Yearly Archives: 2011

The Vision of a new MMO Encounter Paradigm

I was debating about having a further play on words by attempting to create an acronym that would spell Escaflowne or change the title to be something like Record of Lodoss War but in the end the acronyms would be so contrived that it was not worth the play on words.  This is all because I have watched a lot of Anime lately while leveling alts, I did that to keep from wanting to claw my eyes out doing the same quests for the 6th, 7th, 8th + time, I am now up to 8 85s.

I like the new stories and how the quests are tied to a story in Cataclysm more than they were in Wrath I just wish they were a little less connected so we would have more yet small stories.   This way more quests hubs are available to pick and choose from.  Anyway this is side tangent is not what I want to bring up in this post.

So this is going to be one long post which will be essentially 2 parts.  The first part on content difficulty and the second part will use existing binary encounters and show ways that they could have been designed for greater granularity and teaching of mechanics.

Part 1 – General Theory on Content Difficulty:

Realm of Infinite Possibilities

For this lets use this blue-red gradient image represent the infinite solution space that is all encounters with varying mechanics and hp/damage scaling also taking into consideration number of players.

10 and 25 Equal – only Normal/Hardmode

Now lets just say for argument’s sake that 10 and 25 man are of equal difficulty and the only difference is in the logistics of forming said group.  Further lets say there are only 2 encounters of the same boss, an easy and a heroic version.  This leaves us with the following image/gradient or gradient with no grading.


10 and 25 with Normal/Hardmode

Again to make it a little more complicated lets now assume 10 and 25 are not equal.  I know Blizzard tries to make them equal but in some encounters 25-man raids have a little more give and take than the 10-man versions.  On the other hand sometimes 25 players running around end up causing more problems for one another than 10 players.  This will leave us with the next image.


I am not labeling which section represents what mode of content because that is hard to say and it varies between encounters.

The great Divide

Now the discussion gets complicated there are some that view all content on 1 scale of difficulty while others separate the 5, 10 and 25 man content.

For example a commenter on Lissanna’s blog post at named Galashin posted in reply to one of my comments and who I had a bit of a conversation with through the comments posted the following.

Easy: Solo content.
Normal: Normal 5mans.
Hard: (First tier) Heroics.
Heroic: (Second tier) Heroics.
Nightmare: Raids.
(Insanity: Heroic raids.)

Easy: Normal 5mans.
Normal: (First tier) Heroics.
Hard: (Second tier) Heroics.
Heroic: Raids.
Nightmare: Heroic raids.

My reply and the conversation in general brought me to write this post and just spell out exactly how I hope/wish/would like to see content in MMOs in the future.  I hope World of Warcraft but I won’t hold my breath.

My actual opinion on the great divide is who needs to divide they are both valid points of view and each are a subset of a greater solution space.  I am more interested in the greater solution space.  Additionally both seem to overlook the need for progressive solo play.

The last part about progressive solo play is actually a surprisingly volatile topic when discussing MMOs.  For some reason many get up in arms when someone suggests that the solo play part of the game is important.   The thing is as the solo play improves so do the total number of subscribers.  I will also take it a step further and say that as long as there is some way for a player to improve their avatar(s) their attention to the game will be kept, mostly.  After that point it gets into the Risk versus Reward versus Time Investment equation balancing.  The thing about the infinite solution space is that there is something for everyone.  However this solution space is just theoretical and impossible to implement.  The more money and resources you throw at the problem the more likely you are to approximate said solution but you will only approximate it.

Now back to pictures.


10 and 25 man content with multiple levels of difficulty on some bosses others just Normal/Heroic

Now based upon the number of bosses in a tier of content and the number of said bosses that have more than just a Normal/Heroic mode you get 2 gradients, one with 8 shades and one with 16 shades or levels of difficulty.  Admittedly there would hopefully be more bosses than 8 or 16 if you count the different levels of encounter difficulty as a “new” boss.  Also there would be some bosses/encounters that are of equal difficulty.  The point is that as long as the alternative difficulties are not locked out it would allow all guilds and players to take on defeat content at the pace that works for them hopefully without stagnating for weeks or months.  That is the guild/raid group killer, stagnation.

What worked in the past such as the pace of content in Vanilla wow will only work for some and those seem to be a very small minority of the MMO player-base anymore.  I am glad I got into WoW at the end of Vanilla and did not raid before Burning Crusade, if I had, I most likely would have quit wow and never looked back.  I thought some of the requirements on encounters in EQ when I heard about them were insane, no 10-24 hour camping a boss for me, screw that, I have more important/fun things to do with my time.


10/25 man Content with all bosses having multiple levels of difficulty

At the very least I hope World of Warcraft can get to this point in future raid tiers.  This would mean that all boss encounters in Raids will have multiple or more than 2 levels of difficulty.   I do not think all fights need to have 4-5 different levels of difficulty but most should.  There would need to be several systems updated and changed to accommodate this but I think in the end it would be a drastic improvement to the game.

I used the 32 slice and 64 slice for this representation.  For example lets take the 7 boss Firelands Raid coming in 4.2, which will have by all indications the SoS set up that BoT,BDW,4W and ICC had where the heroic/hard modes are locked by the end boss of the instance.  At 7 bosses with 3 modes of difficulty we would have 21 slices but hopefully some would have 4-5 so an average of 4 per boss would leave us with 28.  Where as if the opening tier of 12-13 bosses had 4-5 levels of difficulty we would be looking at 48-65 levels of granularity.

I will continue with the levels of granularity segment before I get into breaking down a few existing fights into a more granular mode of progression and finally the reward structure for such granularity.


Extending the multiple levels of difficulty to dungeon bosses

Essentially here just take the discussion for 10 and 25 man content and now apply it to 5 man and small group encounters.  This would then give you something like 128 to 256 levels of granularity, just throwing powers of 2 out there to make the numbers relatively simple and uniform.

We could even extent these design methods to also apply to solo content through class challenges but that in and of itself can be an entire topic unto itself so I will save that for another post, again. I say again because I have described it partly in other posts in the past.

Part 2 – Encounter Breakdowns

I will describe the break down of 4 different encounters to show how I would add layers of difficulty to existing content to show how I hope future counters are designed in WoW or any other MMO. The 4 fights will be Omnitron Defence Council, Conclave of Wind, Atramedes, and Cho’gall.

Omnitron Defence Council

Level 1: In this mode the Trons only have their shield effect when at or below 50 energy.  This would be a long fight as you don’t get the damage buffs from the pools or clouds.

Level 2: In this mode the Trons gain 1 of their 2 abilities.

  • Arcanotron – Power Generator
  • Electron – Lightning Conductor
  • Magmatron – Acquiring Target
  • Toxitron – Poison Protocol

Level 3: Like the current Normal mode.

Level 4: Take the current Heroic mode, but 1/2 the effect of the new mechanic.

Level 5: Same as current Heroic mode.


Conclave of Wind
All levels of difficulty will have the resurrection timers on each when they hit 0/1% since this is one of the main tricks of the fight.

Level 1: At this level the Full energy abilities and the all alone debuff are not in play.

  • Anshal- Nurture (Add summoning)
  • Nezir – Wind Chill (Stacking Damage Debuff) to for Tank swapping another key mechanic.
  • Rohash- Slicing Gale

Level 2:

  • Anshal- Soothing Winds
  • Nezir – Permafrost
  • Rohash- Tornado

Level 3: Add the all alone debuff.

  • Anshal- Toxic Spores
  • Nezir – Ice Patch
  • Rohash- Slicing Gale

Level 4: Same as current normal mode.

Level 5: Same as current heroic mode.



Level 1:

  • Ground – Searing Flame, Modulation
  • Air – Roaring Flame Breath

Level 2:

  • Ground -Roaring Flame
  • Air – Roaring Flame

Level 3:

  • Ground – Sonic Breath
  • Air – Sonar Bomb

Level 4: Same as current normal mode.

Level 5: Same as current heroic mode.



Level 1:

  • Phase 1 – Conversion, Twisted Devotion, Summon Corruption Adherent, Fester Blood
  • Corrupting Adherents – Depravity, Festering Blood
  • Phase 2 – Fury of Cho’gall

Level 2:

  • Phase 1 – Conversion, Summon Corruption Adherent
  • Corrupting Adherents – Corrupting Crash
  • Phase 2 – Corruption of the Old Gods

Level 3:

  • Phase 1 – Conversion, Summon Corruption Adherent
  • Corrupting Adherents – Sprayed Corruption
  • Phase 2 -Darkened Creations 4/10 – 83,000 HP (1/2 of normal)

Level 4: Same as current normal mode.

Level 5: Same as current heroic mode.


Why this is a better paradigm?

If you look how I broke down the abilities each mode adds at least 1 new mechanic per boss/add/phase.  This allows new raiders and guild to enter the content at what ever level they are ready to take on.  Because lets face it, WoWs player base and the player base of any MMO has a lot of Churn between players leaving or taking a break or friends recruiting new friends into the game.  There need to be an introductory mode at all levels of content since WoW and most new MMOs break the initial EQ/FFIX raiding paradigm already.  That being where to be geared for new content you still need to run raids that are years old to get the good stuff, with insane attunement/unlocking requirements.

This takes the simpler scheme that World of Warcraft now uses and makes it both simpler and more complicated at the same time.  This therefore gives the player base more options and my gaming outlook is giving more options to the players is almost always better.  I say almost because sometime options can become overwhelming but that is more in the case of table tops and not the usually rigid structure that are most computer/video games.

Part 3 –  Rewards for different levels of Difficulty

The interesting part is at no time in the past has World of Warcraft been in a better place for the rewarding of different levels of difficulty for the same encounter as they are now.

[table id=9 /]

As shown in the table the key to being able to reward multiple levels of difficulty for a boss is the due to the granularity in the VP/JP reward along with the # of actual loot items.  When it was just loot and a badge or 2 it was difficult to balance across more than 2 or 3 different states.  Now that the tokens are point based and each boss now give between 70 and 90 points, these values can be changed based upon the difficulty of the boss.  The real key is where to set the normal or standard level of difficulty.  I place it at Heroic-1 but there is no reason that it has to be there as I showed in the 6 level reward part of the table.

There is still another issue of how do you gear up alts or new players to jump into content after the first tier of an expansion.  However that is a topic unto itself.

Posted in Game Mechanics, System Mechanics, World of Warcraft

Da Fail Mon

Well I tanked a guild group in ZA, this was the first and last time that is going to happen.

I was really looking forward to Cataclysm and this new patch 4.1, both have been a let down.

I stick with WoW for 2 reasons at this point.

  1. Most of my friends play WoW
  2. Out of all the MMOs I have played the end game is the least grindy of them.

The tuning of content this expansion has completely disenfranchised me of WoW and Blizzards so-called balancing abilities.

So I can say this, I will not be tanking this content in a PuG until at least 4.4.  It is completely pathetic the tuning on this content.   Our group was in mostly to all 359 gear and ZA was still a pain in the ass to complete.

Random dungeons were only bearable in Wrath because by the time ToC came out you could face roll them.  Prior to ToC wrath heroics were annoying as hell until you got some 213 gear.  People only remember the face rolling at the end and after you got raid gear from Naxx, if you were not raiding, the heroics were a pain until the second set of badge gear.

The raid content for the entry tier was tuned like ICC which was the ending tier of raids in wrath.  I am also sick of every boss having to have some unique gimmick.  I miss some good old tank and spanks just to give a break here and there.

Given the complexities of the boss fights this expansion they could have easily been made into a multi difficulty setting encounters.  But no, since Blizzard wanted a nice easy binary switch in the user interface we get scaling from hell.

If the hard modes were unlocked based on the number of boss kills and not the end boss of each instance this entry tier of gear would have been better.  On top of that they need to also get the dynamic raid lock outs working a little better.   What I mean is that it should be 1 boss kill per character per week.  It should not matter what difficulty any of the kills were done on.  Anyone should be able to group up as long as they can’t kill a boss a second time.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Epic Gem Transmutes

Well this post has been on the drawing board for a while and with 4.1 hitting servers today I guess I better throw out my 2 coppers on this subject.

Given the trend of crafting for Epic Gems that occurred in Wrath and the likelihood that the same trend will be used in Cataclysm, I hope when the epic gem transmutes are added into the game that the Volatile (Elemental) components of the transmutes are more balanced than they were in Wrath.  If the elemental components are somewhat balanced across the gem colors then the Cata Elemental market, Volatiles, will hopefully not destabilize as much as it did in previous expansions.

Here is a table that is a suggestion on how to balance out the Elemental components in the transmutes.  These are ratio notations and not the actual number of Volatiles suggested.  I would expect somewhere between 5 and 10 volatiles of each type with hopefully 1-5 Blue quality gems required in the transmute as well.  This will help add value back into the Blue Quality gem market as well.

[table id=6 /]

After reading history on the trolls and with the lore associated with the new ZG and ZA I have a separate post that I want to write now.  So time to get this off the board.

Posted in System Mechanics, World of Warcraft

A Brave new Failure

Well we have had patch 4.1 on the PTR for over a month now and Blizzard is still implementing more and more features.  So much for smaller and faster content patches, I think it safe to call this new initiative a failure.

If Blizzard really wanted smaller and faster patch cycles they will really need to learn how to pair features back to the way they did them early on in Vanilla.  To a point before I even started playing the game.

A three-month cycle like the following would be a better structure for a faster patch cycle.

1.5  months development no PTR

.5 months on PTR for initial testing of core new features or balance fixes.

1.0 month to react to PTR feed back and implement for release to Live.

At the point the initial build is opened to the public on the PTR all feature creep stops and the features of the patch are locked in.

The current cycle of 1-2 months no PTR, then 2-3 months PTR testing and implementation of new features requiring more testing is just the SoS, that they have said they want to get away from.


On another note I thought the new leveling in Cata was a needed improvement to the leveling process and in many ways leveling is much better.  The only point of contention I have over the new phase to all hell process is that I can no longer just go to the quest hubs I like when leveling alts.  The first 1 maybe 2 times the leveling on rails method was interesting, now it is just a pain in the ass and more boring than 100s of kill 10 rats quests.

What am I saying here?  Simple if you are going to have a lot of phasing to tell a progressive story, great but at least do it in small independent chunks.  I don’t mind 1 quest up lock away until all other quest chains are completed just have the required chains run in parallel and not linear.  I don’t even mind a short quest chain to open up the initial set up hubs.  However all of the new zones were way too linear in the storyline progression.

On a similar gripe the zones are either too small or the distribution of resource nodes was not well done.  In Wrath and even BC there was a base level set of herbs and ore that were found everywhere.  The higher zones usually had fewer richer nodes of the base when introducing new ore types but by the time you hit the level cap zones you still found nodes of the early resources.  In Cata it seems like ok Zone A has PQR and that is all, Zone B has RST there is very little overlap and so what you have is a horde of farmers swarming 1 zone at a time based upon current AH prices.  A more even distribution of resources and portals allows for a more dynamic player concentration balancing.  A set of portals like in SW and Oggrimar should be set up in Darnasus and Undercity or all of the capital cities should be linked via portals, even if there is a level restriction to use them like 50 or 60 but they should still eventually be linked, and no I am not saying in patch 5.x I am thinking before 4.2 at the latest.

Posted in Uncategorized

My Price

After reading BBB’s post A Call to Bribe got me thinking about what is my price as a tank.  I actually have 2 level 85 tanks at the moment and it usually is my proffered role in all instances other than Stone Core, I still hate that instance on heroic with the heat of a 1000 suns, even more than I hated The Occulus.

My price is simple and it not some infinitesimally small chance at a mount.  Nope I am must more mercenary than wanting an extra lottery ticket or 2.  My price is I want to be able to buy level 85 BoA gear on my tank that I can send to my DPS and Healing alts to gear them up while tanking.  If I have to waste my time on my Tank to help out the queue problem then I damn well better be able to gear up the alts I would rather be playing.  I say rather be playing as in I don’t always want to tank but not having gear on those characters is a pain.  Also the point reward should scale based off of # of random players, so a good Tank/Healer or Tank/DPS pair group could do this farming and still benefit the 1-3 other random PuGs.  Requiring completely random is lame at best.

The way to do this is with a JP or VP bonus to the call of arms player and have vendors that sell BoA items of the appropriate level.  I would want 333, 346 and 359 ilevel BoA vendors so I can gradually gear up the alts if I so choose.  The best part about this is that these vendors would still be available to the other rolls, so then players can play the character they prefer to play to gear up an alt.

The question now would be which is more important.

Short queue times for the LFD tool.


Players having to play each and every character to gear up.

Personally I would rather see 1 which will lead to 2 more often.

Posted in Uncategorized

Will we ever see scalable Raid Content again?

It is a meme that has been bouncing around the blogosphere for a while now but with 4.1 coming soon, hopefully next week, and then 4.2 coming shortly, for Blizzard, afterward I bring this meme/question up, again.

When asked about what some of the best designed, maybe not tuned but for over all design many times players will say Ulduar and also include Obsidian Sanctum for OS0-3d.  I would also add in Faction Champions from Trial of the Crusader into this mix for a separate reason than the previous 2 encounters.

OS Zero through 3 Drake  and Ulduar

This series of encounters were designed very well because they allowed players/groups/guilds to progress at their own pace in difficulty.  The inane binary hard modes did not occur until ToC the tier after Ulduar.  IMO this moving away from multiple levels of difficulty on with the same boss as in Sarth, Freya, Flame Leviathan and Yogg.  Was abandoned to increase the rate of new content since most likely at about this same time was when the realization of how much work was needed to redo Azeroth for Cataclysm.

So with T9, T10, and T11 we get 2 difficulty modes with bosses of either Easy and Very Hard with no progressive intermediate difficulty modes.  This type of content sucks.

Add to it the inane cock block of end boss encounters being tied to being able to unlock earlier boss hard mode encounters which was supposed to be changed in Cataclysm, but was not.   Because of this we have a very different progression arc where there could very well be hard modes that are easier than the end boss encounter so there is not a smooth progression of encounter difficulty available.

To demonstrate numerically if 1 through 9 is used to describe difficulty of an encounter where 1 is easy and 9 is hard what you have today with the End boss Heroic Lock systems is a progression like the following | shows the lock out break.

Now: 1 2 4 5 7 8 | 5 7 8 8 9 9

A better progression if the unlocking was based on # of times a boss had been killed, like it was supposed to be, if Blizzard would record or display the information.

Better: 1 2 4 5 5 7 7 8 8 8 9 9

Yes this would require switching back and forth between heroic and normal modes but really who cares, it just needs to be possible.


Faction Champions

I pull out this encounter as being one of the better designed fights during Wrath of the Lich King for one very important reason.  Compared to about every other encounter in-game it is completely different.  The only similar encounter I can think of is the pvp like fight in Magister’s Terrace.   There may also have been one in vanilla wow that takes place in a pit but I am not familiar with a lot of the upper and lower black rock encounters so I am not sure.

Because the threat mechanics were different for this fight it made it play completely differently.  This is another example of how to change and vary fights.  Not to mention it is also a way to scale difficulty as well.  If in a different mode of the fight certain spells or actions cause a different response from the boss could make for an interesting way to change the fight.


Side Rant

For the bloody love of what ever deity you worship can we please get some sort of actual X,Y,Z range finder between other characters if we are going to have more fights like phase 3 Malygos and Al’Akir.  In both of these fights it would have been very helpful to have floating fragments of the platforms to use as reference points for Z-Axis alignment, similar to the end of The Occulus, except have the 3 platforms at different +Z values in relation to the main platform or boss.

Given the wow interface these 2 phases are complete assign.  Ya the elite hyper-focused raiding guild might not have a problem but lets look at the actual numbers from wowprogress, 4/3/2011

The numbers represented this way really don’t do the orders of magnitude justice.
WoW Progress Data - 4/3/2011

So ya, I believe the red part of the Halfus bar could be larger if Cho’gal was not the gate for access to the hard mode on Halfus.  I also believe that Al’Akir may have more kills if we did not have to relearn how to play/move at the beginning of phase 3, as if the first 2 phases are not annoying enough.


Posted in World of Warcraft

Battle.Net Bank – Another Feature Needed well Maybe Not, Doh!

Well it has been a bit since my last post and I was planning writing a more detailed post about what and why a Battle.Net Account Bank would be a good feature to add to the game.

I was originally suggesting it to be a feature to help cut down on gold buying.  The following 2 links had some initial discussion about ways to cut down on Gold Buying by eliminating some of the reasons that players buy gold.  In the end the only real way would be to remove gold from the game or make it bound to account and only usable with vendors, which would essentially remove the AH from the game.

In the mean time Blizzard has added a new item to the 4.1 patch notes that makes this alt-o-holic a happy camper.  If the logical extension of all of these changes is actually implemented a very very happy camper but that has yet to be seen or confirmed.

  • Many “Account Bound” heirlooms are now labeled as “ Account Bound”, meaning that they can also be traded or mailed to characters that are on different World of Warcraft accounts under the same account.
  • Mail sent to characters on the same account now arrives instantaneously, as it does for the same World of Warcraft account.
  • Mailing account-bound items to characters of the opposite faction on the same account will now correctly translate faction-specific items to their appropriate equivalent.


If the mail is still not able to be sent cross server than a good workaround would be a account bank, like the Vault you can pay to have available in LotRO.  It is one of the really nice features for trading materials between characters since the mail system is a little lacking without some of the mail add ons I use in wow.

Actually they really need to change the AH interface and decouple it with the mail system.  It would most likely greatly reduce the overhead on the mailing subsystem.  Make a second virtual hold system like the AH that is off market where all of your stuff sits for when you need to pick it up.  Also all items you want to auction are dumped there first.  By some of the comments in the UI dev Q&A it sounds like there is an overhaul to the AH coming so I will save more comments on what I think is wrong with the current implementation, other than the already existing posts here.

I still think a way hell even if it is an additional service fee like the mobile AH a way to move BoA and base gold/materials between servers would be a great boon.  It would give some players an entire new game to play.  It would be the world of market craft but letting the players equalize out the value of goods across both high and low population servers would be really cool.

Posted in Uncategorized

World of Botcraft???

I have started this post several times and end up scrapping it or starting over.

More because unlike most of the time when I complain about something I usually have an idea/suggestion to post concerning the issue.  This one I don’t have really have any such thoughts on the subject.   I think the reason for my current dilemma comes from several conflicted points of view on the subject in general and what could be done about botting.

The reason why I am conflicted on this issue is simple, in all honestly there is a base level of botting needed to keep the in game market somewhat stable.  The extent of botting that currently seems to be going on is well past this stabilization point and is now becoming problematic.

This is further compounded by the transition between the “black market” bot users and the “white market” normal AH activity, because there are usually 1 or more layers of players between them moving materials and gold around by trying to make a profit.  This is because of how much trading actually can come out of trade chat.

If someone is trying to liquidate 10-100 stacks of some material most players could justify it as a fluke or good deal once, maybe even twice depending upon the time between transactions.   However if you work out a supply arrangement with someone and they start to supply you with 100+ stacks a week on top of tons of volatiles you then start to wonder how they are farming so much.  Here is where the dilemma begins, depending upon spawn rate, concentration of nodes and competition over said nodes it could be evaluated if the amount is reasonable given an almost exclusive farmer.  The issue is we don’t know what is actually reasonable and what is not, we can guess but there has been no real definitive quantification on what the average player could be expected to farm in a unit of time.

So what you then have is a “grey market” of players who are out for profits as gold is the only true thing worth anything in WoW since everything else deflates to worthlessness over time.

Given that blizzard could have near perfect information on the various transactions that occur between players through many means if enough extensive data mining was done most botters should become relatively easy to identify.  The dumb ones will just list their wares directly on the AH flooding the market and destructively devaluing everything for everyone.   The intelligent ones, the ones I don’t have a problem with, bark their materials on trade chat and let several layers of player manipulation pad the effect on the market.  This is preferred because you will have players with deep pockets or vast gold reserves hedging the market by stockpiling resources between patches based upon current price and demand.

Like I said I don’t really have any idea on what really should be done overall for this issue I have ideas on how to treat some of the effects but they fit better with a different post.

Posted in World of Warcraft

Tier 11 Raiding – Blizzards Failure on Achievements and Reporting

There is additional failures on part of the playerbase and guild ranking websites but those can be traced back to the entirety of  Blizzards implementation of Tier 11 raiding.

The difficulty and tuning has been analyzed to death so I will not get into that flame war quagmire.  IMO I think some encounters are tuned a little too tightly but it looks like our guild will be able to clear all the normal mode bosses before the next tier of content.

So what am I talking about when saying that Blizzard failed on achievements and reporting.  Well it is simple.  There is no way to differentiate a boss kill on 10 or 25 man mode.  More problematic is there are all these new guild bonuses and statistics but not information on boss-kills at the guild level or I should say what is there is extremely lacking.

In this new guild and content era where there are now stiff penalties for switching guilds in the form of loss of guild reputation if players are going to change guilds there is more information needed so that players can evaluate a guild.

For each tier of content there should be a chart with the following information in it of course the 80% membership requirement for a guild run will also be a requirement to be recognized for this information.

[table id=5 /]

Since this information would be available in XML the guild ranking/progression sites could then aggregate the information, that is a service that ultimately should be hosted on Blizzards services so that there is 1 official always up-to-date source but that is an issue for another time.  I would just be happy that Blizzard provide the information needed to accurately provide this service to the player base.

One of the dimensions that I really think that the progress sites get wrong is that they do not consider the total number of kills, all that matters is the first kill.  I am more impressed with a guild that consistently get 6/12 down every week than the guild that gets 4 boss kills because they want to push for that one new boss kill just to get ahead of the competition due to how the progression sites are overly concerned about first kill.

Anyway the more information the better.  I think it would help our guild overall in the long run and will hopefully highlight some of the early lemmings that pushed far and fast and then fell apart afterward.  Why are they still high on the rankings if they have not had a new or consistent kill rate.

Anyway I am sure the information I wish was displayed is available for Tier11 and I hope the armory will be updated to support such information for Tier 12 in patch 4.2.

Posted in Uncategorized

Not more Phasing!!!

[bluepost]There are plans for a new daily quest hub in Mount Hyjal to be released in conjunction with the Firelands raid. We’re planning to make it phase and unlock more content as players progress, very similar to Isle of Quel’Danas. One downside of the phasing and unlocking of new buildings/quests there though, was that you had to be participating during the world event to actually see the change take place. We’d like to make the Mount Hyjal hub phase per player so that your personal progress unlocks new content for you, rather than for your whole realm.

We’ll have more details about that a little later though. 😉



Phasing is a great technology for telling a story however there are several fatal flaws with how it currently working in World of Warcraft.

  1. No way to sync player phase states.  So if 2 players in the same group get to different points in the quest line they can no longer interact while in the phased area.
  2. Resource nodes still show up on the map even if they are in a different phase while flying around and then disappear when you slowdown/land to gather them.
  3. Rare resource nodes when re-spawning will appear in one phase and then not be available to other phases until someone in the “right” phase gathers it.  This is an extension of the item 2, but in this case I want to note that this also covers fishing pool spawn locations.

I really don’t know what to say about these other than something needs to be done before more Phasing is thrown into the game.  Get the current technology working first.  It was very very annoying back in WotLK when we wanted to summon someone to ICC before the Warlock showed up and the raiders had to fly to the 5-man summoning stone because the Raid summoning stone was in a phased area of the zone and you had to play guess who was in the same phase.  This is complete bullshit, no other way to really describe it.  So many other games out there that do different phase/shard layers have a way to sync up or switch state, hell I remember this being implemented in Guild Wars before I started to play WoW.  So seriously WTF?

I was going to try and not do any Rift comparisons in this post but I all I will say is that Rift has drawn a new line in the sand for the baseline features of new MMO content.  The user interface has many features that we WoW players have been asking for years to have baseline in the user UI.  I love add-ons but I think they have made Blizzard lazy in the UI department.  There are other Quality of Life issues with the UI and game that just work in Rift and feel really kludgey in WoW now.  I was forming up in a raid last night waiting for a few people and forgot that I could not do any quests because hell it just works in Rift, they don’t care if people group up to get stuff done faster, they actually encourage player interaction and group effort.

Honestly it is time for Blizzard to sit down and have a real internal discussion at the very least on what the baseline experience of WoW is like compared to new games of a similar genre.  I would love to use the default interface for most things but in WoW that is not going to happen.  LotRO was close but there were still some things find a PITA to use.  The default RIFT interface fixes those.

***** Update *****


Big Bear Butt has some similar complaints on phasing while talking about a few other things.

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