I’m Already Saved

With all the discussion’s lately of cataclysm Raid changes, my mind started pondering how much I don’t like the way current Raid IDs are implemented.   In doing so I started thinking about ways I would improve the system and came to the same conclusion I did a few years back.   When I do this sort of thing I always ask myself, why did you not write your thoughts down?   My answer is always dumb, so this time I’m going to write instead of just talk.

Where to start?

How about how one person can screw everyone else out of raid content for the lockout period?

Yep, I think that is a good place to start since the worst things about MMOs are the other people. 😉

You see, in WoW’s current Raid ID System it is possible for one person in a raid group to “steal” a raid out from under the rest of the group.  Here is how it can happen.

  • Day one
    • a group of ten people join up start a Raid run that has 5 bosses.
    • In that first session they kill two of the bosses then stop, with plans to come back on day three.
  • Day two
    • one of those original people starts a new group with 9 other people.
    • They start at boss three kill it and boss four, before stopping.
  • Day three
    • The original group gets back together, planning to start at boss 3.
    • They freak out because progress on their RAID ID has occurred and only Boss 5 is left standing.

I dislike this system, and have wondered why blizzard does not save instance states on a per player basis.

What I mean is that Raids would load up based on the individual state of  the raid leaders saved instance data.  Then as people try to join in, they would enter a version of the raid at either the Raid leader’s state or, if they had personally advanced farther than the raid lead, the state of the instance at which they saved.

For example, using the situation above as a basis:

  • day one
    • a group of ten people join up start a Raid run that has 5 bosses.
    • In that first session they kill two of the bosses then stop, with plans to come back on day three.
  • Day two
    • one of those original people (we will call him Jimmy) starts a new group with 9 other people.
    • They start at boss three kill it and boss four, before stopping.
  • Day three
    • The original group gets back together, and the raid leader (not jimmy)  invites the nine other people as he enters the instance at the state he left it back on Day one.
    • All the other members whom have not not advanced any farther since day one, get a prompt telling them this instance has been started and do they want to continue.
      • If they answer yes they get to stay in the instance and progress they make in the instance is saved to them.
      • If they answer no they get booted from the instance.
    • Jimmy, who continued on with a separate group on day two, will enter his “more advanced” state of the instance, and be unable to join the rest of the group until they catch up.

With this system one person can not mess up the raid state for everyone else.

Say for example Jimmy was the raid leader on day 3.  All the other members could simply say NO to the prompt, and then pick someone else to be the raid leader.

Players are never able to join a raid whose state is “behind” the state of their saved Raid. But they can join Raids that are ahead of them, as long as they are willing to have their saved state advanced with it.

If this system was in place I could run the first wing of ICC with one group, then later in the week join a group that is on the second wing. All without screwing any of my friends that were in the first group.

4 responses to “I’m Already Saved”

  1. This sounds all very nice but who replaces Jimmy and will that person be replaces by Jimmy for the final boss? If only Jimmy was joining another group then you could go on with 9 people, but think of the situation that bliz changes it the way you suggest, then everyone can and will do that like jimmy, messing the whole system up

  2. @Herman
    You are referring to the group that in my example is now 1 member short, correct? If so then in my proposal the group could get anyone who’s “Raid Save” is at the same boss as the group is on, or (just as now) anyone who does not yet have a “raid save”.

    As for bringing “jimmy” back, well that’s calls back to social dynamics/drama that occurs even now. That group might decide to boot the “fill in” person and let jimmy back in for the boss, or they might not. Which is no different than now, where a raid group could invite you to join them and then after a few bosses boot you.

    Except in my proposal that fill-in person if booted just before boss 5, could then start his own raid advertising starting at the last boss and get anyone with matching raid saves or no-raid saves to join him. And doing so would not effect the progress of the group he filled in for. As things are in game right now, that could not happen.

  3. Howdy Mr Anderson,

    I hope you don’t mind me posting a reply here.

    You raise a good point regarding the theft of an instance. While I finally have a good guild now, I actually encountered just this thing in the pre WoTLK days in Karazhan. Obviously its going to be more prone to happening in 25 man PuGs.

    In my mind, clearly the locks are to regulate the rate of progression. While I originally didn’t like the mechanic, I agree with the intent.

    A concern I have though is that coordinating 25 man pugs with people saved at different stages of a raid could create a deal of complex coordination that would be hard enough to manage in a guild let alone with random people.

    What if you could ‘entrust’ a set number of players with the raid lock? Not saying it would be mandatory but optional. A raid leader could designate maybe up to 5 other players who can reform under the same raid ID. Once designated all other players would be locked out from forming a raid which could enter that instance unless they joined one of the ‘trusted’ player’s raids?

  4. @Brian McIntosh
    First. While I don’t write these posts with the intent of having people post, I enjoy when people do. So please feel free.

    Second. I also understand their intent on limiting raid progression and the rewards from such progression, and within the bounds of the game’s design I agree with that intent.

    Third. I understand the first reaction people will have as soon as I start talking about giving each individual their own raid save state, is that its going to be complex, and hard to manage. It could be, but I believe it could also be presented in a such way that where the complexity could be mitigated.

    One way would be making characters raid save information visible to raid organizers. Set it up so it is easy information to see, for example as I am sending invites out via the calender, let me see the character’s raid state.

    Another tactic is to ensure players are prompted about their decision before committing to one. Example: “You are entering a raid which is has advanced more than your current raid state, if you do so your save state will be updated to match this raid. Are you sure you want to do this?”

    And finally, the idea of the “trusted few”. I want to like that idea, except I would rather not be anchored to anyone for raiding. Example: If I raid with my guild on day one of a lock out period, and we do well killing 4/5 bosses. They run on day 2 without me, for whatever reason, and get the last boss down. I would like the option to later start my own raid with other people that have not yet beaten that boss during the lockout period.

    The crux of my issues is that the current system saves raid states to a single RAID ID for all members of a raid, and not to individual IDs for each character. If a single person advances the raid state, then its advanced for everyone else with that RAID ID, and I am not a fan of that.

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