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Thread: The Weekly Marmot -- AVR & Encounter Design

  1. #21
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    I'm sorry, but using grid is not an applicable replacement for an on screen queue as to who is safe to pass the plague off to. Grid may let me know that XXX is free, but that doesn't mean XXX will be easy to find. It takes to long to correlate who doesn't have the debuff and where they are standing. The other problem is there are so many things you have to look out for that if your staring at grid to see who is safe to pass it off to, you will most likely find yourself running straight into a malleable goo, or some other nonsense that the fight has you avoiding.

    I only used AVRE for the disease for H Putricide, everything else was shut off because I hated all the circles and colors blocking my screen. AVRE showed one thing; blizzard is incompetent with letting players know exactly how some mechanics work, and that they really need to work harder at letting us be aware of how some things work. The other thing that needs to be addressed is making sure that these graphical queues are visible even on low settings. I've heard plenty of people in our raids complain that they didn't notice X ability because they have their graphics so low.. that was a shortcoming AVRE fixed, and is something blizzard should keep in mind when they put in there version of it.
    If I only had Grid then sure it would be hard. But with nameplates up I can easily see my target and where he's standing. Then all I have to do is run from point A (where I am now) to point B (where my target is standing) while avoiding Malleable goo. Not the easiest thing in the world, no, but I have all the information I need to make the correct decision quickly.

  2. #22
    I just have one minor "complaint" about the Putricide encounter, either in normal or heroic. My guild is having issues (yes, we end up defeating him, but it takes multiple attempts) with Maleable Goo. I know every raider has DBM installed, yet they are still getting hit with Maleable Goo. I have also had the pleasure of defeating Heroic Rotface, and in THAT encounter, when Putricide throws the Goo from the balcony, we at least get a green circle warning us that the goo is inbound. Why couldn't they put target circles on the ground for this mechanic in the Normal and Heroic versions of the Putricide encounter?? It makes sense to me!

  3. #23
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    Blizzard was already providing visual cues, such as Council circles, Hodir circles, Mimiron Rocket circles. Back up to KT/Sartharion, and void zones have a circle to not stand in before they do damage. What do we have in ICC? None of those, we rely on people with /say over their heads and have to move away from malleable goo and defile. I mean, really, are people happy with the /say mechanic we have to use? That is effectively requiring DBM/BW for certain encounters, and Blizzard is making that requirement.
    Thats a really good point, i didnt even think about that.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malitia View Post
    http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...Putricide-Hard

    "Players with Plague Sickness are easily visible by the green disease aura that surrounds them."
    This is true, but it also goes some way to highlight other problems with raid encounter design. The effect is too subtle and too hard to see with everything else going on on screen. It probably looks really cool to the art guy that drew it, but the gameplay guy should have stood up and said "no make it brighter". What makes that even worse is a pet bug bear of mine... spell effects. I realise that everyone wants their character to look super cool when they fire their lazers/heals/cooldowns but in a raid context 25 sets of spell effects dwarf half the visual cues that the encounters do actually put in. Boss speech competes with "pew pew, chop chop", "glowing eyes/raised hands/inhaled breath" visuals are dwarfed by the gigantic moonbeams/fireballs/holy hammers et al (please explain why devastate should have a gigantic ghostly sword animation?) which seem to scale up in line with the model scaling.

    Remember the red void zones in the red room surrounded by red fire at Sartharion? They were still a pain to see when they became blue. Classic example of this type of design error.

    A simple fix? The sliders for spell effect detail and sound effects should be separate for player and non-player effects.

    As to the specific putricide encounter, Deadly Bossmods will raid mark the closest person without a disease and draw an arrow on your screen directing you to that person. Is this too much hand holding?

  5. #25
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    The biggest win I saw with AVR/AVRE was with range denotation. I'm a tank. What the heck do I know about 8 yard, 10 yards, 12 yards separation?

    Mods like DBM/BigWigs which guess at your range from other players and show a frame with people who're too close only give you part of the information since you still have no real solid way to grasp ranges while looking at a 2D representation of a 3D world at varying levels of zoom and angle of view. Maybe for casters who have to develop a better sense of ranges, but for melee? Nah.

    Now yes, we all dealt with it for years. We got thru it just fine. It was painful however, particularly on the "one person twitches and the raid dies" fights. Having a nice projected range around your character was probably too easy, but it was a breath of fresh air after years of annoying and completely random range-based mechanics.

  6. #26
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    The joke Lore makes at about 4:00 into the movie was like terrible.

    But so terrible it was hilarious. You knew the moment those words slipped out what you had done ha-ha.

  7. #27
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    Just a quick thing about finding someone without the debuff. We all use vent, so long story short the person who doesnt have it should call it out. When raids are planned placement of who is where is also usually planned, and so most people should know where said person is, or even more so have the person with it click on the minimap.

    example in use. I (joe) gets it, I in turn click on the minimap(which should ping so if people dont see, they can hear it) and fellow raider (mike) who doesn't have it calls over vent, "I got it", runs over, boom problem solved. Reverse the role of finding someone without, and just have someone without find the person with. Maybe that's just me.

  8. #28
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    "blizzard needs to make sure they are giving the players the information they need [to beat encounter]" -Ciderhelm

    They don't give you accurate distance measurements which are needed for almost every encounter. We use mods to have distance checks.

    The only difference with AVR is that it displays the information in a way that is useful.

  9. #29
    It's going to give All of World of Warcraft's Raiding strategic value back, so End-Game guilds will give them some difficulty.
    'Smash through obstacles, with a heart of gold and a Mind of steel, Nothing can get in my way.'

  10. #30
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    For some reason, I know a lot of people who can't seem to see the animation for the debuff on heroic putricide after you pass the plague.

    There is one. Its a kind of greenish blackish smoke thing. It really stands out to me.

    Is it a spell detail level problem?

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aliena View Post
    And a big ole icon on your raid frames if you have them configured properly!
    Does the default interface allow for that big ole icon on the raid frames? Because if it doesn't, then you are saying in order to do the encounter, you must install X ui addon. If one must install said raid frames addon, then how can it be argued that AVR or a similar addon is less appropriate than the raid frames ui addon? The encounter design lacks in a way that the general populace needs to install third party addons to reveal the information needed in the encounter.
    Bringing us back to Lore's request: make the Sickness a bit more visible. (or other similar effects in encounter design)

    To be fair, I play in a heavily modded ui. (sans AVR as I felt it was pushing the line of cheating/playing the game for me, but that is my own moral compass guiding my own choice) So I have the big ole icon for debuffs on Grid and it's easy just as you say.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaen View Post
    Does the default interface allow for that big ole icon on the raid frames? Because if it doesn't, then you are saying in order to do the encounter, you must install X ui addon. If one must install said raid frames addon, then how can it be argued that AVR or a similar addon is less appropriate than the raid frames ui addon?
    It can be argued because it's not black and white, it's not so cut and dry as "these two mods do the same kind of thing and are thus equal evils." That is Blizzard's argument, at least:
    While some other mods also work to this end, we find that AVR and the act of visualizing strategy within the game world simply goes beyond what we’re willing to allow.

  13. #33
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    AVRE is nearly impossible to contain on Blizzards side. I think Blizzard is doing the right thing. HOWEVER, I want something like AVR for static drawings. It would be lovely if Blizzard built it in game. I think Lore is right on target and some things could be done better form the blizzard side. Most of the bad feelings about AVR come from the dynamic visualization issues. I still see great value as a raid leader in static AVR drawings. Smoke flares are nice. Shammy totems are nice, but AVR is so much better. If they are going to break it, I wish there was a way to ONLY break the dynamic non-static drawings and allow me to go John Madden on my raid floor.

    In any case, I instructed my guild to unload AVR and AVRE last night in anticipation. I think about 75% of them did. Nonetheless, we did just as well as we always do. 2 wipes, cleared everything short of the Lich King. (BTW we haven't killed the Lich King yet. Hoping that comes tonight).

  14. #34
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    I think people are looking at this from the wrong direction, we comment that mechanics are invisible rather than marked obviously however marking it reduces all area of effect mechanics to simple don't stand in the shape checks.

    Malleable goo is no different to a delayed void zone, however the non marked end point makes us instead treat it like a line effect like marrowgar's fire. We note the target and move from the line connecting the boss and the targeted player. We have a largely visible mechanic requiring focus to note (issue 1) and implied knowledge of the raid layout (issue 2).

    Issue 1 is the level of focus required to spot these mechanics. Each is typically semi subtle compared to the obviousness of a voidzone. I would say that this is actually a good issue, however should likely be constrained to hardmodes. These mechanics are interesting twists on the move from the circle however might be too taxing or annoying for easy modes.

    Issue 2 is the implied knowledge of raid positioning, tracking the approximate position of 24 or 9 other members within the raid to make easy snap judgement based on the text alerts. Again this seems like it should be an assumes capabilty of raiders to be able to actually track their raid through ui mechanics (nameplates) or just through mental tracking. I think people wanting to remove this aspect are looking to simplify the game too much. No non scifi environment would give us a true HUD with names and directions. Maintainig this as an implied raiding skill seems like a good thing.

    None of the issues avr fixes in combat are ones I think it should realistically deal with, either they are intrusive or are attempt to replace core skills of playing such as actually knowing or guessing how the mechanics work and tracking your own raid.

  15. #35
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    As a raid leader I love these addons. They give me the ability to draw my strategy in real time and show my raiders exactly what I mean when I explain a strategy. It gives me the ability to accurately target locations without being limited by pesky range limitations on flares or the irritating cooldowns and then have to deal with them expiring 3/4 of the way through a long encounter. Especially when encounters like Sindragosa are so easy to wipe on if one person drops their Ice Tomb in the wrong place. For me being able to place raid symbols on the ground meant I didn't have to spam Raid Warnings with crude positioning drawings.

    As an Oceanic raider AVRE made certain mechanics (like malleable goo) much easier to manage due to the fact that most of us play with 300-400+ ms. To further explain my point here; at present Malleable Goo and Defile are identified on players by /say, /yell and raid icons. For most people these all originate from a foreign source i.e. someone else's DBM does the /say for malleable goo or the RL's DBM places raid markers. What this effectively means for us is that every time Malleable Goo (or a similar debuff) is cast on a player we experience a number of delays before we experience the message. There is the time taken for the information stating malleable goo is being cast to reach the affected player, there is the time it takes for their DBM generated "Malleable Goo on me" message to reach the server, there is the time it takes for this message to get from the server to the rest of the raid, the time it takes for us to react and then there is the time it takes for the information of the actions we took to reach the server. All in all this reduces the amount of time we have to react significantly to a large amount of effects (not just malleable goo). AVRE was great here because it cut out the need to have someone else's machine react to the event and relay it back to the server, thus cutting out a large portion of the delay and giving us more time to react to events.

    So while I do agree that certain elements of AVR and AVRE do go too far, there are also elements that make life easier as a raid leader and significantly easier as an Oceanic raider.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndNin View Post
    I think people are looking at this from the wrong direction, we comment that mechanics are invisible rather than marked obviously however marking it reduces all area of effect mechanics to simple don't stand in the shape checks.
    And yet, if we mark the mechanic in one method that's fine. If we mark it via another means, it is not fine?

    Malleable Goo/Defile/Shadow Trap? We play "run away from the chat bubble" instead of "run out of the circle on the ground". Spacing on BQL air phase? We look at our range text box instead of a circle around us. Where to stand for Sindragosa? We use smoke flares/elune stones to mark spots instead of static markers on the ground.

    Point is, we are already marking these things. Someone found a more visual way to mark it, and suddenly it became "bad".
    Last edited by Dawnbreaker; 05-26-2010 at 11:38 AM.

  17. #37
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    A thought to throw out to Blizzard developers. Create an item called Kilroy's Can of Incandescence. Item is an off-hand item and is only usable by people with Raid Assist or Raid Leader status. Item can only be used while not in combat and will allow you to paint on the floor and will remain there until the instance is reset or person loses raid lead/assist status.

    Color text: "Kilroy was here, or there, or there and sometimes there, but never ever ever over there."

    My $0.02

  18. #38
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    "Stand X yards away from each other" encounters seem to be the biggest cop-out on making a normal mode into a hard mode. I would like to see all of those go away. Examples of intelligent, interesting hard mode debuffs/abilities include Blood Princes Shadow Prison and quicker-dropping Kinetic Bombs, Sindragosa's 6x AOE damage Unchained Magic, as well as her Icy Grip/Blistering Cold and Permeating Chill (although the latter is unfairly punishing to faster attacking classes like rogues and enhancement shamans), and Lady Deathwhisper's punishing ghosts (right after aoe frostbolts no less) and quick-spawning adds.

    I fail to see how Cataclysm's stated goal of relatively equal difficulty of 10 mans and 25 mans is achievable when so many encounters rely on the "range" penalties, and those penalties are so incredibly easier to deal with in 10 man.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnbreaker View Post
    And yet, if we mark the mechanic in one method that's fine. If we mark it via another means, it is not fine?

    Malleable Goo/Defile/Shadow Trap? We play "run away from the chat bubble" instead of "run out of the circle on the ground". Spacing on BQL air phase? We look at our range text box instead of a circle around us. Where to stand for Sindragosa? We use smoke flares/elune stones to mark spots instead of static markers on the ground.

    Point is, we are already marking these things. Someone found a more visual way to mark it, and suddenly it became "bad".
    Those scenarios though are different. The malleable goo is run away from a moving chat box that may have shifted before you notice it (no permanant maker, delay intolerant, small visible marker). Defile and similar again gives the main target the full time to move away from the raid and others slightly less so. It is not quite a twitch mechanic however it is likely the closest wow has come. Twitch requirements of 1-1.5 seconds aren't that bad, 3+ are typically easy for most. It's tight but that's hardmodes.

    As for permanant markers, at current we have no "goblin pain marker" or similar making marks on the world, but at the same time mechanics are simplified to represent this, sindragosa always hits 2 people with 5+ seconds of warning. If we allow marks to make positioning easier ( and 10+ yards from raid in the opposite direction of the last or similar are not taxing) then the corresponding event must be mre difficult to make the ease of mechanic up. So we might see sindragosa cast 1-4 iceblocks with the health split to the same effective difficulty as 2 now. Additionally these might have variable ranges or chain off of unchained magic to 30 yards not 10.

    I understand what you mean by one form of marking vs another however the autoreaction time required for circles in play vs Reading text is way lower and requires little thought. As lore said it shows safe spots causing people to run. Elunes stones and flares would be nice, but from an immersion and reaction pov they are still slower than circles and obvious marks which makes hard things still hardish because no one lays down a standing grid of flares to mark 10 yard safeties.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndNin View Post
    I understand what you mean by one form of marking vs another however the autoreaction time required for circles in play vs Reading text is way lower and requires little thought.
    The reaction time needed for both examples is the same, the only difference is the visual cues on the screen. Labeling one version as "skill" while the other as "too easy" is a subjective matter. Personally I prefer the graphics and I think it is a failure in encounter design for raiders to need to use either the chat bubble or the circle on the ground. Whoever the encounter designer was got really lazy and just assumed everyone would have DBM/BW installed and that we would play the "chat bubble" game, but apparently the "don't stand in the circle" game he has found offensive.

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