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Thread: PST - Episode 86

  1. #1

    PST - Episode 86



    This week:
    2:00 - Should there be minimum DPS/healing requirements to be eligible for loot in LFR?
    5:34 - Would scenarios be a good option for attunements?
    8:23 - What about guild-wide attunements?
    11:22 - Is easier raid content causing WoW's drop in subscriptions?
    19:23 - How do you feel about bosses that are only accessible in Normal or Heroic difficulty?
    23:48 - Should LFR be on the same lockout as Normal and Heroic raids?
    31:56 - Should Blizzard add achievements for clearing raid bosses with the debuff turned off?
    37:27 - What is your favorite quest line in World of Warcraft?
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  2. #2
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    Yes, there should be a minimum requirement for LFR to demonstrate that there is at least a player playing.

    For the LFR versus Standard versus Heroic gear issue, Make the LFR gear a blue setwith the same set bonus and style as the standard and heroic gear. Make the standard gear set bonus compatible with the LFR set bonus, The heroic set however would not be compatible with the LFR set bonus......(when you get your first heroic piece, LFR gear no longer works for you as far as set bonus goes. Standard gear still works for set bonus).

    That would take care of the LFR "welfare epic" ("you don't deserve purple")issues. The real hardcore raiders would not feel a serious obligation (actually discouraged a bit) to run LFR past getting their 2 blues set. This would kind of reinstitute the progression learning curve from classic (kara, naxx, outlands, sunwell.....). It would also show a sense of progression as well, LFR would have the blue "Dungeon Set" available without diluting the epicness of standard raids. The heroics would once again be winning the absolute top gear. There is no sense for the top 5% of the player base to have to share any gear with everyone else, heroics should be that top 5%....... That top 5% would get that cool animated effect armor with the lights, the swirly balls, the flamming nimbus effects and such. The next teir down would have the stuff that looks like, has lights but no animation. The basic level gear would be the blue standard army issue, no lights or enchanted looks. Heroic epics would not be upgradeable (at least until the next expansion/teir?), nor would anything match them.

    Now you could open up another thing to do. Valor Grind path for getting standard epics. The LFR set could be upgraded to Epic by doing the upgrade with valor path. The heroic raisers could build up their valor to either "punch up" their 2 blue pieces to purple and upgrade them, or get upgrades to their standard pieces.

  3. #3
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    I would like to add something about "the game is becomming to easy".
    If you look at some of the heroic fights they are still quite hard as far as i know.
    Lore whats your take on Heroic Ragnaros and fights beeing easy?

    So when people QQ that the game is to easy i usually ask them if they cleared Firelands and Dragon soul HC yet.
    And so far nooone has said yes... and i cant understand you call a game easy if you havent managed to clear it.

    And yes i know people on this website has cleared it all - and then yes if you want to call the game easy i belive you have the right to.

  4. #4
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    I think the gear progression is at the heart of the problem with Raid Finder. Even if you had full T12 HC, it was mandator for some classes to run Raid Finder to get the set bonuses, if you wanted to be competitive. If the T13 set bonuses hadn't been so OP, I bet most hard mode raiders would have just ignored Raid Finder.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerich View Post
    I think the gear progression is at the heart of the problem with Raid Finder. Even if you had full T12 HC, it was mandator for some classes to run Raid Finder to get the set bonuses, if you wanted to be competitive. If the T13 set bonuses hadn't been so OP, I bet most hard mode raiders would have just ignored Raid Finder.
    And this is more a symptom of the final tier than anything else. You don't get bonuses like the retribution 2set ("you do 2500 more dps") or the tank 4sets (your major cooldown applies to the raid too) in lower tiers, simply because they want you to want the next set's bonuses as an upgrade. When it comes to the final tier, all common sense goes out of the window and they design set bonuses to be totally over powered, just like we only start to see weapons like Gur'thalak and Dragonmaw appear that absolutely blitz anything that came before. If LFR was released for T11 or Firelands, I don't think this would have been as much of an issue.

  6. #6
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    Knife to my heart, Lore - knife to my heart.

    Couple of points I would like to address. Regarding the loss of subs at the start of Cata, there were more factors at work than simply the difficulty of the dungeons and raids.

    1. Stat reset - Remember how our stats reset? I recall being hit capped for so long in Wrath that I barely thought about it anymore then suddenly, overnight, I had to use hit enchants, hit gems, farm and eat hit food and I was still short going into BWD for the first time.

    2. The Stat reset destroyed healers - Healers were going oom on 1 minute trash pulls in dungeons. That's when CC suddenly became important again, we had to be careful not to tax our healer's mana. The beginning of Cata saw many healers simply give up and we spent the better part of the first half of Cata trying to recruit more.

    3. Mastery - not only did our stats reset, we had a whole new stat to deal with plus reforging to figure out.

    4. Ability and talent changes - everyone had to relearn their rotations and talent trees.

    5. LFD - The dungeon finder tool was implemented in the ICC patch when everyone outgeared everything. However, with the launch of Cata, everyone was undergeared, short on stats along with their old rotations not working anymore - running with strangers quickly turned into a very unforgiving environment. I honestly believe Blizzard needs to stop trying to bridge low pop/dead servers with these bandaids and go ahead and do some mergers to keep communities intact - communities that can support people and bring up new raiders.

    6. Finally, Blizzard does an extremely poor job with tutorials. There are very few mechanisms in game to teach a new player how to be a raider (loading screen tips don't count).

    To sum up, in order for new players to succeed at raiding Blizzard needs to:
    a. Teach them
    b. Give them the tools
    c. Place them in a supportive environment
    I think this would be a much better solution than reducing the difficulty to kindergarten levels, people really are smarter than Blizzard is giving them credit for.

    Also, I'm curious about those character level stats - was that most *accounts* didn't have an 85 or most toons were not 85? For I have quite a few toons at various points in the leveling process but they do not reflect in any way that my main is a well geared heroic raider. Just wondering if that number is skewed because of this as I'm sure I'm not the only person with 20 toons that aren't 85 lol.
    Last edited by Harikari; 07-10-2012 at 06:12 AM.

  7. #7
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    Not that i disagree with your summary, but the reasoning i have issues with

    1. Happens every expansion, aswell as everytime you level up
    2. Healing model changes every expansion as well, remember down ranking?
    3. Like Hit and expertise weren't new stats once, or armour pen, which we lost along with MP5, Block value, defence rating, there's alot less stats to manage in Cata than Wrath
    4. Happens every expansion, also has a tendency to change as you gear up; a prot warrior in 346s should not have the same rotation as prot warrior in 410s, or change as they balance things throught an expansion, Pre 4.2 its was viable for Aff-Locks to use DL as filler, its isnt anymore.

  8. #8
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    1. Stat reset - Remember how our stats reset? I recall being hit capped for so long in Wrath that I barely thought about it anymore then suddenly, overnight, I had to use hit enchants, hit gems, farm and eat hit food and I was still short going into BWD for the first time.
    This happened at the TBC and Wrath launches too.
    2. The Stat reset destroyed healers - Healers were going oom on 1 minute trash pulls in dungeons. That's when CC suddenly became important again, we had to be careful not to tax our healer's mana. The beginning of Cata saw many healers simply give up and we spent the better part of the first half of Cata trying to recruit more.
    Healers were going OOM because they were still used to being able to spam heals. As soon as people stopped playing like they were back in ICC, they stopped going OOM. They re-learned the healing game, and suddenly it worked again.

    3. Mastery - not only did our stats reset, we had a whole new stat to deal with plus reforging to figure out.
    We got reforging and mastery 5 weeks before cataclysm released. If it was going to be a game-quitting addition it would have had an effect before 4.0.1 went live.
    4. Ability and talent changes - everyone had to relearn their rotations and talent trees.
    This happened at every expansion launch.

    5. LFD
    It seemed to work in the ICC 5mans. The only issue with 5man heroics at launch were that they were too difficult for the target audience (who can count themselves lucky the normal mode dungeons didn't release in the state they were in when they first came to beta - Stonecore non-heroic, a level 82 dungeon, absolutely trashed me in full 277 gear).

    6. Finally, Blizzard does an extremely poor job with tutorials.
    Yes they do. But how to do it? Show a lot of people a challenge and they'll say "oh, it's too hard. Make it easier". Personally, I think something like the events in Nexus for the Dragonwrath quests, or the Gilneas assassination quest for the first stage of the daggers would be a good place to start.

  9. #9
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    I agree, we did have the stat & gear resets along with new abilities in previous expacs. What made Cata different was having that in an unforgiving LFD environment.

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  11. #11
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    Agree with all of the above re-reasons for number drop, but would say the difficulty was at it core. A lot of people I know who left are what I would define as casual raiders - they would raid 3 times a week if able, would raid with friends (Who weren't always as skilled), and have limited time in between working around jobs/family etc.

    So when you couldn't fit a heroic in under an hour if your group sucked couldn't cc etc, they struggled to gear. When they did start raiding there was no room to carry (unlike wrath) and they couldn't make any meaningful progress as they didn't want to abandon raiders they had been with for years. Coupled with a sparse end game most simply found there wasn't the content they could access and so stopped playing.

    I agree with Fetzie about the LFR, the exceptional teir bonuses were the major driving froce, but I can see that being an issue at the start of the expansion as set bonus vs no set bonus of any kind is likely to drive me and others to feel we have to run it just to aid progression.

    @Harikiri, I agree there needs to be a better training tool, but the thing that stops lfr being that training tool is largely the people in lfr. I have been in some ages back and when the tank messed up fading light or dps didn't kill the blobs, what went wrong was explained no-one raged and the players learnt, or in one case was removed as they refused to listen. It was a equally pleasant and shocking experience with players joking about how improbable it was but did prove it could work as a training tool. But if they can find an in game way of doing that then they should as the wow players base as an over-arching demographic is not a great one, althought it is filled with many great people. Maybe just a set of role specific raid warning that pop up before the boss is pullable

  12. #12
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    So Lore is right the beginning of Cata was hard … but I think in a good way. LFR is easy but also in a good way. Let my tell you my story.

    I started playing two years ago, and I did not hit 80 until 5 days after Cata came out. I went straight from LK dungeons into Cata dungeons.
    For a relatively new player there was a clear jump between Cata and LK 5 man content.
    Then the jump to heroic dungeons was … a challenge.
    Grim Batol Heroic was brutal in pug groups for a long time …
    (It still is because the better players rarely run it now since you can bypass the old heroics when gearing alts … take a look if you want some fun and a big repair bill!)

    I stuck with it and I think that’s where I leaned to play … but I know people who found them too hard.
    At that time to me raids were mythical … I geared my toon with all the rep gear I could before I went near them. I still remember my first time in BoT … I pugged in on a Guild run … and I didn’t suck thanks to the heroic Cata dungeons.
    Through 4.1 and 4.2 I was a casual pug raider … but pretty hardcore 5 man.

    But LFR was my gateway drug to harder core raiding in 4.3 … for three reasons
    It gave an easier way to gear for the real DS raids and it much easier to relate to the regular DS fights when you have seen the LFR version ... and the 5 man content in 4.3 is too easy, where was the heroic mode!

    For the softcore raider the nerfs open up the same kind opportunity to try the Heroics. The more people that can progress to raiding the more Blizzard will invest in it so everyone wins.

    So my view is you need hard stuff to stretch you but sometimes you need easier steps to help you climb to the next level, perhaps it would have been better to have LFR at the start of the expansion but I also think hard 5 man content is also needed.

  13. #13
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    @Dagz - yes, LFR has deteriorated since it was launched and the reason is most of the professional HC raiders are done with it. As far as incorporating tutorials in it, this is a great idea but it would need to be implemented subtley, as part of the gameplay so as not to seem it was created for idiots.

    @Focii - I've always thought that LFR was a good way to expose more people to raiding. I think many people join the game, get swept up in a social guild and are probably intimidated by raiding. LFR gave them a way to experience it without the pressure. When they saw they could it on that level, it opened up the possibilities of trying raiding at the Normal level, then on to HM if they desired.

    Thinking more about LFD coupled with the changes at expac launch, I think there were a couple other factors. One - the death of 25m raid guilds. Now, I know you don't believe they are dead, Lore, but the number of them has drastically decreased. The second factor is lumping the daily dungeon requirement into a weekly cap. Both of these things together meant fewer people in your guild and fewer people logging on each day so more people had to run LFD to get their caps rather than running with guild members.

    I don't know, it's a complex problem :X

    Also, going deeper into my rabbit hole here, the whole 1% vs. casual argument....what if Blizzard simply got rid of Heroic raiding altogether? What if they just said, "Screw it, we're tired of trying to balance this crap for 1% of the playerbase?" and just :snip: it was gone.

    I think they would lose much more than that 1% - I think the HC playerbase is much broader when you look at the spectrum of guilds that completed H Morchok all the way to H Madness and to simply look at the percentage that defeated only the end boss is misleading.

    From wowprogress.com:
     

    H: Morchok: 44644 (69.04%)
    H: Warlord Zon'ozz: 23775 (36.77%)
    H: Yor'sahj the Unsleeping: 32248 (49.87%)
    H: Hagara the Stormbinder: 20521 (31.73%)
    H: Ultraxion: 31815 (49.20%)
    H: Warmaster Blackhorn: 15240 (23.57%)
    H: Spine of Deathwing: 8062 (12.47%)
    H: Madness of Deathwing: 6884 (10.65%)


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fetzie View Post

    Healers were going OOM because they were still used to being able to spam heals. As soon as people stopped playing like they were back in ICC, they stopped going OOM. They re-learned the healing game, and suddenly it worked again.
    For the majority the end game was 5 man dungeons via the dungeon finder.

    Pug healers in 5 man dungeons using DF have to output more overall healing and more throughput HPS than cottonwool wrapped organised guild healers like yourself running those same dungeons in guild groups.

    Their team members take more avoidable damage from failing on mechanics/interrupts and due to lower DPS outputs this higher stream of incoming damage lasts longer.

    In many respects the pug healer had to heal way beyond the level that the designers envisaged. To compound this problem the pug healer often had worse gear to achieve this astronomical feat due to a, not getting priority on healing items and b, they had no access to raid drops so could only improve their through-put and mana regen through slowly acquiring VP items.

    The healing changes therefore had a huge impact on the majority of players. Healing is one of the key components of what determined the difficulty of these encounters and in particular the margin of error for failure which of course in DF groups needs to be infinitely higher than what a guild group requires.

    A large number of groups at the start were totally non viable from the second they zoned in because the numbers simply didn't add up - even with the most efficient healers the HPS required multiplied by the length of each combat period was greater than the mana resource of the healer.

    Boom! There goes the end game for millions of players. Game over.

  15. #15
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    So healing was broken because other players were playing bad?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harikari View Post
    I think they would lose much more than that 1% - I think the HC playerbase is much broader when you look at the spectrum of guilds that completed H Morchok all the way to H Madness and to simply look at the percentage that defeated only the end boss is misleading.

    From wowprogress.com:
     

    H: Morchok: 44644 (69.04%)
    H: Warlord Zon'ozz: 23775 (36.77%)
    H: Yor'sahj the Unsleeping: 32248 (49.87%)
    H: Hagara the Stormbinder: 20521 (31.73%)
    H: Ultraxion: 31815 (49.20%)
    H: Warmaster Blackhorn: 15240 (23.57%)
    H: Spine of Deathwing: 8062 (12.47%)
    H: Madness of Deathwing: 6884 (10.65%)
    Those numbers reflect guilds that have killed a boss in DS, not the whole player base. The majority of the player base hasn't set foot in a normal raid, so you can take that 10% and confidently reduce it to sub 5% I'm guessing. Not to mention that most guilds that raid also have a large % of players who don't participate in the raids. I agree with Lore, time to face the music that the progression raider is a minority.

    A little comment on attunements, as you keep coming back to them. I'd prefer that the normal and heroic raids had concurrent quest chains to help with the lore involved rather than actual attunement requirements. I loved first part of the Fangs of the Father questline, and thought it would be great if that sort of questline just ran concurrently with each raid instance. It actually had some challenge involved, which I thought was great. If they could come up with some fun questlines for raiders to do as they progressed through the tiers of raiding that were immersive and told a story, I think it would achieve the enhancement factor Lore is talking about without it becoming a mandatory thing. To further encourage participation in the chain they could have it provide a valuable piece of gear at the end, a title, a mount, etc. This could be a chain that took weeks to finish, but having something similar to a Legendary chain for every raider in every tier would be a great addition in my opinion.
    Last edited by Mwawka; 07-10-2012 at 12:08 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fetzie View Post
    So healing was broken because other players were playing bad?
    I think that plays into it; I think the point is fair that pugs took a lot of avoidable damage that taxed the healers early on in Cata heroics - I don't think Blizz took having to heal mega stupid into account when they hard nerfed healer mana, but that was far from the sole reason. Blizz intentionally made mana matter. I know for the longest time I just played my hunter and DK because I didn't want to deal with healing. But in order to raid with a new guild, I needed to fill a spot and that was healing so I bit the bullet and geared the priest then the pally.

    Having done that, I think I've forgotten more about mana management then I learned in the entirety of WoLK. The original Cata heroics were a learning experience, but the Trolls and two healing Chogall proved to be the higher education. Now I'm healing on a Pally, Priest, Shammy and Druid and I'm a better healer for the having endured it.

    The original Cata heroics were despicable in a pure pug, but fun with guildies when done right.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fetzie View Post
    So healing was broken because other players were playing bad?
    It isn't about healing in isolation. As I clearly explained; healing is a major component of what determines difficulty but only a "component".

    The entire balance was broken. The combination of the healing changes combined with the tuning of the 5 man heroics combined with the inability of the automated tool to stop bad players joining is what was broken.

    Players will join and play badly when the tool doesn't stop them. Bad play wasn't technically a "problem" because bad play was an inevitable known quantity long before Cata and the content/healing model should have been designed around it. It wasn't "bad" play per say, it was just par for the course in DF.

    I.e. Blizzard should have designed the content and the healing model around the typical group experience and not the 3% experience.

    Unfortunately Healing was tuned based on the scenario of you sat AFK drinking coffee whilst your fully optimised guildies CC'd, interrupted and hammered out 20k DPS a piece.

    In the real world we had difficulty in coordination, CC breakers, no interrupts, standing in fire, failing on every single mechanic and 4k dps was considered "good". Like I said the pug healer had to blow the guild group healer out of the water. More HPS for longer. Far greater efficiency required than a "pro" and with worse gear to boot. Bad design IMO when you expect the amateur to play far better than the professional in order to succeed.

    Of course you may point the finger at the content or you may point the finger at the DF tool which didn't filter out bad players. If you want to talk about Cata healing in Isolation then you might be surprised to know that I considered it a huge improvement and a lot more fun than the Wrath model.

  19. #19
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    @Mwawka, ok let's test the number.

    44,644 guilds downed H Morchok. Of those, 3,290 were 25 man guilds - the rest were 10m.
    That totals 495,790 players. Note that it does NOT include China realms, where over 1/2 the playerbase is located.
    So let's double the number to account for the ZH players - 991,580.
    This does not include pug groups that have downed H Morchok, but w/e we'll go with a conservative number.
    With a 10 million subscriber base (subscriptions, NOT players), that's just about 10% of the subscription base that have downed a Heroic boss.

    I think this 1% of the player base that like heroic raiding is vastly underrated.

  20. #20
    For the record, Toypop, plenty of healers had no issue at all healing pugs in early Cata, mostly because we had a clue.

    Also, breaking news...sometimes groups will fail and wipe. It happens. That doesn't mean anything is broken.

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