Topic Hardmodes Require Additional Tuning (10man PoV)
Edited by Zainrokh on 31/01/11 00:00 (GMT)
The ridiculous randomness in heroic raid encounters needs to be brought to an end.
Boss abilities based on pure RNG are neither fun nor intuitive; a raid shouldn't be penalized due to bad luck on an otherwise flawless attempt.
I've raided in various server-top guilds since the early days of vanilla. Yet I've never experienced such mixed feelings on a raid tier: the awesome, nicely tuned 10 man normal mode content versus the unforgiving RNG fest of the heroic modes, which makes me want to pull my hair out out of disappointment and depression. I've personal experience of 3 heroic 10 man bosses (Halfus, Chimaeron and Maloriak, of which we've killed the first two) and frankly would not like to experience the rest before certain things get fixed on the very basic level. Allow me to elaborate.
Randomness in boss abilities needs to be removed
As I've first-hand experience on Maloriak, Halfus and Chimaeron, I will be focusing on those bosses' abilities. From what I've seen in videos and read around the web, the same basic failures in encounter design seem to occur on other bosses aswell.
-The healing debuff done by the boss needs to be made unavoidable. To compensate, it should be applied less frequently. This would resolve a current problem with this fight: if a tank gets a bad avoidance streak (10 stacks in a short amount of time), this will likely result in a wipe. Unless you counter it by stacking paladins, which IMHO goes against Blizzard's own philosophy of raiding (this is a subject I will touch later on).
-The damage done by the drakes and whelps needs to be reduced by a significant amount to allow this encounter be completed with two tanks instead of three more easily. With two tanks and bad avoidance streaks, the fight becomes a lot more difficult.
To compensate for the tank damage reduction, the enrage timer could be tightened slightly to encourage bringing an additional dps'er instead of a tank.
-System shutdowns can currently happen after two OR three Massacres. Having bad luck and getting shutdowns after two Massacres 3 or 4 times in a row results in your healers going OOM and likely results in a wipe. This needs to be changed. To use an outdated phrase; it's a major slap in the face for the players to be able to do nothing at all to counter this, no way to not have this happen.
-Make Chimaeron's attacks unavoidable during the nuke phase (Mortality), but remove the 2k ticks and add an increased damage taken effect to the boss (10%?, 20%?). This would resolve two RNG factors with one hit. It's completely unreasonable that a kill should be dependent on a mage or a plate dps'er having a lucky dodge streak. It's also annoying to have to time the push to Mortality phase so that everyone's fully healed BUT before your raid is hit by the slimes. Someone can't crit or your lock needs to lifetap? Tough luck, you missed the 3-second window to push it! Remember, 10 man point of view here.
-Scorching Blast (Red phase conal fire aoe) can currently be cast two OR three times by the boss. Again, this is a major boss ability and should not be random. It needs to be either or, but if it is three, the damage needs to be significantly reduced so the raid can soak it in case your raid doesn't have a holy priest or a paladin tank.
-Release Aberrations should be cast more consistently. Sometimes the boss casts it in the start before the black phase. Sometimes he doesn't. Why? And besides, what's with the amount of encounters requiring interrupts? Omnitron, Maloriak, Nefarian, Halfus, Ascendant Council are all relying on interrupts, and these are just from the top of my head. Our rogues and ele shaman among others are getting tired of this. The least you could do would to make the interrupt patterns make some sense.
Need for class-stacking goes against Blizzard's own raiding philosophy
We used to hear the phrase "bring the player, not the class" a lot during Cataclysm beta. For the 10 man normals, this was mostly true and the concept worked well. It was extremely devastating morally to see it all shattered for the heroic mode content.
For Halfus, three tanks for 10 man is nearly a requirement, and one of those tanks should be a paladin and one a warrior. Warrior simply due to the amazing dps on the whelps and drakes. A paladin for BoP and Divine shield, to get rid of the healing debuff and thus make the encounter considerably easier. One of the healers should be a paladin for the same reason. And one of the healers should be a discipline priest doing Smite spam healing, and one of the healers should also be a Resto shaman for Mana tide. That's 5/10 of raid spots filled just with the "required" classes. Sure you can go without one, but be prepared for a bumpy ride. Go without two, and you're basically screwed.
For Maloriak, a Demonology warlock's AoE is just too good to pass on. The demo lock is also the ONLY viable source for the casting speed reduction effect (Curse of Tongues), as other classes would sacrifice too much DPS to bring their debuff in. So here's another class/spec that is very nearly required for this fight.
For Chimaeron, a dps'er with a taunt in their disposal is required (to tank the breaks and provide adequate dps). This leaves two practical options: a retribution paladin or a death knight. To ease this problem up for 10 man raids, I would suggest allowing the use of Taunt for warriors in their DPS stances and feral druids in Cat form. Why not?
The druid class stands head and shoulders above everyone else for Chimaeron. Especially Resto druids are invaluable for this fight due to mechanics (which I do consider flawed). Tranquillity, ToL nuking and Combat Rez are so good for this particular encounter that they are almost required aswell.
The difficulty curve doesn't feel right.
All in all, all this randomness and class-stacking requirement aside, I feel the difficulty curve for the heroic 10 man content doesn't feel right.
For the normal modes, we went in nearly fully clad in 346 heroics and some reputation faction epics, and the fights felt tight but doable. The first few bosses were challenging but it got harder over time, consistently with our progress. The end bosses were adequately challenging, so that they felt very rewarding to down, though we never hit a brick wall.
For the heroics, it's different. Every boss available is considerably harder than any of the end bosses on normal mode. The jump in difficulty is just way too steep. Our raid is currently nearly in full epics, missing a few parts here and there. I don't think we can achieve much better results by gearing up further. Fixing the RNG stuff such as what's listed above would go a long way, but overall I feel the difficulty for the non-end bosses should be brought down a bit.
Right now, banging our heads against a firm wall trying to execute a fight perfectly while hoping for some love from the RNG gods just makes many of us feel miserable to even try, wondering if the reward is actually worth the brutal, depressive grind.
Edited by Glosoli on 31/01/11 00:00 (GMT)
Heroic bosses are actually hard.
If you use the correct tactics and your raid have the motivation to keep trying and trying those bosses will eventually go down. How boring would it be if any guild could do the hardmodes.... now they are actually an indicator of being a good guild
Edited by Zainrokh on 31/01/11 00:09 (GMT)
please read the whole post before commenting. I am not complaining on difficulty as much as the pure randomness on many fights (randomness does increase difficulty, but in an uncontrollable fashion, which was the point I was trying to make). I do feel the overall difficulty on the first few heroic bosses for 10 mans is a bit over the top, but that was not the main complaint.
Edit: also, the class-stacking is another layer of difficulty for the 10 man raid groups. In addition to those problems listed in the main topic, I'll give you another example. The encounters assume you have all the raid buffs available. Yet our 10 man raiding group doesn't have a single retribution paladin, and due to BM Hunters and Arcane Mages being too weak at the moment, we cannot have the 3% damage increase buff. Now, this is partly a class balancing problem, but still relevant to our case.
85 Orc Shaman
I don't think the difficulty of the hardmode bosses should be lowered, I just think that you shouldnt be needing, say 2 smiting priests on halfus. There should be some other way to defeat a boss than stacking certain classes/buffs.
While 2 disc priests on Halfus might be an exaggeration, I agree with you. At least one smiter is just so good that it's nearly required. Other bosses have class requirements in a similar fashion, as explained in the main posts.
Class requirements are not such a big deal in 25 mans, though it's apparent there as well. For 10 man raid groups, which are often built of friends, it's just too much a burden. I've had my share of raiding with server top 25's; I do not wish to be forced to go back there. I'd rather not raid at all, to be honest.
But again, 10 vs 25 is not the main point of this topic. There's a plenty of those threads out there. I'd appreciate discussion on the randomness of boss abilities, which are totally out of player control and can make or break a good attempt.
While I don't have that much content cleared on Cataclysm, I have raided throughout TBC though.
Still, I can say that hard fights should never be RNG based.
Making fights harder just because you throw more damage here and there is plain retarded and does not make you a skilled guild, it makes you a rather lucky one.
Promote more fights with funny mechanics, no vehicles please...
RNG = retarded!
Edited by Krakan on 31/01/11 02:00 (GMT)
Zainrokh, you've pretty much summed it up.
The current tactics for heroics can basically be condensed to
Stack paladins, or dont bother.
So far, all the heroic modes we've been trying you can literally trivialise the fight by having mass paladin tanks. Which really is not how the encounters should be.
There seems to be no way to avoid massive incoming damage, which really isnt making the encounters hard. its just "Do we have a paladin tank for raid wall? no? okay lets get one. Okay he's used it, where's our 2nd one?"
Or if its elemental damage, the same but with aura mastery (provided its on resistance aura).
Chucking shed loads of damage at a raid, DOES NOT MAKE IT HARD. It just adds a gear check to the encounter. You can try and pretend it doesnt, but if your tanks getting slapped for 70k by a mob (drake in halfus in this example) when Halfus hits for 20-40k does not make the encounter hard. it just adds a gear check & a class check to your tanks. `
Its the same with all the other heroic modes we've tried. The only half decent one is conclave. Thats more a personal opinion about the fight, but still, it is just large aoe damage & platform switching. Hard to communicate as people aren't all in the same and their primary language isnt the same. Complex other than that? Not really.
In too many of these fights the scaling between 25 & 10 is just ludicrous.
Maloriak, 12k aoe dps needed in 25 man, 24k in 10?
What the hell happened to beta testing.
RNG & massive incoming unavoidable damage do not make fights hard, they make them irritating and not fun to play.
I can damn well see why other games are advertising "release means polished" given how well 10 mans have been "polished".
I completely agree about the RNG. Chimaeron is just so badly designed, the difficulty in that encounter is the most boring kind there is if you ask me.
Also, am I the only who remember Blizzard saying they wanted to tone down AoEing in Cataclysm? So far, all I've seen them do is nerf the AoE capabilites of all but a few classes (mainly ranged and DKs, no surprise there I guess), and just added MORE of it? Off the top of my head, Halfus, Maloriak, Conclave, Omnitron (though only in 25 man, in 10 man we get fewer adds with the same hp, basically not allowing us the ability to AoE them down...), Magmaw, Sinestra? (Only seen a vid or two of her, but I sure saw lots of adds). So basically what happened with their promise of less AoE was to go even further away from their "bring the player, not the class" philosophy. To top it all off, they're stonewalling us, not a peep! For all we know, they think 10 man balance is totally fine, granted they fixed the Maloriak adds... 1½ MONTHS after release, when any 13 year old with a calculator could figure out it was blantantly unbalanced.
I've always had faith in Blizzard, but it's reeaally getting stretched to it's limits this tier, RNG is NOT a fun challenge.
Edited by Zainrokh on 31/01/11 14:04 (GMT)
RNG & massive incoming unavoidable damage do not make fights hard, they make them irritating and not fun to play.
On the RNG part I can fully agree, but massive unavoidable damage is another matter.
On Chimaeron, it's a part of unique fight mechanics, which I'm cool with. On several other fights though, it feels like they almost kept the WOTLK style "100% or 0% tank hp" mentality, that they were trying to move away from. This combined with the overall increase to difficulty on healing makes many of our healers often feel powerless and unable to do their job, which causes immense frustration.
Going out of mana because the boss randomly does more damage on some tries than others is just the icing on the cake, the final straw to make them throw their hands in the air and cry/laugh.
Edited by Aggnog on 31/01/11 14:15 (GMT)
You didn't have to write all that just to state the obvious, if blizzard fails to notice how the most progressed 10man guilds have barely half of the hardmodes down then this post wont really help them in the slightest.
Edited by Grobluk on 31/01/11 14:25 (GMT)
The point of these threads is not that people want the difficulty lowered.
The point is that succes seems to depends more on the throw of a dice or what classes you have access to, as opposed to skill.
People are asking for fewer RNG gibs and less reliance on having "the perfect setup", not a reduction in difficulty.
Ah, the joy of replying on the forums without having read and/or understood the point of the post being replied to. Don't you just love the official forums?
Agree with Zain on this one, but that's not a surprise considering I'm in his raid group and know where he's coming from. When we downed Chimaeron, I don't think anyone was overjoyed with a sense of accomplishment; I think we were wondering if we'll have the Massacre-offline-bot RNG gods and the tank avoidance RNG gods blessing us for the next week's kill. It's kinda ridiculous that the supposed test of skill in 10m heroic raiding at the moment is not in fact a test of skill but rather a test of whether you have a good streak of luck in terms of boss abilities chaining.
While 10s and 25s having equal balance sounds good as a PR blurb, I don't think Blizzard has spent much time at all balancing 10m heroics. Everything seems to be balanced keeping 25s in mind and 10s are an afterthought, with changes being made way late even though they're encounter-breakers (hello, Maloriak's Aberrations). It almost seems deliberate since I think Blizzard is worried that if 10s and 25s are equally balanced, players would abandon 25s and that would be bad PR; so the quick and dirty solution is to make 25s considerably easier to execute while shafting the 10m heroic progression guilds, either forcing them to shift to 25s or hope for additional balancing way down the line.
Sometimes it just helps to do exactly that, state the obvious. What is obvious to you and me might not be so for someone else, even someone in the Blizzard raid balancing team. This is why I tried to include specific feedback in the main post regarding some boss abilities, while generalizing some aspects such as "there should be no RNG based boss abilities".
This is quite subjective, as having no RNG and no reliance on "the perfect setup" actually inherently means the fight becomes easier in a sense. The kind of difficulty is just plain wrong at the moment.
That said, with eleven tiers of raiding experience I do think the first heroic bosses have way too steep a jump in difficulty compared to the normal modes' end bosses. In other words, in my honest opinion you shouldn't have this much trouble killing a single heroic boss if your raid is able to consistently beat Nefarian on normal.
I have to agree with everything stated in this topic.
Was on Chimaeron last night and for the love of god without the major cd from druid/disc priest its preaty much impossible to survivie the feud phase.
Random generated feud phase can happen in 30/60/90sec between the pull.
Imagine having 5 of those or 6 in the whole fight?
Not only that you run out of mana and out of cd's to blow but you are relying on luck to get somewhere trying this fight.
Mechanics of most bosses are how should i put it not suited for the healing they gave in Cata.
There are just some mechanics that leave me staring there and wondering k how am i suppose to prevent this from happening?
Overall it needs perfect execution from every one 1 step to the left and you wipe.
Well good luck with that my hats off the the designers but you need to know that people are made to make mistakes and they will do so frequently so rng is how should i put it making everything even worse.
Hat's off the the OP for actually making some proper arguments but sadly they will be another ghost story on blizzard forum.
Exactly. A boss fight made impossible by a bad streak of luck just should not happen. Chimaeron is by no means the only fight with this problem; in fact it seems to be the trend in current heroic raid content. This is the point that needs immediate addressing.
Most the issues at the moment are issues to do with raid setup, unless you have the perfect raid setup its stupidly hard.
Then there's the RNG factor, which is neither fun, nor hard. its just idiotic.
Reading before replying might help.