1. #1

    The Dungeon Journal Effect

    I, like most people, have been following this race rather closely and have been somewhat disappointed by the weekly clears of both normal and heroic difficulties. There has to be some contributing factor that makes this tier, as well as the previous one, seem more simple than those before it. Has anyone considered the Dungeon Journal and its effect on bleeding edge raiding?

    Figure this: when Yogg-Saron, Heroic Lich King, or Heroic Ragnaros were released, guilds had no clue as to what to expect from phase to phase. As the next phase arises, the best guilds in the world would have no understanding of what to expect next, and be forced to spend a multitude of time trying to learn and adapt to this new encounter. But how does this play into current raiding? Every single boss this tier had their dungeon journal available since before the start of the expansion, and it does not take a genius to figure out how to change the tab from "Raid Finder" to "Normal" to "Heroic" and see what changes were going to happen in each phase of difficulty. Would it not make sense, then, for the best guilds in the world to use any information at their disposal to clear the instances in the fastest times? I believe so. Just as if guilds such as DREAM Paragon, Method, Blood Legion, and vodka were to stream their raids live, there would be people watching and seeing how they tackle roadblocks, having heroic encounters in the dungeon journal is another limiting barrier to the difficulty.

    I would like to pause and say that I feel in no way that 100% of the simplicity of this tier was due to the dungeon journal. I am just wondering (out loud and for discussions-sake), if these instances might have lasted a reset or two before having them fully cleared. You're free to disagree, obviously, but please don't post flamebait or troll. It goes nowhere very quickly.

    What are your thoughts?
    - Does/Did the dungeon journal affect the race?
    - Should the dungeon journal contain heroic boss information?
    - If yes to the above, should they stagger its release to once the world race has concluded?
    - Are there other alternatives to having heroic boss information in the dungeon journal?

  2. #2
    The Lightbringer
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    I am quite sure that the dungeon journal was released, together with Ragnaros heroic, in patch 4.2.

  3. #3
    Data Mining encounters has been a thing since Vanilla. So this isn't really a new factor in raiding. For the top guilds they've had to the ability to understand most of the mechanics going on in an encounter before it was released. Although I do think the Dungeon Journal is probably making the whole process quicker.

    I think the main reason bosses are dying quicker because the top guilds are simply better than they were years ago. They come into new tier with more experience, are better prepared and players are just all around better.

  4. #4
    back in the day ppl practised on the PTR, i know guilds on my server were getting near full groups together when naxx was on the classic ptr.. i think from a certain perspective it was silly having to wait for ppl to create guides, although to be fair there weren't many bosses that were anything more than tank and spank back then. even in TBC the bosses were relatively simplistic and required mostly good positioning.

    basically the dungeon journal is much better than having to wait or get everyone onto the PTR. it just sped up the whole process.
    Last edited by Heathy; 2012-11-25 at 03:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Dreadlord Choice's Avatar
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    Normal modes with single mechanical changes are the biggest issue. Sha being the exception, we've seen nil all changes to a lot of the heroic versions of the encounters this expansion. Consider that for a moment, all of MSV was very minor in its changes.

    Stone guard had tiles and all existing mechanics.
    Feng had a phase that took one pull to learn.
    Gara'jal had more severers.
    Spirit kings had spell reflect.
    Elegon has LoS.
    Will had sparks and Mage strat.

    The list goes on, this sort of shit doesn't make for lasting encounters. I can't comment on sha since I'm yet to see it at this point, but its pretty clear that blizzard are limiting the depth to their fight by limiting the heroic changes. Under these conditions you can, as we have, formulate strategies before even seeing the heroic version since you know all you need to in order to slot in heroic changes, and adjust come raid time.

    This reins true particularly for guilds that blood legion that nerd it up with five clears of normal modes. They have their shit sorted by that point.

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Funkthepunk View Post
    I am quite sure that the dungeon journal was released, together with Ragnaros heroic, in patch 4.2.
    This was indeed the case. Note that just because the dungeon journal tells you what changes on Heroic doesn't mean you can create a working, EFFICIENT strat based on that information alone. Think Heroic Rag P2 and the widely used strategy of stacking->running as a group to avoid seed damage->AoE for molten seeds. The dungeon journal helps you have a basic understanding of what to expect but you actually have to try out the fights before you can truly create a strategy that works.

    The biggest reason why this Tier seemed to be clear extremely quickly by top guilds is due to 3 things and none of them are the dungeon journal.

    1.The gating of each instance. This allowed the hardcore guilds to be near full BiS gear of what was available at that time of the raid's release. This made most of the DPS checks not as large of a problem as they usually are since most guilds won't be "undergeared" when attempting these fights. Think back to the gear level that guilds were in for Heroic Baleroc/Rag vs HoF/Terrace.

    2. Extensive testing on the Beta. Obviously significant tuning changes happen but most of the best guilds walked into the live raids with a working strategy and familiarity with the fight. When you don't have to learn the mechanics of the fight and only worry about the execution aspect of it of course you will kill it significantly faster. Note that some fights can be buffed so much that the Beta strat/experiences becomes near obsolete. Additionally as the above poster said, the changes from normal to Heroic have been on the conservative side this tier for the most part. Spirit Kings, Vizier, and Sha seem to be the ones with the most changes?

    3. Blizzard has been doing aggressive hotfixing/nerfs this tier. They don't want the hardcore guilds to be working on a version of a boss that is 1000 times harder than the ones the "normal" heroic raiding guilds will see. Blizzard has always hotfixed encounters during heroic progression to remove exploits and make sure the fight is working the way they intended it to (such as making it killable) but this tier they decided to go out of their way to take it a step further. Reduce the difficulty even though the fight is clearly killable by these top guilds. In essence they are taking some of the fun away from the hardcore. Paragon's website had an interesting read on this issue. Examples from this tier: Heroic Vizier and Sha got flat out nerfs that weren't necessary according to guilds that were close to killing them prior to the nerfs.
    Last edited by Sanadoz; 2012-11-25 at 03:22 PM.

  7. #7
    - Does/Did the dungeon journal affect the race?
    It takes away an aspect of figuring out certain mechanics. This is a notable factor but not the biggest contributor to the kills we have seen. Sanadoz and Choice already brought up some good pointers.

    - Should the dungeon journal contain heroic boss information?
    This is a matter of taste. Having some of the information readily available means that guilds will be able to focus more on other aspects of the encounters instead of having to dig as much information from their logs and other sources, and then working out the complete understanding of a specific mechanic. This can be seen as both good and bad. Dungeon journal's existence also means that the developers may be able to design mechanics that they wouldn't have considered before due to their complexity or structure.

    - If yes to the above, should they stagger its release to once the world race has concluded?
    Again, this is a matter of taste.

    - Are there other alternatives to having heroic boss information in the dungeon journal?
    Yes, but the ones I can personally come up with all seem very clunky. Dungeon journal is a very convenient tool.

  8. #8
    What? I don't even...

    The dungeon journal simply makes life easier. Instead of having to delve deep into datamined information on Wowhead or other such databases, you can look at the mechanics comfortably ingame. There's literally no difference between the two other than the dungeon journal obviously being a more convenient way of going about it. Also, Ragnaros heroic was considered the hardest boss this game has ever seen and remains up there to this day. Did having the dungeon journal's information completely trivialize the encounter? No, it did not.

    With the above said, the dungeon journal, I must emphasize, is a feature designed for player comfort, nothing more.

  9. #9
    There was an addon GhostRecon even before the dungeon journal. If you see a boss ability, the addon would give you the tooltip. So no, the dungeon journal hasn't had any effect.
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    you're likely wrong, and we don't care anyway.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mammoth View Post
    There was an addon GhostRecon even before the dungeon journal. If you see a boss ability, the addon would give you the tooltip. So no, the dungeon journal hasn't had any effect.
    It is worth noting that the dungeon journal is often much more descriptive than the tooltips.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kebren View Post
    Data Mining encounters has been a thing since Vanilla. So this isn't really a new factor in raiding. For the top guilds they've had to the ability to understand most of the mechanics going on in an encounter before it was released. Although I do think the Dungeon Journal is probably making the whole process quicker.
    This is wrong - data mining wasn't a huge thing until Wrath of the Lich King. For top guilds, learning what Vanilla bosses did was trial and error, none of the abilties had descriptive tooltips you could just mine from the game files. You had to pull and analyse combat logs, try things out, to see how different mechanics actually worked.

    This would not have much effect on the top guilds though. Simply put, bosses this tier die so fast because they are actually killable and require no extra weeks of gearing up.
    Last edited by laserguns; 2012-11-25 at 03:54 PM.

  12. #12
    Think it has much more to do with The sheer amount of time these guilds are spending raiding on the ptr, how many normal clears they do in a week to funnel their main raiders gear (5 normal HOF clears week 1 for some). The ability to try out 50 different strats before ever seeing the boss on live has a huge amount to do with it I would thing, far more than the dungeon journal ever could. Sure the journal provides some stuff, but people who play at the top level like these guilds do, it might save them 5 pulls. They take so much more time to understand what happened to them last pull and how to fix it than most raiders would even think of. They don't wipe and say well I dunno what the fuck that was? They wipe and figure it out. Surprisingly most people don't do that haha

    The second thing I think is that the small variance from normal to heroic has a big factor in the longevity of the fight. Normal mode fights with a new mechanic aren't really that much of a "new" challenge. Why you you think that AC in t11 and Rag in t12 were so much harder than a lot of their heroic counterparts and took so long for most people to kill? Sure the tuning of the fight was MUCH tighter, but they also had a lot more than 1 mechanic added in.

    Third there is a lack of HUGE gear checks, the way people knew them in like TBC. There haven't really been that many bosses released lately where it's like "well we just can't meet the enrage timer" and when there is these top guilds don't stop for the next reset of gear, they throw themselves at the boss over and over and over, refining their strat until you get something like our World first 25m Heroic Baelroc.

    And finally, I just think players are getting better at the game while the game is getting slightly (yes I do believe slightly) easier. I'm not one of those people who are like "LOL this game is a joke", especially when talking about the level these guilds are playing at. I do fully believe the players are getting better.
    Last edited by Aceshigh; 2012-11-25 at 04:00 PM.

  13. #13
    OP you haz no clue do you? Top Guild allways been in Beta/PTR so they dont need Dungeon jurnal at all - the DJ is just for the average Joe...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by laserguns View Post
    This is wrong - data mining wasn't a huge thing until Wrath of the Lich King. For top guilds, learning what Vanilla bosses did was trial and error, none of the abilties had descriptive tooltips you could just mine from the game files. You had to pull and analyse combat logs, try things out, to see how different mechanics actually worked.

    This would not have much effect on the top guilds though. Simply put, bosses this tier die so fast because they are actually killable and require no extra weeks of gearing up.
    I'll agree that data mining became a big thing in Wrath, but it was around much before that. Thottbot was essentially the data mining of Vanilla. The method of getting the information was different (Thottbot used a plugin if I remember correctly), but the end result is almost the same.

    Data mining today is quite a bit more sophisticated and they can data mine a lot more, but its been around for years.

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