Sunday, December 7, 2008

Phasing, Take Two

Okay, so maybe I was a bit harsh on phasing. In my limited exposure to it, it seemed pretty stupid, and writing an article titled "Phasing is Dumb" pretty much summed up how I felt about it. Now I've gotten a bit further, come across more of it, and can say pretty honestly that... well, yeah. It's still kinda dumb. But! I've seen a few nifty things they're doing with it, and can at least respect it more, even if I don't outright LIKE it.

I mentioned before that one of my biggest issues is split playerbases, and 'fake' progress in the world. I've heard twice in the last week two guildies in vent trying to find each other that are "standing right next to each other on the map"; the solution being to move away from wherever they are until they can see each other once again. I've been questing solo myself for a majority of time, but it'd be interesting to see if I can find a guildie to run some tests with in this regard. Start at point A, and march towards B until the person right beside you disappears.

Phasing seems to project these bubbles of sorts ("reality distortion fields", for those of you on Macs), but it's weird if you have your graphics turned way up. There's one quest chain in Storm Peaks where these iron dwarves are building a big robot colossus type thing, and for a while, the giant dwarf statue is "being worked on" on the side of a mountain with scaffolding everywhere. Then they finish it, and it walks around the area. The problem is, the "covered by scaffolding" is the giant's default setting, and doesn't change until you've gone further in the chain. With my graphics cranked up, and the draw distance set to max, I can actually see the giant surrounded by scaffolding in the distance as I fly towards it, then I get within the zone of change, and it pops out of existence because for ME, it's not there anymore. It's just awkward.

Another interesting test would be to fight a mob that only exists in a phase while partied with my fellow experimenter. The iron dwarf giant would work. They'd see me taking damage in the party window (they wouldn't be able to SEE me though, because we'd be in different phases). Could they heal me if we were within 30 yards of one another? If we both stayed near a specific landmark, for example. What if I kited the giant to the edge of the phase? Would they leash back and evade? Probably.

Some interesting things to try out when I have more free time, for sure.

Today's "Complaining Lore Nerd Moment" is brought to you by the giants of Hodir, who you shoot with flaming pitch and generally harass the hell out of for a good 8 or 9 quests, until they befriend you and begin offering you daily quests. "Don't worry about that whole killing us and catching us on fire, Ixo! Go grab some frozen doodads, and blow some horn or something for today's daily quests! You'll eventually need shoulder enchants, and we can totally dig that!"


David said...

The Battle for Undercity came off as a very poor phased event for me in that I was the only participant. Oh boy I can do 5k mangles...woo!...but against mobs with 1,000,000 HP it seemed, so the buff was meaningless. I tried helping Thrall, but he ended up singlehandedly pwning all of the invaders while I contributed my 1% of overall damage. Maybe if 10 or more people were here it would gone faster, but the whole event took about 20-30 minutes, with endless waves of scourge, and lonely ol' me phased in and stuck until it finished. Snooorrrrre....

Melf_Himself said...

It sounds like phasing isn't a bad concept in general, but just that there are a few bugs in the implementation that need to be ironed out.

Assuming that they had implemented it as perfectly as possible, do you still see it as being problematic, and if so why? Just curious as I haven't actually seen it, but it does sound interesting (disclaimer: I hate WoW).

Rich said...

'assuming they implemented it perfectly' is a slippery slope. i'd rather the gvame world itself changed from time to time. between expansions, and not just 'here's a new continent'. burn down orgimmar forever. that place is old as hell. have the UC become the new level 80 raid. make stormwind ... something different... expansions don't NEED to be brand new masses of land, just a twist on what's there.

I don't need to feel personally like *I* was the one that made the change either. the (real) world changes around me all the time... new shops are built, new roads are paved, and I didn't make that happen.

change the world, and do it so everyone is on the same page, and my friends don't disappear from view when standing next to me.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday night we raided Undercity. Some people in raid have not completed the previously mentioned quest chain with King Wrynn. We were all at the sewers entrance and those 3 that did not finish the quest could not see us. We could not heal them summon them etc. We could see each other if we moved to Brill. And between those 3 one was actually at the final step of the quest with pwning and stuff and he was fighting with king wrynn with a zillion mobs. For other two that never started or in the chain of that quest, it was like they were in a different dungeon. Phasing is like instancing. And in some cases like this causes affected players not be able to participate in other quests. So its not possible to make a quest that you are phased and ask others to help you by meeting at a landmark etc. They must be actually at the same progress level to participate.

Anonymous said...

Well apparently I'm flip flopping on my phasing stance too! Well, sorta.

I still am in favor of the idea. The execution well that is a whole other story but I like the idea when used sparingly.

I have found something I hate about it at the same time now. So on friday afternoon I got home from work at around 4pm. Finally dinged 80 by 5pm (I know I slacked) and my guild raids at 7 and I was planning to hop right in and start helping. So I basically had time to respec set up bars and figure out how the heck to get to the entrance to naxx.

Fast forward about 48 hours to last night. After doing endless heroic runs and raiding every night til 5am (yes Mountain Dew is a necessity in the office this morning). I finally had a bit of downtime to help farm pig butt and flask mats for the guild pre-naxx last night. Turns out all my guildmates have finished their portions of icecrown and storm peaks. So phasing has effectively ruined my ability to healbot them while they trash mobs for mats. Not a huge deal but my only complaint thus far.

I honestly dont think ill have any time for questing at all in the next month. This Xpac's raiding is so much more fun than TBC's was. Actual difficulty in PVE, what a concept.

Anonymous said...

You suck. I hate your blog. Give up on life.

Anonymous said...

At first I railed against your attack on phasing, the wrath gate was awesome, and the battle for uc was fun, finally some change in the game. Seeing orgrimmar and UC empty was cool (well UC is pretty much empty now, but anyway).

But after doing the sons of hodir its shiny coolness is wearing off, and the problems it brings are becoming apparent. The first time it got on my nerves is when I was looking for everfrost chips, which are rare spawns around the sons of hodir you can collect and hand in for rep, just like netherdrake eggs. One of these spawns right on the edge of the zone where all the phasing happens, so from a distance I saw it, but as I got close it vanished. This is annoying considering how much a pain in the hole sons rep is, ill probably have to do a week of dailys just to get honored.

Another example happened to a guildy, he must have done half the wrath gate line and ditched it at the point you return to warsong, or something. Anyway, after finishing an instance he went back to check the AH and spent a good 15 minutes going wtf trying to find it. Then he went over to uc instead, and found it was a giant BG.

I also think the phasing was pointless for the sons of hodir anyway, theres other factions that start off hated and you work your way up, why all of the sudden the need to phase them ? Theres no real grand sweeping changes apart from switching around mobs, and like removing an anvil from the volcanic bit.

How would I solve phasing ? Well for starters I would only use it for big things that you couldnt possibly do normally (for instance the zombie invasion, that was cool, but what if you missed it ? phasing gives everybody a chance to see big events). If they insist on using it for small things they need to change it so you can see party members, but you are both in a seperate phase. You should also be able to see what your party member is fighting so you can help him out. That should solve most of the problems.