Greedy Goblin

Monday, February 7, 2011

The most disgusting nerf ever

The PuG update: if you have 10 people interested in raid, bring the player, not the class to Atramedes:



I could open with "I told you a year ago!". But I'm not in the mood on cheering on my ingenuity. This nerf simply lacks the previous subtlety and throw directly into our faces: go and boost morons and slackers. While bad ones always profit more from the nerf than good ones (as the difference between wipe and 1 hour kill is larger than between 1 hour kill and 45 mins kill), all previous nerfs affected everyone. The altrun of a HC guild also got the ICC buff. A casual raider could also get fast badges in WotLK heroics.

Now, they placed a 15% buff to DPS, HPS and HP pool. That's a flat 32% (1.15*1.15) buff to heroic running people. But not for everyone. I won't get any nerf. My HCs (if I would still run HCs) will be exactly as long as before. The HCs of a casual who plays with his friends won't get any easier. Only the LFD-using M&S gets the nerf. To get it, we would have to abandon guild groups and boost M&S in the LFD.

Ghostcrawler wrote "in general, Heroic dungeons are of appropriate difficulty for organized groups, but just brutal on Dungeon Finder groups. ". He isn't talking about Method and Paragon guildruns. The organized groups of casual guilds were successful. I haven't seen wipes outside of autorunning into 3 packs when I ran HCs, despite some of our guildies were fresh 85s who tricked the LFD with high level useless reputation gear. I've been with tank who dinged that day and had 3 blues, rest green. Heroics are not hard for casuals, now it's accepted officially (as most guilds are by definition casual). Heroics are ony too hard for plain M&S.

Ghostcrawler here acknowledges the huge difference between casuals and M&S. Someone with sub-optimal spec, not farmed gear and some missing enchants here and there, but ready to listen to reason can complete a heroic with a few wipes. It's only the "gogogogog" M&S who can't do it.

And now they and only they get a 32% flat buff. What will be the next step? "Fair trade" buff? (if you form your raid on /trade without inspecting anyone, you get 15% DPS, HPS and HP buff)

In light of this obvious proof, I repeat what I wrote: the key to a successful MMO is "boosting", making good players carry bad ones without them noticing that they are being carried. What Blizzard sells is not content or "fun", but the illusion of respect and false self-respect to morons and slackers.


PS: people still don't seem to get why should we care if LFD fodder gets buff, it doesn't make our situation any worse. It does. Forming guild group have time overhead for tanks and healers as the guilds are not overabundant in DD. So a guild tank/healer must choose between waiting 10-20 mins for a guild group to form or join LFD instantly. If the LFD team with 32% buff is less than 10-20 mins slower than the guild group, the goblinish choice is LFD. With numbers: guild group takes 40 mins. Average group forming takes 15 mins. So the break-even point is (40+15)*1.32 = 73 mins. So if the average LFD before the buff could do the instance in 1:13, the rational choice is to go with them after the buff.

I can still say it's not the case for my guild. However if there is a mediocre guild that just 20% better than the LFD fodder, then their tanks go to LFD and consequently their DD have no other choice. By this mediocre guild dissolving in LFD, they increase its average quality. As the average quality increases, the LFD run time gets shorter, so better and better guild tanks and healers reach the break-even point and go LFD. Sooner or later it reaches your guild.


PS2: to people who don't understand why it's 32% buff (1.15*1.15). As they "fixed" Ozoruk and flat nerfed Corborus, there aren't any more oneshot mechanics in heroics. We wipe when the healer runs out of mana. By increasing HPS by 15% they give 15% more time (as he shall cast 15% less for the same healing). Also our DPS increases by 15%. We win when our_DPS * time = monster_HP. Since we got both DPS and time buffed by 15%, the win condition is 1.15*1.15 closer. Also, if we ignore wipe as an option and see only "run speed" as criteria, the higher HP+HPS allows pulling 15% more monsters and AoE them down. The AoE_DPS = DPS_on_one * number_of_monsters. Both got 15% buff.



Speaking of morons and slackers:

48 comments:

Ðesolate said...

Interesting Bug on PTR: start a Guildgroup with 3 pregrouping members, kick the two randoms, reinvite 2 guildies. This gets you the 10% buff and it is not updated to 5%.

Of course I can't confirm that it will still work when 4.0.6 comes up, but it is interesting that there are bugs boosting this behaviour.

Andru said...

They could add a 50% boost to LFD and I still wouldn't use it.

15% extra on top of 5k dps is 5750 DpS, not 10k the amount my guild members do on average.

It's a bone thrown to M&S, but I hardly think it's a bribe for players to join LFD.

For boosting to be profitable, LFD must be more time efficient than guild groups.

15% is nowhere near enough.

Yaggle said...

About 20 years ago, my sister's cat had kittens. I picked out one that I wanted. They stayed in a box about 5 inches (12cm) tall. One day, one of the kittens could climb out of the box. Other kittens then tried to climb out, too. All of them got out except for mine. My sister said I should help it but I would not. My sister said I was being cruel. Eventually with much effort, my kitten climbed out, also. This Blizzard heroic boosting is the same as helping the kittens climb out of the box to be with the other kittens. If Blizzard left them alone, some of them would try harder and succeed.

Anonymous said...

Not entirely correct.

All of our guild heroics use the LFD tool - we organise the party in guild and just use LFD to port us to the heroics. This will make the runs quicker for us without boosting anyone.

Grims said...

I will also get the buff, even though I'm not a M&S.

Since I am fed up with tanking the same HCs over and over, and do my daily as a DPS, gathering a group is just a pain in the ass. So I rather queue as DPS and do whatever else for 20 minutes.

The groups I get might not be great, but practically always succeed (I still don't know what hell-hole everyone else seems to be in) and now they'll succeed 15% faster.

Yay for lower boring grind time / valor point ratio!

Squishalot said...

Gevlon: "Now, they placed a 15% buff to DPS, HPS and HP pool. That's a flat 35% (1.15/0.85) nerf to heroics."

I'd be curious to see how your math stacks up for a 50% buff to DPS, HPS and HP pool. A 200% nerf to heroics doesn't make sense, and neither does your statement.

I disagree with the core premise of your argument that GC wants you to boost scrubs. You rightly note that the change isn't going to affect you at all (guild farmed content will still be faster than LFD). Therefore, your incentives don't change at all.

The point of the change is to bring the time taken to run a dungeon using LFD closer to the time taken to run a dungeon using "/2 LFM heroic farming, pst!"

It's making the game easier for scrubs, definitely. But only for those who use LFD in the first place. The good players with guilds aren't going to start using LFD as a result of the change, and the good players without guilds are getting the benefits of a reduced time taken to complete, which is GC's aim.

By definition, the situation doesn't change for you, therefore, there should be no change in your actions. With no change in your actions, how can you argue that GC wants *you* to boost scrubs? There's still no incentive for you to do so.

Nyala said...

I just don't think it matters. 15% (or 35%) will not make a group full of M&S succeed. "Gogogo" DPS; Tanks in DPS spec etc will still wipe. People unable/unwilling to play to the strat will still be 1-shot.

There is a (possibly small) subset of non-M&S that will benefit: Small guilds/groups of friends who have to bring in people from LFD; People who play during off-peak hours or on very low population servers; "Organised" groups who understand the strat but falls short by only a little bit.

My guild runs are already going as smooth as it can be... 15% dps will make it go a bit faster, but who cares if we didn't even notice that the existing 5% buff is not working as intended. I don't count the buff to healing and health in guild groups because I already have Omen procs with nothing to do with it (Resto Druid).

I honestly would be bored to death if our guild groups got that buff and I definitely will not break up a guild group to get it.

Let those who need the buff have it, for what it's worth. This buff does NOT require anyone to boost M&S

Anonymous said...

I'm confused here. In the past you have written about ignoring what advantages others get from the game and simply focus on what you get. So what if the bad players get heroics made easier it has no effect on you so why worry about it. With how your guild is organized you should never have to deal with them anyway so who cares. And as you stated in your post you already find heroics easy so there is really little benefit to you by making them easier so this nerd has no effect on you. What am I missing?

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: math fixed, it's 1.15^2 and not 1.15/0.85. About your 50% buff: imagine that you duel with an otherwise equal opponent who has 50% more DPS and 50% more HP.

@Squishalot, Andru: you ignore the organizational overhead for guild groups. Despite our guild is huge, it can take 10-20 mins to form a group, simply because people want to finish what they are doing. If LFD is just 10-20 mins slower than guild group, they are already competitive.

@Nyala: of course a full M&S group can't do it. But the point is not to make such groups. The point is to bribe decent players to stop playing with their pre-made teams and go boost LFD fodder.

Thossi said...

@Anon (07 February, 2011 07:30) said:

"Not entirely correct.

All of our guild heroics use the LFD tool - we organise the party in guild and just use LFD to port us to the heroics. This will make the runs quicker for us without boosting anyone."

Ghostcrawler (in the link provided in the original post) said:

"Luck of the Draw is the name of the buff you get for grouping with random people using Dungeon Finder"

I think that means the buff is only applied when your party members are assigned to you randomly, not when you use the LFD tool to find you a random dungeon with an already organized group.

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: That's not a 100% nerf. You're committing the basic math error of (1+i)^-1 = (1 - i). That's not the case. What you should be saying is that it's 1-(1+0.15)^(-1) = 13% nerf. That way, if DPS and health pools are buffed by 100%, it becomes a 50% nerf, i.e. content is worth 50% of what it used to be (half the time to kill boss, half the % damage taken, etc).

100% nerf should mean zero effort required.

Regarding taking 10-20mins to organise, you've blogged about the queues for non tanks/healers. A guild tank can and should be able to advertise for a 'start in 2 minutes', and if a person isn't ready, he can find a DPS in LFD. A guild DPS will still have to endure 45min waits in queues.

And as Andru points out, 15% extra on poor dps is still poor dps. In the same way that 15% ICC buff didn't help people, 15% LFD buff isn't going to either.

Ðesolate said...

Up to the math:

We recieve +15% dps, thats a 15% buff for our damage part so our group is buffed by 15%.

Now we recieve a 15% HP AND HPS boost. That means we get 15% more survivability. That's because healing AND HP scale together. Getting a 200k tank with some healer doing 3k hps gets you nothing.

By that you can actually say that the group is buffed by 15% ^ 2 since you are buffed by dps and survivability what is actually a 2 dimensional buff. You are not only doing 15% more DPS, the healer will have 15% less efford.

Math: By that we decrease the encounter times by 15% AND the possibility that someone dies by 15%. So we had x = time z = possibility to die y = succeeding value. y = z (x) => y = z * x as a simple function over time when you take z as a constant value. of course special encounters like ozruk have special behaviour, but they will get nerfed to the ground by 4.0.6

By that math if we had a 100% buff we'd reach 400% succeeding chance (2^2), this means a group that would succeed at 25% of the encounters without a wipe should not wipe on any encounter (100%). If they do, someone simply got worse or the basic numbers are incorrect.
Don't forget that Stochastic values never really reach 100%+ and that it is usually guarantee. If someone could, we would be able to totally avoid any random event.

Kring said...

Let's assume an LFD run is faster then your guild group run because of the buff, which is very likely as most heroics are already very easy. That means you can finish a heroic faster in 4.0.6.

Heroics are a boring grind task for your daily 70 vp.

If you don't run heroics anymore, why do you care?
If you still run heroics for the 70 vp, why do you complain that you can now get them faster?

I can't see the Goblin logic in your complaint.

Gevlon said...

@Kring: I don't grind heroics anymore. However I find the "fair trade" buff a reasonable danger. The belief that you are so above the filth that it will never reach you is wrong. Blizzard can push the M&S high enough with selective buffs that good players will have no other option than play with them or stop playing completely.

Squishalot said...

@ Desolate: "By that math if we had a 100% buff we'd reach 400% succeeding chance (2^2), this means a group that would succeed at 25% of the encounters without a wipe should not wipe on any encounter (100%). If they do, someone simply got worse or the basic numbers are incorrect."

Your basic numbers, unfortunately.

A party with 1k DPS will never beat an enrage timer - they have 0% chance of succeeding.

Increasing their DPS by 10x (i.e. 1000%) will give them the possibility (i.e. non-zero%) of succeeding.

You can't measure a nerf or buff in damage / heals as changes in the probability of succeeding.

Kring said...

First, the 15% don't elevate a 5 kdps slacker to 10 kdps. If you get a bad player he'll still be holding back the group. These 15% cannot compensate for lacking gear, lacking enchants, lacking gems and lacking skill AND produce a faster run.

If you boost slackers in your group the run will take longer. The 15% don't compensate for that.

Let's assume you get lucky and end up in a good group with players as good as your guild members. And the run ends up being faster then a guild run because of the 15% buff on top of good players. Then you didn't boost slackers but played with good players. Do you really mind playing with good players? Just because they used the LFD?

> Blizzard can push the M&S high enough with selective
> buffs that good players will have no other option than
> play with them or stop playing completely.

Now let's assume they change the luck of the draw buff to 500%. Do I really care if the 10 kdps come from a good player or from a buffed slacker? Not in the slightest as long as they don't hold me back.

If I want to play with my guild, I'll do that. But if I have to do some daily task, I'll take everything that minimizes the amount of time wasted.

Sassaroli said...

Not to sound like a whiner, but they can't seem to get numbers right this expansion, even worse than in Wrath. Gear has inflated too much, damage scales too high, PvE mobs are overtuned (at least for the M&S, apparently), PvP is balanced around having 30% (thirty percent) damage reduction from resilience, and frankly my motivation to play this game drops every patch notes.

What I think the incentive to run heroics would be? Make them less frantic, not just nerfing the mobs' (or boosting the puggers). Right now, you need to have sharp reflexes to move out of the fire fast enough: I'm thinking of the Gruul-like boss in Stonecore for example. That is stressful not because it goes down too slowly, but because it's designed for people who have a teenager's reaction time and can move out of the "cave-in" (sorry, can't remember the name) fast enough. The first time I have been there (even normal mode at 82-ish) I was melee and I went from "ok, let's pay attention to its abilities..." to "what the hell just happened?" in less than a moment.

Don't get me started on PvP either: what's the point of "balancing" it around having tons of resilience? Or around juggling a keyboard worth of abilities (plus modifiers)? To make it more frustrating for levelers and people who just hit max level? Try playing a battleground in a low level bracket: you will soon realize that everyone can crit you for more than 50% your hp; combined with CCs, it's almost unplayable. I cannot buy the "it's balanced at 85" excuse, because it's not.
Moreover, they ought to have a spreadsheet to calculate average damage/hp ratio as a function of level and gear, ought they not?
They just seem to be following the "big numbarz" philosophy.

They have been claiming for a long time that their intent is to gather new players. Although the "newbie" experience is indeed improved, as soon as anyone hits the "grouping" wall, new players are most likely to quit because, frankly, there is no chance they can understand what is going on most of the time.

Nerfing heroics won't fix the problem. Sitting around the table and redesign classes and rescale gear levels perhaps could.

chewy said...

I believe that your overall point is correct but I'm rather surprised at the way you've reacted.

It makes absolute business sense (from Blizzard's perspective) to satisfy the customers who want more challenging content and then nerf that content for the customers who want something for nothing. After all, they all pay the same fees and this is a business and it's good business sense to keep a majority of customers happy.

But what surprises me about your reaction is that you rarely QQ decisions like this but rather come up with original ideas to counter the changes. I can only imagine that you're incensed at the moment which is understandable.

Jumina said...

As you previously said M&S are paying customers as well as us. The content will be always nerfed after some time. It happened in TBC. It happened in WotLK with ICC buff and new gear. And it is happening now. All we can hope for is Blizzard will keep the content untouched for 2-3 month. Anyway I am positively surprised the raids are so difficult as they are now.

Gevlon said...

@Chewy, Jumina: I accept that there are nerfs. What hit me here is the selectiveness of the nerf. Until this, they gave the nerf to everyone, even if top players couldn't really use it (WotLK heroics were easy and fast to everyone, not using this bonus was my own choice). Here there is easy for them and hard for us.

@Kring: again, making guild groups have a waiting time (for tanks and healers). LFD can be slower, as they have 10-20 mins bonus due to 0 waiting time.

"Do I really care if the 10 kdps come from a good player or from a buffed slacker?" yes, because it's my PLAY time, and I don't want to see his lolling, his facepalm play (even if the nerf makes them survivable). I simply DON'T WANT TO PLAY WITH HIM!

EyeTechDirk said...

I've only ever read two types of angry responses to a nerf. "Why wasn't I boosted?" and "Back in my day..." You've managed to do both here. The obvious asocial response is to see how the nerf can be used to your advantage. Not whine about a change that by your own words does not effect you.

The fact of the matter is the M&S pay for this game. Not in a "it's their $15" way, by sheer numbers. If all the M&S were to quit tomorrow, as joyous as it would be at first, the game would shortly thereafter collapse under it's own financial weight. This nerf is Blizzard acknowledging that their primary money source is unhappy, and making the best financial decision for them, nothing more.

Our next step as asocials is the same as it has always been, adapt and profit from the new situation.

Gevlon said...

@EyeTechDirk: you don't see the philosophical change in Blizzard's action compared to all other nerfs.

Previously everyone's game became easier/less challenging. Now only the M&S got buff. This is traditional welfare: give selectively to the lazy and stupid. You CANNOT profit from it, unless you choose to run the same LIFESTYLE. So your suggestion is the same as "don't whine about welfare and tax, quit your job, give your home to the bank, live under the bridge then no tax and you get welfare"

Ðesolate said...

@Squishalot:
If we'd take it up to total statistic numbers we could. The problem is that an enrage timer is a nonevaidable event that directly wipes x member. Just like ozruk. If we'd look at Siamat phase 2 you will see that the timefactor x would have an exponential influence here. As the incoming damage grows every x seconds.

We obviously could try to set up a formula for every bossfight and I clearly would do that if anyone would be interested (and "pay" me). But to be realistic would you really be in need of the potential succeed formula that includes everything excluding human falures?

So we pick a system we can set up and say it behaves like that in general. If you don't do that you will never be able to make a short round up on any numbers (perfection alters by perception).

I'd give yoou a simple glimps:
You take the average bosshealth, his dps tanks hp healers hps and the dpssers dps. boss aoe-dps nonavoidable damage health of dps and healer avoidance of the tank. etc.
For an example I can say that a tank with x HP z armor w parry/dodge and k block will survive for y seconds in
a) worst case
b) most common case
c) most fortunate case
I can also calculate in what posibility theese cases will occur. WoW is nothing more than a more complicated dice bot with graphic interface and player-influence. No computer can do more, it is based on math there is NO "magical influence", just the 5 player and this dice bot (ramdom events are pure computer based and since a perfect random event can NEVER be realised on a computer you could math up the whole behaviour of every bossfight, given some decades of time).

Ranguvar said...

@Desolate:

You are correct that computers cannot output true random numbers -- without external random data to use as a seed. Most computers use input from the mouse, keyboard, temperature sensors, fan speeds, etc. (all summed up) to provide this. However, I've also heard of using weather data. Is this 100% random? No, but it is impossible to achieve 100% randomness, computer or not. Also, some pseudorandom number generators which do _not_ use external data are still able to achieve results mathematically indistinguishable from "true" random number generators.

Take however decades you like, unless your RNG is horribly botched, you won't "predict" every outcome (just the probability, which of course is doable).

Squishalot said...

@ Gevlon: "yes, because it's my PLAY time, and I don't want to see his lolling, his facepalm play (even if the nerf makes them survivable). I simply DON'T WANT TO PLAY WITH HIM!"

Again - you're not going to be playing with him, because you don't run heroics or raids outside of guild groups. The change doesn't affect anyone who currently runs with a guild capable of running dungeons / raids faster than a random group. So there's still no reason for you to cry over the changes.

@ Desolate - I hear what you're saying. The difference between what you and I are saying, however, is that I'm saying that encounter difficulties are being nerfed as a result of player buffs. You're saying that encounter success rates are being increased as a result of player buffs. Subtle difference.

Imagine a D&D game, where you need to roll over 40 to complete an objective. If you double a player's roll, then essentially, they only need to roll over 20. The encounter has been nerfed by 50%. The chance of his success is determined by his skill relative to the new difficulty of the encounter. This applies for any difficulty level. However, you can make no statement about the new probability of success without knowledge of a) his skill, and b) the encounter difficulty.

That's why I think a) my approach for calculating nerfs/buffs is more appropriate than yours, and b) my approach for calculating nerfs/buffs is more appropriate than Gevlon's. If an encounter is nerfed 100%, it should be a walkover, with 0 difficulty. How do you nerf (i.e. reduce the difficulty of) something by more than 100%? By definition, you need a metric that caps at 100%.

Gevlon said...

@Squishalot: why do I care about it if I don't even play Heroics anymore? Because when I created my project, "The PuG", I did it to prove that being in an a-social guild increases success. I considered social-casual guilds to be the control group. I assumed that the game environment is unbiased towards my group and the control group.

Imagine that Blizzar makes a fix that "if you have The PuG guildtag, your DPS decreases by 50%". This would quickly destroy the guild without saying anything about my a-social ideas.

The current change is not that blatant, as it hurts social guilds equally. However it creates a third alternative: LFD-/trade pugger. The field is biased for them, which can change results to meaningless.

Imagine that they do the same nerf with raids. Then my guild can easily become empty (functionally) as players /trade PuG raids. Are they ignoring guild groups because my ideas suck and my guild is terrible? Or simply because pugging is easier than ANY guild group? (I'm unable to see other guilds so I can't tell that they are empty shells too)

Kring said...

> Again - you're not going to be playing with him, because you don't
> run heroics or raids outside of guild groups. The change doesn't
> affect anyone who currently runs with a guild capable of running
> dungeons / raids faster than a random group. So there's still no
> reason for you to cry over the changes.

There is an issue with that. At the moment, you can queue with 4 other
guild members and every member has to wait up to 20 minutes. That's fine
for everone as you get a clean run.

The alternative would be to queue with the LFD. The DD would have to
wait for 45 minutes instead of 20. That's 25 minutes more. The tank
would get an instant invite, instead of waiting up to 20 minutes for
an all guild group.

If you play a DD you're still prefering the guild group as you save
25 minutes.

But if you play a tank you might as well grab the 2 DD from guild
which are ready to go and use the LFD for an instant invite. These 3
members save 20 minutes. The third DD looses 25 minutes.

That's the real danger. It might take away a resource which was
reserved for you (the guild tanks) and put them on the subsidized
market (LFD).

Ðesolate said...

@Ranguvar: No computer can EVER generate something random. It is not even pssible to human (psycology). If you have the complete backround you can sum everything up. But anyway that is a different story (as said decades to calculate it up).

@Squishalot: never reaching the 100% mark is quite failed if you look at patchwork-style fights. If you have 200% chanche to do it you will do it full living after less time than the ones who do it at 100% (as given y=z(x)).
Those who can do it on 45% will need critluck and other random events like trinketprocs and abilityprocs in the right events.

10 lvl 85 characters will never wipe on Flickwerk. by your scale if a normal group has x% chance failing the encounter a lvl 85 group increasing dps & hp+hps by 900% would have 90% less difficulty.
so 10% of x% would fail. ((1-(10^-1))*100=90%) Your system simply uses a exponential scale on a liniar multiplication system.

So we see both systems can't be used to all situations. So we should point out that each system uses a different PoV and is used by different definitions.

thehampster said...

Gevlon, your welfare analogy does not work b/c the M&S in WoW pay the exact same "monthly tax" as you do. The real difference to Blizzard is that you take up more bandwidth in the game while not paying more.

Regardless, there are plenty of casual players in small guilds who aren't retards, but still end up using LFG. I use LFG for my alts when they initially hit 85 b/c I'd hate to ask my guildies to carry me.

Jumina said...

@Gevlon:

Ah yes I see the point. They should just add 15% buff when joining random as it was in WotLK. This is really not fair. Well the socialism is part of big business today.
But I had a good laugh when Tobold labeled you as an elitists jerk. I think the random players are not aware of the fact that without us "jerks" there wouldn't be so many fan sites and the game wouldn't be so popular and rich.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon,

I think the intent is simply to give the morons enough of a boost that it allows them to keep being morons. It retains their subscription to the game for a longer period of time. They're not trying to get skilled players to boost M&S, so much as they are handing out crutches and training wheels.

Without Arthasdklol's continued dollars and euros, WoW wouldn't have a fifth (tenth?) of the revenue it enjoys. Blizzard is right to cater to their "special needs" purely from a business perspective.

As an aside, perhaps I'm a masochist, but I find healing for LFD groups entertaining partly because of the dice-roll regarding what kind of group I get. Sometimes I am with four guildies who had no healer online, and those runs are generally a blast. Sometimes total randoms gel together well. If I get lumped in with M&S, I just drop it and come back to WoW later after the dungeon debuff is gone. I feel no pressure to try to carry idiots through a run, unlike when running with guild "friends" who are bads.

Malthan said...

All your math ignores current luck of the draw buff - there's already a 5% buff for groups with a random member, so an increase to 15% is only 10% more than current state of dungeon finder pugs. If someone can't manage aggro, cc etc. I doubt that a 10% buff to damage and hps will make him good enough to run heroics.

It will also separate raiders from non-raiders even more - since random puggers will be used to a close to icc level buff, they will be surprised when they enter a raid that gives no buffs...

Trelocke said...

>That's the real danger. It might
>take away a resource which was
>reserved for you (the guild tanks)
>and put them on the subsidized
>market (LFD).

This really is what Blizzard is trying to do. It isn't just simply, "here's a buff so it's easier to carry the M&S", it's "here's a buff so that as a tank/healer you'll be tempted to use LFD and dps queue times will start to go down."

Because that really is the crux of the whole "problem" they are having. In LK the M&S could actually play tanks and healers and not get kicked from the group. In Cata while it may be a long grind you can actually complete a heroic with one or even two M&S dps. But if your tank or healer are M&S, you don't have a chance. Not only that but tanking and healing are much more stressful now so even competent tanks and healers are choosing to queue as dps because they just don't want the responsibility in LFD where they often get blamed for things that aren't their fault ("healz moar!" when the M&S are standing in the fire or "hold aggro!!1" when they are attacking the wrong target).

So really Blizzard has two choices: make major changes to the tank/healing classes so they are easy enough for M&S to play or use buffs that are specifically designed for the M&S to make it easier (read: less stressful) for the competent players to carry them.

Interestingly enough, I think Blizzard is doing something that will make the current problem even worse. In my experience a 5K dps will rarely queue up because he is currently being routinely kicked. The M&S are now going to see 15% buffz! and think they can magically pull down 10K dps now are start using the LFD en mass again.

Mark my words, making the tank and healing classes at least somewhat playable by the M&S are the only way Blizzard is going to be able to fix their "problem." It's just a matter of time before that's exactly what they do.

Tonus said...

This isn't really new, though. Blizzard has been doing this for years now. They start from point A and bit by bit they adjust difficulty. Heroics in tBC were brutal at first and got nerfed repeatedly. I think they were still nerfing BC heroics months after the xpac shipped.

I think that their point of view is that it's okay to nerf it once the people who seek out the challenge have moved on. Players who don't need a 5% or 15% buff are already at ilvl 350-360 and either farming heroics or running raids or both. They have moved on.

Nerfing heroics now keeps the angry M&S from quitting, because now the game has been tuned to their level. Capable players who started late or are leveling alts are not penalized as badly for having the bad luck of getting in a group with M&S. And as long as they can complete the dungeon and get their points within a tolerable time frame, they will be happy with that.

"Balance" for Blizzard means making sure that it keeps as many people happy as possible. The system for nerfing dungeon content probably works the way they want it to.

Anonymous said...

The specificity of the buff is interesting, but I think you may have missed something. This buff also directly targets the players who will do the boosting.

I think this is a subtile way to get more tanks/heals to do randoms. If a dps has to wait 45 mins in a random que, they'll go with a guild as the sum total of wait time + heroic (with buff) is still more than the time to organize a guild run (without buff).

For tanks and heals, I don't think this is the case anymore. They will have a greater expectation of success, coupled with shorter runs and no que time. For them it may be worth it to run randoms.

Zaxin said...

So what if they get their JP faster? It is not like there is a risk of them accidentally being invited into a raid guild and pulling that guild down.

As for it meaning faster completion, on days where there are no guildies who want to run HCs, or for us insomniacs at 4am, the faster we get out of HC with scary people the better in my opinion.

Not sure about "respect" or false respect...does anyone really give "respect" to someone because they have gear? Since people used to get guild boosted to raid gear in WOTLK, and prior, what you are wearing has said nothing about your ability. Achievements just mean you turned up, hovered near the entrance til the last boss was killed, nothing more, nothing less.

cyrell said...

@ Gevlon. "Despite our guild is huge, it can take 10-20 mins to form a group, simply because people want to finish what they are doing. If LFD is just 10-20 mins slower than guild group, they are already competitive."

10-20 minutes really? That's an efficient use of your time? Waiting a quarter or third of an hour in what is essentially a social activity? Are you being nice to these people? How is waiting so long goblin like at all?

I'm a tank and here's how it works. I pick one of the healer's on my notify list and ask them if they want to do a heroic. When that's sorted out (takes about 2 minutes), I type /g lf 3 dps random daily heroic, starting in 2 minutes. If I don't instantly get 3 dps (rare that a dps would be so stupid to pass up an instant heroic...) I advertise on /2 as well.

If the 2 minutes is up we use the random finder and go.

I don't have 20 minutes to waste waiting for people to finish dailies or battlegrounds that they can do afterwards anyway. You do?

Sthenno said...

I think you exaggerate when you say there won't be any more one-shot mechanics in heroics. Changing cast time of a one-shot mechanic by one second is not getting rid of it, and plenty of bosses still have rapid or sudden death as penalties for botching mechanics.

I also think that a 15% buff is not nearly enough to draw people away from guild groups, or to change the expected value to make it a good idea to run PuG groups. Especially not because there is a value to certainty over the mean number of minutes taken because you only get VP once a day. I'd rather be in a group that is going to win in 30 minutes every time than one that has a mean of 20 minutes but sometimes takes hours because if I get unlucky with the second I don't get my VP before raid time.

I see how you are offended by the form of the buff on principle, but I don't think the reality of it is really that bad, and I don't think it will make much of a difference.

Cellie said...

Gevlon "You CANNOT profit from it, unless you choose to run the same LIFESTYLE. So your suggestion is the same as "don't whine about welfare and tax, quit your job, give your home to the bank, live under the bridge then no tax and you get welfare"

A few days ago I randomly found an article about the "happiest countries in the world" which you can find here:
http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/19/norway-denmark-finland-business-washington-world-happiest-countries.html
According to these people one reason why these countries have a "happy" population is:
"They are all borderline socialist states, with generous welfare benefits and lots of redistribution of wealth."

Sheldon said...

I understand your point about shifting the balance of random pugging vs waiting for a full guild run, but so what? The shift is inevitable, given that every content patch is going to result in better gear for everybody, making heroic pugs easier and faster. Crying about this small tweak being unique and unprecedented is silly.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon: "Because when I created my project, "The PuG", I did it to prove that being in an a-social guild increases success. I considered social-casual guilds to be the control group. I assumed that the game environment is unbiased towards my group and the control group."

Your project is safe, because all other guilds have been similarly 'hurt' by the change. You can still try to demonstrate that an asocial guild is more successful than a social guild. The game environment is still equally unbiased between your group and the control group (social casual guild), as you say.

Given all the benefits that have been applied to guild membership, it is clear that Blizzard intend people to stay and participate in groups. The change is only to assist those players without guilds to access dungeon content. Once the change hits raids, then there is fair reason to cry poor over it. Until then, you're simply crying over unspilt milk.

Kring: "That's the real danger. It might take away a resource which was
reserved for you (the guild tanks) and put them on the subsidized
market (LFD)."


Then damn straight, as guild tanks, they're carrying the DD as it is. There's no way that an asocial guild tank / healer should have to wait 20 minutes for damage dealers to get their stuff organised - that's social talk. GTG or you're out and we'll find someone else.

Desolate: "10 lvl 85 characters will never wipe on Flickwerk. by your scale if a normal group has x% chance failing the encounter a lvl 85 group increasing dps & hp+hps by 900% would have 90% less difficulty.
so 10% of x% would fail."


I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. The encounter is 90% less difficult. That doesn't say anything about your chance of failing. That's my point - I'm not trying to assign a % chance of failure - that's what you're doing. I'm only measuring it in terms of encounter difficulty.

If you have +900% damage and HP, my formula comes out to it being a 99% nerf. That doesn't mean that if you had a 50% chance of failure, that you now have a 0.5% chance of failure. What that means is that the difficulty of the encounter is reduced by 99%. It says nothing about the probability of success or failure.

Cyrell: "10-20 minutes really? That's an efficient use of your time? Waiting a quarter or third of an hour in what is essentially a social activity? Are you being nice to these people? How is waiting so long goblin like at all?
...
If the 2 minutes is up we use the random finder and go."


Hear hear.

Buboe said...

I think you're not looking at this in a goblinish way.
If run times are your only concern, grp with a healer and a tank. get 3 random DPS, and votekick any scrubs at the first boss.
That way you get the full 15% buff, a guild-run group and fast run times.

EyeTechDirk said...

"So your suggestion is the same as "don't whine about welfare and tax, quit your job, give your home to the bank, live under the bridge then no tax and you get welfare""

um, no. I'm saying since there is no related cost to you involved, enjoy the lower prices for Heavenly Shards, at no cost to you, and while you're at it, enjoy the higher demand for end-game enchants as socials start to feel more pressure to keep up with the Jonses. Another method for profiting? faster guild runs, form with 4, pug the third, and vote kick the first time he proves his fail, with a 15% buff, and the insta kills gone, it's very unlikely that your pug (even if he had a huge bowl of fail for breakfast) will actually cost you anything. That same 15% buff is now speeding you through your daily heroic for VP. 3 benefits to you (two if you never use LFM tool) all costing you nothing. That's with just a few seconds thinking about it, I'm sure the other goblins out there could come up with more.

Blizzard doesn't care about asocials, they know that we aren't the ones who really make WoW profitable. They do their best to walk the line between making feel like they've accomplished something, and letting Arthasdklol feel like he has a chance to do the same, and to make DAMN sure that Arthasdklol thinks that his fail is not his fault. Of course the nerf is targeted towards the lowest common denominator. Of course they want Adklol to feel like he accomplished something, since he surely won't admit that it's been handed to him.

They know that if they tell him that he sucks and needs to do better, he'll leave. If they say "Heroics are hard, deal with it" while making them absurdly easier and calling it a "fix" then they say everything that both groups want to hear, thus maintaining their balance between the two factions.

(On a humorous but unrelated note, captcha is "failly")

Mnemnosyne said...

Another interesting point is how this works alongside the reduction in necessary people in order to gain guild experience/get guild achievements. Since the minimum number is being reduced to three, that means that, along with this 15% buff, competent players in guilds are encouraged to form groups of 3, then pick up the remaining two members from LFD, so that they get the 15% boost.

This essentially guarantees that, assuming the guild group is any good, even if the two randoms are complete M&S, they can be carried through almost any dungeon.

Andru said...

Why are people completely disregarding the benefits of all-guild grouping? Specifically, 125% rate of guild rep for 5 guildies compared to 50% for 3. The future benefits of Mass Ressurection. The future benefits of Summoning the whole guild group.

@Desolate

Learn your facts. TRNG exist already. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRNG

They are actually called hardware number generators which derive the random numbers from physical processes. Claiming that they're not 'true' is actully calling physical processes deterministic, which is really a matter of philosopy, and not of mathemathics. The extent to which the Universe is deterministic is still not fully known.

That said, we don't know whether Blizzard use software PRNG or hardware TRNG for their numbers. Doesn't matter anyway. I tend to believe they're using TRNG, but that's not important.

@the persons who claim that Tanks and Healers will be drawn to LFD.

Bollocks, I say. I'm a tank. When I log on, I have to do a few quests, I have to scan the AH, sort mail/AH what didn't sell, check up on the latest theorycrafting trends, troll forums, read Greedy Goblin, and so on. These things take more than 20 minutes, up to one hour. Most importantly, they're not continuous, so I can drop them at any time, and resume later.

Here's the asocial solution for the tank/healer. Ask in guild if someone needs a tank for LFD. A DD will jump to the opportunity of having a good tank. I get invited, the DD looks for other 2 DDs and a healer, while I proceed to do my daily routine of things I need to do anyway. Suddenly those 20 minutes I have to wait are not wasted anymore. (I can't understand people complaining about queues. It's like they just sit, stare and drool at the timer, instead of actually doing something else while they wait.)

Why is scheduling such an impossible task for people? You all act like you can't predict what you'll do in the next 20 mins and when you look for a dungeon you actually have to 'gogogog FFS NAOUUUUUWWW'.

True enough, I externalize the cost of having to look for other people on the shoulder of DD. They can refuse to do that, but they would hurt themsleves more.

Taemojitsu said...

> Forming guild group have time overhead for tanks and healers as the guilds are not overabundant in DD.

One of the advertising points of The PuG is that social guilds do have more damage-dealing-speced players than tanks or healers.

In any case, since the tanks or healers who choose to switch to LFD would benefit from a shorter average run, the 'loss' would only be incurred in an increased wait time for dps in those guilds, which is no more and no less than the penalty for all players who choose to queue as dps. If someone dislikes "boosting" bad players, they can leave the group, simple as that. I'm sure that without their skills, the group will surely fail, and with no emotional damage for the skilled player from "boosting" bads since they are no longer in the group.

There is no loss to a player from a "fair trade" buff which that player would not already be demonstrating as acceptable by their choice of specialization.

MetaManu said...

While it is an obviously untalented "fix" (even from a business point, 15% more dps isnt going to make an unhappy customer a happy one), i'm finding i dont care much, as progress mesurement is currently epics, not 346 blue crap. The buff isnt boosting anyone to raid, and you still need a guild to do it. What has been nerfed is simply the random blue loot generator of wow.

Theodore said...

well, its also a buff if you ever have to pug a player in a guild run. the DF buff varies by the number of players that aren't in a group you joined with. so if you pug 1 player, you get 1 stack, and the puggged player gets 3. it helps compensate for the people you run into.