255: A Simpler Cataclysm

Jeff Groves

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May 21, 2010
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A Simpler Cataclysm

Blizzard is removing many obscure stats in World of Warcraft with Cataclysm and Jeff Groves is all for it. He explains why simpler mechanics make for more important strategic decisions and, therefore, make games more fun.

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Azmael Silverlance

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Oct 20, 2009
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that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
 

Davrel

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Jan 31, 2010
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I couldn't really disagree more.

The game is simple enough as it is; sure some of the maths is complicated, but I enjoy the nuances of getting a perfectly balanced talent tree and tweaking my character to perfection. Having loads of talents to choose from is great, they all subtly impact the way your character plays and allow you to develop some form of personal playing style.

The argument that all the information is there on the internet is rubbish too, because that is the same for every game - they all have walkthroughs - whether you chose to look them up or not is your own business. Don't go changing the game because of the information released about its mechanics...

Further simplification would just reduce the already limited variation between players and produce some homogeneous, boring pool of 10-talent point players who all did exactly the same thing.

The group synergy idea already occurs - though not to such an extent as it used to, and this does need to be changed. Nowadays, every buff in a raid (with a few very minor exceptions) gets applied to everyone, meaning that as long as there is at least one of each class in the raid, you all get buffed. This is, in my opinion, too simple and needs to return to the old system where raid structure and balance actually counted for something.

The game simply needs more content that isn't just a copy/paste of the same grindy repetitious dungeon running, badge hunting fiasco that is going on at the moment - though of course some of that will always remain.
 

Plinglebob

Team Stupid-Face
Nov 11, 2008
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Is it sad that I could identify the UI overlay on the title picture as being a Dwarf Priest's?
 

Captain Pancake

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I'm not so sure I like the idea of reducing the talent points. After all the work you put in to levelling, particularly from 60+, people'll want something to show for their hard work. If you only got 1 talent point every ten levels, then that would mean 9 levels with no immediate payout. When doing the odd levels (53, 55), the talent points fill the void that training usually fills.
 

Richard Allen

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It's the dumbest crap around. As a combat rogue I essentially have 2 choices, gem for agility or for armorPen when I have enough of it (armor Pen gets better as you get more of it up to the cap). A rogue who makes the min/max choice, locks himself into combat (armor pen is not great for mutilate), will get about a 200-300 dps increase. This change doesn't make it easier for casuals it is not preventing them downing bosses (it's been proven time and time again until you get into end of tier heroic raids that your gear doesn't mean crap, well it can but not to the point that if your good enough to down normal that you won't be able to do early tier heroics) or seeing content. It is just taking out a part of the game that I love and wasn't hurting anyone except the whiners who want maximum dps with out doing an hour of research or downloading a spreadsheet. Bad changes are bad =(
 

Richard Allen

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Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Cry me a river :p That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
 

tehroc

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I hope the author gets his alpha/beta test key soon.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
Yup there it is...more stereotypes. Thanks Funk, I was also raiding hardcore in Classic, its wonderful that the casuals/noobs insinuate that if you were a raider you couldn't have a personal life outside WOW. Your just as bad as the non-gamer slandering gamers in the David Wong's Cracked article from yesterday.
 

Richard Allen

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Mar 16, 2010
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Also, "Players worship these guides. But it isn't a strategic decision; it's a math equation that someone else solved for us."... And how is that going to change things the guide will just come out that much sooner. The more I read the article the more I realize the guy has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Changing specs mid battle? Yea because that won't break anything... *tank dies*, dps, "don't worry I have a tank spec, day saved" /facepalm
 

I am Spy

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Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Find a guild that is doing Heroic ICC then, because there is nothing easy about Heroic Lich King 25 and if your guild is content to run the easy content week after week, it's their fault for not using the hard mode content thats there.

I like the way WoW plays nowadays. Granted I wasn't around in Vanilla and only joined in BC, but I don't want to have to put the majority of my evenings into WoW to get any sort of enjoyment out of the PvE aspect and access all the content that I'm paying monthly for.

However, by all means change the talent threes but I don't agree with the ideas of providing less talent points. That would hinder versitility, not increase it. Whilst the core talents remain the same at the moment, you have no idea how many different Priest specs I've seen over the past few weeks. Some I wouldn't agree with sure, but a lot of them are incredibly different from mine. Providing less talent points would merely reduce the amount of possible viable specs for a specific role. I think what Blizzard is doing at the moment is the way to go; removing the general stat buff talents and providing their bonuses in the form of a 'mastery' which activates when you put a certain number of points into a specific tree.
 

Richard Allen

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Mar 16, 2010
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John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Cry me a river :p That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
A problem with my guild? That we're too good? FYI we made it hard mode anub 25 man on 8 hours a week. I have a life, I have a girlfriend, and I have a nice paying job where I go out and drink with friends and co-workers every week. So just because you can't seem to find a good group of people to raid with don't cry to me. People will make excuses but when it comes down to it, wow doesn't require a lot of time to be at the top 5% just a good group of people. World first guilds are another story however. Sounds like your the one crying a river it's just there are more baddies then good players so yours tends to drown dev's with you complaining.
 

Richard Allen

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Mar 16, 2010
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I am Spy said:
Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Find a guild that is doing Heroic ICC then, because there is nothing easy about Heroic Lich King 25 and if your guild is content to run the easy content week after week, it's their fault for not using the hard mode content thats there.

I like the way WoW plays nowadays. Granted I wasn't around in Vanilla and only joined in BC, but I don't want to have to put the majority of my evenings into WoW to get any sort of enjoyment out of the PvE aspect and access all the content that I'm paying monthly for.

However, by all means change the talent threes but I don't agree with the ideas of providing less talent points. That would hinder versitility, not increase it. Whilst the core talents remain the same at the moment, you have no idea how many different Priest specs I've seen over the past few weeks. Some I wouldn't agree with sure, but a lot of them are incredibly different from mine. Providing less talent points would merely reduce the amount of possible viable specs for a specific role. I think what Blizzard is doing at the moment is the way to go; removing the general stat buff talents and providing their bonuses in the form of a 'mastery' which activates when you put a certain number of points into a specific tree.
My point is I'd love to but they don't open up the content and have stated they will continue to gate hard mode for weeks "To make the pace of the game more enjoyable" (paraphrase actually cause I'm not looking on the forums for it =)
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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tehroc said:
I hope the author gets his alpha/beta test key soon.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
Yup there it is...more stereotypes. Thanks Funk, I was also raiding hardcore in Classic, its wonderful that the casuals/noobs insinuate that if you were a raider you couldn't have a personal life outside WOW. Your just as bad as the non-gamer slandering gamers in the David Wong's Cracked article from yesterday.
Uh, if you wanted to actually progress, you DIDN'T. Farming consumables, being at Kargath/the alliance counterpart half an hour early, staying at Kargath for another half an hour for all the rest of your 40 goddamn people to get on, four-five hour raids (and three-hour Scholo runs to get geared for those raids), running Maraudon over and over again for your AQ40 nature resist gear, being on call 24/7 in case Kazzak or Azuregos or the green dragons spawned.

Richard Allen said:
A problem with my guild? That we're too good? FYI we made it hard mode anub 25 man on 8 hours a week. I have a life, I have a girlfriend, and I have a nice paying job where I go out and drink with friends and co-workers every week. So just because you can't seem to find a good group of people to raid with don't cry to me. People will make excuses but when it comes down to it, wow doesn't require a lot of time to be at the top 5% just a good group of people. World first guilds are another story however. Sounds like your the one crying a river it's just there are more baddies then good players so yours tends to drown dev's with you complaining.
Yes, a problem with your guild. You guys are the ones who aren't turning on Hard Modes because you'd apparently rather just blow through easy. The challenge is there, if you aren't trying to get it then you have no right to complain.

I have a good group of people to raid with. We're progressing slowly through ICC because we all have lives and families and can't chain ourselves to a game, but we're progressing. More to the point, it's a very tight-knit family-style guild that I have no desire to leave. Why should I be forced to choose between as welcoming, friendly guild and a HARDCORE RAWRRR YOU NEED 100% RAID ATTENDANCE guild just to progress?

And I'm going to remind both of you; don't be a dick, especially not to staff. Argue respectfully or don't argue at all.
 

Richard Allen

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Mar 16, 2010
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John Funk said:
tehroc said:
I hope the author gets his alpha/beta test key soon.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
Yup there it is...more stereotypes. Thanks Funk, I was also raiding hardcore in Classic, its wonderful that the casuals/noobs insinuate that if you were a raider you couldn't have a personal life outside WOW. Your just as bad as the non-gamer slandering gamers in the David Wong's Cracked article from yesterday.
Uh, if you wanted to actually progress, you DIDN'T. Farming consumables, being at Kargath/the alliance counterpart half an hour early, staying at Kargath for another half an hour for all the rest of your 40 goddamn people to get on, four-five hour raids (and three-hour Scholo runs to get geared for those raids), running Maraudon over and over again for your AQ40 nature resist gear, being on call 24/7 in case Kazzak or Azuregos or the green dragons spawned.

Richard Allen said:
A problem with my guild? That we're too good? FYI we made it hard mode anub 25 man on 8 hours a week. I have a life, I have a girlfriend, and I have a nice paying job where I go out and drink with friends and co-workers every week. So just because you can't seem to find a good group of people to raid with don't cry to me. People will make excuses but when it comes down to it, wow doesn't require a lot of time to be at the top 5% just a good group of people. World first guilds are another story however. Sounds like your the one crying a river it's just there are more baddies then good players so yours tends to drown dev's with you complaining.
Yes, a problem with your guild. You guys are the ones who aren't turning on Hard Modes because you'd apparently rather just blow through easy. The challenge is there, if you aren't trying to get it then you have no right to complain.

I have a good group of people to raid with. We're progressing slowly through ICC because we all have lives and families and can't chain ourselves to a game, but we're progressing. More to the point, it's a very tight-knit family-style guild that I have no desire to leave. Why should I be forced to choose between as welcoming, friendly guild and a HARDCORE RAWRRR YOU NEED 100% RAID ATTENDANCE guild just to progress?

And I'm going to remind both of you; don't be a dick, especially not to staff. Argue respectfully or don't argue at all.
First, what exactly was disrespectful? My tone after you told me to cry me a river? Yes you were very respectful of a pretty valid view point. And if you take your job so seriously, maybe you should read my post before commenting.
because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night
I do do hard modes, I don't like waiting 6 wks while they milk my sub and gate it.

I say this in the most "respectful" way possible. If you are going to be staff and tell me to cry a river read my post, it makes you look bad as a professional. My entire repsonce was %100 clear that blizzard won't let me turn on hard modes and they have said they will continue to do this.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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Richard Allen said:
First, what exactly was disrespectful? My tone after you told me to cry me a river? Yes very respectful of a pretty valid view point. And if you take your job so seriously, maybe you should read my post before commenting.
because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night
I do do hard modes, I don't like waiting 6 wks while they milk my sub and gate it.

I say this in the most "respectful" way possible. If you are going to be staff and tell me to cry a river read my post, it makes you look bad as a professional. My entire repsonce was %100 clear that blizzard won't let me turn on hard modes and they have said they will continue to do this.
I thought the :p made it pretty clear that it was a tongue-in-cheek statement, myself.

Gating your hard mode progression? The only "gating" there is that you need to have killed the Lich King to turn it on, unless you mean the general ICC gating that took place when it was released?

Ahhhh, I see what you meant. Apologies, I was reading the "they" in your post as your guild, not Blizzard.
 

Tyranicus

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Jesus, are you guys really arguing over gameplay mechanics of WoW? This one of the reasons why I stopped playing, ITS A GODDAMN GAME! I think all of you missed the point the article too...
 

Richard Allen

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John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
First, what exactly was disrespectful? My tone after you told me to cry me a river? Yes very respectful of a pretty valid view point. And if you take your job so seriously, maybe you should read my post before commenting.
because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night
I do do hard modes, I don't like waiting 6 wks while they milk my sub and gate it.

I say this in the most "respectful" way possible. If you are going to be staff and tell me to cry a river read my post, it makes you look bad as a professional. My entire repsonce was %100 clear that blizzard won't let me turn on hard modes and they have said they will continue to do this.
I thought the :p made it pretty clear that it was a tongue-in-cheek statement, myself.

Gating your hard mode progression? The only "gating" there is that you need to have killed the Lich King to turn it on, unless you mean the general ICC gating that took place when it was released?

Ahhhh, I see what you meant. Apologies, I was reading the "they" in your post as your guild, not Blizzard.
I'm glad we're on good terms and by gating easy mode they by definition are gating progress in hard that was my only point =) Cheers for heated discussions.
 

Pilkingtube

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Mar 24, 2010
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Plinglebob said:
Is it sad that I could identify the UI overlay on the title picture as being a Dwarf Priest's?
No.. or else i'm sad too :(

Also, I came to the article ready to vent a little, I like picking between mana and spellpower, rather than having them combined..

But as you've explained it in the article, I actually agree, simpler mechanics mean you can focus more on the actual content, as it is, if somebody hadn't told me how much +hit I needed in my raid with a draenei and shadowpriest in the group, i'd have no idea..

However, avoiding deep breath seems pretty common-sense :)
 

Alar

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Dec 1, 2009
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I think what Richard was trying to say is he would really like it if you could start off with the hard mode right off the bay, without having to go through any sort of gating process (i.e. getting to the Lich King in the first place). That would probably make it a lot harder.

Good article, though. I'm not sure if I agree with reducing the amount of talent points, and the simplification of the stats doesn't really affect me all that much since I'm not in a raiding guild and only get into VoAs, PuGs, or the occasional run from a friend's guild if they're lacking someone.

Bring on the Cataclysm!
 

Vitor Goncalves

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John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Am I the only one noticing that Richard is comparing Trial of the Crusader 25-men (even hard mode) to old Molten Core and Blackwing Lair raids? I guess you meant that John, when you mention gather in Kargath-Badlands.

Richard, on vanilla wow you could have done it if you were one of those guys that would always show upo late, no reagents, probably even forgetting to repair and moan on raid chat or teamspeak for a summon, always playing dps so would no need to respec. In that case I believe you.

Otherwise I will have to say john is right. Farming gold for repairs, reagents and using your professions to farm flask reagents (me would be fishing) and dragonscale armor (me would be skinning+leatherworking), go to tyrs Hand, heartglen or silithus farm gold (50g respecs were a lot of money in vanilla wow). It was 4 40-men raids taking 2 to 5 hours each, plus 2 20 men raids, taking 3 to 5 hours each. Plus scholomance runs for reagents, stratholme runs for reputation, Black Rock Depths and Black Rock Spire for fire resistance gear or ingredients, Razorfen Down, Maraudon and Sunken Temple for Nature resistance and finally, Dire Maul for the trinkets and tomes. Oh yeah, and the be on call, in case a world boss shows up. I can not see anybody doing it on vanilla wow with slacking in game to have a life. On the current expansion yes you can. Do a few dailies for gold and buy reagents from AH, not to mention bosses drop nice amount of money. Do a few heroics and you are set to go on raid. Do a couple of raids and a couple of heroics and you get yourself at least a couple of new gear pieces.

I have been there, had and still have a paid job, but no more. Played like 40 to 70 hours per week.
 

Verdac

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Good read, and there are some games out there that have really complex stat systems, and even when the game is really good, it still makes it hard for a person to simply jump in and have a good time.

Besides this is Blizzard, you really think they are going to screw it up, or not fix it if it doesn't work out?

On a side note anyone else notice how, with gamers, World of Warcraft has become like religion, sex, and politics, where you don't talk about it in polite conversation?
 

LionsFist

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It's strange how people who are in favour of making the game simpler always reference Vanilla WoW, while people who are against it always reference WOTLK.

Personally, I think they had it completely right in TBC. Progression from gear farming wasn't that difficult. You could expect maybe 2 weeks max on a boss until you hit Vashj/Kael (And seriously, while it was a long time effort, who didn't ultimately enjoy downing them). This gave the perfect time to research/learn a boss without making the fights gimickly easy, or dreadfully hard. Those who had time to farm excessively were rewarded, but those who didn't weren't disadvantaged severely by it.

I come from a guild that during this time was not one of the two top hardcore guilds on our server, but was in the best of the guilds below them. We were the third guild into T6 content for our server.

Those who weren't investing a lot of time into raiding, or raided casually, could still see the content once they released the bind on T6 content, and they could still casually see any of the earlier raiding content as the badge gear was released. The part I didn't like about it was the release of such a larger step-up raid instance at the end of it, with Brutalus being such a key gateway fight on gear requirement. Good raiders couldn't even get into that until they'd farmed the shit out of BT.

The biggest mistake I always saw from Vanilla WoW was the immense reliance on a large group of other people. The tuning of the increase in difficulty, meant that any guild that was carrying a significant portion of their raid (in terms of outside prep, or just being retarded), meant that they had to spend SOOOO much longer getting these people geared by farming the same shit over and over. Plus upgrading your raid took waaaaay too long.

The biggest mistake I saw in WOTLK though, was the immense ease at getting gear. Badge gear was way too good for each level. If they'd dropped it back 1 level for each upgrade, I could have seen it working. ie. Once ICC is released: Pugging instances = T8, Got you gear that could attempt T9 instances, which got you gear that could attempt either hardmode T9, or easymode T10. This makes it something to work towards, something to put the time into, so you can see this content.


EDIT: Ohh and another thing. I think they've simplified the wrong things.

The enjoyable part of raiding I found (at least in a healing/raid leader role), was the fact of trying to organise simple abilities against complex boss strategies. Currently it's all a numbers game of "Ohh, do you have enough healing to counter the damage? No. Well you die then." When skills were simpler, such as there being a lot less AoE healing, or it being a lot less effective, it actually made the fights more challenging. Not every class had an AOE attack, not every class had an AOE heal. Sure, this meant sometimes some classes shined, some didn't, but it definately made it a lot more critically interesting in fights where you had to counter specifics, compared to just having "enough". Sure, maybe this means that you can't have an all paladin guild expect to down a heavy AoE damage fight, but it also makes strategising (and Blizzard designing fights) a lot more interesting.
 

Eldarion

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Davrel said:
I couldn't really disagree more.

The game is simple enough as it is; sure some of the maths is complicated, but I enjoy the nuances of getting a perfectly balanced talent tree and tweaking my character to perfection. Having loads of talents to choose from is great, they all subtly impact the way your character plays and allow you to develop some form of personal playing style.

The argument that all the information is there on the internet is rubbish too, because that is the same for every game - they all have walkthroughs - whether you chose to look them up or not is your own business. Don't go changing the game because of the information released about its mechanics...

Further simplification would just reduce the already limited variation between players and produce some homogeneous, boring pool of 10-talent point players who all did exactly the same thing.

The group synergy idea already occurs - though not to such an extent as it used to, and this does need to be changed. Nowadays, every buff in a raid (with a few very minor exceptions) gets applied to everyone, meaning that as long as there is at least one of each class in the raid, you all get buffed. This is, in my opinion, too simple and needs to return to the old system where raid structure and balance actually counted for something.

The game simply needs more content that isn't just a copy/paste of the same grindy repetitious dungeon running, badge hunting fiasco that is going on at the moment - though of course some of that will always remain.
Except that even with the current complexity, most raiders use the same "optimal" talent specs and "optimal" gear choices so we end up with everyone doing the same thing even now. There isn't any "tweaking" of your talent specs, gear, or enchantments. You use the optimal builds or go home.
 

Flying Dagger

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Your points on internet guides are saying what i've been saying for years.

Partly, it's my own hubris, and that I think I'm naturally cleverer than anyone who wrote up these guides, and partly because in different situations, different skills do better effects.

Guild Wars, which is what i'm playing at the moment, has many user made skill templates that you can use, and i've recieved a lot of hostility for trying to do things differently...
despite the fact I slaughter people when I do.
 

Hiphophippo

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This whole thread is half (probably more) the reason I don't play much anymore. I used to do serious progression raids through most of Vanilla and about half of BC, but as a decent, nice man I can't even bother myself with the amount of butthurt gimme gimme that players exhume.

Now, as for the article? Couldn't hardly be any more spot on, but I suppose that's subjective in relation to what you want from the game to begin with. I'll be back for Cataclysm but there's a more than decent chance I'll be starting completely over from scratch on another server. And if the butthurt persists (and it will) I'll be gone within 3 months. I'm sure I'll enjoy my time there again though.
 

qeinar

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Jeff, you should try raiding hardcore, wow is so much more fun when you try boses that there aren't any set tactics for. raiding right after the ulduar patch was awesome. new talents and new bosses.
 

Yvl9921

Our Sweet Prince
Apr 4, 2009
347
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0
So in other words, you want them to get rid of the metagame. Which is half the reason a good number of people play.

Your idea sounds good on paper, but in practice, people actually LIKE thinking they've bested the nuanced, needlessly complex system, even if it's not their own math. I just spent all weekend balancing my hit, expertise, and crit caps (I'm a rogue) after a particularly successful run on ICC and I friggin loved it. I didn't kill a single enemy all weekend, and I still had fun with the game.

I do like your idea about class combos though. That's something that could really add some extra spice to standing outside of the fire.
 

Jory

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Dec 16, 2009
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Fantastic article.

It seems much better this way.

An overhaul like this excites me much more than a new Azeroth

Yvl9921 said:
So in other words, you want them to get rid of the metagame. Which is half the reason a good number of people play.

Your idea sounds good on paper, but in practice, people actually LIKE thinking they've bested the nuanced, needlessly complex system, even if it's not their own math. I just spent all weekend balancing my hit, expertise, and crit caps (I'm a rogue) after a particularly successful run on ICC and I friggin loved it. I didn't kill a single enemy all weekend, and I still had fun with the game.

I do like your idea about class combos though. That's something that could really add some extra spice to standing outside of the fire.
But wouldn't you like it much more if you'd managed to perfect YOUR balance rather than someone elses?
 

timmins

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Jan 13, 2010
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I think you expect too much of cataclysm.

As long as everyone is doing the same job: kill THAT boss, there will be a "best", or "most efficient" way to do it, and anyone who does anything else will recieve criticism and pressure from the community to change. You can raid as a 71 point frost tree mage, but you would be much worse than a frost mage who took some arcane talents to get torment the weak and a couple other choice things.

I completely agree with making the stat system easier to follow. Do a better job of communicating what 6 intellect, 10 haste, or 8 attack power, will actually mean, and cut stuff you don't need where possible. Like spirit. And do a better job of communicating what they mean in terms of future levels. This is what 10 haste means NOW, this is what 10 haste means when you are still using this axe 2 levels later.

But the talent trees are the ONLY real long term choice you make about your character. Sure, you can change them, but the meaningful choices that will last more than a level are the talents. Gear doesn't last.

So you want lots of those. To involve the player in his character. You WANT him to be sitting there strategizing over what's the "Best" choice next level, or which of these similar hammers will be better for him. That's why rpg's have choices: so that you can get satisfaction from making them.

And everyone would benefit from being involved in the algebra problem. Choosing between the +1 attack and +1 defense badges is a decision anyone can make, and many people can get satisfaction from making. The only real differences are that wow gives you more of these decisions, (71, at last count) which is good, and that the systems are complex enough that some people are intimidated by them, which is bad.

but as long as there are 2 people playing wow, they will debate the "Best" way to do something, and there will be a mathematically "better" way to do it. And if gear score is any indication, the community will structure itself to punish people who don't take this "most efficient" path. Last time I saw a 71 point frost mage trying to run instances, he was pretty defensive, and to be honest, I can see why. It's an incredibly bad spec compared to some very minor changes one could make for killing bosses as a DPS class.
 

tautologico

e^(i * pi) + 1 = 0
Apr 5, 2010
725
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0
Yvl9921 said:
So in other words, you want them to get rid of the metagame. Which is half the reason a good number of people play.

Your idea sounds good on paper, but in practice, people actually LIKE thinking they've bested the nuanced, needlessly complex system, even if it's not their own math. I just spent all weekend balancing my hit, expertise, and crit caps (I'm a rogue) after a particularly successful run on ICC and I friggin loved it. I didn't kill a single enemy all weekend, and I still had fun with the game.
How would simplifying the systems get rid of the metagame? People would still do it, but it would be less about cookbook recipes (how to spec, how to gear) and more about strategy.

Not that I think that this will happen in Cataclysm. People will still be doing "the best build" and gearing for the best stats.
 

Richard Allen

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Mar 16, 2010
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Vitor Goncalves said:
John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Am I the only one noticing that Richard is comparing Trial of the Crusader 25-men (even hard mode) to old Molten Core and Blackwing Lair raids? I guess you meant that John, when you mention gather in Kargath-Badlands.

Richard, on vanilla wow you could have done it if you were one of those guys that would always show upo late, no reagents, probably even forgetting to repair and moan on raid chat or teamspeak for a summon, always playing dps so would no need to respec. In that case I believe you.

Otherwise I will have to say john is right. Farming gold for repairs, reagents and using your professions to farm flask reagents (me would be fishing) and dragonscale armor (me would be skinning+leatherworking), go to tyrs Hand, heartglen or silithus farm gold (50g respecs were a lot of money in vanilla wow). It was 4 40-men raids taking 2 to 5 hours each, plus 2 20 men raids, taking 3 to 5 hours each. Plus scholomance runs for reagents, stratholme runs for reputation, Black Rock Depths and Black Rock Spire for fire resistance gear or ingredients, Razorfen Down, Maraudon and Sunken Temple for Nature resistance and finally, Dire Maul for the trinkets and tomes. Oh yeah, and the be on call, in case a world boss shows up. I can not see anybody doing it on vanilla wow with slacking in game to have a life. On the current expansion yes you can. Do a few dailies for gold and buy reagents from AH, not to mention bosses drop nice amount of money. Do a few heroics and you are set to go on raid. Do a couple of raids and a couple of heroics and you get yourself at least a couple of new gear pieces.

I have been there, had and still have a paid job, but no more. Played like 40 to 70 hours per week.
Yup I agree, I raided in EQ and the grind to raid there made Vanilla WoW look easy, but at that point we're talking about two different things a time requirement compared to removing a portion of the game that has no effect on seeing content and only dumbs it down. I LOVE the new pug/badges system because it makes raiding more accessible and our guild has found many good players who don't necessarily have the time. I have geared a few alts super easy this way but we're talking about removing the complexity from the game so there is almost no differentiation between a rogue who spams the super difficult 3 button rotation and a rogue who learns his class and min/max. I completely understand that wow wouldn't be what it is today without removing some of the stupid grinds of the past, but the game is already accessible to even the worst of players, but they still continue to remove things that are not a barrier to entry. Have you ever heard someone say "I can't raid ICC cause I don't have enough arp"? no but I do have someone ask me (at least once a day while leveling) what Line of sight is after they run in and wipe the group and blame it on me before rage quitting. There is no point to these changes, left unchanged, I could use my crazy difficult math (aka the spreadsheet) to min max and someone who doesn't want to do this can stack their primary stat (agi in this case) and they will have nothing but slightly less dps. Sorry if that was over the place, I'm sneaking this post at the end of my late lunch =)
 

veloper

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Jan 20, 2009
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Excellent arguments. Excellent conclusion. Poor example.

Hidden game rules are the bane of all thinking players.
It's just the changes to WoW may not solve anything and break more stuff.

Also, maybe the right word for the problem isn't "complexity", but "convolution". Complexity is interesting. Simple stuff made complex is not.
 

Kasawd

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I really liked the article and am excited for the new Azeroth but I have one problem with this idea. If I can't trust most PuG groups to move out of the fire, why could I trust them to set me up for anything?

I'm comfortable casually raiding because hardcore raid guilds have members who I would like to force choke for being gigantic losers. I've raided with them before and heard them sound off when someone makes a miniscule mistake. God forbid you cause a wipe. PuG's are the lifeblood of a server. Some folk don't curry to the idea of joining a guild and must raid with random people to progress.

As it is, right now, they can be very difficult to get into(Expectations, that is). While a gearscore of 5.3k isn't difficult to get, some people expect you to be pushing well over 5k dps. With new mechanics such as this setting up, there would be fewer PuG's to get into. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of group synergy(I'm an arcane mage, I love variations on my rotation; Sheeping rocks) but I'm not sure how smoothly it could be implemented(Not to mention the complaints for soloing).

Gemming is pretty straightforward, though. Don't gem for any chance stats(Crit chance) or off-attributes. Don't gem for anything that returns mana or fuel(At the level where you're epic-gemming, you should have a deep enough pool to go for a long time). As a mage, I gem for Haste rating and Spellpower. That's only ever really interrupted by my meta gem which increases my spell power and also reduces my threat output.

Could you imagine how smoothly the arena would run, though? It would be spectacular.
 

Zydrate

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Apr 1, 2009
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I think making a limited number of talent points, anything under 40 would make players ragequit hardcore.

Well, if they did a complete talent rehaul... there would still be rage.

Screw it. There's going to be rage no matter how you look at it. One gander over some of the threads in the official forums, notably the "Class" section, there is rage about one dumb thing or another.
It's just going to happen.
 

Yvl9921

Our Sweet Prince
Apr 4, 2009
347
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0
tautologico said:
Yvl9921 said:
So in other words, you want them to get rid of the metagame. Which is half the reason a good number of people play.

Your idea sounds good on paper, but in practice, people actually LIKE thinking they've bested the nuanced, needlessly complex system, even if it's not their own math. I just spent all weekend balancing my hit, expertise, and crit caps (I'm a rogue) after a particularly successful run on ICC and I friggin loved it. I didn't kill a single enemy all weekend, and I still had fun with the game.
How would simplifying the systems get rid of the metagame? People would still do it, but it would be less about cookbook recipes (how to spec, how to gear) and more about strategy.

Not that I think that this will happen in Cataclysm. People will still be doing "the best build" and gearing for the best stats.
There is no "boss strategy" metagame as it stands now. None of the fights this side of Yogg-Saron are even complex enough to be worth talking about for more than 5 minutes unless you're absolutely terrible at the game (such as my first raiding guild, who spent an hour talking about how to beat the 4 horsemen DURING THE RAID while EVERYONE WAS WAITING.) Not only that, but bosses are a lot more static than a player's gear and stats.

And since Blizzard's motto is "accessibility first" they're certainly not going to make their bosses more complex just for the sake of the metagame.

Also, the biggest problem with reducing the talent points is that you're making the game a whole lot more boring to level up in. What do you think made Dragon Age so addicting? It certainly wasn't the cliche RPG archetypes, it was the fact that you gained something new and interesting every level. Cutting that down to one every 10 levels would make leveling even more of a chore than it is now.
 

Jeff Groves

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May 21, 2010
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John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Cry me a river :p That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
How are you happy with the direction it's taking? The game is so easy-mode now. You hardly have to do any work to get stuff as it's pretty much handed to you. People shouldn't be able to just jump ahead to endgame content by just running heroics. In my opinion, everyone should have to progress through raids like they did in Burning Crusade.

Until I get another opinion from playing the Cataclysm Beta, I'm saying that WoW is going downhill. I blame this on the merger with Activision and Jeff Kaplan leaving the WoW team.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
20,364
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Wiezzen said:
John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Cry me a river :p That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
How are you happy with the direction it's taking? The game is so easy-mode now. You hardly have to do any work to get stuff as it's pretty much handed to you. People shouldn't be able to just jump ahead to endgame content by just running heroics. In my opinion, everyone should have to progress through raids like they did in Burning Crusade.

Until I get another opinion from playing the Cataclysm Beta, I'm saying that WoW is going downhill. I blame this on the merger with Activision and Jeff Kaplan leaving the WoW team.
The leveling content in Northrend was by far the most interesting in the game. The dungeon fights are imaginative, the art is beautiful, and I love the hard-mode approach. Everybody should be able to SEE all the content - devoting 80% of your resources to content 15% of the players see is phenomenally stupid game design - but still give the hardcore reason to have actual challenges.

The challenge is still THERE, it's just not the base line. And that's a much healthier and accessible philosophy.
 

Jeff Groves

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May 21, 2010
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John Funk said:
Wiezzen said:
John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Cry me a river :p That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
How are you happy with the direction it's taking? The game is so easy-mode now. You hardly have to do any work to get stuff as it's pretty much handed to you. People shouldn't be able to just jump ahead to endgame content by just running heroics. In my opinion, everyone should have to progress through raids like they did in Burning Crusade.

Until I get another opinion from playing the Cataclysm Beta, I'm saying that WoW is going downhill. I blame this on the merger with Activision and Jeff Kaplan leaving the WoW team.
The leveling content in Northrend was by far the most interesting in the game. The dungeon fights are imaginative, the art is beautiful, and I love the hard-mode approach. Everybody should be able to SEE all the content - devoting 80% of your resources to content 15% of the players see is phenomenally stupid game design - but still give the hardcore reason to have actual challenges.

The challenge is still THERE, it's just not the base line. And that's a much healthier and accessible philosophy.
Dungeon fights imaginative? They've been a complete boring re-hash of old fights. Not to mention anybody could do the new dungeons with their eyes closed.
We also can't forget how overly dull the new raids are when compared to past. I'd like to see Blizzard make a raid that could top Karazhan.
 

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
20,364
0
0
Wiezzen said:
John Funk said:
Wiezzen said:
John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Cry me a river :p That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
How are you happy with the direction it's taking? The game is so easy-mode now. You hardly have to do any work to get stuff as it's pretty much handed to you. People shouldn't be able to just jump ahead to endgame content by just running heroics. In my opinion, everyone should have to progress through raids like they did in Burning Crusade.

Until I get another opinion from playing the Cataclysm Beta, I'm saying that WoW is going downhill. I blame this on the merger with Activision and Jeff Kaplan leaving the WoW team.
The leveling content in Northrend was by far the most interesting in the game. The dungeon fights are imaginative, the art is beautiful, and I love the hard-mode approach. Everybody should be able to SEE all the content - devoting 80% of your resources to content 15% of the players see is phenomenally stupid game design - but still give the hardcore reason to have actual challenges.

The challenge is still THERE, it's just not the base line. And that's a much healthier and accessible philosophy.
Dungeon fights imaginative? They've been a complete boring re-hash of old fights. Not to mention anybody could do the new dungeons with their eyes closed.
We also can't forget how overly dull the new raids are when compared to past. I'd like to see Blizzard make a raid that could top Karazhan.
They did, it was called Ulduar ;)
 

Turd Furgason

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May 25, 2010
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Okay, I played in vanilla but never started raiding until BC, so i don't know exactly what the raiding was like in vanilla. When I raided in BC is what quite casual, I did kara, eye, gruul, and i little bit of BT as we neared the end. Overall it was a good experience. WOTLK was good near the beginning, but ultimately fell downhill. This was because of two things I feel. One of the things being as Jeff had said the fact that there was not enough variety in the specs. For example my friend just asked me this week (as he had quit WOW during school) if destruction was out and demonology was back in. This to me was a casual question, but now as I think about it, it is quite sad. What is the point of having a whole tree of talents to pick from when there is only one "right" way to do so? This I feel limits the game.

I don't know the answer to this problem, but I do know that this same thing happens in every game.

- A fanatic ultimately finds how to perfect a certain classes dps, healing output, tanking efficiency,etc
- He shares it with the rest of the community and it becomes the "correct spec".
- Everyone copies this so called correct spec.
- From then on any other spec is wrong or stupid.

This same thing happens with any strategy game you can think of. For example, I play Dawn of War 2, and Warhammer 40k as well. Each of these games is a strategy game and each spec/race/class has been mastered. If you try to somehow stray from the "plan" and develop your own strategy everybody freaks out. You the person trying to perfect the game in your way instead of following the path set before you become the noob.

This I believe has to be changed.

The other thing that WOW has to change is this badge bull-shit. I played in BC and it was fine then. The gear purchasable by badges was better then heroic gear but not as good as raid gear so it was a fine median (near the ending with sunwell it got worse, I know). Then Blizzard decided in WOTLK that they wanted to offer more to the casual players and allow them to purchase normal raid equivalent gear from badges. Being a casual player myself I knew it was a farce because they weren't offering more to casual players they were offering more to noobs which was a large percentage of the WOW population during the beginning of WOTLK. The fact is that even normal raids are much more challenging to do than mindlessly running heroics so why reward them all the same? This path I feel has to be strayed from as well. I am in no way saying that they should take away badges completely because I feel the system is good, just flawed. Heroics and Raids aren't on the same caliber so they shouldn't be treated as such, even when new harder content is released keep the heroic badges the same don't switch them to accommodate casual players because than all you are doing is wasting the previous content you had released.

I quit WOW around 8 months ago (for other reasons) and decided recently that I would go on my friends account and check up on the progress. When I left they had just released ToC 25 so, people were still running naxx a bit, and ulduar as well. When I returned however those raids were no longer used and what was good content when I left just sat there to collect dust (or be ran for free weekly badges). In the end the mindless heroics had stayed alive while the raids had been left to rot.

To conclude my -quite lengthy and riddled with grammatical errors- comment this is just my take on the situation. It probably isn't the right one and it definitely isn't the only one, but it's the one I got and I am sticking to it.
 

Charli

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Nov 23, 2008
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I have mixed feelings about all this. I suppose this is my careful treading towards the unknown, but I choose to remain guarded because I have seen cases where simplifying the mechanics can go wrong.

I sincerely hope it doesn't happen in this case but there were cases in games... Okay lets go with the one on top of my head, Black and White and Black and White 2. The mechanics being unseen and a mystery for the player to discover kept alot of people playing with wonder through black and white 1 over and over just to get an inkling of what was making all the happenings in the world do what they did. Where in Black and white 2 lay it all out for your prying eyes to see at the click of the button and I saw alot of people become disinterested with it so fast you could have blinked.

The point is I really hope blizzard remember to keep somethings a mystery to the player in terms of stats and this simplifying of the mechanics still allows us who enjoy tweaking our players to perfection to something big and chunky to get our teeth into still.

That said I did like the profession synergy that tailoring/blacksmithing/leatherworking would have in the future with gear stat alteration. True, stuff is being simplified but I hope in that void, a whole new dimension of complexity is stuffed in for us to get our grubby little Cheetos-powder laced fingers on
 

iblis666

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Im hoping that bliz simplification of stats works such as the removal of armor pen which as a pally is a god send since they seem to put it on everything.

As for increasing the variability of play style through the use of the talent tree I really hope they go all out so i cant even recognize the trees any more.

I also hope that they make many talents with cross purposes for hybrids so we all dont just put all our points into our dmg tree, thus negating the variability of hybrids such as rets all having all points in ret.
 

Sexy Street

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Davrel said:
I couldn't really disagree more.

The game is simple enough as it is; sure some of the maths is complicated, but I enjoy the nuances of getting a perfectly balanced talent tree and tweaking my character to perfection. Having loads of talents to choose from is great, they all subtly impact the way your character plays and allow you to develop some form of personal playing style.

The argument that all the information is there on the internet is rubbish too, because that is the same for every game - they all have walkthroughs - whether you chose to look them up or not is your own business. Don't go changing the game because of the information released about its mechanics...

Further simplification would just reduce the already limited variation between players and produce some homogeneous, boring pool of 10-talent point players who all did exactly the same thing.

The group synergy idea already occurs - though not to such an extent as it used to, and this does need to be changed. Nowadays, every buff in a raid (with a few very minor exceptions) gets applied to everyone, meaning that as long as there is at least one of each class in the raid, you all get buffed. This is, in my opinion, too simple and needs to return to the old system where raid structure and balance actually counted for something.

The game simply needs more content that isn't just a copy/paste of the same grindy repetitious dungeon running, badge hunting fiasco that is going on at the moment - though of course some of that will always remain.
Agreed (80 dk Tank) being a DK tank makes a lot of complex choices (blood of course) like should I get mark of blood or ditch it and get hysteria so we can down this boss in less time. I think it just becomes a little more satisfying when I think that my talent tree is perfect, although somethings he said WAS right. I don't even really know how much more damage you get when you get Armor Pen. so they could cut that and replace it with haste and I wouldn't miss it :I
 

Jeff Groves

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May 21, 2010
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"simplicity = more strategy" is the same as "ignorance is strength." Its doublespeak.

Simplicity just reduces options. Fewer options means less strategy. Less strategy means less gameplay. Less gameplay means wow is just a work simulator.

The problem with wow's stat systems isn't that some guy figured out the ideal combination for maximum dps. The problem with wow's stat systems is that some guy can figure out the ideal combination for maximum dps. The ideal "5%" hit rating for melee has been around since the game came out (it was called chance to hit, but whatever). The problem is the stat system in wow is imbalanced as hell. If 5% worth of one stat is godly, but more or less is a waste or pointless, the problem is your stat system.

But, in standard mainstream fashion, they opt to just cut away all the sharp corners so people won't hurt themselves.
 

Jeff Groves

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May 21, 2010
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John Funk said:
Wiezzen said:
John Funk said:
Wiezzen said:
John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Cry me a river :p That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
How are you happy with the direction it's taking? The game is so easy-mode now. You hardly have to do any work to get stuff as it's pretty much handed to you. People shouldn't be able to just jump ahead to endgame content by just running heroics. In my opinion, everyone should have to progress through raids like they did in Burning Crusade.

Until I get another opinion from playing the Cataclysm Beta, I'm saying that WoW is going downhill. I blame this on the merger with Activision and Jeff Kaplan leaving the WoW team.
The leveling content in Northrend was by far the most interesting in the game. The dungeon fights are imaginative, the art is beautiful, and I love the hard-mode approach. Everybody should be able to SEE all the content - devoting 80% of your resources to content 15% of the players see is phenomenally stupid game design - but still give the hardcore reason to have actual challenges.

The challenge is still THERE, it's just not the base line. And that's a much healthier and accessible philosophy.
Dungeon fights imaginative? They've been a complete boring re-hash of old fights. Not to mention anybody could do the new dungeons with their eyes closed.
We also can't forget how overly dull the new raids are when compared to past. I'd like to see Blizzard make a raid that could top Karazhan.
They did, it was called Ulduar ;)
Nothing will ever be as magical as Karazhan for me :(
 

daftalchemist

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I completely agree here, especially with the talent trees. As it is, there's always one tree that's declared good for PvE and one that's declared good for PvP. Imagine my surprise when as a frost mage I discovered that fire (no, arcane, no fire, no arcane again) were the "best" for raids. But I loved my frost spec and didn't want to switch to fire. So what was I forced to do instead? Look up premade frost specs that were specifically geared for giving me the best output in raids. So because of all of these silly little mathematical processes that Blizz built into the game for stats and talents and all that good stuff, I had to use a spec that I did not want in order to be considered good at the game. That's bullshit! I'm the one playing the game and I should play it however I like, not however the people doing a 5-man with me like.

I really hope that's the kind of thing Blizz can sort out with the talent trees. Maybe if they make them all varied and unique instead of "plus to damage" and "plus to crit" I can actually play the game the way I want and still be considered a useful part of the team.
 

The Random One

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Okay now everyone be quiet because I, That One Guy That Doesn't Play WoW, will talk now.

This was a great article. It reminds me of that one Final Fantasy game in which, due to a bug, the Magic Defense stat did nothing, since what it should do was wrongly tied to the regular Defense stat. I think it took players a few years to figure it out, it may or may not have been when they looked at the source code.

On one way, it has to do with the 'social contract' of gaming that other article was talking about. We expect Attack to mean that you hit harder and Defense to mean that you're not hit as hard. If it means something else, what's the point? Luck is troublesome because there's nothing that leaps to a player's mind when he thinks of it, since each game has its own spin on it.

This also reminds me of Bartle's discrimination of the four player archetypes - Explorer/Spades, who tries to find new stuff to do, Achiever/Diamonds, who tries to be the best, Killer/Clubs, who enjoys conflict with other players the most, and Socialer/Hearts, who enjoy story, roleplay and companionship. It makes me think that there might be 'super' versions of these archetypes. Every test of this kind I took pegs me as an Explorer, and it fits the way I play, but if I can't solve a puzzle I'll look up the solution. However, a Super-Explorer is the guy who reverse-engineers the game to figure out what makes it tick, and the Super-Achiever will need to look at the Super-Explorer's data to figure out how to be the absolute best. The problem with WoW, as inferred from this article, is that the data is so impenetrable only the Super-Explorers can unveil it, and since all the Achievers are fighting against each other to be the best, they all need to have the same data to be the best and can't (well, won't) figure it out on their own.

Compare it with Magic: The Gathering, where the rules for each card are literally written on it, allowing rogue decks to make a sweep in tournaments. From this article I doubt a 'rogue setup' could be suddenly found in WoW to make a certain boss raid much easier.

Okay, not sure where I'm going with that. You can continue to argue now, children.
 

Trako

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I'm sure this won't matter, but Blizzard has lost its way. I'm not sure where this talk of "accessibility" comes from, because if you don't have raid gear, you're not going anywhere. And where does one get this raid gear? In raids, of course. I love that Catch-22. Accessible indeed.

It appears this may be a last hurrah for this game. At least it is in my mind. I still think that this game is set up like a 900 number, waste as much of the player's time as possible through traveling or leveling so that their monthly income is safe. Whatever happened to actually WANTING to play the game because it's GOOD? Apparently this is a foreign concept to Blizzard, and all other games that hope to dethrone WoW. Can't destroy something with a badly made copy; only with something made better, stronger, smarter.

I laugh at all these estimates of billions of dollars to make the WoW killer. I propose a different idea; a GOOD MMO game, of which none exists. All MMOs exist for the benefit of their developers, making 15 bucks a month grinding at a grindstone til it's a nub, or people leave.
 

Reveras

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I do love what he said about talent points, pretty obvious he has never played more than lvl 15 in wow in his entire life, if he has, he's a lvl 80 facerolled char with little or no knowledge of how a proper class build is: there are all out full 1 spec build, hybrid builds like the infamous tbc pala shockadin and it will just get harder to decide in what to invest your talent points which is the idea. Your build, if u copy urs from someone else, congratz but u're a undefined rock lacking any brain power to deduce what u would need to survive/dish out dmg.
 

ZephrC

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Hopeless Bastard said:
"simplicity = more strategy" is the same as "ignorance is strength." Its doublespeak.

Simplicity just reduces options. Fewer options means less strategy. Less strategy means less gameplay. Less gameplay means wow is just a work simulator.
Yes, because chess is clearly for people less intelligent than WoW players.

I'm pretty sure there's an ideal amount of complexity. It's just slightly more than an intelligent person can easily understand. Video games generally have billions of times that much complexity. That means instead of actually thinking and trying things out and getting a feel for how things work, you simply stumble around blindly until something kinda works without having any idea why or how, or you get a computer to figure the answer out for you. There is absolutely zero strategy involved in that.

Frankly, I think Blizzard is trying to take WoW away from the people in this thread and give it back to people that speak English. And I applaud them for it.
 

Skarlette

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Your article raises a pretty valid argument. While I really admire those who will sit down and hash out the numbers to these kinds of games, it really has the sole effect of turning me away from a game, if I have to sit down and overly work out what kind of damage I'm doing. I'm NOT good at maths (my Achilles' heel) so the prospect of working out damage multipliers and reduction factors is about the worst game I could possibly imagine (unless there is a game that combines algebra and calculus with bugs, or something.)

I couldn't get into games that had a focus more on group synergies, either. Your article actually made me realize what it is in 4e D&D that I didn't like -- it reminds me too much of WoW and raiding, which I perhaps have an irrational dislike of.

Either way, if a developer changes anything about a game, there are always going to be those who hate it. Can never make everyone happy. It might balance out the game, simplify it for those who play it on a less-hardcore basis, but there will always be those who it might disadvantage, and they'll whinge about it until the reckoning.
 

daedrick

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For me, a game cannot be ''fun'' if they are not any chalenge and you can win by rolling your face on your keyboard. When wrath of the lich king released Ive quited. There wasnt any chalenge anymore, there was almost no way to distinguish yourself from the others since everyone could run the same content but at noob level. Too many points as well, you could basicaly have one complete talent tree and half of another one... eeeesh.

Lets all be the same! Yay!

Not for me, waiting for the next decent MMO.
 

Jeff Groves

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The problem with hardcore raiders is-usually- there comes a feeling of achievement, which eventually morphs into a slightly arrogant nature. So whenever they see the game being made more accessable, they nerd-rage not because it is 'easier', but because their "Big Boys" club has been infiltrated by people who put in only a fraction of the effort.

What I don't understand is why people wish to make a hard encounter remain hard and not be tweaked slightly to make it a bit easier for others to get through so they can see the rest of the content. If it is made a bit easier then people should be grateful, because its not just for the "n00bs", its for you as well.

I am a casual player who has little time for raiding, so I am very chuffed with the changes Cataclysm will bring.
 

LionsFist

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John Funk said:
Wiezzen said:
John Funk said:
Richard Allen said:
Azmael Silverlance said:
that was a wonderfull article....
the problem is that there simply too many pugs now...so everybody is goign about the MAX players they want in their groups in order to finish off a raid or a specific boss.
But i think Cataclysm will make the game alot more enjoyable...but we still need more end game content...simple but one that can survive for a long time....some emblem farming that would make everybody do instances for months....that will be nice...and put like 20+ dungeons from the begining!
Yes because there is nothing like farming easy mode raids because they won't turn on hard mode because we will blow through easy mode first night.... yea sounds like a great time to anyone who is good. Sorry, it's touchy subject to me since I have been in the game since day one and they have done nothing but dumb it down and prevent me from doing hard content.
Cry me a river :p That's a problem with your guild, not the game.

I've played since a month after release, I did hardcore raiding back in the days of BWL and AQ40 and I couldn't be happier with the direction the game is going. I like being able to progress and actually have a life outside of the game.
How are you happy with the direction it's taking? The game is so easy-mode now. You hardly have to do any work to get stuff as it's pretty much handed to you. People shouldn't be able to just jump ahead to endgame content by just running heroics. In my opinion, everyone should have to progress through raids like they did in Burning Crusade.

Until I get another opinion from playing the Cataclysm Beta, I'm saying that WoW is going downhill. I blame this on the merger with Activision and Jeff Kaplan leaving the WoW team.
The leveling content in Northrend was by far the most interesting in the game. The dungeon fights are imaginative, the art is beautiful, and I love the hard-mode approach. Everybody should be able to SEE all the content - devoting 80% of your resources to content 15% of the players see is phenomenally stupid game design - but still give the hardcore reason to have actual challenges.

The challenge is still THERE, it's just not the base line. And that's a much healthier and accessible philosophy.
Aaaaaand what has this philosophy given us in every other game? Achievements. Personally, I hate achievements.

Truthfully though John, how many people didn't get the opportunity to view TBC content? (Apart from the obvious Sunwell) There were plenty of pugs doing by the end of TBC that were doing, and clearing, Illidan. Although they may not have gotten to see the content at the same time as some others, they DID get to still see it.

But, seriously though, how many people that were doing weekly Kara runs in TBC, when the BT/Hyjal requirement was taken off, actually went into, and got to see stuff from SSC/TK? How many people still never attempted Vashj or Kael'thas? Is this bad? No. It just meant people truthfully weren't that interested in seeing it. The mass majority wanted to have their shiney purples.

To loop back to my first point though, why do I hate achievements? For the same reason I feel most of the "old-school" or "old-view" raiders have these same arguements: Because they don't actually mean anything. There is no benefit to getting an achievement. I could make up my own achievement for clearing something with everyone missing 5 pieces of armor. But it still means nothing, apart from having done it.

The biggest point I have is though, that getting gear really means nothing at the moment. The people benefitting from badge rewards aren't those who don't have time to play constantly. They're really still missing out, because they still don't have time to raid above anything they can pug successfully. It just means that anyone who has no clue what the hell their doing apart from thinking they're a tank wearing +healing gear while thinking that their taunt key is a crucial part of their damage rotation, can gear up to basically the same level as yourself the next time a patch is released JUST BECAUSE they have the time to grind out a load of instances.
This grind sort of works for PvP sets because you need the gear to be competitive, as you're thrown in with top level geared players. But for PvE settings, you don't NEED the top level gear to attempt whatever level instance/raid you should be up to, for your current gear level.

As Richard Allen said in his earlier post, there is basically no difference between top and bottom anymore. There is no feeling of achievement because you have progressed more than anyone around you. There is no "learning" your class, or even any class that allows for someone who is "skilled" at their class to show it's potential.
 

Jeff Groves

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ZephrC said:
Hopeless Bastard said:
"simplicity = more strategy" is the same as "ignorance is strength." Its doublespeak.

Simplicity just reduces options. Fewer options means less strategy. Less strategy means less gameplay. Less gameplay means wow is just a work simulator.
Yes, because chess is clearly for people less intelligent than WoW players.

I'm pretty sure there's an ideal amount of complexity. It's just slightly more than an intelligent person can easily understand. Video games generally have billions of times that much complexity. That means instead of actually thinking and trying things out and getting a feel for how things work, you simply stumble around blindly until something kinda works without having any idea why or how, or you get a computer to figure the answer out for you. There is absolutely zero strategy involved in that.

Frankly, I think Blizzard is trying to take WoW away from the people in this thread and give it back to people that speak English. And I applaud them for it.
A: I'd love to know the games you're playing with "billions of times the complexity an intelligent person can easily understand." If you're doing the stupid thing, and trying to argue every single line of code equals more complexity, sure. But in reality, where I live, the code of a game is equal to the individual atoms that make up the board and each piece of a chess set. They are what allows the game to exist but have little affect on how the game is played.

B: Chess has sixteen pieces spread across six piece types that at the highest levels need to function in perfect tandem to achieve anything other than crushing defeat. This is good balance.

If you boil everything down to what it actually affects, then wow has fifteen total "stats." To each individual class, only five really matter. Three of which will be at sufficient levels simply as a side-effect of wearing the best gear. This is terrible balance.

The problem isn't that there are too many stats, the problem is powercreep hasn't been balanced properly, rendering 2/3rds of wow's stats irrelevant to each individual class. Instead of taking the proper approach to fixing their game, they're simply cutting away all the sharp corners to make the game more accessible.

[random last line, that I think is really, really profound, but just makes me look like a retard]
 

Eldarion

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Hopeless Bastard said:
ZephrC said:
Hopeless Bastard said:
"simplicity = more strategy" is the same as "ignorance is strength." Its doublespeak.

Simplicity just reduces options. Fewer options means less strategy. Less strategy means less gameplay. Less gameplay means wow is just a work simulator.
Yes, because chess is clearly for people less intelligent than WoW players.

I'm pretty sure there's an ideal amount of complexity. It's just slightly more than an intelligent person can easily understand. Video games generally have billions of times that much complexity. That means instead of actually thinking and trying things out and getting a feel for how things work, you simply stumble around blindly until something kinda works without having any idea why or how, or you get a computer to figure the answer out for you. There is absolutely zero strategy involved in that.

Frankly, I think Blizzard is trying to take WoW away from the people in this thread and give it back to people that speak English. And I applaud them for it.
A: I'd love to know the games you're playing with "billions of times the complexity an intelligent person can easily understand." If you're doing the stupid thing, and trying to argue every single line of code equals more complexity, sure. But in reality, where I live, the code of a game is equal to the individual atoms that make up the board and each piece of a chess set. They are what allows the game to exist but have little affect on how the game is played.

B: Chess has sixteen pieces spread across six piece types that at the highest levels need to function in perfect tandem to achieve anything other than crushing defeat. This is good balance.

If you boil everything down to what it actually affects, then wow has fifteen total "stats." To each individual class, only five really matter. Three of which will be at sufficient levels simply as a side-effect of wearing the best gear. This is terrible balance.

The problem isn't that there are too many stats, the problem is powercreep hasn't been balanced properly, rendering 2/3rds of wow's stats irrelevant to each individual class. Instead of taking the proper approach to fixing their game, they're simply cutting away all the sharp corners to make the game more accessible.

[random last line, that I think is really, really profound, but just makes me look like a retard]
Go only has one piece, the stones all do the exact same thing. There are black stones and white stones. Either you are the black stones of the white ones. Pretty simple rules too, you pretty much just place them on a grid one at a time. Its still a hugely challenging game and its been around for over 2000 years. One could argue that Go requires more strategy than chess even though chess pieces can do many different things.

Your argument of more complex=more strategy is invalid.
 

Jeff Groves

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Dark Templar said:
Go only has one piece, the stones all do the exact same thing. There are black stones and white stones. Either you are the black stones of the white ones. Pretty simple rules too, you pretty much just place them on a grid one at a time. Its still a hugely challenging game and its been around for over 2000 years. One could argue that Go requires more strategy than chess even though chess pieces can do many different things.

Your argument of more complex=more strategy is invalid.
If Go had the same amount of board space as chess (19x19 vs 8x8), you would have a valid invalidation of the "complexity=more strategy" argument. But since a go board has 5.640625 times the playable area of a chess board, one can argue they're equally complex. Mathematically, at least.
 

Eldarion

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Hopeless Bastard said:
Dark Templar said:
Go only has one piece, the stones all do the exact same thing. There are black stones and white stones. Either you are the black stones of the white ones. Pretty simple rules too, you pretty much just place them on a grid one at a time. Its still a hugely challenging game and its been around for over 2000 years. One could argue that Go requires more strategy than chess even though chess pieces can do many different things.

Your argument of more complex=more strategy is invalid.
If Go had the same amount of board space as chess (19x19 vs 8x8), you would have a valid invalidation of the "complexity=more strategy" argument. But since a go board has 5.640625 times the playable area of a chess board, one can argue they're equally complex. Mathematically, at least.
Hmmm.........your right in the mathematic sense. But when you play chess you have dozens of different options to move different pieces in different ways. In go you just put one stone down. The result is that go is just as complex but its very much more simple in the mechanics. That was my point.
 

BeeRye

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You can simplify the game, but that won't stop the dependence on theorycrafting whatsoever. People go to sites like elitist jerks not only because the have no reasonable idea how to play their class, but because they are too lazy to make any attempt to do so. So all that would happen is that the articles about what specs to take will change to articles about what spec to take when X class is in your party (which has already been done if you ever played a raid stacking rogues with HaT). People won't ever think for themselves, they will still just copy the few players who actually work out the most efficient method of playing. The strategies will change, but most people won't notice because they will be too busy waiting for someone else to figure it out for them.
 

Jeff Groves

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Dark Templar said:
Hmmm.........your right in the mathematic sense. But when you play chess you have dozens of different options to move different pieces in different ways. In go you just put one stone down. The result is that go is just as complex but its very much more simple in the mechanics. That was my point.
There are fewer mechanics (two, to be precise), one of which (the board) is mathematically more complex than all the combined mechanics of of chess/wow. Chess has 10 possible opening moves (fewer good ones). Go has 361 (ditto). By the end of a game of go between two professionals, there are still more possible moves/placements/whatever than there are in most checkmates. Even if the moves would only prolong what should be clear to both players.

But, yea, cutting away mechanics rather than making any sort of attempt to balance them will only end the viability of sites like elitest jerks. Which will simply alienate whats left of the highest end players, and their absence will likely be felt all the way down the line. As people aren't going to suddenly start thinking for themselves.
 

ZephrC

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Hopeless Bastard said:
ZephrC said:
Hopeless Bastard said:
"simplicity = more strategy" is the same as "ignorance is strength." Its doublespeak.

Simplicity just reduces options. Fewer options means less strategy. Less strategy means less gameplay. Less gameplay means wow is just a work simulator.
Yes, because chess is clearly for people less intelligent than WoW players.

I'm pretty sure there's an ideal amount of complexity. It's just slightly more than an intelligent person can easily understand. Video games generally have billions of times that much complexity. That means instead of actually thinking and trying things out and getting a feel for how things work, you simply stumble around blindly until something kinda works without having any idea why or how, or you get a computer to figure the answer out for you. There is absolutely zero strategy involved in that.

Frankly, I think Blizzard is trying to take WoW away from the people in this thread and give it back to people that speak English. And I applaud them for it.
A: I'd love to know the games you're playing with "billions of times the complexity an intelligent person can easily understand." If you're doing the stupid thing, and trying to argue every single line of code equals more complexity, sure. But in reality, where I live, the code of a game is equal to the individual atoms that make up the board and each piece of a chess set. They are what allows the game to exist but have little affect on how the game is played.

B: Chess has sixteen pieces spread across six piece types that at the highest levels need to function in perfect tandem to achieve anything other than crushing defeat. This is good balance.

If you boil everything down to what it actually affects, then wow has fifteen total "stats." To each individual class, only five really matter. Three of which will be at sufficient levels simply as a side-effect of wearing the best gear. This is terrible balance.

The problem isn't that there are too many stats, the problem is powercreep hasn't been balanced properly, rendering 2/3rds of wow's stats irrelevant to each individual class. Instead of taking the proper approach to fixing their game, they're simply cutting away all the sharp corners to make the game more accessible.

[random last line, that I think is really, really profound, but just makes me look like a retard]
Hey, that last line is exactly what it claims to be! :p

Anyway, you just claimed that every single character in WoW has ten useless stats and five useful ones. Even if I bought your idea of complexity=strategy you still lose nothing from them changing it so everyone just has five useful stats. Do you honestly think the game would be more fun if you had fifteen stats and every one of them was useful? How many different things can a stat even do in WoW? How would new people ever figure out which of those stats were better? The best strategic games are the ones where new players can figure out the basic idea and play. They can make their strategies themselves, instead of having to get them from other players that got them from a computer.
 

incoherent

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People have overly high expectations for the gear simplification in Cataclysm. At present, unless some other major change is announced, each player will have maybe one fewer stat to balance on gear than they do in WotLK, and in several cases they will have the same number of stats to balance.

There are some good things, of course. The removal of armor penetration is wonderful. (If you're a non-WoW player and still reading this, armor penetration is a stat so complicated that the math nerds mentioned several times in this article/thread thought it was bugged until one of the developers came in and posted in excruciating detail how it worked [http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=16473618356&sid=1&pageNo=4#77].) Making the "white" stats (stamina/strength/agility/intellect/spirit) actually useful to people besides healers and tanks is a good change, but it doesn't reduce the complexity of the game all that much.

And then they announced the mastery stat, which does something different for every spec of every class and will inevitably cause a giant headache for everyone, much like armor penetration currently does for physical DPS.

The continual simplification of the raiding game is another matter entirely, but I won't wade into that flamewar.
 

Jeff Groves

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ZephrC said:
Anyway, you just claimed that every single character in WoW has ten useless stats and five useful ones. Even if I bought your idea of complexity=strategy you still lose nothing from them changing it so everyone just has five useful stats. Do you honestly think the game would be more fun if you had fifteen stats and every one of them was useful? How many different things can a stat even do in WoW? How would new people ever figure out which of those stats were better? The best strategic games are the ones where new players can figure out the basic idea and play. They can make their strategies themselves, instead of having to get them from other players that got them from a computer.
People aren't going to start suddenly thinking for themselves. The people currently hanging on EJ's every word, are simply going to continue hanging on EJ's every word. If the dumbing down of the game alienates people who actually liked putting a modicum of thought into the game, those currently hanging on EJ's every word are going to find someone else to tell them how to play. These people aren't going to stop being thick if blizzard applies spell haste to agility or armor penetration to intelligence. They aren't going to start thinking for themselves if theres less to think about. They're just going to continue demanding someone think for them.

But... yea, how does complexity not equal strategic thinking? If, during the years in which chess was still in a state of change, someone came to the conclusion that "pawns are weak, lets remove them," would that have made chess more strategic? I played chess with some black kid in 7th grade, and he was taught you could move into check. Meaning the next move ends the game. Does that make chess more strategic?
incoherent said:
Making the "white" stats (stamina/strength/agility/intellect/spirit) actually useful to people besides healers and tanks is a good change, but it doesn't reduce the complexity of the game all that much.

And then they announced the mastery stat, which does something different for every spec of every class and will inevitably cause a giant headache for everyone, much like armor penetration currently does for physical DPS.
In the beginning, we actually started moving away from the white stats because they were clearly weighted heavier than "ap" or "mana/5" because of all the non-damage "benefits" they gave.

Moving everything to the white stats does reduce complexity simply because its further homogenization of the game itself. Back and launch, casters went for int and stamina... and nothing else. But a few enterprising casters started stacking "spell power" when it was a white stat only on green items. It was an actual decision. "I'm going to sacrifice mana/health for this strange and unknown stat that claims to increase spell damage." People thought we were fucking daft... until the first dps meters started popping up. Then they started adding it to all caster gear and we rolled our eyes.

Then you had damned near every warlock in the game, when they first learned curse of elements thinking "wtf fire sux an i hab no frost spells??" or "maybe this will make fire more usefull..." then going out, cursing something, casting a single spell, seeing no difference or "resisted" and forgetting the spell existed. Then when curse of shadow comes along, they forget about it instantly. Not knowing the spell gave this small chance per point of negative resistance to add 25%/50%/75%/100% damage. Then it gets nerfed to shit to be more "clear."

Rambling... they've been steadily stripping away mechanics and features since launch because, for some reason, in a fucking mmo, no one wanted to take the time to figure anything out... people who will rack up 250 days played in a year... This (and many other tidbits) lead me to the conclusion that some people suffer physical pain from the act of thinking.
 

ZephrC

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Hopeless Bastard said:
People aren't going to start suddenly thinking for themselves. The people currently hanging on EJ's every word, are simply going to continue hanging on EJ's every word. If the dumbing down of the game alienates people who actually liked putting a modicum of thought into the game, those currently hanging on EJ's every word are going to find someone else to tell them how to play. These people aren't going to stop being thick if blizzard applies spell haste to agility or armor penetration to intelligence. They aren't going to start thinking for themselves if theres less to think about. They're just going to continue demanding someone think for them.

But... yea, how does complexity not equal strategic thinking? If, during the years in which chess was still in a state of change, someone came to the conclusion that "pawns are weak, lets remove them," would that have made chess more strategic? I played chess with some black kid in 7th grade, and he was taught you could move into check. Meaning the next move ends the game. Does that make chess more strategic?
If somebody decided to make a version of chess where every pawn had a different way of moving and there were twice as many pieces and the whole thing happened on a 16x16 grid would that make it more strategic? I would say no. No human mind is capable of processing that level of complexity, so the game would simply be more random from a human point of view, and no human would ever be able to compete with a computer. But that's how video games try to implement strategy.
 

Jeff Groves

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ZephrC said:
If somebody decided to make a version of chess where every pawn had a different way of moving and there were twice as many pieces and the whole thing happened on a 16x16 grid would that make it more strategic? I would say no. No human mind is capable of processing that level of complexity, so the game would simply be more random from a human point of view, and no human would ever be able to compete with a computer. But that's how video games try to implement strategy.
Then once again, I'd fucking love to know what games you're playing. The most complex game I've managed to find in the last five years is tropico 3... and even thats simpler than sim city.

As for my my point, I'm one of those guys who'd actually try to think about wow. Eventually, I got to the point where I found the game was extremely simple and boring. Wow isn't currently or has ever been in a state of overcomplexity. Its always been in a state of imbalance. What they should be doing is making more options viable, rather than cutting away options people felt were useless. There should be no shitty talents, taken simply to move up the tree. There should be no "required quantity" of a stat, where more or less is nearly completely useless.

The people on EJ about aren't inhuman adding machines, they're just people who, for some strange reason, don't find the act of thought extremely painful.

And, yes, that would make chess more strategic... if it were balanced correctly.
 

Jaded Scribe

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I'm all for simplifying the stat system. It was crazy-bogged down and complicated. As a BM hunter, I wanted to stack Attack Power because my pet benefited from straight AP rather than my agility. If I wanted to try Survival, it practically required a whole new set of gear, gems and enchants.

I'm excited about talent tree changes too. I love the idea of bring the class, not the spec. I get tired of being pigeon-holed into one specific spec. I miss playing as BM. I would love to see it get buffed to the point of being competitive again.
 

Prophetic Heresy

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Dec 26, 2009
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I enjoyed the article very much, especially the nod at D&D 4th edition. It's a refreshing change of pace to hear somebody besides me or my best friend say that it's a well made game.

Personally, complex group synergy would be a massive selling point for me in any game. I know that in most JRPGs party synergy is a main component of the gameplay, but I hate everything else in JRPGs with a passion. I mean, I told anyone who would listen that FF sucked before I even owned a computer. But that's neither here nor there.

Bottom Line: If it makes the MMO's in general about more than Tank/Healer/DPS, I'll be glad.
 

kementari

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Mar 18, 2008
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Jeff Groves said:
The one variable that a strategy guide can't predict is your personal group composition. With 10 classes, each of whom can choose between 3 talent specializations, there are more potential combinations for a 10-man raid than there are current WoW subscribers. What if your talent spec not only affected yourself, but everyone in the raid as well?
This was a great, insightful article until you brought this up as a "solution". You must realize that if raid makeup and how certain specs' abilities affect the raid were a pivotal core mechanic EJ would eventually figure out which precise grouping of classes would contribute the most DPS, the most HPS, the most survivability, etc., just like any other variable. (In fact, this already happens - "You need a (spec) (class) to take down (boss)" - and it's a travesty.)

In this, like in everything else, simplicity is the key to allowing players to have the most freedom. E.g., for a 10-man, you need two tanks, three healers, and five DPS - the rest is up to you.

Does this lead to the overwhelming ultra-simplification we've been seeing in World of Homogenizationcraft since mid-TBC? For better or for worse, yeah. But the devs have to choose simplicity OR complexity - trying to straddle the gap between them just leads to disaster.
 

^=ash=^

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Sep 23, 2009
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Plinglebob said:
Is it sad that I could identify the UI overlay on the title picture as being a Dwarf Priest's?
haha yea i see it, Shadow Word: Pain and Stone Skin (at least i think its stone skin):p

OT: i really enjoyed reading this article and i have to agree, while reading i was picturing the possible talent trees, and tag-team dynamics.

The game has become complicated, with talents, glyphs, gems, the optimum gear, buffs etc.
 

solidstatemind

Digital Oracle
Nov 9, 2008
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Late to the party, but there are a couple of things I think it needs to be pointed out:
Somebody said that everyone could see all the content in tBC. This is factually incorrect. The Vials of Eternity attunement questline allowed only 'teh hardcorez' (of which I was one) into Hyjal (and thus BT as well) until they lifted that requirement. Of course, if you had completed the attunement, you got a title: Hand of A'dal, but then everybody got to run BT and MH. And it worked.

Does that sound familiar?

Honestly, there are arguments on both sides of the fence, but you really need to consider that Blizzard isn't in the business of making games that only appeal to a small percentage of the fanbase- if they want to keep the subscriber numbers up, they must appeal to the widest range (and skill levels) of players possible.

Now I understand the disappointment that some of the more competitive types might feel, not being able to flash their '1337 G34rZ in Dalaran, but isn't that void filled by the server-first titles (if the regular ones aren't cool enough)? I actually think titles are better, because eventually everyone can get gear-- heck, they don't even have to be that good, they can just pay to be carried through a raid (I saw some real terribad rogues with Warglaives), but there are only TWENTY FIVE people who have Death's Demise, Celestial Defender, etc. per realm.

Oh, and to the person who pointed out the paradox of 'Need Gear to Raid; Need to Raid to get Gear', the whole point of the Frost Emblem system is to allow players who can't regularly get raids to gear up. Yes, it's very very slowly (which prevents oversaturation), and yes, the best stuff is still going to be gotten out of Raids, but you can eventually meet the gear requirements.

Which actually brings me to the OT: I am also looking forward to Cataclysm because I've long despised the Min/max attitude where if you play a certain class, you "have" to play a certain spec, and "have" to have certain gear, gems, and enchants, or else your 'a N00blet!' Narrowing the stats will possibly (not for sure) allow for more flexibility. At least, I hope it does.

Plus, it really looks like they're doing just as fantastic a job with the art and the design as they did with Wrath. It should be fun.
 

mptothedc

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Seems like people are just mad the game is changing.... but really the game has come to just copying the person with better gear than you. I think making everybody differ, and utilize their abilities, over their max dps spec will make the game much more interesting. Personally, I feel that WoW has become fairly boring and is in need of a dire change.
 

Three Dawg

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May 31, 2010
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I for one am glad the game is taking this uncomplicated direction, if only because it'll cut back on the whole "WoW subscription = No life" stereotype. However, sadly nothing Blizzard does can make the actual people who play the game improve. What I mean by that is, the reason I dropped my subscription in the first place is because of the horrible community that's even worse then Xbox lives.

Hopefully Cataclysm is good enough to bring me back in, I do sort of miss my Orc Hunter.
 

Nohra

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Aug 9, 2008
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Some of the problems with the level of synergy characters have in DnD being brought to WoW:

1.) People play classes they enjoy. Each of the ten classes behave very differently, and in a game like WoW, where certain composition is expected in 10 or 25 man raids (2 tanks, 2 healers, 6 DPS on average for 10s, 2-3 tanks, 5-7 healers, and 15-18 DPS for 25s), the only rule for 4e is that you want a minimum of one striker, one controller, one leader, and one defender. Any of the classes in DnD can double up effectively, but in say, five man instances, going with a pair of tanks or healers can be hindering. The same is true of going with four healers or four tanks in a ten. Enrage timers have made fights in WoW exceedingly precise in what they require to be completed. Not only that, but there are only four healing classes and four tanking classes (two classes are also capable of being tanks or healers).

2.) Arena. This is the constant thorn in the side of many PvErs and PvPers alike (especially BG enthusiasts). Arena has greatly modified PvE tactics over time because of certain abilities or talents that were causing immense problems in PvP, but were just fine in PvE. The Fan of Knives nerf for Combat (removing the interrupt effect from Throwing Specialization) was one example of this, FoK interrupt was required for a few fights in Ulduar, which was the highest raid at the time, but the ability for a single rogue to interrupt five people all at once was just too much.

3.) Fight balancing. Fight balancing WILL be modified over time to favor certain combinations of synergistic characters, because their potential for DPS or what have you would otherwise completely trivialize an encounter. This in turn would make it difficult for any other group to succeed, because their maximum potential is very limited. But what do I know, I run with four elemental shaman (currently one of the lowest max potential DPS, if not the lowest) and no rogues. :u

Anyways. I look forward to the Cata changes myself, it'll be nice not having ArPen as a stat anymore. But then, it was a stat that played favorites, and frost/UH DKs, ret paladins, enh shaman, and 2/3rds of hunters were not on that list.
 

Rack

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I certainly agree with the sentiment here, complexity is not strategy, making knights move 17 spaces forwards, 3 to the right, then 4 to the left followed by 15 backwards adds nothing to the game. But WoW is not a strategy game and I'm unsure the removal of stats here are the ones you would remove to promote strategy.

Spellcasters for example will retain Spirit, Intellect and Haste as offensive options. Decisions between Spirit and Haste make total sense they affect the speed at which you deal damage or heal versus your longevity. That's a simple tactical choice which adds richness next to decisions to increase your defense. Throw in defensive spells and you've got a nice pattern. But with Intellect affecting total mana AND spell damage you're almost certainly introducing EJ syle formulae bashing. Which is better, 10 intellect or 5 spirit and 5 haste? Their functional effects are nigh identical but one will increase your total effectiveness compared to the other. If they were balanced at all levels then you could play the effects of haste vs spellpower but the coupling of mana to intellect rather than spirit muddies the issue unnecessarily. Ironically the old system was probably less complex, if they had just streamlined the formulae they could have increased clarity without pissing off half the player base.
 

anaximanes_1978

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Mar 20, 2004
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I wish they would add a thing you could click to make ANY instance in the whole game from Ragefire Chasm all the way to Northrend Heroic, or at least match a level, like lvl 80. Playing old school dungeons that would be hard again like in the old days and yet now drop lvl 80 loot would be fun and bring back memories too. It would also give players a HUGE choice when they want to do dungeons.
 

Idocreating

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anaximanes_1978 said:
I wish they would add a thing you could click to make ANY instance in the whole game from Ragefire Chasm all the way to Northrend Heroic, or at least match a level, like lvl 80. Playing old school dungeons that would be hard again like in the old days and yet now drop lvl 80 loot would be fun and bring back memories too. It would also give players a HUGE choice when they want to do dungeons.
The older dungeons were not hard because of dungeon/monster design. It was all about how they were tuned and how player characters worked. Go into the dungeon finder now and your more than likely to blitz through whatever dungeon you get into from vanilla content because player characters have been tweaked and improved at low levels to make the game less of a pain in the butt to play.

The actual encounters themselves are mostly tank and spanks (All the boss does is whack one target repeatedly) which are boring as hell and have been removed in TBC and Wrath content. The difficulty lied in low player character power and the fact that the trash was bunched together and would run to other packs at low health.
 

olicon

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Third page, and this discussion is still strictly about WoW PvE?
I was thinking the moment the word strategy comes in, someone would mention PvP-oriented aspect of the game, or other games.
I guess I'm just playing League of Legends a lot these days, and it makes me really bad how people fall into the trapping of cookie cutter builds.

While it is possible to math out some spreadsheet for the best healing or damage you can do, it becomes impossible in other type of games--like say, one where you cannot outheal all the incoming damage. Suddenly, the paradigm is shifted. Having a tank and a healer doesn't mean you got it made in moba games. It just mean that the tank will live a few seconds longer than normal, which is a few seconds longer than the squishies. I find the prospect that varying your spell timing by 1 sec can be the difference between life and death of the whole team to be very exciting. When the variable becomes so pronounce, more strategy and play style should arise..
and yet if you visit the LoL forums, you have a few "facts" that people live by. "X and Y items are bad", they proclaim. Anyone who think otherwise must be wrong, because there should only be 1 ultimate solution.
Then they come crying every time someone breaks the rule of the system, tried a new build, a new team composition, which destroy the old paradigm.

It's surprising that with all the advancements in the game, and all the new things that you could do, very few actually learned that there is more than 1 way to play a game.
 

marurder

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Jul 26, 2009
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WOW engineered it's downfall by making the game revolve around GEAR more than player SKILL.

IF you want simple stats, look at an older game, for example CS. Sure there's math involved, but you don't need to think about it to play well.