Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LFR: salvation

People keep asking why do I stay play the game if I clearly don't like the endgame philosophy. The answer is simple: because I really believe that WoW will be changed soon, in a way I told it should be. How? Via LFR.

People use LFD despite the amount of atrocious failures wandering there. The reason for it is skipping the group organizing what need social skills. (remember social skills =/= being social). They rather take the chance of damaging 45% of the group (another 25% coming from the tank), then taking the long and frustrating route of hand-picking people, rejecting the applying failures manually. LFD revitalized dungeons, especially low-level ones.

It was a no-brainer to copy this to the raiding that got a huge blow in Cataclysm. They also remember the success of Karazhan which was largely attributed to the 10-man format that was easier to organize for players.

However we know well the LFD crowd. They are completely unable to perform anything more than tank&spank and even in that they are below the tank. So in the LFR version of the raid practically all boss abilities must be switched off or toned down to be outhealable (by LFD healers). If it is outhealable, people will expect it to be outhealed efficiently changing the feature to be an "unavoidable raid damage source". So we get exactly what I proposed.

Of course the LFR will not only be tank&spank but also seriously undertoned, allowing the raid to carry below-tank people, so it won't be an ideal thing, but it's definitely a start. Its success will prove that the players don't want to learn some scripted dance.

Of course we have to wait some months while they gather and evaluate the data, but if the participation in raids increases the same magnitude like with Karazhan, we'll see some serious changes soon.We can play rated BG while waiting.


Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, did you consider the sort of bosses in BWL, Naxx40, Kara, etc to have 'dance' style abilities? I know it was to a lesser extent, but by and large it seems to me to be a similar sort of thing to the current stuff. Hell, even MC bosses and Ony had 'dance' elements in them, when you think about it, if you assume 'dance' to mean the requirement to use non-class abilities in order to defeat the boss. I guess when you come right down to it even the vanilla and BC 5-mans had it too.

Andru said...

There were plenty of Dance Bosses in BC too, it's just rose-tinted glasses, or an abnormal (for Gevlon) tendency to be stuck in a confirmation bias. (The 'fact' that dance killed raiding is, in fact confirmation bias.)

Let's count. I noted with 'dance mechanics' any kind of mechanic that, at that time, was a one-shot if not executed correctly:


-Opera: Wolf - Run or you're dead.
-Nightbane - Get out of the fire or dead.
-Shade of Aran - Stand IN the fire or dead.
-Ilhoof - Switch to chains ASAP or someone dies.
-Netherspite - Mess up beams=dead.
-Prince - Stand in fire=dead.

So, Roughly 50% of the raid had dancy mechanics.

Moving on:
Lots of dance here. If we're going through the earlier incarnations (pre-nerfs), the dance consisted of 5 people clicking cubes at the same time. And then you had to have TWO teams of 5 capable of doing that. And there were cave-ins that insta-killed you at beggining of P2. And there was fire. Yep, lots of dance.

*Gruul's lair.
Stand in wrong spot at throw+petrification+shatter=dead. Stand in cave-in=dead.

So, in T4, about 60% of the raid bosses were dancy.

*Tempest Keep
- Al'Ar- well, there was fire. And meteors.
- Void Reaver - Eating arcane orb=dead.
- Solarian - Bomb handled bad= WIPE.


-Hydross - Dance here. But only had to be executed right by tanks.

-Lurker - Spout = dead.

-Leotheras - Kill your add or wipe raid.

-Vashj - Ok, this was not exactly a dance fight(failures did not wipe immediately), but it was a very gimmicky fight in which failures had a very late wipe point.

So, about 75% of T5 was dance.


*ZA: As opposed to the trivial dungeon we have today, the old ZA had more dance.

- Akilzon: Run in on storm = dance.
- Jan'alai: Fire bombs = dance
- Hex lord Malacress: Currently, he's a pushover. At 70 he was powerful. Any AoE he stole had the potential to oneshot people.
- Zul'jin: As opposed to Daakara, he used all 4 animal forms, rather than 2. Some were even harder, particularily Eagle which was especially dancy.

-Rage Winterchill: Albeit easier than Vashj or Kael'Thas, it had not one, but two dancy mechanics.
-Azgalor (I think) - The doomguard dude, I mean.
-Archimonde - Very dancy. There was fire. And fear. And tears. (Literally)

-Naga guy I forgot whatshisname: Wipe if not react to spikes and correctly to bubble.
-Supremus: Fire+Volcanoes.
-Gorefiend: Ghosts.
-Bloodboil: Run out, stack 5, run out, switch. Bleh.
-Mother: There was some dance here.
-Council: There was a lot more dance here.
-Illidan: Less dance, though it fell on the shoulders of the MT, the fire tanks and the warlock tank.

- Kalecgos: In the portal, out the portal, bleh.
- Felmyst: Don't stand in breath.
I don't know about the rest, never killed them in BC, so don't know how dancy they were.

Now then. As we see, all BC tiers hevily involved dancing. It wasn't all tank and spank.

Anonymous said...

"Dance" mechanics are those which are based on quick reflexes and dexterity (mostly reactive) as opposed to situation awareness and good positioning (mostly proactive).

Gevlon said...

@Andru: all bosses had ONE or maybe two dance elements that everyone had to know. Most of them were trivial "don't stand in the fire" stuff. There were some more complicated dance elements (netherspite, maggy) which needed SOME, pre-selected people to dance more.

Now every boss have multiple dance elements affecting everyone.

The BC dances were not fun either but every non-retarded and non-elderly people could manage it.

Now there is not only insane amount of dance but there is ONLY dance. If you don't fail the dance, the boss will die even if everyone damages below the tank.

Jumina said...

As I read you last post I finally understand why are so many people complaining about the "new raids". This is not about "hard working" versus "dexterity" at all. This is about the simple fact people do not want to think about the game before they actually start to play it.

When players start soccer game they don't have to think about tactics before the game. They all know where they must push the ball. If you have easy enough encounter you do not have to think about what to do next. You know your class and your role and rest can be skipped by "more docs...".

But in Firelands, well, you must know what the boss is doing and what you must do in order to counter it. And there starts the problem. I have seen so many good players with excellent dps behave like noobs. And the whole problem was they did not understand the encounter. Not that they were slow or unaware of thinks. They did not understand what is gong on or they just did not want to think.

This is where voice chat comes stronger. Short explanation from raid leader can improve overall performance. And if you have a few players in raid who like to think about encounters its even better. Now you can call it boosting. For me its managing the people. Its hard to find good players. So you must sometimes help some members in order to improve guild performance.

You can tell me this is social thinking. Perhaps. But for me its better solution than just play line of boring encounters where people do not have to think. And LFR is solution for players who want to raid but do not want to think. Nothing else. Solution for the minority who want to raid but do not want to make their homework or do not want to cooperate with thet fellow raiders. Of course I understand it. Its only a game. But such players are a minority too. The majority of the players who do not want to think also do not want to raid.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the raids in BC had dances as well. Things now are just beyond ridiculous.

This is what you do in HC Alysrazor though:

1. Avoid the moving flames or you die in 2 ticks.
2. Avoid the spinning flame from the worms or you die in 2 ticks.
3. Interrupt the adds.
4. While dpsing the meteor in the middle. If you fail, it's a wipe.
5. In the air,fly through hoops while avoiding more fire.
6. Mid phase, los the firestorm or you're dead.
7. Tornados spawn, get hit twice and you're dead.

Congratulations, the boss is at 70%, do that all over again until it dies. If att any point 1 person dies, it's a wipe. Enjoy.

1 Encounter has as much 'dance' as the entire T4. And pretty much every boss besides Shannox follows the same pattern.

Fex said...

wrong there Jumina, i for one loved wotlk raiding, even naxx had plenty of dancing / mechanics.

Only pathwerk didn't have dancing in there. But the difference was the dancing was done in phases. You were either dpsing / healing or dancing. Right now, even in 5 mans you cannot stand still and do your thing. Every 2 / 3 seconds you have to move again. To get out of A get in B stay in range of the dps that drifted to far away avoiding something else. I find that i can easily do this on ranged dps classes where all i do is follow a mindless rotation. I have plenty of opportunity to watch the rest and move where i need to. I see my dps drop a bit since the minimal attention i'm paying to the rotation is less optimal as i could on a dummy. But on my main, a healer i'm in trouble.

For 1, there is the raid interface that sits dead center of my screen filling up a large portion allready. Then there are the class related proc's cooldown warnings and timers, and important short buffs that all take up screen estate. Its hard enough allready to "see" where i'm going when im not healing. If i have to watch everything, move, and heal i'm pretty screwed. My class isn't suited to heal during movement. I only have 4 spells non of wich are particularly usefull. Shields at a 3 sec cooldown, COH / POM at 6 sec CD. Renew ( GCD hot / glyphed )that is enough to carry a group through some movement phase, but not enough to only use that for more then 20 sec. The problem here being, not the inability i have but the inability of the raid members to do what they're supposed to do. Taking massive chunks of their health. If they executed the dance flawlessly. ( like i do ) i wouldn't need to stop and heal them risking my own life.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous

It's still not one person that's dealing with all of that.

One person deals with the meteor, another with the adds, a select few fly. Everyone tries to avoid the fire.

Jumina said...


Interesting, I have only Grid, Decursive, DBM and large open space in the middle of the screen. My fellow raiders where laughing when I posted screenshot with my default UI. And since we progress Ragnaros 25HC now (having 6/7 HC before that overall nerf) I must count when the whole raid must start running before the seeds land. And I am playing holy pala so I can't do anything when I am moving beside shock and radiance. And I have enough time to shout other warnings.

No I am not HC raider. And I consider myself pretty clumsy in some encounters.

1) You should start to prioritize what you need to know and what you don't need to know. I for example don't need to see all short buffs. And I don't pay much attention whether my IL is up.

2) Tell me about encounter where you must move and heal together? Except Alysrazor, but that's why the fearthers are there. The healers must take them first after flyers are up. In any other encounter it is just about: move, heal, heal, heal, move, heal, heal...

3) So is the problem you or your fellow raiders they can't avoid dmg they are supposed to avoid? Everybody makes mistakes. Oh, how many times I had to say: "We can down the boss if you just stop getting hit by those shadow crashes!".

That is I don't say the encounters are as easy as they were in WotLK. But still its not about "dexterity". Its about planning and understanding

Cathfaern said...

It's a bit offtopic, but please priests and paladins, don't cry about that you have too few spells for healing while moving... we resto shammy's have only 1 (!), which is also a weak hot, with a really weak initial heal (riptide)... and yeah a CD, which we can use once a fight. Every other healer have a ton of instant heal spell compared to this (hpala: shock, wog, radiance, procced FL, dpriest: shield, renew, pom, hpriest have some more with chakra...)

Btw. I really agree with Gevlon. It's not the dance what is the problem, it's the amount of dance. 1 dance / fight / role is ok, more is too much.

Anonymous said...

It's not matter of difficulty. Alysrazor 25H post-nerf is *easy* compared to other heroics. This doesn't mean the fight is not annoying. Thankfully it didn't take us long to down the boss for our first kill but I guarantee you the DPS assigned to fly were *very* burned out after the evening.

Most of the tries they never failed, they also didn't consider their job particulary difficult, but this didn't make it fun at all. After a first kill you should be happy of what you and your group achieved, not be satisfied that the ordeal is finally over.

Dillion said...

@ Jumina

2) Bethtilac moving up top. Having to hop on the webbing at all. Major Domo during the Leaps and the fire bombs. Rag during the seed phase and during the meteor phase.

In all of these, if you stand still and attempt to ignore mechanics you lose. You could move, heal, heal, heal even in Alysrazor. You don't need the feather but you have to dance and that means you have a chance to lose someone.

I understand players on both sides of fence. I don't really think that the dance is a bad thing. It allows for more expansive/exotic fights. If you didn't have it I feel the boss fights would have become stale long ago. But some of them do go over board, Alysrazor is one although I loved the fight pre-nerf.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does this post smell rather "irrational" - to not say "social"?

1. What you seemd to hate (LFD) is now your hope to fix WoW (LFR)?

2. You expect LFR to result in almost trivial raid difficulty. Since when has that attracted you?

3. Isn't the goblinish way to NOT pay for a broken product until it is fixed? I.e. unsubscribe now and check back on the state of WoW later and possibly re-subscribe if things got fixed.

All added up it seems to me that you are hanging to what was a great experience to you in the past. And despite being non-fun right now you can't let lose of it. I am pretty sure you would have called such behaviour "social" in the past.

Jumina said...


I am not saying you can stay still and ignore the mechanics. But all these movements are predictable. You know when you must jump the on the thread. You know a meteor will fall every x seconds. You know there will be big yellow circle under you so you just move away and continue healing. You lose one cast not more.

I also understand people they do not want to learn all of this. My friend told me he liked D2. He sat down, switched the brain off and mindlessly killed creatures. It was a nice relaxation.

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