Time to rethink "timed raid unlocking"?

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Findawenye, Apr 17, 2020.

  1. Findawenye Journeyman

    Is it time to start rethinking the timed raid unlocking used this expansion.

    As a compromise to those guilds that "enjoy the race" and those that just want to raid without a lot of barriers, I again propose the following for the next expansion.

    1) Go back to the old flagging/keyed raiding requirements to unlock the next tier of raids. Open ALL tiers of raids on day 1 launch with the flagging requirements.
    2) At the 30/60/90 day timeframes, REMOVE the flagging requirements for the T1/T2/T3 raids.

    I know there is a cost to develop the raids with a flagging requirement, however, that had been the way it was done for years and should still be fairly similar to prior expansions. Removing the flagging requirements, even if that part fails miserably, this would only inconvenience those guilds that were waiting and didn't want to deal with the flagging requirements. You would be able to "patch" that fix much easier than resetting a future date that a raid would unlock.

    DEVS, please rethink the way raids are available for us, and if you make this decision now, you can effectively plan for what is needed to be accomplished during the coding phase of next year's expansion.
  2. Monkman Augur

    A solid compromise I think many could get behind.
  3. Fanra Augur

    One thing I've not seen mentioned much is that having the raids unlock at 30/60/90 day intervals gave Darkpaw more time to create them. The fact is that they have a very small staff these days and getting the expansion out the door in December was not easy.

    By staggering the raids, it gave them the ability to release ToV in December with a total of nine raids in the expansion, rather than fewer raids in total.

    If they are able to release all raids on day one, then your idea sounds good.
  4. Tucoh Augur

    I'm not a fan of the timed raid unlocks, but they would've been much more acceptable if there were serious raids in ToV. The good thing about releasing the raids simultaneously is it provides a meta-game of seeing which raiding forces can execute easy raids the best, which is a fairly raiding game. Building up your character all year in TBL and spending months building it up in ToV only to streamroll the hardest content in a single night makes the year basically a waste of time. It turns EQ's raiding game into the equivalent of GW2's open world raids where everyone goes and wins and gets a participation prize. It's fun, but it's not a serious raiding game.

    Ideally a raiding force only defeats the final raid in an expansion after gearing up the force in previous raids, learning difficult mechanics and raising the player skill enough to execute a hard-learned strategy. There's a lot of ways that this can be accomplished, but tuning a raid so that it is gated based on stat-based difficulty (and requires gearing up) is non-trivial.

    One idea is to "auto-tune" raids with the following rules:
    1. Double the damage output of the melee/spells of the mobs.
    2. Reduce it by 5% every week.
    3. Once beaten, lock the damage modifier.
    4. After 1 months of being beaten, start reducing the damage modifier by 5% a week until it reaches a level that most guilds can beat the content.

    I wouldn't call this a great idea, because EQ's mechanics are such that in many cases a competent raiding force has the tools to cheese-kill mobs with stupid damage levels, but in my opinion it'd provide a much more satisfying raid scene than what we had in ToV or even TBL (which relied on detailed failure mechanisms that everyone had to get right, not stat-based difficulty).

    Another option is having hard modes in raids (and group missions) because EQ has a heavily bisected playerbase where many of the people are very good at the game and have strong social networks (or box groups...) and many players are looking for a very casual experience, but also want to see the latest content. Challenging part of this is tuning the hard-mode so it's statistically possible without cheesing the encounter.
  5. Jhenna_BB Augur

    This compromise is pretty well thought out. I still believe the devs shouldn't care a lick about this artificial, heck lets use assonance and alteration - superficial race. The Devs have more important fish to fry. Yesterday shows us this.
  6. Cragzop Augur


    This is completely wrong. At least for ToV.

    All raids were completed in Beta. Most/all top guilds had wins with all raids in Beta (I know MS did for the first time). All raids were pretty much the same in Beta as they were on launch. The time delay meant zero for raid development (ToFS raids have had 3 rounds of changes … but only AFTER the raids were released).

    The time delay in raids for ToV was completely an artificial barrier to prolong having "new" content for people to go through. And then they couldn't even do that right...

    Raiders would understand (may not be happy, but understand) if time/manpower constraints meant that x number of raids would be available at launch, and y number of raids would be available 3-6 months from now … as long as the communication was clear. Several past expansions have had staggered releases. But ToV raids were ready at launch. It's a shame that we had to wait around for artificial constraints before seeing them.
    Axxius, enclee and Maedhros like this.
  7. Fanra Augur

    I stand corrected.
  8. Maedhros Augur

    There was very little/close to nothing different between T3 raids we beat in beta in December, and the ones we beat live yesterday. I don't think much if any work was done to these T3 raids in the additional months so I think that theory is proven wrong in this case.
  9. Maedhros Augur

    I think the biggest failure with the timed release strategy is that they seem to coincide with monthly patches. This is a critical error.
    If you put a patch out on a Wednesday, and you have issues with it like we did this week, then it effects the raids when it could very easily have been avoided.
    We never have any major patches scheduled for the beginning of months, its nearly always in the middle. So release the raids at the beginning when the servers are stable.

    Second biggest failure is that they chose to release them at the middle of the day on weekdays.
    Throw a 9am PST release on a Saturday, and I realize that some people could not be there, but by FAR more people could make it than the same time on a Thursday. This would ideally allow Shadows of Doom and other AB guilds to get involved as well.

    Third failure is that these raids were fairly easy and not changed really much at all since beta.
    I get that beta testing is necessary, but we need a few wrinkles when the raids go live to keep us on our toes. ROI had zero wipes on their first attempts at all 9 raids I am hearing. We only failed the wedding once before we beat it, and we failed Velks once before we beat it. For context we failed Mearatas probably 40+ times before we beat it last year. If these TOV raids were adjusted up on T2 and then drastically up on T3 it would have largely relegated whatever day and time the raids were time-released to be a non-factor. It is likely they could have been tuned hard enough that nobody was beating them on the first try and the race would have had more meaning.

    Final note, there is nothing difficult whatsoever about attaining flags when you beat a raid and then collecting them over the course of 4-6 raid cycles to proceed to the next tier. Thats been the status quo for years and we have seen very little movement in the top 10 raid guilds over that time. It heavily favors the raid team that can get the same 54 raiders on every nite to facilitate getting the most people flagged quickly for the next tier. That is not difficult nor impressive.
    As we saw last nite, Reckless Ascension that strictly adheres to a raid schedule was able to come in second for the first time because they were not effected by the stupid normal flagging process. My guild that does raid lockouts, but does not have a minimum attendance requirement was able to come in third because we didnt have to try top tier raids with 30 people flagged like we usually do.

    If you want the race to mean something, flags are not in any way relevant to proving any degree of difficulty and they never were.
  10. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    Should remember that they method they chose to unlock raids this time didn't give them any flexibility on exactly when the raids would unlock and they have mentioned using a different method for future expansions so they would have more control over when they would unlock each raid.
  11. Mintalie Augur

    The time to rethink times raid unlocking was way back in November when they announced it and had a staggering amount of opposition. Regardless of the mechanics that caused not one but two monumental failures, it was always a bad idea and the pooch screwing that ensued yesterday only drove the point home.

    That being said, your idea has serious weight and I'm all for it. Those who wish to race can race and those who wish to have a guaranteed (hahahahahaha) timed release will get their timed release.

    I'm surprised by the fairly muted tone of the outrage over what went down yesterday, particularly after it made last month's debacle seem tame in comparison.
  12. Ravanta Suffer Augur

    The memes were better this time is all. People had lots of practice from the first failure, and their meme-skills were still fresh.
    Elyssanda likes this.
  13. enclee Augur

    I’m not a fan, it’s a pretty clear business strategy to maintain the Monthly Active User count for 4 months after an expansion release. It’s not like they took the time to even improve the raids, look at all the issues with T1 and T2.
    dreadlord likes this.
  14. Vicus Augur

    Which is sad because during the AMA's they stated they they regretted how easy the raids were in the new expansion. This was before the T3 raid was even released. Which means the dev team is so swamped and over matched that they can't even make the raid more difficulty between the time the expansion launched and now (5 full months).
    Tucoh and Maedhros like this.
  15. Maedhros Augur

    It took most guilds deeper into the year to beat Mearatas and you aren't beating Mearatas if your toon is not gold, unless you're Aldryn. If it was a ploy to keep toons paid for, then why aren't T3 raids harder, and why don't we have a full years worth of evolving item exp to do like we did in TBL?
    Myth busted.
    Elyssanda and Aldren like this.
  16. Ofearl Augur

    Id rather go back to how it was. If they want then at 30/60/90 they can add additional flags on wins.
  17. Tanols Augur

    Any complaints you have over the difficultly or lack of it in ToV you can lay at the feet of the players who 1. complained over TBL design 2. Quit over TBL design 3. Begged and pleaded for what we got in ToV.

    I'm not saying TBL was perfect or good design. I'm only saying that the devs are bending over backwards to put out content that pleases the vast majority of the player base. No matter what they do there are going to be those who complain about it. Sometimes those complaints are very legitimate. Sometimes not. If more people offered a critique with a suggested change; rather than just , moaning, or complaining, maybe less of us would find reason to do so.

    As far as the "race" goes I have said for years it is artificial and misleading. If guild A raids lock outs to the minute they are going to get the first win usually no matter what. What about guild B that didn't raid lockouts but spent less total time getting their first win. Who is the "better" guild the one that got there first or the one that took less total time to accomplish the same goal?
    Renotaki, enclee and Maedhros like this.
  18. enclee Augur

    I don’t exactly have answers to your question, but didn’t Mearatas kill off quite few guilds?
  19. Zunnoab Augur

    I support the way they've done it. I don't hold the execution of the plan against the idea of the plan itself.

    I loved it with RoF and CotF as well. I think they did it with Underfoot but that was so heavily tuned for a while I'm really not sure raid wise how many were ready for the final zone before it opened. The total number of active raid forces was something like quadruple what it is now though, going out of SoD, at least if I recall.

    Edit (the like was before the edit):
    As to the difficulty, I don't think players actually being able to do the content is a bad thing. The balance is very difficult if not impossible to hit a sweet spot, but TBL was catastrophically bad. It was easily the worst over-tuned expansion since Underfoot, and I can say with confidence because of how they tuned RoS and TBL, Luclin-Stromm went down 2-3 active raid forces in number as a direct consequence.

    The only real fix to that is a hard mode setting for events for those that want the extra challenge. Otherwise, tuning for the strongest means killing off all the weaker forces. My guild pre-merge was at our strongest since House of Thule (not sure why I put TBM at first). We couldn't make a dent in TBL. I estimate if people kept showing up in force we may have beaten Stratos and Fire. Smoke and Empyr though? Pretty much impossible without an extremely strong force. Awful tuning.
    Maedhros likes this.
  20. Maedhros Augur

    Yes. Several died and several are on life support because of Mearatas.
    I think it is probably conventional wisdom that Mearatas was a bit too hard and TOV is a bit too easy, but there is probably someplace in between that would be just right.
    Elyssanda likes this.

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