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Why only 4 players per grouping?


jackalblue's Avatar


jackalblue
05.24.2012 , 10:06 PM | #21
I don't care for the 4 player limit myself. I was a long time CoH player and I really miss 8 man teams.

The 4 man team is unnaturally constricting. There's only 1 correct format for a flashpoint and that is 1 tank, 2dps and 1 healer. This is especially true for HM flashpoints with their enrage timers (another lazy design choice in my opinion). The problem is, on most servers, 50% of the population is not DPS and I can almost guarantee that 1 in 4 people are not healers on any server. I'm on a medium pop server and I've tried to run tonnes of HMs which never get off the ground because we can't find a healer or (more rarely but still often) that 1 last damage dealer.

I can imagine some people are asking "why don't you just join a guild?" Well the 4 man team is also harmful to guilds run FP as well. Look at a list of 8 random guild members. Can you put 2 FP teams together out of them? I'm not going to say it'll never happen but the odds are against it. So even though you could make 2 FP teams, you'll only have the right combination of players to make 1 viable even in a guild unless it's a particularly large guild. Even then, it's likely some people are going to get left out which is kind of contrary to the whole point of joining a guild. Or playing an MMO in the first place.

I also find it makes FP's kind of stale. There's only 1 strategy involved, tank holds agro, Damage dealers damage deal, healer keeps tank alive. Sure there are different tactics for each boss battle, but they're just a variation on this theme. Larger teams let you play with different strategies. What about 4 damage dealers and 2 healers desperately trying to keep the alive? Or 2 tanks trading agro while 3 damage dealers race to take the boss down before he kills one of the tanks? Or a team of 8 shadows and scoundrels, carefully using hit and run tactics knowing if they stealth too soon the boss resets, but i they're too slow their team mate dies? Would any of these be viable? I'm not sure. But they could be fun to try. And at least it'd be different.

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Vankris's Avatar


Vankris
05.25.2012 , 02:47 AM | #22
Quote: Originally Posted by jackalblue View Post
The 4 man team is unnaturally constricting. There's only 1 correct format for a flashpoint and that is 1 tank, 2dps and 1 healer. ...
There's only 1 strategy involved, tank holds agro, Damage dealers damage deal, healer keeps tank alive.
This is true even for large group, 8 or 16 man raid. It's the basis of tank/dps/heal trinity.
I read you exemple, there are only viable for easiest of fight.

There are fight in this MMO or other, where the boss would OS any player that is not a tank, and even the tank could lose half it's health in one shot. Fight where the entire raid take severe damage and healer struggle to keep the alive. Fight were the enrage timer is so tight than having more tank or heal than absolutely necessary will wipe a raid.

You could say, that's a flaw of the game, i want freedom in how i appraoch a fight, fair enough, but there always will be an easier way, a raid composition and a strat that trivialise the fight, and people will adopt as THE strat for the fight. No matter what you do.

I think the trinity tank heal DPS is not a bad design (well duh, there a reason why it lasted 20 years) because it force people to trunt one another and use strengh and weakness of class.

4-man party seemed to me a bit small at the begining but, that is the way the game is, it at least allow for faster party formation than 5 or 6 man party.
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Erevan_Kindelar's Avatar


Erevan_Kindelar
05.25.2012 , 03:12 AM | #23
Quote: Originally Posted by Sveroth View Post
As with any other game I have worked around little quirks, But I cant seem to figure out why or who chose to be differant in this game. "Every other game has 5 player groupings"

Its not a game killer for me at all in fact I am just fine with it actually. However there has been a few times In a Hard mode that I have just wanted One more Ranged dps or just One more healer.

FYI. Im only talking about Flashpoints and Hardmodes
I am not going to get into the "Every other game has 5 (or more) player groupings" comment, because Bioware/EA have decided that a party size of 4 people is what they are going with. It is their toybox, if you want to play with their toys you play by their rules.

the Flashpoint/Hardmode content in this game is tuned for groups of 2-4 depending on the content, with some being solo-able. The Flashpoints are pretty easy if you check what the strategy for that FP is. Rolling up and tanking/spanking works in some cases but not in others. Bioware have tried to make something that requires a small modicum of thought, reasoning and intelligence, presumably to relieve the mind-numbing effect of the MMO grind.
As for the Hard-mode content, it is a challenge. It is not supposed to be easy - the title kind of gives that away. The "damn, we would have cleared that with one more DPS/one more healer to keep the tank and DPS alive" is a facile argument - of course the content would be easier with a party that is 20% larger, has 50% more DPS people or 100% more healers.
If the party are doing their jobs correctly - the tank is tanking well, the DPS are following their assignments, and the healer knows how to hea, then they should be able to beat HM content.
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Leovinus's Avatar


Leovinus
05.25.2012 , 07:17 AM | #24
I dislike the 4 man group because it seems to be too small for general player personalities.

Leaving aside the whole group finder tool (which has its own large set of problems), putting together groups requires 2 things, appropriate population role proportions, and people willing to take the initiative to form the group. I don't really have a good handle on the first, but it absolutely seems like it's NOT 1 in 4 people who have that leadership personality. So you just end up with a whole lot of folks standing around wishing they could find a group, and nobody stepping up to the plate to DO something about it..

In my personal opinion (note, this means that it's based on personal experience and instinct, no fancy analysis), the optimal group size with that in mind would be 6, or possibly even 8. But truth be told, if they designed flashpoints and other multi-person content for any multiples of 2 (up to some limit), that would be the ideal solution. But I admit, there would be balancing issues to deal with. But scaling would be a good goal. That way a group of 6 people that started playing the game together wouldn't get to the end and realize they're now screwed out of being able to play together without altering their style.

Journeyer's Avatar


Journeyer
05.25.2012 , 07:28 AM | #25
The only problem with the argument that every so often you really could use one more group member is that BW tunes the difficulty of the game based on the allowed group size and level. So...if they allowed 5 players in a Flashpoint group, then you'd feel like you really could use a 6th.
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Erevan_Kindelar's Avatar


Erevan_Kindelar
05.25.2012 , 07:58 AM | #26
Tuning Flashpoints and Heroic missions based on the number of people in the group rather than making the mission a static difficulty (so instead of seeing a Heroic2, Heroic2+ or Heroic4, you just see a "Heroic" mission, where there are more/harder mobs if you have more players or higher level players) is something that has been suggested a few times - it would even allow for solo players or players on low-pop servers to get involved, if the Heroic content for a solo player is slightly harder (say 30-50%) than the normal Storyline missions.
However, it introduces its own balance issues, so I guess Bioware has steered away from the idea.

However, as OP was looking specifically at Flashpoints (which could accomodate that scaling idea) and HM content (which cannot, because HM content is for lvl 50's only), the idea only solves half of his problem.
No, really! I am telling the truth, honestly! Look I can prove it, I am a politician! I am as honest as the day is long!
Besides, I am a terrible liar, everyone can see when I am lying - my lips are moving... oh damn, err, that last comment was off the record, right?

DyasAlue's Avatar


DyasAlue
05.25.2012 , 02:20 PM | #27
Quote: Originally Posted by jackalblue View Post
I don't care for the 4 player limit myself. I was a long time CoH player and I really miss 8 man teams.

The 4 man team is unnaturally constricting. There's only 1 correct format for a flashpoint and that is 1 tank, 2dps and 1 healer. This is especially true for HM flashpoints with their enrage timers (another lazy design choice in my opinion). The problem is, on most servers, 50% of the population is not DPS and I can almost guarantee that 1 in 4 people are not healers on any server. I'm on a medium pop server and I've tried to run tonnes of HMs which never get off the ground because we can't find a healer or (more rarely but still often) that 1 last damage dealer.

I can imagine some people are asking "why don't you just join a guild?" Well the 4 man team is also harmful to guilds run FP as well. Look at a list of 8 random guild members. Can you put 2 FP teams together out of them? I'm not going to say it'll never happen but the odds are against it. So even though you could make 2 FP teams, you'll only have the right combination of players to make 1 viable even in a guild unless it's a particularly large guild. Even then, it's likely some people are going to get left out which is kind of contrary to the whole point of joining a guild. Or playing an MMO in the first place.

I also find it makes FP's kind of stale. There's only 1 strategy involved, tank holds agro, Damage dealers damage deal, healer keeps tank alive. Sure there are different tactics for each boss battle, but they're just a variation on this theme. Larger teams let you play with different strategies. What about 4 damage dealers and 2 healers desperately trying to keep the alive? Or 2 tanks trading agro while 3 damage dealers race to take the boss down before he kills one of the tanks? Or a team of 8 shadows and scoundrels, carefully using hit and run tactics knowing if they stealth too soon the boss resets, but i they're too slow their team mate dies? Would any of these be viable? I'm not sure. But they could be fun to try. And at least it'd be different.

TLR? Go back and read it! If you had time to scroll to the end you have time to read it.
I've done stuff with none optimal group. Player skill trumps all.
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Stenrik's Avatar


Stenrik
05.29.2012 , 01:50 AM | #28
I don't mind the smaller size. I actually have more fun 3-manning them (1 dps). I do support the idea of tuning to player number, though I see problems with it too (bosses would have to drop less loot to make up for the increased chance of winning the roll). They'd have to make sure there's no "optimal" group size, causing small groups to close their doors to a player or two who want to join.

Nazban's Avatar


Nazban
05.29.2012 , 06:24 AM | #29
Quote: Originally Posted by Erevan_Kindelar View Post
Tuning Flashpoints and Heroic missions based on the number of people in the group rather than making the mission a static difficulty (so instead of seeing a Heroic2, Heroic2+ or Heroic4, you just see a "Heroic" mission, where there are more/harder mobs if you have more players or higher level players) is something that has been suggested a few times - it would even allow for solo players or players on low-pop servers to get involved, if the Heroic content for a solo player is slightly harder (say 30-50%) than the normal Storyline missions.
However, it introduces its own balance issues, so I guess Bioware has steered away from the idea.

However, as OP was looking specifically at Flashpoints (which could accomodate that scaling idea) and HM content (which cannot, because HM content is for lvl 50's only), the idea only solves half of his problem.
I remember seeing this option in LOTRO. You can scale down some instances that fall into their Skirmish Category(1, 2, 3, 6, 12, and 24 i think). It is possible and to my knowledge not that difficult to implement, only problem is that many heroics here aren't instanced, so scaling it may be a problem, but for the heroics that are in a phase, it shouldn't be that difficult to implement. And the same will go for FP's (both HM and NM), as long as they are instanced, I do not see why they cannot be balanced according to the group size. Since we have seen in other games that this is possible, I see no reason why they steered away from it.

Raeln's Avatar


Raeln
05.29.2012 , 12:23 PM | #30
For a game that embraces the Holy Trinity - I'd like to see 3-man groups myself.

1 tank
1 healer
1 dps

Now if we are actually going to get away from the Trinity system of roles - I'm far more open to larger group sizes. Until then, I'm perfectly fine with weighting the roles as close to possible in responsibility.

I've seen people complain that it's so easy to carry DPS, yet they want to make group sizes so large that they are mostly made up of DPS slots. Well - how about we just make a group with less DPS, so there is no way to carry them. They either know how to DPS or well, it's blatantly obvious.