Friday, August 26, 2011

How To Make Raids Puggable?

Thinking about the advent of the coming raid finder I was wondering if there where any chance of success if it is going to use the same format that the dungeon finder does.

The dungeon finder, as we all know, has problems, lots of them.  Some of the problems are of design and others are people problems.  There is no way to judge basic skill level and I can't see there ever being one so they use gear as a judge of a persons skill.  I hate that but I do understand that something needs to be used and this is an easily accessible number that can be used.

While most of the dungeons can get done with one sub par person in the group I do not think the current tier of raiding can.  If the average 5 man group has one sub par person in it then it would be reasonable to believe the average 10 man will have 2 and the average 25 man will have 5.

With that in mind the raids, if they are to use the current dungeon design, become unpuggable.

Mind you, we do not know what design they are going to use for it yet or how it will be implemented.  We can only go with what we know and all we know, as far as functionality, is the dungeon finder.

The raids as they are right now can not be done by pugs on many servers.  Even T11 raids will result in a wipefest in all T12 gear on many servers, two of mine included, trust me, I've been there.

How exactly do you make raids puggable?

It is actually simple to make raids puggable. 

1) Remove any and all one shot mechanics.
- Missed interrupt means a wipe.  Missed debuffing means a wipe. Anything like that can't work in a random pug.
2) Lower all response time damage.
- Pug people like to stand in warm places, like fire, make it do less damage so they have longer to live and hopefully move.  Might help teach them and will still kill them if they do not move for 10 seconds, instead of kill them if they do not move in 2 seconds.
3) No stack up or spread out mechanics.
- It is hard enough to get a pug with vent to group up.  How exactly do you expect random people to do that?

Now, by doing that you have removed nearly everything that people call "hard" about raids.  The hard part of raids is getting the people to do the right things at the right time as a team effort.

Random people and team players are on two completely different sides of the spectrum.  Hell, they are not even in the same universe.

If we remove all the team aspects from raiding then what does that leave us?  A tank and spank.

Sure, that would be the best way to do a random pug raid.  Patchwork as the basis for a random pug is absolutely perfect.  It is something that is idiot proof almost.  The only people ever taking any damage what so ever are the tanks so the healers job is single focused.  There are no adds, there are no random spells or damage spikes for the tanks to deal with.  There is no need for the DPS to ever move from where they set themselves so they can just pew pew and then compare their epeen when it is all over.

Okay, I think we went a little to far here.  While I love a patchwork fight once in a while I do not want every fight to be a go in and kill and repeat.  It would be almost as bad as the hell that the Zuls are.  God I hate them with such a passion I am often tempted to quit the game just until they add another freaking dungeon.  Doing tank and spanks would end up being the same feeling after a while.  Might be fun for the first week but it would be mind numbing after that.

How do we up the random difficultly while not actually upping the difficulty?

Remember, they are two different things.  Randoms can not add the things I mentioned taking out before because as we all know we will be grouped with random people and you can not trust any random person to have any skill what so ever.

Hell, my hunter is speced into silencing shot even if I could put that point elsewhere and it result in a DPS increase because I do not trust anyone to interrupt something that is important in a pug and I want to be able to do it if and when they do not.  Never ever trust a pug person to do their job. 

How do you add difficulty for idiots?

A gear check baby.

Yeap, make them all tank and spank gear checks.

1) Can't do a constant 18K DPS?
- You will never make the enrage timer.
2) Don't have enough active mitigation?
- A stacking contact buff the boss gets will destroy you.
3) Can't manage your mana correctly?
- You will never keep up with the heavy tank healing and the constant AoE that is hitting everyone.

Make all fights a five minute fight.  Make them tight and require people to do the best they can do and require them to have the gear needed to do it.

No more waltzing around in ungemmed, unenchanted, unreforged gear thinking it doesn't matter.  No more gear in your bags getting you by.  No more PvP gear getting you by (yes I know some is better in some cases).  No letting the DPS carry tanks and healers by killing everything so fast they can be below average.  No more tanks hoping the healer can keep them up long enough for the boss to die.  No more healers expecting everyone else to do their own healing or hoping the tank is so over geared that they do not need much healing and the DPS are so uber that they never even take one tick of avoidable damage.

It will be easier to pick out the people that fail in this system.

It would also be nice if after a wipe the system put up a list of people that are eligible for kicking. 

Tanks that did not even mitigate one shot for 5 consecutive shots twice during the fight?  Up for a kick vote, by the system.

Healers that burnt through their mana half way through the fight or did not keep up the minimum HPS to keep people up?  Up for a kick vote, by the system.

Damage dealers that did not do the minimum DPS requirement to meet the enrage timers based on time of the fight, not just active time, so no more pulling 40K at the start and then sitting there doing nothing so it looks like you did 40K to anyone not smart enough to view damage done?  Up for a kick vote, by the system.

See, the key here isn't even the fact we need to change the way fights are to make it work.  We need to add some sort of independent way to determine who deserves kicking.

And not on a completely different note...

Someone in my guild said yesterday to me, maybe we are thinking about this all wrong.  We are all guessing that it will be just like the dungeon finder.  Maybe it won't.

We can all sit back and wait and see and hope that it is not like the dungeon finder because there is one thing I can tell you for sure.  If they give the current raids in the dungeon finder format, it will fail.  Big time.

I am looking forward to doing an AQ 40 at level.  To doing sunwell, at level.  To doing all the old raids at level.  I am even considering, if it is good, experience capping a few characters at 60, 70 and 80 so I can continue to experience the game at the level it is supposed to be for that level content.

There is one beautiful thing about capping a character at those levels.  The gear grind has an actual end.  Once you have best in slot you are done.  There is something quite... satisfying... about that.

How do you think they can make raids more puggable?

Finder or not.

Because on my server T11 normal modes are still not puggable yet.

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