Jump to content


Photo

Thoughts On Scaling Outdoor Solo/Small Group Content?


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
18 replies to this topic

#1 Draele

Draele

    Don Flamenco

  • Members
  • 253 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 12:07 AM

I couldn't help but think today that all of the outdoor solo/small group content is pretty trivial and really doesn't do a good job at keeping anyone with even a moderate level of gear challenged. As a BT geared Affliction Lock I'm limited only by the number of mobs in the area to engage- okay bad example maybe- Even playing a friend's Warrior in s2/kara pieces I still felt that the whole area was a joke. It's entirely too easy, but Blizzard is somewhat hamstrung because they can't make the mobs hit so hard or have too many hitpoints else they alienate newer 70s.

What if there were sub-zones in Wrath where the mob power/reward structure scaled based on a certain progression curve? So when a new raid gets patched in or arena season starts the mobs in this area "level up" along with their drops- hell, even herbs/nodes/skins in this area could have a higher yield. This would give raiders and more accomplished PvPers some challenging solo/group outdoor content to put their gear to good use rather than running around Quel'Danas where you blink and everything dies. It could be set up like Silithus/Skettis with a solo-to-gather-parts and then get together as a small group to summon a boss (I really loved the Silithus/Skettis model) The boss could then drop a cache with various things inside ranging from raid consumables, powerful one-time-use gear enchants, profession reagents, and a ton of gold, etc. It would just be nice to have an outdoor area that doesn't assume you're outfitted in greens.

Thoughts?
Rantings of the Afflicted, a Warlock blog: http://draele.blogspot.com/

#2 Steveharris

Steveharris

    Von Kaiser

  • Members
  • 60 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 12:46 AM

I think it would suck pretty hard for someone outfitted in greens to wander in to that place. Blizzard has to base outdoor content on the lowest denominator bumbling around because, frankly, that's a lot of their player base. Skettis/Silithus summonable bosses work because the average player isn't going to accidentally agro one; there's a series of collecting stuff, and an NPC warning you that if you try it by yourself you'll get pasted. You could have NPCs near the entrances to these "subzones" but then people might miss the NPC. Maybe you could make a big swirly portal, populate it with elites and named mobs that drop really good loot, and call it an instance?

As I see it, outdoors is pretty much just for people solo leveling/farming. Having easy mobs is great here because A) I don't want to be doing a corpse run every 10 minutes while I'm leveling, and B) I don't want to engage in an epic two minute battle when I get jumped picking flowers. It's not like bleeding edge raiders get a world 1st on a new boss then run out and slaughter green mobs in Terokkar going "Gee, I wish these guys posed more of a challenge." If anything, it's a case of "That was cool, but now I need to get on the daily train because I blew 200g on repairs/consumables and I've got work in the morning so I need it to go fast." I don't think increasing herb/nodes/etc. would be worth it because when people go out to farm, they're not looking for a challenge. I think part of the reason bombing runs are so succesful is because they're so easy. As I type this I'm doing the IQD bombing quest, it's great because I only have to pay attention for about 30 seconds, there's no risk involved then I'm back to doing whatever, and when I land I get a 9g 10s.

Any sort of difficult outdoor content would likely go unused; eschewed in favor of more difficult/rewarding instances, or easier/less rewarding normal content.

#3 Draele

Draele

    Don Flamenco

  • Members
  • 253 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 12:53 AM

Well, that's certainly not to say every area would have to be like this. Currently we have Quel'Danas, Ogri'la, Skettis, Throne of Kil'Jaeden, etc. Would it really hurt the integrity of all these areas if, for example, that floating island to the west of Nagrand were a "hard mode" scaling endgame questing area just for people who have better gear?
Rantings of the Afflicted, a Warlock blog: http://draele.blogspot.com/

#4 Lookit

Lookit

    Don Flamenco

  • Members
  • 250 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:02 AM

Well, that's certainly not to say every area would have to be like this. Currently we have Quel'Danas, Ogri'la, Skettis, Throne of Kil'Jaeden, etc. Would it really hurt the integrity of all these areas if, for example, that floating island to the west of Nagrand were a "hard mode" scaling endgame questing area just for people who have better gear?


Outdoor content is not necessarily balanced around being in greens. It is balanced around being solo, which means it needs to be feasible for a someone of any class and any spec to do it.

Sure, they could add "epic" solo content - it'd be great for DPS classes like warlocks and hunters, and completely lousy for healers.

#5 Draele

Draele

    Don Flamenco

  • Members
  • 253 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:10 AM

Outdoor content is not necessarily balanced around being in greens. It is balanced around being solo, which means it needs to be feasible for a someone of any class and any spec to do it.

Sure, they could add "epic" solo content - it'd be great for DPS classes like warlocks and hunters, and completely lousy for healers.


Well, with the removal of the +healing stat in LK even well geared healers should be able to do well since they'll have some nuke power.

EDIT: Not to mention tanks will be doing increased levels of DPS as well. Overall things are shaping up to give just about every spec a reasonable level of damage output.
Rantings of the Afflicted, a Warlock blog: http://draele.blogspot.com/

#6 Shakes

Shakes

    Piston Honda

  • Members
  • 211 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:39 AM

Well, with the removal of the +healing stat in LK even well geared healers should be able to do well since they'll have some nuke power.


Healers already collection +damage gear and wear it when solo. It doesn't make them a better option to farm than a blue geared alt. It's not the gear, it's the spec.

#7 Unity

Unity

    Von Kaiser

  • Members
  • 70 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:39 AM

It shouldn't be impossible to make solo areas with mobs appropriate for geared solo characters and if designed for it (eg. hard to cc with frontloaded damage output) then a DPS class might not necessarily be superior at farming them to a healer. I'd tune for badge gear rather than bleeding edge though to allow access by all long term players. I don't see it happening though - if the quest rewards are worthwhile for a geared player making a greater solo effort they'll be a BIG jump for a pair of brand new 70s. I'd rather keep such leaps for expansions.

More progression in 5-mans would be nice though. I'd like to see the heroics always be as viable a method of getting ready to raid as PVP is - possibly because I'm much better at them than I am at Arena.

#8 Kenera

Kenera

    Von Kaiser

  • Members
  • 32 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:53 AM

I think this is an awesome idea; this could be one of the more tangible benefits to the raid achievements that were just unveiled. Also Lookit, remember all classes are getting two specs. Spending a lot of time in "Epic Solo Zone"? Change one of your specs to whatever flavor of DPS you prefer and have at it.

The only downside I see to this is world PvP on a PvP server. I know it'd already irk me if I played on one and got ganked mining a khorium node; I'd be even more irked if said khorium node had 3 "epic" mobs around it and I was in the middle of fighting one when a rogue decided it'd be funny to cheap shot me. Possibly make this an instance-based thing, like the officer barracks in Stormwind/Org where only players of the same faction can enter?
I walk through walls.

#9 Atropa

Atropa

    Glass Joe

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 02:18 AM

I like the idea of having more difficult areas in the game world. Not because I'd want to feel powerful in super epic gear. In fact it would be for the opposite reason. At times, I do not want to feel powerful. I want the excitement of peril that you just don't get farming or even really in raiding.

In other MMOs that I played, there would be zones filled with mobs that were not meant to be killed. These mobs were at a higher level than player's max level and very very mean. They were stealth zones. All the mobs were pats on random walk patterns and you'd weave your way in and out and around. You'd hug walls, duck behind trees, run passed when an enemy's back was turned. My heart would jump when I'd see a mob suddenly turn around in its random walk pattern thinking, "oh god did it see me?" To add to the peril you couldn't walk back to your corpse if you died mid run as the mobs could detect low health when you initially rezed.

This stealth system would not work in WoW as the mechanics are different. But I'd love a zone or some quests where the name of the game is not "last man standing" to survive.

These higher level zones also had another effect. They sharpened everyone's awareness skills of their surroundings. It really helped get me out of the habit of having my eyes glued to the corner of the ui to monitor my party's health bars and look at the game at a more global level. It made me a better healer in a indirect way.

#10 Jabez

Jabez

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 67 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 03:16 AM

You already have places like Ogri'la and Skettis where the mobs pose a higher challenge than normal high lvl zones, and the rewards from those 2 aren't to shabby and are worthwhile to do solo

#11 ZeroWashu

ZeroWashu

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 232 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 11:04 AM

Any out door area providing sufficient rewards to attract a higher tiered player will merely get overrun by groups of lesser geared players competing for this increased reward. If the resources were "raid" oriented you could expect guilds to camp it if the return rate versus time expended was profitable.

I would think a better implementation would be to take a page from Arenas. Implement many of the current outland instances in two and three man versions. Since balancing for such takes time I would aim at three man with its own reward table. Perhaps only drop a badge on the end boss to represent the lesser challenge but still allow for rep and both boe and bop loot drops.

#12 Lezwyn

Lezwyn

    Von Kaiser

  • Members
  • 37 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 11:30 AM

One thing Blizzard could do is to have, say, the Shadowmoon Valley of WotLK tuned a bit higher than the current one and have it as a questing area not really designed to level to 70 with unless you are okay with a higher risk factor. When leveling nowadays I tend to skip something like Blade's Edge Mountains often as it's not needed to get to 70 and Netherstorm / SMV are easy enough and with daily quests available I tend to forget about quests left there anyway.

An idea I had was that of 'challenges' , some quests, daily ones perhaps, where you'd have waves of mobs increasing in difficulty that would give you something along the lines of 8, 9, ...12 gold as reward, so such a thing being not very well balanced isn't that big of a deal and it could be fun solo content and realization of character progress for raiders. Also, they could add an 'achievement' section for this.

#13 Ravashak

Ravashak

    Glass Joe

  • Members
  • 16 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:58 PM

The things you are asking are mainly already in the game: Skettis, Ogri'la, Bashir landing etc are all zones thought out for people already at lvl cap and tuned a bit harder than "lvling content". If you want challenges for your epic-decked characters you can try some summoning with less-than-optymal groups (2-manning the dragons, demons or other stuff like that) and the reward/effort ratio is pretty high aswell, at least in terms of sharding materials.

I dont really see Blizzard changing this trend, apart from trying to improve the amount of variety of it, just because its something they got so well in comparison with vanilla WoW.
And there shall be wailing,
And gnashing of teeth...
And great loss of experience!

#14 Sydane

Sydane

    Don Flamenco

  • Members
  • 397 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 02:03 PM

They tried this in vanilla with all the elite areas which had better quest rewards. Basically, they just all got skipped and eventually when they retooled leveling they made most of them non-elite. Basically if you want a bigger challenge in the world while leveling, go to a higher area. Personally I plan to start WotLK on level 73 mobs, skipping past the congested first area, ideally with a small group.

The problem is, anything "hard solo" is instantly trivialized by even a duo, and basically impossible to balance. At max level for an idea like this to work, you'd have to create solo instances, which could be interesting, but would have to be tailored to the class. Maybe one solo instance per class with a class specific reward (like a mount) would be interesting to add. Probably going to have to wait for Maelstrom for something like that though.

#15 Sando

Sando

    Piston Honda

  • Members
  • 102 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 03:59 PM

The other things to consider is that this idea could well make any soloing differences between the classes hugely imbalanced. Some classes, notably very very well geared warlocks, currently completely outfarm others, and from what i understand, classes like warriors and rogues struggle fighting mobs that are elite or a fair bit higher level, excelling more in killing low level mobs.

If you create a zone with high level mobs, traditional solo kings like warlocks and hunters could well become very imbalanced in farming ability, and allow these classes to farm this area at a much lower gear level.

Having said that, providing solo content that is actually challenging at a higher gear level without forcing people to basically solo group quests would be a very welcome addition to the game.

#16 Blackthought

Blackthought

    Von Kaiser

  • Members
  • 75 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 04:23 PM

I think this would be a waste of development resources if they are not an unlimited resource. Challenges can be found in many places mentioned in this thread. Also, you could solo instances or play on a pvp server for more of a thrill. I really am not interested in seeing the majority of the player-base wine about being unable to quest.

#17 Kewangeder

Kewangeder

    Piston Honda

  • Members
  • 185 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 07:12 PM

The solutions to the problems of under-viable solo specs and of duos taking on solo content have already been seen in the BC daily quests.

Any spec can go on a bombing run, wrangle rays, play Simon, race Skyshatter, gather residue, catch fire, or go fishing.

Anyone fighting Shartuul is typically on their own.

#18 frber

frber

    Von Kaiser

  • Members
  • 57 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 07:32 PM

I couldn't help but think today that all of the outdoor solo/small group content is pretty trivial and really doesn't do a good job at keeping anyone with even a moderate level of gear challenged.


Much easier solution to that issue could be to simply not let raid gear scale so much that content becomes trivial? That would also allow Blizzard a resonable chance at keeping PvP balanced.

Someting like adding a new kind of modifier on raid gear so that instead of +attack power you'd get +heroic attack power? And the heroic bonuses only fully valid if inside a raid instance and capped at the similar values as the best regular dungeon gear outside raid instances.

Would nicely solve the problem of having gear progression make most of the content in the game pointless, allow for better PvP balance, the 5-mans would be more fun, etc. Would let Blizzard use gear checks inside raids more freely without worrying about the game beeing balanced like crap and othervise ruined because of gear inflation.

Would mean that any new content Blizzard decided to add would automatically be useful for both raid players and others.

Example would be something like a stat

Equip: +100 heroic/25 attack power.

Where the 100 is valid in a raid instance and the 25 outside; and the 25 would be a 'normal' value for good dungeon/rep gear.

#19 Juice

Juice

    Soda Popinski

  • Guild Members
  • 4198 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 07:46 PM

I think 7.5 hours is long enough for this thread.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users