Page 1 of 3
1
2
3
LastLast
  1. #1

    An interesting article about raiding

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/06...-own-creature/

    The article was originally about the end game in the upcoming MMO, Wildstar, but I found how the author talked about raiding to be really interesting and he brought up some very good points, citing WoW for some of them.

    Here is the interesting part:

    I am not a lover of raiding. This is not difficult to find evidence of on this site because I've talked about the issues with group-only endgame antics on more than one occasion. Heck, I wrote about how raiding turns you into a horrible person. So you would think I'd look at what we know about WildStar's endgame and start facepalming, possibly whilst shaking my head and muttering obscenities.

    But I'm not. I'm totally cool with what we've been told so far about the endgame because there's much more than just the raiding aspect in the game, and I'm intrigued by how it's working out.

    Here's the core of the issue: It's not that raiding is inherently an evil activity. In the piece I linked above I pointed out that this starts off as being something fun, and it's the cycle of repeated content and personal obligation that really kills that joy. But for some people these things are still fun, and the content should exist for those people.

    Over the past several years we've seen the idea introduced that everyone should get to raid, especially in World of Warcraft. It's a well-meaning sentiment that also completely misses the point. By making the whole endgame raid content more approachable, you make everyone less happy.

    People who genuinely enjoy raiding are less happy because content gets easier and easier. The challenge of it is part of what you enjoyed. You wanted having a boss on farm status to really be an accomplishment, something you worked hard to achieve; now it's just a rote thing. You didn't mind complicated processes to get into raids, requirements for certain players and classes, all of the parts that non-raiders found tedious. That was stuff you enjoyed.

    Meanwhile, people who don't naturally like raiding are less happy because you're being told to like something. The inaccessibility and all that was just a part of the puzzle; at the end of the day, you just aren't fond of that particular style of play. Except now you're more and more expected to raid, and not doing so means you're stuck in the cold with nothing more to do. This is the endgame, and it's so easy, why aren't you doing it?

    Is this functional? At times. A lot of people wind up being not entirely unhappy. But it also isn't a good idea because it's based on several archaic notions all rolled into one.

    First of all, not wanting to take part in big group endgame content does not mean you aren't social or engaged with other players. I joked for a long while that I've been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic since launch and hadn't clocked in a single Operation achievement. This didn't mean I wasn't social or invested with other players; anyone who has seen me roleplay knows how much I juggle varied character relationships and find time to quest with friends or otherwise hang out. Disliking the raiding formula does not mean I'm not invested in a community.

    Games also don't need to stymie your progress to encourage you to keep playing. There's a delicate balance, always, between making sure you can't see all of the game in a single day and ensuring that you're not bored, and part of that comes through slowing down progress. But slow it down enough and the game starts becoming an exercise in boring repetition. If you find fighting bosses over and over to optimize strategy fun, that's great. If you don't, however, the need to do so should not be the only thing keeping you in the game because otherwise you are going to leave at the first opportunity.

    Perhaps most importantly, there are other ways to make an endgame. There are ways to make solo content interesting, to provide nifty new challenges to PvP and PvE players without trivializing what raiding players are doing for fun. (In fairness to Star Wars: The Old Republic, the game does a better job than many titles of giving me something to do without big group content.) If you remove the carrot of "all the stuff worth doing is locked behind a raid wall," some people will still raid, but you can give that carrot to people who like doing other things just as easily.
    Minus what he said about Wildstar and TOR obviously, I think what he talks about are problems that not just WoW faces, but other MMOs as well, and I feel not enough game devs really stop to think about these issues.

  2. #2
    I think the reason for raiding changes is because of feedback that the player community gives. Whether its through comments or participation in activities, I am under the impression that besides the types of raiders listed in the article above, there are also those people who do not want to commit to a raiding schedule or to maximizing their rotation, but still want to raid. Lots of people are participating in LFR each week. Not all of them raid afterwards.

    This then leads into optimizing the amount of development time spent on each feature. I think the general answer from Blizzard on making changes to raids is that they wanted to ensure the biggest part of the player base saw the content. That makes business sense. If Blizzard tried to make a different type of endgame content for the non-normal mode raiders, then that would most likely take away from the raid designs. So the raiders, would have 4 to 6 boss raid tiers, as opposed to 12 like ToT. So you have (for lack of more specific numbers) 50% of your players doing one thing, and 50% doing something else at end game content. As a developer, you would like to re-use a bit more.

    I think it all comes down to the fact that you cannot make everyone happy. But Blizzard, as a company that has to watch its investments, tries to focus on making as many people happy as possible. Starting next patch, they will have 4 different raid options for players (LFR, Flex, Normal, Heroic) all using pretty much the same assets.

  3. #3
    The Lightbringer Bigbazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    3,259
    I think that was one of the best ways to describe why I don't like LFR being in the game, and it completely makes sense. I'd be happy if blizzard employed him to fix WoW. When talking about and defending their game Blizzard are like Microsoft defending their new console. They have an answer to everything and nothing you say, no matter how much you think it makes sense will actually sink in.

    Obviously not everybody shares my opinion on LFR but I think it is an abomination.
    I7 2600k @4.5ghz : 16GB DDR3 : GTX670 : Firestudio : Naga : G27

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbazz View Post
    I think that was one of the best ways to describe why I don't like LFR being in the game, and it completely makes sense.
    Same here.

  5. #5
    Fluffy Kitten Callei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground
    Posts
    10,229
    Here's the problem, at least in regards to WoW: the endgame is built ground-up to support raiding as the pinnacle of PvE character progression. It's been this way since the game hit store shelves, on purpose, because the game gunned from day one to be more accessible and to appeal to a wider audience than its contemporaries.

    Locking raiding back behind some magical barrier once again, especially after the introduction of LFR, is going to do little more than piss off a large number of fans to preserve the perceived superiority of a minority fanbase that continually and like clockwork repeatedly misses the point that they're not who LFR is being designed for. They don't figure, at all, into the equation when LFR tuning is done. LFR is aimed to get people who weren't into raiding due to time constraints or skill barriers into the raids, to give those players a look at what life is like on the top while reserving the best rewards and vanity rewards for organized groups playing on Normal and Heroic.

    If Wildstar's design philosophy is that raiding is one path of many, awesome. But this deep into WoW's life span, after almost a decade of raiding being the end of the PvE path, trying to do a 180 and dropping support for a wildly popular aspect of the endgame is just going to finish what Cataclysm and the 5.0 daily burnout started.

    Awesome sig by Elyaan is awesome.

  6. #6
    People say they don't want raiding, them MMOs come out that don't have them and people scream that there is no end game. Really, people just like to complain about how every game is doing it wrong or how something in the past was doing it right.

  7. #7
    To this I would have to question; "How much were you paid to express these opinions, exactly?"

    Edit: This guy got it completely right with "It's not that raiding is inherently an evil activity. In the piece I linked above I pointed out that this starts off as being something fun, and it's the cycle of repeated content and personal obligation that really kills that joy." but then he goes completely ass backwards on himself saying "Meanwhile, people who don't naturally like raiding are less happy because you're being told to like something. The inaccessibility and all that was just a part of the puzzle; at the end of the day, you just aren't fond of that particular style of play." The only thing Im not fond of is sitting around for nine or twenty five other jerks just so I can do a glorified dungeon. If the LFR was more difficult and players were held to a little accountability with their playing and participation, LFR would be alot better in my opinion. The problem is a good 80% of players has this brain-dead auto-pilot, kill-the-boss-for-me-while-I-AFK mentality.
    Last edited by LeginNoslen; 2013-06-25 at 05:21 AM.

  8. #8
    Great article. Great points.

  9. #9
    I really love Wildstar and it's team. They know their shit, or at least pretend to understand what's going on. I think I'll bookmark this article.
    If you are particularly bold, you could use a Shiny Ditto. Do keep in mind though, this will infuriate your opponents due to Ditto's beauty. Please do not use Shiny Ditto. You have been warned.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Callei View Post
    dropping support for a wildly popular aspect of the endgame is just going to finish what Cataclysm and the 5.0 daily burnout started.
    If you mean: LFR is popular = fun, then I think you are dead wrong. You assume because something is popular it is fun, you assume the same as Blizzard does by looking at the insane amount of players participating in LFR.

    As said before on these boards: if you have a big ass chest in the middle of your factions HQ with Full LFR/Heroic gear - you think that chest wouldn't be popular? Wouldn't "everyone" just go to the chest instead of LFR? Or perhaps go to the chest, then go do LFR once (for the story)?

    If you mean LFR is popular = used a lot. Then yes you are right. It is used a lot. But it is used a lot because it gives you a path of gear progression. Blizzard could have easily went with another path of gearprogression, while perhaps keeping LFR. You would see how suddenly UNpopular LFR would be vs now.

    I am sure there are people who like LFR. But I do not believe for one second that there are more people liking LFR then there are people doing LFR just because they have to to progress their character gearwise. And I am not even talking about normal/heroic raiders feeling "forced" to raid LFR.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tempeste View Post
    http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/06...-own-creature/

    The article was originally about the end game in the upcoming MMO, Wildstar, but I found how the author talked about raiding to be really interesting and he brought up some very good points, citing WoW for some of them.

    Minus what he said about Wildstar and TOR obviously, I think what he talks about are problems that not just WoW faces, but other MMOs as well, and I feel not enough game devs really stop to think about these issues.
    I disagree. I think that they do. How could not they?

    The facts speak for themselves: Vanilla, lasting for a bit more than two years, offered players almost 40 zones worth of questing and exploring content, the two cornerstones of open-world role-playing games. Those, combined with six different racial campaigns, elements from the two remaining races, neutral campaigns, and overarching factional campaigns, class quests, substantial content in group/raid dungeons, as well as sprinkled additional content in various parts of the world such as peculiar factions, rare items, gathering, professions, world PVP, battlegrounds, etc, combined with the slow pace of levelling and the challenge in it, the active participation it required and the effort, made for the experience that actually attracted and kept those millions of players that made World of WarCraft the massive success that it became, and even gave it the momentum to keep going for years on good will alone in essence.

    The few thousands of players that participated in instanced end-game content, from gearing runs in group-dungeons, to world-first races in raiding, were but a small minority. Extremely small. And even after all these years they are not that much more compared to the game's playerbase. Take MMO-Champion's numbers for example. One of the most popular websites about the game and it merely has 39k active posters, 371k overall. In its peak it had 54k posters online! In a game that even in its decline has more than 8 million players! Do you understand how skewed the perspective of anyone looking at websites is? The numbers are not even representative, because for them to be, the posters would have to be chosen randomly, but they are not. To become one you have to pursue the activity. and to pursue it means that you care a lot, far more than the average player, according to the numbers far, faaaaar more. So here we are, in our strong-opinions fan circle, enjoying the echo-chamber effects stubborn people produce, thinking that this is the way of wisdom... all the while even in here, listening to none but ourselves.

    The vast majority of players of World of WarCraft signed up to play an open-world role-playing game. They got their wish, unfinished, buggy, and at times even broken that it was in vanilla; but they got it fulfilled. Then they got tricked and instead of more of the same in quantity, they got bribed with PVP welfare epics (Crusade), then with PVE welfare epics and achievements (Wrath), continuing with an attempt to get thrown right into more PVE content without actually having to play much (Cataclysm), and only recently was a decent effort made to bring more gameplay other than raiding into the game; but notice, a decent effort compared to the expansions of very limited content, not vanilla and its abundance of it.

    But why is that? Do the developers just want to destroy the game? I wouldn't know for certain, but I don't think so. The thing is, things are set this way, and have been for years, and that creates a status quo; one that extends outwards to the customers, and inwards to the investors. Recreating the level of abundancy of content that was found in vanilla, those tenths of zones, mutliple campaigns, etc, means an increased budget and development cycle. It took Blizzard far more than two years to create vanilla, and it only lasted for two, it could have been extended to three probably but that's it. However, ever since, the cycle has been two years and the budget just enough for the much reduced content that has been offered. Try explaining to your investors at a conference call how you want to extent the development cycles, hire more staff and increase the budget considerably to make a better product, without any guarantee that it will translate to increased profits, especially after all the recent losses. In the past Blizzard took the easy way out, by bribing players and putting a carrot in front of them to blind them to how they got cheated out of so much content they should be receiving. Now, it may actually be too late to make things right, even if they want to.
    Last edited by Drithien; 2013-06-25 at 09:02 AM.

  12. #12
    Fluffy Kitten Callei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground
    Posts
    10,229
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaelorian View Post
    If you mean: LFR is popular = fun, then I think you are dead wrong. You assume because something is popular it is fun, you assume the same as Blizzard does by looking at the insane amount of players participating in LFR.
    Please show me where I correlated popularity with fun in my post. Otherwise, if you plan to put things in my mouth, buy me dinner first.

    As said before on these boards: if you have a big ass chest in the middle of your factions HQ with Full LFR/Heroic gear - you think that chest wouldn't be popular? Wouldn't "everyone" just go to the chest instead of LFR? Or perhaps go to the chest, then go do LFR once (for the story)?
    Slippery slope fallacy or just pulled out of nowhere to reinforce a strawman that was never laid down?

    If you mean LFR is popular = used a lot. Then yes you are right. It is used a lot. But it is used a lot because it gives you a path of gear progression. Blizzard could have easily went with another path of gearprogression, while perhaps keeping LFR. You would see how suddenly UNpopular LFR would be vs now.
    All I really see is speculation without anything to back it up, to be honest.

    I am sure there are people who like LFR. But I do not believe for one second that there are more people liking LFR then there are people doing LFR just because they have to to progress their character gearwise. And I am not even talking about normal/heroic raiders feeling "forced" to raid LFR.
    Then don't. I couldn't care less what you choose to believe about other players, it's neither my business, problem, nor concern. But suddenly removing an avenue of character progression for an enormous chunk of the player base because a bunch of midcores are pissed off that they're not special anymore will cause a backlash among the people you just put in the corner and told to be glad with whatever crumbs fall off the table.

    Awesome sig by Elyaan is awesome.

  13. #13
    I think basically the point the guy in that article was trying to make is, if you don't particularly like raiding, then making raiding "more accessible" isn't going to help out players who find themselves with nothing to do at end game because the end game is raiding focused and that's not what they enjoy doing. Instead, you should be giving them content that isn't raiding, because they themselves do not enjoy the very things that make raiding enjoyable for people who do enjoy raiding.
    Last edited by Tempeste; 2013-06-25 at 11:51 AM.

  14. #14
    I am Murloc! Airwaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Australia! G-day Mate!... (We don't really speak like that)
    Posts
    5,677
    He still missed the point that less then 1% of people raided "hard" stuff making it a waste of development time. Making stuff easy to bring more people into it is making it worth the time. If they don't make stuff that the majority like the game will fail. Wild star WILL fail if it has hard content in todays casual gaming environment. Blizzard learnt this long ago. That is why it will kick this mmo into the dirt like it does every other one. With mmo coming to the casual majorities that are console players next gen the mmo environment will change to be even more casual then say wow is atm. Blizzard are adapting to this already to prepare for the massive change in the mmo market over the next few years. If the devs at wild star are to slow to change there game before it is even out the servers will be shut down within a year.

    "hardcore" games and gamers are coming to an end. They either adapt now or they die along with it. And from what i have seen wildstar will die along with it even though its not even out yet.
    Angels and Airwaves
    Aldmeri Dominion - Imperial - Templar - Laethys - High Elf - Assassin - Frostmourne - Orc - Rogue - Sea of Sorrows - Norn - Thief
    Borderlands 2 - Mechromancer - Battlefield 4 - Engineer - Diablo 3 - Wizard

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Airwaves View Post
    He still missed the point that less then 1% of people raided "hard" stuff making it a waste of development time. Making stuff easy to bring more people into it is making it worth the time. If they don't make stuff that the majority like the game will fail. Wild star WILL fail if it has hard content in todays casual gaming environment. Blizzard learnt this long ago. That is why it will kick this mmo into the dirt like it does every other one. With mmo coming to the casual majorities that are console players next gen the mmo environment will change to be even more casual then say wow is atm. Blizzard are adapting to this already to prepare for the massive change in the mmo market over the next few years. If the devs at wild star are to slow to change there game before it is even out the servers will be shut down within a year.

    "hardcore" games and gamers are coming to an end. They either adapt now or they die along with it. And from what i have seen wildstar will die along with it even though its not even out yet.
    While Wildstar has hardcore content, it also has content to suit all kinds of playstyles to go along with it. It seems like they understand that not everyone plays the same way or enjoys doing the same kind of content, and that to make the game as enjoyable as possible, they need to address this without negatively impacting other players along the way. I think that is why I have hope for it.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Azalis View Post
    People say they don't want raiding, them MMOs come out that don't have them and people scream that there is no end game. Really, people just like to complain about how every game is doing it wrong or how something in the past was doing it right.
    Because some of the MMO's that come out that don't have raiding... don't have anything else as a substitute either. That's why folks scream.

    WoW's stance of raiding being THE singular pve end game solution isn't a smart one, but it's a corner they've dug themselves into, largely thanks to a shortsighted community that doesn't feel that the game should offer anything else (see: most people thinking 5 mans should never be for anything other than vp farming). When you make raids such a focal point, the success of that patch generally tends to also rest solely on how good or bad that raid is.

    Players want continual progression, yet also want to see, and effortlessly hit, a level cap. Slightly oxymoronic. It'd be interesting to see an MMORPG come out that actually didn't have character leveling at all in the traditional sense, or perhaps another take on how leveling worked in AC (soft 'cap' that you could go past, but it eventually required insane amounts of dedication to continue progressing)
    Benevolence is a luxury for the strong - Wrathion

  17. #17
    I believe the way raiding is implemented in the games is not always the best. On one side, sure, you have to gather many people because your enemy is too powerful hence creating epic climax battles BUT on the other side I doubt this should be "it". Instead of making raiding the last step what if they made only a small part of it the last thing to do in a mmorpg? Is forming a raid to beat a huge beast really always done only because the world would die otherwise? Why not making it just a small step in a bigger quest? Raiding shouldn't be the nonplusultra but a part of the game itself. Why would killing the dragon be the last step? There could be many different reasons to kill a dragon for everyone of the dragonkillers and everyone of them could have another goal in mind. Instead of gathering 5 bananas it could be something "gather a dragonclaw" what you need for something bigger (classic quests come to mind - there were some were you needed a raid to complete level60 quests!) what not necessarily means in the end you still have to face a raidboss. You are one person and there could be so much more development in story / persona if the mmo part would be a part of the game instead the end of it. Sure it would be rather easy but hell yeah, there could still be some who are harder. A quest is a quest and not for turning it in and go on you know.
    For the concept of endgame raiding in a competitive manner WoW sacrificed nearly everything what it had as a RPG. Because of that they will never evolve and there will not be a good mix of things. Character progression will always be directly linked to the game concept.

  18. #18
    Those people who want endgame content to only be for raiders still havent managed to figure out the biggest problem with that logic, that you cant spend 90% of your resources on 1% of the population and maintain a subscriber base. If you take out LFR you are leaving players with dailies and 5 man/3man dungeons and the majority of players will quit. They quit and you don't have a game to raid in, its simple math.

    LFR means that you can have resources spent on end game and everyone can experience it as much as they want. Everyone is engadged.

  19. #19
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    Posts
    4,804
    I've been following Wildstar lately (no Beta ) and I think they have the right idea IF AND ONLY IF raiding is one option, but not THE option. The problem with WoW and MMOs like it (and I presume, EQ but I didn't play EQ) is that they push raiding as the pinnacle. The game is ABOUT raiding, everything else is a stepping stone/time waster to get to the current level cap and start to raid. All the WoW clones and WoW imitations follow this pattern: Leveling content is there just because you don't want to make everyone max level immediately, but the raids are what matters.

    From what I've read WildStar plans to have various endgame content: Solo content, small group content, group content (i.e. like 5-mans), and raid content but I believe they're all meant to be on the same level, unlike WoW where solo < small group < group < raid. A better analogy might be how The Secret World handles their endgame (from what I've read, I'm only in the second zone): While it's focused around group play, the high level dungeons and the raids are the same level, the raids aren't higher and therefore the "real" endgame.

    WildStar is doing something closer to that model. I think WoW COULD pull something like that off (I've said in other similar posts they could in theory make Challenge Mode dungeons drop gear, and then remove huge raids in favor of smaller multiple raids that drop the same level of gear, perhaps obscure things like trinkets or weapons or rings, as the revised CM Dungeons) but I don't think they would succeed because for all these years now they've perpetuated the idea that raiding should be the championship game, the olympics, whatever analogy you want, that everyone in an ideal world would be striving for.
    NOBLESHIELD
    Raids & Dungeons Moderator | Twitch Stream | Wayniac#1291


  20. #20
    It's interesting.... I agree with his points on there being content other than raiding for endgame (my favorite MMO atm is GW2, which doesn't even have raiding), but I disagree with him on why the inclusion of LFR make raiding less fun.

    I'm sorry, but unless your purpose for raiding is to brag about your accomplishments to other players and try to make them jealous, I don't see how the inclusion of lower difficulties hurts regular raiders. My guild hasn't cleared heroic ToT yet; there are many reasons for that, but the bottom line is that for us, we still have a challenge in HToT, so why does it matter than other people can walk in, clear LFR with ease, and be "done" for the tier? As far as I'm concerned, completing LFR isn't being done with the tier, but if that's what they want then that's cool.

    There does need to be other content at end game though... and WoW's made decent progress on that topic (though it still has a great deal of improvement it could do of course).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •