Tiers 9 through 11 balancing (See post #4 for current status)

Discussion in 'Balancing Discussion' started by Tarutao, May 30, 2013.

  1. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

    Sep 3, 2005
    First post -- rules for this thread:


    Read that? Good. Here's a couple more rules for this thread. Include your main character's name and what guild they're in clearly or the post may be deleted. In this thread, it matters. Next, be nice... not just civil, nice. In-game consequences may follow if you can't be nice.

    Unless this thread just sits and gathers dust, there's going to be plenty of opinions here you will disagree with. That's part of the whole discussion thing. Accept it and chime in with a kind, polite, dissenting opinion... or just don't post. It's my belief that there are a lot of awesome Tier 9-11 players that would be valuable forum presences if they felt comfortable jumping in and joining the forum side of the SoD community, and HERE'S YOUR CHANCE!

    For the time being, leave out 6man and 12man content. This is strictly 18man content discussion.

    I'll follow this post with my previously unposted response in that "Content Buffing" thread along with two placeholder posts I may choose to make use of later.
    vistachiri likes this.
  2. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

    Sep 3, 2005
    I know I'm opening a can of bees on this one, but ... *deep reluctant breath* ... this conversation is going to require encounter-by-encounter consideration. I suppose ... *another deep reluctant breath* ... we could open up a dialogue about this properly.


    Let's start with a few things we can all agree with:

    (1) The concept of Tier is not officially recognized by staff, but it is an extant concept and holds value to the playerbase if all encounters are properly measured and classified.

    (2) Classifying an encounter's Tier is a difficult (and not perfected) task.

    (3) The Tier of an encounter is almost entirely based on the gearcheck of the fight and not the difficulty of executing the mechanics' requirements.

    (4) Each Tier itself comprises an interval of gearcheck on the spectrum and will have varied difficulties and types of difficulties beyond the gearcheck component within the Tier.

    (5) Within a progression-type area like within a linear zone (Yclist, et al), the gearchecks (and hence Tier) of fights should usually be nondecreasing.

    (6) There are times where the increase of gearcheck/Tier between two encounters in a progression-type area has a bit of a gap, and that's okay sometimes.


    Let's also start with a few things we might not agree with, but I think we should agree on:

    (1) The encounters in Spires should all have gearchecks at least as high as the gearcheck of Prime Enchanter Sil`rel`din, and the encounters in Tur`ruj should all have gearchecks at least as high as the gearcheck of Mistress Saitha. Granted, Prime and Saitha both have their own difficulties beyond the gearcheck that make you not want to do them on farm status instead of moving on to Void Worm or Tar`loc tribe, but that's an okay thing. This is an acceptable result of having 3 Ikisith raidzones that are linear with each other but have zone bosses.

    (2) There have been a lot of balance fixes in the game over the last couple of months that in the long-term are great changes. These changes, however, were always part of an understanding that re-evaluating the resultant difficulty of encounters in the affected gearcheck/Tier range would be a following requirement alongside re-evaluations of individual class performance.

    (3) Maybe it's time to re-evaluate the difficulty of this range of encounters (I personally think so), BUT the imperative concept here is "evaluate". We need to consider each encounter individually and, if possible, numerically to create the desired increase of gearcheck/Tier while maintaining variations of style and types of difficulty of encounters.

    (4) If all encounters in all 18-man raid zones were placed onto the gearcheck spectrum perfectly (not actually possible, but let's be hypothetical here), then there shouldn't be any large gaps though some small/medium gaps could still exist even in a perfect design situation.

    (5) Having the input of all of the guilds trying to make that "break into Tier 10" like Companions, From Accounting, Prophecy, Resurgum, Seven Virtues, and any others I'm forgetting just now would be helpful to this conversation.


    That seems like a good starting point for the dialogue. Now we need a good starting point for people to provide their input. I think I'll start a Balancing Discussion thread for that.
  3. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

    Sep 3, 2005
    It's probably going to be useful to have a list of the encounters we're talking about.

    Plane of Frost (the end of this zone)
    The Orator of Frost
    The War Scholars

    Grobb Undercity (minus perhaps the welcoming committee)
    Primalist Zelia
    Barrel Event
    Leech Lord Xenar
    Ganlak the Reaver
    Serizus Blacktongue

    Tower of Tarhyl (plus well)
    Bloodfire Wing
    Mephar Wing
    Farhag Wing
    Eternal Well

    Yclist, the Veiled City
    High Enchanter Yk'sil
    Guardian of Yclist
    High Enchanter Zo'rel
    Animation of Sil`rel`din
    Enchanter Apprentice Klikil
    High Enchanter Fer`din
    Prime Enchanter Sil'rel'din

    Spires of Saitha
    The Void Worm
    A failed golem
    Researcher Thek'rak
    A reanimated priest
    A perfected bone golem
    A warped slave
    The Ancient Guardians
    An unbound shadow
    Iskkath the Mindful
    Iskkath's Experiment
    Spires Twins
    Mistress Saitha

    Tur`ruj (the front three tribes)
    Tar`loc Tribe
    Ju`bor Tribe
    Ok`tar Tribe

    Prison of Admyrrza (some of sanctum)
    Gongoerth the First Wyrm
    Eyes of the Father
    Essence of the Mother
    Master of the Pack
    Nylastra'Zara, The Firstborn

    Temple of Elael
    A menacing temple guard
    Guardian of Elael

    Thazeran's Tower (the lower wings)
    Lower Air Miniboss
    Lower Air Boss
    Warden Dagrath (earth mini)
    Vordrek the Earthen (earth boss)
    Flamelord Koltar (fire mini)
    Lower Fire Boss
    Lower Water Miniboss
    Lower Water Boss

    Storm Tyrant Jor
    Cauldron of Dawn orc event
    Old Overgrowth
    Heli`ze (should this be included?)
  4. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

    Sep 3, 2005
    Updated October 21st, around 11:20am EDT

    The Void Worm (working as intended, just needs a final evaluation of the amount of damage of the AEs)
    Conglomeration (changes made -- want to see them in action -- no feedback yet received)
    Akarn (last thing left that hasn't been looked at)
    Individual encounters and wing trash discussions in Lower Thaz (ongoing project for the devs that made it as this is still new content, but as far as the Tier 9-11 project goes, this part is done).
  5. fuwok

    fuwok Dalayan Pious Diety

    May 16, 2008
    Tao edit: Fuwok -- formerly a member of Fair-Weather Friends

    This is kind of vague but bear with me:

    A lot of these encounters (spires / turruj etc) seemed to have been balanced against being farmed by guilds that were already in a position to have the gear to trivialize the encounters. That is just the nature of tiering past an encounter.

    When the encounters were rebalanced to make them harder to farm so easily, it shut out a lot of guilds that were coming up. I remember doing these encounters for the first time in tier 10/11 gear and finding them to be quite non-trivial, even knowing the strats fully. I think it might be worthwhile to look at the difficulty of a lot of tier 10+ encounters from 1.5 to 2 years ago and rolling them back to that state, at least HP-wise / encounter dps wise. Especially in light of recent nerfs which seem to have reduced raidwide DPS greatly.

    fuwok further edit:

    Many, many nerfs came down the pike to player DPS, survivability and abilities in general when some returning staff member(s) saw how powerful characters at tier 13+ were going down to tier 10/11ish encounters. It is my belief (a justified true belief if you ask me) that any raid maxed out at a higher tier dipping down 2-3 full tiers would make the encounters look trivial. Rebalancing around that was not the best course of action for future guilds moving forward.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  6. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

    Sep 3, 2005
    ... and now I suppose I can kick off the dialogue with some questions.

    (1) Who are you? What guild are you in? (remember all of your posts in this thread must include this information)

    (2) What tier would you consider your guild to be?

    (3) Do you think that most of your guild's regular raid force has gear that is pretty much from that tier you listed or the tier before, or do you think there are a lot of members with numerous pieces from 3-4 tiers back?

    (4) Have you killed some/many/most/all of the encounters that the wiki lists as being that tier you consider your guild to be?

    (5) Have you killed any of the encounters in the next higher tier, according to the wiki's current listings?

    (6) Do you think your guild is ready to try some new encounters that are more challenging?

    (7) Do you think your guild spends enough time raiding to attempt new challenging encounters and still get some upgrades from encounters you've killed a few times before in a given 2 week period?

    (8) What encounters have you done recently that you really struggled with and had the loot rot?

    (9) What encounters are you looking forward to trying?

    (10) What encounters are you thinking "I don't even want to try that", and why do you feel that way about them?

    (11) Are there any encounters where you think some part of the encounter is unfair?

    (12) Are there any encounters that you enjoy doing even if they don't provide any loot that you could personally use?

    ... this should do for now. I have lots of questions. I also have lots of answers, partial answers, things I'll have to think about, things I can do, things I can discuss with the dev team, and so forth.

    Come on, you Tier 9-11 players! Yes, especially you, you quiet player that doesn't like the forums since "the rude tier 13 people just yell and complain". Your presence and voice is needed.
  7. fxattack

    fxattack Dalayan Elder

    Apr 11, 2009
    I'm not sure about the difficulty vector affecting much of the content in this range, but the changing of Spires to become harder seemed like a campaign by top players to lay banana peels on the bridge of progression. Voidworm was cake with FWF when it was new. Voidworm was cake with Exodus over a year later. That it can't be killed right now is kind of boggling to me. Is it that current players aren't "just being better" enough to win a Tier 10 fight that used to have the same exact mechanics of a Tier 1 Halls of Misery fight...that is now unkillable even by the top guild? I don't know man.
  8. Moraelintz

    Moraelintz Dalayan Elder

    Dec 5, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Place holder post for when I get off work from a fairly unique perspective. Progressed through Turruj "on tier" , through spires "above tier" and then leading/coleading raids into "new Turruj on tier" breaking into spires later second floor to saitha "on tier pre buffed" and now again on or slightly over tier "post buffed"

    Did this on shimone in fwf and Moraelin in SB
  9. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

    Sep 3, 2005
    In response to Fuwok's post:

    Thank you for your post. Much of it outlines the recent balance changes to certain items and encounters meant to hedge outlier items and to give greater depth to certain encounters... and that's really an outline of why this thread now exists.

    With these changes in place, we can now consider rebalancing the difficulty of the encounters to match the power of a raid that would without these changes be comparable to a raid of before the changes. Considering the item changes (and the tiers at which those item changes occurred), it's worth considering what encounters may need difficulty adjustments to compensate.

    As you noted, your post is a bit vague, but it's a decent jumping off point. We do need to consider each encounter individually here in this thread while hopefully avoiding things like rolling back the The Void Worm encounter to a point where the mechanic where you have a thing to dispell could be handled by single clicky.

    Is the The Void Worm encounter too difficult? Maybe, I don't know for sure. Is the adjusted disease mechanic overboard? Maybe again, I'd like to hear what people that have done the fight think about it and what they know and don't know about the fight and that mechanic.

    Oh, and I should mention now, there's likely to be lots of spoilerish things and outright spoilers in this thread. If that last bit about the disease you have to dispell/cure in the The Void Worm encounter makes you feel uneasy, you may want to choose to avoid this thread.
  10. Ludovician

    Ludovician Dalayan Elder

    Feb 1, 2011
    Ludovician from From Accounting (T10 progression / T9 Farm) Most people are on tier, some are pretty over-tier.

    As far as 18 man content, the real issues seem to start after our tier around the Spires / Turruj tiers. To me it seems like those fights were buffed as well as the 12 man content because that's what the guilds on that tier were farming.

    My big gripe is at tier 10, options are too limited. We raided / farmed Prison forrrreverrrr at tier 6-8 and we still don't have the ritual spells to move deeper into the zone, so without continuously farming that trivial content (something I thought the staff discouraged / tried to prevent) we can't move on.

    It just feels like a dead end to me at the tier 9-10 change. We've downed a few t10 fights (Generals, Animation, Serizus) but Serizus and Generals are both dead ends. All of those fights are also done by at *least* 3 guilds, if not more.

    Our option seems to be to

    A.) Progress through Yclist so we can hit the newly buffed Spires stuff that wipes tier 12-13 guilds
    B.)Go go to Thaz (which 1.) People seem to refuse to do and 2.) is now closed anyhow) or to look toward the 12 man content which also has been buffed.
    C.) Farm prison for ritual frags and hope we don't lose people due to boredom. I would suggest these frags be easier to get in the future... let the content in sanctum keep people out, not a time sink / farm requirement. We literally raided Prison and that whole tier of 7-8 way longer than we should have, our guild stagnated and it wasn't until we reformed that we moved on. Having done all of that, and not having the spells to move on tells me there's an issue there.
    D.) Farm Trivial content due to no progression being available on a raid night. Usually people just log off or go XP at this point.

    The solution would be to not buff Spires and Turruj and Abyss - The spires and Turruj buffs pushed guilds back into the content we're trying to progress on.

    Tao edit: minor thread cleanup -- on-topic parts unedited
  11. Raxton

    Raxton Dalayan Elder

    Feb 22, 2009
    Viera, FL
    I'm Raxton, officer and co-raid leader of Chaotic Winds a Tier12 raiding guild.

    I believe this quote is a huge problem. I had no idea the dev team was attempting to implement this. I suspect the majority of the server had no idea this was a goal of the dev team. The common knowledge floating around is that Spires is your reward for defeating Prime. Noone goes back and farms Prime because it’s too damn hard, every Spires fight cannot be set to be harder than Prime without ruining Spires. The same thing applies to Turruj. CW doesn’t have a Saitha capable raid force on every time we raid, to make everything in Turruj harder than Saitha would just force us backwards in Tier, since our core needs almost nothing from the previous zones, the core quits and the guild dies. I imagine this applies to any guild and any Tier / zone keying process.

    This is my perspective as co-raid leader for Chaotic Winds (Tier12). We can only fairly easily do Tarloc, Oktar , and Gruniet in Turruj. Kaltan or Gan I don’t think have been buffed but they’ve always been quite challenging for us. Ghan has been buffed at least twice recently and is so hard we have to sit a bunch of our newer people, and sometimes we just can’t kill it anymore anyways. (We’ve never tried Jubor)

    If we don’t have a Turruj capable raid force we go back to Spires. But when we do this we immediately take several mobs off the consideration table as being unkillable: Voidworm and Ancient guardians we will not attempt as they are too hard and we will fail. Oddly enough some of the biggest gear check tank mobs warped slave and failed golem are often dead we zone in to backgear in Spires as they are now the easiest two mobs in the zone. Consider the 3rd floor event (Iskath the Mindful). When CW was breaking into Spires this was the main hurdle for us, we’d struggle on Mindful over and over, and often give up and kill other significantly easier targets in Spires, but now Mindful is one of the easiest mobs in the zone, and I don’t think that’s appropriate.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  12. Slayer90

    Slayer90 Dalayan Adventurer

    Jul 15, 2009

    1. Kraizik here from Prophecy.
    2&3. We are Solid 9 Breaking into 10, we do have people with maybe 1 or 2 items tops from t7ish.
    4. I think we have downed Every single t9 except 1?
    5. Yes we a T10 under out belts, with others close to falling.
    6. Oh definatly.
    7. Again yes
    8. Only time we have issues is if were super box heavy which isn't often. So no we do not stuggle with on teir content where loots rot
    9. I personally am looking forwards to End boss in yclist for spires access.
    10. None.. We are willing to give each encounter its fair shot looking forward to more t10 content.
    11. In everything we have Done EVERYTHING has been doable with us on teir. So none atm.
    12. Any thing that is Strat heavy I love

    Im guessing this is a list of stuff people think are over teird?
    Frost -- Orater and War scholors are fine. We did t9 frost before we even moved to ToT

    Under city - Every single event here we have done with little to no trouble at all.

    TOT -- Bloodfire Wing - Mini cake walk -- Boss Its a hard fight don't get me wrong but 3 trys and a win for us.
    Mepher Wing -- Corefire hits Way to hard imo Kraizik is 11k hp buffed 1 solid round + the AE nuke = dead pally --- Melamore is A Joke compard to corefire.
    Farhag Wing -- Little difficult when first breaking in but what isn't... After you learn itCake walk.
    Eternal Well -- we have tried this like 3 Times tops ? when ever we can find it up-- Have had 1 win other time we treid it was bugged and last time we ran outta time due to having to clear farhags.
    Generals -- Let you know when we get a shot at them.

    Yclist -- Yksil -- joke on wheels
    Guadian -- if done right no issues
    Animation not as hard as people make it out to be..

    All I got for now till we kill more mobs.

    Tao edit: minor thread cleanup -- on-topic parts unedited except to fix the quote function that wasn't displaying properly.
  13. fuwok

    fuwok Dalayan Pious Diety

    May 16, 2008
    I'm glad you touched on Prime enchanter Raxton. Prime Enchanter is the insane/ridiculous hard gatekeeper of spires. I totally agree that if every fight in Spires is supposed to be harder than Prime Enchanter that it is not viable. If that is the case, Prime Enchanter should be much softer, and so should entrance of Spires.
  14. Dinadass

    Dinadass Dalayan Pious Diety

    Oct 7, 2008
    Tao said higher gearcheck, which isn't necessarily harder overall. There are (or were I guess) fights in Tur'ruj that had gearchecks similar to Saitha while being much easier overall, same with PE and Spires, and that's perfectly fine. Encounter difficulty is partially gearcheck, partially strat/mechanics, and sometimes other things like unusual raid composition requirements or other gimmicks.
  15. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

    Sep 3, 2005
    My statement regarding spires vs. prime is actually a pretty significant one in terms of the concept of "tier".

    When considering how hard an encounter is, there are two primary kinds of components. One kind is components that contribute to determining the minimum gear necessary to complete the encounter (gear check). The others are things that you can avoid (like dispellable poisons or AEs that can be outranged) or mitigate (like the portions of some AEs you can avoid by killing adds that reset the AE damage). The first ones determine the "Tier". The latter ones are more of the "player skill check" things.

    A zone boss like Prime Enchanter Sil`rel`din is fairly hard on the gear check. He's also pretty rough with the mechanics like the concerns of having a second wizard archaic nuke land during the absorb/flare mechanic. He's a rather epic zone boss and he's got some great loots, but you're probably not going to want to farm him. For the zone that follows, the encounters there should start out with requiring the same gear check that you'd have if you executed Prime perfectly (you didn't, nobody did, probably nobody will), they should have some mechanics so they aren't tank-and-spank, but they should feel a little easier from having less of the second type of mechanics.

    With this, you still need to be on tier to do the next zone, but you should feel okay to move on past that zone boss. In some sense, you could say Prime Enchanter Sil`rel`din is harder than The Void Worm, but the actual Tier /slash/ gear check should not be lower for The Void Worm. In that mindset, you still could have a raid that wouldn't be able to manage Prime Enchanter Sil`rel`din that would manage The Void Worm.
  16. Breigon

    Breigon Dalayan Adventurer

    Feb 17, 2008
    Breigon of Prophecy. (included in sig)

    Main force: Solid T9

    Probably 80% of gear from T8/9. Rest of the gear scattered depending on player.

    Everything except 1 T9.




    With our core members: None. (Usually, it is a very minor sidegrade for someone so things tend to not rot often.)

    Rest of yclist. Thaz.

    Folerit Redsun. He is scary on tier. (In all seriousness: None)

    Don't think so from what I have raided so far.

    Yes. All. I hate watching gear rot though (not that it has happened recently or anything just in general).

    ~*~ Candy Canes ~*~

    Just to add a small tidbit to Kraizik's post.

    For UC, we had a bit of ToT T9 under us prior to exploring this zone entirely.
    For Yclist, the first boss I would say it is just fine for entry T9 for the resist check requirement.

    From all the stories on Animation in yclist, I expected him to be harder. Haven't killed him to date but got close one raid night when we were fairly boxed. So, he is hard. Just not as hard as I was expecting.

    Edit: To add that I agree with Ludo's post below.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  17. Ludovician

    Ludovician Dalayan Elder

    Feb 1, 2011
    Tao edit: Ludovician of <From Accounting>

    I can't think of really any T9 18 man content that has been buffed / is a problem lately. The problem seems to start with T10, and T10-11 is what was being most heavily farmed before they were buffed.

    From Accounting and Prophecy both have progressed through and are now farming T9 with no issues.
  18. Slayer90

    Slayer90 Dalayan Adventurer

    Jul 15, 2009
    Tao edit: Kraizik of <Prophecy>

    aye I was just giving feed back on the stuff they had listed that we have done.
  19. taosanterior

    taosanterior Dalayan Elder

    May 15, 2010
    Ikuinen, officer of Prophecy. Kraizik and Breigon have given a pretty good picture of where we are as a guild, so I won't bother with that much. I will add - we are not flagged for Sanctum though we did spend lots of time in IP. We have attempted only the Earth Wing in new Thaz, and Warden Dagrath has killed us many times.

    I would agree with Ludo that t10+ seems to be where issues lie.

    Our "main raid force" raids twice a week. We are trying to kill new mobs, but at times we are forced into raiding things we have killed before just to build gear, because we can't find any progression targets up. That's not a complaint, shit happens when there's a number of guilds around the same tier, everyone knows that.

    I personally have no experience in Sanctum, end Yclist, Spires, or Turruj. But it does seem strange to me that Chaotic Winds/Sacred Band would all of a sudden have trouble killing mobs that they had been farming or had moved completely past.

    As for the progression between zones and difficulty of fights and such. There are plenty of mobs in this game that are easier to kill than the fight that keys you for them. Examples:
    Arch Mage Kextal is easier than Disciple of the One.
    Aken, Chosen of Enthann is easier than Millicent of the Trials, and maybe even Selanaes.
    Favored Concubine Sherlea is easier than High Warden Ansaag.
    Ceilstar is easier than Caliph Askaril.
    Arghol Bloodpyre is easier than Dawnfire.
    Ferdolen and Parildec (Farhags) are easier than Melamor, and Melamor himself is easier than Corefire.
    Yashira is easier than Taeshlin the Guardian.

    I'm sure there's more examples but I'll stop there, I think that gets the point across. I don't think it's necessary that just because a mob is in the "next zone" that it absolutely must have an equal or higher gear check to the zone boss before it. It shouldn't be a walk in the park for free amazing loots either. I don't know if any fights were like this and that's why they got buffed or whatnot, that's just my opinion based off of my experience raiding this game from Tier3 all the way through Tier9.

    Tao edit: minor thread cleanup -- on-topic parts unedited
  20. Slayer90

    Slayer90 Dalayan Adventurer

    Jul 15, 2009
    Tao edit: Kraizik of Prophecy

    Id also like to add to ikus post we had most our rituals at one point but people quit and have not been able to obtain that class ritual again.

    Id have to agree with iku here on these examples, but what you have to take in to consideration is not all event are created = imo it would make since for the END boss of the zone to be HARDER then the Beginning mob of the zone wich you gained access to.

    Also Every event is NOT totally a gear check some are strat checks and Teamwork checks. Example. Doto is more of a Strat check more then any thing. yes you need the gear but majority of the fight is strategy knowing what to do and what causes what to happen. Arch mage is definatlly a Gear check / tank spank mob

    Also id have to disagree about celistar being eaiser then caliph but again this all comes down to knowing what to do and when to do it.

    Again sorry iku id have to disagree paridlec is not eaiser then Melamor, where Ferdolen is about the same. --- Ferdolen is just a resist check -- Paridlec is alittle bit more detailed but still harder then anything melamore does if your players are not dumb.
    Last edited: May 30, 2013

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