A lot of people consider work, challenge. When you read some forumites that lament how easy thing is, they go into thoughts about how back in the day everything was work. Basically it took a while to get item A and that in itself was an accomplishment. Kinda like ‘phew – finally’. But is it a challenge? Of course not. Sure; if your argument is that you did this on the hardest difficulty and failure was always an option then yes – the raid itself was challenging, but pulling the components are not. That’s a matter of random.
And yes – today’s system introduced with MOTU and all the way to the xpack is bad – because you either pull the EN, EH or the EE version (raid loot is always a little different). And make it possible to buy it on the SAH. But challenging? Nah – work is work. Grinding mats or items is nothing more then repetition.
My argument is that Hound was a true challenge back in the day. It was one raid that I failed more than any other. ToD was another, even when we had a great kiter and a super tank. They could fail. VoD could fail when the exploding bats came out. But Hound had something else – timing. Not so much luck but timing and a demand for skills AND coordination.Hound could fail from the very start if the tank failed to Agro the Hound or it could end just when it was about to drop. Plus the Hound had all these nasty things it could do to casters. In other words; Hound had roles to play and you had to be good at it. Like the people dealing with trash, many times players lacked the skill to deal with it and the raid wiped because trash got into the middle. Or that it took too long – that beholders joined and then everything was done.
The issue we have today is that failure is so hard; because most raids are design as slogfests and not tactical achievements. I personally dislike puzzles tho so that’s not where I’m going, but Hound was not about a puzzle. It was about tactics and coordination. Sometimes it was done brilliantly and the raid was over in no time, and other times it was a hard fought slog. And sometimes you knew you were toast because the raid degenerated into a bunch of headless chickens.
Ultimately tho the raids stop meaning anything when people have all the stuff; FoT and in some degree CITW changed that with heroic comms as upgrade material. But CITW is largely dead because it’s a tedious long raid even on EN with a low chance for comms. In other words even when people have it all they skip CITW because it’s to much waste of time for something with a low drop chance.
FoT on the other hand is a shorter raid with an automatic comm. So that’s gold right there. But I’ve mentioned this already so many times and this post is not about regurgitating the same thing over and over.
Now If I designed a raid it would be 3 fold – first a tactical challenge. With enought moving pieces to require basic coordination. And I’d make it so that EE is almost guaranteed to fail for teams that lack coordination and that you can resource yourself to a win through endless SP pots. I think CITW was suppose to solve that with the SP drain, but the EE SP drain is so ludicrous that it’s not a challenge and just completely idiotic instead (like having 2-3k SP drained in one hit). That’s not a solution, that’s idiotic. No in Hound SP is not really the issue; coordination of the moving pieces is. And making that a challenge together with skill you make it possible to fail. More importantly – on EE the real reward would be a temporary weeklong bonus for everyone who came out victories. That’s in addition to any material or raid loot. That way the raid continues to mean something well beyond people having pulled and upgraded the loot.
The bonus can be random or stacking. Lets say you make both subt raids Epic. One gives a stacking +10 xp and the other +1 loot bonus (example). You can only do the raid once a day, even if you use raid timer and you only get the bonus on EE. Max 3 stacks of each – and when you keep re-stacking them the stack resets for a week. So if you first do the challenge 3 days in a row – you have +30% XP for a week and then you wait till day 6, do it and now it resets for a week.
It also comes with a visual that you beat the raid. How, and how big I don’t know. It’s just to show that ‘that guy’ did it. And maybe you can even do different symbols for how many times (max 3) they beat it.
And to make it extra crispy, the raid is considered completed for the purpose of raid timer even when you fail. On EE only of course. The whole point is this; you want something better then you will also have to deal with the fact that losing comes with the consequence of the raid being completed. So if you do it every 3 days you can eventually stack it 3 times, but once you fail you have to wait another 3 days. Which makes stacking precarious and part of the challenge. And of course if you like to eat raid timers you can do it once a day but once you fail that raid timer is done. You want another try? Eat another one and come back tomorrow. The point with this is simple – The reward and the status is the challenge. The raid gives you the chance to succeed, profit, or fail. The victory is visual and useful. In fact you can design it so that it helps people that don’t want to raise Karma in off destinies. That IF you succeed the XP bonus increases Karma in ALL destinies. Again – this is to make this system appealing for all. It could also be lumpsum XP when you talk to a guy outside in the public area. You chose from items like if you finished a saga – like 50k XP, increased by XP increasing items. So you could turn on another destiny you want to level, get the hit and then switch back. Again rewarding for many different scenarios.
That way we create a system that goes beyond just loot items and upgrades and the raid itself doesn’t dry out when people have everything they want. And it provides a true challenge for people willing to try to beat it and a reward accordingly. So that people who always lament the challenge gets one and others who don’t give a fly can still do things on EN and EH without worrying about it.