Monday, May 18, 2009

[General]The hardness of hard modes

I get the weirdest flak from people about the oddest things, some times.

In an earlier article on removing crits from Thorim, I got called on this comment:

Would I do this? No. It's not that hard of a hard mode anyway, and if you don't already have the deadly gear it's probably not worth grinding for it.
Some folks thought I shouldn't say this given that we've not finished Yogg much less attempted any hard modes, and that's reasonable. Some thought I was saying it was easy - which I wasn't.

And some wanted to know what I meant.

Well, what I did was look at GuildOx's percent rankings at the time. I checked what % of raiding guilds had done each hard mode, and assumed that this corresponded reasonably to how 'hard' a mode was. There are some caveats to this, but it's a reasonable thing. Let's look at a snapshot from today to see what's up:

Flame Leviathan, 1 tower: 21.56% of all guilds (5800)
Iron Council Molgein: 5.44% (1450)
Flame Leviathan, 2 towers: 4.95% (1320)
Freya, 1 watcher: 1.73% (461)
Hodir: 1.44% (384)
Thorim: .88% (234)
Flame Leviathan, 3 towers: .75% (200)
Iron Council Steelbreaker: .47% (125)
Yogg, 3 watchers: .32% (85)
Freya, 2 watchers: .24% (64)
Flame Leviathan, 4 towers: .17% (43)
Freya, 3 watchers: .09% (24)
Vezax: .06% (16)
Yogg, 2 watchers: .03% (9)
Yogg, 1 watcher: .02% (5)
Mimiron: .01% (1)
XT: 0% (0)
Yogg, 0 watchers: 0 (0)

The numbers are either the total guilds that have done it or are the extrapolated number of guilds from the percentage. I do not guarantee their accuracy, but they should be close.

Of these, Iron Council Molgein is the first hard mode on the way to Algalon. Then Hodir, Thorim, Freya3, Mimiron and Yogg1.

What's interesting is that in a week, Hodir went from (IIRC) .4% to 1.44%. Why? Because they increased his enrage timer on the hard mode from 1:55 to 2:55 during that week, and I suspect a lot of guilds hadn't tried him yet or had already downed him by the time that hotfix got put in. It seems clear that of the 4 watcher hard modes that give the quest for Algalon, Hodir's the easiest.

I also suspect that XT is not that difficult relative to some of these, but no one bothers because he's a gate boss and they'd rather move on to better things. That being said, the hard mode for XT sounds insane to me; 150% more health for having already 24 million HP? Nuts. Same thing for Flame Leviathan; it's probably not that hard of a hardmode, but because you must do him before doing anything else, a lot of guilds are reluctant to waste too much time on his hard modes too early. That should be changing in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I do not and am not saying that any of these are ridiculously easy. But I will say that if you're going to try for a hard mode, chances are Hodir is a good one to try for - and Thorim is next.


Darksend said...

YAAA its finally working.

One thing about these hard modes that I like is that you do not have to raid stack. That was the problem with old "hard" content. If you did not have 3-4 resto shaman there was absolutely no point in even trying to do eradar twins that night and usually called the raid.

That is why things are dieing so much quicker than they have in the past. My guild has cleared steelbreaker, hodir, thorim, and last night we got general vezax all in hard mode. We spent 5 attempts on hodir after the nerf, and only 2-4 nights of full flasked attempts (focusing on 1 each week). this is in comparison to 7 weeks on muru.

My guild is a small guild, we do not have 15 casters to bring in on caster dominated fights like some guilds, in fact on our hard mode general kill melee were they top 5 spots including myself as feral being first and the other feral in the raid as 3rd

Freya is way harder than general vezax it is just a lot of people are scared to try it.

Marino said...

Nice list! Good thing to see what to aim for next (which my guild would be hodir hard mode).

Anonymous said...

Thx for putting this up there - interesting reading. I'll definitely suggest that attempt order to the guild.

btw, I never had any issue with you calling those modes easy. I laughed when someone protested they'd spent a whole evening wiping on some "hard" mode and that you had no right to call is "easy".

Talk about living in a bubble (of playing too much warcraft, lol): the vast majority of guilds probably count themselves lucky if they get a couple of watchers down each week right now.

Anonymous said...

We did 10 man XT hard mode after the nerf and what a nerf it was. A little disapointed it was so easy. 2nd try we had it, with everyone alive, healers at 1/3 mana.

Shamad said...

XT hard-mode on 25man was actually a pretty tall order before this nerf. What bugs me is the 10man nerf, which really didn't need to happen.

And I would disagree with Darksend, yes it's not as much raid-stacking as shaman-stacking in SWP, but many hard modes do still rely heavily on stacking rogues or mages or other specific DPS classes which are stronger than average on these fights. Hodir is so nerfed now that it doesn't matter, but Freya3D is still supposedly one that requires a good bit of it(or so says friends in Conspiracy).

Also, slightly annoying is the high RNG factor of some hard modes, I remember the night Conspi did Vezax Hard Mode, kept getting pm's saying "perfect execution and again no crash for add-phase, rng ruins another attempt". Freya is supposedly similar with roots+fury+sunbeam being a pretty much instagib combo that you can't do anything to avoid.

ps. Nice job Darksend :) Wish my guild was willing to put in as much hours on 25man :(

Tallyswift said...

Thanks for posting that. It makes me feel less frustrated at being unable to do Thorim hard mode after 2 full days of attempts. We got him down to only about 20 percent before our tanks would simply explode and determined that our raid DPS was just not good enough to beat the healing break down. So we are working on Hodir Hard mode, and our 10 man raid has done it, and we are optimistic about getting him down tonight. All of the hard modes have been challenging. We also have done Freya plus one boss. As people continue to gear up more, the hard modes will become less challenging over time anyways, so I hope they keep them Hard and hold off on the nerfing a bit. It's fun to have some extreme challenges!