1. #1
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    Making a new Proving Grounds

    WoW introduced the Proving Grounds in MoP as a way to add a new element of "this is how you play your class in a group setting" type thing.
    These were fairly simple, with Bronze being easy to get, Silver having a modicum of difficulty, and Gold posing a challenge to some class/specs and even to seasoned players.
    I thought these were a neat little additional that allowed people to see how they are performing in a "group environment" before actually being in a group environment, if they so chose anyway.

    The new feature proposal would be to take Proving Grounds to the next level.
    This would involve enhancing the Proving Grounds to incorporate Dungeon (and potentially Raid bosses, but Dungeons would be a big effort already).
    Here's how it would work:

    - When you enter the proving grounds, you would have an additional NPC so you can do the old school ones or you can choose a dungeon boss from the new NPC
    - After you choose it, your current spec and role is locked into place and NPCs fill in the role gaps
    - You are placed into the generic room (big circle) with the chosen boss in front and everything is paused until you hit a 'ready' button
    - Before it starts, the Dungeon Journal is auto-opened to the boss and allows you to read the abilities and review what's happening
    - Once combat starts, what you do is based on role:
    --- Tank would pull the boss and be directed when to use defensives, when to move the boss, and any other factors associated with the boss/positioning
    --- Heals would begin healing Tanks, directed when a Tank would take a big hit (need focused heals) and when a raid-wide damage event happens for raid healing
    --- All roles would also follow the encounter-specific mechanics, such as 'move out of fire', 'stand in soaky bits', or 'kill adds' type of things

    The encounter will be based on level of performance, so instead of just having a hard 3 minute window of 'stay alive', the encounter can end early if you fail a mechanic within a certain threshold.

    Let's take Hakrias or whatever the rock guy's name is from HoA.
    The Tank has to use defensives for a tank hit, DPS and Heals need to stay within the aura, everyone needs to avoid glassy stuff on the ground, and everyone needs to avoid laser beams.
    The player would follow their role, tanking healing or DPSing, and be expected to perform the mechanics.
    If you get hit by the laser, the encounter ends regardless of the NPCs and you get a chance to start over.
    If you take more than X seconds of glass stuff under your feet, you fail and can start over.
    Each failure will come with the ability that caused the failure and the Dungeon Journal explanation of how to deal with it.

    The win condition will be when you complete the set of mechanics a certain number of times, so it's not a DPS race to burn the boss but rather a mechanics check to make sure you can stay in the aura, dodge the glass, and avoid the laser beam maybe 3 times total (just as an example value, sets of mechanics can change).
    Once you do that, you pass and complete the encounter.

    I can see the value in this for someone who isn't too familiar with the dungeons (so, no, if you clear +15 on every dungeon every week, this isn't for you) and wants to learn the boss mechanics without the stress of joining a group and potentially getting chastised for failing something, especially when you are a tank or heal, as well as people who may have done the dungeons multiple times but only as DPS and want to try their hand at healing, for example.
    You could say "well, just run normal/heroic/m+0 and practice there", but odds are normal/heroic (as they lack mechanics and health) will be largely trivialized and mechanics won't actually matter (aside from one-shot mechanics), and even in M+0, some bosses will fall over before they even get off the entire mechanics set.

    This can help people understand encounters better and be more confident in joining groups, especially for people who would want to join M+ and such but are intimidated by the requirements people hold, because that confidence will come with practice and understanding when to do what.
    If anything, it becomes "just another proving grounds" with achievements (like the "ready for raiding" type ones) and titles, maybe even cosmetic stuff, can be offered through it as incentive to do it without requiring anything for access to dungeons or anything.
    I don't want to lock anything out, just have an option to go and practice/improve should you choose and if you do, to get a reward of some type for doing so.

    Eventually getting this to Raid encounters would be a decent way for people to practice those as well, though that would be a heavy lift from the dev end to balance this with NPCs and figuring out how mechanics rotations will work, taunt swaps between tanks (when one is a player), positioning, and just general strategies, so it would probably be a watered down "here's the abilities they do, one by one, in a vacuum" type of thing, since a lot of groups devise their own strategy around their makeup, roles, etc.
    This could eventually be a boon to LFR so some people may actually take initiative to try it first before jumping in, but tbh I haven't entered LFR for quite a while now so I'm not sure what state it's in, in terms of success/failure, but I would venture failure rate is still fairly high based on some threads around here.

    Anyway, let's see some opinions on whether this would be a good addition to the game, or whether people should just learn to play by the "trial by fire" approach.

  2. #2
    I am Murloc! dacoolist's Avatar
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    I'm all for a change up on Proving Grounds, it's been pretty much the exact same since it released (they did reset the achieves a couple expansions ago and havent reset them since for some reason..)

    I think it would take time away from content to redo or rework PG and as much as I actually enjoyed proving grounds - I think most players don't even know it exists

  3. #3
    It could be useful to learn mechanics but it definitely doesn't solve most m+ problems.

    It will teach you boss mechanics but will it teach you the actual strategies different tanks use? Some position or path the boss differently. Things u can only learn by running with different tanks.

    Should there be a training ground for every single mob pull in each m+? Especially on fortified week, some pulls are much tougher than bosses. In a lot of the dungeons there is a specific kill order and certain priority interrupts.

    It wouldn't teach you pathways either. Which packs usually get pulled together. When ppl expect lust. Knowing that you shouldn't use certain cds now because the next pack is much harder, or pride is abt to spawn.

    Then all of the above gets changed based on affix.

    Overall it could be a good tool, probably better for raids. But its not gonna give you all the experience you need to learn by just doing the content. As always, the solution to not getting chastised would be to make friends / join a helpful guild. Or as always, learn at the appropriate pace/difficulty and grow a thick skin against certain kinds of ppl. Cyber bullying isn't real.

  4. #4
    That's a lot of work on blizzards part when a much better solution is just to make some friends or join a guild and get a group going.

  5. #5
    I'd worry raiders would run themselves into the ground practicing raid bosses during progression. Keeping it restricted to dungeon bosses would be good, but I think there's also potential for M+ pushers to keep pushing strats in solo environments even when teams are collectively resting. The opportunity to practice for casuals is nice, I just worry for the hardcore's approach to practice for this may be potentially dangerous.

  6. #6
    Dreadlord Cloudmaker's Avatar
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    Oh yes! I am always looking forward for a challenge! That would be just amazing if they created a new version of it. It's actually great opportunity to practice spells.

  7. #7
    I liked it because it was something that you cannot be carried through like raider.io score. If you saw someone that had Gold Proving Grounds, you knew they were at least decently competent at their class. Unlike now where I get people who are 1200+ raider.io and still don't know the boss mechanics, or they have AOTC and still don't know how to handle Sire mechanics.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellieg View Post
    It could be useful to learn mechanics but it definitely doesn't solve most m+ problems.

    It will teach you boss mechanics but will it teach you the actual strategies different tanks use? Some position or path the boss differently. Things u can only learn by running with different tanks.

    Should there be a training ground for every single mob pull in each m+? Especially on fortified week, some pulls are much tougher than bosses. In a lot of the dungeons there is a specific kill order and certain priority interrupts.

    It wouldn't teach you pathways either. Which packs usually get pulled together. When ppl expect lust. Knowing that you shouldn't use certain cds now because the next pack is much harder, or pride is abt to spawn.

    Then all of the above gets changed based on affix.

    Overall it could be a good tool, probably better for raids. But its not gonna give you all the experience you need to learn by just doing the content. As always, the solution to not getting chastised would be to make friends / join a helpful guild. Or as always, learn at the appropriate pace/difficulty and grow a thick skin against certain kinds of ppl. Cyber bullying isn't real.
    Yeah, this wouldn't be more so for diff pull strats or pathing, what to skip and all the high level M+ stuff, but more so for the casual player (which is the majority of players) to have a chance to learn a boss, see mechanics first hand, and ultimately learn by playing through it and essentially being "coached" by relatively dumb, but direct, AI.
    Something on top using the existing Proving Grounds zone (the white tiger temple I think?) and just a "this is the mechanic and this is what you can do to avoid the bad" type thing.
    Proving Grounds does this kinda, in a general way, but I'm thinking more direct to the boss itself as a teaching tool.
    Anyone running M+ regularly obviously doesn't benefit from it, but even then, adding achievements and cosmetic stuff could add it like a "to do on the side, if there's time" kinda thing.

    And yeah, it takes dev time away from other content, but everything takes away from that, and there's plenty of people who dump on the Maw, or Torghast, and a lot of features from the past.
    The game can just take the DBM/bigwigs style warnings and bake them in, and instead of needing to go to youtube to figure out how to deal with mechanics, they offer practical experience in a low pressure environment.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Razion View Post
    I'd worry raiders would run themselves into the ground practicing raid bosses during progression. Keeping it restricted to dungeon bosses would be good, but I think there's also potential for M+ pushers to keep pushing strats in solo environments even when teams are collectively resting. The opportunity to practice for casuals is nice, I just worry for the hardcore's approach to practice for this may be potentially dangerous.
    Yeah, and that's where this will fall short; it would be aimed at the boss itself, just the core mechanics.
    If Raids get implemented, I would think the limit would be the Heroic differences, where each boss usually has one or two things different from Normal.
    It would be far too much to include Mythic Raid bosses, and even then it wouldn't be a true experience since it's more of a "Prove you can do the mechanics" not necessarily prove you can kill the boss type thing.
    I wouldn't expect them to run any more than 5 minutes per boss; just something to see it and be able to repeat it as you see fit to get a grip on how to handle it.

  9. #9
    I really enjoyed grinding proven assailant when it came out in MoP, in fact it was probably my favourite thing about that expansion. I wish they expanded on proving grounds and added a leaderboard or something, but then you would get endless threads on here from shitters complaining that they are stuck on level 3 or something.

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