Cataclysm: A Return to Group Dynamics

Let’s face it, Wrath of the Lich King wasn’t exactly big on the need to rely on your group mates in your average 5-man. The ability to get T9 easily now, and even T10 without ever seeing a raid, has put a great many people into an attitude that they can handle just about anything that comes their way even if their group is not performing correctly. HoR-H is more demanding, and does require at least part of the group to be working together, but it’s no Magister’s-H. No sir, not by a long shot.

Couple the proliferation of good gear with the CC shunning AOE festival that has persisted since patch 3.0, and you end up with a population of players who have forgotten what it’s like to have their fates firmly in the hands of others, and likewise, to have the fates of others in their own hands.

Cataclysm, ostensibly, will be changing this. The dungeons are set up to be doable without CC, but at a much higher difficulty and risk of frequent deaths. Blizzard is trying to recreate the feeling that you *need* to give your tank a moment to get aggro, for CC to happen, and for the mobs to be pulled away from the CC before you go nuts. I fully endorse this change.

All too often in Wrath, when I complained that DPS is going crazy well before a pull is even completed, I’ve been told “lawl it’s just a heroic rofl”. As I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing right, this attitude infuriates me. I sincerely hope that with a return to CC, single target DPS and kill orders, we’ll see an improvement in your average WoW player’s skill as well. These are the things you need to learn and to then take with you when you start raiding. Wrath really didn’t teach these disciplines, and in early Wrath, the first tier of raid content didn’t teach them either.

Adapting to post-4.0 WoW might be hard for some people, particularly folks who are use to indiscriminate AOE DPSing. It’s been nearly two years since a Hunter’s really *needed* to freeze trap anything outside of PvP. However, I hope that people will make the effort to spruce up their game and their group etiquette. Over all, everyone wins when the pool of skilled, considerate players increases.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Did you “grow up” with the CC heavy instances like Shadow Labs and Magister’s? Are you disquieted by the prospect of AOE dungeon runs going away? I’m interested to hear some opinions.


~ by Udiyvli on 09/09/2010.

10 Responses to “Cataclysm: A Return to Group Dynamics”

  1. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic. What does worry me is that they’re also making noises about making healing more challenging too. I’m a little afraid that may make the lives of us healers a bit unpleasant in pickup groups while the dust settles.

    Even so, I do think this is a good direction for the game to go. Group content really ought to require a group. 🙂

    • I know I read recently that Resto Druid healing was feeling especially mana starved. However, that was healing in 85 dungeons with Wrath epics (no Mastery stat) and some 81 and 82 items. Definitely a valid concern, but let’s hope that it’s at least in part due to the lack of 83 and 84 quest rewards in game right now.

  2. Honestly, I can’t WAIT. I preferred the feeling of control rather than the chaos of AoE tanking any day.

    Plus, with reduced AoE, I hopefully won’t miss Volley as much. =) Still gonna suck not to have it for the close range pulls. And looking at the situation right now, there’s still a few in there.

    There’s also quite a few “f*ckit AoE” pulls from what I’ve seen, so hopefully Cataclysm gets tuned up just a bit. Wrath dungeons/heroics are monotonous as all hell, and doing them is a damned chore. I really hope this changes like they want it to.

    Looking forward to joining you and the PA team soon!


    • And we’re looking forward to you coming over as well 😀

      I’m sure there will still be AOE pulls, and I’m sure come T12 the launch heroics will become AOE farms again to some degree, but let’s hope it doesn’t reach the “pull half the zone and AOE it down” state that 6K+ GS groups are seeing now in certain instances.

  3. See, on the one hand, I’d love this change personally. I really miss having to keep mentally on my toes to play this game outside progression. It’s just BORING now.

    But on the other hand? I don’t think I trust the rest of the players to adapt. I have every expectation of waiting 30 minutes for a tank to queue, only to have them rush in and spam AOE threat gen on three pulls at once, curse out the healer when they die, and drop group. Rinse and repeat.

    It’s going to make guild groups AMAZINGLY more fun, but pugs are going to be unbearable, at least for a while until the idiots who refuse to do anything but faceroll get sick of even trying and stop queueing at all.

    • Yeah, pugging is going to be a lot scarier… I mean, Hunters aren’t the only ones that haven’t been forced to CC lately. It’s entirely possible for a Mage to level to 80 in Wrath and never use a Sheep in PvE. Sad, but true.

  4. What worries me most are abilities like a Frost DK’s Howling Blast. High AoE threat, poor control over area effected, and often the first button a frost DK pushes these days. Combine that with a warrior tank that takes a few to get good AoE aggro…

    Most healers seem capable to handle the extra dmg on a plate DPS at this stage, just worry about how this will translate in Cata content when healers are intentionally going to be a bit mana starved…

    • Yeah, a good part of the new threat system working is going to fall upon the DPS players not doing boneheaded things. Arms Warriors are going to have to wait for a bit to Bladestorm. Locks can’t seed spam on a pull. Howling Blast is just not a good idea till at least the first kill target has been singled down… so on and so forth.

      Whether or not people are willing to do this without too much QQ will have to be seen. In the end though, if tanks who use the random system remember to put badly behaved DPS on ignore, eventually that DPS will be starved for random tanks. Ignored people will never end up in your randoms after all. 😉

      At the end of the day, tanks are harder to find than DPS. By a lot. We really don’t need to suffer an irresponsible DPS in our randoms.

      As for healers, that’ll have to be seen. I’m not in Beta myself, but from what I’m hearing it’s not too bad. It gets bad, fast, if people try the “lawl pull the room rofl” method of dungeon crawling, but that’s just flat out playing the game incorrectly. I predict we’ll see a lot of groups wiping because a DPS (or even a healer) thought it was still a nonfatal error to pull an extra group “because the tank was too slow”. Like discourteous DPS though, these too can be ignored. 😀

      If played right (including at least marginal use of CC), the game as it exists in Cata isn’t oppressively hard. It’s just less forgiving of stupid. People are going to have to remember that AOEs break CC, that spreading a DoT to the CCed mob is bad, and that they really, really need to follow the kill order. Those who do will be fine. Those who don’t… well, we can live without them, right?

  5. I love these changes. as a warrior tank, i got so p*ss*d off with wrath dps always pulling for me like even the three grps at a time i was pulling wasnt enough. Now in cata they are more aware thatll just get them killed. Still have the odd few that pull like that huntard in my GB grp
    me: hunter you idiot
    a few pulls later, he does it again.
    Me:hunter dont pull for me or i let u die
    *huntard drops group*
    Theres reasons why the tank does not pull straight away. me, i see what im up against, ok 2 casters 2 melee around a corner….LOS pull *pulls*
    ……ima stop my rant now

    • It’s amazing isn’t it? The concept that tanks actually have a plan and are trying to execute a pull with a specific placement and goal in mind? If more DPS would just watch what a tank does and where they are in relation to the mobs before they start DPSing, life would be a lot easier all around.

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