Wednesday, August 8, 2012

If I Designed Raids

This is a what if article... what if I designed raids.

1) Single Raid System

No LFR or heroic.  Just one raid.  Not even called normal.  No need to call it anything but its name being it is the only one of its type.

2) Two Lock Outs

The return of the 10 and 25 man versions but with one advance that was added recently.  The ability to switch groups but within the group size limits.  You can bounce from 10 to 10 or 25 to 25.

3) 12 Bosses, Minimum.

No more mini raids.  No 4 boss raids, no 6 boss raids and no 8 boss raids.  12 or more.  Raids are not dungeons and should no be completed in less than 2 hours until you are in a world first type guild that has had it on farm for months.  And even then, it should be rare anyone can do it that fast.

4) Meaningful Trash

No massive amounts of trash like before you release shannox.  No two simple mobs like before ODS.  No useless trash that is not lootable or skinable like the dragons before ultraxion.  Three to eight trash packs between bosses.  Three to eight mobs in each pack.  Also, there would be no tricky stuff like the two packs of four guys before atramedes.  Trash is trash and should act like it.  Trash should be easy enough that if you wipe on it you should consider calling the raid.  I've had runs at BWD with no wipes, except on those freaking dwarves.

5) Trash Drops

No more trash dropping BoEs.  Trash would now drop instance specific tokens.  When five are collected they can be traded in for an item.  The item is BoP but the tokens can be sold.

6) Boss Drops

Speaking of tokens, the bosses drop them as well.  One per person in the raid, each boss.  While they still have their standard loot table the tokens can be used to offset bad luck.  50 tokens buys one item that could be dropped in the raid.  So best case is you still need to kill 50 of those raid bosses to get that one item you have no luck with.  It would most definitely not be a quick way to gear up but it would be nice to get that one thing that never drops for you in 4 weeks of working for it instead of 24 weeks of having horrible luck.  These tokens can not be sold or traded.

7) Elective Modes

Call it the Ulduar design.  All boss fights will be easy, first to last.  Doing things during the fight will increase difficulty.  The LFR would make all activated elective modes incapable of being activated in order to keep griefing to a minimum.  This would mean there would still be a random version and it also means there would be a non random version that is just as easy that people could pug which would revitalize the pug community.

8) 5, or More, Levels of Challenge

The elective modes would create many different layers of challenge.  A fight with 8 watchers where all or none can be activated for many different experiences and achievements for each and every combination would create massively different scales of difficulty and plenty of content for people that want to try and do them all.

9) Many Achievements

As mentioned in part 8, there would be many achievements for various elective uses but there would also be many other achievements.  A return to the no death runs.  A return of limited members runs.  A return of timed runs that require each fight to be done in specific ways.  Achievements for all types of different things.  People love achievements, even non achievement hunters like seeing it pop up.  So make sure to have lots for people to try to get.

10) No Nerfs Ever

With this many levels of difficulty built into the raid naturally and the starting level being of a looking for raid level of difficulty there would never be a need to nerf anything.  Ever.  If you can not do a fight with 8 electives activated, do it with 7 until you get better or get into a better group.  Simple as that.  No need to nerf it, just do what you are capable of doing.  Simple as that.

Those are some of the ideas I would try to do, if I designed raids.

It would effectively be easier to design as it is only one raid, so no tuning it for three different ways.  It is tuned once for one thing with all its added components and it is ready to go.  And having it set up with being able to run both would give people more options, run 25s in easy mode with pugs and friends and 10s with harder modes with the guild or vice versa.

This, being one raid, would also mean no more would we have three levels of gear for one single raid.  All gear would be one level of gear.  This would help combat the sickening stat increase we have with every single raid that comes out now.

It would also make the looking for raid versions effectively even easier and if you have seen some of the people in those, it sure needs to be even easier.  Every fight would start tank and spank and the elective modes would add mechanics and difficulty as the person wants them added. 

It would revitalize the pug community by basically making a looking for raid level of difficulty puggable and capable of being done on 10 man as well.  It would also have harder hard modes than even heroic offers now for those that want a challenge as well, so it would swing both ways all in one nice package, both easier and harder.

It would also relieve the repeating the same thing over and over issue.  Do it in LFR, then normal, then heroic.  Boring.  And the community has spoken and they say it is boring doing the same content three times.  With this one package mode, it is the same content one time, but we can change how we do it to spice it up.  It is our choice to mix up the fight with elective modes, not them trying to sell us three versions of the same fight and telling us we have three different raids when we don't.  Even if it is the same thing in the end, the illusion of choice on our part makes it more desirable.

So that is it, if I designed raids, these are some of the things I would do.  How about you?


  1. Hmm well coming from an achievement nut the more achievements the better. The toggle system might make it clearer as to what you're attempting but that is also more boring. If people do their homework then they won't activate things unintentionally. If they don't do their homework then quite frankly it's their own fault. Raiding requires a certain level of commitment and responsibility (or it should) whatever level you play at. I don't know if blizz would see it that way with their all inclusive policy though.

    I wouldn't want a return to different 10/25 man achievements. You know the same achievements but done on 10/25 version. I'm trying to get Ulduar achievements, there's so many of them as it is. Perhaps if you could do 10 and 25 man a week rather than the shared lockout it wouldn't bug me so much. I suppose you could argue that it extends the life of content as you can only do one a week, rather than both. However, it's frustrating. I accept that you're locked out of a raid for a week when you've done it, but to be locked out of a different raid as well I don't think is fair. For those achievements they are like two separate raids even though they are the same raid with different numbers.

    I don't know I like a lot of what you said. Think it's unlikely but that doesn't make what you said any less good. Those dwarfs in BWD are pretty evil haha.

    1. Evil is not the word for them. I think I wiped more on them that on any boss in there. Well, that is an exaggeration, but it sure seems that way sometimes.

      I liked having two separate lock outs. When we were running 25s as a guild we would pug 10s on weekends and when we were running 10s we would pug 25s on the weekend to help recruitment and test new people out.

      Having two different lock outs was a huge thing for many guilds, not just mine. The weekend 25 man pugs were notorious for recruitment. It was a meat market every weekend. Made it hard to keep raiders sometimes, but it was an amazing recruitment tool.

    2. Do you know why they combined them? I know they said that the mixmash of bis gear from 10 and 25 was bad, as it forced people to run both to get full bis. However, if they make the gear the same why not just keep two separate lockouts?

      I like the flexible lock system, aside from the fact that it doesn't work on old raids, or on heroic modes. In fact I'd like it if they expanded and fixed it. If someone's done 2/8hc with a group and then their raid gets cancelled, they should be able to join in on 3/8 and continue as one. That's how normal lockouts work but heroic lockouts conflict and you can't group.

      Anyway, I do think it's a shame that they combined the lockouts. The more I think about this post the more I like it.

    3. As far as I know they combined them because they did not want people to feel like they needed to run it on both.

      I say, let people feel the way they want to feel. I never felt I needed to run both, most people never felt they needed to run both. The hard cores felt they needed to because of the BiS thing you mentioned. Well, guess what, they will run both because they are hard core and that is how they roll. So let them.

      I agree. The heroic needs to be flexible and so do old raids. They half-assed that whole thing if you ask me. Either fix it all or don't do anything. They mangled the system which just leads to people being confused.

  2. add a server wide /lfr channel and you have me happy. Ulduar hardmodes were fun because they were DIFFERENT (DO NOT PUSH :P)

    Rauxis, chosen of CAT

    1. The sad part is, for as great as that was being different and all, if they did it all the time it would lose that fun factor some, in time.

      I do like the "Do not push this button" method over the toggle to heroic however. As minimal as it is, it makes it feel more involved that way.

  3. Awwww but I liked the dwarfs :/
    I remember looking at the death sentence guy and thinking he's the most dangerous one, we should kill him first. 3 death sentences at once, that was epic! And then the time we pulled the other 4 too... Fond memories, these two.

    1. We killed him first too because we wanted to get it out of the way. It was before we knew how it worked. Oddly enough, we downed them but it was like a 12 minute boss fight. Damn it took forever.

      I guess there are a few good and funny memories about them as well but they sure were a nightmare sometimes.