“We are all the same person trying to shake hands with our self.”
Marching Onward to Draenor
My experience is from Burning Crusade and continuous up to today. There have been many peaks and valleys of interest and involvement, to be sure. At times I’ve played with scheduled raids and others only logging in late night after work.
The changes to WoW have been great in that to enter group content, today one mostly needs to show up. During Burning Crusade, you could get kicked for not having the right enchantment on your shoulders or for not being gemmed: and they checked you out on the Armory before inviting you.
This is not to say that the content has been nerfed. Not at all. As the game has marched forward, the boss mechanics have become much more varied and challenging and less a measure of DPS throughput and Berserk Timers.
Once upon a time it was part of the game to grind. You had to grind mats (herbs, skins, ore) to make or afford the stuff needed to raid. As if built into the game was a time buffer meant to be spent on side-play, the hurdle was fairly large and (happily) gone now.
The designers have been really good at taking it to the next step. For example, communal feasts for food buffs and flask cauldrons for stat buffs aid the individuals in the party. Releasing into the raid or dungeon entrance is a quality of gaming improvement to be appreciated.
This terrific game has marched forward until there is now a wide variety of choices for group content and you could spend almost all of your gaming time playing in parties, day after day.
Why mention it at all if there is not room for improvement? I have not seen improvement in group communication ever. I have not seen better marking of mobs, we have been using skull, x, square, moon, condom, star etc. for centuries! Why not a simple numbering system also; 1, 2, 3, 4, to assign a kill order. Why can’t we label the columns that we put down as “phase two” or “safe zone” or “stacking point”.
Communication is the key to fun.
I “only” have Vent, Mumble and Discord. I have to skip all groups that have Teamspeak or some of the other third-party programs. They are ALL third-party programs, not a part of the game that I bought to play.
Candidly, I only join groups that have Ventrilo. I don’t want to learn how to set up Mumble again, it is set up fine for my raid team.
This is not cool, man. I’ve seen passwords that are “no vent no loot”. Forcing players, if you want to play, to have the communication programs ready and on hand. The learning curve is steep enough for each that it is over-whelming and a hurdle for players who want to …. play.
Blizzard has to know that there is a gaping hole in their game. Communication via typing and Deadly Boss Mobs and the Adventurer’s Journal and Maps is not enough, even though we see improvements almost daily.
Fix the sound, man; you are embarrassing yourself.