Staggered Raiding with Swagger

Cool, it looks like not every raid is going to be available immediately after the game release. I’m cool with that and I know others are, too. It took me less than half a week to level to from 80 to 85 and I predict it’s going to take me around the same time to go from 85 to 90. That should be enough time to hit cap and hit up scenarios along with dungeons for whatever points and gear needed. There’s still that minimum item level needed to queue for LFR.

My personal goal is to at least hit that mark before raids open.

How Blizzard used to slow content consumption down in the past

  • Really hard raid encounters that were near-mathematically or skillfully impossible without exploits (Vanilla)
  • Attunements (early Burning Crusade)
  • Gradually releasing bosses (Wrath, ICC)
  • Limited attempts (Wrath, ToC)

Now there’s no gimmicks or tricks. It’s just a straight-up “We’re not releasing this completed instance to you yet”.

There’s still a remarkable amount of players that are rather “upset” about the whole staggered and delayed raiding thing (if recent blog feedback’s an accurate indicator).

I’m going to use an analogy.

Let’s use swimming.

What if the race started before swimmers even reached the pool? Phelps and Lochte would have to race each other to change into their speedos, get their goggles attached, and put on their caps before sprinting and diving in the pool and racing their medley.

But now all the swimmers start at the line at the exact same time. Their speed and performance can actually be gauged by their abilities in the pool as opposed to how fast they can get ready.

If you think about it though, there’s going to be two races going on: First to hit level cap and the first to raid kills/clears. One shouldn’t impact the other.

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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.


  1. Wasn’t this gating done as far back as sunwell?  Weren’t the last half of the bosses there gated?  The whining is just  for whining sake.

    • wewhoeat Good point and thanks for the history lesson! I had forgotten. Sunwell’s first 3 bosses were open and then the next 3 were open sequentially, if memory serves. 

  2. I think that it’s great that they are going through with this. It makes it that much easier for all the raiders who are serious about raiding but more casual about the amount of time they put in to be prepared to start raiding. It also gives players an opportunity to appreciate all of the new content and try out things like pet battles without feeling burnt out because of leveling and gearing. 

  3. Using your example, I’d point out that Phelps & Co probably also made plans to stay in a hotel adjacent to the aquatics center the night before the race, not make excuses about how long their commute was from out of town because they couldn’t be bothered to prepare accordingly.  I’m sure it seems like whining for whining’s sake, really it’s just another delay on new raid content when we’re all burnt out following the longest period of time per bosses available without new content.  Also, listing off the non-raid activities doesn’t make me want to play then anymore. It’s like going to the market to stock up on beer and the guy says “well, we can’t sell you beer for another week, but in the meantime, why not check out all those vegetables you’ve been missing out on?”.  Nobody has ever made that choice and I don’t see me thinking “oh yay, I love the gift of time!”.  If that was really a valid argument, turn those features live now with 5.0 patch pre-MoP launch. In the end, we’ll still seem the same guilds surge to the top, because they’re good at raiding.  Nobody who’s achieved high rankings in the past will suddenly be “out-played” by other guilds due to a delayed raid start.  Afterall, you get a “level playing field” every other raid tier launch.

  4. I know a lot of people are kind of miffed about this, but it doesn’t really bother me. Honestly, every guild I’ve been in has had about a week of downtime to allow people who work during the week to hit max level and get some basic heroics gear before stepping into the raids.  I’ll admit they aren’t US/World first guilds, but they are always guilds that are competitive on-server for boss downs. Just not to the point where they expect people to lay off work to level and get in as soon as possible.  So this absolutely doesn’t affect my guild’s plans to start 1 week after launch.So the general outrage caught me off guard.  I figured it would just be the handful of razor-edge progression guilds that would be bothered by it, but it seems most of the raiding community is up in arms about their right to choose when to go into the raid being attacked. 

    • wewhoeat says:

      @Kamali “but it seems most of the raiding community is up in arms” Where are you getting this? Most of what you hear online is from a very small and vocal minority, and more than half the people that claim to care about something won’t ever have it affect them.

    • wewhoeat  Personal experience. Even in my own guild where we had already planned weeks ago to start 1 week after the launch of Mists, some of my fellow raiders were acting affronted by it. That “Blizzard had not right to tell people when they could or couldn’t raid”, etc, when it didn’t directly affect us.

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