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New and Improved Fractal Difficulty


Pem.4129

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I love fractals. I PUGged them for a while until we managed to put a guild group together. We really enjoyed running them and were making steady progress.

The new instabilities, and seemingly more aggressive behavior from some bosses (like the one at the end of Thaumanova that seems to remove half the floor at once now) has turned what was a very enjoyable hour of daily fractals into a (sometimes) unwinnable slog. Birds that hit for 1,000 damage per pop, slippery slopes, and other harsh penalties make some fights very difficult. Even harmless instabilities like sugar rush can turn a relatively straightforward fractal like Volcano into a chore. I don't mind some difficulty but it's no fun to spend an hour slogging through one fractal only to get to the boss and realize that we're not equipped to beat it.

Sure, there are ways to make tough fractals somewhat easier (e.g., selecting ideal classes, insisting on meta builds, etc.) but that ruins the inclusion of the guild run. We could step down in difficulty, and maybe that's what we'll have to do. Especially compared to how fractals were playing recently, however, I'd like to share my view that fractals are now too hard to enjoy.

If all Anet wanted to do was to introduce variety, they have perhaps tuned the difficulty a bit higher than they intended.

TL;DR: In my view, fractals are now too difficult to enjoy compared to how they were just a few weeks ago.

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Every instability atm, excluding slippery slope, can be countered. Birds and flame bolts? U can just dodge. I seen way too many people getting birds and not dodging at all then wonder how they died. Flame bolt can be dodged as well. Other ambient dmg instabilities can simply be countered by a healer which i imagine u run even with your guild. The same thing was happening when SA and flux bomb were first introduced, groups wiping cause they stay stacked or put flux bomb right on top of group or having afflicted on volcanic and not taking any condi cleanse.Its not a matter of difficulty, people just have to get used to them at some point just like everything else. The only instability where meta classes matter in my opinion is "no pain,no gain" as not having consistent boonstrip makes the fight way way harder. I also imagine anet will tweak things in the next update, make instabilities more balanced in terms of dmg to the group.

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I really hate the "we bleed fire" mechanic , was hitting my holo for ~4.8K. It's easy to say "dodge it" but when you're in melee range and all the flashy effects from holo happen it's pretty messy.

Also I was hit 12K on solid ocean last night on my holo by the tentacle due to the Adrenaline rush instability, which is unfair since the tentacle can't be killed.

The birds don't hit nearly as hard and dodging means something with the birds.

I had pretty much stopped playing my ele in favor of holo, chrono, and warrior (mainly for no pain no gain instances). With the changes to chrono and the new diviner's I'm working on diviner trinkets for my firebrand.

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@Infusion.7149 said:Also I was hit 12K on solid ocean last night on my holo by the tentacle due to the Adrenaline rush instability, which is unfair since the tentacle can't be killed.

Since when cant you kill the tentacles in solid ocean? Unless they changed it with the last patch (which i doubt) you can always kill them. Theres nothing unfair about it. Attacks are also easily telegraphed and slow as fuck.As far as i understand, you can reflect the we bleed fire mechanic. I dont really see an issue with this.

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@"zoomborg.9462" said:Every instability atm, excluding slippery slope, can be countered.OP mentioned that, if you haven't noticed. You might have also noticed, that it doesn't counter the point he was trying to make in the slightest.

Yes, all those instabilities can be countered (except slippery slope, of course). Having to do that however does raise the required skill level of the fractal in question.

Birds and flame bolts? U can just dodge.Sure, but it's not like there weren't things you had to dodge even without those. And your dodges are not an unlimited resource.

Other ambient dmg instabilities can simply be countered by a healer which i imagine u run even with your guild.And now you enforce healer in the group composition.

The same thing was happening when SA and flux bomb were first introduced, groups wiping cause they stay stacked or put flux bomb right on top of group or having afflicted on volcanic and not taking any condi cleanse.Yes, it's not like some of the previous instabilities/instability combinations weren't equally guilty of the same as well.

Its not a matter of difficulty, people just have to get used to them at some point just like everything else.You can say the same about any difficult element in a challenging content. Yes, to get past it, you have to get used to it. Doesn't make it not difficult, though. "Getting used to it" in this situation is just a synonym to "get more skilled". Some people can do that easily. For others it's more difficult. And some just won't make it. All in all it's exactly what OP was talking about - raising the difficulty level.

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@"Infusion.7149" said:I really hate the "we bleed fire" mechanic , was hitting my holo for ~4.8K. It's easy to say "dodge it" but when you're in melee range and all the flashy effects from holo happen it's pretty messy.

Also I was hit 12K on solid ocean last night on my holo by the tentacle due to the Adrenaline rush instability, which is unfair since the tentacle can't be killed.

The birds don't hit nearly as hard and dodging means something with the birds.

I had pretty much stopped playing my ele in favor of holo, chrono, and warrior (mainly for no pain no gain instances). With the changes to chrono and the new diviner's I'm working on diviner trinkets for my firebrand.

Sure make me dodge and leave me dodge less when i actually NEED to dodge BOOSS' mech slow claps

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@phs.6089 said:

@"Infusion.7149" said:I really hate the "we bleed fire" mechanic , was hitting my holo for ~4.8K. It's easy to say "dodge it" but when you're in melee range and all the flashy effects from holo happen it's pretty messy.

Also I was hit 12K on solid ocean last night on my holo by the tentacle due to the Adrenaline rush instability, which is unfair since the tentacle can't be killed.

The birds don't hit nearly as hard and dodging means something with the birds.

I had pretty much stopped playing my ele in favor of holo, chrono, and warrior (mainly for no pain no gain instances). With the changes to chrono and the new diviner's I'm working on diviner trinkets for my firebrand.

Sure make me dodge and leave me dodge less when i actually NEED to dodge BOOSS' mech
slow claps

You play Dh? you should be complaining about survivability.

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@Astralporing.1957 said:

@"zoomborg.9462" said:Every instability atm, excluding slippery slope, can be countered.OP mentioned that, if you haven't noticed. You might have also noticed, that it doesn't counter the point he was trying to make in the slightest.

Yes, all those instabilities can be countered (except slippery slope, of course). Having to do that however
does
raise the required skill level of the fractal in question.

Birds and flame bolts? U can just dodge.Sure, but it's not like there weren't things you had to dodge even without those. And your dodges are not an unlimited resource.

Other ambient dmg instabilities can simply be countered by a healer which i imagine u run even with your guild.And now you enforce healer in the group composition.

The same thing was happening when SA and flux bomb were first introduced, groups wiping cause they stay stacked or put flux bomb right on top of group or having afflicted on volcanic and not taking any condi cleanse.Yes, it's not like some of the previous instabilities/instability combinations weren't equally guilty of the same as well.

Its not a matter of difficulty, people just have to get used to them at some point just like everything else.You can say the same about any difficult element in a challenging content. Yes, to get past it, you have to get used to it. Doesn't make it not difficult, though. "Getting used to it" in this situation is just a synonym to "get more skilled". Some people can do that easily. For others it's more difficult. And some just won't make it. All in all it's exactly what OP was talking about - raising the difficulty level.

Some can drop down a tier, thats the point anyways, u do what you are comfortable with.

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@zealex.9410 said:

@phs.6089 said:

@"Infusion.7149" said:I really hate the "we bleed fire" mechanic , was hitting my holo for ~4.8K. It's easy to say "dodge it" but when you're in melee range and all the flashy effects from holo happen it's pretty messy.

Also I was hit 12K on solid ocean last night on my holo by the tentacle due to the Adrenaline rush instability, which is unfair since the tentacle can't be killed.

The birds don't hit nearly as hard and dodging means something with the birds.

I had pretty much stopped playing my ele in favor of holo, chrono, and warrior (mainly for no pain no gain instances). With the changes to chrono and the new diviner's I'm working on diviner trinkets for my firebrand.

Sure make me dodge and leave me dodge less when i actually NEED to dodge BOOSS' mech
slow claps

You play Dh? you should be complaining about survivability.

What difference it makes what I play when I can't dodge the damage that matter? Because I'm forced to dodge some random trash.

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@phs.6089 said:

@phs.6089 said:

@"Infusion.7149" said:I really hate the "we bleed fire" mechanic , was hitting my holo for ~4.8K. It's easy to say "dodge it" but when you're in melee range and all the flashy effects from holo happen it's pretty messy.

Also I was hit 12K on solid ocean last night on my holo by the tentacle due to the Adrenaline rush instability, which is unfair since the tentacle can't be killed.

The birds don't hit nearly as hard and dodging means something with the birds.

I had pretty much stopped playing my ele in favor of holo, chrono, and warrior (mainly for no pain no gain instances). With the changes to chrono and the new diviner's I'm working on diviner trinkets for my firebrand.

Sure make me dodge and leave me dodge less when i actually NEED to dodge BOOSS' mech
slow claps

You play Dh? you should be complaining about survivability.

What difference it makes what I play when I can't dodge the damage that matter? Because I'm forced to dodge some random trash.

If the random trash is killing you then its random trash that matters. Im asking what you play because some classes have more tool for any situation than others.

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@zealex.9410 said:

@phs.6089 said:

@phs.6089 said:

@"Infusion.7149" said:I really hate the "we bleed fire" mechanic , was hitting my holo for ~4.8K. It's easy to say "dodge it" but when you're in melee range and all the flashy effects from holo happen it's pretty messy.

Also I was hit 12K on solid ocean last night on my holo by the tentacle due to the Adrenaline rush instability, which is unfair since the tentacle can't be killed.

The birds don't hit nearly as hard and dodging means something with the birds.

I had pretty much stopped playing my ele in favor of holo, chrono, and warrior (mainly for no pain no gain instances). With the changes to chrono and the new diviner's I'm working on diviner trinkets for my firebrand.

Sure make me dodge and leave me dodge less when i actually NEED to dodge BOOSS' mech
slow claps

You play Dh? you should be complaining about survivability.

What difference it makes what I play when I can't dodge the damage that matter? Because I'm forced to dodge some random trash.

If the random trash is killing you then its random trash that matters. Im asking what you play because some classes have more tool for any situation than others.

Can you read? I said random trash making me to waste dodges.

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@zealex.9410 said:If the random trash is killing you then its random trash that matters.So, you're saying that everything that's in base fractals (without instabilities) doesn't matter and need not be dodged?Fact: you need dodges for normal fractal mechanics.Fact: some instabilities force you to use up even more dodges, in excess of those used for abovementioned mechanics.Fact: dodges are not an infinite resource, and cannot just be spammed whenever convenient (unless you're a mirage, i guess).

See what i mean?

In most difficult encounters there's really no mechanic that in itself is difficult. When taken alone they are all usually easy and not a problem. It's when you start adding them up that problems appear, and eventually you will end up at point beyond your ability to keep up with all of them. For everyone that point lies at a different place.

Now, the main point brought up is that some of those instabilities, even if not problematic by themselves, add another layer of difficulty that can cause the fractal to be significantly harder than a baseline. Enough to push a number of players to drop a tier even if they normally run the original tier with no problem. Or sometimes making the lower tier to be more difficult than higher one, due to specific instability mix.

Personally, i don;t think instabilities should have that much of an impact that they can be a difference between smooth sailing and giving up a run.

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@Astralporing.1957 said:

@zealex.9410 said:If the random trash is killing you then its random trash that matters.So, you're saying that everything that's in base fractals (without instabilities) doesn't matter and need not be dodged?Fact: you need dodges for normal fractal mechanics.

Fact: you need dodges for some normal fractal mechanics. Some you can reposition some u can just tank some u can use other forms of midigation.

Fact: some instabilities force you to use up even more dodges, in excess of those used for abovementioned mechanics.

Outside of the one day i ran siren's reef i havent really seen much of the new instabs tho to speak for the old ones that wasnt the case, 1 dodge was sufficient. Which instabs are the ones u need to burn multiple dodges on?

Fact: dodges are not an infinite resource, and cannot just be spammed whenever convenient (unless you're a mirage, i guess).

Fact: there are other forms of midigation except your dodge.

See what i mean?

Not really

In most difficult encounters there's really no mechanic that in itself is difficult. When taken alone they are all usually easy and not a problem. It's when you start adding them up that problems appear, and eventually you will end up at point beyond your ability to keep up with all of them. For everyone that point lies at a different place.

Yes but the solutions are there if you dont want/cant use them then as the pp said u might want to drop a tier. Tier 4 is the hardest toer on fractals, its not supposed to be tailored to you, you are supposed to tailor your playstyle to its demands.

Now, the main point brought up is that some of those instabilities, even if not problematic by themselves, add another layer of difficulty that can cause the fractal to be significantly harder than a baseline. Enough to push a number of players to drop a tier even if they normally run the original tier with no problem. Or sometimes making the lower tier to be more difficult than higher one, due to specific instability mix.

Whats that baseline? on a game that updates and changes constantly i cant see such baseline. U could say normal t4 should not be harder than cms or raids and neither of those is happening rn. Well except maybe the odd case of an instab that doesnt make sense in a specofic fractal (see ss and half the fractals).

Personally, i don;t think instabilities should have that much of an impact that they can be a difference between smooth sailing and giving up a run.

The difference isnt on the instab is on the group and the composition. U could say in the case of a boss or a pack that it can be the difference between a smooth run and cluster fuck but the boss/ pack aint the issue.

The issue tents to be the group, the comp and their loadout going up against said encounter.

Ppl were constantly complaining that sa was bad and made fractals a slog and yet you have groups that run fractals healerless.

Its also worth mentioning that these instab are still new and ppl havent become acustomed to them like the op was after months of years of the same stuff.

Also, one of the bigger complains pre rework was that instabs were just annoyances, posed little threat and in general were just... there.

Another one was that ppl would like to see instab that buff you. To some extend both of these 2 points of feedback have been met.

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TL;DR: In my view, fractals are now too difficult to enjoy compared to how they were just a few weeks ago.It's been a week since the new instabilities were added. Skilled static groups are just now getting used to them, so it's hardly a surprise that PUGs aren't.

Anytime there's a change in content, it takes a while before the community acclimates. I think it's too soon to tell if these most recent changes make things more fun or more tedious, more challenging or more annoying.

At the very least, I like the variety. For anyone doing Tier 4 + Recs (not to mention CMs), it's less likely to see repeat instabilities (although unfortunately, we'd need a lot more options before that became rare).

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I don't enjoy any of them. None of them are fun in particular, most of them are just annoyances if anything else. Fractal difficulty ramped quite a bit with certain sets of instabilities, but not in a fun way in my opinion. I don't have luxury to play with static group and people from LFG just quit so easily now that it's really became a nightmare finding party for me. For today's run I pretty much had to look for group for every single fractal - 100cm, 99cm, 95, 90. Today I spent way more time waiting than actually playing.

I love challanging and hard fights like 100CM Arkk.I hate all those little annoyoances that artificially increase difficulty that ramp damage or add more clutter to the already busy fights.

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It just feels more difficult because it disrupted your everyday clear. It is not actually more difficult. We can say a lot about slippery slope but all others can be countered or they even add both negative and positive effects which is a very nice idea. Also there is an issue with the meta at the moment but it will sort itself out. Give it a bit more time and you will get into the routine in no time. Learning new things refreshes the game. We should not confuse any change from the routine as extra difficulty

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@zealex.9410 said:

@Catchyfx.5768 said:Love new instabilities. If you play to use advantages you are pretty rewarded with smoother runs :)Yes, like slippery slope, birds or bleed fire....oh wait.

Yeah actually iirc dodging on bird retargets them on enemies and u can reflect the fire projectiles. Both contribute to smoother runs.Bird dodging retargets, but also spawns bird mobs that attack you too. Reflected fire projectiles do no damage to mobs, so they do not contribute to smoother runs at all. In both cases the advantages can be used at best to negate (part of) the disadvantages, nothing more. There's no reward, it's mitigation at best.
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@Astralporing.1957 said:

@Catchyfx.5768 said:Love new instabilities. If you play to use advantages you are pretty rewarded with smoother runs :)Yes, like slippery slope, birds or bleed fire....oh wait.

Yeah actually iirc dodging on bird retargets them on enemies and u can reflect the fire projectiles. Both contribute to smoother runs.Bird dodging retargets, but also spawns bird mobs that attack you too. Reflected fire projectiles do no damage to mobs, so they do not contribute to smoother runs at all. In both cases the advantages can be used at best to negate (part of) the disadvantages, nothing more. There's no reward, it's mitigation at best.

So maybe I'm playing diferent game

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