Counterpoint: Wrath Saved WoW Raiding

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This is a guest post by Thespius, a raiding Priest and blogger of Healer By Nature.

With all of the talk going around that Wrath of the Lich King made things significantly easier and therefore "killed the game", I wanted to bring another perspective into the mix.  I believe that Wrath SAVED WoW.  Yes, that’s right, I said it.  I’m happier playing WoW now that the game has changed.

I will whole-heartedly agree that the difficulty level has dropped in the end-game content.  I was never around for Vanilla WoW, but my share of SSC/TK content and the little I saw of Black Temple was daunting.  My favorite fight to date?  Leotheras the Blind.  Getting 25 people to move away from his whirlwinds and not DPS until the tank reacquired aggro was one of the toughest things to do.  Having to force healers to DPS their own doppelgangers down was priceless.  A tank that wasn’t a druid, warrior, or paladin?  SO much fun.

By comparison: Toughest boss in Naxxramas? Heigan the Unclean.

(Pause for laughter)

I know, right?  Personally, I still don’t see the hard part about avoiding the lava waves, or helping to cleanse diseases. 

When I look back to the BC days, if I wanted to try to get a newly-minted 70 friend into raids with me, we had to run him through Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, and Magtheridon’s Lair.  CONSTANTLY.  If I needed to take a break from WoW for a bit for work, school or family, I might as well /gquit.  I saw tons of people take holidays back in Karazhan.  When they saw the work needed to get up to SSC/TK levels, they ended up quitting altogether.  The condensing of difficulty into smaller bite-sized pieces makes the process of "catching up" a lot less daunting, thereby reassuring players that it’s OKAY if life gets in the way at times.

With "gearing up" a breeze, guilds can actually afford the "selectiveness" with which to form their raid team.  Elite raiding guilds in BC ideally had one requirement: gear.  If you had the right gear to enter SSC, you were good to go.  We were all compartmentalized by our gear.  It was as if we all came with little tags on us that said "put me here."  On my server, those with the correct gear were in short supply.  In those situations, you have to disqualify other pre-requisites such as team-oriented, ability to adapt, or the skill to actually play your class.  Few guilds back then (in my experience) rarely looked at your actual personality.  They looked at your contribution to the overall DPS, instead of your contribution to the actual raiding core.  "No amount of gear can upgrade a poor personality," I always like to say.

Now, if a friend, family member or co-worker just hit 80 and you want to bring them along in your 10man ToC team, it doesn’t take too long to get them up to speed.  Vault of Archavon, Onyxia, Heroic Dailies, Triumph Emblems are all viable (and quick) ways to get your selected raider up to speed.  Instead of dealing with geared raiders that don’t listen or cooperate, now you can get people you trust geared quickly to join you.  Thus, you make your team THAT much better than you would’ve been able to back in BC. 

The 10man vs. 25man debate comes into question as well.  I’ve heard the argument that making content accessible to 10mans has made the content too easy, since it’s supposed to be accomplished by less people.  This is true.  10 people would have a hard time clearing content only designed for 25.  Follow my logic:

  • In BC, getting a bonafide 25man raid together was tough. Coordinating 10mans in WotLK is much easier.
  • More guilds get the chance to see, experience and progress the 10man content.
  • 10man content is not drastically different than 25man.\
  • If you need to look for someone to fill in for an absent raider in your 25man, you’ve now got a bigger pool of available people who know the fights.
  • From this bigger pool, you can be more selective (like how I brought it all together?) of who you bring along. 

This transition into WotLK made it that much easier for you to form your raid team, even from your own realm.

And last, but not least, WotLK has made it more interesting for off-raid nights.  The guild I raid with runs 3 nights each week.  We primarily do 25mans but will do 10man content on occasion for hard mode experience.  On the off-nights, we can do other 10man content, "The Daily", even slightly lower content for Conquest Emblems.  Maybe a raider needs that vendor ring to replace his/her ilevel 200 one.  Instead of waiting for the next full raid night, you can be proactive in getting your other raiders up to par.

Overall, I believe WotLK has helped WoW’s raiding base.  Utilizing hard modes and bosses like Algalon, it provides a tough challenge for the hardcore raiders.  For the casuals or the "hardcore casuals" (as I like to call myself), it affords us the experience and ability to sub in or even start our own group of like-minded individuals who pay their $15/month just like everyone else.  Getting ready to raid is no longer an arduous process.  Less time focused on gearing, and more time focused on actual raiding.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. Just because 10man are easier to coordinate, that does not mean they are easy, if you say that from the point of view that ” i am 25man geared and 10man is easy”, then talk to someone that is 10man geared before saying it’s easy.

    • First of all, I love when posts like these spark a sense of debate. As long as everyone stays civil, it’s a fantastic opportunity to grow as a community.

      Now, if you re-read my post, you’ll see that I don’t mention anywhere that executing a 10man raid is easy. I mention that coordinating a 10man raid is easy. Less people to schedule, and certainly the demands on gear are not as high as throwing a new person into a 25man.

      I personally find 10mans incredibly fulfilling since there are fewer people there to achieve the same or similar task. They can be just as challenging (if not more so) as a 25man raid.

  2. Darthregis says:

    As Unpoloart said, 10 person raids aren’t necessarily easier. If you’re only able to access 10 person raids, you only get 10 person gear. So you may not have that extra push from gear.

    Also, if one person lags behind in dps, it becomes much more detrimental to a 10 person group than a 25 person group.

    So, maybe the boss mechanics might be a bit different (ie: less AoE damage on a 10 person raid), but it’s not necessarily easier.

  3. I cannot disagree at all with this post. For me, especially, the 10-man options have been amazing.

    I spent my entire time in BC running Kara. We cleared it, then we farmed it, then we farmed it with two groups. I think we downed Gruul once before I ended up taking a break. My experience with Gruul was… not fun. It was my first experience at a 25-man raid and while I didn’t go so far as to swear I would never do it again, I certainly wasn’t in a hurry to return. 25 man is crazy. You get there and then sit around and wait for everyone to get ready. Your UI is about ready to explode (at least, if you are a healer) from 25 little boxes on your screen, and people typing and alerts popping up. 25 people in a vent room? Even with a well-organized group where no one talks unless they have something important to say, it’s still crazy trying to do your job while knowing who’s informing the raid about what. People are flying and mobs are all over the place and my computer video card is getting too hot for my fan to cool it off (that’s a slight exaggeration, as I do have a decent set up).

    For some people, that might be fun, but for me… not so much. Too much chaos.

    No, 10 mans. I adore them. They are just the right size for me. We can work as a group and a team and not as an army. So, yeah. I would not shed a single tear if Blizzard did away with 25-mans entirely. And while I know they never will, I am at least content that they have given the 10-mans just as much option for seeing the world of Azeroth.

  4. @unpoloart and @Darthregis I read the article and no where in it do I see thespius mention that 10 mans are easy?

    He is right that making the jump from heroic to 10 man is easier, because it is. there’s not too terribly large of a gear discrpency. It is easier to organize 10 people to get to do the content. But I don’t think he says anywhere that the fights are easier. he only references that some people seem to think that way (which is obviously not the case)

    I love 10 and 25 raiding (if you didn’t notice from my previous article) and I think we can all agree they have their perks and their flaws both. But I have to agree, the format has saved raiding.

    40 man was way to daunting. Very hard to herd everyone around (much like herding kittens)

    25 man made it easier but still you didn’t have a learning curve other then go in and try.

    10 man makes sure almost everyone gets a chance to see the fights. Half the battle of a raid leader is just getting people to know what’s going to happen in a fight. the 10 man format in wrath allows more accessibility not just for smaller guilds (which is good) but also for allowing people to see the boss fights.

  5. Thank you so much for this post. Sometimes I feel like the only person who thinks this way, perhaps because a lot of my friends have been playing since vanilla and like to think things were better in the good old days.

    For me, someone who joined the game late into BC, hit 70 way after the Sunwell patch, and was subsequently stuck running Kara for an eternity, the ability to quickly catch up in skill is a boon. Being able to do raids because of your SKILL and not because you were lucky enough to get certain pieces of gear can only be a good thing, in my eyes. A lot of people are complaining that bad players are able to join raids when they have good gear. You know what that means? Kick them from the raid or help them improve, but don’t blame the fact that gear is easier to get for your group’s tolerance of those with low skill.
    .-= Celaeno´s last blog ..On guilds. =-.

  6. @unpolo and Darth:
    I strongly disagree with you. I have a character that I -only- run 10-man content on and ToC-10 is incredibly easy. My raiding group uses alts for its 10-man runs and we clear it with no wipes, using just two healers. (And my healer still has Naxx-10 gear on her in some places!)

    @ the post:
    Back in TBC, I switched mains while my group was doing tier-5 content (SSC, TK), so I can comment on how gearing “mid-season” was like. And even then, it was not hard at all. I started by running Kara once a week for badges and for necessary pieces like my tier-4 tokens and the mace off Maiden. I healed Gruul/Mag about 2 weeks after I started Kara. I also raided ZA for badges, too. Looking at my raiding history (guildlauch is great for this stuff!), I was healing SSC/TK almost exactly 1 month after hitting 80.

    How is that slow gearing? 1 month from start to my goal? Sure, it took me longer to hit BT/HJ level, but that’s the way it’s -supposed- to be. You should have to do lower tier raids for -skill- as you gear! In WotLK, I went from turning 80 to raiding ToC-10 (the WotLK raid on par with BT/HJ [*snort*]) in a -week!-

    People talk about how great it is to have 10-man raids now… Uh, we had them in TBC, remember? And Zul’Aman was quite difficult when it first came out for most guilds. (We considered it progression for while!) Not just difficult, it had -great- gear. Not to mention the incredible badge gear that you could get just running Kara/ZA.

    Really, the big change with with WotLK to 10-man raiding is that they now get to do the same raids as “the big kids” and they get tier like “the big kids,” too.
    .-= Codi´s last blog ..re: The Wrath Effect =-.

  7. I quit Burning Crusade because of the time commitment involved in raiding and came back when Wrath came out because I liked the idea of being able to fight the Lich King. It just so happened that the content was easier to access as well and it has kept me hooked for a year.

    I am specifically the kind of player that left BC because of the time commitment in seeing the end content and it brought me back.

    I can extrapolate that there were a number of people like me, and they did a good job.

  8. I agree wholeheartedly; an excellently articulated point. One of my favorite articles to date.
    .-= Brandon Tilley´s last blog ..Too Used To Facerolling? =-.

  9. @Codi: Excellent points made. However, keep in mind that everyone is their own style of raider. A month of KZ/ZA/Gruul/Mag may be nothing to one person, but it may be daunting to someone else who doesn’t have that time to devote. To someone that can raid 4-5 nights a week, gearing up in BC was not out of the question. To someone that doesn’t have that luxury (unfortunately), saw that process dragged out even more.

    My point is that the month spent gearing is done in less time, and therefore allows more time for actual progression. You can jump into the fray quicker rather than doing stretches and warm-up laps on the sidelines. =D

    And lastly, you should ALWAYS be honing your skills and abilities as a raider. Heroics and such are good places to start, but the unspoken aspect of progression is how the raiders’ skills grow and adapt. It’s not simply “know the fight, have gear, boss dead.” For instance, I consider myself a pretty efficient healer, yet I’m always looking for a way to improve.

  10. @ Thespius:
    Well, it took me a month in TBC raiding two nights a week. IMO, if you don’t want to put in at least that much time, you shouldn’t be raiding. There are people that PuG ToC-25 already, which is just a travesty. It’s become less a raid and more a battleground. This time around it’s PvE “wellfare epics” instead of PvP ones.

    Your track metaphor is apt. There are -reasons- you warm up and stretch before you run, just like there are reasons you do less difficult raids before the hard ones. Shade of Aran was a great work-up to Gruul, Mag had simular “click this at the right time” things that you needed for Archimonde…

    WotLK has gotten rid of the idea of “progression” because you don’t actually progress through the raids, you skip right to the end.
    .-= Codi´s last blog ..re: The Wrath Effect =-.

  11. @Codi: All the more reason for me to re-iterate that there are multiple styles of raiding. =)

  12. @ Thespius:

    The problem is that they’ve gotten rid of the Vanilla/TBC style raiding to make way for the faster, easier WotLK way. Which is why people get angry.
    .-= Codi´s last blog ..re: The Wrath Effect =-.

  13. @Codi: (Enjoying the conversation,btw) Any change is going to come with a varying amount of resistance. Your article perfectly exemplifies valid reasons for the “elite” to be upset.

    However, I foresee increasing the difficulty to be the detriment to the majority of the player base. The people that can blow through the content on all levels are just THAT much more skilled and THAT much more honed in. That doesn’t mean that the opportunity to see the end-game content should be excluded to more casual players.

    It’s a balancing act. If it’s too hard, the casuals take issue. If it’s too easy, the hardcores take issue. I think the multitude of raiding options is a great remedy, and Blizzard is doing a great job trying to meet that balance and appease everyone.

  14. Besides better gear what are the perks to 25 mans? Every time I run one it leads to as much of a headache as MC. I guess the gear is better but I hear most raiders go for content and challenge rather than gear:)

    • @Dirz: That’s something I plan to address in a future post myself. Why do players run 25 mans? Why do 10 mans? Why do heroic modes or why not?

  15. @Codi & @Thespius

    Another issue to take into account is how many people it takes to gear your one character. If you have an entire guild fo 9/24 other people who are entirely geared and are willing to run you through for stuff, sure, it’s gonna be cake. But how many people have a guild full of people who A) don’t need any of the gear that you need and B) are willing to run you through those raids 2 nights a week for just you?

    I say this because when my guild had Kara on farm, we had just gotten it on farm, and so we were trying to gear up 25 people for the next step – Gruul. That did not take a month, it took a LOT MORE than a month.

    Now, I’m in a casual guild that doesn’t raid, but I’d like to. And I’ve heard lots of stories of people who get into a raiding guild, and those guilds don’t necesarily have time to put into helping 1 person catch up to them. That’s why I think the heroic/10-man/token system is so absolutely awesome. I don’t have to have 9/24 other people willing to devote a month to getting me what I need. I can pug just about everything, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I could never have done that in BC.

  16. @Jennifer:

    I think too much stress is put on gear. Ulduar-10 was cleared not too long ago by a group of people in all blues. While gear helps (I wouldn’t suggest healing Beasts-25 hardmode in blues!), the skills you gain from running lower-tier raids are much more important. Our second highest DPS back when Ulduar started was an Unholy DK in heroic dungeon gear. It doesn’t matter what kind of gear you have if you don’t know how to play your class or how to deal with simple things like not standing in blizzards/fire/falling rocks.

    Often times when it comes to gearing up people, it has less to do with willingness of your guild and more to do with what the player is willing to do. A person who doesn’t have the willingness to go out and do whatever is necessary to get the chance to raid.

    I suppose at the heart of it is that I feel like raiding isn’t something that Blizzard should just hand out to you, it’s a privilege that takes work and dedication, just like arenas.
    .-= Codi´s last blog ..re: The Wrath Effect =-.

  17. @Codi, I’d like to say something I tell my son all the time. “Remember, not everyone can play as well as you do. In fact, MOST people can’t.” I’m a pretty good resto druid. But he can do circles around me on several different classes. And that’s terrific! Actually, that remark probably applies to most of the people who post here.

    What’s playing WoW like for people like me? Real life is pretty full and I should probably play even less than I do. When I get on in the evening I have to choose among raiding, farming, heroics, etc. I can’t do all of it every night. I can’t even get on every night. I love raiding and can hold my own with more serious guilds. But I can’t commit to that kind of schedule. At least with Wrath I have been able to progress enough to run with the big kids once in awhile. And it’s looking forward to seeing more of the end game content that keeps me coming back for more.

    The bottom line is that it’s the big mass of average players like me that allow elite players to have their game too. It cost a lot of money to keep coming out with new content and developing new artwork. Wrath gives me the incentive to keep playing and paying, and that’s what gives all you hot shots your hard modes. 🙂 While it may not be perfect, I agree that Wrath has saved WoW raiding. So cut us some slack, and you’re welcome!

  18. @ Maalin:
    To be very clear, my beef is 100% with Blizzard, not with other players, so there’s really no “slack” to be given for you guys. 🙂 I’ll also be very clear that I don’t equate more people raiding with “saving” anything. WoW is an MMORPG. Raiding is a part of that genre. Blizzard is no more likely to cut raids out of WoW than it is to cut out PvP; the losses would be far too great. So I’m not going to thank people for something they didn’t do. LOL Raiding never needed saving in the first place.

    I read your response and in my head I could feel that old “catering to the casuals” mindset creeping out, which I detest. The fact is, I have a life, too. (Having the internet everywhere I go helps with forums and blogs, though! :D) I have a family, I have responsibilities, I have limited time. Dare I say, I play -less- than more casual players do. I just choose to use that time for raiding. You could likewise choose to do so, you just don’t. As you say, you split your time with heroics/farming/etc.

    I’ll put it this way: I feel that I am no longer able to play how I want to because the larger, more casual populace want to have their cake and eat it, too. Shall we make arenas easier, too, so that more casual players get to see more PvP end-game?
    .-= Codi´s last blog ..re: The Wrath Effect =-.

  19. Having both 10 man and 25 man variants of the same raid is both a blessing and a curse. It’s fantastic for people who can’t form a 25 man group. It gives them the option to see all the raids, at a difficulty level *typically* comparable to the 25 man version.

    However, I find it frustrating as a very casual skilled raider (in my own eyes, anyway!) that I end up having to do 10 man AND 25 man versions of raids to remain competitive with gear. I often wish that the different versions of the raid were saved on the same lockout. In fact, if you choose to be a casual 25 man raider, Wrath has made it MORE difficult to do.

    Wrath has been a boon to 10 man guilds, I will certainly grant that. I’ve said before, and I’ll say again – it has absolutely killed 25 man raiding for me. The level of skill required to be moderately successful in 25mans in BC is ALWAYS stupidly overstated. While my guild was reasonably competent, we were way waaaaay behind server progression. At the ‘beginning of the end’ of BC, we had cleared Hyjal, gotten half way through BT, and made several ‘interesting’ attempts at Sunwell. If the nerf hadn’t have happened, I would never have been disappointed to not down a boss in Sunwell. OK, I lie – I would have been.

    But it wouldn’t have been because ‘Awww, I deserve to see that content too!’

    Dumbing down raiding has just meant that most people with a fair level of skill, who know any different (and that’s an important point IMO), find the current fights to be a total snore. And hardmodes aren’t that exciting – as someone (I unfortunately forget who) said “It’s like playing pingpong. It’s fun. Then you tie a hand behind your back and put on a blindfold. It’s still pingpong. It’s not any more fun”. (and this was a really long comment, I apologise!)

    But, great post! I do love seeing the discussion in the community about this whole concept.
    .-= Saresa´s last blog ..Twisted Nether Blogcast – Roundtable =-.

  20. To my mind, the final end boss (including format) in Wrath is no easier than it was in BC. I agree though, that the gear reset does mean there’s a much larger pool of players to draw from and you can be more selective.

    However the speed at which people can get ‘gear-ready’ for top tier raiding is its own detriment for a couple of reasons, and it becomes a bit of a culture shock for a fresh player, which can either make them rant “you’re too hardcore stop it” or quit themselves.

    1. Consumables – When I raid, I expect everyone to be fully flasked and fed with the highest level of food. Most times I drop a fish feast but every raider should have brought their own food anyway. Too many ‘fresh 80s’ with a smattering of 219 and 232 gear don’t understand the difference it can make. Sure 46 Sp isn’t going to change much but 46 x 25 players *will*

    2. Enchants – With the speed at which people get gear, they get sloppy about enchanting their gear. if its going to be replaced in 3 weeks, why put an endgame enchant on it? For the same reasons of if you’re trying to do the hardest content you need to be fully prepared and get every little bonus.

    The only real complaint I have with the gear reset in Wrath is that getting people geared so quickly doesn’t instil the same level of effort requirement, then people whine when they get rejected from a top raiding guild and call them arrogant or elitist.

    “Sorry but not being an inscriber, having the Aldor Shoulder Enchant on your gear and having 1000/3000 Neutral SoH, just doesn’t cut it in ToGC25 hard modes”

    “Lolwut elitist”

    … that’s what’s wrong with Wrath raiding.

  21. @Codi – I think you missed my main point. If only the elite players played and payed, Blizz would not be able to churn out new stuff as fast as they do. So, yea, they need to keep the masses interested enough to keep playing and paying as well. And that means letting us see more end-game content. I’m not sure how it changes the game so much for you top players. You still have all kinds of stuff to do that the masses will never get to. (Pvp is irrelevant.)

    As for the rest of it, I would love to just raid too. But as a responsible raider I show up with my flasks and my share of the fish feasts and my repair money and the best gear I can get (via heroics and badges). How lucky for you that you don’t need to spend time doing all that.

  22. I find that the original post carefully manoeuvres around the core issues that have been brought up on this discussion. Sure, you can gear up and get to the final content faster – but you don’t give us any points on why that should be a good thing. (Except from wanting to avoid stretching before going running. Which isn’t a very clever thing to do. ^^)
    A poster on my blog commented that she doesn’t get an epic feeling from killing Wrath bosses anymore – and that’s pretty much spot on. If everyone and their little sisters get to do the content, doing it doesn’t feel special anymore. And this isn’t just elitist crap I’m giving you – I used to be in not-so-hardcore guilds in vanilla and TBC. Killing Ragnaros gave me a warm feeling inside. Sure there were guilds that did it before us, quite a lot actually, but there were also a lot that didn’t. Take a look at the number of guilds that raid TotC but haven’t killed Anub yet. There are virtually none.

    Then there’s the huge jump in difficulty between normal and hard modes. On my server, 44 guilds have killed Anub25 – only six of them have killed Northrend Beasts hard. That leaves 38 guilds stranded in front of a brick wall because they were lured into a false sense of progression. Had the difficulty adequately risen from Ulduar normal modes (and not plummeted as it did), there would be no need for a gap that big.

    Then there’s your point about the vast variety of available playstyles. I think the more casual players might not see that this variety is quite one-sided. With launch the casual side got Naxx while the more hardcore side got Sarth3D and pointless achievements. (“We made Naxx too easy. How about you try it with 20 people for no reward?”) Ulduar was fine in my eyes but the coliseum left the more hardcore players stranded for a month before they could even start doing their content due to the artificial gating system. (Go, 1shot a new boss this week and then go back to sleep for another week. Yay.) Now they plan to repeat that with Icecrown. (Gated and you need to finish normal first before you can start hard modes.)

    I’ll finish for now, but all the facts aside, I really don’t get why “you people” want to get into the final tier of raiding that fast. When I played more casually, I was happy that there always was new content to go for. I never got into a phase in which i was out of content, as opposed to raiding at the top end now. Why you would willingly skip something as awesome as Ulduar and go into lame TotC instead is beyond me.
    .-= scrusi´s last blog ..Friday Filler #2 =-.

  23. unpoloart says:

    @codi
    So, if more than 1% of the wow population kills a boss,that means easy? Or only when it takes 1 month for top guilds to down a boss? What is you definition of easy or hard content?

  24. @Maalin:
    Well, I’ll ignore the not-so-veiled insults (obviously I’m ever so lucky!), but I had to laugh a little. New content? Really? A reused raid from Vanilla and a couple fights all happening in a single room don’t exact make me cheer about what they consider new end-game content. They could have skipped ToC altogether. Smaller guilds had 10-mans to do in TBC, larger guilds had 25-mans. If anything, Blizzard has gotten -worse- at releasing new content. I loved when ZA was released, as I could raid it with my alts teeny little guild.

    @unpoloart:
    I highly doubt that 1% of the population has killed Anub. When I’m able to join a PuG to kill him on my alt, that’s when it’s easy. Edit: I just heard that a new guild on my server has cleared ToC-10… but not managed to clear Ulduar-10. That’s what it means to be “too easy.”
    .-= Codi´s last blog ..GotEM – wuuuuut? =-.

  25. When you make a game that 11 million people play, you’re going to run into people who get different things out of it.

    My group of friends, who I would call “extremely casual” (my friend’s main is still 54 after 5 years O.o) play for very different reasons than I do, with 4 80s and I just joined a progression oriented raid guild on my server. Both ways of playing the game are ok and should be supported.

    However, this means that hardcores are being asked to give up parts of the game that made it fun for them. Namely, having a piece of loot or that screenshot that says “yes, I actually saw that boss. Not only have I seen that boss, I killed him. I even *farmed* him enough to get a good drop!” This is what I hear when people talk about the “epicness” of downing old content.

    That “epicness” is still there in wrath raiding! It’s just different. Yeah, TOC 10 *is* easy and accessible. If you have conquest gear and a pulse, you should clear it. However, there are only 2 or 3 guilds on my server who have even cleared a few bosses in TotGC 25! Also, Yogg with all the lights out or Sarth +3d were epic achievements in their day, and they came complete with epic loot! On another server where I have an 80, it is hard to find guilds that have even cleared TotGC 10!

    Blizzard has two competing interests – Hardcore raiders who want a challenge and truly epic accomplishments, and average joes who want a good time with their friends and a chance to see content. Hardmodes solve the first problem, and badge upgrades and normal modes help the second.

    However, that means that hardcore raiders will have to give up that feeling of epic-ness just for *reaching* a certain boss. That epicness has moved to the achievement screen. Just push Y, or equip your amazing title and your amazing mount! Meanwhile, the number of players who know the basics of the fights, know the *trash*, are decently geared and can step in when one of your old standbys can’t make it, and are developing a solid foundation of raiding skills, has increased a hundred fold.

    Some of those guys might just stay where they are. Others might fill slots on those slow nights in some of those upper echelon guilds one day. By improving the lowest common denominator, Blizzard is improving the base skill level of endgame players. That’s a *good* thing for everyone.

    As for downing new bosses – the first time I downed a Keeper in Ulduar, even on normal, that felt pretty epic. Or even the first time we downed Malygos – epic. We had to wipe and work hard for those kills (I don’t know why people have such a hard time with combo point healing, seriously -_-). When you look back at the old content, you have to realize things like pre-nerf Magtheridon were just stupidly annoying, and they felt epic when you downed them *because you had just beaten something that was stupidly annoying*. I think seeing that go away is also a very good thing.

  26. @Codi

    Tobold (inspired by Larisa) said this better then I would:
    http://tobolds.blogspot.com/2009/10/wipegear-quota.html

    Sumup “Larisa has an interesting observation about people who say that World of Warcraft is too easy: Only 0.13% of them actually beat the hardest content in the game. The other 99.87% are complaining that WoW is too easy, without having been able to beat it themselves.”

    Entry level raiding is clearly alot easier then it used to be in vanilla and TBC. Mad props to those who tanked core hounds in Valour, and I myself remember that Kara was not that easy when doing it in questgreens. But that doesn’t change the fact that its still a tiny minority that is able to clear all content.

    @Saresa
    I heartly feel your pain.
    Perhaps I just have too much time on my hands, but when new content is released I feel compelled to do it on both 25 man and 10 man. Not only are 10 mans a good way to practice content (if 10 mans aren’t easier the fact that I can pick my 10 most competant raiders to do it with certainly makes it feel that way) but with 10 man hardmodes its too often loot there worth getting too.

    Not hardcore enough to have all 25man hardmodes on farm so I dont need loot from lower instances, but not casual enough to not care about those possible upgrades.

    While I love Blizz for creating lots of new wonderful content, I hope they can dish out an extra day in the week for next patch. Would suit me fine.

  27. I totally agree. It would be nice to have stats about how many players raid now, vs before. I’m guessing this has gone up significantly.

    Plus it’s kinda fun. I usually run a PUG TOC-10 on weekend afternoons. 1-3 players usually have never seen it at all, but we make it to the end more often than not. It is very rewarding to achieve that, to keep players motivated through several wipes, to get them to do things right.

    Also, I love my alts being able to enjoy at least the 10-normal version of what my main does on 25-heroic. It varies the fun, gives me the opportunity to see fights from another angle, and allows me to keep reasonably geared alts in the wings, for when I tire of my Main, which happens every 1-2 years. I went Hunter, Priest, Hunter, and currently Priest again… but got to raid with my Tankadin, Rogue, Warlock and SP, too.

  28. I like how much more accessible it is now. While it was ego-boosting to gather a crowd in IF around your character because you had full epics back in the Molten Core days, nowadays I have a lot more fun in the game. While it is true most things are “easier” now, they are also more enjoyable. I don’t have to spend every moment when I’m not raiding farming mats to support raiding. Just do dailies for 30 minutes on one character, and I’m set for the next day. I can spend my spare time leveling an alt, gearing up an alt, or farming emblems for extra gear for my main. It allows people to gear up their alts and experience some of the newer encounters from different perspectives, which I think most people vastly underestimate. Nothing will make you a better dps/healer/tank than experiencing the same encounters as one of the other roles. Also, having a lot of guild members with reasonably geared alts will enable you to still raid on a night when you might be short some healers or tanks or dps.

    The drawback to the accessibility and speed of ToC is how quickly you can become sick of it. Running it on 10 and 25-man normal and heroic, and then again on 10-man on 2 alts (with a chance of a pug 25-man for an alt) really adds up. Then again, doing the daily heroic for each character can get pretty stale also.

  29. I don’t think Wrath killed raiding, because I don’t think it’s possible to “kill” raiding in WoW. I do, however, think that Blizzard could still do a lot better.
    .-= Lissanna´s last blog ..Hallow’s End Guild party! =-.

  30. What I find interesting about all this is the kind of laziness it brings in players both hard core and casual alike.

    HardCore raiders want to know how good someone is by checking the gearscore/achievements someone has before they will let someone in their guild or run. Casuals don’t want to learn how to do Naxx, and Sarth, and EoE before jumping into Ulduar, (which is a very pretty raid), and TotC. They don’t need gear from there so why should a casual go. Umm because A) It is gorgeous B) It is a hoot when done for fun C) You learn skills you will need to raid D) All of the above. If you guessed D you are the winner.

    I think both approaches are wrong.

    Hardcores don’t realize they may be missing out on a 3rd or 4th reroll by someone who had it with their server, guild, etc., and rerolled. They may have been epic somewhere else, and had to start over without the cash to transfer. They could be the bestest healer, tanker, dpser evah, but they don’t have the achievements, and lol gear is too easy to get it means nothing. (Yes the grammar and spelling errors were intended.) Whatever happened to tryout periods. You can faceroll through Naxx these days in a few hours, take them in see how they do. Maybe they have skills, maybe they don’t.

    I find that I can’t learn to tank as my offspec, because no one wants to take the time to let people learn they want fast easy runs with no deaths in heroics. If you can’t finish Nexus in under 20 minutes you are a noob and a scrub. “Umm, Yes I believe that I covered that when I joined as a healer, but offered to tank because I have way more stamina and health than the “tank” who isn’t defense capped.” I want a smooth run, and they want a fast one. With my tanking skills you can’t have both.

    I get fed up with the Haves much more than the Havenots. And I have 2 very soon 3 pieces of welfare tier 9. I have healed a tank with under 31,000 health through most of HToC as a paladin. I nearly ran out of mana many times, but he has potential. He is learning, and that is what I think Blizz is doing with these soft gear resets. They want to help people learn. Too many Haves are too busy for people who are learning, and that ticks me off more than anything else.

    Our guild split and the raiders left right before Ulduar. I have seen one boss fight in there. I have the gear, but I can’t get an invite anymore without linking the achievement. I can’t learn to fights or get the achievement without getting in, and the vicious cycle rolls on. This is us versus them, have vs. havenots, Casual vs. Hardcore. It should be community vs. Arthas, or Alliance vs. Horde, not epeen vs. scrub.

    The people you help now, could be the next hardcore to show you a thing or three. Also those hardcores might be willing to grab badges in lolNaxx, and it gives you a chance to show off your skills.
    .-= Arkaneena´s last blog ..She’s ALIVE And Practice makes Perfect =-.

  31. @Arkeneena: Some excellent points you make. This is a lot of my basis for writing this article, and why I subscribe to this particular style of game development.

    I want to state that my intent for this article was to demonstrate that this new style of raiding doesn’t leave people behind. I think it’s a great intent on Blizzard’s part. There will always be the ends of the spectrum. The super hardcores who only let you in if you’ve already done it. The super casuals who just want to STFU PEW PEW and be at the end of the game already. In any case, I don’t believe it’s fair for any of us to judge the situation basic on either of the extremeties. With that, I believe the raiding community is stronger and healthier now.

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