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Simple Improvements to DRMs

DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭

Like many players - and also unlike many players - I've been doing 2-3 DRMs most days since the update which improved scaling to allow CMs to be soloed - one of the best updates that could have been done to the system. I find the content fine, a bit repetitive, but not the worst thing I've spent time on in the game. But doing this for a couple of months I've compiled a small list of changes that I think would shore up many of the issues players have with the content. Lacking any other good way to get this list out there, I present it here with the hopes that community feedback can build on it, and it can be seen and considered by the dev team.

Without further ado, below is the list of changes that I think would largely improve the DRM experience, categorized for consumability.


Difficulty Inconsistencies
The main impetus for these changes is to not have some DRMs be artificially more difficult than others, especially when there is no difference in reward acquired. These changes also will complete the "scaling fixes" - I consider those incomplete as it is certainly possible to solo all DRMs, but 3 of them are excessively more difficult or punishing than the others when going it alone, and for those most players simply need to group up to finish them, defeating the purpose of the scaling changes.

  • Prevent bosses in Thunderhead Keep and Caledon Forest from resetting on party wipe. - I believe this is due in some way to a pathing script that is set to the bosses - THK Destroyer walks in circles around the forge, while the Icebrood Construct walks up and down the bridge. This makes soloing arduous there are several mechanics that can easily wipe a solo player (or a less experienced group). In the spirit of keeping the DRMs on a similar difficulty level to maintain the variety that keeps them replayable, these bosses should not reset when a party wipes.

  • Add 1 minute to the Timer CM on Snowden Drifts. - I'm not going to complain about difficult content, so I consider this a lower priority, but once again I feel like it's just an unusual and frankly unexpected difficulty spike compared to all other CMs, and, much like what happened with Dungeons and Citadel of Flame in the past, inconsistent difficulty leads to lowered variety in content as players gravitate towards the content that's easier and/or faster to complete, especially when rewards are the same. As it stands, this is a very difficult CM to solo, best done with a class that can provide swiftness or superspeed to the escort to buy time, consistently boonstrip to remove protection from the boss, DPS to beat the timer, and with enough active defenses to survive the boss's fast attack patterns and CC chains that can fully wipe you if one connects. As a group, I've found even with the strong raid/CM comp of HB + Alac + 3 DPS, all 3 DPS need to be hitting 10k+ DPS to still beat the timer - which should not be difficult (I main DPS DH so I'm easily well above that) but is once again a stark difference compared to the checks required for ALL other DRMs.

  • Scale down supplies run in Bloodtide Coast pre events. - Actually, this morning I was at last able to solo all 3 pre-events AND set the challenges, which I had previously missed by just a handful of seconds each time. The trick was to hope the enemies spawned in such a way that I could kill a group of 2-3 in between supply runs, and to use the supply drop off closer to the entrance rather than the one closer to the quaggan cave. But this is a silly set of pre-events that is way harder to complete solo than any other set of events. Simply scaling down the supplies needed would bring this in line with all the others.

Allies and Gameplay Variety
The main impetus for these changes is to bring the Ally mechanic - which is, in theory, a good mechanic for creating a better variety of gameplay - into line with what I assume is its intended vision. I want to offer some praise for this mechanic's idea: Much like fractal instabilities, the allies have the potential to tweak the moment to moment gameplay of each DRM, but the problem is the variety of power level is too great - some allies are basically useless in CMs, while others provide extremely powerful tools that can shave minutes off of the timer. There is a system that allows you to pay seals to pick your ally each run, but this basically feels awful to do every time, because you are forced to do it before you "roll" to see if you got an easier run or not, and this also completely destroys the intention of having "varied moment to moment gameplay". Instead, what we need to see are certain allies buffed to remain useful in CMs, so players can pick a certain one if they'd prefer to have it, but aren't randomly punished if they choose not to pay up front.

  • These Allies need stat or skill buffs: Sylvari, Norn, Ebon Vanguard, Flame Legion, Crystal Bloom, Asura, Tengu, Olmakhan - These ones die far too easily, and it's usually not worth taking any time to res them. The benefits provided by their presence are miniscule compared to what a single player can do. They have no ability to keep themselves alive (like the Exalted) and any skills gained (such as the Golem or the Fern Hound) are weak and a waste of time. The Ebon Vanguard banners are not placed well to be particularly useful in the fights where they would matter. Some of these allies are close - the Crystal Bloom have a useful buff from the crystal, but the NPCs that carry it get murdered by a stiff breeze of CM Bursters. The Flame Effigies actually seem to be able to handle themselves a bit better and their aura is alright, though they are still nothing compared to CM Elites. The Tengu bow 2 actually does decent boss damage, but unlike the Charrzookas, you have to keep the NPC alive to get more in a boss fight, or pick up arrows which are a joke, because holding the bow will destroy any chance of DPSing you have once your ammo runs out.

  • For reference, these Allies are GOOD and don't need any significant changes: Exalted, Deldrimor Dwarves, Charr, and on the edge, Seraph. - The Exalted provide a great transformation (with the 3 skill from Masteries) and they actually down state and heal each other back, allowing them to hold off against CM foes. The Dwarves Acid is a special action that doesn't interrupt your ability to DPS and provides super strong damage and bar break. The Charrzooka 2 skill is a highly powerful skill against stationary bosses or groups and is worth going out of your way to pick up. The Seraph are on the edge - the watchknights still can get overwhlemed and die, but they are fairly bulky and provide consistent CC against enemies and bosses - I see them lasting much longer on their own than any ally besides Exalted, so I'll give them a pass.

Reward Updates
The last section I have focuses on minor improvements to rewards and DRM currency acquisition that will make the final rewards feel more achievable and better to achieve.

  • Adjust the Dragon Boons' duration. - One of the issues with the system is that you are encouraged to not play with your character beyond doing DRMs, because otherwise you will lose out on potential rewards as the Boons from killing a Primordius/Jormag champin wear off. Often doing a single meta or other daily or bonus events will be enough to reduce your first-gained boon to the point where it won't even be in effect the next time you run a DRM. With the most recent mastery increasing rewards while under the effect of both, this issue has been exacerbated. Now, in order to get the most rewards, I will need to use my alts to play other content to try to keep my main with both boons at all times. This could be easily fixed by increasing the duration of the boons massively - up to 3 or 4 hours per boon? Why are we punishing players for playing other content? Several hours per boon will still make me want to come back before it expires, but now I can actually go run a drizzlewood meta and not feel like I'm sacrificing some reward for others.

  • Add the Cold and Fire damage types to the ascended weapons. - I'll admit I swiped this one from the GW2 subreddit - but this is an easy change that I've never seen a better place to apply. These are fire and ice weapons that take massive amounts of materials and time to craft - while I think it's crazy to sit here and ask for tons of cool extra effects on them, can we at least set the toggle on them to give them those unique death animations when used?

  • Add an Infusion for the relevant Boon Effect as an additional reward to finishing the Ascended Weapon achievements. - Again, these are some of the most expensive weapon collections in the entire game. One really cool thing to do would be to add - even if it's by way of a vendor who "checks' if you've finished the achievement to grant you these items by mail or some little hack like that - a bonus Infusion to completing each one, perfect for your million new ascended weapons, and that Infusion should grant you the related "wrist effect" of ice or fire, just as if you had the related Dragon Boon on you. At this point, you deserve to have that boon effect on you 24/7 if you want, you've done enough DRMs to last a lifetime!


That's everything I've got. I think these changes wouldn't be terribly difficult - many of them are just tweaking values or fixing something that really seems more like a bug than anything - besides adding the Infusions at the end. But I think they would make the DRMs smoother to play, better to Solo, and more rewarding to complete, so I think these would be great things to improve the big content addition from the end of the Icebrood Saga.

Let me know your thoughts, if there's anything you agree or disagree with, and your own suggestions below!

Comments

  • Funky.4861Funky.4861 Member ✭✭✭

    I agree with all of it apart from the bosses not resetting for THK and Caledon; instead i'd reduce the severity of the one-shot mechanics to make them teachable moments rather than a harsh punishment for poor positioning.

  • DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭

    @Funky.4861 said:
    I agree with all of it apart from the bosses not resetting for THK and Caledon; instead i'd reduce the severity of the one-shot mechanics to make them teachable moments rather than a harsh punishment for poor positioning.

    Perfectly reasonable as well. I went with the no-resetting route because it would be more consistent with the way all other DRMs operate - but those bosses also do have particularly punishing AOEs to sit in. My only qualm is that there are other bosses (Fields or Ruin, Snowden, etc) that also have super punishing - possibly even more so - AOEs to be hit by, but those ones don't reset when you die, so the punishment is still less overall. So if you reduce the damage/stun of some of them, but not the others, where are we drawing the line and why?

    But ultimately, yes, any change to make those work better when Solo would be fine in my books!

  • voltaicbore.8012voltaicbore.8012 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I don't even like DRMs, but I like your ideas and I'd actually spend more time in them if these were applied.

    While we're on the topic of Caledon - not only are the solo-wipe mechanics pretty steep, the narrow bridge is beset with little cracks that serve as pathing speedbumps. Given that the boss can consistently turn off the bonfires and area chill you, the addition of the bridge cracks stopping you short and requiring a jump IMO contributes to the greater challenge in getting that one on a timer when you're alone or undersized.

    However, rather than take away any of the particular challenges or annoyances, I think @Funky.4861 has the right idea - just scale them back slightly so it's not a wipe each time they compound.

  • Add 1 minute to the Timer CM on Snowden Drifts.

    Even 30 seconds extra would be great, 1 minute even better. I have all 5 CMs cleared with parties, but my solo runs were 18-23 seconds late on most professions except for Firebrand.

    Scale down supplies run in Bloodtide Coast pre events.

    Several tedious events need to be nerfed. The list is:
    Metrica's golems should be 5 not 10. We are at the point where people are literally skipping this event.
    Fields of Ruins NPCs should be 10 not 15. Uninterruptible long channeling while you are getting attacked is bad design.
    THK priory NPCs should be 5 not 10. Uninterruptible long channeling while you are getting attacked is bad design.
    Bloodtide Coast Supply should be 5 not 10. We are at the point where people are literally skipping this event.
    Fireheart Rise bridge event should be shortened.

    Add an Infusion for the relevant Boon Effect as an additional reward to finishing the Ascended Weapon achievements.

    The weapons are extremely lackluster.
    This would be a reward worth our while instead.
    It could even be a single Infusion that has both glows, awarded for a new achievement to have both weaponsets completed.

  • DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭
    edited March 26, 2021

    Fields of Ruins NPCs should be 10 not 15. Uninterruptible long channeling while you are getting attacked is bad design.
    THK priory NPCs should be 5 not 10. Uninterruptible long channeling while you are getting attacked is bad design.

    These actually can be weapon swapped out of, so they are no problem to do IMO! I wouldn't mind some of your other suggested tweaks though, I simply focused on the Bloodtide one because it's barely completable solo as it is.

    It could even be a single Infusion that has both glows, awarded for a new achievement to have both weaponsets completed.

    This is a good idea as well!

  • I agree with the majority of your points as I've thought of them myself, It's a well formulated post. Other than some portions of the events being tweaked for solo play(like the supply drops and fixing golems), I don't agree with adding time to Snowden or any single DRM. From what I can tell, the majority are far too long as it is, I finish most with 8 or 9 minutes to spare, sometimes more. Outside of release, I haven't played them with a group, but solo I usually finish Snowden CM with 2 or 3 minutes extra and THK CM with 4 to 6, but that's still plenty of time, I think they should adjust the events and amount of enemies so the entire DRM is shorter instead of giving you more time to complete it if anything. I see nothing wrong with some DRMs being more difficult in actual gameplay or time limit as every other content we have available differs similarly from themselves, Raids, Fractals, Dungeons, Story instances, Metas, etc.

    I find the allies can vary significantly with their usefulness, but I don't agree with your assessment for each, but I agree survivability needs some tweaking, but it really doesn't matter which one you pick as it doesn't make or break standard or CM competition. I think something interesting they could do would be to give you a special action for each, similar to the Dwarf acid, but that would potentially interfere with some already existing uses for the special action key. Just a few that popped into my head: Summon a rain of arrows from Tengu, create a shield or some sort with the ebon vanguard, strong firefield from Flame legion etc. The Dragon Boon really should be longer, that could've tied into one of the masteries and maybe it still will, exponentially increasing the duration like you suggested. If there's something I didn't speak on it simply means I agree or don't care to disagree/comment on it.

  • This isn't a flex or anything, but I'm wondering why it is that the other DRM bosses don't reset, and not why Thunderhead + Caledon do. It may be inconsistent for DRMs, but it would be more accurate to say that DRMs are inconsistent with the rest of the game in that way. The only other place that is like this are the personal story bosses, and I don't like that you can corpse-rush those, either.

    With the exception of snowden, none of the DRMs would be impossible with a wipe or two resetting the boss. I should know, because I've had solo and team wipes against the Icebrood Colossus, and yet those teams never once missed the CM timer.

    "Self awareness is knowing when you're sitting at the throne of ignorance." --Leo G.

  • @DaG.5103 said:

    Fields of Ruins NPCs should be 10 not 15. Uninterruptible long channeling while you are getting attacked is bad design.
    THK priory NPCs should be 5 not 10. Uninterruptible long channeling while you are getting attacked is bad design.

    These actually can be weapon swapped out of, so they are no problem to do IMO! I wouldn't mind some of your other suggested tweaks though, I simply focused on the Bloodtide one because it's barely completable solo as it is.

    I didnt know this one, guess you learn something new everyday. Thank you. ^_^

  • Infusion.7149Infusion.7149 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Scaling the tedious pre-events for solo play would be great. However, if there's a full party and people actually do their part it isn't that bad.

    Surprised you didn't mention: kick people off the cannons (lock them out) during Bloodtide coast boss fight when the Ice wall is down. It does negligible damage to the boss and can completely miss. A huge message "get in the fray" or something akin to that (Silverwastes had it I believe) would help.

  • DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭

    @Infusion.7149 said:
    Scaling the tedious pre-events for solo play would be great. However, if there's a full party and people actually do their part it isn't that bad.

    Surprised you didn't mention: kick people off the cannons (lock them out) during Bloodtide coast boss fight when the Ice wall is down. It does negligible damage to the boss and can completely miss. A huge message "get in the fray" or something akin to that (Silverwastes had it I believe) would help.

    Ah, well that would be because I've never done Bloodtide in a group since the first run, haha. I know better when I'm solo :P

    Related but irrelevant - I did discover that mounting before exiting the cannon with F allowed me to carry the cannon skill with me. But I couldn't activate it on the boss when I was in melee range of him. I didn't experiment too much with this, but if you can replicate it feel free to have fun with it...

  • DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭
    edited March 26, 2021

    @Blackagar.1052 said:
    I agree with the majority of your points as I've thought of them myself, It's a well formulated post. Other than some portions of the events being tweaked for solo play(like the supply drops and fixing golems), I don't agree with adding time to Snowden or any single DRM. From what I can tell, the majority are far too long as it is, I finish most with 8 or 9 minutes to spare, sometimes more. Outside of release, I haven't played them with a group, but solo I usually finish Snowden CM with 2 or 3 minutes extra and THK CM with 4 to 6, but that's still plenty of time, I think they should adjust the events and amount of enemies so the entire DRM is shorter instead of giving you more time to complete it if anything. I see nothing wrong with some DRMs being more difficult in actual gameplay or time limit as every other content we have available differs similarly from themselves, Raids, Fractals, Dungeons, Story instances, Metas, etc.

    You are certainly a higher caliber player than most to be as adept at soloing and still have that much time left on Snowden. I definitely have plenty of time left on most timers (Fields of Ruin is the next tightest IIRC). However, my concern is that even with players as adept as yourself - or more medium-adept like myself - there is still a clear disparity in CM difficulty between several DRMs, but they offer precisely the same rewards. I don't mind if there are minor difficulty fluctuations, so I'm not concerned about, for example, Fields perhaps needing another minute to be more "in line" with the others as well, etc, but Snowden I think is infamous as the clear outlier.

    If that difficulty change is intended - perhaps because of the boss of the mission - then another option is to tweak the reward table as well to compensate. However, this runs the risk of creating an elitist funnel into only the most rewarding DRMs, so I'm not sold that that's a great option. But if Snowden is intended to reward the same as the others, which keeps all DRMs as viable options to run, then IMO it makes sense to tweak that difficulty just a bit to bring them closer to the same level.

    I'm totally about having optional, more difficult content. CMs are great to have on DRMs and keep them from being boring facerolls. I'm just looking for a little more consistency, or for the differences to be regarded and compensated instead if that's preferred, though I do have my reservations about that method for this type of content in particular.

    Edited: I added reservations about tweaking reward structure after I thought about it a little more. Not sure that's a great plan, but it's an option.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26, 2021

    Should all of the CMs be on parity with each other though? I see no reason why the difficulty cannot vary across all of them similar to how it is with strikes and raids.

  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26, 2021

    Spammy events should be reduced or eliminated not only in DRM but in game in general.
    I dont figure out whats is hapenning in Tengu DRM(i dont remember which map is), i just understand theres a storm and boss "freezing" something, is a complete mess.
    Most "difficult" in gw2, are not really difficult, but spam fest encounters, the ice themed encounters are most awful.

    Also Braham instance we have destroyers ground atacks blendend with ground color.

    Someone tell the designers "invisible atack" is bad idea.;

    The corrupted-Braham is another, we arent fights boss there, but fighting a visual noise.

    -- Atlantean Sword --
    The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts..." [Points to sword] "This you can trust."

  • DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭
    edited March 26, 2021

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    Should all of the CMs be on parity with each other though? I see no reason why the difficulty cannot vary across all of them similar to how it is with strikes and raids.

    I think if the rewards are the same, then they probably should at least be a lot closer. Strikes and Raids each have unique drops to the various encounters. Boneskinner's weapons, Runic armor currencies, all of the unique items to each raid boss, etc. Now if Snowden had a couple of unique drops, or a higher chance of Volcanic Stormcaller weapons or something, I think that feels much more reasonable and would get more people running them as well, but of course that's more work than simply editing a timer.

    Edit: Just to clarify, I have no qualms with smaller scale differences. I think Snowden is simply a clear difficulty outlier in CMs. That timer is much tighter than most and only gives you a handful of minutes to fight a boss with multiple split phases and constant protection and that's assuming you also speed up the escort. It's incredibly tight and asks for a more structured comp than the others. I don't have issues with others besides the boss reset policy not being consistent.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @DaG.5103 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    Should all of the CMs be on parity with each other though? I see no reason why the difficulty cannot vary across all of them similar to how it is with strikes and raids.

    I think if the rewards are the same, then they probably should be. Strikes and Raids each have unique drops to the various encounters. Boneskinner's weapons, Runic armor currencies, all of the unique items to each raid boss, etc. Now if Snowden had a couple of unique drops, or a higher chance of Volcanic Stormcaller weapons or something, I think that feels much more reasonable and would get more people running them as well, but of course that's more work than simply editing a timer.

    Except the reward level across strikes is the same just as it is for raids. You get the same level of rewards doing the easiest raid just as you would the most difficult.

  • DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭
    edited March 26, 2021

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:

    @DaG.5103 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    Should all of the CMs be on parity with each other though? I see no reason why the difficulty cannot vary across all of them similar to how it is with strikes and raids.

    I think if the rewards are the same, then they probably should be. Strikes and Raids each have unique drops to the various encounters. Boneskinner's weapons, Runic armor currencies, all of the unique items to each raid boss, etc. Now if Snowden had a couple of unique drops, or a higher chance of Volcanic Stormcaller weapons or something, I think that feels much more reasonable and would get more people running them as well, but of course that's more work than simply editing a timer.

    Except the reward level across strikes is the same just as it is for raids. You get the same level of rewards doing the easiest raid just as you would the most difficult.

    It isn't, though. I don't have a chance to get the White Mantle Portal Device from Escort or Trio or Gorse. I can farm magnetite and buy it, but obviously if I just learn Xera and fight I can reduce the friction of the grind if it drops, so there's a clear advantage to doing a more difficult encounter in that circumstance. Same with items to purchase Runic Armor pieces. I would rather do all of them daily than farm Grothmar 6 times because each has a chance at something unique, even though a few are slightly more difficult. Even if it's not as blunt as Dungeons' "you get more gold for doing things that aren't CoF path 1", by simply having different rewards they create a unique incentive to not just funnel people into the easiest options, or funnel people away from the hardest ones. That's the path that DRMs may be headed right now with the difficulty difference between Snowden CMs and the rest. Likewise, the weekly lockout on raid encounters forces you to improve and be more versatile in order to progress faster. Those who are more skilled at more fights reduce the friction of the grind.

    It's clear that Snowden is on a different level than the others. Thunderhead and Fields are the only other ones where I've seen groups struggle close to as much, and I'm not concerned about those. Talking to people in game and experiencing different group and solo attempts myself - some successful, some unsuccessful - makes it pretty clear that the level is different. That can be perfectly fine but after DRMs have been out for a year and we are all in Cantha, finding a group that can successfully complete Snowden CMs will start to get a lot harder because people will want to do the one with a significantly higher chance of failure even less than they want to do DRMs in general right now.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26, 2021

    @DaG.5103 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:

    @DaG.5103 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    Should all of the CMs be on parity with each other though? I see no reason why the difficulty cannot vary across all of them similar to how it is with strikes and raids.

    I think if the rewards are the same, then they probably should be. Strikes and Raids each have unique drops to the various encounters. Boneskinner's weapons, Runic armor currencies, all of the unique items to each raid boss, etc. Now if Snowden had a couple of unique drops, or a higher chance of Volcanic Stormcaller weapons or something, I think that feels much more reasonable and would get more people running them as well, but of course that's more work than simply editing a timer.

    Except the reward level across strikes is the same just as it is for raids. You get the same level of rewards doing the easiest raid just as you would the most difficult.

    It isn't, though. I don't have a chance to get the White Mantle Portal Device from Escort or Trio or Gorse. I can farm magnetite and buy it, but obviously if I just learn Xera and fight I can reduce the friction of the grind if it drops, so there's a clear advantage to doing a more difficult encounter in that circumstance. Same with items to purchase Runic Armor pieces. I would rather do all of them daily than farm Grothmar 6 times because each has a chance at something unique, even though a few are slightly more difficult. Even if it's not as blunt as Dungeons' "you get more gold for doing things that aren't CoF path 1", by simply having different rewards they create a unique incentive to not just funnel people into the easiest options, or funnel people away from the hardest ones. That's the path that DRMs may be headed right now with the difficulty difference between Snowden CMs and the rest. Likewise, the weekly lockout on raid encounters forces you to improve and be more versatile in order to progress faster. Those who are more skilled at more fights reduce the friction of the grind.

    It's clear that Snowden is on a different level than the others. Thunderhead and Fields are the only other ones where I've seen groups struggle close to as much, and I'm not concerned about those. Talking to people in game and experiencing different group and solo attempts myself - some successful, some unsuccessful - makes it pretty clear that the level is different. That can be perfectly fine but after DRMs have been out for a year and we are all in Cantha, finding a group that can successfully complete Snowden CMs will start to get a lot harder because people will want to do the one with a significantly higher chance of failure even less than they want to do DRMs in general right now.

    Having very rare drops unique to specific bosses doesn't change the level of rewards that you would encounter across raids, strikes, and even DRMs. Ignoring the gold rewards from dungeons, they all have unique skins but the level of rewards you get are still the same. It's only when you factor in the gold rewards does it differ. Uniqueness of rewards doesn't necessarily have any relation to difficulty.

    Out of the 10, Snowden is probably the most difficult. Metrica, Brisban, and Gendarran are the easiest as you'd have to actually try to fail in order to fail them. Field of Ruin and Thunderhead Keep at a level right below Snowden. The rest are between those two and the first three. There's a nice range of difficulty across the DRMs.

    Whether one can find groups later in time doesn't matter as they scale. They can be done solo.

  • DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭
    edited March 26, 2021

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:

    @DaG.5103 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:

    @DaG.5103 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    Should all of the CMs be on parity with each other though? I see no reason why the difficulty cannot vary across all of them similar to how it is with strikes and raids.

    I think if the rewards are the same, then they probably should be. Strikes and Raids each have unique drops to the various encounters. Boneskinner's weapons, Runic armor currencies, all of the unique items to each raid boss, etc. Now if Snowden had a couple of unique drops, or a higher chance of Volcanic Stormcaller weapons or something, I think that feels much more reasonable and would get more people running them as well, but of course that's more work than simply editing a timer.

    Except the reward level across strikes is the same just as it is for raids. You get the same level of rewards doing the easiest raid just as you would the most difficult.

    It isn't, though. I don't have a chance to get the White Mantle Portal Device from Escort or Trio or Gorse. I can farm magnetite and buy it, but obviously if I just learn Xera and fight I can reduce the friction of the grind if it drops, so there's a clear advantage to doing a more difficult encounter in that circumstance. Same with items to purchase Runic Armor pieces. I would rather do all of them daily than farm Grothmar 6 times because each has a chance at something unique, even though a few are slightly more difficult. Even if it's not as blunt as Dungeons' "you get more gold for doing things that aren't CoF path 1", by simply having different rewards they create a unique incentive to not just funnel people into the easiest options, or funnel people away from the hardest ones. That's the path that DRMs may be headed right now with the difficulty difference between Snowden CMs and the rest. Likewise, the weekly lockout on raid encounters forces you to improve and be more versatile in order to progress faster. Those who are more skilled at more fights reduce the friction of the grind.

    It's clear that Snowden is on a different level than the others. Thunderhead and Fields are the only other ones where I've seen groups struggle close to as much, and I'm not concerned about those. Talking to people in game and experiencing different group and solo attempts myself - some successful, some unsuccessful - makes it pretty clear that the level is different. That can be perfectly fine but after DRMs have been out for a year and we are all in Cantha, finding a group that can successfully complete Snowden CMs will start to get a lot harder because people will want to do the one with a significantly higher chance of failure even less than they want to do DRMs in general right now.

    Having very rare drops unique to specific bosses doesn't change the level of rewards that you would encounter across raids, strikes, and even DRMs. Ignoring the gold rewards from dungeons, they all have unique skins but the level of rewards you get are still the same. It's only when you factor in the gold rewards does it differ. Uniqueness of rewards doesn't necessarily have any relation to difficulty.

    Out of the 10, Snowden is probably the most difficult. Metrica, Brisban, and Gendarran are the easiest as you'd have to actually try to fail in order to fail them. Field of Ruin and Thunderhead Keep at a level right below Snowden. The rest are between those two and the first three. There's a nice range of difficulty across the DRMs.

    Whether one can find groups later in time doesn't matter as they scale. They can be done solo.

    I think you and I are just not hitting the same wavelength, because I don't disagree with what you are saying in general, but yet we are both in disagreement about a fundamental definition. I see what you are saying about the "level of rewards" and even agree, but I don't think that's even really the point I'm trying to make.

    There are several systems reward systems at play in content to enable its replayability regardless of its difficulty level. I'm going to use Strikes as the primary example here because I think it's just a hair simpler without having the weekly lockout and legendary collections attached.

    These are the reward systems for Strikes:

    • Crystals with weekly colors
    • Daily Priority / Echoes chest
    • Runic Armor drops, 1 unique piece per Strike (other than CW, which has it's own "do this 50 times achievement" instead)
    • Basic loot chests w/ unIDed loot, currencies, etc.

    The reason you would do a harder strike over an easier one is thus:

    • It's a Daily / You need it for your Echoes for the week.
    • You hope to get the Runic Armor drop from it
    • You really like the stock content

    These are the reward systems for CM DRMs:

    • Prismaticite drops w/ Both boons
    • Defense Seals
    • Basic loot chests w/ unIDed loot, etc.

    The reason you would do a harder strike (Snowden) over an easier one is thus:

    • It's a daily and you want more Seals - the only unique bonus reward for doing a daily DRM. And you can get that WITHOUT doing CMs.
    • You really like beating Ryland up.

    Now, those of us who have been doing DRMs are pretty much flush with Seals at this point. I'm nearing a couple thousand and I've bought most everything. I have a few Tengu weapons I didn't get but that won't drain me at all. I can probably just start dumping them into supply boxes for mats if I want, but I'm waiting it out to see what else releases.

    The comparison is pretty clear, though. The advantage to choosing to run Snowden is very minor. You would choose to run Whisper because the daily system offers more robust rewards, and there are unique rare drops. So the fact that there is a difficulty difference is made up by having a unique reason to do them. From the perspective of someone new, they see "well, I want to learn to do Whisper so that I can complete my Echoes or get that armor drop". Looking at Snowden, besides 5 AP or whatever from doing it 5 times with CMs, they have almost no incentive to run Daily Snowden DRM on CMs besides a few extra Seals. I've chosen to solo Doric rather than find a group for Snowden in the past because I'd rather not get the 5 bonus seals than spend 15m to not get the extra prismaticite if I screw up on the boss. It's a minor reward at best.

    I hope that makes more sense. I'm not saying that we need a sliding scale of gold gain, I'm just saying the reward system is not really set up to encourage players to do content that is significantly more difficult than other similar content. The easy solution is to adjust the difficulty of the content that is the farthest outlier.

  • Ayrilana.1396Ayrilana.1396 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @DaG.5103 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    Having very rare drops unique to specific bosses doesn't change the level of rewards that you would encounter across raids, strikes, and even DRMs. Ignoring the gold rewards from dungeons, they all have unique skins but the level of rewards you get are still the same. It's only when you factor in the gold rewards does it differ. Uniqueness of rewards doesn't necessarily have any relation to difficulty.

    Out of the 10, Snowden is probably the most difficult. Metrica, Brisban, and Gendarran are the easiest as you'd have to actually try to fail in order to fail them. Field of Ruin and Thunderhead Keep at a level right below Snowden. The rest are between those two and the first three. There's a nice range of difficulty across the DRMs.

    Whether one can find groups later in time doesn't matter as they scale. They can be done solo.

    I think you and I are just not hitting the same wavelength, because I don't disagree with what you are saying in general, but yet we are both in disagreement about a fundamental definition. I see what you are saying about the "level of rewards" and even agree, but I don't think that's even really the point I'm trying to make.

    Perhaps I can try to better explain what I'm getting at. When I say "level of rewards", I'm referring to the average rewards that you would get if you went in and did them right now. If I did the W3 Escort, the rewards of that would be the same as if I had done Dhuum. The unique rewards may be different between them but the overall rewards would have been the same had I done one or the other.

    I hope that makes more sense. I'm not saying that we need a sliding scale of gold gain, I'm just saying the reward system is not really set up to encourage players to do content that is significantly more difficult than other similar content. The easy solution is to adjust the difficulty of the content that is the farthest outlier.

    You wanting to adjust the difficulty is what I'm opposing. If anything the rewards should be adjusted to better reflect the difficulty.

  • DaG.5103DaG.5103 Member ✭✭

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:

    @DaG.5103 said:

    @Ayrilana.1396 said:
    Having very rare drops unique to specific bosses doesn't change the level of rewards that you would encounter across raids, strikes, and even DRMs. Ignoring the gold rewards from dungeons, they all have unique skins but the level of rewards you get are still the same. It's only when you factor in the gold rewards does it differ. Uniqueness of rewards doesn't necessarily have any relation to difficulty.

    Out of the 10, Snowden is probably the most difficult. Metrica, Brisban, and Gendarran are the easiest as you'd have to actually try to fail in order to fail them. Field of Ruin and Thunderhead Keep at a level right below Snowden. The rest are between those two and the first three. There's a nice range of difficulty across the DRMs.

    Whether one can find groups later in time doesn't matter as they scale. They can be done solo.

    I think you and I are just not hitting the same wavelength, because I don't disagree with what you are saying in general, but yet we are both in disagreement about a fundamental definition. I see what you are saying about the "level of rewards" and even agree, but I don't think that's even really the point I'm trying to make.

    Perhaps I can try to better explain what I'm getting at. When I say "level of rewards", I'm referring to the average rewards that you would get if you went in and did them right now. If I did the W3 Escort, the rewards of that would be the same as if I had done Dhuum. The unique rewards may be different between them but the overall rewards would have been the same had I done one or the other.

    I hope that makes more sense. I'm not saying that we need a sliding scale of gold gain, I'm just saying the reward system is not really set up to encourage players to do content that is significantly more difficult than other similar content. The easy solution is to adjust the difficulty of the content that is the farthest outlier.

    You wanting to adjust the difficulty is what I'm opposing. If anything the rewards should be adjusted to better reflect the difficulty.

    Yep, we are totally on the same page then. Talking just about straight "liquid gold" rewards is only one piece of the puzzle, and one I'm not even really touching!

    My concern is "why would I run Snowden". Currently, I only do it when it's up as a daily during Bonus events. And I still get groups that can't complete the CM timer, even when I ask for a proper comp. So while upping the "liquid gold" reward - AKA the "level of rewards" for that one in particular is an option, though it wouldn't be the first one I reached for, even in the realm of increasing rewards.

    Here's another option - Better Daily rewards. This is effectively the fix that makes Fractals work. Even though some Fractals are tougher than others, you can only get so many Daily T4 chests, so you are encouraged more to run them when they are the daily. As I said above, the daily reward is weak. Improving that, or introducing a Daily CMs Achievement for each DRM that is a daily that has a more substantial reward (like how Fractals can reward [Gold] Fractal skins, ascended gear, etc) will encourage people to play Snowden and actually try to beat the timer. This can be blanket applied to all DRMs and still helps address the problem, because now I'm time gated on how many of those achieves I can do, so if I want a particular reward I will go out of my way to run Snowden specifically when its the daily so I don't miss out on it.

    (And I don't think many people would argue that increasing rewards on DRMs in general would hurt.)

    It's totally cool that you don't agree in making the timer more forgiving. Chalk that up to personal taste - in my mind it's the path of least resistance to a "fix" for a dev team that we can see already had to thin out the current content a lot. As I said way above, I'm down for anything that helps make more people want to run these. I'm sure the devs feel that way too.

  • Ganathar.4956Ganathar.4956 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 3, 2021

    I do like most ideas here, but I am not completely sure about the reducing the difficulty of Snowden. Also not sure about the resetting, because I am under the impression that even being able to waypoint on death mid-fight is too cheesy. Of course, I have wiped before but it usually has to do with the players joining being impatient and not caring about group composition.

    Of course, I also realise that solo play needs to be considered as well, and that the rewards are really not too amazing. I would rather if they buffed the rewards and actually considered solo profession balance more. However, DRMs are just rushed content to keep us busy for the expansion, so I do agree that your solutions are probably better as a quick fix. If they make similar content in the future, I would really like if they implemented it a bit better, so they can make the CMs non-cheesable and appropriately rewarding.

    The allied faction balance is another casualty of Anet's focus on the expansion. Buffing the NPCs should happen because it's easy. More than that may be a bit more difficult. But one idea is for them to increase the amount of ammo for tengu bows. Making arrows pickable even without the bow equipped would also help.

    As for the rewards, they could definitely use some help, though they have been improving over the patches. The dragon boon system is pretty dreadful. However, the upcoming mastery in Chapter 4 does increase the duration, as you can see in game right now, if you have got all previous tiers. Just check your exp bar in an Icebrood saga zone and it shows. I hope that it's a substantial increase. The final ascended weapons having fire and ice damage is obvious and I can't see how they could miss it.

    However, my favorite idea for the rewards is definitely the infusion idea. They could make them 2 different infusions, or it could even be the effect of the legendary trinket. Either way it's a great idea and I am one who genuinely loathes infusion auras and effects. The main reason that I have not crafted Aurora and Vision is because I tend to despise these effects, and Anet still has no option to disable them. But the fire and ice effects are actually pretty nice. They are far more subtle than the usual circus effects they put on auras, and they fit thematically with my elementalist. This is a rare case where I may actually bother. It would also be a potentially neat addition if these infusions had unique stats, like how WvW ones give bonuses vs guards while fractal ones give agony resistance. DRM ones could just give you the dragon boons permanently when used in DRMs.

  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ganathar.4956 said:
    However, my favorite idea for the rewards is definitely the infusion idea. They could make them 2 different infusions, or it could even be the effect of the legendary trinket. Either way it's a great idea and I am one who genuinely loathes infusion auras and effects. The main reason that I have not crafted Aurora and Vision is because I tend to despise these effects, and Anet still has no option to disable them. But the fire and ice effects are actually pretty nice. They are far more subtle than the usual circus effects they put on auras, and they fit thematically with my elementalist. This is a rare case where I may actually bother. It would also be a potentially neat addition if these infusions had unique stats, like how WvW ones give bonuses vs guards while fractal ones give agony resistance. DRM ones could just give you the dragon boons permanently when used in DRMs.

    i want this too. 90% of saga is ugly skin festival, at least they can end this with decent stuff.

    -- Atlantean Sword --
    The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts..." [Points to sword] "This you can trust."