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If you wanted to keep raids as a game mode, how would you increase participation?


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I feel like it would be a mistake for Anet to abandon raids because of the cultural overhead they carry in MMOs at large. In fact what they've already done with Dungeons is bad IMO, but I'll address that later. Given the negative feedback on my original idea and other ideas presented, I have a better idea, and still think people should talk on this thread.

I can identify these issues:

1) There's no incentive for grouping with new people - the rewards only come faster the more experienced your group

2) People in GW2 at large are used to pugging, even if they enjoy group content. This goes for fractals, dungeons DRMs. I rarely run with guildies and guildies rarely ping. I usually do a scheduled activity with my guild of a different sort if anything at all.

3) Raids tend to have "pony trick" mechanics with devastating results if people don't know it. They usually require skills beyond just dodging a breaking bars that are normally only applicable that fight (Druid pusher in VG, Druid push in SH (still different than VG though as push skills are different between the the two), hand kite in Deimos, Mushrooms in Sloth, etc. This means getting in a PuG with anyone is a massive liability.

4) Raid training - culturally I have to say this is a very foreign concept. Most training runs I've been in don't necessarily focus on kills which I've never seen in another MMO and is a testament to the technical complexity of GW2 raids. This is demoralizing in the context of trying to break into the larger raid scene - people want to see KP to want you around

.5) An unsolvable problem - scale. I say unsolvable because making the parties bigger with the pony trick mechanics will only make them more frustrating IMO. I don't see Anet doing an entire refactor of old raids to solve this. And maybe they shouldn't. The pony tricks, as annoying as they are are part of the original mechanics.
 

I think that Strikes and raids need to be merged, i.e. there is a strike version and a raid version for each encounter. This solves #2. The strike versions are intended to be PuGGable and all operate much like IB strikes in terms of reward structure, the only caveat being Maguuma ones give magnetite shards instead of IB strike crystals and the PoF ones give gaeting crystals instead of IB strike Crystals. The strike rewards a special crafting material in the weekly strike chest that can convert into LIs and LDs, LIs don't drop in the strike versions (maybe you get 1 of this currency per boss per week in the chest but you need 3 to buy an LI, this makes raids still superior for getting legendary gear and rewards in general). The echo system could easily be overloaded to accomplish this. People will still be rewarded more for doing raids than strikes and people who can't commit to statics can still experience the content and eventually get the rewards (albeit slower, which is fair in context).

To toss a bone to the raid community, they could add raid versions of all the current IB strikes. The IB raids could drop 3x of the above mentioned LI/LD conversion currency per boss so they could be used as progress towards legendary rewards for current raiders.

Additionally, the strike versions should be done in a way that mimics the actual raid mechanics, so if players notice they do well in the strike, then they can go ahead and do the raid version with their current group (it would be nice if the strike mission grades them on mechanics and suggest they continue, but that's asking for a lot. Maybe after completing the strike it gives a poll to the group asking if they want to attempt the raid and somewhere on the strike UI it explains what passing the raid version in the strike looks like so the group can have some good judgement on their decision). An example I've experienced like this was Argus the unmaker in Legion -> I did LFR tons and tons and enough of the mechanics were there that I did fine in my Heroic PuG the night before BFA launch (snagging my spellwing in just the nick of time!). This solves #3 and makes strikes a true bridge between raids and strikes, which they aren't currently. #3 builds on the issue in #2, you have to be in a group that has the pony trick experience in order to succeed in raids. Basically you can PuG the strikes until you find yourself in a good enough group to do the raid version.

To solve #1, I would have extra rewards for helping a group beat a raid with at least 3 players that haven't finished it that week yet. Probably mostly raw gold 1-2 and maybe 1 rare. That way if you like to lurk strikes and are a proficient raider, it could be very lucrative and you could help the community by training people in your strikes.

number 4 is solved by the above. The strikes themselves become raid training and now the community can loosely help each other and then commit to raiding if they happen to find themselves in a proficient group.

I got nothing for #5 but feel like it's a non-issue if there's more community involvement as a whole.

But really, doing this, everyone wins. People who like strikes get more content and more incentive to do them, raiders get more raids. ANd it's not really a heavy lift for Anet either. It's mostly copy pasta of current content with tweaking on both ends, the IB strikes to raid conversions and vice versa. Also, most modern MMOs have different difficulty settings, it's a glaring omission that the raid system was never adapted to the hyper casual nature of this MMO.

A much larger issue I want to briefly address is the fact that Anet is accumulating way too many disparate systems with all their PVE content experiments. I think they need a raid system (groups of 10) and a dungeons system (groups of 5) and all content of that size plays into that system. My above suggestions create this cohesive raid system. I would tweak DRMs and Dungeons to work with Fractals as part of a greater dungeon system (and they could even add dailies for each dungeon/raid type to encourage more participation). I feel like abandoned content that doesn't integrate with anything else won't age well. Perhaps dungeons should reward some fractal currencies if you have the masteries, same for DRMs. They could take the more popular content from the non-fractal modes and make fractals out of them.

Edited by Firebeard.1746
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Yeah I am going to call Shenanigans on this. Anyone who pops into Raid Academy Discord will tell you how easy it is to get involved in a training group and the fact they are literally organizing

Except I haven't said I shouldn't? Also you're clearly ignoring the part where I'm saying I refuse to post an exp only group in LFG lol.  I'm saying that's why you need a static bro. Clearly not readi

In my mind the easy mode would be a lower drip rate, so people would be engaged for longer. That gives more opportunity for them to get bored enough to try the harder modes & get involved in the c

@"BlueJin.4127" said:Different difficulties like fractals so that even casual players can play with random groups.

You would stil have some what of a "problem" since you can see it in fractals now. The scale is there so you can play that bit of content at a level that's good for you.

Yet we see with some fractals not the thought patterns of "this is to hard for me now, let's move down a tier to learn" but "this is to hard for me and needs a nerf.

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@Firebeard.1746 said:

@Parasite.5389 said:No one will raid if you're
Required
to join a guild in order to receive rewards beyond your suggestion of LI/LD

Good point, maybe it's a terrible idea and if they do anything at all, it should just be the same thing other MMOs do: different difficulty levels.

Easy-mode raids have been a popular suggestion for a while now; Strikes kinda address it, allowing new players to learn some the more complex mechanics and strategy require to clear raids, but still fall short in terms of difficulty/reward.

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I fail to see how that's relevant to the fact that raids are crumbling. I have more than 0 if you're concerned about that.Do you have more than 50?

I have 18, I've seen plenty of encounters, and I struggle to find groups when I'm on and want to, so now you're just being a kitten, thanks for calling out how bad this game is doing at end game content. Maybe I should do BDO instead. They're going to release raids this year, maybe they won't screw up as bad.Actually I was just curious. I think before you propose massive changes to reward structures it's important to be clear about your level of experience with the content. At no point did I call out your skill or knowledge of this game. Cool personal attacks though.

But yeah you should definitely check out BDO, it's a very good game.

Well you seemed to want a certain breakpoint before I could comment (Is it more than 50?). If that was really all you wanted then maybe you should have been more forthcoming. Though you're right, I did jump a little soon, I should have let you go where you were going, because I'm sure there's more you had to say. I know because you still haven't answered my question about improving it (which was in the OP by the way), and haven't explained why the 50 is so magically important.

If you have a hard time getting 9 other people in the guild for raids now.How will it be easier to get 19-29 other people after this change?

I wouldent change anything in the raids, people can learn them easier now with all the guides out there as I did 2-3 years ago.

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I fail to see how that's relevant to the fact that raids are crumbling. I have more than 0 if you're concerned about that.Do you have more than 50?

I have 18, I've seen plenty of encounters, and I struggle to find groups when I'm on and want to, so now you're just being a kitten, thanks for calling out how bad this game is doing at end game content. Maybe I should do BDO instead. They're going to release raids this year, maybe they won't screw up as bad.Actually I was just curious. I think before you propose massive changes to reward structures it's important to be clear about your level of experience with the content. At no point did I call out your skill or knowledge of this game. Cool personal attacks though.

But yeah you should definitely check out BDO, it's a very good game.

Well you seemed to want a certain breakpoint before I could comment (Is it more than 50?). If that was really all you wanted then maybe you should have been more forthcoming. Though you're right, I did jump a little soon, I should have let you go where you were going, because I'm sure there's more you had to say. I know because you still haven't answered my question about improving it (which was in the OP by the way), and haven't explained why the 50 is so magically important.

If you have a hard time getting 9 other people in the guild for raids now.
How will it be easier to get 19-29 other people after this change
?

I wouldent change anything in the raids, people can learn them easier now with all the guides out there as I did 2-3 years ago.

Thats the real problem. Increasing number requirement would lower the participation. also not being able to kick is a big no. What if something happens irl and the player has to go? The squad would have to 9man.This increases stress on casuals even further since they usually cant guarantee uninterupted playtime.Increasing participation is done by easing the group finding process with an lfg tool overhaul for example.Take ff14 as example. you can mark groups as trainings or kill. You can only join the kill groups if you did it once.

Another way are difficulty tiers and automated queues for them. Basically story mode. The public Strike mode doesnt work because of the unique build system. Needs to ask the player if they want to join as healer or dps to not end with 10 healer. Boons are provided by a useful glenna and stats are normalized to berserker/viper etc. Maybe even a toughness/vita boost."But thats so much work for something players might only do once" Ye exactly like story instances but they get all the resources. This would increase participation a lot. The automated system is important! The current lfg is a very interactive system that a lot of casuals dont like to use.

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I fail to see how that's relevant to the fact that raids are crumbling. I have more than 0 if you're concerned about that.Do you have more than 50?

I have 18, I've seen plenty of encounters, and I struggle to find groups when I'm on and want to, so now you're just being a kitten, thanks for calling out how bad this game is doing at end game content. Maybe I should do BDO instead. They're going to release raids this year, maybe they won't screw up as bad.Actually I was just curious. I think before you propose massive changes to reward structures it's important to be clear about your level of experience with the content. At no point did I call out your skill or knowledge of this game. Cool personal attacks though.

But yeah you should definitely check out BDO, it's a very good game.

Well you seemed to want a certain breakpoint before I could comment (Is it more than 50?). If that was really all you wanted then maybe you should have been more forthcoming. Though you're right, I did jump a little soon, I should have let you go where you were going, because I'm sure there's more you had to say. I know because you still haven't answered my question about improving it (which was in the OP by the way), and haven't explained why the 50 is so magically important.

If you have a hard time getting 9 other people in the guild for raids now.
How will it be easier to get 19-29 other people after this change
?

I wouldent change anything in the raids, people can learn them easier now with all the guides out there as I did 2-3 years ago.

Thats the real problem. Increasing number requirement would lower the participation. also not being able to kick is a big no. What if something happens irl and the player has to go? The squad would have to 9man.This increases stress on casuals even further since they usually cant guarantee uninterupted playtime.Increasing participation is done by easing the group finding process with an lfg tool overhaul for example.Take ff14 as example. you can mark groups as trainings or kill. You can only join the kill groups if you did it once.

Another way are difficulty tiers and automated queues for them. Basically story mode. The public Strike mode doesnt work because of the unique build system. Needs to ask the player if they want to join as healer or dps to not end with 10 healer. Boons are provided by a useful glenna and stats are normalized to berserker/viper etc. Maybe even a toughness/vita boost."But thats so much work for something players might only do once" Ye exactly like story instances but they get all the resources. This would increase participation a lot. The automated system is important! The current lfg is a very interactive system that a lot of casuals dont like to use.

you didn't read my post. Each subgroup becomes its own instance group, you move people out of it and they're gone. In this setup you start with a 50-man squad with only 30 people.

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I'm always super surprised at this stance with new raiders talking about the huge barrier to entry. I've raided at the highest difficulty in ever MMO I've played. This is the only MMO, from personal experience, that has a large "training" community. My mythic raid team in WoW is NEVER going to train a new player to raid at our level.

I think that is largely driven by the scaling difficulty of the raids themselves. WoW players have the stance.. If you want to learn, learn at the lower levels. I won't get into the debate regarding Anet adding an easier difficulty. Plenty of form posts on that.

However, I think the fact that this game has experienced raiders willing to train new players is half of the solution. The other half lies on the new players to raid like yourself. If experienced raiders are willing to give their time and teach the basics, new players need to take ownership and pick up the torch.

I had 0 LI a year ago. Now I have over 1,000. My entire static has over a 1,000. You know why? In a training raid, I too felt, like you.. they were time consuming and only focused on specific bosses. I wanted to learn all the bosses. I made a form post, a few discord posts, and joined 2 mega guilds in which I advertised in guild chat. I advertised to find 9 other players that were new, had no experience, and just wanted to work through the raids together starting at Boss 1, VG. I told them we were going to stay on VG until he died and then progress in order, W1-W7.

I got probably 30-40 responses. My static, over the past year, has weeded out some 20 people that either didn't improve. Didn't really enjoy consistent raiding like they thought they would. Didn't show up, etc. But, we raid 3 hours a week and full clear W1-W7 with ease now.

My group all has over 1,000 LI and anytime we pug, I list in LFG that we need a dps without ever posting an LI requirement. No LI listings are somewhat common on Mondays when we raid actually. If the person does more than 10k dps and doesn't stand in every fire possible, we just let it ride. 95% of the time they are good anyway.

TLDR: Stop waiting and asking for an Anet solution. The GW2 raiding community is outstanding with experienced trainers. Whisper other new people from training runs, make your own scrub squad (my static literally was called Dubs is a Scrub Static to make it clear what our intent was) and progress together. The barrier to entry for new players is self imposed.

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I fail to see how that's relevant to the fact that raids are crumbling. I have more than 0 if you're concerned about that.Do you have more than 50?

I have 18, I've seen plenty of encounters, and I struggle to find groups when I'm on and want to, so now you're just being a kitten, thanks for calling out how bad this game is doing at end game content. Maybe I should do BDO instead. They're going to release raids this year, maybe they won't screw up as bad.Actually I was just curious. I think before you propose massive changes to reward structures it's important to be clear about your level of experience with the content. At no point did I call out your skill or knowledge of this game. Cool personal attacks though.

But yeah you should definitely check out BDO, it's a very good game.

Well you seemed to want a certain breakpoint before I could comment (Is it more than 50?). If that was really all you wanted then maybe you should have been more forthcoming. Though you're right, I did jump a little soon, I should have let you go where you were going, because I'm sure there's more you had to say. I know because you still haven't answered my question about improving it (which was in the OP by the way), and haven't explained why the 50 is so magically important.

If you have a hard time getting 9 other people in the guild for raids now.
How will it be easier to get 19-29 other people after this change
?

I wouldent change anything in the raids, people can learn them easier now with all the guides out there as I did 2-3 years ago.

Thats the real problem. Increasing number requirement would lower the participation. also not being able to kick is a big no. What if something happens irl and the player has to go? The squad would have to 9man.This increases stress on casuals even further since they usually cant guarantee uninterupted playtime.Increasing participation is done by easing the group finding process with an lfg tool overhaul for example.Take ff14 as example. you can mark groups as trainings or kill. You can only join the kill groups if you did it once.

Another way are difficulty tiers and automated queues for them. Basically story mode. The public Strike mode doesnt work because of the unique build system. Needs to ask the player if they want to join as healer or dps to not end with 10 healer. Boons are provided by a useful glenna and stats are normalized to berserker/viper etc. Maybe even a toughness/vita boost."But thats so much work for something players might only do once" Ye exactly like story instances but they get all the resources. This would increase participation a lot. The automated system is important! The current lfg is a very interactive system that a lot of casuals dont like to use.

you didn't read my post. Each subgroup becomes its own instance group, you move people out of it and they're gone. In this setup you start with a 50-man squad with only 30 people.

So how would you stop abuser trolls and leecher if you cant kick? A simple afk macro would make this the best afk farm. people are even afk leeching public drms currently."My response: Isn’t it already just a participation reward?" No, no rewards if you fail. Powercreep allows 1-4 dead weight but the rest of the group has to do more than participating then.Rewarding "in active combat time" would turn it into the best 1 + 29 alt account afk farm. Far better than open world meta leech.

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@"dubs.2396" said:I'm always super surprised at this stance with new raiders talking about the huge barrier to entry. I've raided at the highest difficulty in ever MMO I've played. This is the only MMO, from personal experience, that has a large "training" community. My mythic raid team in WoW is NEVER going to train a new player to raid at our level.

I think that is largely driven by the scaling difficulty of the raids themselves. WoW players have the stance.. If you want to learn, learn at the lower levels. I won't get into the debate regarding Anet adding an easier difficulty. Plenty of form posts on that.

However, I think the fact that this game has experienced raiders willing to train new players is half of the solution. The other half lies on the new players to raid like yourself. If experienced raiders are willing to give their time and teach the basics, new players need to take ownership and pick up the torch.

I had 0 LI a year ago. Now I have over 1,000. My entire static has over a 1,000. You know why? In a training raid, I too felt, like you.. they were time consuming and only focused on specific bosses. I wanted to learn all the bosses. I made a form post, a few discord posts, and joined 2 mega guilds in which I advertised in guild chat. I advertised to find 9 other players that were new, had no experience, and just wanted to work through the raids together starting at Boss 1, VG. I told them we were going to stay on VG until he died and then progress in order, W1-W7.

I got probably 30-40 responses. My static, over the past year, has weeded out some 20 people that either didn't improve. Didn't really enjoy consistent raiding like they thought they would. Didn't show up, etc. But, we raid 3 hours a week and full clear W1-W7 with ease now.

My group all has over 1,000 LI and anytime we pug, I list in LFG that we need a dps without ever posting an LI requirement. No LI listings are somewhat common on Mondays when we raid actually. If the person does more than 10k dps and doesn't stand in every fire possible, we just let it ride. 95% of the time they are good anyway.

TLDR: Stop waiting and asking for an Anet solution. The GW2 raiding community is outstanding with experienced trainers. Whisper other new people from training runs, make your own scrub squad (my static literally was called Dubs is a Scrub Static to make it clear what our intent was) and progress together. The barrier to entry for new players is self imposed.

If you are in a static everything is hunky dory. Every time I've asked, statics aren't willing to take me. And when I join the discord and try to set things up, most of the time it falls through. Also things have changed dramatically from a year ago. NA raid academy wasn't like this then. I have a lot of different gear sets in at least exotic, if not a mix. I can bring almost any utility to a party except guardian ones or banners.

But maybe you're right, maybe I should just try myself.

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If you are in a static everything is hunky dory. Every time I've asked, statics aren't willing to take me. And when I join the discord and try to set things up, most of the time it falls through. Also things have changed dramatically from a year ago. NA raid academy wasn't like this then. I have a lot of different gear sets in at least exotic, if not a mix. I can bring almost any utility to a party except guardian ones or banners.

I haven't been afk for a year. I didn't get my LI by not raiding. I've been incredibly active in the raiding scene. I'm in NA raid academy. I was when I formed my group, I stayed, and I'm there now.

Of course most established statics won't take you with 18 LI. That is why the point of my post was to make your own group. Seek out other low experienced players. If you make posts seeking static members with no/low exp requirement, you'll get A LOT of interest and responses.

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@dubs.2396 said:

If you are in a static everything is hunky dory. Every time I've asked, statics aren't willing to take me. And when I join the discord and try to set things up, most of the time it falls through. Also things have changed dramatically from a year ago. NA raid academy wasn't like this then. I have a lot of different gear sets in at least exotic, if not a mix. I can bring almost any utility to a party except guardian ones or banners.

I haven't been afk for a year. I didn't get my LI by not raiding. I've been incredibly active in the raiding scene. I'm in NA raid academy. I was when I formed my group, I stayed, and I'm there now.

Of course most established statics won't take you with 18 LI. That is why the point of my post was to make your own group. Seek out other low experienced players. If you make posts seeking static members with no/low exp requirement, you'll get A LOT of interest and responses.

I thought I did and no one bit a while back.

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@maddoctor.2738 said:

@BlueJin.4127 said:Different difficulties like fractals so that even casual players can play with random groups.

Because that's working so well for Fractal development right? Since Fractals have multiple difficulties we are getting one every couple of months and everyone is happy there.

You're conflating dev resources and participation. i'm sure fractals have higher overall participation.

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@Firebeard.1746 said:

@BlueJin.4127 said:Different difficulties like fractals so that even casual players can play with random groups.

Because that's working so well for Fractal development right? Since Fractals have multiple difficulties we are getting one every couple of months and everyone is happy there.

You're conflating dev resources and participation. i'm sure fractals have higher overall participation.

And look at what that higher overall participation brought to them. Even lower release cadence than Raids.

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If there was one change that could be made with the mindset of improving the Raiding/Strikes community I would focus on incentivizing the training of new players.

Currently players join raiding groups (guilds or pugs) to see new content, farm legendary armor, complete achievements, and perhaps least of all, raw mats and junk drops. Once a player has experienced this content and done everything there is to do in it, there is little incentive to stay with it. By incentivizing experienced players teaching new players, you have the opportunity to keep more players engaged with Raiding and the growth of the community.

The intent would be to get veteran players who are experienced with raids and strikes to lead groups. I would suggest incentivization falls outside of normal rewards and likely be cosmetic items, titles or resources as well as achievements (but not new items or collections).

  • Create (or repurpose) a set of "Master Raider/Striker" achievements that are based around number of raid/strike clears. Something like "Clear each wing/boss 20x times" and/or "Clear 100 total wings/bosses"
  • Players who have attained these achievements are now eligible for additional loot when raiding/striking in two methods:
    1. If you have attained the requisite achievements, you will receive additional loot for each boss kill on top of normal loot. This bonus loot always is provided, even after the first clears of the week.
    2. If you have attained the requisite achievements, and are in a group that has members who have not, you will receive bonus loot for each player that doesn't have the achieve.

The intent here is to create two paths to increasing veteran player engagement with raiding.

Firstly, by increasing the loot rewards for veteran players. Once a player has farmed the rewards from Raiding/Strikes there is little reason to go back. By providing healthier rewards and allowing them to be available over multiple kills per week, you have created a method of replayability for those vets without negating existing collections (looking at Legendary Armor specifically). Put another way, raiding when farming Legendary Armor has more value then Raiding when not farming Legendary Armor.

Secondly by giving all Vet players bonus loot for each non-Vet player in their squad it would incentivize bringing new players to this content. 9 Veteran players bring 1 new player, then those 9 each get 1 bonus loot. 5 Vets bring 5 new players, each Vet gets 5 bonus loots.

It is a rough outline of an idea, but something I have considered for a while from other Raiding games: Incentivizing players to be leaders and teachers.

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Adding a normal mode (and possibly an easy mode) might be Arenanet's best shot to increase raid participation.

The current hard and challenge modes just don't attract the majority of players.Raising the number of players that can join a raid together is very unlikely the change that.Getting 30 players together and coordinating them sounds very tedious and tiring to me.

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@"lare.5129" said:remove time limites to boss kill or increase 2-3 x

The only raid bosses where I've seen the enrage in the last two or three years were Largos and Cardinal Sabir (with unexperienced players). It's also been ages since I've seen a training group doing updrafts at Gorseval. 99% of fails are due to other mistakes and not the timers.

If anyone is actually afraid of the timer, they can start raiding with Cairn, as there is no real enrage mechanic.

My suggestion to improve participation:Let us open the raid wings at any boss we've killed at least once, to get more flexibility if you don't have much time and just want to do your favourite bosses. Additionally with this possibility there could be a daily to kill a single boss with rewards (even if you've already killed this boss).

I'm not a fan of easy mode raids as we already have different difficulty levels in raids:Easy: Mursaat, Escort, RiverDifficult: Dhuum, Largos, Qadim1Hard mode: some of the CMs(my own opinion, every other boss is "normal mode")

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