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  1. #1

    Alternate paths of progression: Why ICC and Ulduar were the best raids

    I think the most frustrating thing for a guild is knowing that there is an easier boss later in the instance, but they are having to decide to either drop progression on a boss, or skip ahead. Blizzard absolutely nailed this with Ulduar. The first boss was required, but then you had a choice of 3 bosses which you had to clear to move forward, which then opened up to 1 mandatory boss, and 5 paths of progression, ending with 2 "in order" bosses.

    So basically in Ulduar I had the choice of going for Thorim, and then coming back for Hodir for the week. You can't do that in today's instances, you either have to kill it, or move on. ICC basically did the same thing with an opening linear style, then branched off into many bosses where you went Linear -> Choice of easier bosses -> Choice of harder bosses -> Lich king.

    I really think Blizzard needs to return to this model, to allow the "casual / semi-hardcore" guilds a choice of where they want to progress without punishing them. Sure the linear raids have their place, and I feel those are much better suited for 4-6 bosses, but when you have 12(13) bosses it makes it very frustrating for the casual guilds.

    My ideal setup is 3-4 bosses, with the 4th being mandatory to move forward, then 1-2 mandatory, then 3-4 more paths and finishing on the last boss.

  2. #2
    If casual guilds need to progress past a difficult boss they can wait the 1-2 months till upgrades are available again or gear up from LFR and the previous raid tiers till they have an ilevel high enough to get past the difficult boss.

  3. #3
    So that means Naxx10/25 should be up there with the best right? I mean, you had 4 bosses you could be working on at almost any time.
    Last edited by Vulpei; 2013-03-27 at 03:49 AM.

  4. #4
    Over 9000! Glorious Leader's Avatar
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    In addition to what the OP outlined Icc and Uld did a couple of other great things. For one progression actually felt like progression of instead of simple easy boss/hard boss that we have today. ICC and Ulduar had a wide range of tuning, allowing for bosses that were easy but also challenging but also making for a difficulty curve instead of simple a spike that we get in ToT today.

    ---------- Post added 2013-03-27 at 03:50 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulpei View Post
    So that means Naxx10/25 should be up there with the best right? I mean, you had 4 bosses you could be working on at almost any time.
    That's pretty much what Blizzard is expecting I think and at some point it simple going to drive more people away from normal raiding.
    The hammer comes down:
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    Normal should be reduced in difficulty. Heroic should be reduced in difficulty.
    And the tiny fraction for whom heroic raids are currently well tuned? Too bad,so sad! With the arterial bleed of subs the fastest it's ever been, the vanity development that gives you guys your own content is no longer supportable.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Libertarian View Post
    The first boss was required, but then you had a choice of 3 bosses which you had to clear to move forward, which then opened up to 1 mandatory boss, and 5 paths of progression, ending with 2 "in order" bosses.
    Well to be precise, you had one mandatory boss (Flame Lev), then two optional side bosses followed by another mandatory boss (XT), the dwarf council which I think was optional followed by another mandatory boss (Kologarn) then the four keepers who were all mandatory but you could do them in any order, then another mandatory boss (Vezax) then the end boss. And an optional hard mode boss.

    I liked Ulduar's layout but meh, I don't think it's such a big deal. Give it a few more weeks and you can down that boss and get to the "easy" one. You have to beat them all eventually anyway.
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  6. #6
    Don't forget that if you kill all the easy bosses first, you'll have an uninterrupted series of hard bosses for the rest of the tier, and that might frustrate people even more.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butler Log View Post
    Don't forget that if you kill all the easy bosses first, you'll have an uninterrupted series of hard bosses for the rest of the tier, and that might frustrate people even more.
    That's currently what's happening in ToT. The first boss is pretty easy, but the difficulty escalates a bit to much for Horridon especially for guilds that don't have all the right comps or for that matter all the right players. Linear raid design doesn't allow for much leeway in this but what's more important is that their curve of difficulty needs some rethinking. Hopefully they get some impetus to do that in the next raid tier.
    The hammer comes down:
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    Normal should be reduced in difficulty. Heroic should be reduced in difficulty.
    And the tiny fraction for whom heroic raids are currently well tuned? Too bad,so sad! With the arterial bleed of subs the fastest it's ever been, the vanity development that gives you guys your own content is no longer supportable.

  8. #8
    ICC didn't offer choice, 2 wings we're closed for weeks, it was gated, i don't see how there was choice.

    saurfang > PP > blood queen > sindragosa > LK, this was your only choice. unless you raided it with the 30% buffs then ye w/e i have nothing to say thats not raiding imo...only lk 25 hc needed that buff no other boss.

  9. #9
    I kind of like this idea, having a few options so you're not just stuck on a wall but can work on several different bosses. Kind of like how BWD is. You still have a path to progress through them, but some options along the way.

  10. #10
    You have options: Go back and clear HT14 content for gear and come back to ToT if you're stuck, difficulty is around the same, with several bosses being "easy bosses" in T14, which you should have access to on H by now.

  11. #11
    I just loved the lore of ICC and Ulduar. Don't know what it is but both raids simply felt epic every time I run them. The new raids in Pandaria just feel boring. Get in, kill boss, loot, get out. IMO, Pandaren raids just feel like they were pulled out of thin air for the sake of a new expansion.

  12. #12
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    ICC was horrible and I have no idea why do you even mention it. It was such a letdown for a final raid of the expansion.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lethora View Post
    ICC was horrible and I have no idea why do you even mention it. It was such a letdown for a final raid of the expansion.
    i think icc is one of the best raid out there :C its just icc been out for 1year thats and the gating that just ruined it for hardcore people

    @OP i think alternative path is great but with the Heroic lockout you can always skip one of heroic bosses and move onto another it will be really hard for blizz to make an ACTUAL linear progression (theyve done good job with this tier though)

  14. #14
    Since when was ICC among "the best raids". It was okayish. But most of the bosses were total letdowns (except LK (HC) who was awesome). And the floor design of the raid gives me headache-

    But in terms of pathing and non-linear style you're right.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulstrike View Post
    i think icc is one of the best raid out there :C its just icc been out for 1year thats and the gating that just ruined it for hardcore people

    @OP i think alternative path is great but with the Heroic lockout you can always skip one of heroic bosses and move onto another it will be really hard for blizz to make an ACTUAL linear progression (theyve done good job with this tier though)
    Very few hardcore players hated the gating, it was to prevent christmas raiding. Something Blizzard was too afraid to do in DS, and forced (of all things) on a lot of players by gating ToES to be released in december.

    On topic, those open wings didn't make the raids any better. If that was the sole reason, BWD and Naxx as already mentioned would be held up as classics. Ulduar and ICC are remembered fondly for the same reason TK and Mag's lair are my fondest raiding memories. This was the entry point for the majority of players who currently play the game.

  16. #16
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    Well, this is a problem only for normal modes. after that you chose which boss you want to progress on.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Glorious Leader View Post
    That's currently what's happening in ToT. The first boss is pretty easy, but the difficulty escalates a bit to much for Horridon especially for guilds that don't have all the right comps or for that matter all the right players. Linear raid design doesn't allow for much leeway in this but what's more important is that their curve of difficulty needs some rethinking. Hopefully they get some impetus to do that in the next raid tier.
    What can you kill if your raid group doesn't have enough dps/organization to kill Horridon though?

    Let's say it was like LFR wings and you can either start at Jin'Rokh, Tortos, Durumu or Iron Qon. All of the other starter bosses are harder fights compared to Horridon. Thinking about all the bosses, especially after the Horridon nerf, maybe Ji-Kun is at the same level of difficulty but still needs 3 people to not fall behind, but rest is slightly/more difficult (maybe Twins on 10 is easier, that just seems like trash mobs with big health pools).

  18. #18
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    Having a choice of which boss are you able to go after killing one mandatory one, would be a very nice thing. If you leave aside the "if you can't kill Horridon, you don't have that much chance on anything else" thoughts, the being able to choose which boss to take next (like in Ulduar (I absolutely loved that raid)) would be a great implementation, as even with selection from 2-3 would be decent.

    If you don't have the people - no disease removal or no interrupts for Horridon, but you have the people DPS/healing vise for lets say Council or Tortos, then I would prefer in going and trying something else with the setup, rather then calling it for the night.
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  19. #19
    I think ultimately it is nice to have some less linear raids once in awhile but the current progression in Throne of Thunder works. If you have problems killing Horridon or Council the rest isn't going to be any easier.

    Throne of Thunder is a much better raid than ICC ever was.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cairhiin View Post
    I think ultimately it is nice to have some less linear raids once in awhile but the current progression in Throne of Thunder works. If you have problems killing Horridon or Council the rest isn't going to be any easier.

    Throne of Thunder is a much better raid than ICC ever was.

    No it's not. It's really not. Icc was FAR more accessible than ToT. ICC had a much better difficulty curve. It had much better lore. The fights were more engaging. Throne is just wall after wall after wall designed to FORCE players who should be running ToT to go back and do previous raids in an effort to further gate ToT and make sure it lasts as long as possible. Gear check after gear check boss.
    The hammer comes down:
    Quote Originally Posted by Osmeric View Post
    Normal should be reduced in difficulty. Heroic should be reduced in difficulty.
    And the tiny fraction for whom heroic raids are currently well tuned? Too bad,so sad! With the arterial bleed of subs the fastest it's ever been, the vanity development that gives you guys your own content is no longer supportable.

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