Of “Wrath babys” and the such

So today I’m going to talk about something that the wonderful Ice from http://druidmain.blogspot.com started.

I’m going to continue along this, and expand. I’m going to go all deep and thinkingly like, and try to drill down to why this problem exists. I’m first going to talk about who,  then about the problem itself, the context of difficulty, and then lastly I’m going to talk a bit about skill.

First of all, I don’t like using the term “wrath baby” for this group of players (as ice does) but rather as dumbasses, the term taken from the lovely Poneria of http://felconcentration.wordpress.com/. “Wrath baby’s” as far as I’m concerned are players who started in wrath. BC baby’s are players who started in BC etc.

The who?
I propose that this group of dumb asses is made up (not equally mind you) of players from vanilla, BC and wrath, and even completely new cataclysm players. Dumbass players exist from all ‘generation’ of players.

There are some vanilla players who are part of the problem
There are some BC players who are part of the problem
There are some wrath players who are part of the problem
Hell there may even be some really old school ever quest players who are part of the problem.

While its true that more of these players are “wrath babys” this is only the case because there are less players in total from BC and vanilla around these days. The older groups have suffered more attrition from time.

Context of difficulty.
What is apparent is that heroics now seem harder than ever before, why is that?

Believe it or not, the 2 halves of the line here are the same color. Its a visual trick, based on the context of the line, or put another way, the surrounding colors of the line. The same is true of cataclysm heroics. Wrath heroics were run on the backdrop of BC heroics, while they may not have started out particularly easy, compared to BC  it gave the impression that they were ridiculously easy. Cataclysm heroics, when run against the backdrop of running heroics at the end of wotlk (with gear inflation) gives the impression of ridiculously difficulty.

This impression is even more widespread than ever before, with more people than ever running heroics in wrath of the lich king. Cataclysm heroics, when framed against wrath heroics at the end of wrath expansion (with overly inflated gear might I add) are much harder.

If cataclysm were framed against BC heroics, I think we wouldn’t be seeing nearly the outrage that we are now.

The strength and weakness’ of cataclysm heroics
In cataclysm heroics, avoiding avoidable damage is a must. But what about the avoidable damage that won’t kill you quickly? A great example of this is Anraphet in HOO, with his alpha beams ability. This ability won’t kill you instantly, in fact I suspect you would have to stand in it for its entirety for it to kill you. However, this damage is unhealable in current gear. The healer will either run OOM trying to keep everyone alive, or will just won’t have enough time to keep the tank and you up.

Standing in the alpha beams for to long is quite likely to cause a wipe. However it doesn’t feel like a group wiping ability. In fact it makes it look like the healer is the one at fault. Its not immediately obvious why the group wiped. While this gives healers even greater room to actually carry groups through heroics, this won’t come into play until later on, the second tier or even third.

But this is also cataclysm heroics greatest strength, in that there is now a difference between the person who moves out without taking a single tick of damage, and the person who stands in it for a few seconds. It allows for a greater show of skill over “I can move out of stuff” and “I can’t move out of stuff”.

The degradation of skill
During wotlk healing and raid damage took a direction we hadn’t seen before in wow.  Damage was very spiky, if you stood in avoidable damage for a second to long, you would die.

What did this result in? This resulted in the perception of skill in wow by the large majority of players being reduced to you either stood in bad, or did not. You were either good or bad, skilled or not.

This led to a widespread disregard of the idea of skill, anyone could complete content with enough gear. With gear being easily measurable with metrics such as gearscore and average ilevel we saw this being further pushed into people’s heads.

People came under the impression that they didn’t need to ‘skill up’ (for lack of a better term) but rather just acquire more gear to clear content. Now when confronted with encounters where gearing up is not a option, people are left with a lack of options. What has been drilled into them for the last 2 years (give or take) is now not going to be able to help.

What we also see, is that ‘skilled’ players are being refereed to as ‘god like’. This imply that the level they play on is unattainable, and hence that people shouldn’t try.

I can only hope that the wow community will come out of this funk and people might actually work on being better gamers.

  1. February 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

    You’re right: it’s really only the players who had the (misfortune?) to begin heroics at the later half of WotLK that are probably the most unprepared for the sudden change in difficulty now.

    However I’m convinced that that’s not a bad thing: newer players are in the best place to adapt imo.

    You can be a shining example of Wrath Baby skill Vel!


    • February 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks for the compliment cass 🙂

      Theres a lot of factors about it, little things like players looking at the forums. People complain that heroics are to hard, as opposed to people need to play better. Just putting it one way as opposed to the other begins to cement it in players minds that its not them who may be at fault.

  2. screwlewse
    March 30, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Okay so I am fairly new (as you already know) and your interpretation is spot on, from the information from my veteran friends. I personally, am excited to be playing in the game when it’s tougher than before. I dont say tough, because my understanding is that Vanilla was very tough in the beginning, which is why I dont feel like complaining is a good option. The game is fun right now. Lots of fun… and half of that is because there is:
    1. content that takes work to attain
    2. skills to study and hone
    3. lofty goals, and small goals, that all require practice.
    4. helpful people that want to see you do better

    I would also add that new players where Cata is their first experience.. have a bit of a shock, when they get to endgame. All the way up to 80, was not that tough. Yes we wiped on 5-man’s, but nothing that didn’t end with success at the end of the night. Then, suddenly you are thrown into Cata… a completely different experience of toughness. Heck, they even upped the prerequisite to enter cata zones to 80, when usually you could enter 2 levels below (58 for outland) (68 for northrend).. and in doing so, they doubled the hit from the mobs.

    My opinion? Awesomesauce! Make it hard, make it complicated. I’m loving the cata content and can’t wait to skill up more, so I can be useful in Heroics and raids. Bring it on Blizz!

  3. April 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

    The most important thing to know about wiping in Cataclysm Heroics is how to properly assign blame. As a Destruction Lock, if I get aggro and die, it’s the tank’s fault. If I somehow die WITHOUT getting aggro, it’s the healer’s fault. If I stand in the fire until I die, it’s the other DPS’s fault (because without me standing still, we’d NEVER have enough DPS to down the boss). Use well this wisdom that I pass on to you!

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