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Thread: The Weekly Marmot - The Problem with Hard Modes

  1. #41
    I would much rather right click a lever in an instance to make it harder by letting this radioactive goop give them superpowers than right click a context menu in the interface. That rationalises the difficulty change a lot better than simply saying "yeah, it's all harder now, hfgldd".
    Oh, I agree that the perception is important and the Mimiron button was certainly more fun than clicking an interface element...but to call one "Natural Progression" or "Extra dimension of gameplay" and say that the other is some artificial "insane mode" sounds a lot like nostalgia talking. Functionally they're basically the same thing, it's just a slight difference in how you activated it.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Oh, I agree that the perception is important and the Mimiron button was certainly more fun than clicking an interface element...but to call one "Natural Progression" or "Extra dimension of gameplay" and say that the other is some artificial "insane mode" sounds a lot like nostalgia talking. Functionally they're basically the same thing, it's just a slight difference in how you activated it.
    how many times did your guild wipe thorim because the hallway crew was to slow trying to activate hard mode, how many times did you fail to kill xt's heart, and how many times did you miss hodir by 1-2 seconds when at 10% you called for a full DPS burn when there was still time to wipe it. Especially that last one was one of the most exciting experiences of ulduar, that drama about CAN WE MAKE THIS OR NOT, knowing there was no second chance ifyou miss by 1-2 seconds.



  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Oh, I agree that the perception is important and the Mimiron button was certainly more fun than clicking an interface element...but to call one "Natural Progression" or "Extra dimension of gameplay" and say that the other is some artificial "insane mode" sounds a lot like nostalgia talking. Functionally they're basically the same thing, it's just a slight difference in how you activated it.
    Sorry Bov, I gotta go with Spiritus on this one. It's much more exciting to have the organic trigger.
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  4. #44
    how many times did your guild wipe thorim because the hallway crew was to slow trying to activate hard mode, how many times did you fail to kill xt's heart, and how many times did you miss hodir by 1-2 seconds when at 10% you called for a full DPS burn when there was still time to wipe it. Especially that last one was one of the most exciting experiences of ulduar, that drama about CAN WE MAKE THIS OR NOT, knowing there was no second chance ifyou miss by 1-2 seconds.
    Well sure, I won't deny that there were many exciting things that went on in Ulduar. Hodir was - at the very least - quite a unique way to implement a hardmode, especially since you couldn't just fail and try again, he was dead, bro!

    Most of the rest of them weren't much different than clicking an interface element though. Sure, you killed XT's heart. You ran through Thorim's hallway fast. You left Freya's elders up. You pushed THE RED BUTTON. You told keepers to get lost on Yogg. I won't deny that those added an element of fun to the encounter, but you're still choosing to toggle something on or off, just doing it in a longer way. I don't understand why those activations are "Natural progression" or "Added dimension of gameplay if you pull them off" but somehow making it an interface toggle in ICC/T11 is a terrible, unnatural thing and makes heroic modes a negative aspect to the game.

    Again, don't get me wrong, I very much understand the "fun factor" difference. I just don't see the huge difference in functionality.

  5. #45
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    Im not sure.
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  6. #46
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    Committing to a hardmode Hodir kill was probably the most exciting (and hardest) decision I would make in the entirety of an Ulduar run. And it really was a commitment: it required a split second decision (one second too long and you could not die quick enough to avoid beating the boss at 3:03) taking into account players still alive, how long you had left, how much damage you reckoned you could do it that time...and if you messed up you could come back again next week. As a consequence it really got the adrenaline rushing through your bloodstream (my pulse just went up remembering those calls from years ago).

    Imagine if Atramedes didn't destroy the extra shield, but you had ring four gongs after the boss died to be able to collect the hardmode loot (would summon a crate near the bell.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Well sure, I won't deny that there were many exciting things that went on in Ulduar. Hodir was - at the very least - quite a unique way to implement a hardmode, especially since you couldn't just fail and try again, he was dead, bro!

    Most of the rest of them weren't much different than clicking an interface element though. Sure, you killed XT's heart. You ran through Thorim's hallway fast. You left Freya's elders up. You pushed THE RED BUTTON. You told keepers to get lost on Yogg. I won't deny that those added an element of fun to the encounter, but you're still choosing to toggle something on or off, just doing it in a longer way. I don't understand why those activations are "Natural progression" or "Added dimension of gameplay if you pull them off" but somehow making it an interface toggle in ICC/T11 is a terrible, unnatural thing and makes heroic modes a negative aspect to the game.

    Again, don't get me wrong, I very much understand the "fun factor" difference. I just don't see the huge difference in functionality.
    because in an entire night of attempts we only got the hallway on thorim cleared in time to trigger hard mode three times, and two of them we overloaded the ranged so heavily for the hallway the bottom wiped just before the hallway jumped down. Granted we ended up killing him the next night once we finally new the balance and granted this was a week 2 of ulduar kill (clearing through yogg all on normal week one) but when you did not really have the gear (having only 1 axe drop from KT) because you are getting early kills, the way you are treating clearing the hallway and killing the heart are really making me sad. They were dam near IMPOSSIBLE early on and a boss in and over themselves.



  8. #48
    because in an entire night of attempts we only got the hallway on thorim cleared in time to trigger hard mode three times, and two of them we overloaded the ranged so heavily for the hallway the bottom wiped just before the hallway jumped down. Granted we ended up killing him the next night once we finally new the balance and granted this was a week 2 of ulduar kill (clearing through yogg all on normal week one) but when you did not really have the gear (having only 1 axe drop from KT) because you are getting early kills, the way you are treating clearing the hallway and killing the heart are really making me sad. They were dam near IMPOSSIBLE early on and a boss in and over themselves.
    Of course, they were a part of the hardmode fight itself. But no matter how you shake it, you made a conscious effort to start the fight with the intention of doing it in that more-difficult way. Clearing the hallway faster was just part of the fight at that point.

    Anyway, like I said, I'm not denying that things like the hallway were cool, but they were still just part of the hardmode fight and you made a conscious beforehand by saying, "Ok, lets clear the hallway really fast to do the hardmode."

    Ultimately that is 100% functionally the same as toggling hardmode on or off. Yes, the hallway is a much more interesting and fun element, I'm not denying that at all. What I'm focusing on is the idea that somehow that doing a hardmode in Ulduar was some extra, optional, added dimension of gameplay that was totally natural but somehow hardmodes now are an artificial, negative, "extra-tier" part of the game.

  9. #49
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    When we started doing thorim we actually misunderstood the "instructions" and thought that we had to clear the hall in the three minutes. It was only after checking out guides etc that we realised that we only needed to be through the tunnel in 6 minutes for the boss not to berserk before P2 began.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    I don't understand why those activations are "Natural progression" or "Added dimension of gameplay if you pull them off" but somehow making it an interface toggle in ICC/T11 is a terrible, unnatural thing and makes heroic modes a negative aspect to the game.

    Again, don't get me wrong, I very much understand the "fun factor" difference. I just don't see the huge difference in functionality.
    Perhaps I should define terms.

    Progression: Passing successively from one member of a series to the next.
    Natural: In this case it is used as a buzz word, synonymous with genuine or organic. Something that "feels" right.

    So, Natural Progression is "Passing successively from one member of a series to the next in a way that 'feels' right." Now, admittedly, this is a phrase up to interpretation.

    However, if you were playing a console game [say, God of War], and Kratos makes it up to the boss fight and is all like "I pwnd all ur scrubz, now I KEEEEEL you!" and a menu screen pops up and is all like "Yo! You wanna try this on regular, or extra crispy? Forewarned, you may want to beat the game one time through before this, though."

    OR, would you rather have to execute a series of difficult jumps during the boss fight, grab a ledge and smash the boss' favorite statue and yell "HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW?" and the boss is all like "YOU'LL PAY KRATOS!"

    This is natural progression. You are billy bad ass enough to dodge all his junk and smash his statue? Then you're billy bad ass enough to feel the full might of his wrath.

    Now, in an MMO, you are already going to be doing the same fight over and over again. It's the nature of the genre. However, it is natural that if your group is buff enough to dash down Hodir's hallway, or kill the heart of XT, or swag enough to say "Keepers? Whatevs. Do something," then you are ready to try the boss on a different mode. The deciding factor on your ability to succeed, so to speak, is your mastery of that specific fight, not the fact you got some beefy purps or your RL figured out there's a toggle on the UI.

    What isn't natural is, before the boss fight, your guild is all like: "Think we're good enough to do this on HM?" "IDK" "Lets do it!" "Nah, i want loots, not wipes." "Seriously? I know we can do it guys!" "Fine I'll just go here into my UI and... there we go, Hardmode."

    What is natural is: "OK, if we push and get the heart down, we know we have the DPS for HM this week.... if we don't this time, we'll just skip it and try the next thing."
    Last edited by Spiritus; 06-22-2011 at 03:53 PM.



  11. #51
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    Didn't you rant about this in the other direction, basically if I recall correctly; the frustration of trying to "activate" hard modes back in Ulduar/TOC and having to feel like that you had to wipe if a mistake was made?

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritus
    However, if you were playing a console game [say, God of War], and Kratos makes it up to the boss fight as is all like "I pwnd all ur scrubz, now I KEEEEEL you!" and a menu screen pops up and is all like "Yo! You wanna try this on regular, or extra crispy? Forewarned, you may want to beat the game one time through before this, though."
    DMC3 Did this, though it did sorta wait for you to fail a few times.

  12. #52
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    Ulduar's implementation of heroic/hard modes was the best iteration of them. It was not all the fights and it was (for the most part) activated in an interesting way.

    Were 5/13 and the tier is over, we had a slow start, but the content has been out long enough that its time to move on. So were going to miss out on the others and likely some more interesting ones like Sinestra because we spent lots of time working boring crap like Magmaw and Chim, dying to RNG factors like too many back to back Feuds (pre fix obviously) or random Construct/Pillar spawns in melee.

    Bottom line half of the encounters with a udluarish type hard mode that activated in an interesting way and had some real thought put into the design would have been much more enjoyable.

    Another issue is 10 man hard modes. They are by far harder than 25 mans due to limited comps. You can reasonably have just about every class and spec in a 25 man without trying very hard. But in a 10 man where real guilds only keep a roster of roughly 12 people your options are very limited. Such as not having a Rogue for Rohash's platform in Heroic Conclave or Twins Heroic.

    I think there needs to be some more love in that department, because its very demoralizing to say "hey we have the talent pool, but not the right class to take this down in a reasonable amount of attempts so our time would be better spent working something else".

    I also think that 3 instances was a bit to much for a Tier of content. 2 is about right IMO. 3 had us flopping all over the place trying to decide what to work, it wasted a lot of our time given we only raid 3 nights a week (which seems to be an average for the majority of mid to upper level progression raiding guilds).

    In regards to the nerf issue, I could care less we will be in firelands. Blizzard has already made a history of making the previous tier irrelevant and saying "you don't have to progress through the raids like people did at launch, here is some "catch up gear" so you can raid current content". So really there is no point getting upset about the standard they will continue to push.
    There is something so appealing about backhanding someone across the face with a shield.

  13. #53
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    For me, Ulduar felt perfect. You had to do a little extra something (DPS faster, or maybe just push a "button" on a wall) and it made the fights harder in some way. Ulduar is probably my favorite instance because of that. It wasn't just walking through the door on hard mode, it was actually doing something different in the same fight to activate the harder mode, that actually felt quite different in most cases. Sarth3D was another example of a well designed hard mode, imo.

    If they went back to that model, I could take raiding much more seriously and see myself going beyond normal modes.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by HellRaver View Post
    Eeeh dude it's optional so like you don't have to turn it off ya know
    Every raid can decide for himself if they do or don't

    How can you hate something thats optional? You have a choice in the mather after all
    As someone mentioned having a the choice between easy and hard is barely a choice at all. I personally abhor'd the ICC Buff but I wasn't going to convince the other 24 people in my raid to turn it off. Even if my GM hated it we just couldn't turn down the pure convenience of it.

    And can someone explain to me why Blizzard just refuses to revert back to Ulduar style? I mean everyone from Hardcore to Casual seemed to love that place among all the other raids in WoW's history, so whats the dilemma? Blizzard likes to experiment with each new tier of content but it only seems needed when people weren't too satisfied with the content (ToC lol) so if people were satisfied then why keep messing around?

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kahmal View Post
    As someone mentioned having a the choice between easy and hard is barely a choice at all. I personally abhor'd the ICC Buff but I wasn't going to convince the other 24 people in my raid to turn it off. Even if my GM hated it we just couldn't turn down the pure convenience of it.

    And can someone explain to me why Blizzard just refuses to revert back to Ulduar style? I mean everyone from Hardcore to Casual seemed to love that place among all the other raids in WoW's history, so whats the dilemma? Blizzard likes to experiment with each new tier of content but it only seems needed when people weren't too satisfied with the content (ToC lol) so if people were satisfied then why keep messing around?
    loot distribution. only reason. As great as ulduar was, the loot system for the 239 items was an absolute complete mess.



  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darksend View Post
    loot distribution. only reason. As great as ulduar was, the loot system for the 239 items was an absolute complete mess.
    Simple solution is a mixed drop/token system. You still get the "fun" of drops, but don't risk an over-inflated loot table.



  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darksend View Post
    loot distribution. only reason. As great as ulduar was, the loot system for the 239 items was an absolute complete mess.
    I'm confused exactly how was it a mess? If anything I think the fact that hardmodes only dropped a couple extra items that were upgrades to the current tier were what made Heroic Modes back then truly optional as opposed to the item lvl inflation that really screwed things in ToC and ICC.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kahmal View Post
    I'm confused exactly how was it a mess? If anything I think the fact that hardmodes only dropped a couple extra items that were upgrades to the current tier were what made Heroic Modes back then truly optional as opposed to the item lvl inflation that really screwed things in ToC and ICC.
    The inflation was due to 3 ilvl tiers of gear (10n,10h/25n, 25h), not because the lack of a "hardmode" item for every slot. This pushed iLvL higher than planned, which resulted in the crazy high itemization in ICC (and subsequent issues of 2shot tanks, 1shot DPS, and overpowered heals).



  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritus View Post
    The inflation was due to 3 ilvl tiers of gear (10n,10h/25n, 25h), not because the lack of a "hardmode" item for every slot. This pushed iLvL higher than planned, which resulted in the crazy high itemization in ICC (and subsequent issues of 2shot tanks, 1shot DPS, and overpowered heals).
    i'm aware of that but with the exception of a more outdated Tier Token system I dont see what the problem was with Ulduar's loot system.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kahmal View Post
    I'm confused exactly how was it a mess? If anything I think the fact that hardmodes only dropped a couple extra items that were upgrades to the current tier were what made Heroic Modes back then truly optional as opposed to the item lvl inflation that really screwed things in ToC and ICC.
    because plate users could get almost full 239 while rogues and druids could only get 4 pieces

    Plate: http://www.wowhead.com/item=45599, http://www.wowhead.com/item=45472, http://www.wowhead.com/item=45134, http://www.wowhead.com/item=45241, http://www.wowhead.com/item=45663
    Leather: http://www.wowhead.com/item=45611, http://www.wowhead.com/item=45245, http://www.wowhead.com/item=45536, http://www.wowhead.com/item=45473

    so warriors get all their plate items AND a leather chest, and this is just one example. For other roles it was even worse.

    IF! it had been only 239 bracers belt boots cape and rings then PERFECT but they imbalanced which roles got which items without considering that classes would not use their armor class. They did the same thing in ToC and then again in ICC, which was finally fixed by dropping the same loot in 10 and 25 (which I was always a campaigner for, as hard as that is to believe from me its true, I just always added the 25 gets higher ilvl, win one lose one o well)

    edit: example 2:

    8 plate hard mode drops:
    1 with int
    5 with DPS stats
    2 with tanking stats

    Tell me how that makes sense? Holy paladin best in slot gloves and boots were cloth, being forced to steal loot from locks and mages. and mail bracers from elemental and resto shaman.
    Last edited by Darksend; 06-22-2011 at 08:39 PM.



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