Heroic Madness Of Deathwing
12 replies to this topic
Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:22 AM
So, with a US 18 final finish on the front page, we're done with another tier of raiding. This one was particularly miserable for all involved, and just like the last insanely brutal tier (T11 - though for different reasons), we've lost several good high-end US raiding guilds this time around. I can't really blame them, considering that the primary thing they have to look forward to is this:
Before I launch into what's just going to sound like another bitter tirade, I wanted to take a minute to point out how exceptional our raiding core was this tier. It's not something that gets brought up often in the middle of progression when you're struggling through a fight and unsure of your standing and how successful you'll be, and the frustration of these encounters can cause a person to lose sight of what's going on around them. I can't overstate how much our raiders really gave it their all in the face of the negativity that surrounded this tier, and they are by far the most dedicated group of people I've ever had the pleasure of gaming with. Even on the nights when we knew we didn't want to be there, when we knew we were going to have to do things nobody wanted to do to kill a fight, and when we knew morale was low, everyone still showed up. That was really important to me - and apparently to them, too - and I really appreciated everyone's dedication.
So, now onto the boring part...
Hopefully, and we tend to say this every time there's a fight designed that we all know seemed to have been deliberately created to encourage front-page posts like this one, we never see another fight like Spine again. There wasn't any good reason to put so many guilds through the level of insanity it brought to the table (the same argument can be made for LFR, by the way), and that guilds fell apart on this fight this tier was almost entirely the result of short-sightedness on the part of the designers. Their intentions may have been good, but there needs to be more consideration given to how fights translate into the high-end raid environment. 23 second window every 90-120 seconds = stack mages and rogues. I don't think this was well considered or understood by the people engineering the encounter, but hey, I could be wrong. They could just really like mages and rogues.
I feel like I need to apologize to people every time I talk about this tier with our raiders and those from other guilds. It's as if I can't find anything positive to say about it, and so it seems like there was nothing to like at all. There were actually some good encounters and almost all of them had great potential - we enjoyed Yor'sahj, for example, and its creative fight mechanics and multiple different paths to a kill. We liked the geometry lessons and awareness checks that were involved in defeating Blackhorn. We liked Madness for its (relatively) short progression time and straightforward mechanics. But, I guess the negatives were just so much more memorable than the positives, and maybe that's why this tier got such a bad rap for its Heroic-mode challenges from the guilds that went in there trying to complete them. It would be tough to argue that the disappointment wasn't warranted.
If Blizzard does continue with 25-man raiding in Mists, we hope that they pay more attention to the feedback that's being provided by the people testing the content for them. A quick read through several key posts made by raiders representing the top raiding guilds of last tier on multiple PTR threads could have at least raised the red flags required to reconsider many critical decisions. I can't help but think that more attention paid to what we felt were serious encounter design issues could have turned many Dragon Soul encounters from really negative raiding experiences into enjoyable, memorable challenges, and that's a big opportunity to miss.
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