The apples taste like oranges

I was in Stillmoor finishing up some quests when a raid-level quest opened up. About 30 minutes or so later, someone was advertising in zone-chat that they are putting together a raid for the quest. I sign up, and in about 5 minutes we have a nearly full raid.

We gather up at the hub, and all progress towards the location of the raid mob. Along the way we kill any mobs that agro, as not everyone in the raid was 50 yet (I’m still 48) and the lower levels have a wider agro range. When we reach the raid mob, one member of the raid quickly goes over the mob (kill adds, don’t stand in the fire, standard stuff really), a ready check (built into the UI) goes out, everyone hits ready, and the fight starts.

We have some issue with tank agro, along with not enough people picking up adds, and at about 70% we wipe. A few people soul walk, rez the rest of the raid, and we have a quick talk about what to do better. We buff up, engage the boss again, and after a good fight with some nice tank swaps and in-combat rezzing, we down the raid boss.

The raid then proceeds to make its way back out towards town (the area is full of elite mobs), once again killing anything that is in our way. As we reach the end of the elite mobs, a few people in the raid ask if anyone still needs to complete some of the quests in this area (I did), and separate groups form to knock those out.

Now, on the surface this is nothing ground-breaking or “zomg I’ve never seen that happen!” stuff, yet lets just list out the possible issues that could have arisen if we were in some other MMO.

For starters, the raid was gather in that zone rather than through some cross-server anonymous insta-group tool. This then allowed everyone to gather up quickly without being instantly zipped directly to the boss. As everyone was from the same server, any black-listed names could have been excluded easily.

Next, everyone did actually gather in a timely manner, and stuck together as the group moved forward. We did not have people running left and right to chase a shiny or collect far-off resource nodes. We did not leave behind those who drew agro. No one was racing to get the first tag on a mob, or raging over a world drop (we had two).

Everyone clicked the ready check (which as a former raid leader, actually does blow my mind), and when we wiped no one immediately left or started raging that the tanks/healers suck. Everyone was rezzed quickly, no one accidently agroed the boss early, or agroed other mobs in the area, and the second attempt got under way in minimal time (which, again, as a former raid leader is impressive, especially for a PUG raid).

When the boss fell no one left the raid immediately. No one started porting home. People did not scatter and run as quickly as they could to turn the quest in and collect their shiny (a pretty sweet epic might I add). The raid stuck together and got everyone out, and additional groups were formed directly after (something that’s impossible if everyone insta-ported over using an auto-matching tool).

But hey, open groups and an insta-match cross-server ‘stand in town and queue’ thing are basically the same thing that produce basically the same type of server environment and in-game culture.


About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in MMO design, Rant, Rift, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The apples taste like oranges

  1. Loire says:

    Good luck trying to get the same experience in 4 years when Wrath of the Rift King comes out and all the original Raid’s become useless.

  2. Neeko says:

    Grats on being level 48 and leeching off others to get an epic, SCRUB. (<3)

  3. Drew says:

    Not to rain on your parade, Syn, but pick-up raids in WoW are not formed through the Dungeon Finder. In fact, the “dreaded PuG” is formed exactly how you outlined here – in a chat channel; at least that was the case when I left.

    You seem to be drawing a comparison to a RIFT Raid quest and the WoW Dungeon Finder, and maybe that’s the point of your title, but it’s a poor comparison, nonetheless. A better one would be a world boss, perhaps. Which, of course, Blizzard has removed from WoW, essentially. I don’t recall one since TBC. And that’s a shame.

    I get the point of what you’re saying, though; the community is better for it by not having full automation, and I totally agree. But, it’s certainly inconvenient to stand around shouting for help when there are workable alternatives.

    Frankly, I thought the old LFG UI in WoW was sufficient; the people who knew how to use it were generally intelligent enough not to screw up your run, and most of the time people messaged you before inviting.

    • SynCaine says:

      It is a poor comparison, isn’t it? :)

      • Sean Boocock says:

        “It is a poor comparison, isn’t it? :)”

        I can almost hear you straining to make it too.

        Also Drew, Blizzard actually added several world bosses scaled for five man groups in Cataclysm and are continuing to iterate on them in the next patch (better itemization for instance). They also added a few “unofficial” world bosses, creatures that require large raids (25+ people) to kill but don’t reward valuable loot (ie the whale shark in Vashj’ir). I honestly don’t know the status of the old world, world bosses but the BC ones still exist.

        • SynCaine says:

          Naw no strain, I’m not the one with the initial thought. Actually that part of all of this is an inside joke that’s clearly not coming across for some. Swing and a miss on my part I guess.

        • Sean Boocock says:

          Well if it’s anything beyond your usual WoW trolling, it’s over my head. I gave up on your blogging antagonist months ago ( and a few others besides) so I’m probably missing something here. Glad to hear though that Trion had the good sense to actually implement something akin to what I find most appealing about WoW: it’s PvE endgame. So many competitors carbon copy the general design of WoW only to drop the ball on the endgame and then wonder why their retention rates are poor.

        • Scarybooster says:

          It might not have been a great comparison, but it did hit on the point that the community is less of a community with an instant queue system. WoWers are spoiled with 5 man insta-pew pews so when they form a raid, their patience sucks. You will not see after raid PUG love in WoW. I understood the underlying point quite well.

  4. Saucelah says:

    But, and more importantly, did the snozberries taste like snozberries?

  5. Neeko says:

    I prefer Beerfest to Super Troopers.

  6. Pedro says:

    wow, such hostility from Wowbies…

    I already an experience similar to this one. It’s not the rule but it happens. And the fact that there’s no tools to look for groups groups and with the open group system in the open world IMO the community of a shard really grows.

    Even for instances I can very easily find groups in less than 5 minutes.

  7. Bhagpuss says:

    How much of this is down to the quality of the community, rather than the mechanics?

    Mrs Bhagpuss and I have been very surprised and impressed with the quality of the community on our server, Faeblight. The helpfulness and co-operation of players in both what they do and what say is some of the best I’ve seen anywhere. The open chat channels like 1-9 consist mostly of people talking in full sentences, grammatically correct, well-punctuated and with good spelling. Even the few trolls are often sharp and amusing.

    It’s only really when I do Warfronts that I see more of the expected txt and trash talk.

    Makes me very sure that limiting cross-server automatching is of primary importance. I really hope that when the Dungeon Finder tool arrives it is server-specific. And if it isn’t, I hope at the very least they have the sense to use small server clusters that are all on the same ruleset.

    Mrs Bhagpuss dinged 50 today. I’m slacking behind at 46, due to deciding to skill up Runecrafting and level my Rogue at the same time. We haven’t raided since EQ’s Planes of Power but if your experience is anything like typical, that could change.

    • SynCaine says:

      The mechanics make the community.

      • Drew says:

        I agree, and I think this is why WoW has the identity crisis it has. The game is essentially one giant bait-and-switch, where you go from solo hero to forced-group raiding if you intend to play the ‘endgame’.

        I think it’s also why people stay away from DarkFall. They assume that because of the hardcore FFA PvP label, the community is going to be filled with basement-dwelling egomanics. Or do they stay away because of the idea of losing their stuff?

        Honest question for you SynCaine: do you think the mechanics of DarkFall keep more people out, or the perceived community as a result of those mechanics?

        • SynCaine says:

          I think it’s more mechanics. Even if DF did what it did flawlessly, the very fact that it’s FFA full-loot PvP keeps most people away. The high/low swings of that setup are simple not what most want to experience, even though the highs are, well, higher than what they can experience in other games. The lows are just too constant and too crushing.

          That a certain type of gamer gravitates to such a setup is a side effect, and the forums vs in-game community is perhaps the most polar of any MMO I’ve seen, including EVE. People who are complete mutants on the forums are actually pretty cool in-game. ForumFall just has that effect.

      • bonedead says:

        I thought mechanics fixed vehicles

  8. SM says:

    No lockouts, no insults, no gear checks, just fun and achievement for everyone involved. Seems simple enough yet some very successful companies (ie. Blizzard) seem incapable of implementing this in their games!

  9. Angry Gamer says:


    I really want to hit this hard because we (rift players) need to say it loud. YOU ARE NOT IN AZEROTH WOWBIE. What I mean by this is simply: Awesome things are happening in Rift. BECAUSE THEY WERE DESIGNED THAT WAY.

    Do you think it was an accident that Rift, area mobs, invasions, events all are going on? Do you think that the implementation of player collaboration was an accident?

    I know this is hard for even Rift fans to grasp. But all of us are playing a game that was designed for the pleasant gaming experience we are enjoying. DESIGNED THIS WAY — NOT BY ACCIDENT.

    You see we rifters have a problem. The non-rifters are convinced that Rift being fun now is either accidental or temporary. (and we want them to be Rifters so that their subscription money funds more or our fun right?)

    What these poor jaded souls DO NOT SEE is the promise of the rift technology platform AND it’s current level of quality delivery.

    Playing Rift is indeed “fun” but what is truly the magic moment is where you realize that the Rift Designers MEANT for it to be continually fun.

    Case in point is the release of 1.1 LESS THAN A MONTH AFTER game launch!!!! squeee!

    What the non-rifters would say is yeah they had content that didn’t make the release date like Wow holds back content. BUT what if we are getting new content in Rift every month BECAUSE IT’S EASY TO ADD CONTENT!!!!

    YES you can design games (or any software) with extensibility from the beginning!!!!

    IMAGINE the possibilities, we could have more content at a faster rate than any other Online game in history!

    Old zone getting boring… add a rift or two!
    Old Warfront getting stale… add a rift or new invasion right in the middle of your pvp!
    Need new Raiding content… add a few raid rifts with cool rewards… heck even link them in a series all over Telaria!

    The possibilities (that are here NOW) are just staggering! We are truly seeing a new era in online games!

    • Drew says:

      Firstly, I’m not sure calling people WOWBIES is exactly going to endear them to your game. Just sayin’.

      Secondly, isn’t it a wee bit early to be heralding additional content monthly? And is a different color rift truly ‘content’? (This should be a fun one, since we’ve heard Syn ramble on about that from a WoW perspective before.)

      Thirdly, the cynics out there will point out that 1.1 and this World Event thingie are conveniently dropping as the free month is expiring (I happen to think it’s a brilliant marketing strategy).

      Lastly, I think you need a new name – you are clearly no longer an “Angry Gamer”! ;)

  10. Angry Gamer says:

    Your gaming future has been adjusted.

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