So look, if you’ve read this blog before you might be forgiven for thinking that the following statement is somewhat redundant, but here we go: I think about videogames a lot.
What I’ve been getting more and more into recently is thinking about how they are constructed, and this has lead to a gradual realization that my skills as a programmer are way inferior to where I think they would need to be to produce a game on my own. My brain doesn’t really occupy the same headspace as those who write serious code for a living.
… but that does make thought experiments on basic aspects of game construction very informative and revealing to me. So, let me tell you about this dream I had!
There’s been a lot of good words said about Darkest Dungeon (by Red Hook Studios), a new dungeon-crawler-tactical-turn-based-gothic-horror-themed RPG in Early Access at the moment on Steam. I’m generally not a fan of early access games, but Darkest Dungeon is already (in my opinion) a pretty well polished product and has enough content to justify the £15 purchase for me. But this post isn’t a review, it’s more of a discussion of the way its mechanics make is so good. I like deconstructing these things, so I hope you do too.
On Thursday night, I wrote a rather emotional post about how Mythic raiding has disappointed me and my guild, made my life measurably worse, and taken away something precious to me. I honestly didn’t expect anyone to take much notice.
Ho boy, was I in for a surprise!
I’ve received a huge number of responses from people all over the internet, most of whom are in a similar position to my guild. I’ve been completely bowled over by the passion and the bitter disappointment expressed in the responses I’ve seen is touching. Moreover, the points made have been eloquently expressed and hit points which I couldn’t express on my own. Here, then, is what some of my readers had to say about their experiences. I treasure each and every one of these posts.
Posted in World of Warcraft
Tagged casual, casualcore, hardcore, Heroic, mythic, Normal, raiding, readers, thank you, World of Warcraft, WoW
Mythic raiding. Where do I even begin?
Back in Mists of Pandaria, I was part of a very tightly knit 10-player raiding guild called Harvest Moon. The guild stood for friendship and fun and raiding in a close atmosphere. The supportive nature of the guild produced really excellent players – we cleared Normal ToT and went on to kill 11/14 Heroic in SoO. It was a real pleasure to be a part of the team, even through various leadership changes and a name change to Omnishambles.
We’ve always been a guild who believed first and foremost that playing well and progressing far in Heroic raiding wasn’t mutually exclusive with a fun and casual atmosphere. We really showed that in Mists of Pandaria, and we were totally poised to carry that on into Warlords of Draenor. But then… Mythic. 20-player only. Oh damn.
a.k.a “Why 10 Player Formats Are Better”
Many pages have been devoted by fans of Warcraft’s raiding scene to whether one raid format is harder than the others. This conversation started way back in the era of Wrath of the Lich King, when there genuinely was a built-in difficulty difference between smaller and larger raids. 25 player raids were slightly harder, and rewarded slightly better loot as a result. When we moved to Cataclysm (and, later, Mists of Pandaria), the difficulty levels of each raid size were explicitly stated to be equal. Naturally, not all players agreed and the “25man players are the only real raiders” attitude became both less easy to argue and more infuriating to hear.
Now, we’re in the age of Flexible raiding and 20-man (“one size fits nobody”) Mythic raiding. I sincerely and desparately miss 10-player raiding, and I’m going to go out on a limb and tell you that it was better. Not “harder”, but better.
Cue the QQ in 3… 2… 1…
Posted in Game Design, World of Warcraft
Tagged 10man, 25man, complexity, depth, experience, Extra Credits, flexible, mythic, raiding, World of Warcraft, WoW