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  1. #1

    Segmentation & LFD

    My wife and I were discussing the problem of segmentation today - yes, we're nerds and both work in academia - and came to a solid conclusion: the problem with MMOs is that they struggle to appropriately match players and content difficulty.

    In single player games, you generally choose your difficulty (Easy -> Nightmarish) with no consequence to your ability to see the story, gain powers, level up and generally enjoy the game. There's no social stigma attached to playing the game on "Easy", and you can always go through and bump it up after a few play throughs to try on a harder difficulty.

    In MMOs, there's a social stigma attached to "easy mode" content, and the games generally do a poor job of matching players to appropriately satisfying difficulty. With the implementation of "Dungeon Finders" and "Raid Finders" in modern MMOs, such as World of Warcraft, it actually reaches disaster point: the finder only supports a single difficulty, one that's often too hard, or too easy, for the majority of people jumping into the queue.

    Further, even though MMOs claim to have multiple difficulties, they really don't, because your gear is tied to the level at which you kill content. Take a look at my WoW character for instance:

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...osian/advanced

    There's a huge difference between my gear, and the gear of a player who has only done "easy" (LFR) difficulty. Since there is a gear discrepancy built into the game, that means as additional content is released, my difficulty is further muddled - what would be hard content for an LFR player (based on gear alone) will be easy content for a player who has done previous Heroic raids and has access to more gear.

    -

    I'm opposed to the implementation of a wow-like LFD or LFR tool for precisely this reason. The core problem isn't the finder tool or the fact that it makes it easier to group (though there are social issues involved) the problem is that finders are "one side fits all", and when your audience is one million or more players, it's impossible that the content can really fit every player.

    Even if it could, MMOs intentionally build in skill and gear gaps so that you can feel like your character gets more powerful over time, and these gaps greatly impact how difficult the content will be to complete.

    -

    I don't know of a perfectly elegant solution, but until a way can be found to appropriately match players to difficulty, and more importantly, to actually let players do the content of the difficulty they would like without feeling like they're "bad" or "gimping themselves" (huh... I only got green gear for this difficulty?) such a system can only lead to problems, as it will throw the "weekend warrior" into the same group with the "noob" and the "elitist jerk".

    I'd be curious to see your insights into how an MMO can appropriately segment its population, the current method of "anyone who wants it hard should raid 40+ hours a week the first minute a piece of content drops, and everyone else can just be bored" certainly doesn't work for WoW... and I don't see it being the model SWTOR would base itself on in the future.

  2. #2
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    All they can do is, make changes based on the voice of the majority. The rest will have to live with it or go somewhere else.

    I don't think it's possible, or cost effective, to try to create a game that makes everyone 100% happy. At least not one where you are interacting with other people in realtime (MMOs). You would have to create a game engine that learned your playstyle and custom tailored the game to each individual. Not gonna happen.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by subrosian View Post
    I'd be curious to see your insights into how an MMO can appropriately segment its population, the current method of "anyone who wants it hard should raid 40+ hours a week the first minute a piece of content drops, and everyone else can just be bored" certainly doesn't work for WoW... and I don't see it being the model SWTOR would base itself on in the future.
    I know we're not supposed to make comparisons to other games here, and that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm just using my experience to reach my conclusion. For me, TBC in WoW had a thriving community because of the way progression worked. There were active T4 guilds even when Sunwell was out. In a sense, that's a way to self-select into your difficulty.

    The system wasn't perfect--the lower tier guilds had constant turnover because players used them to gear up then jumped ship to a higher tier guild. But again, that's the player selecting their difficulty. I might have missed things as I didn't use the forums as much back then, but I don't remember there being nearly as much negativity towards lower tier players back then.

    The LFD and LFR system, as implemented, are part of the problem. I agree. They throw together players who aren't necessarily thinking about the game in the same way.

    The broad solution, at least to me, is to promote a healthy guild system or similar so that like-minded players can play together. How to do that... no clue.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by greysaber View Post
    All they can do is, make changes based on the voice of the majority. The rest will have to live with it or go somewhere else.

    I don't think it's possible, or cost effective, to try to create a game that makes everyone 100% happy. At least not one where you are interacting with other people in realtime (MMOs). You would have to create a game engine that learned your playstyle and custom tailored the game to each individual. Not gonna happen.
    There is no such thing as "the majority", there are dozens of different types of players, and if you try to appeal to "the majority" you wind up making a game that makes none of them happy. That is the fundamental problem facing LFR / LFD type tools and other things that people call for in modern MMOs: they group all players together randomly, and completely ignore that each player has different needs, wants and abilities.

    Players are also notoriously bad at knowing "what's good for them". We tend to ask for easier bosses, faster leveling, more loot, etc... but just like plugging in a Game Genie on Final Fantasy makes the game instantly boring "yay, I'm level 99 with all the materia... guess I stop playing now"... when we open up the faucet of easy loot and fast raids, we sometimes see the game just die, because the players lose interest.

    -

    There's a fine line between "too easy" and "eff this", and that line is in a different place for different audiences. An MMO can easily address that - SWTOR already does - but a "one size fits all" tool like the current LFR / LFD system in WoW would not address that. If such a tool were going into SWTOR, it would have to be far more sophisticated at detecting player skill.
    Last edited by subrosian; 2012-01-29 at 03:45 AM.

  5. #5
    A group of new 50s can clear BT hm, a group of new 50s can not clear BI. So it's very simple to evaluate the gear score, just like WoW does, and allow that level into the instance which it has been designed for.

    Since when is LFG designed to match player ability to difficulty? You have raids for that sort of thing - normal and heroic! LFG aka 5mans in WoW and 4mans in SWTOR are nothing more than gearing tools. They get you ready to do raids / ops. The ability to match difficulty is already in the game - normal, hard and nightmare.

    And why is it when someone decides to post another thread against something they don't like they have to preface it with, "and this is what I do for a living"? What, because you work in "academia" that makes your opinion of why LFG is bad for the entire community and to hell with the rest of us who can benefit from it?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by greysaber View Post
    All they can do is, make changes based on the voice of the majority. The rest will have to live with it or go somewhere else.
    It's not as simple as that, if the majority would decide then the game would die quickly, humans are convenient and lazy by nature, we need to be pushed in to making an effort. We are also very inventive and hard working if we find the goal worth the effort, this is where the developer has to act as the strong parent that has the games best interest in mind and not the customers wishes, sadly the marketing people gets in the middle there as we live in a capitalistic world.

    This is what scares me a bit with all the people asking for WoW features in TOR, if WoW does it so well then go play that. Trying to bend all new MMOs to be the same and have the same features as the other MMOs on the market will result in all of them being the same game with different shells. So no, you can't develop for the majority alone, that very majority would be spread across several games and eventually all of them would die as people got bored with MMOs in general.

    At least that's my view of it, so stop asking to make TOR in to StarWoW and let the game evolve in to it's own game.

    Disclaimer: It's 5am here so my logic might stink, deal with it. :P

    Edit: A bit more OT, major issue with difficulty settings only occur when they are nerfed to be reused as additional content, if the normal/hard/nightmare is tuned well to be PUG/avg guild with linear increase in difficulty/ball busting hard for the hardcore and left that way it's just fine, simply develop more content in a reasonable pace making nerfs redundant.
    Last edited by Redblade; 2012-01-29 at 04:12 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellrae View Post
    A group of new 50s can clear BT hm, a group of new 50s can not clear BI. So it's very simple to evaluate the gear score, just like WoW does, and allow that level into the instance which it has been designed for.

    Since when is LFG designed to match player ability to difficulty? You have raids for that sort of thing - normal and heroic! LFG aka 5mans in WoW and 4mans in SWTOR are nothing more than gearing tools. They get you ready to do raids / ops. The ability to match difficulty is already in the game - normal, hard and nightmare.

    And why is it when someone decides to post another thread against something they don't like they have to preface it with, "and this is what I do for a living"? What, because you work in "academia" that makes your opinion of why LFG is bad for the entire community and to hell with the rest of us who can benefit from it?
    Don't forget that the title says 'must read'... As if it's some life-changing insight.

  8. #8
    I think it's fine as long as it keeps single server..

    part of WoW's problem is that..

    1. There were very few end game 5 men instances.. So people really want to just move on to heroic 5 men
    2. You can't friend cross server characters (and no... I am not going to give you a Real-ID because you are a pretty good player I just met in LFG).
    3. You literally gain MORE benefits using LFG than actually manully forming a group. (Luck of the Draw buff).
    4. No one is thinking about building a reputation.. Because no one thinks he/she will ever see the other player again.


    LFD/LFR can work.. but it needs to be focusing on helping players actually make new friends and encourage them to play together later on.. It shouldn't' be just about throwing bunch of random dudes together.
    Last edited by Semihage; 2012-01-29 at 04:09 AM.

  9. #9
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    @op
    Most convoluted reason I've ever seen to oppose LFD/LFR
    I'll give you a 6/10 for the attempt to break the mold of the good ol' community killer.

    Oh BTW, BW did state they are currently designing a single server LFD.
    So I'm afraid this thread might be a little obsolete.

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-29 at 05:29 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Semihage View Post
    part of WoW's problem is that..

    1. There were very few end game 5 men instances.. So people really want to just move on to heroic 5 men
    Especially true of Cata. Will be solved for MoP : no normal mode 90 dungeons
    2. You can't friend cross server characters (and no... I am not going to give you a Real-ID because you are a pretty good player I just met in LFG).
    Will be solved soon with the battletag system (=pseudonym)
    3. You literally gain MORE benefits using LFG than actually manully forming a group. (Luck of the Draw buff).
    Yes though it could be argued that the "manual" group has better coordination/communication.
    4. No one is thinking about building a reputation.. Because no one thinks he/she will ever see the other player again.
    Well I don't really see a difference with manual grouping.
    The only way I can remember "bad" players is through my blacklist.
    And blacklist works cross-realm so as much effective there too.
    Just my opinion

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by gurv View Post
    @op
    Most convoluted reason I've ever seen to oppose LFD/LFR
    I'll give you a 6/10 for the attempt to break the mold of the good ol' community killer.

    Oh BTW, BW did state they are currently designing a single server LFD.
    So I'm afraid this thread might be a little obsolete.

    ---------- Post added 2012-01-29 at 05:29 AM ----------


    Just my opinion
    Yeah but that's the thing.. Without those systems.. cross server LFG would actually in fact destroy the community and social-ness of the game.. Just keeping it single server first should be good if BW can start merging some servers.

    SWTOR looks like it has the infrastructure to support a few MASSIVE servers thanks to instancing. If the servers are massive, I don't see why we need cross server LFG.

    My personal experience in Proudmoore is that, after dual spec came out (and before LFG system), my tank/healer were able to get into a group within 3-4 mins just advertising on chat because there are just so much demands for tank/healer. And when Cata came out, DPS is actually taking 40 mins to find a group using LFG!! Things weren't even that back when I tried join as DPS pre LFG!.

  11. #11
    Honestly? I think they should scale encounters on the number of players present.

    Four players, encounter has X number of phases, and the boss does Y number of attacks/PBAoE/GTAoEs/spawns.

    Eight players, encounter has X number of phases, and the boss does Y*1.5 or *2 etc. Sixteen, and it does *3 or *4.

    Obviously subject to encounter and area limitation. Casual players won't want to sit around waiting for a group to get together to tackle the boss, but they don't have to. Players that go for the prestige of a harder kill will be willing to go that extra mile before the raid starts. Harder encounter along with harder coordination bragging rights? Check.

    Larger raid, obviously more loot per kill. But not only that, larger loot tables. Include "badge gear", tokens, etc. Not better loot across the board, but a wider range, and greater amount of loot per person (based on the size of the raid). More reward for more effort? Check.

    Should there be some better rewards? Yes, definitely. Perhaps at 8 and 16 players, the increase size of the loot tables include the opportunity for cool mounts, nice looking moddable armor and weapons (not better hilts/barrels, but perhaps better mods/enhancements) Schematics and crafting resources that can be sold, and some rare ones that are bind on pickup. Cool cosmetic items? Check.

    Further, the schematics that drop could craft items equivalent to the boss drops (for certain slots, ofc). However, with crits they could be a bit better.

    Titles, perhaps a Legacy bonus, for meta-achievements. Such metas would be made up of "scaleable achies": "Kill 50 whelks during the Assault On Ixia gauntlet event", where the counter doesn't reset between instances, so casuals can get it in 4 mans, 8mans could get it in a couple of weeks, and 16s will be walking out with that specific achie after their first survival of the f&#king whelk swarms in phase 2. I think you get the idea.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Semihage View Post
    And when Cata came out, DPS is actually taking 40 mins to find a group using LFG!! Things weren't even that back when I tried join as DPS pre LFG!.
    Uhhmm... do you remember TBC? When you had to just sit in a major city and spam "/2 [my role] lfg daily heroic" for 20, 30, 40 minutes? Unless you were in a good guild, of course. Which is what my suggestion was above.

    Promote guilds should be the first priority. A same-server LFG would also be fine. Ops should never be touched that way.

  13. #13
    I believe dead faction should be a problem that ought to be solved using different method..(Maybe xp gain bonus if you roll on a server that has a faction imbal?)

    BW already said in an interview that they want to address that problem and have a few ideas.. We'll just have to wait and see.. Feels like they want to encourage open world pvp in this game.. In that case, they need to seriously address this problem.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bellrae View Post
    What, because you work in "academia" that makes your opinion of why LFG is bad for the entire community and to hell with the rest of us who can benefit from it?
    ...I was making a joke at my expense about how my wife and I are nerds because we sit around and talk about this kind of thing... not sure why that makes you so angry.

    Quote Originally Posted by alilei31 View Post
    LFD isnt needed for the most part if you are empire. On my server theres always spam in Fleet for groups of all levels and difficulties. However, in order for Republic to survive it must have a cross server LFD or people will continue rerolling Empire until theres only one faction.
    Server balance is a separate issue entirely. A cross-faction automated LFD tool wouldn't solve the faction balance issue (you're still going to get farmed in Ilum, for example, unless Ilum is turned into a cross-realm instanced warzone... ugh). Server balance also threatens the ability of Republic (and on a few servers, Empire) players to be able to do Operations, since being on the "losing" side of server balance means your opportunity to find a group with similar play times and skill level is lower.

    And that's precisely what this topic is about: focusing on the wrong issue.

    -

    My "issue" isn't that "LFD = GAME IS DEAD", my issue is that LFD / LFR is attempting to "solve" a problem with a band-aid. The PROBLEM is one that WoW is struggling to solve with MoP right now: how do you introduce enough content to keep all of your different audiences happy? When dungeons and raids are "dumbed down" for the LFR (because with a random group you can't guarantee all the players are at X skill level, if the content is as hard as content for pre-mades, a random group won't be able to do it).

    When we talk about LFD, LFR, difficulty, end-game, etc... we ought to be thinking in terms of many audiences instead of "the majority" or "hardcore vs casuals". I see so many topics on here that don't consider audiences, and that's troubling because if we talk in terms of "the majority" or ignore the issue of player differences, we wind up with content that doesn't make many people happy.

    -

    -

    I personally believe the SWTOR faction balance issue could be solved by a clever faction change mechanic. For example, let my Imperial Agent defect to the Republic. Or, let me "Legacy" into a Republic character with a 4x EXP and Valor bonus. If there were a way to not lose our character progress, my entire guild would go Republic in a heartbeat.
    Last edited by subrosian; 2012-01-29 at 05:47 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by subrosian View Post
    -

    My "issue" isn't that "LFD = GAME IS DEAD", my issue is that LFD / LFR is attempting to "solve" a problem with a band-aid.
    I agree but I think the problem they tried to solve with a band aid was the imbalance in server pops. The correct solution would be to merge servers. The band aid fix was lfd. Lfr is a band aid solution to a problem THEY caused when they cut the lock outs to 1 raid save 10 or 25 man a week. It used to be I had all sorts of opportunity to run content, and pugs happened all the time. It used to be that a pool of raiders was trained up this way. In their infinite wisdom they decided the choice to raid the same instance twice a week wasn't "fun". I have a hard time understanding the illusive concept of "fun" they keep trying to chase.
    Last edited by Glorious Leader; 2012-01-29 at 05:44 AM.

  16. #16
    This is a pretty obviously-answered thing:

    The system starts out just fine. When a raid comes out (I'm speaking for WoW only, as I don't play ToR), you have various difficulties. At first, you had 4 (well, when I started in Wrath...10, 25, 10H, and 25H). If you were bad, you did 10. If you were amazing, you did 25H. You had difficulty varied by raid size and heroic/normal.

    LFR had the potential to make it better, to be honest. While I didn't support (or really care at all one way or the other) for the 10/25 merger (one less raid to do a week meant more boredom), LFR gave u 3 difficulties--LFR, normal, and heroic. That is about the standard you get with single-player campaigns. Nowadays, it's gone to the stupid idea of now having 4-5 difficulties in FPS titles (example: Easy, Normal, Heroic, Legendary for Halo). Point being, you have several paths that are decide primarily by skill (bads do LFR, normal people do regulars, and great players do heroics).

    Where this gets ruined is nerfing and entitlement whining. You never see games like Halo, Call of Duty, or Gears of War release patches to weaken opponents for the sake of letting everyone beat the game on the hardest difficulty. With LFR, people were given the chance to see the content. They bitched and moaned that normals (and heroics, which most people have no business being in--that includes myself, as I don't play much) were too hard and they were not allowing people to see the content. LFR had that whole issue fixed 100%. HOWEVER, people bitch if you give them $100 because the bill has a wrinkle.

    Even though the "we can't see the content! NERF!" stance was killed, Blizzard still kept trivializing gear and achievements. Even though a raid full of blind people could beat Dragon Soul, Blizzard still acts like people NEED to down normal and heroic stuff because the gear is important to such an extent. What you then end up with going forward (this is more of what I expect MoP raiding to potentially become) is people getting handed heroic gear because of massive raid nerfs to let the LFR folks down heroics. Then those LFR people will be WAY overgeared for the next tier's LFR because it SHOULD (as in...if Blizzard was smart about it) be tuned to be fought from LFR tier gear from the previous tier (meaning t15 LFR needs t14 LFR gear, but herps have t14 heroic gear, hypothetically). People will then eat through the content at light speed and whine there isn't more content/content is too easy. The whiners will basically whine because they got their way.

    You're absolutely right that the game isn't utilizing difficulties. The problem is, they don't even need to do anything, but they tweak a fine system so it's broken. The solution to the problem of segmentation is pretty simple. Here are the steps I would take to make it better:

    1. Make it so LFR shares loot lockouts with normal and heroic modes. This way, you don't have double-loot whore elitists coming into LFR and brute forcing it for the lesser players and they feel a legitimate sense of accomplishment when something dies.
    2. Stop nerfing raids and dungeons unless it is to fix a bug (again, I joined in Wrath, but I heard C'thun was impossibly overtuned, so that is an example of an exception to the rule). This way, hard content STAYS hard, and you either have to get better or not participate at that level. This both keeps people at their appropriate level and motivates them to improve. Rather than sitting around and waiting for heroic content to be trivialized so you can down it in LFR gear, you either have to practice to do it or you have to not do it. This also keeps the elite players (elite = good, not elitist) happy because they have a way to show that they are the best of the best (unique-looking gear, achievmeents), and they still have something semi-challenging to do while waiting for new content (they have no reason to actually TRY in nerfed heroics).
    3. If you ARE going to nerf content (which I hate), at least make achievements Feats of Strength. The second you nerf heroics, remove the achievements. When a top guild like [insert favorite top-end guild here] goes out, does a great job accomplishing something tough, then sees that same thing handed out (heroic gear and achievements/mounts) for nothing, it's pretty deflating, I'd imagine. I mean, if you were a car salesman, and you were told you got an extra $5,000 for selling 10 more cars, you sold 10 more cars, then your boss said everyone else could get that $5,000 for selling 5 cars, wouldn't you feel slighted?

    That's about all I can rant about. You're right in spotting the problem, and there's my solution--use the system implemented correctly, and the issue of segmentation goes away. We have difficulties, but within 2 months of introduction, Heroic becomes nearly LFR-level, it seems.

  17. #17
    The entitlement mentality was definitely one of the major problems with WoW... or more specifically, giving in to that mentality, but I do have to diverge a bit on one point. While they should never have gone and nerfed content so that people could essentially just wait long enough and down Heroics in LFR gear, the content should be accessible at all difficulties.

    Does Gears of War give you the Hard mode achievements for doing the game on Easy? No, of course not. Does it get nerfed so that Hard is now Easy with a different label? Never. Can you see the game ending and play through all the content on easy, and still get the story, abilities, and character development? Yes, 100%.

    In other words, the problem wasn't entirely that they put dungeon a queue, the problem was that they put Heroic dungeons on the queue, people who couldn't handle them joined that queue and wiped the groups, so they nerfed the content. Instead, there needed to be some other solution. They chose to make the LFD work (by nerfing dungeons) over choosing to keep the content difficult.

    -

    The problem that faces all LFD and LFR tools is that in order for them to generate some reasonable chance of success, the content has to be easy enough that a group can survive a big gap in player skill and gear. That's tough to accommodate, especially when the system only uses gear levels and doesn't actually account for things like the stats that are on the gear, or the quality of the player's talent choices. That's what concerns me if SWTOR were to ever implement an automatic x-LFD / LFR tool, and a problem that faces all MMOs.

  18. #18
    Herald of the Titans Dannyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subrosian View Post
    Further, even though MMOs claim to have multiple difficulties, they really don't...
    Out of everything in this thread, I think this is the heart of the very problem. Blizzard is simply not able to define the difficulty levels of their content. They realize that they have players from all walks of life and their solution is to continually adjust the difficulty of their dungeons and raids. First they let some time pass so that the hard core and elites can get through it and then later nerf it, either in one swoop or incrementally, so that others can get through it as well. The thing is, I don't think this is a problem with the LFD or LFR. It is more about this ridiculous approach that Blizzard has, constantly adjusting the difficulty, instead of having two or three well defined difficulty modes.

    Also, they have a lot of legacy structure from older versions of the game, such as normal and hard mode 5-man dungeons and how they are spread across each expansion, adding to the complexity of the problem. Normal 5s are traditionally part of both the leveling content AND the gearing up step towards their hard mode counterparts, and there is a wide gap between difficulty of the different normal modes. E.g. in cata, Blackrock Caverns was clearly meant for a group of 80s and 81s with almost no Cata gear to speak of. That means that once you level to 83, you can could plow through it easily, not to mention what happened when you got to 85. Imo, the normal modes need to be brought to about the same level, so that they can be a consistent access point to the hard mode.

    For raids, I think Blizzard has a potential setup ready for them. The LFR difficulty, aka easy mode, normal mode, and hard mode. All three which provide access to end game content but do not leave out any story elements, meaning that you don't have to complete hard modes to see the whole story. Importantly, Blizzard needs to define the difficulty for each mode and stick with it. No more of the silly nerfing content so more people can complete it.

    In a way though, I think, what you called the social stigma and which is created by the community itself is a big part of the problem because people tend to develop too much elitist views of themselves. People who are able to defeat harder content look down upon the people who are not able to progress that far. You can see it clearly in the forums where, tactics and mechanics are discussed, they tend to only really focus around hard mode content. Anyone who comes in and brings in some views on "easier" content is told to bugger off. People go as far as troll and act like utter asswads towards those with less progress, or willingness to progress as far.

    This creates social pressure on those less skilled players, which translates to pressure on the game developers to somehow compensate for them. That's where the vicious cycle begins.

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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyl View Post

    This creates social pressure on those less skilled players, which translates to pressure on the game developers to somehow compensate for them. That's where the vicious cycle begins.

    I have a somewhat "crazy" idea on a solution for this, though I actually feel obligated to link my WoW toon precisely because people will go "you're just saying that because you're a bad".

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...osian/advanced

    -
    7/7H pre-nerf, 6/8H pre-nerf... just saying. Okay.
    -

    Provide the same gear reward for LFR, Normal and Heroic. Pause. OMFG WHAT THAT'S CRAZY.

    No, it isn't.


    -

    See, right now the LFR -> Normal -> Heroic progression is mandated by gear LEVEL. This is a mistake. It creates tuning problems when you have multiple tiers (players often choose a tier based on their pre-existing gear, rather than their desired challenge level, and no, an encounter that is hard because you are undergeared is NOT the same as an encounter that is challenging because the mechanics are forcing you to fully utilize your class). Remove that from the equation, and players are not obligated to do harder encounters for gear, instead, they do the harder encounters for the *achievement*.

    "But what about showing off the kill?"

    Do what we do for the 2200+ PVP bracket now: let players trade in their LFR and Normal gear for upgraded appearance gear, which would visually be distinct and showcase that they had completed the harder encounters. In addition, make the title and website achievements tied to doing the kill on the highest difficulty while it is still relevant content (disable going back a tier later and doing it). In this way, you can make it so players in lower difficulty aren't punished for wanting to do appropriate content (it removes the grind) and players going into higher difficulty are guaranteed something that no one previously will ever have (their cosmetic awards are locked to that "season" of raiding, beyond that season that gear will never again be made available).

    -

    It's just an idea, it's obviously not perfect, but it's something to consider when we move into the area of "how do we make an MMO actually have multiple difficulties?".

  20. #20
    Personally I don't think there should be multiple levels of difficulty. It's an MMO not a single player game, players do not "deserve" anything if they choose to play the game. They can vote with their money if they think the game is too hard or too easy. The best times I had in WoW was when there were no difficulty levels because we all played on the same level.

    One boss, one kill, one effort.

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