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Darkrasp

Darkrasp's Blog 5/15/2017

64 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

i think that instead of making bosses use abilities a bit more often the timers should be randomized a little to throw off bigwigs/CTraid

imagine how hard raids would be without those mods!... still not quite as hard as they would be if newly released as if on retail

edit: guess you have a good point imbaslap

Edited by Aquane
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55 minutes ago, Darkrasp said:

It is also our intention to follow Blizz's example and, if required, nerf the content over time to allow more players to experience it.  It's been mentioned plenty of times that it's a bad idea to tune the entire experience around the top 1% of players, so that's not what we're going to do - but we might tune the first few weeks for the top 1%, just to see how that goes.

Wow, specifically vanilla WoW was great because it did focus on making the end content hard, so hard that even the top 1% struggled. It was the challenge of the game that's so lacking in retail now which is why everyone here and yourself is so vested in a project like this that wants to revive and play a game that's now 13 years old.

The community here is quite different to what the old WoW community was and is today so listening to their concerns especially with the more dedicated followers that are contributing now is not a bad thing; however I argue that "tuning" things or "catering" by listening to the cry babies that usually flood the forums is/was the biggest mistake Blizzard ever made and as a result turned WoW into the casual borefest it is today.

The majority is not always right, actually they're usually wrong. Focus on the experienced player base and to what you know and believe. The forum children will always find something to cry about but when the game is great and solid, they will stick around regardless and the majority are still playing an amazing game that makes it that much more rewarding when something challenging is conquered.

You should never "Nerf" content, even over time. (Unless you're dealing with something mathematically impossible like original C'thun, although if the player base geared and buffed with every buff and pot available the way top guilds do now just with an MC farm it should have been doable)

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9 minutes ago, Nocturn said:

You should never "Nerf" content, even over time. (Unless you're dealing with something mathematically impossible like original C'thun, although if the player base geared and buffed with every buff and pot available the way top guilds do now just with an MC farm it should have been doable)

oh yeah, make sure the majority of level 60 players don't get the carrot on the end of that stick so easily; even the ones who aren't tryhards

if you're gonna change the boss fights a little do it for good; don't just make it harder for the first few weeks or so, as some other people may also want the additional challenge, and it might make it take longer before people get bored of MC, then BWL

in fact im not sure if the old nost guild i was in is even gonna roll the same faction as i am again(or on the same server as i plan to), and in the case that both that happens and i dont get into a good guild anyway, i still want to experience the buffed content

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37 minutes ago, Nocturn said:

Wow, specifically vanilla WoW was great because it did focus on making the end content hard, so hard that even the top 1% struggled. It was the challenge of the game that's so lacking in retail now which is why everyone here and yourself is so vested in a project like this that wants to revive and play a game that's now 13 years old.

The community here is quite different to what the old WoW community was and is today so listening to their concerns especially with the more dedicated followers that are contributing now is not a bad thing; however I argue that "tuning" things or "catering" by listening to the cry babies that usually flood the forums is/was the biggest mistake Blizzard ever made and as a result turned WoW into the casual borefest it is today.

The majority is not always right, actually they're usually wrong. Focus on the experienced player base and to what you know and believe. The forum children will always find something to cry about but when the game is great and solid, they will stick around regardless and the majority are still playing an amazing game that makes it that much more rewarding when something challenging is conquered.

You should never "Nerf" content, even over time. (Unless you're dealing with something mathematically impossible like original C'thun, although if the player base geared and buffed with every buff and pot available the way top guilds do now just with an MC farm it should have been doable)

Blizzard introduced catch-up gear, better talents, and bugfixes, rather than directly nerf content, except in the rare case (C'thun) where the boss was unintentionally made far too difficult.  (We're also talking about MC/BWL here, not Naxxramas.  I think it would be quite a stretch to say that the top 1% of guilds struggled with Molten Core even towards the end of Vanilla.)

That's more or less the route we intend to follow, but this isn't an elitist's club either.  Personally I think it's a novel idea to heavily overtune the content at first to give the top 1% a struggle, even in MC/BWL, and then once they've muscled through it and had their fun, revert it back to the intended (still buffed) state.  Hopefully that works out and we can do that.  The difficulty for us as developers comes from the manner in which we implement the buffs.

The plan with buffing, again, is to reduce margin of error.  Just making mobs hit 2x harder so they can 1-shot a tank doesn't do that; it just makes the game arbitrary and unfair.  It'll be a balancing act to subtly modify each encounter in a way that enhances it's own inherent difficulty without making success or failure based on RNG.

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, Darkrasp said:

Blizzard introduced catch-up gear, better talents, and bugfixes, rather than directly nerf content, except in the rare case (C'thun) where the boss was unintentionally made far too difficult.  (We're also talking about MC/BWL here, not Naxxramas.  I think it would be quite a stretch to say that the top 1% of guilds struggled with Molten Core even towards the end of Vanilla.)

That's more or less the route we intend to follow, but this isn't an elitist's club either.  Personally I think it's a novel idea to heavily overtune the content at first to give the top 1% a struggle, even in MC/BWL, and then once they've muscled through it and had their fun, revert it back to the intended (still buffed) state.  Hopefully that works out and we can do that.  The difficulty for us as developers comes from the manner in which we implement the buffs.

The plan with buffing, again, is to reduce margin of error.  Just making mobs hit 2x harder so they can 1-shot a tank doesn't do that; it just makes the game arbitrary and unfair.  It'll be a balancing act to subtly modify each encounter in a way that enhances it's own inherent difficulty without making success or failure based on RNG.

well would you at least have a poll for whether or not to unbuff bosses before you actually do it?

Edited by Aquane
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Posted (edited)

39 minutes ago, Darkrasp said:

Personally I think it's a novel idea to heavily overtune the content at first to give the top 1% a struggle, even in MC/BWL, and then once they've muscled through it and had their fun, revert it back to the intended (still buffed) state.  Hopefully that works out and we can do that.  The difficulty for us as developers comes from the manner in which we implement the buffs.

The way you as developers plan to tune or script the game i leave to you, however if you launch a game that is difficult and challenging from the start, players will adapt and the strategies will be shared among the community. I see no reason then to start making content easier, you have over a year of MC/BWL before AQ. So much time for guilds and players to learn and adapt, making it that much more rewarding compared to the now crazy fast and verging on boring MC/BWL speed runs we see on very other server. (Of course we will still have these speed runs, but if you don't nerf it, it will be different and should still lead to slightly more difficult and longer runs)

Bare in mind, even by the time AQ comes out, MC and BWL will always be on farm, the amount of guilds and dedicated players who run this stuff just to sell Epic runs or even Bindings for gold is rampant everywhere now, and making the content easier especially after it was "buffed"  would not only be a let down to those players wanting to experience the content in it's original state, but makes the game just even more of a boring farm fest for those that already conquered it on it's harder setting.

Im very excited over the dedication to detail on getting the scripting right on this server, and especially the potential buffing of raids. To see that then "nerfed" because guilds are struggling would be such a tragic error in my opinion. That's what vanilla was originally about, even MC took quite a while to figure out, it wasn't until some internal drama between the top US guild (forget the name now) that they released their strategy for MC and everyone copied it and were able to clear MC. BLizzard didn't intervene, they let the community handle it and people didn't quit after months of struggle. People will figure it out, it'l just take some time and there will be frustration, but it will be so much more rewarding and the majority of players are not going to rage quit because of it. I would argue it would have the opposite affect, bringing in more players who are bored of the snooze fest on the other servers and try something a little bit new and challenging again for once. There will be the complainers and babies on the forums, there is for everything (in an ironic way im even a whiner right now) but the majority will be grateful for it.

I think this is CF's strongest selling point, almost on par with the advertised "blizzlike" scripting and attention to detail you have thus shown and advertised so far. I know nothing's final, obviously, but i urge you to not go into development with the mindset of nerfing future content after release.

Edited by Nocturn
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I'm a dirty casual so raid tuning won't be a big concern of mine until a ways into the launch, but I actually like the framework that Darkrasp has laid out for raid tuning.  I'm ok with a little more of that margin for error than the hardcore folks will want, but I also like the idea of say, resistance or execution being important.  Those things should matter more than they currently do.  I also enjoyed imba's post about the complicated nature of tuning itself.  Slapdash tuning is far worse than no buffs at all, and there's a lot of variables at play in any given fight or raid.

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like the raid tuning ambitions

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I hate that 1% statistic for Naxx with a burning passion. 4H's set bonus requirement on tanks turned the fight into a guild killer. Not only that, most of the "difficulty" in vanilla came from the logistics involved in running a 40 man guild and from general ignorance of game mechanics. Even those "1%" guilds were carrying around idiots who struggled to make the Thaddius jump and didn't know how to use health pots. A lot of idiots.

 

With that being said, difficulty tuning is an EXTREMELY difficult thing to do well when you're aiming to balance it for an environment with as many moving parts as raids. What happens if you increase outgoing AoE damage? Well Fury Warriors become the uncontested top dogs for damage and Horde gets more attractive because Shamans are way better at handling AoE damage than Paladins are. What happens if you prolong fights? Mages will struggle a lot more and become less wanted and Alliance gets a massive advantage because of Judgement of Wisdom. What happens if you increase the damage the tanks take? Guilds with bad tank drop RNG won't be able to progress, causing a ton of frustration and you get far more TPS output. Every major change made towards increasing difficulty will bring about a shift to how players and guilds approach raiding.

 

Players are smarter now than they were back in vanilla. What happens if difficulty goes up? First, class stacking to the extreme. The tighter the DPS/healing checks on the fight, the more guilds will stack whichever class performs the best. What if Mages end up being worthless because every fight is 15 minute slugfest where they just can't keep up with mana? What happens to players who rolled Mages on Crestfall expecting a vanilla or vanilla-like experience only to get told that nobody wants Mages in raids outside of the token AI/water bitch? Sorry Mage dude, we'll just bring more Rogues since they do good damage without needing mana. The second and far worse approach to difficulty in vanilla is buff stacking. World buffs, potions, random consumables, DPS potions, flasks, etc. There are few things that make raiding painful as much as having to spend 30 minutes between pulls getting world buffs. I've been there, it's not fun and no person who's sane of mind will enjoy spending 5 minutes on a pull followed by 30 minutes getting some god damn world buff and waiting on Soulstone and battle rez cooldowns. But if that's what you gotta do, that's what you're gonna do and you're going to hate every moment of it.

 

These are just a portion of the ramifications that come with messing with difficulty without understanding how it will change how the game is played. Properly balancing difficulty is a hell of a challenge and few people can pull it off. Hell, the Blizzard raid designers and the class/item devs sure can't do it right most of the time. And my experience with game mods over the years has taught me that modders generally aren't much better. When the tuning is just right, the experience is glorious and memorable. When the tuning's off, the experience is frustrating, discouraging or worst of all: boring.

 

While I do agree that the vanilla raids need help, tuning needs not only be done with caution, but it also needs to be done right or not at all. And for the love of all that's fun in raiding: when you do test your changes, make sure the fight isn't tuned around a fully flasked raid in BiS gear with a perfect composition.

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Why not combine a dramatic decrease in tedium with an increase in difficulty by simply not allowing flasks/elixirs in raids? How would that impact things?

I don't know about everyone but i'd guess the fun in PVE is in raiding, not in farming cash/consumables.

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27 minutes ago, Noriam said:

Why not combine a dramatic decrease in tedium with an increase in difficulty by simply not allowing flasks/elixirs in raids? How would that impact things?

I don't know about everyone but i'd guess the fun in PVE is in raiding, not in farming cash/consumables.

That almost makes Alchemy worthless..

@Darkrasp Are you intending to tune Naxxaramas as well or leave it blizzlike?

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This tuning thing is awesome I'm just a bit worried about the nerfing plans.

Remember that the patch progression will nerf raids significantly any way. With Dire Maul items, MC will become much easier, BWL after the ZG and 16 debuff limit introduced will become much much easier too and with the 1.10 sets and 1.12 items everything pre AQ40 will be much much much easier.

Crestfall launches with 1.12.1 talents and item stats, so raids have to be tuned accordingly. It's not just that we all became so awesome, the 1.12.1 talents and items are so OP comparing to their 1.3 equivalents that the content will be laughably easy without modifications. On Nostalrius, even in the pre-nerf Blizzlike content state, we had MC pugs killing Ragnaros every week and personally I think it is ridiculous. There were even BWL pugs killing Nefarian and it was all before 1.10 item patch. I don't want this to return on Crestfall. :(

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13 hours ago, Darkrasp said:

Not as simple as you might think if you want to do it right, especially for someone just starting out.  Factions are a little weird because there are two different lists of IDs in two different clientside DBC files and the flags for them are poorly documented.

At first it looked scary when I accidentally made them all cease to exist, but don't worry, they got better. You can, er, live a perfectly healthy life when not existing, trust me.

That said, we found out some stuff about things, and some of them led to the logical conclusion of "wtf, Blizzard, all these flags are an evidence that you played yourself". I think I get the gist of it now.

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4 hours ago, Macu said:

This tuning thing is awesome I'm just a bit worried about the nerfing plans.

Remember that the patch progression will nerf raids significantly any way. With Dire Maul items, MC will become much easier, BWL after the ZG and 16 debuff limit introduced will become much much easier too and with the 1.10 sets and 1.12 items everything pre AQ40 will be much much much easier.

Crestfall launches with 1.12.1 talents and item stats, so raids have to be tuned accordingly. It's not just that we all became so awesome, the 1.12.1 talents and items are so OP comparing to their 1.3 equivalents that the content will be laughably easy without modifications. On Nostalrius, even in the pre-nerf Blizzlike content state, we had MC pugs killing Ragnaros every week and personally I think it is ridiculous. There were even BWL pugs killing Nefarian and it was all before 1.10 item patch. I don't want this to return on Crestfall. :(

When they say "nerfed" it is still harder, buffed you could say, compared to what it is on other servers. It would just be a nerf compared to the super-mega-death level of the first few weeks, for the extremely hardcore players that is.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Clavus said:

When they say "nerfed" it is still harder, buffed you could say, compared to what it is on other servers. It would just be a nerf compared to the super-mega-death level of the first few weeks, for the extremely hardcore players that is.

True, but I think devs should see what their "super-mega-death" MC would look like after Dire Maul, then after 16 debuff limit etc. before nerfing the bosses.:) Just my opinion, they'll do what they want ofc and I'll still be satisfied more then on any other server.

Edited by Macu
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9 hours ago, Zaroua said:

<A warning against slapdash tuning causing class stacking>

No question you're right about this, which is why I mentioned (albeit in an edit, not in the initial post) that the idea would be to alter different bosses in different ways.. So make a boss that is dangerous for melee.. moreso.   Make a boss that hits hard on tanks..  moreso.   Make a boss that is an endurance fight for healers.. moreso.  Rather than just give all bosses the same buff, which would obviously end up creating a favored DPS/healer "type", handle the buffs on a boss-by-boss basis to create different preferences within the same zone, giving as many class roles as possible a chance to excel.

In this way a raid that tries to stack a ton of melee DPS might do great for a few encounters - until they run into one that has been tuned to demolish melee DPS.  I think that we can see Blizzard doing this through many of the raids, making certain fights cater to certain playstyles and roles.  Patchwerk is a snoozefest for DPS - stand still and nuke without a care in the world - but it is a nailbiter for healers.  The next fight in  that instance, only a few pulls later, is a much more complicated fight where DPS have to be super aware of what's going on or they'll wipe the raid.  If we are careful about making adjustments along those lines, I think we can discourage class stacking by the simple expedient of making a big stack of <insert class here> into a huge liability for several of the encounters.  All but the most antisocial raids will prefer to bring in a balanced composition well suited to all encounters over having to play musical chairs and shuffle players in and out of the raid between every boss.

 

As far as plans to buff anything beyond MC/BWL, I think I'm going to hold off on commenting on that for now.  Currently the plan is no, but we'll probably see how things go in testing and early release before we make a final decision on it.

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8 hours ago, Noriam said:

Why not combine a dramatic decrease in tedium with an increase in difficulty by simply not allowing flasks/elixirs in raids? How would that impact things?

I don't know about everyone but i'd guess the fun in PVE is in raiding, not in farming cash/consumables.

I wouldn't mind this myself but all the grumpy old-timers probably disagree. :P

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42 minutes ago, Lilaina said:

I wouldn't mind this myself but all the grumpy old-timers probably disagree. :P

Why I don't think that is a good idea is because then casual players don't get the chance to do more in order to compensate their lack of skills or whatever. I feel like it's a back door for them.

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8 hours ago, Planks said:

That almost makes Alchemy worthless..

Yeah, making a huge chunk of the economy worthless would probably not be too successful

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18 hours ago, Darkrasp said:

not so long ago I got reamed out for not knowing what a BRD "Lava Run" was.. back in my day it was called an "Emp Run"

You know, I always thought that emp run was for HoJ/Ironfoe farming and lava run was to get MC attunement and get out.

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2 minutes ago, Kelila said:

Yeah, making a huge chunk of the economy worthless would probably not be too successful

Still have to find away arround the "Black Lotus" issue tho. If this server (pvp and pve) turns out half as popular as it seems right now, black lotus will be in HUGE demand. Causing either 1) Some insane prices, and some dedicated "cartells" to farm them all and rubbish the economy or 2) They would have to make Black Lotuses spawn rappidly so they are obtainable by the masses (or another way to prohibit flasks costing a minimum of 250 gold). Cause the average wow raider do not have the time to farm 500~ gold a week just for flasks, so that "backdoor" would be firmly closed :) 

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Just now, Chode said:

Still have to find away arround the "Black Lotus" issue tho. If this server (pvp and pve) turns out half as popular as it seems right now, black lotus will be in HUGE demand. Causing either 1) Some insane prices, and some dedicated "cartells" to farm them all and rubbish the economy or 2) They would have to make Black Lotuses spawn rappidly so they are obtainable by the masses (or another way to prohibit flasks costing a minimum of 250 gold). Cause the average wow raider do not have the time to farm 500~ gold a week just for flasks, so that "backdoor" would be firmly closed :) 

Yeah, I think from what Darkrasp has said, the herb spawns will probably not be easily conquered by a "cartel".  I think they'll be rare enough to have a high price, but not so common that they'll be easily farmed and price controlled by a single group.  Not sure how elysium handles the black lotus spawn, but from my time there, I haven't seen the prices go too wild, but at the same time I haven't been buying flasks and black lotus all the time.

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