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The Gatekeeper "Mechanic"

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

  1. Vhael

    Vhael Cupcake

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    The problem I have with the gear check idea being implemented into the Gatekeeper is that while it may offer minor benefits to PUGs, it is detrimental to premades that have experienced players capable of coordinating with less than optimal gear for the dungeon. Sometimes this coordination can require setups that differ from what the Gatekeeper trial expects of the particular role, making it overall detrimental to how the players plan to prepare for it. An awareness check can be fine, but unless the Gatekeeper utilizes every mechanic that the dungeon will present, it does not really amount to that much since the basics are something the players should have already been encountering throughout the game. This all may not be as much of an issue in a classless game like TSW, but it could pose more serious issues in a holy trinity MMORPG.

    This can heavily depend on the Gatekeeper mechanics compared to dungeon mechanics as well as how threat management is handled by the game. There are a lot of variables here that the developers would have to factor into the Gatekeeper that could make it more of a hassle than it's worth. Just because the tank is able to hold the Gatekeeper aggro while allied with artificial dummies does not necessarily mean the player has enough threat generation to handle it at a reasonable pace with a qualified team. Likewise, just because the tank is not able to hold enough aggro against the Gatekeeper in a solo scenario does not mean the tank is not properly built for a planned premade situation. I've seen tanks in many games that are built so heavily for defense that they have sacrificed all offense, making them nearly incapable of holding aggro at a reasonable pace against even a moderate DPS/Healer. While this would be the player's fault in a case where the party needed them to be pulling higher aggro, this tank could be perfectly viable for niche roles in a premade group (such as pinning down a powerful boss add so the party can focus elsewhere or otherwise solo off-tanking specific mobs), but would be incapable of joining due to not having a proper gear build to down the Gatekeeper.

    I also find it difficult to believe that a DPS would not know that they have to dodge out of red circles, but they still far too often allow themselves to get hit in order to maintain their leet deeps. I also understand that the option of adjusting can allow players to more easily adjust, but this can be a major issue if the player does not get access to every power that their class offers. If a player has limited power selection options yet they have to be able to perform certain actions that are not considered viable by the meta then this can hinder a player's build more than it helps. The developers would have to be keeping a close eye on the game's meta as well as constantly adjusting the Gatekeeper to adhere to it otherwise they could be hindering perfectly viable builds.

    Having to actively dispel in a single encounter does not necessarily give the player know-how that they will hold onto indefinitely. Players have to actively dodge red circles during their entire character progression yet many people are still terribad at it months later. As the example that Miatog pointed out above, Healers in TSW were expected to cleanse in their Gatekeeper trial, yet if they were actively cleansing in the actual dungeons then they were doing it wrong. Likewise, DPS were not expected to cleanse in their trial, yet in the meta they were expected to do so. This forced Healers to grab powers they did not need as well as allowing DPS to enter into the dungeons without powers that were expected of them. This can be quite detrimental to the meta as players are stepping in bass ackwards since players assigned roles differently than the Gatekeeper's trials intended.

    I understand this, but I still consider it part of what makes the Gatekeeper less than useful. Players are already expected to play through a lot of content before reaching raids, therefore they are already expected to have encountered a lot of content as well as a diverse amount of game mechanics. Despite this, they still often times run around like chickens with their heads cut off when they encounter new mechanics. While players may have to learn how to bypass the Gatekeeper, they're not going to do so in any way that differs from their typical means of handling difficult encounters, making the Gatekeeper seem slightly more trivial in the presence of other varying content. While I understand that they can introduce specific gear and awareness tests that may not be present in a standard tutorial, such things can be highly detrimental to premades as well as build varieties due to specific requirements for entry.

    I'm aware of TSW examples, but I'm also aware that the Gatekeeper in TSW presents its own inherent issues. While Wildstar has a similar setup with being able to swap abilities around, the ability to swap around is much more limited by class selection and can potentially be further restricted by limited power options and the availability of respecs. Requiring specific powers and/or gear stats to complete a single trial for raid entry can be detrimental towards build variety as well as being much more limiting to the meta game than is necessary.
  2. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    Not sure if you're aware of this. At this point from official sources, all classes will have a Damage dealing and support role. At this time we can swap freely between both roles inside the class, The stat allocation is also gone and gear simply takes up that role now.

    With a gear check i don't mean an actual item level check up. I imply simply that it makes it so the tank has enough health/avoidance, the damage dealer can put out enough DPS and the healer can keep enough players up without running out of resources.

    It doesn't have to prepare a person for everything to be useful how often would you run into new players as a veteran and find certain things to be common knowledge while they are completely oblivious to it.


    To make a long story short, you seem to be under the impression that a gatekeeper only serves a purpose if it fully mimics the raid encounters, i disagree as i find it does more as an indirect gear check and awareness check to see if people can enter.

    To root out all errors a person can make and to prepare them for all the raid throws at them is rather bad as in one case it's impossible and the other is the surprise factor of the raid mechanics are lost, part of the fun in raids is learning new mechanics.

    The other coin of your argument seem to be thinking in extremes "what if a tank had to go fully defensive to survive!" first of i don't believe that to be the case anywhere, secondly the aggro gain of the friendly NPC he has to protect can gradually increase.
    If you think in extremes you can always find the most absurd scenario, but we need to look at realistic scenarios and even if looking at extreme scenarios we simply need to see if we can offer a realistic solution and i find we can, if i can as simply a content Q&A tester background i'm sure those creating the game can be even better in offering a solution.

    As for the rest we know there's a LAS system and we know we can swap those abilities out, in these type of games customization comes at adapting and learning. I fully expect people to learn and have all their class abilities available once they get to the point of max level raiding.

    TSW is a different ball game as there you had so many abilities, it's impossible for a player to expect them all.

    It's not the answer to all player errors, never will be but at least it offers a better check up system than an arbitrary number would offer.

    For the rest it will be interesting to see how the WoW community reacts to "testing grounds" and what they actually exist out of.
    Livnthedream likes this.
  3. Vhael

    Vhael Cupcake

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    I also rarely party while leveling, but this is generally because content is either lacking or because grouping is such a horribly efficient means of playing prior to level cap. If I try to play with friends then we have to create a schedule just for leveling, which is terribly inefficient 99% of the time. Content is always so simple and lacking in variety that it can be done solo just by grabbing the most efficient DPS chains. I just feel that if enemies had a wide enough variety of abilities that classes had reasons to look at powers for more reasons than how big the damage numbers they provide are then most of the issues that a Gatekeeper could resolve would already be a non-issue. Enemies should have enough debuffs and other secondary effects that classes that offer cleansing powers should at least have incentive enough to look at them in detail. If they are really going to implement something that is required in order to gain entry into higher level raids, I feel they could easily just add an account achievement for clearing every lesser dungeon in the game as well as maybe a basic tutorial at level 1 then an advanced tutorial at elder game. If this alone does not cover the game's mechanics well then the developers are simply doing it wrong.


    I personally feel this could be a better way to implement such a thing. While I agree that a test of mechanics would be fine, I simply disagree strongly with it measuring gear and class abilities in any way as that can prove detrimental to premade builds. If they are going to do a Gatekeeper trial then they should simply force every player to perform every trial, granting the players specific power trays that have the powers that would be necessary for the situation that are locked in for the specific trial. Just because the Gatekeeper requires specific mechanics does not mean it should be expected that the player has access to these options in a team setup unless the player has every power available. This could double at allowing players to see how others must play their role as well as how they must play their own. I personally find that players not knowing how to work well with other classes is just as big an issue as not understanding their own class options.

    The only real counter I can think of is as I stated above. They should probably just give the players set powers for the trial so that they can experience the mechanics as opposed to be expected to be built to handle them. This would allow players to experiment with build varieties as opposed to expecting players to be built in specific ways while expecting the developers to spell out the meta game for them. They could also even hand out a free elder game respec for completing the trial(s) for the first time so that players can implement what they learn into their build.

    The only problem I have with this is it then expects the player to have specific powers for that specific situation, which may not always be the case in a contradicting meta or in varying premade options. For example, expecting a tank to be able to handle swarming adds on top of any other Gatekeeper requirements can limit build variety in that the player could be one of many tanks in the group that optimize to handle specific varying mechanics. A tank built for single target DPS/threat generation as opposed to AoE DPS/threat generation could be incapable of clearing the trial despite their performance in their specified role in the group. Not enabling characters with different builds to enter can be detrimental to build variety if every tank is expected to be able to handle any and all situations as per Gatekeeper requirements. While having the ability to swap powers can in a way compensate for this, it can still require multiple gear sets and can also still be an issue if every player does not have every power as an option.

    This may be true, but just because someone cannot pull off all of the mechanics required by the Gatekeeper does not mean they cannot be of use to their party in different ways. I've seen oddball builds throughout the years that seem terrible on paper but can perform amazingly well with certain build combinations. Passing a solo trial with such a build could be near impossible despite the player's/build's capabilities in their ideal team setting. I do have to acknowledge though that some people do perform exceptionally poorly at specific roles, so I suppose if they were to implement something like mentioned earlier of requiring each player to complete the trial of each role with a predetermined set of powers they would probably have to minimize the difficulty of the trial for the roles the player was not aiming for.
  4. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    Some interesting QA's from Blizzard Proving ground a more friendlier way of adding a gate mechanic without actually disallowing access to content if they fail to do so.
    Will be interesting to see how it catches on and how much value will be given to the "grades" once they are out and it if it will overtake regular raid kill achievements spam for creating pugs existing out of competent players.

    Generally like the approach taken there, Yes it's from WoW but it is the same concept hence using this big wall of text directly from it.


    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.

    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?
    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.

    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?
    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.

    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 I when 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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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.
  5. UNDERZZZZZ

    UNDERZZZZZ Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think the proving ground is kind of a cool idea and example of a gatekeeper mechanic. Providing gear is normalized and the challenge tuned accordingly to make it adequately difficult enough to pve a players skill. But to make it easy enough to make it a gatekeeper rather than an actual boss.

    Something like warlock green fire quest would be uber fun difficulty level for everybody to soak up.
  6. Gronky

    Gronky Cupcake-About-Town

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    I haven't read all that "proving ground" thingy, but won't the end game pve solo content in W* be a kind of a proving ground if actually done solo? (Although, it would probably make for a somewhat limited experience, if "proving" was W*'s goal for the end game solo content.)
  7. Another_Alex

    Another_Alex Cupcake

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    Great idea ! I'm all for this.
  8. Fingers

    Fingers Cupcake-About-Town

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    I recall going through the process of being taken through a dungeon for recruitment to guilds on a couple of occasions. Long time ago :).

    I think the idea of this Gatekeeper is an excellent one.
  9. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    Gear will be normalized and they are speaking of adding in "recent boss mechanics", as they want it to be a check for players to show they are competent more so than your regular achievements what they state offer no context.

    Probably but it isn't gradual, with that i mean there's one difficulty setting. a gate keeper is there to test you while solo content here can also be challenging it's more about telling a story, so it can never be tuned too high.
  10. Gronky

    Gronky Cupcake-About-Town

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    Telling a story does not mean it must be easy. It can be tuned even higher than raid difficulty. With proper tweaks to mobs and content, I believe you may get killed in solo end game as easily as while doing raids. I at least hope that it's going to be that tough. (we had threads about it already so there is no point to start one here again).
    But even if solo end game is as tough as raids are, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be tailored well enough to be the best proving ground for raiders, which may have to learn a few different skills than solo players.
    But anyway, I'm extremely happy that Carbine is doing something about all those problems and not just leaving them not implemented at all. They're a bunch of hardcores who tries to cater to casual players, in oppose to a bunch of casuals who tries to cater to hardcore players :up:
  11. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    The problem is with the bolded portion as it really cannot be. It still needs to be tuned in such a way as all classes can succeed. Which means that it will be challenging for some, and a complete joke for others.
  12. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    They took out the story from raids to prevent that, so i don't think they'll make it so hard it has a discouraging effect on players, i'm not saying that they will be easy.

    I'm simply stating they can never be taken up to the same difficult as you would do with an actual "player test area"

    A proving ground emulates what is required of you in a group setting, it isn't so much as a solo challenge but a check list of things you must be able to perform in a group.
  13. Gronky

    Gronky Cupcake-About-Town

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    Unless a mob boss has a slightly different skills (/different weapon) depending of what character class it fights with (and it is not a group fight). This way it may be tough for all classes. They put a lot of work in making raid content tough. It should require less work to make a solo content as difficult. If they wish to make it challenging, I'm sure they can find a way.

    You are probably right and at launch it may very well be the case. But if people like solo end game content and want it more challenging I can see Carbine adding some solo content which may approach/be equal to the raids' difficulty. (Though we will probably listen to more whining, about it being too tough than too easy :cry: )
  14. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Yeah, that "finding a way" is to make x number of fights where x is the number of classes. With raid sizes they can judge pretty closely how many tanks you will have, roughly how much healing power, dps, aoe, etc. Those numbers do not match up to classes. Tank/dps split classes would have to have the same amount of survivability as healing provides, which is ludicrous when looking at other aspects of the game.

    Raid tuning comes down to how much skill they demand from the playerbase, and how far off from what they consider to be the "right" level they end up seeing.
  15. Gronky

    Gronky Cupcake-About-Town

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    I assume you are talking about solo end game content bosses here. Then yes, they would have to plan x number of fights. Models would be the same but some mechanics would change depending of the player's character class. This distinction would need to be only applied to a mini boss/boss fights and not to every mob in the end game. I'm not going to speculate if it's a lot of work for Carbine or not, as I'm not the one to judge it. I just believe it is possible to do.
  16. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Of course its a lot of work. Literally 6 times (many say 8 :p) what you would need, and all to make a single player happy. For it to work out equally the "hardcore" solo player would need to be 240% larger than those who raid, and even then that content would tend to be cleared faster due to the natural difficulty playing with others provides.
  17. Gronky

    Gronky Cupcake-About-Town

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    I'm not convinced. Show me a spreadsheet :p
  18. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    But I hate spreadsheets :(
    Seriously! I love me some charts and graphs, and love seeing hard numbers, but I hate spreadsheets with a passion. Well, I hate working with Excell. :( :( :(

    Honestly though, I too am looking forward to see how Gaffney and company decide to serve the underserved solo player market. Because the reason its not well served is because its just not economical to do so with "normal" content. If he thinks they have a real solution then it must be something new.
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  19. lusciifi

    lusciifi Cupcake-About-Town

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    Question though. Should gear be normalized for proving grounds? If i am making a pug for say ToT do i really care how good they could be with the best gear or how good they are right now with the gear they have. In other words 80k dps might be stellar for someone with 463ilvl gear but they still wouldn't be getting an invite from me.

    Now if i was recruiting for a guild, i would care about how well they should be performing with x gear but thats a different case entirely and i wouldn't judge an applicant solely off proving grounds in the first place.
  20. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    If you're able to meet the damage requirements in lower gear, you know this person is able to play.
    If they fine tune it good enough it doesn't really matter as majority of the WoW player base doesn't even reach the full potential of their gear in terms of dps.

    Not normalizing it would mean those who outgear it bypass the objectives. Enrage timers in WoW currently aren't hard anyway for normal modes and you rather want a dps that stays alive the whole fight than one that does more but dies early on or at a crucial point.

    More DPS is always better 80k is enough for ToT unless you want to either carry another person, considering if they do 80K they'll be doing 120K+ on the first boss what is the only real gear check anyway.
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