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Thread: The Weekly Marmot - The Problem with Hard Modes

  1. #81
    They are not exactly the same. Presentation is a huge part of the game. You could have a fight in a dungeon where all you saw were the boss, characters and ability animatons and the background could just be a black void. Functionally exactly the same, but who would play that game? The big red button was a great presentation for a hard mode switch and we actually fought about who got to press it first in our group. No one gives a damn who toggles the interface to heroic.
    You'll notice (or maybe not?) that I was pretty clear before that I understand the "func factor" difference, but *FUNCTIONALLY* most of them were exactly the same.

  2. #82
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    So basically people are fine if the actual mechanics of a hard mode are simple it is just how you start a hard mode that bothers them?

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    You'll notice (or maybe not?) that I was pretty clear before that I understand the "func factor" difference, but *FUNCTIONALLY* most of them were exactly the same.
    My point was that functionally the same is a pointless argument, because as I stated the quality of the game is about way more than functionality. I don't care if they are functionally the same, the game would be better and was better in Ulduar when the functionality was dressed in something fun. I'm not sure what your point is to be honest. Ulduar was a better instance because it made hard mode activation a part of the game rather than a part of the interface. It was a great model and I will never understand why Blizzard scrapped it other than laziness. The argument that it was confusing to the player base just doesn't fly with me. The problem with Ulduar was in the loot tables, that is something that could easily have been addressed without changing the 'hard mode' model.

  4. #84
    I'm not sure what your point is to be honest.
    Then I will refer you to the five pages of this thread where you may do research into what this discussion is all about.

    The big red button was a great presentation for a hard mode switch and we actually fought about who got to press it first in our group. No one gives a damn who toggles the interface to heroic.
    It's funny that people keep bringing up the Mimiron button when it's EXACTLY an example of a hardmode activation that's actually done the way that people complain about now. That being, "You push a button and the fight becomes 20% harder with a new mechanic."

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Firefighter. But the activation is hardly a shining example.

    We had a long discussion about this in SB earlier, and like I've said before in this thread, Hodir is a great example of a hardmode done right. Thorim I'll somewhat concede on, but it depends a lot on when you did the fight. XT is up in the air, but I vote it waaaaaaay behind the other two.

    The rest of the Ulduar fights? C'mon. Lets not slap on rosy-colored goggles and say, "WOAAAAH, Mimiron button is WAY different from today!" or "Not talking to any keepers is SUPER compelling content!"
    Last edited by Bovinity; 06-23-2011 at 01:11 PM.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Then I will refer you to the five pages of this thread where you may do research into what this discussion is all about.
    I read everyone of your posts, yet I do not see your point. Functionally the same =/= fun and it does make a difference, so why keep pointing out that its functionally the same. No spell animations or caster animations if 'functionally' the same. Hell I could be a square block of pixels with a health bar and spell choices and that would be functionally the same. The point of a game is to be fun not just functional.

    It's funny that people keep bringing up the Mimiron button when it's EXACTLY an example of a hardmode activation that's actually done the way that people complain about now. That being, "You push a button and the fight becomes 20% harder with a new mechanic."

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Firefighter. But the activation is hardly a shining example.

    We had a long discussion about this in SB earlier, and like I've said before in this thread, Hodir is a great example of a hardmode done right. Thorim I'll somewhat concede on, but it depends a lot on when you did the fight. XT is up in the air, but I vote it waaaaaaay behind the other two.

    The rest of the Ulduar fights? C'mon. Lets not slap on rosy-colored goggles and say, "WOAAAAH, Mimiron button is WAY different from today!" or "Not talking to any keepers is SUPER compelling content!"
    I would argue that the big red button is a shining example of how putting a simple switch within the game play rather than on the user interface made the game more fun without a huge investment in programming time, to which I again wonder why the hell, other than pure laziness, Blizzard dropped this model.

    Whether you think it is valid or not, I can speak that my guild had a lot of fun with deciding who pushed the button everytime we were in there. Stupid maybe, but it made that fight more enjoyable than just changing the user interface. Something that simple can be better, and in our raid group it was. It made the time between attempts more fun and made it more fun to raid.
    Last edited by Mwawka; 06-23-2011 at 01:18 PM.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mwawka View Post
    Hell I could be a square block of pixels with a health bar and spell choices
    Ooooh, I know where this is going and I'm already there:

    World of Warcraft: The MUD

    Awwwww Yeeaaaah.



  7. #87
    > Go North

    I don't know what "go" is.

    > Move North

    I don't know what "move" is.

    > North

    You see a sword.

    > Pick up sword

    I don't know what "pick" is.

    > Get sword

    You equip the sword. It is sharp.

    > North

    You see A Nefarian.

    > Attack Nefarian

    I don't know what "attack" is.

    > Battle Nefarian

    You hit Nefarian for 10 damage!
    Nefarian hits you for 97 damage!

    You die.
    Try again? (Y/n)
    >

  8. #88
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    I think Lore is spot on, Heroics are not seen as natural progression. There is nothing really compelling about them, especially when you look at WWS and realize that the only that only by replacing half the raid can you get them done.

    To prove Lore's point just look at recruitment. On my Realm it's dropped off a cliff, people are hibernating till the next patch. The only hope to pick up players is waiting for other guilds to kill themselves trying to finish the HCs.

    The fact that Blizzard lowered the overhead a lot on producing Raids, afterall no more separate 10 and 25 man instances, no more designer intensive hard modes, no more attunements. Yet we're not seeing the thoughput in more instances. 1 year between Tier 10 and Tier 11, 7 months between Tier 11 and Tier 12.

    Hard modes aren't additional content, and they should not be used as an excuse to have such long gaps between Tier's.

  9. #89
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    You forgot to equip the armor that was South of you noob. L2P.
    Kathy, I said, "I'm lost" though I knew she was sleeping
    I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
    Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
    They've all gone to look for America

  10. #90
    Hard modes aren't additional content, and they should not be used as an excuse to have such long gaps between Tier's.
    Pretty sure they're not, content-gaps were pretty long before hard modes, too.

    Example:

    WoW Release: Nov 23, 2004 (Molten Core)
    Blackwing Lair: July 12, 2005 (~7 months)
    Ahn'qiraj: Jan 6, 2006 (~7 months)
    Naxxramas: June 20, 2006 (~6 months)

    Burning Crusade Launch: Jan 9, 2007 (~6 months)
    Black Temple: May, 22, 2007 (Under 5 months, shortest release in memory and counted as "too early" by Blizzard)
    Sunwell: March 25, 2008, fully opened May 20, 2008.

    So yeah, it's not like long periods of time between content is something that only came along once hardmodes were introduced to the game.
    Last edited by Bovinity; 06-23-2011 at 01:32 PM.

  11. #91
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    In any case, a large portion of the whole issue with "bigger numbers etc" is that by introducing instead some sort of additional mechanic, rather than being more accessible over time with additional gear etc, Blizzard would need to noticably "nerf" the content to follow their M.O. of eventually making the content available to more players. Example: Phase 2 heroic nefarian cinder debuff... When properly managed in an appropriately geared raid, its a minor hoop to jump through (but very very annoying) yet to some players, an impassible gate due to "that one guy" who persists in blowing his pillar group across the room. More progressive guilds will undoubtedly simply replace the at-fault raider, but in the mindset of the more "casual" or "friends" raid guilds, simply replacing their friend is a non-option.

    Now, the prestige and accomplishment of doing something that someone else cannot is fairly universal and innate. However, balancing that aspect of the playerbase against the majority of subscribers who want to be able to "log on for a few hours and feel accomplished" is a tricky feat. Blizzard definately did not do themselves a favor with such an abrupt transition from being able to pug a majority of ICC 25 heroic to tier 11 and what can seem to be harsh pass/fail requirements.

    However, Blizzard is not the only one at fault... the players who have a mindset that hardmode content should be defeatable by everyone have a flawed grasp of the concept. Thus, the transition of achievements into Feats of Strength, and titles/mounts or other badges of the triumphs made either unavailable or their drop rate nerfed into oblivion. Also, I am a fan of looking at the date on someone's acheivement links as well, bearing in mind that you still can't outgear shadow traps, sanity and so on.

  12. #92
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    My previous statement was false. So I deleted it.

    Short version was that you had to be outside the instance to switch to heroic modes. Bovinity Corrected me.
    Last edited by Farfel; 06-23-2011 at 01:48 PM.

  13. #93
    No, it doesn't work that way, you can toggle it when everyone is in the instance and waiting right at the boss if you want to.

  14. #94
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    WoW Release: Nov 23, 2004 (Molten Core)
    Blackwing Lair: July 12, 2005 (~7 months)
    Ahn'qiraj: Jan 6, 2006 (~7 months)
    Naxxramas: June 20, 2006 (~6 months)

    Your missing ZG and AQ20. Don't forget the premise of joining 10 and 25 mans, more developer effort for content usable by all.

  15. #95
    Your missing ZG and AQ20. Don't forget the premise of joining 10 and 25 mans, more developer effort for content usable by all.
    AQ20 was part of the Ahn'qiraj release. Size of content push wasn't part of the research. =)

    Granted, I did miss ZA/ZG because I was trying to restrict it to "Major progression patches" but even if you include ZA, for instance, it only breaks up the gap between BT/Sunwell into a time that fits well with the rest of the pushes.

  16. #96
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    First off, great Weekly Marmot. I agree with much of what Lore said, especially the part about Ulduar being a shining example of how raids SHOULD be done. Alas...


    Quote Originally Posted by Mwawka View Post
    Ulduar was a better instance because it made hard mode activation a part of the game rather than a part of the interface. It was a great model and I will never understand why Blizzard scrapped it other than laziness. The argument that it was confusing to the player base just doesn't fly with me. The problem with Ulduar was in the loot tables, that is something that could easily have been addressed without changing the 'hard mode' model.
    The reason it was "scrapped" was because ToCr was ridiculously short as-is, so, to extend the life of T9, they doubled the content by making a Heroic version of the entire raid.

    Apparently, though, some people at Blizzard thought that this little experiment went over really well, so they decided to use it in future raid content, albeit with the drop down menu so that they didn't have to make the ENTIRE raid Heroic, just the bosses (as I understand it, the trash mobs are still the same regardless of the difficulty setting, but if I'm wrong on this, someone please correct me).

    I even heard that they're supposed to be making many, if not all, of the Heroic Fireland fights be significantly different from the normal modes (i.e. it won't just be X% harder + (more) trash), which, if correct, is probably what is adding to the very long development time of Firelands -- they're trying to release virtually two tiers of content that just happen to look the same.

    But as others have pointed out, Heroic modes are not a substitute for actual content. If Blizzard went back to the Ulduar style of hard modes, things would be a hell of a lot better. For one, they'd only have to balance two raids (10 and 25 man), not four. It would also avoid the gear inflation of the Heroic modes by simply having the hard modes drop, say, one or two extra piece of loot from their regular table and some extra valor points, as well as an upgrade token that would upgrade any gear you had by say half a tier (as opposed the full tier we're getting now).

    Given the way things are now, it'll be interesting to see what happens a few months down the line. What will Blizzard do if they find that many players just don't care, or cannot get into, hard modes and start to be content starved once again?

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Pretty sure they're not, content-gaps were pretty long before hard modes, too.

    Example:

    WoW Release: Nov 23, 2004 (Molten Core)
    Blackwing Lair: July 12, 2005 (~7 months)
    Ahn'qiraj: Jan 6, 2006 (~7 months)
    Naxxramas: June 20, 2006 (~6 months)

    Burning Crusade Launch: Jan 9, 2007 (~6 months)
    Black Temple: May, 22, 2007 (Under 5 months, shortest release in memory and counted as "too early" by Blizzard)
    Sunwell: March 25, 2008, fully opened May 20, 2008.

    So yeah, it's not like long periods of time between content is something that only came along once hardmodes were introduced to the game.
    You're forgetting that things were different back in those days. For one, earlier tiers of raids weren't gimped a few months after the fact, at least, not to the extent they have been doing lately, so if you wanted to do AQ or Naxx, you had to do all the ones prior. Furthermore, players had to spend a lot of time grinding rep and earlier raids to get specific items, like resistance gear, to be able to do certain encounters. Add to this that in vanilla, you had to somehow coordinate 40 people (or 20 in rare cases) to show up on raid nights to actually do the raids. And let's not forget attunement. On top of all this, my understanding is that raids were much, much more difficult than the current normal modes are now.

    All of these factors added to the amount of time players would need to spend raiding. Much of that no longer exists today. Gear is much easier to get back, normal mode content is apparently easier and but nevertheless constantly being nerfed, raids do not require attunement, nor do fights require special gear that takes long to acquire, while previous tiers of content can easily be skipped.

  18. #98
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    Another distinction about Ulduar compared to hits successors is that I feel that it's normal modes were naturally more difficult even after the many nerfs. Ulduar Normal mode could keep a guild busy for quite sometime since it had a few more bosses that blocked your progression, Thorim, Freya, Mimiron and Vezax could each be about 3 days worth of attempts to take down and say you were in a guild that raided 3 nights a week, that was a lot of raiding content.

    If ToC wasn't gated it would have been cleared in a day. All fights in ICC before LK though not as trivial were all pretty easy also, Sindragosa and Professor (maybe Blood Princes and Val)

  19. #99
    You're forgetting that things were different back in those days. For one, earlier tiers of raids weren't gimped a few months after the fact, at least, not to the extent they have been doing lately, so if you wanted to do AQ or Naxx, you had to do all the ones prior. Furthermore, players had to spend a lot of time grinding rep and earlier raids to get specific items, like resistance gear, to be able to do certain encounters. Add to this that in vanilla, you had to somehow coordinate 40 people (or 20 in rare cases) to show up on raid nights to actually do the raids. And let's not forget attunement. On top of all this, my understanding is that raids were much, much more difficult than the current normal modes are now.

    All of these factors added to the amount of time players would need to spend raiding. Much of that no longer exists today. Gear is much easier to get back, normal mode content is apparently easier and but nevertheless constantly being nerfed, raids do not require attunement, nor do fights require special gear that takes long to acquire, while previous tiers of content can easily be skipped.
    So long content gaps are the fault of hardmodes, except when they weren't, but it was "different" back then. Ok.

    I even heard that they're supposed to be making many, if not all, of the Heroic Fireland fights be significantly different from the normal modes (i.e. it won't just be X% harder + (more) trash), which, if correct, is probably what is adding to the very long development time of Firelands -- they're trying to release virtually two tiers of content that just happen to look the same.
    T11 heroics aren't "the same fight with (more) trash" either and as long as people keep saying that as part of their argument, the discussion will still be just plain silly.

  20. #100
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    This might sound like a dumb question but is the next level of tier tuned for players with all regular mode gear? For example, if you currently have all 359 level gear because you never did hard modes, would you be geared for Firelands? In addition, if a guild with 25 players with a 372 gear level would firelands be tuned too easy on normal mode (ignoring actual game mechanics)?

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