Create Your Own Challenges   11 comments

Over the past week we’ve heard a lot about Blizzard’s decision to nerf Firelands. People who are in favor of the changes. People who are opposed to the changes. People who think there are better ways to deal with making the content more accessible. Since Tuesday, we’ve also had a lot of feedback from people who went in and experienced the content first hand. “It’s a joke”. “Seriously, no challenge”. “LOL NERFED!”.

Now, we had our first raid since the nerfs last night. We cleared to Heroic Rag in two hours without incident. But I’m not here to talk to you about how easy I felt the content may have been. I’m not here to tell you how the nerfs may have ruined the challenges of Firelands. I’m here with a proposition for you.

Create Your Own Challenges

This is what I said to my raid last night as we stepped foot into Firelands. Just because the content is now easier, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still challenge for you.  It’s just a different kind of challenge.  Where before perhaps an encounter challenged you, now you must challenge yourself.  Easier doesn’t mean that you still can’t push yourself harder.

Vixsin talked about this a little bit back at the end of T11.  In time, regardless of nerfs, most encounters will always become easier.  Be it from your familiarity with an encounter or the gear increases that you see every week making you more powerful.  The encounter that you saw the first time you step into the zone isn’t always the same encounter that you face when you leave the zone.  The is part of the progression cycle.  There are a few exceptions to this, but I think it’s generally true.

The stronger you are as a player and a team will have a direct relation to how quickly this happens.  Or, in the case of Firelands, Blizzard stepped in and sped up this process. However that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t approach an encounter with your own challenges firmly in hand.  Set individual goals for yourself: “I will hit 30k DPS tonight”, “I won’t hit a single brushfire tonight”, “I ranked 79th on this fight last week, 50 or bust this week!”, “I won’t let my bladeflurry fall off a single time”.  Those are all achievements that you control.  Those are all challenges that are solely in your hands, and are affected by your personal performance.  Those are challenges that you can push yourself towards, regardless of what the content offers.  And they are all things that can keep your mind active and fresh in content you’ve mastered.  And honestly, if you push yourself every night when things are easy, you will become a stronger player when new challenges become available.

In addition, consider shaking things up a bit as a raid.  If you are mowing over certain mechanics, talk to raid leader about changing up how you approach the fight.  For example, last night we sent another person up on Alysrazor and more people up for Beth.  And I think we can push that envelope even farther, each add fight saw people sitting without something to do because we managed the adds too fast.  So maybe next week we add a fifth or sixth person on Alys and perhaps we try to bring Beth to 50% before she comes down.  We went through the adds so fast on Rhyolith that I think we can move some of the DPS off of the adds over to the feet to see if we can push him over earlier.

For healers, maybe do some fights where you drop down in number and offer healers the opportunity to DPS.  This one is harder for me becuase I hate saying to my healing team “Oh hey, we can sit half of you now!”, so I think I’m going to propose to them that we bring the same number as usual, but open the opportunity every encounter for someone to DPS if they would like.  Or maybe even on some weeks we will pick a fight or two where we say “let’s try to push the envelope here and 3 heal this, who wants to try this week?”, so that the healers can continue to be pushed as well.

In short, what I’m proposing is that you don’t let things like nerfs control what challenges you as a player.

When you enter into the instance tonight, tomorrow or next week – don’t think “LAWL, SO EASY”, instead think “I did my best last week, can I be better this week”.  Don’t let someone else’s perceptions of “easy” control how you view challenges.  If you can’t find challenge in an encounter, I humbly suggest that perhaps you aren’t looking hard enough at your own play, setting higher benchmarks, or pushing yourself as far as you can.

Posted September 22, 2011 by Beruthiel in Deep Thoughts, Firelands, Raid Leadership, Raiding

11 responses to “Create Your Own Challenges

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  1. That’s an excellent post, Beru, and an even better proposition. Nobody can nerf your personal goals, no matter how far-reaching their nerf bat!

  2. Well, I finally got to take an alt into the Firelands and managed to get two bosses down even with some under-geared and shit-poor dps, so that is a positive. The dps on my destro warlock was decent, not outstanding, I managed 16.4k on Baleroc with gear ranging from 353-365. I don’t remember my Shannox number, honestly. But got enough rep to get her a cloak and she took the shoulders off Baleroc since she was the only clothie in the party. I hope I will get to take my rogue in sometime, too, as those daggers next patch sound SO nice…

    Tuesday was interesting, as our mage for the legendary just got his 25 embers last week, so we spent nearly the first two hours of the raid night just getting him through to the first stage. We’d get the boss stuff done, then just wipe to get it done faster. We had… oh, 75 minutes left and romped through the first five bosses in that time, it was insanely fast. Part of me is disappointed they nerfed that much so quickly, so we won’t have the chance to see Ragnaros as originally intended, but honestly, I won’t miss the stress of mastering the more difficult fight, either. With bouncing back from a hailstorm a few weeks ago that took out both our cars and a window, and supporting my Father during his cancer treatment, life has enough stress, don’t you think?

    Wow is for fun, something we all need to remember more often than we do. I love the challenge of mastering new content as much as anyone, but honestly, a year from now, what I will remember most is that wonderful “We Did It!” moment, not the grump that the content was nerfed just as we got to the last boss. yes, I am definitely the ‘half-full’ type of person. Part of it is I don’t see the point of complaining about something beyond our control, but rather, adjusting to it as best we can.

    So, we’ll all adjust, and we’ll go on. :)

  3. I was tempted to DPS in my guild’s 25 man raid last night…simply because I wasn’t really doing anything as a healer. XD

  4. Don’t let someone else’s perceptions of “easy” control how you view challenges.

    This, this, a thousand times this. Same goes fer other buggers’ perceptions of “hard” too.

  5. Awesome post. We’re featuring it on the Melting Pot later today. Whilst it’s relevant now, I hope this becomes an evergreen post, because it’s been relevant to SOMEONE through the entire history of MMOs, and will continue to do so.

    It’s easy to get into the mentality that there’s nowhere further you can reach to or improve, but it’s just not true.

  6. I agree with the mindset, and love the post.

    One problem with it is that raiding is a team sport, while you’re mostly limited to setting personal goals. Some people raid to experience the lore, some for their fellow raiders, some for the challenge, and some for the loot, but you’re all working towards the same goal, and it works. If you try to put your own restrictions on the entire raid, you’re almost guaranteed to be at odds with multiple groups of people. For example, I know many *individuals* wanted to turn off the ICC buff, but I’ve only heard of very, very few guilds that actually did.

    That said, I think your “not getting hit by brushfire” concept, or similar variations, is a great one. Just because the content gets easier, from nerfs or farming them over time, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to improve. I know I’ve ranked on fights where I could have played better outside of my dps rotation, and during progression, that will matter 10x more than a tiny bit of dps.

    Instead of asking healers to dps or be bored, maybe try having your tank try to rank as high as possible. As he fishes for vengeance for extra AP and prioritizes dps stats over mitigation, there’s bound to be more healing needed. Their goal can be seeing how many slots the tank can swap out for dps pieces.

    Also, Bingo. Using the raid frame as a cardsheet, the tanks try to get 5 people in a row killed.

  7. The problem I find with creating challenges is that they don’t really mean anything. Trying to push the envelope and break my personal best on something like Heroic Baleroc can be a fine goal, but when the fight is now literally 9-mannable it doesn’t matter whether I hit my personal best or not. It hardly even matters if I try, we’ll still win.

    When my guild was working on heroic Rag, the challenge I laid out for myself was to learn how to cutter suplex. We were facing a particularly difficult challenge on that fight, and me learning how to contribute made it so that we could actually survive that portion of the fight and make it through. Now I don’t have to do anything special. I can go the extra mile and try to do those things and try to break previous numbers, but that doesn’t make us more likely to win anymore. We’ll win regardless, my being particularly skilled and pulling off extra things notwithstanding.

    I’m disappointed that I don’t have to even bother to try in order to beat heroic content. That sort of thing was for normals week.

  8. Pingback: After The Nerfbat: make your own entertainment? — MMO Melting Pot

  9. I wonder how many of the people that find it a joke don’t have the meta mount achievement :)

  10. Got it pre-nerf. And the T11 meta. We’re a casual guild.

    Firelands was a pretty excellent tier, it wasn’t quite Tier 11 but considering T11 was the best raid content any MMO has released in 12 years I can’t really blame them for that. The real issue I have with the nerfs is that they were way early, trying to get a spike of returning subs before Q3 ends. Now we got 3 more months of sleepwalk.

  11. What a lot of players fail to realize that raids and dungeons are nerfed by design of loot. If every new raid offered no better loot, than it would be a challange. The fact that you are acquiring better gear, you are in essence, independantly nerfing the game. You are hitting harder, healing better and living longer. I’m not sure why more people aren’t pointing that out to the complainers.

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