Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Counter-rant: Not all hardcore raiders are a$$holes, you know.

Jacemora wrote a piece on being tired of the term "casual", and on being tired of hearing hardcore raiders complain that the current content is too easy.



Personally, I am tired of people lumping all of the "hardcore raiders" into a group that is apparently a bunch of egotistical jerks who care only about themselves - and, according to commenter ARA - are uneducated cretins who speak only "pigswill". Sweeping generalisations work both ways.

When I state that I think the game is getting too easy, it is not because I am an egotistical hardcore raider rambling incoherently about big bad Blizzard taking away the hard stuff of the "good old days" and handing out boss kills like candy. It is because I genuinely believe that some changes are unwarranted and make the game feel less and less engaging.

I don't take it to the extreme of the beta players complaining that mounts at level 20 "cheapen" what they worked so hard for in vanilla WoW. I earned the gold for my first epic mount by selling a few crafted items per week for 2 or 3 gold. I worked for it. But I don't cry that giving mounts to level 20 players for 5 gold is a horrible change. I think it will help make the game a lot more enjoyable for many people, and it doesn't take away from my game experience.

But the current raiding content leaves a lot to be desired for the serious raider, and I'm sorry, but having that opinion that does not make me an egotistical, swill-spouting, burger-flipping retard.


New Naxx and entry level content

Naxx was far, far too easy. Anyone who says it wasn't is a fool. It was made easy because very few people got to experience it originally; so it was toned down (a little too much) and branded as "entry level raiding" so that everyone had a chance to experience raiding if they wanted.

The problem is that for the serious raiders, Naxx was ridiculously easy and horribly boring. It was cleared in the first night or two, and very quickly became a 3hr or less instance. My guild started doing 3 hour clears the second raid reset. In greens. lolwut? And this is not me blowing my guild's trumpet - before people start up with the egotistical crap - it is a fact that guilds could go in wearing Northrend greens and blues and leftover T6 and clear the entire raid in a single night. The alarm bells went off immediately. We were concerned for the future of competitive raiding.

BUT, remember, it was meant to be entry level raiding - and Blizzard assured us that Ulduar would be much harder. Phew.

But it isn't. It's harder than Naxx, but it's not hard. Sure you probably can't grab 24 random people and go clear it, but there are plenty of casual guilds progressing through quite quickly. I see guilds that would probably never have cleared BT clearing up to Vezax and working on Yogg. That's great for those guilds, but for the serious raiders, it really cheapens the game because there's no longer that true feeling of accomplishment if people can go in and zerg it.

And despite it being quite easy, they continue to nerf it because they want everyone to be able to "experience" the content. That's a noble cause, and I know that if I could only raid once a week (as I used to) I would want to be able to see all of those bosses (over time). I don't want to take that away from people who have tight schedules and can't raid 5 nights a week. But when you can walk into an instance and clear all but the last couple of bosses in one reset, something is wrong.

Of course, Blizzard's counter to this complaint is the various hard modes - set in place to keep the "hardcore" raiders happy. Normal modes allow everyone to experience the content, hard modes give more of a challenge to the "serious" raiders. This is another noble cause, and I really can't fault them on that. They're trying to keep both sides of the player base happy.

As a hardcore raider though, I have lost most of my interest in hard mode fights because I do see them as the same old content with an extra gimmick or two thrown in to keep us occupied for a little longer. Of course they're challenging (in before "but you haven't done hardmodes so you can't talk!"), but it's still the same boss, just made more annoying.


"This is too easy for us" is not the same as "Your casual 10 man guild sucks ass."

I know that sometimes it can sting when you see hardcore raiders whine that the content is too easy and that Blizzard is catering to casuals. I know this because I have gone from casual raider to hardcore raider and then back to casual again (well, I'm not hardcore at the moment). And you'd better believe it makes me feel like a second class citizen at times, when I see people knocking others down because their armory doesn't show any hard mode achievements. I hate it.

In terms of my blogging, it often makes me feel like some kind of imposter, trying to be some kind of authority on my class when I haven't even done any hard modes.. for shame. I know some people will know the feeling I am talking about.

I have the advantage of knowing how it feels to be casual AND hardcore. I have played in guilds where I knew the frustration of only being able to raid once a week, but still wanting to progress. And I've been in hardcore guilds raiding 20+ hours per week. It's difficult because I'm not one of the people who think raids should ONLYbe for serious raiders. I'm NOT saying that "casual" players shouldn't get to do these bosses. We all want to enjoy the game. But the fact is, for serious, vanilla-bred raiders, this stuff IS too easy, and hardmodes are just gimmicks. We want something that we can really sink our teeth into.

That's not "a load". It's a fact. The current content is too easy for hardcore raiders. The hard modes (from what I understand) are meant to fill the void, but for me, personally, I see them as a stop-gap measure to keep the serious raiders happy until the next content patch.

This is really driven home when Blizzard keeps nerfing the base content in ways that are totally unnecessary. Why nerf Hodir's flash freeze on Yogg? Cancelaura macros are NOT HARD. If you were standing that close to a cloud in the first place, then you fail. Hardcore or casual, organised or PUG, learn to not stand near Bad Stuff(TM). Blizzard shouldn't need to nerf something so fundamental. Make it more obvious (like the colour change to voids on Sartharion) but don't give everyone training wheels.

It is this type of nerf that makes the hardcore raiders angry - the unnecessary nerfs to fundamental aspects of fights that simply do not need to be changed. It trivialises the fight even further.


Trivial base content is disheartening for serious raiders.

This is the crux.

If they continue to nerf the encounters such that every man and his dog can clear Ulduar, especially with silly, wholly unnecessary nerfs that even the puggiest pug should not have issues with, then more and more raiders will continue to bleed from the game because they see the content as trivial. Many casual raiders will probably say "good riddance", but the fact is that hardcore raiders enjoy this game too, and are disheartened by what they see as "dumbing down" of the raiding that they have enjoyed over time.

For a lot of people, this is not about whining, or a holier-than-thou attitude. It's about perceived loss of a challenge that they have enjoyed over the course of years. I think that many hardcore raiders have extrapolated what they've seen so far in WotLK and it's not looking good. To them, their game - raiding - is becoming trivial and disappointing. That's not whining. It's not insulting casuals. That's how it feels. The challenge is no longer there if everyone can do the instances and there's no longer any exclusivity, no longer any feelings of awe when you look up to the guilds clearing the top content.

When Ensidia cleared Naxx in the first night, I wasn't impressed. I was disappointed. In fact, I kinda pitied them. They had finished the game with months to wait for new content. Yuck.

And that's pretty much how I feel now. Guilds that I used to really look up to.. they don't impress me anymore. They're still skilled players - that hasn't changed - but there's nothing to set them apart.

I have to be honest, not even the Algalon kills impressed me :/ No, I haven't seen him, obviously - and I'm positive he would kick my butt - but after a mostly underwhelming boss experience in Ulduar, there's just no sense of achievement. Not because I think I'm amazing or my guild was amazing, but that it just wasn't that hard. No Kael, no Archimonde.

Hard modes to the rescue, rite? Although I haven't experienced them myself, I can see how quickly the raiding guilds are clearing the hard modes and that in itself is quite disappointing. It won't keep them busy for long.

Giving everyone a chance to see the content is great. I don't want to take that away from casual players, because I have personal experience with the frustration of not being able to raid "hardcore". But making the encounters more like expanded 5 mans is a real drag. Sunwell was something to aspire to. Ulduar, while a gorgeous instance that I do love, seems like another round of Naxx - just going through the motions with everyone else, and no real sense of achievement when you come out the other side - because everyone else is there with you.


Hardcore raiders want something they can't really have.

Well, they could have it, but it would be very unfair to a lot of people, so it probably won't happen.

The hard modes are great in theory. 3 drakes, time trials, Ulduar hard modes. But aside from Algalon, all of these are the same bosses, just with extra things to deal with. Zzz. I am going to go out on a limb and say that most hardcore raiders don't want hard modes of existing content - they want content that only they will get to see, being truly skilled and dedicated players - a la old Naxx and Sunwell. Unfortunately:

A) way too many people missed out on experiencing Naxx and Sunwell so that will probably never happen again; and
B) oftentimes skill is not the barrier - rather, time available to raid.

The problem for casual players in TBC was that you had to spend months farming BT in order to get anywhere in Sunwell. Casual players simply didn't have the time to be able to clear BT for gear, AND get any time in Sunwell. They might have been the most skilled players on the planet, but working nights or having 3 kids meant never getting to set foot inside Sunwell.

Sunwell (and old Naxx etc) definitely gave hardcore raiders a trophy instance. We could brag about being "a Naxx guild" or "a Sunwell guild". I remember going into BGs and having random people comment on my gear. It really gave you that sense of achieving something above and beyond what everyone else could do.

But giving the minority a special instance (which is in essence what happened with Naxx and Sunwell because so few guilds were able to experience them) makes a LOT of people unhappy, and that makes very obvious bad business sense.


If there's a solution, I ain't got it.

Frankly, I don't think you can give the hardcore raiders a trophy AND keep the casual raiders happy. I simply don't think it can be done. If you gave the serious raiders an instance with all hardmode fights (much like Sunwell was), the people who raid more casually will be upset because they aren't getting a fair chance to do the content. And hard modes, while good in theory, are really just the same old stuff but made to have you bash your head against the wall for an extra week or two.

I feel that they were on the right track with hardmodes.. but didn't quite hit the mark.

Maybe more Algalon type bosses that open up once you've achieved certain things? I'm not sure. I'm just not a big fan (you may have noticed) of tacking on extra "challenges" onto the same boss fights. It might be challenging, but to me.. not terribly interesting in the long term.

I don't know what can be done to keep both sides happy.


TLDR: Not all "hardcore" raiders think "casual" raiders are scrubs.

I am not raiding hardcore at the moment. I may return to it; I'm not sure. But for the time being I won't be on the pointy end of progression, where I like to be.

I know how it feels when you're not a hardcore raider, when you feel like everyone is looking down their noses at you. Especially with the advent of the Armory, so people can bring up your page and then scoff at you for trying to comment on hard mode encounters that you don't have experience in, like you don't have the right to comment on matters that you have no place speaking about.

It sucks!

There are definitely people out there who think their raiding achievements make them a better person than you. But a lot of us just want more of a challenge (and not rehashed content!). Saying that the current content is easy and asking for something more challenging is not an insult directed at you because you haven't been able to kill Boss X yet, for whatever reason. Progressing at a different rate does not make you bad. When I say current content is too easy, I'm not saying "anyone who can't clear Boss X r bads lol". I'm simply stating a fact - that the current raid content is easily cleared by the hardcore (read: usually people with more raiding hours per week) players, and we would like something more challenging to sustain us.

But it is wholly unfair and insulting to lump all hardcore raiders into a giant bucket of no-life, self-righteous morons who think casual players are unskilled peasants and don't deserve to share the same content as they do.

We just want to enjoy the game as you do - at our own pace.



63 comments:

bobturkey said...

Ulduar is harder than Naxx. I hope it stays that way. I hope they stop nerfing Ulduar. I hope Ice Crown or whatever the next release is even harder than Ulduar.

I guess i'm hoping that Blizzard end up with a series of raiding instances which are each harder than the previous. I think as long as there are instances where casuals (of which im one) can raid, weather it be Naxx or Ulduar, then most casuals won't mind if Blizzard start bringing out harder and harder raid instances.

Naxx was hard for some. My guild raided in Naxx right uptil 3.1 and never quit cleared it in 25s. Just because some players found it laughably easy, doesn't mean everyone did. There are plenty of players raiding one night a week or a fortnight who are still enjoying raiding Naxx.

I think any expectation by players that Blizzard's first raid instance at 80 would be as hard as Sunwell or even BT apparently was was probably foolish. However I think an expecation that now that the majority of the player base have raid instances to keep them entertained that the more hardcore raiders should (I hope) start seeing instances which challenge them also.

Gobble gobble.

Keeva said...

Now that I've "rerolled" Alliance, I'll be enjoying Naxx again soon, and hopefully working my way back through Ulduar, most likely in a semi-casual setting.

I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to being undergeared again, as strange as that sounds :)

It's hard for me. I've been on both sides of the coin. I love that more people are getting a chance to see these cool fights. But I feel for the raiders who cleared the place and now only have the hard mode gimmicks to keep them going until the next lot of content.

Blizzard can't really be expected to churn out new content every month (or sooner for some guilds) because a minority is blazing through. But I don't think a lot of people realise that a lot of the raiders aren't being all "we're better than you because we finished the game". They're just keen to move onto the next challenge because that's what they play the game for - competitive raiding.

So hard to balance everything for everyone.

And I feel for the casuals or 10 man raiders who do often feel like lesser players because they're not up there racing through 25 mans in the first two weeks of release. I have a lot of internal conflict regarding this because I personally see 25 man raiding as the pinnacle of raiding, and 10 man or casual raiding for me personally is a little like settling for second best. But I don't want that to spill over into people thinking that I consider 10 man/casual raiders to be second best people! It's just how I feel in relation to the content.

Both sides have their own problems. Both feel hard done by, I think.

Boize said...

If you're going to try and please everyone, there's always going to be a lesser portion who are unsatisfied.

At this stage, "hardcore raiders" are the majority of the lesser portion.

--
And also Keeva, 10man raids does not automatically constitute "casual". I know a couple of guilds who could be considered "hardcore", and yet they decide to only do 10-man content, because they prefer the comradery involved with it. While 10-mans may be percieved as "easy", pushing hardmode content in 10-man Ulduar is still hardly considered "casual".

Keeva said...

I'd like to go on record stating that I never said 10 man = casual :)

Many casual players choose to join 10 man guilds because it is easier to find 9 other people with crazy schedules or shift work or what have you, than it is to find 24. So I believe there are many more casual 10 man guilds than casual 25 man guilds. But there are also hardcore 10 man guilds out there.

I have never said that 10 man = casual.

---

The term "casual" has evolved over time, particularly now that we have 10 and 25 man split instances. I try to write it as "casual" to remind people that the term is not clearly defined, and not to get their knickers in a twist over it.

Casual is not a derogatory term, but I think many people make it one.




Casual means different things to different people. To me, it means "not raiding 3-4+ times per week and/or determined to steamroll progression". It may not mean the same to others. For me, "casual" basically means "not hardcore", and hardcore means raiding 3-4+ times per week for 3-4hrs+. If a 10 man guild is raiding 3-4+ nights a week, to me that's not casual, that's hardcore 10 man. Casual doesn't just refer to "smaller than 25 man".

Also, you can have a hardcore attitude but be stuck in a casual schedule. I've been there. Only being able to raid a night or two still falls under my definition of "casual", but the execution of those raid nights might be really pro, focused, driven. That's still "casual raiding" to me because of the reduced times, but not necessarily reduced skill or drive! Then again, some guilds may only raid 2 nights a week but brand themselves as hardcore raiders. It doesn't fit my personal definition of hardcore, but it would fit their own. Who is to say what is hardcore and what is casual?

For me, when I talk about casual vs hardcore, casual is either reduced hours/nights, OR less interest in progression and more focus on the social aspect of raiding (or both). Neither of these play choices are a bad thing, but I often find that casual players get their hackles up when people say "casual raiders" because they hear "not as good as hardcore raiders".

I know plenty of very skilled people who only play on a casual schedule. I know that casual does NOT necessarily mean "not good enough to get into a real raiding guild". But still many people use or interpret the word casual as a negative thing.

Honestly, I would prefer to raid 10mans, as I have always loved that size group, ever since I first did a 10 man Stratholme. But part of me still sees 25 man as the pinnacle. That doesn't mean I look down upon 10 man raiders as lesser players - it just means that for me, 25man raiding is the top tier of PvE content. Part of me wants to just do close-knit, much more relaxed and fun 10 mans, they're awesome.. but the other part of me says "but it's not quite 25s."

Who knows what I will end up doing in future, now that I have had a taste of hardcore 25s.

---

Inevitably, the term "casual" WILL offend some people because they interpret it as "not as good as hardcore", which is not at all how it is meant. I can only use the term in the way I interpret it - raiders who do not raid as many hours or with the same level of drive as others (which is not a negative thing). If someone gets their panties in a bunch because they interpret it as "not as good as 25man hardcore raiders", then that's their prerogative.

Erinys said...

I really think that a lot of the problems with Naxx was the fact that it existed before hand. Most guilds had at least one person who had set foot in there before WotLK. People knew the boss fights, strategies etc and could plan ahead. Of course something is easy when you have seen it all before.

As for Ulduar, we already do an alt/PuG raid on saturdays which is up to 10/14 in one night with a bunch of people in totally dodgy gear. Which reinforces the point about Naxx, the alts can do Ulduar just fine because they have already done it before. Content once learnt is always simple.

I raid because I enjoy the challenge and I must admit that with every nerf, I kinda lose some enthusiasm. Now thats not because it bothers me that someone else is getting to kill something I already have, but because every nerf makes it more and boring.

I liked the "good old days" when you charted your progress in boss kills as opposed to going to 13/14 in less than two resets. When it took weeks if not months to reach the end boss. I miss the 1 percent wipes and the feeling of actually accomplishing something.

I'm not sure about time to raid being an issue. There are plenty of guilds who A. raid late i.e. staring at 22.00 or similar B. don't expect you to show up every night C. Only raid for X number of nights a week. For example we only raid for 16 hours a week and are working on the hardmodes. We have plenty of professionals in our ranks as well as the usual students and not everyone raids for the full 16 hours a week. Regardless of how much time you have, there are options. Our Ulduar PuG for example is available to pretty much anyone. Here is the link to our post on the realm forums as proof of that :P(http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=9520943286&sid=1).

My solution? Well personally I don't see why there can't be content to strive for. There shouldn't be a sense of entitlement just because you can't raid X number of nights a week. I don't particularly enjoy arenas so gladiator is pretty much out of my reach ever, but I accept that. I don't want to be given arena rewards when I don't participate in the arena system. I made a choice based on what I want to do in game and if I couldn't raid for 16 hours a week, I wouldn't be complaining about Ulduar's level of difficulty either.

We get out of life what we put into it.

In short, I don't want hard content because I'm an elitist jerk (which I'm not most of the time), but because I want to be taxed when raiding. I don't want to be on auto pilot as we aoe our way through stuff that was meant to be difficult and thats why these nerfs really annoy me. Stack dps, make your healers go dps and just nuke the living daylights of everything... who needs tactics.

Keeva said...

"Back in the day" I used to do a MC pug every week on a Saturday morning (Friday night server time). I loved it.

I think I'd like to do more pug type raids this time around - I actually enjoy it quite a lot. Praise from guildmates is always welcome, but praise from a stranger is even sweeter!

Johan said...

I'm playing WoW in a 25-man casual guild and really enjoying my experience. I started playing after TBC was released and when i hit 70 there was no way for a casual player to catch up to do some of the more difficult content. Which made me quit playing, thus Blizz lost my monthly fee and I think that's where the problem is.

In fact hardcore raiders only make up a few percents of the game's population. It hurts Blizz way more to lose loads of casual players than a few hardcore raiders, since everyone pays the same fee. You could ofcourse argue that this is a bad strategy in the long haul watering up the game.

If you now you're gonna see Ulduar as a walk in the park why not do it in hard mode from the beginning? Skip the normal content. I.e when i buy a new video game it immidatelly gets set to hard/nightmare/whatever since i know I'll find the normal mode to easy.

So I think hard modes in WoW is a great solution for people who want more challegening content. They are just not using it right.

Erinys said...

My biggest issue actually with the hard modes is the fact that they all encourage stacking dps over anything else. I think 5 healers is pretty much the highest number we currently raid with, which forces people who would rather be healing into dpsing if they want to raid.

Kayeri said...

It IS a hard call... I wasnt max-leveled in time for Vanilla, but I remember when we tried to transition from Outland heroics into Kara... that was HELL! Yes, we were probably undergeared, blues, crafted epics and 1-2 heroics epics) and we had a horrible time getting to Attumen before the trash respawned!

That was beating your head on a rock, honestly... but when we beat him, it was awesome. :) But it was SO very difficult, I'd say that one was TOO much of a step up. Now I say that from the perspective of being brand new to raiding at that point, too, which may influence my perception.

Then we level, get to Northrend, work up to level 200 blues, which are honestly just as good, if not better than the early epics, and ... huh? Naxx is a much lower step up from the heroics into the raid than Kara was. We blew through quite a bit that first night...

Ulduar is another step up, but not such a large one as Kara was, either. Now my guild, being smaller, does tend to do the 10-25 stairstep as we master 10-man content and decide to step it up. That probably eases the transition.

So if raiders want the same step up that Outland heroics to Kara was, I would vote NO because of the hell I went through trying to make that step... and we failed, honestly... the guild fell apart, and that's when we moved where we are now, and they had a good chunk of Kara on farm already at the time.

But something in between the Kara step and the LK Naxx step is entirely possible.

Now I love raiding, I WORK to raid, I think as much as any hardcore type, I farm mats and gold for the flasks, food, reagents, etc, that I need, I study strats, watch videos, do everything a hardcore type does. "Casual" and "Hardcore" are not so different as they might pretend... Hardcore just does it a lot more, and thus gets through stuff faster.

and my one wish would be that the Ulduar-10 gear would be a bit more more of a step up from the Naxx-25 than it is... it is such a slight improvement, its kind of a disappointment. :)

Darksend said...

< egotistical hardcore jackass

But here is the thing. I was not always. When 2.0 came out I played my alt warrior in a friends guild that had not yet killed Domo. (my priest main was in a naxx guild that disbanded) and a lot of those players where really awful.

Heres the thing I am still friends with a lot of them. They know I think they suck they thing I am a no life egotistical jackass but that is the basis of our friendship and we ignore that because back in the day we had fun playing together progressing through MC. By the time the dark portal opened we went from domo to nef and fankris in 3 weeks. And a lot of people told me that it was only because I was a hardcore raider before and come in to lead raids that they enjoyed it so much even though we only raided 3 times a week.

Darren Bell said...

I kind of take a different perspective on bosses being 'too easy' at the moment.

The way I see it classes evolved so much between BC and Wrath that our 'box of tools' now makes raiders powerful like they never have been before. Designing a boss that is challenging when players have such powerful abilities really requires Blizzard to come up with creative solutions or tune bosses like we didn't see till Sunwell. Creative solutions mean Vezax or a complex boss like Yogg or Freya +3 where many things are happening at once and each player needs to be on top of things. Tuning being the case with something like Firefighter where the boss will take a shit on you for 10 minutes and then enrage if you aren't playing perfectly.

I mean all the healing classes changed so much in just what they are capable of doing it's crazy. I think that when players are able to deal with so many different circumstances the line of how to tune a boss becomes blurry. And the boss either becomes too easy or basically curb stomps the player.

From what I hear the hard modes truly stretch characters as far as their class can go, and I imagine that is very satisfying.

Not gonna lie though, I was there for the server first kill of KJ on my shaman and now I heal as a druid in a casual guild. If healers had the tools we have now then Sunwell would have still been somewhat of a challenge (at 80 I have wiped to people getting MCed). But meh. Healing twins was hard cause the damage was bursty. Tidal Waves and a strong LHW? GG Shamans heal burst better than anyone now.

When we think of difficult bosses back in the day ask yourself, if I had Wild Growth, 18 second Rejuvs, 9 second LBs, a strong direct heal and raid wide replenishment . . . would that fight have been totally different in every way?

I think back to the bosses some guilds got stuck on forever trying to do T5 and they were the same simple mechanics as ever. Boss turns into demon, boss drops aggro, boss tanked by warlock, boss turns back into human, boss whirlwinds get out!

You mentioned things like Yogg spawning adds if you are frozen by Hodir in a cloud. I feel like alot of old raiding was filled with those nuances that made bosses 'hard'. But as you said that shouldn't be a difficult mechanic to deal with. Not gonna lie though, when beating a boss comes down to all the raid knowing the little tricks I think that is totally lame. Bosses should be based on knowing the abilities and strategy of the boss fight and playing your class well.

The second my druid hit 80 I could pretty much heal Naxx, and probably get pretty dang far into Ulduar with some other good people. I think it has equal amount to do with content tuning as it does to the fact that classes and healing tools are just very powerful.

When people talk about Vanilla I don't think 'man how awesome impossible bosses must have been!' I kind of throw up a little bit.

To me those bosses we'rent hard because of strats, they were hard because gear sucked, itimization sucked, mana sucked, their were a million nuances and classes only had a couple tools to use each.

Yep, all those things made bosses back then very challenging to overcome. But who wants to overcome those things? Bosses used to be hard because players were gimp. Well now players are powerful, what do challenging bosses look like now?

After meandering on I guess what I'm saying is bosses aren't any easier then they have ever been. All our bells and whistles and tools to deal with damage and aggro make them much more controllable.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a blogger account, but I am a fairly regular reader of Treebarkjacket.com -- I simply have never felt a need to comment before. I appreciate your series of postings on Grid configuration, add-ons, UIs, btw -- these are the most useful posts available anywhere on the Web for healers, imo.

Now, in terms of the post at hand...

I respectively disagree with several of your assertions. First, I have only read about, but have never come across anyone who truly cares about "competitive raiding." A server first, progression comparisons, or having better gear than others is only an indication of the time you spend compiling PvE gear and emblems, rather than personal technical skill or knowledge of the class or game. So-called hardcore raiders may think their guilds are looked at "with awe" as they clear the "top content," but guess what... No one is watching, and no one cares outside of the immediate community you are "competing" with. Honestly, if you want to compete with other real life players and not just the content, maybe PvP and Arena-PvP would be better suited to this competitive drive?

In terms of making content accessible only to those with the best gear in every slot and the right classes/specs/buffs for each fight... WOW is a videogame -- the content should be accessible by all up until the end so people can complete their experience of the WOTLK storyline. If hard modes seem "gimmicky" (and what really makes fights "hard," after all, are just the gimmicks) and raiding is boring and passe, maybe it's time to shelve WOW and try playing a new videogame? If not, there are different classes and quests to experience, PvP, professions, rep, etc.

Raiding is, after all, really just going into an instanced dungeon with more than five people in your party. Nothing more, nothing less.

-Mike

Thales said...

I think the fact that Naxx was so terribly easy really down-graded the abilities of a lot of people. I was in a previous guild that did extremely well in Naxx and seriously struggled when it came to 25 Ulduar content. I think people that really never got the experience to raid "hardcore" pre-WotLK finally got their chance in Naxx, and when Ulduar time came, people had built up a lot of bad habits.

I think a classic example is that DPS simply didn't have to think about fights. You could stand in AoE damage, and it wouldn't matter because healers could heal through it fine. Heck, just before the Ulduar patch came out, I cleared an entire wing casting nothing but Wild Growth out of sheer boredom, and for funzies.

Now that Ulduar is harder in a lot of ways (by how much I suppose is always up for debate) people that have developed these bad habits are struggling to down bosses and they are crying out for a safety net.

Sadly, Blizzard is giving it to them because like any other company, they are driven by cash, and you can't have long-time users just up and quit due to content that they can't handle.

Boize said...

Heh, my mistake in my interpretation earlier. I read "and 10 man or casual raiding for me personally is a little like settling for second best.", as "and 10 man (i.e. casual) raiding", rather than "10 man OR casual raiding".

But yes, 25-man raids -are- usually considered the pinnacle of raiding, save a few examples. That doesn't take anything away from those 10-man "hardcore" raiders though - no more than if someone was to be a "hardcore battleground PvPer" (if such a thing does exist) rather than being a "hardcore arena PvPer".

Bleh, so many quotation marks. Lol.

Darren Bell said...

In all honestly I have never once heard a single person on a forum or in WoW or IRL that complains about how hard Ulduar is.

"Those people out there that QQ to blizzard because content is to hard."

Every single place I read I hear people saying just the opposite. Everywhere.

And the one thing every single one of these players say is "ZOMG the baddies are QQing to blizzard so they nerfed content."

Where are these people crying to blizzard? I don't see them on any forums. I don't read about them on any blogs. I've never met one in the game.

The idea that their is a hidden community of bad players behind every decision Blizzard makes is so pervasive I don't know what to think anymore.

The baddies aren't against you!! In fact I don't think they care at all!! Most 'bad' players I know (ones that really are not super familiar with the ins and outs of their class) don't mind wiping for months on the first couple of bosses of Ulduar. In fact they think it's pretty damn cool.

It's true, blizzard is making Ulduar less 'detail-oriented' in order for more people to experience it for what it is. Like aura-canceling macros. That does not change the techinical nature or requirements of Yogg, it makes it so that people . . . just don't have to worry about keybinding one special key for that fight in order to not wipe their raid.

Is that keybind what seperates hard from easy?

I know I've harped on this one aspect quite a bit and I love your blog so I'm sorry it comes across as being a jerk ;-) But I keep thinking of what makes a fight hard and what makes one easy?

I really dislike fights that are gimmicky, or hard for reasons that are somewhat inconsequential to or incongruent to the larger picture or strategy.

To me almost no boss is hard once you understand what's going on and the truly hard ones are the ones that are 'tuned' very difficultly. That aoe damage can take away half your health, and 3 seconds later you get hit by another one that does the same. So if your healers aren't fast and dont have a plan your raid will die. Or Muru, which is a simple enrage timer . . . except the fact that the raid has to constantly be moving. Or spreading out and clumping up again and again, except if you do it at the wrong time your clump will kill everybody. Stressing raid cordenation is great, and can only be done if the raid is penalized if they don't do it just right. But it feels very much embedded in the strategy of the boss whereas some other things feel totally disconencted.

Things like 'mimirons rockets have a longer flight time.' Really a nerf? Either the player is gonna move or they aren't, I guess now you have a couple more seconds to yell at them on vent?

Nerf to me is 'Mimiron's damage has been cut in half so healers can not heal effectively in p2 and you'll still win!' It changes the dynamics of the encounter.

Eh, sorry for talking all over your blog

RaĆ­ne said...

Not only is Tree Bark Jacket a good read, the comments for the more "controversial" posts are awesome as well. Ahem...

I wouldn't define myself as a raider on the terms of "hardcore" or "casual". I am a chick who enjoys spending three nights a week, 3-4 hours on each of those nights in a ten man setting.

I know I'll never win one of those Val-whatever fragments, but that doesn't matter to me. What I will get on the other hand is a small group of highly dedicated individuals who enjoy spending a few hours every week downing bosses and learning the techniques to new fights as they come.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite part of your post:

"I remember going into BGs and having random people comment on my gear. It really gave you that sense of achieving something above and beyond what everyone else could do."

I think a lot of the hardcores are a little sour over the fact that they aren't easily identified as awesome by the gear they're wearing. They just don't really stand out anymore/no one cares anymore. I'm sure that's gotta hurt, when you're used to getting attention/whispers about how omgawesome you are because of your epics and then one day the whispers just stop because no one is impressed with your gear/guild progression cause everything is just "too easy". Ouch.

As a casual, I'm enjoying the game...I always have, but now I can get gear that actually looks cool while I'm doing it. Hardcores can QQ all they want, but they're still paying to play...they should probably try to find something in WoW that makes them happy or just walk away. The game has been around for what, five years now? Might be time to find a new hobby. :)

-JustAnotherCasual

Keeva said...

Johan: It was definitely very hard if you rerolled or hit 70 partway through TBC. Particularly before they removed attunements - trying to join a guild without attunements (and trying to recruit new people and get them attuned) was a real pain. I think they learned very quickly from that.

I like that 10 man raids are not necessarily the stepping stone to 25s, as it was with Kara > Gruul/Mag > everything else. This allows the 10 man guilds to forge their own identity rather than just appearing to be guilds that "aren't doing 25s yet". Entry level 25s, with its own level of gear to prepare you for the next tier, is great - there's no massive gear gap. No more situations like farming BT for weeks/months to be able to get past the first few bosses in Sunwell.

Regarding doing hard modes from the start - well, most guilds still consider the first full clear to count for something, so they will always do the normal modes first before working on the hard modes, so they can claim they have cleared the instance. I don't think very many competitive raiding guilds would go immediately into hard modes without first claiming a full clear.

-----

Erinys: I can't stand that yet again we have to whittle down the healer numbers. Most people would know that I had high hopes for Ulduar saving us from taking 4 healers to a raid - and I was quite disappointed. Even normal mode Ulduar usually only requires a handful. Forcing healers to sit on Yogg Saron is disappointing to say the least.

-----

Kayeri: I agree, they've done a better job at making the content "flow" in terms of gear and progression. But yes, I think Ulduar should have been a little bit more of a step up. That is, after all, what they promised - not another entry level instance. That's what Naxx is for - and plenty of people still run Naxx. It's not like trying to get a Mags run late in TBC when nobody cared anymore.

Heck, there are alts going into Ulduar now because everyone's alts run Naxx too :)

-----

Darksend: back in MC/BWL/AQ I was a hardcore raider stuck in a casual schedule. I'm Australian, but I was playing with friends on a US server, so I only ever got to go to one progression raid per week. Luckily druids were stacked back then in 40 mans for Rebirth and Innervate, so I always got a spot, but one night per week really wasn't enough for me.

Later, doing Kara etc, I had a lot of fun.. but still found that I was frustrated because I was stuck with a group of people that I loved to play with, but whose schedules and commitment just didn't fit what I wanted. I wanted progression, and we could barely pull a couple of raid nights together.

Being in Australia really limits your choices and raiding opportunities.

Keeva said...

Darren: yes, that is a good point - we do have a lot more up our sleeves these days. The hard modes DO stretch people to their limits, and that's great - but I feel that the normal modes at the moment are undertuned. Especially if you do take your point about our new arsenal into account.

I have to disagree with you about the Yogg nerf. If a raid wipes because people are touching clouds, that is the fault of the players. If players can't use a simple /cancelaura macro to get out of flash freeze, that's pretty poor.

You say that you don't like tricks - but it's not a gimmick or lame trick. It's as you said - knowing the abilities and strategy of the fight. Hodir sometimes freezes you. If you're near a cloud, you need to get out asap. Use a macro. And stop standing near the clouds in the first place!

The fact that they nerfed something SO EASY is what is so laughable. They're not nerfing the harder parts of the fight, they're nerfing a part that NOBODY should have any trouble on because they should be avoiding the clouds in the first place, or using a very simple (no, it's not a trick) macro to get out of it as a final resort.

Frankly, if you spawn an add because you were in a flash freeze, that is your fault. If a guild can't kill Yogg because of flash freezes, that's the fault of players in your guild. It's not a design problem, or a ridiculous gimmick, it's player error. It's a very, very, VERY simple concept - stay away from the clouds. The fact that they had to nerf that instead of players A) moving away from the clouds in the first place and B) having an emergency macro just in case .. it's just pathetic, for want of a better word.

We're not talking something that was nearly impossible, like pre-nerf Mother Shahraz. It's something that players can wholly avoid, easily, and if they don't, then THEY ARE BEING BAD and have absolutely NO excuse. It's like not getting out of the group when you are going to explode - if you can't read a raid warning and run 10 feet away, that is YOUR fault. Blizzard shouldn't nerf the damage because bad players can't run out.

Nerfing such ridiculously simple things is what makes the serious raiders mad and disappointed.

Disclaimer: none of the above is a statement that casual = bad players. Bad players = bad players.

Perhaps the complaint should not be that Blizzard is nerfing content for "casuals" but they are nerfing content for bad players! The word casual should not be synonymous with bad or underskilled. Maybe that's the problem; people are confusing things. I know that in my mind, the nerfs are making things easier for bad players. It's not catering to people who can only play for an hour or two here and there. It's dumbing things down for people who can't walk out of nasty stuff on the ground.

I do think that people should be relatively well geared (ie, Naxx gear) and know how to get out of fire to be able to clear Ulduar normal mode. If those two criteria aren't met, then (excuse me for saying this) but too damn bad - the content shouldn't have to be dumbed down to suit undergeared and underskilled players, or people who feel it is their right to "experience the content" without doing a little bit of work on gearing themselves up and getting some raiding experience under their belts.

I DO agree with Jacemora (the original poster) when he says that you can't walk into Ulduar with 24 strangers and clear the place. That is definitely a silly exaggeration. But the worry for competitive raiders is that the (almost weekly) nerfs are going to make it that way over the coming months, to the point where conquering Ulduar is really no achievement whatsoever.

Yes, we have our hard modes - but when the base content is so trivial - it is very disheartening.

Keeva said...

Mike: thank you for your kind words :) I wish I could help people more with Grid, but it's such a big thing, I wouldn't know where to start. I'm glad you liked them :)

However - I have to respectfully disagree with your respectful disagreement :P

I am afraid you are mistaken when you say that nobody cares about competitive raiders and do not admire them. The problem though is that the current content gives nothing to set the top players (be they the top through great skill or just lots of time on their hands - we all know that the line here blurs in some cases). Being a "Naxx guild" back in the day, or a Sunwell guild - that was a big deal. People did look up to you. They did fawn over your gear. It was impressive.

Perhaps you haven't seen it for yourself, but it is true.

Lately though, there really isn't much to set the top players/guilds apart. "Ulduar clearing guild" means very little now. Algalon, definitely.. but even the hard modes.. when I see someone pick up a hard mode weapon that I'd like, I'm jealous.. but it doesn't fill me with that sense of awe that I used to get when I saw someone walking around in full Tier 3 (or similarly, the sense of awe back in the old OLD days of PvP and seeing a Grand Marshall).

If you're not convinced, I would encourage you to check out Kungen's blog.

The TLDR version is that Kungen (the leader of Ensidia) went to Orgrimmar and random people kept opening trade with him and giving him gold and items. For no reason other than because of who he is and the guild he belongs to. He received THOUSANDS of gold - based purely on his status and the status of his guild.

I don't think anyone can ignore the fact that some people look up to Ensidia (I don't, personally), want to be them, want to be near them, or failing that, want to throw cash at them (the mind boggles).

People do look up to the top guilds. Unfortunately there is very little in the current content to set these guilds apart, anymore. Being a top raiding guild, or a raider in highest-tier gear used to be a big deal. I just don't think it's as obvious or visible anymore. I know that I certainly don't look to these guilds in awe anymore. I used to though.

Trust me, it did happen :)

Keeva said...

Thales: I've been flamed for what you said, but I have to agree. I think Naxx made many people lazy, and gave a lot of people a false sense of entitlement. Many want and easy ride, and when they don't get it, things are too hard.

MY SERVER #1 GUILD BROKE UP BECAUSE OF THIS. We were on track to be top 5 Oceanic, but Yogg presented people with a little more resistance than the rest of the instance, and because we couldn't down him in 1 night (or 3 nights), a bunch of people found it easier to LEAVE and go to other guilds who had already killed him. Yuck. Why rob yourself of the kill like that?

I believe it is because many people these days believe that content should be such that you should be able to kill a boss within a few tries (or at most, an hour or two of trying) and anything more than that is too hard.

Sadly I actually think it is a lot of the so-called "serious" raiders who think this way. Many of the casuals are happy to make slow and steady progress, but the serious raiders just want to breeze through. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to clear things the fastest - for many people that is the whole point - but expecting kills within a few tries, on brand new content, is bad. And I believe that if the content grants them those fast kills (as it did for my own guild) then it's quite underwhelming content.

I stand by my statements that instances should be tuned for moderately skilled people with decent gear - whether they have a schedule that affords them 2 hours or 20 hours of raiding per week. "Casuals" don't NEED the nerfs. They have the skill to do the instances - just at a slower pace due to fewer raiding hours. But there's still a LOT of people out there who believe that they should be able to clear new content the first week (or first NIGHT) without too much trouble.

I enjoy wiping for a while on bosses (within reason). It makes you appreciate the work and the achievement. But from what I have seen in the last 6-12 months, fewer and fewer people are willing to deal with wipes. It's far easier to relocate to a farming guild, or simply give up.

You're so right about people not having to think. Healing was so powerful at the end of TBC and the start of WotLK that nobody had to care about what they were standing in, because the healers could pump out massive HPS and keep everyone up. When some kind of strategy is required, a bunch of people struggle because the group can no longer employ the "stack up and zerg heal" method.

Heaven forbid you should have to avoid a slow-moving green cloud.

-----

Boize: No problem - I just wanted to make sure it was clear that I'm not blurring the lines between "casual" and "bad". For me, casual will usually refer to a lack of raiding hours (often not by choice, sadly).

To reiterate your correction, I definitely did mean that doing 10 mans (even hard modes) OR slipping back to a more casual raiding schedule, for me, will always have that slight niggling feeling of "you're not at the forefront of 25 man hardcore progression."

I know there are very skilled and dedicated 10 man guilds out there. And 25 man guilds that only get to raid once or twice a week. I just see 25man hardcore progression (competitive raiding, racing for firsts etc) to be the pinnacle.. and anything other than that is not as satisfying for me.

Whether or not I go back to it sometime is another story. I (usually) find it very satisfying.. but it has also caused me a lot of stress and heartbreak lately, and I'm left wondering whether it would be best to try to leave it behind and enjoy social raiding instead.

Keeva said...

Darren: I couldn't quote you any instances of people complaining about Ulduar, to be honest. And you're right, most of the less experienced players really enjoy throwing themselves at content and wiping a whole bunch. I'm not sure where the complaints are, or what is prompting them to nerf the content.

The aura cancelling macro is not what separates hard from easy. The simple fact is that you shouldn't be near the clouds. If you are near the clouds, you are doing the wrong thing. If you want a failsafe, keep a cancelaura macro at the ready - but you shouldn't be near that cloud in the first place, that is the crux.

I don't even know if I'm making sense anymore, or just sounding like a broken record :) But I'm trying to hone in on the principal here. Reducing the spawn rate of the guardians is a better nerf (I suppose you could say) because that means groups don't get overwhelmed so much by the scripted part of the fight. But they shouldn't be nerfing a very simple part that separates groups who can avoid green clouds from people who are oblivious to their surroundings.

The point is basically that if you can't stay away from the green clouds, you don't get to kill Yogg. If that is too hard, then that's too darn bad. Why is this a bad thing - to block bad players from clearing the instance? The content shouldn't be nerfed to compensate for people's lack of situational awareness.

Honestly if there were 10 things happening at once with void zones and lava waves and doomfires and living bombs and everyone had to move in and stack up and move out and do the Macarena.. I would understand them nerfing this aspect. But there's really NOT that much happening in Phase 1 of Yogg that you can't watch out for a bright green cloud moving at 5mph. "Do your job but keep watching your feet" is not a fundamental part of the game, and my honest belief is that if you can't do these concurrently, then you don't get to down the boss.

I'm a meanie :P

-----

Hi Raine :)

I half expected to wake up to a whole lot of flaming, but the comments have been a really good read - both for and against my post. I love it.

I too would love to settle into a social raiding guild where we go at our own pace and enjoy our own achievements without worrying about what other guilds are doing. I'm just not entirely sure that I can shake the feeling of frustration that I'm not #1. Time will tell, I guess.

Would you like my fragments? I'm kinda not using them now :P

Keeva said...

JustAnotherCasual: Absolutely it must sting. I've never played the game for loot, personally - but I won't lie and try to tell you that I didn't enjoy getting those compliments. I'd puff up a bit and be proud of myself and my guild's progress.

I compare it to back when they changed the PvP system. I don't think anyone can say that the OLD system was good. People were putting in ridiculous hours to get to Grand Marshal and High Warlord - to the point of employing other people to PvP for them because it was such a crazy grind. But when you got there - people really looked up to you. It was a big deal.

Then they changed it and people were walking around with the Grand Marshal's Claymore and green armor. I don't PvP, but I had to weep for the "real" GMs and HWs whose hard work was suddenly lost in a sea of people running around in the gear they had spend so much time working for.

A friend of mine compared raiding to the Olympic Games (only as an example, obviously, I wouldn't want to actually compare raiding in an MMO to the Olympics!). If they start handing out gold medals to everyone, it's all well and good to say "hooray, now everyone wins!" but you can't get away from the fact that it does diminish the feeling of achievement for the professional athletes. There's no longer anything to distinguish them and their efforts from that of Joe Public who decided it would be fun to jump in and "experience" the Games with a team put together from a bunch of people they found at the bus stop on the way over.

Suddenly it doesn't feel terribly impressive or worthwhile to put in all that time and effort to train, because you walk down the street and everyone is wearing a medal around their neck.

Keeva said...

In my second last comment, "not a fundamental part of the game" should be "NOW a fundamental part".

:)

fallingleavesandwings said...

Great post Keeva!

I actually had a tremendous amount of thoughts on this, so rather than crit your comments with a wall of text, I did my own commentary on the subject citing your post as my inspiration for my posting =)

Keeva said...

My post was originally just a reply to Jacemora's post, but (as often happens) it became quite large and I thought it might as well be a post in its own right :P

Kayeri said...

Heh, my 2nd 80... and yes, after playing this game 2 1/2 years, I FINALLY got a 2nd max-level toon... Anyway, my 2nd 80, a rogue, I have been taking to Naxx25 to get her geared. As an alt, she won't qualify for guild Ulduar runs anytime soon, but I do want that sexy rogue set... :)

And its been awesome, she has blown away my perceptions of what she's capable of each time. Much to my surprise and gratification, she did qualify on our guild's marker for being Ulduar ready, which is 4k dps on Patchwerk 25...

At the time, she had a green trinket, a blue main-hander, and a blue helm, and I STILL did it. There is something odd about that... either our raiding rogue did an awesome job of teaching me, or the marker is too low... ::chuckle::

Averna said...

Our best most awesome hardcore raider just quit the game because content is too easy.

We all miss her. =(

Nice article, very well written.

Erinys said...

Going back to Hodir and his protective gaze on Yogg Saron we have to remember that he only casts to save you from what would have been a killing blow. Now in phase 1 of Yogg no one should be in that position unless something bigger has already gone wrong. Thats not design flaw just bad play.

Also you could just avoid asking Hodir to help you in the fight.. problem solved :D

As for people commenting on your gear, well I haven't had anyone say anything to me since I got my server's second benediction way back when but my boyfriend (prot warrior) still gets loads of comments especially when hes running about in his effective health gear. Primarily from other tank classes who all end the same way by asking if we are recruiting.

Aertimus said...

I couldn't agree more with everything you have said:

(1) I think the nerfs are coming too soon. Is the next round of content that close? Why did Blizz painfully draw out T7 and why are they now condensing T8? Instead of nerfing give the causuals a little reassurance that they still have time to clear the content.

(2) The nerfs are in the wrong places. Don't make the baseline content so much easier. MAYBE make hard mode easer some day so more people can see Algalon. Don't make the unique-to-the-fight things a cakewalk (dodging missiles, and green clouds) or everything might as well be a tank-and-spank.

I'm not saying never nerf. Just not yet and not like this. I feel cheated as the most casual of hardcore raiders. We only raid 9 hours a week. When the server is down for maintenance for 24 hours, we only get 6 hours. Now we will never kill Yogg "pre-nerf".

Here is one thing that hurt though, "I see guilds that would probably never have cleared BT clearing up to Vezax and working on Yogg." We were farming BT and MH for over a month pre-3.0 BC. We killed Kael' after attunements were lifted but we refused to let a single person in our guild set foot in MH or BT until he died. But we are just working on Yogg now. I didn't think we were that far behind. Looking at the other guilds on our server, the ones who weren't clearing MH and BT aren't getting all the watchers down. Did I miss something? Is my guild/server getting worse? Or do you just know one or two guilds that have gotten a lot better?

Keeva said...

Aertimus, I was being extremely subjective (bordering on catty really) and referring to guilds that I considered to be "pretty bad" in terms of skill. A little bitchy of me, but it's a fact that some players out there are bad.

It's these actual "bad" players(once again, I'm not saying that casual = bad, I'm saying there are just some actual BAD players out there) that are still getting through the content seemingly quite easily.

Now that in itself isn't much of an issue - if they get to experience the content, yay. Good for them.

But when Blizzard nerfs the REALLY trivial stuff, taking out things that even the most terrible player should be able to grasp (green cloud is bad)... then it does make it feel as though they are catering to people who throw themselves bodily at bosses with little skill or finesse, and just hope for the best. They shouldn't be catering for baddies.

Designing content for people with various schedules = great.

Designing content for people who can't tell their a$$ from their elbow = bad. AND demoralising for the rest of us who want to jump into content and consider it to be a worthy challenge.

---

Time or group size shouldn't hinder people (very much) when it comes to progression. Casual schedule guilds should still be able to clear the instance.

Lack of fundamental raiding skills SHOULD hinder progression. You do not automatically pass GO. You do not automatically collect epics.

Perhaps they should do what they did with Sunwell - once it was past its "use by" date, the HP of the mobs/bosses were lowered so that lesser-geared guilds could get in there. But leave it a challenge while it's ONLY TWO MONTHS OLD, PLEASE!

Keeva said...

PS - I want to make it clear that I don't think that "all guilds who never finished BT are too scrubby to clear Ulduar". Far from it.

I do believe that everyone deserves a chance.

I was just being specific - I have observed some bad guilds almost sailing through Ulduar and wonder why.

Perhaps they've really picked up their performance. Maybe they've had huge turnover and picked up some great raiders. I'm not sure. It's bad of me to be so judgmental and say "you're a bad guild, why are you here?", I know. Everyone has the right to attempt Ulduar. Things could have changed for those guilds.

The main point for me I suppose is guilds that WERE raiding 15-20 hours per week but still couldn't get past the first few bosses in BT/Hyjal (which to me says 'we're not so great at raiding') are now working on Yogg. After only a couple of months - whereas they took so long to move through TBC content.

But then again - maybe that was a fault of the stupid attunements? Maybe they had a core of skilled players, but kept getting screwed over by struggling to recruit attuned people and then gear them, meaning they never had a chance to finish?

--

I just don't want anyone to think I was generalising and saying "if you can't clear BT you don't deserve to be here." I'm just confused as to why Blizzard said Ulduar would be hard (even on normal) but what we got was not terribly hard, plus they continue to nerf it on a semi-weekly basis.

Nobody likes the old model of "farm this instance for months on end so you can try the next one". But it seems at the moment like we've moved to the other end of the spectrum: fast-forwarding through the content, nerfing it way before its time. Way before it is necessary. Making it easy so everyone can get it cleared before the next content comes out.

Is our collective attention span getting shorter - so that Blizzard feels compelled to nerf the existing content in order to engage more and more people, more quickly, before they lose interest in "farming" an instance for more than a month or two? Gotta give them the kills and the achievements before they decide it's taking too long and not worth it anymore..?

Pumping out the new stuff is great for the serious raiders, they want new content.. but it does suck for the casual raiders, who have their chance at drakes taken away because they simply didn't have enough time. I feel for them. Hey, I feel for myself.. I probably won't get a chance at the Ulduar ones.

Boize said...

Blogger 101:

Post a potentially controversial topic and reap the rewards. :P

Jacemora said...

Wow.

Keeva, I just had to put a comment up. I promise to go back and read all the comments as soon as I get a chance but I need to get in this Epic post!

I can understand what you mean about going into BG's and having people comment on your gear but isn't that why we get all these title attached to accomplishments, special mounts, and gear only available from hard modes and Algalor?

You say no more Archie, no more Kael... I say what is Algalor, chopped liver? It is harder to get to him and tougher to down him than Archie ever was (I only guess of course but it sure sounds that way with only 1 hour to work on him)

For the record I am not bashing all hardcore raiders, I just don't understand complaining about raid difficulty from people that have not finished an instance and that now means completing hard modes and unlocking the true last boss.

If doing hard modes is just a rehash then hardcore guilds should have started with them in the first place and ignored normal encounters or at least shifted gears as the normal mode bosses became to easy. I of course don't know if that was possible with just Naxx 25 gear but if the instance is so easy for these people and they can clear it in quest greens and blues as some have said then why not.

My favorite post on the subject of Ulduar getting adjusted is still from Ciderhelm and can be found here http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f64/49491-ulduar-difficulty-adjustments.html

Keeva said...

That was a pretty good read.

In that thread, GROGtheNailer pretty much sums up how I feel:

"I have to disagree. This is about keeping subscibers only. Hard modes are gimmicks thrown out to appease. Let's nerf this boss fight so everyone can see it, then let's have laser beams shoot out of it's @ss for hard mode. Done and done."

Algalon is the only unique hard mode. The rest are just the same old boss with extra bad stuff. Challenging definitely, I'm not saying the hardmodes are lame and boring - but it's still the same boss, just more annoying. Opening up something new (like Algalon) would be MUCH more engaging and feel like more of an achievement to a lot of people, I think.

But then you get back onto that slippery slope of giving the raiders access to toys that the others can't play with, and in general I think they want to steer away from that (like old Naxx and Sunwell) in the future.

I'm torn, I really am. I think the hard modes are a great idea in theory. I just haven't been all that impressed now that they're in (I haven't experienced them personally but I am aware of how they work). It seemed like the perfect idea - tiers of difficulty, where everyone gets to see the content but still progress at their own level - but I'm left with a feeling of the hard modes just being a gimmicky bone thrown to the hardcore raiders to shut them up until Icecrown.

Sure it will take people a long time to get through all the hard modes, get Yogg without keepers, and smack Algalon down with only 1hr per week to work at him (how long will that time restriction exist, that's the next question).. but only a couple of months in and there has been a steady stream of nerfs, now bordering on wholly unnecessary, and we can only assume it will continue as new content approaches. Just how easy do they intend to make it? And how soon?

Even if a hardcore guild is no longer interested in the normal mode fights, it does diminish the feeling of accomplishment when the base content is continuously nerfed, and the hardmodes are the same fights but just "on steroids" as another commenter put it.

It's not really about hardcore raiders wanting to exclude people from "their" kills because they feel they have exclusive rights to them as "real" raiders. It's more along the lines of what I wrote earlier about the Olympic Games - if everyone is walking around wearing gold medals from the 50m sprint that they decided to jump in and try, then your gold medal from spending training 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for 4 years to win the marathon... loses quite a lot of its lustre.

Everybody wins, but the professional athlete is left wondering why he's been breaking his neck for so long to be "the best" in his field.

I don't want to take content away from people; but on the other hand, it does make competitive raiding feel more and more pointless when there's very little to set us apart anymore, and hardmodes feel like something tacked on to appease us until the next round of content.

I have very, very mixed feelings about the whole thing.

---

In the end, the simple fact is that Blizzard wants more people to see the content that they spend so much time and money developing. Can't fault them on that. As much as I don't like it, we're all going to have to concede that base content is probably going to be relatively puggable from now on, end of story.

That's the direction, and that's what we'll all have to accept.

loo said...

too many comments to read. wall of text crits loo for *insert alot of damage* so i skimmed it and i only half know what im blabbering about.

now onto the topic, whilst im slightly peeved at what blizzard has done to PvE (im one of the guys who spent weeks getting the perfect group for H-SH, and got my vials of that bitch vashj and kael etc), this is a game, something imaginary for people (everyone) to have fun and enjoy. ultimately being the best of the best aint gunna get you no where in real life.

im going to have a rant now. contrary, all the idiots who act like e-thugs because of the color of their achievement page fucking piss me off. ok, your better than me, but frankly i don't give a damn. i can't understand how you want to make someone elses' experience in this game miserable. even though its a game, i enjoy doing the right thing, i don't cheat, lie or degrade other people because honestly i have a conscience and deep down it feels alot nicer inside being nice then flexing your epeen. (and note im currently one of the best geared people on this server.)

in conclusion, i agree blizzard made raids too easy but in the end, i would much rather be raiding with people who mutually like each other making it more enjoyable for all (its a lot easier to come by these people now days because of easier raids), maybe on some easier bosses then wiping on some hardmodes with scum elitists who pretend to be your friends but only give a crap about themselves. but yes i would like harder raids also, damn im greedy.

spes
caelestraz

loo said...

too add, i dont give a rats arse about gear. it helps make the game more enjoyable but im not going to fall over and die because x boss didnt drop y gear. i have only ever raided for fun, gears just a bonus.

*taps foot in preperation for essay length response by keeva*

Chewbaca said...

Keeva.....

So when are you e-mailing this to Blizzard. Get like 500 people or more to e-mail bomb Blizzard with there signatures on the bottom.

The only thing that keeps me playing is the gay achievements, contact with distant mates and the fact i love my lvl 60 rogue.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree Keeva.. good post.

V

SolidState said...

By all means Keeva, keep whining and claiming current content (Ulduar) is too easy... by all means, don't let the facts throw you off. Fuck truth, you're ranting and not going to let a little thing like facts get in the way of your righteous anger, right?

Take a look at wowprogress.com. Only 30% - 1/3 people, have beaten the first wing of Ulduar in a 25man raid. The number of people who have seen/beaten harder content quickly goes down to 7/100 (!!!) only having beat Yogg-Saron and Vezax. Not hard-mode mind you, just beaten in a 25 man raid.

Your claims that "Ulduar is too easy ", "I see guilds that would probably never have cleared BT clearing up to Vezax and working on Yogg" hold no water. Wowprogress shows the true story, that only 7 out of 100 people playing WoW (less even, not all guilds are tracked by wowprogress and not all players are guilded) have even seen, let alone beaten, the final non-hardmode Ulduar bosses.

Without fail, rants like yours fail to take into account the simple truth - raiding is still hard. The simple cold hard numbers show this to be true.

Blizzard have finally seen the light - they are giving a greater amount of people the chance to raid. They gave Naxx to the casuals. This irks hardcore raiders to no end, and from saying something true (Naxx is easy) you go into flights of fantasy, claiming Ulduar can nearly be pugged.

Ulduar hard modes may be variations of the same boss fight, but those variations are exactly what spices up the fight. Extra boss abilities? More raid-wide damage to task the healers? More boss health to really put your DPS to the test before the enrage timer? Yes plz!. Not only that, Blizzard gives players able to do hard modes extra loot, a boss no one else can get to... yet still you whine.

There is one true thing you've written. Blizzard have eased up on making major content so exclusive less than 5% of the player population ever sees it (such were the numbers for SWP iirc). But making content that 30% of the player population sees doesn't make it trivial. So long and good riddence to SWP-like instances. The wait between the too-easy Naxx and the very-good Ulduar might have been a bit long but it was well worth it.

loo said...

@solidstate

i believe what many raidiers are upset about is the sensation of learning a new fight too. a fight which takes a few weeks to learn, not fights where you can get a first kill on the first night working on it.

now seriously raid content is tuned way too easy. now if your going to use wowguildprogress for reference, i will easily tell you that my mates 3 level 80 alts havent stepped for into ulduar, yet he has killed yogg. now by your stastics, that means 75% of people havent seen ulduar. you will find that most decently progressed guilds (those on keepers atm) have a handful of good players who are literally carrying the other half of the raid who continuously fail.

now in all honesty the early bosses of ulduar are such a joke now, and so many scrubs are being carried through it. with naxx so easy, people should have sufficient gear to perform their duties. people are just wiping because (mostly) they don't possess the willingness to learn and improve. ulduar is not hard, and if you just want free loot to fall into your lap, go play on a private server or something.

spes of caelestraz

Chewbaca said...

@ Solid state

So you believe that Communism Gaming is the best thing for WoW?

Everything should be equal (occasinally make things slightly more equal than others).

Because if you want a game where everyone should get to have the same experiance as others... then go play Happy Pony Fun Time.
Its a game for retards who cant stand challanging content.

C'thun was such an amazing fight pre - bc and i am extremely dissapointed that they have gone and biffed game lore in the bin and made Yogg - Saron so bloody easy that people are killing it 3 - 4 weeks into the patch. Remember how many guilds cleared AQ40 in the first 4 weeks.

Old Gods are ment to be hard. And members of the pathelfuckingwhateveritscalled are ment to be virtually impossible to beat.

They shouldnt be dead allready. no matter how good your guild. Content is too easy.

gg.

Chewbaca said...

Also.. when people are clearing 6 - 7 boss in Ulduar BEFORE they can even clear Naxx... then that is rubbish.

DJScythe said...

Very good points. It seems impossible to satisfy everyone in this case. The new differntiation between heroic and 25-man raids might remedy some of it, but it's all the same encounters still (from what we know). Then again, what do I know? I only pug "casual" content. ;D

Also, on a small side note, any thoughts on the addition of Emblems of Conquest to Heroics? Arguably better for the casuals and will likely increase the number of people who see the AT raid, but it also seems to devalue all the work of current raiders getting the same gear from Ulduar. I think this will only lead to more feuding in the "Casual v. Hardcore" debate.

Rycharde said...

This is a lot to read. I think my head might explode trying to grasp everything simultaneously. However, it's a lot of valid points. The raiding scene has changed, undoubtedly, but I've never been on the progression race track before, either.

Entering TBC, it was probably patch 2.3 when I finally hit 70. No record of tanking, no experience with more than a 5-man, no guild looking to pick up a random tank and gear him for BT - that just wasn't in the cards. Sometimes, I wish I had been in that state, if only so I could actually understand how things may have changed.

The best comparison that comes to mind is ZA. It took my old guild weeks to get down the Dragonhawk boss in ZA, I recall, and we finally got him a couple weeks before the announced content nerf. We cleared the instance entirely by the next reset. Since then, Yogg has been the only boss who's presented a multi-week challenge for more than pure idiocy (Thaddius morons be damned).

I'm still having a hard time seeing the problem with Hard Mode content, though. The responses seem so mixed. Sure, they're gimmicky, but some of them are really well-designed. I think my favorite so far has been working on the Iron Council. Of the hard modes, this seems to be the least gimmicky: each of the mobs behaves identically no matter what you do, it's simply your choice of kill order that changes the way the fight progresses.

Yogg's Hard Modes, meanwhile, are almost a way of purifying the fight: they remove the aiding gimmicks of the watchers. I'll agree it isn't the same as having only Hard Mode content, but it's still interesting and challenging and rewards unique loot.

Easing of content isn't just Blizzard's doing, mind you. The wealth of information around now that didn't exist in Vanilla or even TBC makes experiencing the content vicariously (via Ciderhelm) a click away. I've always wanted to try taking on an encounter with no idea of what was going to happen to me or the raid. But I never get that chance, because I'd be hurting my guild and wasting my fellow raiders' time if I didn't do all the research I could.

TL;DR:

Iron Council Hard Mode = win. More fights with that kind of synergy and option built into them would really appeal; Boo on there being no encounters like this in 3.2 (Heroic-Mode means there's no activation of Hard Modes, = no choice). Hardcore raiders must find the game easy, but Blizzard can't rightly shut down Wowwiki, Wowhead, MMO-Champion, etc. - information is readily available about everything in their game before it's released, so you can learn the fight before you fight it. That, plus years of experience raiding through Vanilla and TBC truly hones your "stay out of fire" skill.

kuroyume said...

i see two arguments on your post, and they contradict each other: On once side, you say that the content is too easy for you, and that's boring.

In my opinion, the solution there is simply to skip the normal mode fights, and go straight to hard modes. Just because there is an "easy mode" doesn't mean you have to do it.

However, the reason why all the Hardcore didn't do this is because, like your second argument states, they are not in it for the challenge. They are in it for the competition, they are in it to compare themselves to others and make themselves feel superior, and if they only did hard modes, they wouldn't be as high on the rankings, since they would probably still be on the keepers instead of having gotten the server first or second or whatever Yogg Saron kill.

You say that other people killing the same bosses as you devalues your achievements, which basically means that you don't raid for the challenge, you don't raid for the content, but you raid so you can be better than other people... or so you can tell yourself that you're better than other people.

Honestly, i think sites like WoWJutsu and GuildOx are guilty of turning the hardcore into this... if there were no word or realm rankings, perhaps people would focus less on what position they occupy on a list and more on just enjoying the game.

Will said...

Ok, in general I get the Hardcore raider complaints and am a casual player primarily due to circumstances. I really think what blizzard should do is kinda what they are doing, only without the nerfs before the new content. Make it so that the hardcore players get from the release of 3.1, until 3.2 hits to play Ulduar hardcore, then change the tokens for the previous instance to help those who are more casual out to gear for that content, and see Ulduar. I don't think most casuals would mind that much being a tier behind, although some would complain. Maybe have some gear rewards for each class, that are very visually distinctive, and only drop pre-nerf, kinda like the drakes, but something that you can cary, maybe something that can be upgraded in each tier of content. Then the hard core can move on to the Colloseum and the casuals can have Ulduar. Not sure if it would work, but it might be able to please both crowds if they did it right.

Keep in mind that some of this is that the guys at blizzard are artists, and want people to be able to see their art.

Beltain said...

I came to the game with TBC and while it sucked that I knew I would never catch up and see more than Kara content for raiding, even that felt like a TRUE achievement. Having struggled to make it to the level cap (leveled 1-70 resto), farmed all the necessary instances for the rep for hero keys (which I am in the minority in thinking that bliz should bring that mechanic back not give us fugly tabards to wear -- I am not a fan of 'ding 80! lets go to naxx in my 73/74 quest item loot..' -- this is a different rant altogether), I got the Kara key... even to the casual like myself THOSE were worthy ingame achievements... not these glorified screenshots.

I take the game at my pace, and unlike many these days, after reaching level cap... I fully gemmed/enchanted my gear to then farm heroics for either badges for 2 pieces of tier gear, or for the 'bis' heroic drop gear that has also been fully gemmed/enchanted -- but it is frustrating even to me (a casual) that the content is so easy and continually receiving nerfs, that if I chose to PuG it, I certainly COULD PuG a 25 Ulduar. (I avoid 25 PuGs like the plague)

I know that there were significant numbers of casual players that felt Outland hero to raiding was much too difficult a hurdle to try to overcome (and it was) but on the other side, now level cap to raiding is excessively too easy ("woot I haven't even trained level 80 and I'm going to nax" /rollseyes). There has to be some sort of middle ground. (Don't ask me what that is, I don't have an answer)

This is a bit rambling -- I need more coffee -- but what I'm getting at is that I feel Bliz needs to reintroduce some of the more difficult aspects from BC back into the game. Yes this might put off the majority of players, but it brings back REAL achievements to the game for ALL players.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahhaha - your just like every other hardcore raider. You're nothing special, and yes, you fit into the same ahole category. Like a hand in a glove. You want your own personal instance just for you, and you hate hardmodes, because there are no new bosses, graphics, rooms, music, lore and design specially for you and you alone. I wouldnt mind if people like you are willing to pay 1000s of dollars more for content only you will see. But you're not. You pay the same as everything else. Have you ever had a real job? Can you estimate know how much effort it might take to design a place like sunwell? Can you understand the kind of business decisions that go into launching a project as big as the creation of the SWP raiding instance? Have you any idea at all????? Or are you some dumn college student living on mommmys checks from month to month?

Ever played an FPS? They have a hard mode for leet players. The hard mode is not an entirely new story, graphcis, world, music, gameplay experience and so on. Its the damn same thing, with harder settings. I'm sorry the gravy train on having your own personal instances ran out for you in wow, but you didnt think it was a sustainable business model, did you? You guys are spoiled brats, and you condemn youself by repeating the same "I'm leet and you're not" gibberish, while profressing to have something original to say. Spin it any way you like, fundamentally, that's all you guys are pissed off about. The real world - when you finally enter it - will not be so accommodating to your selfish tendancies, believe me.

Keeva said...

I work two jobs, thank you for your concern.

Your post is ignorant and shows you did not actually read what I wrote, considering that one of the main premises was "we don't want our own special instances just for us."

Please feel free to disagree with my posts, but know that in future any posts that are simply poorly veiled insults (such as this one) will be summarily deleted.

e-thugs are not welcome here.

Keeva said...

And that goes for SolidState also, whose comment I hadn't noticed until now. Hostility aimed directly at me is unwarranted, and if you feel compelled to be malicious, I will remove your posts.

---

On your "argument" -

Your numbers are weak at best. loo said it - how many of those people who haven't cleared Ulduar are alts? How many are casual players who thought it would be fun to do an Ulduar pug, got Flame Leviathan, and never went back? How many are people in guilds who have been trying to get a 25 man team together but just don't have the numbers yet?

..and you're trying to pull these percentages out and claim them as some kind of solid proof that the level of difficulty is prohibitive?

Give me a break.

There are way more persuasive arguments than rubbish numbers such as those.

---

Now, back on the subject of hostile commenters:

I certainly don't operate my blog under the idea of "agree with my views or zip it" but you need to learn that it is actually possible to disagree with me without being aggressive and malicious.

You may not agree with my views, but your venom is misdirected and wholly unwelcome.

Please take a leaf out of the books of my other readers, who are often not averse to disagreeing with my opinions - yet still seem to manage quite well not to shape their comments into personal attacks.

In short - grow up and either present your arguments without the insults.. or don't bother to post here at all.

I welcome different opinions and views, and I understand some people are passionate about their ideas, but if you can't communicate those ideas without turning them into feeble personal attacks, then please do not waste your time - I will simply delete them.

Be civil, or get out.

Keeva said...

Add to my above comment:

- those who have been subbed out for particular bosses - eg I missed out on a couple of early bosses and so didn't get the achievement with everyone else. Judging the difficulty according to who has wing achievement X is NOT accurate.

- people who don't care a whit about raiding and do not intend to go to Ulduar, ever. Not everyone wants to raid; there are plenty of people who just play socially. If wowprogress is weighing up level 80 characters vs Ulduar clears, then I'll wager that these non-raiding players skew the numbers a little.

- alts - including alts that are just tradeskill/farming alts that will never need to raid to do their jobs

- retired characters (Keeva still hasn't cleared Ulduar, though she could have. Onoes, skewed numbers - a level 80 player that can't clear the instance because it's too hard!!)

Keeva said...

Those of you who are calling me out on contradicting myself - yes, I am, and I've acknowledged several times the fact that I am very torn about the direction of raiding. I appreciate Blizzard's thinking and methodology, but believe they have been heavy handed in some places.

I've been casual, hardcore, and casual again. I see this issue from both sides; I have experienced first-hand the frustration of BOTH groups.

Nerfing basic, fundamental stupidity checks on bosses is ridiculous and unnecessary. It doesn't cater to "casual" players. It caters to players who are either bad, or don't want to try.

Once again, if you can't get through Phase 1 of Yogg because people keep standing in clouds, YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO FINISH THE INSTANCE. It is not your god given right to complete the instance because you turned up. There should still be these measures in place to ensure that people have to have a little situational awareness to progress.

You do not automatically pass Go. You do not automatically collect epics.

Old gods are not meant to be a joke. I think that is one of my biggest disappointments. I didn't get to kill C'thun - and Yogg to me was this big, scary, holy sh#t freaky scare the crap out of you old god. But you get into the room and he's the size of a mini van and they keep nerfing him so it's easier to bump him off. It makes me sad - because I wanted to be intimidated. I wanted that "omfg, C'thun is whispering me" shivers up my spine kinda deal.

So when I see Yogg, and the nerfs, you're damn right I feel ripped off.

And I feel ripped off for all raiders, not just the hardcores. Casual raiders want a challenge too. They want their kills to be earned - not something that becomes a cakewalk overnight due to some "hotfixes". They want to know that even though they can only raid 6 hours a week, they still got there without it being handed to them.

It's not just the hardcore raiders who are disappointed at the stupid, unnecessary nerfs that - in many people's opinions - are coming too early. They might be warranted in a little while, but not two months after release!



I'm all for people experiencing the content, that is the honest truth. But for those of us who want the lore, the exultation of working on a boss for weeks.. it's so, so sad.

Is working on a boss for a week or two so bad? Maybe it is, now. Maybe they see that as lost customers. Maybe the customer base is changing and has a shorter attention span, and having to work on a boss for more than a night or two means lost subscriptions, and therefore it makes good business sense to limit the difficulty to only requiring an hour or two to get through most normal mode fights. You can't argue with that logic.

But you also can't argue that it makes the whole place seem less awesome than we thought it would be.

I flew past Ulduar pre-release, with very high hopes. The titans, to me, are very awe inspiring. Their cities are huge, amazing. Ulduar's architecture is really quite breathtaking, I wasn't disappointed.

But the bosses..

They're a letdown. I'm sorry, but they are. They don't feel imposing. Or terribly dangerous. It's not immersive like many vanilla or TBC fights were. I remember walking into a lot of those fights and getting goosebumps, bracing myself for the fight. But with Ulduar, I don't think a single boss has made me feel that way - with the exception of Vezax looking pretty cool.

Keeva said...

Finally, If you think I'm upset because I don't get shiny titles and I can't wave my progress in front of people, then you're just flat wrong - and the proof is in the pudding: Keeva, with her multiple server firsts, titles, and Ulduar gear, has been shelved to make room for freshly-rerolled Kiiva, weighing in with an impressive 670 achievement points, zero server firsts, and zero chance of ever getting one at that.

If I was so hung up on waving my achievements and progress in everyone's faces, don't you think I'd probably want to stick with my Ulduar-geared character who has multiple titles, feats of strength, and server firsts?

Which brings me back to the title and the inspiration for the original post:

The stereotype swings both ways. Not all hardcore raiders are hung up on being "better than you". I've met a lot more non-raider jerks, to be quite honest.

I don't want better bosses because I want to be able to thumb my nose at you and say I killed the crazy hard boss that only 0.0001% of people have even been able to see. It's because I want to work towards seeing that boss under my own steam, my own skill and dedication. Not simply because I punched enough hours, or hung around long enough for another few rounds of nerfs.

That's not elitist. It's what many people want, hardcore and casual. They want to know they earned the kills, they achieved it through their work.

That is not something exclusive to hardcore raiders.

And I'll say it again - I don't want to limit content so that only the hardcore people can get to it. This is about nerfing the STUPID stuff that NOBODY should have trouble with, and frankly if you do, you're plain bad and don't deserve to kill the boss anyway.

Making bosses accessible is fantastic. Making them easy, so you can walk in completely green on a fight and get it down within a couple of tries.. that's not what any real raider wants.. casual or hardcore. It makes the raid instances into giant 5 mans-type instances.

Is this intended? Maybe it is, now. Maybe this is the new direction.

kuroyume said...

On your last two posts you forget to talk about a very important thing:

Hard Modes.

If you're really so good that you can call other people bad, if you're so good that you fell confident saying that other people don't deserve stuff, if it really is all about the challenge for you, then you should have been doing hard modes since week one.

If you're really that good, that you "want to work towards seeing that boss under my own steam, my own skill and dedication" then the normal fights are not meant for you.

Basically what you're saying is that you're a Professional doing stuff that is supposed to be hard for amateurs. It's like Herman Mair showing up at my mountains NASTAR course and complaining that it's not a challenge for him. It's like Tom Brady showing up for a high school game and saying it's too easy for him.

If you really care about the challenge, and not where your guild stands on GuildOx or Guild Progress or your realms progression thread, you should've been doing HArd Modes from week one.

People like you have the choice to go hard, yet you choose to go easy.

Currently, the game allows you to make what you want from it. You made a choice to do the normal modes... when you knew that Blizzard had said time and time again that they want everyone to see them, and that those who are truly skilled, and have enough time available, should be doing Hard Modes.

the1jeffy said...

"You do not automatically collect epics."

The implementation of Badge of Justice in BC rewards disagrees with you. Your line of thinking from then on is faulty, because it relies on this basic tenet.

As a longer rebuttal, this wasn't a sudden change - the game has been this way for quite some time. The amount of dev time for raids is the highest dev-time expenditure for Blizzard and creating unique bosses (which is really what you seem to be calling for, since you dislike 'rehashed' hard modes) is simply a bad business model, and not good for WoW as a game (from a dev, business and player majority standpoint).

Also, your dismissal of wowguildprogress numbers is highly faulty. Your entire post is your opinion, and despite it's professional, casual-head-patting, intellectual, handshakes-for-all tone, it distills to, "I want to feel special." That's all well and good, but no-one else is obligated to care about your "Being torn on raid content direction." And you provided absolutely no metric to measure "easy" by. Other than your opinion, of course. WoWprogress, wowjustsu, etc. at least provide a metric that is accessible to all. It's debatable and subject to some in/deflation, as you point out, but you offer no counter metric. More anecdotes, opines, and repetition of your core arguments doesn't rebut the fact that WoWprogress agrees with Blizzard's design, and they have stated as such in plain writing.

You are free to "not like it," as it were, but really I've been hearing this same complaint since Badge rewards were implemented in BC. So obviously, those, like youself, who complain about EZ mode content, still play, and still pay.

I agree with you idea that a person who stands in the poo, as we call it in my neck of Azeroth, doesn't deserve to beat bosses. However, the fire-standers obviously outnumber us. This is lamentable, but we either deal with it or move on. Internet nerd-rage, however well-written, serves no purpose but to soothe an indivual ego.

TLDR: Nice post; you are welcome to your opinion, even though Blizzard has been pointing WoW in this direction for well over a year. If you don't like hitting from the Blue tees to add difficulty to your game, perhaps golf shouldn't be your thing.

Keeva said...

I think it's amusing that a lot of commenters are still ignoring a lot of what I've written and just falling back on the "just do hardmodes and stop complaining" argument.

kuroyume - I have clearly stated what I think of hardmodes. I thought the idea was great, but the fights seem very gimmicky. But I also acknowledged that I don't think there's much of a way around that - I don't think it's particularly fair to get special, unique content as a hardcore raider (nor is blizzard going to go back to that anyway) but I still think that the hardmodes are just mostly the same stuff made more annoying.

I'm certainly not going to quit the game over it, nor am I raging about it as some people would like to accuse me of.

I am just very disappointed that bosses in the game used to feel scary. Imposing. Awe inspiring. I don't want to play down Blizzard's efforts because I know it's huge to create this stuff.. but the bosses DO feel less engaging and immersive.

I'm not angry. I'm sad. I miss getting goosebumps looking at a new boss - and it's not because I think I'm better than the game. It's because the bosses (in my opinion) just aren't as cool anymore.

I think it's stupid that people would get aggressive at me for being disappointed for not feeling awed by the new bosses. Many people feel the same as I do. We miss bosses feeling like bosses.

Keeva said...

the1jeffy - I'm late for work but I'll quickly cover what you said.

1. Yes, the badges give everyone epics. My newest post covers my thoughts on this, and it's quite "pro-casual". Perhaps I should have been clearer and said "If you stand in fire, you do not automatically pass Boss and collect epics".

2. No, it's not a sudden change. But it seems to be picking up more momentum now.

3. I'm not dismissing wowprogress, I'm merely saying that you cannot rely on their numbers to be anywhere near accurate because of the known issues. Yes, it's some kind of indication, but I would be very, very wary of placing too much stock in those numbers and trying to argue with them. They should be a very loose indication only.

I don't have a counter measure - does anyone? Just because I don't have a metric for you doesn't mean that wowprogress, the best of a bad bunch, is the best way to measure Ulduar's difficulty.



4. If you have read what I have written you will likely see several times that I have acknowledged the current direction and have basically said "we'll need to accept it". So I'm getting slightly tired of people punctuating their comments with "if you don't like it, you can leave." It's getting tiresome.

I'm not going anywhere. But I am well within my rights to be disappointed that the content I have enjoyed for several years is getting less and less engaging, less and less awe-inspiring and immersive in terms of lore, etc. An old god that is .. not impressive.

Take out all the epics. All the titles, and achievements. I just want boss fights. I can tell you now that half the time on a new boss kill, someone starts to call loot and my first thought is, "oh.. right.. he has loot!" because I care so little about it - it's about downing the boss. But if the bosses become less interesting and awe-inspiring, it's sad.

Am I going to quit over it? No. I've said that a few times. But I'm allowed to express the feeling (one that is shared by many) that by making the game accessible to all and sundry, and apparently catering to people who are poor players (disclaimer: poor players, not casual schedule players, once again), it's definitely taking the shine off the high-end content.

kuroyume said...

I blame the loss of that feeling of awe on a couple of things:

1) A lot of people have been playing this game for a looong time. It was bound to lose that "new game smell" sooner or later. There's only so many scary monsters you can kill before they can stop being scary.

2) wide availability of information. It's hard to be impressed the first time you face a boss when you've seen the videos, read the PTR reports, and know all of it's abilities inside and out, like every good raider should. The unknown is scary, and it is also completely gone from this game.

Game mechanics have vastly improved over the years. Early raid bosses were little more than glorified tank and spanks (MC being the biggest culprit of that), however, players have improved too, and as we become more knowledgable (god i hope that is spelled right... not a native speaker here) we are bound to lose that feeling of awe.

And about gimmicks, to me, they are what make a fight interesting... a fight without gimmicks is a Patchwerk clone...

Keeva said...

I miss the old tank-and-spank fights, but with all of our abilities and talents these days, they are probably far too boring to appear more than once or twice per instance before people get annoyed! Variety is good.

You're right about the new game smell, I suppose that a lot of people are becoming bored with the game overall, so the bosses have lost some of their gloss. And so much information is available that I suppose it is hard to be scared of the bosses - when you know the fights inside out before getting there. I deliberately didn't watch any videos prior to going in (although I did read strats) because I wanted to see things for myself.

I still can't help being disappointed by Yogg's appearance. I really enjoy the fight, but he's so TINY! I was expecting a huge, imposing, brb-changing-my-pants Old God. After C'thun creeped me out with his whispers, and in Northrend you would get the occasional whisper also, I was ready to be scared. When I walked in there I couldn't believe how small and innocuous he looked.. bah! Even as a tip of the iceberg kinda boss, it was still disappointing.

But then, they can't exactly make him the size that Ragnaros was because back in those days you had 40 people to spread out around a boss - it's not practical to have an enormous boss whose phases have you running around the entire perimeter of the room.

So while I'm sad he isn't gigantic and overwhelming.. it makes sense from the point that you need to be able to run all the way around him and not take ages to do that. Not much you can do about that I suppose.

On gimmicks - I think there's a fine line between what people would call "interesting mechanics" and "gimmicks", and where that line lands is entirely subjective. A gimmicky fight to me might be a cool and engaging fight to you. A gimmicky, annoying encounter for a dps might be the most fun for a healer, and so on. It's hard to really say what's a gimmick and what isn't.

It's hard because I feel like I'm making circular arguments anyway. I don't want gimmicks, I want original content, but I don't want to exclude people from content (eg Sunwell), but I miss the feeling of working towards something that isn't easily obtained, but that is only available through hard modes, most of which appear gimmicky to me.

Like Blizzard, I want people to have the chance to see everything too, but I do miss the feeling of achieving something because of extra skill and dedication. Not because I think I'm a better person and want to tell everyone.. but because I like working towards clearing the top content.

So Blizzard brought in hard modes for people who wanted that little bit more.. and while I liked the idea in the beginning, in practice I'm not feeling thrilled.

But.. plenty of people are enjoying the hard mode challenges! I'm just saying how I feel about them personally.

And I don't have any ideas of how to do things differently.

I definitely think that it's a better system, these days, to allow more customers to see the content. But I still feel sad that there seems to be little reason these days to be skilled and dedicated, other than to check off some hard mode achievements. But you can't get around that without having segregated content, and I don't want that.




TLDR:
- it's good everyone gets to see the content
- it's sad that they do seem to cater, in part, to people who are less skilled
- I don't know how they could make everyone happy; this makes MORE people happy, and you can't really argue with that
- I won't quit over it, but I also can't hide my feelings of disappointment because I have enjoyed putting my nose to the grindstone to clear the top content. Not because I want to wave epics in everyone's faces and feel like a big man, but because it brought its own sense of satisfaction in a job well done, after working on a boss for a week or two (not an hour or two).

Keeva said...

I have to say, I really do enjoy seeing so many people come out to weigh in on the topic.

It's a very touchy subject for many, and I know a lot of people are very passionate about it, not to mention the fact that the game is constantly evolving and opinions may change over time - so I'm glad that everyone can jump in and say how they feel about the direction WoW is taking.

I do actually welcome the comments that argue against my views, they often bring up things I hadn't thought of - good for making you scratch your chin and say "hmm, great point".

I just urge everyone to do it without hostility and with as little bias as possible, so that we can discuss the issue constructively and without making things personal.

Syllly said...

Keeva, go on with you, girl! =) I don't have the previous hardcore raiding experience you have, but I was in a guild that steadily worked through T5 and a touch of T6 prior to the pre WOLK nerf and it was so exciting to get a new progression boss down. I'd like to see a step up for Ulduar, too, although I favor perhaps a half step up rather than a full stretching clamboring up with picks and special equipment kind of a step lol!
But that aside, I just wanted to chime in to let you know that I really appreciate and respect the way that you have handled the comments on this post. You are absolutely spot on in saying please feel free to disagree, but asshats will be summarily excised from this blog.
The people who responded so immaturely and rudely are probably the same ones who abuse new players in trade channel who dare to ask a question that seems obvious to most but, to them, is a pure mystery.
I've had a couple of abusive comments on my own blog and my response has been the same as yours. My blog is my own sandbox. It's not the WOW official forums. It's not trade channel. It's not guild chat. And it's certainly not open to the vitriol and abuse of small minded or small hearted jerks who believe that internet anonymity entitles them to bloat their failed self image by aggressively attacking.

All of this is a long winded way of saying good on you for setting boundaries and, little help though it might actually be, Sylly's got your back! =)

Bell said...

I haven't said much here, since reading all the comments takes a ton of time and there's a lot to go over. My own talk about this change didn't receive nearly as much ire, and those who were insulting actually deleted their own comments and I had to read them in my e-mail; imagine that?

Bravo to you, Keeva, for putting up with all the people who cannot be bothered to read and just spew vitriol to spew. I agree with a lot you had to say, and I still do.

Keep on keepin' on!