Greedy Goblin

Friday, August 21, 2009

Is more content better?

There is an agreement among bloggers, that Blizzard slacked with WotLK, shipping it only with Naxx and 3 miniraids. Ulduar should have been published with WotLK start, so better players would also have something to do.

Something never clicked for me here. Blizzard is swimming in money. 1% of their subscribers is more than the whole playerbase of smaller games. And they are unable to make a decent expansion? Remember these task are parallel, some junior developer can do the Jormungars of Dragonblight while senior developers can work on Ulduar. Creating 2x more content does not need 2x more developer resources, as you have to program the engine, desingn the spells, do basic modelling only once. A game developer have to do huge work (or pay huge licence fees) before the first monster is created. Still games are made. If a company of a small game can do all the work in the hope of having 2-300K subscribers, how could Blizzard not make more than lousy rebalancing 3 years old stuff and some 1-room raids?

Reading and thinking more and more makes me sure that Blizzard "messed up" WotLK start on purpose, (and created only the 1-room sized Coliseum in 3.2) to increase customer satisfaction and retention rate.

Since we are dissatisfied and whining, it needs explanation. I already wrote that we (players) are a minority of the subscribers, while the majority is socials who don't give a damn about dragons, they care about "friendly environment" (a place where peers accept and respect them, or at least they believe so).

Nerfing the content is necessary part of making the game social-friendly, but alone not enough. The reason for that is "socials" is not a monolithic block despite we sometimes see them as such. While they are all unskilled players compared to us, their "unskill" differs largely from the mage who does insane DPS while standing in the fire, through the one who knows his class but never reads boss tactics, down to the completely useless idiot who damage below the (also social) tank. If you nerf the game to the former, the latter will still wipe, if you nerf it to latter, the former will rolfstomp and get bored.

Also there is an anti-social result of nerfing: the game becomes soloable. People rarely group for outdoor questing. While theoretically questing in groups is faster (that's why people dualbox-level), it's diminished by costs like "other guy AFK", "he is on different point of the questline", "wait until he gets here" and "I must not hold him up by becoming AFK myself". If you solo, you do everything in your own pace. Further nerfing would allow 5-mans to be soloed or 2-3 manned, and (by diminishing the mentioned problems) it would be the preferred way to players. Raid content could be PuG-ged at any time of the day, there would be no need for guilds. So simply by nerfing you get a completely solo/PuG game where players have no reason to interact. That would be very much social-unfriendly.

The social requires group activity, to do things together with "friends". They want to experience "brotherhood" by helping and be helped by "friends", they want a "one for all, all for one" atmosphere. The too easy content automatically prefers "all for himself" thinking as no one with more than 1 brain cell would need help.

The ideal place for the social is the "social raiding guild", which:
  • progress: needed for positive group-self image. Otherwise he will feel "we suck" and will cause drama against those who are responsible according to him, or hate the game as "elitist"
  • friendly: allow friends to participate (= being carried)
  • intimate: he must know the members, rapid invites and quits does not create such an atmosphere
  • the illusion of being important: if everything is rolfstomped, he will feel that his effort is not needed. The "we almost wiped but still made it" experience is needed sometimes.
  • yet the content must not be complicated, must not request reading strategies or listening to the RL for more than a minute.
As you can see, such thing can not exists as several points are mutually exclusive. A bunch of socials cannot form such guild. The only way the "social raiding guild" can exists if it has a core of good players, who read the strategy, do the harder parts (tanking, CC, main-healing, movement-leading). The social members have nothing else to do than the little job the RL broke down to them. For example Loatheb for them is "damage the monster as hard as you can and stay on the top of the yellow star". They do not know that "the yellow star" is hunting spores for them, they just see "OMG crit-crit-crit".

The progress comes from the skill progress of the core players and the gear progress of the socials. While "the strategy" is simply EJ for us, in a social raiding guild you have to improvise as most members can't do their job. For example a feral druid is not the best interrupter, but better than a social rogue. So "we have enough social priests to spam CoH, I go feral and interrupt" can make the difference between kill and wipe. Such strategical decisions are mostly responsible for progress.


This core+socials system has a trap: the core players must be prevented from forming one good raid, leaving the socials of 4-5 guilds helpless. The good news for Blizzard is that certain social aspects help this:
  • epeen: the good player can be "the king" in a social raiding guild while "just another guy" or even "have the potential, but need to work a lot before being good" in a good guild
  • status: if you are good player, you'll be class-leader/officer/RL/GL in no time
  • independence: you don't have to wait for others for 5-mans or raid, they will adjust to you (as they need you to carry them)
  • frustration-safe: no one, (including yourself) will blame you for wiping the raid. Failures can always be blamed on the socials. The only mistake you can perform is "I thought he can do that simple job"
  • positive self-image: "I help these people, I'm a good person"
  • never benched: obvious
So the social raiding guild is formed on its own, Blizzard only have to make sure that no negative factors destroy it. By nerfing the content, Blizzard makes sure that there is no such roadblock that forces the core players to gquit if they ever want to see more content. The main negative social factor would be unfavored comparison to peers. If you wipe on 4H while others are on Thorim, if you wear ilvl200 while others are almost full 226, you a you will seek other options. You will keep your eyes open for recruitments from guilds that allow you to escape your "loser" status.

If Blizzard would publish Ulduar with WotLK, the members of realm first guilds would have their first ilvl 226 items on the second week. The realm seconds-thirds would get siege and antechamber on farm by January. This would be a huge attraction force to the core players of social raiding guilds to either gquit or demand performance from the members. Without Ulduar there was no such thing. Everyone got their T7.5, the only difference was pace. They could say: "If I'd gquit, I'd get it faster, and would have nothing to do until Ulduar". Remember the paladin of Matticus!

The current Ulduar Hard modes were socially declassed by Coliseum. If I do firefigter, I get some lousy ilvl239. If I rolfstomp 2 Jormungars, I get ilvl245. So there is no gear reason to do hard modes.

Summary: the timeline of the content optimized for maximum "social raiding survivability":
  1. new, relatively small piece of content arrives, everyone starts doing it. You are always in the top league. We were all Naxx raiders in 3.0. We were all Ulduar raiders in 3.1 (some in FL+0, some in Algalon, but still everyone raided Ulduar). We are all Coliseum raiders now.
  2. The content is slowly nerfed, to make sure that everyone has progression. Some finally get Firefighter after the nerfs, some finally get a keeper down, but everyone progresses.
  3. There are badges flowing to let people getting gear without any performance.
  4. Just before the end of the cycle everyone are sporting in Tx.5, so designers can balance the next raid to that gear
Blizzard put in one more little trick: 10/25. While the official reason was to make it possible to smaller guilds to progress, it's obviously fake, as lower rewards prove it. The real reason is to allow the core players of the social raiding guild to do the "same" achievements as the top guilds. They can honestly believe that "I can do the same hard modes, I just don't have enough raiders to do it in 25" (meaning: my self esteem is high, I blame my inability to do hard 25 modes on others).

Well done Blizzard!

37 comments:

Ponder said...

Evil post, but very true.

I've always had a suspicion that Blizzard are actually very devious bad people. This is why their MMO world seems so sugar sweet.

Arceopteryx said...

No game could have 11 million players worldwide, if it demanded a huge effort for everyone to get the fancy new tier gear.

Now after the remake of the badge system, it makes it a whole lot easier to get that cool 219/226 gear that only dropped in Ulduar or Malygos 25. And when they nerfed Yogg-Saron with removing 20% of health, its a possibility for everyone to down and defeat this boss.

Trial of the Champion is no different. 5 man normal, (which is 3 man able) drops gear that have itemlevel 200. Very easy free epics. Everyone wants full epics, and its gonna be harder to sort the unskilled players away now, but after a little while, it will still show. And then they will join the social guilds...

Nobody cares about Algalon anyways.

Michael said...

Sounds like good design. Slowly letting the content out so that the semi-skilled socials always have something to strive for, but don't get demoralised by being 2-3 tiers behind.

You are right Gevlon, it stops the need for skilled socials to dump their friends. No insurmountable road block bosses (plus gradual nerfing), top tier is only 1 tier ahead of the main group, not 2-3 like previous version. Not that much to gain but guild upgrading.

Content is still relatively hard at release (pre-nerf) so realm first hard modes still mean something.

ks said...

Gevlon,

You hit the nail on the head. I am one of the good players in a crap guild, we're boosting a bunch of clueless leeches. I loathe myself and dream of joining a good guild, but I just cba.

softie said...

Gevlon, you're absolutely right. I was in a very "casual" guild before I joined a semi casual raiding guild. In the old guild, people couldn't even down FL. Now that 3.2 has been out for several weeks, everyone is sporting t8.5 helm/body armor. I can still see guild's status because my mule is still in the guild. In addition to the t8.5 gear, couple of people are excited to be able to get their first t245 via daily badges. Wow, wtf, they didn't change their routine at all and they can get equal level gear as world first guilds? They did not do more difficult content(still stuck on nax, although some moved onto nax25). In the meantime, they still have trouble downing FL. Responding to Arceopteryx, wow had millions of subscribers before wotlk came out. Responding to the "rainbow" anonymous, the progression happens in naxx. When you graduate from heroics, you shouldn't be able to jump straight to latest and hardest raid, but maybe nax10 or os10.

Ephemeron said...

Gevlon's Bitter Truth crits Ephemeron's Illusions for 20000 Reality damage.

rob said...

I agree there wasn't enough new content released with WoTLK, and there remains A LOT of room for more content, no 5 man or raid in basin or icecrown.

Take Icecrown for example, it has room for AT LEAST two heroics, one based loosely around the scarlet onslaught, one on the scourge or vrykul in the area.

Personally the OS and Malygos raids were cheap, they could have and should have made them MUCH larger, with a few other bosses and chuck loads of trash.

I remember the rude awakening of my guild when we first got into Ulduar, we WIPED on trash, people all of a sudden remembered they need to use their brains again.

Arceopteryx said...

You are right on that one Softie. But after WotLK, World of Warcraft have become even more mainstreamed than it was before. In pre-tbc you were considered a nerd without a life. Today the response you get on that same subject is: "Cool. What server do you play at?" of course this can vary.

Do you know how long time ago Activision bought/joined blizzard? I can't remember but maybe they are one of the reasons why the content is released. Just to point a finger at something.

Vlad aerie peak said...

but you got to admit- thats a great marketing strategy.

Okrane S. said...

tbh I do agree with all you say in this post, but frankly isnt this anti-"social" crusade thing of yours getting a bit old.

I mean, nobody says a game has to be about "skill" or for a certain type of gamer. Plus, about good people carrying skill-less socials:

Think about this for a change. From what you say progression is about seeing the encounter: seeing Ulduar, downing its bosses etc.
What I say is downing bosses and progression got really old.
Seriously. Once a raider has been through 3 or more tiers of content you can clearly see that it is all the same. Tank spams threat stuff, some cooldowns sometime, healer heals, dps stands out of the fire while mashing buttons.

Its a really bad time investment.

the illusion of socializing is what's keeping this from falling apart and without all the socials being carried this game will dissapear in a couple of months.

Doug said...

So...what is Blizzard's next scheme of minimizing the work that they have to do, while rewarding people for mediocrity going to be?

Anonymous said...

I generally think WoLK lacks a lot of what made the TBC expansion a lot more fun. If you are a raider, it's gotten a lot more boring now. Wintergrasp was really the only significantly new item added to the game, and they were unable to deliver on original promise of that.

It also doesn't help the game is so lacking now, they have to come out with major talent changes, nerfs, enhancements, etc. every few months. It's a testimate to the bad and lacking design of this expansion in the first place.

bleh

Benty said...

Yeap, the game isn't made for the top 10% of the playerbase or the vocal minority.

The Blizzard system is working wonderfully well at keep the majority of subscribers - subscribed.

Anonymous said...

WoW 1.0 came with one real raid, WoW 2.0 came with one real raid, and WoW 3.0 came with one real raid.

I know blizzcon starts only today, but I'd like to make a shocking prediction : WoW 4.0 will come with one real raid.

Swordchucks said...

A minor quibble... if you are running 10-man content with only 10-man gear, it is every bit as hard (and sometimes vastly harder) than 25-man content. Sure, if you've got 25-man gear, the 10-man content seems easier, but it's really not.

The primary challenge of 10-man raiding is that you have a much lower tolerance for incompetence. In a 25-man raid, if you have 2-3 idiots, you're probably still fine. In a 10-man raid, if you have 2-3 idiots... you're in some serious trouble.

Sure, some bosses do fewer annoying tricks on 10-man... but that doesn't make it easy or trivial by any means.

RyanC said...

As a competent raider in what's rapidly becoming a 'casual raiding guild' this point hits home. 14+ dispels and 14+ interrupts on Jarraxus (nobody else with even half those #s); raiders interrupt and purge buffs. Casuals show up and collect loot.

We sometimes take the best 10 we have and do Ulduar Hard modes, which I view as something of a punishment.

The gear is incrementally better than the regular 219 stuff and takes longer to get.

With a limited amount of time at my disposal, I only do what's best/fastest for my character; I use the guild to achieve my ends.

ToC 10: 2nd Easiest badges ever
OS-10: Easiest badges ever
Daily Heroic: 2 Triumph badges + 3-5 Conquest Badges
Voa 10/25: Gloves/Legs/Chest Tier Pieces + easy badges

If you do that, over and over again, by the end of 3.2 you will have a full set of T8.25 and 226 items to go along with 2-3 pieces of T9.

But for the most part, I don't run into casuals. Anyone caught wearing a green in my heroics gets booted. I guess they hang out and do dailies at the ATourney or something...no idea.

Half the people who raid are below average. (It never fails to amaze me how many people will try to argue that point.) Casual raiding guilds are where those people go.

Strutt said...

Obviously they are doing something right, being the biggest MMO out there... Plus bringing boat loads of money. That and everyone that complains still seems to be playing... kinda ironic.

Tonus said...

When you grow as fast as WOW did at the beginning (and for the next 2 or 3 years) you have to increase your infrastructure and support system to keep up, and that requires up-front costs and then maintenance costs. So you really don't have the option to work in a vacuum, so to speak.

You are obligated to continue to grow your customer base (which is what any company wants to do anyway) because if it shrinks, your costs do not shrink at the same pace without taking drastic measures (ie merging servers, closing locations). Doing that causes people to lose confidence ("omg they are merging servers it's the beginning of the end").

And after all, pretty much any market out there will cater to the larger group of people with money to spend. Otherwise they won't spend it on you. And with Blizzard being part of a larger corporate concern, that becomes an even stricter rule. When you are just a division in a larger business, you're expected to turn over bigger profits each quarter, no excuses.

Jeff said...

You have officially become laughable. Your hatred of "socials" is on par with every other whiny raider out there. I'm not special any more.

Gear resets:
In TBC what happened about midway through? It was easier to gear up in PvP epics by honor farming than putting up with the requirements of the "top guilds" Hell if you were applying to the "top guilds" in TBC and had any Rare (blue) items equipped you might as well forget it. So what blizzard has done with 3.2 is give the same kind of soft gear reset to PvE as it has always given to PvP.

10-man as easy mode:
Pop Quiz at release what was the hardest raid in the game? 10 OS 3D. Why? Because you had fewer bodies to do all the same jobs. Some other ten man encounters are harder than their twenty-five equivalents.

A number of people dropped their twenty five man raid guilds to start tens guilds because there was less drama, less frustration, and fewer scheduling conflicts.

Allocation of Resources:
There is no reason for Blizzard to devote thousands of developer hours to make Sunwell Plateau. A fraction of one percent of all players ever set foot inside Sunwell Plateau. So those thousands of developer hours we wasted. Ghost Crawler is talking about 31 bosses in Ice Crown. This mammoth raid is going to take many guilds three or more weeks to clear once they have it on farm. Again thousands of developer hours will be devoted to bringing out the final raid of the expansion. Why should Blizzard as a company write the game in such a way that the final raid only serves <0.5% of the population of their game.

Raid Release Schedule:
In TBC the final Boss was Illidan, remember? "YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!" Until about a month in the server first Illidan kill was gone on all active servers. Time for a new expansion? Instead they wrote Sunwell Plateau. This time they are phasing out their raids so Arthas lasts a while. Oh and if you look back in TBC there was SSC, TBT, SWP, and all the other raids were one encounter wonders, much like WotLK.

Armagon said...

RyanC, every casual can obtain Epics because it's so easy, so the casuals in greens are booted?

I see no logic in that. Either you're now just not relating to the post or it's me. :P

Apart from that especially the people in greens need heroics, so I also disagree with that.

Suicidal Zebra said...

If your main aim in an MMORPG is to get better gear rather than to experience new encounters you're doomed to disappointment every time there is a new raid, expansion or gear tier collapse. The game is there to play, not parade around Dalaran flashing your e-peen, and as a hard-core raider you'll still be seeing all the new content much earlier than the 'casuals'.

I'd love it if the Lich King 25m hard-mode dropped no loot except for a shirt saying "I completed Wrath of the Lich King and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt". And that shirt was pink.

Tonus said...

You can be in full blue/epic gear with all necessary gems and enchants prior to setting foot in a heroic instance. Heck, I have a level 80 hunter whose only green is a trinket, and he can swap that out for a blue one, and he hasn't set foot in a single dungeon. I wasn't trying to gear him up, either.

If you want to progress, gearing up in blues/epics prior to raiding should be considered the very least you can do in terms of preparation and showing that you're not going to waste a raid leader's time.

dozenz said...

Wrong.

Blizz has released content in such a way so that there are no unbearable lapses between content that will cause hardcore people to quit.

Think back to Vanilla. The gap between MC->BWL->AQ->Naxx was so great that a guild could completely gear up several complete raids of alts to the max before they see something new. Turnover was very common as people qould quit for awhile, than come back shortly after new content because there was nothing to do in between except farm for materials, and you only need to do it for so long.

Blizz had Naxx as the first raid, delayed Ulduar and created the coliseum so that there would always be something to do while continuing to progress for the hardcore raid guilds.

The badge patch and nerfs are introduced after awhile so the gap between Hardcore and Casuals does not become insurmountable and that evne the end-game raids can be part PUGed after a certain point.


If Ulduar was there at release (along with starter raid naxx), than you would have such a huge gap inbetween Ulduar and Icecrown that the hardcore would be complaining and quitting.


My guess is if they did it gevlon's way he'd be complaining about how Blizzard is milking the playerbase by waiting so long for content.

Of course everything Blizzard has done is very goblinish in nature anyway so none of us should be complaining unless you want to be lumped in with the M&S that have their messages posted on the front page of this blog. Maybe Blizz should take a screen cap of this blog post and put it on their site with snarky comments about someone who doesn't get it.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, with 11 million players not everyone wants the same thing.

Some want

Hard raids to challenge themselves.
Easy raids to get easy epics.
Competitive PvP.
Easy PvP to get free epics.
Lore based content.
New mounts / pets.
More world to explore.
and many other things

You can't please everyone or you'll lose some people. You have to try to balance it but it's not easy. If they rush it then they might balls it up and cause people to leave anyway if its too hard too easy.

World of warcraft is supposed to be a virtual world with own beliefs so creating a new dungeon which allows for lore isnt easy. You can't just put a big bad guy anywhere.

Everything atm seems too samey.

Yaggle said...

Blizzard has become experts at stringing along almost all types of players always chasing the carrot on the stick. Even for the ultra-casuals, why not stick around until November and get your Onyxia pet in the mail? For the crafters, did you enjoy waiting for those nice patterns to finally show up as Ulduar drops? Why not farm some Argent Tournament rep for awhile to get new mounts that you don't need but you can show off to everybody?
Here is the problem. I'm not buying all this Cataclysm hype. After enduring the WOTLK mumbo-jumbo, I am planning on taking November to, say, next August off of Wow. It will probably not be until next August when they release most of the stuff they should have released with the Cataclysm launch. And by them they will be done with another round of re-balancing and other new whatever that changes each classes' roles and abilities.

WmN said...

2 Points:
1. It is not social/casual players in one group and highly skilled players in another. They are two ends of a very broad spectrum with all sorts of people with varying abilities between the two.

2. On a site which supports the Goblin philosophy of work smart and gain the rewards for it over those who don't, how can you have anything but admiration for Blizzard who manage the same thing but on a global scale and with reall money too? They have proven to be masters of give everyone what they want some of the time. So no one is happy all the time, but it enables them to keep the massive player base they now have and the dollars rolling in. True goblins!

yuripup said...

You have a real weak spot in your argument: design decisions can be pushed by more than one reason--and you have no evidence-to say one reason is false and another correct.

The most likely case is that both reasons contributed to the creation of 10 man modes, your peremptory dismissal aside.

You deal with the world in front of you, not the one that is most convenient for your point of view.

Sweetiebird said...

Someone wrote "Why should Blizzard as a company write the game in such a way that the final raid only serves <0.5% of the population of their game."

I gather that some of you have watched a poker tournament before where first place wins heaps. Heaps like 30-50% of the prize pool.

Poker is such a great tournament game, even though only the top few split the massive majority of the prize money.

It gives you something to work towards if there is something hard. There's still a point in doing the hard modes in Ulduar: The Mount.

If the social guilds are going to be able to easily do all the hard mode content before the next major patch/expansion comes out, then there is very little to work towards, and it becomes quite boring.

I personally wish the hard mode content was a lot harder than it currently is, I also wish there was more of an incentive to do the hard modes.

To Blizz, it's business. Their way to get the most gold (money) from you which means keeping you (the majority) playing longest time possible.

Anonymous said...

Good post, I hadn't really thought about it that much.

A few pointers though. Why all the hate of social guilds? I'm personally in one of them and I love it. Most of us raids, but we have a few who don't, who only do dailies or level alts. That's okay with me. I wouldn't trade it for anything (well, I would if we never progressed, but we do).

And yes, we only raid 10-man raids. You can say whatever you want about us, but you do not know us. Most of us are excellent players and could "move up" to 25-man guilds if we wanted to. 25-man raids are of course more difficult than the raids we are used to, but they're not on another level. Most likely we wouldn't be good enough for hard mode-guilds (I don't think I am), but I know a few who are. One of our current raid leaders, our paladin tank and one of our priest healer comes to mind. They have the mindset, tenacity, ambition and skill to pull it through.

BC was horrible in a way. Some of us did BT/Sunwell with a guild we were close with at the time, while the rest of us could only do Karazhan and ZA. We didn't actively recruit and we still don't, because inviting strangers we don't know just isn't worth it. I'm okay with not being in the same league as server first guilds but I'm not okay with not seeing the same content.

RyanC said...

@ Armagon

I don't do casual welfare. If you need epics and you're wearing blues/greens, go find someone else in blue/greens and stay out of my Heroic.

It's easy for someone in ilvl200 epics to get gear, YET CASUALS STILL FIND A WAY TO F*** IT UP. WHAT PART OF THAT DON'T YOU GET?

There are now so many crafted items floating around out there, that for a few thousand gold a person can put themselves into epic armors, buy epic weapons from the ATourney vendor, and not be a complete waste of space in an OS/Naxx/VOA run to build up badges and be on par with everyone else.

But no matter how low you make the branch, there will always be people who screw it up. Always.

Jeff said...

Sweetbird:

The poker analogy doesn't stand up because in poker you have a large number of people competing to achieve one zero sum goal, first place for the largest share of the prize money. WoW is a non zero sum game where every one can finish all the content (in theory). Blizzard wants to keep as many of their $165 million (11 million @$15/mo) happy as they can. BC was dull for me. I have no interest in being in a top guild, I have a family, a life, a job and not time to commit three or four times a week of three to four hours at a stretch.

Blizzard could shed 90% of their player base and still have a successful MMORPG. But instead they are simplifying further in Cataclysm by removing all secondary stats (def, spell power, attack power, MP5, etc.) They want to keep the largest possible group of players in the game while attracting more.

Tonus said...

Blizzard is only removing those secondary stats from gear. Casters will still have mana/5, but it will be from spirit. Physical DPS will still have attack power, but it will be from strength/agility. And so on.

I think they're trying to segregate gear a bit more clearly. Healers will look for gear with +spirit. DPS casters will look for gear with +intellect and no spirit. One group of melee will itemize around agility, and another will itemize around strength. And so on.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you think the social guild are bad now wait until the expansion and the new guild systems where people will be forced to play in social guilds.

But anyway, this isn't a long term plan for survival and they know it. Even the socials sooner or later figure out they are being tricked. After all, if there is nothing to aim for then there is nothing to achieve.

Gibbiex said...

I'm GL of a large social raiding guild. We're still in naxx; yeah it's frustrating to the skilled people, but we love our guild, and after a while we have shook out all the bad apples who just want to raid for gear. We raid for being able to hang out with our friends and do challenging things. The amazing thing about wow is that the content can be compeltely trivial by your gear/level. Ony is laughable now but was pretty tough in vanilla. Naxx is a joke now for all of those in ulduar gear, because the higher dps and stamina and heals makes the encounters a joke. Patchwork no longer hits the thank for 90% of their health, instead its 30% of health. Enrage timers are no longer an issue. Etc.

Except if you are in a guild where everyone has naxx10/heroics gear, then Naxx10 is still pretty challenging. Anyway that's just another point of view, you can make of it what you will.

But I agree with whoever said that if you raid for gear your going to be disappointed.

I got tired of carrying the casuals too, until i realized i just didn't care. I was there to see my friends and do challenging things, even if I did it 100x before. If the casual just shows up and facerolls autoattack, it doesn't affect me as long as we can kill the boss.

My only wish is that we can get these casuals through naxx and finally hit ulduar; which is too bad because we're all pretty smart and skilled players, just not focused on being uber.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head.

Carra said...

I agree with most that has been said. People want to progress. If they don't progress, they'll get frustrated or burned out. Slowly nerfing the content and adding multiple difficulties (10-25, regular-hard) keeps people from getting stuck. And the content automatically gets easier since you get better gear.

And spreading instances does make balancing new content a lot easier. If you released ulduar & naxx together and added a new instance a few months later most players would still be in naxx and a few in ulduar. If you make your content hard enough for ulduar gear then most of your playerbase can't do it. If you make it easy enough for naxx gear then the better guilds will fly through it. Now you can just assume that everyone has some Ulduar gear.

But I think they did this well. Good guilds have their server firsts the first few weeks. And after that, average Joe gets a shot at it. And eventually "lol, I push buttons" gets a chance too. As Blizzard has said before: there's no use in making content that only 1% of your player base gets to see. In vanilla WoW, 0 players on my server finished Naxxramas. Now everyone gets to see Ulduar, even the "social" people. It's great progress.

Anonymous said...

Respect man. You got it.