Mar 24, 2009

Raiding, 3.1 and achievements.

zzz Every now and then I read forums. I visit new blogs. Curious to find news about the game, fresh info about 3.1, whatever, I do it. And more often than not I regret taking the effort lately, as the general gossip and bits of news to be snapped up, have never been so grave from my POV.
Thousands of players are waiting eagerly for the next big content patch for WoW, hoping for months of fresh content to battle against. Ulduar has since it was announced been hailed but perhaps more importantly hyped as the next, harder, tougher, unforgiving raiding tier. The vast majority of the wow population has seen all WOTLK has had to offer so far and are rightfully feeling bored out of their minds. If you wonder why that is, Axiom offers great insights, and although all emo sensors known will overload upon loading his blog, he does have some fair points. He is also one of the causes for my heartache in the first paragraph. Its downright depressing reading, fresh as his lingo might be.
Now, I didn’t start writing here with the intent to bash his blog though, and for what it is, he writes well. What I wanted to vent about is this snippet, snagged from his blog which was in turn taken from mmo-champion apparently.
Raids & Dungeons - Hard Mode
Ulduar has a ton of bosses. While I’m sure some players would love for us to deliver an instance with that level of content every month or so (and throw in a 5-player run to boot!), it’s not in the cards, at least not for the next couple of years.

Instead, what we tried to do with Ulduar is offer a lot of different ways to play the encounters. While the progress-oriented guilds may clear it quickly, we hope that some of the hard modes will offer them a lot to chew on. All of the players who are somewhere between barely being able to clear the instance and the “world first” crowd should be able to find a comfortable difficulty level as well.
Your old model towards end game was a success, it brought you eleven million players.
Most of whom never had a chance to finish a raid. They didn’t get to see some of the best art in the game, hear the unique music or voice over, or in many cases even see the villian at the end of their quest line. From a production POV, instances are very expensive. It seems an odd choice to lavish all that attention on such a tiny percent of the player base.
At the same time, we know there are players who love a challenge and are willing to do almost anything to beat a raid-destroying boss provided they also have a shot at the best loot. They don’t want the instances to be over too soon. They like banging their head against the wall.
And so hard modes were born. We tested the water a little with Obsidian Sanctum. We’re going full bore with Ulduar.
Lets take a moment and review what they are saying here. So.. If I read this right, we get an instance puggable within the first weeks, that will follow the achievement hunter model of Sartharion. Great.. Let me offer my piece on just that.
Ever since I learned and experienced that the new take on raiding at 80 was based on the achievement hunter formula, I’ve found a growing distaste for raiding. It started with looking over the heroic 5 man achievements and the stupid, stupid drive to complete them and peaked with Sartharion 3D. Or so I thought. It seems this has been deemed a great way to provide content for raiders and it is going “full bore”, whatever that means, in Ulduar. I don’t like the sound of it.
Not one bit in fact, and I completely agree with Axiom on the point he makes in another post. It is the same damned instance, 10 and 25 just means we do it twice per reset just with 24 or 9 others. When we clear it, we will go back next week for the same instance again, and when we feel confident about the gear collected from there, guess what, we will go and do the same damned instance again.
Leaving a few raiders out for the sake of 10 achievement points, doing the same bosses with an add or two for another 10 points, neglecting parts of the tactics for the bosses so that they are no longer dumbed down enough for your average PUG for another 10 points..
I want to ask you readers, what is the worth of those achievements, the completely useless score you earn, the slightly recoloured proto-drake you might get instead of one that drops in a 5 man heroic or from the oracles rep? Do you feel the same drive to compete and try to reach for those, compared to the old raid progress formula, where you had raiders working to beat Lady Vasjh, and others were wiping or defeating Illidan or Kil’Jaeden? When we didnt have every single purple hunting player stuck in the same damned instance ?
Is this what we want?

1 comment:

Longasc said...

My suggestions for Ulduar achievements:

A.) Every boss should be able to be defeated by casual gamers within 1-2 tries.

B.) For the Hardcore players that like to bang their head against a wall, we offer the following ACHIEVEMENT CHALLENGE:

1.) Do the raid with 7/18 players only, leave your guild mates behind! You get a freshly re-colored Protodrake + an achievement

2.) Stand in black holes and glowy crap 75% of the time! (achievement)

3.) Tanks may not parry or block attacks! (achievement)

4.) Play without any addons (SCNR... getting sarcastic)

5., 6., 7., 8., basically, do everything you can imagine to make the super simple boss artifically hard! ACHIEVEMENT + EXTRA LOOT.

I am no longer playing WoW, and I am SURE this will not bring me back.

Does this really make "casuals" happy to get stuff handed on a platter? WoW was growing with 90% of the people not seeing endgame content.

Now they see it, and it rewards making piss easy and mostly boring encounters artifically more difficult by intentionally limiting yourself and playing in a dumb way, because an achievement says so.

I loved the landscape of WOTLK and the quests who had some more imagination and variety behind them, but the dumbed down instances and raids are totally turning away, I think both casuals, who are probably not after raiding as endgame content at all, and hardcore alike.