End Game Satisfaction

Cambios from Muckbeast made a few comments about end game satisfaction, and raiding in general. He does make some very good points, both here and in his blog. I know where he’s coming at and agree with some of his points to a certain degree.

Maybe because of his game design background, he is viewing this from a different angle from how I view things (have you ever watched a movie with a film major? not too fun). So I would like to give my view on how I see things, and have some counter points to some of his arguments.

“Think about that, and then ask yourself if it was really worth all the broken friendships, drama, anger, rage, arguments, etc. that it took to get to this point.”

I myself have not gone through any of this getting to this point. Maybe frustration on some bosses, but it never anything extreme. I know it has happened to quite a bit of players, but not all. You can’t just assume that all end game raiders go through all of this just to be successful with it. I am lucky enough to not have to go through all that.

There are a lot of people who put up with all of that, and still think it is worth all that trouble. I wouldn’t go through broken friendships myself, but drama, anger, rage, and arguments I can put up with to see all this end game content. Then there are players who don’t think it is worth it, and won’t pursue the end game content grind.

As a married person, do you think it was really worth all the broken friendships, drama, anger, rage, arguments, etc. that it took to get to that point (marriage)? I know this isn’t the best comparison, but it still shows that different people find things that are or are not worth fighting for. Some people will think such a relationship is not worth all the trouble, some who believe it is worth all the ups and downs, and there are those who are lucky enough to be able to make it through without running into any sorts of troubles.

“An hour of killing trash for the “reward” of a 10 minute, scripted boss battle is like suffering through a root canal for the reward of a prostate exam. Oh, and if something goes wrong in that boss battle, you very well might be clearing that same hour of trash to take another shot at it.”

The ONLY “end game” boss encounters which make you clear “hours of trash” after a boss wipe is in Mount Hyjal, where you have to clear eight waves of trash before each boss fight (which takes about 10 minutes by the way), so I’m not sure which bosses you are referring to. All other instances allow about an hour and half of boss attempts before the trash respawns.

If clearing trash is such a horrible experience to go through, then why are there so many people going on “trash runs” or deliberately wiping on Mount Hyjal bosses for the soul reason to redo the trash waves? That is because trash mobs drop very good loot, and provide a lot of rep for many players. Many guilds don’t kill specific bosses in the Black Temple so that they could return later and kill all the trash mobs over again.

In fact, there is so little trash in Sunwell, that many people wish there were more trash to clear. There is only two pulls between Kalecgos and Brutallus. None between Brutallus and Felmyst. Only two total mobs between M’uru and Kil’jaeden.

“People that get massively sucked into raiding fulfill this need through raid success. As a result, they often have less of a drive to work on their family, friends, children, spouse, job, or school. So the actually important things in their real life suffer because this crucial need is being satisfied through MMO raiding.”

Yes there have been many stories of people who have been too absorbed into the game that it has affect other aspects of their lives. This isn’t just raiding, the entire game is addicting. Ultimately, it is the player who has to do something about this. It’s not Blizzard’s fault they designed a good game.

The player has to be the one to manage their own time and set their own priorities. Monique of Girls Don’t Game has written a very good article on this from her very own personal experience.

I personally raid 3 nights a week in a guild that has progressed steadily through Sunwell and is currently on the last boss of The Burning Crusade. There are many guilds out there who raid 4 to 5 days a week, even 7 days a week. That would be way to much for me. I know where my own limit is, and everyone should figure out their own limit.

“I play games to PLAY THE ACTUAL GAME. I don’t play games to load up a web site and read a step by step strategy for how to defeat a boss. Sure, you don’t have to use raid walkthroughs, but you have to be masochistic not to. Raid encounters are generally designed to require an extremely specific set of maneuvers in order to defeat them.”

These boss guides are there to help you and provide tips for you to take down specific bosses. They give you a heads up on what abilities the boss does, and offer suggestions on how to deal with them. Things you will learn after one or two attempts on a boss anyways, so it just to save you some time and attempts. Sure you don’t have to read boss strategy, but it helps.

Knowing how to beat a boss doesn’t mean the boss will automatically be beaten. If it were so, then every guild would have Kil’jaeden down by now. It still requires a lot of attempts and practice in order to kill the boss. Just because you read up and watched videos on how to ride a bike, or how to swim, doesn’t mean you can start cycling and swimming like you were Lance Armstrong or Micheal Phelps.

“I also hate the way raiding turns people into such a tiny fraction of what their character can and should be. Most characters end up using 2 or 3 abilities 90% of the time, and in the same exact order over and over again. That gets incredibly boring.”

This doesn’t just apply to raiding, this applies to all aspects of the game. If you are leveling, raiding, doing 5 man instances, or even PvPing, you will spam the same few abilities over and over again depending on class and spec. So if you find that incredibly boring, then you are playing the wrong game.

In fact, I use more of my Mage’s ability in raids than in any other aspect of the game. There are spells I use in raids that I have never used while farming, leveling, or PvPing. That is just the Mage class though. If you are looking at Healing classes, of course they can’t heal a mob to death while farming, but in PvP, they do the same thing they do in raids, keep other people alive.

“It was something like all of our mages and warlocks had the tier 4 (something), so we had to make sure if we did a certain boss we had a hunter along. Otherwise if that token dropped it would be wasted. Having your roster decisions affected in this way is just stupid design.”

If your raid roster decisions are being affected this way, maybe this is the reason why you aren’t having much success in raids. If you aren’t killing a boss because you don’t have the right roster, and you don’t have the right roster because you changed it based on loot, then this isn’t because of stupid design, it is because poor raid decisions.

I know a lot of guilds do this to get more people geared (even my guild does it), but only if it doesn’t affect the raid. That and we only switch out players for the same class. We’re not gonna potentially wipe on a boss for hours just because one piece of loot could potentially be destroyed.

“The reality is that each member of that 5 man group probably worked a lot harder, put in more effort, and used a lot more skill than a single member of that 25 man raid group. In that 4 hour raid, at least 20 of those 25 people probably only paid full attention for maybe 30-60 minutes of that entire 4 hours. In the 5 man group, all 5 had to pay attention for pretty much the whole time.”

I don’t believe this is true. I think it takes more skill and coordination in a raid than in a group. In 25 man raids, the mobs and bosses hit harder and more often. The players have to heal more often, and do more damage in raids than in 5 man groups. It is different for everyone, but for me, I’ve seen more “/afk” players in 5 man groups than in 25 man raids.

I don’t know how much experience you have in raiding (I know you have at least done Karazhan), but if you allowing 5 players in the raid to slack off for 3 hours in a 4 hour raid, then the fault is on the raid leader/officers. With many tools out there such as Recount or WWS, you can easily find out who isn’t doing their part in the raid, and can be easily be replaced by someone who can.

“Then one of our guild members switched his priest to a shadow priest, ran a few 5 mans to gear up, and we rolled over the Curator with ease. Adding this ONE class (aka mana battery) completely transformed everything. We had read that a shadow priest was virtually required to win, but had foolishly tried to do it without one (since we didn’t have one). The utter inflexibility of the boss encounter made it so you pretty much had to forget about success if you didn’t bring this one specific class. Lame.”

I agree that some bosses require certain types of classes in order to beat it, and it may seem unfair at times. Every raid encounter requires an X amount of Tanks, Y amount of Healers, and Z amount of DPS. They require a the right balance of classes, but rarely ever need a specific type of class. Some classes may have an advantage over other classes though. For example, bringing a Mage over a Druid for a decursing fight. Stopping DPS to decurse might not wipe a raid, but stopping heals to decurse might.

Your example isn’t a good one. The reason why you killed Curator easily with a Shadow Priest, isn’t because you brought a Shadow Priest. You replaced a healer with a DPS class, and that is the real reason why you were successful. Curator does NOT require a Shadow Priest at all. You could have brought in a Rogue instead, and have the same result.

“WoW raiding however has taken a horrible turn. It is the *only* form of end game content, it requires tons of preparatory farming, it requires *TONS* of trash killing, and the raid encounters themselves have far too much randomness/arbitrariness, too many random power immunities, etc.”

It depends on player’s definition of “end game content”. To some players, it may very well be raiding, and to others, it may be the Season 4 Gladiator title and flying mount. Many people play the game who likes raiding, many who likes to PvP. There are some who are completely content with just 5 man instances or just running Karazhan. Everyone is different.

First you bash raid encounter designs for having players go through specific actions in specific times, and how it takes no skills and players don’t have to react to anything. Then you say there are too many randomness in encounters. Which is it? The fact is that players in a raid do have to think fast, and make many split second decisions during raids.

Whatever it may be, of course it will require some sort of preparation. You wouldn’t go into a meeting or an exam totally unprepared would you? No, you would plan ahead, practice your speech for the meeting, or study your ass off for the exam.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I enjoy raiding, and have a lot of fun doing it, and I do get a sense of “achievement” when beating a boss. If you don’t, why are you even raiding? Whenever you see a video where a raid successfully down a difficult boss, you always here the “nerdgasms” at the end from everyone over vent. Yes there are many people who get a sense of satisfaction when defeating a boss, and that is good indication of good game design by Blizzard. As a game designer yourself, you would think this to be an important element in a good game wouldn’t you?

From what I’ve read from your comments, and articles, you have only Karazhan raiding experience (no 25 man raids), and are basing your arguments from only that. You can’t start bashing end game raiding if you haven’t experienced it yourself. Your views on end game raiding would be different if you were in a successful raiding guild.

Maybe you have had very bad experiences with raids, or maybe raiding just isn’t right for you. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and you are entitled to think anyway you want. You obviously have more MMO experiences than me, so you have other games to compare WoW’s raiding system with. My only other MMO experience is FFXI, which I really enjoyed, but thought it required way too much time in order to do anything (which is why I stopped).


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20 Comments

  1. Larísa August 19, 2008 5:10 am 

    You have written a very well formulated and balanced post. I’m not sure though if it really is right to give this guy any further attention. He seems to be posting the same stuff in several places to promote his raid hating blog. (See Lume the mad).
    I just hope he wont come harassing my blog.

  2. Joel August 19, 2008 9:57 am 

    After Muck said ” Me solo > your raid guild.”, I knew his rant would be whining about not being good enough for end game status. Some folks just aren’t cut out for it, and he is obviously one. You wrote a very well though out rebuttal to his placid argument, but I really don’t think he deserved a response, personally.

  3. Grainger August 19, 2008 3:02 pm 

    Nice write-up. I am one of those that is in the “really want to raid, but just haven’t been able to due to circumstance”. 3 nights a week is the perfect mix to allow yourself to work on alts, farm if you want or to do RL stuff.

    I found myself in a large guild that labeled itself a casual raiding guild. Since I was late to the game, I wasn’t 70 until most guilds had already gotten through most of Kara. My guild was behind the times and we ended up being a “feeder guild” for guilds that were more advanced. Since I had so many friends in my guild I found it quite hard to move on…and I was essentially too far behind to get involved in a real raiding guild (after 7 months and never making it past Shade – yes we were losing our good people every time we seemed to start to progress). As co-RL and MT (a position I never wanted) I was essentially re-teaching every fight on a weekly basis. Talk about burnout.

    I have since switched to horde and will have a rogue/hunter/mage all at 70 when the expansion hits. I am hopeful that the new raid system will allow those of us that like to raid but can’t do 25-mans have a better opportunity to see end-game content. My guild is very small and i don’t think I want to do the whole drama-scene and politics of a large guild again. I think PuGs will at least be a reasonable opportunity in WotLK – and a chance to make raid alliances.

    It’s a tough situation. You need a consistent group, but in doing so, it often leaves other guildies out of the loop and (in my experience and word-of-mouth) it seems that most guilds that raid (progression raid, I mean) do not even give a large number of folks a chance. I may be way off with that, but that’s been the perception and feedback I received. It’s like, if you aren’t in a “raiding-click” you might as well find something else to do.

  4. Muckbeast August 19, 2008 6:12 pm 

    TUNA: Great, interesting post. Thanks for visiting my blog as well. I appreciate it.

    On the issue of trash, I am going to keep it simple and go with three comments:

    1) The very fact that people call it “trash” is a big clue regarding how people feel about it. There was no such concept as “trash” before WoW/AoC/FFXI.

    2) There is no good reason for making people re-clear trash. Yes, most bosses allow a couple of wipes. But what if you wipe more than that? If you do, it means you are probably already kinda frustrated and unhappy. The respawn of trash usually results in “end of raid” and everyone slunks off unhappy and bummed, tons of consumables wasted, and a big fat repair bill. I don’t think trash should ever respawn in a dungeon.

    3) Trash Rep Runs: This gets to an entirely other issue, but this wouldn’t be a problem if the whole raid lockout concept didn’t exist. If they saved the instances in a different way, and let people go into a ‘saved’ version or a fresh version, you’d have a much better way to provide people with rep trash to clear. Or even separate wings not connected to bosses that were designed for single groups to fight respawning trash and 5 man bosses. The possibilities here are endless if the developer wants to put the effort and imagination into it.

    TUNA:

    As a married person, do you think it was really worth all the broken friendships, drama, anger, rage, arguments, etc. that it took to get to that point (marriage)?

    This gets to my problem with the way Blizzard/Square/Funcom have heaped such an enormous importance and gravitas onto raiding. The very fact that someone feels it is legit to compare working to maintain a raid guild and working to maintain a marriage means the importance people attach to raiding has gotten out of hand.

    TUNA:

    Knowing how to beat a boss doesn’t mean the boss will automatically be beaten. If it were so, then every guild would have Kil’jaeden down by now. It still requires a lot of attempts and practice in order to kill the boss.

    I agree completely. But I think a well designed game would have a lot more people one-shotting bosses that they have never fought before.

    The WoW-style raid encounter basically REQUIRES wiping over and over to learn their abilities and practice reacting to the random and arbitrary uber-death-attacks. I really dislike this. It feels extremely fake and frustrating.

    It is also really hurts immersion for me. I don’t feel like a hero when I know every new boss I encounter will require 3-10 deaths before I know exactly how to time my various actions.

    Here is a hypothetical:

    Imagine you could get the 25 most skilled WoW players in the world. Gather the perfect combination of classes. Let them play together for 6 months so they know each other well. Imagine they all get along and are great friends.

    Given that group of people, I think they should one shot 90% or more bosses the very first time. But we both know the reality is that even a group like this is going to have to wipe (a lot) on bosses when they first encounter them.

    The first time they have to just try out all their powers to figure out which ones work and which ones have no effect (usually a lot of them). This part alone is super painful imho. I don’t like the idea of the game just removing half my bag of tricks just because they feel like it.

    Then they have to last long enough to trigger various phases, each phase usually having some kind of insane “kill everyone” effect like: “everyone dies if you don’t move to spot X.” Each time you get to a new phase, you experience a new one of these, and then learn to avoid it the next time.

    Then they have to practice the timing of putting all of this together until they finally beat it.

    And then the next time it might not even work, because some of the stuff is so random you can get totally screwed through no fault of your own (like if a boss has an aggro dump and just happens to use it twice in a row and attack the same squishy, or if the boss spawns ‘helper’ mobs like Kiljadden’s orbs and they just happen to all be priest type, etc.).

    TUNA:

    If your raid roster decisions are being affected this way, maybe this is the reason why you aren’t having much success in raids.

    Well what were we supposed to do in that situation? The boss kept dropping the same type of tier glove token. We eventually got to a point where we either risked a tier token being completely wasted, or we tweaked our roster to bring someone who could use the mage/hunter/warlock token if it dropped.

    What would you recommend we did? Just go ahead and roster normally and dest the token? Incidentally, the mage/hunter/warlock token DID drop the next raid, so if we hadn’t adjusted our roster accordingly it would have been wasted.

    I didn’t say we wiped because of this. At that particular point in time, we were handling that boss pretty easily. The point is we had to change one of our roster spots SPECIFICALLY because of the bad loot system.

    TUNA:

    I agree that some bosses require certain types of classes in order to beat it, and it may seem unfair at times.

    I think it is beyond unfair… I think it is poor design.

    The raid encounters are designed to be SO incredibly specific that many (most) of them require very specific classes, powers, buffs, and/or debuffs.

    I’m fine with there being bosses were certain classes shine. I’m not fine with there being bosses where if you don’t have the right class combo, you absolutely fail every time.

    TUNA:

    Your example isn’t a good one. The reason why you killed Curator easily with a Shadow Priest, isn’t because you brought a Shadow Priest. You replaced a healer with a DPS class, and that is the real reason why you were successful.

    No, we replaced a hunter with a shadow priest, and it went from super hard to a breeze. It was the exact same player who played the hunter and then swapped to a shadow priest.

    TUNA:

    First you bash raid encounter designs for having players go through specific actions in specific times, and how it takes no skills and players don’t have to react to anything. Then you say there are too many randomness in encounters. Which is it? The fact is that players in a raid do have to think fast, and make many split second decisions during raids.

    Which is it? Both. The raids rely heavily on randomness and arbitratiness, and players follow a script rather than having to actually think. Players aren’t watching what happens, processing what it means, thinking about a response, and then carrying out a response. They see Attack X happen and know from their instructions that when Attack X happens they have to execute Maneuver B. They are never thinking of completely new and imaginative tactics or actions on the fly.

    It isn’t reacting to things when you know about it from reading 12 stratgies online and having the raid leader explain it 10 times over vent.

    When the unexpected happens in WoW raids, most people simply wipe. The game is designed such that an unexpected event is almost always fatal.

    TUNA:

    As a game designer yourself, you would think this to be an important element in a good game wouldn’t you?

    A certain amount of happiness over the achivement is good. But the level of intensity and gravity Blizzard, Square, and Funcom (to name three) build around raiding takes this too far.

    They expect daily farming of mats and gold. They expect 3-5 nights a week of raiding. They expect this if people want success. When you expect and demand that level of committment from your players, they are going to quickly develop an exaggerated sense of importance and accomplishment from raiding. That is where I think they take things too far.

    Thanks again for visiting my blog and for all your very intelligent, well reasoned posts from your point of view. :)

  5. Muckbeast August 19, 2008 6:13 pm 

    Joel:

    I knew his rant would be whining about not being good enough for end game status. Some folks just aren’t cut out for it, and he is obviously one.

    THANK YOU so much for posting this. This is the exact mentality that WoW style raiding fosters.

    I hate to break it to you, but I was plenty good enough for end game status. I was main tank for the raid guild I formed and ran, and we were #4 on server progression on our server for a long, long time. I have been main tank on numerous other games as well, and I’ve always been respected as one of the best tanks on the server.

    The kind of superior attitude you just demonstrated is the necessary and inevitable result of a game design that tries to make everyone feel raid success equates to real life success. That is a fallacy that badly warps some people’s brains.

  6. Nick S August 19, 2008 11:57 pm 

    All of Muckbeast’s points are valid. Trash is lame sometimes (the pulls between Curator and Shade are incredibly tedious.) Raiding does pigeonhole people into specific roles. People do get sucked into the game and forget about real life. And, probably worst of all, personality conflicts are a serious problem with MMOs.

    None of that makes me not like raiding, or makes me think I should find more “worthwhile” pursuits. Yeah, there are parts of raiding that I don’t like, but it’s part of a larger deal which balances out well for me. In that sense, I think the analogy to marriage is very apt – if you believe in the good, you’ll put up with the bad. I feel good when I log on at night to joke around with guildies before a raid, and when we have a good night of raiding, it’s as much fun as you can have sitting in front of a computer screen.

    As for the Curator example, when we were stonewalled on him we were advised to have a Warrior in Defensive stance pick up the adds as they popped. I’ve never heard the Shadow Priest thing (though it makes sense) but there’s always more than one way to skin a cat. Just because a cat-skinning knife is best doesn’t mean the game is broken. That’s one of the things I love about the game – there are so many unique game mechanics out there that you can find a way to achieve almost anything.

    All of that said, though, I don’t blame Mr. Muckbeast for disliking the game, not at all. It’s not for everyone, and I’ve seen plenty of people burn out on it. I hope his issues find their audience, because they are representative of some real problems with the game.

    Thankfully, it’s clear that issues like the ones he raises have found their way to the ears of WoW’s dev team – so many of the changes in Wrath are clearly designed to address the kinds of things he has a problem with.

  7. Zupa August 20, 2008 1:41 am 

    Well that was an entertaining read, thanks Tuan and MB.

    I think that there is no definitive raid experience in wow, or end-game experience. How these elements of the game are experienced depends upon so many factors, from an individual’s class, spec and gear, through to their state of mind, level of skill, knowledge and experience, and perhaps most importantly, the group they are with.

    A hard-core 6 day a week raiding guild’s raid will be very different to a casual weekend kara run with a couple of PuGs to make up the numbers.

    A tank with exceptional healers will have a different experience to a struggling undergeared DPS class, even in the very same raid instance.

    How enjoyable this end-game experience is, and how it affects a person’s life outside of wow, again, is different for us all.

    This was highlighted for me when reading MB’s posts about the elements of the game he finds less than satisfactory. I have experienced these same things he mentions, yet I don’t feel the same way about them.

    I have experienced excessive trash clearing. I have experienced excessive boss wiping. I have experienced first progression kills after afore mentioned excessive wiping. I have experienced the nerdgasms on vent. I have spent hours farming trash sunwell. I have even spent multiple hours wiping on murmur. I have been in 40 man raids, I have stormed through heroics with tight-knit 5 man groups. I have studied strats, and then executed them perfectly on raid night, while other times we throw the strat out the window and go with something else during the raid.

    What I’m trying to say is that I have enjoyed the elements of the end game which MB finds distasteful. I have done it with a great team, and I have laughed my ass off and had a great time.

    A recent example was learning the Kael fight. Super fun. I wasn’t even there the following week for the first kill, but I still enjoyed the learning, the wiping, the new content and the camaraderie that is evident whenever my guild raids.

    So what’s the difference? Is it simply the fact that I’m DPS and MB is a tank? Could it be that my guild environment is more condusive to enjoyable raiding experiences?

    Or is it a simple matter of mindset?

    The game can only be as fun as you make it.

  8. Zupa August 20, 2008 2:15 am 

    edit: Just read up on more of Muckbeast’s site about his anti-raid ranting.

    It certainly seems as though his WoW raiding experience is limited to Kara, and at least one gruuls run.

    Personally I don’t count 10 mans as raids.

    I feel that this level of experience does not put a person in a position to critique the end game experience of WoW, simply because, they haven’t actually experienced it.

    Am I wrong? Have you actually been through MC, BWL and Naxx? Have you set foot inside AQ 20 or 40? Experienced TK, SSC, Hyjal or BT? How about ZG? ZA?

    No?

    Would love to see your armory profile MuckBeast, as it would give us a clear picture of your end game experience and thus the credibility of your writing.

  9. Muckbeast August 20, 2008 3:04 am 

    Nick S: Good post and interesting analysis. I don’t “hate the game.” I loved leveling up in WoW. I loved PvP before TBC and arenas. I actually like some things about raiding. There are some elements of raid design that I find VERY annoying, and I think can be done better. I list them in more detail on my blog over here: http://www.muckbeast.com (Tuna is discussing it there as well).

    Zupa wrote: “Is it simply the fact that I’m DPS and MB is a tank?”

    You know what Zupa, you could be on to something. I think the way WoW treats tanks (prot warriors in particular) is just cruel and unusual. I could start a whole new huge argument about that, so I’ll skip the details. On the flip side, I always felt like WoW/Blizz bent over backwards to make my rogue tons of fun and made out of awesome. My prot warrior seemed to get the shaft each and every patch. Perhaps that is indeed part of the personal problem for me. But I do think many of the specific issues I have with raiding are things that could be improved upon to make them more fun for everyone. :)

    And just so you know, our guild made it through Black Temple and stopped (we did every single pre-TBC raid except Naxx). I try to keep most of my specific examples to the earlier raids so more people can understand the context.

  10. Joel August 20, 2008 3:10 pm 

    “I hate to break it to you, but I was plenty good enough for end game status. I was main tank for the raid guild I formed and ran, and we were #4 on server progression on our server for a long, long time.”-Muckbeast

    I hate to break it to you, but folks who have succeeded at end game raiding just don’t end up as bitter as you are. Regardless you *all of a sudden* throwing out you’ve cleared BT after not mentioning anything past Kara before.
    Regardless, your opinions mean little to me, maybe you should pick up an easier game, like chess. But you’d find stuff to bitch about there, too. LOL!

  11. Muckbeast August 20, 2008 3:26 pm 

    Actually Joel, most people I know that have quit WoW and raiding are just as bitter as I am if not more so.

    Most of these people lament how far behind they got with work, career, or school. Some are even worse off: ruined relationships, lost friends, etc.

    But hey, keep using that superior attitude to feel better about yourself. Success at raiding is more important than success at life, right? :)

    -Cambios
    Blogging about Online Gaming and Virtual Worlds:
    http://www.muckbeast.com

  12. Muckbeast August 20, 2008 3:26 pm 

    OMG. I didn’t notice this at first:

    > maybe you should pick up an easier game, like chess.

    Chess easier than WoW? *chuckle*

    You realize WoW is the easiest MMO on the market, right?

    -Cambios
    Blogging about Online Gaming and Virtual Worlds:
    http://www.muckbeast.com

  13. Sojourner August 21, 2008 12:12 am 

    I don’t think muckbeast should be using the comments section for his own advertisement. Put him on the WoW Podcast some time if he has that much to say. Still, interesting discourse Tuna! :)

  14. Muckbeast August 21, 2008 2:31 am 

    Soujourner, what gives? When Tuna posts on my blog, I am perfectly happy that he links back to his as well.

    In the gaming blogosphere, it is to everyone’s benefit for writers of interesting blogs to link back and forth to each other and generate discussion on each other’s blogs.

    This is a good thing!

    I enjoy his participation on my blog and I hope he enjoys my participation on his.

    -Cambios
    Blogging about Online Gaming and Virtual Worlds:
    http://www.muckbeast.com

  15. Tuna August 21, 2008 4:23 am 

    @ Muckbeast

    Sorry, your comments kept getting caught by Akismet as spam, so I had to manually recover all your comments.

    “The respawn of trash usually results in “end of raid” and everyone slunks off unhappy and bummed, tons of consumables wasted, and a big fat repair bill. I don’t think trash should ever respawn in a dungeon.”

    I believe there is a nice balance in trash between bosses right now in end game raiding. For example, in Sunwell, it takes 25 minutes to clear trash to first boss, 5 mins of trash to the 2nd boss, no trash to the 3rd boss. Good time to take a break. 15 minutes to clear to 4th boss, 10 minutes to clear to 5th boss, and no trash for the last boss. The timer on all the trash is about 2hrs.

    I think Blizz usually makes the first set of trash the longest, and first boss is usually the test of “are you ready for this instance?”

    Yes it is very frustrating when you put in a bunch of attempts on a boss, then trash respawns (been there many times). Clearing trash again (which many of us actually look forward to) isn’t the end of the world though, and the drops are more than worth the extra time to clear. Some of the “best” pieces of loot drops from the trash clears.

    About repair bills, maybe it is just in my guild but for progression fights (bosses not on farm), the guild pays our repair bills. They also pay for all respec costs for any players that are asked to respec (due to lack of dps or heals). Again, all guilds are run differently, and all players have different experiences.

    Wasting raid consumables has never been an issue at all for me. Most raiding guilds have characters of all professions, so an hour of farming mats will last you a week or two of raiding.

    “Or even separate wings not connected to bosses that were designed for single groups to fight respawning trash and 5 man bosses.”

    At first this idea seemed very good to me, but the more I thought about it, it seemed a bit off to me. Maybe because I’m looking at it from a different perspective. To me, I think reputation should come naturally as you progress through the instance.

    For example, I hit exaulted with the Ashtongue on the Illidari Council (due to my human racial) and the rest of the guild hit exaulted when we got Illidan down.

    To me, trash has to be cleared on the way to the next boss. It gives a sort of flow to the instance, and is usually a good indication of what kind of boss you are about to clear (lots of AoE on trash usually means AoE is required on boss).

    “The very fact that someone feels it is legit to compare working to maintain a raid guild and working to maintain a marriage means the importance people attach to raiding has gotten out of hand.”

    I didn’t mean to make them out to be the same, I meant that both have their ups and downs, and some people think it is worth it, some don’t.

    When M’uru died, I thought it was a huge accomplishment, in a video game. Some people could care less. My younger sister just graduated college. I think that is a huge accompishment, to others, that might not mean anything at all. “Graduate college!? PShh! Try giving birth!”

    “What would you recommend we did? Just go ahead and roster normally and dest the token? Incidentally, the mage/hunter/warlock token DID drop the next raid, so if we hadn’t adjusted our roster accordingly it would have been wasted.”

    Since it was on a boss you have already mastered, then sure it’s to swap out players to allow others a chance at loot (we do it all the time). I only meant on progression fights, or fights which you still have difficulties on.

    Even so, I agree that loot shouldn’t dictate who you should bring to a fight. You would still bring tanks to a fight even if all of them don’t need loot off the next boss. There will always be a time where no one needs loot, and drops will be disenchanted or destroyed.

    “I’m fine with there being bosses were certain classes shine. I’m not fine with there being bosses where if you don’t have the right class combo, you absolutely fail every time.”

    It is harsh that some fights need the right class combo, but if you have gotten your guild to a point where you can do 25 man raids, then you *shouldn’t* have a problem with not having the right class. You *should* have at least one of each class. If Blizz designed it so that you *didn’t* need to bring a class, I think it would be poorly designed. Your core 25-35 raiders of *all* classes should be all you need.

    “No, we replaced a hunter with a shadow priest, and it went from super hard to a breeze. It was the exact same player who played the hunter and then swapped to a shadow priest.”

    You probably made a mistake in your example then (you said priest switched to s.spriest). Even so, a S.Priest isn’t required to beat the boss. The fact that it helped make the fight easier was because as a raid, you guys didn’t have the DPS to take him down quickly, and mana was becoming an issue. It could be other factors as well. You could have added a Rogue instead, making sparks easier, giving you more DPS time on Curator, which takes him down faster, and so on.

    “The WoW-style raid encounter basically REQUIRES wiping over and over to learn their abilities and practice reacting to the random and arbitrary uber-death-attacks. I really dislike this. It feels extremely fake and frustrating.”

    To me, this is the fun part about raiding. Doing a boss, seeing what abilities he does, discussing and figuring out ways to counter each ability. That’s is the best part of progression in my opinion. In end game raiding, strategies you find don’t give you a step by step on how to win. They merely tell you what abilities the boss can do. It is up to you to figure out how to deal with them.

    If the boss happens to do a double aggro dump, then the third tank should pick him up until the first two can regain aggro. Or if the 3rd aggro on the list was a Rogue, he could pop Evasion and tank him for the duration until tanks can get aggro again. If Priest clones spawn on Kil’jaeden, then all DPS switch off Kil’jaeden and concentrate on the clones and keep them stunned or silenced.

    Yes random things like this can happen, but it doesn’t mean it is an automatic wipe. You learn to react to this on your own. No boss guide told us to do this for Kil’jaeden, it’s something you learn for yourself.

    “They see Attack X happen and know from their instructions that when Attack X happens they have to execute Maneuver B. They are never thinking of completely new and imaginative tactics or actions on the fly.

    It isn’t reacting to things when you know about it from reading 12 stratgies online and having the raid leader explain it 10 times over vent. “

    You can’t say this about the first couple of guilds who have down a boss before everyone else with out the aid of boss strategies. If it was impossible to do these bosses without a strategy telling them what to do, then how did these guilds do it?

    This isn’t the fault of the game design, it is the fault of the community. When people find out that a certain strategy works, they use it, even if there are other ways to doing it. The first successful boss strategy is usually the last, and this shouldn’t be the way. But it is.

    Even if Blizz designed a fight to have 20 different ways to handle the fight, the first way discovered will be “the way”. People would think, “Hey, they did it first, it must be the best and fastest way.”

    “I find it super frustrating to have my favorite powers constantly getting “shut off” in the battles that matter most. :(

    The way I see it is, it is a boss that takes 25 players to take him down, some abilities of the players (which works on enemies of the same level), *shouldn’t* work on the boss. For example, Illidan shouldn’t be able to be stunned by a player. You are not as powerful as him to be able to stun him. Later on in the fight, Maiev Shadowsong (who is powerful enough to be compared to Illidan) IS able to stun him and help you out. She can and should be able to, because she is a “boss type” NPC.

    BTW, if you have been through Black Temple, and don’t think this fight is an “Epic” fight, then I am not sure WoW can provide you the “Epicness” you desire. This fight, in my opinion, is one of the best fights in the game.

    “They expect daily farming of mats and gold. They expect 3-5 nights a week of raiding. They expect this if people want success. When you expect and demand that level of committment from your players, they are going to quickly develop an exaggerated sense of importance and accomplishment from raiding.”

    “No sacrifice, no victory!” I think that was a quote from the Transformers movie (lol) but it works :) Everything in life requires an amount of commitment and sacrifice if you want to achieve.

    If a person gets a big promotion at work, but at the cost of family time (staying late at work everyday, not spending time with kids, etc.), would you consider that a false sense of accomplishment? I don’t think it is worth the chance at destroying your family for. Yea this is an over exaggerated point like yours, but it still applies.

    All achievements in life are different, and can’t be, and shouldn’t be compared. And they are labeled as such. That’s why we hear “medical achievement” or “career achievement” or “personal achievement”. To me, beating a difficult boss would be a “gaming achievement”, but an achievement nonetheless.

  16. Flaime September 2, 2008 1:54 pm 

    BTW, if you have been through Black Temple, and don’t think this fight is an “Epic” fight, then I am not sure WoW can provide you the “Epicness” you desire. This fight, in my opinion, is one of the best fights in the game.

    Ah…here’s the rub. Epic is, somehow, a subjective definition…Though I’m not sure how it came to be that way…

    You define a whole bunch of people taking on 1 big boss (and maybe some little bosses) as epic. To me, that’s not epic.

    Epic is 1 man or even 5 men taking on a god, or taking on a thousand and winning. The exploits of Hercules, and Frodo are epic. Hell, Frodo is more epic because until the end of the 3rd book, the idiot he had as his helper was more hinderance than aid.

    I enjoy WoW. I enjoy it far more than any other MMORPG I have played (DDO would have been good it it weren’t for all the forced grouping, and the Korean ones that I have liked fail because of the RMT environment, which ALWAYS sucks beyond imagining). But there is nothing in WoW that is all that epic.

    Flaimes last blog post..The sphere around us

  17. galacticos January 28, 2009 8:01 am 

    Galacticos Best Counter Strike Team In Israel

  18. Jane February 16, 2009 12:01 am 

    Wow raiding has been stressful on my relationship, it’s a hard game to stop playing

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