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11-04-2011 @ 9:25PM
IMO, raid accessibility is not about gear level or encounter difficulty. Rather, it's about how much demanding an encounter is on the raid team's communication and collaboration, just as all other real people games. In an MMO, verbal (typed or spoken) communication is really the key, probably the only thing that matters, because one cannot rely on body gestures or facial expressions to communicate, if such ever existed. To work as a team, the leaders must effectively inform all members where, when, what and how.It's obvious that the build-in communicating function: message by typing, although mostly accurate and simple, is inevitably delayed and thus hopelessly useless for a highly mobile encounter in which timing is everything.Talking to each other is certainly more efficient. But it's equally obvious that few people are born as a motivation speaker or a team leader. Although we all can learn to do so, how many would really want to learn?(What's that infamous dungeon vehicle fight in WoTLK again?)Some raids and many heroics are much more accessible, not because the bosses are nerfed or players' gears are easy to get. Rather, they are so because the mechanics of their encounters are much more easier to explain, as well as to understand.The current trend in Cataclysm raids is that boss fights are more and more complex and mobile, and less tolerant to mistakes. And I am afraid that such design has very much surpassed a regular folk's communication capability, or wiliness to communicate after a long, hard day at work.
11-04-2011 @ 10:46PM
This is exactly right, at least in my opinion, particularly your last point. Throughout Wrath I was a regular raider, one of the leaders of a 10-man raid that made it through all the content in normal mode. I was willing to spend the time to organize a (albeit small) group of casual raiders, explain fights, and really concentrate and communicate for four hours twice a week.Currently, in cata, I still have arguably enough time to raid the same as I did in Wrath, but I'm just no longer willing to deal with organization and wipes because of slight mistakes made by people. Of the four people who served as "raid leaders" in my group in Wrath, only one is still actively raiding, and he is no longer the leader. Though this is partially due to changing life circumstance, it is arguably more due to the increased amount of explaining we have to do in order to ensure our raid's success. As many complaints as there seemingly were about Wrath, it was the perfect raiding model for me as a college/graduate student.
11-05-2011 @ 12:22AM
I agree completely.Naxx was great because each boss had a unique ability that players had to learn. It was executed well, and thus was used twice.The Cata raids however have 3-5 mechanics per boss. That's very do-able when you are prepared and know what to do, but it's still 3 to 5 times harder than Naxx. It gets even worse when the margin of error allowed is nill because suddenly "healing needs to be more fun" in that if you fuck up for 1 second everything goes to shit. Sure, we may know how to do each mechanic on its own, but having to handle multiple at once with little room for error makes raids intensely more demanding and significantly less fun.I'm sorry, but I want to be able to clear a raid within a month of starting it. I enjoy other aspects of the game and it's insane to expect 9 hours a week to slam my head into a wall trying to do regular encounters because I'm not in an elite guild. Blizzard needs to tune down regular fights so that it's easier. Hopefully that's what the raid finder does.(And as for the super-elite hardcores, they won't quit if it's easier. The best of the best make money playing WoW so of course they won't stop. And if someone does quit because mechanics return to the days of Vanilla, I'm sure it's more of a straw-that-broke-the-camels-back thing.)TLDR- Make raids like the safety dance. If I can learn the fight but my friends can't, at least I can solo it over 3 hours. WoW is a game, let me feel epic without needing an advanced raiding resume to be with the best-of-the-best and down content. ^_^
11-05-2011 @ 1:02PM
Raid finder's just going to give Blizzard an excuse to make Normal modes even more INaccessible than they already are, and will just be a further nail in the coffin of PuGs. Even worse, their unwillingness to expand it to 10-man is going to lock players like me out entirely. I CANNOT do 25-man raids. My computer simply cannot handle that many characters and spell effects at once. I'd gladly trade a longer queue for the ability to actually play the game.
11-05-2011 @ 3:09PM
@rayden54I do worry about this as well. They seems like they are using the LFR tool as an excuse to not make any changes to normal mode tuning. We'll see.As to not being able to do 25s, I do wish they offered a 10s version of the LFR difficulty level, even if you couldn't use the tool to access it. (I completely understand why the tool will work much better with 25s.)
11-06-2011 @ 6:46PM
I'm not part of an elite hardcore guild. I run what I consider a casual, relaxed 10 man guild raid that is currently 5/7H. We raid twice a week for 3-4 hours. Which is why I define us as casual.Whenever I read these articles about raid difficulty, there's always a big following of people who support the Wrath days and how it's too hard now and they can't afford to spend the time/effort/whatever and it's really tiresome.I'll be downvoted for sure, but all the people who complain are those who refuse to get stuck into the content and get their hands dirty. I for one want to feel like I've earned my epics, not have them handed to me because I hit a spell on my bar once every few seconds. Most of the complaints I see are people being unprepared to learn fights, understand mechanics and to give it a shot, and to that I say, if you're not prepared to do the hard yards, you don't deserve the reward. It takes no more than 10 minutes to watch a boss video, it takes no more than 5 to read the dungeon journal (you don't even need to load a website anymore!), instead of posting here you could be researching a fight so that when you face it, it's not a complete shock.Everything in this game is doable, but you need to take some initiative and some accountability and realise that it's up to you to put in the effort.
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