Skip to Content
8-25-2011 @ 2:14PM
I can definitely see the logic here - but it takes all sorts. Progression through normal raids *is* a satisfying achievement when you're raiding inconsistently in a casual guild. My guild got to 7/12 tier 11 before the nerfs, and each boss kill was an achievement when you're dealing with a mixture of player abilities, no attendance requirements, and generally only raiding once a week. We never really aspire to do hardmodes or get the raid drakes, and the difficulty of normal raids is pitched about right.
8-25-2011 @ 2:29PM
"Progression through normal raids *is* a satisfying achievement when you're raiding inconsistently in a casual guild. "And that's what was going through my head as i was reading this, too.Maybe they should have normal modes be able to start right-off-the-bat with a "handicap mode" that nerfs - not the raid - the players, by reducing their stats a given amount, like 10% (i'm just taking any number here) and maybe give them a little something extra for it. Maybe that would bring back that 'epic' feeling for the 1st go at a raid, for those that are big-time raiders.
8-25-2011 @ 2:38PM
That's an excellent point, and not one I really intended to overlook in the column. I've been on both sides of the equation as both a hardcore raider, and then again as someone whose first experience with content was long past its "progression" status (at the moment, I'm the latter, consequence of RL issues).I guess the problem for me, even as someone who often approaches content much later, is that something still feels a bit cynical about the way in which current raid and achievement design lengthens the experience of a raid. It extends the life of raid content in a fashion that's more annoying than it needs to be. Raiding achievements are a lot of fun, but I think the Ulduar model served the game better than the heroic/achievement/normal split we've got right now. Nobody laughed at the difficulty of things like Knock, Knock, Knock On Wood, but at the same time, you didn't have the organizational nightmare of the normal/heroic split with a full complement of raiders who had to come in and out for whichever version of an encounter they were missing.
8-25-2011 @ 2:57PM
You're entitled to your opinion that it "extends the life of raid content in a fashion that's more annoying than it needs to be."For me and my guild though, it's a great way to keep entertained and experience the game to its fullest. Even now, we're going back to ICC Heroic to get the achieves and drakes for people who thought they'd never be able to see that content or get that drake. I'm glad it's lengthened the life of raid content, what's the point of having game content that's grown stale after the top 50% of raiders have defeated it? Strange attitude to have to say, "Oh, we killed everyone there and got the gear we needed for the next tier, move along - nothing to see here." I'd rather opt to go back for the extra challenges it offers for those of us not in the most l33t of raiding guilds. If anything, trying for achievements and heroic modes help people learn better what their characters are capable of and teach them key tactics for approaching new fights in the future.
8-25-2011 @ 3:05PM
Casual raiding is what I enjoy tuning encounters to those that don't have the perfect raid make up or gear or skill level makes for a more fun laid back experience. I do agree that the way they did "hard modes" was best done in Ulduar where in it was some mechanic in the fight that made it a hard mode that just seemed to be the most dynamic and fun system. Toggling just seem well silly. As for gating it still exists, downing the penultimate boss of a particular patch is the new gating system for opening hard modes. BTW Yogg Saron I hated that boss did not find it fun at all...... as a healer at least.
8-25-2011 @ 3:10PM
@bilbomoodyI would actually argue that the ability to return to heroic Icecrown at 85 to do the achievements is a sideways acknowledgment of the point I was trying to make. At level 80, you'd have to be suicidal to do Full House on heroic Deathwhisper. At level 85, you can smoosh the two together with minimum annoyance. Raid content is a lot more fun when you're not stuck with the choice of doing the achievement *or* the heroic version, particularly when doing the achievement denies you the opportunity to do later bosses on heroic. In essence, you're skipping past the problem with the approach to normal/heroic/achievement raid by doing the content when the heroic/achievement split has ceased to be an issue. My argument is that it shouldn't be an issue with current content either.
8-25-2011 @ 3:22PM
So it's really that big of an 'annoyance' to see the same content for a few weeks while working on achievements and then heroics.Besides, if it's really that big of an 'annoyance' (a word I keep seeing pop up here), then don't worry about the achievements. Kill the bosses on normal, then kill them on Heroic. Or wait, is killing the boss twice too much of an annoyance? If so, why play. I don't mind working on an encounter several times. There are opportunities for personal challenges each time you go in, and each time you go in, the fight changes if only very slightly. I guess it helps that I'm in a guild that allows different people with different classes and levels of abilities into the fight - that allows for further diversity in how the fights are tackled. For the hardcore guilds that have a set number of raiders that never changes, and focus on only one way to down a boss, then I suppose around 10 boss kills it would start being monotonous. But I still think it's good to allow other people to down content they wouldn't be able to normally because Blizzard nerfed the original encounter and added challenged for the l33ts.
8-25-2011 @ 3:28PM
Oh, and at level 80, we weren't able to kill all the bosses in ICC. That didn't happen until after Cataclysm.You're missing the point that there is a whole group of people (and I would wager a decent portion of the player base) who either doesn't have the skills or the time to invest towards gear, etc that really benefit from Blizzard nerfing regular encounters. To counter that, they created hard modes. Whether it's not using keepers in the Yogg encounter or 'toggling the switch' in BWD, it's a more difficult version of the encounter. You can argue the mechanics of how the difficulty is created - but to argue that they messed up by nerfing the original normal encounter is creating an elitist attitude (regardless of intention) that says to people like my guild - you're not good enough to see this entire tier of content, tough luck.
8-25-2011 @ 3:40PM
I think you hit it.Essentially, I see it like this... (made up statistics)... because I don't have a source for actuals.Imagine something like...20% of the players ever get to see normal raid starts before nerf.. early bosses5% see them before nerfing12% see them to conclusion after nerfing.4% see them on heroic1-2% see them finished on heroicWhile the numbers are imaginary... the idea here is that what constitutes a win varies from player to player... and while the smallest group may feel underwhelmed by a normal kill, a larger group will celebrate it... even after nerfing.In my guild, a normal kill is a win. I'll take it... I'll celebrate it. The question is, how to make it such that both sides celebrate equally without feeling underwhelmed. How about making anyone that completes an equal level heroic raid not be able to enter a normal... LOL... then everyone gets only first kills at their level.
8-25-2011 @ 3:42PM
@bilbomoodyRaiders would be seeing the content anyway. The content itself is not the annoyance. If it were, they wouldn't be raiding.The crux of the issue is that how achievements and the heroic versions of encounters are designed change the way you experience the content, and it's my argument that having to choose between the two (you really can't do both on most encounters while they're current) changes that experience in a way that isn't good for the game.As I said, your ability to skip past the issue entirely at level 85 in heroic Icecrown is pretty much the point I'm trying to make. People returning to heroic Icecrown now aren't forced into that choice in the way that raiders at level 80 were, and you don't have to worry about rotating people in and out for achievements or heroics because you can do them both at the same time. During Wrath, I literally kept a spreadsheet of guildies who needed, say, Full House versus the heroic version of Deathwhisper. We couldn't do them both in the same week, but at the same time, we wanted to get everybody their drakes. For anybody who needed to upgrade their gear from heroic Deathwhisper, though, this was enormously frustrating for every week that we had to delay, and on every encounter we had to downgrade to normal for that reason. The issue just restarted every time a new recruit was brought into the guild, because most of the time you don't get people who already had these achievements. Every achievement we had to do came at the opportunity cost of heroic gear that we needed for the heroic Lich King encounter.So it's my conclusion that the Ulduar model was ultimately the best way to go. It didn't force guilds to choose between the achievement and the heroic version, because the achievement WAS the heroic version.
8-25-2011 @ 5:33PM
@bilbomoodyI think you're really missing the point of this article. She isn't being elitest in the slightest, she actually supports the ease of normal modes. What she is saying is that the impossability of doing the hardmodes AND acheivs together is something many people find irritating.Currently in order to unlock hardmodes you have to go through the entire raid on normal, something that started with t10 that I personally do not understand. This in itself puts a delay on the real content that some of the more hardcore raiders want to get to. Add on the acheivs on top of that and you have 2 aspects of a raid that people have to do aside from killing hardmode bosses.I'm a casual raider, I didn't get my uluar drake until after cata was released, I still don't have my icc drake (though that is from lack of effort as the missing parts of my meta are relatively easy, even at level) so I can definitely see your point of view. Nowhere did she say anything negative about the nerfs to the raids, if anything her argument would support nerfs since it would make it easier to get the needed achievments for the meta.If you look at ULD a raider would only have to go through the instance once in order to get the Meta completed. Granted, at level, even with t10 gear this is something that most people would struggle to accomplish, but it was still able to be done. With the current model of raiding you need to go through it AT LEAST twice and that's if you're willing to purposely wipe on each boss a few times to get your group familiar enough with the fight to try doing the acheivment. My personal opinion is that they should either take the acheiv OR the hardmode version out of the meta or switch back to the ulduaar model where the acheiv was the hardmode. For a casual raider like myself asking me to do both is way too much and I am not going to see the Meta mounts from this expansion until the level cap is raised again, which is fine in my eyes but I do see where the hardcore raiders would find getting them at level grindy, long, and boring.Kudos to the writer of the article, you made some very good points and I do hope Blizz sees this and considers something different for the next xpac in terms of raiding achievs. Possibly making the achievments an aspect of the hardmode fights, but not necessarily require hardmodes to do?I.e. killing 12 adds in 10 seconds during Maloriak achiev could have worked with a model like this by simply having the heroic version require you to release 4 sets of adds per phase. I'm sure there are other achievments that could be worked like that in most fights, but I'm not familiar with what most of the ahievments are so I can't say for sure. It certainly would solve the problem for both aspects though, all id ask is that they do away with the HM requirement for the Meta so that both the casual and hardcore raider could at least have a chance of finishing the Metas at level.
8-25-2011 @ 9:51PM
Blizzard have already addressed the Ulduar method of hardmodes. They stated that while Ulduar was the fun way of addressing hard modes, it also required a lot of raid design. Thinking up a new way of introducing a hardmode for every boss in a raid instance would slow down development of new raids and thus patch releases. They admitted the toggle method of hardmodes was not as satisfactory but did allow for quicker release of raiding content.
8-26-2011 @ 6:19PM
One problem with the Ulduar version of Hardmode = achievement, was that sometimes a raid group would unintentionally trigger the hardmode while intending to do the regular mode, at least in the earlier fights. (I'm specifically thinking of XT here) So all of a sudden, the strat has to change on the fly for a group who wasn't prepared to try the hardmode. That's probably much less of a problem for a hardcore raiding guild than it is for a more casual raiding guild, but I personally do like the ability to know beforehand whether or not the encounter will be hardmode.(On the flip side, not all of the achievement/hardmode triggers are easy to unintentionally start, so I don't think that would have been an issue for the bulk of fights. But maybe I'm just repressing memories here)
8-27-2011 @ 1:02AM
Allison Robert, you have my full apologies, I was totally ready to resent your post. But I believe you are completely right in what you said. It should NOT be a super grind. Just getting the equipment you want is bad enough. I have often felt that I wished there was some way to make a real reward/challenge system for those who want REAL raiding..... I resent that it was between only 1 and 6 percent of players who got to see the end of Burning Crusade. I LIKE that more people got to see the end of Wrath. I especially felt pretty good about the fact that you could see the video of the fall of the Lich King from Dalaran.As a side note, due to a work schedule from hell, I don't get to raid with most guilds. So any raiding I ever got to saw, was minimal. Again, my apologies, and thank you for a great article.
First time? A confirmation email will be sent to you after submitting.
Members enter your username and password.
Enter your AOL or AIM screenname and password.
Please keep your comments relevant to this blog entry. Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments.
When you enter your name and email address, you'll be sent a link to confirm your comment, and a password. To leave another comment, just use that password.
To create a live link, simply type the URL (including http://) or email address and we will make it a live link for you. You can put up to 3 URLs in your comments. Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically converted — no need to use <p> or <br /> tags.