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Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Brekkie » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:31 pm

Even if they actually have data, their data analysis is off, because population skill doesn't increase linearly. The top tier is REALLY REALLY good, and the bottom tier are REALLY REALLY bad. Then the majority of the middle are all fairly close to each other in ability, and make up the majority of the population. The difference between the average player in a 200-ranked guild and a 2000-ranked guild is fairly small compared to the difference between them and the average player in a top-10 guild, or the difference between them and a Random Dungeon Finder Melee Hunter. Nor is the population-based-on-skill a pyramid. It's more shaped like a pear; few people at the very top, and also few people at the bottom who are totally clueless, with most of the bulge being in the middle/bottom third.

So, given this, we should EXPECT the data to reflect a massive spike of content completion right when it is released, followed by it dying down to a steady flow. This is NOT a sign of the majority of people able to complete the content having done so and everyone being "stone walled". It is a reflection of the fact that the most hardcore players basically out-skill the content, and will destroy it in a rush unless it is unreasonably hard, followed by a sharp drop-off. But that spike is not the trend, it is just a front-loaded spike in the data. And they aren't letting things sit for long enough for that to be apparent in their model.

So the irony is, they are essentially making the content be only for the hardcore, under the banner of making it easier for the average players, who are supposedly "stuck", and making it "accessible" to everyone.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:54 pm

Well that could be exactly what they want though. There could quite possibly be a point where that curve starts to bulge that they no longer care about the challenge because the truly top end (those that statistically separate themselves from the pack) have completed it.

I guess my point is that, given that it's probably quite obvious to blizz that skill doesn't increase linearly, what makes you think they are dumb enough to analyze it that way?

I have no idea why they time things with their nerfs, but I'm willing to bet that at times there is a significant part of it that falls outside logic based on the population's consumption. These sorts of changes to software in the development life cycle require certain amounts of flexibility and concessions. Provided it falls within an acceptable window of time, I don't know that they are watching for a magic level of consumption before deploying a nerf or just a floor.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby theckhd » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:02 pm

I was about to say, you're making some pretty big assumptions about how they analyze the data. They could completely ignore the top 500-1000 guilds in their analysis, for all we know. There are a lot more sophisticated ways to analyze the data than simply looking at new kills per week.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Lieris » Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:19 pm

Darielle wrote:My problem is that to kill all bosses in Heroic mode before the nerfs, there was a 6-week window.

We're not talking "Oh we put in a horrendous roadblock like Heroic Rag, and we don't want guilds to die over it, let's nerf that fight specifically" (Spine adjustment was fine - it let people actually bring classes they were sitting otherwise), or "this tier's over, we want people to be able to go in and enjoy the fights we made here if they weren't able to" (note that T11 Heroics still never got a 15% or equiv nerf anywho). Either of those would be fine. This was 6 weeks, and then bam nerf time.


I totally agree. Targeted nerfs are fine, the tendon nerf had to happen. Blanket nerfs are just lazy and the difference they have on encounters is massive. An extra 5% makes fights that you were close to a kill on become easy one shots with that extra power.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Brekkie » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:45 pm

theckhd wrote:I was about to say, you're making some pretty big assumptions about how they analyze the data. They could completely ignore the top 500-1000 guilds in their analysis, for all we know. There are a lot more sophisticated ways to analyze the data than simply looking at new kills per week.


I tend to be cynical about the data analysis of people who claim their actions are supported by statistics, but refuse to actually release those results and attached interpretation to outside scrutiny.
It's a pretty common hallmark of junk science and fallacious logic.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby lythac » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:17 am

theckhd wrote:I was about to say, you're making some pretty big assumptions about how they analyze the data. They could completely ignore the top 500-1000 guilds in their analysis, for all we know. There are a lot more sophisticated ways to analyze the data than simply looking at new kills per week.


Thinking of repeat DW(H) kills? I have seen a few guilds that have/are taking a break from 25 man raiding once they have him down. Would be interesting to see if the number of DW(H)25 kills are declining per week as guilds do not want to farm him due to its current difficulty.

The nerfs serve a dual purpose so players can progress and also to keep players at 8/8H playing and subbed.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby theckhd » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:42 am

Brekkie wrote:
theckhd wrote:I was about to say, you're making some pretty big assumptions about how they analyze the data. They could completely ignore the top 500-1000 guilds in their analysis, for all we know. There are a lot more sophisticated ways to analyze the data than simply looking at new kills per week.


I tend to be cynical about the data analysis of people who claim their actions are supported by statistics, but refuse to actually release those results and attached interpretation to outside scrutiny.
It's a pretty common hallmark of junk science and fallacious logic.

Fair enough, but this isn't exactly science either. It's not like this data goes towards discoveries that advance science and technology. I wouldn't expect them to release the data for the same reason I wouldn't expect a company to release internal studies about how their product is doing in certain markets.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby theckhd » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:56 am

lythac wrote:
theckhd wrote:I was about to say, you're making some pretty big assumptions about how they analyze the data. They could completely ignore the top 500-1000 guilds in their analysis, for all we know. There are a lot more sophisticated ways to analyze the data than simply looking at new kills per week.


Thinking of repeat DW(H) kills? I have seen a few guilds that have/are taking a break from 25 man raiding once they have him down. Would be interesting to see if the number of DW(H)25 kills are declining per week as guilds do not want to farm him due to its current difficulty.

The nerfs serve a dual purpose so players can progress and also to keep players at 8/8H playing and subbed.


No, I wasn't actually thinking of DW kills as a metric. I was thinking mostly of data filtering techniques. For a simple example, they could filter the data so they're looking only at guilds below a certain progression threshold (ex: exclude any guild that kills normal mode the first week, or any guild with more than 2-3 heroic kills the second week, and similarly throw out any guilds with <2 normal-mode kills).

They could also use more sophisticated metrics than new boss kills, like observing the change in the progression distribution for all guilds, which naturally "caps" the contribution of hardcore guilds. Or for that matter, average number of pulls needed to kill a given boss, or average number of weeks spent on each boss before a kill is achieved. All of those are related to the simple 'new kills per week' metric, of course, but they might reveal subtleties that you wouldn't get by just looking at a single number.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:05 am

Brekkie wrote:
theckhd wrote:I was about to say, you're making some pretty big assumptions about how they analyze the data. They could completely ignore the top 500-1000 guilds in their analysis, for all we know. There are a lot more sophisticated ways to analyze the data than simply looking at new kills per week.


I tend to be cynical about the data analysis of people who claim their actions are supported by statistics, but refuse to actually release those results and attached interpretation to outside scrutiny.
It's a pretty common hallmark of junk science and fallacious logic.

That's apples and oranges really. Businesses literally make staggering amounts of decisions based on data. Metrics are collected for even the most mundane things and then poured over or combined with other metrics for data based decisions. While that data might be visible among various in-house teams, it's proprietary and almost never disclosed to the public.

It's fair to be cynical, but not to expect them to release their data around their decisions. Could you imagine if they had to release the data supporting every single balance tweak they've ever made...what a nightmare.

Also, while your final sentence may be true, its reverse is not, and that's what is applicable here. While unreleased data may be common amongst fallacious logic, fallacious logic is not common amongst decisions based on unreleased data. Businesses have plenty of incentive for those decisions to be correct, and for the statistics to be meaningful for the decision at hand.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Brekkie » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:36 pm

I concede the point.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Darielle » Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:14 am

FWIW, every single mention that they've made on the topic is that their nerfs are based entirely on "completion rate".

Yes, they slightly overtune bosses out the gate, but that's also largely a function of them assuming that people will actually have gear from the instance before they do Heroic content. Stuff like Firelands Heroics assumed a late 380's and DS Heroics probably assumed late 390's to early 400's. With that said though, means that for people who actually do the instance often enough to actually get gear out of it often, it's tuned more or less fine (for example, Alysrazor and Staghelm were both bosses that were 23-mannable on progression before the 15% nerf, Shannox would have fallen in the same boat seeing as his berserk is realistically irrelevant).

And of course, THAT's slightly different from them tuning 25-man bosses to require ridiculous berserks compared to 10-man and then having to go through and adjust 25-man specifically later, and they've had to make some adjustments for 10-man specifically too on several bosses, even not counting the T11 fiasco they had with 10-man.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby theckhd » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:03 am

Darielle wrote:Yes, they slightly overtune bosses out the gate, but that's also largely a function of them assuming that people will actually have gear from the instance before they do Heroic content.

Not just slightly. Firelands was "slightly" overtuned. Dragon Soul heroics were overtuned by around 10%, intentionally, because the nerfs were already planned before it was released.

In the past, they've designed raids around a rough expectation of how many guilds will complete the content before the next tier is released. It's not perfect, of course, because measuring the difficulty of an encounter isn't an exact science.

If they had released DS without ever nerfing it, it would be tuned to be around the difficulty it's at now. The stacking debuff is a mechanism that lets them release over-tuned, extra-difficult content for the top tier guilds that wouldn't otherwise get it outside of special bosses like Sinestra, while still making sure that the desired level of content completion occurs.

It's exactly the same idea as the Lich King fight, except with boss nerfs instead of a stacking buff on the players.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Darielle » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:11 am

Not just slightly. Firelands was "slightly" overtuned. Dragon Soul heroics were overtuned by around 10%, intentionally, because the nerfs were already planned before it was released.


I would disagree. They overtuned Yor'sahj slightly particularly on 25-man, which they then adjusted down within a week, and Ultraxion being Ultraxion was tuned pretty harshly, and Spine was pure nonsense. The tuning of the rest were fine - the actual thresholds were meetable without too much of an issue, but it did assume levels that involved a fair amount of Firelands farming, and a healthy amount of 4-set and OP trinket drops, which is standard considering they tuned Firelands for late-380's. The guilds that got up to bosses in week 3 had 3 weeks of weapons and trinkets and tier pieces and LFR farming in, and meeting the thresholds wasn't as hard as week 1. The main issues they had were singular mechanics on many bosses (like crystals on 10-man Morchok being dumb if you wound up having more than 2 melee).

With Lich King, they knee-jerked a stealth buff to him to stall when people were getting to unlock him (as long as we accept the assumption that the stealth HP buff worked for 25-man at the same time as 10-man because the only health info prior to his actual unlocking on 25-man was based off datamined numbers, as opposed to people having access to him on 10-man), which is a different scenario.

Morchok, Zon'ozz, Hagara and Warmaster week 1 certainly weren't overtuned by any realistic standard.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Lieris » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:31 pm

On 10 man the only nerfs I would have done at the end of January would have been a 10% reduction to tendon HP on Spine and on Madness a 10% reduction to blood HP.
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Re: Coming soon, to a Dragon Soul near you...

Postby Darielle » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:19 pm

And on 25-man the Yor'sahj adjustment and a similar one to Ultraxion would have been warranted.

I have no doubt that they "tried" to give endgame raiders a challenge by pushing the limits on DPS requirements as much they felt they could get away with. They always do that, and they always plan on adjusting stuff down later. That's been true as far back as I can remember, and even predates institionalised nerfs, and this tier most of all had people who had access to so many Legendary casters and stuff like that.

I'm meaning more in the sense that they didn't actually make the fights ridiculously hard the way they "overtuned" Rag or Spine relative to the rest of the instance, or "overtuned" Baleroc/Staghelm health on 25-man in a way that required them to adjust HP on that version and shouldn't have happened if they'd just used a calculator. Yor'sahj on 25-man release was overtuned, and warranted a hotfix almost immediately. Zon'ozz? He wasn't a pushover, but his dps and healing requirements weren't out of line.
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