35 yards out noted that tier 5 content seems to have slipped by the wayside in the current WoW climate, heroic instances and Karazhan still hold an interest for those in the casual side, newly levelled 70s and simply for badges as they offer very good return on investment. The tier 4 content is similar, Gruul takes at most an hour for a guild really hitting it beyond its level, Magtheridon can be cleared similarly, both are essentially badges, shards and gold even if the drops are no longer useful. Again this looks at T4 as essentially a stepping stone and a gearing step for raiders, even once the instances are no longer useful gear wise the badge return, gold and potential for shards makes them commonly run instances even in T6 guilds, heck they are even fun to pug, get a few good healers / tanks and 18 pugging members can easily clear it while only partially geared for it.

Tier 6 content is still new to a lot of people, the dropping of attunements allowed people to step inside this hidden world and give it a go, again the loot mechanics of the first bosses, having been largely a reward for Kael'thas Sunstrider and Lady Vashj kills present easy epics to T5 guilds rather than stress and wipes. The intances themselves are also in many ways more interesting, Tempest Keep doesn't feel like an epic instance, it feels like the Starship Enterprise, you board it, move up 2 corridors and are in either the bar or the bridge, Coilfang offered the opportunity for a massive multi-leveled dungeon, instead it feels like a fairly small instance with very little explanation as to its purpose, or perhaps its a bad joke, "A Naga, a Giant, A Fish, An elemental and a Blood Elf walk into a resevoir..." what were they guarding, and what is the point of the instance. Tier 6 has this, Hyjal you fight waves of trash interlaced with bosses (though to be honest we shouldn't have left the alliance camp, we could hold them there all day), its a withdrawing fight with a purpose, perhaps less epic than it should have been but still interesting. Black Temple you sneak in through the sewers, (skipping a boss if you want to) and into the temple itself, confronting those protecting the path to Lord Illidan, ok some of the fights make no sense, who put the crazy orc in the basement?, but it feels like it has a purpose, culminating in a fight on the roof of the temple to kill the betrayer.

So really from a progression point of view in my eyes at least Tier 5 was always a stepping stone in many ways, Karazhan was slightly strange, but interesting, you saw Medivh and his house, Gruul and Magtheridon made a certain amount of sense, then this middle tier which feels a lot more like random instances, why was the void reaver in tempest keep, why are they so small when they are meant to be epic, an artifical block on progression like Kael'thas and Vashj are not good design concepts as they are exactly that, artificial. With a better path through these instances, a better design to them and indeed a better return I think this tier might still be used more. lets face it, why grind Tier 5 instances with only 10 bosses when Tier 6 has 14, and Tier 4 13, the gear you need is likely replaceable in T6, or is highly targettable due to the multi-pathed nature of tier 5 content, with no locks on vashj you can solo target any boss in the instance with minimal trash pulls.

So thats another question, was the multi-pathed nature of the Tier 5 content a failure, a benefit or a non-issue, in my last post I asked for this idea, more paths, more random content and indeed a way to add repalyability to the game's instances, tier 5 offered fixed pulls however you could pick and choose the order of them in away you can't in tier 4 and 6, yet it still feels wrong, no matter what you do the instances seem small, and horribly random, not random like MgT where the mobs change, but random as in why is there a fel reaver in the middle of this space ship, and how did it get through the door. So in this case, multi-path and letting you pick your targets seems to fail as a design due to the massive imposition that is Kael'thas and Vashj, better would be to target a wing of Tempest Keep, fighting your way through the trash to the Astromancy chamber, clearing the Astromancers before eventually confronting Solarion, perhaps even locking the other wing when you kill the first boss in that wing until the last is cleared, let your choices make a path, not merely a kill order.

Finally we have the issue of loot, its very important really, to most raiders loot is something we want, we have DKP systems, Suicide Kings or loot councils to decide who gets it, some argue that it should benefit raids, others argue for it benefiting the individual, others don't care as long as they gets some eventually. The question is what did T5 offer us, and from a tanks's perspective I say not a lot, my T5 gear is all block gear for Hyjal, which can be achieved in other ways using epics and blues, there is a nice ring and a neck, both of which get replaced later in T6 so really not a lot loot wise to keep us here. I think there are a few best in slot drops in the Tier 5 instances, but not in the way in which the dragonspine trophy from Gruul draws T5-6 rogues back to the instance. The answer really to making tier's valuable is then to make them valuable no matter what progress level you are at, T4 provides badges, T5 could provide crafting materials and T6 the patterns to use them.

The attunements to the instances slowed progression, and forces you to see the game correctly, dropping these lets you skip things, however doing so should not really be a benefit, adding loot bosses to the start of instances encourages farming them, instead hiding them behind Kael'thas or Vashj would have been more interesting, Tempest Keep with 7 bosses, the 3 primary ones to disable the shield leading to Kael'thas, Kael'thas himself on the "bridge", then heading down into the depths of the keep to sabotage the engines, fighting against Blood Elf and perhaps Legion engineers (void reaver suddenly makes more sense if there is a larger presence there). Putting the loot bosses this way forces you to complete the content to get the nice rewards, rather than simply waiting for the attunement to drop. Blizzard have seen this now, you don't need attunements in WoTLK, instead its difficulty based.

This still lacks a major draw back to the instances, firstly removing the multi-path slightly so you need to clear at least a few bosses to hit the legendary characters, then offering good loot from them, why would Kael'thas not have access to a Legendary caster weapon of imbaness in the same way Illidan has his glaives, the supreme engineer in the basement is actually carrying (or possibly) so really nice trinkets that were part of the interstellar engines... Ok so loot basically, but why not make crafter items drop in here from the trash or bosses, something hard to get yet valuable, maybe something like:

Power Core Sliver
Power Core - BOP
Unstable Power Core - BOE

Then items to use it, same as the apexis items:
Unstable Amulet of Power
- +20 spell damage
- +20 int
- +15 stam
- use, consumes a power core sliver, granting +250 spell damage for 20s, and +50spell damage to all party members within 30 yards.

Suddenly farming these instances is good, you need a stock of those slivers, cores and unstable cores to power your items which otherwise are lackluster, even something as simple a vortexes drew people to T5 until the badge purchases let you skip this stage. There needs to be something unique in each tier to keep people interested when the badge progression level passes over it, and this is what T5 lacked, that spark to really keep you interested, that draw back to it, and possibly the puggable nature of it, T4 had 10 mans, and easy 25mans once you passed them, tier 5 is still hard to pug, and thats an entry barrier it cannot afford to have if guilds no longer run it in a constructed way.


Loronar said...

An interesting approach to the issue. I like your presentation of ideas. Loot aside, if what you say is true about multi-path instances, why would Blizzard introduce it again in WotLK instead of using the standard BRD-style progression instance?

Larísa said...

Oh, I'm so glad you finally decided to have a blog of your own and not just blog through comments, Nin!

I havent't been any further than a couple of bosses in TK and SSC, so it's kind of hard to discuss the construction of the raid instances and encounters in the initiated and yet distanced way as you do. I just feel stronger than ever that I REALLY wish I'll be able to see at least BT before the expansion...

Your point about how on earth they got VR through the corridor made me laugh! Why haven't I thought about it before?

Chris said...

Its no so much that multi-path instances are bad, winged instances for example are essentially linear sub-dungeons with a linked section containing further bosses, after Curator goes down you can kill Illhoof, Shade of Aran, Netherspite, Prince, but he acts as a block on the progression, Karazhan is 2 free-form instances with the Opera / Curator as a block between them, Opera is not really a gateway to the Curator, but rather a gateway to Nightbane (who drops tank gear that can be hard to replace until T6 due to the limited availability of shields). I wouldn't argue for completely free-form instances like SSC and TK, they don't feel linked, or even particularly fun, its a corridor (no matter how long and twisty) with a boss at the end of it. Karazhan by comparison had 2 blobs of bosses and a small linear link section to stop progression until your gear was sufficiently good enough.

That kind of block is fine, its a skill / gear block, if you can't down the Curator every boss after him is going to be a nightmare for one reason or another, Nightbane is available however he is often harder than Prince so doesn't need a gateway, and opening him up early (but difficult) allows you to gear tanks for later encounters (the 3 main tank items for warriors at least drop 2 on nightbane, and 1 from chess). Karazhan was a success, it was free-from but structured and people felt it was related, every boss made some kind of sense, Attuman the stables, Moroes the banquet hall, the Curator in the gallery, the huge fight between the dragon that became nightbane and Medivh, it had a plot, it felt linked. SSC, I am sure there is probably a story, but it doesn't feel linked, random elements are fine and acceptable, but there is no real progression through it, pre-2.4 you could kill any of the 5 bosses, and vashj after all 5. Now its 6 bosses in a Magtheridon style situation, pick a boss and kill it.

Linearity and free-form combined at least in my mind works better because it is both, there is the option to clear the bosses in the linked areas (as makes sense, what kind of large structure has only 1 corridor?), but there are also the gateways between areas, it might just be a really nice corridor, but it works a lot better if there is some kind of gateway boss leading to the next stage. These gateway bosses drive the story aspect of the game as well as allowing a more realistic way to implement loot pinata bosses, without them the instance does tend to feel more random.

if I was to rearrange TK I would have a long entry corridor with trash (its a short instance so more trash is acceptable), leading off to a corrupted site with a huge gaping hole / portal with Void Reaver, abit like Arcatraz, the blood elves fight to stop the demon incursion. The other path leads to the control center and above the Grand Astromancer's room (so nothing changes, its still a big corridor, just you get to look up and see her in a more interesting construct than "huge room #3". Once Solarion is downed you can open the controls to Al'ar, or Void reaver's dying moment smashes open a portal, either is a gateway to Kael'thas but you need to fight past Al'ar to get to him as his loyal pet and guardian. The instance is the same, 4 bosses, random reaver, but it makes more sense, Kael is guarded by his pet, and to get past his impregnable defenses you need to defeat the astromancer and manipulate the ship, or defeat the void reaver and smash through to him.

Its really just adding some structure to the tier 5 instances that is present in the other ones, something to drive the story and a reason to kill bosses (my current guild skips Hydross completely because he isn't worth it for the chance of wiping) to progress.

Larísa said...

There is one disadvantage about the non-linear distances: small gnomes with no sense of direction at all constantly will get lost. I STILL can't find my way in upper Kara, and believe me, I've really done a lot of badge farming in there. It's really embarrassing but I'm just the same in RL.

Without warlocks in the party I'd probably miss half of the fights..

Chris said...

Patch 3.1 - Sign posts added to instances.


Unknown said...

dưỡng tóc hiện nay có nhiều phương pháp khác nhau. Hôm nay cùng chúng tôi tìm hiểudưỡng tóc bằng dầu dừa
Làm đẹp tại nhà đang là xu hướng của nhiều người. Cùng tìm hiểu cáchdưỡng tóc bằng dầu dừa hiệu quả tại nhà
Mái tóc xơ rối, chẻ ngọn và kém óng ả khiến bạn bị mất tự tin và cảm thấy lo lắng? Không cần phải sử dụng các biện pháp hấp dưỡng tốn kém tại spa bạn hoàn toàn có thể tự tạo cho mình một mặt nạ dưỡng tóc bằng dầu dừa hiệu quả tại nhà mà vô cùng đơn giản, cùngphương pháp dưỡng tóc từ dầu dừa
Sử dụng dầu dừa là một cách tự nhiên để làm cho mái tóc của bạn trở thành mềm mại, bềnh bồng và khỏe mạnh. Các loại kem giữ ẩm tóc, kem dưỡng tóc, kem ủ tóc đắt tiền… giờ đây bạn sẽ không cần chúng nữa! cùng tìm hiểu cách dưỡng tóc bằng dầu dừa
ua thực tế và nhiều chuyên gia đã chứng minh,dùng dầu dừa dưỡng tóc là liệu pháp chăm sóc tóc tốt mang lại hiểu quá rất cao,đặc biệt là đối với tóc khô và hư tổn nặng, Và việcchọn lựa phương pháp dưỡng tóc hiệu quả hiện nay
Mái tóc óng mượt niềm ao ước của nhiều người. Cùng tìm hiểu vècách dưỡng tóc hiệu quả bằng dầu dừa
Mái tóc sơ rối, chẻ ngọn và kém óng ả khiến bạn mất tự tin và lo lắng ? Không cần phải sử dụng các biện pháp hấp dưỡng tốn kém tại spa, bạn hoàn toàn có thể tự tạo cho mình một mặt nạ dưỡng tóc bằng dầu dừa hiệu quả tại nhà mà vô cùng đơn giản. cùng tìm hiểuphương pháp dưỡng tóc với dầu dừa
Dầu dừa có tác dụng hiệu quả trong việc chăm sóc và cải thiện vẻ đẹp cho mái tóc là điều mà mọi người đều biết tuy nhiên không phải tất cả đều biết cáchlàm đẹp tóc bằng dầu dừa
Dầu dừa là một trong những giải pháp tốt nhất cho chị nào đang khổ sở vì chứng rụng tóc hay phải xót xa nhìn từng nhúm tóc lần lượt “ra đi” mỗi ngày. Cùng tìm hiểu cáchdưỡng tóc tại nhà bằng dầu dừa

Unknown said...

Dầu dừa là dược phẩm rất tuyệt vời để làm đẹp da, hạn chế rạn da, nám da hay tắm trắng. Bạn hoàn toàn có thể tự làm dầu dừa tại nhà để có được dầu dừa nguyên chất cho nhu cầu của mình. Chúng tôi sẽ hướng dẫn 2 cách làm dầu dừa nguyên chất tại nhà
Tôi tình cờ xem một chương trình tọa đàm về nguy cơ mắc ung thư thời hiện đại trên VTV2 . Qua đó tôi được biết, những người có thói quen ăn mặn cũng có khả năng mắc bệnh ung thư vòm họng. Vậy xin hỏi bác sĩ, đối tượng nào nằm trong nhóm có nguy cơ cao bị ung thư vòm họng xin bác sĩ cung cấp thêm một sốbiểu hiện của ung thư vòm họng
Máu trong giấc mơ đại diện cho cuộc sống, tình yêu, niềm đam mê cũng như sự thất vọng. Nếu bạn thấy từ “máu” trong giấc mơ của bạn, thì nó có thể ám chỉ đến một số tình huống sắp tới trong cuộc sống của bạn mà không thể thay đổi.Vậynằm mơ thấy máu
Dầu dừa là phương pháp hiệu quả giúp bạn nhanh chóng có một mái tóc mềm mượt và óng ả. Dưới đây là một số hướng dẫn cáchcách hấp tóc bằng dầu dừa
Bạn vừa quan hệ với chồng và đang băn khoăn không biết mình đã thụ thai hay chưa? Và thử thai vào thời điểm này có chính xác hay không? Vậysau quan hệ bao lâu thì có thai
Kem dừa là món ăn vặt được nhiều người yêu thích với vị kem lạnh kết hợp với vị thơm, giòn và bùi bùi của dừa tạo nên một hương vị khó tả ở đầu lưỡi.cùng tìm hiểu cach lam kem dua

gha said...

الطيب افضل افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض رخيصةنقوم بخدمات التنظيف بالخرج لاننا نعرف بان جميع سكان الخرج ينادون شركة الطيب فنحن نقوم بتنظيف المنازل و البيوت و الفلل و جميع الاشياء التي تحتاج الي تنظيف كما اننا افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات شمال الرياض نقوم نهتم بخدمة تنظيف الخزانات بالرياض لاننا نعرف ان بدون تنظيف الخزانات سوف نصنع لانفسنا ضرر كبير فنحن شركة الطيب افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات شرق الرياض كما اننا نقدم لكم خدمة تنظيف الخزانات في شركة الرياض فنحن افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات غرب الرياض كما اننا نقدم لكم خدمة التنظيف ايضا بسيهات فنحن نري ان تلك البلدة تحتاج الي شركة متميزة مثل شركة الطيب فنحن افضل شركة تنظيف بسيهات نقوم بتنظيف المنازل و البيوت و الخزانات و المساح كما اننا نقوم بمكاحة الحشرات بسيهات فنحن افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بسيهاتاذا كنت تريد افضل شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض فنحن نقدم لكم كشف تسربات المياه كماكشف تسربات المياهبالدمام