Sunday, October 11, 2015

True or False: "Blizz killed 10 man guilds to appeal to 0.07%"

This capped thread on the forums caught my eye because I was wondering what they were talking about.

The nuts and bolts of it is that this 10 man raider is upset that 10 man groups are unable to do mythic raiding and that catering for a small amount of the WoW playing population - essentially, 20 man raiding guilds - hurts the population in general.

What I found interesting was the comment that "all those tight knit social bonds have been destroyed after they were built up for years." This is referring to the tight knit bonds of a 10 man.

When we started this expansion, we had come from doing Siege of Orgrimmar with 10 players to suddenly having a lot of people. A number of the players who did some of those 10 mans did not like that and wanted to have the "small" group back. The dynamics were good with that group, they said. Players were better.  You knew who everyone was.

How quickly people forget how miserable it is when you have to sit people out. Obviously we had the goodwill of others sitting out for bosses they don't need but that isn't always the case. Sometimes people felt like they should sit out to make sure there was no drama.

I love how flex was applied to normal (now heroic). It meant that we could take everyone. No more sitting out.  It was brilliant.

But then, came the mythic factor.

We were doing that level of difficulty in MoP on a 10 man level.  Actually, we only did that for Siege of Orgrimmar.  We did do some heroic level stuff in Cataclysm too in 10 man.

But we haven't done any mythic this expansion, and to be honest, I didn't want to. I still don't want to now.  The flexibility is gone, and suddenly raiding will become a chore as we try to balance the numbers and the classes and the ranged/melee and we don't even have the numbers right now. I LIKE doing heroics, because that's fun and it fits in with my life timetable.

The people who are upset are those who WANT to do mythic but don't want to do it in a 20 man environment. Heroic 10 mans used to be the same as Heroic 25 mans. in MoP and prior. It was cool for the 10 man guilds back then but in reality, it's not fair.  Heroic 25 should have better rewards.  It's harder to organise and maintain.  Sure, it may have been easier too with extra slack in the system, but having to tune a 10 man fight to be the same as a 25 man fight for the same rewards is extra work that wastes a lot of effort.  I can understand why Blizzard took the two difficulties away and made it just one raid size. Only one difficulty to have to worry about and tune, instead of trying to balance it out for a 10 man and a 25 man. I'm trying to think of an equivalent real life analogy - say that I am a chef and I have to cook a special 5 course meal for a group of 10 people and also have to cook that same meal for 25 people.  They're both the same food, and it's a special party course so I have to buy the right ingredients to make exactly the right number.  Now, imagine I want to have an extra SPECIAL dinner course, that includes wine, and 20 souffles.  There is exactly enough wine in 1 barrel for 20 people only, and so that special meal should be for 20 people. Sure, we can have less, but the cost of the meal with wine is $2000 ($100 per person).  If you have less people then that's fine but that $2000 will have to be shared around whoever's left, so each person has to pay more.  But with the regular 5 course meal without the special wine or souffle, we can have some dessert that you can keep serving up (maybe fruit platters) and some beer on tap, so you can bring as many friends as you want.  Ok, a bit of a strange analogy there... but what I'm trying to say is that to get something special then you have to DO something special - and that is make sure you have 20 people who want to come to the party or you can't have this special menu.  And if you want to bring less? Well you can, but it will cost you more.  I guess the cost is the DPS/healing output in mythic so if you have less people you have to put out double the effort of what you were doing previously. And also, the chef is good at preparing for 20 people - they've got the ingredients and timing worked out just right.  Throw in a 10 man party into the mix and now they have to spend extra time getting that set right AS WELL as the 20 man party set - it would be easier and work smoother if they just said we're doing it for a party of 20 and that's it. No exceptions.

Those people who would complain that the game is now "too easy" at the heroic level and need a mythic level to get satisfaction - what % do you think they are?  And what % do you think are the number of people who couldn't get into raids before but NOW they can because of the flexible sized normal raiding that happens now? And that also means that raids can continue if people have a life and need to do RL things and miss a raid day or two or come late - yes that might make it "easier" but in reality, that is the way this game is going. All those hard core players are now grown up with jobs and families and don't have the time to commit to the game like they used to.  The game has to change to fit those people too.  The hard core stuff, mythic stuff, is still there, but surely there are WAY more people in the normal/heroic bracket that need catering to as well.

Those people who are upset with the raiding structure - well they would probably be unhappy either way and find some excuse to complain about something else.  If they had their 10 man mythics they would be complaining that the encounter is too hard or something.  And then they'd still be quitting the game, even if Blizzard had tried to accommodate them.

So, do you blame Blizzard for catering to those small amounts of people for mythics? Those guys who are serious about mythics are willing to pay Blizz for their server transfers and faction changing to get into the teams they want.  And those who are complaining and not giving money to Blizz - well why would Blizz want to cater to you when you are not a customer who continues to support the game?

I think I may get a lot of disagreement but I like the way the raids are set out at the moment. It suits me, it suits my guild. I feel sorry for all that it doesn't suit, but there's no pleasing everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Raiding - I'm not sure I can see that Archimonde end...

There were some hotfixes implemented on Tuesday that made normal HFC a whole lot easier.

Hellfire Citadel

  • Voidscribe Aathalos is no longer susceptible to Charm, Possess, or Banish effects.
  • Weaponlord Mehlkhior, and other creatures around Xhul'horac are now immune to Charm effects.


  • We have made a number of changes aimed at reducing the difficulty of the Archimonde encounter for smaller raid groups on Normal and Heroic difficulty, with a focus on the final phase of the encounter in particular. These changes are offset by increased scaling with respect to raid size, so that the experience for larger raid groups will be mostly unchanged.
  • Infernal Doombringer's health has been reduced by up to 15%.
  • Shadowed Netherwalker's health has been reduced by up to 15%.
  • Living Shadow's health has been reduced by up to 15%.
  • Reduced the damage of Wrought Chaos by up to 20%.
  • Reduced the damage of Shackled Torment by up to 20%.
  • Living Shadows now spawn from each Nether Tear at a reduced rate for smaller raid sizes.
  • Added a 3-second cooldown to the periodic healing of Eternal Flame, preventing Infernal Doombringers from healing other Infernal Doombringers until 3 seconds after spawning on all difficulties.
  • Archimonde's health has been reduced by 10% on Raid Finder difficulty.
I haven't done it in a while, so it seemed a lot easier, but also the raid has been doing a lot of Archi without me so perhaps I'm just cruising with the flow.  Anyway, that means a few normal casual raiders should be able to get Archi down.

We did it on Wednesday and since it was now easier, we could bring our casual players along.  There are only two, really - Mctacky and Taxar. Tacky came and got his Archi kill so that was great, and next week Taxar will come.

The raid team has REALLY shrunk a lot now. Constantine left and went back to Ajantis (though I did think that would happen eventually), and Falln is taking a break. Sev was sick yesterday and Bish didn't turn up. So that left raid a little smaller than normal and doing Archimonde didn't feel like we were close to a kill at all - with 14 people it seemed pretty hard IMO!

I was worried that it was me holding everyone back and maybe I was because I am still the most rusty. Healing was still a bit clunky with too many click panic heals and not enough concentrating on putting things where they should be.

I am tempted to go on the recruitment bandwagon... what worries me is the sudden overload at the start of an expansion - I think that perhaps this time around it won't happen like it did at the start of WoD, so that overcrowding of raid will probably not happen again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How can the levelling experience be better for someone who hates alts?

There was some avid discussion in guild vent the other day in regards to the levelling experience. I was about to automatically switch off, because levelling is not my thing.  The whole levelling thing is just a chore that seems to have no relevance or meaning - I suppose it gives you the opportunity to learn your character's abilities and how to play it, but it is so UNFUN to me that doing it over and over to level alts makes me think I have so much more interesting and fun things to do in my spare time.

HK has been doing a Luxy and playing lots of guild wars and he was telling me about how fun it was, even to solo. Gathering in the game is different to WoW - the same node point can be gathered by everyone (in a way that treasures are in WoW at the moment I think) but the respawn time is long - 24 hours. Even when levelling or questing in guild wars, he told me that if you party with someone to help you with your quests their experience or rewards are scaled down to the level of that quest. I guess that means power levelling is out! But perhaps that's a good thing? More time for story then!

One of the ways people level quickly in WoW is by doing dungeons. I can see that would be a way to encourage people to play with others rather than solo playing (this is, after all, an MMO).

Kyxyn was saying that perhaps a good way to encourage people to do the levelling for the story (like other RPG games where you play for the storyline) is to give a bonus XP for finishing the entire zone, rather than skipping around to the next zone that would give you the most XP.

As a reluctant leveller, what would make me most likely to enjoy levelling? I would say, it would probably be a different story.  However, that means I should be levelling my alliance character, but I'm not. Why is that?

I guess it's because I'm not levelling with someone. I like playing WoW because of the social part of it - if I don't have anyone to play with then I get bored quickly. So, you may ask, why don't I just level with someone?

Well, that's because my levelling times are sporadic. Who would want to play with me when I only play at weird times.  And they'd have to wait for me.  That wouldn't go down well.

What other option could I have?

I heard that Guild wars 2 had a very good levelling system for the casual pve player.  End game stuff is PvP and stuff but the levelling experience is supposed to be enjoyable and the graphics are good - way better than WoW. Would having those things change my feelings about levelling in WoW?

I think that if each class had a different story in each zone then that would make the levelling experience more varied. GW2 has a different storyline for each class, which sounds rather cool. And I guess if you had a friend come help you then maybe they could get token XP given to them for helping you but then you can go with them to help them do their quests and have the reverse happen for you. Competing with another person for quest items or mobs sucks - though I admit that's been a lot better in WoW in this last expansion compared to previously.

I do like the level 90 boost that they did for WoD. If they do a similar thing for Legion then that would negate the whole need for levelling. I think I would pay for that, rather than sink my time into levelling through a zone I had done before.  Also from a financial perspective, that would be good for WoW, I think. It would appeal to the casual player who wants to see the new content but doesn't have to grind out 1-100, especially if they only want a short look at the game. WoW has typically appealed to the more dedicated gamer, which is why I think the environment can tend to be more toxic and less tolerant of new players, which is a bit of a shame. So for the casual player who may want to get immersed into the WoW story, perhaps expanding the lore a little more will entice them to play, even if it is for a short period of time. The drawback lately is that the game seems to be so reward focussed that the story seems to get a little lost, and when that happens those who are here for the lore tend to lose interest if they aren't raiding or chasing legendaries.

For those who aren't interested in reading quest lines or story, then dungeons and rapid questing can still be the key to rapid levelling, so hopefully it would cater for those who just want to do the end content as well.

It's interesting that I enjoy games like Last of Us which tells a story, yet I play WoW to reach the end game and it's not the story that entrances me, even though I do enjoy it when I do it that one time. I suppose though, that once I finish that sort of game, I don't tend to play it again - it's over and done. WoW has so many things at end game that I like to play and that tends to hold me in the game rather than going off to experience more story.

I don't know if I will level another character in Legion. I haven't really done it any other time in all the 10 years of WoW, so why would I start now? All I can say is that it would have to take something very interesting to make me want to go through that same content twice.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I'm back! Catching up on all the thing's I've missed

It's nice to be back. I did miss my computer and writing on the Daily Frostwolf. I did have a great holiday though!

One of the things I did miss out on was Brewfest.  Much to my dismay there was only a few days of Brewfest left and there is not only a new pet but a few new toys to get as well. Fortunately, Crooked told me that it would only take me 2 days to get the 200 Brewfest Prize tokens, and he was right. I got 219 tokens after doing all the quests and dailies for 2 days so that was good.

Darkmoon Faire this week too.  I should do some of that too.

I did manage to get my 5 timewalking dungeons done - though, that was a bit of a chore.  But it's fun I suppose.  I saw that Kyxyn and Crooked have got timewalking sets made - I think I might only think of doing that for DPS, not so much for healing.

Also, WAY behind on my conquest.  2 weeks of no conquest cap! BLEH! I suppose I only need 2 items of gear so conquest is a bit moot really.  I can even buy one now. So really, just one piece of loot, which I can get next week.  However... there is a 27k conquest achievement I need to do....

We did Archimonde tonight and with no Rag healing, it was a bit ugly.  Not to mention I was a bit rusty as well and kept stuffing up my range with Shadowfel burst, and wiped the raid a few times because I was too close to someone. There was a good moment of "rescue" when I accidentally stood too close to Yuuda and we both got the burst and he flapped down so that I landed first and then he landed a few secs later, so peeps catching us on the ground didn't die. But how often is that going to happen!

Not a great foray back into raiding after 2 weeks, but it will get better on Wednesday, I'm sure. I missed you, my dear Frostwolves!