Tobold's Blog
Monday, November 19, 2007
 
Do you like the non-raid TBC endgame?

I split this discussion off from my WoW journal. But when I was looking around what to do with my level 70 warrior, given that I don't have the time to dedicate myself for serious raiding any more, I was surprised on how many options there are. In fact the level 70 non-raid endgame from The Burning Crusade appears to offer far more variety and fun than the level 60 non-raid endgame did. There are more level 70 dungeons you can visit, especially if you count heroics as separate option. There are more factions you can gain reputation with, and in many cases gathering reputation has somewhat improved from how it was at level 60; you can already gain a good amount of reputation by doing fun stuff like dungeons or quests, without having to repeatedly kill the same monster over and over. There are more level 70 quests, and now some of them are repeatable on a daily basis. There are even more and better PvP options than before patch 1.13, allowing casual players to get some decent rewards for PvP without playing it 16 hours per day.

On the other hand the eternal problem of World of Warcraft is that "a lot to do" is not the same as "endless content". I basically stopped playing WoW in mid-April when LotRO came out, even if I only cancelled the account in July. So I'm 7 months behind everybody else, and still have a lot to do. But some of the guys in my pen & paper roleplaying group are complaining that they are already exalted with every single faction in Outlands. And of course they visited all the zones and instances far more often than I did and find them less exciting now. On the extreme casual end my wife never reached the endgame at all. She leveled a rogue to 68, then got distracted and is now playing a level 40ish druid, and is basically not using any TBC content at all.

I wonder in how far daily quests will improve the non-raid TBC endgame, and whether that could be a good model for things to come in the level 80 non-raid endgame. Especially the cooking quest, where you don't get the same thing to do every day, or the dungeon and PvP quests that send you to a different place every day, seem promising for this sort of content. I imagine doing the same bomb run every day gets old quite soon. But how does a WotLK endgame with dozens of different daily quests, all changing every day, sound to you? And how do you like the non-raid part of the current TBC endgame?
Comments:
I'm actually thinking of becoming a social raider in my raiding guild, instead of a full raider so I can enjoy the non-raiding endgame.

I don't have much time for anything but raiding right now, as I get home and have to raid a lot of the time, leaving only less than 1 hour free per day for my own stuff.

It's not a completely non-raiding endgame I'm looking for, because it includes doing Karazhan and Zul'aman raids with alts (I'd be too bored just doing 5mans really quick) and the occasional raid when they need Paladins for BT and Hyjal, but it's not the somewhat intensive 25 man raids I've been doing. I just want to enjoy the more casual parts of the game so I don't completely burnout of WoW (I use it to keep in touch with friends, etc.).

Blizzard has improved the casual endgame a lot in this last patch. The only downside of it so far has been that the Alliance (my faction) sucks in my battlegroup and now we can't even get decent honor from AVs which were the only BG we actually won on a regular basis.

I think another thing they could have added was a new pair of 5man instances for level 70 and the patch would have been just perfect.
 
I don't know.. to me it seems like WoW endgame is all about equipment. Whatever you do it comes down to improving your equipment or getting money (to improve your equipment).
Sure, there is a couple of 70 dungeons. But they all drop about 3 items per class, all on the same quality. So you have to visit about 3/4 of them to get yourself blue 70 gear. Reputations grinds up to revered are (in terms of gear) useless, because you simply get items like those who drop in the instances mentioned before. On exalted there are usually some epics, but most of them don't deserve their color, because they are so slightly better than the blues, that it doesn't matter if you wear those or stick to the blues. What remains are about two factions for every class who should be exalted, because the rewards are good. Some factions also have tradeskill receipes, but do those matter? Most of the stuff isn't useful and in most cases selling mats is more profitable than selling a finished product. The exception are things like the epic engineer goggles, but those aren't aquired through rep grind.

So, what remains to do?
Do some instances until you have blue gear. Grind rep for those 2 factions that suit you best. If you have access to skilled groups do heroics after that. If you don't forget about it, heroics with a pickup group are a nightmare. After that you could do pvp if you like being beaten up. About 50% of the arena encounters I saw were some morons in full season2 set bashing through our group. I'm not sure why our little group had to encounter them, but I guess they sold their 2000+ team for a pile of gold and opened a new one to repeat it all.

And if you plan on raiding Kara: Skip everything after getting the blues from 70 instances.
 
My "End game" currently consists of playing BG's and Arena on one of my three 70's. It is obvious that I never enjoyed the end game to beging with, being that I have three 70's.

Raiding can be a lot of fun, but it isn't worth the effort. I think blizzard should have some more casual raids...something atleast in the audience as ZG and AQ20.

I think blizzard should revamp their raid system to allow a very casual experience. They should use the same queue system for "casual" raids as they do for BG's. People can come and go as they please. People would earn points for time spent in the raid and bosses killed. Those points, just like honor points could buy epics. These epics would be of quality slightly less then the real, self orginized raids...and after getting these epics you would be well enough geared to attened an actual raid. This would also show lure and story for all to see...not just raiders.
 
I agree that the endgame in TBC is far more varied and accessible than that of WoW 1.0.

But I also agree that it is not endless, as my wife and I have very little choice left in the static quests as longtime level-70s. Most of what is left other than dailies is either group or instance questing (or ultimately culminates in group, instance, or daily). I find that to be oxymoronic: On the one hand, the 1-60 game is being made "solo-friendly", while the access to dailies endgame quest lines so often require groups or even instance.

I suppose it is true that gear (and to some degree items and crafting) are the "new leveling" at 70.
"At 70, the grind begins", as I say: You can choose your grind, but grind you will. Daily quests are a nice attempt to hide that fact, but we all know it :)
 
I truly love the dailies. They are great fun, give me a sense of achievement and over a longer period of time, reward me with fun stuff / nice bonuses (e.g. skyguard, ogrila or netherwing).

Tobold, I truly recommend you to start the netherwing quest chain in shadowmoon valley and farm the reputation there. You might not like the first part, but after you reached the 6000 rep mark, you unlock some quests that are really, really, nice. I loved the mines down there and the shoemerang quest - lovely.

If WotLK adds more varying dailies, then WOW changes from being World of geargrind to a more 'everquest' style :)
 
The recent flood of casual content is probably a reaction to sinking subscriber numbers, particularly among non-raiders. But it's also clear at this point that Blizzard, for whatever reason, considers raiders their prime customers. All the "best" content, especially all the story relevant content, is still reserved for raiders.

So maybe hiring those Everquest designers wasn't such a good idea after all. Why should I as a casual be happy with bombarding stupid eggs, when only raiders get to fight the evil guy shown on the game cover?

I accept that casuals should get the "loser's price" in terms of equip, but I don't get why that should be so in terms of content. I was a casual in Diablo II, but I still got to see all the content. Who cares if my equip was crap compared to Baal farmers on Hell? I got to defeat Baal too. Compared to that, even the 2.3 changes feel like breadcrumps thrown at casuals so that we don't quit our precious accounts.
 
I enjoy TBC endgame. The Netherwing reputation grind is enjoyable (and doesn't really feel like a grind). The Ogri'la / Skyguard reps are a little less "fun", but they aren't "work" either. I'm really getting a kick out of the new Cooking quest (I've already picked up three of the new recipes).

I'm hoping Blizzard will continue this trend of variable daily quests. There are plenty to choose from now (and for some reason I'm betting we'll be seing more in 2.4 on Sunstrider Isle (or w/e it's called). But, knowing that every day I'm going to Kill Demons, Bomb Eggs, Booterang Orcs, etc. etc. can be annoying.
 
TBC endgame is a great improvement over the level 60 endgame for non-raiders. There is way more to do, and plenty of options to pursue to progress your character.

However, it all comes down to grinding in the end. I still have plenty of things to do, but none of it is new. I've seen every instance, spent at least a little time grinding every faction, have exalted with ogri'la and sha'tar, etc.

On that note, the daily quests aren't really content. Its 30 minutes of grinding to help you get money. Once you've done it once or twice there's no entertainment value there any more.
 
It's weird but instancing doesn't get old for me. I do enjoy 5-mans, even if I have seen the place. There is good variety in difficulty which keeps them challanging (and if you don't raid you won't ever seriously outgear heroics keeping them a challange).

If you are a social player WoW has plenty of things to do together. The selection of 5-mans is very good.

If you want to play solo, the crafting system is deep enough that it'll occupy you for a while, some dailies are boring, but some are a hoot (if you ask me). If you enjoy BGs those don't necessarily get old either.

I do think there is a fairly good palette of things to do for different types of players in WoW. But I can see that personal mood or preferences changes how it's all seen.
 
There's definitely a lot more to do, but I actually did reach a small burnout point recently, once I got my Netherdrake mount. 2.3 is bringing some of it back, and I've really been enjoying something silly -- managing the guild bank!
 
i wish blizzad implement housing / guild housing.

it will add more playstyle for casual players at endgame

certainly would pull me back to WOW.

i quit WOW after getting 2 70 and lot of other classes above 64 (except rogue) and i got bored already with WOW endgame.

catering for raiders will be blizz greatest strategic mistakes.
 
The so called casual content is just a distraction! Yeah it's fun in part... but it is meaningless.

Im sure most players dont pay monthly to cook or get a special mount alone.

They want to partake in the story line... mmoRPG! Especially those players who were involved with the RTS variations.

I'm bored senseless of daily quests for peanuts! Not played in about 14 days now... and rolled a new class on LotRo. Perhaps my WoW days are nearly behind me, a shame.
 
Right now the non-raiding endgame is about developing stronger relationships with other players so that I can raid. Ironic. My guild wasn't big enough to do the preTBC raid content, and though it's big enough now, getting those people working well together is a challenge.

Sometimes I have those "what the hell am I doing?" moments when I wonder why I play this game anymore at all. What it comes down to is I like group problem solving, and WoW allows me to do it in a fantasy setting.

I liked the dailies for a while, but now the thought of repeating them makes me cringe. PVP in my alliance battlegroup is embarrassing at times. Arenas are becoming a joke, like twinked premades, where you are willing to lose for arena points.

An explosion of meaningful casual storyline content would make me happier than just about any addition. I truly think the solo WoW storyline should flow and evolve like the RTS games did.
 
The problem with WoW's non-raid endgame is that it's basically a grind. Don't take that the wrong way, for some people (typically Achievers in the Bartle test) this is an easy and good game to play.

Explorers have a much harder time accepting this content, as they want new stuff and once you've surfed all the way across Azeroth and back, you're done.

To answer your question, I don't really like the non-raid TBC engdame, and I don't really like the raid TBC endgame for the same reasons. Not enough new stuff to do. I quite like the PvP angle, but raiding and just running Heroics is not really something that interests me at all.
 
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