Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Followup on 4.3 Heroics

As of Sunday night, my first impression of the new heroics of patch 4.3 was that they were a gamble - super easy content in the old dungeons versus higher gear rewards in the new stuff.  After doing half a dozen random runs to gear up in the new material, I'm coming around to the viewpoint of some of my commenters.  The new content seems surprisingly easy.

My new weapon appears to be an Eye of Sauron on a stick.

All told, I've done about 10 partial or full runs through the new content.  All ten successfully completed the zone.  Individual players wordlessly dropping group for unspecified reasons (presumably displeasure with their random selection) are pretty common.  Wipes happen occasionally, and have always been attributable to either the tank or the healer.  (Sorry, guys, I just haven't seen that there are any DPS checks to fail in this content, especially since we're all baselined in by gear.  If it makes you feel any better, the offenders probably aren't real tanks/healers, just DPS trying to get better queues.) 

More interestingly, these nigh guaranteed wins are also quick - maybe one of these ten runs went over 30 minutes.  It's possible that the recent introduction of new gear is driving more skilled players into the dungeons in their first week than we'll see in the future.  In the mean time, this isn't looking like much of a gamble at all - I'm clearing the 4.3 heroics in PUG's as fast as it's possible to clear the old content, even if you ignore the possibility of getting stuck with a more time-consuming Troll instance. 

If this trend holds up, it's potentially unfortunate.  The new zones have the kind of extended NPC dialog that gets old after you've done it 3+ times each, to say nothing of 7 times per week.  Likewise, rehashing such a small number of zones so many times is a common flaw to the daily dungeon model (including its implementation in other games).  Meanwhile, in about a week I have gone from gear that was not yet the level of Cataclysm's launch heroics straight to the entry level for the current raid tier.  This is a good deal if I was looking to get that over with, and a bad deal to the extent that the experience might otherwise have been enjoyable enough to spend more than a week on. 

Don't get me wrong, entry barriers are a tough problem that no one has adequately solved, and the new content is definitely high quality and fun to complete a few times.  It's just a bit unfortunate that longstanding flaws in the incentives may overshadow that accomplishment.

Under that ball of felfire is a gnome, who is also glowing bright blue with corrupted energy.
P.S. One of my new pieces of loot is a demon themed trinket that turns me blue and, on use, also sets me on fire.  This looks very cool but is somewhat problematic in a high end game that consists primarily of moving your character when you find yourself standing in fire. 


Anonymous said...

If you're looking for Valor cap ... nah you dont have to do them 7xWeek ... LFR=500, BH=100 ... those raids being just as faceroll as the dungeons (well at least the first half of LFR). 400 points left to cap, is what 3 random LFD's. It is a nice change for the non-raiders and the seemingly endless ZA/ZG grind.

Saunder said...

I am with you 100% about that trinket. the first half a dozen times it went off for me, I moved. Even more bizarre when my holy Paladin turns blue and has green stuff at his feet! lol

LifeDeathSoul said...

well... if you think the NPC dialogues are old fast, you have not run SWTOR instances enough then XD. It gets old way faster and it's much longer than the RP sequences of the new instances in WOW