Greedy Goblin

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why don't they teach instead?

Blizzard decided to nerf the normal and hard modes, despite the LFR feature was made exactly to those who look for an easy mode raid. Their explanation is "Believe it or not there are actually guilds and raiding groups that are attempting to progress through Normal and Heroic raids, but are hitting a wall, and have been hitting a wall. We have actually statistical date we base our changes on, we know exactly how many people are clearing these raids each week, we know exactly how many people are able to down just a few bosses, and how many were only able to down a few bosses every week for weeks on end and then stopped raiding altogether." "Your solution is ``Well then they should get better or quit`` and that's just not reasonable for a video game comprised of millions of people looking to just have some fun. It's still a computer game. "

The strange thing here is that Blizzard sees only two options "getting better" or "quit" and since they don't see the first happening and don't want the second, they hand out welfare. The obvious idea of helping these players to be better was not even mentioned.

Blizzard gives very little help in getting better in the game. During leveling abilities are given without quests that teach them how to use them and also you can get to max level facerolling. On max level you need to improve to raid, but you must either figure it out yourself or use third party tools. There is no damage meter in the game for example. Also there is absolutely no information about mechanic fails. You must install external addons to figure out if your DPS is OK or not, and to figure out why did you die. It's not a trivial issue, even with serious raiding experience. A new player can honestly think that he is good, and just met some internet trolls who badmouth him with some "below the tank" crap.

The bossfights could have result tables like battlegrounds with damage done, healing done and avoidable damage taken. Also, some friendly NPC could instantly whisper the player if he fails a mechanic like "Ysera whispers: Ultraxion just hit you with his devastating spell Hour of Twilight. You can avoid it by escaping the Twilight realm using your Heroic Will". They could also provide rotation info by a chart of your damage by spell vs a chart of the average of the top 1000 players of your spec, so the newbie fire mage could notice that those people don't use frostbolt.

Coding these would be trivial as addons are already doing it pretty well. I'm sure that those who want to raid would be grateful for such help and with that they could progress using the constant "buffs" coming from gear upgrades of the few bosses they killed and valor stuff. We did. We were those who kept wiping on Deatwing again and again and finally killed him.

So why do Blizzard avoids to give so simple tools as a damage meter and a fail warning? Because the players the nerfs are aimed at is still a small minority. WoWprogress says that at this moment Morchok was killed by 43.3K guilds. Deathwing was killed by 21K. With the usual 20 raider/guild approximation it's 870K and 420K. Out of about 8M players.

Those who killed Deathwing are the top 5%. Those who are stuck on Hagara because not standing in the ice wall is hard, are still in the top 10%. Yes. The guy who can't kill Hagara in late January is in the top 10%.

The people who are in the top 10% but not in the top 5% would love to have some help. They could use it. Such tools could stop them failing on mechanics and would help them increasing DPS from 85% of theoretical to 90%. But what about the rest? Who are those who are too bad to kill Morchok normal? They are the "fun ppl" who are not simply "bad" in the sense of don't know enough of the game. The "fun ppl" come with the unshakable belief that they are special snowflakes who deserve respect, love and reward just for being so awesome.

If the game would remind him that he is not awesome, he would simply quit. He is not here to be "insulted" or "criticized". He is here to be called a hero and showered in rewards. If he doesn't get it, he leaves.

The guy who fails on Hagara lacks knowledge and routine compared to us, but his "work ethic", his governing ideas are the same. He knows that there are tasks where you must perform and he tries. He knows that coming short of the challenge causes defeat. He accepts it, that's why he stops raiding. He doesn't throw a fit or ragequit the game, just don't raid anymore, and without raiding there isn't much to do in the game. The guy who fails on Hagara is maybe a bad player, but an intelligent person.

The lolkid who answers "fu nolifer prick" when I tell that he damaged less than me (resto shaman), isn't a bad player. He is a terrible person in the real life, whose terrible attitude manifests in the game. Blizzard wants to keep his subscription so they don't tell him that he sucks. And since they can't tell these failures the truth, they can't help those who are not failures, but simply uninformed.

We can help these players by writing blogs and by leading raids where we give numerically proven feedback to them, with tips how to improve. Also, we shall not whine over the nerfs or call them names. Having them in the game is good for the game and us as some of them will improve and join us. Having the unique snowflakes is bad for the game. And for the World.


nehunter said...

"The guy who can't kill Hagara"?
You missed it but the state of wow at this point is given by the trade channel spam and not by the guilds.

I've started seeing this only after I abandoned a raiding guild.

As a casual I said to myself I'm not going to join a guild and hindering their progress if I'm not going to be reliable. So instead I sometimes look in trade chat and see what people are demanding for a pug. If it's reasonable I join. Most demands are far from reasonable full ach+ 385/388 iLvl. So nothing to do for the average guy( unless form a raid, but we can't all be leaders)

I've taken part in 2 runs:
- first run the group required nothing, they ended up reaching enrage at Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
- the second run was for 25man just for the first 4 bosses, again no major requirements, it was by far the easiest run I ever saw (in comparison naxx25 pug was hard, marrowgar 25 was 1 tier above in difficulty)

For me at least it's clear that DS is easy, yet the state of the trade channel is ill. I'm hoping the buff will make it better.

Good post, I'm sure it will help the guilds.
Average guy however needs a healthy trade channel, not sure how that can be achieved.

PS. I'm sure someone will comment "I do DS 8/8 each week it's not hard". Irrelevant, someone that's just leveling now is stuck.

Anonymous said...

i havnt thought about the % of the raiding player for a long time.

I remember back in bc / wotlk blizzard said they dont wanna design content for only 10% of their player base.

Are the wowprogress data's with lfr players? Is there any data about how many players killed the first and last boss? (not guilds)

I dont think, that the 7 million player dont have the skill, so that they cant raid.
I guess they dont have the opportunity, passion or interest.

I can get every decent player from lvl 1 to a raider in 1-2 month. There isnt much skill involved, its just time investment.

Wolarsen said...

One "on the spot" post, Gevlon.
The report window after each boss is an excellent idea to help players realize the way they are playing, but as you say the mass do NOT want to be reminded they are "bad" or "below average".
My 2nd guild was very casual, and when I switched to 3rd one, class mates pointed me out on my deficiencies and I got a huge boost to my performance.

For the last year or so i have raided almost exclusively with guild partners or players from the server guilds with best progression, as I just dread of joining a pure PUG. Would LOVE to see an improved player pool.

Coralina said...

Firstly I am getting increasingly annoyed with people mentioning LFR in discussions about Normal/HC nerfs.

LFR is for those that can’t commit to organised raiding. Its low difficulty is as a result of the need to cater to disorganised groups in which there is no recruitment process to filter out players with bad gear and poor skills. Many players using this mode are ex hardcore raiders like myself that wouldn’t need normal/HC nerfs if I were still playing in my old guild.

LFR is not used for guild runs by casual guilds or weak raid guilds as they prefer to run 10 man and not lose half their loot to the 15 randoms they are forced to bring with them.

It is true that organised raid players currently have to improve or quit. Indeed Blizzard (GC no less) has previously stated that they introduce these normal/HC nerfs when they do indeed see people giving up and quitting.

With regards to implementing tools like damage meters and fail warnings, I agree they would be beneficial but only to protect healers from being blamed for others failings.

The problem is that some players are receptive to such tools and capable of improving. Others are not. The weaker normal/HC guilds that need these nerfs are weak for a reason. They are weak because unlike the top guilds they don’t have a full roster of players that are receptive to such tools.

There are a finite number of these receptive players on each realm. Therefore as you go down the chain to the weaker raid guilds you find they are not able to fill 100% of their roster with receptive good players and the further down the chain you go the higher percentage of non-receptive players you will find in these teams.

Not everyone in the team is weak, not everyone in the team cannot improve with these tools but eventually you reach a point where the overall strength of the team is dragged down such that only nerfs will help them get through.

TLDR we need those tools in 5 mans and raids. They won't however eliminate the need for nerfs to stop raid teams quitting as you will never solve the problem of their being finite numbers of receptive players on realms.

Kalven said...

I read that "fu nolifer" as "foo NAH-lif-er" twice before getting it.

Anyway, I've never complained about player buffs or boss nerfs (Except FL, too soon). But yeah, players who fail the dance before nerf will continue to fail after.

chewy said...

I like your analysis but not so much your conclusions.

We don't know that the 90% can't kill Morchok we only know that they haven't killed him. An at least as valid conclusion is that Blizzard are flailing around like a bone storm trying to work out why people don't want their raid content and in quiet desperation they're nurfing it.

This is the zero price sale. They give the product away because they believe that price is the issue.

It might be that it's not the price (difficulty) that doesn't interest 90% of players but Blizzard still keep reducing the price. This is a self fulfilling prophecy because if you make it cheap enough (zero) the customer will take it and that proves you were right all along, doesn't it ?

Cathfaern said...

"Ysera whispers: Ultraxion just hit you with his devastating spell Hour of Twilight. You can avoid it by escaping the Twilight realm using your Heroic Will"
Uhm, in LFR it works exactly like this. If you fail in some mechanics, you get some text in your chat that states how should you do it. I usually don't pay attention, so I don't know how detailed these, but I'm sure you get messages that you should use the button on ultra, if you fail at the hour of twillight.

Anonymous said...

Very good post. Coding it would be trivial: a results window with most of the relevant information has been in the game for years already: after every BG.

Bobbins said...

By making nearly 100% of the endgame raiding they have no alternative but to nerf it. If they made some decent content other the grind fests then people would be less likely to quit.

People need to have content generated in order to keep paying their subscription. Rather than create that for their players they nerf the raids and expect that to suffice. New content for those who do want want to raid is in fact the nerfed raids. Isn't nerfing raids just laziness on the part of Blizzard?

Antivyris said...

Honestly, I'd be more interested to know how many guilds are stuck on Warmaster Blackhorn.

As an aside, the results window would actually be an amazing thing to make an addon for. I can quickly tell you i'd require it in my guild. Nothing horribly fancy, just a good overall glance. That after each wipe I think would be a very good step in determining the wipes cause.

Especially when you have a wipe caused by excessive avoidable damage. Trying to get people to see that as the cause is a battle in itself.

Anonymous said...

Your assumptions when doing your math are flawed. You say that 870K out of 8M killed Morchok and declare that these people are in the top ten percent of players. Your flawed assumption is that all 8M of those players are actually trying to kill raid bosses and that over 7M people are completely failing at that. That's not necessarily true.

*vlad* said...

Ysera whispers you in LFR to tell you that you didn't use Hour of Twilight. You tell her it didn't kill you, so who cares?

Ysera whispers you in Normal mode to tell you that you didn't use Hour of Twilight, so you died. You go into a rage, accusing Blizzard of making content only for no-lifers. You refuse to play again until they nerf the encounter.

Muron said...

A nerf was going to have to come down at some point simply for Heroic spine. Without raid stacking at least a little you can't beat heroic spine and many HC guilds refuse to do that.

Anonymous said...

Your statistics don't take into account people have alts. Our MT, for example, has not killed Yor'Sahj on HC because we want him to come on his enhancement shaman alt instead. His enhancement shaman alt does not even have 8/8 N. Yet many of my alts do have that.

Meters don't include any performance regarding utility. You know what does? Logs do. People are simply too lazy to use the utility provided to them. It is an excuse to not use logs although in LFR it isn't necessary (everything is easy anyway) but if you are wiping a lot in your raiding guild then log analysis is very useful.

Botter said...

Blizzard wants all players happy, the good, the bad and the ugly players.

Adapt. And enjoy the game.

Big Heals said...

It seems to me, the Dungeon Journal, and the fact that LFR can be used more then once a week are practice mechanicd. It certainly has given me a chance to practice my fire mage skills to point where I would be comfortable actually doing the Normal mode form.

Jayde said...

to Nehunter.

I am afraid, you are bad. You are giving excuses by blaming others.

People on your server are asking for 385-388? Guess what, if you run LFR enough time you will get there and you will get the experience, small but still, to attempt DS normal.

You have just leveled and found it hard to get to the DS LFR gear required: again you should stop blaming others. You can get crafted for any class blue pvp gear that will allow you to get in... the remaining slots that might be required you can purchase on the auction house.

The game has enough baddies giving excuses and getting the game nerfed into oblivion.

Anonymous said...

I think we are missing most of the really juicy data - unfortunately.
What we additionally need to know is:
A. Number of players (not active chars)
B. Number of players with no interest in raiding.
C. Number of players who want to raid but can't - lack of time, fear of failure, pc or network issues etc
D. Number of players that raid but can't get past the first boss - less now that we have LFR.

With this data we could find out the true ratio of raiders to failures to those that have not even tried.

nehunter said...

@ Jayde
"if you run LFR enough time you will get there and you will get the experience, small but still, to attempt DS normal"

#1 I have the gear (386 PvE geared), I know the fights
#2 "to attempt DS normal" care to think about this? I need others. No idea what number to provide to show you fast (34k dps on ultraxion lfr)
#3 "You can get crafted for any class blue pvp gear that will allow you to get in" again care to think about this? I'm not dumb I know how to get into LFR, the discussion was about trade channel pugs.

I am prepared for DS normal, took me a while but I am. I didn't just leveled I raided enough in naxx,ulduar ICC, FL with a guild. Took a break that was it.

How about stopping with these cliches "baddies giving excuses"?

If we can't commit to a guild and don't want to drag them down, we have trade channel to get in DS normal. Trade channel pugs are beyond repair for people that just leveled. Most of them anyway, waiting for that 1 good pug is more time consuming than being in a guild.

I can get in DS normal if I try. I choose not to, LFR is enough for me.

On topic : individuals do not need to be thought by blizzard. Low level communities have to be the ones interested in a healthy way of building new members.

I agree nerfing the encounters serves the holy grail of MMOs "keep the player busy".

nehunter said...


I forgot to add, the content is nerfed because there is always a cap.

Even with your improvements, there is always a skill cap, otherwise everyone would eventually kill the last boss on HM.

The reasons for the caps are:
- skill( your suggestions can help push this cap)
- time
- organization

A game without cap isn't practical.

Coreus said...

It's been a while since I read one of your posts which I just whole-heartedly agreed with.

You mention the Battleground damage/healing meters, and it's a really excellent juxtaposition. I can only assume the reason the BG meters are a good idea [while the raid ones are not] is that they allow bad players to feel good about how much damage they did even though the team lost due to their own ignorance of the objectives.

Anonymous said...

"I am afraid, you are bad. You are giving excuses by blaming others."

no, you are. People where I play now demand 380 for ICECROWN and NAXX.
If that's not insane I don't know what is.

They're also constantly upping the "requirements" as time goes on, so it's clearly nothing to do with what's actually needed and evething with preventing others from raiding. When 4.3 hit, the demands were for 375 or so, the minimum to enter the instance. Now it's up to 385-390 for 10 man normal DS (and just about any other raid).

Those same people of course complain constantly that their realms are dead because noone's raiding.
Indeed, noone matches their demands for entering their raid teams, and most of those who do are either in the "professional" raid guilds and don't need pugs or don't want to be bothered putting up with the jerks (and they are jerks in the way they generally behave themselves).

If Blizzard nerves content a bit, as they're doing after the "pro" guilds have had their run at it, it opens that content to those players who can't put in the time to get to the peak skill levels required to complete the content at release.
That's a good thing, it opens up content for more people, far more people, while still giving the "top" players a chance to do things the hard way.

The only people who don't like that are the elitist jerks who don't want anyone else to have access to that content. The same people who scream that old raids and achievements should be removed because they're now too easy to get, reducing "the value" of their own titles and mounts.
That's the kind of attitude that poisons this community at its very heart, and it's exactly what's poisoning trade as well with the insane ilvl requirements.