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The Gatekeeper "Mechanic"

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by AcidBaron, May 11, 2013.

  1. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    First of to not cause confusion, this is not a mechanic in Wildstar or at least not to my knowing.

    In other thread, being derailed from its original subject a question was asked, "how do you measure people effectively?"

    We know we can measure raw output from a dps class and that's basically it. Sure we can measure how much damage a tank actually takes but does that number say anything, same for healing we can measure the raw output in hps or hpm or absorbs, you get the point but what does that actually tell us regards if the player is ready or not for a difficulty step up?

    Well, nothing, zilch, nadda, zip and in a lot of mmo's this is a problem.

    Why? Well we expect people to know certain basics they never had to use while leveling or doing "starter/normal" mode dungeons. And when those expectations aren't met well not so fun scenarios happen for both the person and the group cause we all know how forgiving and understanding people are online, right and that's not something that will change.

    So you can say to simply make content that hard from the start, a sort of "adapt or leave" learning curve. What let us be realistic here, will never happen for plethora of reasons and in my personal opinion is bad for growth in your game, dropping people in the deep end without some sort of safety net isn't good for a game concept build around having plenty others around you. (do not confuse with "wants to make game so easy that it can be played, while eating and drinking and playing blindfolded at the same time" or "oh my god die you casual lobbyist!")



    So to measure a player we cannot do it by meters or arbitrary numbers (hello gearscore!)
    We can however put a player up against a challenge on their own to test if they are in fact ready or not.

    So what i suggest is to take a look at what another game did, As some of you who have played it might have guessed already, i'm talking about Funcom's The Secret World,






    The gatekeeper mechanic.

    (ps: might have been used in a mmo before that, never experienced it elsewhere hence this reference point)


    In short, the gatekeeper is a single player boss mob that determines if you are ready for your role (Tank, dps or healer) to participate in Nightmare mode dungeons. What is the final step before raids.

    here is the link to the mechanic in question with a video of each type, for those reluctant to visit IGN here as a quick summary.

    Each fight exist out of three phases, They all differ from each other, you can not do them in a group, you need to unlock them once but have to do them for each role you wish to unlock separately.

    For a DPS, First gear check / rotation check dps wise. Second, offensive dispelling at the right time. Third, kiting an add while dpsing the boss, add cannot be soaked it one shots you. During all of that drops bad stuff on the ground.

    For a Tank, Protect the companion. Second, interrupt / use a CC to avoid the one shot hit. Third pick up adds. Boss hits companion even if only once you die. Adds kill companion you die.
    During all of that the boss has a frontal cone effect you need to dodge and don't let your companion get hit by it either.

    For a healer, Keep companion alive. second, keep companion and yourself alive while dispelling several effects of you. Third, Heal multiple companions, which of some tanks, some dps, some dps standing in fire. And again as with the DPS version shrinks space you can stand on by having permanent bad circles and others he drops constantly on you.


    For me the concept is sound, we can argue that it's not fully possible as in this form as we are working with classes and not a free form skill system as in the TSW so not all dps will have a dispel for example.
    However i find this an interesting concept and something i would fully support the addition of in this game.
    Yes, it won't suddenly make all difference in skill level between players go away

    So if you manage to read all this, congrats! I would like to hear your opinions on it, point out flaws or simply say if you like it or go away acid with your crazy suggestion!
    Saza, Mutley, CharonFellblade and 8 others like this.
  2. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    There was a thread about this already and i am for it :up:
    I think it's a nice way to test people, and if you make this ''gatekeeper'' the last quest of an attunement quest line it's even better.
    And yes it's been used before, but in that game the gatekeeper was almost harder then the content that came after defeating him....
    Malorak likes this.
  3. C1d0s

    C1d0s Cupcake

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    I understand your reference, however this has existed for some time in many, many MMOs - even World of Warcraft. In what is commonly referred to as modern day raiding, "Gatekeeper" bosses are generally in most raids in one form or the other. It's usually one of the easier bosses, with less mechanics than others that serves no purpose but to check the gearing of the players. Is this a good thing? Probably so. Can it be bad? Of course.

    Considering we know so very little about the Elder Game and raiding, especially with this style of "action" combat, we don't know exactly the dependency gear will have considering you can dodge and avoid telegraphed mechanics. That said, I have no doubt it will probably be somewhere in the process as Gatekeeper bosses have become something of a staple.

    It all really depends on how the action combat meshes with the gear progression and most of the boss mechanics. What percentage of attacks are telegraphed? How many can you effectively dodge? Enrage timers? All of this is really hard to effectively speculate without knowledge of the end game - and we don't know much.
  4. Witless

    Witless "That" Cupcake

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    I like it. I can't see why anybody wouldn't. I'd love to be sure I was ready as a player than think I was and fail. It also fits into a "meaningful attunement or gate for players and would be more understandable than jsut a gear check.
  5. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    Did a quick search before posting and only came up, the mention of it buried in other threads reason i started a more detailed post about it. Wouldn't be surprised if an actual thread dedicated to it is in here somewhere forum has been up for a few years now, hopefully it won't get merged into some long forgotten thread but we'll see.

    Now unto the subject,

    Perhaps was it so that the content you got after defeating him being something you were conditioned for it?
    As each party member knew their role and so they got the basics making it easier to deal with variations of it, minimizing the rookie mistakes normally made.

    (have a life time account but never really did dungeons that much due to lack of time back then)
  6. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    Nope, it was really like 110% of the content after you defeated him. It was discussed alot of times why it was harder to defeat then the actual contant it ''protected''.

    But well, that was jsut a minor issue, i still think it's a nice way to make sure you atleast have people that know the basics.
    And trust me it's not that everyone at max level who tries to raid knows those basics!

    Also this helps that annoying, making a raid pugg for my friend who got the weakest gear ever!
    Because if he can't defeat the gatekeeper he can't join the raid.
  7. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    The difference there is, those gatekeeper experiences are actual group experiences and in WoW at lot of things tend to get toned down for the sake of letting people pass so the entry barrier shrinks, also as it being a group experience, a person can be "carried" sure they need a minimum amount of dps or healing for example but others can overcompensate for that persons role.

    So i'm generally more for this type of a "gatekeeper" as it tests the individual early on and the person not a group. Improving both later on the experience for the player and the group he or she joins.

    I recently tried to start up a raiding guild in WoW, long story short a lot of people needed pointers and things i would consider basic, by having to deal with pressure of people wanting to progress and getting frustrated and teaching people basics the group fell apart more or less (well got demoted due to backroom politics, deemed officially too hardcore but that's another story :))

    Would it not be better to send of people in a raid with a basis understanding that feels more natural as to how they learn it rather than having to deal with texts and guides from third parties, what for me more serve a role as sources to optimize one self.

    Increasing the chance of making a person first dungeon or raid experience more positive one.
    SiegaPlays likes this.
  8. UNDERZZZZZ

    UNDERZZZZZ Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think it's a great idea. I've mentioned several times how solo content should be challenging, fun and rewarding, much like the warlock green fire quest. This is one way it can be provided. Extatica highlights how it can be implemented within a attunement and I certainly agree with that. It alleviates many of the problems attunements bring in that raids need to often revisit old content for new recruits. But it also provides a barrier that CAN be beaten but requires a level of skill. I'm all for it.

    From a design perspective, splitting it up through tank healer and DPS makes the most sense as people will always be able to manage it in their preferred spec. Some judgements are hard to make without understand the mechanical elements of the game, and anybody that's not in the beta won't understand that. Regardless of this, obviously complexity and difficulty must exist in W* for it to be successful, and to that degree these solo quests can be made difficult in whatever way the W* engine allows. It is integral, however, that each playstyle choice gives the same level of challenge to prevent people from feeling to need to respec to make the fight easier.
  9. Inukeu

    Inukeu Well-Known Cupcake

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    I like the idea sounds kinda like a trial that could be done in a arena style with waves of enemies attacking and you with NPC's you have to protect/heal/kite/CC respectively could be fun and with big money prizes sponsored by Protostar

    in the WoW guild I was in the Officer's would usually take the new guys on dungeon runs to see how they faired if they wanted to join the raid team they would also be required to have a certain level of gear and we would help them achieve that it would be nice if all that could be simply made into a arena solo quest
  10. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    Isn't the reward already that if you win, you get to enter that raid?
    I don't see why it has to be turned into a big spectical, since it's something you'll do alone and it's for the raid.
  11. Inukeu

    Inukeu Well-Known Cupcake

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    yea I guess the focus of the idea started to get away from me heh
  12. C1d0s

    C1d0s Cupcake

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    There will always be guides, gifted from the tippity top to the very bottom; there will always be carrying, in some fashion or the other; there will always be basic gear requirements for particular bosses, even Gatekeepers. This is just how raiding works now-a-days.

    That said, I do agree that the experience should at least feel organic, instead of some forced statistical and otherwise unrelated look-up on Elitist Jerks / Databases. We've already confirmation of Training Dummies, so that leads us to believe that there are certain expectations to be met in some fights.

    How we meet these, be that through constant wipes here-and-there, or on a particular boss that has been deemed a Gatekeeper, has yet to be determined. Whether or not there is an official boss allocated specifically for this task or not, the community will usually pick one that best fits the criteria, anyway. That doesn't mean there aren't better options, especially considering that the purpose of a Gatekeeper could be replaced with a simple prerequisite gear-check / attunement instead. If we're talking about organic, there's nothing less so than ONE BOSS that sticks out as more / less difficult just because he's there to gauge your efficiency instead of setting the mood for the rest of the raid or dungeon.
  13. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    That those things are there and there to stay is not something i'm arguing about, however either i'm misreading what you wrote or you seem to be under the impression that a gatekeeper of this sort is the same as a gatekeeper boss in group or simply a gear check in terms of numbers (item level) and with that i have to disagree.

    As the proof is in the pudding and we see that in WoW those things do no tackle any problem or remove any doubt surrounding a player capabilities.
    Nor does it help players getting to grips with their own tool set and what is expected of them. In WoW we can spot damage percentages as large as 20% when looking at the same class, spec and gear.

    So for me personally the WoW approach has for better or worse failed as those problems over the years simply increased and reducing content difficulty to make the gate bigger on long term doesn't help, sure a part of the group learns it from being dropped in the deep end, the other gets completely turned off and the rest beyond the gate get increasingly frustrated, vicious circle if you ask me.

    Ask how many people actually like LFR and how many find it a frustrating experience.

    So my key points are:
    Test the player individually.
    Test the role specifically.
    Make it a required step before harder content.


    The one boss thing is not to be taken so literal, it's a possible design that i literally took from elsewhere.
    It can be enrolled into a more natural shape, such as a quest part of attunement to said dungeons/raids.

    I don't believe this is a miracle solution but i do think that the core principles can go a long way with improving group play as it is in essence a glorified tutorial.
    Menchi likes this.
  14. C1d0s

    C1d0s Cupcake

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    There seems to be a misunderstanding between you and I. It my was impression that you were intending this particular Gatekeeper mechanic to be a boss already in a raid. Now that I know you're being much more flexible in regards to it perhaps being an atunement quest / series of events leading UP to the raid, I am much more inclined to agree with this. Those things feel much more organic than a single boss or iLevel gear check specified for the job.
    Androssi likes this.
  15. Haoli

    Haoli Cupcake-About-Town

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    Let me clarify this a little better, having also played TSW myself.

    The premise of the Gatekeeper is a solo encounter to ensure that all players entering a specific 'grade' of content have the skills needed to complete that content, tuned to each role (Healer, Tank, DPS).

    Leaving aside the fact that the implementation wasn't completely stellar in TSW (mismatched difficulty between roles, Gatekeeper mechanics never actually used in standard group play, etc), the effect itself was actually rather brilliant.

    In my time playing TSW, I did not come across a SINGLE pick-up group that was not at least capable of killing a large portion of the instance in 'Nightmare' dungeons (post-Gatekeeper), if not clearing the whole thing.


    For DPS, The Secret World (TSW) did a movement check (standing in any fire killed you instantly and reset the encounter, new fire circles would drop every 5-10 seconds and stay for a long time), a moderate DPS check, a Purge mechanic check (Not something DPS was normally required to do, ever, but still a good thing to teach), and a kiting check (spawned an add that had to be snared or it would catch you and kill you very quickly).

    DPS-Gatekeeper was generally considered the hardest of the three, and I don't have as much experience with the other two.




    If this sort of mechanic were to be implemented in Wildstar's top dungeon content, I would like to see the following changes:

    1) Make all the mechanics taught by the Gatekeeper encounters be relevant to standard group play.
    2) Make it so that you can only use the 'Looking For Dungeon' tool for roles for which you have beaten the Gatekeeper encounter for.

    Other than that, I'd say it was a solid piece of thinking, and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it again.
    Ncolic, Menchi and C1d0s like this.
  16. C1d0s

    C1d0s Cupcake

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    That definitely makes a lot more sense than my previous understanding.
  17. Psistorm

    Psistorm Cupcake-About-Town

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    Personally my opinion on gatekeepers is a bit mixed. On one hand I see the need to perhaps make sure people have the required skills to complete harder content. On the other, it requires very careful balancing, to make the gatekeeper fight on par with the entry level of said harder content. Otherwise you create a barrier people can't surmount, when behind it, easier content awaits which they can complete without issue.

    Then of course there is the role question. If you have a tank/dps character, which role check do you put them through? Do you let them select one? That would lead to people choosing a dps one over tanking because the dps one might be easier, for example. There is the issue of balancing encounters so that different classes of the same role can do it equally well, and so that all those different, valid builds can complete it. Noone wants a situation where people are required to skill one and only one way to beat a gatekeeper fight.

    Personally I prefer if the content itself is a gradual scale. Meaning single player teaches you all about avoiding attacks and such, and the entry level dungeons teach you all about doing so in a team and working with others. Additional content tiers could include a slightly easier dungeon/batch of content every now and then to allow those people to learn who didn't go through all the previous dungeon content (just like people aren't likely to run BC heroics now in MoP as part of their progression).

    Gatekeepers, if not done perfectly, create a single point of failure for the community that everyone will be held up to. If they can't beat that ONE fight - maybe a fight they simply cant cope with, but would do fine in content beyond that - they are suddenly barred from all subsequent content.
    Maybe if you want a way to measure readiness, there could be proving grounds of a sort. Not an absolute pass/fail condition, but ways to test yourself against progressively harder challenges, so your group/guildmates can gauge how far you have come along.
  18. Haoli

    Haoli Cupcake-About-Town

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    While I do agree that it requires careful balancing, I would argue that if the Gatekeeper is equal to the mechanics of your average boss for his relevant tier, and a player is unable to beat the Gatekeeper, then there is no reason that player should be allowed to just bypass it. DPS Gatekeeper may have been hard, but he was predictable, and definitely not impossible.



    While the 'proving grounds' idea is neat, it would also require significantly greater development time. I'd say it's less likely to be implemented because of that, but if there was the spare development resources for it, I think I would support it.
  19. Psistorm

    Psistorm Cupcake-About-Town

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    I can see that, yes. As long as it is equal in requirements. But lets take a look at the TSW dps one you described.
    - "Dont stand in the fire" - duh, obvious. a very good thing to teach players, and I fully agree with that. wildstar will also teach everyone this thanks to telegraphs
    - the dps check - again a good thing, a dps needs to, well, dps. and the better you are, the faster things die etc etc.
    - kiting/snaring an add - kiting, sure. snaring? oh. this is where problems arise, because now you mandate that to beat the encounter, you HAVE to have a snare. Though there is the definite ability that people dont have it in their rotation, but you begin limiting builsd at this point.

    That last factor might be minor, but to me, personally, it feels like you start mandating "only build X gets to run this content", to a degree. So this is where you need to be careful what you do. The same issue would be say, mandating an AOE healing gatekeeper when someone has specced for tank/single target healing, just to do another example. Maybe I'm making it a bigger problem than it really is, but personally this is how things look to me. It might also be due to my bad experiences with the WoW dragon gatekeeper boss back in cata. That guy who always spawned different dragons, and who ended up being significantly harder than the following two bosses, keeping our already ragtag guild out of progressing there for weeks on end while OP combos were up.
  20. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    I believe every feature where the difficulty level is important requires balancing but we don't get rid of raids because they are too hard we adjust them, if you get my point ;)

    Also regards to specifics, as mentioned in the OP,don't take it literally as you cannot compare both games for the simple reason TSW has a free form skill system, there are no classes. Wildstar does have the principle in common i believe of selecting a certain amount of skills you use per setup so builds shouldn't be seen as "set in stone" but something you'll alter now and than to adjust to what you're up against. At least that's what i got from it all there are set classes.

    That aside, let's say it is required in a fight for a dps to kite something than it makes sense to have it as part of the trial, idem for offensive dispels or perhaps that's you're added value in a group setting it could also be as simple as using a defensive cooldown that works group wide, looking at class specific strengths and key elements. It's a matter of introducing them with it all, after that they can always swap back to their regular spells but they then now what they can do for their group. Perhaps even asking others before they join the raid if that type of ability is needed.

    Regards to your healing comment even a tank healer could group heal in WoW and vice versa, it was simply a matter of using different spells or regular spells differently.

    It might seem harsh but if a person is struggling to get past the gatekeeper as Haoli said they don't really belong in the next step yet. Mind you i believe everyone with some effort can improve, i don't believe there are really bad players only those that lack the will.

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