Samstag, 26. November 2016

Stellungnahme von Exorsus

Die Stellungnahme von Exorsus zum Bugusing bei Helya gefällt mir gut, daher will ich sie hier veröffentlichen. Es werden alle Aspekte von Legion aus Sicht eines professionellen Spielers betrachtet, was ich sehr interessant finde. Natürlich ist diese Sicht deutlich anders als die eines Casuals, genau das finde ich ja so spannend.

Helya situation
To make sure everyone fully understands what's happened, i will try to explain it as simple as it could be. Helya has a "Breath" ability, which deals cone damage + spawns adds on 1st phase and void zones on 2nd phase, that should be soaked. Our guild found out, that if you're killing your tank on 1st phase, Breath is stopping, so using shamans talent "Ancestral Protection Totem" to kill your tank effectively gives you more damage on 1st phase without any negative consequence. At that point we never knew how it works on last phase, however we've been pretty confident that we can avoid this breath the same way on the last phase.

Before starting to discuss everything else, I'm pretty sure some of you will ask - why would you do this?! It's an exploit by itself, you're killing tank to avoid mechanics. The answer is no, that was the strategy everyone been using on Archimonde (avoiding the crystal via tank death) and even Blizzard themselves are ok with this part.

So the real deal comes to the last phase, because for some reason after you're avoiding first breath, she simply stops casting it. It's an obvious bug (that has been reported by some guilds on a heroic week), that makes encounter easier (not even close to trivial, if you ask me). So at this point we had 2 options - completely scrap the strategy and start inventing new one or stick to this strategy, considering it's still a solid one, because even without this bug it's a valid strategy (because if Blizzard fixed a bug, that Helya stops breath we still can kill our tanks to avoid the same ability, simply by ressing them via combat resses or via shaman's totem). I guess you already know which strategy we've chosen after all.

Talking about consistency - ALL last bosses in last 3 raid contents had some "tricks" to make them easier, on some bosses even totally trivializing last phase: 1) You were able to use Monk tank on last phase of Blackhand to completely avoid his smashes - top 4 and top 5 guilds both used it (and even published a video) - yet no consequences. 2) On Mythic Archimonde you were able to kill your tank to avoid Crystal on last phase, helping with dps requirement on the fight. Every guild in top 5 (or even 10, most likely) used it. Again, no consequences.

So now comes the last part of 1st paragraph - our kill log. In case some people are wondering is this legit kill or not (or if the boss is trivial with this "exploit" or not) - when boss died we had 3 combat ressurections available + totem (more than enough to cover all the breaths without any bug on the encounter). Once again - i'm 100% sure it will not change anything, so it's more of a thing for community to take a look at:

Now let's move to some other paragraphs.

I'm 100% sure this is something that almost every WoW player currently experiencing, so want to brought up some of the main issues with them, because they're making only more frustration to MAJORITY of the playerbase:

1) Design itself - currently we have utility vs dps legendaries. For almost any situation you want to bring dps/hps legendary, making utility legendaries totally unwanted. And even dps/hps legendaries now are not always something everyone wants, because it may be slight to none in dps gain, due to bad design. Solution to this problem is simple - all legendaries should only be utility ones, making them something you want to get for some new capabilities, but not making you always win/lose on dps meter.

2) "4 legendaries softcap". I know that Devs stated more than once that there's none such a thing like "softcap", but it's definitely currently in game. For sure, there are persons with 5 (or even 8) legendaries, howeve i assume most of them due to early bug, that helped you to get many legendaries if you got your 1st one at the start of the expansion. In fact, even the guy (or guys) who made 1340 M+ dungeons on his character still has 4 legendaries, which is more than enough of a proof. Currently, such softcap leads to some totally idiotic things, raiders (including mine) are forced to do. Got 4 legendaries on your class and they're all terrible? Got 4 legendaries for "Fire" spec and now it's useless, so you need Arcane ones? Missing one that is crucial for your gameplay?

The answer to ALL of those questions is simple - go on and create new character, level it to 110 and good luck this time. That's the ONLY choice right now for you, otherwise good luck with your useless ones.

Solution to this issue is surprisingly easy: either let us exchange our 2-3 legendaries into a new one or just remove this softcap, which is just ingame for god knows why reason. Talking about Mythic raids - i would prefer if Blizzard completely disabled legendaries for 1st 2-3 weeks (making their enabling as a 1st meaningful nerf to the dungeon)

"Race coverage"
That's the next issue i want to brought up with all the community and Blizzard. Am i the only one, who's a bit upset about the fact, that best PvE MMO Ever has PvP tournament each year at Blizzcon, however no one cares about PvE at all? More on that, we even have M+ rankings on Blizzard side now, but still nothing about raid dungeons. Every time i'm checking official Warcraft twitter i can see reposts about someone beating "Lil'idan" petbattle with some fancy screenshot, but almost not a single mention about the PvE race at all.

The sad thing is - PvE top scene is slowly dying. Remember the times when getting into top 10 of the world was something you dreamed of as a hardcore guild? Now it's more of a question if you have 20 people to stay online for 14+ hours for 1 week.

Split raids are killing top guilds too. Progressing in Mythic difficulty is fun, but leveling 6 characters, farming legendaries, AP, gear on them to make 6 splitraids on heroic week is not. The reason such things still exists is understandable - heroic week is a "1 more PTR test week" for developers, where they can fix bugs, tune classes and so on, however from top guild perspective it's just terrible.

Recruiting becomes almost impossible - it's hard to explain to any skilled player, why would he waste his time on this, when the only good outcome he gets is some cheering on twitter and some good emotions after the kill. The only thing that still attracts people to such guilds is "boosting" (and it's gonna be the last paragraph), because selling M+ and raid runs for a real life money helps every top guild to at least get some cash for what they do.

And for all this situations i see only 2 variants (I'm not telling they're ideal ones, just my 2 cents):

1) Introduce some kind of small prize pool for top N guilds in a world, making rules pretty straightforward (you need to kill the final boss, maximum X raiders per guild, etc), this changes will attract a tons of people back to hardcore scene, to WoW as a game and will give Blizzard additional media resources and advertisement. They can even introduce some kind of pets (for example a small version of every endboss in a raid dungeon), and sell them as a crowdfunding thing (5%/10%/20% of all payments are going to prize fund) for this prizepool. All of these thing are even making more sense, considering Blizzard is trying to expand into Cybersport industry in every single game right now (seen this cool Krusher video?). Why not to make it in most successful one?

2) This variant helps if Blizzard definitely still don't want to care about PvE race as a thing. How about introducing totally new "progress" system? Rules are quite easy and simple - every guild streams their progress and the one that kills it 1st (2nd,3rd etc) on the stream gets the prize fund. With such variant attracting more sponsors for such progressions will be easy as a cake. And i'm 99% sure every top guild will agree on such terms.

"TOS Violation"
I've seen such popular statement from different fans and just forum posters on different websites. I'm pretty sure they don't really understand to what extent ANY top guilds violates ToS in fact. I just want to shed some light on how everything really works for a top guild:

1) "Small abuses" - every top guild tries to maximize their character performance, so if they found a small bug, which helps you to get an advantage - they will use it 100%, unless it's a clear bad exploit. (examples in Legion - enabling raid group before withered scenario to get exalted with faction / enabling raid group for infinite gathering world quests / dueling in 5 man dungeons to get PvP talents working (hello DHT) / resetting insanity drain on Shadow Priests and many more).

2) "Account sharing" - once again, if some guild needs 4 (insert class here) and their main roster has only 3 of this character or some guy has an alt / inactive guild players with better legendaries - they will just transfer him to new account with the same name and surname, and use him for progression for another player. If it's an inactive player account, they will just "rent" it for the progression. It's a common approach and every top guild uses it when they need it. (And yes, top guilds been using it even on last 2 contents with a bunch of examples)

3) "Boosting" - as I've already stated in 3rd paragraph, every guild needs to attract and keep people by some ways, other that "we're top guild, it's so fun to be on progress site top rankings". Because of that and the fact, that there are 0 tournaments or opportunities to somehow get any $ from top raiding (apart from streaming) every top guild is selling boosts for real life money. So by paying ~100-1000 USD/EUR you can get your piloted (yes, even with account sharing) / selfplay raid / Mythic+ run with a top guild. And if, for some reason, you're interested in buying something every week, you may even stay in this top guild (finding examples is not that hard simply by observing some "strange" raiders in wowprogress roster), to avoid confusion on the streams etc (however most of them anyway using addons, which replacing nicknames on raid frames and damage meters to avoid questions on streams). Once again, it's not something every guild is doing because they enjoy it, it simply a matter of surviving because of the fact, that "PvE race" is not something that by any means acknowledged by Blizzard. The sad part is, that a lot of guilds are now completely abandoned such thing as progression and just simply focusing themselves on boosting as many clients as possible.

4) "Raid abuses" - such term as "abuse of ingame mechanics" is always a very creative thing from developers side to interpret. Sometimes a lot of things are simply ignored, sometimes we're being punished for them. Most of the time developers are even watching at top guild pulls during progression, and fixing some stuff over here and there. In the end of the day, every progression for a top guild is more of a situation, where they encounter a fight, that is simply tuned for ilvl, that is way higher than they have. And starting from this point we're trying to find different solutions how to heal/damage it through. Sometimes we're coming up with simple solutions like "let's just try it with 3 healers", sometimes it's "let's keep the dragons away, because this way we can avoid killing dragons", sometimes it's "let's kill our tank on crystal / breath, to avoid killing this add, because we're lacking of DPS". In that case it's always been like that and nothing will change in a future, unless something drastically changes.

Hope some of those words will explain a lot of rumors about top raiding and probably even some Blizzard guys will read this and probably this will change something.

Other than than i still want to say thanks to Blizzard and add that from casual player perspective Legion looks like the most successful expansion ever, due to tons of things to do and some really good timing with adding new content over time. However i do hope they can show some love to dedicated players of their game too.

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