Bring back attunements

General
31/12/2013 10:36Posted by Schmonz
That's more a problem with LFD


I doubt the expectation to clear content at once comes from LFD. I think it comes from the level of difficulty. And people often overestimate their own capabilities.

I think matchmaking is the most successfull implementation to bring content to the people.

It's about difficulty and content type, and not about the way to build groups.
But it still doesn't have the ability to set the expectation for the group. e.g. "LF fast run", "LF VP grind", "LF [Dungeon] with [Quest]", "LF Achievement run", "LF Rep grind" etc. All that is on top of the desire among some players to group with others who they've met before, minimum gear levels, prior experience, etc.

There are too many different variables which can't be solved unless you have a way to get likeminded players together. The default mindset is to just join LFD for the end boss, commence the AoE Zerg (wipes being unacceptable) and VP reward - which suits some players, but alienates many others. Alternative ways of making groups, like the group finder will always be necessary to cater for all the players who don't like matchmaking or who can't get what they need from it for whatever reason
But it still doesn't have the ability to set the expectation for the group. e.g. "LF fast run", "LF VP grind", "LF [Dungeon] with [Quest]", "LF Achievement run", "LF Rep grind" etc. All that is on top of the desire among some players to group with others who they've met before, minimum gear levels, prior experience, etc.


Well, if you got a special expectation, your best solution would be to find a premade group then. It still would be possible if there was matchmaking also for challenging components which just offer the standard group play.

The default mindset is to just join LFD for the end boss, commence the AoE Zerg (wipes being unacceptable) and VP reward - which suits some players, but alienates many others.


Only because blizzard erroneously tied challenges to premade groups. You mix up cause and effect here.

It could be fixed by simply stating in the dungeon finder that the component you are going to play matchmade offers a challenge. And that it's nothing for people who want to play fast runs. If they dont accept the rule, they are free to play the easy way to get gear.

Matchmaking itself has no direct intersection with difficulty. Only with the level of organization and coordination.

And the core problem about this is, that raiding, the only current endgame, is a mekka for organization and coordination. There are other solutions for matchmade endgame.
Yes it is. Before LFD you'd form a group by (gasp!) talking to people. You'd agree to do certain things for a player on a specific leg on a quest and so on. When loading into an LFD dungeon the group is often two rooms in already, AoE:ing like crazy when the loading screen drops. Trying to persuade that bunch to pause and sidetrack to complete quest objectives is useless. Not the quest's fault, it's the gogogo mentality of the players. I go back with friends instead.


And then after 45minutes of working hard to get a group together, you'd disband five minutes into the dungeon because _INSERT_ROLE_HERE_ was an absolute _INSERT_EXPLETIVE_HERE_ or someone disconnected.

Yeah... I'll take LFG anyday over the "days of old" group finding. Oh the nightmares of trying to complete old Wailing Caverns.
NO! NO! NO!
its stupid to do a line of 500 quests to enter a raid seriously its enough we gotta gear for it remember Kara? enough said
31/12/2013 11:04Posted by Schmonz
But it still doesn't have the ability to set the expectation for the group. e.g. "LF fast run", "LF VP grind", "LF [Dungeon] with [Quest]", "LF Achievement run", "LF Rep grind" etc. All that is on top of the desire among some players to group with others who they've met before, minimum gear levels, prior experience, etc.


Well, if you got a special expectation, your best solution would be to find a premade group then. It still would be possible if there was matchmaking also for challenging components which just offer the standard group play.
Indeed, and on the topic of the thread, I think onyxia-style attunements would fit into that. So something like the new group finder will probably end up being the most popular way to get them - at least after the first few weeks when a lot of people have already completed them.


Only because blizzard erroneously tied challenges to premade groups. You mix up cause and effect here.

It could be fixed by simply stating in the dungeon finder that the component you are going to play matchmade offers a challenge. And that it's nothing for people who want to play fast runs. If they dont accept the rule, they are free to play the easy way to get gear.

Matchmaking itself has no direct intersection with difficulty. Only with the level of organization and coordination.
What kind of difficulty would you suggest which doesn't involve some basic co-ordination or get significantly easier for groups which manage to communicate? :)

To be honest I think there's a cross-over between the two - take an example from trash in Vortex Pinnacle or Stonecore which would be much easier for a group marking a target to kill and another to CC. That's a pretty limited level of coordination, but doable by a pickup group - it doesn't need a guild run nor voice comm, but a lot of matchmaking groups had a hard time with it.
31/12/2013 11:49Posted by Aeta
What kind of difficulty would you suggest which doesn't involve some basic co-ordination or get significantly easier for groups which manage to communicate? :)


Personal challenges mainly. Less based on coordination. Moving out of the fire is one of those. And you could do a lot around personal challenges.

Less "split into 4 groups" or "do the heigan dance.. 1..2..3..move everyone .. 1..2..3..move everyone". That seems to be the only challenge type in raids while there is a lot you could do where the attention of every single player is needed.

And all without the need of a raidleader doing the choreography.

31/12/2013 11:49Posted by Aeta
To be honest I think there's a cross-over between the two - take an example from trash in Vortex Pinnacle or Stonecore which would be much easier for a group marking a target to kill and another to CC.


Mainly because blizzard is very traditionally about this. They seem to know very well how to create content that needs coordination, but dont know really much about content that could be large scale multiplayer but wont need coordination.

Yeah, some coordination is no problem, and possible in matchmade groups. As there also is some personal involvement possible in raids. Just remember shadow priests having to mind control the guards at Rhazuvious in classic Naxxramas.
31/12/2013 10:45Posted by Schmonz
AoE:ing like crazy when the loading screen drops


Thats because it offers no difficulty. And not because you used a tool to build groups.

LFD is just a scapegoat in this discussion.

Exactly. LFD is a great tool but it all went wrong when they started designing all 5-man content around it (even redesigning old dungeons by cutting them down in size and splitting into wings etc...). It should never have been allowed to become more than an aid to find groups.

The only problem i see in matchmaking is creating groups for traditionally organized and coordinated components like raiding.

I dont see any problem to create matchmade groups for challenging 5 mans or especially newly created components which would allow personal challenges, as long people also have the alternative to play easy content to gear up.

Currently, the endgame is completely catered to raiding. LFR only works, because the coordination you normally need for raiding is replaced by low numbers.

Yeah. Hopefully they get it right by reintroducing Normals in WoD. If the peeps wanting to faceroll stuff for currency can be gently nudged towards Normals and Scenarios we just might get some proper challenge from Heroic dungeons. That is my hope, anyways.
The attunements were an experiment from Blizzard and worked against its intentions. It was suppose to lead up to the raid, and ended up alienating a lot of the player base. They partially continued with it in The burning crusade through the key requirements for heroic dungeons, but also this wasn't working as intended. It's a bit strange that they moved away so much from gating content, yet moved closer to gating content again in Mists of Pandaria.

And in terms of Mists of Pandaria, it clearly shows that players don't like gating that much. A lot of players (including me) didn't get to see the whole of the 5.1 quest line through because of how the quest line there was gated. The Isle of Thunder tried itself with a different set of gating, through time locking content, which proved unsuccessful as well as less and less players visited the isle and less and less players did the dailies.

So I think they should move away from gating content, it's no fun having to do a series of boring quests over and over again just to get into the raid. It's also problematic then to take your alts through the raids since a lot of players wouldn't bother doing the necessary requirements on their alts to get to the raid. Thus it would work against intentions.
About attunements: I dont think they should return. They are just brickwalls for dungeon content.
The attunements were an experiment from Blizzard and worked against its intentions. It was suppose to lead up to the raid, and ended up alienating a lot of the player base. They partially continued with it in The burning crusade through the key requirements for heroic dungeons, but also this wasn't working as intended. It's a bit strange that they moved away so much from gating content, yet moved closer to gating content again in Mists of Pandaria.

And in terms of Mists of Pandaria, it clearly shows that players don't like gating that much. A lot of players (including me) didn't get to see the whole of the 5.1 quest line through because of how the quest line there was gated. The Isle of Thunder tried itself with a different set of gating, through time locking content, which proved unsuccessful as well as less and less players visited the isle and less and less players did the dailies.

So I think they should move away from gating content, it's no fun having to do a series of boring quests over and over again just to get into the raid. It's also problematic then to take your alts through the raids since a lot of players wouldn't bother doing the necessary requirements on their alts to get to the raid. Thus it would work against intentions.

I loved Thunder Isle myself, and so did a lot of other players by all accounts. Besides, I see nothing wrong in having the attunements there but optional - i.e. they'd grant buffs, bonus encounters and so on but not be required to enter or clear the instance.

As for the "gating" of the 5.1 content I agree tying it to a long-winded rep grind slowed it down too much, but the basic layout of the quest line and story was actually great. I just wish there could have been faster and more varied ways to grind the rep so repeating all the dailies a zillion times hadn't been necessary. The farm rep work orders allowed me to cap the reps after I burned out on the dailies. They and more should have been available from the beginning, and the daily hate would never have become such an issue.
The problem comes when the story is locked behind attunements, such as Landfall and Isle of Thunder (partially) was. I don't mind them having it as an option for those who want, but hiding a main story line behind gating is not a good way to do a game design. How would any game fair if their story was locked away? You could continue but it wouldn't make any sense at the rest of the story. A lot of players had to Youtube the Landfall quest story because of the gating.

The main problem with Blizzard is that they struggle with balancing what's optional and "mandatory" in their gating. That's why I think it's much better for them to just stay clear of it all together.
The problem comes when the story is locked behind attunements, such as Landfall and Isle of Thunder (partially) was. I don't mind them having it as an option for those who want, but hiding a main story line behind gating is not a good way to do a game design. How would any game fair if their story was locked away? You could continue but it wouldn't make any sense at the rest of the story. A lot of players had to Youtube the Landfall quest story because of the gating.

The main problem with Blizzard is that they struggle with balancing what's optional and "mandatory" in their gating. That's why I think it's much better for them to just stay clear of it all together.

It wasn't locked away, you just had to play through the whole story. Why would you want to skip the whole story and do the final quest without doing all the stuff leading up to it? The Landfall story played smoothly with very little grinding, the gating there was barely noticeable.
No it was locked in Landfall, you had to grind reputation to get the story unfolded. The story quests opened in accordance with your reputation level, and a lot of times you delivered your dailies and got no continuation on your quest story.

It's however not about the amount of grind needed but the fact that grind is needed. A story in any game should unfold as you progress in natural paces, not be interrupted all the time by repetition to get the story to go again. It breaks the flow and works against its intentions. There is a reason that Mists of Pandaria have lost over 1.5 million subscribers through its course.
31/12/2013 00:51Posted by Nurumagil
That was the whole point of that system. If you just casually breezed through the zone doing some of the quests, you could pick up the "casual" dungeon quests and finish them, while you'd miss the more engaging lore-heavy quests if you didn't conclude the bigger quest chains in the zone. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that - what good is doing the finale quest of a story if you haven't done the quests leading up to it?

What I mean is - back then some seemed to miss the dungeons anyway. I think the placing the NPCs with the quests at the entrances is more a consequence of adding the dungeon finder and having people that only level through dungeons. Zones in MoP do have questlines that lead up to some of the dungeons, but yeah, they're not required which, as seen here, leads people to think "What am I even doing here?".

That said I can't recall if every single dungeon back in classic had any build ups to it.

31/12/2013 00:51Posted by Nurumagil
How many players actually care at all about the story behind some disembodied quests handed out at the dungeon entrance these days?

Few, maybe. But how many cared in the first place? (Edit to clarify: not saying not many do, just dropping that as a general question :]) There are several MMOs now that have cut down heavily on the story being told for quests, at least in regards to amount of text you're given to read, because apparently players - overall - would rather just get on with the action than read the quest text. GW2 for example didn't really engage me at all in terms of lore/quests because I just walked into a zone and started killing things without knowing what it was about. Once I was done I got a message from the NPC thanking me for.. oh, I don't know :/

Then you have stuff like SW ToR or TSW which give you 'chunky' videos for the quests, although I think SW ToR has skippable audio at the very least; TSW doesn't, but the whole thing is skippable, doesn't affect knowing what to do for the quest although it takes away most of the lore behind it.

I think it'd be nice if there was some sort of 'thing' to tell you what you're doing in a dungeon, but to quote Aeta:
31/12/2013 10:30Posted by Aeta
the mentality of random groups seems to be fixed in a way that anything other than charging to the end of the boss without a single deviation or wipe gets people upset.


To get things like attunements back they need to pull away from the importance of random finder. The fact that they're finally, in WoD, giving bonus VP for premade grouping rather than for random grouping for example is good. Right now it encourages random finder more since it's 'easier' than having to form the group yourself.

31/12/2013 12:26Posted by Nurumagil
I loved Thunder Isle myself, and so did a lot of other players by all accounts.

I liked it. It reminded me of Isle of Quel'danas, a lot.
To get things like attunements back they need to pull away from the importance of random finder
I agree Im not against casuals seeing content as I am a casual but I honestly hate lfr as you know noone in it and there is zero social interaction apart from people insulting you. In my opinon It would be better if they began to phase out lfr and replace it with flex to add more challenge for casuals (I don't like facerolling the final boss of the expansion) and to add more social interaction to the game. If they did this attunements would work very well.
also flex is fairly easy to pug so it would be easy to catch up and you wouldn't have to have your guild run every new player through old raids just for attunements
What I mean is - back then some seemed to miss the dungeons anyway. I think the placing the NPCs with the quests at the entrances is more a consequence of adding the dungeon finder and having people that only level through dungeons. Zones in MoP do have questlines that lead up to some of the dungeons, but yeah, they're not required which, as seen here, leads people to think "What am I even doing here?".

That said I can't recall if every single dungeon back in classic had any build ups to it.

They had. A lot. Deadmines, Wailing Caverns, Shadowfang Keep, Scarlet Monastery, Blackfathom Depths, Uldaman, Zul Farrak, Sunken Temple, Scholomance, Stratholme, Blackrock Mountain and more - they ALL had one or more lore-heavy quest chains leading up to them. None of them were MANDATORY but they certainly told you the lore behind it all.

Players not caring about the lore didn't give a toss whether they found the quests or not, players caring about the lore found it sooner or later by doing the quests. Which goes to my point - why not keep those existing questlines in place for players taking the time to pursue that story, and have some nonsensical "kill X of Y" guests for the ones who don't give a damn? It doesn't have to be one way or the other, it can be both! They didn't have to remove all those lore heavy quest chains just because a lot of players ignored them, the ones who DIDN'T ignore them enjoyed them a lot, and for us the game feels drained of meaning after their removal.

Few, maybe. But how many cared in the first place? (Edit to clarify: not saying not many do, just dropping that as a general question :]) There are several MMOs now that have cut down heavily on the story being told for quests, at least in regards to amount of text you're given to read, because apparently players - overall - would rather just get on with the action than read the quest text. GW2 for example didn't really engage me at all in terms of lore/quests because I just walked into a zone and started killing things without knowing what it was about. Once I was done I got a message from the NPC thanking me for.. oh, I don't know :/

And how is that a good thing? Really? There's a reason those games fail to attract the amount of players WoW has kept enthralled for so long. It would be a shame to see WoW follow their example now instead of the other way around...

To get things like attunements back they need to pull away from the importance of random finder. The fact that they're finally, in WoD, giving bonus VP for premade grouping rather than for random grouping for example is good. Right now it encourages random finder more since it's 'easier' than having to form the group yourself.

Finally!

Like I've said in previous posts - LFD is a great tool that has benefited WoW more than it has detracted, but it should NEVER have been allowed to become the focus of content design.
What kind of difficulty would you suggest which doesn't involve some basic co-ordination or get significantly easier for groups which manage to communicate? :)


Personal challenges mainly. Less based on coordination. Moving out of the fire is one of those. And you could do a lot around personal challenges.
I think Blizzard actually do quite a lot of this already, mostly so that the dps have more to do than just nuke stuff, and that healers aren't blindly focused on healing, etc. They also tried it in heroic scenarios where they made healers/tanks redundant.

The most common problem I see in matchmade groups are people who assume they exist in a bubble, and that their actions don't matter. LFR is supposed to be 'easy' although sometimes its 10x harder for healers who get punished when half the group doesn't move from the fire. On the flipside, dps will always be dependant on tanks and healers to stay alive - so if either of them fail then it's usually a wipe.
31/12/2013 12:52Posted by Nyshae
That was the whole point of that system. If you just casually breezed through the zone doing some of the quests, you could pick up the "casual" dungeon quests and finish them, while you'd miss the more engaging lore-heavy quests if you didn't conclude the bigger quest chains in the zone. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that - what good is doing the finale quest of a story if you haven't done the quests leading up to it?

What I mean is - back then some seemed to miss the dungeons anyway. I think the placing the NPCs with the quests at the entrances is more a consequence of adding the dungeon finder and having people that only level through dungeons.

That is what is so strange about the decision to disconnect dungeon quests from the questing experience in the zones. Anybody leveling by dungeon hasn't done any quests leading up to the dungeon, and most ignore even the dungeon quests if they require any form of deviation from the rush for the end boss. So what is the point with adjusting dungeon quests to the LFD crowd? Like I said before, LFD is a great tool, but it should never have become the focus of dungeon design. It is the main reason devs now think a dungeon must be possible to complete on a lunch break. If it takes more than twenty minutes to finish, due to size or difficulty, the LFD masses will whine, some will leave after entering. As a consequence we're stuck with lacklustre dungeons that are little more than mindless corridors where we AoE rush for the loot piñata at the end. They look pretty, but apart from some fun boss fights they are mere shadows of how dungeons used to be in this game.

I'd suggest that they expand and develop the concept of Scenarios a bit to get away from designing dungeons primarily for LFD. Scenarios are more relaxed, does not have the rigid roles required in dungeons and are usually finished quickly. Make them award as much Valor for time invested as dungeons, and make group sizes dynamic - have scenarios for much larger groups as well. Imagine a PvE version of Alterac Valley for example. Could work out incredibly well if they can pull it off, that was what I thought Scenarios would be when they first announced them. If they make scenarios more fun and rewarding they will gobble up more players and make room for allowing dungeons to take more time and be more challenging by default.

I veered off topic more than a little, but it's all connected. Anyway I don't think attunements in the traditional sense of the word are a good idea to bring back, like I've said previously in this thread. Maybe as a skill check before letting people inside LFR, but I think that would be best handled as a string of solo scenarios like the proving grounds, not a time consuming quest chain.

Attunement quest chains should be optional, but bring nice rewards and fun stuff like bonus encounters, buffs, achievements and so on. Much like the Wrathion questline has done in MoP...
Maybe not attunements but at least the quests themselves...

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