Saturday, February 22, 2014

Will Requiring a Proving Grounds Silver Help Groups?

Someone made a post over on the official forums for the US concerning a comment made during the foreign press tour where it was mentioned that you would need a crucible silver metal to get into LFD and LFR.  It seems crucible will be the WoD version of proving grounds.

The first, and only thing really, I disliked about this idea was with alts.  What if I hit max level, 100 as it will be, and just want to spam heroic dungeons with my guild mates to power gear up?  I have to complete silver first before I can do that?  Seems kind of unfair if you ask me.  If my guild wishes to carry my freshly dinged ass through a bunch of dungeons they should be allowed to.  That is what guilds are for, to help each other.

If crucible will be anything like proving grounds our leveling gear will not be adequate to get a silver.  Take this expansion for example where when you hit 90 you were somewhere in the range of 430-440 but the scaling for the proving grounds was designed around 463.  This would mean there is no way I would be able to get a silver on an alt.  Gear scales down, not up.  Maybe I can pull it off on a hunter being that is the only thing I am really decent at, but on an alt there is no way in hell I can get a silver at an item level up to 33 less than what it is designed for.  So no power running my alts through heroics with guild when I hit 100.  That makes the grumpy elf a quite sad elf indeed.

Apparently something was lost in the translation, as sometimes happens, and that will not be the case, at least not exactly.  My guild will be able to run me through heroics even if I do not meet the requirements.  Suddenly I like the way this is going.  But LFR will not have any such requirements.  Suddenly I do not like the way this is going any longer.  Watcher came around to try and help clear some things up.  I will quote what he stated here, so everyone understands it better and does not go forward thinking the wrong thing, as I did when I first read it, before I talk more about it.

To at least get everyone on the same page in terms of information, since a summary of a translated version of a translation of a few sentences in a single interview may not be the best foundation for a 24-page discussion, here's an overview of our current thinking:

  • We will have Normal and Heroic versions of our max-level dungeons. (Note that we did not have Normal level 90 dungeons in Mists.)
  • There will be no special requirement other than basic level/ilvl requirements on queuing for Normal dungeons or LFR.
  • Level-up quest gear will get you into Normal dungeons/scenarios, and Normal dungeon/scenario gear will get you into LFR.
  • Heroic dungeons will be more challenging than the Normal version (not brutally difficult, mind you -- just somewhat more demanding).
  • You will need a Silver Proving Grounds medal in a given role in order to queue for random matchmaking for a Heroic Warlords dungeon. If you form a premade group, you can zone in regardless and no such requirement applies.

In the past, challenging content and random matchmaking have often not gone so well together. Relying on item level does nothing to prevent a random group from getting, for example, a tank who may literally have never tanked before. Everyone has to learn somewhere, but we'd rather not have that learning come at other players' expense. One option would be to require a full premade group to do Heroic Dungeons, as we do with Heroic Scenarios, but that would present a very high barrier to entry (finding 4 other people with rigid role requirements is much harder than finding 2 other people with no role requirements). This solution represents a compromise in order to allow the content to see a broader reach via matchmaking, while minimizing frustration.

And yes, we realize that by formally using Proving Grounds as a qualification, it will be incumbent upon us to further refine their balance and mechanics. We'll be updating them for Warlords, and we're confident that we can make them a fair test of baseline ability within a given role. 

So it looks like there will be no requirement to queue up for the LFR, if I read this correctly.  That leaves me to ask, why?  Dead god why?  LFR is more of a problem than dungeons are.  If there ever should be a barrier for entry that is where it should be.  Even if LFR is designed to be tourist mode, like they said, a group of really horrible players will still find a way to wipe until they get 10 stacks of determination.  Anybody that says otherwise is fooling themselves, has selective memory and blocked out the bad runs, never ran the LFR to begin with, or just has the most incredible luck ever to have not run into a group like that and if that is the case let it be known I hate you because I have had no such luck.

Heroic dungeons however will have that barrier to allow people to queue up for them.  You will need to have at least a silver to get into a heroic dungeon using the LF* tool and we can only presume, hope really, that if heroic dungeons are going to have a barrier that they will drop gear better than that found in the LFR.  Or at least they should.  If heroic dungeons have a barrier and LFR does not, this is a no brainer, heroic dungeons must drop better gear.

If heroic dungeons do not drop gear better than the LFR, and heroic dungeons have a lock out system where LFRs does not, blizzard has just made a colossal mistake in my opinion.   It could even rank up there with the biggest mistakes ever and for a company that has made as many big mistakes as they have recently that is no easy task.

The one good thing I noticed was that premade groups will be able to zone in to heroic dungeons regardless of if they met the requirements or not.  So my freshly dinged alt can join up with my guild mates and spam heroic dungeons the second I hit 90.  That was a very nice thing to hear.  When I first read it I said to myself, self, I hope that we will be able to at least get in with a full premade.  Seems that this time blizzard did something I can say is pretty awesome.

Watcher made a couple of statements that show he understand things a hell of a lot more than most of the blues that post and I think he/she is quickly becoming my favorite blue.  This person does not seem like he/she is at a complete moron like we have known to come to expect form blues that post.

I would like to talk a little about a few winner comments he made. "challenging content and random matchmaking have often not gone so well together"  I could have told you that a long time ago.  Before cataclysm even came out I said it and many others did as well.  We all said these new heroics will go over as well as a fart in church. You can not add anything that is even remotely challenging even on a small level to random content.  Looks like blizzard is learning.  But if they would have listened to us to begin with they might not have lost two million subscribers at the beginning of cataclysm because of that huge mistake.

"Relying on item level does nothing to prevent a random group from getting, for example, a tank who may literally have never tanked before"  That could happen in heroics too if they get a silver as a damage dealer and then queue as a tank, but his comment did seem to say that you needed to have a silver in the role, so maybe that will not happen.  We will see, but it shows once again that watcher understands what people like myself are saying when we complain sometimes about people in dungeons that have no business being there. 

Just because you have the gear does not mean you know how to play the role.  I could have the item level to heal on my druid, I do actually, but I have not healed on my druid since wrath.  Sure, I might do okay but I should not ever be allowed to subject a group of strangers to that.  Me having the gear means nothing, without the skills I can end up being the reason we wipe over and over.  My gear and the fact I have it, means nothing.  Like I just said, I have a complete healing set on my druid but I have not healed since wrath. Gear means nothing without the skills to use it.

While watcher might just be another blue voice in the crowd, at least at this moment I really like the guy/girl.  The post was informative, put my worries of not being able to have my guild help me on an alt when I hit 100 out of my mind, and gave us a little more information than we had from a translation that was apparently slightly misinterpreted.

I do have some issue with it however, like I said, if heroic dungeons have a requirement to use the LF* system and the looking for raid does not, does this mean that heroics will drop better gear than the LFR?  It sure as hell better.

And what happens when the next tier comes out?  Will heroic dungeon gear be getting an upgrade or will we still need to meet a requirement for something that now offers old, out of date and effectively useless gear but not for the new LFR which will offer better gear, and probably be harder.  Why should something that offers the best current gear through using the LF* system need no requirement?  If LFR still does not require silver, heroic dungeons that will still require it better have their gear updated to once again be better than the current LFR gear.

They need to put the requirement on LFR as well as heroics in my opinion and they need to update heroic gear to always be on par with the current level of LFR gear if they are going to have a requirement that must be met to enter them.

So while this all seems like a good idea, it could very well become one of the things that blizzard did not think out fully again.

Bottom line, if heroic dungeons have a requirement to queue for and LFR does not, heroic dungeons MUST drop better gear.  Not just at the beginning of the expansion, but throughout the entire expansion.  End of story.

What do you think of all this?


  1. Well I don't mind the requirement. A silver medal sounds more than reasonable, it was a requirement I set myself before I could join flex on an alt. It's low enough to be obtainable even if you aren't ultra skilled, and high enough that you do need to have some kind of clue.

    I'm very hopeful that this means dungeons are back with a vengeance. I loathe LFR and won't run it, so I haven't played any alts this expansion really. I did attempt it a couple of times but with raiding (of any kind) being the only real route to gear, I gave up. I raid on my main, I don't have the time to do the same on my alts. I've missed dungeons a lot.

    I wonder what the Proving Grounds ilevel will be. I suspect it will be normal dungeon/scenario level. So say that's ilevel 100, it won't be but I need a number. So a full set of normal dungeon/scenario gear will mean you have ilevel 100. That's what the normalised Proving Grounds is set to, and that's what the entry requirement to LFR is.

    So LFR would drop say 110 or something. The question is I guess, are heroic dungeons alongside LFR, or are they higher up the gearing ladder? I hope they are alongside so that they drop 110 as well, that's all I want - options. I will choose the option to never ever, enter LFR.

    The entry requirement will be because of the percentages. It's like with 25 man raiding, there's much less personal responsibility than on 10 man. As if someone dies on 25, then they are out 1/25, on 10 man it's 1/10 which is obviously a lot more. So therefore heroic dungeons aren't necessarily harder than LFR. It's just the people in them actually have to do it right, as if they don't then the remaining people are less likely to be able to cover it, when it's not overgeared anyway.

    Besides I'd much rather they put in the requirement and then let people random queue, than make it so it isn't in LFG. I like to be able to login and do what I want, not login and hope like hell that someone else is actually online. My guild is mostly dead outside of raids, can't really blame anyway as we raid too damn much. So getting a group for anything isn't going to happen.

    They most definitely do need to either:
    a) Bring out new dungeons each tier, to keep pace with LFR.
    b) Introduce difficulty tiers. So first dungeons would be T17 and have an ilevel requirement of 100 and drop 110 gear. Next dungeons, identical dungeons but tuned harder to match the gear, would require I don't know 110 and drop 120, it would depend on what the raids dropped. This would mean the dungeons wouldn't become faceroll, and were still accessible to new alts/players to gear up with.
    c) They just update the loot table with higher level gear, means it will become a faceroll. Do not want.

    They do need to keep dungeons relevant and on pace with LFR. I hear what you are saying about them having a requirement, so they should drop better than LFR that doesn't. I don't think blizz will go for that, LFR is their baby that they think is the best thing ever, they tried to shove everyone in it because LFR was the answer to everything. It sucked, and I hope, I really hope, they are backing down from that. However, I very much doubt whether LFR will ever not have pride of place. If dungeons are equal to it then I will be more than happy.

    I'm hopeful with this announcement anyway. I did say and think, that if Warlords was like Mists, then I'd likely quit before the expansion after came out. Hell I've considered it a lot lately pre-warlords. Mists was just so alt-unfriendly as it was LFR all the time, and well you know how I feel about LFR.

    If dungeons come back, and LFR becomes a choice, then whatever hoops I have to jump through, I'll be happy.

    1. I just think the requirement is more needed for the LFR. Even with a group of people capable of silver you can still get a horrible group. So if you are going to set a bar in only one place, that bar should be in LFR in my opinion before it is in dungeons.

    2. @GE

      The only issue with PG silver is that it only addresses one part of the "troublemaking" subset of the player base, the noobs... it doesn't do a damned thing for the morons and slackers. I suspect that while 80% of the issues in 5-man heroics are due to noobs (if anything, I find it more likely that geared folks will try to blow shit up (in a good way) in heroics than in LFR), that's much less the issue in LFR... people standing in things, repeatedly, to me is more a case of people who don't give a shit. They're capable of getting PG silver so the barrier won't bug them, they just don't care if they die or wipe the group in LFR. I'm not sure how Blizz fixes that, either.

    3. I'll spend my entire day helping "the noob". I will sit with him, go over rotations with him, make his gems and enchants for him, even run some lower content with him. If all PG does it help "the noob" I am completely 100% supportive of it. "The noob" that is willing to learn but is the lesser player, I want to play with him because he is trying. I like anyone that actually tries.

      So what you said makes sense, it is usually "the noob" that makes dungeons an issue and this might help with that.

      The people you mentioned, the morons and slackers, we need a way to weed them out. The only way that is going to happen is with something I have been on about here for years. Active moderation. Blizzard needs to moderate their game. These people should be banned from using the LFR tool completely. Not banned for them game. Let them keep paying their monthly fee, but disallow them for using the LFR queue system. Do that, and that alone, and LFR would be great.

    4. so both of you, R and GE - whats your defination of "boobs", "slackers", and "morons"?

    5. oops, I mean "noobs", not "boobs". Freudian slip. sorry.

    6. Each is different but to me...

      Noob... someone that does not know how to play is is trying to get better.

      Slackers... someone that is a good player but in a random setting doesn't even try and makes things harder on everyone.

      Morons... people that either do not want to learn or people that just want to cause trouble.

      That is how I would describe the three.

      However, a boob would be something that while good meaning always screws up to no fault of their own, just by being, well, a boob.

    7. :D ok, what are these proving grounds? I notice something, at least I think I noticed something and not from my dream (however these days, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference) - a lot of critters and mobs are not elite status in mists anymore. Is it true or am I dreaming it? Valley of 4 winds, or that cave one rides the boat to the city on the other side.


    8. They changed those from being elite a long time ago because too many people where complaining about them when doing the tiller dailies.

      The proving grounds are a place where your gear is lowered to a 463 average and you are against a challenge that is set. It is for seeing how well you can play your class, more for you.

    9. how do I get to the proving grounds, then?

      and no, I still havent made it to the timeless land. and not beenback to the dino isle either. : (

      I sent you and email via your contact. let me know what server you are own and I will think very hard about transfering over, so i can take you up on your offer. But mind you, I am an hour ahead in real life but I do have a leet sporebat :D

    10. The panda that spins around in the city should have a quest that sends you there. It sends you to the temple of the white tiger and there is an NPC there you can talk to to enter it.

    11. found it! All this time it was under my nose, but then, I really don't go to that city much these days.

      Thanks for the hint on where it is, I will try it when I can. I sure hope it is solo-able, though.

    12. It is solo content, you could not bring help even if you wanted to.

  2. These types of things are usually experiments. So Blizz will start it with Heroic dungeons in Mists, which will hopefully be an alternative gearing option to LFR, and see how it goes. Depending on the results, in the next raid tier, they may require Bronze/Silver for LFR as well (we can only hope at least).

    p.s. Watcher is Ion Hazzikostas, Lead Encounter Designer. That's why he sounds like he knows what he's talking about compared to the typical blue posters. He's not on the CM team. You can also follow him on twitter @WatcherDev.

    1. Typo... meant to say "in Warlords"... not Mists... duh...

    2. That would explain why he knows what he is talking about. He handles it first hand.

      I just hope this gives us hope for an alternate way of gearing outside of LFR. Quite honestly if I never had to step into an LFR again in this game I would be a very happy camper.

  3. My take:

    They will drop same ilvl in heroic instances as in LFR. I get that sense from tweets. Anyway, if they drop lower ilvl in heroic instances than in LFR, the "have to be silver in PG" won't work, guaranteed, because virtually noone will care about heroic instances.

    They will nerf PG in that getting silver in new PG will be easier than in current ones. That's absolutely going to happen, and you can see the beginning rhetoric in the quote already. I don't mean to say they should just leave current PG alone, there is perhaps something to do there to balance different specs equally, but in the end it will be a nerf, guaranteed.

    All in all, I don't believe this will change much. I think it's a waste of time, frankly. But it doesn't take a lot of time to wire the requrement to have silver in PG to enter something, so why not.

    1. Yeah, one more prediction:

      They will either extend "have to be silver" to LFR or drop the thing entirely. The requirement to have new heroic instances with each raid tier is more than they want to handle, that's not going to happen.

    2. But will they update the drops when the next LFR comes out to keep it in line, or will they drop the silver requirement when that happens.

      If dungeons still have the silver requirement and LFR does not then dungeon gear needs to be upgraded to always be the highest item level outside of organized raiding.

      New heroics with gear equal to new LFRs would be really nice.

    3. They can't just up ilvl in same heroic instances without upping the difficulty, that'd make them faceroll and preferable to new LFR (because there's no downscaling of gear). So, when they add a new raid tier with new LFR that drops higher ilvl, their choice for heroic instances is: (a) add new heroic instances with new ilvl, (b) retune existing heroic instances and make them drop new ilvl, or (c) just drop the idea of heroic instances always being a valid alternative to LFR.

      I think they will do (c), because they will absolutely not be capable of doing (a) - that's just too much effort which they could spend on features like new raid tiers or even new expansions. And (b) looks too strange.

      Also, here's some stats for PG completion rates:

      From the second chart, only about 50% of everyone who actually tried completed silver. It's not good. There will be nerfs.

      The more I think about it, the more I see that this is a pointless exercise. If PGs are so easy everyone can do silver after one or two tries - why bother? The "medal" won't be a sign of anything, it might as well not exist. And if PGs are slightly more difficult, and, say, only 50% of those who try can do silver in one-two-three attempts, then you have a revolution on your hands. What will all these players who won't pass the silver test do? LFR? But we are talking about how having the silver test in LFD and not in LFR is bad, we are arguing it should be in LFR as well. So, what will all those people who fail the test do after the test exists both for LFD and LFR? Man up? No. Too late for that. They will whine and quit the game. And no, there's no queue at the doors waiting to take their place when they quit, because the game is, well, same old / same old, we've talked about that.

      Here's what I think they should do: they should make mythic raids / heroic instances reward titles and mounts and not gear. Then tests like "should have silver" will work, and be arbitrarily difficult. It should be like this: you want gear? fine, take it. Do a little grind, but take it. It's what you do with this gear after that, that's important.

    4. One last point:

      Do Proving Grounds teach anyone anything? LOL. No. If you can't faceroll them as is, and you want to do that - for the achievement or whatever - here's what you do: you go and read wowhead or icy-veins, find comments for your spec and look for gotchas that are *specific* to Proving Grounds - like "save BL for wave X". That's it. You learn how to pass the test, you don't learn how to play in heroic instances or in raids. Like, at all.

      It's pointless.

    5. Going online and learning the "tricks" to get Silver for that role shows that they are capable of going online and learning the "tricks" for the dungeon encounters and executing them. It shows that someone is willing to put in some effort to learn. That's a lot more effort than many players are willing to do and that's better than having no screening process at all.

    6. I understand what you mean. They would need to keep adding new dungeons if they wanted to keep them on par with LFR or keep increasing the difficulty.

      There is another option that they never looked at however. Release all LFR in 5 man versions.

      I agree with you, if they nerf proving grounds so anyone can get a silver, why even have it? Do they teach you anything, can't say for sure. I never tried on on a character I needed to learn on like my rogue. I just did it on my hunter who is my main and I have been playing for many years. Not to toot my own horn or anything but truth be told I do not think it is possible for scripted content to teach me anything at this point.

      It is one of the reasons I like PvP even if I do not do it. PvP can teach because it is not scripted, you need to react. That is when you learn. If you know your class, like I know my hunter, scripted content is only as challenging as long as it takes me to figure out what I need to do. Being I know all my abilities, that usually isn't long.

      You do have to remember they are adding away around needing a silver. If you hand make a group you do not need silver. You only need it if you are going to use the queue system.

      So for me this might mean I queue on my hunter, I go in guild grounds on my rogue. No one is locked out. They can both do it. One I have gold on, one I never stepped into it with.

      Like Jaeger said, yes it is easy if someone goes online to look it up. But the bad players, the ones this will keep out, would not dot hat. The good players would. So that is not really an argument there. The players that can not get silver are not the players that look things up online for help. Those people that look for help are already the better players to begin with. Or at least they are the ones trying to get better.

    7. @PvP

      They don't teach anything to anyone who already knows what they have to offer but they will to those who don't. I wouldn't get much out of an ESL class but that doesn't mean that they don't have a huge amount of value for other people.

      Even in your scenario, you'd hopefully end up with a player who has all the necessary buttons on their bar and actually had to learn when and how to push them. If they didn't go into the PG with that info, isn't that an INFINITELY better person for you to be grouped up with later than they were originally, and how they are in today's game?

      Plus, at least in the healing PG, I learned the hard way how to conserve mana... being knocked down to 463 gear and losing a TON of regen while spell costs stayed the same was a major eye opener. I'd have likely one-shot it without that, as it was I was improving steadily each attempt, getting further before oom, before I eventually got it on the 5th or 6th attempt. Even those of us who know how to push the buttons can learn something from specific challenges. If you went in and one-shot everything then congrats but that wasn't the case for me, even my easiest challenge, tank, took 3 or 4... dps was somewhere in between. Even something like knowing when to use tank CDs is valuable info, someone who doesn't use them will simply die until they start doing it. I've run heroics with blood DKs who didn't use Death Strike, as a particular example... I suspect PG silver would fix that in an awful hurry. That "man, I take a lot less damage when I use Death Strike" thing is why PG silver is a very, very good idea.

    8. You will lose everything you learned the first time you went out into the real game and did not need to live by those mana conservation issues. Trust me, as a healer that went OOM there and can two heal siege while not over gearing it and never dip below 80% mana. It teaches you to conserve when conserving does not matter most of the time, keeping people up does.

    9. Er. Speak for yourself... when I learn a skill it usually sticks. Might have to shake a bit of rust off but it's still there and it's present to some degree whenever I play.

      I've done almost no tanking worth mentioning since Wrath... except for gold PG. I was called into duty doing some tanking in a recent raid...

      Heroic Nazgrim, one of the more "tank better know what the f he's doing" fights I've seen in a while, dude hits like an angry truck. Took me a couple of pulls to get comfy but what I learned in the PG came back pretty quickly. Not the specifics, the amount of stagger I can take at current gear levels is a wee bit higher than it is in 463-scaled gear, but in general... cooldown usage, roughly when to clear stagger, etc If I hadn't done PG I wouldn't have even considered offering my services, even as a last resort. I'm not sure I could come up with a better example for PGs actually having some impact than my own.

    10. Nope, I speak for you as well in this case and you even said so in another reply here just an hour ago. When you went into a raid on your low geared priest you were spoiled and out of mana instantly.

      However, you learned how to play better and called upon that learning and fixed the issue over time. That is the difference. These people will not learn.

      They will keep doing the proving grounds until they luck into a silver. Yes, you can luck into it. Or they will do like some people in my guild did, let a friend or room mate or their kid do it for them. These people are not making an effort to learn like you did. They might make an effort to get past it but once they are past it they are back to who they are. Their same old bad selves.

      In your case, of a monk tank, the average player will just keep doing it until that one "lucky" moment that their finger happened to land on the brew at the right time to clear the stagger. They probably would not be able to repeat that performance, but because they did it once and got their silver they never will.

      You do better because you want to do better, you want to learn. You are part of the 1% my first. Do not fall into the same hole I did until someone opened my eyes to it. I always call myself the average player. Sorry, but there is nothing at all average about either of us. People keep telling me that, it is time for me to tell you that.

    11. Yeah, it happened and I adjusted quickly... I went oom during the first phase of Immerseus (FIRST PHASE!) but by the end of the fight I'd recovered to the point where I was top healer until the last seconds when someone else passed me. Just had to remember what I learned over the course of an hour or two of PG gold progression. Came back quickly. But yeah, of course my first instinct was to try doing it based on recent muscle memory and adjust from there. There's no benefit to a healer finishing a fight with full mana.

      Right, you're talking people who are determined to avoid accountability... they exist. What it *WILL* do is give some people who are currently noobing up random content a baseline...

      Alternative scenario. Let's say that target dummies actually tracked dps. In order to queue for LFR, today, as a dps, you'd have to hit 60K dps on a dummy on a 2 minute fight. Gear notwithstanding, you can get any buffs you want, if you hit 60K+, you can queue as dps on that toon. There might be players who have someone else do it for them, sure... but there will also be players, not running Recount, who don't have a CLUE that they're doing crappy dps... they're pushing buttons, stuff is dying. Awesome! Put that kind of control in place and they might see that instead of doing the 60K they should to be doing to be a productive groupmate, they're doing 15K... and are encouraged to improve via some combination of asking friends, guildies, checking external resources, etc. If that 15K player can get to 60K and then queues up, how does that NOT make things better for WoW as a whole?

      PG silver would offer similar value... it's unnecessary for many and would be avoided by a few but for those that it would help, it'll be a significant help and will make our groups better. I want our groups to be better and don't have a better idea than using PG as a baseline.

      I don't consider myself an average player, I consider myself an average raider... big difference. I expect to be top 3, often 1, in an LFR group. I normally expect to be competitive even when undergeared when running flex with a new group. I'm only using myself as an example that even with my baseline level, which is pretty good, I learned some skills that I've retained... anyone below me would learn more, not less.

      Just to be clear, my entire comment was in response to PvPs original:

      "Do Proving Grounds teach anyone anything? LOL. No. If you can't faceroll them as is, and you want to do that - for the achievement or whatever - here's what you do: you go and read wowhead or icy-veins, find comments for your spec and look for gotchas that are *specific* to Proving Grounds - like "save BL for wave X". That's it. You learn how to pass the test, you don't learn how to play in heroic instances or in raids. Like, at all.

      It's pointless."

      Someone going out and learning that in order to beat silver they have to interrupt... and then DO that... and do a certain amount of dps using a somewhat optimal rotation... and then DOING that... and having to use defensive cooldowns... and then DOING that... isn't cheating at all. It's learning. Some folks learn entirely by trial and error, others learn by reading/watching/asking... it's all learning, it's all valuable.

    12. It would not surprise me if half, or even as high as 75% of the people doing poorly DPS wise in LFR do not even realize they are doing that bad.

      I often see people that think they are doing great and ask for recount and someone says, the healers beat you, why do you want to see recount. They think they kicked ass.

      I do agree however. If getting a silver in PGs helps even one out of every one thousand players, it is worth doing. The only issue is, that means there will still be 999 horrible players it did not help that we have to deal with.

      Anyone to reads up on how to beat it is already better than the average player. I do not even care if they get silver. The fact they made the effort to try and learn how to make silver proves they are willing to learn. Test passed, no need to get silver now. At least that is how I would see it if there were a way to see who actually tried.

      I like to go into things blind myself and then if I have an issue I look it up. Like the first time I did challenge mode gold and missed it by less than 2% I was like "I had to do something wrong". I asked a friend and he said, the last guy puts a shield on himself. Oh, got it. Then I went and got gold. Simple.

      Anyone that makes an effort to learn, looking it up, asking someone for help, is a better than average player, even if they still would suck based on performance in some peoples minds.

  4. I think silver is actually a reasonable amount of difficulty as a requirement. I've done PG on multiple classes and specs and generally found that, provided I know the class reasonably well (know the basic priority list / cooldowns) I could get through silver without reading ahead or having prior knowledge of the fights. For gold and endless knowing which waves to save long cooldowns for was essential.

    All in all, I would be happy with the something approximating the current level of difficulty for silver being required. It requires someone to have basic knowledge of their abilities and cooldowns, and also have situational awareness.

    Regarding LFR, I think that not only will difficulty be lower, but the difficulty will be lower than it is now. I think Blizzard seriously wants LFR to become a "tourist" kind of raid, and more serious PVErs will have two difficulties of flex raiding, which will be completely cross realm and aided by the new LFG system, and also heroic dungeons.

    1. I have not issues with that, but blizzards definition of tourist mode is not exactly the same as mine.

      Just one example. Durumu. This is supposed to be super easy and for a raider it is. I have been trying to get the pet off that boss on multiple characters each week. Even weeks I do not do LFR at all I still do that one on at least three characters which means I do that boss a lot. Over all my characters maybe in the zone of 100+ times. If I were to say I have had 5 runs where at least half the raid did not die going through the maze I would probably be wrong because it would probably be less.

      Blizzard thinks the maze is "just fine", blizzard things the maze is tourist mode. Believe me, it is not tourist mode and if blizzards thinks things like that are fine LFR will continue to be horrible.

      So, with all that babble said, if silver is needed for dungeons and not for LFR, I believe dungeons should drop better gear than LFR.

    2. The pet comes off the second boss there. Noticed I made an error.

    3. Just buy the LFR pets. Say NO to LFR!

    4. I am a cheap bastard. :P

      I would love to say no to the LFR but I still have a buttload of characters that I might get back there to finish the legendary cloak with.

      At least one more has to do it. I've never finished it with a tank and I want to finish it with at least one.

      But running ToT W3 only (for the pet), which is what I do, makes for a long legendary process on my alts. lol

  5. Your post made me want to go get gold in PG. I had tried it once before, when it came out. I got through silver without thinking, and then wiped two or three times to gold before I had to leave for raid time. It seemed different this time? Has it changed recently? Maybe I just didn't remember the encounter very well from before. Or it could be that because I now have a challenge mode set, I have better gear, but I didn't feel like I had to think about gold this time. The only difference I can think of is I now have hhtd (for pvp, but I leave it on all the time), so I always target those guys first. And maybe that's all it takes. but there were definitely no dps checks, as long as I killed the healer then the glob caster guy (or whatever variation). Hopefully that means I've improved significantly since last time I've tried it. Anyhow, it was kind of fun. Actually took me a couple waves to realize I didn't need to manage aggro at all, which was a little funny when I noticed.

    Thanks for the inspiration to get them done. I also tried the tank PG, but only got through bronze. Silver gave me trouble keeping everything's aggro on my pet, and it's too late at night to put much effort into it.


    1. I have not done it recently, but I do not believe it changed.

      Might be easier because you have better gear now. I know it is scaled, but this tier has some pieces with extra gems slots and that is not scaled, thus it makes it easier because you have better gear. If that makes sense.

      I could not do the tank one either, but I only tried once. I might go back some day.

      Glad you finally got it done. It was not as hard as people make it out to be, but it did need some thinking. And in the end, even if you do not notice it, that little bit of thinking is what makes you a better player than most.

    2. That's sort of what I'm hoping. It felt like it was just easier. But it would be awesome if that actually meant I had gotten better.

    3. You would be amazed how much just a few hundred extra agility from gems slots can translate into. It does add up and it does help.

      I might go back and try endless one day, never have, but I feel there is no reason to outside of achievements and while I am an achievement hunter I am not quite as into it as I used to be.

  6. Challenge modes are going to reward LFR level gear (so some blue post said I think), sadly this most likely means heroics will not. However it has also been said that normals will gear you for LFR and heroics for normal raids so I don't know what to think.

    1. I want to skip LFR. Completely. There should never be any reason any one that intends to raid normal (flex) or higher should ever need to step into the LFR. But that is just me being greedy and wanting to protect my own sanity.

  7. I don't want the silver to be account-wide, I want it to be toon- and role-specific. Getting silver takes about half an hour, plus time spent wiping. For anyone who can't get silver in half an hour, I want them wiping until they figure it out BEFORE they get into my random. The current iLvl system doesn't generally gauge appropriate gear, it gauges best gear. A feral druid in i550 Agi gear who's never picked up a single piece with Int is capable of queuing as a healer. That same druid would have a damned tough time getting silver PG wearing all scaled-down Agi gear, though. It's a barrier, absolutely, but it's an entirely reasonable one that has to be done ONCE per toon. It's not like you're (or anyone is) going to have 10 toons all leveled to 100 simultaneously who you want to run at the same time. Even if you level one a week that's a very low, and welcome, barrier for entry.

    I don't see why any of this means that heroic dungeons have to offer better gear than LFR. I've advocated that they should drop the SAME calibre of gear in any tier (assuming new 5-mans for each new tier of LFR). There's no guarantees that even folks with silver will actually participate in runs but it will help, at least a bit, with heroic 5-man runs overall. It's a good change that has absolutely nothing to do with the gear being offered. If you want to argue that the harder Cataclysm-like heroic 5-mans are what make them deserving of better gear then that's a different discussion but putting heroic 5-mans behind a silver gate doesn't have anything to do with gear, it has to do with improving the experience of people who get into a group with them.

    LFR is a separate discussion, I'd like to see a PG requirement as well but I'm thinking that because they're specifically not requiring it, they'll do a much better job of making the difficulty equivalent to the talent running it. They could get it wrong, sure, but I am convinced they're aware of this need.

    1. It will be toon and role specific, at least that is the way I read it. I could be wrong but it seemed that way to me.

      Wiping for gold is okay, it can be a little bit of a challenge but if someone is wiping for a half an hour on silver they got a hell of a lot of learning to do and if that is the case I still would not want them in my group because they got "lucky" enough to get past it once.

      However, with that said, doing well in the proving grounds does not mean you will do good and doing bad does not mean you are bad. Those are generalizations that might be true most of the time. I can heal siege normal no problem, even two heal it, in my less than spectacular gear, but I never got silver because I never even tried. Did bronze, was out of mana when I was done with it, said screw it and did not even attempt silver because I figured if I ran out of mana on bronze on my first attempt I would not be able to do silver. So does that mean that bronze should be what is needed for normal mode (soon to be heroic) raiding? I do not think so. The PGs are an okay idea, but can't really use them to judge people effectively.

      They need to greatly decrease the LFR difficulty. Keep things like the maze out of it, keep things like split into 4 groups out of it, or split into two sizes out of it. It needs to be tank and spank. Anything more and LFR will always be the crap it is now.

    2. No, it's no guarantee but what is? I'm sure we've all raided with folks who are generally very competent but then you come to one encounter that they just can't do... Heigan is just one in a decent list of examples. At least if I know someone has PG silver I can make the assumption that they aren't just a total scrub, that maybe they're worth helping through it.

      (yeah, I know how that sounds but I don't feel like trying to soften it down, just pretend that sounded nicer)

      Point is, if you'd wanted/needed to, you'd have figured out how to conserve mana if you'd done silver &/or gold... it's a requirement to get those and you WOULD have learned it. You don't think that's a useful skill? Chances are, if you don't have that skill now, you're carrying more spirit than you need which is hurting your throughput. Is that a terminal issue? Of course not, but especially at lower gear levels, it IS an issue.

      For example, I healed SoO on my priest who'd just dinged 90... crappy weapon, missing gems/enchs all over the place. I've done a bit of healing on my geared priest so I know the basics but it's been a long time since I had to heal on a toon with that lower level of gear. I dusted off the ol' PG skillset I'd developed a while back and did just fine, I was running on fumes occasionally (more recent habits can be hard to break) but when I had to ease up on mana, I knew HOW to ease up without significantly impacting my healing because I'd had to do it before. That's also why I think it should be toon- (or at least class-)specific, knowing how to properly scale down my mana usage on a priest is different from other healing classes. Very useful skill to have, though.

      Also, you didn't respond to that part but it sounds like heroics might drop better gear than LFR based on a recent comment:

      "Normal dungeon loot will give you enough gear for Raid Finder, while Heroic dungeon loot will help you gear up for Normal raids. This will be important at the start of the expansion, as Heroic dungeons will be open before Raid Finder, making it the best way to gear up for Normal raids."

      It doesn't necessarily mean that heroic gear > LFR gear but it's an obvious way to interpret that. I'd still like it to be on par, let the market choose whether to run easy, messy LFR or harder, accountable heroics for similar gear.

    3. Heigan was one of those for me. I could never do the dance on my hunter, first time in there with my priest, perfection. Who knows, sometimes a mechanic messes someone up. That one got me, but only on my hunter.

      I am sure if I wanted to I could have managed it with enough time and effort. I never even tried. However, as a priest with no interrupts and no stuns gold is amazingly difficult which was the deciding factor of me not even trying for silver. If I do silver it is to get gold, if getting gold is nearly impossible except for the very best priests because of not having any interrupts or stuns and only 6% of all golds in healing have been from priests. If it needs a skill level that high, I surely do not have it. But like you said, if I had really wanted it, I would have figured out a way to do it. That is just how I play. I would have stayed there until I got gold.

      I read that as it would drop equal gear. However, being LFR will have tier sets that might still be the choice of many and we would still feel it is mandatory (yes, that word).

    4. Dunno, I managed gold on my priest without much difficulty and with zero prep... don't even think I flasked on that toon, probably wouldn't have been carrying them. I absolutely never interrupted or CCed in any way, that would have cost me mana that I needed for other purposes. :)

      I'm comfy with the "if I can do it, you can do it" statement, pretty sure I'm not so fantastic, especially as a healer (I haven't healed a progression fight since LK on my shammy who I'd barely healed on at that point, they just needed Hero in that group... and Chain Heal was awesome...). Actual healers who actually heal raids have a skillset that I barely recognize whether I'm healing or not, I'm a solid step behind them in execution.

      Yeah, yeah... mandatory. ;) I'm not even chasing tier bonuses on my main raiding toons... they're small kicks, the days of 5% or 10% boosts from tier bonuses are long gone. A few offer nice quality of life perks but you don't really miss what you don't have.

    5. I never even tried silver after the mana drain bronze was. There is no way I would go into a raid with that sort of mana regen, why would I even attempt it for challenge modes. That is why I never tried. And if you got gold, even more so on your first try as a priest, you are one of an extremely small selection of players that did. Gold as a priest is the hardest gold in the game to get. Congrats.

      The hunter tier bonus has to be worth 70-80K to me. Maybe even more. Sorry, but that is nothing to sneeze at, at least for hunters. Tier bonuses are not all great, but many are well worth going out of your way for. Do not underestimate them because they just seem blah.

    6. Oh god no... wasn't on my first try, on my first try I was oom in SECONDS. Took 7 or 8 tries to get healing gold, about the same as it took for dps and a few more than tank.

      Yeah, even the worst tier bonus gives more benefit than most other significant upgrade but I just don't get excited about 1% boosts. I'm not saying they aren't worth having, I'm saying that for me they aren't worth chasing. Just a personal philosophy thing.

    7. I am one of those freaks that would upgrade for even 1%, at least on my main. Over all it might not mean like much and on an alt I would not go out of my way for it but I love my hunter and I want to be the best I can be with him and being 1% better is more than ample motivation for me.

  8. So, this is a bit late, but I still wanted to post here. They need to get rid of scaling down in PG / CM. It should just be you get a custom set, and everyone has the exact same set. I was feeling kind of good about myself for getting gold so quickly the other night, but after talking to some people, it was mostly that it was just infinitely easier because I had a CM specific gear set. The lei shen pants. This tier's chest and shoulders. Add in relic of xuen and i basically just over geared it all.

    They should put everyone in their class's BiS 463 blues. Everyone has the same gear. I suppose that's more of an issue for dps, healers and tanks have more legitimate choices. But what's the point of scaling down to the same ilvl, if we can still out-gear something?



    1. That was an idea I had a long time ago when I was talking about PvP gear and getting rid of it. To just standardize everyone gear in instanced PvP so everyone is the same and it is about skill and not about gear. But never thought of it like that, you are so right, that would be a fantastic idea. And it works even better being hit and expertise are being removed.

      I too have specific challenge mode gear. A different helm with a different gem of course and different trinkets.

      You can still out gear it, a little, not a lot. Not enough to really make up for a lack of skill. Even with 3 extra gem slots and 480 extra agility a bad hunter will still be a bad hunter.

    2. god, that sounds like something I have been spoutting off about!

    3. It is a good idea. Which basically means it will never happen.

    4. It's not a bad idea, I guess, but what's the real upside? Even if you can currently buff or gimp yourself 10% from baseline based on good (all the sockets) or bad (legendary meta) decisions, that's a relatively minor variance even in the edgiest of cases. I'm sure some folks actually made "optimize my gear for PGs" a mini-game in itself, far as I'm concerned they're welcome to it, the current squish is equalizing enough.

      Also, generally, gear isn't the issue in PGs, especially gold, it's technique and execution. I didn't go from failing on gold to getting it by doing more dps, I did it by making fewer mistakes and performing more cleanly. Gear might help with a 3% wipe but one more pull usually will, too.

    5. I do have my PG set just for it with the best scaling trinkets and a helm with an non legendary gem in it. I am sure many people do.

      A 3% wipe of a 30% wipe are both execution things back on PGs. But a 3% fight just means it is within reach and one tiny thing can make the difference.

    6. For endless 30? Sure... cutting edge world first top 1% kind of stuff requires that kind of effort. Gold, though? Silver, especially? Nah. And if someone wants to go to that effort rather than just executing a bit better I'm fine with that, I'm good with any effort someone makes to improve, regardless of how it's done.

    7. I might not have needed to be perfect for gold. Actually I don't think I was because I did not have the right trinkets, but if I were to do it again, I would make sure I did. Going for gold or endless 30, doesn't make a difference to me. Might as well do as good as I can do either way. I am weird that way. ;)

    8. Yeah, I'm good with taking on the challenge however I am at the time and figuring it out as I go.

      (for single person content specifically, it's different for group content, I'm fine wiping myself if I'm pushing things but I generally don't want to do that to a group)

    9. I agree there. When you are in group content you should take the others in mind as well and try to be better prepared, for them, not just yourself.

      Sometimes if you are doing something alone you can even artificially make it harder on yourself just to meet a challenge.

  9. I had an idea that for some reason hadn't occurred to me before. Since there seems to be somewhat of a 50/50 split of opinion on enforcing something like PG silver, why not make it optional?

    If you have PG silver, a new checkbox appears... "only queue me with PG silver groupmates". Those who don't have it or don't care can queue as they do now, those who do have silver have the opportunity for a more filtered experience... probably one with a longer queue but I'd take a longer queue in exchange for a cleaner run. That does assume a cleaner run but I think it would be.

    Hypothetically, let's say that's an option. If you had PG silver would you take advantage or not? If you didn't have PG silver would you care or would that give you the push to get it?

    1. Optional never works.

      Let me explain, at the moment as they announced it, it is optional. You have the option to do it and use the queue system or not to do it and hand assemble groups.

      If you give people the option to do something they will always take the path of least resistance and that means not doing it.

      If you add some bonus, like you mentioned, then people would then feel it is mandatory if they want to get a better group and we all know how people react to the M word.

      While I do think your idea is great. I wish they would extend it to "only queue me with PG gold group mates" even. But as soon as you do that it does become mandatory.

  10. You think? By turning that on you'd be facing longer queues and a run with higher expectations going in... you think everyone would want that every time? I could see some taking advantage, sure, but I don't think it would be universal. But even if it was, I'm not sure segmenting is such a bad thing... lump the silver+ folks together and the ones who don't have it together and see what happens. I'd like to see more filtering in the game based on SOME measure of skill, even an imperfect one, than things like achievements and iLvl and such.

    1. *sigh* Response to above, obviously... you'd think by now I'd have figured this out.

    2. I think the requirements for silver are just not going to "work as intended". You will still get bad groups. I saw you read my new post, I explained what I meant there by you will still have bad groups with requiring a silver.

      In a way the game wants me at 565 to be put with a 435 tank and two 535 DPS and maybe a 500 healer. It is so I can make the run easy for them. The game is designed in a way to have a few do the heavy lifting while every one else sits around and watches.

      Notice what happened to the last 2 siege LFRs once most of the people that raid needed nothing from them? They offer no drops, so experienced players on alts do not do them. The gear you get from flex and the real raid are better, so if you are a raider there is no reason to do them. So basically they are having a much higher fail rate because they were designed with the idea that good players that over geared it would be there to help the LFR only people and it is not happening.

      The game will always work around the strong helping the weak. I can not argue it either because it is a smart move. As much as I would like to run with everyone else 565 so I can finish a dungeon in 2.3 seconds it is not good for the game. Those 435 people need me and quite honestly, I like helping the out. It is why I started doing dungeons again when I need some valor and not LFR. I like helping dungeon people, I would rather LFR people all die a horrible death. Okay, that was a little much, but you get the idea.

    3. Yeah, of course you will... anytime you don't fully control your environment you're at risk of bad experiences. But would the runs be 5% better on average? 10% better? 30% better? ANY % better and I want it to be an option. As Blizzard pointed out, I'd rather people learn to play at a basic level on their time, not mine. I don't think that's an unrealistic request at ALL.

      As for the random match-making, I think it does generally pair up a variety of gear and classes... you're unlikely to run into 4 overgeared or 4 undergeared players in the same run, you're more likely to find a mix. I think that's intentional and I don't think it's a bad thing. That's why I wouldn't support a gate based on something like gear but I'm okay with doing it based on something like skill or accomplishment. It's a more agnostic type of gate that doesn't care what your gear is besides being good enough.

    4. Yet, oddly enough, I would have no issue gearing in a spec I never used and stepping into an LFR to learn on someone else's time.

      Reason for that is I would know how to play my class even if I never played it before in my life because I would read up on it. I would not play it well of course, I will will play it right.

      There is nothing wrong with learning on someone else's time as long as you took some time to learn on your time before hand.

      I would feel a lot more comfortable if someone was forced to read a guide on how to use their class than having them do PG because they might actually remember something from reading the guide where in PG it was just kill anything.

      I agree about not separating by gear, even if it sounds nice, it would not be good for the game.