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  1. #1
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    Question Is "casual engagement" really to blame?

    Okay, so, the preamble is pretty simple.

    World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria has managed to shed nigh-on a fifth of its subscribers from its launch high point.

    As is usual with news of this type, everyone has an opinion on it, and I feel the need to share mine. First things first, however, let’s try and keep the usual crowd satisfied by putting a few things out there first. Namely, the simple fact that the game has been in decline since early Cataclysm, and it may be nothing at all to do with the quality of the game itself.

    Here’s how:

    - We have a more heavily populated MMORPG market.
    - There’s stagnation amongst the MMORPG design studios.
    - World of Warcraft is pushing a decade and many believe it’s looking dated.
    - Many players have played for years and naturally moved on.
    - The game remains the most heavily subscribed MMORPG by a mile.

    Hopefully, that little set of caveats will keep the usual screamers at bay. The next list is my viewpoints on some of the criticisms (and praises) I’ve seen of the current expansion, and they inform my overall conclusion.

    THESE POINTS ARE PURELY MY OPINION, AND ARE OPEN FOR DEBATE.

    - There’s never been more to do in the game than there is now.
    - Normal raiding is too punitive, and LFR simply isn’t a substitute.
    - The community, even within guilds, has taken a significant hit.
    - CRZ’s did nothing to ease the legitimate problems with low-pop servers.
    - The talent/glyph redesign has caused significant homogenization.

    With all of that said, I find the press release blaming a “lack of engagement from casual players” to be absolutely staggering. I literally don’t see how the loss can be attributed to such a thing when all of the evidence seems to point to the contrary. Levelling is as quick and easy as it’s ever been, there are far more types of content than ever before, and the level of entry is sufficiently easy for all but the most difficult of people. As an additional side to this, any criticism of the Blizzard work ethic on MoP will be laughed off for the sheer silliness that it is; the developers have worked extremely hard on this expansion.

    I also want to desperately avoid comparisons to the past, as such comparisons are a minefield for those with an axe to grind.

    So what’s gone wrong?

    For me, the blame lies with the raiding model that has almost single-handedly crushed casual progression guilds. I’m on record as saying that LFR was born out of a necessity from Cataclysm, a necessity that made normal mode raiding brutally punishing on normal guilds. That hangover has continued into MoP where more casual players were promised easier content to welcome them in, but have been treated to laughingly simple five-man heroics that lead to extraordinarily punitive raids. I fear for the game if this continues.

    Prior to Cataclysm, casual players could progress nicely in small groups of their friends. Stronger players could carry weaker players, things like VOIP programs weren’t required, and the content didn’t patronize those who were unable to do it for whatever reason. Even as far back as The Burning Crusade, Karazhan was a mechanically simple instance that players could work through at a leisurely pace and progress their characters. The advent of a 10-man version of every raid in WotLK took this premise even further, again allowing small communities of chums to get together and play some content.

    This is now practically impossible.

    Much of the debate around dailies in 5.0 centred around the “hardcore” feeling like such things were mandatory. That’s because a specific Blizzard employee, Draztal, forced the debate in that direction. Where the debate didn’t look was how difficult raiding content was affecting the more casual raiding guilds that were left behind after Arthas. After hitting the level cap and gearing through easy heroic dungeons, many of these guilds were hitting a brick wall on the very first boss of the tier. The only way to get over this was to farm valor points or LFR, with the former requiring a reputation grind and the latter requiring a healthy dose of luck with no redundancy for dry spots.

    In short, the grind of 5.0 hit the smaller, more casual communities that wanted to raid harder than it hit anyone else.

    The second issue I have is one that has little to do with gear; it’s to do with player skill. Now, it can easily be argued that players should just get better, but surely it should also be the choice of a guild leader to carry a weaker player or two because they’re great guild mates and fun for everyone to play with. This has become nigh-on impossible because the normal raiding scene is flooded with bosses that have tight enrages or individual mechanics that can cause a single player to wipe an entire raid. Even if you can get players to learn some of the more basic mechanics, they’re still going to have to put in a lot of effort outside of the game to increase their DPS, healing or encounter knowledge to a point where they won’t be a burden.

    I honestly dread to think how many guilds have been obliterated by this approach.

    Now, what’s making this problem worse, is its knock-on effect. By this I mean, where is the new talent that better guilds need supposed to come from? Mike Preach was recently talking about the dearth of tanks, but when the time and performance requirements for a normal guild with normal progression get jacked up to the point they’re at now, people tend to simply fall by the wayside and find other things to do that aren’t so demanding. This then leaves server-competitive guilds with no pool to draw on, practically cutting the throat of the recruitment churn.

    LFR was designed, in my eyes, with the express intent of allowing those who couldn’t meet raiding schedules the opportunity to see content. It’s now morphed into the sole catch-up mechanic for the game, as well as the sole way for casual players to develop their characters. When so called casual players are treated to a 25-man ghetto of impatience, elitism and inability, it’s little wonder they want next to no part in it when all they get for their efforts is countless bags of gold.

    Here’s a tip: casual players want to develop their characters, too.

    At this point in 5.2, you have a single way of doing that. LFR. The only other option is to put in the time required to be a normal-mode or heroic raider, a door not open to casual players. In Blizzard’s rush to get out more forms of content and more ways to play the game, they forgot about those who like developing their characters.

    And don’t get me started on the dismantling of “alting”. I raid three times a week, I’m relatively successful, yet I’m still only well geared on a single spec of a single class. The amount of time I’d have to put into getting an alt ready for this patch, not to mention the drop in ability I’d have to account for somehow, almost makes me weep.

    This has got to change.

    I don’t want this thread to become a whinefest of Blizzard hate, nor do I want the fanboys out in force. Nobody can argue that Blizzard haven’t put a ton of effort into MoP and keep a straight face. But the game is on the wane, and the very communities that are the lifeblood of servers are the ones that are being inadvertently hammered by some of these design choices.

    Having said all that, I move on to my usual finishing line for these essays.

    What do YOU think?

    -------------------------------------------------

    [Edit: 16th of May]

    It seems Blizzard agrees, with Ion Hazzikostas commenting thus:

    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    -The devs would like to see more organized raiding, such as the organized PuGs that existed before Raid Finder.
    -There is a group of players that wants to do group raiding, but they aren't well served by the current difficulty choices. This would include the friends and family type guilds that don't remove players because they aren't performing at their best. In Wrath of the Lich King, 10 player normal difficulty raiding served these players well, but there is now a gap between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty.
    Last edited by Zell the Stormbreaker; 2013-05-16 at 09:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Here is the problem with all the Monday Morning quarterbacking going on. We have basically 1 sentence with very little context. We the community are going to spend a lot of energy trying to apply meaning to those bullets.

    What we don't really know what "most of the decline came in China" means. Is that 500K?, 1mil ? 1.2mil ? Can the NA\Euros take what we don't like about the game and apply it to the Chinese ? We can't even seem to agree among ourselves and we're going to try and apply it to a fairly different gaming culture.

    So now we're asking what does casual engagement mean to a Chinese player versus a NA\Euro player. Maybe they find all the pet battles\dailies even more boring than we do and they actually quit over instead of just writing forums post about it. We don't know

  3. #3
    Amen to the OP ...fantastic post, I’m a casual gamer per say and I LFR etc and I agree completely with everything you’ve put and I actually think you’ve hit the nail on the head to sources/ potential sources of the issues.

  4. #4
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad_Murdock View Post
    Here is the problem with all the Monday Morning quarterbacking going on. We have basically 1 sentence with very little context. We the community are going to spend a lot of energy trying to apply meaning to those bullets.

    What we don't really know what "most of the decline came in China" means. Is that 500K?, 1mil ? 1.2mil ? Can the NA\Euros take what we don't like about the game and apply it to the Chinese ? We can't even seem to agree among ourselves and we're going to try and apply it to a fairly different gaming culture.

    So now we're asking what does casual engagement mean to a Chinese player versus a NA\Euro player. Maybe they find all the pet battles\dailies even more boring than we do and they actually quit over instead of just writing forums post about it. We don't know
    Of course what you're saying is true. But how helpful is it?

    It's taken as read that we can't always apply the right context to the bullet points, but your attitude seems to be "we can't know, so we shouldn't debate the topic". What does that achieve? What does that help with?

    I needn't remind you that there are a lot of people who will talk nonsense about this subject. I might even be one of them, in your opinion. What I feel I should remind you is that you're on a discussion forum, with fans of a game that I don't want to see decline to a point where it really does affect how much I enjoy it.

    Either you want to be part of a possible solution, or you want to sit back and keep out of the discussion. Either way is fine with me.

    Just don't insist nobody has the right to express themselves. That would be unbelievably arrogant.

  5. #5
    Pretty decent thoughts there. For me, I'd just like to be able to log on and do a raid with my friends of varying skill levels and not have to worry too much about getting the first boss down. In reality, the bosses are so gimmicky now that there's little room for carrying people that are unfamiliar with the fight or raiding. Ever tried bringing a completely new player to MSV ? If they're tanking, forget about it. If they're healing, you better bring an extra healer to cover for them. If they're dps'ing, odds are they're gonna kill someone more important with chains. And thats the first boss.

    In wrath (especially 10man 'easy mode'), the first bosses were pretty straightforward and it was only the wing & end bosses that really required a lot of explanation... so even if your raid 'failed', you'd still be guaranteed to get most of the bosses down if you were carrying some firsttimers.

    Ever since cata launch I've been waiting & hoping for a more gradual approach to boss difficulty so that I can raid more easily with my 'sometimes and first time' raiders in the guild, but as of yet that hasn't happened. Blizzard likes to tell people to go to LFR, but have you ever brought a first time raider to LFR ? No matter how much you help them, I generally have to tell them to just disable the raid chat and it will improve the experience significantly.

    Casual PvP for me has been pretty much the same... I was hoping that adding a base resilience to characters in MoP would help deter the one shot problems casual and new PvPers had to face in the past, but in practice, it seems worse then ever. Even when I thought things were painful in wrath and cata, I don't think I ever got killed quite so quickly by a single character.

    There's plenty of 'content' for casual players, but the content isn't engaging. LFR is just a mess, even though 'bad players' no longer 'steal loot', they still have to face a horde of toxic players. Random BGs are painful, though at least Blizzard is taking steps to end premades in them (to a point), although since they're shifting towards smaller and smaller player caps, a 5man premade is still pretty painful.

    Dailies ? Gimme a break. Some of the dailies are ok... but for whatever reason, Blizzard makes the 'fun quests' one-offs, and fails to do anything inspiring with dailies. I liked the idea of Isle of Thunder, but the fact is that 90% of the dailies after the whole Isle has been unlocked are the same as the ones I've been doing since the first day of it... and adding more and more dailies as I get further along in the rep does NOT encourage me to want to do more.

  6. #6
    Mechagnome Santoryu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
    Okay, so, the preamble is pretty simple.

    World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria has managed to shed nigh-on a fifth of its subscribers from its launch high point.

    As is usual with news of this type, everyone has an opinion on it, and I feel the need to share mine. First things first, however, let’s try and keep the usual crowd satisfied by putting a few things out there first. Namely, the simple fact that the game has been in decline since early Cataclysm, and it may be nothing at all to do with the quality of the game itself.

    Here’s how:

    - We have a more heavily populated MMORPG market.
    - There’s stagnation amongst the MMORPG design studios.
    - World of Warcraft is pushing a decade and many believe it’s looking dated.
    - Many players have played for years and naturally moved on.
    - The game remains the most heavily subscribed MMORPG by a mile.

    Hopefully, that little set of caveats will keep the usual screamers at bay. The next list is my viewpoints on some of the criticisms (and praises) I’ve seen of the current expansion, and they inform my overall conclusion.

    THESE POINTS ARE PURELY MY OPINION, AND ARE OPEN FOR DEBATE.

    - There’s never been more to do in the game than there is now.
    - Normal raiding is too punitive, and LFR simply isn’t a substitute.
    - The community, even within guilds, has taken a significant hit.
    - CRZ’s did nothing to ease the legitimate problems with low-pop servers.
    - The talent/glyph redesign has caused significant homogenization.

    With all of that said, I find the press release blaming a “lack of engagement from casual players” to be absolutely staggering. I literally don’t see how the loss can be attributed to such a thing when all of the evidence seems to point to the contrary. Levelling is as quick and easy as it’s ever been, there are far more types of content than ever before, and the level of entry is sufficiently easy for all but the most difficult of people. As an additional side to this, any criticism of the Blizzard work ethic on MoP will be laughed off for the sheer silliness that it is; the developers have worked extremely hard on this expansion.

    I also want to desperately avoid comparisons to the past, as such comparisons are a minefield for those with an axe to grind.

    So what’s gone wrong?

    For me, the blame lies with the raiding model that has almost single-handedly crushed casual progression guilds. I’m on record as saying that LFR was born out of a necessity from Cataclysm, a necessity that made normal mode raiding brutally punishing on normal guilds. That hangover has continued into MoP where more casual players were promised easier content to welcome them in, but have been treated to laughingly simple five-man heroics that lead to extraordinarily punitive raids. I fear for the game if this continues.

    Prior to Cataclysm, casual players could progress nicely in small groups of their friends. Stronger players could carry weaker players, things like VOIP programs weren’t required, and the content didn’t patronize those who were unable to do it for whatever reason. Even as far back as The Burning Crusade, Karazhan was a mechanically simple instance that players could work through at a leisurely pace and progress their characters. The advent of a 10-man version of every raid in WotLK took this premise even further, again allowing small communities of chums to get together and play some content.

    This is now practically impossible.

    Much of the debate around dailies in 5.0 centred around the “hardcore” feeling like such things were mandatory. That’s because a specific Blizzard employee, Draztal, forced the debate in that direction. Where the debate didn’t look was how difficult raiding content was affecting the more casual raiding guilds that were left behind after Arthas. After hitting the level cap and gearing through easy heroic dungeons, many of these guilds were hitting a brick wall on the very first boss of the tier. The only way to get over this was to farm valor points or LFR, with the former requiring a reputation grind and the latter requiring a healthy dose of luck with no redundancy for dry spots.

    In short, the grind of 5.0 hit the smaller, more casual communities that wanted to raid harder than it hit anyone else.

    The second issue I have is one that has little to do with gear; it’s to do with player skill. Now, it can easily be argued that players should just get better, but surely it should also be the choice of a guild leader to carry a weaker player or two because they’re great guild mates and fun for everyone to play with. This has become nigh-on impossible because the normal raiding scene is flooded with bosses that have tight enrages or individual mechanics that can cause a single player to wipe an entire raid. Even if you can get players to learn some of the more basic mechanics, they’re still going to have to put in a lot of effort outside of the game to increase their DPS, healing or encounter knowledge to a point where they won’t be a burden.

    I honestly dread to think how many guilds have been obliterated by this approach.

    Now, what’s making this problem worse, is its knock-on effect. By this I mean, where is the new talent that better guilds need supposed to come from? Mike Preach was recently talking about the dearth of tanks, but when the time and performance requirements for a normal guild with normal progression get jacked up to the point they’re at now, people tend to simply fall by the wayside and find other things to do that aren’t so demanding. This then leaves server-competitive guilds with no pool to draw on, practically cutting the throat of the recruitment churn.

    LFR was designed, in my eyes, with the express intent of allowing those who couldn’t meet raiding schedules the opportunity to see content. It’s now morphed into the sole catch-up mechanic for the game, as well as the sole way for casual players to develop their characters. When so called casual players are treated to a 25-man ghetto of impatience, elitism and inability, it’s little wonder they want next to no part in it when all they get for their efforts is countless bags of gold.

    Here’s a tip: casual players want to develop their characters, too.

    At this point in 5.2, you have a single way of doing that. LFR. The only other option is to put in the time required to be a normal-mode or heroic raider, a door not open to casual players. In Blizzard’s rush to get out more forms of content and more ways to play the game, they forgot about those who like developing their characters.

    And don’t get me started on the dismantling of “alting”. I raid three times a week, I’m relatively successful, yet I’m still only well geared on a single spec of a single class. The amount of time I’d have to put into getting an alt ready for this patch, not to mention the drop in ability I’d have to account for somehow, almost makes me weep.

    This has got to change.

    I don’t want this thread to become a whinefest of Blizzard hate, nor do I want the fanboys out in force. Nobody can argue that Blizzard haven’t put a ton of effort into MoP and keep a straight face. But the game is on the wane, and the very communities that are the lifeblood of servers are the ones that are being inadvertently hammered by some of these design choices.

    Having said all that, I move on to my usual finishing line for these essays.

    What do YOU think?
    Saying casual players can't do normal and heroic raids is an insult. They very much can, albeit at a much slower pace. Bad players can't do either of those. And by bad, I mean those who want loot for no work. However, having only 2 real difficulty settings is insufficient because the difficulty gap is too large. This game would be much better at catering to a wider audience by simply implementing 4 (arbitrary) difficulty levels. That way you can have anybody do the content at the difficulty they are most comfortable with.

    This notion of "seeing" the content has been blown astonishingly out of proportion: how can you say you have experienced the content when all you did was steamroll through the raid instance and not delve into the content? People who argue this "seeing the content" agenda are simply using it as another way to express their desire to get gear they otherwise would not be able to get.

    Also, this model has NOT crushed casual progression guilds, because casual does not equate to bad. Someone who plays twice or thrice a week and knows what he's doing will progress a lot farther than someone who does not have apt knowledge about his class and lacks the will to progress.

    What is more, your allusion to lethal mechanics being a stopper is nonsensical. The only example of lethal mechanics being harsh is when they are random - as long as they are predictable and easily avoidable, they should be there because it keeps the entire raid focused an engaged.

  7. #7
    It's somewhat like blaming the victim.

  8. #8
    Mechagnome Thulyn's Avatar
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    I'm a casual... I completely agree with you.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
    - The talent/glyph redesign has caused significant homogenization.
    Nonsense. There's far more choice now. Under the old design, people just copied a cookie-cutter spec off the internet (Elitist Jerks or Simcraft) where you might have 3 points to allocate as you like.

    Now, sites like Elitist Jerks or Simcraft don't even recommend talent choices for most tiers. Now you have a legitimate choice.

    As for normal raiding being too hard, is it really? I quit at the end of Cata. Is normal raiding really harder than it use to be? Because as far as I can tell, it's always been a joke. Heroic raiding, particularly end bosses, probably is too hard, and has been since the start of Cata.

  10. #10
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santoryu View Post
    Saying casual players can't do normal and heroic raids is an insult.
    I think that's a fair enough correction. I apologise for implying that casual players are always bad, because that's definitely unfair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Santoryu View Post
    However, having only 2 real difficulty settings is insufficient because the difficulty gap is too large. This game would be much better at catering to a wider audience by simply implementing 4 (arbitrary) difficulty levels. That way you can have anybody do the content at the difficulty they are most comfortable with.
    Four is overcomplicating it.

    Surely making normal mode simpler by allowing good players to carry a couple of their friends is simpler, rather than hitting a brick wall (Horridon) on the second boss or patronizing half the playerbase by telling them to do the easy stuff?

    WotLK did this wonderfully with encounters like Sartharion, encounters that encouraged server PuG communities and still kept a very hard difficulty for those in good guilds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Santoryu View Post
    This notion of "seeing" the content has been blown astonishingly out of proportion: how can you say you have experienced the content when all you did was steamroll through the raid instance and not delve into the content? People who argue this "seeing the content" agenda are simply using it as another way to express their desire to get gear they otherwise would not be able to get.
    That sounds dangerously like elitism to me. You're as good as I am, or you GTFO. I'm not sure how successful such an approach would be, but I suspect the answer is "not very".

    Quote Originally Posted by Santoryu View Post
    Also, this model has NOT crushed casual progression guilds, because casual does not equate to bad. Someone who plays twice or thrice a week and knows what he's doing will progress a lot farther than someone who does not have apt knowledge about his class and lacks the will to progress.
    We're not just talking about skill level - we're talking about the extra requirements to make the most of your class and progress. Dailies, reputations, valor, LFR... It all takes a toll on the more casually orientated player who has to do it all in order to progress. Sure, some casual players do without all those things. I'd contend that the vast majority cannot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Santoryu View Post
    What is more, your allusion to lethal mechanics being a stopper is nonsensical. The only example of lethal mechanics being harsh is when they are random - as long as they are predictable and easily avoidable, they should be there because it keeps the entire raid focused an engaged.
    The numbers disagree with you. Take a look at the drop off in tier 15 from Jin'rokh to Horridon in normal mode.

    "I disagree with you" would have been better than "your allusion... is nonsensical". If what I said was nonsensical, it wouldn't be right.

    It is.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralleluniverse View Post
    Nonsense. There's far more choice now. Under the old design, people just copied a cookie-cutter spec off the internet (Elitist Jerks or Simcraft) where you might have 3 points to allocate as you like.
    It's not nonsense. It's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it. I had far more choices in Cataclysm playing a Protection warrior than I have now.

    Fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralleluniverse View Post
    Now, sites like Elitist Jerks or Simcraft don't even recommend talent choices for most tiers. Now you have a legitimate choice.
    It could be argued that they don't make recommendations because talents, too often, don't matter. It's not that they're compelling, it's that they're underwhelming.

    Quote Originally Posted by paralleluniverse View Post
    As for normal raiding being too hard, is it really? I quit at the end of Cata. Is normal raiding really harder than it use to be? Because as far as I can tell, it's always been a joke. Heroic raiding, particularly end bosses, probably is too hard, and has been since the start of Cata.
    Big debate this. I'd contend that normal raiding has been too difficult since WotLK. For me? Perhaps not. For the community at large?

    WoW Progress definitely suggests so.
    Last edited by Zell the Stormbreaker; 2013-05-09 at 01:06 PM.

  11. #11
    I agree with pretty much all you've said.

    One thing that does make me particularly unhappy about the game and is getting me down is the fact I can't really have any alts in my current schedule of work and raiding 3 times a week, I mean.. I think I was most happiest in Wotlk, I had alot of 80s, I could play 3-5 of them really well.. gear was not an issue, there were weekly pugs for the content what I could attend if i wanted to and that made the game really enjoyable, there were those gold runs where people would bid on items, or just get paid for attending.. sometimes getting far in ICC, sometimes not.. but it didn't matter, because you could get 232 gear from the dungeons that came with it and was the equivalent of the 10man in the previous tier.

    The lack of gear 'catch-ups' is kind of a buzz kill, I think LFR was a great idea but using it to gear people for the next level of content, atleast to me.. just seems foolish, the raids take more time than i'd want to invest in one period, i'd sooner do a 15-30min dungeon compared to a raid finder in some cases taking over an hour, I mean.. even if you had the toxicity in the 5mans, the runs were over before you'd really care. In LFR you have to put up with the negativity, the abuse and generally both the elitists and the casuals warring with eachother and it just makes for a horrible environment, you can't even kick them if they chain pull which just leads to a frustrating situation, which I'd just sooner not put myself in to.

    Which leaves the only viable option of gearing my characters as spending gold on them, which when I mainswapped to my priest I was more than happy to do.

    If I want to play something else now though it's abit of a joke, there are MSV runs that would laugh at me if i asked to join in full heroic blue gear and be like "lol u crazy? gear more first.." and its like.. but this IS the next step in gearing, people just want quick and easy runs leaving alts behind in the dust, if you're not competing on healing, or damage.. it's clearly because you're bad and not because someone has 40 ilvls on you.

    As for levelling... It is easier than ever until you hit mists, at which point you can't level through dungeons, pet battles, node gathering, pvping.... which just leaves you with questing, which is a very depressing theme in itself. I mean, atleast in 5.3 we'll get a 33% reduction, but i don't think that was the answer.. putting other methods on par seems a much more sensible solution.

    As for normal raiding, I do agree that with the current way the game is going your 'nice guy average joe' is going to suffer for it, I mean now my guilds in a position where we can carry someone with no real issue through ToT, but like a month or so ago with how slow gearing is on 10mans that just wasn't possible.

    You have to really sit a player down now if they're underperforming and explain them the math behind why they're doing it, even if they are completing their rotations correctly, it could now be down to their gemming, their glyphs... their spec, I mean.. I know blizzard wanted to get away from the "best choice" talent specs, but in reality we all read the same guides now, we all use the same websites.. it's not changed anything other than the fact we swap talents or glyphs depending on the boss.. which to me is abit pointless as its not choice we have at all. I believe the old system was better, it made new people focus more on what was important.. now you just have people doing sub-par performances because they're not sure when to swap the glyphs or talents or whatever.

    This combined with how hard gearing is also makes it kinda unappealing, or if I was new i'd think so unless I wanted to dive headfirst into the mentality of a serious raider.

    Hope that wasn't too painful to read I'm rather bad at getting my thoughts down onto paper.. or in this case, pixels.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
    It could be argued that they don't make recommendations because talents, too often, don't matter. It's not that they're compelling, it's that they're underwhelming.
    Talents are not underwhelming. Nearly all talents are extremely powerful. Why don't you try PvPing without talents? You would be completely destroyed.

    Sure, most don't directly add DPS for PvE. But if they did, then like the old system, there would be no choice, and everyone would go with what Simcraft says.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by paralleluniverse View Post
    Nonsense. There's far more choice now. Under the old design, people just copied a cookie-cutter spec off the internet (Elitist Jerks or Simcraft) where you might have 3 points to allocate as you like.

    Now, sites like Elitist Jerks or Simcraft don't even recommend talent choices for most tiers. Now you have a legitimate choice.
    They don't offer choice. Stop parroting what Ghostcrawler says and you will see that there is less choice and more hand holding than ever before.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by paralleluniverse View Post
    Nonsense. There's far more choice now. Under the old design, people just copied a cookie-cutter spec off the internet (Elitist Jerks or Simcraft) where you might have 3 points to allocate as you like.

    Now, sites like Elitist Jerks or Simcraft don't even recommend talent choices for most tiers. Now you have a legitimate choice.
    Err... A legitimate choice by deliberately restricting your toolkit? Makng you to alter your spec to suit the encounter gimmick isn't exactly riveting stuff. More to the point when it's a matter of "that ability provides fun gameplay, but is a significant output loss vs that other ability that isn't as fun". It's simply poorly designed.

  15. #15
    I'm with OP. Being a heroic raider, this is not a problem that affects me, however, that doesn't make it less important to me. I've pointed out something similar as you have in a different topic: the bottomline is, there's just very little to do for a casual player. Dailies and LFR does not make for a fantastic gaming experience.

    Now, at the end of Cata, my guild took a break. I joined some old friends I had on my alt, they were progressing Dragon Soul normal. It was great fun, most players weren't really good and some got carried, the progress was slow, but steady. I had a similar alt-guild during WOTLK, with similar results.

    This guild I played in at the end of Cata has been completely obliterated and crushed, because of the exact reasons you stated. My friend, who, by the way is a very good player but with 2 young children simply has no time for more than the 1 day a week raiding (and sometimes not even that), whispered me in exasperation. Stone Guards was a brick wall. They did not kill it until HoF or even ToES was released. Finally, they were progressing Spirit Kings right before the launch of ToT and I was able to join them on some alt I had on their server (as I'm on a different server now, and xrealm is not possible for current content). We killed Kings, but it was crystal clear that Elegon would be, simply, impossible, even after the numerous nerfs. There just was no way.

    The guild fell apart quickly after, several people quit the game including my friend who really tried to keep playing but just couldn't muster the effort anymore.

    I really feel for them. Normal modes are extremely easy for people like myself who raid heroic modes, have a lot of experience and more importantly tons of gear. Normal mode on launch gets cleared by "us" in one, two days tops. That's fine because normal is not MEANT for us. It's meant for the people like my alt's guild, who has been unable to clear any of the content at all, and now their guild is dead and people quit and it has just been a disaster. Why is it tuned as it is now?

    As OP said correctly, it's not even the difficulty that makes it hard. It's the individual mechanics that make carrying in 10man impossible. Individual mechanics that wipe the raid (Stone Guards being an excellent example here, where just one lesser gifted tank will screw up the entire evening of everybody else), tight enrages or a combination of both (Elegon, even post-nerf) almost seemed designed to buttrape guilds that want to play together but do not necessarily have 10 excellent players.

    (People must remember that those guilds do not raid for progress but raid for fun, and the comment to "be better" doesn't really apply, not to mention most of those people I know anyway really do their best already to be as good as they can.)

    For all these reasons I'd go as far as to suggest going 25man, which is notably easier on normal (and often even on heroic, but let's not go there in this topic), because it allows to carry so much more, and individual player skill is much less important as so many others can make up for your mistakes or lack of skill. The difficulty of 25 however is only to get 25 like-minded players. In short: casual guilds are blocked to do any raiding. Add to this that having any serious alt in MoP is next to impossible, and I can see why people quit.
    Last edited by Cirque; 2013-05-09 at 01:22 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    They don't offer choice. Stop parroting what Ghostcrawler says and you will see that there is less choice and more hand holding than ever before.
    Why don't they offer choice? Because everyone copying Simcraft's build was so much choice right?

    Hand holding? Look at this thread. It's about normal mode raids being too hard.

    ---------- Post added 2013-05-09 at 01:20 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryve View Post
    Err... A legitimate choice by deliberately restricting your toolkit? Makng you to alter your spec to suit the encounter gimmick isn't exactly riveting stuff. More to the point when it's a matter of "that ability provides fun gameplay, but is a significant output loss vs that other ability that isn't as fun". It's simply poorly designed.
    So your idea of choice is to never have to make a hard choice between 3 useful skill? And any time you have to make a hard choice between 3 useful skills, well, we'll just call it restricting the toolkit.

    Funny you mention choosing between throughput and fun. Because that's what you had to do in the old talents system. Choosing between the fun talent and the DPS increasing talent. The DPS increasing talent won every time. And now that problem is solved in the new talent system.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by paralleluniverse View Post
    Why don't they offer choice? Because everyone copying Simcraft's build was so much choice right?

    Hand holding? Look at this thread. It's about normal mode raids being too hard.
    I'm not sure if its that they're too hard or if gearing for them takes so bloody long if you weren't entering the content with heroic gear from previous tiers. People aren't always amazing, and getting that little bit extra gear does help you push further, but the step up from 489-496 to 522-528 is a bit ridiculous. especially for 10mans where quite often you won't have that class or that other piece gets disenchanted, so you're forced to smack your head into a brick wall for another week while you gather VP.

  18. #18
    The Lightbringer Zell the Stormbreaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralleluniverse View Post
    Talents are not underwhelming. Nearly all talents are extremely powerful. Why don't you try PvPing without talents? You would be completely destroyed.

    Sure, most don't directly add DPS for PvE. But if they did, then like the old system, there would be no choice, and everyone would go with what Simcraft says.
    Guys, I really don't want an argument about the talent redesign; please stop trying to turn this thread into one.

    If you think the talent redesign is great, then good for you - I think it's garbage, because it's robbed me of the choice I became accustomed to as a Protection warrior over the past two expansions.

    But that's my opinion, and you're all entitled to yours.

    Please try and stay on topic.

  19. #19
    What I see is that Blizzard failed at recognising the market. They realised they can drain more subscriptions from the east, so they made a game that seemingly resembles eastern culture, while being open for the western as well.

    The plan failed big time. You can praise MoP, you can hate it, but they problem is that:

    a) Asians already HAVE a lot of MMOs, and those who prefer the Asian mmos would rather stick with them
    b) The style of the expansion SEEMS too childish and not very interesting. Many players rejected MoP before they even played it
    c) Others played for a while, but got quickly assured that they were right all along (fuck you yak wash)
    d) Asians might feel a bit (or a lot) offended by this expansion, being a sack of mindless stereotypes, and trying to copy their legends and history with minimal knowledge.

    I feel that if next expansion is going to be about, for example, demons, people will return. Because slaying demons feels like Warcraft. Washing yaks does not. And Asian people would sign up for this as well, since they prefer killing demons than being stupidly mirrored into drunk pandas.

  20. #20
    Epic! Iceleaf's Avatar
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    I was away for year until I came back for few months to try MoP. So I guess I'm part of some larger demographic - tho my opinions are my own etc.

    Everyone said "best expansion ever, most fun I've had in years", so that couldnt mean its all that bad? Well it wasnt really bad but heres some small points (because no one reads long posts anyway):

    -I didnt feel that engaged with the lore.
    I've used to love the lore to death, I even rolled to RP servers. Heck, I used to read quest texts sometimes. I just hate leveling to death so I didnt pay that much attention.
    To be honest, I didnt even care about pandaria lore because there was never anything to care about. It felt somehow.. I dont know, after year of not playing I guess I lost the care for it. "Mogu" had no relevance to my character, horde or alliance and so on to me.

    -Start of endgame felt bit messy and overwhelming..yes yes text wall inc, also sorry for the mess:
    I was late to the raiding, everyone else already had full epic gear. If I wanted to get in I would have to compete.
    ilvl was not enough for heroics at the start which I guess is fair enough - so I had to rely on pvp crafted gear from AH, pvp gear and RNG drops from scenarios. It all felt bit too..hmm.. rng for starting. Specially when 2 pieces of gear would only raise the ilvl number by mere 2 when you might've needed 7 or something.
    I admit, I went to get that epic pvp trinket from one of the rares to boost ilvl little.
    Imo rng stuff like that should be around lfr-normal level not really at the start. But ok.
    Not to mention I pretty much had to do dailies - which I already despised to death. If I wanted epics and get into raiding, I would have to do what.. 300 dailies week is it? 343 if you want mounts (from raid achi..) or such.
    40-49/day seems bit too excessive compared to the old 25/day.
    Dont get me wrong, I dont mean "shower epics when 90".. I just personally liked the wrath-cata style more.


    -Raids didnt feel like much
    Setting, themes, bosses.. it really didnt get me back to the pumping, focused mood. They were just un-inspiring.
    In cata, bc and wrath you would go kill Cho'gall, Nefarian, Kel'T, malygos. Big and/or lore characters and felt like something. They kinda gave the whole place meaning. Nefarians twisted experiments.
    Now you kill "some bigger bug who happens to have queen on her name and her bug generals and commanders.. And some gauntlet boss "titan machine"..yay?"
    Not to mention to constant "welp, I already saw all this on LFR and finished it. Why should I be excited to get to new boss and try some fresh things and talk strats on vent? Yeah"

    As for dailies.. my friend said (who played whole year when I was gone): Dailies should break the tedium of raiding and dungeoning, not be something you have to do to advance on those.

    I know throne of thunder fixed most of these issues - but I assume most of these lost subs came before that patch.

    Theres just been lot of MMOs lately, people burned out on them. I know I have.
    "when women wear makeup they’re basically lying to us"
    Well, I don’t see why women are being blamed if man is stupid enough to really think they have red and gold eyelids.

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