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Thread: An open letter to Trion regarding endgame hotfixes, patches, and tuning.

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    Default An open letter to Trion regarding endgame hotfixes, patches, and tuning.

    To Zor, the Dungeons and Raid teams, Trion Employees, and the community at large:
    I'm writing this open letter in the hopes of drawing your attention to some recent issues that have been raised as a natural consequence of RIFT's patching schedule. While I commend you guys on the rapidity of your tuning and the responsiveness of the development staff to emerging issues (Beams from Annihilators, I'm looking at you), those snap reactions have had some unintended consequences.

    PVE , and more importantly Raid, progression can only exist in a stable environment. Success and superiority are predominantly measured by the date and time they were killed, an action that is rendered meaningless by the possibility for two raids to kill differing versions of the same boss. Witness the controversy that has cropped up as a consequence of the <stay small NERDS> and <Addiction> Greenscale kills. It's important to correct and fix glaring design flaws, but retuning and sweeping balance changes to the endgame can and should be held for a regular maintenance period.

    A regular maintenance period, even if it exists as a downtime-free window in which hotfixes are applied, is extremely important to preserving the integrity of the raiding endgame and securing RIFT's place as a raider-friendly environment. This window should coincide with the resetting of Raid Locks, as that is the only way to ensure that a level playing field is provide. Exploits and serious bugs should be immediately fixed, but health, damage, and other alterations of those sorts should be saved for the proposed maintenance window whenever the overall health of the game is not at risk.

    For the record, if given a choice between the post-launch RIFT methodology and the patient rate at which Blizzard implements patches, there's no question where my vote would land. But like Goldilocks, I'm just looking for that perfect third option, for the good of the raiding community and the game as a whole.

    Thanks for your consideration,
    Katherine


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    Soulwalker
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    Bumpingthisthread

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    Plane Walker Rockgod99's Avatar
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    The fact that greenscale is even killable within a couple weeks means he needs to be tuned up much, much more.

    Even guilds that play mmos as full-time jobs shouldn't clear all content that fast.
    IMO those kills shouldn't count and after a 1000% buff then we should give a crap about "world firsts".

    You guys know this stuff isn't tuned, yet you scream "world first!!!!!" as if it's an accomplishment to down broken boss content.

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    Rift Disciple Silidons's Avatar
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    wait, is greenscale the last boss? everything is ****ng dead already?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silidons View Post
    wait, is greenscale the last boss? everything is ****ng dead already?
    No, there are still a lot raid rifts which have to be downed. Still the raid content is too low.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perilium View Post
    No, there are still a lot raid rifts which have to be downed. Still the raid content is too low.
    There are four raid rifts and they've all been beaten long before Greenscale was touched. They're 10man content anyhow.

    I'm sure more raid content is coming, but that's really tangential to the point of this post.


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    It might shock you, but the game doesn't revolve around a few hardcore guilds. If something is to be fixed, it should be fixed as soon as possible. It's hardly gamebreaking and it's much better than waiting weeks to months for a new hotfix like in certain other MMO's.

    It's not hard to reschedule a raid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solbranthius View Post
    It might shock you, but the game doesn't revolve around a few hardcore guilds. If something is to be fixed, it should be fixed as soon as possible. It's hardly gamebreaking and it's much better than waiting weeks to months for a new hotfix like in certain other MMO's.

    It's not hard to reschedule a raid.
    Again, I'm not proposing weeks or even months. I'm just saying that rather than pushing a Saturday update to rebalance raid bosses, it should be done on Weds when the lock resets. Instead of pushing a Thursday update with completely new tuning, it should be done on Weds when the lock resets.

    We're talking a difference of a few days and a change that only directly impacts the top tier raiding guilds while simultaneously preserving the strength of 'raiding progression'.

    Like it or not, a lot of Blizzard's longevity has come from the robustness of their endgame content, and a big component of that robustness is a stable raiding environment that provides for competition amongst the top .1%. Trickle down theory of aspirational raiding, and all that.

    Edit: To make it clear, I understand that the top .1% is just that; .1%. In terms of actual revenue and subs, they provide very little. But with a strong endgame, you see people aiming to participate in it. Look at WoW players; a huge swathe of them follow Paragon's exploits and want to emulate them on some level. "Wow they kill cool dragons, I want to do that!" and so on. The fact that one guild, or even many guilds (Premonition, Ensidia, For the Horde, etc) are able to achieve that kind of mindshare and serve as that bolstering influence on subs and player numbers is because they're participating in the high level raiding game that is only made possible with a stable hotfix environment.
    Last edited by Jerle; 03-19-2011 at 11:04 AM.


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    Rift Disciple Dashra's Avatar
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    All in all it wasnt that easy. Ive been having alot of fun with the game and even with all the content cleared as far as progression goes we still have plenty more to do awaiting more content.

    Addiction: Rift: Section Guild Leader

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    Bringing the servers down during prime time is somewhat of a humiliating blunder for Trion. Especially at this stage in the MMO game, they really need to get their act together and use scheduled times, so I agree with you in the sense that they shouldn't be randomly bringing down servers.

    That being said, this is one of the embarrassingly false statements I have ever read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerle
    Like it or not, a lot of Blizzard's longevity has come from the robustness of their endgame content, and a big component of that robustness is a stable raiding environment that provides for competition amongst the top .1%. Trickle down theory of aspirational raiding, and all that.
    Trickle-down theory of aspirational raiding? What does that even mean? Are you actually implying that one of the things that keeps people playing is knowing that the "competition" between the top 0.1% is fair? I really hate to say this but something tells me that you don't know how the rest of the population (that even knows you guys exist) sees you guys. It's not good. For the most part your squabbling and bickering and whining makes you guys look like ants fighting over breadcrumbs.

    However, again, I agree with you that they shouldn't be bringing down the servers in the middle of when most people are playing, doing dungeons, raids, etc. I know those things are a pain in the *** to interrupt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerle
    Edit: To make it clear, I understand that the top .1% is just that; .1%. In terms of actual revenue and subs, they provide very little. But with a strong endgame, you see people aiming to participate in it. Look at WoW players; a huge swathe of them follow Paragon's exploits and want to emulate them on some level. "Wow they kill cool dragons, I want to do that!" and so on. The fact that one guild, or even many guilds (Premonition, Ensidia, For the Horde, etc) are able to achieve that kind of mindshare and serve as that bolstering influence on subs and player numbers is because they're participating in the high level raiding game that is only made possible with a stable hotfix environment.
    "Huge swathes" among the top raiders maybe. I'll be generous and say 1% of WoW's population even knows they exist, let alone that they're top guild, or that they just killed the newest boss. I know you are among the more skilled and dedicated players in the community and I think that's why you have such a skewed perception of what people care about while playing this game.

    I don't want to say that nobody cares that you guys are killing the bosses, because that's obviously not true. People do care. But it's for the reason that they are surprised at the lack of content available. "The raids are already cleared? Really?". How skilled you are, how much you guys play, and even what your guild's name is doesn't even enter into it. It's just "stuff has died already?" The fact that you guys are racing for the kills, who kills them first, and certainly (and this is the important part) whether or not the race is fair is utterly and completely meaningless to 99% of the population. And this means that the people who are profiting from the game don't care.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mallard View Post
    Trickle-down theory of aspirational raiding? What does that even mean? Are you actually implying that one of the things that keeps people playing is knowing that the "competition" between the top 0.1% is fair? I really hate to say this but something tells me that you don't know how the rest of the population (that even knows you guys exist) sees you guys. It's not good. For the most part your squabbling and bickering and whining makes you guys look like ants fighting over breadcrumbs.
    The theory thing was a bit of a joke, guess I missed my smiley. Too late to edit.

    In any case, I'm familiar with both the 'hardcore' and the 'casual', having played in and with both buckets of players. I'm not proposing that the 'fairness' of the competition is a reason people keep playing. I am, however, saying that the presence of high end guilds and the competition associated with it keeps people retained. I know plenty of people across the gaming spectrum that follow top end guilds in WoW and what they do; there's a reason Paragon videos earn hundreds of thousands of views. Everybody wants to be like Mike.

    But let's take a step back; set aside my claim that people care about hardcore guilds. I suppose it's my fault for bringing it up, since it's not terribly pertinent to the topic at hand.

    There's no real reason (at least from a player standpoint) not to centralise and unify Raid tuning/hotfixes/patches to tie to the instance locks. Not only does it ensure that the 'competition' is fair, but it also provides a consistent raiding experience from one evening to the next for everyone. No "Saturday night, repping Boss Bravo. Sunday night, surprise! Boss Bravo is harder and we need to rejigger our strategy."

    This is not a huge deal, at the end of the day. But it's something that came up a number of times in discussion with my guildmates, folks from other higher end guilds (FoH, Addiction, etc), as well as non-raiders. People aren't going to cancel, nobody's going to write a petition, but it's a seemingly simple change that would provide a quality of life improvement for many, many PVE-ers.

    Edit: And just to throw it out there, with regards to the "no real reason" comment... I'm obviously not privy to the details of Trion's content development model, and if the more reactive, agile tuning strategy is an intentional or necessary part of their content management strategy... Welp, silly me
    Last edited by Jerle; 03-19-2011 at 12:15 PM.


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  12. #12
    Rift Chaser Callipygous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerle View Post
    The theory thing was a bit of a joke, guess I missed my smiley. Too late to edit.

    In any case, I'm familiar with both the 'hardcore' and the 'casual', having played in and with both buckets of players. I'm not proposing that the 'fairness' of the competition is a reason people keep playing. I am, however, saying that the presence of high end guilds and the competition associated with it keeps people retained. I know plenty of people across the gaming spectrum that follow top end guilds in WoW and what they do; there's a reason Paragon videos earn hundreds of thousands of views. Everybody wants to be like Mike.

    But let's take a step back; set aside my claim that people care about hardcore guilds. I suppose it's my fault for bringing it up, since it's not terribly pertinent to the topic at hand.

    There's no real reason (at least from a player standpoint) not to centralise and unify Raid tuning/hotfixes/patches to tie to the instance locks. Not only does it ensure that the 'competition' is fair, but it also provides a consistent raiding experience from one evening to the next for everyone. No "Saturday night, repping Boss Bravo. Sunday night, surprise! Boss Bravo is harder and we need to rejigger our strategy."

    This is not a huge deal, at the end of the day. But it's something that came up a number of times in discussion with my guildmates, folks from other higher end guilds (FoH, Addiction, etc), as well as non-raiders. People aren't going to cancel, nobody's going to write a petition, but it's a seemingly simple change that would provide a quality of life improvement for many, many PVE-ers.

    Edit: And just to throw it out there, with regards to the "no real reason" comment... I'm obviously not privy to the details of Trion's content development model, and if the more reactive, agile tuning strategy is an intentional or necessary part of their content management strategy... Welp, silly me

    Good stuff,agreed
    If ignorance is bliss, you must be ******ic.

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    To reinforce a point, I think what Kat's getting at here is that as raiders were fine with hotfixing encounters to work in the intended way no matter what day of the week it is. What were trying to avoid are sweeping instance changes that redesign entire encounters. Were trying to say if you want to buff an entire instance you should probably wait until the next lockout reset to keep things on an even field for competitive players.

    The same should apply to class balance changes for PvP as well. I don't want this to be singled out to only PvE'rs. Small hotfixes are fine so long as they arent gamebreaking design changes. Although theres no arena/rated bg's for this game its still important to keep major changes located onto a lockout day to keep the field level between your more competitive playerbase in the foresight that when something similar may be implemented with a reward system that these changes will effect all players equally.

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    Zor
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    We are very cognizant of the issues raised in this thread. While it's not always feasible, (it's not just our changes going into server updates), we do attempt to have any balance changes reach the live server the same day as the lockouts expire. If the timings remain to be an issue, we'll find a solution.

    As for the major change to Greenscale last week, we just felt he was in too broken a state for us to wait 5 days to make the adjustment. Moving forward we'll be working hard to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
    -Berenger Fish-
    Dungeons & Raids Lead

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zor View Post
    We are very cognizant of the issues raised in this thread. While it's not always feasible, (it's not just our changes going into server updates), we do attempt to have any balance changes reach the live server the same day as the lockouts expire. If the timings remain to be an issue, we'll find a solution.

    As for the major change to Greenscale last week, we just felt he was in too broken a state for us to wait 5 days to make the adjustment. Moving forward we'll be working hard to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.
    I can completely appreciate this mentality and I absolutely commend you for taking the time to make this sentiment public. It's a very large step as far as directly addressing the concerns that I and a number of other folks have had, and I speak for my guild when I say "Thank you" for the prompt reply.

    With regards Greenscale, I can totally understand the team's decision on the issue, and I'm glad to hear that in the future you hope to have balance changes applied in a more consistent manner.
    Last edited by Jerle; 03-20-2011 at 12:01 AM.


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