Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cheers for the cata raid lockouts!

You might heard the raid and loot system in Cataclysm. While you can raid in 10 or 25 man, normal or heroic mode, you can kill one boss once a week. Also, the 25 man (despite being obviously harder to organize) gives the very same quality of loot, just bigger quantity.

Most people curse this system. They also curse the new badge system where you can farm badges from 2-mannable 5-mans to buy almost-top level gear. They say this system allows the "noobs" to get the same "rewards" as the "l33t".

The idea that "top loot" is not for everyone is completely unnatural. In the real world, you can buy a Ferrari from your 7 figure CEO salary, or from simply grinding for 30 years. I'm serious. Half of the homeowners in the USA and Europe (average guys) could buy a Ferrari by selling their homes. Of course it would need a retard to become homeless just for a car, but one could do it.

The skill in real world does not affect the quality of available rewards, it affects the quantity/time ratio. The 7 figures manager can buy a Ferrari in few months, the $40K guy have to save 10K/year (with 7% interest) for 20 years.

So the Cata system seems natural to me and completely OK. Players will get the very same gear. But skilled ones will get it with 3-4 time less /played. This system is already in effect in ICC. An ICC10 boss gives 2 pieces of gear, so 0.2/person. Also gives one badge/person. A boss can be killed with his trash in less than 30 mins. Since gear is sold for 60-95 badges, let's take 80 as average price, making a gear piece equal to 80 badges. So:
  • Killing a boss in ICC: 0.2*80+2 badges / 30 min = 36 badge/hour
  • Doing the daily HC: 2 badges/15 min = 8 badge/hour
  • Killing just 10 bosses in ICC and doing the weekly raid quest: (0.2*80+2)*10+5 = 185 badge/week
  • Doing the daily HC all days of the week: 2*7 = 14 badges/week.
So the difference between skilled and M&S is not rewards, but rewards/hour or /week, the very same way as it's with gold: the goblin gets 2-3K/hour with the AH, the M&S gets 0.2-0.3K/hour grinding monsters or doing daily quests. I can just welcome the change.

Two more suggestions to Blizzard if anyone reads this blog (actually I have 50 visitors from Irvine and 70 from East Irvine):
  • Make the heroic raids give the same loot/badges as normal ones. Just twice as many. It would also stop the "they can do content because they have 277" nonsense.
  • Create 3 difficulty levels for 5-mans: leveling (like normal Nexus for lvl 72), "max level" (like "HC" Nexus) and heroic, that should have "unnerfed Magister's terrace in Kara gear" difficulty, giving equal loot and badges as the "max level" dungeon, just 2 times more of everything, and if someone have not done the daily "max level" dungeon, his first heroic gives double emblems as loot. Heroic dungeons could be buffed with every tier change, to maintain difficulty with gear.


Betty said...

'Make the heroic raids give the same loot/badges as normal ones. Just twice as many. It would also stop the "they can do content because they have 277" nonsense.'

It would mean less people bother completing heroic modes.

Glyph, the Architect said...

I would absolutely love it if the heroics scaled up in difficulty to match the current raid tier.

Craig Trevor said...

Why can't they scale the heroic encounters. If you have been gear the encounter becomes harder, e.g. extra adds, boss heals, extra damage.

This would make heroic dungeons still difficult after you would normally out-gear them.

Anonymous said...

They don't make heroics scale to gear because blizzard likes it that way. It gives a sence of progression in the game. Having heroics scale. It's kind of like those hamster wheels... The harder you work the harder the work becomes.

Anyways I'm one of your constant Irvine readers.

Gusztav said...

Let me add to this that the rating requirement removal from pvp rewards is close to the same system as described in your post, and also makes sense.

Everyone can have the same gear and of course also the same talents/enchants/gems/etc. which is the damn point of a pvp environment!

The current system is as if in Starcraft you weren't allowed to build t3 units because either you suck or you just started to play the game recently.

Anonymous said...

The only thing about this whole post I disagree with is exactly the same thing Betty commented on:

'Make the heroic raids give the same loot/badges as normal ones. Just twice as many. It would also stop the "they can do content because they have 277" nonsense.'

Hmm this may be harder to explain then I thought. It would certainly mean less people completing/farming HC modes, but taking it in the direction you suggested would run contrary to Blizzard's policy since TBC: they had the problem that designing hard content wasn't cost-effective because few people would see it, well this would take it right back there - it's really really REALLY easy to make faceroll content, but it's hard to make challenging content WELL. It requires more balancing/testing then easy stuff, so it makes little sense to spend more developer time(=money) making something less valuable then you spend on something more valuable. To give you a current example: most if not all ICC fights seem built with the normal mode being the base from which they built the HCs, but in a really clumsy way. From HC marrowgar who looks like he can't tell which phase he's in, to festergut that ninjas some of putricide's abilities to blood queen that's the same encounter with bigger numbers to lootship that's so badly balanced that by the time you can get to normal mode you can do the heroic version (which requires you to have killed the last boss on normal which is plain retarded). This is in contrast to ToC which was either hc or normal, where HC really meant HC, and ulduar which didn't really require anything to unlock HC mode so you could really progress at your own pace.

Personally, I would welcome such a change because it would mean that Blizzard would have to make up for the lost "weekly" content (they already have to make up for 10/25 versions not being both available in the same lockout with more raids, though I suspect they will just sell us the same number of bosses but divided by more dungeons and call it more content). Your suggestion would (almost) remove HC as a step in the progression ladder, which would be excellent but I'm pretty sure Blizzard would like to retain at least a piece of the WotLK milking scheme (I still can't get over how anyone can look at a patch which in it's entirety - that is 5/5hc, 10/10hc and 25/25hc - takes place inside one circular room + basement/cave and not say what the hell).

So in conclusion: While your suggestion may be logical and thus good for the game itself, I don't see it happening purely because it doesn't maximize profit in the current low-competition MMO market. You yourself said once that gear is just a tool, and if you can obtain the tools that you need to move on to the next challenge (content patch) the easy way or the hard way, the fact is the market for the hard way won't be that big.

Andru said...

I just had a positively evil idea.

While you proposed the gear to be identical in stats, I agree.

But should make the gear dropped from normal modes blue colour, and make the gear dropped from heroic(or 25 mans) purple colour.

This way, there's no stat difference, gear is identical, but it still adds a layer of social prestige that people demand from the game.

(Seriously, the amount of 'epics were epic' threads on the forums piss me off beyond belief. Never mind that they were itemized like hell. THEY WERE PURPLE AND EPIC OMGZ.)

If anything, should make for a fun read on the forums from the Joneses people.

ardoRic said...

Andru, isn't that basically the same as the new green "Heroic" tag on items?

"Heroic" is the new epic.

Anonymous said...

Blizzard wont scale heroics to gear, like its said inthe comments, it gives you a sense of progression, i worked this much so i can solo some5 mens, etc. Actually i'd want it to stay that way, after hitting mid content in game, and having other things to do, id want the daily heroic or some other heroics to be as easy as it can be so i can continue doing other things while getting my 2 badges from the daily heroic, etc.
And the reason you cheer for new way of raid lockouts is you prolly is not a pro gamer, dont get this in the wrong way's totally ok tobe casual but for us pro gamers who go in and clear 10 and 25 heroic content every week, its horrid. the casual scum getting similar loot as pros... nota good sign, ofcourse they wont be able to succeed that much as pros but before pros has 277 gear now all will have 277 in time... well anyways im a bit dissaspointed to blizzard for doig this... but this can mean only 1 thing, ALT RAIDS... ppl will gear their alts just like their mains from now on, in the free time they will have coz they can only run 10 men or 25 men...
anyways i started reading ur blog last week,and i liked it.

The One and Only... said...

i love this changes. as a progressionraider i love the idea. 4 days a week 25's + daily hc + 10's + twinks... did it long long time that way. then came icc... 25 cleard pretty quick... only lk left in hc... and i only steped twice into the 10player version and that was in the first 2 weeks.
just give me enough valorpoints (or wahtever they are called)so i dont HAVE TO DO heroics every crapy day and i am fine.

its now one month of not raiding anymore cause i dont see anything interessting left... back to my altoholic days. may be its time for one of your projects gev ;)

ardoRic said...

@ Anon 9:48


You're not "pro" cause you do 25-man content. You're "pro" if you move out of crap in a timely fashion, apply the right dps to the right targets, or heal the right people at the right time.

Doing it in 10 or 25-man has nothing to do with being pro, and that's what Blizzard is saying with this shared lockout thing.

And I have to add another "lol" @ your "casual scum" comment.

You're just... wrong. You're not a god of WoW because you do 25-mans, I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you.

Kring said...

> "they can do content because they have 277"

Then they have the advantage of more player complete in BiS and more player in off-spec BiS because more drops mean more of the needed drops.

Being successful in one tier will always give you an advantage in the next in a gear driven game.

Anonymous said...

Similar to the 1932 movie classic Grand Hotel with Garbo and Barrymore, selling your house to buy a Ferrari is perfectly rational ... if you have a fatal illness and no heirs.

Jeanie said...

How could you allow such comment like the one of Anon 9:48 to be showed. It literally hurt my brain to read the whole posts: almost leetspeak, no capitalize, and the content is just ... horrible.

Anyways, "pro gamers" is a funny concept, unless you're playing game for a living, you're by no mean "pro". And there is no reason that 10men raiding, or 10men raider would be any worse than the 25men counterpart.

Gevlon said...

@Jeanie: it is showed to amuse us.

Tonus said...

"Blizzard wont scale heroics to gear, like its said inthe comments, it gives you a sense of progression"

So your problem with the new approach is that it doesn't cater to socials? Heh.

What I'd like to see in Cata is a progression in the release of 5-man content, like they did with the ToC and ICC 5-mans. That way you can scale the difficulty of both the normal and heroic versions, and scale the gear as well.

ardoRic said...

in b4 "omg, u wer meen to me and i no like you anymoar"

meh, I fail at making bad-speak

Deepcut said...

They have stated the loot will be the same but there will be more of it. Since you have 2.5 times as many people in 25 mans as 10 mans, they must drop at least 3 times the loot (and badges) to be viable. Not to mention it's much tougher to coordinate 25 people than 10 people, so there should be additional rewards.

Also, you didn't mention the weekly dungeon quest for 5 frost badges as well.

Andru said...

"Andru, isn't that basically the same as the new green "Heroic" tag on items?"

No, it isn't. A 'Heroic' label it's just a label. A different color which the M&S can understand and perceive as different is a totally different business. What would you prefer? A car with a sticker saying "Heroic" or a car in a different color without the sticker?

latusthegoat said...

@Andru, that is absolutely brilliant. Make it so, Blizzard. Blue from 10man, Purple from 25man but the exact same stats. Oh the qq we would read!

Anonymous said...

I dislike the word you commonly use.. 'skilled'. Really it takes very little skill anymore. What it takes is 'time'. Those who have the available time and can raid every night of the week will get geared up to l33tness quicker then a very skilled player who can only raid once every other week.

There are tons of players who have l33t gear still only marginally know and understand their full potential. I'd have to say 90% of all geared 'l33t' toons playing today are carried by that other 10%.

I know this is off topic however it still merits a voice.

Anonymous said...

to the ppl that don't want heroic&normal drop same loot:
doing a raid on heroic mode should be because it's more fun/challenging and not because there is better gear involved. some encounters in this expansion have lived up to that, some where very lacking in that department.
also let us not forget that with achievements and the vanity items (pets/mounts/titles/...) there is still a way for the 'elite' to differentiate them from the plebs.

additionally having hc and normal drop same gear would largely solve the 'pve hero'-problem in arena

however i do not see it happen anytime soon, bc what heroic mode drops do is artificially lenghten the duration of content. let's face it without heroic mode every non idiot would have grinded out every single piece of loot he needed out of icc by now, but bc there is still heroic mode gear ppl can keep on grinding same content just for that +5str,...

as for the 5 mans i don't think we'll soon see the resemblance of a MT or Slabs. and that's not only because of the instances themself but because the huge improvement in aoe capacity of tanks coupled with an increased amount of CD to live through hard mobs to certainly never need CC. It sure is a shame because i enjoyed 5mans a lot, now i'll rather log of then do even the daily hc.

Andru said...


Why do you take so much pleasure in the QQ? Think about it.

tentacleboy said...

Also keep in mind the "heroic" label on gear we have now is not just aesthetic, it also comes with increased stats.

I love the idea of heroic gear being purple with no increased stats, but I doubt it will be implemented.

Klepsacovic said...

There are many rewards, mostly artistic, which are not sold based only on sufficient money.

Anonymous said...

"but for us pro gamers who go in and clear 10 and 25 heroic content every week, its horrid. the casual scum getting similar loot as pros..."

You DO realise that when Gevlon refers to M&S, that the M is referring to people like you?

Phelps said...

The reason people in general wouldn't like this is the same reason that they love gearscore so much -- they want to use gear as a shortcut measurement of skill. They don't want to think about whether or not someone actually knows how to play. They just want to see certain shineys and say, "ah, you must be a powerful fellow."

The good news is that the current system is already shaking this up. On Aggramar, I'm seeing fewer and fewer "lfm pst GS and achiev" and more "LFM must do 8K+ or you'll get kicked." I think that is an improvement (and a statement about how many guys are running around in 264 gear doing 3K dps.)

Anonymous said...

Its true that 'pros' are getting the badges and epic loot faster. Thats how things are now.

The problem is they very quickly run out of epic loot to buy...

I have two full sets of T10 and still well over 200 badges. All that and I've only been doing 25man regularly. Not much 10m and nearly no daily heroics or even the weekly raids for the past few months.

I don't need gold, so there is no point in burning badges on primordial saronites.

The only way I'd be happy in Cata is if they have an amazing learning curve across all of the raid tiers to keep the less-good raiders bogged down. Sadly thats just not possible now as the only real gate keeper is gear. Of course thanks to scaling badges the gear will be freely available to everyone from running trivial 5 man content. It will take them an extra month or two, sure, but when there is 6+ months in between content patches they have the time.

Andru said...

The second and third 'Andru' posts are not mine. (mine was the first)

Having said that, the 'sticker' explanation for Heroic holds. Not as much for the rather terrible metaphor, but traditionally 'epics' gained prestige since 5 years ago, while the 'Heroic' sticker were around for 9 months or so. And they're not readily obvious.

Also, if Blizzard would want to push evilness further, after making the change I proposed, introduce a 'token' in the online store. "Convert blue to epic colour", with no aditional benefits. Price it 10 euro/item.

Watch tears fly and bank accounts swell.

(Hmm, maybe they should hire me instead of Kotick, I bet I'd make a lot better 'evil CEO' figure.)

As for my reasoning on why this would be good? Well, for starters, it will make the 'epics were epics' fan crowd go to AOC or some other game. Not having to read the tripe spewed on the official forums would be a good start.

Seriously now, it makes no performance difference for either the min-maxers, or the truly casual players (like me) or even the smart social players. The only ones throwing a fit would likely be the M&S social players. The smart (or passable) socials would manage to get in a 25 man guild and flash their epeen around. Do we need M&S socials? As much as I like them doing the grinding for me, well, I'm sure I can survive without them.

That's about it. Oh, in before Eaten by a Grue and 'Gevlon kool-aid, raarg'.

Coeur-de-fer said...


Unfortunately for us, Blizzard does need the idiots, and will cater to them, as they're the foundation upon which their entire business model is built. They're obviously not interested in a smaller-scale MMO catering to a niche audience. They cast their nets wide, and have to be ready to appeal to the illogical, irrational, and over-emotional sensibilities of the population at large, in an effort to endear themselves to as many players as possible, to keep that all-important revenue flowing.

You or I may be glad to be rid of the dregs of the server, but for Blizzard, that's lost income. It's a problem inherent to any enjoyable activity; once there's money involved, it's no longer about what "you" find most fun, it's what the most people find most fun.

tentacleboy said...

@last Anon : you don't need gold now, but what about when Cata hits ? You should have burned your badges on saronite when it was hot and saved that gold to fund an extension of BoEs and repairs and maybe a profession reroll or whatever, instead of getting stuck with something that'll be worth exactly nothing the exact second that Cata is released.

Anyway... sell that saronite now, whatever happens gold will always be gold but frost badges and saronite will turn into shit pumpkins after midnight

fellcrow said...

The only problem with everyone getting the same gear is the gear loses its prestige. Part of having a piece of gear is its social value. Back in vanilla, to have ANY epic at level 60 was an accomplishment. To have the best gear, I personally think you need to show some sort of skill. This way would not up the level of skill to get the best gear, just make the better people get it faster. Yeah, that would help in terms of progression because they would get geared faster, move to the next level, rinse and repeat. They would exponentially clear content faster then the M&S, but that isn't good enough IMO. You need to put some effort/time and not be a dumbass in order to do the most difficult content at the current time. If they are unable to do it due to changeable reasons, E.G. didn't read strat, stood in fire, didn't listen to raid leader or follow the kill order, they need to LEARN how to do so. Yeah, some M&S won't ever learn, but WoW is a game that teaches you things and when you accomplish something you get rewarded. You shouldn't reward the M&S at all unless they learn to buckle down and do what is required of them. You have ZERO faith in the M&S, (which makes sense in its own right) but I personally think that we shouldn't reward them at all if they won't learn. Punch a man in the face enough and he'll learn to duck. We need to teach the M&S not to stand in the fire. If he keeps burning and wipes, one day he will finally know not to stand in the fire. It will take him exponentially longer then anyone else, and longer then it should take a person with an IQ over 40 but one day he could possibly learn and then he may be a useful raider. Until that day though, don't reward him and enjoy watching him burn.

tentacleboy said...

@fellcrow :

the problem is, by definition M&S don't learn. If Blizzard were to do what you propose, lots of M&S will quit playing the game, meaning less revenue for Blizzard.

Charlie said...

I'm definitely excited for the changes to raiding in Cataclysm. These days, even though I have no job and basically no life at the moment, I just can't bring myself to farm every raid on both difficulties for maximum badges/gear. There's other things I like to do, like doing different achievements, working the AH, or just watching a movie or something.

I don't think the new system will kill either raid format. People that prefer the close-knit environment of 10-mans won't feel obligated to run 25's for the best loot. Players that prefer the maximum experience/profit/loot-chances, or are just in larger guilds, will still prefer 25-mans. But then, players from both types won't feel like they have to run both. And you won't have to quit your job to fit in all the raid lockouts.

I'm excited. =)