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Why Endgame is lackluster, and what Bioware should do.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
Why Endgame is lackluster, and what Bioware should do.

The_Pro's Avatar


The_Pro
01.22.2012 , 10:24 PM | #1
Hello guys. I think most of us can agree that the current operations system isn't perfect. As a long time MMO player. I think I've thought of a solution for the next raiding tier, with Bioware's mission in mind.
Wall of text incoming. There is no TLDR. If you don't want to read it, don't, and please don't comment.

The Problems

Bioware obviously wants normal mode to be easy and very casual-friendly. That's fine by me. It seems they want NM to be eventually puggable, and something most players can do without a hardcore raiding guild. The problem is that the gear is the exact same as HM flashpoints. The casual player wearing HM flashpoint gear will only gain benefit from pugging HM ops, and if they can pug HM ops, then NM is irrelevant.

Judging by Bioware's intent for NM to be very casual, it seems to me that HM should be the progression tier of typical, non-hardcore guilds, if you know what I'm getting at. Average raiding guilds should be progressing in HMs, maybe progressing one or two bosses per week (granted that Bioware wants NM to be puggable). The gear seems to be in a good place for this mode. Rakata gear can drop, giving guilds incentive to raid and progress. The problem is the difficulty. Casual guilds should be progressing on HM, not blowing through it.

Before I move onto Nightmare Mode, I need to address an issue I have with both HM and NMM. Raiding is like solving a puzzle (a real one, not the undertuned EV boss). When progression starts, the fight is chaos. As you learn the mechanics, the fight gets easier and easier to deal with, until everything falls into place. Killing the boss is like solving the puzzle. You learn all the mechanics of the fight, and put it all together to kill the bad guy. Surprisingly, the next time the ops group tries the boss, it usually dies relatively easily, because the strategy is in their heads already. The fun part of raiding (opsing?) is the problem solving aspect - the sense of accomplishment. By not adding new mechanics for HM and NMM, the puzzle is already solved, since everyone knows the fight and knows what to do. It effectively becomes a boring gear check. This is bad.

Now onto NMM. I have two problems here. First, the gear is the exact same as HM. That's not so good. This mode is supposed to be the hardcore progression mode, and right now there is so incentive to do it. Second, it isn't nearly hard enough. No where near hard enough. Bioware seems to underestimate top tier guilds. If this mode is their "tier", it's gotta be hard. I don't mean tuning up damage and HP, I mean adding new, difficult mechanics. To have a NMM bosses as fundamentally simple as some of those in the game currently (council, pylons, robot..) will not keep a competitive raiding crowd.


The Solutions

NM is tuned pretty well for its purpose. All it needs is a little incentive for casual players, besides the experience. Adding a rakata-level piece or two to the last boss solves the problem. Gives casuals incentive, keeps the environment casual, and gives incentive to join a guild and move onto HM (if you so desire, of course).

HM is too easy. Like I said, this should and will be the progression tier for average raiding guilds. Bioware needs to bump up damage and HP, but also add mechanics to make the fights more complicated. They don't have to be too confusing. Honestly, if they added one or two more mechanics, and maybe tuned the bosses up about 5-10%, i think HM would be in a good place. If the average raiding guild spends a night on a boss, and at the end of the night either kills it, or gets close, that would already be a much better raiding system, based on actually learning new fights.
They could also add a higher level item to the last boss of HM. There's already incentive to run HM, but adding a higher level item to the last boss would stick to the pattern imposed by NM, and in my experience, make the last boss more epic.

Now onto NMM, the mode that's currently farthest from where it should be. This mode should be HARD. They need to add even more mechanics than they need to add for HM. The first attempt on a NMM boss should be chaos, even in the appropriate gear. If Bioware wants hardcore raiding guilds, the fights have to be difficult to master, (3-4 more mechanics then they have now), and tuned up 10-15% from where they are now.
NMM should have its own tier of gear. NMM dropping the same gear as HM is madness. NMM needs an entire tier of gear to itself, not only to incentivize it, but to create distinction between the hardcore guys that do NMM, and the casuals who don't. I'm not being elitist, but more work should ALWAYS yield a higher result. I like WoW's system of adding the words "heroic" before the items stats to clarify the difference.


One Miscelaneous Point

Itemization is pretty bad. There is essentially no choice of gear for each class. This is bad because it goes against the whole goal of modding. Everyone raiding at a high level runs around in full "rakata"-there is hardly any choice of stats that the player can partake in. This is even more true, considering modding is the only way to alter gear (anything like enchanting from WoW is absent), and honestly, modding hasn't done its job at all, considering the highest level mods are already in the Rakata gear.

The solution should be something like this:
Make other items besides tier items drop in ops, and give them diverse mods. Diverse mods are essential to this game, because currently, all kinds of gear custemizatoln are absent.
Bioware could also do something better with Augments. Maybe add more augment slots, and make augments more fun. Maybe give weapons a special augment slot, which can accept "fun" augments, which gives the weapon a cool proc or something. Bioware has a lot of options here, but the current system leaves no room for customization, optimization, or anything else really. If Bioware wanted gear to be more flexible, theyve failed.


Conclusion

That's basically it. There are my criticisms and suggestions for the endgame, regarding ops and gear. If you read it, I'd love to hear your opinions. Bioware: even if you don't like the suggestions, something must be done to make endgame better, and fast. Maybe just release a statement, and tell us what you're thinking. Many raiders' attentions are waning, so this is very high priority.

rnssnc's Avatar


rnssnc
01.22.2012 , 10:34 PM | #2
sticky this.

Artacks's Avatar


Artacks
01.22.2012 , 10:36 PM | #3
I agree. In its current state this game is awful. I've tried to look past the boredom and the bugs, and the lack of "open world" whether it be travelling around or pvp.

Its just so bad. At this point they would almost have to re-work the entire game.

Good thing diablo 3 is in may (?!)

dedaF's Avatar


dedaF
01.23.2012 , 02:32 AM | #4
yepppppppppppppp

/signed

Stenrik's Avatar


Stenrik
01.23.2012 , 03:08 AM | #5
I haven't even reached endgame yet, but I do understand why these are problems based on other MMO experience. I really want to have that same diverse gameplay to look forward to when I get there.

Well written and thought out, OP.

MorbidAri's Avatar


MorbidAri
01.23.2012 , 03:37 AM | #6
I like the fights, I can see your issues however. Not many mmos launch with working raids. WoW's were rough at first, Aion's are bad, War isn't even in the same ball park, AoC was all manner of broken and pointless due to no RPG elements or stats working, Rift was just horrendously bad, Swtor's is broken, Vanguard didn't even launch with end game!

Welcome to MMO launch raiding. Sucks, but as time has shown with most if not all of these games, it gets better. Patience young padawan!

MorbidAri's Avatar


MorbidAri
01.23.2012 , 03:40 AM | #7
Oh and forgot, before any changes you propose could even take place, we need combat logs. Skill < Gear atm due to no metric to judge skill. One step at a time.

Nazgadazoorp's Avatar


Nazgadazoorp
01.23.2012 , 03:52 AM | #8
Really good post.

+1
**** RENDEZ MOI MES CHOCAPICS !!! ****

Hanscholo's Avatar


Hanscholo
01.23.2012 , 03:55 AM | #9
I detest modes. Raids should be difficult, but not extremely hard.

One mode, for everyone.

flowqz's Avatar


flowqz
01.23.2012 , 04:02 AM | #10
i dont want rakata gear droping in normals, cause i dont wanna farm normals if i can clear nightmare.

considering your "rakata gear already has the highest mods"... those enhancements are crap cause they all just have accuracy + x in it. thats why u have to get random drops in nightmare mode to get another enhancement and to get rid of this stat.