Greedy Goblin

Friday, November 18, 2011

PvE in a no-farm scheme

As you might know, I found a way to return to raiding despite my dismay to the dance. It's called "kill the dance" project and now I want to explain how would its success force Blizzard to get rid of the dance for good and return to a scheme where personal output matters.

At first let me reiterate how will we raid: when the Deathwing raid arrives, we start killing bosses and extend the lockout. We don't go back farming boss #1 until the endboss dies. After he did, we do the same on hard mode. The goal is to climb as high on the WoWprogress chart as possible. Top 10K is practically guaranteed as we killed our first bosses in every patch as #6-7K and started to fall behind when we wasted time on farming. Farming is trivial for a fixed group, repeated firstkill for groups with new people.

The points are to prove that gear is still not needed. Undergeared proved that you can kill last patch bosses in expansion start blues. Now we will use a bit better gear but higher goals: to prove that the content of a patch (including hard modes) can be completed with the welfare gear of that patch. You can get 378 from silly 5-mans, nerfed to the ground last tier raid, conquest points. You can get current gear from valor points.

At first, we want to prove that not farming increases position on the rank list. You get higher if you wipe on the next boss than farm gear in the hope to get him next week. Undergeared may impressed some, may silenced punks, but definitely no one started to raid in blues as it was clear that it's an obstacle. I want to prove that "slightly undergeared" is not an obstacle, it's a positive. It is likely that guilds, even top 1000 guilds will follow us if we prove to be right.

But why should Blizzard care? Because they get their money from subscriptions. The average lifespan of a raid tier is 6 months, maybe even more. If we can prove that you just waste time by farming current tier bosses, they can lose lot of subscription money without actually losing players. I mean, the current raiding standard is farming gear every week. With our scheme there would be a short "progression" phase, while players clear current raid content, it would be 1-2 months at the start of a patch. And a short "welfare farming" phase at the end of the patch, when he facerolls the nerfed-to the ground bosses to get some gear and max out points. This way a successful raider would spend only 2-3 months subscribed out of 6.

In such scheme the top players would not only be missing from the income book. They would also be missing boosting M&S in various randoms. To make people permanently subscribe, they have to make the game fun or provide valuable rewards. The gear that will be outdated in a few months and not even needed now is not valuable.

31 comments:

Jack The Maniac said...

That is actually interesting.

One thing though, I'd really like an answer to this question:

I thought you could only extend raid lockouts once? After that, you couldn't anymore, and next maintenance day, your lockout is wiped and the raid is reset. Meaning every two weeks, you would have to start over.

I've never used extended lockouts. I don't know how they work. Did I understand correctly?

Do they work like that? If it does, how will you overcome this "obstacle"?

Anonymous said...

This might work for guilds further down the line, but it might also be a recipe for frustration, since something like the 101% idea you've been pushing is already true: slightly undergeared but very skilled raiders do notice very marginal differences in the impact of gear. Thus less geared players are going to experience a difference in performance even if they're not able to appreciate it as readily.

My brother is in a top 100 US guild (with a fixed roster, natch). Once they get a boss down, their farming runs are so fast that for them the marginal utility of getting several minor gear upgrades outweighs the marginal disutility of the farming.

And think what you will, but even these top raiders take pleasure in completing their shiny pixel sets. They could easily stop raiding after 2 months of each expansion, but they like to kit out their alts, too (which of course do get to play on certain encounters from time to time).

Anonymous said...

This assumes that people raid for either rank or gear.

I raid because of that "fun" thing that you seem to not quite get: I enjoy hitting stuff in the face with a group of friends, which is what raiding is in my guild.

I do know that the top guilds have this "OMG I'm higher ranked than you" stuff going on, but, well, not everyone plays like that.

Anonymous said...

When a new raid comes out, Paragon has BiS _HC_ gear from last tier which they farmed. They use this together with 25m gear drops, fixed group of people (but best compositions), a little bit of VP. All this to kill the bosses ASAP. They do not extend lockouts! Yet you know better. You'd like to convince Paragon that instead of BiS HC gear from last tier they should raid in some worse gear. PvP gear, for example. Or they might as well not gem/enchant/forge their BiS HC gear, or raid in blues. But why would anyone in their right mind lower their max output by nerfing themselves? Because it is co0l? No hardcore raiding guild will do what you propose even if you are proven right (which only others can you judge you on; not you). They will at the very best say "quite an achievement, I take my hat off." and that's it! Remember the DK who solos all kind of bosses? Similar situation.

Unfortunately, in terms of raw output you won't be near Paragon in The PuG, not by a long shot (not even killed Ragnaros normal post-nerf last time I checked); therefore you must attract both better raiders as well as be lucky the same good players come back (those who got gear from first kills), and get VP and BoE. The latter is no issue since you're playing with fellow goblins, but the former takes time. It will, therefore, take a lot of time until you will progress. The point still stands that it'd be virtually impossible to -for example- kill Baleroc HC pre-nerf without having farmed HC gear. The only reason Paragon was able to was they are both very skilled, aim for good compositions, and they had BiS HC gear from previous tier. I don't see The PuG having any of that whatsoever. As far as I'm concerned it is a lot of hot steam about nothing, but I'll gladly be proven wrong.

Even in previous tier (Cata) you only managed to kill 2 bosses HC.

"Undergeared proved that you can kill last patch bosses in expansion start blues."

You killed Yogg, but you did not kill Sindragosa or Lich King. You killed nothing HC. And you dare to compare yourself with top1000? Gevlon, the top1000 killed Ragnaros HC. Wake up, you're nowhere near that!

Trelocke said...

Top guilds don't extend raid lockouts. It would be stupid for them to. They don't care about style points; all they want is the world firsts. Voice software, extra gear, players that can write addons and updates for addons...all these things are tools for them to reach their goal. If a piece of gear from a boss they can easily kill gives them *any* advantage in the next fight, there is absolutely no reason to *not* farm the boss. In the course of a week, Top guilds spend 5% or less of their time "farming" while the rest of their time is spent "progressing". They don't farm because the gear is necessary, they farm because it is an advantage...a long proven one at that.

Gevlon said...

You can extend any time you want.

I don't doubt that the world #100 guilds can farm very fast, so for them the extra gear outweights the time lost farming it. Also, they have all the time in the world, in race time they raid 60+ hours a week.

I'm aiming for top 1000, which is reachable with 10-15 hours/week raiding. In this range the time spent on farming is significant, ignoring farming can double or triple the progression time. Also, in this range, even in "fixed roster" guilds, there is serious rotation, so players focusing on one boss instead of 6 is a serious difference.

Anonymous said...

You will do it on normal mode. I strongle believe you will not make it on heroic mode.

Tank gear upgrade is not a luxury and the current bonuses are their for a reason.

DPS gear give you a maximum theoretical dps output that you cannot go over without better gear. If heroic mode are finely tuned I doubt you will meet the dps check for them, even with everything else going perfectly.

We shall see, I am intrigued and will follow your endeavors closely.

Riptor said...

i also think you overvalue the Farm Raids in Top Guilds. Farming usually takes up 1,5 - 2 Hours per week and as you mentioned in your 101% Post, theses Players notice the difference of the one new item. Why should they extend a Lockout?
Also you understimate the competitive Nature of these Players/Guilds. Even if 90% of Top 100 Guild would play according to your Idea, the other 10% would advance faster/further as they will have better gear that will ultimately allow them bigger mistakes.

chewy said...

Very confusing argument. Undergeared proved that better gear isn't as valuable as skill - ok but that wasn't with a "dance" boss, so by doing the same thing with a "dance" boss doesn't prove anything about the "dance".

Why wait until Deathwing or is this to encourage people to join you ? That would make sense.

Come Deathwing I will be progressing and farming so I'm genuinely interested to see how much further you get.

Anonymous said...

My brother's US top 100 guild (referred to above @ 7:52) does not raid anywhere near 60 hours a week. Even during progression periods they raid no more than about 12 hours a week to avoid burnout. During non-progression periods they raid only 6 hours a week at most, and easily finish everything.

I think the very bleeding-edge groups competing for world firsts raid as much as they need to raid to compete, but outside the top contenders (and even #100 is outside the top contenders), that's just not true.

I still look forward to the results of your experiment, though.

The Renaissance Man said...

Top 1000 is really pushing it on that schedule, Gevlon. Top 1000 means you're killing all heroic content, including Heroic Madness, which is probably going to join H AC and H Rag in the 300-400 pulls to kill catagory. For a guild that's only raiding 10-15 hours a week, that's still over a month of work just on a single boss.

Anonymous said...

Top 1000? I am wondering: Will you do this Project within The PUG with all the Restrictions in Place (No VC, show up whenever, etc) or will you create a new one?

Babar said...

For a top 1000 guild, normal modes are likely trivial anyway. Not having to farm them means very little for these guilds. I'm guessing most of them also have hard mode ambitions, where gear is crucial to success.

I agree with you on gear not being the most important thing. Especially in Wrath, gearscore was everything, to the point where I'd wear higher ilvl, but less optimal trinkets on my alt tank for HoA pugs. But I'm not really sure that's what you're going to prove here. Many people will likely interpret it as a failure to farm, rather than a success at getting kills with lesser loot.

As for the dance being the bad guy here, I really can't see the huge difference between dancing in this tier as opposed to the last one. My guild was 2/12 HC last tier, and we're 4/7 now, very likely 5/7 on Sunday since Majordomo is next. We raid twice a week with a semi-fixed roster.

If you want people to interpret this the way you want, you must also explain why the dance is different this tier, considering your success last tier.

Shalcker said...

The right way to look at it is "extend until everything is dead for best ranking; then farm if you like that". If hardcores love farming and alts, nothing stops them from doing it once their progression rank is secured!

But without even marginal upgrades it might be hard to keep motivation for next boss which fails to fall for 4th week. With no rewards human reaction to most hard obstacles is "walk away", one way or another - fully automatic psychic protection from long futile efforts.

On other hand farming isn't completely fatigue-free activity, and it does hurt your focus - as well as other problems you mentioned in your previous posts.

dobablo said...

Why is guild progression important? The collective achievements of a constantly rotating group of 10/25 players sounds more like a social thing to me. Isn't Player progression is much better. Why would I want to have killed bosses 2, 4, 7 and 8 but none of the others?

Top guilds won't need this. They have a fixed team so they can kill farmed content quickly because they all know the dance.

The guilds that might benefit because of their variable rosters wouldn't use this. The raiders that missed prior bosses want to see those fights and they are more likely to be there for the loot not the guild progression.

You are wrong when you say that learning a dance doesn't help with later combat. First kills are always messy. Further practise on normal raid DOES help with future content. Specifically it helps with the same fight in hard mode.

Azuriel said...

One thing to keep in mind before you get ahead of yourself:

Raids in Mists of Pandaria are already slated to be easier.

You may or may not prove what you are setting out to prove. Just do not confuse that with influencing Blizzard, since Blizzard has already admitted that the Dance was a bad idea and is going to be changed in the next expansion. Their excuse for not changing the difficulty design before Firelands release was "it takes a long time to turn a ship around."

Anonymous said...

Gevlon how about a statistics about the comments. With the different opinions, like 20% think it can work / 30% think it can work in nm and so on.

Also if you want to prove anything, you need a control group.

Define your time-investment. 3 Days a week with 4 hours? 12 Hours /week. Find another group with fixed players & farming content & voice comm, oh and take a serious 1! No play for fun guild!

Now if you beat them in wowprogress in the LONG run, i will accept your idea.

But if you dont pick a play for fun guild (means, they cleared all current HM!), i dont give you any chance beyond the nm.

I ll try to explain you (like many comments). But first to my person, i m raidleader for 4 years, we are semi hardcore with 12h/week and cleared 6/7 HM Pre nerf. This is actually the typical 1000er raid you refer to:

-> 2. post

Anonymous said...

1. Week Firelands NM: Because of the HC gear from previous content, we could clear all bosses in the first week. Took us about 10 Hours.
So for nm there isnt any reason to use raidlockouts.

2 Week. We invested the first day in killing shannox, took us 3 Hour. In the last hour we killed beth, alysrazor.
On the 2. Day we focus on ryolith and wiped hard for about 3,5 hours, after that we killed baleroc.
Third day - 1 hour ryolith wiping -> majordomo and ragnaroc in 2 hours.

In the 3. week we found out, that ryolith is a real wall, because we dont have enough damage to bomb adds and kill the feet. Steeing was okay. But with the new VP Gear and the drops, bought epics, random epics. We already had a dmg boost to kill it on the 3rd day (Shannox hm was 1 shooted, rest was clear in 2 hours, always in the last hour, were our awarness is lower).
We also had some time to look at Baleroc HM, but we noticed, that we are missing 12k raid dps for the enrage timer, even if our 2 healers could heal us ...

4. Week. We decided to not kill ryolith, because we were still unstable killing it and the previous kill was a bit lucky. We invested the time on killing Alysrazor, which was a joke, took as 4 hours of learning. Killed everything else on nm except Shannox.

5. Week. With the gear upgrades and the expierence gained, we could kill ryolith in 1,5 hours. Shannox 1 shooted of cours. Alysrazor took us also 2 Hours -> killed all hm on the first day.
2. Day we tried baleroc. We noticed a good dps increase, because many of us got better weapons, even 391. We also got 4 Tier bonus. Our Palatank achieved to get passive block capped.
We also knew, that we only need only 1 hour to kill majordomo and ragi, so we invested it on the 3rd day, so even more ppl get the 4p Tier bonus.

On the next week we killed majordomo and the week after we killed beth. But all kills, Baleroc, majordomo and beth. Were after the enrage timer. If we would ve lacked the extra dps from the better gear, we would ve wiped.

Maybe Paragon could kill all bosses with there 372 gear. But we couldnt kill baleroc with that gear, even if we locked the id for 4 weeks.

Farmcontent cost us 20% raidtime, if the content is new, but after a few weeks maybe 5%.
On the other side, the earned gear, grants the bonus on every new boss for the whole raid instance.
Farmcontent gives us also the chance to test new applications. Gear up these ppl easily.

On baleroc we did about 20-24k dps in the first week. But several gear upgrades later, we were near 30k and above!

1 small Piece of gear isnt a huge boost, but if you exchange your whole armor with new items, thats a huge power increase. If you dont trust me, look at simcraft.

So with your taktic you dont have near BIS from last content. You will kill the nm for sure with that gear and maybe shannox. Then you have to find the alysrazor dance fight, were you dont need output. After that you can extend your raid lockouts for month and try baleroc or beth until they get nerfed or your raiders quit because they dont see any success.

Again, if you wanna prove something. You need a control raid.
And wowprogress place 6k is a joke! Try place 1,5k, which is easily achieved with 12h/week.

Anonymous said...

Blizzard can insulate themselves by continuing to push the annual commitment. With the exception of one person who is anti-Panda enough to not play MoP, most everyone else I talk to on Mumble signed up for the annual plan. I was just listening to the Legendary video cast on GamebreakerTV. Lore, who is a HC raider, said everyone he knew who had quit WoW had resubscribed. He did make fun of spending $140 for a free $60 D3. Some people speculate that Blizzard will become more focused on you playing a BattleNet game (D3,SC,WoW...) rather than WoW specifically.

Everything I read is that Blizzard is going to be providing a lot more non-raid content, especially in MoP. E.g., the new 4.3 DMF, 5.0 Pokemon pet battles. It is unclear the implications if non-LFR raids become an even smaller part of WoW than they were in Cataclysm. And the numbers interested in Cata raiding were already down from LK.

Are you going to bother to have your raiders get the 384 gear from LFR? The last plan I read was that LFR was going to drop tier and it would combine with the 397 and 410 gear for tier bonuses.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll have an issue with proving your point in at least two ways.

First, as you said, farming slows down a pug group, but not really a set-group. The set group gets tries on their current boss every week anyways, and the farming provides extra stats, and therefore extra chances of winning earlier. So, while your proposed style of raiding might benefit a pug, it wouldn't help a real raiding guild in any way. Add to that the fact that many of the top guilds can already clear the normal mode of a new raid in the first week or two anyways, and the fact that hard-modes are much more tightly tuned early in a raid cycle, and you'll find there's not much point to doing it your way for the hardcore crowd.

Second, most people don't, in fact, unsubscribe when they don't have much to do in-game and resubscribe when new content appears. Most people just stay subbed full-time since the amount they spend on their subscription is trivial to them, or their parents are paying it. Lots of people like to just log in to mess around or work on achievements or something once in awhile when they're not actively raiding, and to Blizzard that's just as good. Hell, plenty of people stay subbed full-time and never raid at all in the first place.

Simply put, while I don't doubt your project will be successful in your goal of beating content (though maybe not so much as you might hope) you'll have to work a lot harder to convince me it will have any effect on the community or game itself.

Deepfriedegg said...

OK, so instead of farming gear the most effective way (killing current raid bosses gives you both top end gear and VP), your raiders will farm gear through countless runs of 5-mans for VP or they will join trash runs to farm some BoE or they will buy overpriced BoE on AH.

Anyway, what is your measure of success? Is it killing all bosses before they get nerfed? Or is it, as usual, nothing concrete so that you can claim it successful as you did with Undergeared (your goal was to kill LK on normal, you killed 8/12 despite you claimed the project successful) or The PuG in Firelands (5/7 before people stopped showing up, despite it was claimed successfull), the Pug in T11 (2/13 HM).

If you have really good raiders, you might be able to go 8/8 even before nerfs. But in my opinion you will not be able to kill a single gearcheck boss on HM, you only might be able to kill dance bosses (there is two in DS: Hagara and Blackhorn. There is dance involved in Zon'ozz as well that boss will be a gearcheck, too). Question is: will you get there before people stop showing interest again?
You have enough gold to give them next best incentive to gear so I am really curios.

I will watch your steps closely and wish you good luck and lots of patience to your raiders

Deepfriedegg said...

Another note: You mentioned Paragon killing Ragnaros third lockout. Not only is it like saying: my car is fat because Bugatti Veyron can do 400km/h. It also means that before Ragnaros kill (if they only killed each boss once on heroic), they got 76 drops of 378 ilvl, 16 drops of ilvl 384 and 44 drops of ilvl 391. In addition they had 3 BH runs, everybody had reputation cloak and belt and gear worth of 3100 VP. This is not counting 391 upgrades from possible Firestones and countless BoEs either from trash or AH and crafting.

You might as well be at 250 new pieces of gear

Anonymous said...

@Deepfriedegg
- you are reading things wrong
Paragon killed in 3rd reset, because they farmed previous tier this implies it is possible to beat current tier without farming current tier

Why should it matter if the comparison is with Paragon, determination and being a non-M&S will get you the kill: this is what Gevlon tries to prove.

Deepfriedegg said...

@Anonymous
1) with 6/7 normal the PuG is nowhere near BiS from past tier to begin with

2) have you seen Paragon's kills? They would hardly have got the kill in 3rd reset without all those boss drops I mentioned

3) The PuG is not Paragon. Paragon was in couple of hours where PuG is after 5 months

4) The PuG is nowhere near Top 1000. Top 1000 have killed Ragnaros HC, many of them after the nerf.

5) The PuG is using suboptimal (=slower, non-effective ways of communication). Voice comms are there not for hand-holding others, it is there to allow for better communication. I dont think I need to explain what is obvious, I strongly believe Glotan is intelligent enough (and you better bet he is) to know that.

6) Call me ignorant but I still cannot see any reason why rational people should invest their time into this project, heck I dont even see the goals of this project with its poor definition (Proving that gear is irrelevant by farming gear is not a smart goal in my eyes...)

Michael said...

This seems one of your more bizarre ideas, gevlon. One of those 'suffer a little' if you're right, 'suffer a lot' if you're wrong.

Many people raid because they find it a worthwhile way to spend a few hours. Learning a new dance is fun, if you feel like you're getting better at it. Watching content go from crazy difficult to trivial as you refine your execution and improve your performance is very rewarding.

The farm content is there to keep morale high, maintain forward momentum, and give people a balance of positive to counter the pain of repeated wipes while we learn the next progression boss.

I don't think your plan will be wildly successful, as I do think there is a limit to how much people are willing to wipe on a new boss without seeing any reward. It may be moderately successful, but even then, I certainly wouldn't want to raid that way. It would be far less enjoyable than raiding with the farm content. I think most raiders are more like me than like you, so your plan is no threat to blizzard.

Honors Code said...

Most of the people you hope to reach are already signed up for the year contract. So even if you convince them you are right, it will be next October before they unsubscribe.

Anonymous said...

You'll be doing this project without watching any type of videos or guides to learn correct? If you are going to tell your team to learn the fights than its a waste as you are just copying from someone else and not learning the fights.

Andrei said...

It is interesting idea and it may appeal to a small niche population of players. However, what this project will prove is that most "average" raiders are very gear dependent both skills wise and motivation wise. And you are not eliminating gear farming at all. You either farm it elsewhere and just defer it. You can raid in welfare gear in the current content. But when the next tier comes your group will be seriously undergeared and you will have to go back and farm previous tier.

Anonymous said...

i like your idea. Not because i want to prove something. Because i don't like playing the same pve content more than once. Repeatedly doing same grind no matter how hard for gear is mindnumbing.

In pvp you have at least some variance and actions are not always predictable but pve? *yawn*

Ephemeron said...

You keep saying "we will kill", "we will raid", "we will extend lockouts" - but who, exactly, is "we"?

According to Armory, you have 159 members. Let's imagine that 4.3 is released soon. You march with a team of your 9 best people into Dragon Soul and kill the first three bosses.

So what does that mean for those 149 who did not attend these first kills? Are they allowed to kill these bosses on the same week? On the next one? Can they do them in guild groups? In pick up groups? If they manage to kill two (or four bosses), whose lockout will get extended?

And next week, when the lockout is extended, who will get invited? The same people who attended the first kills last week? Those who killed these bosses in a different company? Or those who didn't kill anything at all? If someone kills the same boss on normal or heroic several times (i.e. "farms" it), does it make him automatically ineligible for all further participation in your project? Or will he still be able to join once he removes the epics he looted?

I hope that you'll be able to find out answers to these questions. As your idea is written right now, it looks like a very convoluted way to implement a fixed roster.

Squishalot said...

Gevlon, apologies for the delay in replying, but I've been busy this weekend. If you want to put your idea to a litmus test, isn't it easier to just defeat HC Ragnaros right now? According to Wowprogress, you can still be top 1300.

Of course, if you can't even do that now, what hope do you have with Deathwing?