Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Time Fer "Stand In The Fire" Ta DIAF?

"Stand in the Fire" be a fight mechanic what goes all the way back ta Scarlet Monastery, if not earliers. Is simple idea - bad dude drops a spell on a area, everybody gots ta move outta the area or take a lotta pain. We call it "fire" fer ta be general, but can also be arcane explosions, freeze yer nads of cold, fallin' rocks, swarm of otters, low self esteem - you buggers know what I's talkin' about. Usuallies, not movin' out means ya takes damage and piss of yer healer, but fer some raid bosses ya gets four seconds and then ya go straight ta hell where ya gots ta listen ta Don Knotts all day or sumthin', no pass Go, no collect two hundred gold. The point bein', Blizz don't want buggers just standin' there teein' off on the boss all day like he were a practice dummy. They wants fer ya ta have ta pay attentions and respond ta unexpecteds, and I thinks it were a good mechanic fer a long time. But now I's wonderin' if it done been stretched too far. Here be why.

Say yer me RL Avatar, and yer elbows deep in the "Why fer do the comfort index of everybodies on this bus be in the proper -10 ta +10 range, except that one muggerducker in the fourth row what be reportin' -1624? Is it a bug in the C++ server code or the Java client code? Or the FORTRAN internal simulation? Or mebbe one of the data hand-offs be flawed? FML" boss, when suddenlies a circle of blazing infernal fire centered on him appears. Is fair ta expects what about 98.7% of his nervous system will be tellin' him "GETOUTGETOUTGETOUTGETOUT!!!!!!!!!!", give er take. But Blizz cain't tap inta our nervous systems, so they tries fer ta give some hints like a circle of graphical effect in our area, and mebbe a debuff icon what looks like diseased robot walrus er sumthin' off in the corner, and yer health bar starts droppin' (unless it already were droppin' due ta sumthin' else, or unless it's one of them fires what does nuthin' until it instakills ya). Relatively speakin's, is kinda subtle-like.

Now, that graphical effect seems ta be sumthin' what Blizz picks outta a hat. Sometimes, is a perfect black disk about waist high, like a backyard swimmin' pool of death. Totally fake lookin' but hard fer ta miss. In the early days of Obsidium Sanctum, were a red swirly thing on red ground, damn near invisibles (laters, they changed it ta blue swirlies). Sometimes it look exactlies like the spell other buggers in yer party is castin' - is I in the good fire, the bad fire, or both? Has ya raided in Firelands? We runs a computer with a pretty decent graphics card; has enough power fer ta manage 40-50 frames per second durin' a raid with max settings. But Kinnavieve found what she had a lot easier time spottin' buggers like Aly's druid friends if'n she turned the settings down ta Medium or lower, 'cause otherwise were so many spell effects and fire sceneries and what has yous what the screen overloaded. Course, when she done did that, made it harder fer ta spot bad things what she needed ta get out of, Like Lord Ham On Ryolith's lava flows. So instead she done relied on DBM hollerin' "Run away little girl!" and "Beware!" Which worked fine, but kinda defeats the point of paintin' fire on the screen.

Which is where I gets ta me point, at last. Has we done reached the point where drawin' special effects on a screen alreadies loaded with special effects is no longer a good way fer ta convey a sense of "the flesh is bein' seared off of yer feet"? Is the difference between "idiot raider" and "skilled raider" sometimes nuthin' more than havin' the right add-on? Is it time fer ta junk the whole mechanic fer sumthin' different?

I's all in favor of keepin' buggers on they's toes, of not lettin' them phone they's performance in whiles watchin' the telly. But I's thinkin' that the spell-effect visual cue done been stretched beyond what makes sense. Is time fer ta have different hints, or different systems. But I's just a simple orc, runnin' off me own limited experience. What you buggers think?

9 comments:

Steve Hall said...

For an orc, you're pretty damn smart. Related to that warrior-turned-shammie dude, by chance?

Anyway...I don't mind the spell effect, but it needs to be consistent: Fire always looks the same, acid always looks the same, black void of you're-about-to-die-muahahahah always looks the same.

I hate to admit to how many times I've moved my Enhancement Shaman away from the boss due to DnD! For that one, especially, just a ring would be sufficient: No need to paint a 10 yard circle with such a deep red that it obscures every other effect going on.

So yeah, I kind of agree: There needs to be some kind of rational order out of all that chaos.

shoryl said...

I agree that things need to be consistent. I don't know how often I've run away from a boss because of hunter traps I don't recognize immediately, or been momentarily frightened by the glowing ball falling from the sky (is that a mage or 'lock spell, anyway?) because that's scary when you're doing your fireland dailies...

Kay said...

Argh!

SO MANY PEOPLE run out of my Efflorescence groundfire and then just stand next to it with their health bar in tatters...

Grimmtooth said...

Early on in Firelands, I kept dying on Shannox because of the fire trap thingy he does. It wasn't an addon or graphic setting that was killing me; I simply had to zoom in in order to see the traps at my feet. Later, well, yeah, I grabbed an addon to help.

In general, though, I don't mind the road-hazard thing so much as long as it isn't gimmicky. Gimmicks really annoy me.

WWadeII said...

I recall having people run away from my Priest 4-pc bonus at first because they thought it was some fire ball on the ground. While it didn't change the fact it is a smart heal and will shoot little fireballs at a distance, it did cause a tank or melee to occasionally run away or turn the boss until we go used to the spell effect.

SpiritusRex/Phlegger said...

The one I notice the most is, of course, the hunter's explosive trap. While I think the recent graphic upgrade is cool, it is now so fiery that it obscures everything below it. And, even though I stand in the back with the robe-wearing types, I could certainly understand how those of you that like to get up close and personal to the baddies could be confused. It would seem to me that if the bad stuff were graphically real fiery or shadowy or natural damagey looking, it would make more sense, but there ya have it.

Melfina said...

GTFO. Greatest addon ever. Loud sound every time you stand in something that is owie. Makes it much more intuitive once you get used to it.

And I still run from my own fire priest 4 piece. Sheesh

Armond said...

Always thought there were too many graphics flying around, especially in 25s. The minimalist in me wants spell effects that aren't my own or the bad guys' to be a simple ring: blue for damage done by allies (i.e. blizzard, mind sear, etc, so you know to tank things in there) and green for healing done by allies (i.e. efflorescence).

Faeldray said...

You know how Ricket's Magnetic Fireball called giant meteors down from the sky? My tank was relieved when I finally got rid of it on my hunter because he would always think they were coming from the boss we'd be fighting. He has the same issue with that warlock AoE, the one that makes a black circle on the ground. It makes him twitchy.

On another note, I think they should change every enemy ground effect to the Pokeball shape like the one the trash in Ulduar dropped. Everyone seems to be able to identify them really easily.