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Constructive Criticism: March of Sacrifices Hard Mode is an unhealthy new precedent

  • Left4Daud
    I completely agree with that as well and I think that is a neat idea @code65536 .

    Honestly I would like to see the rewards for DLC hard modes slightly improved, at least regarding the daily pledge.

    There is no reason why completing vet Fang Lair HM on pledge day shouldn't give the player an uncracked Gold transmutation geode for starters. An additional key or two would also be appropriate as well I think.

    But a purple geode and 2 keys for MoS hm? Forgot about it. I probably won’t even run that hard mode for motifs.
  • profundidob16_ESO
    code65536 wrote: »
    if the daily pledge is encouraging you to get 2 keys by completing hardmode...

    That's one of the things that bothers me a lot. For most of the game's dungeons, that extra key is a formality, and activating HM is something that you do as a matter of course.

    Then you get the DLC dungeons where the HM actually means something, and that extra key is something that you have to work for, which is a good change.

    But while there is a respectable difficulty gap between the vet and vet HM of Cradle, Mazzatun, Blood Forge, etc., they're nothing compared to the difficulty gap found in the four newest dungeons--and in MoS in particular. I feel like the pledgegiver granting just an extra key and a chance at more crystals feels pretty insulting...

    Hey, you know that bonus chest that is granted if we complete the optional Indrik hunts? Why not also grant that chest if we complete HM?

    yes, exactly ! No wonder everyone wants to run only the non-DLC vet pledges and rather switch to another char to repeat just that instead of give the DLC a try. Doing DLC with a pug usually means agreeing up front that the second key is out of reach with no incentive to even start. An extra chest at the end with legendary drops in it would be real nice and worth it.
  • Apache_Kid
    Really hope that they fix the no death achievement thing before it goes live on console. I can pretty much guarantee it won't be but it's nice to hope...
  • Ender1310
    Left4Daud wrote: »
    Hey everyone,

    Now that I've been in veteran March of Sacrifices a few times, I'd like to echo some sentiments I've read on the forums and seen in game. Namely that, the hard mode for this dungeon is vastly overtuned, and, an unhealthy precedent for the game going forward.

    Earlier I cleared March of Sacrifices hard mode, no death, and speed run as a Khajiit Nightblade tank, in a 2 man pre-made (our other 2 were PuGs we had to teach), with no healer, AND no voice comms whatsoever. All strats and progession was done via text chat. Short of gimping myself (further than I already have by not being an Argonian Dragonknight) by removing CP, or playing with a 2/3 man party, this experience could not have been any more challenging.

    Now, that might sound like a contradiction right? If a half pre-made / half pick-up group with non-meta roles can clear supposedly the hardest 4 man content in the game using only text chat for communication, surely anyone else can right? And the difficulty can't be that bad, right?


    Because it's not about, if it's technically possible to clear this content under these circumstances. It's instead about the frustration levels being amped up to 11 and ruining an otherwise enjoyable piece of content.

    What's the point of clearing something if while you're doing it, all you want to do is pull all your hair out in the process? Unless having all your players go bald is your primary objective, the difficulty of this hard mode is a terribly unhealthy precedent going forward.

    There is just too much noise in this hard mode. Visual and audio, but mostly visual. Apart from some crippling bugs that are being addressed, most of the difficulty comes from the hunt phases, and even the difficulty in the hunt is relegated to a few specific things. Now, after running this with several group compositions, every group kind of struggles a bit differently with different hunt elements.

    But as far as the live iteration of the hard mode goes, I really think the difficulty would be fine if:

    1- Hunt strangler detection radius was significantly reduced. These should only grab you if you literally run right into them. How many times has a strangler grabbed you from 8 meters away while you are sprinting past a pack of perma-snaring wolves to the next Balorgh trap? Well I've seen it happen on plenty of hunt attempts actually. The range they can pull is just too extreme. Especially when you couple that the traps and Stranglers can spawn over / inside one another, and, based on how close the traps / stranglers are to a wall, you might be in a situation where in ANY WAY you approach leading the boss to that trap, you will get strangled.

    Now, this too has some counterplay. Stranglers can be killed or stunned for example, but that isn't always possible or reasonable. And, due to an RNG dice roll, a group that plays through an otherwise perfect hard mode pull, can get their run completely dismantled, through no failing or fault of their own.

    This is bad design.

    Now if the stranglers only pulled based on extreme proximity, in essence, a careless player running right through one while focusing on other things, THEN I think it is an appropriately placed punishing mechanic. But how it stands now, with their long / buggy range, this more often than not punishes players who otherwise play the mechanics perfectly, but just have bad luck.

    I guess I'm of the mindset that a group failing should be a fault of their skill level, awareness, build preparedness etc...

    Not because the game decided to spawn a strangler inside of a trap and cause a domino wipe effect.

    And another sentiment I've seen by multiple people regarding the hard modes in Wolfhunter, the experience was so poor and overtuned, that they NEVER WANT TO RUN THESE DUNGEONS AGAIN.

    How's that for an unhealthy precedent? Once people get whatever it is they want from these dungeons, they never want to step foot in that content again, and honestly regarding MoS hard mode, can you blame them?

    So in closing, I think you guys hit a good balance of hard mode difficulty with the Horns of the Reach and Dragonbones dungeons, but with Wolfhunter, I'm sorry but you are off you're friggen rocker.

    Please consider dialling it back with the next DLC dungeon release!


    A Khajiit Werewolf Nightblade tank who understands completely why Vykosa wants to stick it to Hircine


    Congrats on getting it done!

  • Integral1900
    Is it a bad sign that I simply don’t believe that most of those claiming to have cleared hard mode have actually done so, there is so much hyperbole and exageration on these forums. We have no way to know if people did it or not. At this point it’s going to need video proof because there are less than a dozen superhuman players in this game who can clear that thing. They made it all but impossible simply because it keeps the ever diminishing elite happy, to those mortals who can’t I say don’t worry, shove it on normal and enjoy one of the most immersive dungeons ZOS has ever created
  • Draxys
    Qbiken wrote: »
    erlewine wrote: »
    Yeah Shuffle and Forward Momentum remove the snare. So do Purge, Cleansing Ritual, and DK wings. None of the above make you immune though, NPCs can re-apply snare. The abilities just remove the snare. So root, or dodge roll/sprint ahead first, then break snare, so it isn't just instantly re-applied.

    Shuffle, Forward Momentum and Reflective Plate should give you immunity, while purge, cleansing ritual only removes the snare. The fact that the wolves ignores snare-immunity sounds like a bug to me.

    Being unable to get rid of the snare reliably is what makes the fight horrible to deal with.

    Is it intended that the snare from the wolves that spawns during the Hunt-Phase shall ignore snare-immunity buffs?

    This is something that's been around since I think the beginning of the game. NPCs can reapply snares at any given time, regardless of immunity. A bit like how you don't get CC immunity from being CCed by an NPC- you only get it if you break the CC.

    I am NOT condoning these machanics, though. They are horrible design and inconsistent with how certain abilities interact with players in other scenarios. It needs to be fixed.


    rip decibel
  • WrathOfInnos
    I actually think this HM is easier than Scalecaller HM when it was released. It seems similar in difficulty to Fang Lair HM. I think the two new dungeons are tuned pretty well, and both are fun.
  • Left4Daud
    I’m starting to see that a bit, as more people talk about it.

    @erlewine made some good points earlier in the thread about the Dragonbones hard modes. Namely that, you aren’t going to be able to carry a bad player through this content. Everyone needs to have good awareness and know their class and build well.

    Wolfhunter hard modes are a lot more relaxed in that sense, particularly regarding recovery outside of certain phases.
  • code65536
    I actually think this HM is easier than Scalecaller HM when it was released. It seems similar in difficulty to Fang Lair HM. I think the two new dungeons are tuned pretty well, and both are fun.

    I disagree. I had a much easier time with Scalecaller HM.

    Of course, Scalecaller in its original form was worse because the bugs were worse. I didn't really do Scalecaller on the PTS (just a single non-HM clear on the PTS) and didn't touch Scalecaller's HM in the first week because of all the reports of bugs. So when I did do Scalecaller HM, it was with the bugs fixed (no more dying on the seam or the geyser disappearing for no reason), and it seemed pretty straightforward.

    I've spent way more time working out and practicing a strategy for MoS HM than I did for Scalecaller HM.

    So why's Scalecaller HM easier? Because it's such a straightforward and circular fight. Stay on the right seam line, near the laser pillar (since the roaming mechanics never touch that area), sidestep poison cones, have the tank cast a defensive ult if the Zaan beam is on them, and if you get the breath, kite behind the pillar near the left seam line.

    The only thing difficult about Scalecaller was the poison cone being a 1-shot with virtually no time to react, but if you remain on the seam line, always looking at the statues, you're fine.

    And for MoS vs. MHK HM... once someone on the forum revealed that the enrage came from the Shock Wardens doing their light attacks (thus leading us to prioritizing the Shock Wardens) and how the Ary/Zel chain mechanic worked, we tried MHK HM on the second week of PTS and 1-shot it. We never entered MHK HM again on the PTS, and when it went live, we cleared the HM within just 2 pulls. MHK doesn't require much in the way of strategy, and if you DPS the boss slowly so that the adds spawn piecemeal, it's a pretty reasonable and recoverable fight.

    In contrast, with MoS HM, we had gone in every week of PTS (though the fireballs being undodgeable the first 3 weeks made the fight pretty unreasonable), and despite that amount of PTS practice, when it went Live, it still took us something like 4 pulls before clearing HM.

    Just in terms of the time it took to practice and clear, MoS HM was a much, much bigger investment than MHK HM. And anecdotally, far more people have cleared MHK HM than MoS HM, and those that have cleared both spent far less time getting MHK HM down than MoS HM.

    Finally, if you're going to call MoS HM easy, I gotta ask, are you cheesing it with the hunt skip bug? Because I'm not taking unintended behavior into account. Just as I don't take into account Scalecaller's release bugs, I'm not taking into account MoS's hunt skip bug or the bleed bug.
    Edited by code65536 on August 21, 2018 8:51AM
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  • Merlin13KAGL
    First, gratz on your clears!
    SilverWF wrote: »
    Devs by themselves weren't able to do it at HM, they weren't even able to pass through 1st hunt at HM
    Nuff said
    Except you can't go by this in either direction. It's not necessarily indicative of the skill level required (no offense, streaming Devs). It's also not indicative of a realistic setup in some cases. (Such as going in Scalecaller with healer and one DPS wearing Kagrenac's)
    code65536 wrote: »
    Mureel wrote: »
    erlewine wrote: »
    Yeah, i was a bit annoyed to spend several hours doing No Death legitimately then finding out a few hours later that its bugged and can be obtained just by clearing the dungeon, regardless of deaths.

    We cleared it; did not get the No Death... I think maybe it's that you get the no deaths of you get the speed or vice versa.

    Both the nodeath and speed require that you kill everything in the dungeon (with the exception of the optional Indrik hunts). Skipping a single mob will disqualify you from both the speedrun and nodeath. And there are quite a few mobs that are a little off the main path...
    Agreed that full clear shouldn't require hunting (no WW pun intended) for some random trash mob off the beaten path, or the situation where you have one that bugs into the environment and becomes unkillable.

    A 80%/90% whatever kill rate should be sufficient, or a more reliable method to aggro or at least locate remaining trash adds, such as passing a checkpoint aggros the remaining stragglers, but not the full zone?

    Regarding difficulty, consider this: If it was not bugged, you would be expected to deal with no less than 16 shades, 30+ dire wolves, and numerous stranglers on the way to a single HM clear. It's not as if it's recovery friendly, making rez's unlikely at best, yielding itself to requiring almost zero mistakes.

    RNG should have a very limited role in such things, with coordination and player skill being the caveats require to get a clear. It also shouldn't almost mandate an addon (however awesome it may be ~ (it is)) to note the visual differences between phases and have time to react.

    One-shots are BS, especially from trash mobs, and while I get that their intention is to beat snares and CC's with snares and CC's, the fact that you have to gear and skill significantly differently than standard might be a good indicator that it's still a bit much.

    Just because you don't like the way something is doesn't necessarily make it wrong...

    Earn it.
    I am neither warm, nor fuzzy...
    Probably has checkbox on Customer Service profile that say High Aggro, 99% immunity to BS
  • Left4Daud
    Thanks @Merlin13KAGL (and @Ender1310 earlier in the thread) for the congratulations. The dynamics of this fight have certainly been on my mind a lot since initially trying it, progressing and ultimately clearing it.

    I feel however that I can't really formulate a concrete assessment of this hard mode while the hunt skipping is still a prevalent part in many reported clears.

    You can think of it essentially as the equivalent of being able to push the Earthgore Amalgum during his ground pound and forcing him to skip splitting into copies. I mean it just completely alters the difficulty scale of the fight, trivializing and outright removing most of it.

    I think in an upcoming patch the hunt skipping will be addressed as a bug and nothing will be said before, or after it. Addressing this bug with a forum statement might unnecessarily exacerbate it. Or at least that's how I perceive the dev radio silence on this glaring issue.

    @code65536 again brings some very good points and questions. Ultimately the devs have to ask themselves where they see that line (between accessible / inaccessible, frustrating / fun) regarding this kind of content and how they want to adjust, if at all, going forward.

    There are a few players in game, and in this thread, that are more than comfortable with the difficulty of March of Sacrifices Hard Mode and their opinion has just as much weight as mine.
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