Cataclysm Post Mortem -- Dungeons and Raids

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
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A tiny bit of challenge isn't that bad. Learn to CC. Learn to off tank. Learn to kite. There are other methods of damage mitigation such as proper focus fire using pets, los pulls, etc other then sheep. Sorry if this game is harder then pong.

It appears you haven't learned anything from the early dungeons either.
Quite Simply: There is a limit to the amount of corrdination that you can do with a random group of players.

Let's just ignore the fact that Certain dungeons could not be completed with the Random Dungeon Finder with all group make-ups (Baron Ashbury in Shadowfang pre-nerf was the biggest offender).
I did them with randoms. Pre-nerf. We wiped but no more then we wiped in vanilla scholomance or stratholme.

This is just an awful arguement. You realize scholomance was probably the least completed dungeon in all of vanilla, right? The wipe rate there was already really really high and couldn't be done with "randoms".

As I said, the "solution" is simple. Have three tiers of difficulty (like they do for raids now).
1) Leveling (currently normals)
2) Heroics (max level for Dungeon finder)
3) Hard Mode (max level for guilds or people that want to challenge themselves and get the best gear)
03/05/2012 10:01 PMPosted by Oldgrregg
Now we have the worst, most griefing, most afking, most entitled playerbase of WoW in it's history and it's only going to get worst because Quite Simply: Blizz is REWARDING bad play and bad behavior.

I agree. My thoughts exactly.
What a disappointing write up. Not one important thing was covered in it.

Also, spine being a good encounter and something that will lead the way in MoP...
/cancels subscription
Seriously... if a trash gauntlet is considered good raid design, you can count me out.

Why didn't you talk about why only 28 raid bosses were delivered when more than any expansion was promised (over 50 would be required)?

What about the complete lack of originality in DS with nearly 100% reused models/environments?

Why are we rushing to nerf content when there is endless amounts of time left in the game?

What about the failure that was the healing model. We were supposed to get a Triage style of healing and what we got was a spamfest where healers never feel powerful in both output and regen (at least when we spammed in WotLK we felt powerful)?

What about the failure of move or be 1shot mechanics (rather than move or take damage and your healer can heal you for a bit)? The failure of interrupt in <1sec or die mechanics?

What about the forced obsolescence of old raid tiers? Why are we forcing what little content we have to be no longer viable the second a new patch comes out (rather than allowing for some upgrades and requiring people to still run content they never completed?)?

TLDR; what happened to interesting and content rich raiding? From this blog post, I get the impression Blizzard is happy with the complete lack of content both in quality and quantity and that we as customers should come to expect a shoddy product from blizzard both now and in the future.
Who is the PR wizard that let this article get posted? All I have to say is "wow"
just hit esc and skip the movie? solved
While the heroics were not too hard for me(although the long ones annoy me even to this day) its clear that forcing people to do cata T11 heroic was pushing it especially with the LFD. Again maybe MoP will get the balance correctly due to the fact challenge mode will only reward vanity items.
I think the vast majority of Warcraft players wanted to see Daelo come out and say what most of us believe about the Dungeon & Raid design of Cataclysm.

1) That while attempts at innovation was made in both Firelands and Dragon Soul, neither instance was a real success with raiders.
- In terms of Firelands the mistake was pacing, with a little encounter design tossed in. The beginning of the instance harkened back to the Molten Core and Sunwell days where there was a large selection of trash that had to be cleared through before even seeing the first encounter. This was the first knock against the instance. The second the simple fact that encounter difficulty was such that the first 6 bosses were infinitely easier than the final encounter in the instance. There was a slow ramp up through Majordomo and then the gas pedal was put to the floor.

- Dragon Soul was just not fun. At least FL had some attempts at innovation, but in DS it felt like all the eggs were put into Spine and the rest of the encounters were left to rot on the vine. While Heroic Morchok was the first encounter in a long time to fundamentally change the fight from normal to heroic, the instance just was not entertaining and had many "raid makeup" flaws to boot.

2) Heroic Dungeon Difficulty was absolutely correct early in the expansion and increasingly less so as patches went on.
- Contrary to what you believe Daelo, dungeon difficulty was on the right track in the beginning. There were a few "time issues" that required fixing. Especially with the longer dungeons like Deadmines, Halls of Origination and Shadowfang Keep, but those "trash" issues were noted early on and fixed to a certain degree. That being said, this was the fun time of the expansion. When things needed figuring out. Before you changed the bosses in SFK to stop players from using differing strategies in order to defeat them. Trying to find a workable strat for Commander Springvale was a fun challenge in and of itself. When you changed him, people just started to skip him.

- The reason the difficulty of the "rest" of dungeons is perfect right now is because its the end of the expansion cycle. If you look back to Wrath the 3 ICC dungeons were still looked upon as a challenge and they were enjoyed because of it. Yes people skipped out on HoR, but that was not because of the challenge, but because of the stupid "wave" mechanics that people tired of back in Hyjal (that mechanic needs to just die and never come back). Yes, players want to walk in and get loot, but they also want to feel challenged somewhat.

3) A good Raid dungeon has good story.
- Naxx60 was a good raid dungeon. You had a story to it. You had an entire zone/faction with a reason to go up there. You had to work your tail off just to be able to access the raid to begin with. Then it was eclectic and interesting inside. Malygos was a decent encounter (even if the sheer amount of story that lead up to him really demanded more than just a one off raid). Ulduar, Sunwell, Black Temple, hell all of TBC raids had a solid story element behind them. In Cata we got some veiled comments for Tot4W. We got nothing at all setting up BWD. Then we had all of this huge storyline to give us Chogall and the Bastion of Twilight with very little pay off in the end. The Twilight's hammer died in the expansion as Chogall died, even though they are everywhere in Deathwing's army in the end. We were given a lack of story. We were given very little with Ragnaros and Firelands to link it to the rest of what was going on, and if you think you did... you are deluding yourself.

In the end, Cataclysm was a disaster. Mostly because you let it become a disaster. LFR will solve one of the major early flaws that we had in the expansion, but it creates others as it recreates the "you gotta raid multiple times a week on every character" like we had in Wrath with 10/25 systems. The early part of the expansion was quite well received and it was quite well done. The reason why Cata has failed is because of development. Firelands should have hit in Feb/March, not late June. ZA/ZG should have come with FL. Dragon Soul needed to come 4 months into Firelands, not 6.

Take a good long look at the real culprits of the demise of Cataclysm. While the content types and the lack of content in certain areas has a lot to do with it, the simple fact that content continues to come slower and slower even after promising faster and smaller content patches is the real issue. Raids get eaten quicker. So give us larger raids faster. I know its easy for me to say, but stop giving us 7/8 boss raids and give us an 8 boss raid with a 4 boss sub raid that comes 3 months in. Start thinking outside the box, and damnit to hell stop putting all your eggs into the Dungeon&Raid basket and expand the content base of the game outside just giving us a 8 boss raid every 6 months and think we are going to be happy.

P.S.: If you really think that the Twilight dungeons are "perfect" then 1) you are nuts and 2) fine give us 2-3 of them every 2-3 months so we at least have some content to keep us interested.
I'm pretty appalled at that interview.

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.

He didn't touch on the disappointment that was Madness. He didn't touch 10v25 with a 1000 foot pole. He held up early Heroics (i.e. too hard) as a lesson learned ... which was disappointing since it was one of the few things Blizzard got right with 5 mans in Cata. He didn't touch on the disaster that was extra-valor for the troll dungeons for an extended period of time (if people didn't hate 5s by then, they sure as hell did after that). He didn't touch the mistake they made with LFR in making the loot so compelling to progression raiding, which led to chain-farming and bans.

Brutal. I hope this isn't indicative of the cluelessness that awaits us during the March press tour.
delete lord rhyolith from the game and my memory.

I have to admit, although I am generally a big fan of blizzards development interviews etc., I was really disappointed in this one. Although, I only started just before 3.2 was released, I definitely thought that the start of Cataclysm was the high point of this game. I thought the heroics in Wrath were pretty cool at the time, and, admittedly, when I did my first cataclysm heroic (a healer none the less) I was pretty shaken. But, I read about what the new model was for healing, I gave it a try, and I loved it! It was so nice, especially as a student who really doesn't have a schedule that's friendly towards a fixed raiding schedule, to be able to just log on and run challenging content.

Sure, there were appallingly rude people, and sometimes it was frustrating to farm a specific piece of gear without it falling, but I always thought to myself that I would much rather deal with that than go back to the relatively mindless button pushing that was more common in the Wrath heroics. It was so refreshing to actually have to think about what you were doing, and the threat of failure did, honestly, make it more fun. Besides, after a while, it became really fun to lead newer people through the Cata heroics, most were really appreciative :) It was such a disappointment to see that the HoT heroics reverted to the previous model, especially since they were really well designed (espeically WoE).

I can't say much about DS, I've never been in it outside of raid finder, but I love BWD and BoT (and FL from what little I've seen recently). I really liked that, in general, the encounters shifted away from fights like Rotface (or was it Festergut...) that were mainly DPS-races to beat the clock to fights like Artramedes that were very intensely focused on knowing mechanics and executing them well. It seems though, especially with Ultraxion, that the raids are going back to that less fun type of encounter.

Honestly, all the blogs that explained the reasoning behind the cata changes were so well written, and gave reasonable explanations for the changes that were made that really showed that it was done to make WoW a better game, even if people didn't agree with the model initially. This one seems mostly like the reason was, people complained about not being able to breeze through the dungeons and raids and collect epic gear and titles. I know I'm only one subscriber, but please Blizz, this game is one of the best out there, don't turn it into just another game that focuses on giving your character shiny items and titles but leaves the gameplay overly easy and uninteresting. It's way to common of a trend these days.
Less raid and mechanics, more plot and quests.

All these talks just drive home the point Blizzard wants flashy boss fights and no actual content. When was the last time a raid or instance gave you the feel of an invasion or a stealth mission instead of just a mechanic run through?

Remember Blackrock Depths? Remember how the bosses weren't the cool part but just checkpoints?
What a joke. Nothing was addressed here. In my opinion cata started off great with challenging 5 man heroics and really well tuned entry raids with a good variety of mechanics, locations and atmospheres. Things kinda went downhill after that though.

By far the biggest problem this expansion had was a simple lack of lvl 85 content after 4.0. I mean I took a break for about 5 months only to come back and realise every piece of my 4.0 tier gear was still completely relevant and very good, and all that had changed was faceroll, rehashed versions of ZG and ZA had been released. Firelands only had 7 bosses, DS only has 8, abyssal maw never even existed, war of the ancients raid got butchered down into 3 absolutely faceroll heroics.

Dragon soul also has some really terrible/boring boring boss mechanics. Ultraxion is probably the worst boss ever in my opinion. Stand in 1 place and press a button every so often, !@#$en yawn (and don't say thats ok because fights like patchwerk and brutallus have existed in the past, they themselves were much more difficult and a part of overall raid teirs that were very hard and therefore possessed a sense of progression and accomplishment).
Madness is basically the same boss 4 times in a row as you jump from platform to platform with no real change in mechanics or feel to the fight. You just jump around platforms for 15 mins doing basically the exact same thing you did on the previous platform. It's no wonder people are calling DS the worst raid tier ever.

Edit: I also have to say I agree with what a fair few other people in this thread are saying regarding there being far too much NPC involvement in PvE content lately. It really doesn't add anything worthwhile when every time you turn around theres some annoying NPC rattling off their RP moment for the 20th time. This kind of annoying, gated story telling really doesn't work in my opinion.

If you want to create atmosphere you need to do it by giving the raid or 5 man you are in a real sense of scale and grandeur. Get rid of all the portals and easy mode flights that take you from place to place in DS and 4.3 heroics. End time was amazing visually, but simply clicking a portal and teleporting to a new area really killed any sense of scale it had. Same was true for the drakes that flew you from boss to boss in DS, it feels almost reminiscent of ToC with the addition of a few packs of tedious/repetitive trash. It killed the sense of progression throughout the raid, the feeling you were working you way towards something. Great raids, like ulduar, had a very definite feel that you were working your way further and further down into this ancient titan complex. Black temple is another great example of a raid with a great sense of locational progression, starting in the sewers below the temple and working your way to the roof, with all the great visual ques to aid this progression along the way. DS just feels like you're kinda randomly flying around to various locations around wyrmrest before jumping onto deathwings back.

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