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Posts with tag raid-lockouts

On raid lockouts, flexible raiding, and choice

On raid lockouts, flexible raiding, and choice
With the introduction of flexible raiding a certain conversation is cropping up again. It's a conversation about raid lockouts. Back when LFR was first introduced during Dragon Soul, quite a few players began to argue that they felt forced to run LFR in addition to the raid itself. Then, as we moved into Mists of Pandaria raiding, this discussion intensified. I had my own opinion on the issue, which was basically that no, raid finder should not share a lockout with normal mode raiding. Luckily, Blizzard didn't do that, coming up with other ways to reduce LFR's desirability for people who run normal/heroic raids.

Now, with flexible raiding, the argument that it should share a lockout with normal/heroic raids is being resurrected because again players are afraid they will be forced to run it. I'm opposed to this idea for a variety of reasons.
  1. Sharing the lockout between flexible raiding and normal/heroic raiding means that if you choose to step down to flex for a night because you were short people, you'll either be locked into flex or you'll need to be able to switch back and forth between them. Either players will be punished for going flex, or they'll be using it to bypass encounters that are 'too hard' on normal. This isn't meant to be a means to game raid difficulty.
  2. Sharing the lockout between 10 and 25 man raiding nearly killed 25 man raiding. A shared lockout between flexible raiding and normal raids would probably be enough to finish the job, because as 25 man guilds lost members and made use of the flexible raid to keep running, there would be very little incentive to recruit and less incentive for new players to join.
  3. Flex raiding is being rolled out to test the waters - we have no idea how the final implementation will shake out. Burdening it with a shared lockout adds a further complication which isn't needed at this time. For all we know, flexible raiding will be how all raids work in the next expansion. Even if it isn't, we need to give it time before we make it jump through more hoops.
  4. People need to stop begging Blizzard to keep them from playing the game.
Number five is probably the most controversial point, and it's also the most important to my eyes. I don't know where certain players came up with this idea that Blizzard needs to save them from doing things but it needs to stop. If you're not in a guild that's pushing content in the first week or two of its existence, you will not need to run flexible raids for gear to push that content faster any more than you need to run LFR for that.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.1 alters US and Oceanic realm event times

Patch 51 alters US and Oceanic Realm Event times
Blizzard Senior Community Manager Zarhym has posted on the US forums, informing players that, with the arrival of patch 5.1, substantial changes have been made to realm reset times throughout the US realm region, including oceanic servers. The reason behind this is the impact of cross-realm zones, or CRZ, on times events such as the Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza. Previously, players were able to manipulate the new feature to "realm-hop" to hand in the quests the moment the tournaments began, so Blizzard shut them down while the devs worked on a solution.

The solution they've reached for patch 5.1 is to normalize event times across the US, and set up a different group of normalized times for the Oceanic region. The EU's servers have worked like this for many years, and it seems a viable answer to the problem, although some adjustment will be necessary for those who are inconvenienced by the changes.

Due to the huge time difference, as noted, Oceanic servers have different reset times, but they continue to share raid and dungeon lockouts with US servers as Blizzard's team wish to maintain the large player pool for their matchmaking systems to draw from.

Hit the break for Zarhym's full post and to see when your new reset times are.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

A solution to the LFR "problem"

A solution to the LFR problem
Our very own Olivia Grace recently sat down with Gamebreaker.tv to discuss player complaints about the obligation that many raiders out there feel to run LFR each week, a topic that has been hotly debated in, among other places, this thread on the official forums with the ghastly Zarhym naturally representing Blizzard.

In the video, Olivia raises a good point that many people may not immediately realize – the game isn't forcing you to run LFR every week, it is the social pressures of being in a competitive raiding guild, the very nature of which makes it basically mandatory to seek every advantage you can to edge out your competition. And while many players cite a myriad of issues with LFR, few offer any real, workable solutions. I have seen a couple non-workable solutions, however, so let's briefly discuss them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

WoW Insider's Weekly Recap featuring Panser of TradeChat

Welcome back to our weekly recap, featuring the TradeChat's Panser. We look back at the hottest news from the past week and whatever other kickin' rad things may have come our way. This week's topics include: If you enjoyed the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave a comment, and come back next week for the next episode!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Twice-weekly raid resets being tested in Taiwan and Korea starting this week

Here's some relatively crazy news that's just been posted on the Taiwanese Battle.net site: All patch 4.0 and 4.2 raid dungeons -- that is, every Cataclysm raid up to Firelands -- will reset twice a week, once on Thursday and once on Sunday.

This change will not apply to the Deathwing raid, which will reset once a week as usual, nor will the weekly valor point cap be changing. The change is, according to the post, meant to allow people to gear up faster by killing bosses twice as often. There is currently no word on whether this will play solely to Taiwanese servers, or to all regions. If it does come to U.S. servers, it is likely our reset will revolve around Tuesday downtime, making the ideal second-reset day Friday.

Check after the break for a quick and dirty Google translation of the post.

UPDATE: Community Manager Zarhym has posted the following:

4.0 and 4.2 Raids to reset twice a week?
The new raid lockout changes for Taiwan and Korea adjust the lockout timers for the patch 4.0 and 4.2 raids. The lockout timers for these raids will now reset twice weekly instead of once. These raid lockout changes are being made to allow players to raid more often and get more chances at epic loot drops. Players will be able to down current Cataclysm raid bosses twice a week, accelerating players' progression.

We are testing these new raid lockout changes in Taiwan and Korea first. Our goal is to expand this change to other regions in the future, but we don't have anything further to announce at this time with regard to North American implementation.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Raiding

The pros and cons of extending raid lockouts

All through Wrath of the Lich King, I raided in a hardcore progression guild for 16 hours a week. We ran 12 hours in 25-mans and another three or four a week working on hard mode 10-mans. A lot of it ended up feeling like clearing content to get geared up to clear the exact same content but with more bells and whistles (especially Trial of the Crusader, where we often ended up doing the same raid four times a week). So when Cataclysm came out, I shifted to a more casual, purely 10-man, six-hours-a-week raiding schedule with a new guild.

For the most part, it's been pretty great, but one aspect of it is that with two hours a night, three nights a week, it can be a challenge to get through the farm content fast enough to get to the new bosses, especially once most of an instance is farm content. Even when you know all the fights and can burn through them, five bosses can take a lot of time to get knocked out in order to get face time on a new boss.

One of the innovations of Wrath of the Lich King was extending raid lockouts. What this allows you to do is to skip the bosses you already have on farm by, in effect, picking up where your last raid left off. Cleared everything but Nef last week and needing to work on the new encounter? Now you can just start up with everything you killed last week still dead. What could be the problem, you ask?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

When to move up to the next raid


I like this post over at Tank Like a Girl that raises the question of just when your guild should make the big step to move on up the raiding ranks. Just last night, my very casual guild headed into Ulduar for the first time, and even though we'd never been in there before (we've been doing Naxx, OS, and EoE with some regularity, though when I say we're casual, I mean we're really casual), I think we did it at exactly the right time. We made it up to Kologarn -- enough to know that we didn't go in too early (and come out empty-handed, unable to down any bosses) or too late (and breeze through the place).

Now obviously, every guild is in a different place raiding-wise (and most guilds are way ahead of ours, I know), and TLaG is dealing with a different dilemma: whether to take down Yogg-Saron before moving on to ToC or not. And in her case, she's got the added "gotta catch 'em all" thinking. But it's a tough thing as a raid leader -- you don't want to move on past content you know you can do eventually, and progression always beckons. In the end, you've got to figure out what's best for the guild. And of course, the content's not going anywhere -- if you can't drop a certain boss this week, there's always the next raid reset.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King

We Have a Tabard: It's not cheating if...


Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

As I've mentioned before I'm not totally against PUGging raids. I find its actually an excellent way to get to know people on the server and sometimes a handy recruiting tool. Depending on your guild rules, there are some raids to PUG and some raids to save your lockout for your guild.

I had a guildie today all distraught because he was saved to Naxx 10 helping a guildie out. He apologized profusely when someone was putting together a "Badge Run Blitz" but couldn't heal it. At this point Naxx 10 is like running an extended heroic with more gold and shards. We've progressed beyond it, so lockouts are fair game.

I get a wee bit crabbier when folks get locked out of our current progression. We're actually still working on Ulduar 10, and need to draw upon any available resources to move forward. Guildies can feel free to run Naxx, Vault, and Obsidian Sanctum to their heart's content. Usually when someone asks for my blessing to run with another group, I give it if they have to miss guild times or we're unable to get into the group.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Features, Raiding, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

Ghostcrawler: There will (not) be at least 31 bosses in Icecrown

Ghostcrawler has posted an interesting little hint at the next patch (we know of) headed to the game. In response to a discussion about "tanking niches," he talks about Icecrown Citadel over on the forums, and just happens to mention that people might think of tanks as waiting outside until "boss 4, 17 and 31 (yes, IC is that big)." 31 bosses? More like Icecrowded, am I right?

Blackrock Depths is the largest 5-man in the game, if not the largest instance, and it boasts over 40 bosses (that's mostly counting encounters, though -- you wouldn't count The Seven, for example, as seven different bosses), including lots and lots of optional bosses and even a holiday boss. Ulduar, by comparison, has about 14, and Karazhan is about that same size (though that depends on how you count random bosses, like the Opera Event). No matter how you slice it, 31 raid bosses is a ton of bosses to go through -- Icecrown could be a return to a really epic, large-scale instance.

Of course, there will likely be wings involved (Naxxramas' Quarters have worked out pretty well, I think), and with the new changes to raid lockouts, Blizzard no longer needs to squeeze the raiding experience into an average of two or three nights a week (which is what it seemed like they were usually aiming for before). If yours is the kind of guild that likes to clear everything in one night, though, you might want to start freeing up some time now.

Update: GC now says he didn't mean the instance would have 31 bosses, he was just throwing in some ridiculous number to prove a point. Our question: why did he say "yes, IC is that big" if he didn't mean it would be that big?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Bosses, NPCs, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast topic: Are manually extended raid lockouts a good thing?


Hands up who remembers running Karazhan back in the days when it took a week to clear and you needed every one of those nights to do it?

Are you currently spending your evenings raiding in Ulduar? Is Ignis taking more time to down than you anticipated? I think we've all been there, you're in the zone but just can't kill that pesky raid boss before the raid timer goes ding and everything resets. I've once did an early morning raid (we're talking like 2am here) through Kara, powering through all the bosses, because the timer was due to set that morning and it was fun, even if we didn't quite clear Medivh's tower out. I think we stopped after Prince as none of us could keep our eyes open. But there's something heartbreaking about getting down to that final boss and calling it a day, knowing that you have to start all over again the following day. It's kind of soul destroying.

Patch 3.2
finally offers an answer in the form of a raid lockout extension. If you're mid-raid and haven't a hope in hell of finishing by the reset, you can manually extended it for another week. But I wonder, constant readers, are you going to use it? Will it motivate you to finish a raid or do you think it slow progression down?

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding, Bosses

Patch 3.2's raid extension feature clarified

About a week and a half ago, we spotted the new raid lockout extension feature on the patch 3.2 PTR. It's not until this morning that Blizzard (specifically Eyonix and Vaneras) officially announced that the feature was coming, along with some clarified details.

The details are mostly what we expected: Extending your lockout will let it roll over into the next lockout period, consuming your instance ID for that day (in the case of heroics) or week (in the case of raids). You can extend your lockout more than once, probably indefinitely, but Eyonix wasn't specific on how many times you can do it in a row. I assume indefinitely. The extension is also on a per-person basis, meaning if you PUG someone into your 25man run, they can't screw you by extending their lockout. That also means it's not a raid leader decision. At least, not mechanically. It's up to the individual to click that extension button.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

WoW Insider Show Episode 97: Chasing silhouettes

Good times as always on our podcast this past holiday weekend -- while Turpster was away, we Americans took over the show, and declared our independence the only way we know how: by talking about the most popular stories in the World of Warcraft this past week. Adam Holisky, Alex Ziebart, Michael "Belfaire" Sacco and I answered your emails, and then chatted about Blizzard's addition of faction changes to the game (and who'll go for it), patch 3.2 and its extendable raid lockouts and universal armor tokens, Exodus and Ensidia and how Blizzard has dealt with both, and of course, that sneaky Cataclysm trademark and what it might mean for Blizzard's future releases.

Whew! If it sounds like a full show, that's because it was. It even went on longer than usual, so you can enjoy the extra-long WoW Insider Show at any of the links below (including clicking on the iTunes link to subscribe directly there). We won't be back next Saturday -- instead, we're setting up for a special Thursday evening show this week at 6pm Eastern, so those of you who can't make it on Saturdays can instead tune in on Thursday night to chat and listen live with us on the Ustream page.

Enjoy this past weekend's show, and we'll see you on Thursday.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Virtual selves, Humor, Raiding, Making money, WoW Insider Show

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