More Frequent, but Smaller Content

Yup, I saw the post too. My heart sank a little bit when I read it. With 4.1 on the PTR, I thought for sure we’d be able to get some new raid action in fairly soon.

Nope! Not the case. We get Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub in 4.1 (which is awesome, by the way. It’s as if the difficulty level for 5 mans just got reset. It’s the same feeling I got when I entered heroics for the first time in quest or reputation blues).

In the past, updates were fairly large and substantial. I remember the Sunwell patch when it first debuted had a new raid, a new daily quest zone and a new 5 man. The Trial of the Crusader 3.2 patch introduced had a new battleground,  a new raid, a new 5 man, druid models and other stuff. I can’t help but wonder how less bored would the player base have been if those releases were staggered.

The problem with this new system is that new things coming out may not be appealing to everyone. Zul’Aman and Zul’Gurub might not appeal to the old school variety. Maybe a new future battleground gets released but as I don’t PvP very often, I wouldn’t exactly be diving head first into it either. Instead of one large patch with stuff that’s cool for a wider variety of players, the new design approach is smaller updates with stuff that’s cool for a certain subset of players. I can’t say for how its going to be. I haven’t participated in this type of model before. But you know, I’m totally willing to chance it.

On the plus side, this grants us additional time to get as deep into heroic raids as we can. After 65 attempts, we finally took out Nef. We threw a curveball in our progression and took down heroic Halfus last week. Our sights right now are going to be aimed at Al’Akir on Monday. After that, it’s a toss up between Al’Akir, heroic Chimaeron or heroic Atramedes.

Haven’t quite decided which way to go yet.

Maybe I’ll flip a coin.

Enjoy the weekend.

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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. I am all for the change, mainly due to the reasoning you mentioned. There is still plenty of content for us to complete in the heroic raids, so having more time to complete things is great.

    I would suggest Al’akir next. He is frustrating to learn but once you get it down, he is far easier than Nef ever was. Also, it will net you some sweet titles if everyone’s completed the rest of the content and heroic 5 mans.

  2. The smaller, more frequent content patches can still come out with things that are interesting for most of the playerbase (even if it doesn’t hit everyone’s interests). Also, more frequent means less down-time to be bored: 4.1 comes and then 4.2 hits shortly after and then by the time you get bored again, 4.3 is here.

    It’s much more like – we get some 5-man content this patch to hold us over until the raid patch comes (rather than getting nothing until the raid patch is ready).

    If the ToC patch had been broken down into smaller content chunks, I think my “great boredom of the ToC era” would have been much, much less. In an ideal world, we’d get huge content releases on a faster schedule. However, smaller content releases on a faster schedule is really better because it reduces overall boredom with the game.

    If Firelands hit in 4.1, we’d stop playing all the rest of the raid content & jump right in, and then be bored in a couple weeks waiting for a new raid in 4.2. Having to wait a little bit longer for the raid now instead gives us a 5-man to grab some epic gear from to help get all your raiders geared up for when Firelands releases.

  3. It’s probably mostly a wash either way.

    The bigger content patches should, in theory, take longer to produce with the extra testing, balancing, etc. So 4.1 and 4.2 roll out over a period of say 8-10 weeks, where as a giant 4.1 (basically 4.1+4.2 combined) could take like 6-8 weeks. So with the smaller updates you might be looking at a 2-4 week delay in new raid content?

    Admittedly I have no clue what I’m talking about, but I think the point is that in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal either way.

  4. We just finished Chimaeron the other week, and are now working on Atramedes. This is on 10 but those encounters don’t have too many differences. Here is the main things to figure out which encounter to go to first.

    Atramedes is a group moving together fight. If you have slackers who cant move left when everyone else moves right. And people who lag moving with the group. It wont be possible with a single camp method which is the easiest.

    Chimaeron is all about your tanks. 99.9% tanks using major cooldowns at the right points. (2nd break stack and up). Using healer CDs (Guardian, LoH) after massacre for feud tank. It doesnt matter if your tank is amazingly geared or not. It’s all about the CD usage.

  5. Personally, I support this move. Blizzard is right that there’s a substantial lack of progression in this tier, and we’re not *exactly* ready yet to step into the next instance.

    Plus, they make a great point – why should they be developing something and NOT releasing it when it’s ready? A completely new raid zone naturally takes a long longer than two refurbished 5-man instances.

    I’m going to bet that this patch is only 2-3 weeks away. They’re going to want to push it out quick. Most classes are getting some small buff, while almost none are getting nerfed. On top of that, the new 5-mans will provide a good source of supplementary epics for 10man groups that are gearing more slowly.

  6. Being from a software dev house myself Small/Regular patches is something that is become more industry standard for a lot of product ranges. I see it as a positive.

    The end result is the same, we still get X raid in 6 months but while that was being worked on we got X+X+X+X+X

    I guess for WoW I’d accept small/regular patches a lot more easily if it meant they are more polished on release. I’d love to not assume a Wednesday night raid night after a patch would be filled with disconnects and other buggy crappolla

    Upy

  7. I see it as a good and bad thing. It’s good in that I won’t feel so hard-pressed to always “beat” each tier as I play. It will also mean that I won’t feel bad about myself when I miss a tier or skip one. I don’t think it’ll put me under as much pressure to get through everything all at once, which is a great thing, as treating WoW like a job is the worst thing I can do.

    But it’s bad in the sense that my work schedule doesn’t allow me to play consistently. I have to take long breaks and then come back to the game in bursts, which is not very conducive to small content updates. I might not be able to log on at all between Feb and April, but with this model, whatever content is introduced there may be old hat. I’d completely miss out.

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