Login with Patreon
Officers Quarters > WoWMay 27, 2015 3:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: Raiding failure, voice chat and reinforcement

hundreds of bodies from oondasta wipes

Has Warlords failed guilds? This week’s OQ addresses that loaded question, along with questions about Blizzard’s failed in-game voice chat support and raiders who fail mechanics.

Saik asked
Question: Do you believe WoD has succeeded or failed in allowing players and their guilds/friends/raid teams to engage in high end raid content?

It depends what you mean by “high end.” I think the flexibility of normal and heroic raids has been amazing for guilds, even if it does bring some complications for officers (such as underperforming players whom you could in theory bring along but don’t want to). When raids have a strict player size, raiding rosters require more players than that size just because you will always have some absent players or roster turnover. In the past, that meant players going off on their own — or worse, sitting at the raid portal — waiting for their turn to swap in, while their friends got to face off against the bosses. I can think of few things less fun in an MMO than that. Flexible raiding has solved that issue.

It also means guilds don’t have to commit to a size. If you have 18 raiders and you lose some players, you don’t necessarily have to recruit back to full strength.

So in those ways, Warlords has been great. On the other hand, Heroic bosses are more difficult on average than their Normal counterparts in Mists of Pandaria. So if you consider Heroic “high end,” then it’s less accessible to a degree than Normal raiding was. But if your guild isn’t ready for Heroic, the new Normal (old Flex) is there and it isn’t a substantially different experience from Heroic in the way that LFR is from other difficulties.

If you mean Mythic for “high end,” then yes, Warlords has failed a lot of guilds. Many, many guilds have not successfully converted from 10-player Heroic guilds to 20-player Mythic. Many of those guilds no longer exist as a result. Disbanding guilds means friends going their separate ways or just quitting the game (as the current sub numbers suggest).

10-player Heroic raiding wasn’t a cakewalk in Mists or Cataclysm, but it was far more accessible and guild friendly than Mythic ever will be. Do I think Blizzard should change Mythic to 10-player? No, as I’ve already stated.

Wrathsome asked
Q for the OQ:

As the new paradigm and solution for us is to have Pre-Made in a flex environment — do you think it is time that Blizzard bought out Vent and build it into our UI?

Needing three pieces of outside software (Vent, Mumble and TeamSpeak) to be able to party up in a game simply isn’t elegant nor an honest way to offer a game. In a sense, I don’t feel that Blizzard should have offered Pre-Mades as a tool without addressing communication.

Once upon a time, on another website, I wrote a WoW Archivist column about patch 2.2. I called it “the patch without content.” It implemented an in-game voice chat option. Players didn’t use it, because it wasn’t competitve with other options like the ones you listed. It offered fewer features. It launched in a buggy state that provided a poor first impression. Quality was poor, and it suffered from lag. If the game crashed for you, your voice chat crashed also, so you couldn’t tell anyone you weren’t online anymore.

Blizzard removed the game’s voice chat option in 2011. Actually they didn’t, but I had you for a moment, didn’t I? No one uses it, so they might as well have. I just logged in to make sure it’s still there, and it absolutely is — shunned and lonely. Who will speak for WoW’s voice chat, when the voices go silent…?

Maybe Blizzard will update it at some point, but I kind of doubt it. To me the best solution would be to partner with one of these companies and integrate their software into the game or into Battle.net. But if Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm are any indication, Blizzard seems to want to limit communication rather than expand it, to prevent potential griefing.

Jpec07 asked
So right now my guild is on hiatus from raiding, with many of us not playing WoW right now. In discussing it with some of the other officers, one of the biggest problems contributing to burnout was a general, quiet frustration with our lack of progress. We only raid one night a week, and while some of our members could (probably) contribute to a world-first race, others have difficulty with mechanics that are as simple as not standing in fire, staying away from the boss when he’s chasing you, and such things. Watching other raid members die to easily avoidable mechanics is understandably a very frustrating experience, especially when it’s preventing our group from advancing.

The question I have is this: what is the best way to provide negative reinforcement against inattentiveness and poor raid awareness, without crushing the morale of my raid team? How do I call people out for things that ought to be called out without seeming like a big jerk? Also, is that the best way to go about helping my team improve their game? I’ve only been a raid leader since Siege of Orgrimmar, so I don’t have nearly enough experience to be able to answer these questions myself.

It depends on your guild’s raiding culture. If you’re focused on progression, you can call people out by name. Talk to them over voice chat about what they can do to avoid making the same mistakes. Maybe it’ll help everyone else. You don’t have to be a jerk about it. You don’t have to raise your voice, which is unnecessary and counterproductive. Try to maintain an attitude of helping them instead of condemning them.

If your guild is more focused on social raiding, then you have to hold back a little bit. It’s better to say something like, “Some people are still running into mines on Blackhand. Does anyone have any questions about how they work? Remember that we all need to move away from them. Don’t worry about staying on the boss — just move forward and pick up your rotation when you can.” The people who are hitting the mines will know who they are. If you’ve succeeded in creating a supportive environment, they won’t be afraid to ask questions about a mechanic they don’t fully understand.

Negative reinforcement isn’t the best solution. People need to learn the mechanics so helping/explaining is better than punishing. It could also be less of an awareness issue and more of a control mechanics issue, such as keyboard turning or clicking spells, or a UI issue, such as out-of-date addons or screen clutter blocking their view of the bad. Look beyond the default explanation of “lack of awareness” and ask them questions about their setup to see if an underlying problem is causing them to struggle.


Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: