Saturday, July 4, 2015

Been Rather Busy, But a Cross-Post...

I apologize for the vast delay on...well, anything happening here.  RL has been busy, WoW has been busy, other games have kept me busy.  A few things of note:

1, my guild got 13/13H week one of Hellfire Citadel on two nights a week which was technically US 30th (despite killing Archimonde on Monday night at about 11 PM CST).  Very happy about that.  We prepared a lot (no PTR testing, didn't work for our schedule -- Sun/Mon is fun) and it paid off.

2, I was interviewed on the Twisted Nether blogcast.  So if you want to hear me ramble on for two hours feel free to check it out.

3, I'm still running weekly Openraid runs, switched to normal Hellfire Citadel with the release of 6.2.  May possibly switch to heroic a few months down the line, but we stick with normal until we're full clearing it consistently and people don't need much gear from it.  If you're new there's no guarantee you'll have a spot (some weeks we have like 20ish, some weeks we're at the max of 30) but if you're interested then feel free to sign up.  The run is meant for anyone -- have a mix of casual members in guild, alts in guild, bored mains in guild, and friends both on and off server.  That said, like the description says, it IS normal and thus you need to be willing to, well, actually try.  We don't expect perfection or even anything remotely close to it but if you show up completely unenchanted with empty sockets and try to AFK fights, well...

I'm working on another post at the moment but I got distracted by what wound up being a very a long comment on another blog so I decided to post said comment here as well.  In general, I've been enjoying WoD and particularly the raids.  I hardly think the expansion is perfect (both the garrison and shipyard have many issues, for example) but I admit it annoys me when I see people try to pick on WoD unjustifiably (stick to the justifiable stuff, please).

So I saw this post and left the following comment...


I don't think this is exactly fair:

"WoD will clearly be marked as the expansion with the least amount of content since launch.  2.5 raid tiers, 8 dungeons, no races, no classes, Garrisons, which killed cities, Ashran which put the final nail in open world PvP, a near-complete destruction of crafting.  But we got selfies."

1, WoD launched with Shadowmoon Valley/Frostfire Ridge (I'll combine them as they're mostly faction specific even though they each took an entire's zone of work), Gorgrond, Talador, Spires of Arak, and Nagrand.  So that's five "main" zones for leveling and I'd also point out that many of those are larger than past leveling zones.

BC launched with seven, best case -- Hellfire, Zangarmarsh, Terokkar, Nagrand, Blade's Edge, Netherstorm, Shadowmoon.  Terokkar/Blade's Edge were both smaller zones and Netherstorm/Shadowmoon were mostly intended for max level (while in WoD specific segments of those five zones were set aside for max level to continue previous storylines).  So even if you argue that BC had more in that regard, it's not substantially more.

In theory, WotLK had eight...except two are basically mutually exclusive (similar to Shadowmoon/Frostfire in that regard), Grizzly/Zul'drak were smaller, and Icecrown/Storm Peaks had mostly max level content.

Cataclysm hit us with Vashj'ir/Hyjal (same mutually exclusive thing), Deepholm, Uldum, and Twilight Highlands.  So that's five absolute best case, more like four if we compare to WoD (though, in all fairness, they did need to revamp all the earlier leveling zones in Azeroth).

MoP had six best case with Valley/Krasarang really "one" zone rolled into two names, size/story wise.

Put that all together and WoD equaled or exceeded MoP for sure, definitely exceeded Cataclysm (though leveling revamp), was about equal (maybe slightly smaller) than WotLK, and about the same as BC.

2, the raid tiers have 30 bosses between them (also note that Blizzard has explicitly said they want to get closer to a year between expansions, which means you can only realistically HAVE two raid tiers if they have like 12+ bosses per tier (about six months for each) so expecting more than that means you also have to take issue with Blizzard's expansion goal) -- and we'll lay aside quality for the moment (since it take massively more amounts of work to not only design modern bosses compared to something like BC but also to balance them for multiple difficulties -- LFR doesn't take careful tuning but Normal/Heroic do and Mythic is very tight tuning).

BC had three bosses in t4, 10 bosses in t5, and 14 bosses in t6.  That gives us 27 total (not counting Sunwell since that was planned for WotLK and only introduced to avoid too long of a wait -- hence something like that could technically happen for WoD still).  That doesn't include the 13 bosses in Karazhan (if we count every Opera boss individually) or 6 in Zul'Aman but the raids were also designed for only one size (and difficulty, but we said we'd leave difficulties/tuning/quality out of it for now).  Overall, though, absolute best case we have 52 bosses for 22 months of BC (counting Sunwell) compared to (theoretically) 30 bosses for maybe 13-14 months (hopefully) of WoD.  Ratio of 2.36 for BC and 2.14-2.31 for WoD which isn't far off.

WotLK technically had 15 bosses in Naxx (though given that they literally just adjusted some numbers and the tuning was laughable I'm not sure how much that counts), 1 in Malygos, 14 in Ulduar, 5 in Trial of the Crusader, and 12 in Icecrown Citadel (ignoring Ruby Sanctum since it was added as filler and literally was only 1 boss anyway, wouldn't even make a significant difference).  So best case (even WITH Ruby Sanctum) we're looking at 48 bosses for 25 months which is a ratio of 1.92...which is worse than both BC and WoD, especially given the lack of effort needed for Naxx.

Cataclysm had 28 bosses TOTAL counting Sinestra.  That's just flat out less than WoD.

Mists of Pandaria had 42 bosses for 25 months, or 1.68 ratio...not exactly a "good" ratio there compared WoD.

The funny thing is that people didn't complain about the lack of overall raid content in WotLK/Cata/MoP despite the fact the ratio was "lower" than BC -- they really only complained about super long final patches.  And that "ratio" can't even afford to get too high -- guilds can only go through raid bosses so fast.  Even if Blizzard could drop a 10 boss raid zone on us every month it wouldn't make any sense to do so, we can't consume the content at that pace.

So really, the only reason you could complain about the "lack" of raid content in WoD is if you want the time between expansions to be longer than Blizzard's stated goal...which I guess you'd do because you're concerned about the one-time expansion purchase fee or something?

3, no races/classes.  This is completely a matter of personal taste -- I don't *want* new classes and I don't care about new races either.  Remember that a new race also means every piece of gear needs to work for that new race too and a new class can cause major issues (balancing 11 classes is already a major problem -- and I don't mean Blizzard is incompetent, I mean that it's really hard to do).  I admit it kind of feels like the people usually wanting new races/classes are the people NOT doing high end PvE/PvP.  I'm not saying you're "inferior" or something if you don't engage in either of those, just keep in mind that our perspectives are vastly different about some things.

4, Garrisons.  I honestly don't know what "killed cities" means in this context.  I didn't pay attention to other players in cities before and I can still meet people in many locations (including garrisons AND cities) if I want.  The only times I really recall cities "mattering" are...

Vanilla: people tried to show off gear on Ironforge bridge and people spammed trade for groups.

BC: people spammed trade for groups.

WotLK: people spammed trade for groups.

Beyond that?...  I mean, I guess people sometimes people spammed trade for actual trade...but that still happens today too.

I interact with people in guild chat, group finder (as in pre-made raid group tool), OpenRaid, and blogs mainly.  Cities never really played a role.

5, Ashran.  I'll admit I don't really follow/participate in PvP much these days so I'll just skip this point.  Maybe you're right, we can try to discuss it if you want, but I'm not sure it's really important in the grand scheme of things (aka, even if you're 100% right on that I don't think it would matter if you weren't right on everything else).

6, Crafting.  I honestly don't know what you want.  Vanilla/BC crafting was terrible -- complete RNG for rare open world drops for the most part, some raid drops I think?  I got a rare tailoring belt pattern in BC and had a monopoly on it for a while since only I could provide the primals.  Made me a lot of money but I don't think it was a good system.  Saying that everyone can slowly work towards items with daily cooldowns seems to generally have been the best system yet.  Yes, it does mean that there was little people could do outside of the daily cooldowns.  I'm not saying it's perfect, but what crafting system in WoW was better?  Remember, you said it was a "near-complete destruction of crafting" :P

7, selfies.  I'm pretty sure a Blue posted that the vast majority of the "feature" was done by one employee over a weekend or three.  If I'm wrong I will gladly retract this statement but I seem to recall that.  And as a programmer myself I can assure you that adding the "selfie" feature would not have been a major ordeal.  We didn't lose a raid tier because of selfies.  The music jukebox honestly probably took more work but you don't see people complaining about that.


  1. Well, you're right :)

    I think that the main problem is that there's no content which "feels" new. Quests? Same old stuff. Dungeons? Still have trash and bosses. Reputations? Just grind it and do dailies. Raids? Big bosses you group up to kill. Crafting? Get ingredients, open window, press button.

    Garrisons "felt" new for one month, then it was clear that they were no more than an apdatation of a tablet game to WoW. Which, BTW, I think it's exactly what they were planned to be.

    Even if I agree 100% with you, I can understand why people complain: the "newness" factor is a very important factor in MMOs and games in general (as the number of three-monthers show). WoW is 10 years old, it's only natural that at it reaches a moment when it's so familiar it "feels boring". With any other game, that's the moment you stop to play (which is exactly what I did), strangely enough, a lot of people feel like they "must" continue to play..... I'll never understand why, I think.

    1. "I think that the main problem is that there's no content which 'feels' new."

      In all fairness, if you insisted on not being interested in anything beyond leveling, solo quests/reps at max level for gear, random dungeons for gear, and maybe some LFR for gear (which you could do in all previous expansions) then WoD would have sucked. And a *lot* of people apparently did that. They didn't want to get involved in an Arena or Rated Battleground team (or even random Battlegrounds). They didn't want to join a guild for normal/heroic/mythic raids (or even try to PUG with the tool Blizzard put in or tools like OpenRaid). They didn't want to chase down the 62 different quest achievements Blizzard put in for the open world (not joking about that number -- there's so many even I never did them!) or other "random" things.

      But that's hardly the same thing as "no content to do," y'know? And it's not like all of that requires a heavily or steady commitment of time -- I can certainly understand that not everyone has the skill or schedule to do Mythic raiding. But nearly everyone can do at least normal raiding if they try (whether in a guild or PUGs) and on whatever schedule they want.

      That said, your point IS also valid -- some people just got tired of MMOs, especially the ones who played solo (as in actually solo or as in random dungeon/LFR groups) and thus do not have the social interactions of guilds/arena teams/etc. But I don't think it's the whole story.

      "Garrisons "felt" new for one month, then it was clear that they were no more than an apdatation of a tablet game to WoW."

      Garrisons definitely have had a lot of major issues for sure. I'm honestly not even sure if they're an overall positive (I think at least SOME aspects are positive but they may be outweighed by the negatives).

      "I can understand why people complain: the "newness" factor is a very important factor in MMOs and games in general"

      Oh sure. I was talking with a friend about Civ V the other day and he was saying how he found it more fun/engaging BEFORE he knew how everything worked and it became far more mechanical. I think the same is probably true for me too -- I was completely clueless when I picked up Civ V (it's amusing to look at some saves of early games) but boy was I having fun.

      Now it feels more like a chess/strategy game than an "adventure through time."