Greedy Goblin

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hit them in the fun!

There is a significant problem with the current encounter design: they hit the whole team for the mistake of a few. It is balanced with nerfs, turning the place into a faceroll if the team is competent.

If the bad player stands in the fire, that's a problem for the healer and not himself. If the healer can't heal him, that's the problem of the other damage dealers who have to kill the boss before the enrage. If they can't do it either, that's the problem of everyone but him, as for him "no luck lol". This either turns the encounter into a bizarre dance festival like Alysrazor, or a mindless faceroll like LFR.

Rodos commented the solution: instead of hitting them in their HP, they should be hit in their fun. Encounter mechanics should not damage players, but place "no fun" debuffs on them, like cast speed decrease that includes GCD increase, as it's not fun watching the cast bar filling up so slow or waiting for ages for a GCD. It can also be a stun that incapacitates the player for 10-20 seconds. It could be a flat damage decrease, making him watch 1/2-1/3 of the numbers he used to see. The boss could also whisper insults to the failed player.

While this would still affect the whole raid, as one member being stunned for 20 seconds is clearly a raid damage decrease, it's not so radical as having one dead. Also, fails wouldn't be binary where the options are "i ownd meters lol" and "FFS heal". The failer would have lower overall damage done which is also not fun.

I'm sure that such design would have quick results on the players, they would respond to mechanics much better. Also it would make learning easier: now if you fail a mechanic, you either don't even notice (the healer will notice), or you are dead and can't try again. With this design you surely see the failure, but after that you can try again and again during the same try. The boss will enrage, but you (and everyone else) faced the mechanic 10  times instead of one.

This design would also make LFR-normal-heroic balancing extremely easy. All 3 difficulties could be exactly the same, differing only in raid DPS needed to hit enrage and raid HPS needed to outheal the unavoidable and tank damage. The boss would stun the failers the same way, but on heroic if there are 3 people eating stun once the boss will hit enrage in the gear available during the progression race, in normal everyone can eat 3 and the boss still dies, in LFR the average player can spend half time stunned and still wins. It would also increase the learning value of LFR: you can prepare for heroic by aiming for 0 stuns and HC level DPS. Currently in LFR mechanics are missing or ignorable or even preferred to be ignored (Ultraxion is easier to kill if you don't press the button in the first 3 unstable stages, while the healers are bored but damage more and the boss dies before 5 unstables).


Anonymous said...

I think we already had this system. Anyone else remember Putricide and Festergut Heroic? I wonder why we don't have bosses like that anymore? I think at the time, people complained that having to deal so much damage as a damage dealer "wasn't fun" and they "had a life".

Alleji said...

"Hit them in the fun" seems like a great idea. I remembered Putricide throwing around balls of goo that weren't lethal but reduced your casting speed for 30 seconds. I really liked that, but I can't remember similar things used anywhere else... well, other than Festergut throwing the same goo. All other mechanics that slowed casting speed were either unavoidable raid-wide or just randomly applied like on Sindragosa (which is actually "bad luck lol")

Evlyxx of the Evangelysm blog said...

Awesome idea this. I hope Blizzard are reading.

Betty said...

Heroics need to be more than just a higher DPS check otherwise they're too easy/boring.

Putricide/Sindragosa were 2 of the better heroic fights in ICC, certainly better than blood queen.

It's a lot more fun to overcome a new mechanic than to get just enough gear to do the required dps. It adds something new to the fights, rather than it being the same boring thing you did last week

Steel H. said...

Are you serious? When did you start playing this game, yesterday? Blizzard officially stated that they are removing mechanics and abilities that are 'not fun' from the game. I actually clearly remember a blue post in Cata at some point - feel free to search for it - that clearly stated as and example "mechanics like 20 second stuns are not fun, we are removing them".

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should just put a "if you get hit 3 times you get no loot" rule...

Anonymous said...

i guess most players also care whether they stand in fire, but arn't good enough..

Another question would be:

Does really every player wants to raid (like blizzard tried with wotlk). Or do they want the epic's.

If they would offer more different progression pathes for players, there would be less who dont wanna learn to be a good raider.

Yes i think, we can could train every player to be a good raider (if he wants to and shows the effort)

Anonymous said...

Hagara has some kind of debuff which you suggest but the people don't respond to them.

Rather than learning they will start crying until it is nerfed.

Cathfaern said...

"Does really every player wants to raid (like blizzard tried with wotlk). Or do they want the epic's."

Most people don't want to raid. The M&S just want epics, casuals just want to have some fun, and maybe see the content (once). It almost doesn't matter what they need to do to get them. If it's raid, they do it. If it's bg, they do it. If it's farming, they will also do it. You just have to make sure, that they won't fail in the process (like 4.0, and 4.2 where WoW lost many subscribers, because M&S couldn't get epics, and casual couldn't do anything. 60 min for a HC 5man run isn't ok for a casual).

And thats why this idea sounds good, but won't work.
And exactly thats why lfr is so big success. Casuals can see the content, and can kill some big bosses, do some dps, while having fun. If you remind them that they're bad (not because they couldn't be better, but because they don't play as much, or don't/can't pay attention as much), they will feel bad, and won't play the game (they don't want to pull back others).
For M&S if you remind them that they fail... well we all know what happens then. And they don't want to raid. They just want epic.

Grim said...

A 1 minute corpserun + eating&buffing is way less fun than 20 second stun.

20 wipes, to a mechanic that we need 20 attempts to master (with the corpesruns and bufftime in between) are also way less fun than 20x20 second stuns over the course of 3-4 wipes.

The idea is so awesome I can't believe I haven't heard (or thought) of it before. However, I'm afraid that it would be too drastic a change for Blizzard to risk it.
At best, we can hope that some new MMO a few years from now will try it.

Riptor said...

Honestly, i don't see the Problem. The DPS that dies in the Fire is nothing new or excusable.
It is the DPSs' fault (as in 99% of all not wipe related deaths) if he eats to much Damage. If the DPS has by now not realized that "Take as little Dmg as possible while dishing out the maximum of Dmg possible" is the way to play a DPS, he is either a Beginner that still has to learn this, or a Scrub that should be kicked from the Raid after 1-2 warning. This is what Class Leaders and to some lesser extent Raid Leaders are for.
Failure to kick or call out someone is no excuse to change a Game Mechanic. I have seen this time and time and again that genuinely bad and lazy Players try to hide behind the “Casual” Status when they fail. Casual is defined by the playing Schedule (or lack thereof) and the goal one sets for himself within the game. It is no excuse for being bad or simply ignoring the most basic of game mechanics.
Bad Players/Raids/M&S are constantly kicked in their fun by not clearing a Raiddungeon, wiping continuously on the same Bossmechanics, dragging the learning resistant Player through and having to suffer the humiliation of Blizzard nerfing a Boss so they can finally get the desired Shinys from him.

Kerschdje said...

Blackhorn's Shockwave

Anonymous said...

As far as Blizzard removing "Not Fun" mechanics goes... I'm sorry, but as a healer, I find having to heal fire-bathing imbeciles Not Fun. I find trying to do a dungeon/raid, having people stand in bad and die/wipe the raid, then blame me, Not Fun.

Having the blame for everything dumped on healers is nothing new to them, but the amount of Not Fun we've been dealing with this patch is driving healers round the bend - and away to other games.

I am all for kicking DPS in the epeen, good and hard. Show 'em up on their own meters, where they can't dodge the responsibility. It's the only way they'll figure it out.

chewy said...

You're missing the point: hiting the whole team for the mistake of one is tha basic concept of a MMO. You're supposed to play with friends and simulate battles. In a real battle if one of the soldiers fucks up, the platoon will suffer.

So, again, you're applying your anti-social vision to a social problem and that will only work in a anti-social world, which doesn't exist.

Marcelo Andrade said...

The very worst part of playing a healer is that the difficulty you face in a fight is not related to the fight itself, but to the group you're rolling with. So if you're a healer in a top notch guild, you have a much easier time playing than someone that tags only with his 'average' friends.

The hardest time I've had healing was definitely not the heroic modes I tried with my current guild, but the almost 15min alysrazor fights, or 40+ frenzy stack Bethilac ones.

I most definitely approve the introduction of mechanics that punish the 'screwup' players instead of his healers, specially if it makes aditional easy to see the failure (like, painting him in purple with some aura-of-shame brightness).

Anonymous said...

Morchok trash does this too, though the effect is dispelable.

Steel H. said...

@iinteger & people living under a rock for the last ... whatever (including Gevlon aparently). . Blizz made a conscious decision to un-hit players 'in the fun' (and blame the healers in hte process). There were multiple blue posts about this - about how the mechanics of old are 'not fun' and we are removing them, about how hard dps checks are not fun and we are removing them, because we don't want to put resposibility on every player, etc. This awesome ideea you can't believe you've never heard or thought before has been in there, then removed on purpose. Were'n the mechanics of vanilla and BC just bags of fun? I haven't played in BC proper, but if memory serves from my leveling, didn't every single BC 5man have fears, stuns, and mindcontrols? (hi Sethekk Halls) And those were proper fears, you'd run half way across the instance and pull everything in sight if you didn't properly LOS pull, CC, switch to MC totem instantly, etc? They don't make'em like they used to, ha?

Now whether the new wonderful mechanics they added, like Alysrazor or Rhyolith are more 'fun' is a different story. I guess Gevlon should update the blame post from a year ago - "Super Mario did not work either".

Inquisitor said...

I'm not especially geared at the moment (390ish ilevel), so it doesn't surprise me that healing LFR, while I'm always in the top 3 for throughput, I'm not reliably top.

Then I DPSed one, because I wanted to practice my offspec a bit before it came up in a raid with a weird lineup.

Second or better on DPS. Consistently. In an unplayed offspec, wearing my healing gear.

I... just... wow.

No wonder there is a healer shortage. Even the mind-numbingly easy 'spam Atonement or PoH as appropriate' seems to be two cuts of competence above the standard the DPS aspire to.

I'd been wondering, until now, why anyone would chose to eat the DPS queue when you can 1-button heal to a non-kickable standard as every healing class. (PoH, Rejuve, Chain Heal, Holy Radiance).

Bristal said...

"Good" DPS also have to play harder when the overall DPS is low. You can sense that trash isn't falling quickly, targeting isn't coordinated, and you push, playing as hard as you can.

For me, those fights can be fun. Being gimped fighting a LFR raid boss can require just as much of me as a hard-mode boss fight with stellar players.

Spare me the healer drama of poor DPS. I've seen just as many healers calling each other out in LFR as DPS. Much more often than DPS call out a healer. Healers have the luxury of watching everyone else during a fight, and often think they know why or how someone died, when they really don't.

The only thing (in a random) you can control is yourself. Play as hard as you can/want to, and move on if you're not getting the results you require for fun.

Rodos said...

@Gevlon - Thanks for the shout-out and glad you liked the idea.

@Anonymous - I've made it my policy as a healer not to cleanse the Morchok trash stuns in LFR.

@Steel - Those older mechanics are not really what I had in mind. A lot of them were unavoidable (which is not fun for anyone), or cases where one person's failure resulted in the death or un-fun of another (rogue doesn't kick, healer gets feared).

Anonymous said...

Steel, we know they made a conscious decision. What we're saying is that it was *the wrong decision*.

You're also confusing BC-style group-punishing random mechanics with mechanics designed specifically to punish the people who screw up. Things like not moving from incoming bad = your dps drops to ludicrously low levels, or DPS the wrong target at the wrong time = a 5 second stun/getting locked out of your magic school for 5 seconds/disarmed/whatever.

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic suggestion. In the LFD environment, it's not good when the whole team has to pay for the foolishness of one person; it's better if only the individual suffers.

Thinking back to Wrath, can you imagine trying to do H Sindragosa without being able to kick one bad player? It'd be miserable. Bringing a bad player to H Marrowgar, though, wasn't usually a big deal.