Thursday, October 22, 2009

LFG Tool: Random Dungeons = More Daily Grind! [UPDATED 10/28]


[UPDATE 10/28: PTR Patch notes: "Daily Heroic and normal dungeon quests have been removed." We're back to only one random dungeon a day!]

So the new cross-server LFG tool is up on the PTRs, and it seems Blizzard finally figured out why they couldn't seem to force everyone to use the interface to put together random groups before: Blizzard was failing to pay them off.

So in the new patch, you'll get 2 Frost Emblems (used to get tier 10 gear, think Triumph Emblems right now) and a nice chunk of cash for doing one random dungeon with a PuG assembled by the automatic random LFG tool every day.

And if any of you raid, you'll be groaning because they just added another heroic dungeon you have to do every single day just to keep up on your raid gear. On top of going back to having to do the daily heroic every day. And the difficulty of the heroics aren't going up, so enjoy your daily trip to Faceroll City. Oh, sorry now it's TWO daily trips!

[UPDATE: The following paragraph is inaccurate, as per this quote from the Twitter developer Q&A:

Q: May I create a group with 4 friends and then use the LFG interface to gain the random dungeon reward?
A: Yes. In fact, you can join it with a full group of 5 and still get the random dungeon reward. The reward is for doing a random dungeon, not necessarily for having random members. ]

Though the emblem reward is constant, the monetary reward scales based on how much of your group is premade when you join the LFG queu. So the way to do this if you are a raider is get a group of 4 guildies, and randomize the last guy. This is going to be AWESOME for casuals and undergeared alts who solo-queu, as they constantly get matched with full 4-man groups in tier 10 and get a free ride through the instance (not that every solo-queur is bad, I'm just pointing out who is going to benefit most here). So basically, Blizzard is subsidizing the act of carrying people through an instance; it's Welfare Heroics (because they clearly weren't easy enough yet!!). Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, if I didn't feel pressured to log in every day to keep up on my raid gear, hearkening back to the old days of 2 hours of herb farming for every 1 hour of raiding (back when you could stack every elixir buff at once).

And the best part? Let me quote wow.com's coverage of the random LFG tool:

"After everyone is ready, you are teleported directly into the instance it has randomly selected."

Too bad that "randomly selected" instance is always-

*ALWAYS*

-going to be effing Oculus.





Update (from comments): Just to put it into perspective, here is the fastest way to gear up in all of the emblem stuff from tier 9:

It took nearly two months of dailies every day, along with weekly clears of ToC, to get everything I needed, and that's actually reduced from what I would have needed because my tier chestpiece wasn't good so I made the crafted one instead, and the badge trinket wasn't good for me either.

Full tier = 210 emblems
trinket= 50
sigil= 25
ring= 35

total= 320

In the first 5 weeks, since they unlocked the bosses one at a time (and in Icecrown I doubt we'll be full-clearing the place week 1, so the effect should be the same) you could get a total of 45 emblems. Not even enough for one of the bigger tier pieces. In that same time, you could get 70 emblems from the heroic daily if you did it every single day.

That puts you just over 1/3 of the way to fully geared. If you do the heroic daily religiously, every day, for 5 weeks.

If after that you full-clear toc every week and do the daily heroic every day, it would take another SEVEN WEEKS to buy every upgrade available. That's *13 weeks* total of never missing a *SINGLE DAY* of daily heroics. "Casual-friendly" my ass.

And this is without even considering the tank gear I should now start building if I really want to optimize our progression potential!

It takes a long time to gather the emblems you need to get the best gear you can to help your guild progress. I only stopped doing the daily heroic every day a few weeks ago, and I only have enough emblems on my main to buy 1 tier 245 piece once we clear toc 10 hard for the tribute chest (focused on Yogg hard atm). Because I'm *still* not done with emblems, even 2 months later.

Sure, no one is "forcing" me to do this. But I want to be the absolute best-geared I can be to help myself and my friends succeed. And because of the grindy dailies, I have to faceroll through a heroic every single day in order to do that. I fail to see the difference between this and herb grinding back in vanilla. Sure, you didn't have to make all those elixirs, but if you didn't, you weren't going to succeed nearly as much in the raid dungeons. They changed that elixir stuff for a reason. And now they're bringing it right back, only with an extra dose of welfare on top.

UPDATE 10/23: According to Twitter WoW dev Q&A:

Q: With T10, are we going to see tokens like in Ulduar? or like CC? CC style had every class and spec rolling on same thing.

A: With t10 we're going to see a hybrid. The tier 10 items (the ones with item levels you'd find in the 10-player raid) will be purchased with Emblems of Frost.

The tier 10.5 items (the ones with item levels you'd find in the 25-player raid) will be obtained by getting a token (one that is specific to 3 or 4 classes, much like the ulduar tokens) and using it to upgrade the tier 10 item that was purchased with emblems of frost.
So tier 10 is another badge farm, with no alternative to get the tier pieces from drops in the 10-man. And in fact, even the 25-man raiders have to badge farm, since they can't use their tier tokens unless they already bought the base tier 10 piece with badges!

10 comments:

Stabs said...

Surely you won't have to grind 2 heroics a day for long before you've bought everything you need?

Particularly if you're also a raider and filling some slots that way.

Spinks said...

I was thinking the whole time I was reading this, "Well, it'll be OK as long as it isn't Oculus", then I got to the end ... :)

(The nice thing about playing a tank is that you can pretty much carry a group through a heroic on your own.)

Saithir said...

If it puts me in Oculus at least twice in a row, I am gonna be so delighted.

I love that instance.

Hatch said...

@ Stabs: it's unknown yet how many badges you will need for tier 10 stuff.

But with tier 9, it took nearly two months of dailies every day, along with weekly clears of ToC, to get everything I needed, and that's actually reduced from what I would have needed because my tier chestpiece wasn't good so I made the crafted one instead, and the badge trinket wasn't good for me either.

Full tier = 210 emblems
trinket= 50
sigil= 15
ring= 35

total= 310

In the first 5 weeks, since they unlocked the bosses one at a time (and in Icecrown I doubt we'll be full-clearing the place week 1, so the effect should be the same) you could get a total of 45 emblems. Not even one of the bigger tier pieces. In that same time, you could get 70 emblems from the heroic daily if you did it every single day.

That puts you just over 1/3 of the way to fully geared. If you do the heroic daily religiously, every day, for 5 weeks.

If after that you full-clear toc every week and do the daily heroic every day, it would take another SEVEN WEEKS to buy every upgrade available. That's *13 weeks* total of never missing a *SINGLE DAY* of daily heroics. "Casual-friendly" my ass.

And this is without even considering the tank gear I should now start building if I really want to optimize our progression potential!

It takes a long time to gather the emblems you need to get the best gear you can to help your guild progress. I only stopped doing the daily heroic every day a few weeks ago, and I only have enough emblems on my main to buy 1 tier 245 piece once we clear toc 10 hard for the tribute chest. Because I'm *still* not done with emblems, even 2 months later.

Leah said...

there's just one thing I don't get and maybe that just shows how casual I really am...why do you need to be cutting edge geared? why do you not take into account the actually drops from ice crown and considering the raid tuning nowadays, do you really need all the BiS gear in order to clear the content? what is the purpose?

I think on a good week, I might do several heroic dailies on several alts if the daily is the heroic that I actually enjoy running over and over.. there have been weeks where I haven't done a single heroic daily. on any character (and being an altoholic with a lot of free time, I have quite a few)

think about it very carefully. do..you ..really ..need..all that gear?

Ixobelle said...

the scenario: queue for RanDom PuG FaiL, oops is Occ. Break group. Reform, requeue.

I can see this happening regularly.

Hatch said...

@Leah: We have very different perspectives. Most people don't have any need for that gear. I don't *need* it. But if I want to be as prepared for raid as possible, then I should take every avenue available to me. If you don't care about that, it's fine by me. But I do care about doing the best for my guild that I can, because I'm in a guild where everyone does the best they can to help everyone else progress. And I think it works pretty well, considering that we just got Rusted Proto-Drakes and I'm venturing a guess that you don't have them. Doesn't make me any better than you, but it does mean that our philosophy allowed us to clear content that your philosophy does not allow you to clear.

And as for "taking into account what drops in Icecrown", there are a few issues with that:

1) I deprive my guild of drops. I don't like the idea of my guildie not getting an item (because he spent his badges on another slot) because I was too lazy to farm up the badges that were right there. In my mind, that's like the people who want to go to ToC 10 in blues because "why bother getting badges when I can just get drops from ToC". In a very real way, I'd be leeching. Just because I'm not in blues doesn't mean I'm not leeching. This is especially a big deal when spending my emblems on a tier token means that another guildie (who, again spent their emblems on something else better for them) can get another tier token.

2) We don't know what will happen with IC. I was basing my speculation on ToC. You cannot get tier tokens for tier 9 without farming emblems. The set bonuses for DKs are good enough that I'm gimping myself if I use offset drops from the instance instead of my tier. So for many slots, it doesn't matter what drops, because I can only use the tier anyway, and that's only available using Emblems.

And if they are handing out 4 emblems a day, you better believe there will be a bunch of expensive, desirable items on those Frost Emblem vendors, if not the tier pieces again in some form.


It's totally cool with me that most people don't care about keeping up in the gear. More power to them, playing how they want! I'm not getting the gear so I can e-peen around, or act like I"m better than others. I get it because I want to help my guild clear the content, and we're doing hard content, so we need the most cutting-edge gear we can. We need every edge we can get. So yeah, I think I have a very good reason to want to get the very best gear I can get. Since your situation, desires, and goals are totally different, it makes sense for you to have a different perspective on this. But please understand that my perspective is valid, and not based on some need to out-gear other people or some other character flaw. I think I have a legit reason.


@Ixo: I think you are absolutely right. It's a shame because Oculus was such a good idea, but the execution was a disaster. It would have worked if the rest of the heroics weren't so easy that they make Oculus a hassle/waste of time in comparison.

Leah said...

you do believe you are better then me for getting a drake (congratulations on that btw). no I do not have one..yet. If I never manage to get one, oh well. its not worth it if the only way to get it is to spend so much time doing something I dislike that intensely.

lets look at it from a different perspective. what exactly happens to the gear that drops in ToC (or ice crown or, insert appropriate raid here) that you are not using? there are 10 people in a raid, correct? from what I can see - 4 of them are plate dps, which is actually quite a bit, but if you consider weekly lock out and that every boss drops 2 pieces of loot PLUS 3 badges.

while sometimes RnG plays trick on us, VoA still drops tier pieces here and there. unless you get other dk's in your raid - chances are you will get your tier piece from it and being the only one who can use it, in no way you can claim to be leeching. the probability of your tier piece NEVER dropping is extremely low. the probability that your BiS upgrades will come ONLY from badge purchases is even lower.

the server I play on is not incredibly progressed, but you can still pug 25 man VoA successfully, that's 2 extra tokens and a possibility of 25 man tier drop that you would NOT be leeching of your guild (in fact, this is how I got my tier pants)

the most major upgrades will alwasy be tier and looks like relic slots. everything else has a comparable drop and sooner or later, no matter how self sacrificing you are - no one else will need it and you will end up with it anyways.

lastly it was your phrase of "casual friendly" my ass.

that's just the thing. there are so many options for gear, from crafted pieces, to instance drops to badge gear you can pick up along the way - you only really truly "need" to grind if you are super hardcore that cares about the dps/hps difference of 10 points that one piece will have over another (or .1 percent moe avoidance, or god forbit 100 more stamina, etc). and that only matters when you are going not only for cutting edge hardmodes, but when you are going for getting them almost as quickly as they are released. And even then, is it really "leeching" when you contributed as much as every other member of your team to the boss kill?

a casual player doesn't need to do that. Even semi hardcore player doesn't need that. and it doesn't mean that their performance will be horrible. I may not be doing as much damage as some more hardcore elemental shammies, but I'm not lagging too far behind either. and lets be honest here - that doesn't come from gear optimization as much as from knowing the fights, optimizing your rotation and your positioning, as well as optimizing your raid composition (there are some core stats that are pretty rigid in their requirement, like hit/expertise/defense cap for instance, but everything else is pretty flexible).

there are options, plenty of them. Best in slot, is only very slightly better then next best thing. it adds up but not nearly as significantly as one might think. especially considering how the content is tuned. my guild is struggling with heroic Anub not becasue our gear is lacking. we're struggling because we still didn't quite get the kiting part down pat.

P.S this probably doesn't change anything, but even though my guild covers enchants for our raiders, I get most of them done out of my own pocket, simply becasue I can afford to unlike some of the other guildies, especially initiate raiders so it doesn't make sense for me to use guild materials when I have other options. so yes, I understand your point about leeching, I just don't see how grinding content you do not enjoy just to avoid any and all help so that your guildies have it easier is a better and/or necessary way to go.

Hatch said...

Leah, it sounds like your way of doing things is quite reasonable. I see your points. WoW is more casual-friendly now than it ever has been before, because in previous expansions, if you weren't a hardcore raider you had NO options for getting items this good. Now, you can run heroics to get them. It's just that it takes a ton of heroics, which strikes me as ...less casual-friendly than it could be. I think people with skill, but limited playtime, are being left out in the cold, because their options are a) find more playtime to raid, or b) grind stupidly easy heroics that will take months to yield an item (while the kid in his mom's basement runs 10 of them a day and is in full tier after a few weeks without ever killing a raid boss).

I should write a post about how I really like the raid weekly quests added in the patch, because they require a bit more skill, but a lot less time, than grinding heroic dailies for the same reward, and only require you log in once a week. I really like them!

Clearly, you aren't a leech, and I apologize that it came across like I was implying you were. I meant to point more to the social contract within each guild that people agree to hold to. As long as you are putting in as much as the other guildies, you can't be leeching, even if you are all in greens.

So to put it in better terms: gearing up is like flasking. Many raid groups see the cost of flasks as unnecessary. Sure, maybe they have a slightly harder time on the boss, but they save some money and there's less pre-raid prep needed, so it works great for them. Other raid groups expect every member to be flasked at all times. So in group 1, if you don't flask, you're fine. If you don't flask in group 2, you are asking everyone else to shoulder a cost for you.

In my guild, we don't force anyone to do heroics. About half the guild only does them periodically (because they can't be logged in every day due to RL obligations like kids), while the other half tries to do them every day, because that's the type of people we are: we want every edge we can get. And we wipe at 1% often enough on progression content that the chore of grinding faceroll heroics seems worth it to squeeze out that extra bit of dps. I would feel like I was letting my raid down if I didn't do heroics every day that I am able for my triumph emblems, as would the rest of my guild. Because we all agree to that, and it's just one way of doing things that is effective for our goals, but not morally better than any other way.

I would also disagree with your assertion about gear upgrades being minor. My experience has been that upgrades significantly increase my performance. Raising my gear a tier will easily raise my dps by 800 or so. After a month of gearing, bosses that were minor challenges before become trivial (and that's taking into account practice and learning the fight, which as you note ARE much more important than gear).

At the same time, it's true that a raid can kill bosses without cutting-edge gear, you just need the mininum to beat the enrage and keep the tank and raid alive. Gevlon did Ulduar in blues! But that group will wipe more and take longer, so it's a trade-off that everyone has to choose for themselves.

Hatch said...

As for VoA: According to wowhead, each piece of tier has a 2% chance of dropping off Koralon in 10-man (3-4% in 25 man, but you're competing with more people, so it's a wash). Yes, sometimes you get lucky. But it's vastly more likely you won't. Statistically, you should see ONE of the 2 tier pieces you can use off him every 25 times you kill him, which would take...13 weeks. By then, the next patch has come out.

I've been doing Koralon every week in both 10 and 25 In fact, in all these months, I've only ever gotten ONE dps piece from voa, even though I clear it religiously. And I find VoA LESS palatable than heroics, so frankly I'd rather just grind the heroic daily rather than be disappointed by the RNG again, or be outrolled on an upgrade by someone in greens (which has happened to me). VoA is not a reliable way of gearing, by a long shot.


Anyway, thanks for your comments, Leah. You've made some good points about where I was going a bit too far. :) Gear does make a difference, but one piece of gear isn't going to make someone "horrible"...knowledge and experience are more important. I think both of our approaches are valid while fitting different sets of goals.