Posts Tagged ‘pve’

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Quests the way I want them?!

June 15, 2010

Final Fantasy XIV has just made me spin in my office chair with glee.

All the talk I do about scaling content, and giving the players the choice in how they want to see their content.. while scaling rewards based off of the situation. Now there is a game that’s going to give it. Yay!

“Once a Guildleve is accepted by a character, they’re directed to an Aetheryte crystal to begin the quest. Touching the crystal fully restores HP and MP, as well as starting a time limit and making the targets of your quest visible. A given battle can be tuned based on party size, desired difficulty, and party level, giving players a variety of options for playstyle”

OPTIONS!?!?!? I loves me some options. SE.. keep the good stuff coming.

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Musings on the WoW news over the weekend.

June 14, 2010

In case you’re unaware, Blizzard had a press even over the weekend and released a lot of information about the current status of Cataclysm and also answering questions that the players have been confused about. I wont kill you with a wall of text of recap. Just highlight some points that I found interesting. If you want the full news head on over to your favorite WoW news site.. the details are everywhere. Let’s dive in..

Heroic Shadowfang Keep and Heroic Deadmines should be shipped in Patch 4.1

Seriously? All I was expecting was a 85 heroic scaled version of the same instance. That shouldn’t take very long to do. So why the delay until 4.1? Could be that they are completely re-designing the dungeons, or it could be that they are trying to refrain from releasing too many dungeons at once. I don’t really know, but I think that this is pretty stupid. Not a big deal though.

Path of the Titans Removal
Okay.. now it just seems like they are cutting features all together. Instead of this we’re now getting “medium” glyphs. Which will be in between Major and Minor. These glyphs are “for fun” only, so they *should* have no effect on your character’s output.

Much more boring but serves almost the same purpose and takes 1/2 the time to develop. Sure.. cool by me. Give me my Libram graphic dangling from my hip!

Guild Talents are gone

Makes it much more boring, but I can understand why. They have enough trouble balancing the class talents. To make sure the guild talents weren’t too over-done they just got rid of them all together. Now we get abilities handed to us based on our guild’s level. Much as in other games. It’s basically the same thing, they just took choice out of the equation. *shrug*

Raid Changes

Here’s the bread and butter (to me) of the press release. We knew 10’s and 25’s were going to be equalized but we didn’t have the details really. Now we do. You can break down your 25 man raid into 3 separate 10m raid ID’s if you choose. Also, a change to how the lockouts work. Basically it doesn’t tag yourself to the zone, it tags what bosses you have killed. Therefore streamlining managing your Raid IDs. Especially if you do a lot of PUG raids.

25’s will drop approx. 50% more loot than 10’s. Which is good. Most of this 50% was strongly hinted at just being extra emblems. That’s kind of boring but ah well.

It’s been stated before that 10’s will be brought up in difficulty to be along the same challenge of 25’s, now we have official confirmation that this IS in fact the plan. This makes me giddy. Being someone who simply doesn’t want to deal with attendance issues, or that one bad player that just wont get better no matter how much you talk to them.. this is an awesome thing for me. 10 man cuts down on the stupid, which is good for my blood pressure. Up until (seemingly) now 10 mans have always been insanely easy compared to 25 mans. A good majority of this comes from the simple fact of their being less people. Less chaos.

If they are ramping up the difficulty on 10m, I’m curious to see how far they take that. Will it be easier because there is less people? Or will they tune the content right and make 10/25 equalized in difficulty? It’s hard to equalize something that gets harder the more players you throw at it. No matter how hard a boss hits, things will always be easier if you only have 10 people to worry about vs. 25.

The ONLY thing I can see as a downside here is the confusion that could come about with the 25 lockout being split in to 3 different 10 man lockouts. I’m not quite sure I understand how this works. Does it take groups 1 and 2 and give them a lockout, 2-4, 5-6, and such? If it does, that could be a raid balance and administrative nightmare.

Also.. in your typical 25m raid you generally have 3 tanks and 4-5 healers. Split the group up into 3 10’s and you don’t have proper raid balance for any more than 1, maybe 2 teams.

Basically, how I see it, is.. someone’s going to get shafted every week. And while Blizzard is implementing this for guilds like mine, who have full raids on Tuesday, but then struggle Wednesday and Thursday to get numbers. I still don’t think this is a good option for that type of group. It’s basically no different from how guilds handle 10/25 now. You have your 25 team, and an “A” 10m team, and possibly another “B” team.

But this causes a lot of animosity as we’ve all seen in the past in various different guilds. My guild has an “A” team that runs 10m on the weekends, they’ve killed LK10 and are working on heroics (and we have yet to kill LK25). It’s typically always the same people. We don’t have enough support/attendance to gather a “B” team on the weekends. So.. half of us that would like to raid usually end up sitting out. Bad policy imo.. but.. what else are bored people gonna do?

What I don’t understand is.. instead of Blizzard jumping through all of these hoops with the Raid IDs and coming up with all this crazy stuff. Why not just have the raid instances scale up or down based off of how many people you have?

10 people = 10m difficulty

14 people = 10m difficulty scaled up a tad

25 people = 25m difficulty

23 people = 25m scaled back a little

..you get the idea I think. This seems more easier to me than what they’re doing. Surely it’s not an easy task, but I don’t think it requires too much more work than what they are doing now.

I guess what I’m saying is.. make a raid just that. A raid. Minimum 10 players, max 25. Have the instance(and loot) scale off the number of people you bring in. There is quite a many games that use (or have used) some sort of auto-scaling (or manual scaling) for their instances. It’s worked out pretty well for them. Why wouldn’t it work in Azeroth?

The last thing I would like to touch on is the happenings with rated Battlegrounds. I’m no PvP’er.. but even I notice that not many people make pre-mades anymore. Or if they do, teamwork is usually pretty scarce. I like teamwork. If there was more of it in BGs I would enjoy them a lot more. Thats why I like the idea of making a BG team.. it sounds awesome and maybe.. just maybe.. it will turn my view of WoW PvP around.

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Guide : Retribution (3.3)

June 8, 2010

So you want to learn how to Retlol? It’s a little bit more than just facerolling on the keyboard.. but not much! : D Since it’s 3.3, Cataclysm is on the horizon and everything is going to change again I’m not going to waste time with an “official” and “fancy” guide. Going to throw some links up here to already well done guides, and also give my 2 copper on some points covering the Ret play style.

Retribution Links

Retribution Thread at EJ – Honestly, this guide pretty much covers everything. The first page is current and accurate and has all the info you need not be a Retardadin.

My own thoughts

Just some general tips/expanding on the EJ guide.

– We don’t have a rotation, we have a priority list. The priority changes depending on how you’re geared or the encounter. EJ guide goes into this more in-depth.

– Stat priority goes: Hit(to cap)>Str>Exp(to cap)>Crit>Agi>AtkPwr>Haste>ArPen. Once you cap out Hit, Strength becomes our main stat and our primary gem. You want your STR as high as possible, but without neglecting the expertise cap. You shouldn’t gem for exp though, it comes naturally on gear and it’s not that difficult to get capped.

– Weapons : We want to use the slowest, hardest hitting 2 handers we can find. Enchant with Berserking.

Abilities and Tactics

Sacred Shield : For fights where it’s mostly the tanks taking damage, if you don’t have enough Paladins in your raid for every tank to get Sacred Shield then keep it on whatever tank needs it. If the tanks are covered do what you want with it. For heavy raid damage fights I like to keep it on myself, and for more focused damage fights, or fights with spawning adds, I’ll keep it up on a healer or a clothie.

Art of War : Don’t be afraid to use it as a heal instead of just waiting for Exo to come off cooldown and/or once you get your 2pc T10 (Exo becomes lowest priority at that point). We get this buff ALOT. If you find a “dead spot” in your rotation, take a glance at the raids health bars. Top someone off real quick, or hit yourself so you can take some stress off the healers. Your #1 priority though is Damage, so use your utility wisely.

Consecration : Watch where you scorch the ground with your holy powers. If your tanks aren’t smart enough to stack up all the trash mobs usually when Cons comes up in your rotation you can “back off” from your current target a little bit and make sure you drop Cons in the best possible spot to hit all the baddies. Same goes for Divine Storm.

Seals : Seal of Wisdom and Light you should never be using, unless you want to while leveling or some such. Remove from hot bars imo. Seal of Vengeance/Corruption, Righteousness, and Command are the only 3 you’ll be needing. (I miss Seal of Blood)

Use Righteousness when it’s a single target fight and the mob is not going to live longer than 20 seconds. Use Vengeance for single target fights lasting over 20 seconds. Use Command in situations with 2 or more mobs near you. Don’t be afraid to switch seals in combat. For example.. when fighting Emalon, and he charges up one of the elementals, while you’re running over to the adds you may as well throw up Command. With gear levels what they are, and how easy Emalon is.. it doesn’t really matter so much if more than one happens to die. Unless the add tank just sucks at picking up spawns. Anyways, when the elemental dies and you’re running back over to Emalon, don’t forget to switch back to Vengeance.

Judgements : Wisdom for PvE, Justice for PvP. Holy Paladins should take care of Light. In raid situations, usually it doesn’t matter as you will most likely always have 3 or more Paladins. If you don’t however, use Light, the other classes in your raid should be able to fill-in for Replenishment duty.

Cleanse : Seriously.. do it. Don’t let it drop your DPS, but cleanse when you can. Healers will love you for it.

Righteous Fury : Don’t forget about this ability. We wont be using it often as Ret, but there are some fights where strategies call for us to do strange jobs and RF can do wonders for kiting mobs around.

Hand of Reckoning : Yeah, it’s a taunt. No, you shouldn’t ignore it. 2 reasons. Say an add spawns and it’s headed straight for a clothie and the tank is pre-occupied, or just being a baddie. Save the clothie’s life by taunting that add and let it hit you. You wear plate, you’re not going to die as quick as some prissy Mage. It may be a thankless job too, since people may not notice during the chaos of the fight. But at least you can let it beat on you for a few seconds while the tank pulls his head out of his ass. The second reason I say don’t ignore this ability is it does damage! On certain bosses, very few rather, you can throw this out while waiting for other abilities to come up. Use this wisely though and make sure you know the thing you’re taunting isn’t going to turn around and whack ya dead. The only few fights I can recall this working on is XT heart phase, Mimiron 2nd phase, Faction Champs (doubles as a clothie save too), and the Gunship battle if you jump to the other boat. It’s a great ability and has a great range. Don’t neglect it.

Useful Macros – This block was taken from my Guild forums. One of our other Ret’s typed this out. So thanks to Maxxik for letting me be a thief 🙂

AW + Hand of Salv on myself:

#showtootip Avenging Wrath
/cast Avenging Wrath
/cast [target=Maxxik] Hand of Salvation

The nice part about this macro is if I hit it in between GCD’s then it doesn’t salv myself, so I can keep it free in case I need to salv a fury warrior or whoever later on.

Bubble:

#showtooltip Divine Shield
/cast [nobutton:2] Divine Shield
/cancelaura [button:2] Divine Shield

Left click bubbles yourself, right click dismisses it so you’re not gimping your dps for 12 seconds or however long it’s not needed.

Exorcism:

/startattack
/cast Exorcism

Just starts your auto-attack when you cast Exorcism. Basically if you have an AoW proc up and your switching to a new target to dps starts your white attacks, whereas Exorcism by itself won’t.

SoC/SoR seal and libram:

#showtooltip Seal of Command
/cast [button:1] Seal of Command
/cast [button:2] Seal of Righteousness
/equip Deadly Gladiator’s Libram of Fortitude

Left click for Seal of Command, right click for Seal of Righteousness. Also equips the deadly libram when either seal is selected.

SoV seal and libram:

#showtooltip Seal of Vengeance
/cast Seal of Vengeance
/equip Libram of Valiance

Obviously brings up SoV, but also equips the libram for use. Keep in mind for the above two macros, if you use them in combat they will burn a GCD, but since you’re using these macros the libram swap GCD and the seal GCD are being used at the same time, thus actually saving you one GCD if you need to swap in combat for whatever reason.

Sacred shield on yourself:

#showtooltip Sacred Shield
/cast [help,target=target] Sacred Shield
/cast [target=player] Sacred Shield

Basically the way this works is if you have a hostile target, when you hit this it’ll cast SS on yourself, but if you have a friendly target it’ll cast it on them.

Addons (Note: Everyone has their own way of tweaking their UI, I’m not going to list ALL of the ones I use here. Only the ones that pertain to Paladins, in this case, Retribution.)

Serious Help In Timing – Much like the old face-roller addon. Gives you a handy, scalable, movable bar that has 3 icons. Left icon is AW and gives a cooldown timer. Middle(Big) Icon is the highest ability in your priority list that is not on cooldown (I.e. use it) and the right Icon is what ability you should use next. It’s very easy setup, 5 minutes to position and setup your priority list to your liking. Alternative includes clcret. This addon was developed by the handy people on EJ and though I’ve never used it, it’s very similar to SHIT.

Grid + Clique

This is a must have for almost anybody, yes.. even Tanks. Grid gives you one of the best raid frame options out there, combined with the power of assigning spells to mouse clicks (requiring no targeting) streamlines the healing and/or cleansing process so much. For example, I have Shift+R-click set to Cleanse. So all I have to do is Shift+Rclick on someones raid frame and I never lose my target.

PowerAuras

A highly customizable addon that allows you to do a lot. It can be applied numerous ways to Ret pally’ing. I personally have it setup to show me “when the stars align” meaning I have it set to display icons when I gain certain buffs like Greatness and Berserk. When I see all my procs and buffs light up its AW time. PowerAuras can help you by showing you when things happen. It’s hard to see when you gain buffs mid-raid fight, so this addon can help you increase your efficiency and DPS and help you with timing your cooldowns.

PallyPower

If you’re a Paladin, and not using this addon. Please do. It makes managing blessings and auras SO much easier. If there is only one addon in this list that you pick, let it be this one.

Omen (Or Skada)

Threat meter.. gotta know your threat. Omen has done us well for years, Skada is a lightweight DPS monitor like recount, but has a built-in threat meter. So you can knock out two birds with one stone if you like Skada.

Class Timers (or ForteX)

For monitoring buffs/debuffs. Has timers for Player, Target, and Focus windows. Handy to have as Ret, better for other specs though. I’ve never tried ForteX, it sounds similar to Class Timers but there seems to be a few more options and configurations. CT is more simplistic I think.

Misc.

As I said, I’m not trying to write a complete guide just to have it all goto waste in a few months. When it gets closer to 4.0 and we have our mostly finished talent trees and info on new spells and such I will write-up and brand new, complete guide. So, some final notes to close this out with :

Don’t forget about your utility. Learn how to use it while still being effective in combat. Make macros (Clique or Buttons) for BoP, Freedom, even Sacrifice. Saving your LoH for emergencies is great, but not using it is just a waste of an ability. With the shorter cooldown there is no reason you shouldn’t be using it more often, even if it’s not totally necessary. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. Keep Sacred Shield up on someone at all times.

Last but not least is to really, really know your abilities. Spend some time making friends with the Training dummies and trying out new addons, gear, rotations.. whatever. Find out what works best for you. Grab a guildie or two and go into Molten Core to get a “live feel” for testing purposes. If you want to be good at your class you have to first know your class inside and out. And always, ALWAYS be sure to test out any changes you’ve made to your interface PRIOR to raiding with your guild. Go join a pug 10 man real quick and use them as the guinea pigs. There is nothing worse than getting into a raid, or just starting a boss fight to find out one of your addons is screwing up. Or you haven’t had enough practice using the new tools, so you fail your guildies. Test first!

So, until 4.0, I hope this has helped clear some things up for any of you curious Rets out there. Use the EJ thread. The first post is the wealth of info, and the discussion continues. So much valuable information in that thread for us. Including encounter specific strategies specifically for Rets.

Thanks goes to the EJ forum geeks, all the writers who keep the addons we use updated, and Maxxik the Lumberjack.

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Please just stop already!!! (Pt. 3)

June 5, 2010

Today I said I was going to take you on a text-walkthrough of my rendition of PvE Arenas. So let’s get to it and hope I can keep this post under 1000 words.

Everyone say hello to our imaginary Rogue, Wunderbutts. He will be doing solo arena today on normal difficulty. He is currently wearing all ICC gear and his GS is 62 million. That means shit poop here.

This is not his first time in this Arena. His promoter’s are the Stormwind Lumberjack’s Union (?) and he is just a few points away from hitting Exalted with them. Hop to!

As he enters the arena he sees his first opponents for the day. A group of 5 non-elite Nagas. 3 warrior types and 2 of those evil caster ones that do that big blue circle explosion thingy on the ground. Zangarmarsh, ugh.

Wunderbutts scoffs at the group and charges in, dispatching the foes quickly as he is a skilled (i.e. non-tard) Rogue.

Next up is a single baddie. Doesn’t look too tough, an Ogre Shaman. Haha.. stunlock beoch!

What’s this? Icehowl had babies?!? Yep, Wunderbutts has just discovered Icehowl is asexual. Let’s deal with these 3 babies before they grow into something mean! Evasion go! /charge

Wunderbutt’s looks confused though, as the babies seem to have the majority of big daddy Icehowl’s abilities. Including that stomp/charge. How is Wunderbutts going to deal with all that charging? Skill, that’s how. Pure keyboard acrobatics. and maybe a little help from Sprint.

Ok, whew, they’re dead now. Another trash pack up next. This time they are elites though. Time for some fun! As the pack of stupid elite kobolds walks through the gates Wunderbutt’s takes Stealth. At least SOME thought is going to have to go into this fight he thinks. While making clever use of some CC’s and switching up poisons a little bit he is still finding it hard to take down this group. As one of the little terd geomancers lets loose a Fireball, our Rogue hears a chime letting him know his limit break is ready. He has already met his requirement to dodge 100 attacks, and his ability is off of cooldown. This one however requires Stealth to perform. VANISH! BUTTONSMASH! *amazed* Wunderbutts explodes into a dance of sharp things. 300% movement speed increase, 100% dodge, and a 5 second “Blade Storm” type ability. Only the character retains movement. At 300% movement speed and 5 seconds of whirling death most of the little kobold terds are done for. The rest is just mopping up.

So.. wtf is next? We can’t see anything but Wunderbutts covered in Kobold blood and breathing heavily. But we still have 6 rounds to go! Wait a minute. Wtf is that purple sh–… omfg. It’s Edwin VanCleef and he just sapped Wunderbutts! Roflcopter. This should make for a good 1v1 fight hehe. VC is elite, so he’s not going to be easy and a lot of Wunderbutts abilities are on Cooldown. As it turns out VC is beating the snot out of our friend. He’s at a healthy 70% health and our heroic Rogue is merely scratching by with 35% health left, and he already used the Kidney Shot>Bandage combo. It’s not looking good for Wunderbutts. Lucky for him he was smart and used some of his points to buy special toys. As he glugs down a “Back in the Fight” potion (40s cooldown), he’s brought back to full health, full energy, cooldowns refreshed and even has a HoT ticking on him!!

The fights continue in this fashion. Requiring more skill, smarts and planning than great gear. All the while our Rogue is collecting points, rep and stunning us with his killer moves.

Finally, Wunderbutts.. battle-weary comes up against his final opponent for the day. Oh em gee, it’s Grobbulous from Naxx! The last fight of the day gets a healthy pause to introduce the final match. (3 minutes) Wunderbutts is coming up with a strategy. He knows this guy’s moves, knows them well in fact. But without9/24 of his buddies to back him up is kinda wondering how he will beat this fat tub of lard. 3…2…1… FIGHT!

Wunderbutts decides to take the defensive stance at first and let Grobb come to him. This Rogue is no tank though, and the fat mutant bitch slaps our rogue for nearly 15% of his total health.. in one hit!

Vanish! Now we know how hard this bastard hits.. it’s lucky Wunderbutts stocked up on Gladiator Potions before coming in (Heals 20k hp, 10 second cool-down). Back into the fight! Wunderbutts, fighting for his life, burning all cooldowns he’s got and chuggin health potions like the town drunkard chugs the whiskey. And he’s barely putting a dent in the tubby golem.

Wunderbutt’s is running out of options. He’s used his last “Back in the fight” potion, and he’s only got 5 Gladiator potions left. He’s managed to get Grobby down to 30% health by using the common tactics he learned in Naxx. Kiting him around the Arena. But what about the goo you say? Since its Solo mode there is only 1 goo being spawned, Wunderbutts just tabs over and continues. And how about the gas rings left by players who get diseased? Since Wunderbutts is only 1 person, he gets hit with it every time. But it’s negated since he’s already kiting Grobby. Our smart Rogue used his previous experience, combined with knowledge of his class and some of his own finesse to adjust the strategy of the fight to work for him. And now he hears a fun noise. That’s right, it’s “limit break” time! This particular ability is more geared towards single targets and boss fights, as every class would get 1 limit break for AE situations and 1 limit break for single target/Boss situations. Though our Rogue is not limited to just using one.. if conditions are met for both, he can use both.

For this ability the conditions were take 400k damage, deal 800k damage, and dodge 72 attacks. BUTTON SMASH! and now Wunderbutts is “chargin his lazor”. He dissapears from sight, both of Grobby, and us spectators.

A yell from one of the NPC spectators (what you don’t think they wanna see a good show?) indicates for everyone to look up! As you move your camera towards the rafters you see our lovely Wunderbutts take a leap from the rafters.. or fall outta the sky.. or something. But he looks pissed, his entire body glowing red. He thrusts his blades downwards into Grob’s back for a massive double-crit 157k points of damage. That took a whole 10% from the fatty! But Wunderbutt’s not finished, no way. That ability gave him a 200% attack speed increase, and half energy cost on all abilities for 15 seconds! He’s tearing this fat piece of gaseous crap down! The NPCs are hootin’ an’ hollerin’ as it comes down to the final few seconds of the fight. Wunder and Grob going blow for blow at each other. Face to face, no more potions to rely on. Butts throws everything he’s got! Another slime spawns.. no time for fighting this one. Here’s some dirt in your eye Mr. Goo, now your blind, go run around for 6 seconds while I finish killing this cow. And with the final strike Grobby falls to the floor in defeat. The representative from the Stormwind Lumberjack’s Union comes to greet our Rogue and announces that he has reached full Gladiator status. (Which happily comes with a package of PvE arena consumables, and a tabard)

Now that Wunderbutt’s has hit Exalted with his promoters, they offer him a quest. One that will take him to higher challenges in the arena’s, and possibly elsewhere.. to what end, what purpose? *shrug*

Ok, does that not sound like it would be fun? Sure there are mechanical, and balance issues out the yazoo. But it’s not something that’s going to be implemented anyways. It’s just an idea.. a stolen idea at that! But why can’t we have things *LIKE* this? Hell.. me personally.. I would pay extra for something like this.

As of now we have 2 PvP facets in the game, and only 1 PvE (unless you count questing/levelling, which I don’t) Something like this would just bring another option for us strict PvE’ers. I’m sure the PvP crowd would go nuts if they read this paragraph saying that PvE doesn’t need any MORE stuff. Hah.. crazy PvPers go play DFO nubs.

Also, just to tack this on at the end because I forgot to put it in two posts ago. In the Duo/5man versions you could also design group “limit breaks.” Pretty sure not much explanation is needed for this. It’d be cool. Other MMOs have things like it.. EQ2 and LotRO just for two examples.

Anyways, if you could withstand reading all of this 3 part post I thank you for your time and any comments are great! If you didn’t like the read, or the idea.. good thing it was just an idea right? And you never, ever have to come back to this blog again lol… but seriously. Please stay? : )

~dorf

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Oh god what is he suggesting (Pt. 2)

June 4, 2010

So yesterday I talked about “my” PvE Arena idea and stopped myself before I rambled on too much. I try to keep to specifics and not “overflow” my writings, but.. I’m not a writer. So, deal with it! Just kidding, I’d like to keep whatever readers I can get, so I will try to make my writing more sensible. It’s not something that’s going to come over night though ; ) On to the good stuff!..

We’ve already gone over the basic outline on the PvE Arena. Let’s dive into some specifics and analyze. First off, and I’m sure what most would be concerned about is how would this effect the game as a whole? The answer.. very little. Even less than PvP Arenas have. There would be no gear rewards, nothing that you could use in normal PvE combat, and nothing that would give you any sort of advantage over the current PvE content. Everything attained by the “PvE Arena Currency” is merely for show or use inside of the Arena.

“But you said this would add another form of progression to the game?!”

Yes, I did. By having different modes and difficulties you inherently create progression content. The key is giving the players motivation to progress, and since every players motivation is different, it makes it rather challenging. So, what are the carrots?

– Titles, achievements, pets, mounts, tabards. These are good carrots for some people, and we all know how much Blizzard loves to add new pets and mounts to the game. It’s not enough for some though, what else?

– Rankings! Just like PvP Arena. Of course here it’s nothing more than an epeen booster. But.. some people love any way they can inflate their epeen.

– New/Different abilities. For use in PvE arena only. I could type out 3 paragraphs explaining what I mean by this, or I could just say two words. Limit break. How neat would it be if your had (for example) an ability on a 3 min CD AND minimum damage taken cooldown (ooooh something new??) More on this towards the end.

– The last carrot I can think of at the moment (aside from crazy fun!) is possibly once you attain the higher(est?) ranks of Gladitory combat your promoter will offer you an Epic questline (oooh?) This epic questline has nothing to do with Raiding, though it does go outside of the PvE arena. Mostly a Solo-5 Man quest, but not easy. Very long and will take a while to complete. Rewards a special title and possibly a Legendary, yes, even for use outside of the PvE Arena. (Can’t make it TOO special though or the Hardcore raiders would have a mental breakdown)

Ok.. enough carrots. Next.

Spectator mode! Yeah, that’s something new new (I think). If you’re heading into the PvE Arenas to show off your skills, you can invite your pals to come sit in the bleachers and watch. Or maybe you’re trying to give the new recruit in the guild tips, instead of just telling him. Let him watch! Or, take them in as a Duo and teach! This spectator-ship would be by invite only, and have a limit of 10 players (lets not try to kill Blizzards instance servers) Spectators would be able to talk, so they can cheer you on, give you tips.. or just be general asses hehe.

“Okay.. and what about all the classes? Rogues can’t tank a boss for long, and what would a Healer do if he went in solo? You did say this was supposed to be for everyone”

This is where things get a bit harder. Without changing all the class mechanics completely for PvE Arena (which Blizzard already stated they wouldn’t do for PvE/PvP, so they wouldn’t do it for this either)

With the randomness of the encounters there is no way to ensure that class a doesn’t have any advantage over class b. Some classes rely on gear to do their jobs more than others. While some simply just don’t have the ability to solo as well as others. We don’t want to give an advantage to the Rogues over the Priests.. as prestige and prizes are the carrots. If all the Rogues were able to do it faster and better than the Priests.. watch out Blizzard forums!

There are two ways I can think of that could work around this. A) Have the solo “bracket” divided up amongst the 3 archetypes. Basically.. an Arena for tanks, one for Healers, and one for DPS. Remove some encounters from the “random” list that a particular archetype just wont be able to defeat. There are two problems with this option though. It’s alot of work for Blizzard to do that, and.. as we can imagine the DPS “bracket” would probably be the most interesting.

The second idea B) design the “limit breaks” around the classes weaknesses. Let’s get an example for each archetype.

– Tanks : You could have limit breaks on shorter CDs, but with higher “Incoming damage” requirements. Something like this… 1 min CD, requires 20k Damage taken before able to be used. Once used, completely heals the  tank and give him a 20 second “Super-heroism” like buff. +haste, +damage, +defensive skills. At the end of the 20 seconds of “Super-heroism” the tank leaps high into the air and crashes down into the dirt of the Arena creating a shockwave damaging all enemies in the arena, stunning them for 2 seconds and dazing them for 10 seconds. Okay.. that sounds like one that would be fitting for Warrior tanks. A super flashy-cool version of Thunderstomp.

-Healers : This is a harder one to deal with because the damage output is lower than even the tanks, for most healers. But, even still, with some creativeness you can come up with a way for this to work. One thing about Healers is they can stay up for quite a while. So let’s play to that strength. For this “Limit break” we’ll go with 30s cooldown, requires 10k damage healed and 30k damage taken. When activated the Priest levitates off of the ground, and gains a “super shield” around them (make it look cool). 10 second duration, all damage the Priest absorbs while levitating is stored and released after the super bubble duration is complete. Also, upon explosion of holy-sauce has a 50% chance to make a random mob of the encounter a combat pet for the duration of the encounter or until it dies. Only 1 “pet” can be controlled at a time. If there is only 1 mob you will not get a pet, but the mob will get a 200% attack speed debuff for 15 seconds. If there is 2 mobs, they will gain debuff “Holy Confusion”, and square off against each other for 10 seconds.

– DPS : Since DPS classes obviously have the damage and killing speed advantage, the abilities given to them must be weighed properly as well. For this, lets use a Mage as an example. 3 min CD, requires 20k damage done, a minimum of 1k damage taken and maximum of 10k damage taken (meaning once you take more than 10k damage the ability is rendered not-useable) Upon use of this ability the Mage gains “Mana form”, Damage taken decreased by 70%,  movement speed slowed by 30%, and allows the Mage to take flight. This lasts for 5 seconds. During this time the Mage can “queue” up to 12 spells. Maximum – 4 Fire spells, 4 Frost spells, and 4 Arcane spells. Can queue spells while on the move. No GCD. When the 5 seconds is up the Mage releases all 12 spells at once, mana and cast time free. After the Mage uses this ‘limit break’ he is in a weakened state for 10 seconds. Suffers a 10% damage debuff, but gains a 80% Dodge rating.

Whew.. looks like this is gonna be a three-parter. Remember, these are just rough examples I came up with off the top of my head.. I’m sure REAL game designers could come up with much better things.

So for tomorrow’s post I will give you a rundown on how a standard PvE Arena run would work.

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Why does it always have to be about the shinies?

June 3, 2010

Over my long’ish zombie weekend, I am feeling a bit better and actually had enough brain power to come up with an idea. Well.. not really MY idea, but just like everything in the gaming industry.. sniping features and ideas from other games is not frowned upon.

So, there I was, plodding along in lowbie zones working on Loremaster (ugh) I figured.. I’d rather be punching small children than doing this. So I fired up the laptop and decided to multi-task a bit.

After a bit of web-surfing and a few episodes of The Twilight Zone, I got my brain tickin.

If Blizzard’s goal is to appeal to all of it’s players, and give everyone something to do. How come they’ve never tried implementing some sort of PvE Arenas?

WHOA WHOA..

Hold on. PvE Arenas? People have mentioned that before and it does not sound like a good idea.

Yep, you’re right. But read my version of how I would implement it into Azeroth. You may just say.. “Hey, that is neat!” or I’m way off.. whatever. Here we go.

PvE Arena

Step into the Arena. Prove yourself as a Gladiator in the pit against monsters found from even the darkest, deepest holes of Azeroth! We’ve built the Crusader’s Collesium, but now that the Lich King has been defeated, it has no purpose. Or does it? Prove your skill, see if you have what it takes to become a Champion. (blah blah onto the details)

– 3 Ways to play; Solo, Duo, 5 man. Each scaling difficulties to meet the group makeup.

– Gear doesn’t matter. You (and your group) are automatically scaled to a “baseline” level of ability.

– Completely separate sphere of gameplay from PvE, PvP, and/or Arena. available to players starting at level 40. Rewards scale based on level (for example, if you win the Arena at level 40, you get 50 “points” at level 80 you would get 150 “points”

– 3 new factions, choose your promoter!! With rewards and utility items to purchase.

– “Point” accumulation. Jump into battle, win over the crowds, please your promoters. You’ll get a special sort of income to do all kinds of things with. For example.. buying abilities (just 1 or 2 per class or spec) only available for use in these Arenas. Pets, Tabards, Consumables (PvE Arena only), Mounts. Etc… nothing would be available here that would effect any other sphere of gameplay (with the exception being Achievements)

– Have teams just like PvP Arena. Are you the wayward fighter just looking to make a name for himself or do you have allies ready to face any challenge thrown at them?

Now, the way this works. If you’ve played Final Fantasy 7 before, or perhaps even EQ2’s Splitpaw Saga adventure pack you know where I am getting these ideas from. Basically.. take Battle Arena, tweak it a bit, and throw it in WoW.

10 Rounds, 3 Difficulties, 2 modes. Break that down a little further for you..

10 Rounds – You(and your peeps) enter the Arena, you will face 10 waves of monsters found in Azeroth. Anything from Trash, to mini-bosses, to bosses from previous instances, and the ability to add new bosses if Blizzard so chose. Everything is scaled to your level/ability as previously mentioned.

3 difficulties – Easy, Normal, Hard (call it whatever) rewards scale based off of difficulty. Achievements and Titles placed accordingly.

2 modes – First mode is obvious. Kill everything. Second mode is what I like to call “Endurance” mode. Screw 10 waves, you’re going until you A) Lose or B ) Call it quits. This could be expanded on a lot, developing other “modes” to challenge your players.

Important notes :

Mobs are mostly random. Anything from kobolds to Sapphron. Of course you wouldn’t actually be fighting the famed Bosses. Just models, with similar tactics, scaled to “Arena” specs. Sometimes you’ll fight a copy of a Murloc Tidewalker, or teams of Kobolds, or scaled up versions of Hogger by himself.

Bosses would keep as much mechanics from the original fights as possible based on the scale (Solo, Duo, Group)

There is multiple goals for this system. Giving players more options for content is never a bad thing. Giving the solo/duo something specifically for them (besides quest grinding and PvP which isn’t specifically for them, except PvP arenas.) To show off your skill rather than your gearscore. And finally and possibly most importantly.. Training. I’ve seen a number of people talk about how to introduce people into Raiding and how difficult it can be. Given the option to hone their skills in a more controlled environment could ease them into real raiding much better.

Don’t get me wrong though, this is not just a training ground for raids. Everything would be mostly random, and you wouldn’t be picking your encounters. This is a separate aspect of the game, something new to progress through. And yes, you could actually form progression from this. If Blizzard dangled the proper carrots in front of our faces. Problem with that is the carrot changes based on the person. I personally like chasing titles, while other people only care about loot, or companion pets.. etc.

As my word count tells me I’m approaching a thousand, I’m going to back off for today and make a part 2 of this post for tomorrow. I don’t want to kill you with a wall of text and I apologize if you are now blind, or somehow slightly less intelligent for reading this.

TL;DR – PvE Arenas, small-scale raids with no gear rewards, but many other rewards. Cont’d tomorrow.