Gaming Masochism

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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dantriges » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:41 am

We actually had one fight in Catawit some element sof raiding included. The Hyjal end fight against Ragnaros. Switching target, evade the waves. pretty basic but still.

Raiding is a group based activity. Probably group based activity are supposed to teach you the skill you need to successfully participate in a raid. Stuff like going to a normal instance, then going heroic. Soloing is there, so you learn the basics of your class, like skills and so on.

And well, seems to me that max level content is the stuff most people are interested in, not the leveling experience. Was fun the first time but now most people level like madmen when new content is published to reach the new cap faster and participate in the the "real game". To change this behaviour you would have to publish new questing areas faster and reduce the amount of endgame content. As long as there is enough endgame content that is interesting, people want to participate in it with their friends/guildies. And you probably can´t just tack on new leveling zones, Azeroth would be a pretty solid landmass in no time and people tend to go for max level as fast as they can, unless it takes a long time to hit next level, then they get bored and stop. And wel you probably have pretty unbalanced classes, because you have to add new levels fast and they already restarted the whole system once.

Somehow people tend to go for the end in computer games pretty fast, unllike Pen & Paper where you spend your most time levelling up (in a level based system). Most toons leveling are probably alts. They accelerated the leveling experience because people alreadysaw everything half a dozen times. What they coul have done is slowing leveling after they introduced Cata and the new world but they probably wanted newcomers to get to the endgame where their friends are (probably most people starting the game now are introduced to it by their friends) or are eager to participate in the end game. When I started my first toon and leveled up I wanted to participate in all these interesting sounding things like Shadow Labs, Slave Pens, Mechanar and so on as soon as possible.

I think many people never saw the leveling experience as something interesting in itself but wanted to join the endgame or at least reach the cap as soon as possible.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:59 am

Paxen wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:Well I don't know what to tell you. It just sounds like you aren't interested in doing what it takes to make quests more challenging for you, because of the other side effects. Though I'm not sure why you can't pull more mobs now, or various other things to ramp up the difficulty. None of the WotLK quests were difficult, you pulled extra mobs and died in one quest and apparently enjoyed that to the point that that one quest makes the whole of WotLK leveling more enjoyable than Cata leveling. My obvious advice would be to pull more mobs.


And now that I give an example you claim that single quest was my entire basis for liking Wrath levelling? Your post is ridiculous.

The irony of that is that I was actually giving you the benefit of the doubt, based on that one quest because it had some interesting and challenging elements. Granted the mechanic you chose to highlight isn't. There are many quests where you can pull too many mobs.

If you are really suggesting that wotlk quests were significantly more challenging than cata quests to a point that you can not duplicate by gimping yourself then I tend to agree with Flex, that you were probably doing something wrong.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Paxen » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:13 am

Fridmarr wrote:
Paxen wrote:The irony of that is that I was actually giving you the benefit of the doubt, based on that one quest because it had some interesting and challenging elements. Granted the mechanic you chose to highlight isn't. There are many quests where you can pull too many mobs.

If you are really suggesting that wotlk quests were significantly more challenging than cata quests to a point that you can not duplicate by gimping yourself then I tend to agree with Flex, that you were probably doing something wrong.


There were lots of times I pulled a bit more mobs than was safe, most of the time I pulled through, some times I didn't. That quest has an addition of timing, where you need to make sure that the abom blows up before it dies.

No matter. I think the real issue might be the missing group quests. It used to be that the capstone quests in a zone were a bit harder, maybe an elite that you needed to take down either with a group or with planning. Now they're all Battle for UC style where you're tagging along after a powerful NPC who does most of the job. If there's a danger of you dying you get a buff that continually heals you. If you still manage to die, hey, no worries. The NPC fights on and completes the quest no matter what you do really. (Did that today in the final battle for Gilneas. Ran around rending everything, managed to get 10-12 forsaken on me and died. Ran back, ressed, died again as I didn't get the superbuff, ran back, waited for res, watched Genn Greymane drive off Sylvanas, quest complete.)

Right now I'm running around in darkshore pulling all mobs in sight, but never dying as they're 3-4 levels below me. I got out of Gilneas at level 14 and the only quests available to me had me fighting level 11 bears. I can't go on to Ashenvale yet, as the minimum level for the quests there is 19. I can report back how the difficulty is down there when I get to 19.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Brekkie » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:16 am

Yes, it's possible to have overly naive analysis. That doesn't make the data set useless, and I think many "hardcore" players like yourself vastly overestimate the extent to which players participate in raiding and make that the focus of endgame.

It doesn't make the data useless. It just makes it impossible to tell exactly HOW useful it IS. And without knowing, it would be intellectually dishonest to attempt to draw serious conclusions from it.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Paxen » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:57 pm

Paxen wrote:I think the real issue might be the missing group quests.


The more I think about it, the more I think this is my real issue. The normal quests aren't that different from what they were, but all the big quests, the zone end quests, these are the ones that are now glorified movies instead of actual game challenges. And as these are the quests you remember, that's what gives the impression that there is no challenge.

To me, at least.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Kelaan » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:22 pm

Brekkie wrote:I honestly don't much care how difficult or easy leveling is. I care about the fact that leveling is largely meaningless.

Leveling should be a ramping learning process teaching you how to succeed in the game. Right now it is not. It arguably has never been.
Failing that it should be an immersive, interactive story-building experience that gets you invested in your character. Before it was not. Arguably it still isn't.

So true. On the one hand, it TRIES (normally) to introduce mechanics and new abilities in a gradual fashion - so that you don't get overwhelmed with a spellbook full of tools you don't use. Quests, when soloed, often allow someone to play aggressively enough to challenge your character (and player) -- forcing you to deal with respawns or just challenging pulls which require using cooldowns and the like to survive.

On the other hand, many of us experienced players WANT that complexity, as it lets us learn and use the Real mechanics from early on. Being forced to limp along without all our tools means that all of the discussions of optimal rotations or priorities is almost COMPLETELY useless for 60/85 levels. The other issue is, after a point there's some meaningless grind to the leveling: I know how to play my warrior (@ 70), nothing changes much for another five or ten levels. I wish I could just skip them.

I'd love it if players had a chance to level up their class via special quests that would let you prove your ABILITY and knowledge, rather than spend time doing it -- and if it requires consumables, cooldowns, and clever play, so much the better. Imagine if we could start quests which, when completed, would gain us either an entire level, or several levels, but were equivalent in challenge to the Hunter epic quests, or the like. Let's imagine a hypothetical quest that would take us from level 70 to 75. It would be a series of quests (perhaps five?) that would test your situational awareness, your mastery of your class's strengths and weaknesses, etc. Balancing would be a nightmare, of course, but being able to level in this way would be a way to prove that you know your class. Show that you have mastered using that new ability you just got (Bladestorm? Wyvern sting?) in synergy with your old ones.

Talk about pie in the sky wishes. :) I'd really love to be able to skip major portions of leveling, though, in this manner -- partly because soling Hard Stuff is a fun challenge, and partly because it would save a ton of tedium.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:02 pm

Brekkie wrote:It doesn't make the data useless. It just makes it impossible to tell exactly HOW useful it IS. And without knowing, it would be intellectually dishonest to attempt to draw serious conclusions from it.


No, it simply means that people should be precise about their methodologies and allow other to critique their solutions. If perfectly clean data was required for the advancement of knowledge, we'd never learn anything.

edit - For example, one simple fact is that the number of characters that have earned an achievement is an upper bound for the number of players that have earned that achievement. That fact alone can yield a number of interesting conclusions.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby tlitp » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:02 am

Flex wrote:
tlitp wrote:
Flex wrote:To paraphrase the infamous quote: We don't need to clear all these guys, just pull the boss.

What makes a "boss encounter" is not the loot, and is not achievements/realm firsts. The trash packs between the twin emperors and C'thun, or those right before Naj'entus, are good examples of that. While I was still playing (early WotLK), I've seen with my own eyes level 80 characters wiping on the pre-C'thun boss.

I have no idea what this is about. Maybe your bias against the WotLK raid model?

Trash being there just to be there is meaningless, agreed. Under this constraint, people would be better off without it. But... not all trash is (read : has to be) devoid of meaning and a certain degree of challenge.

I've already offered two examples. Here's a few more :
1. The Culling Of Time, although it rewards people with an achievement/mount, isn't really that engaging, so to speak. Zombiefest is more interesting in both planning and execution.
2. A timed ZA run was never about the fucking bear, in my opinion. It was a different (and arguably more interesting) way of clearing ZA, involving a different way of handling the trash packs.
3. Do you remember the good old (I don't know if they're still there, in 4.x) mobs form Stratholme/Scholomance with immunities to magic/physical damage ? If you can't run in and AoE everything to death (read : tears of boredom), then it's well-designed trash.

Regarding the "bias against the WotLK raid model" part : no shit. :lol:
Let's debunk what trash was(/wasn't) in WotLK...
1. EoE/ToC : /yawn.
2. Naxx2.0/OS : the only somewhat interesting mobs were DTW (if you happened to be melee DPS) and OSG (if your group happened to lack decurse options).
3. Ulduar : come on, nerfing CS (among others) was but a disgrace. Hotfixes, bloody hell, merely hotfixes.

Passionario wrote:Levelling was never risky, difficult or challenging, unless one wanted it to be. It was perfectly possible to reach 60 by autoattacking boars (or equivalent thereof).

Because I know you play it too, here's an Estiah analogy : is it possible to reach level 50 only via working (no grinding of skills, no stat elixirs) ? Certainly; it requires a significant time investment, but it's absolutely within reach.

Was it possible to get to 60 in Vanilla via autoattacking ? Well, yes... but you'd really gimp both your character and playing experience.

Dorvan wrote:
tlitp wrote:there hasn't been any serious statistical research (conducted by Blizzard itself, or a group of players, or a third party).

...that's the thing though: we don't just have to work off of assumptions, there's also evidence available. For example, achievement mining sites give us the opportunity to look at how people choose to spend their time within WoW. It's very possible to say "about X% of people in the game try raiding", "Y% do hardcore PvP", etc. So yeah, it's most definitely possible to extrapolate what people want from the game by how they spend their time, and it would be stupid to think that Blizzard doesn't keep even more detailed metrics internally.

Brekkie already outlined a limitation of crawlers, the main/alt dynamics. Blizzard being Blizzard, let's assume that it's a non-issue for them. Still, there are two fundamental limitations of tracking :
1. Tracking can't read into people's minds (yet :mrgreen:). If I have a small number of outdoor deaths caused by the opposing faction, the tracker can't state with certainty that a. I avoid wPVP encounters, or b. I simply do not meet enough people because the fucking world is barren. If I happen to not renew my subscription, a tracker spots exactly that; there's no way to discern between (e.g.) losing interest in the game or having an infernal RL schedule.
2. Whatever data the tracking may provide, that information still needs to be correlated with "demographics" (used very loosely in the context) in order to be able to draw meaningful conclusions.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:23 am

tlitp wrote:1. Tracking can't read into people's minds (yet :mrgreen:). If I have a small number of outdoor deaths caused by the opposing faction, the tracker can't state with certainty that a. I avoid wPVP encounters, or b. I simply do not meet enough people because the fucking world is barren. If I happen to not renew my subscription, a tracker spots exactly that; there's no way to discern between (e.g.) losing interest in the game or having an infernal RL schedule.
2. Whatever data the tracking may provide, that information still needs to be correlated with "demographics" (used very loosely in the context) in order to be able to draw meaningful conclusions.


...which just shows how little you know about what can be tracked. The first one is easy: you just look at a player's experience vs population density on a realm, or against the average number of PvP encounters. Regarding subscrption cancellation, Blizzard *does* collect data on why people cancel. Sure, not 100% of people fill it out accurately, but there's undoubtedly enough information there to draw meaningful conclusions.

Also note that Blizzard doesn't need to predict with accuracy the behavior of any individual person: with the amount of data they have they'll be much more interested in the aggregate dynamics: N=millions is a lot of data points to work with.

I spent a couple of years working for a major internet company that tracks user behavior: although you can't actually read someone's mind, people tell you *a lot* about what's going on inside by their behavior.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby tlitp » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:17 am

Dorvan wrote:
tlitp wrote:If I have a small number of outdoor deaths caused by the opposing faction, the tracker can't state with certainty that a. I avoid wPVP encounters, or b. I simply do not meet enough people because the fucking world is barren.

...which just shows how little you know about what can be tracked. The first one is easy: you just look at a player's experience vs population density on a realm, or against the average number of PvP encounters.
(...)
Also note that Blizzard doesn't need to predict with accuracy the behavior of any individual person: with the amount of data they have they'll be much more interested in the aggregate dynamics: N=millions is a lot of data points to work with.

No, brother, that just shows how you've tried (and failed) to mount a rebuttal :
1. About 90% of my WoW experience was based on high-pop PVP realms. The steady fall of wPVP isn't player-based, it's environment-based. I know a lot of people, on several high-pop PVP realms (EU), who share(d) the same problem and same mechanism - one simply doesn't meet enough players of the opposing faction. Flying mounts, the reduction of mounting time, LFD, liberal use of teleport/phasing; the end result is the same. And a tracker, no matter how "smart" and "insightful" it is, can't fucking track what isn't happening in the first place, on a collective basis. Again, this is not a set of isolated experiences; it's happening for (almost ?) everyone.

On a separate note, I firmly refuse to believe that Blizzard relies on aggregate dynamics when they encounter systemic problems. Aggregate dynamics is good for high SNR, but it's utterly inefficient when dealing with (extremely) low SNR.

Dorvan wrote:
tlitp wrote:If I happen to not renew my subscription, a tracker spots exactly that; there's no way to discern between (e.g.) losing interest in the game or having an infernal RL schedule.

Regarding subscrption cancellation, Blizzard *does* collect data on why people cancel. Sure, not 100% of people fill it out accurately, but there's undoubtedly enough information there to draw meaningful conclusions.

2. Let's disregard the fact that you've addressed a different issue altogether; it's ridiculous and arguably ill-willed, but we'll leave it at that. If you put an identity relation between "demographics" and Blizzard's cancellation form... you're not conducting a serious research.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:43 am

Well it depends on the subscription method, if you use a recurring method, you can't just "not renew" you have to cancel.

As for the PVP stuff, I love how you claim to know the answer while stating that no tracker could possibly figure it out, when you don't even know what is capable of being tracked within the WoW environment. You know the answer from an incredibly limited data set, that is entirely anecdotal, yet Blizzard can't reach a reasonably certain conclusion with all the data points they might have at their disposal?

Seriously, though, what is with the attitude anytime anyone presents an analysis of data? It's not "serious" research? lol who has the ill will?
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:21 pm

Yeah, if we're going going to descend into flaming it's time for me to bow out.
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Brekkie » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:30 pm

I spent a couple of years working for a major internet company that tracks user behavior: although you can't actually read someone's mind, people tell you *a lot* about what's going on inside by their behavior.

So what's it like working for Facebook?

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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Dorvan » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:33 pm

Not quite that, though you're in the right ballpark as far as scale :)
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Re: Gaming Masochism

Postby Teranoid » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:00 pm

tlitp wrote:No, brother, that just shows how you've tried (and failed) to mount a rebuttal :
1. About 90% of my WoW experience was based on high-pop PVP realms. The steady fall of wPVP isn't player-based, it's environment-based. I know a lot of people, on several high-pop PVP realms (EU), who share(d) the same problem and same mechanism - one simply doesn't meet enough players of the opposing faction. Flying mounts, the reduction of mounting time, LFD, liberal use of teleport/phasing; the end result is the same. And a tracker, no matter how "smart" and "insightful" it is, can't fucking track what isn't happening in the first place, on a collective basis. Again, this is not a set of isolated experiences; it's happening for (almost ?) everyone.

On a separate note, I firmly refuse to believe that Blizzard relies on aggregate dynamics when they encounter systemic problems. Aggregate dynamics is good for high SNR, but it's utterly inefficient when dealing with (extremely) low SNR.


So let me get this straight. "Spending 90% of my time on a high pop pvp server" makes you an expert into everything about this game? Sweet jesus this is probably the dumbest thing I've ever read on this site.

No wait

2. A timed ZA run was never about the fucking bear, in my opinion. It was a different (and arguably more interesting) way of clearing ZA, involving a different way of handling the trash packs.


This was. If you claim ZA was never about the bear then you have just proven how little you actually know about this game as well as its playerbase.
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