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valaquenta

Concerning the game design overall : what's the right thing to do?

56 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hi there guys,

 

There’s a very common issue that many of us know about, but i’ve only seen it being mentioned a few times:

The plan for vanilla is to completely retune the raids on crestfall : it’s not only about damage and hp, but also about timers, IA,  etc etc… I think that’s truly the only way to make raiding challenging and demanding because the vanilla content has been nerfed time and time again, to the point where it’s practically impossible to find the pre-pre-pre-pre……pre-nerf data : a problem that doesn’t necessarily exists in other expansions (or at least, to a lesser degree).

I’m sure that the staff will be able to do something great with vanilla, so I’d like to talk about the other expansions :

When it comes to TBC, even if you’re able to reintroduce the pre-nerfed content, that’s hardly sufficient, because on the 2.4.3 patch, most classes do way more dps than they’re supposed to do in t4 and t5 (maybe even in some t6 raids like the black temple and hyjal, but sunwell is perfectly tuned for 2.4.3), when it comes to wotlk, it’s just the same thing for t7 and t8 In 3.3.5, when it comes to cata in 4.3.4 blablablabla and the list goes on…

 

 

https://github.com/Schaka/TBC-research/issues

If you take a look at schaka’s tbc research list (thanks to the corecraft staff of course, may they rest in peace), you’ll notice that they included both the verified values of raid encounters, AND the corecraft values, which, most of the time, have been buffed by 15-30%. Now, sometimes it’s just a guess, but many times, it’s because they’re also taking into account the fact that :

1/people have more knowledge today

2/classes will do more dps, as was said before

3/there were pre-pre nerf cases

I think their approach was truly the right one, because it’s impossible to bring an authentic experience (in my opinion), without touching the encounters (which doesn’t mean that you have to CHANGE them, it’s more like : optimizing them).

The same thing applies for other expansions... yeah i know, it's a long way ahead, but in any case, the problem is quite similar no matter the "era". In fact, TBC might be the easiest case to deal with, because the gameplay and the abilities of classes didn't evolve too much in tbc. Just take a loot at WOTLK, the dks are like a completely different class at the end of the expansion, and other classes evolved quite significantly over a year as well. We can't change the patches, it would take centuries to reproduce the exact wow experience, and it would make no sense : patches are meant to bring balance, and to improve the game, so it seems smarter to accept that and to adapt the content accordingly.

Now, what’s your point of view guys (I’m asking both the crestfallen and the staff)? Should we just opt for the corecraft design choice, should we do something more? Or should we just content ourselves with how the game was designed ten years ago, apart from vanilla (not exactly the most exciting choice, but an understandable one, nonetheless)? Knowing the staff, i'm pretty sure that this third option is not your favorite one (nor is it the community's favorite one), but even if we take the "blizzlike custom" road (hard to define it, really), some questions still exist :

-does the tuning strategy need to be adaptated for each expansion because the very nature of their evolution is different every time (in tbc, it's almost purely about the values, when in wotlk, it has a lot to do with abilities...)

-how will the community react to this kind of change?

-Where, and when, do we go to far with this?

-How do you determine, mathematically, the right thing to do?

It's a really complex issue and i believe we really need to discuss it.

 

Thank you for reading all this, guys.

Edited by valaquenta
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I'm all for buffed and more difficult content to make up for the end of expansions spells/talents. I find the bullheaded refusal of buffed content that some people in reddit have silly. The typical reasoning is that bosses die quickly because everyone is supposedly so familiar with the content. Even if that was the case, why not buff the content then, so that it is actually challenging instead of clearing everything on first try and then growing bored almost immediately?

I'm not experienced enough to propose how exactly this should be done but the plans that CF devs have already shared involving early vanilla raids i.e. higher numbers, bosses use their abilities more and in a more unpredictable way sound good to me. I wouldn't mind more drastic measures like news boss abilities or encounter mechanics either, but I realize that would be a step too for too many people.

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2 minutes ago, Lilaina said:

I'm not experienced enough to propose how exactly this should be done but the plans that CF devs have already shared involving early vanilla raids i.e. higher numbers, bosses use their abilities more and in a more unpredictable way sound good to me. I wouldn't mind more drastic measures like news boss abilities or encounter mechanics either, but I realize that would be a step too for too many people.

For vanilla, i think it's something that needs to be done for every raid apart from naxxramas. New abilities are not necessary in my opinion, it's mostly about making them happen more often, in an unpredictable way (like you said), and a more unforgivable way.

Concerning the other expansions, it's tricky, because some tbc and wotlk encounters are already really hard by nature (not all of them), which is why value modification might be enough sometimes. It really sounds like it's a case-by-case basis.

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I despise following cookie-cutter builds, so I support changing it up a bit, so you can't just dig up a decade (!) old guide and faceroll bosses on CF. Yes, it will not be a "true" vanilla experience, but there won't be snotty elitists telling people what to do.

Down with the meta!

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2 minutes ago, ilovecats said:

I despise following cookie-cutter builds, so I support changing it up a bit, so you can't just dig up a decade (!) old guide and faceroll bosses on CF. Yes, it will not be a "true" vanilla experience, but there won't be snotty elitists telling people what to do.

Down with the meta!

Getting the "old" vanilla or even tbc experience is very unlikely anyways : it's more interesting to try and make a "remastered version" of the old game in my opinion.

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Retuning the raids is a bad idea. The first time I went into MC on retail I had greens and some shadowcraft. Most of the people waiting on crestfall know every piece of preraid bis they need, where to get it, which librams, which potions to stack, and which enchants they need before the server even launches. Tanks will be BiS, flasked, defense capped.. that wasn't the case in retail. Most people know how to do every fight up till Naxx. The knowledge is what makes the encounters 'easy'. 

If they are going to change encounters then change the loot as well. Add 8 piece dps warrior sets to mc and bwl since there aren't any in the game. Add 8 piece feral sets as well. 

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When I'll start playing on CF I don't want to hear on the second week that a guild is already farming MC... It happened on Elysium, and I felt like "my whole life is a lie" :D  
There are several reasons why did vanilla become easier over the years, I don't want to explain it again, but I think we all play it because we want some challange. However I think the HP and Damage buff would be enough. I don't want to see new spells or the old spells more often. My opinion is concerning all the expansions. 
Don't change the experience, just make it a little bit harder, please!

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43 minutes ago, Ssaya said:

Retuning the raids is a bad idea. The first time I went into MC on retail I had greens and some shadowcraft. Most of the people waiting on crestfall know every piece of preraid bis they need, where to get it, which librams, which potions to stack, and which enchants they need before the server even launches. Tanks will be BiS, flasked, defense capped.. that wasn't the case in retail. Most people know how to do every fight up till Naxx. The knowledge is what makes the encounters 'easy'. 

If they are going to change encounters then change the loot as well. Add 8 piece dps warrior sets to mc and bwl since there aren't any in the game. Add 8 piece feral sets as well. 

Can't get your point of view, you are saying that tuning is bad, but then telling us about experienced players...so why not to buff bosses a little? The part about new loot is a complete nonsense, at least for now, probably you have a good explanation, but i doubt there is any.

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51 minutes ago, Ssaya said:

Retuning the raids is a bad idea. The first time I went into MC on retail I had greens and some shadowcraft. Most of the people waiting on crestfall know every piece of preraid bis they need, where to get it, which librams, which potions to stack, and which enchants they need before the server even launches. Tanks will be BiS, flasked, defense capped.. that wasn't the case in retail. Most people know how to do every fight up till Naxx. The knowledge is what makes the encounters 'easy'. 

If they are going to change encounters then change the loot as well. Add 8 piece dps warrior sets to mc and bwl since there aren't any in the game. Add 8 piece feral sets as well. 

I'm a bit confused : you're admitting that the knowledge is what makes the encounters easier, but at the same time, you think that nothing should be done? Also, no , making fights harder is not unblizzlike, and it had nothing to do with custom tier sets : the early encounters in vanilla were MUCH harder, and have been changed several times. Even if you take the 1.12 talents into account, MC and BWL shouldn't be trivial.

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7 minutes ago, limov417 said:

Can't get your point of view, you are saying that tuning is bad, but then telling us about experienced players...so why not to buff bosses a little? The part about new loot is a complete nonsense, at least for now, probably you have a good explanation, but i doubt there is any.

The encounters are "easy" because everyone knows what preraid gear and consumables to get plus already knowing the fights. If you are going to be blizzlike be blizzlike, if not then where does it end? Might as well change loot tables as well to compensate higher difficulty. 

Adding hp and damage also increases the racial imbalance of fear ward/kings/salv. 

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Posted (edited)

21 minutes ago, Ssaya said:

The encounters are "easy" because everyone knows what preraid gear and consumables to get plus already knowing the fights. If you are going to be blizzlike be blizzlike, if not then where does it end? Might as well change loot tables as well to compensate higher difficulty. 

Adding hp and damage also increases the racial imbalance of fear ward/kings/salv. 

But why you don't take into consideration new talents and spells, it can't be 100% blizzlike anyway. They add a lot of damage and so on, isn't it a good reason to boost bosses? And don't exaggerate, if the devs talked about buffing they surely have already drawn the line between what can be changed and what should be as it was. Once again this topic only about buffing bosses, nobody is going to go mad and try to balance the entire game from scratch.

Edit: And I am very familiar with what Op is saying, for example some WOTLK early raids can be easily zerged.

Edit 2: If you listened to Q&A, Asura said that increasing HP just makes fight longer, not harder. On the other hand randomizing abilities, finding weak spots in healers ( as Darkrasp suggested) can bring some challenge even with experienced group. Nobody is even considering changing loot tables, they are already done.

Edited by limov417
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Actually, T7 was pretty easy at launch, even with 3.0 talents. I think Crestfall team will be able to handle the tuning nicely. They've already stated that they won't add any new skills or mechanics to the encounters, just make little adjustments like more fire on ground, bosses use skills more frequently, they have more hp and hit harder. The one thing we can say for sure is that we have no idea what was the MC or BWL pre nerf cos it was in the dark era of the internet. The good excemple is the "sholud Ragnaros be taunt resistant" drama on Nost. Some ppl who played WoW since launch insisted that Rag was immune to taunt and others said the opposite. The thing was, that there are no solid data on pre-nerf MC. So I'm for adjustments, since we won't have "100% blizzlike experience" anyway.

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9 minutes ago, Ssaya said:

The encounters are "easy" because everyone knows what preraid gear and consumables to get plus already knowing the fights. If you are going to be blizzlike be blizzlike, if not then where does it end? Might as well change loot tables as well to compensate higher difficulty. 

Adding hp and damage also increases the racial imbalance of fear ward/kings/salv. 

I don't think you realize how much of a difference in difficulty there is between private server vanilla and retail vanilla. 

Not only do we know all the boss fights in and out, and what consumables will be useful for this and that... or just generally know our BIS list from patch 1.1 to 1.12 from the get go.
Talents and abilities are also in their 1.12.1 state on private servers which is a fuck ton stronger than it otherwise would've been. Some items are also to be released much earlier than they did on retail (almost only affects pre raid gear but still) which also adds to the power creep pile.

In my opinion I would absolutely love to see fights getting tweaked a bit in their numbers. I wasn't enjoying that bosses died within seconds on Nostalrius which was the last time I played on a vanilla server. 
 

Quote

Adding hp and damage also increases the racial imbalance of fear ward/kings/salv. 

I don't follow you on this one. Why would that make the racials more imbalanced?

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34 minutes ago, limov417 said:

But why you don't take into consideration new talents and spells, it can't be 100% blizzlike anyway. They add a lot of damage and so on, isn't it a good reason to boost bosses? And don't exaggerate, if the devs talked about buffing they surely have already drawn the line between what can be changed and what should be as it was. Once again this topic only about buffing bosses, nobody is going to go mad and try to balance the entire game from scratch.

Oh I was only talking about vanilla. I'm picturing a buffed nef or ony being ridiculous for horde in phase 3 because tank gets feared 2-3 times due to larger hp pools then the raid gets cleaved/breathed with buffed damage while alliance raids are collecting loot with fear ward. 

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Posted (edited)

I feel like people exaggerate a bit much on current private servers, or are just focusing on the edge cases as the norm.  I raided MC and BWL on Nostalrius and later on Elysium.  The first MC raid we did, my guild didn't 10/10 clear, we barely 4/10 cleared in a 3 hour raid and it wasn't because we didn't know the strategy.  Maybe we weren't the most experienced, but we were relatively intense and extremely knowledgeable of the encounters.  The vast majority of these guilds on current private servers aren't pushing through MC on easy mode for months until after it's been released.

I think people are going to be frustrated when guilds 6 months into raiding MC are still taking a full 3 hours to clear the raid.  It has to scale otherwise people burn out and you end up with broken guilds everywhere.

There are definitely cases on current private servers where an extremely intense guild of 60 get every bit of preraid bis possible, stack up on consumes and world buffs and then force themselves through MC with the first week, but scaling the difficulty of the entire raid for the longterm to prevent those crazy edge cases seems like a bad idea.

I'm okay with some tweaks to make the encounters more interesting, but randomly offing a priest or a caster dps throughout the fight doesn't seem to really help.  That sounds like that will just lead to more wipes. The quickest way to break guilds is with a lot of wipes.

Edited by Kelila
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Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, Kelila said:

I'm okay with some tweaks to make the encounters more interesting, but randomly offing a priest or a caster dps throughout the fight doesn't seem to really help.  That sounds like that will just lead to more wipes. The quickest way to break guilds is with a lot of wipes.

From the FAQ :

"

Q.  Vanilla content is so easy, how are you going to prevent people from clearing raids on the day they are released?  Or abusing content to get tons of gold?

A.  Our intention is to create a retail-like experience in terms of difficulty, and to that end, the content will be made more difficult.  First thing is to fix a lot of the bugs and loopholes that make private servers much easier to play on than retail was.  AI for many bosses is either broken or incorrect, so the first thing is to fix that.  Secondly we fix a bunch of things that Blizzard never got around to fixing, or fixed in a halfhearted way that didn't solve the problem of abuse and exploitation.  This may mean we have to make things a little bit different than retail, but again, the intention is to preserve a retail-like level of difficulty and a retail-like feel.  With respect to buffing raid bosses, we intend to buff only the bosses in Molten Core and Blackwing Lair.  Our opinion is that, scripted properly, the AQ and Naxxramas bosses are difficult enough.  Boss buffing will be handled in a few ways, as we see befits the encounter, with the intention of offsetting the increased player power provided by 1.12-patch talents available to the players.  In most cases this will just mean baseline stat buffs, reduction of cooldowns on boss abilities, or more unpredictable use of those same abilities.  Bosses may initially be buffed to a significantly more difficult level than on retail, but we reserve the right to tune things post-launch to a level concordant with the time, effort and ability expected of a casual raiding guild should we decide it is too difficult."

 

So for vanilla, the content design is already quite clear in fact ;-).

Edited by valaquenta
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1 hour ago, Cruzix said:

 

I don't follow you on this one. Why would that make the racials more imbalanced?

 

More hp and damage means more fears/cleaves/breaths onto horde raids and not onto ally raids. 

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19 minutes ago, valaquenta said:

From the FAQ :

"

Q.  Vanilla content is so easy, how are you going to prevent people from clearing raids on the day they are released?  Or abusing content to get tons of gold?

A.  Our intention is to create a retail-like experience in terms of difficulty, and to that end, the content will be made more difficult.  First thing is to fix a lot of the bugs and loopholes that make private servers much easier to play on than retail was.  AI for many bosses is either broken or incorrect, so the first thing is to fix that.  Secondly we fix a bunch of things that Blizzard never got around to fixing, or fixed in a halfhearted way that didn't solve the problem of abuse and exploitation.  This may mean we have to make things a little bit different than retail, but again, the intention is to preserve a retail-like level of difficulty and a retail-like feel.  With respect to buffing raid bosses, we intend to buff only the bosses in Molten Core and Blackwing Lair.  Our opinion is that, scripted properly, the AQ and Naxxramas bosses are difficult enough.  Boss buffing will be handled in a few ways, as we see befits the encounter, with the intention of offsetting the increased player power provided by 1.12-patch talents available to the players.  In most cases this will just mean baseline stat buffs, reduction of cooldowns on boss abilities, or more unpredictable use of those same abilities.  Bosses may initially be buffed to a significantly more difficult level than on retail, but we reserve the right to tune things post-launch to a level concordant with the time, effort and ability expected of a casual raiding guild should we decide it is too difficult."

 

So for vanilla, the content design is already quite clear in fact ;-).

I was pretty familiar with that piece of the FAQ, I was wondering if this discussion was an extension or a change to the mindset they already had stated :)

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Oh well, i think it can be both an extension AND a change of mindset, when we're talking about future expansions : as an example, i think that the tbc raids should only have their numbers buffed (hp and dmg) a bit in t4-t5, just like corecraft did, and that we shouldn't touch the ai or anything else. But some might think differently :).

Concerning vanilla, i'm 100% behind their policy though.

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, Ssaya said:

 

More hp and damage means more fears/cleaves/breaths onto horde raids and not onto ally raids. 

This is already happening regardless of number tuning or not due to casual/hardcore guilds, raid setup, class calls.... Besides fights were a lot longer on retail due to the reasons mentioned in my previous post (and in OP), and it wasn't a problem then.

Edited by Cruzix
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I'm happy with what the Developers have mentioned so far. I'm not going to be in a top tier guild that has each raid on farm status within a month. However, I like the concept that the raids should be challenging for everyone. The biggest thrill in WoW for me was the excitement of learning to overcome new challenges, which is not inherently possible on a private server emulating an older version of the game. I think that changing some of the functionality in the fights, not just buffing hp/damage, is really what will provide the "vanilla experience".

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Undead Paladins and Nelf Shamans

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Ppl said enha dps is not viable in vanilla. Remove the cooldown of Stormstrike please.

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1 hour ago, beerforce said:

Ppl said enha dps is not viable in vanilla. Remove the cooldown of Stormstrike please.

All specs are viable but not optimal. 

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