Looking forward to our new "Home" in Azeroth. Regular updates on Saturday.
This week, patch 6.1 was deployed to the live servers. Along with it, there have been many new features available to and through our garrisons. Plenty of things to go over. But I think we need to talk about the changes to one of the old features first. Because the changes have caused an easy little chore to become as frustration inducing as a random dungeon group at times.
The strategic assaults offered at the garrison war planning table included two missions that required groups as a frequent option: an attack on demonic forces in Shattrath and an assault on the Iron Horde orcs gathering in “The Pit” in Gorgrond. These were very popular missions because they rewarded the highest amount of Apexis crystals available from the table (one thousand) and because they could be easily completed by a forty man raid group. But now we can’t raid these missions. And because of that, we’re getting all sorts of problems caused by people not realizing all the implications of the change. So we’re going to go over some of the problems we’ve seen so far in an effort to encourage people to take steps to minimize player caused issues.
No. Seriously. Limit Five.
It’s rather amazing how many people haven’t realized this yet. These assignments were intended to be done as a group. But the second you turn it into a raid (even if you don’t add a sixth player), you are no longer earning credit to complete the quest. No excuses. “Well, it worked before.” Yes. It did. Last week. This week, not so much. “But that person’s not here yet.” Doesn’t matter. The system isn’t looking at group members in the quest zone, it’s looking at what the party is set at. Six people or thirty six-people, a raid is a raid and that’s right out. “Fine, there’s only five of us now. Happy?” Did you switch us back to a party from a raid? No? Then the problem still remains.
As a further addition to this, let me also make one suggestion if you’re using the group finder system: when you get a full party of five, de-list your group. Make it easier for those still looking for a group to find ones they won’t screw up by joining.
Wait for everyone.
It’s rather impressive that it seems like every group I’ve joined has been the only group in the quest area. I’ve yet to see even two groups getting in each other’s way as far as tagging quest mobs for credit. It’s usually one party in a very target rich environment.
But that also means that getting to the party can be difficult at best. You don’t need a full five person group to kill these mobs (with the right classes and builds you could probably go as low as two players if you’re careful). But if you’re going to look to get a full five person group, don’t start carving a path to the farthest end of the quest area as soon as you have the minimum number of bodies for it. It’s a recipe for both you and the late joiners to get upset. You’re not happy because the new guy is taking too long to get to you, and the new guy is not happy because they have to solo a path through any respawns your group of two to four cleared previously. Keep in mind where the closest flight points for the zone you’re tackling are and try to stay relatively close to them. Ideally I would suggest waiting in a safe area until everyone in the party is together before starting to kill quest mobs. This would solve both the problem of party members being scattered around the area and the final problem.
Screw you guys, I’m going home.
All of the strategic assaults work on the same mechanic. You have a progress bar, and any activity you take in the zone slowly fills it from zero to one hundred percent complete. If you are in a group, and you are near enough to each other, you all get credit for whatever anyone in the group does. In theory, a good group working together should all finish the quest at the same time.
What actually seems to happen is that someone is impatient, so they start working as soon as possible. Quite probably before the group is filled. Most definitely before everyone is in range for credit. But hey, there’s enough people to survive, so lets not worry about it. Until the end, when players fill their bar and instantly use their hearthstone. And slowly it will happen to everyone in the group. Eventually, you’re the last one left in the group, and you’re maybe only three quarters done. Now, I don’t want to suggest that players should baby sit a never ending stream of players slowly cycling through your group. But is it too much to ask for people to have the decency to go “here are the people in our group. We’re done when we’re all done, and not when your individual bar is full”.
Frankly, the system as it worked before the last patch could be argued as the source of all of these problems. The more bodies you had, the easier things went. Getting to the raid group wasn’t difficult, because usually everything between you and them was dead or was about to become dead. And because of the size of the groups, people cycling out as soon as they were done wouldn’t cost the group a fifth of its effectiveness. The changes may have brought the quests more into line with what Blizzard intended them to be like in the first place, but the damage has already been done.