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Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Steve » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:02 pm

Two things retain players -- content and other players.

This expansion has had less content than prior expansions, and the nature of the difficulty levels restricts the available content even more. As I've posted many times, the skill gaps across the raiding population are immense. Even 3 difficulty levels aren't enough, especially if the top difficulty level is meant to challenge the top guilds in the world.

It's the Goldilocks problem. Most of the content is either too hard or too easy for every player in the game.

The other problem is that things really fell apart when the player base stopped growing and started contracting.

A logical consequence of the player base getting smaller was that more and more raiding guilds inevitably died. When your raiding guild dies, you are presented with an exit point. Fewer of your buddies are still playing, and once your raid guild dies there's nobody left you really owe it to to show up. Plus, you might be on a server where raiding is basically dying and raiding again (with a chance on most heroic encounters) is going to require a transfer fee for every character you want off the server. The reasons to stay begin to get outnumbered by the reasons to quit.

---

At this point I'm convinced the sorts of things they'd need to change to halt the downward subscription spiral aren't the kinds of things that would maximize the profit they can squeeze out of the remaining life of the game.

And honestly, at the rate people are quitting there may be nothing they can do to halt that momentum.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby fafhrd » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:01 pm

Steve wrote:
This expansion has had less content than prior expansions, and the nature of the difficulty levels restricts the available content even more. As I've posted many times, the skill gaps across the raiding population are immense. Even 3 difficulty levels aren't enough, especially if the top difficulty level is meant to challenge the top guilds in the world.

It's the Goldilocks problem. Most of the content is either too hard or too easy for every player in the game.


This is only actually a problem if we assume that player lacks the ability to get better. In an environment where the content stays at the same difficulty for extended periods of time, this is not true, people do learn to get better. Everyone, even 70 year old grandmas who are only really playing because they want to spend some time with their grandkids slowly get better at not standing in fires, clicking the button after the timer on it finishes, etc. People who aren't quite that badly off at the start get better in more useful ways, like spending an evening one day reading up how their spec works, or getting to know what times to kill which things on which boss after enough kills.

If on the other hand the environment is such that everything is nerfed periodically, then things do stay too hard for a lot of people, because they never experience anything too hard to deal with - by the time they're through nerfed Tier 12 normal, LFR is out, and by the time they're through 6/8 LFR, Tier 13 normal is nerfed. If they ever get stuck on something for too long, no sweat, it will be nerfed. This perpetuates the problem.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Steve » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:38 pm

fafhrd wrote:This is only actually a problem if we assume that player lacks the ability to get better.


You and I have had this exact conversation before Cataclysm launched, so obviously neither of us has changed his position. I'm not sure what would be gained by rehashing things now - especially if nothing that has happened in Cataclysm has changed your mind.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Koatanga » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:12 am

Consistency is the thing. If it's consistently hard or consistently easy, it will attract and retain the people who like it that way. If it attracts the people who like things difficult, then they change it up to attract people who like it easy, the people who want difficulty get bored and find something harder. Then they make it hard again, and the easy people leave. So they go back to easy... And at each flip-flop they lose a segment of their audience, or at least segments lose their passion for the game.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Sagara » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:52 am

Well, the only *true* flip-flop we had was 4.0 and mid-4.2, when they caved in and significatly upped the ante on dungeons and raid, and went back on that decision. I wouldn't be surprise the dip in subscription had more to do with the *increase* in difficulty than the opposite.

In relationship terms, Blizz' tried a one-night stand with the old flame of *hard* when the backlash made them realise they should head back to their enjoyable and stable story with *accessible*
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby degre » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:43 am

fafhrd wrote:This is only actually a problem if we assume that player lacks the ability to get better. In an environment where the content stays at the same difficulty for extended periods of time, this is not true, people do learn to get better. Everyone, even 70 year old grandmas who are only really playing because they want to spend some time with their grandkids slowly get better at not standing in fires, clicking the button after the timer on it finishes, etc. People who aren't quite that badly off at the start get better in more useful ways, like spending an evening one day reading up how their spec works, or getting to know what times to kill which things on which boss after enough kills.

If on the other hand the environment is such that everything is nerfed periodically, then things do stay too hard for a lot of people, because they never experience anything too hard to deal with - by the time they're through nerfed Tier 12 normal, LFR is out, and by the time they're through 6/8 LFR, Tier 13 normal is nerfed. If they ever get stuck on something for too long, no sweat, it will be nerfed. This perpetuates the problem.

You're getting it so wrong you don't have an idea... you are assuming that people are like you, that people want to learn, improve, study to do better in their hobby, so wrong...

Not everyone is the same, some are scrubs now and will be forever, because attitudes are different and some are just not interested. Some might just not get it, some might just lack the ability to notice thing and react quickly, some just don't give a damn.

My girlfriend is a casual scrub, she decided to roll a tankadin after me, took over a month just to have her understand that she doesn't need int gear, and she got it just after I've got extremely pissed after she rolled on something 'but it's better then mine!'. Over a month ago eventually managed to grasp that she has to need only on plate with strenght... So I explained her which strength bits to wear, and to make it simple I told her 'everything but critical and haste, if either of those 2 is on don't use it', two days ago she showed me her shiny new boots with mastery and crit.

I gave her the link to maintankadin and a few other other resources, do you think she read it? I doubt, judging from that shiny 40 strength gem in her boots.


So, yes, some player can get better, some just don't give a fuck.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby theckhd » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:36 am

Koatanga wrote:Cata did it better, but this latest stuff is not up to par. There is no way that a bunch of casuals should be able to go into Dragon Soul in the first week and down 4 bosses with only the help of Icy Veins strats. That's just ridiculous.


I have to ask here: Why? What exactly is wrong with that? I went in there and stomped normal modes the first week on Theck. We even stomped through normal modes on our alt run. That doesn't make it ridiculous. Normal mode isn't my content; both of those characters are decked out in heroic FL gear, and hard modes are my content. I don't complain about normal modes being too easy, because I realize they're not tuned for my skill level. And in fact, I'd expect people to get offended if I loudly complained about how easy normal modes are and how even a "scrub guild" can clear them. (Just to be clear, that's not my opinion or stance on the matter, I'm just presenting it for the sake of the argument).

Why is LFR any different? 90% of the people reading this forum out-skill LFR by design, simply because you're the types of players that care enough to learn about the mechanics and optimize your character. LFR isn't tuned for you, it's tuned for the masses of people who simply log on once or twice a week to smash demons/undead/elementals/dragons in the face. What's wrong with them having their easy mode?

To put it in perspective, is it a problem that someone can waltz through the SC2 campaign on easy while you struggle through it on normal or hard difficulty? Does the fact that they can turn the game down to brain-dead mode somehow invalidate what you've accomplished by playing it on a setting that more directly challenges your ability level?

As an aside (and I'm not specifically pointing fingers at you here Kotanga, since I haven't looked up your post history):

This whole discussion about LFR really strikes me as funny, because I see players who struggle with normal modes complaining about what a travesty it is that "casuals" can clear bosses on LFR and see the content. It's the same level of elitism we've seen over the years from hard-mode raiders, who complained about how easy and undertuned normal modes are ("OMG even scrubs can clear normal mode"). And there was always a backlash against that sentiment from the raiders struggling with normal modes.

Now, I see many of those same players complaining about how easy LFR is and how even a moron could do it, completely oblivious to the fact that just a year ago they were the ones being called morons. It's really kind of hilarious. And it makes it pretty clear that for these players, the source of the problem isn't the difficulty level. It's the level of entitlement they have. "I deserve to get what I want, but players worse than me don't."
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby benebarba » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:54 am

theckhd wrote:Now, I see many of those same players complaining about how easy LFR is and how even a moron could do it, completely oblivious to the fact that just a year ago they were the ones being called morons. It's really kind of hilarious. And it makes it pretty clear that for these players, the source of the problem isn't the difficulty level. It's the level of entitlement they have. "I deserve to get what I want, but players worse than me don't."


This very thing has made me start wondering what would happen if Blizz simply removed important story elements from raids, as it seems to have become abuntantly clear that there is a pretty vocal population that views them like RBGs for the elite PVE crowd. Us 'casuals' just don't want to have to wait until some random object gets put in game to watch a somewhat out of context cutscene to find out what happened to the big bad this patch. I mean, this time we've already been made Thrall's errandboys... at least LFR lets me smack deathwing around for torching me 5 times.

Well that and apparently PVEers *can* QQ as bad as PVPers. :P
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:10 am

Sagara wrote:Well, the only *true* flip-flop we had was 4.0 and mid-4.2, when they caved in and significatly upped the ante on dungeons and raid, and went back on that decision. I wouldn't be surprise the dip in subscription had more to do with the *increase* in difficulty than the opposite.

In relationship terms, Blizz' tried a one-night stand with the old flame of *hard* when the backlash made them realise they should head back to their enjoyable and stable story with *accessible*


There is a reason why Wrath was immensely popular, and I'm guessing this was the reason.

People that joined Warcraft in Wrath got quite the shock when Cata rolled in.

I mean, with a mix of lvl 200 blues and purple, I could roll thru Gundrak in an average of 20 mins; with 264 gear, I was doing the runs in 12 mins or less for a full clear.

It was still fun, it allowed me to do all I needed to do with the little time I had. Raiding was harder and required more time, but you still had a good amount of success (We killed LK when he had the 10% buff and we could have killed him at 5% if we hadn't lost so much time looking for a 3rd healer after the previous one bailed out on us without a word of warning).

My first roll thru deadmines? Two hours, with the people I was running heroic ICC with. Even to this day, deadmines is an exercise of patience, even if you grossly outgear the place.

I'm not surprised people left Cataclysm, specially because the Cataclysm box was basically "Kill a Dragon, Become a Hero"

Should be noted that GC defended things being hard in cata, until the figures proved they erred.
Last edited by Klaudandus on Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Sagara » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:13 am

Completely off-topic, but seriously theck, you're my hero.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Barathorn » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:49 am

I know where Cataclysm went wrong for me.

5 words - Vashj'ir Water Shit World Experiance.

DIAF basically. And nice work putting an important rep vendor there so you had to return to the god awful place.

It could have been an amazing zone but instead it remains to the day the zone that killed my interest in the game overnight.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:52 am

Barathorn wrote:I know where Cataclysm went wrong for me.

5 words - Vashj'ir Water Shit World Experiance.

DIAF basically. And nice work putting an important rep vendor there so you had to return to the god awful place.

It could have been an amazing zone but instead it remains to the day the zone that killed my interest in the game overnight.


Yeah, I think they realized that playing with Z axis doesn't work with a good amount of the playerbase, which is why Malygos was derided.

Malygos vehicle fight = bad
Flame Leviathan vehicle fight = good
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Sagara » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:00 am

THAT's a definite thing. Vash'jir was beautiful and the story is solid and very nicely made.

But Sweet Mother of MERCY, that was HELL to navigate. I got an alt locked up near the rep vendor. When I need a new enchant, I pop him and send the enchant.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Barathorn » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:10 am

Sagara wrote:THAT's a definite thing. Vash'jir was beautiful and the story is solid and very nicely made.

But Sweet Mother of MERCY, that was HELL to navigate. I got an alt locked up near the rep vendor. When I need a new enchant, I pop him and send the enchant.


It wasn't just the navigation issues. It was the 'I am a new level 80 alt entering the zone after the first week and I am getting repeatedly smashed by the huge amount of merfolk outside the first ship air pocket you wake up in because I am not in ICC Raid gear' feel to the place.

It really wasn't funny for a lot of people. My level 80 druid got wtfpwned and I was in a group with my wife for most of the zone. It just made me take every other character through Hyjal and skip Vashj'ir.

It was just poor and stupid design with no thought of people moving through the zone after the first week who were not in Raid Gear.

That was probably what made me think GG - time for a change now more than anything else.
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Re: Where did Cataclysm go wrong?

Postby Astronomic » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:33 am

I think Vash'jir was hands down my favorite zone they've done so speak for youself. Especially when i was on a pvp server. mangle rake enemy -> aquatic form away sweep back in and repeat, must've been like tryn to fight a torpedo xD

Reminds me of the end of Wrath of Khan, where kirk out maneuver's him because Khan isn't thinking in 3 dimensions. So if yall cant handle 3 dimensions then... :P
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