[Gaming Links] What everyone says about everything!

Back in the day we used to walk uphill both ways to raids in the snow AND we enjoyed it!

Syncaine claims that his guild wiped over 400 times in AQ40 in Vanilla WoW, and he enjoyed every minute of it, dammit!

I’m in the happy situation (for the purposes of being able to make a point ;) ) of having also raided AQ40 and Naxx in a 40 man raid guild in vanilla and there were many many things I enjoyed about that style of gaming. But I don’t think we wiped that many times, and certainly not on any single boss, and here is the reason. We couldn’t extend the raid locks back then. Every raid reset every week. So there was an actual limit of how much time you could spend wiping on a single boss. And in AQ40 in particular, it took ages to run back after a wipe. Oh and trash respawned after a couple of hours (I think that was the respawn time).

Anyhow I don’t want to get hung up on number of wipes. One of the differences between Olde Worlde raiding and new fangled raiding was that we did expect to spend a few weeks on each new boss, that was our normal situation. And that would involve a lot of wipes and learning. It’s just that because of the raid locks, you would also be interspersing this with farm raids. So the time you spent in your raids was a mixture of hard, frustrating wipes, and chilling out on older content, plus taking longer to get back after a wipe was also time to chat.

I don’t think even the hardest core raider is going to enjoy 400 wipes BACK TO BACK, especially when each wipe comes from a single mistake or unlucky random event after 10 minutes of demanding fighting.  That’s maybe the key to endgame content.

Just one more quote from Syncaine:

And yes, at one point, between managing the guild, running raids, carrying ‘bads’, and main-tanking, it got a little much. But in all honesty, that was my fault.

If he were the only person who burned out for that reason then maybe it’s purely his fault. But a lot of people came out of vanilla WoW raiding and decided that it had been too much. I felt the same. Some of that comes down to the game.

Perhaps part of the definition of a newly hardcore hobbyist of any stripe is that they struggle to set boundaries on how much of their life they want to give over to the hobby. Maybe the experience of being a bit too hardcore for your own comfort is an important one for learning to set your own boundaries, I know it was for me.

(It’s the same reason as to why sometimes new graduates work crazy long hours and put up with awful conditions at work and then burn out where an older worker would not.)

That’s a good question!

Ratshag wonders why Blizzard always create the male models for new races first. What would be so bad about starting with the female model next time and using that as the baseline?

Azuriel opines that if MMOs are intended to be social games, it should be easier to find like minded players. Truth is, a lot of us fell into our current guilds or in-game social networks via a set of happy accidents. There might be a better way … why aren’t devs trying to find it instead of just going the solo route?

Oestrus asks why anyone thinks it’s a problem that WoW players could sell lion cub pets for in game gold? Who exactly is hurt by this?

Fulguralis asks whether readers are planning on taking Blizzard up on their annual pass.

Let me know what you think… not about why they’re doing this, but rather, if taken on face value, who this is for.  Who will it sway?  Who will it remain unmoved?

Food for thought

Wasdstomp is having a great time with Dragon Nest and wonders if other game companies are taking notes. Anyone else playing that?

Cassandri of HoTs and DoTs reflects on her experience of running instances in normal and heroic mode as a new 85.

I’m tired of feeling like I’m not good enough, or somehow am the weakest part of the team, somehow dragging down the run into something slow or hopeless or pathetic. I hate feeling as though I need to be carried. Feeling as though I am being carried.

OK, so the press embargo on SWTOR beta testers is now gone. Ask a Jedi has a great set of links from around the net with some feedback. But why exactly does the press embargo have to drop before the player embargo? I’m tired of hearing that players won’t be neutral – that’s why I want to read their accounts!

Dusty Monk writes a comprehensive review of the F2P version of City of Heroes, particularly aimed at people who played in the past and are considering coming back. (I think given that it’s free, you might as well give it a shot and decide for yourself). Silverspar has been playing City of Heroes, and isn’t happy with the amount of content offered to the hero faction as opposed to the villain one.

Alas writes offers some feedback on what she(?) feels is missing in Blizzard’s current approach to raids, based on what went well in the past. As a commenter notes, this could be an example of how it’s just not possible to please all of the people all of the time. But the example of Karazhan is still a compelling one, and Alas isn’t the only person who would offer that as an example of raiding done right.

Dungeon Crawl recently removed mountain dwarves from their list of playable species. Naturally, this sparked a long and controversial comment thread.

Ask a Jedi (and yes, they get two links this time around!) wonders if being part of a guild in a MMO can teach players something useful about getting involved with their communities and local politics in real life.

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10 thoughts on “[Gaming Links] What everyone says about everything!

  1. I agree with your analysis on raiding. Problem seems to be that Blizzard streamlined raiding (no trash, extended locks) to a point where it just becomes boring. Forced diversion is still diversion and better than playing through phase 1 300+ times.

  2. I still maintain that the crotchety old man routine syncaine is running is comparing apples to oranges. There’s a huge difference in wiping 400 times in a 9 boss instance, including some of the most heinous trash out there, and wiping 400 times on a single boss. It’s not just a matter of diversion, it’s a more substantial feeling of progress. I can’t imagine wiping 400 times on a boss. My guild wiped over 200 times on Mimiron HM, and that was at about the limits of what I could see being fun. It was awesome, but another couple nights of that probably would have broken our will to live. Going twice that would be just insane.

  3. The things I don’t miss about old raids were A. Trying to maintain a roster of that size, and B. Farming the consumables needed for some of the later fights. Otherwise, I preferred it much more. Having done it then, done it in the middle and done it now, I feel like I can say-yes, I preferred the old style raids. I preferred how it was about getting everyone to work together, but the bosses were simpler, without 20000 abilities, which they didn’t need, IMO.

    I dunno what it was that frustrates me more with wiping these days than it did wiping in the old days. It may well be the sorta…bar that was set? I mean, when you had a boss like Vael, you *knew* your ass was going to be wiping on him. A lot. Now, he actually killed guilds back in the day-but many a group did get through BWL after some big tenacity. You KNEW you’d be wiping on Neffy awhile.

    However, nowadays, when you hear about a laid-back raid group clearing a boss within the first hour that they try it, you wonder ”alright, what’s going wrong.” And then you start seeing who’se getting hit by what. And it starts causing general crankiness. Sure, that happened then too-”Okay, what rogue stood too close on Vael and chaincleaved, what caster bombed the raid”. Maybe because it was new in those days? Maybe because we didn’t have all the knowledge as we do now(a dungeon journal, etc), we expected things to take awhile. Nowadays, you have SOME fights-your HC Raggys, for example-that you know damn well if you get to him you’re going to get your ass kicked awhile. But those fights are few and far between.

    It almost seems like-because raiding was made more accessible, when you do wipe, you start looking for weak links and stuff *right away*. In those days, it wasn’t uncommon to wipe in the first 20 seconds of a fight….for a good several tries. Nowadays if that happens, ”Who didn’t read the dungeon journal? Who got hit by ability number 97? Then we got some people still working on avoiding abilities 55 and 57. Whoops, someone go offspec healer, we need to stand up and heal this AoE soft enrage timer that’s never been used.” ;p (Yes, I also think, even though the bosses in those days had less abilities, they had more variety in some ways. Not all the ways, but some.)

    It may be that I’m just burned out on the current raiding philosphy. Still, I paid my year and level my monk(with his name already reserved) and have some fun with him-I’ll give the new expac a chance to bring the love of the raid back to me.

  4. I think the really huge difference between raiding then and now is that it’s moved away from the time sink model and with it, changed the defenition of hardcore to ‘being good at videogames’. You’re no longer rewarded for being willing to spend four hours before a raid farming buffs and raiding six nights a week, which to someone who mainly played under that model is going to look like a major shift away to a less ‘elite’ model.

    Personally? I don’t exactly miss guilds having to buy gold to make real progress on Naxx 40 because there weren’t enough hours in the week to farm up all the crap you needed and that they had intentionally balanced the fights around having.

  5. The whole shift toward ‘being good at videogames’ may be a change that people have stopped liking(and with Blizzard probably down around 1.2 million subs this year, *something* happened.). I mean I personally like action games. I play a lot of them. My personal game of the year from 2010 was Darksiders. I love lots of genres-RPG, Action, Adventure, Sim, lots. I just like good games.

    MMOs are ‘actiony.’ That’s true-they aren’t a turn-based JRPG. However, I do feel that raiding really has hit this point-it’s almost like I could picture some of these bosses actually appearing in a Devil may Cry game, for example. Alysrazor comes to mind-I can picture like, in a DMC game-uh oh, the boss sends waves of mooks after you! Get them down, jump on some platforms(flying), and beat the boss down to X percent, when it gives you its Tornado phase, where you dodge stuff, and so on.

    For some players, this is sort of an ‘Unexpected Genre Change’. I actually feel that WoW isn’t as well built for this as an MMO that’s actually been specifically built for it(The upcoming Tera comes to mind.) And as some people know when their RPG suddenly becomes, say, a rail shooter in the middle, it can throw players off, and not always in a positive way.

    The upcoming Monk class shows this as well. That’s going to be a very action-oriented class. Oh, I’ll be playing one-I love monks-but I admit it may well take me time to get used to it. (At least it’ll be a *new class* in WoW-land, rather than, say, taking a rogue, removing its autoattack and running with that.) However, I just feel like the whole ‘genre change’ to actiony raid bosses has somehow lost me a bit, despite liking action games.

    My opinion, of course. :)

    • I think it has a lot to do with Blizzard reacting to the metrics why people are quitting and I suspect a lot of quitting message during wrath boiled down to ‘Catering to the casuals’ and ‘heroics too easy’ and ‘I didn’t like The Argent Tournament’ which is actually a really huge deal on reflection because that, more than Naxx, was the raid that made the game accessible.

      But People Lie.

      But really, the biggest issue is that after the new model? And if we can’t go back to the terrible life destroying Time Sink Model or Progression Raiding Model, because no one will actually play that, then the old boss model is a bit sad, if we’re going to be honest about it. There’s no way they can make them hard again because that ship has sailed.

    • I don’t think the new “dance” fad is anything actually new. The only new mechanic I saw in firelands was having control of phase changes on Domo, and even that, for the rank and file raider, boils down to spreading out and splitting up when told to do so. Hell, the term “dance”, when applied to raiding date’s all the way back to Vanilla wow.

      • The problem with the increased complexity of the dance is that people can make only a limited number of decisions per second, and in addition to the “do I move out of X?” decisions, the changes to rotations have forced additional decisions onto the players. It’s not just mindlessly pressing one button; you have to watch for and react to procs.

        The interactions of these two changes has made PvE content much harder for many people.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_refractory_period

  6. There comes a point in a game where most of the mechanics, via raids, have been rehashed, reworked, and revisited, and to that point new directions are needed. Perhaps “they” have just run out of ideas?

  7. Hi Spinks,

    I’m terribly sorry for the delay. I didn’t see the pingback to this on my site. Thank you very much for the link love! Please enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    :)

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