Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Guilds Don't Progress, and "Seeing Content"

Namthe recently quoted a (casual?) friend of his, whom responded to his (widly-held) complaint of raids being too easy...

Are you kidding me? You can’t wait 4 weeks for a new challenge while less hardcore players get a chance to see the content you’ve been taking for granted?

This made me stop and think, about what keeps guilds from seeing content? Is it difficulty?

I'm fairly convinced that it is not how hard Bosses hit, or how many HP they have, and that the 3.0 nerf won't result in any significant, widespread availability of content - it actually hurts the still-raiding player base.

The reason guilds don't progress comes down, plain and simple, to issues surrounding its members. Lets look at some situations...

1) A guild doesn't possess 10 or 25, active, raiding members (plus extras for replacements)
2) A guild has enough raiders, but they don't log on in unison.
3) The guild is a revolving door, and new members force the re-learning of old content, while keeping any consecutive time on new content from happening.
4) A guild does not have enough members willing to put in the time/effort/consumables/repairs to learn new bosses / boss mechanics.

Nerfing a bosses health and damage does not change any of those factors. There are no fights that cannot be overcome by a fairly-regular, dedicated, prepared group of people willing to put in the time.

Now, those seem like reasonable requirements. And you may be thinking - my guild is like that, why aren't we farming Kil'Jaden? 

Time. LOKI got off to a late start, and has consistenly progressed, but that didn't put us into deep Sunwell before 3.0. There are countless other guilds that didn't form (or get past the above barriers to progression) until recently. And what do these guilds need? - Another month of being about to work on content. 

Example: Kadomi and (Daughters of the Horde) just got Hex down (Congrats, btw!), and were working on Zul'jin. I'm positive that they would have killed him pre-wrath, and had a satisfactory conclusion to BC. Likewise, LOKI was on the cusp of downing Kalecgos and being a legit Sunwell guild. In both cases, another month would have provided what would have felt like a legitimate, capstone achievement. 
What we got, however, was an anti-climatic *poof*. Robbed of any real chalange, we now wonder the glove, uncovering map, working on achievements, and occassionally going into instances where the single perk is spending time with the people we've struggeled together with in the past.

Honestly - if casual player's real desire was to just see the content - they could always come back at 80. However, I'm willing to bet that the great majority of such lv 70 players have not gone back and "seen" all of BWL, AQ40, ect. And its not how hard a boss hits, or their max HP thats keeping people from doing those encounters - its the same reasons they aren't raiding current content - there aren't enough people interested in putting in time and effort.

Regardless, whats done is done: we have been left with meeningless content a month earlier then we should have. Sigh.

13 comments:

Talldar said...

Whiner. Seriously, rantings such as this are just out of place. You'd have been ripped all those challenges with WotLK anyhow. And the nerf was announced early enough to realize how easy 3.0.2 will make things.

I got to see loads of new content due to the patch. There's PuGs for everything. I learn new encounters. The phase of "uuh aah you want to tank and aren't yet overgeared for the content? Begone with you!" is over. I can gear up SIGNIFICANTLY.

Who gets "hurt" with the patch? The people who have seen it all. That'd be about 2-3% of all players? The remaining >95% of us are frolicking and enjoying the easy access to stuff. Probably it's that we are still looking around and not only push from boss to boss as quickly as possible when we enter an instance, so we can enjoy it even if the encounters have become easy.

The content is "still there when they're 80"? There are casual players who haven't managed to see a lot of BC-content, nothing of endgame vanilla content. We won't see all of WotLK content either.

You missed out on 1 boss fight. Most players missed out on 4-5 complete raid instances. Whom should Blizzard do something good to for that one month?

Chad S. said...

I'm curious -

Have you personally gone back and done all the level 60 content? If not, then I don't know why you needed new stuff brought down to this low difficulty level - there's plenty to "see" in AQ40, BWL, ect, that any group of half-committed green-geared 70s can do.

There is no reason, other then lack of effort, that you couldn't go kill C'thun tonight and see something new. There is no reason, other then lack of effort, that you couldn't come back and kill Kil'Jaden at 80.

The people that got "hurt" by the patch are the ones that were still progressing, and wanted new bosskills to mean something.

If the game provides no challenge, then why play? You might as well be watching a movie of the fight on YouTube.

Talldar said...

I've seen a lot of 60-stuff back then, so no, personally I've not gone back for the rest of it. Granted, I overreacted in my first comment.

Sorry for that.

I'm just sick of all the people complaining and complaining - the WoW community is so full of whining, it's ridiculous.

For me it's not a question of effort alone, there's always the factor time. Raiding takes time, a lot in fact. And if you're a casual player the patch-ease of content is nothing but a great thing to happen, because it opens up everything you couldn't manage to achieve until now.

Also, it's not the same as 60 content. It's easy as hell if it's the same content you did already, the content you're geared for. With the patch things shifted about two-three Tiers down, so if an unexperienced and heavily undergeared group now attempts BT, it's not a walkthrough of ancient stuff, it's live content to experience and it is pretty challenging, still.

I've read an idea some place else, which was that they could've added a "Heroic Mode"-switch to Raids, essentially making the nerf optional. Granted, that would've been better. Still, I welcome the nerf. And still I think the few that have nothing to do now could be a bit more open about the fact that the changes are great for most people.

After all, and especially after reading it again now, my first comment was kind of unapproriate there.

Namthe said...

@talldar:

I've suggested the normal/heroic option, but I don't for a minute imagine I've been the only person to do so.

@Yakra:

Yes, the friend in question is a casual - but he's one that rarely sees Kara, let alone ZA. I occasionally run 10-mans with his guild, as I still have a lot of friends there - though they barely have ten people. We were all part of a bigger guild back in the day that tried to run 25-man content, and managed to small degree for a couple of months.

I think the big difference between people that have progressed and those that haven't is the willingness to improve. Much of The Hidden Circle spend a lot of downtime reading strategies and poring over WWS reports (myself included). That's not something that more casual players seem to want to do.

Brandon said...

People use the excuse about not having time and I think that only takes you so far. My guild only raids 3 hours a night, 5 nights a week and only 2 of those are mandatory. We managed to kill Mu'ru before the nerf with that kind of schedule. There is nothing hardcore about it. It's simply finding 25 commited people who know their classes and are willing to put time in to push themselves to become better players. I doesnt take hours of wipes.

Im not bummed over the patch. I really could care less what guild B-Z does. However, I do find it alarming how everything is on a timer now. BC really was an eye opener. You have a few months with Wrath being released before they begin toning it down to whatever degree they deem necessary for casuals players to storm through.

Chad S. said...

Talldar,

No worries. I knew that my post would be somewhat agitating, but I'm glad its working out into a good dialogue, and I certainly welcome your views and comments.

From what I'm understanding, your biggest difficulty in raiding is time? I can somewhat relate to that - in that my guild only raids three nights a week, for three hours at a time. Prior to the patch, we couldn't both farm and push progression in the same week.

Also, (and this ties into Namthe's comment below) - do the people you play with feel like they are putting in the same amount of effort ( / willingness to improve) as they did before - or was interest in raiding harder content piqued by the reports of easier bosses and faster runs?

Re: Heroic Mode

A changable difficulty level for these old dungeons would have indeed changed things, but the only thing that could have been changed would be boss health values and damage. The increase in personal DPS was an equivilent change, though, and one that couldn't be so easily toggeled. Its a good idea, though, and would have been certainly welcome.

Namthe,

Hope you and your friend didn't mind my re-quoting him.

Regarding The Hidden Circle - your guys progress certaily does show a high level of willingness to improve, and your attitude at this point in the game was one of the things that attracted me to your blog.

Talldar said...

Mmmh I'm getting a different view on what's considered casual raiding. We're doing only one run every week :)

Herc said...

"People use the excuse about not having time and I think that only takes you so far"

Agree. My guild also raids 4 hours a night(8-12) 4-5 days a week. And I'd like to think we did a pretty god job progressing thru sunwell pre-patch in a good 2-3 months of raiding it.

Don't forget the quality of raiders you get. They may show up everynight but do they know their stuff? Do they know how to min/max? Do they get out of the fire? Do they bitch about paying for repairs and having full consumables on them that will last thru the whole raid?

If you do find quality raiders take care of them =) And just keep looking for players like that.

Talldar said...

Mhh ... time as an excuse? Raiding 20 hours a week? That's half a job. Without farming. I'm puzzled - what do you guys do? Get home from the job, turn on the computer, farm, raid, go to bed? Two evenings "spare time" for friends & family? No insults intended, just curiosity if your days do have more hours than mine.

Namthe said...

talldar: We raid 12 hours a week at most, usually less. It's not how much you raid, it's your attitude toward the time you have that counts (or so I'd like to think :) )

In terms of farming, a few dailies on the weekends pay for repairs and consumables, though having maxed fishing helps - a week's worth of food can usually be farmed in about 20 minutes.

Chad: No problem at all with you borrowing the quote from my site. I'm happy to stimulate debate!

Brandon said...

Hate to sound like a know it all but raiding is a time investment. I understand that everyone cant do it. People have lives and things they have to do, but it is what it is. I come home. Do the Isle dailies, log back off, do what I have to do around my place, then come back and raid maybe an hour later.

Just from those dailies alone thats over 200g for raid repairs if needed and raid mats. The weekend is a great time to simply stockpile gold for the week ahead. Its all about how you use your time as Namthe commented.

Herc said...

I guess I'm lucky the wife plays alot too and she's into gold making. She get angry when I spend too much on repairs lol. I know I can't play like this if we don't have the same hobby it would be just impossible for me.

Since we have no kids then I guess I can say the whole family plays WOW and enjoy it =).

She helps me farms herb, wait let me correct that. She farms herbs, food, and post in AH. There has been tons of time I would have not been prepared for raid w/o her assistance.


@brandon
Yup it's definetely a time investment. That's why you wanna make sure the other 24 people with you means business also and not wasting your precious time/gold/pots.

I know a guild that raids 6 days a week for 4-5 hours ... but other guilds who are spending less time raiding have better progression time wise. Time is a big factor but u want quality raiders too.

7echno7im said...

from what I have seen in regards to the patch and content....

Kara guilds are now clearing ZA. T4 guilds are now running T5. T6 guilds are now pushing to true "End Game" content. guilds running this did get a boost in their progression but they will still get capped in their content, whether it be experience, discipline, or gear, depending on how far they progress before the patch.

To me it just seems that most people are running content 1 tier higher, and while there is more puggable content like Hyjal/ZA/SSC going on, it still takes discipline that guilds provide to down end bosses in each respective raid (Zul'jin, Vashj, Archimonde, Illidan)although it is still within reach.

I think I can safely say that no guild that was just running Kara or even T4 will be in Sunwell before WotLK, although stranger things have happened.

I still feel like true end game content is still reserved for those who have worked hard, and this boost provides more content to those who were stagnant in their progression.