When Blizzard says jump, we say How Hi- *falls*

Despite all the reasons that people have brought up about why Life Grip is bad, a lowbie dungeon run last night makes me want it more than anything else in the world.

The reason?

To help beginners across the STUPID LEDGES IN VANILLA DUNGEONS.

(Not my group - image from WoW.com)

I imagine there is nothing more frustrating and embarrassing than watching the rest of your party effortlessly leap across the broken ledges in Blackfathom Deeps, only to botch the jump and fall into the water repeatedly. Especially if this happens not just once or twice, but like...6 times. And that's just a quick 10 second swim back to try again...let's not even talk about the horrible trek that accompanies missing the jump in Wailing Caverns.

As a veteran player missing the jump? It's kinda funny and a little annoying. But for a new player who is tentatively trying dungeons for the first time, and is super scared of messing up? (and who wasn't?) I would be absolutely mortified.

This is exactly what happened to us in a BFD run last night, and while the group was as kind as can possibly be - chuckling about how we hate that jump, or killing a nearby crab to pass the time - I'm sure the poor human warlock, who was definitely a fairly new player, was getting frustrated.

Mechanical, arbitrary failures like this are extra annoying because there is nothing the rest of the group can do to help. Oh sure, we can offer encouragement, give tips and friendly advice, but when it comes to actually making the jump we are powerless. It would be like going to the bank and having to juggle torches before being allowed to speak to the teller, while others waited impatiently behind you.

Another reason these jumping moments suck is because as we all know, random people are not always kind. I was fortunate that my group was friendly and sympathetic, but we've all been in impatient groups where even a single delay is enough to start the verbal abuse. Just what a new player struggling with the jump needs - MORE STRESS. Anxiety and nervous breakdown, here we come!

These dungeon jumping obstacles are exceptionally poor game design, when you think about it. If I was out leveling by myself and fell down an unnoticed gap, I would chuckle and shake my e-fist at Blizzard good-naturedly for getting me. Then I'd retrace my steps and try again.

But placing these obstacles in dungeons is just stupid. It's one thing to have to try a jump multiple times when you're just out questing by yourself. That's fine, you can practice your timing and jumping at your leisure, in a stress-free environment. It's quite different to be put on the spot, knowing you're holding up four other people and stressing out because you're making everyone wait and because you can't make THIS STUPID JUMP OMG WAAAAAH! D: D:

Also, what is the benefit? Is there any reason at all why those gaps exist? Because in my eye, they serve no purpose except to destroy groups and demoralize new players. I don't get it.

If we need to learn how to jump accurately* then let us practice it on our own, when our failures only affect us and not four other people who are probably strangers. Or let the jump be just one of multiple paths, so that those not confident in their jumping abilities (or with, I don't know, HIGH LATENCY) can simply take a longer, but safer, route.

*The only WotLK jumping example I can think of is leaping to Thaddius' platform in Naxxramas. While I think this jump is just as annoying and unnecessary as the early dungeon ones, at least it will only be attempted by experienced players (though many still fail at it, which at best is aggravating, and at worst is a full 10/25 person wipe. So stupid.)

Blizzard, I don't mind seeing a group start squabbling or disbanding after a wipe or if we can't overcome some difficult pulls. I can also understand people dropping after not being able to make their way back from the graveyard (which is another matter entirely.) But seeing a group slam to a halt, falter, and start getting tense because one poor person can't jump from one rock to another is just absurd.

If I wanted platforming puzzles I would play console games. Get rid of the stupid gaps.

NOTE: During the run last night I thought there might be an alternate route, but since I hadn't been in BFD in months, I had no idea if this was true or where it was. I looked around but didn't see one. Turns out there IS an alternate path, but you need the tank to take it as there is an enemy in the way.

11 Responses Subscribe to comments

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    Yeah, there is a way to fudge it if you sort of sneak along the wall iirc. I agree wholeheartedly, though. I love platforms personally and have fun with the jumps, but subjecting the whole group to them is NOT FUN and hard on any people who can't seem to get it. The Thaddius thing was really the same way; it highlighted the weaker raid members we had when we were doing Naxx and made them feel crap about themselves. Not saying that every encounter has to be an exercise in simple back-patting self-esteem, but really? People have a tough enough time with the + and - mechanics of that encounter without throwing out the "epic fail" possibility at the beginning, too.

    August 17, 2010 at 12:09 PM

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    Honestly, I wouldn't mind if they mixed a bit of platform hopping into WoW.

    I mean, look at Blade's Edge arena; people love that place because screwing up a hop down from the bridge / up onto the ramp / over onto the buff platforms could translate into a premature death or a missed kill opportunity.

    Maybe jumping should be another skill (much like line-of-sighting, crowd control, etc.) that we, as players, need to perfect should Blizzard implement such mechanics in the future.

    August 17, 2010 at 12:12 PM

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    Totally got kicked out of Wintergrasp while reading this, then ganked while commenting, and OMG MY EYES THE YELLOW TEXT IN FEEDREADER.

    Anyway, I hate having to jump in instances, HATE.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:11 PM

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    Haha poor Jaedia. I apologize for the yellow text, I guess it is blinding in feedreader? I need a color that stands out from the blog body color...

    @Vid - exactly! Let us worry about actual fight mechanics, not JUMPING A HOLE. Haha.

    As for jumping, I personally enjoy the jumping tricks in WoW (jumping + disengaging = endless opportunity!)...I just hate having to jump gaps that are only there for you to fail at.

    @Antigen - I wouldn't mind if they had jumping be a bit more involved actually. If there were scaling platforms that I could climb/jump up to get an advantageous shooting position, for example, I would be all for it. Using jumping as a tactical maneuver is great...I just think people shouldn't be forced to "learn" how to jump at others people's expense.

    I told my friend about this at lunch and he said that if his girlfriend (who is just starting in WoW for the first time) was the one failing the jump over and over, she would get flustered and upset and probably just close the game.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:39 PM

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    I was so lousy at this, I had the WARLOCK summon my sorry ass to the other side. Until I found the way to sneak along the left bank, no jumping required...

    August 17, 2010 at 2:06 PM

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    There's definitely another way around in BFD, and it's not even particularly hard to use. However, it's not the most obvious location, so it's understandable that people might not know it. :)

    August 17, 2010 at 2:16 PM

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    I agree that the jumping mechanics are mostly stupid in the context of WoW. Timed jumping is a form of twitch gaming, in a game that otherwise deals with combat and other activities through simulation and numbers. You do see an element of twitch in boss fights, where you try not to stand in the fire, run away at a certain time etc. However this is mostly reacting to your environment, not your ability to press your spacebar at the exact right millisecond.

    To be fair though, Blizzard seem to have mostly stayed away from such mechanics lately. As you point out, we did have the Thaddius platforms but they weren't they a hangover from the old Naxxramas (which also gave us the dreaded frogger!)? Hopefully such mechanics are now a thing of the past.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:36 PM

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    Yeah I had to do that for my Twitter, a colour that worked on both the darkish red colour, and the white background. Poke my Twitter profile if you want to seee (/jaedia)

    August 17, 2010 at 3:04 PM

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    Disciplinary Action

    Amen, sister! I have serious jump anxiety.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:56 AM

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    I am HOR.RI.BLE at jumping ledges and such in the game. BFD was always horrible for me until a guildy pointed out to me (back in my baby wow days) that we can take the shortcut. I always try to point this out to pugs when I'm in there, but the tank is usually already hopscotching over the jumps by the time I type it out, so I have to jump anyway.

    (And I do get nervous jumping, I tense up and everything. I'm super happy if I manage to make it without disgracing myself.)

    And SINCE I'm horrible at jumping (I blame the lack of Mario in my developing years) I am very patient with people that have problems jumping. Both in BFD and WC I'll give pointers and tips and will always stay and wait for the person to make it. (The jump in WC seems particularly hard since people want to jump from the right side of the middle rock, when the left side juts out a little further and makes it possible to jump to the other side with little effort.)

    I was VERY lucky that I had Levitate on Thaddius, otherwise I would have probably killed my guild spectacularly :<

    August 18, 2010 at 7:05 PM

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    I can understand some of you may be annoyed with it. Especially when these silly jumps cause horrible friction within groups, but if you look at it that way perhaps they should just make everything easy to the point where people can't screw up, since anything in WoW leads to flaming nowadays.

    There's an instance in Aion which contains a very Mario-like jumping area which, if completed allows you to skip like 30-60 minutes of clearing. The problem however is that it's a pretty tough track even if you're quite formidable with the movement in the game.

    Still, what it comes down to is that if you can't make it you can simply clear some extra mobs to get around it. If they implemented this in a way in World of Warcraft I'd love to see some more jumping introduced in instances.

    A key part of World of Warcraft is moving your character from void zones and fires, why wouldn't it be a good idea to implement jumping to these movements?

    August 25, 2010 at 11:01 AM