Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dragon soul disaster

I'm honestly surprised by Blizzards total failure with designing Dragon Soul raid. There is no design shift from the failed FL (they acknowledged it to be a mistake), just nerfed it all over the place. The dance is still the source of difficulty in the game, performance demands are non-existing in normal modes.

The dance being easier makes it less annoying, but "less annoying" is not fun. Also, they also acknowledged that WotLK design was bad, but they returned to exactly that. Dragon Soul is like Naxxramas which is more or less a curse word among the players.

LFR difficulty is here exactly to cater those who can't damage more than the healer, so I completely don't understand the purpose of the very easy normal mode. I simply smell panic. The subscription numbers are dropping and they want to stop it. They could, but not in a way that has already failed. Maybe WoW has less time to live than I expected. Maybe they go free to play before my 1 year subscription end. Too bad.

Then, Ultraxion saved the day. For the first time since Halfus HC we wiped not because someone mis-stepped or did not do some weird move in 0.5 secs, but because of low DPS. It was great to play WoW again instead of Super Mario. The best attempt was 6% HP, he will die soon. As soon as people start to do things that they did not bother for long. Min-maxing, reading up rotations, optimizing for buffs. I don't blame them that they forgot it over a year of dancing. But I do blame them if they stay that way. There is at least one good boss again. There can be more. It would be a shame not to have them all down.


Anonymous said...

Madness of Deathwing itself has virtually no dancing except for "spread out and get away from the middle for the Elementium Bolt."

It's all about target switching, effective damage coordination, healing, and cooldowns and it brings back the idea you talked about on some previous posts: you've never worse off having a 10th person.

Espoire said...

Normal mode is not that easy. Certain bosses on normal are easy, but Vor'sajh with a melee heavy group, for example, was fairly difficult. On our kill we had hit berserk a few second earlier.

Is a group of DPS dealing 20k-26k each all "below the healer"? While I admit I'm completely unfamiliar with the damage abilities healers have, I doubt they can do more than 15k DPS when not attempting to heal. Likewise, 15k each would not defeat berserk timer on Vor'sajh, Zon'ozz, or Ultraxion.

On a possibly related note, I liked Naxxramas. That was the current raid when I had just began raiding, and I feel, looking back, that it was a great time to start. Naxx was a good introductory raid.

wayne said...

To be fair, at the same time that they acknowledged Firelands was a design failure, they also said it was too late to "fix" Dragon Soul. Lets hope MoP brings proper raids back.

Cigaras said...

You should try Madness of Deathwing, damage and healing recuired are very strict, have to plan all your cooldowns to get the most of your class damage/healing/survival wise, minimal dance involved.

Anonymous said...

on Ultraxion we wiped also because of low dps then we switched from 3 heales to 2 healers and the extra dps helped us kill him. It is possible with two healers. We had a shaman and a paladin healer.
Good Luck

Anonymous said...

Ultraxion fight great? Its great to leave your mouse alone (unless you are using naga) and mindlesly mash the keyboard hoping you will not lag in the crucial moment of pressing THE button (which doesnt show on custom UIs)? While i agree it realy is DPS and HPS , more HPS then DPS, check , fight itself is boring. Patchwerk type fights arent in any shape or form skill checks. those that cant execute their rotations wont be able to kill any boss.
Also where exactly is Blizzard statement of FL being failure?

Ephemeron said...

I agree with Rohan (from Blessing of Kings blog) - Dragon Soul normal mode has a properly tuned difficulty curve. Each subsequent boss (or pair of bosses, in case of faceless generals) is harder than the previous step.

Anonymous said...

The 1st four bosses are indeed easy, but that means less good players (and PuGs) are able to farm them. They can then use that gear to get to 2nd wing. Content then nerfs itself, people improve their play, and progress happens. Again, the date you progress matters here. Now, the 2nd wing is harder. The 6th boss requires good DPS, assignments, and communication. While Ultraxion is a DPS check, it also requires the healers to heal (we used 2 healers and easily beat enrage; most of our wipes was from people with custom UIs) plus tanks need to know their CDs well. MoD, the last boss, is a gem of the raid. Not only because it is the last boss but because it is a skill check for every class, every role, and there are various ways to beat the encounter. You need to find your group's weakness here, and exploit your strengths. And of course, if normal mode is too easy for you (it is for us) then there is hard modes or heroic. Naxx had no such thing. The complaint about TotC was that the gap between normal and heroic was too big. I hope it will be big again because else I'll be bored soon with 8/8 HC on main.

Anonymous said...

Ultraxion great? I think we must be talking about a different boss. Ultraxion , like every boss before him in DS has one simple thing that people must do to win. For Ultraxion it's click a button (or use a macro) within a 5 second window. He is easy & very dull.

On 10 man it took us 3 wipes to work out the rotation of who stays out before we killed him. That was with 2 healers - Pally and Shammy with most of the raid in 391 gear.

Last night our alt run 1-shot him. Pally and Druid healer with the raid mostly in 378 gear.

Any problem you are having with these bosses is down to your refusal to use voice coms. With our raids on mumble these bosses have so far not been a challenge.

Oh and we are not an imba guild - we only started on Rags HC the week before 4.3 arrived.

Deepfriedegg said...

I wonder what kind of fun is a Patchwerk fight for you?
It is an easy fight in 10 man but more difficult in 25 man. But guess why? when you he goes below 30-20%, the amount of aoe damage he deals and amount of AoE heals your healers are dealing is unprecedented and even if I normally raid with around 20-30fps during the encounter, now I was at 3-5fps. That is the only difficult thing about Ultraxion. He will be a joke in a month - it is a fight that doesnt demand any kind of execution. Morchok, Yor´sahj and Hagara are jokes already. Zon´ooz at least requires some planning (not speaking about ping pong but about the number of stacks to take and planning of personal and raid cooldowns).
Blackhorn is a fun fight - it requires awareness, target switching and burst. But still could have required higher output.
I liked Spine of DW a lot. It requires some strategical planning and on spot decisions. It takes couple of attempts to settle down the execution. We have also planned DPS CDs for Tendons as follows: 1) Personal CDs 2)Pots, 3) Hero before Amalgamation dies and then personal CDs again. I havent seen Madness of Deathwing but I like how the fight gets more and more.

I am looking forward for hard modes tomorrow and wish you good luck.

Do you plan on uploading your logs again?

Deepfriedegg said...

Also not sure why are you still obsessed with the dance? According to you dance fight is every fight except for those where you stand on one place the whole fight? Is moving out of fire considered as dance? Is damage/healing coordination considered a dance?

Deepfriedegg said...

I also agree that the bosses in DS are progressively harder. If I was on Gevlon's place and had no experience with the end bosses, I would refrain from judging the difficulty of the encounters.

Problem with the difficulty curve is that, while properly shaped, it lies too low. But then again, I come from guild where I am the worst geared DPS and had 383 ilvl before 4.3. But I still think we shouldnt one-shot 4 bosses at the first week of release.

Paul said...

Also where exactly is Blizzard statement of FL being failure?

Was probably refering to this statement by Bashiok. He wasn't outright saying it was a failure, but discussed an issue with the design that they didn't have time to fix for DS.

chewy said...

Entirely agree with Anon at 11:45

We downed him on normal mode with two healers and we have average gear (roughly 375 - 385).

You should get him next time around but if you can't there's something else going wrong. The dance is none existent and the only thing that would kill you is not being able to react within 5 secs (is that possible and still play wow in fact is that possible and not be in need of palliative care ?).

Or an alternative explanation might be that you didn't farm gear from previous raids and you're not farming from this so you've reached your limit.

Anonymous said...

My guild rolled through everything to Ultraxion, and then wiped on him a bunch before downing him.

Sadly, it wasn't a DPS check for us at all, it was simply a retard check.

"Can you hit the button?"


Wipe and repeat, until finally we got to the point where the offenders needed to be told over ventrilo when to hit it.

It's kind of interesting, on the other bosses the "dance" only requires a few competent people, but on Ultraxion, as simple as the mechanic is, you must rely on everyone to execute it.

sam said...

It's because the LFR is aimed at the 12 year olds and they need easy modes to get the gear. I think the problem is a lot of accounts that started out as adults have been handed over to children when thier parents moved on. I think blizzard doesn't have a good grasp of what the actual demographics are. The one paying aren't always the ones playing.

When they add hard stuff the kiddies quit, when they add easy stuff the adults that want hard mode quit. I'm not sure they have a choice that won't cause a drop in subs. What they need to do is decide who thier core audience is and what acceptable subs are.

But the accountants are second guessing every design decision now and I think it'll keep getting worse.

Anonymous said...

"You should get him next time around but if you can't there's something else going wrong. The dance is none existent and the only thing that would kill you is not being able to react within 5 secs (is that possible and still play wow in fact is that possible and not be in need of palliative care ?)."

As a DPS I constant max my DPS. For me, pushing the button with 5 seconds remaining hurts my DPS, and teaches bad manners for when we are doing the encounter on heroic (where output really matters). Therefore, I push it within the last seconds of the cast. Now, when I not had the command/macro keybound I was too late clicking. Once I had the macro keybound I was able to both perform and not die.

If your goal is merely to not die within 5 seconds then it boils down to seeing your debuff and seeing his castbar and the ability to react within 5 seconds. But again, this won't teach you to max your output. And I find people who do not max their output "M&S" (you may see them as casual in this case, but since my goal is heroic and since I believe the normal is too easy for many players I'd say many casuals should try some heroic content). I am happy I died, learned how to keybind the command/macro which in turn also helped on MoD.

@ sam age is no indication of quality of playstyle. It may give you some idea about how mature they're going to act, and in general old people are slower in reaction (dexterity), and more wise. I've met old players who were dog slow, could not do some simple dance in FL normal. Yet, my GM is an older player, and good at it all. I've seen immature so-called adults, people with a hilarious childish attitude, and I've seen decent playing kids who acted mature.

Anonymous said...

So you haven't taken deathwing down yourself yet, nor gotten to him,and you already make the assumption (as that is what is it isn't it?) that it is too easy?

Also you state that "End Game" is current end raid boss on hardcore mode in a previous post. How can you say that end game is too easy if you haven't even gotten there or attempted it in any way?

M&S or any term you want to use make wild accusations and assumptions on the basis without any knowledge or research into it.

The more and more posts you make make me things you are just as much under the whip crack of your emotions, more so in some cases becuase you have a following online.

Gone are the days you made posts devoid of emotion in anyway and only used empiracal, rationally thought out arguements using evidence you yourself have found. Now you try something and if you don't like it everyone who does is M&S, and you will say/do everything you can to "prove" this.

Come to a conclusion after evidence, don't come to a conclusion first and doctor evidence or what have you to prove it.

You argue that the dance must leave and a more output based approach to raiding must take place. If that was to happen every boss would be a variation of Patchwork and WOW would die. Noone would stay for that, bar the fanboys.

Xintia said...

I quit WoW shortly after Cataclysm for many of the reasons you discuss in your posts, the "raiding dance" being on of the primary ones. I have kept following your blog because I find the perspective on human nature contained here fascinating. That having been said, each post lately makes me sad that WoW changed so much from the game I enjoyed for several years. I take no pleasure in watching this game's demise. It's kind of like watching an old friend get sick and die.

Jon said...

It's hard to enjoy a game for many years on end. Of course it's going to change, if it didn't change everyone would get bored. Anyone who's upset with the current state of WoW needs to stop complaining about WoW - and instead find something you actually enjoy doing :) Much better use of your time. Sounds to me like all of the whining is simply burnout, and whether it's "too hard" or "too easy" burnouts are burnouts and nothing is going to make them happy.

sam said...

In spite of the fact that exceptions exist, age is a very good indicator of playstyle. 12 year olds don't usually research and plan everything. they just log in and play. My point was more and more players are younger and younger and don't do the things hard core MMO players expect from "good" players. They have supplanted the old players and this is blizzards big problem. Which group do they want to lose?

There will always be exceptions and I'll admit the worst player I ever ran with was a guild tank who was 38, her 13 year old daughter was a better player. But these are the exceptions to the rule not the norm.

Anonymous said...

If you are @ 6% HP, then nobody has to get better. Another week or two of 378 5s and LFR should get you the additional 6% without significant improvement in personal skill.

I disagree with the sentiment of "WoW has less time to live than I expected. Maybe they go free to play before my 1 year subscription end."

F2P has been a huge success. Games convert to F2P and revenue increases. The trend accelerated with DDO and LOTRO's success and now many pundits say SWTOR will be the last AAA subscription MMO. LoL is over 11 million players. So there is no reason that a well done F2P WoW could not increase revenue and significantly increase players and last for another decade.

WoW must be easier. (subscriptions are Darkfall 20k, EVE 300k, WoW 10m, Farmville 80m, Angry Birds 500m) What is not required but would be smart and desired, is to add another level or two of difficulty. LFR, Reg & H is so much better than just Reg & Heroic. With 2 levels, you can't make it so the regular is doable by the LFR demographic without making the HC too easy for the tiny but vocal HC niche or having a huge gap between reg & H.

And with quick leveling, there has to be something for subscribers to do at endgame. Might as well call it raiding for now.

the existing LFR a bit easier,
Reg significantly easier,
Heroic easier,
and add a Nightmare mode designed for < 1% could work.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday we did the complete Raid without any problems with the lfr tool.

It seems you need only one or two player telling the raid what to do to solve this thing. The new heroes are a joke, the lfr raid is too.

Good for blizzards business, every m&s feels happy now to do "THE RAID".

The only challenges:
- Push a button the right time
- switch targets the right time

Anonymous said...

Here is a random idle thought...

I wonder how raiders today would judge Kara - If it were still 10man, but boosted and tweaked to level 85?

(ignoring those that have already done it back in BC)

Would it be:
"OMG cakewalk free epix"
"OMG Morose personal responsibility!"
"OMG Curator chain silences!"