Solving the Oculus Problem

I had a whole post ready to write all about the problems posed by The Oculus in the random dungeon finder. It’s THAT hated instance, the one people always bitched about, the one they are most likely to drop out of as soon as they zone in.

It doesn’t matter why this is. All that matters is that players learn quickly from each other to gauge the risk of not completing any given instance. And once people have learned that the fastest way to get badges in the Oculus is to leave immediately and queue again in 15 minutes, the instance is basically toast.

I was going  to unveil my great plan for making The Oculus more popular to fix this quickly. It was inspired. It involved giving the end boss a 1% chance to drop a battered hilt (the current hotness in trash drops). If all else fails, just bribe the players some more.

And clearly Blizzard were thinking along the same lines, because the rewards for killing the end boss in Oculus are about to be boosted. Zarhym posts on the US forums:

Once Ley-Guardian Eregos is defeated, one loot bag per character will be provided in his chest in addition to the current rewards. Each loot bag will offer players rare gems, two additional Emblems of Triumph, and a chance of being rewarded the Reins of the Blue Drake.

The blue drake is a pretty little mount. 2 extra badges are not to be sniffed at (even people who don’t need badges for gear can find something to spend them on, even if it’s just epic gems to sell) and rare gems are always handy.

So, it’s no battered hilt. But will the promise of extra loot be enough to make more players fly?

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24 thoughts on “Solving the Oculus Problem

  1. Man, that’s hawtness. I don’t particularly have anything against Oculus (I only ran it once non-heroic, never went back because nothing dropped there that I wanted) but I’d totally run it for a chance at that mount.

  2. I tried the occulus last night. I say I tried, me, another DPS and a healer were willing to do it, but the tank and one DPS quit instantly. We queued again and got another two who refused to do it.
    I am ashamed to say I snapped and I feel sorry for that poor tank who was at the other end of my torrent of abuse, but, well, there is no but, he deserved it :P

  3. Blizzard seems to have taken the “people do what is being rewarded” quote to heart. I’m pretty sure that’s why they’re giving out extra emblems for doing random heroics. This change is just another proof of that.

    • The extra emblem have another function. The LFG tool only works if most people select random heroic. The player base of a WoW battle group is way to small to support as much heroics as exist. If you could not sign up for a random and only for specific, people would all sign up for Ahn’Kahet or Gun’Drak.

      If you would like to run HoR you need four other people and they are supplied from the random pool.

      Yes, because you would like to run HoR four other people have to suffer through this. :) And they are rewarded with 2 extra emblems for that.

  4. First off, I like Occulos, so for me, its great its getting buffed, even though I do not ever get it when queuing for randoms. Not ever.
    But secondly, why doesn’t Blizzard just cut their losses, if so many people (and I do not believe its that many) hate Occulus, what is there to be gained by bribing them to do something they do not find fun.

    Is this really where WoW has ended up? If players don’t think a certain part of the game is fun, they will force us to do it, with better rewards?? How sad is that? “eat your broccoli players, and you will get a toy”. Thank you, I’ts been a while since Blizz has made me feel like a 5 yr old with lousy parents :(

    • Well, I think they had a few options.

      1. Do nothing. Soon everyone just leaves the oculus unless they go in with a guild group because it becomes ‘the thing you do’

      2. Make it even easier, somehow.

      3. Give people options to select a couple of instances they really didn’t want on random, at the cost of lesser rewards. So that the people who hated it would never have to get it.

      4. Punish people for leaving. (ie. fewer frost badges or something.) That would have driven the playerbase nuts, and also made people reluctant to queue. And they NEED everyone to be using the dungeon tool or it can’t really work.

      5. Better rewards. bribe people in.

  5. My only problem with the Oculus is that I get it every single day in the Dungeon Finder, oh, and I get slightly travel sick on the dragons. Otherwise it’s a nice quick instance. Won’t complain about extra rewards though :D

  6. With a good group its quick and easy.

    I remember sitting there and working it out with Spinks and co to get our Northrend Dungeon Master before there were strats posted on the web. A real pain but once we got it :)

    With a group of randoms (even good ones) it can be a pain as there are at least 2 different approaches to transit and another 2 different ways to do the end Boss….but I dont dislike it that much

    • I remember that :)

      The only hard thing about the Oculus is trying to explain it to someone who hasn’t been there before, who gets confused by the 3D side of it, can’t figure out their drake, or aggros all the trash. And I think, unfortunately, that’s what people are voting that they don’t want to do. They don’t want to teach newbies something non-obvious.

  7. We pulled Occ the other day with a guild group. There was much moaning at the start, but we decided to run it anyway. It’s still a pain in the butt, but the nerfs that went in with patch 3.3 made it a whole lot easier than it used to be, so it isn’t as fear-inspiring as it used to be.

  8. I wanted a good caster chest blue item. It can come from Azjol or Oculus. So I queued up in for this two instances. Only if I screenshotted the angry people cursing the RNG for giving them Oculus.

    To make their thing worse, I wanted the item from the first boss, so after the boss I dropped out.

    Poor badgefarming puggers. I’m ALMOST sorry for them.

  9. Occulus is already incredibly easy. I have pugged it a few times, and despite one or two wipes because people didn’t know how to use their dragons, we still did it.

    The thought of having to tell someone what to do or, god forbid, have to be told what to so, seems anathema to some people.

    “I wanted the item from the first boss, so after the boss I dropped out.”
    Yeah that doesn’t surprise me. WoW is full of selfish arseholes.

  10. For me this Oculus hate is just baffling. I mean, I hated it after the first time I did it and then avoided it for a long time, but when I finally got over my fears and tried it with much better gear, I realised that it wasn’t all that bad. Since the introduction of the dungeon finder I’ve had it pop up four times or so, and not once I had anyone drop because they hated the instance. I’ve lost a lot more people to HoR or even HoS (yes, seriously). Maybe it’s just my battlegroup.

  11. From my tank’s perspective, selfishly I am not sure I like this change. I never have a problem with Oculus on my tank, because I always stick around and even if people leave, the group gets started almost right away. And the people who do stick around aren’t big scared babies, and know how to run it besides. My Oc runs are smooth as silk, but Oc may become a terror again if people who are bad at drakes start staying. However, from my DPS’s perspective, I am pleased. It’s tiresome to wait for your random, get Oc, and helplessly watch everyone leave. Also, in general, I do think it’s good to make people venture out of their comfort zones and learn how to do this stuff too.

  12. I don’t hate Occulus, never understood why others do. The only thing that I don’t care about it is when everyone in the group is about to get their drakes somebody says “Hey, wanna go for that one achivement?” Then four other people are asking themselves, “which one?”. So 5 people sit and stare at their computers waiting for somebody to clarify which achievement they are going for, until someone finally says, “just hop on any drake and let’s get going”. Or maybe that’s just my random experience.

  13. It’s funny. I have had people get mad at me for dropping group when I get occ or hol or one of those other ones I hate like I owe them something.

    Could care less about a blue drake or anything other than some sort of t10 reward. Thus, occ will still be getting dropped for me.

    It’s actually kind of fun when the group knows what they are doing. Sadly those groups don’t seem to exist much in lfg.

  14. I’ll never forget how proud Blizzard was of the Occulus during the pre-WotLK press interviews. They said something to the effect: “…and we’ve got this cool dungeon where everyone turns into dragons and gets to fight…”

    Turns out the players knew better — they absolutely hated the gimmick. You see players want conventional dungeons where that start at point A and end at point B. Players want to be able to farm as efficiently as possible and a dungeon where you have to fly really doesn’t work.

    For me the Occulus is the Plane of Water of EverQuest. Everyone hated it because they had to fight underwater. It’s a concept that looks cool on paper but in reality it’s not very feasible.

    Instead of bribing players to run the Occulus they should either improve the dungeon or just scrap it altogether.

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