May 24th 2011 10:48AM Even though some players don't raid, for about 60-70% of players raiding is the end game.
Blizzard did several things at once in Cata. They changed healing and tanking mechanics, that drove away many players from those roles. If you are lucky to be in one of the top 5 guilds on your server you probably didn't noticed the lack of tanks and healers as much since your guild had a strong draw for recruiting due to progression and reputation. For all other guilds it was painfully obvious that these roles were in short supply and raids were hard to put together for lack of these roles and guilds fought over players in these roles.
If a guild was a car engine, this was like dropping a handful of sand into it.
Another change was adding healer mana as a type of second soft enrage for all raids, now not only was DPS before the enrage timer a factor, but now so was healer mana.
And finally, the player coordination factor of raids were increased. Most had some gimmick that required almost everybody to do it almost perfectly or the raid wiped. This seems to have been implemented as AOE damage penalty in most cases. Everybody does not move out of the flame pillar on magmaw, or everybody does not switch dps on ODS to prevent shield breakage...
To raid you not only needed mostly competent players, now you pretty much needed all of the players to be competent, just one slow, laggy, or 'sandwich eater' as we used to call them in MC days, and the raid wipes.
And finally the gearing up for raid grind was possibly the worse it has ever been, if you actually wanted to get all the gear from heroic 5 mans that you could before raiding it was 6-12 weeks of grinding for badges depending on how much gear you wanted vs. how grind you could stand.
What was the result of all this, well for blizzard it meant that players would take longer to complete content, good for them, less work for the same amount of money coming in.
For players, raiding was much less fun all-in-all than it has ever been. Sure some guilds cleared content, a very small percentage of guilds. Many players, those healers and those tanks who didn't like the new mechanics, the 'sandwich eaters' who now wiped the raid, the people who were forced to sit on the raiding bench for lack of healers or tanks to form raids with, all of them were losers in this expansion.
Apr 26th 2011 6:01AM So patch the patch if they need to. Release the dang thing already.
Apr 8th 2011 10:19AM It will be 4 hours long and the main plot is trying to figure out why the troll ears drop rape in STV is so low. I mean you can see their ears.
Apr 7th 2011 5:58AM This is an admission that blizzard failed.
The changes that were promoted to improve tanking and healing to make them "more interesting and challenging" was a failure, and actually drove players away.
The ratio of tanks/healers/dps is so out of balance now, not only for 5 mans but also for all raiding, and this does nothing to fix the real problems.
Revert the changes and find ways to make tanking and healing innately more fun. Not by bribery.
You don't fix one bad decision by making another bad decision.
Mar 27th 2011 11:19PM And I've been a programmer for 30 years.
The only fringe cases are where you want NPCs to act like they are players for damage purposes. Vehicles in SoA for example.
There are already hidden buffs and debuffs in game, these actually drive the chatter of NPCs for example. You want a NPC to behave as a player for damage purposes? Put a perma buff called MAGE_FROST_PVP on it for example.
Now if a target is a player or has a buff called MAGE_FROST_PVP, you apply the pvp damage, else pve damage.
Mar 26th 2011 6:04PM In vanilla wow frost mages were gods in pvp. Far far better than they are today.
Then came arena and frost was balanced for pvp, and it sucked for pve.
This would be OK except for the fact that blizzard has periodically stated the desire they have for all specs to be viable for both pvp and pve, last time was last years blizzcon.
Blizzard constantly trots out the same argument for the last four years regarding different coefficients for pvp and pve, in fact they used it in the dev Q and A of last week, it looked like they cut and pasted the answer from 2007.
The do not need to make mechanics for mage specs different for pvp and pve.
All they really need to do is make one or two spells per spec, fire, frost, arcane, do different amounts of damage to a player vs an NPC. Say Frostbolt/Ice lance for frost, Fireball/Scorch for fire, and arcane blast/arcane missles for arcane.
Yet they argue that the game is too confusing as it is to make frostbolt tooltip for example say "does 1000 damage to players, and 2000 damage to npcs"
This solution has been proposed for at least 3 maybe 4 years. Instead blizzard trys to fix the issue with some clever solution or gimmick, that never seems to work.
JUST FIX IT ALREADY.
I applaud CB for addressing the this issue with more honesty than blizzard does.
Mar 23rd 2011 2:31AM A) undo the horrible healing decisions that drove away so many healers and benched 30% to 50% of all raiders, and let Maelstrom Crystals come to market the normal way.
B) for the first time in history of the game sell the top disenchant mat four months into the expansion for justice or honor points.
GC is one stubborn mofo.
Mar 22nd 2011 5:50PM Did some more poking around, googled cataclysm healer shortage...
This exact problem was predicted almost a year ago, see "Healer and Tank changes" about half way down.
Mar 22nd 2011 3:45PM You mean mages only had one spec? What has changed?
Mar 22nd 2011 3:16PM I'll go on the record now, for if cataclysm does indeed kill WoW, this is how I think it went down...
Bosses used to be tuned on DPS vs. enrage. There were some exceptions to this, sometimes quality of heals was paramount in an encounter. These were the heal checks, and they were rare.
One day, a bored person with some clout at Blizzard, probably said something like "Gee I'm tired of tuning encounters based on DPS, let's tune them on healers mana instead.", "That sounds interesting, let's do it"
Now, it took a special type of person to want to raid heal in the past. A care bear type of person, and I don't mean that in a mean way at all. A person who was willing to play whack-a-mole healing in raids.
Now on top of all that, the new cataclysm raid tuning required most healers, most of the time to use only their most resource conserving spell in order to not go out of mana before the fight was over.
That was the last straw for many healers, who already had a stressful, not very much liked job in raiding.
Here is where the butterfly effect comes into play. A small change in one place results in a larger change somewhere else...
What happens if you lose oh let's say half of the healers in WoW? You lose maybe 3 in a guild that had 5 or 6? You end up sitting 5 to 15 other players who want to raid who can't now because there are not enough healers to heal them. In the aggregate maybe half of all raiders who want to raid, used to raid, can't raid anymore.
Small change, big consequences.
Some developer got bored, thought they would do things in a new way to keep their life interesting...result, death of WoW.
Think I'm overstating the problem? Take another look at that chart above. Or go to mmorpg.com, WoW used to be at the top of the list of rated MMOs, now it's easier to find it in the list using search.