Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby econ21 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:01 pm

Um, I'm starting to get it now.

Tanked wing 3 tonight - a Sunday night, not the best time to do a new LFR.

Arrived when there were 2 stacks of determination on the first boss, but he died fairly easily (4 stacks maybe?).

Spoils was a nightmare. Luckily I had read up in advance and figured out how to divide the groups, but wow, that is a tough fight for LFR. Not just dividing groups. Not just some idiot DK zoning in, starting the encounter and zoning out. But that one group can succeed and then die because the other group fails... that's just cruel. And you can't really see what's going on in the other group, so tweaking the two halves of the raid is difficult. (I went 10 vs 15 for most of it).

Thok was not a push over either. Pretty nasty to melee. The dps kept all dying. Had about 4 stacks when he died.

I probably spent about 3 hours in there. And all I got was a cloak. It was a lot of fun. It felt like a real progression raid. But with the rewards, the time investment (and the unpleasantness in the aftermath of wipes) mean that I doubt I'll do it repeatedly. I'll probably do wing 4, then never return.

Probably means I will bank my alts too. No way I am gearing them up through that.
Last edited by econ21 on Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Ruldar » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:58 pm

Haha, it almost sounds like you could have been in the P3 lfr I just finished on the Mage.

Earlier in this thread I was optimistic. Now that I have done P1-P3 the Mage instead of the Lock or Pally, I am less so.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Winkle » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:56 am

I do wonder if the people in LFR are really looking for "raid" at all, it's quite possible that they're simply looking for gear, and LFR is effectively the end game for gearing for a large proportion of the playerbase.

I mean RPG's are primarily based on the idea of bettering or improving your character. The story seems secondary in WoW at least.

It would be an interesting to see if the Timeless Isle gear got buffed to 528ilvl whether the experience in LFR would improve.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Paxen » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:11 am

The fun part of raiding is going in as a group and cooperating about solving a problem (killing bosses). Wipes are an essential part of that - if you get it on first try all the time, there's no challenge, so no fun.

But wiping in LFR is no fun. It doesn't feel like a challenge you can overcome, it just feels like you're stuck in something you can't get out of. There's no feeling of accomplishment when the boss dies, it's what you expect going in. So all that's left is the gear treadmill.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Jabari » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:41 am

That's an interesting report econ.

My "wing 3 LFR" experiences this weekend:
Took three different healers through.

Malk is dead-easy. The only way to wipe on this is to not stack in phase 2, and you won't wipe there either if your healers are on the ball with massive CDs. Nothing else does enough damage to hurt the group - smashes, breaths, not-soaking-pools, none of that seems to matter. Even failing the tank swap will only get the tank killed once, which is just solved with a rez.

Thok is also dead easy. The dino chomping people only does about a third of their health instead of killing them outright, and screeches are spaced out enough to not matter. Didn't have a single wipe on either of those.

Spoils on the other hand...

Lets see:
- Ninja pull then leave group * 3
- Both tanks on same side * 1
- Healers split 5 and 1 * 1
- Ninja box openers * 2
- Tank going WAY too slow * 1
- Same tank going nutzo-crazy next pull * 1 (we had 2 Anima Golems + a Massive guy up all at once)
- Way, way too low DPS * <lots>

I ended up asking for assist each time to set groups - put the best two healers and me on one side, the other three healers on the other side, and switched to my DPS spec. That usually seemed to work. :lol:


As far as the "gearing alts" thing - look around for guilds for "set" flex groups that you can sneak into. If you can get into one and do ok, you'll almost always be welcome to run subsequent weeks.

I've been really lucky - the guild that I run my hunter with (I jumped in as a PuG when they were 2/13H in ToT, and they simply never stopped inviting me *chuckle*) runs like 5 different full-flex runs a week. So I got a full run with my shaman, priest, and druid in this week with them. Those groups will wipe at times (lots of semi-undergeared alts going on those runs), but we haven't had to call one off short of finishing yet.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby cdan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:44 am

This weekend - three P3 runs of LFR on three different chars. One shot all bosses except for Thok on two of the runs, but those wipes were down to people not following the simple instructions about which end of him to hit (i.e. neither - try the side).

So my experience does not really support the hypothesis. However, I agree with the sentiment that Looking For Zerg is just a gear run and has nothing to do with raiding.

That the "top" level of each expac is constant, mindless running of the same "raiding" instances over and over again is why I will not be renewing my subscription in a couple of months when it lapses. Wrong timezone and wrong region to try changing that by joining a proper raiding guild.

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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Lieris » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:15 pm

Winkle wrote:I do wonder if the people in LFR are really looking for "raid" at all, it's quite possible that they're simply looking for gear, and LFR is effectively the end game for gearing for a large proportion of the playerbase.

I mean RPG's are primarily based on the idea of bettering or improving your character. The story seems secondary in WoW at least.

It would be an interesting to see if the Timeless Isle gear got buffed to 528ilvl whether the experience in LFR would improve.


Paxen wrote:The fun part of raiding is going in as a group and cooperating about solving a problem (killing bosses). Wipes are an essential part of that - if you get it on first try all the time, there's no challenge, so no fun.

But wiping in LFR is no fun. It doesn't feel like a challenge you can overcome, it just feels like you're stuck in something you can't get out of. There's no feeling of accomplishment when the boss dies, it's what you expect going in. So all that's left is the gear treadmill.


I think these two posts are right on the money.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Worldie » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:57 am

Yup. Which is why even Blizzard admitted LFR failed the original aim of being a enjoyable adventure for players who can't commit to a raid schedule.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Stubblerump » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:32 pm

I understand the frustration with some of the LFR groups you wind up in. Believe me, I've seen it all and then some. All I can say is that if it's not your thing, don't do it. But if you enjoy raiding, you should embrace LFR. Oh I said it. I'm not saying you should participate in it, but you should embrace it as a necessary part of the game. Without LFR, over 90% of the player base would NEVER see the inside of current raid content. The average LFR player wants to hop in a raid, at their convenience, without worrying about meglomaniacle GM's, idiotic or biased loot rules, and/or varying day to day work/life requirements. It is also their endgame, especially on alts, as far as gearing is concerned. Add more than bare bones entrance requirements, and the super casuals, ie: most of the player base, will stop using it and lose a major reason to keep subscribing.

So why embrace LFR? Well, here comes Captain Obvious: All the effort, design, and programming hours that go into cranking out shiny, new, expansive raid content can not be justified under any business plan to cater to about 3% of the subscriber base. You like new, impressive raids with cool new bosses and abilities, yes? Well the LFR base provides the justification for investing into new raids. So get over it. Without LFR, the game will very quickly become overwhelmingly solo content.

And to the whole, "well tanks and healers could take all their marbles and go home and WoW would implode!" line of reasoning: get over yourselves. It's actually just the opposite. Without raid content and especially with the ongoing skill homogenization, tanks and healers could very easily find themselves out of work and out of demand. The genie is already out of the bottle, and there's no putting it back in. Casuals own WoW now. They OWN it. Dismiss them and there will be a giant Ross Perot-type sucking sound of subscription loss. And when was WoW ever so hardcore anyway? I remember during Vanilla when other players made fun of WoW and called it Hello Kitty Island. And WoW crushed, CRUSHED every other mmo out there. There's lesson there for anyone that can put down the rose colored glasses and think about it from a business perspective.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Lieris » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:52 pm

That was a cute little off topic antagonistic post you made there, full marks for effort.

If casuals really did "own WoW" Blizzard would have mitigated the subscription losses experienced during Cata, instead they have plummeted quarter on quarter since LFR's inception. MOP is the most solo and casual friendly expansion yet but it has been a complete flop for Blizzard.

I am a casual player, I am really not that bothered about WoW anymore. I saw all of the T14 and T15 content in the space of two weeks and once I kill Garrosh and get my cloak I am unsubscribing. Doing LFR isn't fun, nobody enjoys it. It's typically bad tempered and everyone just wants to get it over and done and pickup their loot. The so called casuals have nothing to aspire to, nothing to work towards and no reason to keep a subscription all year round. People aren't going to want to kill Garrosh over and over on LFR for several months, most will do it a few times then call it quits. Compare that to ICC which Blizzard successfully milked for a full year.

Also if they do take the scenario path and do away with the traditional Tank, Healer, DPS core gameplay that the game has been built around since day one, they will lose even more subscribers. WoW isn't attracting enough new players interested in an easy MMO that can be played solo to replace the old ones that they are haemorrhaging.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:38 pm

Lieris wrote:That was a cute little off topic antagonistic post you made there, full marks for effort.

This ain't your playground sweetie. Lets keep the irreverence in check.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Lieris » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:12 am

Okay my apologies, I just don't see this as a casual vs hardcore topic and I don't think dredging up that old argument is helpful.

Ultimately I think that if you build a game around solid mechanics and a decent learning curve it doesn't matter if the difficulty is high. The Demon's Souls series has shown that players will take the time to learn a game and that there is a market for traditional skill based progression. If you set the bar high people will improve themselves so that they can clear it because otherwise the game ends there. Blizzard don't have that faith in their subscribers and this is where they have gone wrong in their pursuit of "bite sized content" which everyone has access to regardless of merit.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Paxen » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:05 am

I think a problem is that raids are gated by time spent, rather than difficulty. (And by that I mean time that you schedule, not /played - for me that's actually a big difference.) Got no time to schedule, playing as and when you find some time? -> easy mode only. Got time for one, maybe two nights every week, but miss time pretty often? -> easy and medium (flex). Got three nights a week, time to show up most of the time? -> easy, medium and also hard (normal). Got time for 3 nights or more, will only miss time for sickness and funerals? -> congrats, you can now also do very hard (heroic). If you're willing to take vacation days to raid around the clock when new content hits you can also access super hard (world first race).

Compare that to a single player game, where the only factor that determines what difficulty you select is how big a challenge you want. If you want to play Demon's Soul on the highest difficulty you can do that, you don't have to schedule your life around it. Or compare it to people taking the day off for games like GTA V. You don't have to be extremely skilled at the game to do that, you only have to want to enjoy it for hours uninterrupted. How many take the day off to run the new LFR, if LFR is all they normally run?

At the end of the day, wow is an mmorpg, so this is probably unavoidable.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Lieris » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:00 am

Paxen wrote:At the end of the day, wow is an mmorpg, so this is probably unavoidable.


Yep that's the nature of the beast. It's more of a hobby than a game, like joining a sports team but for nerds.
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Re: Socially engineering a better (worse?) player base

Postby Paxen » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:30 am

Lieris wrote:Yep that's the nature of the beast. It's more of a hobby than a game, like joining a sports team but for nerds.


I've been thinking that a lot. Farm nights are preseason practice, progression raiding is the season, and grinding is working out on your own.

LFR gives the illusion that you can play a team sports without making any commitments, but in the end it doesn't work.
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