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Why did Blizzard decide on 5 for the player numbers in instances?

36 posts in this topic
19 hours ago, Yavannie said:

And even more to the point, why does clam meat stack, but unopened ones don't?

This is the single most annoying thing in the game.

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5 hours ago, Xaverius said:

We know that D&D is the tool of Satan! Now think, what is commonly associated with Satan? The pentagram, of course! And how many points does a pentagram have? That's right, five!

This proves Diablo designers knows shit about the game :)

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Perhaps there is something to the "odd numbers help with votes" thing. Personally, I feel 5 is the right number, it's just right for a group. Why?
Well, you need a tank for all groups or they will be short lived. A healer is also essential.
But their damage is so low that they need some help. 1 DPS is not strong enough. 2 is pretty decent but there is not much room for variation.

In a D&D setting, you would like to have a rogue for unlocking doors, chests and finding traps. But it's also good to have another, say 2h warrior to dish out some damage and also take a few hits himself. Well, then you miss out on the powers of a mage, which is realy useful. Either way, 5 allows your group to have a more generous number of class variations. That's what I think. :D

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2 hours ago, Xantros said:

Perhaps there is something to the "odd numbers help with votes" thing. Personally, I feel 5 is the right number, it's just right for a group. Why?
Well, you need a tank for all groups or they will be short lived. A healer is also essential.
But their damage is so low that they need some help. 1 DPS is not strong enough. 2 is pretty decent but there is not much room for variation.

In a D&D setting, you would like to have a rogue for unlocking doors, chests and finding traps. But it's also good to have another, say 2h warrior to dish out some damage and also take a few hits himself. Well, then you miss out on the powers of a mage, which is realy useful. Either way, 5 allows your group to have a more generous number of class variations. That's what I think. :D

in D&D 3.0 you can have a cleric with 1 rogue level unlock doors and chests and disable traps, you can have a cleric with a 2h weapon and 4 pre-epic high BAB levels dish out damage, you can have a cleric heal, you can have a cleric offensively spellcast with the right domains, and at pre-epic levels you can even have a cleric tank

or maybe its just NWN1

though then again in WoW you could have all-druid 5-mans and UBRS groups, but you'd still want two hunters to raid at least

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Posted (edited)

This was probably decided so that groups can be created as fast as possible without leaving anyone behind.

Assuming the big pictures of classes were designed beforehand and that the healer/tank/dps trinity was also one of the first game design decision made for the game, you would have 9 classes spread around 3 roles. Once you add the role that each class is capable (you must always remember that this is early development process so you cant enter into the viable/not viable spec, you just have the big picture and numbers will follow later) of performing, you get :

2 tanks (Warrior, Druid) // I think we can assume that since Shaman cant, for Alliance/Horde balance sake, Paladins were never designed to tank, and that their Protection branch was just a way to get a tanky healer type

4 healers (Priest, Druid, Paladin, Shaman)

9 dps (All classes have at least one spec to allow them to fill this role)

 

Now, when a game is just released, most people know about nothing about the game beside how the saint trinity works. So you can easily assume that each class-role combination will have about the same popularity (especially since you can respec into another role with most class, class distribution should be equi-proportional). This give us the following player repartition

3/(2+4+9) = 2/15 = 13.3% of players are expected to be tank

4/(2+4+9) = 4/15 = 26.7% of players are expected to be healer

9/(2+4+9) = 9/15 = 60% of players are expected to be dps

 

Since we are locked in the tank/healer/dps trinity, no matter how many members your group have, you must always have at least one tank, one healer, one dps.

Now when you project this in a 5 man group, you get 20% of the group is tank, 20% is healer and 60% are dps. Numbers are pretty close and seems to match previous results. The difference with expected results is 13.4% (6.7+6.7+0).

Now with a 4 man group, 25% of the group is tank, 25% is healer and 50% dps. That is a difference of 23.4% (11.7+1.7+10) with ideal expectations.

And finally with a 6 man group. First assuming 1 tank, 2 healers, 3 dps, 16.7% of the group is tank, 33.3% of the group is healer and 50% of the group is dps. Thats a difference of 20%. And with a 1 tank, 1 healer 4 dps group you get a difference of 20.1%.

 

As you can see ideally, the 5 man group is the easiest to get a full group with. Followed by the 6 man which while offering flexibility in the build (you can run 1 or 2 healer) will prove itself be harder to tune, as well as being quiet far from the ideal group distribution and take more time to finish the group. 

 

Slightly off topic since up to here it was all about 5 man groups. But this role distribution also reflects on 40 man groups to a certain point :

0.133*40 = 5.3 tank

0.267*40 = 10.7 healers

0.6*40 = 24 dps

 

Ill let you draw your own conclusion on this last note since no one was in Blizzard office when the decision was made and my theory entirely based on the assumption that 

1. Class and class roles were designed before deciding how many players compose a dungeon group

2. All class-role combination were meant to have about the same popularity among player

 

PS : I know Alliance and Horde both have 8 available class (which throws off the probability a bit) but when the decision was made we have no way of knowing if they were planning to make Paladin and Shaman available for both faction or if they were planned as Faction specific from the beginning. Anyway, this doesn't change much since I just tried to show the big picture of the reasoning.

Edited by Burin
Wording
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1 hour ago, Burin said:

-snip

source.gif

 

Blessed one poster.

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Shaman was designed later, after when they made paladin only alliance class. They said it in the earlier blizzcons. So it had to be like mirror image of paladin. And paladin was made to tank from the start, so was shaman, but they were not made to be main tanks. Still paladin and shaman can tank dungeons fine. Not so easy like warrior or druid, but still. In the alpha priest was designed with melee style of play, perhaps with some tanking capability, but they scrapped it, probably because there would be too many tanking classes.

I guess the decision for 5 man groups was really easier. Wow was made based on everquest. Most, if not all the game designers were playing EQ then. And there party size and raid size is bigger, way slower to make(i think so, never played). They made wow easier to get into, easier to play and more accessible, so it was way logical to scale those EQ sizes a bit. Also rule of thumb(hand) - 5 fingers - easy to keep track of players lol.

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On 3/3/2017 at 5:51 AM, Burin said:

This was probably decided so that groups can be created as fast as possible without leaving anyone behind.

 

That was an excellent post that this thread didn't really deserve 

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Posted (edited)

Actually prior to 1.3.0 there is no mention of player caps in dungeons at all, apparently you could bring as many people as you wanted, 40m RFC? Stranger then that, apparently there was no cap of 40 people in raid? I've never heard of it but that was actually written into the 1.3.0 patch suggests to me, It was in some way possible to have more then 40 players present in a raid at any given time.

Anyway, moving along.

1.3.0

They added limited to the dungeons making all current dungeons limited to 10 players, with the exception of Diremaul (Capped at 5) and UBRS (Capped at 15).

http://wowwiki.wikia.com/wiki/Patch_1.3.0 

In 1.10.0

It was changed again, that the End Game dungeons would be reduced to 5 players specifically: Scholo, Strath and BRD while Black Rock Spire was reduced to 10. This was mostly as a result of the introduction of the Dungeon quest set, as it was meant to keep the content challenging for the new sets that could be obtained in game.

*I believe this is the patch they disabled quests in raids as well*

http://wowwiki.wikia.com/wiki/Patch_1.10.0

1.11.0

We've Nerfed Fear again!

3.3.0 or 4.0.1

And finally all Vanilla Dungeons became locked at 5 either in 3.3.0 or 4.0.1, it was an un-written change from what I can tell. Either they went away as a result of the introduction of LFD or because they were revamped in Cata.

Seems to suggest more that they really had no clue what was a good number for dungeons back in the day, and ultimately just went with about what players seemed to be comfertable with based on the content available at the time.

Edited by Terminus
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Clearly it's because EQ had 6 man parties and WoW doesn't have any real utility classes.

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