Monday, January 12, 2009

I Miss CC

Remember crowd control? Remember sheeping mobs? Remember the hot and heated discussions over whether or not Rogues should need to put 21 (!) talent points into subtlety to get improved sap? Even when they trimmed that down to 7 (!) it was still an outrage. Now rogues get Imp Sap for FREE, but when was the last time you HONESTLY saw a Rogue sap (excluding Arena or just for giggles)? A warlock seducing? Lol, as if? It's cute that shamans got hex, because when will they ever use it?

CC is dead, long live CC.

A post lamenting the oft-lamented "difficulty of raids" garbage I'm tired of hearing about had this comment by Cassini:

It's not just raids either. Look at the heroic 5 mans. Then look at the heroic TBC instances. The level of challenge isn't even comparable. Most people I know didn't even bother with many instances on normal and just went straight to the heroic versions. Once there cc was non-existant and the places were cleared with all the tactical acumen of a sledgehammer.
This pretty much sums up 5 mans. The spell I use most often on... well, anything really except a boss encounter... is Rain of Fire. RoF seems to not be as bad is it was, but it's hardly a good spell, and it's pretty boring to cast over and over. On single 'big' targets I'll actually use a rotation, but anything rarely lives long enough to warrant the placing of DoTs unless I'm just hoping for a lucky free shadowbolt, and even then, if I just began casting RoF, I usually just ignore the SB and let RoF finish out. That's pretty much the deal with anything over two mobs. Even on Sartharion trash with the two big grey guys, I just chuck up instant DoTs and then spam RoF, while refreshing the DoTs while they run out.

I'm not necessarily a bad or lazy player, either... it's just that this is how trash pulls go, and it's not like I'm going to break a sheep or anything.

Remember Heroic Shattered Halls? Those 5 and 6 mob pulls that would rape your group unless you brought a sap, trap, sheep and/or seduce? Yeah, those are gone. In their place are now 4 or 5 mobs pulls that require no coordination whatsoever. AoE tanks are the peanut butter of Wrath, with AoE DPS being jelly. Wrath itself is the big piece of Wonder Bread that apparently holds it all together.

Don't get me wrong, I really don't have a huge issue with it. Another comment in the same thread went something like "not everyone wants to crawl through glass and come out on the winning side triumphant in their victory of some video game". I respect that, and more importantly, I BELIEVE IN IT. There seems to be a general consensus recently that OMG-WOW-IZ-EZ-MOAD-FUCK-THIS-SHIT. It's a boring sentiment to read, and even more boring when people get emo over it in vent. If you don't like the game don't play.

Mario 64 was a fun game to play. You could run and jump and fly. There were a few levels where they pushed the needle towards "chore" (rainbow-whatever-it-was-called?) , but in the end it was a fun experience. My favorite level is probably the very first one, because everything is laid out, and there's just a lot of running.. and jumping... and flying. The simple core mechanics of the game can be appreciated, and you can explore and perform simple acrobatics without the hindrance of a bunch of crap trying to kill you. There are enemies, yes, but not controller throwing crap where you're riding an 8 pixel wide flying carpet while doing back flips with a 2 pixel margin of error, any mistake causing you to plummet to your doom.

Doom II was a fun game too, but a bit more challenging than Mario 64 (or challenging in a different way). I never actually beat Doom II. Those white screaming-demon fuckers kept blowing me across the map into 8 other fuckers while I was burning in hellfire or something. It was hard. I was also playing with a Gravis Pad, lol... so sue me. Years later, I found a god mode cheat in Doom II, and just for the hell of it, went back to finish the last level. Nothing could hurt me, and the entire sense of urgency was removed from the situation. Doom II was suddenly very boring. With the sledgehammer mentality of our new "heroic" dungeons, we're no longer really challenged to analyze pulls, and we just go in guns bazing, mowing the lawn with AoE burst. Even healing has become some AoE fest, and I can't say I haven't grown attached to Circle of Healing on my Priest. An instant cast heal with no cooldown that affects all party members, even if it's a minor heal, is pretty ridiculous, and is due for a nerf next patch.

edit** I really need to get better at making the point I set out to make: In the above paragraph, I'm saying that without the danger, Doom became boring, and that that's how 5 mans feel now, since you just mow everything down without worrying about threat or whatever. I tend to get right up next to the point I'm trying to make, and then I just jump to the next subject too quickly ;)

I'm not, however, going to get on the bus and start preaching that WoW is too easy. People that do so just annoy me. If it's too easy, then don't play, or go suck your soul into Final Fantasy 11 for a few months. You'll come crawling back to WoW, trust me.

People keep saying that Naxx is Wrath's "entry level raid" for people to learn how to raid, but that just seems silly. While I'm sure there are people that have never raided before Naxx, it's probably a pretty minor slice of the overall pie. Karazhan was the most popluar raid of BC, and that isn't shocking news. It was accessible, ten man, and pretty fun (the first fifty or so times). But BC also had Gruul, Mag, Hyjal, TK, SSC, BT and later ZA and Sunwell. Some were patched in after the fact, and Wrath is still new, but yeah... I think it's safe to say that a lot of people know how to raid by now, or can learn on the job. Leveing in WoW is a joke, and nobody wants to run anything seriously. If an 80 isn't 'boosting you thru deadmines', you don't bother going there. I myself boosted two toons all the way to 60, and when I set foot in Outlands on my priest, I had to learn what all the buttons did.

One other thing that cheeses me is saying that WoW is catering to the lowest common denominator, which really isn't true. If you drew a bell curve, and put "never raided before Naxx 10" at the left, and "Nihilum" at the right, the big swell in the middle would represent the majority of the playerbase. People keep saying that WoW is aimed at the three people on the far left of the chart, which just isn't true. Blizzard is finally beginning to 'get it' and design content for the middle of the curve. Not the super high (or super low) end. I personally fall in a few categories, from "beat ZA finally, but never completed a bear run", to "was in a guild that beat Kael once and Vashj a few times, but I only got the one vial, so I began raiding Hyjal and BT after attunments were lifted, much to the disgust of my server's elite". I think I'm on the right half of the curve, but not by much.

To me it just comes back around over and over that I've honestly got bigger fish to fry than to complain about how a game I enjoy playing isn't fun enough. Gong back to the start of this post, I miss marking targets and having duties to perfom on each trash pull, but I'm not going to rage quit the game because my butt hurts about it. I do wish the current level of heroic level 80 dungeons was the 'regular' difficulty, and that heroics were heroics again, but Naxx is fine.

Just give it a rest.


Melf_Himself said...

Standard MMO PvE combat is all pretty much the same, and has been brainless for a long time. Just because previously there was a lower margin for error due to more beefed up mobs doesn't change the fact that the level of brainpower involved is not high.

But that's ok because these games, especially the casual-oriented ones like WoW, are supposed to be more sit-back-and-relax, enjoy the camraderie and social aspects kind of endeavours, not hardcore tests of skill.

Ixobelle said...

It goes back to the comments i made in an earlier post (or that Ghostcrawler made, actually in blue posts) saying that 1v1 PVE is ridiculous. You easily outclass any mob, even with their bloated health pools... and never really die grinding quest mobs unless you get an unlucky fear or whatever.

But in instances, I expect more. Quest mobs aren't elite, and usually come one at a time. You're just spending the TIME to grind out the quest, and that's fine with me. But in an instance, you should have 4 or 5 packs that play off one another... a healer in the pack that needs to be CCed etc... like the Slab trash pulls before the MCing ogre... you have to handle the mind flayers or they'd kill the healer, and you never knew when an assassin would pop out of stealth too. It seemed more dynamic than 'go AOE that whole room'.

Cassini said...

Ooh, I've been quoted in a post!

The day's of cc do indeed seem to be numbered and I for one am sad about it.

All this 'Too easy Vs Entry level' is almost irrelevant here as the 5 mans should be about choice. There are enough of them that Blizzard could have made a few nice and easy ones and a few difficult ones.

Comparing them all to Heroic Shattered Halls isn't really fair, but comparing the difficulty bridge between Utgarde Keep and Halls of Lightning, to the bridge between Slave Pens and Shattered Halls is a valid one.

Heroic Slave Pens was (relatively) easy whereas Heroic Shattered Halls was quite hard. Now we have Heroic Utgarde Keep, where almost 100% of my recount comes from Blizzard and at the other end of the scale is Heroic Halls of Lightning - where almost 100% of my recount comes from Blizzard...!

Darraxus said...

I used CC is my first few heroics, usually having the Ret Pallys repent something.

I am having a blast with the game atm to be honest. I dont want trash to be causing a bunch of wipes. Heroic difficulty in the last expansion is what caused pugs to feel so shitty.

You will never hear me saying content is too easy as I enjoy raiding for the sake of running something with a group of friends. It is much more fun when you arent smashing your head against an encounter for a month. *Cough Moroes cough Aran cough*

Rog said...

A long while back, it seemed like the powers-that-be at Blizzard decided that crowd-control was "easy mode" and anytime they want to ramp up difficulty, they throw in immunity to prevent CC.

Unfortunately, in most cases it takes tactical thinking out of the equation and everything becomes either brute force or "learn the trick to this scripted mob" ala Mario-style bosses.

I'd like to see CC have a triumphant return, especially paired with difficult pulls. I miss the "be ready to sheep" kind of gameplay that was way back in the original versions of Stratholme and Scholomance, I'm not even thinking about Shattered Halls really since it felt so crude to me in comparison regarding dungeon design.

Overall, I think this goes along with Blizzard's emphasis on raid encounters (especially scripted) rather than intricately designed 5 man dungeons that depend on more clever usage of the default mechanics.

More tactics = good. Scripted strategies are good storytelling-wise, but for content that's expected to be repeated, I find the scripts get dull fast.

Hatch said...

I miss CC too.

I hope they at least release something in a future patch that is as hard as Magister's Terrace was. It was awesome to have a 5 man that many groups just couldn't complete on heroic, and give much bigger rewards for it.

If you want to see the content, you can just run it on normal!

Seems like Blizz is starting to pick up on this idea, and that Ulduar is going to essentially have multiple difficulty settings.

Cassini said...

@ Rog: Oh Scholomance! My all time favourite 5 man instance. I've spent far more hours than is healthy in that place. From my first steps into it, to soloing the first room (hey that's a big deal at 60 with more than 1 mob!) and the time we did a 5 man mage run through it (again at level 60). That was fun - especially trying to melee the magic immune mobs! I miss that place! =)

spinksville said...

I really don't miss the days of everything feeling like it was on hard mode when you didn't have either CC or a paladin to tank everything.

I'd rather have easy mode for everything than only let a few people have it. Because people being people, they'll always favour the easier way.

Godstorm said...

You've made me miss Mario 64 now more. -cry's-

Valkry said...

Don't forget the unconventional forms of MC...a hunter kiting the last boss of UBRS down the hall while the rest of the raid killed his two adds.

Though they did bring it back in the Vashj fight (one awesome fight if you ask me)

Jeremy said...

Ahhh, Gravis Gamepad. I remember that. I used that for Commander Keen 4, the Street Fighter II PC port, "Raptor, Call of the Shadows".... Good times.

Azonic said...

now it all about dps ( tank and spank ).. no more class runs !

i miss cc, i miss oldschool wow !

good point of view Ixobelle.