Cataclysm Post Mortem -- Dungeons and Raids

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
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Which is why it's bad game design to be there in the first place. If it's BORING it should be able to be skipped or not there at all, and they should find a better, more fun way of doing it.

Story is not bad game design. For some of us, it's the main motivator to play. Just because you personally don't enjoy it doesn't mean it shouldn't be there.
03/05/2012 07:20 PMPosted by Pruney
LOL. Please Blizzard never again. Spine is literally the worst raid encounter I've ever done.

I think Viscidus was worse. But they should know better after all these years. So I guess Spine wins.

Yeah, I have to laugh that they are proud of one of the most hated raid bosses of all time.
Seriously what's with the layup questions. Nothing about 10 and 25 difficulty at all. Or raid size in general.
03/05/2012 08:42 PMPosted by Elliora
Yeah, I have to laugh that they are proud of one of the most hated raid bosses of all time.

Maybe in a technical sense I can understand... he had so many moving parts... but the encounter itself is blegh.... It doesn't feel that you're really fighting DW .. sure there is a reason to pry off his plates... so thrall has a better shot... but it's so boring to do.

On Normal anyway... not seen heroic but from all the hate I saw about it... I can assume it's just as tedious once you get past the mechanics of it.
WoW pve dungeons need to go back to the models in BC where the heroics were just that, heroic. The geared players had to sink some time to get these down. Everyone else had the normal version and that was okay.

I want more shattered halls heroic and raid gear, that was still tough, But you felt badass saying our guild can clear it in a couple hours.

They're Heroics! they should be hard.

The model now is, normals get you to 85 and heroics are the norm. <---dumb idea. People want dungeon crawlers, we dont want to sit in queue for 15 minutes as a dps (my server at least) and then clear the dungeon in 20 minutes to go back to org and q again.

The designers are fail atm, I think it's fascinating that they keep saying we love the current model of dungeons and HoT was the best of the expansion. We want time sinks! The content got too old too fast because you could clear it and gear it in a day.
Ignore all the criticisms made, talk about how great it all was, and disable comments, since you know it is not how your customers feel at all.

Blizzard, you had a truly great game, and there is time to save it, but refusing to admit your mistakes is yet another red flag as to MoP.

There were some good things, but the bad predominated, and to just ignore the mistakes fails to raise hope that you will correct them.

As another said (I did not read but a few of the comments yet), you have just about driven a stake through the heart of 25 mans. Do you really want your epic mmo to be 99% 10 mans?

If so, you are succeeding.

IMO CATA was a BIG failure, and the best thing would be to learn from the mistakes and fix it in MoP. Fluff pieces like this, designed to pat yourself on the back, well I guess that is what is important to you then.
03/05/2012 08:37 PMPosted by Maigraith
Story is not bad game design. For some of us, it's the main motivator to play. Just because you personally don't enjoy it doesn't mean it shouldn't be there.

Story is fine.

Story done boringly is not. Dragon Soul did it very poorly. You seeing a story should NOT come at the expense of the time of other people.

Like I said, go do Sinestra if you want to see it done right. If you can't, here.
03/05/2012 08:08 PMPosted by Bynir
We need something to immerse us and to just let us be in a game for a good period of time. Not everyone wants everything to be over in 15 minutes.

Archaeology does a great job of that. I've done it the most of anybody I know and I still have 5 or 6 epics not dug up...

03/05/2012 08:10 PMPosted by Mestre
I've said it before, people want to be challenged. They don't want faceroll (at least not to much), they don't want to be treated like idiots who don't know how to play a game. Sometimes you need to NOT listen to your forums and give people what they don't know they really want. BC proved that, people came in during that time, Vanilla proved that as it was the LARGEST gain of any time. Cataclysm proved that if you make everything so easy, that if you don't add content, and that if you treat your players like idiots you will LOSE subs.

So glad to see somebody else see and realize this fact!
I would like to disagree with Daelo's rather obvious implication that the Spine of Deathwing was a success. Blizzard succeeded in a technical sense that the fight was developed and released to the public, but that is a pretty low standard. Listen, friend: Ragnaros was a success -- THAT was epic. Cho'gall, Nefarian and Ascendant Council were epic, too. But Spine? Please. The excitement and the pride with which Blues speak of this fight is highly disproportional to the enjoyment players get out of doing it. Seriously, you guys throw around the word "epic" a lot when referring to this fight. Stop it. The fight sucks.

The 10 and 25 man lockout and loot changes have been a pretty big disappointment, too, at least in my opinion. Was there something wrong with separate lockouts and separate loot tables that we saw in Wrath? LFR 25 man loot could be itemised at the same level as 10-man loot, no? As a casual player during Wrath, which I was, without access to 25-man loot, I would have taken an ilvl 258 Dislodged Foreign Object off of Rotface and been thrilled. Not to mention that 10 and 25 man guilds competing for server firsts have made a lot of players on both sides of the 10-man vs 25-man "debate" bitter.

All in all I just feel like you guys have changed too many things in Cataclysm that didn't need to be changed. The result is -- and I admit there is a certain degree of hindsight bias here -- that you have lost both casual and hardcore players by the hundreds of thousands and into the millions.

I think it would be prudent for you guys to revisit the Ulduar model of raiding, if that's still possible. Casual players weren't anywhere close to being able to complete it while it was end-game content, which might seem like a negative thing, but we eventually did later in the expansion with better gear from other tiers. Ulduar was hard, but it lasted a while. That's what she said.
03/05/2012 08:45 PMPosted by Waraila
On Normal anyway... not seen heroic but from all the hate I saw about it... I can assume it's just as tedious once you get past the mechanics of it.

It's twice as long and requires 4 times the healing throughput. Not to mention dedicated burst dps classes, specs, and trinkets.

It's horribly frustrating really.
Story done boringly is not. Dragon Soul did it very poorly.

That's your perspective. I feel the opposite. While Dragon Soul was rather mediocre in the actual story it told -- at least compared to things like Ulduar and ICC -- the way it told it was exemplary, IMO.

03/05/2012 08:48 PMPosted by Ashunera
You seeing a story should NOT come at the expense of the time of other people.

20 seconds of Thrall talking is not going to kill you. I find there's usually a long pause between boss fights in most raid groups anyway; might as well throw some RP there while the raid leader gets himself a soda.
Zg/za was really good in regards to the difficulty. The HoT ones were really easy imo. When it got released was surprised that there is zero to minimum CC involved and is pretty much faceroll imo.
I'm absolutely floored that Spine was used as a positive example for this blog. Daelo always came off as a pretty smart guy to me...It's almost like he wanted to rush the blog to get it over with.
As much as I love the T13 raids (and LFR by extension), the Spine fight usually has a tendency to go wrong for me and I mean BAD wrong. Someone kills an extra tentacle, DPS doesn't stop on the abomination thing at 30%, or a few too many people stand to one side.
03/05/2012 08:45 PMPosted by Waraila
On Normal anyway... not seen heroic but from all the hate I saw about it... I can assume it's just as tedious once you get past the mechanics of it.

for 23 people in the raid, the only difference is that it lasts twice as long and everything has more health and does more damage. That's it. Blah.
Speaking on the difficulty of Cata dungeons when they launched, and I was there..

Throne of Tides and Stonecore were the ones I HATED to get when I was in ilvl 333 or so.


Throne Of Tides - the trash mob pulls going to free erunak, and the stoopid dark water spawns heading in to the last room... good gawd man. Even the trash before the 1st boss in ICC, and the trash in the entry hallway of BOT on 25 man were not as painfull to deal with, at ilvl.

Stonecore - again the trash between the worm and the stone dragon. I never could see the spell cast properly, so I missed the jump to avoid damage every time. And the stone lord Ozrik -- shudder--. I saw more 5 man groups absolutely fall apart when facing him than anything. Again this in ilvl of say 330-333.

The rest of them were ok, if you remember crowd control from the days of herioc ramparts, herioc shattered halls, and herioc shadowlabs. But if you went in with a go-go-go wrath herioc attitude, you got your butt/head/manhood/womanhood ripped pretty dayum quick and handed to you.

Once everyone starting hitting the 340 ilvl mark, the cata heriocs becaame self-nerfed to some extent.. as people started over gearing it.

Carry on.
03/05/2012 08:54 PMPosted by Maigraith
20 seconds of Thrall talking is not going to kill you.

No, but it's annoying. I've seen it before, a hundred times. The first time I didn't mind, it's the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 14th, 27th, 65th times that it annoys the hell out of me and just about everyone I know. The cutscene interrupting your gameplay 5 times per run was fine the first time, but the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 14th, 27th, and 65th times that it's stupid and sucks.


It's done right there. EVERYONE would be able to agree with that.
Since blizzard actually reads on this forum, I'm going to add my thoughts here:

I am worried about the direction of this game. I understand that this "post mortem" (if it can even be called that) is more of a PR interview with design staff, but I REALLY hope the development team is taking a good, hard look at what actually went wrong in Cata. Because there was a lot.

Sure, I'm someone who enjoyed the early Cata pre nerf heroics (as a healer!) and sure my ideal would be to have heroics be that difficulty with wrath or 4.3 style length. I understand I am in the minority saying that, but let me lay out a quick bullet point set of problems.

1) Announced raid content that got scrapped (vashj'ir raid) or downgraded (well of eternity raid)

2) The fact that HoT heroics are far easier than the original cata heroics (taking gear into account of course). They're shorter, they're easier, it's a disparity. The HoT mechanics are simple. WoE is the most egregious, where really it's just "hey watch illidan be a beast" while the rest of us plink way with damage. BORING.

3a) No mention of dropping the development ball with Firelands. Pushing out two heroics as a content patch instead and giving no other extra content?

3b) Cata was supposed to be the xpac of more variety of raids with maybe less bosses in each one. 4.0 was like that, and it was good. raid. raid. raid with little variety.

4) Spine is a flawed fight. Enough other people have gone into that. While I'm at it, don't put the DPS check halfway through the Dragon Soul raid.

5) I hope Mists helps the team's direction and brings a more unified theme, because Cata felt like it was all over the place and very little of the world being tied together. The dungeons felt especially separated from the world, and even after doing the quest I didn't get much sense of why I was fighting who I was fighting...except in HoT which was way too heavy handed.

There are positives to dungeons and raids in Cata to be sure, but most of them come from the beginning of Cata and it seems like Blizzard has really shifted to a different design direction. Please don't make the next set of heroics simple faceroll. HoT was severely under tuned in the same way that early Cata heroics were (although I do not believe so) overtuned.
03/05/2012 06:08 PMPosted by Arielle
Heroic dungeons were actually pretty par in terms of difficulty. People actually had to use CC (god forbid) and interrupts. There were abnormal problems in some cases but they ended up just turning into a giant faceroll fest just like Wrath (which I thought isn't what they wanted).

This, a thousand times. So wonderful to feel more as a team, coordinating efforts and pushing through a dungeon with some semblance of strategy than to just pull and begin the AoE.

I'm very, very disappointed that the lack of talking about lost content. The Abyssal Maw was never spoken of, and when the closure to Vashj'ir is the kracken stealing away Neptulon? That's not very closing. It seems 'heroes' would hardly go "Oh yay, look and valor points" and then merrily trudge along while ignoring the Elemental Lieutenant of Water's complete abduction to... where? An Old God? The Naga? Azshara? I'd bet half my gear that later on we'll have "Neptulon is back, because the heroes couldn't rescue him, and now he's eeeevil!" No, the heroes could have rescued him, but the developers didn't let us. When Neptulon comes back for vengeance, I'll do nothing but wonder why the devs though we'd magically forget about the end of Throne of Tides.

Is the Well of Eternity really supposed to be a 5man? With all that background, everything happening down low? All the possibilities, none of that was planned as a raid? I'm not buying it at all. It's a raid, reduced to a 5man, and that's a damn shame when you stop and think about how epic and awesome it could have been, to do a raid against the Infinite, past-Deathwing, the Old Gods (who may exist everywhen?) and the demons of the Legion. Rallying with the druids, the Aspects of Old. Did we ever Malygos while he was sane? How neat would that have been? But no, we get a 5man, paired with two other half-instances in a (poor) attempt to mimic the ICC 5mans.

End Time is somewhat interesting the first few times through, but feels... lackluster. At the least it's not Trial, though. But teleport, go to a room. Teleport, go to a room. Why are there Black dragons around Cairne's spirit? What if we got to, god forbid, explore the world a little? The final fight against Murozond was admittedly pretty damn neat. The idea of a time-reset, including your CDs and health, was fun. Very well tuned.

Hour of Twilight. I cannot describe my hatred for this instance.
1) Why do we start out in some random cave in Dragonblight?
2) Why do we not fly on the wings of the Reds from the start?
3) Why, why, why did you make Thrall not die on the last run? It's like giving healers free mana. For no reason. At all. Give us some risk, maybe.
I feel no compelling reason to care about our run across Dragonblight. I don't see why it provides "epic play" when I'm wondering half the time why we're doing what we're doing.

And that's just the 5 "epic play" 5mans, when really only the Well stands out in my mind, and that's mostly because it feels more like a raid than a 5man.

Tier 11. 12 bosses total in 3 different zones, 13 if you count Baradin Hold. A fantastic tier with unique fights and fun mechanics. Tuned well.

Firelands. 7 bosses in one place of orange and red. The final a sharp turn in difficulty from the others. Nerfed less than halfway through it's relevant lifetime... for no seeming reason, that made it a boring farmfest for the next few months.

Dragon Soul. Cleared the normal mode with mild difficulty (rating myself as a mostly casual raider) to find heroics a nice curve upward. Oh, and 8 bosses, the last 3 without trash, that makes it possible to likely clear within 90 minutes. One night per week. Not very compelling.

I'm looking at this 'interview' as a sign that PvE in Mists will not be terribly better. It feels as though most of the focus will be to "challenges" that will go the way of arena, reducing to "Bring the right class or go home" for anything rated, and another time-waster that gets boring in a month for anyone casual. The worst part is that all of the "challenges" work will pull from raids and instances. Not much to look forward to.
03/05/2012 08:06 PMPosted by Cariono
Are you serious? If they listed to the "vocal minority" which is pretty much the forums, this game would never be good.

But...that's exactly what they did. The forum outcry over heroic dungeons being too difficult was insane. There were cries for nerfs everywhere. Everyone I talked to in-game were having a relatively fun time progressing.

A few months down the road and whadya know? Heroic 5mans were nerfed into oblivion.

Oh you silly. They didn't listen to forum QQ. Almost no one QQed on the forums. During the first half of 2011, 5000 people PER DAY were quitting the game (net). Did you see 5000 new QQ threads per day on the forums?

No, what Blizzard looked at was the reasons those people were giving for quitting when they cancelled. And almost certainly, those comments indicated difficulty was a huge problem for these people.

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