Greedy Goblin

Monday, September 26, 2011

By fire be nerfed!

After the nerf we already killed Alysrazor and Majordomo (two-shots) and got to Ragnaros P2 in 3 tries, jumping to the #18K position. Before the nerf we were 6K back. No doubt that the nerf, that allow whole mechanics to be ignored allows it.

However the bosses are nerfed for everyone else too! Why do these guilds not progress equally, keeping us at #24K? Because they no longer raid. Because their members stopped playing, because they disbanded. Cataclysm dance caused bigger damage to WoW raiding than WotLK's "everyone who cares to log in must kill everything". Anyway, the idea behind The PuG worked in the sense of giving us enough survivability. We have much less burnout than those guilds where you had to raid and wipe on annoying gimmicks.

The guild XP of Cataclysm destroyed the small social guilds, proving clearly that the average player would pick 5% justice points over a "friend", creating huge a-social perk-guilds. On the one hand it's a proof of my ideas, on the other hand it was a huge turnoff to the socials who lost their "friends".

I don't know if WoW can be saved. Especially as Diablo 3 will create a huge competition as they are both "grind mobs blindly and get the shiny" games. But if it can be, The PuG will stand strong, and working until it happens.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Historically, do not bet against WoW.

However, the disaster that is Cata up against D3 (with a much better AH) and TOR ... I would not want to be an Activision shareholder.

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It seems obvious to me that::

harder than LK raids and heroics means fewer subscribers

Short, quick, linear questing will mean less replay ability which means fewer subscribers

guild perks kill many social guilds which means fewer subscribers

And the Cata dance raids mean far fewer subscribers

My question is: why was that not obvious to Blizzard in advance? I can't believe they did not care; I assume it is that they did not understand that a couple of million HC raiders are not representative of the bulk of the 11 million customers.

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Would the last one out please cut off the light.

Mick said...

There is some truth to your theory that people are quitting because of poor encounter designs. It seems to me that while Blizzard are producing content that is more "polished" than at any other time in the game, the big problem is that they are getting the core fundamentals wrong, that being challenging content that acomplished players can feel proud when they beat it and the lesser players still have something to aspire to. It seems to me that blizz has for some reason become paranoid around the idea that there is all this "unused" content in the form of harder raid encounters that they absolutely need to make them so every man & their dog can see them. I also think that for some reason they are also scared of creating grind & repetition, hence they keep creating gimmicky content via both raid content and solo content. Perhaps they don't realise that repetition & grind are the basic cornerstones of the genre and are needed to get people to log in & hence create the "community" that is the other cornerstone of the genre. Maybe they don't realise that WoW became popular BECAUSE of the grind & repetition, not in spite of it, and there is no shame in creating encounters that are highly similar to ones you have already done instead of stupid gimmics. They shouldn't try and turn the game into something it is not.

Personally, when I was playing back in vanilla it felt really good to finish a 5-man, because I actually had to work for it, and so did the other 4, and we needed to be a good team. And I will never ever forget the nerd screams when we first downed Nefarian in Blackwing Lair. The elimination of the chance to fail also eliminates the chance to rise above the masses, which is important for MMORPGs. However, what is more important to the game is not the chance to rise above the masses, but the chance to aspire to rise above the masses.

Grookshank said...

This game is simply getting old; very old. This is not the expansion for HC raiders; a lot of those I know left (like me) or are still subscribed, but inactive. Imho Blizzard failed to see the reason why people are leaving: the reason is not the difficulty, which they focus on all the time; the reason is, there is nothing new to do. You endlessly are cought in the same cycle of grinding daylies and 5mans -> raid normal -> raid heroic.

The first is boring.
The second is somewhat entertaining.
The third is just a chore, because it is the same again.

Then you get a new patch and all you had "achieved" is worthless again and the grind starts anew.

Don't get me wrong: this is a fantastic game, but its principles are ages old and that is basically the reason why all the wow clones failed. It was the same again, just in another game engine.

Steel said...

@ 1st Anon – read my last reply to the previous post “There can't be community without difficulty”

The dance was the natural fallback way of creating difficulty, once grinds, logistics, attunements, Brutallus like gear-checks, pre-raid preparation and such were removed – otherwise raids would all have been facerollable. Still, the dance is just half of it. The other half, like so many others have pointed out, is that apart from these raids, there isn’t anything else to do (except boring trivial grinds). The raid finder coming in 4.3 will complete the transformation of WoW into a team-arena game, and complete the destruction of what was left of the open world. There really won’t be any reason to get outside in the world. Plus, sounds like the raid will also be full of brand new and exciting gimmicks to learn. Still, I’m curious to see how the LFR, the LFR difficulty level, in 25man setting, is going to work. Don’t tell me you’re not interested in all the evil social experiments that can grow in there! Also, take a look at the T13 bonuses that just got published – they are stupidly OP, game-breaking in some cases (like hunter 2PC). And since they will only be raid drops, and LFR will be dropping them… I can clearly se the official position - shove “everybody” into raids – but there may be many cans of worms this will open.

I’m still surprised Gevlon, that you lament the fall of “social raiding” – and some other commenters have mentioned this too. One would have thought that this brave new world of meritocracy, “skill” uber-alles, would be exactly what you wanted. No more carrying M&S in welfare gear, “L2P or GTFO (literally)” right? Or… not?

Dan said...

Blizzard will learn from their mistakes. It's in their best interest to take their game and make it better. Consider Cataclysm an experiment, one which has good and bad.
Let's go point by point from the first anonymous post.
1. Harder raids - keep them in heroic level raids. There should be NO reason why top tier guilds should have to run normal raids in order to do heroic raids. They should go straight into heroics.
2. Linear questing is precisely the reason why I stopped at three level 85s and one faction only, especially since the linear questing is NECESSARY to unlock items for raid readiness - read: enchants.
3. Guild perks - Small guilds, outside of guild banks with alts which aren't played at all, are dead because of this. MMO games are all about community and small communities are best.
4. Twitch-based raid mechanics exclude high-quality players who don't have the reflexes of a fourteen year old.

World of Warcraft was developed based on perfecting strategies which work well in other games. I will no doubt guarantee that Blizzard will find things which drew subscribers away, such as those four points, and perfect them, perhaps as such.
Raids - fewer twitch based mechanics, fewer 'if you don't hit this button right now, your raid wipes' mechanics.
Questing - less phasing and linearity.
Guild perks - make the amount of EXP required to level up directly proportional to the quantity of people in the guild. Highly active small guilds should be competitive with larger, slightly less active guilds.
Above all else, a focus on role playing and other social features in the game will keep people subscribed and playing.

Anonymous said...

For me the dungeon finder destroyed much. I cant explain why. But i m sure raid finder will destroy everything else.

Its like fastfood. You get your group fast, but it tastes terrible.

I know it sounds dumb for a asocial. But back in BC i was a happy tank that ran many heroic. Heroics werent easy and it was a progression path. But the most important: You had to find people for it and if they were OK, you added them on the FL. After some time i even needed a addon for bigger FL. They werent my closest friend, but i know i could invite them and have fun together.
After some time, you knew 100 ppl on the server...500. After some time you played with over 1000 ppl (including some random raids).

When you ran through Shat, you always saw someone that you knew. And of course they respected you. You wanted to show off awesome gear.

Compare it with today. You play with faceless morons. Who do you want to impress with your achievments?

From the 1000 of ppl i played with in BC are only maybe 50 ppl left.


The content they release with Cata, was better than they released with Woltk. But i know far to many ppl that gave Wow a last shot with Cata. I think the woltk subscriber numbers are much higher because ppl waited for cata.

Steel said...

It sounds like Blizzard has never known how to make a proper MMO, or more likely have forgotten, as they were driven insane by the whispers of the Old Gods… I meant to say M&S. An arcade/FPS game is sold once, played for a while then thrown away. In a subscription MMO, where you want to have players play for an indefinite amount of time (and subs paid), you need player retention, and that means replayability mainly. And immersion, community and sociability(“why didn’t you stop playing WoW and moved to Rift? Because all my friends play wow”), and my favorite pet peeve, artistic excellence to create emotional involvement and attachment (What I miss most from WotLK? Saronite and herb farming in Storm Peaks or Sholazar, with the music turned to maximum. Second one is walking the halls of Ulduar…). And then there some other qualities, like the aura of mystique that the game had. I remember before even downloading the trial, I was reading on wowwiki about Onixia, epic questlines, epic boss encounters and strategies from BC, all the preparation and effort and the mystique of raiding – it seemed like the most awesome thing I had ever came across, and was just dyeing to try it out.

This is why the destruction of the world, and of the other classic elements - tiered progression, open world events like the dragons and AQ, the grand dungeon design of BRD and DiM, LFD/LFR (I once considered it the greatest thing ever), and many others, irks me so much. Their current design is basically to just release a string of small sized, low production arcade/FPS games every 6 months, and brutally ensure “planned obsolescence” for previous versions as soon as the next one is released. Somehow the Vanilla/BC model seemed better – all the raids, and even 5 mans like Dire Maul (http://wow.joystiq.com/2011/06/14/wow-archivist-memories-of-dire-maul/ ) remained relevant until the end of the expansion. Sure most were “stuck” in Kara and HCs, but apparently they were having fun there, and were buying and keeping subscriptions, and they all pretty much remember TBC as the best expansion. Now? Will all those 11 million playerbase have as much fun just raiding 4.3 in LFR (and LFR difficulty) all day?

@Grookshank - I flatly disagree with everyone that sais “this game is getting old”. Just give me another Storm Peaks, another Sholazar, another Ulduar (or Kara/BT for those older than me), a main villain with just basic writing 101 character and emotional involvement, a story that I may just give a damn about it, and I’ll be subscribed and playing this game every day.

Oh, and Gevlon – I keep forgetting to mention this - you don’t know what arcade-dance means until you’ve been assigned to solo handle a spider lane on heroic Beth 25, traping and dps-ing incoming spiderlings while intercepting broodlings, and dodging venom pools (time the jump to avoid the slow effect)… “Super Mario meets hard-mode Space Invaders” doesn’t do this game justice.

Anonymous said...

perhaps WoW is lowering standards so SWTOR releases at similar quality levels then WoW can quickly "improve" back to the way it was in its glory days.

perhaps Blizzard is treating WOW as a cash cow and is just milking as much revenue from it as possible and lowering development costs while it develops next generation franchise(s).

to be honnest i dont care anymore. i unsubed my two accounts (2006 and 2008) four months ago.

Anonymous said...

The wild disagreements over where WoW is going continually amaze me.

Is the game too easy now or too hard?

Is there too much recycled content or too many new mechanics?

Is the game too grindy or do players not earn rewards fast enough?

People don't seem to realize that there's room for disagreement on these issues, to the extent that they're talking past one another over and over. I'm sure that people on both sides of each question are leaving, because they feel that Blizzard's answer is too close to what the other side wants.

Orgaansint said...

Well I'm sure there will be less and less people playing WoW over time. As previously stated, the game is just getting older.

Are you going to play D3 yourself, Gevlon?

Ephemeron said...

However the bosses are nerfed for everyone else too! Why do these guilds not progress equally, keeping us at #24K?

First, maybe they *did* progress equally. Due to the way WowProgress tracks kills, they could have killed the exact same new stuff as you and still land way behind you, simply by the virtue of raiding on different days.

Second, even if we assume that none of these killed anything this week (which isn't even over yet), it's not a valid reason to write them off just yet. Not unless you're prepared to declare your own experiment a failure, as well.

When The PuG kills no new bosses for 66 days, you declare that it stands strong and enduring.
When other guilds kill no new bosses for 5 days, you announce that they've all died, stopped playing and disbanded altogether.

And thirdly, you have still to catch up to your 4.0 progress, much less surpass it.

Samus said...

A few months ago, I said either SWTOR or GW2 now has a realistic chance of surpassing WoW in North American and European subscribers in 2012.

At the time, no one would even take it seriously. What do you say now?

Anonymous said...

As a guild leader in Rift do you want to know what question I am asked the most?

Who here has played WoW before?

If you want to know whether these unsubscribed people are still interested that alone would probably answer it. A large portion of the people who have left WoW are still interested in it.

Wilson said...

No one else is raiding? What absurd claims to make. Your position has already slipped to 19k. It's on track to be back at 24k (if not farther) by the time of your next raid.

Paul said...

I think people are interested in coming back to WoW. But I cannot see myself coming back to this expansion. The reason is personal: I absolutely do not want to reward the developers for what they did here. This disdain and anger overrides any sense of addiction I had to the game itself.

Bronte said...

I hope it survives the cataclysm that is Cataclysm. Especially since I joined the guild last night.

Jehangir, Night Elf, Hunter (how cliched), level 5.

Anonymous said...

Looking at wowprogress for your server, the interesting thing is that your guild is the least progressed one that made progress in the last week. Other guilds are raiding and making progress with the nerfs just like you -- including "Saunan takana on tilaa" which had 2 kills last week to make them 7/7. I'm assuming some of these even require attendance and wipe a lot on annoying gimmicks:

Alaemortis
H: Baleroc Sep 23
H: Beth'tilac Sep 23

Lorem Ipsum
H: Shannox Sep 21

The Rebel Alliance
Ragnaros Sep 21
Share the Pain Sep 21

High Definition
Ragnaros Sep 23

Red Army
Ragnaros Sep 25

Saunan takana on tilaa
Ragnaros Sep 25
Majordomo Sep 25

eXplicit
Ragnaros Sep 20

Kawhoom
H: Majordomo Sep 25
H: Shannox Sep 22

Proficiency
H: Lord Rhyolith Sep 22

Mental Aspect
H: Alysrazor Sep 21

IMP
H: Majordomo Sep 22
H: Alysrazor Sep 21

Sons of Liches
H: Beth'tilac Sep 22
H: Baleroc Sep 22


These are all guilds who have survived the summer and the draw of huge perk-guilds. I don't know anything about your server or these guilds, but your raiding scene looks far from dead to me.

Yaggle said...

If they want to keep it going, they need to make Burning Legion a playable faction. Fixing raid mechanics is not going to save WoW on its own.

Joshua said...

I disagree with your comparison of D3. While loot grinding has always been part of Diablo the game and community has a distinctly different feel. For one the max level end game you can and will die and in the ultimate mode death and loss of shinnies is permanent! Far less forgiving to the M&S.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with a few posters here, I'm quite disappointed by the progress of The Pug. I was part of The Undergeared until halfway through Ulduar, when the summer came and we had some attendance issues. Seems like I should have waited around, since that project continued and prospered in ToC and ICC.

I just made comeback a month ago with a fresh lvl80 and got a few Ragnaros kills in a guild about my level. Meanwhile, The Pug had 4/7 or something like that, having been working on Firelands since release. How did this decline in progress happen? There was quite a good group of players in The Undergeared. Seems like very few of those transferred through the PvP project to The Pug.

Also, these "gimmicky" fights demand a bit more of raiders in my opinion. Challenge is something you've appreciated, Gevlon, in many of your previous blogposts. Now you seem to be hating on these extra challenges. Skilled people adapt to challenges. M&S can't adapt.

Gevlon said...

@Last anonymous: summer and overall WoW decline hit us. We tried like 6 hours on Alysrazor all together.

Also the gimmicks are "challenging" just like learning the phone book. It's hard, no doubt. But not something anyone would care to do.

Sum said...

"Also the gimmicks are "challenging" just like learning the phone book. It's hard, no doubt. But not something anyone would care to do."

Disagree... Alys is one of the best fights I know. I love it on my mage (flying & big numbers) and my tank (something else than stand & taunt for a change).

I do understad it's difficult for the PuG though, because bringing in new players to it is a pain as most people will die to tornadoes a couple times. But besides that, a really fun fight.

Kort said...

I will still insist on pointing that Aggamaggan is a really low pop realm. If you were to chose a more populated realm, you would have easier time finding non M&S people, and people from outside the server would be more inclined to transfer there. You would have to be more efficient in weeding out the bad though.

Ephemeron said...

summer and overall WoW decline hit us

By definition, summer and overall WoW decline are global factors, so they should have affected everyone equally. And yet, somehow, all those 6000 guilds that overtook you during summer managed to progress just fine despite these setbacks.

Also the gimmicks are "challenging" just like learning the phone book. It's hard, no doubt. But not something anyone would care to do.

You're right, no one would care to learn the phone book. In contrast, hundreds of thousands of raiding players have successfully learned to do 'gimmicks'. Therefore, these two activities are not unlike AT ALL.

-------------

Gevlon, it appears that you've fallen into two classic ape subroutines that all humans use when confronted with evidence of their failure.

- Blaming external circumstances beyond their control: "summer and overall WoW decline", "bad luck lol", "society's fault, not mine", "evil capitalists are stealing my moneys";

- Trying to disparage those who managed to succeed: "it's just a game lol", "learning gimmicks is like learning a phone book", "that stuff is for only a virgin no-lifers", "WoW is doomed anyway, only an idiot would keep trying".

Please, snap out of it. Be rational and reasonable. Review your current situation and analyze what really went wrong (without trying to lay blame on external factors).

Maybe you'll need to revise your recruitment strategy. Maybe you'll need to think of additional enticements, since having many guild achievments and control of Tol Barad is far less impressive nowadays than it used to be (many guilds have said achievements now, and most people already have everything they wanted from TB). Maybe you'll think of some other solution. Or maybe one of your guildmates will - they're supposed to be a notch above the common herd, after all.

Gevlon said...

@Ephemeron: you still don't get it.

I do NOT seek excuses why we suck in the gimmics game. Nor I try to deny it.

I merely state that a gimmics game is not what I want to play, just like I don't want to play a "who can do more pushups" game.

WoW in Cataclysm was turned into a gimmics raiding. If I would have a guarantee that it stays that way, I'd unsubscribe now. I hope they fix it by the next patch or at least the next expansion. Until then I focus on PvP. If WoW will remain a gimmics game, I will eventually stop playing it, like many of our players did.