Manaflask Article

From Fresh 90 to Downing Lei Shen while Basically Doing Nothing


WoW: Accessibility and Apathy

 

In the ongoing conversation about the benefits/detriments of Raid Finder, mr. Mike Preach Wow over the tubes of You has successfully killed Lei Shen while acting like a complete idiot. This includes not using poisons, not using envenom, and either putting other melee on follow or just running around and doing literally nothing.
The video is rather long. And the accent makes me a bit uncomfortable (American Accent is best accent NA), but it's rather disturbing/eye-opening to see the tragedy of raiding with LFR. The general gist of the video is that having an environment where there is ZERO incentive to play better is very depressing, and could do serious harm on a new players' impression on the game in general.

A longer post on this sometime in the next few days, but I figured getting this video some more recognition would do well to stir up the discussion. Also props to Darniee and Exaltus for starting a discussion about this and bringing it to our attention. And here's the full video description

"The purpose of this video is to demonstrate the problems faced by new players when joining the game and why they do not feel the incentive to advance into the game. This video in no way is suggesting 'wow is too easy' or any other conclusions surrounding that statement people wish to force upon the video. The same goes for 'rose tinted goggles' or special snowflake' and any other nonsensical arguments that are not mentioned in any way

Some Reminders:
No friends/guidlies etc were in the dungeons.
I did 0 damage for the 5 mans and all of the initial LFR's until ToT
I did horrific Damage to appear on the dmg meter in ToT
I was kicked a grand total of once after using /follow as a test."

 

-Sunkisttuna



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  4. Starym's avatar
    Starym 2013-06-16 22:59:48 UTC — That's great then. They take the stats from the current LFR, see what happens with flex next patch and hopefully with all that data can REALLY come out with a solid, balanced motivating system in the next expansion!
  5. Satan's avatar
    Satan 2013-06-16 21:28:45 UTC — @Starym I think they are trying to have some increase in difficulty in the sense you presented.

    In this i agree, little increases.
    For example, Durumu is one, Iron Qon fire is another.
    And Lei Shen cannot be done if people don't go to the four corners, and at last try to do the mechanics.

    In this i think blizzard is doing exactly what you are talking about.
    Very small, yet increasing difficult steps.
    You can see this clearly when you see the number of wipes necessary to clean the first part of ToT, and compare to the third and fourth part.

    So in this sense i agree with you.
    Minor challenges to make you aware of the game is nice.
    Things that cause this challenge to wipe the entire raid is not.
    And i think blizzard is trying to reach this amount of challenge that makes you aware but don't screw everyone else.
    Probably their worst nightmare is with item level, and random player skill level.
    I think they wish they could normalize all item lvl from everyone that enters raid finder, this would solve a lot of their design problems with raid finder, but they know that the feeling of progress is so important to people that removing it would be an even great disaster...

    At last i feel they are trying to come with better designs.
    Let's see if Flex will do any good to the game, i have high hopes about it.
  6. Starym's avatar
    Starym 2013-06-16 18:51:49 UTC — Actually I was ok with Bad Boys and The Rock, it's everything he's done since then that's terrible.
    And of course i can say that people liking something is bad. I think people liking crack cocaine is bad. Is that also just my opinion? Bad games are bad for people because they set their tastes to "bad". Same thing with (most) reality TV shows. Music is really not comparable in any way to games though, at least I fail to see how, since you can't compare different types of music to each other, it's far more abstract.

    I strongly disagree that the color doesn't matter. If epics (not to mention legendaries) were only available from the slightly more difficult end boss in LFR THAT would be the motivation to try it more, to not quit after 1 wipe as you said. It's just human psychology, yes colors matter.

    And again you're arguing with points I never made. Clearly Garalon and Durumu was too hard then. Difficulty is relative, when I say final boss should be harder that doesn't mean OMG IMPOSSIBLE 1 SHOT IF YOU DON'T MOVE IN 1 SEC!111. It means more difficult than the last boss. Make forgiving mechanics but ones that DO require attention (so for example if you stand in fire for 10 seconds you die). And you're just starting to make shit up now or just didn't read any of my replies, TRUE challenge? I never EVER said LFR should have true challenge or even Normal mode like challenge. I merely said that the last or last few bosses should require more effort and shouldn't be possible to kill the first time you enter the LFR raid. If you think that's TRUE challenge then we're simply talking past eachother. Incremental raising of difficulty is the only way to motivate people to improve - at the moment there are HUGE walls between lfr and normal and normal and heroic. And I 100% agree that 1 person being able to wipe a raid it completely unnaceptable for LFR. But that person should then die instead. And then you're down to 24 etc.

    You're mistaking soe different things here. People are stuc on Council and Durumu because those are poorly designed bosses (difficulty wise) for the position in the "roster". Council should be instead of Iron Qon and Durumu instead of Twins etc. the ramp needs to be smooth and inclining towards the endboss. When you're stuck on the third boss of a 12 boss dungeon that does not motivate you to do anything, you can't farm a lot of gear because you can only kill 2 bosses and then you go down to LFR for gear and then people notice that the Normal gear isn't worth all that hassle and hello guild disband. The balancing issues on Blizzard's part have always been part of that game, that's why I find it a little weird/hilarious that you attribute this "LFR is perfect, Blizz balanced it that way on purpose" attitude to it. It's all about testing things. So what is the harm of making Garrosh in t16 be incrementally harder on LFR (let's say the equivalent of the 6th t16 boss in flex or whatever) then watching if people indeed quit after 1 wipe and if only 10% of LFR players ever clear it? You do that once and then you know it was a stupid idea. Or you tune it down next time. That's how game design should work, and we ALL know Blizz in-house testing for raids is just horrible.

    Your final points are solid, though, but I still think that this "slum" class of raiding without any hope or desire to improve is utterly anathema to the concept of raiding in general - and so all of the hegatives you listed should be addressed in some way while also gradually increasing difficulty. Maybe it won't work, maybe the issues you listed are not fixable, but to say that it shouldn't even be attempted is just silly IMO and it's reasoning like that that makes a game stagnate and makes the casual/hardcore split even bigger and more important, which is never a good thing.
  7. Satan's avatar
    Satan 2013-06-16 17:40:30 UTC — I have not commented on your Michael Bay analogy because i don't really know many of his films, having only watched Bad Boys, a movie that differently from you, i kind of enjoyed at that time, so i can't comment without knowing the issue you are talking about, so yes, i cant refute because i have not watched his films, but i refuted the idea of your comparison if you read again.

    And no, nothing i had said invalidate my previous points.
    All i said is that you cannot say that liking or not liking something is inherently wrong, its subjective, and if people like something that is technically very bad, you cannot simple say that this is a problem.
    Want an analogy? Classical music versus Rap, or Pop. Technically classical music, orchestrated music is much more technical, and inside musical theory much more advanced, hard to produce, expensive, and complex, but people want to hear Rap and Pop and not Orchestras. You cannot judge them for that, its subjective, they are not measuring technical standards, but how much the enjoy that or not.


    Again you take LFR in a wrong sense.
    They are not GIVING purples, they are rewarding lower ilvl purples to people that plays 4-5 hours each week for months. Yes it is a grind, sure, but you want what, to grind of blue gear?

    The sense of new, of "WOW!" of discovery is lost, you cannot get that back, the game is old, the wounder effect is lost, the graphics of wow are not impressive anymore, and the map size is not that bigger then the games we have today.
    Vanilla endured the "purple only to raiders" because no one really knew what raiding was about, most of people could not even complete Scholo, getting a epic mount was something EPIC at that time.
    And it was not because it was HARD, it was a piece of cake compared to anything today, but INFORMATION was scarce, the game was new, no one KNEW how to play, community was not developed yet, the game had very bad balancing issues, and people were happy leveling a character for MONTHS, many MONTHS.

    Now most people wants an END GAME, they did not enjoy leveling a character anymore, because there is better games of leveling grinding then wow, it feels a single player if you level a new character right now.
    Yes some people love leveling, but most just want to reach end game. And guess what, vanilla had NO end game for the masses, it was a VERY VERY restrict end game, that only catered to people that can spend 8 hours inside a raid like MC or BWL.

    Since TBC everyone had access to epic level loot.
    In WoTLK they expended this with new dungeons that provided epic loot, and in cataclysm they added raid finder, because people liked having epic loot in heroics.

    The color of the loot doesn't matter, the ILVL is what matters.
    The item being epic is not a trick like you are implying, it is a RULE. Itens of x ilvl or more are epic.
    Making then blue with same ilvl would only confuse people. Think about a 502 ilvl blue... and a 476 ilvl epic... i makes no sense that the blue is way better then the epic inside the same expansion.

    And if you not up the ilvl people will lose interest.
    If Raid finder drops the same ilvl gear on MSV, then on ToT, people will never run ToT.
    So yes, it needs to drop ever increasing ilvl gear, to make a sense of progress on your character, and in this epic quality is required, because blue stops on dungeons.


    Now, about facts, well facts are facts.
    People DO leave when they wipe, it already happens.
    It happened when durumu was lauched, and happened when Garalon wasn't nerfed.
    So yes, i'm basing myself on empirically verified data.
    People did not tried harder on Garalon, they gave up. The only groups that killed was the ones composed mostly for Normal/Heroic raiders.

    And it was only because 1 skill could kill the raid if a player walked inside his area. Think about what would happen if you added non limited stacking pheromones and upped the damage a little, to really create a challenging encounter... lol i would really like to see that, would be so much crying and rage quitting.

    And to finish, i'd like to point you that i wasn't contradicting myself, durumu only have ONE of it skills doing what it was supposed to do.
    If only 1 more skill of his did what it does on normal, durumu would be unkillable.
    And durumu is only possible to kill right now because he have very small HP.
    What i had said is that any TRUE challenge is not possible in LFR because it is against it's on essence, and that stands true.
    What you need to understand is that every time you add a mechanic that is "do or die" in raid finder you cause a problem, remember Elegon, remember Garalon pre-nerf, remember Durumu, add 2 or 3 of those in the same fight, and it becomes impossible to do, add enough HP so that you cannot zerg the boss and finish it with 1/3 of the raid alive after a black phase, and the raid is done for.
    Now remember the number of "do or kill raid" mechanics in wow, if even ONE of those appear in raid finder, it would cause MAJOR problems. There would always be someone that would explode the lighting sphere in water on Jin'rohk, wiping the entire raid.

    Wow raid difficulty is based on those two principles, "do or die" and "do or kill raid", well there is another too along side "reach dps number or die", and "have enough hps or die".
    From those, only "do or die" is acceptable on RF, and even then needs to be used with care.

    Add "do or kill raid" and people would scream and rage at new players or bad players, and every week you would need to face again hours of wipe because someone cannot leave the water.

    Add "reach dps number or die" is another problem, because it is tied to "do or die". How much dps is needed? We will balance it for some people in Normal gear inside? Or with only people in LFR gear? And how much LFR gear? The minimum amount to enter?
    If you make the min dps amount the one that a average player can do with min amount of gear, said group would need to be perfect on the "do or die", so you cannot do that, because you would cause "do or die" to mean "do or kill raid", and that would cause major issues, one dps dies raid wipes is not acceptable. Then you need to set the bar lower, so a group full of min gear required people can still complete if some dps dies.
    Ok, now get to real raiding and leave theory, there will be people in Heroic gear, normal gear, and people in the min required amount. What happens? Yes the bar is too low for this group, and half the raid can afk or die without any problem. But if you rise the bar up, a random group without better geared people would be unable to do it.
    The game is already balanced like that.

    And about "Having enough HPS or die", well this is another major issue, it works like "reach dps number or die", but even worse, because having way less healers then DPS's, means that if 2 of then dies to "do or die" mechanics, it turns into a wipe. So you need HPS to be passable with at last 2 less healers and all of then with min gear.

    That is why Raid finder is so easy.
    Blizzard did not just decided without any logical reasoning what skills to nerf from the boss, and how low to set the bar. They set it to the value that a full group of people in entry gear for that raid finder can do it without needing perfect execution.
    And when you bring that to play where Heroic/Normal raiders are farming valor there too, and the average player has more gear then the entry gear things turns to be really easy.
    But they cannot set the bar higher, because it would be unfair to a group of min required gear.

    One of the problems with raid finder is that there is much more gear there then it can be acquired there, and setting the bar up would force people with gear to start kicking people in weak gear.


    So yes, it is much more logical to assume this then simple saying "Oh people will improve, i'm sure of it, i have faith in humanity!".
    That is why i said that this is logic vs faith.

    Want an empirical proof of that?
    Most don't raid 10's.

    If people were thrived by challenge they would finish LFR, and start to do normals, but guess what? Most don't.
    If people could improve so much, 25% of the raiding guilds would not be stuck on Normal Council.
    Half of raiding guilds cannot even kill Durumu Normal, and those are organized groups!

    Add those "challenges" to a random group of people without organization, without normalization of ilvl or player skill, without voice communication, or anything like that and it will be impossible.

    The problem most seems to avoid when thinking about Raid Finder is the fact that the group is randomly arranged.
    This means that you get players different item levels, different skills, different interests, different tolerance to wipes, different amount of time to play.
    You need to set the bar so that a group composed of people without extra gear, and that have 2 hours max to play can complete it, without group organization, without voice communication, and without 2-3 of these being trolls, or being very very bad, or going afk meaning the failure of the raid.
    And when you set the bar so low, a group with some geared guys will make it a walk on the park.

    It is EXACTLY what happens when you start farming a Raid.
    At the beginning things are hard, you need to really play well. When you have gear you stomp it effortlessly.
    But in raid finder people with normal mode gear, valor gear, heroic gear are too overgeared to raid finder, and by that it makes raid finder even more easy then it was supposed to be.
    But you cannot raise the difficulty based on that, because doing so means that if a group fails to have such geared people it will ultimately fail, making you feel like you NEED normal geared people in your raid to even have a chance of success.

    So in every way possible making Raid Finder harder is bad.
    - It is bad because it will make normal/heroic gear required.
    - It is bad because you cannot add raid killing things, trolls, afks, bad players would screw up week after week and make people stop enjoying going into raid finder.
    - It is bad because if you make the amount necessary to complete the encounter more strict, player deaths will start to mean raid killing, and that is bad.
    - It is bad because you cannot ask for much coordination, those are people that don't know each other, and coordination requires playing a lot with each other, knowing each other, and talking with each other, and those happens in organized groups, normals/heroics, but not in random groups, LFR.

    So all kinds of challenge that wow can offer are more or less negated in raid finder.
    That is why i said that challenge is against Raid finder Essence in wow.



  8. Starym's avatar
    Starym 2013-06-16 12:52:37 UTC — Ok so the very first response you made basically invalidates the rest of your post. Of course we can judge subjectivity - certain opinions are categorically and empirically wrong and then there's a gradation to it as well. I see you ignored my Michael Bay analogy and I assume that's because you can't refute it - that's an example of not subjectivity but fact. No one would argue that his "films" are bad for the quality of the industry and CoD games are basically the exact same thing (I'm primarily talking about single player, in MP the issue becomes more clouded and less objective). The fact that many people like it doesn't mean it's subjective to say that CoD or that 99% of Bay movies are bad.

    On competition I agree with you that it's not a motivation for everyone, nor should it be, I'm just saying that allowing everyone to think that they're a special snowflake and that as long as you play and pay for the same game you're the same as every other player is wrong. The example in WoW for this is the fact that LFR has epic/legendary gear and that epic gear in general has become as common as greens were in Vanilla. It's not because of logic, it's so that people can feel better about spending time in a game - guess what, that's WRONG and manipulative. If you enjoy playing a game that's reward in itself. Giving purplez and legendaries to anyone who can complete LFR invalidates their very existence - aka they are supposed to be are reward for accomplishing something and not just something you grind for.

    Ok seriously now, you need to stop inventing "facts" here. You don't know what would happen any more that I do so please stop predicting "people would stop after 1 wipe, this would happen that would happen". I agree with you that your THEORY has more backing than mine but neither is logically or empirically correct. I just have more faith in people and their ability to adapt, that's all, and I think that more people would "graduate" to more skilled players/raiders than would give up altogether.

    "So no, LFR cannot have difficulty because it's own essence." You're contradicting yourself here - LFR already HAS difficulty as you yourself stated with Durumu a few posts ago. The only thing we're discussing here is making the last few or even only the last boss be a slightly more significant challenge and a segue into Normal/flex.
  9. Satan's avatar
    Satan 2013-06-16 06:40:03 UTC — @Starym You cannot judge subjectivity, you can only judge lasting effects on the industry, and so far all tries to make moderate difficulty games have failed, because they receive too much critics from both side, casuals complain it takes to long to finish, and is too hard, and hardcores complain that the game hardest difficult is only a re-scale of the normal one, and that the game is too softcore for them.

    Now about the idea of competition, well i disagree.
    I don't think competition is that necessary to make games fun for everyone.
    We may play because we are competitive, but many others plays for different motivations, be that IRL friends, knowing new people, lore, graphics, fan of warcraft world, to make many alts, etc...
    Competition is not for everyone's taste.

    There is already trophys for winning, that is called normal mode, and heroic mode.
    What you gain in Raid Finder is consolation prize, the worst gear by far.

    I'd like to point to you that i used the OLD stereotype to represent how to majority of players was a decade ago, and i said that this had changed, but that by changing it, and broadening the kind of people attracted to games, that we would get people with different views, and that would want to exert different amounts of effort.

    LFR cannot gradually increase in difficult because of what i had extensively said before:
    1- Random members each time would mean you need to progress on the same fights you already progressed last week, meaning you would never have a farm.
    2- You are only one player, if all 25 playing right is needed it will never be completed because it is too hard to have the luck to get 25 players that know how to play in the same "draft"
    3- Since you are only 1 player in 25 you cannot possibly compensate for other faults if the difficult is turned up, in lfr gear.
    4- To make the raid challenging, mechanics that in normal kills you, and that in LFR doesn't would need to go start killing you in lfr too. As i showed this would make progression impossible, because some peoples would wipe the raid over and over again.
    5- If one person dying is still ok to complete the boss, meaning that one bad player would not screw the raid, then everyone will just slack because they will expect others to do the effort, this by the logic of people that are against LFR.
    6- People would not feel more incentive to try harder if they face a bigger challenge. If they did, they would be trying to go for normals, for better items. But the fact that many stays in LFR shows that those people doesn't want said challenge, and would not do challenging bosses.
    7- Some people would exploit this to grief and wipe the raids over and over again for the fun of it.

    Let me remember you why the added the new stackable buff to LFR, because when people died once or twice to a boss, they left!
    Do you really believe this would be different if content was harder?

    There is NO proof of what you are saying, wile i have many that can support my case, both empirically and logically.


    And to finish this, no i don't believe they became "this retarded" because i find it not "retarded" to not wanting challenge.
    They want to go, see the bosses, play their character as they wish, and collect some loot for their hours invested there each week.
    Every time a group starts to wipe, MANY leave. People don't want a challenge, and they will not if you turn the difficult up.
    It will lead to groups cycling people, and never getting a kill, because people will not even try to stay and improve as a group, but will instead just leave and either forget about it, or try to find a group that can kill said boss without a wipe.

    There isn't any way for wow to balance the game so that 1 dps not doing his job be enough to wipe the raid. And if it is not enough, said player will just keep being bad and wait for the raid to succeed or fail.

    In fact he playing good or bad makes a very small difference in the chance of the boss dying, if hes not a tank. If he plays good and the raid is bad, they will wipe. If he is bad but the raid is good, they will kill.
    You are only 1 in 25, either you make mechanics that outright kills everyone if just one fails, or you will be able to carry useless people with you.

    And if you make said mechanics wipe the raid in LFR, you will cause a HUGE problem, people will never be able to kill the bosses, and trolls will dominate it.

    So no, LFR cannot have difficulty because it's own essence.
    Its not compatible by design. There is no way it is possible, and that is it.
    There is no logical way to solve it that i know of, so wile no one presents a way to balance increased challenge with the fact that the group is randomized every week, and all the problems that comes from that, i will keep on the side of blizzard on this one.

  10. Starym's avatar
    Starym 2013-06-15 19:17:55 UTC — @Satan The majority of people also love Michael Bay shitmovies, does that make them good? Does it make me subjective for categorically stating they're terrible for the movie industry and the young people gowing up on them? Same applies to games. And I'm not singling out challenge even though the focus was on that in this particular conversation (it started with LFR, remember?) - a game can be incredibly easy for all I care if it has a good story/feel to it, my point is that games IN GENERAL shouldn't be too easy or should give incentives to play them on harder modes so they encourage people to be better at them. It's basically the same as the current generation "trophy for just competing" - it's a bad thing OBJECTIVELY, it devalues other accomplishments. But I think we won't be seeing eye to eye on this at all :D

    Um ofc the focus is on them, I thought I said that? I'm saying that instead of catering to their every whim they should do what Blizz SAY they want to do (but actually don't) aka make games accessible, draw the casuals in and then gradually try to turn them into real gamers. And I absoutely disagree with you that being a real gamer means a) spending a lot of free time on games and b) is limited to only a certain kind of person (as you said fat, nerd, whatever). Anyone can be a gamer, it's just a matter of showing them the value in "real" games - if you showed Planescape: Torment to a newgen gamer they'd laugh at you and never take a recomandation from you again. But if you made a game like Torment, amde it accessible and GRADUALLY build the story complexity (I think Bioshock Infinite is a prime example of this btw) you would improve that gamer's tastes. You shouldn't ever force people to play what they want. You should TRY to expose them to new things gradually.

    Show me logically or empirically that this is not possible. Yes you can't.
    "If people wipe for 1hour in a boss, they leave and never come back, try to understand that." - again, I absolutely disagree. Perhaps the LFRs you've experienced were like that but I simply refuse to believe that WoW players have become this retarded. And if they have then good riddance to them and the game tbh.

    The Lei Shen thing, I think you're attributing things other LFR haters say to me, please don't project those people on to me. I think LFR was a great idea. What I mean with Lei Shen isn't that the unwashed casual masses shouldn't get to see him because the leetz hardcorez earned it and they didn't. All I was saying is that Lei Shen should be the carrot that pushed people to improve themselves. If you give it away for free why would they try? Now this isn't AT ALL a good analogy but it's Futurama so it's god damn funny and actually related to what I mean: http://vimeo.com/12915013

    And I didn't really take the video to mean much, I just think it's interesting that you can do that. I also don't think that LFR is the main reason for lost subs. Seriously I think you had this same discussion or read it in some other, more stupid places/forums and think that we here are the same monocle wearing elitist pricks like the other LFR haters. At least for me I can say that's not true. I just really want to give people a chance to experience the glory of progression and achieving SIGNIFICANT things together, because that was the best part of WoW for me. I do, however, rigidly stick to my general gaming stance and I think we're on the same side there too, we just can't properly express it, even with novel-sized walls of text.

    And seriously, I know I post long responses too bad DAMN man, that was gigantic! I'd like to thank you for continuing the debate though, I love this kind of stuff!