Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer

Good Raids Gone Bad: A Raider's Perspective

SageH's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 06:05 AM | #1
Hey everyone! Before I begin, I want to make it very clear that this isn't a rant or a thread that is about how I'm going to rage quit if some things aren't fixed this moment. It is my hope that this thread catches the attention of those that care, and those at BioWare who have the ability to do a little course correction for the benefit and betterment of SW:TOR. And yes, my guild (Retribution - Mandalore the Indomitable) and I have cleared all 16 Man Nightmare content available.

My title used to say "Failure to Launch," but it isn't 100% fair to say that SW:TOR failed in any sense as far as the 'End Game' content is concerned. Instead, I believe their failure lies in their largely sloppy design of encounter mechanics and their utter failure to implement a proper effort vs reward system. To illustrate my point first, I'll point you to a fantastic Loot Thread and Chart by Iwipe. This thread correctly identifies loot drops from both Normal and Hardmode Operations. The author of the thread also has a great thread on which bosses in Hardmode Flashpoints drop what gear as well. Combined, these threads present the problem.

First there are too many tiers of gear that drop in too many tiers of content. For example:

Tier 1 - Tionese Gear/Energized/Xenotech:
  • 4 Man Hardmode Flashpoints
  • 8 Man Normal Mode Operations
  • 16 Man Normal Mode Operations

Tier 2 - Columi/Exotech:
  • 4 Man Hard Mode Flashpoints
  • 8 Man Normal Mode Operations
  • 8 Man Hard Mode Operations
  • 8 Man Nightmare Operations
  • 16 Man Normal Mode Operations
  • 16 Man Hard Mode Operations
  • 16 Man Nightmare Operations

Tier 3 - Rakata:
  • 8 Man Hard Mode Operations
  • 8 Man Nightmare Operations
  • 16 Man Hard Mode Operations
  • 16 Man Nightmare Operations

To boot, Normal/Hardmode/Nightmare mode also drop Xenotech/Energiezed/Exotech gear which is mostly equivalent to Tionese and Columi gear, but has no set bonuses making it only worthwhile as companion gear or maybe temporary placeholder gear until you can obtain Tier Gear with set bonuses, though this can already be done with moddable gear. On top of that, bosses aren't even guaranteed to drop the appropriate tier gear. Last week in Karagga's Palace 16m Nightmare, we had multiple bosses drop only Columi/Exotech gear. The effort required to down these bosses in 16m Nightmare made me just hold my head down in utter disbelief when the only loot available following the kill was the same loot you can get from 4 Man Flashpoints.

The loot distribution tables need some serious love. Their current state does not reward effort whatsoever. In addition, the current difficulty needs to be increases in both Hard and Nightmare modes. Hard mode should after all, be hard. Nightmare should be completed after you have a majority of the available drops in Hard mode. It should not work as it currently does, where you complete Normal Mode and then immediately step into Nightmare and clear it wearing 4 man Hardmode Flashpoint gear.

In my opinion, the Tier Gear should drop in the following manner.

Tier 1 - Tionese or Xenotech/Energized (Non Set Bonus Equivalent) Gear (Item Level 126)
  • 4 Man Hardmode Flashpoints

Tier 2 - Columi or Exotech (Non Set Bonus Equivalent) Gear (Item Level 136)
  • 8/16 Man Normal Operations (Exotech with chance for Columi)
  • 8/16 Man Hard Mode Operations (Columi only)

Tier 3 - Rakata Gear
  • 8 Man Nightmare Operations (Rakata Only with reduced drop rates)
  • 16 Man Nightmare Operations (Rakata Only)

To me, this is the only way to make the current implemented gear and available difficulty salvageable. The current paradigm does not support the need for Nightmare level Operations outside of bragging rights, which consequently don't exist because the difficulty between Hard and Nightmare is not much at all especially considering the fact that there is little to no learning curve because BioWare uses increased HP, Damage and Shortened Enrage Timers as their primary mechanics for increasing difficulty rather than implementing new mechanics for each tier of difficulty. In addition, in its current state Hard mode provides the same loot at Nightmare and while Nightmare is 'supposed' to drop more loot than Hardmode, it doesn't appear to do so by any reasonable amount.

Raiding 16 Man Nightmare content should not be yielding Columi/Exotech gear. Allowing this is just disappointing, disheartening, and lazy design to be honest. If you want players to continue to raid Nightmare difficulty more than once for the ability to say I did it, then you need to adjust the rewards for the effort. I'm perfectly fine allowing 8/16 mans to drop the same loot with adjusted drop rates, but I am not okay with a single tier of loot dropping in four different tiers of content.

Like I said in the beginning, I'm not rage quitting. I do however, hope that BioWare will alter course and correct these issues sooner rather than later. As it stands, Fresh 50's can successfully clear EV/KP Normal if they are skilled players without running a single Flashpoint. While I'm not 100% opposed to that, I am opposed to Flashpoint geared players being able to clear the most challenging content in the game without being required to run any Operations to gear up and prepare for what should be extremely challenging.

I sincerely hope that by, if not well before the next content patch these problems are addressed. If not, then the state of end game raiding is going to continue to be very underwhelming and that deeply concerns me as raiding is my primary reason for long term commitment to any MMO.

Ste-wan's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 06:48 AM | #2
Great post

Sayoko's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 06:50 AM | #3
I agree that the loottables are kinda mixed up. Concerning the difficulty you have to keep in mind that this is entry lvl raiding and also used by BW to gauge how fast the players advance and what they consider hard or easy. I expect them to turn up the difficulty and mechanics in the next releases.
I think we can all agree that the difficulty and even itemization atm are no challenge for anyone who raided on a regular basis in WoW. But lots of players didnt and for them this isnt a steamroll like for some others.
I just hope BW is indeed aware of all this and takes it to heart when they release their next tier or raidcontent:>

Obscur's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 07:10 AM | #4
Bad post.
Im not want to do HMs Ops for Columi gear.
Rakata gear only from NM its kind a joke.

Jagent's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 07:30 AM | #5
Simply put, no.

You disguised it nicely but your post boils down to a QQ of "We cleared 16 man Nightmare, we don't want people in 8 man raids to have the same gear."

Hirmetrium's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 07:51 AM | #6
I think that your post proposes too much - I think looking at HM flashpoints needs to happen first. I think it needs to be done carefully too - giving tier 2 non-set pieces like exotech in hardmodes is perfectly acceptable, instead of columni. I'd prefer that than hard modes to become completely unrewarding, and to be skipped in favour of raids.

Also remember, that freshly hit 50's will want to sink their teeth into endgame content. The loot in level 50 normal flashpoints could do with some boosts so that it isn't completely redundant like it is now.

I think this issue needs looking at carefully - the OP's suggestion is a step in the right direction, but maybe a little too far in some regards.

EDIT: Cut down my post, because I'm not a raider. Sad to see so many "I agree"'s however. A change like this would be too drastic. Farming dailies is not the road to ops/hard modes.

HagbardCelin's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 08:46 AM | #7
OP is spot on.
Kallisti Proprietary

Jedi Sage ~ US-EST PVE

JamieM's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 09:29 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by HagbardCelin View Post
OP is spot on.
I agree with a lot of what the OP says. However I personally believe that they need to get rid of Tionese - it really serves no purpose and is not materially better than modded orange gear which is easily attainable. Especially since PvP gear is so readily available without much effort (if you are moderately lucky that is).

I am also not a fan of tiered difficulty as it creates these issues - too much gear / too many different versions and stats. BW have compounded this by not even changing the design of the gear - all models are equally ugly (well except Republic tiered gear which is so ugly I can't believe it was approved).

Retromancer's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 09:36 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Ste-wan View Post
Great post
+1 very very Great post

Jurugar's Avatar

01.30.2012 , 09:37 AM | #10
Nothing is more disheartening than killing a NM boss and only getting columi pieces.