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Regional FlagFlex Raidings Poison PillSource
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Killberry
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#1 - 2013/07/19 04:57:00 PM
Flex raiding is probably one of the best ideals Blizzard has come up with. However, at the same time they are rolling it out they are also coming out with the dagger that will aim straight at its heart.

Proving Grounds.

Yes Proving Grounds, a very good ideal in and of itself but it will or may become the cancer that kills flex raiding depending how it is implemented.

Why? You ask.

Because you are graded "Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Endless". There is nothing wrong with the grading system except for the fact your grade will be out there for everyone to see.

Now I personally have no problem with the grading system, the problem is Flex mode is meant to encourage pugging and the grading system will work against it. Again I think most players should know how to play their spec but if everyone can see your grade who do you think the people trying to put together a Flex Raid will ask for.

Bronze = Not just no but ____ no.
Silver = Over my dead body.
Gold = Maybe, but only if I know you.

Endless = Ding, Ding, Ding you just answered the $64,000,000 question.

Now once again I believe someone should know the basics of their role and should strive to get better, but the best way to get better is through practice and Flex Raiding will be the best way to get that practice.

Now I am not a part of PTR and have not seen how the system works but Blizzard needs to be very careful about how they implement this.

Maybe the grades you earn should only be seen by the player and a grade of pass (not fail) should be seen by the outside world.

After over 50 years observing human behavior and 12 or more years of observing Homodotnetus behavior I can just about predict what is going to happen.

I hope I am wrong.

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#50 - 2013/07/19 06:14:00 PM
07/19/2013 09:57 AMPosted by Killberry
Flex mode is meant to encourage pugging and the grading system will work against it.


Flex is for guilds and groups of friends to be able to raid in a slightly less demanding situation that scales to a number of players, because for those guilds not everyone shows up every raid night, while also allowing them to avoid LFR or needing to invite PUG people to fill out their group.

We think people putting together PUGs for Flex is totally cool and giving some love to PUG raids is an overall positive for the game, but it's a side-bonus. It's not really an important point to make necessarily, but I just wanted to point it out as you stated your understanding of the intent of Flex so certainly. PUG Flex is cool, just not the primary intent of the system. Somewhat ironically it's mostly to keep guilds from having to invite PUGs to their "Beer League" runs.

It's been common for PUG leaders to ask for achievement links before inviting people for a very long time as a way to test familiarity with an encounter and skill. The achievements they ask for change from raid leader to raid leader, and raid to raid. Proving Grounds certainly isn't going to make that any worse, raid leaders are still going to want some "proof", and it could be possible Proving Grounds actually makes the situation better as you may only need to show a single "class competence" achievement from 5.4 on. "I haven't done some of these fights yet, but I have Gold so I'm sure I can figure it out." That may not be acceptable for all raid leaders, but it at least creates that possibility. Right now there's no way for a raid leader to judge your competence outside of "I killed this dragon." with no context. Maybe you had your friends carry you? With Proving Grounds there is at least the context of your abilities as an individual player.

Very loosely if you can get Bronze in Proving Grounds you're good for Heroic dungeons, if you can get Silver you're good for LFR, and if you can do Gold you're going to probably be able to handle Flex/Normal - if you can get Gold you're probably not a liability to pick up for a Normal.

Anyway, it seems you're implying Proving Grounds will be bad for Flex because players will have to show ability/competence to raid leaders to join PUGs, and... I don't know that that's a bad thing, or much different than showing various raid achievements. And actually it may be better for people than raid achievements because there's context for how it was earned. If someone is a bit less skilled, they can keep at Proving Grounds and getting better, that's a benefit for them and the people they're going to group with.

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#58 - 2013/07/19 06:24:00 PM


Very loosely if you can get Bronze in Proving Grounds you're good for Heroic dungeons, if you can get Silver you're good for LFR, and if you can do Gold you're going to probably be able to handle Flex/Normal - if you can get Gold you're probably not a liability to pick up for a Normal.


For Tanks and Healers, maybe.

Can you explain to me how Proving Grounds shows anything about DPS at all?

Cheers.


If you got Gold then you know enough about your class and were able to do enough damage to successfully kill some things, and that means you're probably competent enough to dip into Flex/Normal.

The intent of Proving Grounds is not to show your epic DPS for Heroic raiding guild recruitment, it's to help players learn new specs, and understand when they have achieved some competency to be a positively contributing member to a group of players.

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#102 - 2013/07/19 07:53:00 PM


I don't think I've seen a dps able to pull agro off a tank since cataclysm. Well unless maybe they forgot their tank stance / buff / whatever that gives them +agro. Basically this mechanism has been all but removed from game?


DPS still can only if the tank isn't trying to hold it at all.


If you pull aggro off a tank maybe you shouldn't be grouping with them.

As far as helping teach additional skills and things, there are a wide range of boss mechanics, this is the first implementation of Proving Grounds, and we'll be evaluating how well it works out, and how and where to potentially expand it in the future.

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#129 - 2013/07/19 08:37:00 PM
I suspect that the OP might be correct, raid invites and what not is possibly gonna depend on what grade you have on the proving grounds. you wanna know why? because about half this comminuty are total ^%#@ and elitests , tbh Iwhen I said op might be correct, saying this is making me lean waay towards the op being correct


Ensuring a group is composed of competent players (with game knowledge and proper gear) that will not cause a lot of undue stress or a waste of time is not something I would consider elitist. I'd consider that good sense.

If someone isn't great at the game Proving Grounds can actually provide some goals to achieve, in a private setting, so that they can attempt to improve. Knowing that you have room to improve and being able to mark that improvement is a very positive thing for that player, and the future groups they join.

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#136 - 2013/07/19 08:43:00 PM
I don't think you really understood the context of what was being said. Proving Grounds, for now, is not there to hold your hand through every type of encounter. It's there to get you used to the tools you'd need to tank with. So if it teaches you how to properly handle AoE and to use a taunt once in a while, it's exposing the player to their abilities and what they do. It's not teaching you any specific fight mechanic.

I'd hope you'd rather the player learn, than the game just hold their hand through everything that would potentially influence individual thought.


And there's room for improvement of course. As I said we'll be evaluating how well this first shot goes, and when and if we may want to expand Proving Grounds in the future.

It's not going to take a brand new WoW player in quest blues and make them battle-ready to tank your Normal or Heroic raids. It will help people learn new specs and their basic mechanics (like what taunting even is) in a private setting where they can try to improve without impacting a large raid full of people.

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#140 - 2013/07/19 08:52:00 PM
And there's room for improvement of course. As I said we'll be evaluating how well this first shot goes, and when and if we may want to expand Proving Grounds in the future.

It's not going to take a brand new WoW player in quest blues and make them battle-ready to tank your Normal or Heroic raids. It will help people learn new specs and their basic mechanics (like what taunting even is) in a private setting where they can try to improve without impacting a large raid full of people.


I don't suppose proving grounds will inform players of abilities in their spellbook? (I had a hard time raiding when I forgot shadowfiend existed, when I switched to solace and insanity.) There's certain abilities people don't care to use (or even know that they exist).

How much guidance will one have in the proving grounds?


It's something we've discussed. It obviously can get pretty complicated, especially with every class and spec and as abilities and talents change, but it of course could offer a super in-depth training situation. There are a ton of things we could do with Proving Grounds, but we're focusing on getting it out there with its current features in 5.4.

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#195 - 2013/07/20 12:04:00 AM
Last note, the current difficulty on the PTR isn't final. We have quite a bit of time to keep testing and tuning, and the current difficulty is probably quite a bit undertuned from where we want it. Where each medal shakes out in relative difficulty to group PvE content is likely to change, and we appreciate your continued feedback on the PTR Discussion forum after trying it out!

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#303 - 2013/07/20 03:02:00 AM
My call?

I give it two weeks after 5.4 hits that we will see pugs expecting any and all to have PG at gold level min, massively overgear instance, and for any who dont have it to be told "ur bad" and sneered at and abused.

PG at Gold will be considered "mandatory" for all regardless.


Not intending to be snide, but if you don't like being held to the standards of others you can always create your own group and decide who can join. I think you'll find that after some difficulty there are good reasons why people have learned to set some standards and requirements, not that all of them are necessarily accurate or needed. But in creating your group and making good judgment calls on what those can be, you could create a very popular, fun, successful and regularly occurring PUG.

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#308 - 2013/07/20 03:11:00 AM
Bashiok: All I will say in reply is that the "standards" set at times are ridiculous bordering on the insane.

As far as standards and requirements...isnt that what achievements are for? If I or anyone else has the achieve then why need to do the Grounds as well?

Kinda defeats the purpose?


I don't disagree that people tend to set requirements far and above what are required, but that may also be due to those people having bad experiences. If they seem unreasonable for what you believe is necessary for success there's a straight forward way to do something about it.

You're asking me why in a hypothetical situation people are asking you for Proving Ground medal achievements in addition to raid achievements? That's an assumption, first off, although probably a correct one. Well, one shows you downed a boss, which has no context for what you contributed. Maybe you had a guild carry you or went AFK? Proving Grounds show some level of ability, devoid of other factors outside of your own.

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#320 - 2013/07/20 03:19:00 AM
Bashiok: do you agree with the premise that not doing the Grounds means you "are not competent" as has been posted here?


Of course not, but that has nothing to do with what individual raid leaders may or may not ask for.

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#325 - 2013/07/20 03:22:00 AM
Hey, Bashiok: just want to say thanks for doing poster responses like this. Direct interaction can mean a lot, even when the posters you're talking to don't agree with you. ;)


Well thanks for the thanks!

Bash, I don't mean to be insincere - but is the proving grounds actually going to prove anything worthwhile? I one shot my way to the last three bosses of brawlers guild. I think I died once before that to a DC. And even if I am marginally mistaken, you see the posts of trouble people have with hexos - let alone pushing the ah'rune with 2-3 angels at the same time and staying alive. Frankly, I don't see proving grounds being that hard. I don't see it developing a significant, or even modest, level of player skill.

Proving Grounds needs to not be something you do once, it needs to be something you do every day. Think of it more like a yoga 'asa'; it's a posture, a form, that trains the body to be in a way. In yoga, 'asa's are centered and balanced, and develop flow and connectedness. This is how one should play. Practice a form to train the body; sitting in a chair is an 'asa' - it trains the body to be in a way (perhaps a poor way). Are proving grounds a way to train the player to be in a way?

Proving grounds, really should be training grounds, and be done frequently to develop familiarity, coordination, and skill. How do you begin to take hundreds of fights, and adaptations to playstyle from those encounters and in brevity, teach that to someone? The only way I could do it in real life is with a principles based construct, based on ideas that abstract the learning.


Not intending to respond with something much more curt than what you've written (I want to go home!) but I think I've covered a lot of that in previous posts re: current implementation and difficulty, future possibilities, etc. Good intuitions though!

Have a good weekend y'all!