with copied area designs?

Or perhaps where the development time for Abyssal Maw ended up going? (It certainly didn't go into Dungeon design!)


Definitely agree with this stuff. There should always be lots of "room to play better" type of mechanics that don't insta-gib you and wipe the group cause of 1 fail.

The problem with this is that "do lots of damage if someone sucks, but don't kill them" inevitably becomes "blame the healer for not keeping up". I want to see more mechanics that incovenience whomever fails them without necessarily wiping the raid/party or just dealing so much damage that the healer inevitably fails.

I mean sure, if enough people fail, the group should fail. But the failure of one person should be more forgiving to the group and less forgiving for the player.

I'd like to see boss mechanics that give your character a 15% speed penalty for 1 hour. Or that paint you yellow. Or that reduce your role loot bonus by 10% per stack. All of which persist for extended periods of time, through death.

Penalise the person that sucks, not the people who have to cope with their mistake.
Why do we have to WAIT to go to Hagara? Why do we have to WAIT to start the Ultraxion trash (which is terrible?).

Because if you could skip them, everyone always would, and there'd be no point to having it in the first place.

The Ultraxion trash is awful; everyone agrees on that.

If you want an epic experience, walk into Blackwing Descent for the first time, put your camera in first person mode, and walk up the stairs towards Magmaw. Just look at the outstanding visual design there.

I guess it's just personal preference, but I thought BWD was a dull, visually bland cave with no lore significance or aesthetic appeal. It was the opposite of epic; it was a place to get loot, and nothing more.

03/05/2012 07:17 PMPosted by Arianah
I'm still disappointed that the "multiple smaller instances per tier in the mould of SSC/TK" philosophy never really survived past Tier 11.

More content is always a good thing. I'm still a bit disappointed Abyssal Maw was scrapped, as are we all.

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