Greedy Goblin

Monday, January 19, 2015

Solution to raiding exploits and M&S-swamp: progression mode

I've read a lot about the atrocious lockout mechanics of WoW Mythic raiding. If you enter a raid, you get locked to it, so you can't raid with people who entered other raids, even if both raids were unsuccessful. This makes PuG-ability impossible, so I left the game. This abomination was created to prevent various kind of exploiting, typically by hiring a booster for real money.

Before I left, I realized a nasty problem that I named "M&S-swamp". PuGging the first 5 bosses became harder and harder every week. This is counter-intuitive, people should be more geared (they are) and experienced as time goes by. The reason is that more and more people gear up, so the same item level means larger and larger segment of the playerbase. In the second week, when I first cleared 5/7HC, we had 645 ilvl, but this meant the top 1% players. Now 655 is probably top 10%. So we were raiding with more and more diluted playerbase. The only solution within the current framework is the bizarre "ask too high ilvl". If you ask for ilvl 670, you'd probably still raid with top 1%, guaranteeing a quick raid. But the raid gives ilvl 670, so most people wouldn't need loot at all. However if you do the sensible thing and ask reasonable ilvl, sooner or later you'll be unable to finish the raid due to the high concentration of M&S!

I'd suggest a rather elegant solution to both problems: "progression" and "farm" modes next to the current "default" mode:
  • The "serious bosses", like Imperator HC and all mythic bosses have a feat of strength to kill them while they are latest content.
  • You can only get the feats of strength if "progression mode" is switched on.
  • If you pull the boss with "progression mode", it despawns if any character in the raid have ever killed this boss. These players are listed for easier kicks.
  • If you pull the boss with "farm mode", it despawns if any character does not have the feat of strength. These players are listed for easier kicks.
Implementing this would mean that you can only firstkill the boss if everyone else are firstkilling with you. This makes all kind of paid boosts and carries impossible. The carrying player has killed the boss before so you if you try to kill the boss in progression mode, it despawns. This also removes the point of being carried: if you kill the boss in a "default mode" raid, you give up your chance on the feat of strength, since you can't ever join a progression raid again (you have killed it before, so boss despawns). Please note that it does not stop guilds from recruiting from lesser guilds: if a 5/7M player joins a 6/7M guild, they can still kill the 7th together in progression mode. The recruit will be unable to get his 6th feat of strength, since he is firstkilling that boss with people who already killed it, in default mode.

How does it solve the M&S swamp? If you have killed the boss before, you can insist on going with farm mode. This removes anyone who haven't killed it or killed while carried, so you are given a fast run. If you haven't killed the boss, you can insist on a progression raid, where other players are also progressing, so they won't leave if the boss isn't oneshotted. M&S expects to be carried by geared and experienced players, they won't sign up for a progression raid that will have multiple wipes. The few who does will be kicked and replaced.

19 comments:

Soge said...

That is a terrible idea. Not only it locks "farm mode" from people who, for some reason, did not do some boss while in progression, it also makes it impossible for, say, a 6/7M player from a guild that disbanded, to join a promising 5/7M guild that seems to be doing fine for themselves. The end result is that the rest of the modes, farm and progression, would be completely ignored due to lack of interest, and people that raid on default would be left out of most achievements due to a technicality.

It is essentially punishing guilds, while giving almost no palpable help to PuGs.

Also, imagine that you decided to start playing right now. Progression for the first bosses would be essentially impossible, while right now you can still do it if you find a decent guild.

The game needs less artificial barriers, not more.

Gevlon said...

More progressed guild members joining less progressed guilds are a rare exception.

People who failed to firstkill bosses should be locked out of farm mode since they will probably wipe the raid.

People on default mode should be left out of feat of strengths because they are carried and unworthy.

If I start now, I can't progress on first bosses, since all decent guilds are deep in mythic now.

Samus said...

This seems like an entirely unnecessary solution to a completely fictional problem. You CAN'T carry someone in raids, especially Mythic difficulty raids. If 10 idiots paid off 10 members of Method, they would still do nothing but wipe.

I think you are being misled by players in Mythic raid guilds with made up "exploits" as to why Mythic level raids need a special PuG preventing lockout. Their real fear is that PuGs will show that actual guilds are not significantly better than a random collection of players who have never met, which Normal and Heroic PuGs demonstrated pretty thoroughly.

Balkoth said...

So basically, if my guild kills M Imperator tomorrow and then a tank dies in a car accident, any replacement tank we recruit cannot get the feat of strength? Despite the fact we may wipe another 20-30 times for the new tank to learn the fight?

I mean, you might be able to argue that a 3/7M person shouldn't worry too much about the feat for the 4th Mythic boss if they join a 4/7M guild, but for the final boss?

Also, the Mythic lockout abuses have very little to do with getting carried (and the times where that's happened has involved people playing other people's characters) and more to do with abusing weekly lockouts to funnel loot to a select group.

Gevlon said...

@Balkoth: if you already completed the content, why do you bother killing him again? Why don't you take a few weeks off?

Also, yes, the replacement guy shouldn't get the feat, as he didn't earn it. He can earn his feats in the next content.

I've already told that loot funnel could be solved by forced personal loot on mythic.

@Samous: of course you can carry. If there are 14 DPS in a raid, they just have to do 8% more to carry someone dead from start. Which is easy if you farmed the instance. Remember, people were selling achievements all the time.

I agree that the lockout is made to prevent PuGs humiliate guilds. But the PuGs themselves are suffering from problems: idiots joining expecting a carry ("iz it a 1shot grp?") and then leaving or being kicked after a wipe. The farm mode would lock them out, the progression mode would force them to earn their kill.

Balkoth said...

"I think you are being misled by players in Mythic raid guilds with made up "exploits" as to why Mythic level raids need a special PuG preventing lockout."

Are you referring to be here?

Are you not aware of KIN raiders and Dragon Soul LFR?

Are you not aware of Paragon/Method/etc running like 5 heroic clears the first week to funnel loot?

These aren't "made-up," they're exactly what guilds have actually done.

"@Balkoth: if you already completed the content, why do you bother killing him again? Why don't you take a few weeks off?"

Several reasons:

1, people in guild missed the fight. You run a typical Mythic guild with a 25ish person roster, which means 5 people miss out on the first kill. They want to see it.

2, keeping skills sharp. Normally my 2 night a week guild finishes with a month or two to spare. Guild that raid more can finish with 4+ months to spare. If you don't raid at all then your skills will atrophy.

3, trialing people. Sometimes you lost people or have to cut them and you need to test how the new people do.

4, gear. You want as much gear as possible to help with the next tier -- which means you'll rank higher worldwide and be able to attract better recruits.

5, fun! Simple as that. We enjoy difficult raiding and in many (most?) guilds we enjoy playing with our guildmates

"Also, yes, the replacement guy shouldn't get the feat, as he didn't earn it. He can earn his feats in the next content."

So what if our tank had had his car accident a day before the raid where we killed it and we had to bring in a new tank on that day? The new tank gets to skip the 100+ learning wipes and only causes the same number of wipes he'd cause coming in a week later. How has he earned it to a degree that the guy coming in a week later has not? Both wipe the same number of times, both skip the vast majority of wipes.

"I've already told that loot funnel could be solved by forced personal loot on mythic"

Sure, except that mythic raiders would absolutely hate that idea. Personal loot was invented to solve idiots in LFR whining about losing loot. It's the last thing Mythic guilds want forced on them *in Mythic raiding.* Loot RNG is bad enough as is, the last thing we want is more RNG on top of the existing RNG.

Do an experiment if you want: go to the Dungeons and Raids forum and make a thread asking if Mythic raiders would prefer (or even be fine with) Personal loot over actual drops in Mythic.

"If there are 14 DPS in a raid, they just have to do 8% more to carry someone dead from start."

If you'd ever done something like H Ragnaros, H Lei Shen, H Garrosh, etc you'd know it's not that simple -- often in fights you have to set up sub-groups. And lacking a person in a sub-group is a much bigger deal than 8%, might be missing one person out of three, which requires 50% more DPS.

"I agree that the lockout is made to prevent PuGs humiliate guilds."

You really think that Paragon is afraid of being shown up by a PUG? Or that my two-night a week 5/7M guild is afraid of being shown up by a PUG?

I mean, sure, there might be some bad guilds who barely get 1/7M and would feel bad if people regularly PUGed that, but that's a very small portion of Mythic raiders. I think most Mythic raiders would pay money to watch PUGs wipe on Mythic content for the entertainment value alone.

Ulrik said...

I'd really, really love a progression mode. The best part of MMOs is learning a dungeon or raid together with a group. The worst part is learning a dungeon or raid with a group that already knows it.

Anonymous said...

@Gevlon: "Also, yes, the replacement guy shouldn't get the feat, as he didn't earn it."

This doesn't mean he didn't earn it when he's there for the second kill. Bosses get in farming when it becomes trivial to kill them: for some bosses it can be long after the first kill.

@Gevlon: "He can earn his feats in the next content."

This is not something that raiders would accept. It's a fact that all guild players are not always present for all first-kills, so a realistic proposal has to take this into account. Currently it's not even a choice, since Mythic is 20-man fixed and raiding with a roster of only exactly 20 players is unrealistic.

Ryanis said...

You don't solve the pay-for-run problem : people will just give their account credential to someone to carry him. Actually it's even worth and will probably increase hacking.

My suggestion : add an option in the party finder tool named "Experienced only" or something like that. Only characters having cleaned the instance can join a group with this option enabled.
Thus, experienced players will be able to farm the instance while new players will mostly be in "training" groups. However, they ay recieve help from farmers, especially when there is not enough farm groups.

Samus said...

@Balkoth

You don't have to FORCE personal loot, you just have to allow it as an option. Guilds won't use it, they can deal with the lockout. PuGs will use it, solving their lockout issues.

Anonymous said...

Simply open up Mythic to cross-realm pugging on day one.

What is it going to hurt?

dobablo said...

You have just replicated the mistake that your raid finder project disproved. The strength of raid finder is that you can pick the best from a large group and match the elite raiding groups who are selecting from a small group of above average players.
Your new suggestion takes the worst from both extremes. The pool of eligible raiders would be greatly restricted, handicapping your ability to recruit/kick the best/worst, while your criteria produce a group with only marginally higher skills than average. The net result is having to accept lower standards if you wish to fill the raid in a timely fashion.

Balkoth said...

"@Balkoth

You don't have to FORCE personal loot, you just have to allow it as an option. Guilds won't use it, they can deal with the lockout. PuGs will use it, solving their lockout issues."

I'm not sure what this means. Are you suggesting Mythic have two different versions of a lockout or something?

The way it works right now is that once you kill the first boss OR zone in after the first boss is dead, you get saved to that specific raid ID and cannot join any other raid ID. Even if you allow personal loot as an option on Mythic, that wouldn't change the lockout problem.

What Gevlon is suggesting is that personal loot be the ONLY option on Mythic so that you can remove the restrictive lockout without people abusing the hell out of it.

"Simply open up Mythic to cross-realm pugging on day one.

What is it going to hurt?"

Did you not see the Dungeons and Raids forum or the General Discussion forum during "Mythic" SoO?

So much complaining and whining and drama from people who don't understand the lockout. So many cases of people "stealing" lockouts (if you and I go kill the first boss, stop for the day, and then I go clear the rest of the raid on the next day...then you are not allowed to kill any further bosses that week since you're locked to the same raid ID).

It hurt a lot of people who don't understand the restrictive lockout and why it exists. So there is DEFINITELY evidence that it will hurt people. The only question is whether making it cross-realm will help MORE than it hurts.

Anonymous said...

Soge gets it: "The game needs less artificial barriers, not more."

Gevlon has previously complained about artificial barriers to running a mythic pug but, predictably, fails to recognize this weakness in his own ideas.

As far as raiding goes, what is needed are mechanics which permit easy identification of each player's performance. This way, everybody can see why the group is succeeding or failing and make adjustments accordingly. For raid leaders, this may mean kicking raid members; for raid members, it may mean finding a better raid.

Balkoth said...

"As far as raiding goes, what is needed are mechanics which permit easy identification of each player's performance."

Those...do mostly exist. What did you have in mind that is so different from now?

And outside of PUGs, logs are amazing. I can literally track a player's movement throughout the entire fight and see exactly what they were casting/doing at any point in the fight.

Samus said...

@Balkoth

"Are you suggesting Mythic have two different versions of a lockout or something?"

Yes, that is exactly what I am suggesting. The raid leader selects PuG/Personal loot when forming the raid. Anyone with an existing "regular" Mythic lockout cannot enter the instance. Killing a boss under this raid type locks you to this raid type for the week (obviously the same personal loot rules apply when joining a new PuG).

Guilds, of course, select the current version of lockout and nothing changes for them.

Balkoth said...

Hmm.

Just to be clear...

Lockout type A is the current dropped loot, and there is a unique raid ID per group. Different raid IDs cannot form Mythic groups together, nor can anyone with lockout type B join a type A group.

Lockout type B is personal loot, and anyone with a B style lockout can join any other Mythic group with a B style lockout -- but not any A lockout groups.

If that is correct, that should theoretically work (not thinking of an abuse offhand)...just would depend if Blizzard thinks implementing such a lockout (and the resulting potential confusion) is worth it.

Anonymous said...

Personal loot is terrible. Not only is the droprate horrendous, also part of running a guild is distributing loot according to loot council. If an item drops, it should go to whoever it is best for but there also other parameters (such as attendance, other recent loot they might've received, bonus rolls). Removing the ability of loot council from Mythic goes against 10+ years of proven working raiding culture.

Anonymous said...

"The only solution within the current framework is the bizarre "ask too high ilvl". If you ask for ilvl 670, you'd probably still raid with top 1%, guaranteeing a quick raid. But the raid gives ilvl 670, so most people wouldn't need loot at all."

It is also related to if you have high ilvl and need a few pieces, if you get lower ilvl player the chance they need the same item as you is increased. You end up gearing them up even tho they might carry their weight. Its an anomaly in the traditional gearing model which even occurs with Personal Loot, but then you get at least enchantment materials at the sacrifice of inability to trade loot.

The other reason is that higher ilvl gives the player more stamina which allows them to easier get away with mistakes while on the other hand more DPS means a quicker kill means generally higher ranks and generally means less mechanics to deal with which means less pressure on the healers. Which is why guilds try to ditch a healer as much as they can. If you find you need another healer, it isn't always healers fault. It could also very well be the DPS.