The Case for Limited Attempts

We’ve seen the mechanic in Trial of the Grand Crusader and it seems like it’s going to be implemented in Icecrown as well. When I was on the PTR, I saw the countdown at 3000. We were down to 2994 when the raid group was called.

Again, this is why I’m in favour of being on the PTR often so I can waste my learning attempts there where it doesn’t matter. But that’s the tactician in me anyway.

There’s been objection to using limited attempts as a means to make raids more difficult for players. It means every attempt means something and they cannot just be squandered away. A ceiling has been imposed on the amount of times a guild can throw themselves at bosses.

This means that a guild who raids for 24 hours a week has no advantage over a guild that raids for 12 hours. They both have the same amount of chances to get the job done. The playing field has been leveled in such a way that guilds can’t simply just “brute force” their way through a raids and rely on a sheer number of attempts to do so. You can’t have players doing the same stupid things that cause them to die. The overall skills have to go up.

Granted, I’ll admit it is a cheap way of slowing down raids and making stuff harder. But I like this approach instead of throwing in more trash mobs. While ToC was one blend of the spectrum, I don’t think I’d be particularly happy if most boss chambers and corridors had quantities that rivalled Freya or General Vezax trash. I’d rather spend that time focusing on boss attempts. Some of the areas in ICC had trashed turned on. From what I’ve seen, it’s difficult enough to keep players entertained on the route to trash and there’s just enough where you’re not going to get bored of it and want to gouge your eyes out.

Will there be a reward system?

I’m not sure. It could be modelled after ToGC where the attempts remaining has an influence on the type of loot received. In fact, I think that is something they’ll implement.

Did you like the way limited attempts were set up in ToGC? What would you change for Icecrown?

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. ToGC’s tribute system was screwy for linking gear rewards to things that are inherently out of the player’s control. If Blizzard could guarantee 100% server uptime with no disconnects and no lag, then I could understand the tribute system. I have experienced too many bad disconnects at bad times that have cost an Insanity run to really love the system. I think the best option is to leave in the tribute system, but have it give vanity rewards/titles.

  2. Whilst I prefer limited tries to a time limit (as in Algalon) I really loathe the principle. I play on one of Europe’s bigger servers which is prone to lag spikes at certain times (raid times) which doesn’t sit well with a limited number of tries. Periods of 3000 plus latency for minutes on end suffered by the whole guild/server. Whilst we have this unreliability and inconsistency, I feel that artificial limits aren’t acceptable.

    Before we killed Anub’arak 25 hardmode, we went for weeks having to leave our tries on him to Sunday purely because we couldn’t trust Wednesday/Thursday being lag free enough. Obviously if we weren’t try limited we would soldier on through the lag but watching the counter go down to a series of disasters we had no control over is.. disheartening to say the least.

    Yes, we could transfer but whilst there are free horde transfers out, there aren’t free alliance ones and I really don’t think a good portion of the guild could afford to move their mains/alts to a new home. Besides, why should we? The server isn’t locked, even though you can’t move in Dalaran due to lag.

    I’m also a strong believer in if guilds want to spend hours and hours working on content why shouldn’t they? We pay to play after all. My guild are pretty casual, certainly by the standards of our server but that’s our choice. The hardcore choice since it doesn’t effect anyone else’s game play should also be respected.

    I think I would be a lot happier if the Tribute system was merely there to distinguish the good from the less good. You get bonus loot/titles/mounts etc but once the counter hits zero you can keep going for as long as you like but a kill just nets you basic loot or even badges.

  3. 8 seconds of retarded server lag cost me and my boys a week on our immortal. 49 attempts kill of anub’arak with our wipe on Jaraxxus being due to nearly 10 seconds of the server in full stall. Unless they can make the servers not suck balls on Tuesdays this limited attempts thing is garbage.
    .-= Tristan´s last blog ..HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE MOHAWK GRENADE! =-.

    • @Tristan: You just nailed the one fatal flaw with the system. It assumes everyone has a perfectly clear and lagless connection and system.

  4. I tend to like the Limited Attempts mechanism, and you make some great points in favor of it that I tend to agree with.

    I think there needs to be a little more ‘grey area’ on the Best Rewards. I haven’t been a fan of Immortal type achievements and tying the best gear in the instance to an Immortal run can be demoralizing to guilds.

    I think that’s led to some added Drama for Raid guilds. Can you imagine if the Limited Attempts mechanism was in the game for an old Boss like Teron Gorefiend. How long would ‘That Guy’ have lasted even in the friendliest of guilds.

    It also discourages experimentation. You don’t want to waste one of your precious attempts for an experiment.

  5. Limited attempts do two things that I don’t particularly like:

    First, it saves everyone on the first wipe of a boss. This makes pugging raids a giant pain, because a single failure means you’re still saved for the week, and who on earth is going to go through the nonsense of trying to figure out who has what raid ID, and none of them even have a single boss dead; let alone trying to convince people to go back into a raid ID that has some of the counter consumed.

    The second can be pretty much identified with what I said to members of the guild on Friday when we had a poor comp to go into ToGC and if we should do it then or wait till later. I had told them that due to the rewards being linked to attempts remaining, it penalizes people for bringing untested elements into a raid. People who have never done ToGC before and might not be expecting the level needed, or are simple unprepared for the additional strategy changes actually penalize guilds who normally clear it or do well in it. Why would you risk a handful of wipes for someone to get used to Heroic Faction Champions when you can instead simply take the person who is already experienced at the encounter and has done it correctly?

    What both amount to, is penalizing experimentation, attempting new things, and training new players. We mess around with new strats in normal ToC specifically so if we mess something up with placement/raid splits/etc it doesn’t cost us attempts and penalize loot. Who would willingly throw away attempts on trying something new that could be better, or to have someone new there, when you get substantially better rewarded for consistency?

    I will add though, that a limited number of attempts total is a good thing, but I don’t think that it should be tied to material loot type rewards, but should have other things such as vanity items (Mounts/Titles) associated with them.

  6. I love the limited attempts strategy in ToGC – as I think it forces the raid group to focus that much harder. DId it suck when we missed our first Insanity run because our hunter couldn’t figure out how to drop any ice? Yes. Have we cleared ToGC with PUGs? Yes – though not Insanity.

    The thing I liked about ToC was that we could experiment on normal mode before pushing into heroic mode. Yes, some of the abilities were different, but we could still practice – like the way we used “Crawl, walk, run” while I was in the military.

    I don’t mind keeping the “best” loot tied to something like this, as there is already exclusive loot in the 25s vs the 10s. That is a bigger issue imo.
    .-= adgamorix´s last blog ..Keeping your head on a swivel =-.

  7. Working algalon atm. This time is horrid. Not because the fight is hard, but because in one single hour of attempts we had three DC’s *people who really never dc* myself, ended up with a strange glitch where spacebar wouldnt work to let me fly even after logging in and out. effectivly leaving me stuck for dead or with a ten min rez debuff *(I was able to quick get a rez) also I had strange targeting issues in there, and in times before we’ve had members of a ten man group without subs, have dc’s that took the entire hour to work out, again a person who never dc’s. Last night we had subs waiting out for the 25, but still the timer is BS if blizz can’t competently debug their own content.

    As for the attempt counter. We havent burnt it up yet. I dont like that thing lingering in there. Especially in progressional raiding, it really hinders different things you can try to do. So what once was about strat’s and doing different things, and just flat out working your way through an encounter, now becomes stacking an optimal setup, and praying you get lucky.

    Both fail.

    I’d rather see vashj/kael levels of attunments back before this bullshit.

  8. I’m amused when people complain about trash like the run to Vezax. Considering that in Vanilla we had 10x that, and I’m pretty sure that the opening trash to TK was longer than Vezax, not to mention KT himself’s trash.

  9. “When I was on the PTR, I saw the countdown at 3000. We were down to 2994 when the raid group was called. Again, this is why I’m in favour of being on the PTR often so I can waste my learning attempts there where it doesn’t matter.”

    “This means that a guild who raids for 24 hours a week has no advantage over a guild that raids for 12 hours.”

    You do realize that other people are on the PTR with you — likely for the same purpose. To learn the encounters BEFORE there is an artificial attempt counter blocking them. Only they’re not doing it for a blog article. They’re doing it to get a world first/server first.

    I think the assertion that people with more time will have no advantage is a little naive.

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