Difficulty vs Complexity

Discussion in 'Game Discussion' started by Allstar, May 20, 2013.

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    Allstar Just A "Member"

    More shameless self advertisement

    There is a lot of misconception around what makes raid bosses difficult, In this article I hope to dispel some of the myths about difficulty and complexity, and how complex encounters should be handled.

    ..or something, I dunno.
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    Juggernaught Classic Guild Member

    Great article tbh... Solid argumentation.
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    Fizzee Veteran BOON

    "Pissed of healers" I think you missed an 'f'
    Good article so far, will read rest a little later
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    Drexciyian Veteran BOON

    PVE unless you have the attention span of a nat, most of the time people fuck up cos they lose focus which mostly happens cos their bored
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    Aspira Admin Officer

    Nice write up.

    On your point of raid helper addon things, I hate them and hope that future MMOs have some way of stopping their existence. I love addons, so banning addons outright is not what I am looking for, but nothing is more frustrating than wiping over and over on a boss, only to find out that a couple of members in the raid are failing due to an out of date raid helper addon. They have no idea how any of the mechanics work, and the only reason they got to this point was by being dragged through the content by an addon.

    Everyone in an MMO should be able to see all the content, but they should not be allowed to see it at its hardest. Only the people willing to learn the game should be able to see all content at its hardest. Do that however and prepare for the tidal wave of tears from today's "minimal effort, maximum reward" gamers.
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    F U R I E Veteran BOON

    Sorry for the noobish question but Im curious, whats a raid helper addon and how can it carry people?
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    Aspira Admin Officer

    F U R I E - It basically pops up text on your screen to tell you what to do during a raid encounter.

    Deadly Boss Mods was the most popular raid helper addon when I last played WoW. It would tell you when a boss was about to use a skill, it would show you the cooldowns of all the bosses abilities, alert you of phase changes before they happen, alert you of any major abilities such as raid wiping abilities and provide a countdown to when they will be used to let you prepare yourself, it would tell you where to stand, where not to stand...

    Basically, all you do is read the text alerts on the screen and do what it tells you and you win, no thought required.
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    F U R I E Veteran BOON

    ...and it is not considered cheating?
    I hope wildstar or any other future mmo will have a harsh anti-3rd party program policy then, no offence to the addon-lovers.
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    Katiechops Guild Master

    Nope, I'd imagine WoW has got to the stage that you can't do some bosses without them anymore because they likely design boss mobs now with the expectation that players will be using these sort of mods.
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    Nerien "Bad Boy"

    I would not really see how the boss timers are considered cheating, everyone have access to them. Raid design are focused around people having this kind of information available to them, the only way to get rid of them is to remove the ability to display timers on bosses or to make the boss skills more random.

    More than one boss for example got skills that will one shot tanks if they don't have a defensive cd up at the moment it hit them with no cast timer that they do each 10s to 1 minute so if the tanks are not keeping track on this in his head it will pretty much lead to a massive amount of wipes due to tank deaths.

    One boss have a one shot mechanic which happens so often with a 5 second cast time, thing being it takes up to 4 seconds to interrupt it if you are in position if you are not ready for it inc you will probably end up getting a wipe.

    Then we also have the boss where if you are stacking up at the wrong time while the boss use a chaining skill that spawns adds you will probably get killed due to the mobs dealing a lot of damage.

    Even having these timers provided people are fucking up on bosses, top guilds have access to them for their kills on heroic bosses and they are still taking a long time killing these bosses even though they know when these specific things will happen. They still need to execute the fight pretty much perfectly since nearly any mistake one person may make leads to the whole group wiping after they have used their battle rez.

    So it will be always be a matter if you want to keep these addons away in how complex can they make these bosses. Since if they add too many skills where you need to react to them without having a pre timer people will have big trouble learning the encounter needing to keep things in mind personally while knowing when and how they will happen.
    On the other side if they make things quite forgiving due to it being hard to predict to things if you have lots of skills or if they add few of them how interesting will it be to perform the fights knowing that only these few things will happen that will really affect us.

    It's quite a thin line you are walking while designing these things I can imagine.

    I actually quite enjoy the boss design they have in WoW, there is a lot of things happening which different group of people will have to react to. Some things are tank focused and they can ignore some of the other skills the boss can do since they don't affect them.
    Healers need to keep some of the skills affecting the tanks in mind while making sure the high damage aoe boss skills don't kill the group and being ready to move for most of the positional skills.
    Damage dealers need to keep the positional skills and making sure they don't wipe the raid with one shot skills from the bosses.
    Is more things to be added that you need to take into consideration for each role but a general sense of what I actually like about the wow boss design that there is a lot of things happening that you need to react to, even having the timer you tend to lose focus on it during high intensity moments.

    Personally I like when there is put a lot of personal responsibility on each player in a raid as they have it now in WoW, most people need to be doing their role and if they fuck up shit happens instead of some cases where mainly the tanks perhaps are in that kind of position. It make sure everyone is paying attention and hopefully it's easy to notice the people that are fucking up over and over again.

    This was a quite long post...

    TLDR: I like the WoW boss design with the timer included.
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    Acina Admin Officer

    ^^ Can't be bothered to quote the right people but Warcraft bosses are designed to as such that there are chat clues as to what will happen next, this is the basis for these mods - the rest comes from people actually sending data back to the writers. We used our own version though progression raids that required certain people to mark time between abilities etc - there is no difference with having the ability to do it in game as to having a stopwatch next to your desk (except one is easier to use than the other).
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    Aspira Admin Officer

    I too love the boss design in WoW Nerien, but there is no need to have the raid helper / boss timer addons if you are willing to read/learn/understand the mechanics. They make the content more accessible to everyone, but the content is not impossible without them, its just much more challenging.

    I know you played LotRO when it was first released, and I still consider the boss mobs in that game (pre-Moria expansion) to be much harder and much more complex than bosses in say WoW, yet there was no boss timers or raid helpers in LotRO, and people were still able to clear the content because they HAD to learn it. If fact even people I would call "casuals" in LotRO were clearing hard content because they were actually learning the content, rather than just putting the autopilot on.

    When I went back to WoW to play WotLK when it came out. To join a pug raid you needed to PM the leader your gearscore and what version of DBM you had installed. If you had the correct amount of epeen score and the addon installed, you got an invite. When I used to play LotRO for example, to get into a pug raid you needed to explain the boss mechanics to the raid leader to show you understood what happens in that instance before they would invite you. I always found that quite refreshing in LotRO because 9/10 times when you died, it was your fault, your mistake, not some guy struggling to keep up with his boss mods alerts.

    I don't for a second believe that if Blizzard were to ban all raid helper / boss timer addons that all of their content would become impossible. I think their content would become very difficult, and only players willing to put in the effort would be able to clear it. Just means that they would need to supply an easier version for the people either not willing or without the time to learn how it all works.
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    Nerien "Bad Boy"

    Well I did the lotro fights back then and I would say they are far off in the current difficulty of wow.
    I was quite bad at mmo games back then and I still performed quite good and have no trouble going into these fights with really no pre knowledge and minimal explanation of the fights and still could do them with little trouble since there wasn't such a big burden of knowledge on ranged people if I remember correctly.

    I was really just there watching the show and doing what I was told to do, I didn't really need to react to much at all. It's much simpler to what I'm currently experiencing in wow where I need to react to things on all the different bosses.
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    HardKoar Community Member

    Add-Ons are somewhat ''cool'' they allow u to slack, the add-on will tell you when and what to do what and where so yea , even a monkey , wait.. Lets say a trained monkey can do the encounter granted he/she reaches the gear-check for it. Wow is in fact the best example to my statement. Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy the game and I am in now way trying to belittle its fun but raiding without Add-ons or with Add-ons its practically 2 different games.

    Is wow end game duable without Add-ons? Ofc it is, every test phase of the new expansions top raiding guilds do it without add-ons.

    The question is , why bother? The add-on makes thing soo much more easier and carebearish in both PvP and PvE that , I repeat , even a trained monkey would be able to perform very well.

    I read Lotro and back in my days on the server Snowburn I remember very well how was it was to actually down the Balrog , hell most people didn't even manage to see the balrog, most people couldn't even click the proper sequence after an opener from a rogue . In wow, the add-on would put a HUGE RED arrow that would tell you exactly when and how.
    I quite miss those days where pvE was a bit harder to be honest , I believe the harder the game the better the player become to overcome its skill requirement.
    The easier the game, well , the more clickers we will have around.
    Wildstar to me it looks like Wow on sci-fi , not sure how much will it deliver but at the current state of the gaming industry I believe anything will look like ''The wet pussy'' . Or atleast for a little bit ;)
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    Drexciyian Veteran BOON

    This is my problem with WoW those add-ons let any retard do any boss cos they dont have to think for themselfs, soon as a high level raid group get a world first every other shitty guild can now do it cos they know the mechanics and all the bad players can do it cos they get a big flash up on their screen to move out of some aoe or w/e

    eh just read Hardkoars post and he said pretty much what i meant lol
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    HardKoar Community Member

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    Saul Community Member

    Seriously... I think it was way back at Chromaggus in BWL, was the first time I saw serious helper mods being used, you could tell what abilities and when he was about to use them.

    To be fair imo people who say you need them, or you wipe, they are the same people who can't be arsed to practice. that was the point, and raid groups getting bored, and loosing focus was why you needed good Raid Leaders, etc. Thats all helper mods do is remove the need for practice, which turns the raids into easy mode, which in turn significantly reduces the difficulty and the sense of achievement upon success.
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    Fizzee Veteran BOON

    This thread is full of lulz.

    Addons don't make the game easier, because bosses are made with addons in mind.

    If you're complaining about dbm Aspira, why was it that you never made it past the frost dragon in ICC with us? It wasn't a gear issue because we were pretty well geared, and it can't be due to failing because with addons playing for you, its easy .....

    Truth is, the addons reduce the complexity, not the difficulty, so the Devs have to increase the complexity of the encounters to balance it.

    You cannot effectively raid high end WoW addonless as there are elements to the fights which will fuck you up if you don't have the information addons provide.

    The fights are no less difficult but are far more complex and intricate because addons exist.

    A good example of the change... In pre dbm days, a fight like thaddius in naxx was considered complex, because unless you kept an eye on his buff and yours, you would toast the raid.
    Nowadays that sort of mechanic is trivialised by addons, yet new bosses utilise more complex mechanics such as making different people have different buffs which have to split to different locations whilst the floor becomes toxic and DPS must stay at exactly 10k else you insta die.
    Fight is far more complex than thadd, but the same difficulty.

    So stop making excuses for reasons to hate a game just because it evolved and you didn't. That's life.
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    Aspira Admin Officer

    I am not complaining about the state of any game, I am complaining about the fact boss mods exist in any game.

    I am complaining because I believe content is not made with a mandatory requirement to use these mods, and that the use of such mods makes content easier than what it was intended to be. This may not be the case, but it is how I see it personally.

    Oh, and you know I quit WotLK because of two people in that raid, two people who were useless beyond belief, yet were always in the raid... I will remind you on TS of the names.

    But yea, my personal opinion on the whole boss mods thing is, it makes content easier, it is not mandatory to complete content. Maybe I am wrong, maybe not, all I know is I disagree with the whole concept of them (even if they are required), in fact, the idea of them actually being mandatory is probably worse than them just being there to make the game easier.

    So yea, not a dig at WoW or any other game in particular, just used WoW as the example. Just a dig at boss mods in general.
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    Nerien "Bad Boy"

    I think some people commenting on wow here have no clue of the current state of the raiding right now.

    Normals are not hard per say but a ton of people have not even gotten close to getting the newest raid down no normal and it's been out for 2 months and 3 weeks now.
    Heroics are actually really hard to execute even having all these addons and timers you are telling me make everything into easy mode.

    I don't know how wow was in the days when wotlk and earlier was current content but from the things people are mentioning it must have been stupidly easy.
    I'm not saying you are wrong about how it was just that I want to give you a light on how it actually is right now.

    They have set up special mode for some 5 man dungeons where you need to beat the timer on 9 different dungeons to get a cosmetic armor set.
    These things are not easy, just pulling trash mobs can get you killed the bosses are no jokes either.
    Having no addons will keep it at the same difficulty as if you where using them you need to perform not know when stuff will happen.

    Even after kill videos for all the heroic bosses where released people are wiping on them over and over since they are not easy even knowing every thing that happens in the encounter.

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