Il Gm degli Exorsus si leva due sassolini dalla scarpa “Nerfare dopo il Progress o farci fare da Tester è demoralizzante!”

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In questo interessante sfogo su Reddit, il Gm degli Exorsus, Алеандра, mostra quali sono state le falle di cui Blizzard non ha tenuto conto per il rilascio di Tomb of Sargeras.
Inizia con una disamina dei singoli boss, che trova meno bilanciati di Nighthold (a suo parere un raid ben equilibrato)  ad esempio :

  • […]Mistress Sassz’ine è Gorefiend 2.0 – ha sole 182 kill all’attivo contro le 837 di Desolate Host. L’ultimo fix l’ha resa ancora più difficile![…]
  • […]..Fallen Avatar aveva così tanti HP da essere tosto anche per le gilde che avevano fatto tantissime splitruns…[…]
  • […]…Il boss finale, Kil’Jaeden aveva così tanti bug che ha ricevuto 3 ondate di Nerf prima di essere killabile…ad esempio questo bug (https://puu.sh/wSQN3/ac457ff435.webm) ci ha rovinato l’8% dei pull[…]

Cosa è andato storto allora per il GM degli Exorsus in ToS?
Nel paragrafo seguente Алеандра se la “prende” con la Blizzard definendo “lentissima” l’implementazione degli Hotfix, completamente “sbagliati” alcuni numeri dai boss e poi andando ad analizzare un aspetto che per le Top Guild è sicuramente frustrante ma “aggirabile”, mentre per le gilde “umane” è un problema : la richiesta, più o meno ESPLICITA, di Class Immunity Stacking.
Il Gm degli Exorsus punta il dito contro questo “requisito” definendo ToS un raid dove la richiesta di Immunity è arrivata “ad un nuovo livello” rispetto che al passato per poi lanciarsi contro un’altra abitudine Blizzard : nerfare i boss dopo che le Top lo hanno killato.

[…]…Affrontare un boss e dover aspettare il fix per ucciderlo è ok, andare a quello successivo e aspettare ancora può essere ancora accettabile, ma farlo per ogni boss compreso quello finale è demoralizzante!…[…]

L’ultima parte del suo lungo intervento viene definita “Mythbusters” :

  • Le ToP uccidono i BOSS SUL PTR!!! – I Test durano 2 ore, la maggior parte del tempo i server crashano o laggano. E’ vero, testano i boss, si segnano le abilità e capiscono quali sono le comp migliori. Non testano mai il boss finale (perchè la Blizzard non lo mette, e sostiene sia una pessima idea) e gli ultimi non riescono a vederli per più di 1/4 del Fight.
  • Le Top Guild non hanno una VITA!!!! – Falso, anche in Legion, sostiene che non raidano più di 3 sere a settimana dopo il progress mentre le gilde “casual” raidano 4-5 giorni per mesi. La maggior parte del tempo speso è il farming splitrun delle Heroic e il Progress vero e proprio (2 settimane 7/7 13 ore al giorno).
  • Una volta era belliffimo, il progress durava 2 mesi ora dura se è tanto 10 giorni – Il gm degli Exorsus sostiene che anche questa affermazione sia impropria – il tempo speso per la preparazione adesso è decuplicato di giorno, con alcuni che creano addon specifici per affrontare il boss, altri che fanno 6-7 splitrun e così via. Inoltre, per fare un esempio, l’average item level della prima kill di Fallen Avatar è 929-930, quando il boss droppa 930, dimostrando come le settimane aggiuntive di farm Mythic possano modificare poco gli equilibri.

Chiude dicendo cosa aggiusterebbe lui nel sistema, e siamo d’accordo con il suo pensiero : via Titanforged, o almeno renderli FISSI (come a Throne of Thunder per intenderci), via il farming degli upgrade dei Leggendari (se non tutto il sistema dei leggendari), Bilanciamento delle classi PRIMA dell’uscita di ogni raid e poi STOP, per evitare che ci si possa trovare a dover rerollare o cambiare spec in corso di progress.

Che ne pensate del suo intervento? Noi ci troviamo totalmente col suo punto di vista, e voi?


Post Originale di Алеандра

  1. Difficulty Curve:

Designing Mythic difficulty bosses is not as easy as some of you probably think it is. You should make sure some casual guilds are able to do some meaningful progress, meanwhile top guilds are getting some challenging fights and not just ravaging through the raid within 1 day.

As an example of good difficulty curve, we may look at Nighthold (since it’s something everyone remembers well, being the recent raid). 3 Entry level bosses with easy tuning, 4 bosses that required some strategies and took some time even for a very good guilds, 2 bosses for hardcore guilds and last boss with 5 days of progression on it.

Now, let’s talk about difficulty curve in ToS:

  1. Goroth, Demonic Inquisition, Harjatan. This bosses ended up being almost the same story, entry level bosses. Only thing worth mentioning is the fact that Harjatan has been reworked quite a bit from PTR version (reducing his diffuclty).
  2. Sisters of the Moon. Moderate step up in difficulty. Overall pretty balanced, apart from some graphical issues, leading to fps drops. Seconds phase add spawn rate could be a bit less frequent (has been nerfed 1 or 2 weeks after).
  3. Desolate Host. I’m pretty sure almost every top guild expected this boss to be a brickwall. PTR versions (until latest ptr test) were really tough and guilds prepared quite a lot of ideas. But after all tuning was quite easy and this boss ended up being easier than Sisters of the Moon (pretty sure almost every guild used a strategy with perma-tanking melee adds, instead of killing them)
  4. Mistress Sassz’ine. This boss ended up being “Gorefiend 2.0”. Even right now 837 killed Desolate Host and Mistress is on 182 kills. Latest hotfix (Hydra Shot damage reduction + 30 sec stun if you’re getting 2 shots at the same time) to the boss made it even harder, because of this some guilds cannot kill it again. Initial strategy used 2-4 tanks (2 if both are Death Knights) to soak all the shots and immuning 6 second stuns (or just standing 6 seconds in stun, which is not a big deal for a tank), so your raid can focus on killing a boss instead of saving targets of Hydra Shot plus making healing requirement way easier.
  5. Maiden of Vigilance. Quite fun and entertaining boss, however her hp numbers were poorly tuned. You could actually kill this boss with 16-17 players in the raid within enrage timer. Quite strange she ended up being so undertuned, because from my PoV this encounter is quite easy for simulating raid damage and required health to be a challenge.
  6. Fallen Avatar. Apart from some obvious bugs (green+violet beam from the same matrix) and potential exploits (soaking beams with repair bots) encounter was quite fun and challenging. His initial hp numbers were quite high, leading to the problem that even with a lot of splitruns made by top guilds it could be still not enough to make it in time. It was fixed by 5% nerf to his hp. However that was not the main issue with this encounter. “Mathematically impossible” meme appeared due to his second phase, which was quite poorly tuned. Compared to heroic difficulty, his “Rupture realities” cast destroys way more sections of platform, however “Fel Infusion” stacking speed were the same, leading to 3 stacks on a boss per “Rupture realities” cast (it was theoretically possible to make 2 stacks with warrior / monk taunt, but even such method was inconsistent). In addition, “Fel Infusion” were giving 30% damage increase to “Sear” for eachstack. Overall, in his initial state raid is dead after second “Rupture realities”. Next hotfixes came up on Monday, meaning we’ve spent 4 days fighting a boss, which was totally impossible. They’ve reduces stack gaining speed (so every cast been granting him only 2 stacks) and their efficiency (from 30% to 20%). So overall damage increase per 1 cast reduced from 90% to 40%. This changes made this boss totally killable.
  7. Kil’jaeden. Boss received 3 waves of nerfs before actually being killable. Apart from nerfs, boss had some very serious bugs, leading to very slow progression. I’ve seen a lot of comments like “get good” or “you forgot what is challenge”. Of course I know that 80% of such posts is just trolling, however to make sure everyone understands what was happening – https://puu.sh/wSQN3/ac457ff435.webm. Good luck dodging such things. This bug ruined ~8% of our pulls. Now talking about nerfs – we barely have seen boss pre-first nerf, which reduced Armageddon damage, however this nerf itself didn’t really helped a lot. Until 10th of July getting to second phase was really hard (best way was to avoid tanking mob and push the boss asap). Transition phase itself had crazy timings, leading to knockback at the same time as Armageddon. Not to mention “Focused Dreadflame” damage was around 30m, meaning even if you’re splitting it with 9 persons with 20% versatility it’s still ~ 3.5m damage to each person, which is ridiculous, unless you’re immuning it. However after the second batch of nerfs (Adds hp nerf, Focused Dreadflame damage halved , 2 less Armageddon zones, knockback distance reduced, timings on all phases tuned to be more realistic) we’ve started making some real progression on the fight. The last, but not least was damage on last phase from “Darkness of a Thousand Souls”, it has been nerfed by 40%, to make sure it’s possible to stay alive on last phase without bringing 6 healers.

What’s went wrong with ToS?

Facing some under/overtuned encounters is not new for the top guilds and it’s actually understandable – even with QA team you cannot simulate precise ilvl’s of the raids, when they will encounter this boss for first time. But ToS had 4 major issues:

  1. Hotfix implementation speed. Seeing top guilds being melted by damage on some bosses within 1-2 minutes of a pull should be good sign of “ok, something went wrong”. There’s nothing more demoralizing than getting a world first on some boss, taking advantage and totally losing it because there’s just “under construction” sign on a boss. Now imagine 4 days of progression is wasted on a boss, which is clearly in unpolished state without seeing any major changes. And after that imagine you’re finally finished with this boss after fixes (what a relief!), coming to the next FINAL boss and… It’s in the same state (if not worse). And you’re waiting again for days.
  2. Totally wrong numbers. As I’ve already said, it’s hard to make sure you’ve tuned everything so bosses are in a perfect state, however I cannot understand how you can tune damage of some abilities to numbers, which are totally just placeholders or brickwalls. X2 damage of a “Sear” after each “Rupture realities” cast, when you need to survive until fourth cast of it? 30m damage on “Focused Dreadflame” in mythic? How we are supposed to handle it? (remember that each one who’s splitting the damage is getting 800k more damage) 800k DoT ticks on entire raid on the last phase from the start? You shouldn’t be an Oxford graduate to realize this numbers are wrong, unless we’re back to 25 man raiding.
  3. Immunity stacking. Half of ToS encounters are way easier if you stack immunity classes (some of them are not even possible before some nerfs without such stacking). Soaking different zones, removing debuffs from you, ignoring some abilities. That’s something that has been a thing all the time, however in ToS it’s just came up to a new level, which is a very bad practice. Why such issues came up this time? I have no idea to be honest.
  4. Nerfs right after kills. While I agree that Mythic Kil’jaeden difficulty was an overkill, nerfing it right after 2 top guilds kills is a very strange decision. Both of this guilds spent a lot of time for figuring out how to kill it and reporting bugs / moments that should be tuned to make this encounter possible. Some of the nerfs after kill were acceptable (for example hp nerf to compensate class nerfs), Armageddon change from 8 small zones to 6 is strange (since if developers thought 8 of them is too complex, why would they kept it that way, intentionally increasing quantity of failed pulls for top guilds), but the MAIN questions are coming from Demonic Obelisks hotfix. Before this change that was the most interesting part of the fight, where you should assign your players to find a safespot for a raid (and for 5th spawn you actually had 1 safespot on an ENTIRE platform). Now this part of the fight is just a joke. For example for our guild boss took 2 tries to make a seconds kill, even with 3 new people in the raid.

Talking about “why are you blaming Blizzard”, “stop your harsh comments” etc posts, I’m not writing all of this to blame, I really hope such info can help them to avoid making same mistakes twice, and I’m pretty polite, from my point of view. As a dedicated fan of a game I’m only interested in WoW PvE raiding scene to become more and more popular and attractive.

Funny moment, there’s a quote of one of the current Blizzard employees about some issues in Everquest (very old MMORPG game), I’m not gonna post full quote here, since it consists of mature language, but in case you’re curious you can easily find it.

So, I’m pretty sure just pointing out at some issues is not the same as asking for “not wasting my time and sending me an e-mail when…”.

III. Some hardcore raiding mythbusting

I’ve encountered a lot of messages, involving “myths” about hardcore raiding, so i guess it’s a good time to describe why they’re wrong. (for some people this part could be quite obvious or not interesting, so feel free to skip it)

  1. “Top guilds already killed all bosses on PTR”. Quite popular one, I admit. In fact every PTR test of a boss lasts ~ 2 hours, servers are not quite stable and ping is far from ideal (at least for us it’s 200-300ms). Main purpose of a PTR test for top guilds is to check abilities and find out which classes are the best for encounters, rather than simply to kill the boss asap and write in twitter “world 1st Harjatan PTR Mythic down”. Last boss is something we’re not seeing on PTR at all (not sure if it’s a good idea), but even for pre-last bosses we’re not able to test all the phases of it due to very limited timeframe + scaling / server stability etc.
  2. “Top guilds are playing every day, no real life etc”. That’s completely not true. Even in Legion (which is a very grindy expansion, compared even to MoP), we’re not wasting more than 3 evenings during farm, usually even 2, meanwhile some guilds are still progressing in mythic for 3-4 days “casually” for months. Main time consumption is heroic week splitruns (the worst thing about mythic raiding, since it’s super boring and monotonous) and progression itself (2-3 weeks of 7/7 raiding for 13 hours a day).
  3. “Back in the days progression took 2 months and now they’re whining after x days of progression on a boss/raid overall”. You all should realize you can’t compare current situation with those old days, every top guild is running 6-7 splitruns and trying to gear up everyone to best possible gear asap, creating special addons for the bosses and wasting some enormous amount of time per day, which all were not a thing before. Fun thing is If we’re talking about Fallen Avatar, for example, average raid ilvl for top 2 kills were 929-930, with FA itself dropping 930 ilvl items (yes, it’s a bit inaccurate due to 2 legendaries and weapon, but still). So for example 1 more reset of a Mythic reclear will not increase your dps dramatically (unless you’re super lucky for titanforged relics), since you’ve got almost all necessary items in heroic splits / previous mythic clears.

Thoughts on current Mythic raiding issues/WoW issues in general

Once again, it’s just my opinion on some things:

  1. Lockout system. Making you only eligible for loot once per week on all difficulties can solve a lot of issues. Yeah, it will not save you from heroic week splitruns, but at least we will not be forced to do another wave of splitruns next week (and 3rd week, if needed…), which forces developers to tune encounters harder. It will solve one more issue – currently you’re sort of forced to continue to clear heroic raids even if you’re done with progression, since it can still provide you with a better loot that mythic (which is a terrible design, tbh).
  2. Warforged/Titanforged items. Currently this system is just terrible. Titanforged ilvl bonus should be capped, otherwise it’s just leading to some very strange situations. Heroic-only raider geared up better than mythic raider? No problem. Farming Emerald Nightmare for getting BiS Titanforged trinket for T21 progression? Why not. Such things should not exist. Heroic difficulty items should NEVER be higher than Mythic items, otherwise there’s no incentive to run it. Implementing 15 ilvl cap for Titanforged items should solve a lot of issues and make everyone happier.
  3. Legendary upgrade system. I have no idea why this system exists at all. Why I should feel myself punished for having all the legendaries for all the specs? Why should I farm rated arena and RBG to maximize quantity of legendaries I can upgrade? Why cannot we get a “free” upgrade when patch is live, without additional grind system (Legion has enough of them already)
  4. Tuning encounters for immunity classes. Lately a lot of abilities are being tuned for different immunes / damage reductions and similar mechanics, which are limiting classes we may bring to encounters. As an example – Mythic Kil’jaeden has 2 tanking Armageddon zones, however one of your tanks always has Fel Claws debuff, which increases your physical damage taken by 250%. So you’re forced to soak 30m phys damage Armageddon zone with someone, who can immune it (hunter/mage/paladin). And there’re plenty of other examples, especially in ToS (Dark Mark, Armageddon, Focused Dreadflame, Burning Sphere, Touch of Sargeras, Unstable Soul, Rain of Brimstone, Lunar Beacon)
  5. Implementing Balance changes in (7.X.5) patches right before new raid tier. Changing classes right before the raid is a awful decision. And it’s not only hardcore players issue. Let’s imagine I’m a casual player enjoying my class, looking forward playing it in a new raid. I know that i’m well aware of how to play my class, which legendaries, rotation and everything else I need to use. And suddenly, 2-3 weeks before a new raid my class is changed. What if I’m not a fan of them, there’s no time to reroll and for some people not enough time to adapt to all the changes. For the top guilds it’s not an issue, however because of that developers are getting new “balance and tuning” info too late, meaning some classes are staying too good for progression (hello Arms warriors), meanwhile other classes are just benched (Ret paladins, Frost DK etc).

Conclusion

I hope at least some of this information been useful / interesting for you. Talking about “Why you’re not writing about your own progress or why you’ve lost this race” – there’s nothing really interesting about it. We’ve played worse, prepared worse so that’s what you get in result. Ofc there were some troubles for us in this tier, but I’m pretty sure every guild is facing more or less of them each tier, so it’s not a reason or excuse.

 


Il Gm degli Exorsus si leva due sassolini dalla scarpa “Nerfare dopo il Progress o farci fare da Tester è demoralizzante!”
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