Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oculus, you Slay me...

(Contains: many, many rants, and a new carrot Blizz is tossing out to appease the masses)

...literally. Can we have a mechanic change on the giant drakes that, when some party member is wandering around while mounted and the rest of the group is forging ahead on foot killing trash, that any drakes said slow, wandering, lost mounted party member decides to aggro DON'T all rush the healer and slaughter her into a branchy mess of broken twigs?

/boots fury warrior off the side of the ledge

I have a guildie who was cursed with getting Oculus as his random every day for about 4-5 days. As a dps with the long queue times, he didn't have much choice but to forge ahead with it each time. All too often, tanks or healers with faster queue times will simply drop group, leaving the rest of the party waiting for another 10-20 minutes for a new tank or healer to join who doesn't immediately run screaming from the party, themselves.

For each PuG Oculus, there is a very high likelihood of getting players who don't know their drakes' abilities, and don't bother reading what the drakes tell them. The greens kill themselves channeling heals without keeping their poison stack running, the reds don't bother killing whelps, the ambers don't trade shocks or, worse, don't use time stop on the enrages. And then so very many of them don't run away when giant, pulsing, exploding orbs come out and annihilate them.

And all too often, they blame someone other than themselves. Usually the healer. "I could've survived that enrage if I got heals!" "I could've survived the orbs if I got heals!" "I could've survived channeling heals to that other guy if you had healed me!" "Those whelps wouldn't be a problem if you healed everyone!"

Healers are used to this. Healers tend to be blamed for others dieing while they're standing in flamestrikes, shadow zones, cleaves, or molten hot lava. It doesn't make it any less bearable when it's a PuG oculus.

There are also the occasional bugs, like hitting the instance reset timer while your healer is dead and ghosted outside of the instance, and thus s/he is unable to come back in since they didn't get the option to re-save themselves, and then when they drop to let you get a new healer, the new healer gets a fresh instance as well, despite being in your party. Oh, that was fun.

Now, you can always take the time to teach a group how to use their drakes. I have done this, it took about 4 wipes on the Ley-Guardian and some keen eyes to spot all the problems, as well as some mid-combat hastily typed alerts into party chat. It requires the group to be willing to learn, though, and someone in the party willing and with the patience to teach (without bashing the others for their inexperience). Some days I am willing; others I just want it to be over with as quickly as possible. Some groups are willing; others just want to blame everyone else but themselves.

But why do I go on about all of this, now, when there's much happier news with the Plagueworks being released in ICC?

Because Blizzard's staff has heard the angry cries, and is throwing out a carrot:

To encourage players not to shy away from the many invigorating adventures to be had in The Oculus, we have applied a change to enhance the rewards players are provided when selected for this dungeon via the Random Heroic option in the Dungeon Finder. Once Ley-Guardian Eregos is defeated, one loot bag per character will be provided in his chest in addition to the current rewards. Each loot bag will offer players rare gems, and a chance of being rewarded the Reins of the Blue Drake. These fine treasures could be yours should you honor your fellow party members by besting the challenges contained within The Oculus! Keep in mind, however, that these extra loot bags will only be awarded to each party member if Oculus is selected by the Dungeon Finder when players choose the Random Heroic option.

In light of this change, the Reins of the Azure Drake will now have a chance of dropping in both 10- and 25-player versions of The Eye of Eternity.

What's this? Blue gems, extra badges, and a mount chance?

Personally, the rare gems and triumph badges do not phase me in the slightest. I need epic gems and frost badges; the triumphs only add to my ever-growing stash of "convert these to gem-buying badges" and I can get those with a lot less hassle. The drake would be wonderful, but I think I would cry if I saw it go to some idiot who was earlier pulling drake aggro onto me and blaming me for his own "I'm standing in da orbs!" deaths.

I need a bigger carrot, I think, before I will accept Oculus pugs with anything but groans.


Anonymous said...

That place is a cess pit. No amount of "finery" will make it any better.

I hate running it even if it's all guildies who know what they are doing. It's poorly paced, the mechanics are clumsy, and the encounters stink.

I wish they'd just wipe it off the face of Azeroth.

Chaous said...

I might be reading your last paragraph wrong but each person gets their own chance at the drake much like the polar bear mount in storm peaks. It can drop from the bag.

Unless you mean that the idiot who can't move because he's leet deeps gets it in his bag and you see it, in which case ignore me :P

Kae said...

Alexander, if it drops from the bag, I'll still die inside if the "lol u didn't heal me I died in orbs" guy gets the drake. :( Unless the drake pops out of the bag and eats him. Then I'd just laugh. But I don't think Blizz will give me that satisfaction.

Regarding the instance itself, I was told earlier this morning that it is possible for a well-geared player (iLevels) to solo Eregos on a green drake, by using the nightmare touch ability to reduce his damage when he enrages. I have my doubts... but I'm willing to give it a shot next time I get an insane group that wipes themselves.

Chaous said...

Oh that would be cool to see. A solo Eregos.

oops, realized I need to change my display name here. Fix'd

lissanna said...

Loot doesn't fix confusing drake mechanics that people don't understand.

Changing the instance to be more new-player-friendly would go a lot farther (like having access to all the abilities the entire instance so that you have a chance to get used to the controls before the final boss fight).

Cassandri said...

See I always feel sorry for Blizzard when they try and make us like Oculus.

They're sooooo proud. Oculus is their little baby - it's their pride and joy.

One day they'll understand why it feels so clumsy. Dismount, check nobody still has random agro from a flying creature of death, kill a pack. Mount up. Fly somewhere and clear a platform. Fly back. Dismount, check nobody still has random agro from a flying creature of death...

Anyway, I vastly prefer Oculus as my Random Heroic than *shudder* ToC or HoR.

But yeah, usually someone drops group. I had one DPS warrior the other day just AFK and when we reached the first boss our party leader said "He wants us to Vote Kick him". I guess if you get voted off you don't suffer the debuff. Unfortunately his ploy worked :(

Kae said...

"The Oculus had some additional changes made. The Planar Anomlies during the Eregos encounter will have a shorter duration and do reduced damage, some of the drakes above Varos’s platform have been removed, and the drakes controlled by players will move a little faster."

Maybe these changes will help make the instance less of a complete headache.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't you know it...my daily heroic last night was, you guessed it! Oculus!

I groaned as the screen loaded. But that little bag of goodies at the end kept me there (damn drake, damn 96 mounts).

Nobody left the group, pehaps that is because the tank and healer (Brade and I) stayed? And we ended up doing a good job of the zone. However, nothing is going to fix the poor pacing of the instance.

I got one yellow gem in my bag. No mount =(