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Thread: scalable raids, the why, and how

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    Default scalable raids, the why, and how

    I know there have been posts about this before, and they are closed so I could not post on them anymore or else I would have. However I felt is time to really take an in-depth look at why Trion and Rift need to start looking at scalable raids. The reasons why scalable raids should be done; and how it can be done without hurting the MMO community.


    First I am going to start out by saying it has been said time and time again that MMOs are Massively Multiplayer Games that you must work as group to achieve a certain level. I agree with this and to do anything else would do nothing other than make it a massively single player game. The Problem is that people still confuse Massively with the size of groups, not the size of the player population who play the game actively on a day to day bases. The average age of MMO players are in their mid-30s now, have families, have careers and can no longer play a strict rule set MMO. This is way over 50 of my MMO friends have left the industry and more are leaving. Many of them love to raid, many of them can raid a casual schedule, these are people who travel for work, or have to take their kids to their sporting events and so on. Having 20 man or larger raids no longer works for the average MMO player because they cannot be on for all the raids so what does a guild do that is 20 to 40 members large but can only get 15 to 18 people on for a raid? The pug or they do not raid. Often times these players will get on however will be 30 minutes to an hour late because of real life.


    It’s become a battle of the average MMO player vs players who sit in large guilds were you see 30+ members on each night. Members in these guilds tell the average MMO player hey go recruit, well guess what most guilds consistently recruit and still will lack spots. I remember this as a Raid leader back in WoW when I lead my 40 man MC raids. We could have 80 people online and only need 5 more people. We could take the under geared people or people and pull them through however what happened when 4 of your 5 experienced and geared tanks are all out for 2 or 3 weeks. You don’t have progression and players leave the guild.


    The truth is its time for scalable raids. We already have Scalable rifts, and Terra is now making scalable raids because they are seeing this problem with their population. Let’s be honest here gone are the days of 40 or 72 man raids. They were not hard to do, they were hard to Manage, and they required very large guilds and often too much guild drama comes with these larger guilds. Yes in any guild you can have guild drama however when you have a smaller tighter nit group and the same type of players you have a smaller chance of having drama. When you are a family guild where 75% of your player base is husband wife teams that have kids and responsibilities outside of the game; these type of players tend to work very well together and have better group cohesion. The problem is trying to find the exact players you need. Throw in a few teenagers who think living in their parents’ basement is what the world is really like and if these Adults don’t play endless hours like them these adults are fail players. Guess what big problems.


    So the solution is scalable raids and it will not take much work on the developer’s part because they do not need complex formulas. First all raids can have a Max of 20 players and a minimum of 10, and use the following group formula, 10 man group needs 2 tanks, 2 healers, 2 support, 4 dps, a 20 man group is 4 tanks, 4 healers, 4 support, 8 DPS. Yes you say what 4 tanks for a 20 man how will that work? You only have mechanics for 2 tanks. Well if you have 1 add for a 10 man where it’s the add and the boss and the tanks need to switch is a simple mechanic to scale, for a 15 man team you add 1 more tank so 1 more add so now 3 tanks need to switch. For a 20 man team 1 more add now 4 tanks need to switch. It’s simple, do not over complicate the fight. Only at 15 and 20 man groups do you add more DPS output from the boss’s attacks as well as add a tanking mechanic. If you have a group of 12 let’s say you only add a percentage to the boss’s health. Also remove all Enrage timers or make 15 Minute Enrage timers, this way if the 2 people in the 12 man group that were added were a healer and support or tank not pure DPS you do not make the fight undoable. If you have a strict Enrage timer and a tank cannot pull 6K dps for 6 minutes to make up for the health bump it becomes an unwinnable fight. By making the Enrage timer so long even at 2K DPS for a tank the 6K dps can be made up over the course of the fight.


    People can complain all they want how complex these fights are and how hard they are to tune just for even a strict group. Well guess what, that is not true. What really makes these fights so complex is developers fell putting 3 or 4 phases in each with 4+ mechanics then add in an enrage timer make these fights fun because they are so call hard. Nope sorry that is just trying to make a fight look to be more than it is. Ragnaros in WoW was a very fun fight, it was not a complex fight however it was enjoyable. The whole fight had a handful of mechanics, the problem was coordination and players focus as well as knowing their roles.


    Whether we like it or not the MMO population is evolving we can either choose to evolve and come up with creative non harmful ways of dealing with this evolution or we can come up with devastating genera changing solutions I feel the choice is simple. Gone are the days of large raids, most games with raiding in them now focus on the smaller 8, 10, 16 man groups because they are easier to get players into doing. If we scaled the raids for 10 15 and 20 man properly, Developers would not have to work on a 10 man raid for 4 months then a 20 man raid for 4 months and so on and so on. Raid development cycles would be cut in half because simple formulas for the raid sizes would be kept to. Players who want to be in 10 man raids can do what would be the same 20 man content and if that 10 man raiding guild had 13 people on all 13 people could go. Loot can scale too with simple formulas.


    The other option is get more people in raids like LFR with how WoW did it. Guess what it made the community over there even crappier. Another reason why I left WoW. Again we can either evolve into a better more advanced MMO or go the simple route which is more devastating. Heck even the larger guild with 36 people on 1 night could run 2 raids, 1 20 and 1 16. No one left out. It’s a win win for everyone.

    Edit
    http://jeffhurtblog.com/2011/02/21/w...e-work-events/
    Here is a look at the average MMO player Age
    Last edited by Finden; 12-28-2012 at 07:25 AM.
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    Here is the info on Tera and going with scalable raids.

    http://tera-forums.enmasse.com/forum...ontent-Update1


    Now I am not one for do what another game does. However in this case it is a good idea because how the MMO crowed is changing. This will also keep away from the I want it now crowed because if I as a Guild Leader have 3 or 4 people that will be 30 minutes late to a raid because of their kids baseball game I do not have to call the raid because I dont have 20 people, I can start with 12 or 13 and just add these people when they get it. The raid and the boss will scale up. The flexibility it gives me is much greater than the current raid model.
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    Rift Chaser Akerling's Avatar
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    Not trying to be an elitist jerk but. This is to casual and hard to keep a balance of difficulty.

    This wont help the rift community one bit other the make the game less appealing.

    The Main problem with this is how the scaling would work.
    Also whats the incentive to bring 20ppl when u can do with 10?
    Why not just make all raids 10man.

    Where is the fun in doing content in different difficulty?
    This is just my opinion.
    Last edited by Akerling; 12-28-2012 at 09:51 AM.
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    RIFT Guide Writer RoughRaptorsOld's Avatar
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    Raid scaling would be very very bad for pretty much the exact reasons Qarl stated. Might as well solo it and get free relics!

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    Champion of Telara Leif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finden View Post
    People can complain all they want how complex these fights are and how hard they are to tune just for even a strict group. Well guess what, that is not true. What really makes these fights so complex is developers fell putting 3 or 4 phases in each with 4+ mechanics then add in an enrage timer make these fights fun because they are so call hard. Nope sorry that is just trying to make a fight look to be more than it is. Ragnaros in WoW was a very fun fight, it was not a complex fight however it was enjoyable. The whole fight had a handful of mechanics, the problem was coordination and players focus as well as knowing their roles.
    The original Ragnaros is a joke of a fight. The largest aspect of that fight's difficulty came from WoW's classes, add ons and the games raiding scene being in their infancy.

    Encounters are designed to be challenging to a particular degree, and that difficulty relies almost entirely on mechanics. Some encounters work with having only a few mechanics to be challenging, some have a multitude, and some fall in between. If you don't want fights that are challenging, and it sounds like you don't, go raid the pre-SL content, or find another game, because a lot of us find difficulty and fun to be closely intertwined, and there's no indication Storm Legion is going to turn raiding on its head.

    It also should be noted, that almost every other instance of scaling in this game is terribly unbalanced and swings towards "mind numbingly easy" very quickly as you approach higher player counts.
    Last edited by Leif; 12-28-2012 at 10:25 AM.
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    Scaling raids is a fine idea but it needs to be seperated from the current tier system for the reason that Raptor and Qarlsberg touched on.

    Guild Wars 2 is doing something like this with their fractal dungeons. They put in a augment to gear that you get from doing the fractals which allows you to progress further because of a special damageand resist type.

    However 20 man raids and to a lesser extent 10 man raids need to be seperate in terms of how progression is handled.

    I liked the idea of what Trion attempted to do with Dormant Core but they handled it so very badly that the idea was prompty scrapped and never seen again. Bad rewards, and half the people who play the game still don't even know that open world raid area even exists.

    Dormant Core because of its layout was uniquely suited to this. You couldn't really skip ahead so it wasn't possible to "camp" the world boss like you saw in World of Warcraft with the Dragons.

    Morban actually has a few areas that are perfect for this sort of thing. So Trion could add areas like this. and implement the scaling you see with other public group encounters.

    The biggest issue is how to handle rewards, and I don't really have an easy answer. I do know that the way they did it in Dormant Core will ensure failure.
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    dormant core was never utilized as much for one reason, and it wasnt the one you mentioned, it had NO proper rewards for the time invested.

    Had it given raid marks or decent gear or something nice people wouldve gone down there a LOT more.


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    Rift Chaser megathalios's Avatar
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    Why donīt make every single raid and dungeon scalable?.

    I mean, i wanna test my self where are the mobs and the mechanics i need to know how to defeat the bosses. I can win XP, PAXP and maybe some blue items (no achievements or epics/relics items). Whatīs the problem with that?. Hardcore raiders can still defeat Crucia (20 man std raid) and get the achievement and all the epic loot. If i defeat Crucia alone or in raid with less than 20 people i can get only blue items (no epic or achievement). Please Trion (Rift) make all the dungeons and raids like chronicles. You can get blue items and train yourself for the real stuff (10/20 man raids). Itīs just my opinion.

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    Last edited by megathalios; 12-28-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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    Plane Touched starg's Avatar
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    So you forget about the encounters designed for :
    2 sheeper
    1 archon
    1 barde
    3 tank
    3 aoe
    4 st
    etc...

    You want to have encounters simplified to the ground so that we can scale them ?

    I would rather want to have the old level 50 raid & dungeons to have a level 60 version.

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    I have had a similar idea, but to fight the long term decay of the value content. (Thus tons of design work made pointless).

    My idea is that raids could be entered with say 20 people. However, the fewer people you bring the better the gear (although very slightly). Boss HP and Incoming damage stay the same. Thus the fewer people you bring the greater the difficulty and better the reward (slightly better).

    Then when a new tier is added, if properly balanced there could still be some value in running old raids with the fewest people possible (keeping content relevant for those with the time, while reducing the amount of actual people required). It also speeds up gearing new people by carrying them through previous tiers with the fewest people.

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    Awesome, someone dug up the corpse to continue beating on it.

    No thanks. Scalability = reduced complexity, no matter how long and simplistic your post is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alyvian View Post
    dormant core was never utilized as much for one reason, and it wasnt the one you mentioned, it had NO proper rewards for the time invested.

    Had it given raid marks or decent gear or something nice people wouldve gone down there a LOT more.
    Bad rewards, and half the people who play the game still don't even know that open world raid area even exists.


    Nope that was definitely one of the reasons. It was several things not just any one thing. But it was mishandled by Trion is the bottom line.

    No thanks. Scalability = reduced complexity, no matter how long and simplistic your post is.
    Not really. Only to the extent of how Rift has handled scaling up to this point. But that doesn't mean it can't be done another way. Its certainly not something that could be done easily however.
    Last edited by Khelendross; 12-30-2012 at 01:17 PM. Reason: quote]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matsu View Post
    Awesome, someone dug up the corpse to continue beating on it.

    No thanks. Scalability = reduced complexity, no matter how long and simplistic your post is.
    Mastsu keep beating your dumb about reducing complexity and think it will get you anywhere. It will not, the MMO world is changed you need to deal with it. No longer are the Average MMO players able to continue to play with strict raid requirements such as 10 and 20 man raids. So its either Trion and other MMO companies try to keep MMO players that want to raid or they dont make money. You can cry all you want about going from 3 Phases each with 6 different mechanics down to 3 phases with 2 or 3 machines so the boss can be scaled as making things too easy. The fact still stands Trion is a business and wants to make money, the average MMO player is leaving MMOs most of them raiders as well because the time required to raid. Again this is coming from a 40 man raid/Guild leader from WoW. Less than half dozen of my friends that I use to raid with in Vanilla and BC are left because the current state of raiding in all MMOs, I and I use to have well over 100 friends that I raided with. All have quit MMOs in the last year.

    Scaling the raids is the only option that will not harm the community and will give the raiding community the flexibility they need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoughRaptors View Post
    Raid scaling would be very very bad for pretty much the exact reasons Qarl stated. Might as well solo it and get free relics!
    Raptor did you even read my post? At no point did I ever say scale the raid to the point where it can be done with under 10 people. No. You scale for a minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 20. Its the same as Trion scaling Rifts.
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