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Showing all 2 posts tagged "world-of-warcraft".
WoW Lost Subs. Horizontal vs Vertical progression games. Some Ideas


So first of all lets talk about different types of games particularly close to MOBA / MMOs and we will draw some technical comparison. This is going to be a long post (I think...) so grab a tea, coffee, or if you want to think I am a genius and make this "otherworldly" post and if its legal for you - smoke some pot??? Just kidding but lets get started!

Vertical progression games:
World of Warcraft is a prime example on this one. What is a vertical progression game? Its when the producers provide content for the gamers to consume. Imagine a ladder and you are climbing it once you reach the top there is nothing to climb until you are provided with more steps to climb at the end of the ladder.

Think off World of Warcraft - each new patch and each new expansion we have new cool ways of killing a bunch of monsters or players with different gear and skills - this is vertical progression. Once you done it, there is nothing to do; the game becomes somewhat bland and boring until the developers give you more content to consume. That's why world of warcraft is coming with more and more different patches, raids, and gear every patch so we.... well can consume.

The benefits of this types of games - gives you a feel of individuality, it also tracks your progress via ratings, achievements, mounts and so on and so forth.

Negative side of vertical progression games - easy its once you consume the content the game becomes boring. In addition, the game also feels grindy and its more of the heavy time investment games out there.

This is the main reason why WoW lost 1.3 million subs last quarter - people raided, consumed the content, got used to new PvP done it all and got bored. Everyone waiting on a new patch, new nerfs, new buffs, refreshing gameplay, new monsters to smite wif your mighty SWOAAAARDDDDD, and FIREEEE BALLLLS of steel or some shit.

My Biggest beef, pork and chicken with those types of games is that they feel very grindy and more focused on character development rather than having fun. In addition, these types of games also require you to have online friends to play with and while it looks good on a paper we all know that our REAL LIFE, girlfriends, boyfriends, your mom, gyms, work - will take a huge toll on our gaming and we can find our hours of gaming either diminish or we might have to change hours that we play, leaving us unable to play with current friends and forced to find others. The biggest negative side of this is relying on other people to have fun.

Horizontal Progression Games:

These are very tricky games, and while they do offer some grinding, the main focus of these games is gameplay. They are usually focused around players casually logging in and having fun with out feeling of being left behind due to not having up to date gear and other crap. Good example of vertical progression MMO games is Guild Wars 2:

Gear is free, no leveling when it comes to PvP. PvE gear has a cap and PvE evolves around killing monsters for achievements and fun rather than a shiny new purple. THE PURPLE my friends they are amazing like a brand new car totally worth our time!!!! (sarcasm detected!) WoW challenge dungeons - is a horizontal progression component. Some might argue that arenas or RBGays is the same thing - but I tend to disagree as you need your gear maxed before you can get into good groups thus creating invisible entry barrier and making it very hard for undergeared players to get their ratings.

MOBA why did I mention them? Well they are the prime example of horizontal progression games where people log in to have fun rather than grind. One of the most successful MOBA games is League of Legends (yes some might argue DOTA 2 is best, Smite, Heroes of Newerth, My MOM raids my basement or other mobas). I do not want to argue which MOBA is the best, I just want to go off the MOBA that I have the most fun in - League of LAGANDs and disconnects which is bad, especially when your team relys on that specific lagger that curses you in french and calls you dumb american (true story).

MOBA types of games are known! For their horizontal progression. League of Legends has the most stream viewers, one of the biggest following / community. This game is roughly what 3-4 years old? (no idea honestly its my ball park estimation.) It is certainly "younger" than world of warcraft. It has a bigger following, way bigger and yet there are only roughly 4 maps to play on. Regular classic 5v5, 3v3, dominion, AREM.

So when it comes to amount of content that was developed - World of Warcraft will smoke the crap out of League of Legends. Then why doesn't WoW have as big of a following if not bigger? The simple answer - While LoL does not seem to have as much content as WoW - their content is current! There is no such thing as outdated "useless content" as for example WoW has (BC raiding for XMOGs? Get a life you nuuuurrrddd!) While WoW has more game content most of it is outdated and most of the time irrelevant compared to the current season / raiding. At the same time LoL has same 4 maps that have been played and they are all the time relevent regardless of a patch / season.

Once you got your level, your runes or some shit LoL focuses on having fun, on just logging, getting that que and focus on playing the game rather than "pimping" out your character. Yes WoW has battlegrounds but those are more of a festival of who having the most gear wins type of scenarios. Undergeared random battlegrounds suck ass while in LoL runes do matter but not to the point of blue geared WoW character vs full purple character.

That's horizontal progression games - they focus on gameplay rather than character progression with different PURPLES!!!

The question arises then - why GW2 kinda well you know failed... It had one of the most amazing starts possible when it comes to MMOs. And their philosophy is probably one of the better ones compared to other MMOs. Free gear, free 80 if you want to PvP. Focus on gameplay rather than grind - all this sounds amazing. The problem with GW2 was probably very simple - not enough of a time investment / balancing.

While League of Legends has it flaws when it comes to balance - it is certainly built around rock paper scissors where one champion counters another one. Early vs late game champions, over 100 different ones. And believe me I thought some of the champions are just a complete and uter trash when it comes to high end PvP gameplay and I was suprised by some of the top LoL streamers playing those champions and making them work.

Guild Wars 2 on the other hand felt like Rock, Paper, Scissors, Darth Vader, Atomic Bomb and Ultralisk. While it does have professions and they do have options there are just quite frankly not viable professions, not viable options and lots and lots of cookie cutter builds. I played for 2 weeks GW2 recently 3-8 hours a day and qued against some high ranked premades (30-60 ranked) and my experience was miserable to say the least. I just think there was really no good amount of time investment in the game balancing by itself. While league has 4 maps there are lots of things you can do - support, jungler, ADC, bruiser, AP carry and something in between 2. In GW2 there is only 1 mechanic - node capping, and while it does have some sort of a layer - bunker build, 1 shot 2 shot mechanic, condition builds, roamer. I just do not think it was enough to make the same Battle Grounds enjoyable over and over as LoL. Also Moba games usually take longer time than just 1 warfront.

In my opinion GW 2 Developers need to come out of their mom's basement, roll up their sleeves and be open about their vision of the game, balance, class roles. Develop more interesting profession / weapon choices. In LoL deveopers say this champion is a support, this one ADC, this one is Jungler, this one is bruiser. You know your class role and what it can fulfill while GW2 devs are silent. It is frustrating to play warrior sword and shield while you see other professions surpass you at evertying you do. You do not have a nitch on some professions, and some are straight more effient that you are. What is the point of offering variety of builds if there is a limit to what you can do profession wise (yes taking about warriors - 100blades or go home, Necro - conditionmancer or go home type of scenarios at high ranked play (usually!)). Give the life to builds make Necro axe spec have a specific role, or sword and board warrior, or a melee ranger have the roles that they can fulfill.

I would honestly make a shrine to GW2 if they can come up with more interesting gameplay / professions items in the future. 8 professions cannot simply satisfy our nerd craving theory crafting hunger. Come on with some weapons that transform your professions if creating a new profession feels like a huge time investement. Example: corrupted sword - will transform a Warrior into a Death Knight, Arcane Shield will transform elementalist into arcane melee warrior, dual dagger set will transform thief into assassin. and so forth.

Basically I think the plateform of gaming (no grind easy access) in GW2 is far superior of WoW model that has endless grind attached to it, but where GW2 failed is communication with their fans, balancing issues, and simply not enough content.

Ironically WoW had one of the most fun horizontally progression Battle ground maps - Alterac Valley where people would fight all the time, get the resources, summon avatars, assault bases and have some really long 40 minutes epic battles. People enjoyed it! But for some odd who knows whatever reason Blizzard let it die out with future expansions.

So what is the point of all this that I am typing -

In a hopes that WoW at some point also recognizes that they should tone down vertical progression in their game, its boring! Am I the only one annoyed by a constant gear grind even in PvP? Point capping?

WoW needs some structure again where people log in to have fun rather than progress their character. I have some ideas that I will post in the future blogs and twitt to their developers. Its funny but I did get a few responses from WoW Devs especially when I made a survey compared to GW2 where all I heard are crickets.

WoW needs to amp up their horizontal progression they need to make the game be fun instead of huge grind fest. And if people will seen entertainment in WoW over grind and WoW can provide it with horizontal progression then what we will see is a lot less people unsubbing in between patches and subscriber fluctuations.

Thank you for reading my long ass blog post about vertical vs horizontal progression games. And I will post some ideas in the future. Later!

The Meta system of MMOs is too easy to see it

The Meta system of the game is too easy that people do not see it.

I get a lot of questions and the most hated question i have right now is "what is your rotation?" I usually like to say X CB X CB A X Z (brutality combo for sega 16 bit one of the Ultimate Mortal Kombat Characters)

People are SOOOOooo (emphasis on Oooo) worried when they are playing PvP setting in MMO that they are doing something wrong that it actually stops them from being creative with their playstyle, and of course the side effect of that thinking becomes - "I do not want to be seen like a noob therefore I will copy what other guy does". It is still buffles that instead of thinking for themselves and exploring the limits of their class gamers would rather just copy somebody else's playstyle and play according to what they think is right. End of Cata i went full mastery as UH DK and haven't looked back since even for arenas I was laughed at by many top players until they lost their precious R1 / Glad titles during last week of pushing. (nothing is more fun that seeing a Gladiator crying like a little baby when you snipe them with your 3s team that is at 2k MMR :)

Anyway this is the topic of the next blog that I will name "Do not kill your own creativity." This is however the post that is going to be an abstract shiet that some people will call lame / common sense and others will think its genius whether its one of the other I will let you decide. I will tell you 1 thing though that this post might help you with prioritizing your offensive / defensive capability.

So you there who is reading my blog right now - tell me what is world of warcraft PvP consists off? Close your eyes and think of WoW PvP and images that it will bring (for real close your eyes, no seriously close them now). And here is what pops into your mind well not sure about yours but here what comes to my mind - damage, burst, dots healing, defensive cooldowns, CC, stuns, different CCs focus CCs, stealth and all that jazz. Yeah my comrade that shiet makes sense and WoW PvP does have all that well and all other MMOs too. (did you get random images of frost nova when I asked you about PvP if you did replay with 1 in the comments)

Umm yeah well those are layers. This is where it is going to get goodly wierd ass hell so lets get at it. Ok here are the layers of PvP or levels if that will make sense but I like to think of it as layers well being a medical student i like to picture something like bone, muscle skill (no those are not all layers but those are known).
So the layers are the following:
CC / Anti CC
Damage / Healing
HEALTH (no, here is no mana only health, and yeah mana is another resource but lets put it in damage / healing I will explain later)

So why all the layers? because shit is confusing until you actually look closely and see that EVERYTHING depends on 1 little thing called HP bar. Why people bitch about burst damage - HP Bar goes down quickly, why people bitch about lack or too much healing - HP bar goes up quickly / slowly. Think about it - from the moment you started playing any video games what is the most important thing there - HP motha fooking bar (sorry for cursing just kinda in a mood a bit). Why HP bar then? well because it relates to the most importante thing in life is the life itself. Death is something people are scared of and it is something that is a normal thing in our daily lives, and it is the most driving force in our civilization. Living is winning dieing is losing - you want to argue - talk to the people who were in wars. So what is the core thing of any mmo - life itself. you live in Arena you win man, you die - you lose (well unless you fighting a potato that does not know how to stop a res).

Why am I saying all these nonsense? Well its not really a nonsense.
Everything in MMO is based around getting that HP to 0 or staying at 100%. Damage is the most important for your damage dealer, healing is the most important for your healer. Surviving is the most important thing in general.

When I just started playing WoW arena I told my first arena partner that I figured out Arena I said that everything in arena is ALL about Damage and healing. I told him that no matter what there is: focus shmocus, stun shmun, and all other crap - everything is about damage and healing. Well he kinda
looked at me like I am retarded and started argueing about how some classes can pad meters and still lose, and I said I was talking about effective damage that kills people. Anyway he was higher rated than me so he pretty much shrugged everything I told him and told me I am an idiot (indirectly of course). 2 seasons later the guy kept insisting that I should play with him and that he is a good player and he improved since we last played. (oh the motha fuking irony at its best)

This is where it gets interesting... I PROMISE!

Damage and healing is the most important wait a sec let me put it in caps IMPORTANT thing in PvP because they are the ones that get that HP to 0 or 100%.
It is virtually a scale (and no not a total scale although pattern does follow it 80% of the time) I am talking about doing more damage / healing wins matches.
But picture scale ب|ب on one end put healing on another put damage - what you get? you are dueling a healer :D what happens when daamage exceeds healing - DPS wins a duel, what happens when healing exceeds damage - healer calls DPS terrible and /laughs at him in between the times he needs to heal.
Lets create a dialog because i think they are fun to read! Lets make it between confused Troll(T) who does not know a game but still likes to argue and call people bad and Reinhart(R)

T: But wait Reinhart da wierd ass blogger what about stuns, silences that DPS can use to kill a healer are you forgetting about those? see it is not only about damage and healing!

R: Not really. It is still there.

T: So you are saying that stuns are the portion of damage / healing model

R: Not a portion, part.

T: What about defensives cooldowns like AMS, Bubble, Iceblock don't tell me that they are all portion of your damage / healing model?!

R: They are in there. In fact those are also parts of model about damage / healing. In fact man everything is about damage / healing because those have direct influence on HP bar.

T: Shields and Necrotics also?

R: Yup those are also part of healing / damage

T: Dude you fucking suck, you type random shiet possible and think your subscribers will understand you. Go learn english. (angry troll leaves)

R: (turns back to his audience and speaks)

Ok here. picture following scale this time I want you to put 3 different same and healing mechanics on 1 scale and put the same on others. What do we get - 3v3! Everything in 3v3, everything in WoW PvP is about damage and healing - why? because they are the main effectors of HP bar! You are playing 3v3 match lets make it 2 DPS 1 healer both teams. Tell me why do you pop defensive cooldown? so that you will take less damage and for a few seconds your healer can catch up on healing.
Why do you switch to a healer - so that melee can have easier time preventing heals because healer has to kite and juke or he will get interrupted. Why is it bad to get interrupted? - because your healing will decrease and healing will be on a lesser scale than damage.
Why do you stun? so that the enemy team will do less damage, or so that enemy player cannot prevent you from doing damage, or so that enemy player cannot reduce you damage on him via defensive cooldowns.
Why do you CC? to lower healing, damage, or to prevent enemy from preventing you from damage...
Why peopel dispell stuff? So you could do more damage

Everything is about scale between healing and damage. There is such a thing called healing threshold and if you are above that even only by 5% you will notice the entire enemy team will act funny / differently and scared.

But do not be fooled because there is a different between effective damage and padding damage. Frost DKs spamming howling blast is a laughable case in 3v3. Frost DKs using necrotics is deadly.

Using death rune to put 30-40k necrotics is awesome, using death rune to cast icy touch that can dispell icy veins is way more rewarding, using death rune to cast icy touch for barrier is more effective.

But why? SO THAT YOUR team scale side will be in a better shape. There is such a thing as effective damage and healing. And the reason people hate stuns, CCs, because they are preventing you from doing the job that you fell in love with - healing / damage. So this is the core thing about you in PvP. EFFECTIVE DAMAGE! You can play some sneaky comp that controls a lot and uses that fine tool to burst the target down from 100% to 0%, or you can be a BIG BOY comp that spreads a lot of pressure and makes the enemy team fall behind on healing.

Wether through extensive CC, or too much damage you are a DPS need to find a way to pass the threshold of healing in order to score a kill. Guess what - when healer is CCed you are passing the enemy's team healing threshold.

This is where it gets interesting. I know a decent DK he got to 2100 this season in 3v3. We dueled and I lost like 2 out of 7 duels. Surprisingly he was an incredible dueler. So anyway that DK told me how amazing he is he was 2600 rated and right now he is having hard time getting 2.2 because his teammates are always bad and blah blah and shit like that. So anyway the guy bragged he is soo amazing at DK utilities - much better than me that he always chains of ice the melee, always tries to steal with good dark simulacrums, he always kites when physical DPS is on him and he told me that basically he could push higher ratings than me. I got pissed off and stopped talking to him because the last thing I need is another PvP diva who thinks everyone has to play perfectly.

Later that day we faced each other in arena. And boy was that DK good. He was chaining me all the time, me and my warrior. He would peel, couple times he would position himself closer to healer and actually got one focus mind freeze off he probably had the best stance switch i have seen. As soon as we would switch to him he would go blood and start kiting, then he would go back UH if we were not on him and start peeling. What can I say the guy did some amazing shit in a 3v3 match (it was TSG vs TSG mirror and it was both UH DKs). So he reminded me of a NINJA MASTER KUNFU KARATE KEMPO BOXING TAEK WON DO master who shows all his amazing moves infront of the guy who had a gun.I just gripped into Asphixiate then DR Shock Wave then war bringer their healer 2 times and we killed him.
At the end of the match I did about 40% more damage and 30% more Necrotics. The guy got pissed off raged at his team and /ignored me when I said he was doing it wrong. 1 thing I found out in this life is that its extremely hard to convince a stupid person that he is stupid.

Here is the funny thing - being pretty in arena and doing something cute is always fun and admiring as long as it does not hurt your primary role - DAMAGE. By kiting a lot, chain of icing a lot focus freezing the other DK though he was amazing when in reality all he was doing is trying to persuade himself that he is one of the best DKs and everyone suck while in reality he missed the important role of his DK - Damage.

With that said here is your priority, he is your mother fuking rotation - You need to exceed your enemies healing per second in order to win. All your UH rotation is based on that - weather its scourge striking a mage to make soul reaper proc, weather its using death rune to dispell BOP, weather its gripping a healer's heal and pestilancing instead of wasting grip as a gap closer.

Everything is based around doing more damage than healing, doing more healing than damage, preventing damage, preventing healing. What you need to understand is that there is not right or wrong answer there is your role and you need to fulfill it to your best ability. Sometimes as affi lock its better to cast more fears than dots, sometimes its better to cast more dots than fears whatever will be the best, but the decision should come from what is the best skill usage for the best outcome. Example: Affi lock fighting vs BIG ASS DOT Cleave - there is no way in hell you can outdamage your opponent if its a good dot cleave - so what do you do you focus more on single target damage - assist your partner with dots and then fear the DPS a lot to lower their damage and not allow them to set up an amazing spread pressure. Or Affi lock vs for example Warrior, Hunter, RShaman. Guess what - this is as bad as it gets vs this team in terms of fears, hunter has 1 min extra trinket, warrior has berserker rage, shaman has tremor. The effective uptime of your fears is really low especially if you are getting trained. So what now? are you going to focus on trying to fear that comp the most, or your spread pressure to force the enemy team play more defensive and let you get a few casts off.

Thats why in PvP not all black and white, there is no define answer to rotation, or CC priority, or other shit like that. Rule of average - use your abilities to the best of your knowledge that would provide the greatest outcome possible. This is where offensive AMS or lich borne comes in place, everything is based on judgement, and everything is based on having your team damage exceed the enemy's team healing.

(What about double healer) Think again you are still basing yourself vs the enemy's healer and its ither you trying to oom him or kill him regardless it is still priortity for you to fulfill your role to the fullest.

I hope this wierd ass post helps a bit. I will make a VLOG about this as well.