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  1. #1
    not good with computers
    chaud's Avatar
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    Cataclysm Post Mortem - Dungeons and Raids, Darkmoon Faire Issues, MMO Report

    Update - We just received the following message from Blizzard - "Soon we fly together again…"



    Cataclysm Post Mortem - Dungeons and Raids with Scott “Daelo” Mercer
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    As a part of our post mortem series on Cataclysm, we sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott “Daelo” Mercer to hear his thoughts on Cataclysm dungeons and raids.

    Q. What were your main goals going into Cataclysm?
    We really wanted to make sure we were creating new challenges, strong mechanics, and cool creatures while staying true to the expansion and the themes we wanted to carry out. The three raid dungeons came out well and we had a lot of fun bringing the story of Nefarian and the Twilight’s Hammer to life. We were also able to add some dynamic mechanics in Throne of the Four Winds, which featured players moving across multiple platforms.


    Q. How did this evolve over the various content patches?
    Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman were entertaining raids with diverse mechanics, and they translated well when we converted them into Heroic dungeons for patch 4.1. Interesting mechanics and features that once were restricted to raids are now finding their way into our five-player dungeons.

    Adding the Dungeon Journal in patch 4.2 was also a major step forward. We wanted to be able to share more information in the game so that players wouldn’t feel the need to go look everything up on external websites. While those sites are great at what they do, we felt like we needed to try to alleviate the need to go out of the game to find the information players wanted to see.

    The addition of Raid Finder in patch 4.3 also opened up more opportunities for players to be able to experience our raid content. The feature has proven to be extremely popular, and not just with people who had given up on raiding. Many players use Raid Finder to gear up their secondary characters, gain Valor for the week, or just because it’s fun.

    Q. What do you think worked best?
    We’ve been reasonably successful with our tuning across all four raid difficulty modes. There were a few warts here and there, but we delivered on the idea that 10-player and 25-player raids could exist at a similar difficulty. We also had some memorable dungeons and cinematic moments in Cataclysm. I’m particularly fond of the interactive bombing run in Grim Batol involving the red drakes. Players really got a sense of the epic scale of Grim Batol, and how well they performed in the event could make clearing the rest of the dungeon much easier.


    With our improved tools and the experience we’ve gained over the years, we’ve become better at finding ways to explain the mechanics of our encounters. Our bosses do a better job of warning players of incoming threats. In Dragon Soul we also began to better inform players of mechanics that caused them to die. Providing a better understanding of the encounters to players is an important goal. We feel that losing to a boss and not understanding why is frustrating, just as beating a boss and not understanding why you won is not as satisfying.

    Q. What didn’t work out as planned or expected?
    Initially, we started off the Heroic dungeons at too high of a difficulty. The difficulty level rather abruptly changed when compared to the Heroics players experienced at the end of Wrath of the Lich King. This major change caught many players off guard, and frustrated some of them. The difficulty also increased the effective amount of time required to complete a dungeon to a longer experience than we wanted. With the release of patch 4.3 we’re now in a much better place. We’ve always talked about being able to complete a dungeon over lunch, and the Hour of Twilight dungeons get us back to that goal. End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight all provide epic play experiences to our players, but at the real sweet spot of difficulty, complexity, and time commitment.

    Q. Was there anything that surprised you about how players reacted to a particular encounter?

    Not particularly. Something we’ve learned over the years is to expect the unexpected. The community is very creative and intelligent. The most important thing for us is that players are having fun. They often find interesting ways of approaching things that maybe we didn’t expect, but as long the creative solution is still fun for everyone, we usually don’t have a problem with it.

    Q. What have you learned from Cataclysm and what are some of your top goals for Mists of Pandaria?
    We learned we could create a crazy encounter like the Spine of Deathwing. It took a lot of hard work from the whole team and it was a difficult design challenge to tackle. How do you orchestrate a fight on the back of a gigantic flying dragon without inducing nausea? How do we make sure you feel like you’re on Deathwing? Delivering that experience was really important and everyone wanted the opportunity to work on it. What was really great was that we launched the story of Cataclysm with the cinematic that showed Deathwing having his elementium plates being put on, then we end the expansion with those very same plates being torn off. It gives some real closure to storyline.


    For Mists of Pandaria, we will continue to provide new dungeons and raids while also presenting interesting new types of content in the form of challenge modes and scenarios. Players will also be introduced to new enemies in the Sha, Mogu, and Mantids. Making those creatures come to life will be a lot of fun.

    Q. Do you have a favorite dungeon or encounter from Cataclysm?
    There are so many. The Conclave of Wind was a great one. Working out interesting mechanics that allowed players to go from platform to platform was a lot of fun and the environment felt really epic. A fight like that was a goal of the encounter team for a very long time.

    Blackwing Descent was another favorite and working out the mechanics for the Atramedes fight gave us a lot to think about. How do you create an encounter with a blind dragon that fights? So we gave him sonar and showed the interaction with a sound meter on the player’s UI.


    In Bastion of Twilight, we really got to sell the corruption angle on Cho’gall which made for another really interesting fight.

    Q. Is there a certain mechanic that you always wanted to do but couldn’t do prior to Cataclysm?
    Not really. There are so many cool ideas to work with that I never feel held back. It’s easy to be creatively inspired by the people around you and their energy. It’s never a problem of coming up with ideas. It’s usually deciding which ones we want to go with next, but the possibilities are endless.

    Q. Do you have a “dream” dungeon or encounter that you’d like to create if you had the opportunity?
    I’ve never felt that I haven’t been able to do the things I want to do. Everyone on the team is completely dedicated to giving us unlimited opportunities to make epic and awesome experiences. But, if I have to mention something, it would be huge giant death robots. We had Mimiron in Ulduar, but you just can’t have too many death robots.

    Thank you for your time, Scott.
    You’re welcome.

    Discuss the latest Cataclysm Post Mortem here.

    Darkmoon Faire Issues
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
    February’s Darkmoon Faire achievement progress status was cleared prior to the launch of March's faire. Any achievements that were started but not completed have had their criteria reset. Completed achievements are unaffected. We previously announced that this was resolved for this month and going forward, unfortunately, that did not happen and this is still being investigated for a resolution.

    The following achievements are most likely impacted:

    Darkmoon Defender
    Darkmoon Dungeoneer
    Darkmoon Despoiler

    Regrettably, we are not able to restore any progress you may have made during February's faire. We understand the impact this may have had and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.

    Curse March Gaming Bracket Challenge - Round 2!
    The March Gaming Bracket Challenge presented by Curse and Alienware is a tournament that pits video game characters against one another for multiple rounds of voting!

    Each week in March we will be matching up characters from all ends of the gaming universe; from Skyrim to Starcraft, WoW to Minecraft. Selection of the characters that make it through to the next round is up to you since your votes decide who rises up and who falls in this arena! You can see the full bracket here.

    Each week we are giving away one Alienware X51 (US residents only), so don't forget to enter to win and vote for your favorite characters.



    MMO-Report
    The MMO Report has a special episode about RIFT this week!

    Last edited by Boubouille; 2012-03-06 at 07:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Mechagnome Aztrazolo's Avatar
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    I didn't really care for Grim Batol. Had way too many bad experiences there even after the Dungeons were retuned.

  3. #3
    IMO Grim Batol was a failure in comparison to Wintergrasp

    EDIT: I was thinking of that prison
    Last edited by skycaptain; 2012-03-06 at 02:35 AM.

  4. #4
    When the DMF relics first came out, I needed 1 more. They all reset, so I got them all again - still missing 1. Im glad I held onto them all and didn't cash them in right away this time else I would be fuming.

  5. #5
    Dreadlord Spellweaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skycaptain View Post
    IMO Grim Batol was a failure in comparison to Wintergrasp
    So a 5-man instance is a failure in comparison to a PvP zone.



    Makes sense....I guess.

    WoW: Zebrin | TERA: Rintha | GW2: Nezira Cinderclaw

  6. #6
    "End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight all provide epic play experiences to our players, but at the real sweet spot of difficulty, complexity, and time commitment."Ahahaha..I felt off from the chair....Joke of the week (and the proof:We played with a different game. In my game this 3 instance is the greatest facerolls and most boring instances ever....)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Zik3l View Post
    When the DMF relics first came out, I needed 1 more. They all reset, so I got them all again - still missing 1. Im glad I held onto them all and didn't cash them in right away this time else I would be fuming.
    this.. only that i used them

    spent more gold on rebuying now than it would have cost me to just get it the first time >_< fuck you blizzard

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Zik3l View Post
    When the DMF relics first came out, I needed 1 more. They all reset, so I got them all again - still missing 1. Im glad I held onto them all and didn't cash them in right away this time else I would be fuming.
    Yeah... next month, I'll probably do the same. waiting for them to just add the words "in a single DMF" and call it a day.
    "Mitt Romney is a lot like the band Nickelback. They sell a lot of records but I don’t know anybody that has one."

  9. #9
    The Patient Phillytwo's Avatar
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    inb4 huge QQ about him calling things epic

  10. #10
    Ugh, I really hope they don't have a situation like ZA/ZG again. Only 2 dungeons for a tier, that are difficult to pug, and have a very um... let's say "distinctive" (ie, hideous) visual style to the loot. I still haven't even completed both of them.

  11. #11
    The Dungeons & Raids post-mortem was terrible. It read completely through and through like marketing-speak that had been vetted by committee rather than anyone's honest opinion.

    I don't expect anyone at Blizzard to come out and detail specific arguments about content difficulty, or encounter design, or raid size scaling issues, but I would have preferred it to at least sound like the sort of thing that a real human would say if you were talking with them face to face.

    Bleh.

  12. #12
    Epic! Zatheyll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cateran View Post
    "End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight all provide epic play experiences to our players, but at the real sweet spot of difficulty, complexity, and time commitment."Ahahaha..I felt off from the chair....Joke of the week (and the proof:We played with a different game. In my game this 3 instance is the greatest facerolls and most boring instances ever....)
    I enjoyed those three more then any others. They where just as said, short and sweet, and amazingly fun. You didn't have to spend hours doing them, they where very interactive, and extremely eye-candy like.

  13. #13
    The Insane Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
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    I'm sad he didn't say firelands was too hard, because it was.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Zatheyll View Post
    I enjoyed those three more then any others. They where just as said, short and sweet, and amazingly fun. You didn't have to spend hours doing them, they where very interactive, and extremely eye-candy like.
    Well, that`s an opinion too..but could you explain to me which instaces were the last ones where you spent "hours" (WoE with the buff is really a joke...not to mention the endboss fight which is basically a fight between 3 npc...but hell, if you like that, have fun)

  15. #15
    I can see what they are getting at, wanting dungeons to be a short, yet enjoyable experience for the majority of the player base. But I really enjoyed the challenge they provided the first couple of weeks in cata, while gearing for raids. I know I fall in the minority, which is sad, but I hope, going into Mist of Pandaria, that at least raids won't be dumbed down to the current level. Thats just my two cents though :-)

  16. #16
    Too bad H Nef is scaled higher than H Rag. GG with the pve there

  17. #17
    *The community is very creative and intelligent*


    LMFAO, that made my day.

  18. #18
    Epic! Zatheyll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cateran View Post
    Well, that`s an opinion too..but could you explain to me which instaces were the last ones where you spent "hours" (WoE with the buff is really a joke...not to mention the endboss fight which is basically a fight between 3 npc...but hell, if you like that, have fun)
    Five hour Deadmines at Cata launch?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by dokhidamo View Post
    I'm sad he didn't say firelands was too hard, because it was.
    maybe to retards, yeah

  20. #20
    hugh ...
    Worse. interview. ever ....
    Scott “Daelo” Mercer is so tasteless, i get it now. if someone like him is in charge it could explain a few things... I don't get it... he seems to have ab-so-lu-te-ly no point of view whatsoever about how things went thoughout cata it's impressive.

    I mean the interviewer asks him a few interesting questions like - were you surprised by anything ? what did u think worked best ? what didnt work out as intended ? what have you learned ? and so on ...
    .....AND HIS ANSWERS ARE ALL THE SAME : - Hmm i don't know maybe, i guess.

    wait. . .what ? That's all that's comming to mind ? there's SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT and you have NOTHING TO SAY.... REALLY.
    I'm really amazed by his lack of interest in the game.

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