Thursday, December 15, 2011

Achievement Hard Mode

One of the things I liked the most about Ulduar was the fact that there were hard modes that you could activate and the hard modes offered achievements.  They did not need different levels of difficultly, they just included achievements to create the difficulty level.

While Ulduar did it the best it was not the first time it was done.  Wrath was full of achievement hard modes.

Being they seem intent on making heroic mode and some people are always looking for things to do adding achievement hard modes back into the game would be a good thing for everyone.

Guilds like mine that are normal mode guilds could try the achievement hard modes, which would be easier then heroic mode raids and hard mode guilds could try heroic achievement hard modes which would make heroic, insane.

It would effectively add two more degrees of difficulty and a great deal more "content" without actually adding more content.  Personally I still like going to do Ulduar because there are just so many achievements there and many of them can not be done in one run.

Let us add some "content" to Dragon Soul via achievements for the people that seem to always say it is too easy or they have nothing left to do.  Each achievement will have a normal version and a heroic version, unlike the current raid achievements that do not differentiate.

Morchok
[Don't Crush Me Bro - Normal]
- Defeat Morchok on normal difficulty after at least half the members of the raid have had the Crush Armor debuff.
[Don't Crush Me Bro - Heroic]
- Defeat Morchok on heroic difficulty where all members of the raid have ???.

Comment:  Needing 5 or 13 people to get it on normal will be a nice little challenge but with some team work I can see it being done easily by somewhat skilled players.  The heroic version I am not so sure what could be done to be similar being there is no crush armor.

Warlord Zon'ozz
[One at a Time - Normal]
- Defeat Warlord Zon'ozz without allowing the void of unmaking to ever bounce more then once in normal mode.
[One at a Time - Heroic]
- Defeat Warlord Zon'ozz without allowing the void of unmaking to ever bounce more then once in heroic mode.
[Pour it on - Normal]
- Defeat Warlord Zon'ozz without him ever being hit by the void of unmaking in normal mode.
[Pour it on - Heroic]
- Defeat Warlord Zon'ozz without him ever being hit by the void of unmaking in heroic mode.

Comments: One at a time would be a real healer test and pour it on would be a real DPS test.  Would pour it on even be possible?  Not sure, but it would be pretty impressive to see that done.  I can see both being much easier in 25 man.  Can it even be beat without the void hitting it at all?  I don't think so.

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping
[Burn Baby Burn - Normal]
- Defeat Yor'sahj the Unsleeping in normal mode without killing any globule.
[Burn Baby Burn - Heroic]
- Defeat Yor'sahj the Unsleeping in heroic mode without killing any globule.
[None of That for You - Normal]
-Defeat Yor'sahj the Unsleeping in normal mode while completing all the following tasks.
-Do not let any Glowing Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Cobalt Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Crimson Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Dark Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Acidic Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Shadowed Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
 [None of That for You - Heroic]
-Defeat Yor'sahj the Unsleeping in heroic mode while completing all the following tasks.
-Do not let any Glowing Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Cobalt Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Crimson Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Dark Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Acidic Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.
-Do not let any Shadowed Globules hit Yor'sahj the Unsleeping.

Comment: While the normal version of burn baby burn might seem like heroic it would be easier as the damage is not heroic level but normal guilds could get an idea of what the basic heroic fight will be like without actually doing heroic.  The heroic version of burn baby burn might very well be impossible due to the healing and DPS output that would be required, but that is what the hard core players desire, a true challenge.  None of that for you brings us back to the multiple visit achievements that makes raids replayable for those that have it mastered already.  I love achievements like this personally.

Hagara the Stormbinder

Comments:  Couldn't really think of anything for this one.  Perhaps a time based one.

Ultraxion
[We Love You Alexstrasza - Normal]
- Defeat Ultraxion in normal mode only using the crystal from Alextrasza.
[We Love You Alexstrasza - Heroic]
- Defeat Ultraxion in heroic mode only using the crystal from Alextrasza.
[We Love You Ysera - Normal]
- Defeat Ultraxion in normal mode only using the crystal from Ysera.
[We Love You Ysera - Heroic]
- Defeat Ultraxion in heroic mode only using the crystal from Ysera.
[We Love You Kalecgos- Normal]
- Defeat Ultraxion in normal mode only using the crystal from Kalecgos.
[We Love You Kalecgos- Heroic]
- Defeat Ultraxion in heroic mode only using the crystal from Kalecgos.
[We Don't Need No Stinking Buffs - Normal]
- Defeat Ultraxion in normal mode without the help of Alextrasza, Ysera or Kalecgos.
[We Don't Need No Stinking Buffs - Heroic]
- Defeat Ultraxion in heroic mode without the help of Alextrasza, Ysera or Kalecgos.

Comments:  I can see doing this without certain buffs.  I can't see this without any.  I can only imagine what it would be like in heroic with no buffs.  I would hate to be on that healing team if we did not have the greatest DPS ever to down that baby fast.

Warmaster Blackhorn
[Bring the Noise- Normal]
- Defeat Warmaster Blackhorn in normal mode without anyone ever being silenced or hit by shockwave.
[Bring the Noise - Heroic]
- Defeat Warmaster Blackhorn in heroic mode without anyone ever being silenced or hit by shockwave.

Comments:  Lets face it, if you do the fight perfectly no one should ever be silenced or hit by shockwave anyway but that's all I can think of for this one. 

Spine of Deathwing

Comments:  Okay, I got nothing for this one.  Perhaps some timing achievement for doing it as fast as possible?

Madness of Deathwing
[Do You Have a Few Minutes? - Normal]
- Defeat the madness of deathwing in normal mode without anyone using any ability that has a cooldown longer than 3 minutes.
[Do You Have a Few Minutes? - Heroic]
- Defeat the madness of deathwing in heroic mode without anyone using any ability that has a cooldown longer than 3 minutes.
[Just One Minute Please. - Normal]
- Defeat the madness of deathwing in normal mode without anyone using any ability that has a cooldown longer than 1 minutes.
[Just One Minute Please. - Heroic]
- Defeat the madness of deathwing in heroic mode without anyone using any ability that has a cooldown longer than 1 minutes.
[But We Don't Have a Minute... - Normal]
- Defeat the madness of deathwing in normal mode without anyone using any ability that has a cooldown longer than 30 seconds.
[But We Don't Have a Minute... Heroic]
- Defeat the madness of deathwing in heroic mode without anyone using any ability that has a cooldown longer than 30 seconds.

Comments:  I would love to see if this is possible.  The three minute one maybe, not so sure about the others.  Maybe when people outgear it completely but I can bet that even people that are world first for the heroic when the time comes would have trouble in normal without using their big cooldowns.

Raid wide achievements.
[You're So Last Tier - Normal]- Defeat all the bosses in Dragon Soul in normal mode without anyone having an average item level equip over 378 at any time during the encounters.
You're So Last Tier - Heroic]
- Defeat all the bosses in Dragon Soul in heroic mode without anyone having an average item level equip over 378 at any time during the encounters.
[The Fire Heals Me - Normal]
- Defeat all the bosses in Dragon Soul in normal mode in one lockout without any raid member dying at any time.  Awards the title: Flamewalker
[The Fire Heals Me - Heroic]
- Defeat all the bosses in Dragon Soul in heroic mode in one lockout without any raid member dying at any time.  Awards the title: Aspect Slayer

I am sure there are some other achievements that could be made up that would be fun or challenging.  Maybe it is just because I collect achievements I like the idea of having various different type of things to aim for.  Achievement hunting can be a fun part of the game and extends the life of a raid.  While the fact might be true I will never see a heroic kill while it is still current content that doesn't mean that having more options to do things in the mode that I do play in, normal, is a bad thing.

Achievements can really extend of the life of a raid and it is part of the reason that raiding Ulduar is still fun even now.  There are so many achievements to get and even if you do everything perfect it will still take multiple visits to get them all.  That is great design.  Not sure why every raid is not designed that way.  I would love to see all raids use the achievement hard mode design.

8 comments:

  1. There is no crush armor on Morchok Heroic.

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  2. Blah, need to rethink that one. lol

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  3. I agree that these are fun, but you have to realise that they do add a lot of design difficulty to fights, especially because ultimately you end up having to design the entire raid to accomodate achievement HMs - as you have realised from not being able to find rational HMs for about half the fights in DS.

    I'm go into a bit of detail to LOTRO to show how the devs there are running into this design-difficulty problem.

    In its past 4 raids, LOTRO has set the expectation that there is an in-fight hard mode like this. The hard mode is linked to both achievements (deeds) and loot. In the Mirkwood 3-boss raid, all 3 bosses had unique hard mode mechanics, which were fairly well done and changed the fights in interesting ways. In the Enedwaith 6-boss raid, all of the bosses had a HM on top of their normal mode. Of this, only 2 of them added in any significant way to the difficulty of the fight, an additional 2 were fairly easy execution checks (don't hit X type of add if you have Y type of buff, or don't mess your platform-swapping up even once) and 2 were basically "if you win the fight, you get the hard mode). In the Isengard dragon lair raid, it was trivial to complete the hard mode on top of a regular clear - provided you had the list of hidden "fellowship maneuvers" figured out, which took a genuine amount of trial and error by the initial groups, but once publicly available this was fairly trivial. And in the latest 5-boss raid they've kind of given up. All of the hard modes (which still link to loot and achievements) are just "complete the fight without anyone dying", so in essence they're execution checks.

    So in theory this kind of design is good, but I can see why devs are reluctant to create that expectation, because it does add some serious design complexity and getting it right is hard - you basically have to design entire fights around the HM mechanic.

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