Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Is raiding doomed?

In the open Sunday thread Albatross said: "It's interesting to me that raiders (or "hardcore" as most raiders have been previously labelled) seem to be drying up as new, easier routes to gear upgrades have been put in place. You don't hear the casual vs. hardcore arguments any more. The casual side of that argument won. Daily quests. Badge rewards. Arena gear. Easy alternatives to the time/gold/effort that raiding takes. So people continue to talk about raiding as the end game, but there seems to be a very visible shift that nobody is talking about. There are less people raiding and more importantly there are less people HOPING to raid.

Now with the announcement that all raiding instances in WotLK will be able to be visited by smaller groups for different rewards, I predict that raiding as we currently know it will die completely. Currently the only reasons to raid are to see the content and to have a feeling of accomplishment for beating the content. Gear is no longer a tangible reward. As of the expansion, seeing the content will not be a tangible reward which will leave raiders with the very arbitrary feeling of accomplishment. To me, that spells doom."

I can understand that raiders are currently in a bad mood. This isn't a good time for World of Warcraft: Summer is here, where people play less. Age of Conan "shipped" (not sold) 1 million copies, which probably took a bite out of WoW's 5 million US/Euro customers. And WoW itself is in a long dry spell between the last content patch and the next expansion. Server populations are going down, and the first one to suffer are the more tightly organized raid guilds.

But what Albatross points out is a deeper problem: Raiding is hard. Hard to organize, hard on time requirements, and hard to keep people motivated when you know you need to wipe ten more times on that boss before you got the strategy down perfectly enough. There are some people who enjoy this kind of gameplay, because finally overcoming some frustrating challenge feels good. But another part of the raiding population isn't there for the challenge, they are there for the loot. So if equivalent loot can be gained by easier ways, this part of the population doesn't turn up for raiding any more.

Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. I think this gives WoW a unique chance to improve raiding substantially: Instead of forcing people to raid for gear, the people who would prefer to get their gear by other ways are allowed to do so. And if it is done right, on the other hand raiding can be opened up for people who would love to raid, but couldn't jump the organizational and time hurdles. Ideally the 10-man raids of WotLK would be shorter and easier than Karazhan was when TBC came out, but would give less good gear. There shouldn't be a big gap between being able to run a level 70 dungeon and being able to raid the easiest raid dungeon. Raiding can be fun for many reasons that don't involve loot: hanging out in a larger group, overcoming strategic challenges that go beyond tank and spank, seeing the kind of content that used to be reserved for the leet. The difficulty would then increase towards the harder 10-man dungeons, with the hardest 10-man being somwhat more difficult than the easiest 25-man dungeon. And then the difficulty could go up further up to the hardest 25-man dungeon, which could well be as hard as Black Temple is now. Fewer people will mind not being able to beat the hardest 25-man dungeon if at least they got a good shot at being able to see the same place in its 10-man version.

As Albatross said, the important thing is the number of people HOPING to raid. But if it is done right, these players would hope to raid because raiding is a fun activity, and not just because it gave the best rewards. If there are other alternatives for getting the best rewards, it could even improve raiding; the loot whores aren't exactly adding to the fun of the rest of the raiding population, and they won't be missed. By offering a wider range of difficulty levels for raids, everybody could find the kind of raid which is challenging for him, but not frustrating. If Blizzard can make more people enjoy the fun of raiding, instead of just bribing them into it, raiding itself and the whole game would gain a lot.

So I don't think raiding is doomed. There is a good chance that raiding will look significantly different post-WotLK, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm hoping that Blizzard will make raiding more accessible and less of a must-do activity for people with purple fever.
What you're describing to me isn't raiding, it's basically the dungeon run's of old wrapped in a "raid" wrapper of double a normal group size, and more interesting scripted content.

I've always felt raiding was the worst thing to happen to MMO's, but then again I've never had real interest in being a hard core raider, the experience was horrible regardless of guild, and everything revolved and blew up over loot.

I really don't know what to make of it, while they may be easing away from some of the hard core raiding elements, I'm pretty suspicous about what grinds they'll replace it with to keep those subscriptions running.

But what do you expect with a themepark MMO model?
The gear or status rewards from 25 man raids needs to be a great lot better than from the more casual friendly systems or the raiding will be doomed indeed. Unless 25 man raids actually are made easier than 10 man by allowing players to zerg the content.

Zerging is the origin of large raids. The current WoW hardcore vision is a freak design which tries to squeeze a lot of value out of a tiny slice of the potentially greater gameplay system.
In my opinion, raiding is the only thing in WoW that makes it worth playing all these years. I joined my guild in 2000 in Everquest, and we've been raiding ever since, moving to WoW when it came out.

I'm looking forward to WAR's endgame, and plan to take up that game when it's out, but WoW has a great endgame and I've definitely had many hours of fun in Outland.

Tonight my guild spent four solid hours wiping on Felmyst, yet it was fun somehow. I'm sure when we all get together at the BBQ in Vegas this summer, we'll laugh about it.
"Hardcore" raiding (read: raiding that continously puts your guild's skills to the test), will probably die. It requires a reserve of interested, knowledgeable and properly equipped people. These reserves are required to maintain your raiding viability and allow people to take some time off from raiding.

Previously, these reserves were consisted of people to whom the challenge was not the primary motivation. Now that there is a viable alternative, they won't show up for 25-man raids. Even those who raid solely for loot will probably progress faster by sticking to the 10-mans until Arthas. Why go to an old dungeon with 25 people when you can go to a new dungeon with 10 people and get the same loot with less effort?

My prediction is that on some medium and low population servers 25-man raiding will die, because there simply isn't enough interested and prepared people to maintain that reserve. My server will probably be one of those.

Whether that's a bad thing is up to debate. Personally, I'm an Explorer (in the Bartle sense), so if I can raid Arthas with 9 other people and finally see an end boss, great.
Frankly raiding just takes too much time.

Who really has the time to raid 3 times a week or more while each session lasts 4 to 6 hours...

Just think, after dedicating 18 hours to a raid dungeon one could potentially come out with nothing but dkp and dkp is only as good as the guild that it is attached to.

I am not saying that loot is everything; however, raiding does leave much to be desired in both time constraints and gear aquisition.
One thing is interesting to note is that this drought has recently killed two larger raiding guilds on my server.

Apparently no one was showing up for raids anymore. That leaves about 3 major raiding guilds that actually still do 25 man raids.

In my own guild the leaders often complain about people not showing up.

No matter what innovation may be planned for the expansion it is still months away. Wow is in for a world of hurt before then.
Yes it's hard, hard to orginise, hard to get people do the right thing and quite hard to down the bosses but in return the raiders actually get shit on from Blizzard in the form of massive rewards for badge loot for the general populous where they can get raid quality loot from running karazhan for badges and a few heroics.

Our guild was one who did the quests to get attuned to SSC/TK to start with, and then onto the Vials from both Vashj and Kael to get into the next level of raiding. Dropping the quest for keying to ssc/tk didn't bother us much, but dropping the attunement to both Bt and Hyjal felt like our achievement went right down the shitter.

The thing that set us apart from other guilds or other people was the loot quality we could get, we didn't mind that pvp gear in some respects was as good, what we didn't like that was the fact that some pvp gear was plain just better for pve than the pve drops or there were no drops at all for the level we were at (rogue swords anyone?).

Then came along badge loots with sunwell which equaled or better tier 6 that we were struggling to get in Black temple and Mount hyjal.

Raiding is dead as we know it because Blizzard is now catering to the masses ... be it a good thing or a bad thing I don't know.

But when you cater to the unwashed masses you need to make it easy, which turns allot of people off. I gathered enough badges in 3-4 weeks to get better gear than I was currently getting from 6 months in raiding, this just isn't right.
I think that Raiding as we know it will die.

Yes, Raiding used to be the only way of getting the shiny purples, but it has also been the biggest challenge in game. Raiding and all the effort put into it, gives you a special sense of accomplishment because you know you aren't doing something trivial.

Raids will be trivialized and trust me, the game will suffer from it. The true remaining Raiders will even be made fun at for insisting in doing 25-man instead of just going 10-man all over the place. But pretty soon, and depending on how Blizz implements it, people will realize that there isn't any game anymore. They just jump from 10-men to 10-men until the final boss and that's that. Nobody will feel special because every freaking joe has done the same thing and why? Because it’s easy. I do raid for the fun of it, but I also like rewards. So i cannot condemn the ones that simply do not want to go over all the hassle that is putting a 25-man raid when they can have it all by doing a 10-man. It's ridiculous to think that this will be raiding. It won't, just something to cater for the majority of WoW accounts which are the Non-Gamer Gamers. There will be no Game anymore, just entertainment.

First we had 40 man raids. As the casual players grow they all started whining "I have a beautiful life so I can only play 3 hours a week but I WANT to go to Naxxramas and kill Kel'Thusad. 40-man raids are for no-lifers, I hate this shit."

Then we had 25-man raids, we got Karazhan and the casuals kept whining: "I have a beautiful life so I can only play 3 hours a week but I WANT to go to Black Temple, kill Illidan don't want any attunement crap and want shiny purples. Karazhan is too hard,25-man raids are for no lifers, I hate this shit."

What will we have after? No attunements, 10-man versions whose rewards are only a tier below the ones from 25-man? Easy mode all over the place? Perhaps, perhaps not.

You, Tobold think that the Hardcore raiders do not influence the community and mean nothing for the vast majority of players. That might be right, but one thing is certain: the existence of hardcore raiders is the sign that there is something to be overcome, a goal something that keeps people playing in the hope of attaining that goal. A Challenge if you will. If the challenge is gone, then the notion of hardcore will be gone. And soon, when everybody is equally geared and have beaten all the 10 man what will happen? Another thing, for all the ones that claim content is what they want: it’s all bullcrap. A small guild running Karazhan and Zul’Aman could go to the old world instances and see the content they missed. I, having missed AQ40 and Naxx would like to go there and I often try to pug it. No one wants to go and why: crap loot. So here goes the content excuse..

Thing is that it still puzzles me that MMORPG's are basically the only form of entertainment where it's customers can't get through their thick skulls that reward is dependent on the effort. If one takes karate lessons and there are better students due to training a lot more, will one ask for their money back? Or if one plays football in an amateur tournament would one quit if the other teams where better due to practice more? Or even in the movies, will one ask for his money back if he couldn't understand the movie? I could go on and on, but in all those activities people know that if they train harder, read more and this and that, they will reap the reward. How come in WoW is any different?

One think I've been noticing. True gamers, when they go casual they don't ask for the raids to open up effortlessly to everybody, they ask for more content for they play style, something that will give them some challenge and entertainment. But the the Non-Gamer Gamer doesn not ask for content for them, they want what the “no-lifers” have, without an ounce of effort. They want it all.

Anyway I can see two ways that this can go.
The first one is the one that I fear: the game and the content be perfectly trivialized becoming a Second Life with some minor challenges that anyone can do regardless of class knowledge and experience or effort. The second one is that the 10-men will be hard and soon all the casuals will resume their whining: "I have a beautiful life so I can only play 3 hours a week and the 10-men raids are too hard. Theses 10-men are for no lifers, I hate this shit.”

I am sorry for the bitterness, but I’ve been hearing this casual chat for 3 years and it gets tiresome. Anyway, Blizzard will do what’s more profitable to them and perhaps this is it. For now I can only hope that I’m wrong in my doom saying and that in a year I will still be playing WoW and writing here: “You were right Tobold, the game is much better now.”

Anroth, Eonar EU
while wyrm got some valid point, its not from majority of players. most ppl want alternative at endgame. ppl are used to soloing 1-70 and small instances.. at 70 the whole gameplay changes and ppl are forced to either pvp or raid. no solo stuff at end game (daily dont count). so either blizz keep raiding for elitist people like wyrm and add alternative advancement mode , or they tone down raiding for everyone. the elitist ppl still got their 'heroic' mode raids. they can gloat over ordinary 'welfare raiders'. everybody wins..
wyrm said:

> Raids will be trivialized and trust me, the game will suffer from it.

I have no reason to trust you, but if you hadn't posted such a wall of text and had kept your arguments short and to the point, you might have had a chance to convince me.

Your real-life analogies are completely pointless, and actually counter your main argument. Because in a karate and football tournament, the only thing that matters is the relative skill of the opponents. Training is just one of many factors that influence skill. You certainly have no right to complain if someone beats you at karate although you practiced twice as much -- which shows how artificial the time sinks in an really MMO are.

Overcoming these time sinks is not skill, and I say that as someone who likes games that are *actually* hard in terms of coordination or reaction. None of those are MMOs of course.
Dont forget that the average player plays 20 hours per week. Which isnt enough if you want to be a raider in the current design.

A decent frontline raid and guild leader needs to play more than twice that to even join the system. The demands on the leadership organisations are killing the culture. There is no way out but to gimp the challenge level or leave it at a tiny niche design.
Anyone who considers Raids just a time sink, has never raid at all. Or has just raid instances on farm.

Raiding is anything but a time sink and the analogy only fails in your eyes because you have no idea on the level of dificulty raid poses.

The only time sink raiding now offers is the training of all involved to do their part on a hard encounter.

Go tell anyone that Brutallus requires no skill and that person won't even laugh at you but just change subject. To sports maybe.

As for the elitis accusation, no I'm not. I have alwyas said that Blizzard should give alternate ways of progressing. I have always said that they should revamp the old raid instances in order to make them acecssible to everybody and to have some incentive to go there. It doesn't even bothers me that I am owned in BG's and the few arenas I play by people who geared in epics with less than half the effort.

But yes, i get annoyed that i have invested time in my hobby, because I felt the reward was worth it to see it trivialized on the whim of people who don't even know what they are talking about.

Anroth, Eonar EU
Dont forget that the average player plays 20 hours per week. Which isnt enough if you want to be a raider in the current design.
Hyjal and Black Temple can be cleared with a 3x3h raid schedule. I don't want to start the quantity vs quality of time discussion again, so I'll just leave it at that.

Anyway.. I don't see offering an alternatives as a bad thing per se. However, if those alternatives end up effectively killing the playstyle that Achiever stereotypes enjoy, then it's a problem.

One reason why WoW is so popular is that it caters to all four of the Bartle archetypes: Socializer, Killer, Explorer and Achiever. Even if you enjoy the game for different reasons you're still playing the same game and thus the benefits from the network effect are amplified. Neglecting any of those archetypes would be a strategic mistake. Cheering just because the pendulum swung your way is shortsighted at best. In this sense, the struggle between the archetypes reminds me of class balance discussions, so I'll finish with this tidbit of borrowed wisdom:

honestly, i don't understand the problem here.
if opening the same/similar content to smaller raid sizes means that less people get involved in the "hardcore" 25 man scene, then this can only be because they prefer to! if blizzard is doing something that a lot of people are interested in then that's a good thing. there may be a smaller pool of people wanting to do the 25 man content but they're likely to be happier, playing with others with the same interest.

the only people who seem to be upset about the proposed and recent changes are those who enjoyed the exclusivity of being a raider. i don't understand why they need to feel better than others. the opportunity here is for everyone to play the game they want to, after all, exclusivity is not a good business model.
> The only time sink raiding now offers is the training of all involved to do their part on a hard encounter.

That's false, and absurdly so. Take 25 well-trained, motivated raiders, put them on a new server and then let's see how many hours it takes them to even enter Sunwell. Oh, did you forget to count the time spent leveling up to 70, gearing up through 5mans, heroics, 10mans, and all those lower tier 25mans?

I didn't even say that raiding doesn't take skill, although I will argue that it doesn't take a lot of skill compared to, for example, playing Starcraft. As for my raiding experience, I have cleared ZA with a Kara/badge loot equipped group (pre-2.4), which is a feat that arguably requires more skill than many of the "gear check" bosses in 25mans (assuming you pass the gear check, in other words, assuming the green numbers on your group's gear are large enough).

What I specifically said is that there are large artificial time sinks built into WoW, time sinks that you have to overcome regardless of skill. It's these artificial time sinks that make your comparison to karate such a joke.
That's just your flawed perspective Anonymous.

I haven't played Starcraft but i've played Warcraft and Age of Empires, and you know what? Some of the players who where beaten instead of saying "he was the better player" always gave those kinds of excuses: "he must play 10 hours a day" or "he must have spend 100.000$ on hardware" and so on.

People will always make excuses for the lack of skill or unwillingness to put some effort.

As for your point, it fails. If you played World of Warcraf you would know that all the attunements have been lifted, but players entering SSC is still but a few. Before that you would have to clear SSC several times in order to attune a raid. That is a timesink allright, but try to kill Vashj for a vial without skill. Even Sunwell geared guilds will wipe at Vashj and Kael and sometimes even in Fathom-Lord Karathress.

I also remind you that guilds are entering BT without having killed Vashj and Kael and, sometimes, Archimonde. Why? Maybe the timesinks where a perfect excuse for people such as you to disrespect anyone that loves his hobby and invests time in it just becasue they can't or are unwilling to put the same kind of effort.

Anroth, Eonar EU
I think raiding as we know it now is doomed. To be honest, even successful raid guilds usually had a fairly high turnover. Most people can't and don't want to raid 5 days a week.

And, Blizzard has failed at providing options for raiding as a fun social activity for guilds. In WotLK, the more common raid size will go down to 10 people.

That doesn't mean they'll get easier. A lot of T4 guilds still can't get very far in Zul Aman, they have a few hardcore players but they don't want to 'dump' the less hardcore, and the raids are tuned so hard that there isn't much scope for casual and hardcore to play side by side.

Blizzard designs some awesome raid instances and encounters. But the insistence on keeping them overtuned and limiting the numbers to 10/25 makes them inaccessible to a lot of the people who might otherwise have been interested to raid casually.

I think we'll look back on WoW/TBC raiding as a relic of where game designers pretended not to understand that gamers had lives, the same way we do to grinding out levels in EQ. And maybe we'll be nostalgic but they really do force people to be more hardcore than they really had wanted.
As for my raiding experience, I have cleared ZA with a Kara/badge loot equipped group (pre-2.4)

Apart from Nalorak and Akil'zon there isn't any other boss in ZA that can be killed with Kara/badge gear unless is a barely repeatable lucky shot. So either you and your friends are one of the best players in the world or your just full of it.

Either way I will not pollute this fine blog anymore with discussions with an Anonymous...

Anroth, Eonar EU
Hardcore Raiding is about accomplishment. Its about seeing all of the time and effort you put into your character, guild, and skills pay off; seeing teamwork overcome something that would otherwise be insurmountable. Its about the rush you get from personal/guild/server/world firsts.

Will no attunements, smaller raid size, and welfare epics destroy hardcore raiding? Absolutely not.
All of this stuff just means that people who want to raid and live for the content/rush after that first kill wont have to leave good friends behind and join a guild full of elitist asshats to do/see it.

I left a guild full of friends that was stuck in SSC/TK in order to kill Illidan before WotLK. I joined a progression guild (which did turn out to be full of elitist asshats, excluding the few good people mixed in there as well) and downed Illidan. The guild collapsed when AoC came out, because it is the next big/new thing, and certainly more fun than continuing to gear for Sunwell, then sitting through all of the wipes it takes there. Or at least that was the mindset of the guild's leadership.

I recently joined a new guild (primarily made up of my friends from my original guild) that wants to down Illidan before WotLK.
How will the changes in WotLK affect this guild? I can only say that the changes will be for the better, especially because this group of friends will be playing WoW together for a long time into the future, and that is a good long-term business model.
Raiders, cut the cord already. Wow was at it's best pre-BC, and you if haven't noticed by now the steady decline ever since, you're not as "hard core" as you think you are.

Move on to something else. It's a casual game now -- which is perfectly fine. Thinking your raiding experience would not change once warcraft became a pop-culture everyday word, is laughable. Since when do the masses like things hard? Warcraft raiding died a long time ago.
raiding is fun. To much raiding is bad. Finding a good and reasonable raiding guild is very hard. I run in a guild that has created a very good balance and this allows the game to still be fun after a long time of raiding. We only raid 12 hours a week (4 nights for 3 hours). We have a low attendance requirement and are progress focused (we buy partially cleared MH/BT instances to cut down on raid time needs). We are not a top end guild but we have killed Kalecgos. I think a big part of what is causing raiding to suffer right now is that BT/MH was easy. Way easy compaired to SSC/TK (Vashj/Kael). Sunwell is a bump back to Naxx level almost and people haven't had to learn hard fights for a long time.

The time was always the biggest problem for me. Not just the time a raid takes, but all the prep time before it. Some of this was made easier with dailies, but there is still quite a bit. For instance you still need rep with quite a few factions if you want to progress. At a minimum you need rep for your shoulder and head enchants.

Raids are challenging though, not MC and the old ones, but once in awhile if I were really tired, and you could tell. I'd miss shackles, or heal late. That part is the fun part.

However, if they could make raids consist only of the time you spend in the raid, no farming and busy work required, all that time that has nothing to do with skill, with no challenge, just busy work to prepare, that would get me raiding again. I can enjoy the raid and the challenge, but do not enjoy farming.

Of course in real life there is always tons of prep work and practice, but in WoW, doing dailies for 2 hours a day (it takes me awhile on my holy priest do to anything :) ) is not "practice" for raids, instances are.
I'm not a raider, in fact I've never been on a raid. My only remaining BC goal is to finally run Kara, just to have a look before WoTLK gets here.

That being said, I really hope that Blizz gives the people who want to raid a good reason to run those instances on the 25 man setting in WoTLK.

As a casual player, all I've wanted was a chance to see more content. I'll pass on the fancy gear. I hope Blizz is addressing this need with the 10/25 man option and not just raining down free epics on everyone who steps foot in the 'new raids'.
"Some of the players who where beaten instead of saying "he was the better player" always gave those kinds of excuses: "he must play 10 hours a day" or "he must have spend 100.000$ on hardware" and so on.

People will always make excuses for the lack of skill or unwillingness to put some effort."

These whinners also come out of the woodwork in arena/pvp when they lose. It's amazing how no one can admit they're not very good at pvp, but instead cry out for nerfs to classes, or accuse the other player of somehow cheating.
Flattering that you've decided to continue my conversation here. It's also interesting to me that the general consensus is that I'm most likely correct. The more casual players were vocal about what they wanted and for the most part they've received it. Most of these things have been to the detriment of the raiding community, while the raiding community has not really gained anything in return.

Asakawa kind of misses the point though. For a lot of us, it's not about the exclusivity of being a raider. It's about overcoming an obstacle with friends and being appropriately rewarded for our effort. There's a reason I started wearing my fishing outfit inside cities rather than having my warglaive strapped to my back.

There is no "reward" for raiding after WotLK that I can see. Yes, you can invest more time/gold/energy than other people but there's no real reason to do so. There's no loot reward, you aren't being allowed to experience something unique, the population of serious raid guilds will dwindle while "vanity" guilds will increase exponentially.

My other guess is that this will actually hurt WoW pretty significantly in the long term. People could moan and complain about content they didn't get to experience but it was still something to look at and realize "I haven't done everything in this game". Accomplishing everything in an MMO is very dangerous business (ask anybody in a hardcore raiding guild what happens to their population when they've downed every boss and there are months anticipated before the next new raid instance). As of WotLK it sure sounds like accomplishing everything won't be all that hard for everybody to do.
Regarding the original point that less people are raiding - I must disagree. I'm actually seeing more and more people want to raid, because it's easier to get gear and get ready for karazhan/za with badge loot.

Only Blizzard knows.

Maybe hard core raiders are raiding less, but they are a tiny % of the user base.

Casuals at 10-20 hours/week will never see Ilidan, and probably don't even realize he's the ultimate goal (pre-sunwell). How good is it when the vast majority of the player base will never see content?
All this talk of “Raiding is Doomed” is, IMO, much ado about nothing.

Raiding was doomed because WoW-TBC replaced 40-toon raids with 10-toon and 25-toon raids. Raiding was doomed because of PvP Welfare Epics.

Now raiding will be doomed, DOOMED, because of whatever gloomy spin can be put on WotLK raiding teasers and leaks. If pink-pigtailed Gnomish Death Knights don’t doom raiding, the new parallel 10-toon and 25-toon raid design will!

Eventually WoW raiding will die, as all things must pass - then all the doomsayers will say “I told you so!”
(And an object thrown up into the air must eventually come down, too).
Hardcore raiders do not influence the community and mean nothing for the vast majority of players. That might be right, but one thing is certain: the existence of hardcore raiders is the sign that there is something to be overcome, a goal something that keeps people playing in the hope of attaining that goal. A Challenge if you will. If the challenge is gone, then the notion of hardcore will be gone.

I’ve always felt this thinking is flawed. The whole theory is based around the idea that people won’t play a game unless they have someone to look up. That’s ridiculous. People stop playing a game when there is nothing left for them to do.

The flaw for WoW is that “what to do” is defined by how much loot you can acquire. The draw of that loot is what keeps people running content over and over again after it is well past the “fun” part. The reality is that many many people hit a wall in loot progression or in content progression and seeming run out of “things to do”. This happens regardless of whether there is “someone to look up to” and is the main source of the complaints that high-end content is restricted to the elite raiders.

The importance of loot plays a huge role in this problem. It says something about a game when the most thrilling part of the game is looting the boss at the end of a fight and not the 45 minutes leading up to it.

That’s one thing that is interesting about how competitive PvPers view the end-game in most PvP based games. For them, things like LOOT are an obstacle to balanced gameplay and the REAL end-game doesn’t start until everyone is on a level playing field. For them, the fun is not in getting the loot but in playing the game. It seems to me that Blizzard should focus more on that approach instead of tedious grinds.
Edge, our definitions of raiding differ. Back in the day I don't remember anybody referring to UBRS as a raid, but sure enough it was a 10 man instance. I'll admit that the difficulty level of ZA and even Kara to a degree make it less than attractive to PUG, but they really aren't raids per se. If running 10 man instances qualifies as raiding in your book, than WotLK will have SO MANY people raiding upon release just because people will be trying out the 10 man versions of the instances.

Doeg, on one hand I really want to agree with you. I'm always the guy who gets tired of people walking around talking about the end being nigh. On the other hand, there's a lot of evidence which is what made me notice and post about it in the first place.

Go check out wowjutsu. Look up US servers and see where the guild Juggernaut is currently listed amongst all those guilds. Now realize that this guild has completely dropped all of their toons in order to reroll on a PVP server because the recruit pool is too shallow on PVE servers now. That's a pretty damning indictment.
Albatross - ok, then define raiding vs instances? Is it a function of #of players - 10 or less is an instance, 25+ is a raid?

Is it how tightly tuned an encounter is? Is it whether the boss is "tank n spank" vs phases/tricks/scripted?

An instance is a personal copy of a dungeon for you and your technically most raids are done in an instance.

Wow-defined, currently, it appears that 5 players = party, anything more = raid. It's determined right in the interface.
I've been in a raiding guild. I have friends in raiding guilds now. And I think raiding is suffering from more than just the alternative gear path. When raiding was 40 mans you could take friends who weren't top of the line A+ raiders with you. So people got to bring thier friend, Girlfriends, wives and even kids occasionally. We had some good times doing stuff like that on bosses we'd mastered.

But The No Life raiders go nuts scream and yell about the dead weight and how they should never have been there. They got what they wanted in BC smaller raids where the dead weight could be culled. Then a lot of thier A string raiders lost thier friends and family in game while they were raiding and they began to filter away. Basically those hard core types just want people to come show up and bring their A game every day all day and be a Team player. They've been so successful at getting what they thought they wanted that they've run off the people they thought would stay with them.

All the other stuff gear rewards etc are parts of the problem. But I think the fact that raiding more than any other part of the game seperates you from your friends and family that don't raid is the systemic thing strangling raiding.

I don't think MC and BWL where the best raid instances ever. But I do have fond memories of bringing newbs and bad players that were good friends and guildies along and listening to them have fun. I miss that.
I think its awesome that Blizzard are so committed to providing different game play options for different people. I never understand why one type of person - typified by Wyrm - get annoyed when Blizzard cater to other types of person. They are always trying out new things to keep their customers happy and interested, and tweaking/adjusting based on real world evidence of a lot of players, not person's often deeply biased and ultimately irrelevant perspective.

And I think if people choose to be obsessed with random loot drops, rather than gameplay, then that's their lookout, not Blizzards.
"It's amazing how no one can admit they're not very good at pvp"
I will - I'm rubbish at it - too old, too slow, don't care that much. One of the reasons I play MMORPGs as opposed to other games is that they aren't all about twitch and waving of epeens.

As for the original topic, I find it enormously frustrating when two different aspects of raiding get conflated. Leaders of progression guilds who are pushing into new content for the first time are certainly showing a lot of skill. DPS #7 who's blindly following internet "how tos" in an instance their guild has on farm isn't.

I'd like to see the rewards for raiding go down over time. The first people (worldwide) to drop a boss should get fabulous rewards (at least one per player). Server firsts should get something less, but still pretty good, etc all the way down to instances that are on farm getting about the same as heroics. That way the truly skilled get rewarded more than the time servers.
Well sven you touched on something that's always been part of the problem with the raid community.

2% or so in my estimation are the actual "hard core" raiders that learn the content and actually beat it. Everyone else opens a web page and adjusts to thier class balance and then follows the script. The really sad thing is most of the Hard Core raiders that scream are not in the 2%. I've known a few of those guys and they don't give a damn about the rewards anyone else gets. They beat the latest content and move on. To me the screaming is like watching a bunch of High School Football players whine that the JV team actually gets to wear uniforms. And it makes about that much sense. The thing killing raiding is it's been overtuned and it's not fun for the majority of the playerbase. I wish in WOTLK they'd gone with completely seperate raid instances but instead they've chosen the heroic 5 man model and I predict it'll be just as much a mess. 6 months after launch anyone trying to run the easy mode raids will be begging and scraping together any smuck they can and screaming its too hard. And the Devs will be quoted as being surprised that they once again overtuned the content.

For all the screaming about how broke raiding was in vanilla wow the 6 months or so before BC, Everything but Naxx and AQ40 was being pugged. Lots of casual's were getting to raid.
"I never understand why one type of person - typified by Wyrm - get annoyed when Blizzard cater to other types of person."

That affirmation is completely invalid and misses my point.
Blizzard catering to other types is very good.
Blizzard trivializing content is bad.
Blizzard could make different progression paths to everyone, but no. Instead they just make high-end raiding becoming pointless by making Slacker Mode of raid instances. Would it be so hard to make two kinds of PVE progression? One suited for casuals and other for raiders? Find a way to keep raiders out of the casual instances and everyone will be happy. Or not.

Why should I go through the effort of spending hours in an 25-men when i can see it all in a 10-men? For better loot? Not worth it. For me loot is a means to reach higher content, not the end in itself.

So I'm not annoyed when Blizzard caters to other players, I am annoyed when this game becomes so trivial that any raider will just breeze through the 10-men and then just quit because there is no incentive to keep playing.

Then the casuals can have all the fun comparing their epics and hairstyles.

Anroth, Eonar EU
If you're going down that path i would like to point out that most of the Top Raiding Guilds start practicing on the bosses as soon as they hit the PTR's.

So when the content hits the servers, most of them already have their little strategy guide.

If you want to distinguish quality guilds form the others, then do that in terms of nerfing. With each nerf to an instance boss, their rewards would also be nerfed.

Many guilds are now boasting that they killed Mags. I killed Mags post-nerfing and when we killed them i point that out: "I wish we had come here before the nerf." Gosh, I was almost burned at the stake...
I have to think that the proportion of players that A. enjoy 25 man raids, B. enjoy 25 man raids for a reason other than the gear, and C. can't stand the idea of people in smaller guilds being able to even set foot in "their instances" is pretty small.

Regardless, it's an interesting experiment. Will better gear alone be enough to motivate large guilds to stick with 25 mans? I suspect yes.
Aha! well why should Blizzard go to all the trouble of creating extraordinary (and expensive) content for a tiny minority of their subscribers? They're not "trivializing" content, they're making it less exclusive. I dont believe they ever planned their early raids to be so exlusive - but that's just the way it turned out. With the 10 man versions, they are attempting to correct this imbalance.

I've got no problem if Blizzard were to make end game PvE content only accessible to a tiny number of players - as long as those players are willing to pay MUCH higher subscriptions to cover the cost of development.

Cmon man,the game changes and evolves. Blizzard never knew in advance how raids would work out. There is no set rule that it has to be that way. In the same way that we all have to deal with the trivialization of our gear when an expansion comes out, we have to deal with the fact that beautiful end content is available to a larger number of players....

Hang on... did I just say that as though it was a bad thing? Jesus!!!
Regardless, it's an interesting experiment. Will better gear alone be enough to motivate large guilds to stick with 25 mans? I suspect yes.

But it's not better gear any more. That's part of the point. I mean, the bleeding edge loot from Sunwell is better than badge loot but that's about it (and it's really not a significant jump tbh). I'd agree that many raiders would continue to raid to feed the gear differential, but that's already been removed.
Regarding "raiding for loot" - when you played halo, were you just pushing to complete the level in order to get a better gun?

Or for the achievement of beating that content, and opening up new content?
My biggest issue with restricting content to 25 mans (or 40 mans) is that your access to that content is dependent on your GUILD's ability to keep a group of raiders together. I think most of us can manage 9 good friends, but a 25 man requires 15 more people that I don't know as well.

It's unfortunate that my ability to see content can get blown to bits because of some guild drama issue. How many raiding guilds have blown up because they struggled to make the transition from three Kara teams to a single 25 man team.

To make matters worse -- the math doesn't add up when you convert 5 mans to 10 mans to 25 mans. You end up with an excess of tanks and a shortage of healers.

The system of random drops also means that some people can gear up faster than others. A week or two of mostly Tanking drops can unbalance a guild's progression as much as anything when the tanks gets bored with doing content they no longer need.

The existing raiding system is unintentionally rigged to create drama and failure. Or, if I'm more cynical, maybe that is intentional and part of the "grind" that Blizzard has designed.

I respect raiding guilds ability to keep a group together. Of course, part of that is also luck and part of it is simply theft from lower progressed guilds.

sam said:
2% or so in my estimation are the actual "hard core" raiders that learn the content and actually beat it. Everyone else opens a web page and adjusts to thier class balance and then follows the script.

That's so so true. I would say that it's even less than 2% nowadays. Something like .03% of the population has beaten KJ and there are already strategies up about the fight. 99.7% of raiders have benefited in some capactity to videos and guides written by those who came before them. Even if they don't do the research, you can be rest assured that someone who has will inform them on vent.

Heck -- the "strategy" is not just exclusive to boss fights but also how to spec, gear, ability rotations and so forth. The "hardcore" raider has to do a ton of outside research to be properly equipped and specced.

I honestly don't have an issue with any of this... It's just ironic that the "raider" have such a high opinion of themselves when they mostly are following in someone else's footsteps.
Dont forget that the average player plays 20 hours per week. Which isnt enough if you want to be a raider in the current design.

JUST NOT TRUE! My guild raids 4 days a week, 4 hours per raid, and we're 2/6 in Sunwell-- Felmyst down some time in the next 2 weeks. With the recent changes to raiding (badges for boss kills plus more gold for boss kills) raiding pays for itself-- I no longer need to do any amount of farming whatsoever, so I just log on right before raids begin and log off right after. 20 hours per week and I can see everything in the game, even Kil'Jaeden.

I love my guildies, and we have a great time. I don't understand why people who don't raid are so keen on taking this pastime from people who are having a good time.

I have no idea how you can call it a time sink, really. I think of raiding like being in a bowling league: 4 times a week I get together with my buddies and drink beer and we try to kill us some bosses.
congrats, so who is trying to take that from you?

Anonymous said...
congrats, so who is trying to take that from you?

Have you even read the other comments? Look how many people are essentially calling for the end of raiding. I don't understand the antipathy non-raiders have for raiders. You don't see me calling for the end of 5 man instances or arenas or whatever it is casuals do. For me, there would be nothing left of interest to do in WoW if it weren't for raiding. Ive done all the solo and small group content a million times while leveling, and wow pvp is boring in my opinion.

I think people should advocate for what they find enjoyable, not try to tear down other peoples' pastimes.
I don't understand the antipathy non-raiders have for raiders

It's called blowback. For a long time a small percentage of Elitist Pricks quite vocally bashed anyone who wasn't in the current most high end raid gear. It used to be the first comment if you made a complaint on the WOW forums. Oh dude your guild sucks they are in BWL STFU. Now of course its PVP.
And the armory has made it worse.

But all those elitists asshats spreading thier hate have generated much bad will and a lot of people are just enjoying the feeling of watching those guys wallow in thier misery. I think its sad and pathetic and that both of those groups are the minority though.

It's called blowback. For a long time a small percentage of Elitist Pricks quite vocally bashed anyone who wasn't in the current most high end raid gear. It used to be the first comment if you made a complaint on the WOW forums. Oh dude your guild sucks they are in BWL STFU.


Hmmm yeah I don't bother reading the official forums. I guess there might be a few good points mixed in there between all the trolls, but it's not worth the time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

As far as wallowing in misery... if Blizzard decided to cut raids from the program (no idea what they'd replace them with... I have no idea how nonraider/pvpers even spend their time in WoW) Id just move on to some other game, as would my entire guild. We may move on anyway, all 50-70 of us switching to Warhammer. We'll see.

Back to the original topic tho... it seems to me like raiding is actually getting more popular. In the last 2 weeks, Ive gone on 3 or 4 pickup raids or filled in with "casual" guilds stepping in to T5 content. Even though people were undergeared, a lot of people seemed excited to see content they'd never experienced before. Wipe city, but good times anyway.
The "doomed game rule":

Anything a game developer does with a game, including nothing, will have someone complaining and yelling doom and gloom for the game or the industry. If blizzard were to announce that they were making Durotar slightly redder, someone would be complaining that it's ruining the artwork of their starting area.

I'm left wondering why raids/instances with larger numbers of people must be a harder encounter gameplay wise, and whether some of the possible issues brought up could be helped by making 25-player instances take shorter, or having instances in general take shorter to play through.
I guess I just don't understand why this upsets so many people. I play with friends because that's what I enjoy. Our guild is just starting SSC at this point, and we've done mags/gruuls.

We don't consider ourselves raiders so much as a guild that raids. Many of our members came from a hardcore environment (I was clearing in BWL pre TBC, and had started on AQ40) and just didn't really enjoy the aspect of dealing with the drama. I liked to see the content and the lore played out though.

What I don't understand is people that think of making content accessible to all is "trivializing" it somehow. The hardcore can still experience it all "first", while those of us less hardcore are still levelling our toons and questing. You'll still be experiencing the scaled 25 man content if it is the "challenge" that you crave.

This just allows those of us that want to play with our close friends still have a chance to run into and contest with Arthas. The loot is scaled lower than the 25 man and I think it will even look more different.

The real problem is Blizz's insistance that raiding is really the only means to progress. The PVP dps and healing gear is really good (although the heal gear needs to be gemmed for PVE, but there is no tanking gear. So not everyone can PVP for it.

The new season gear will all be rated, so unless you are "good" at pvp, you will not get the new set.

The badge gear can be gotten by the hard core in a more efficient and quick fashion than the casual.

The problem truly does seem to be exclusivity despite all protestations. Accessible /= trivializing. And please explain how you would make two paths to progression when in Arena and PVP people do meet? Some people don't always deck out full pvp gear, and it's never fun getting rolled by those that have the twin blades.
What I don't understand is people that think of making content accessible to all is "trivializing" it somehow.

I'm a "hardcore" raider (whatever that means) and I don't feel like 10 man versions of raids are trivializing anything. I think it's a good step. I bet many of the people in my guild will do both versions-- the 25 man on raid days, and the 10 man on off days. That's pretty much how it goes now-- we run BT and Sunwell 4 days a week, and on off days we do ZA or PvP. I don't think anyone in my guild would be unhappy about 10 man versions of raids at all. In fact, they'd think of it as an opportunity, since it doubles the amount of available content. Likewise, most of us felt that attunements having been dropped was a good thing because we no longer have to go back and do old content to attune new recruits.
WoW no longer caters only to the hard core raider.

If you play 30-40 hours a week and are getting bored with BT, I suggest you adapt to the way things are or move on to another game. Complaining about losing 'prestige' in a video game means you are losing in RL. You're like that little kid on a 6 hour flight that won't stop kicking the back of the seat. The damn plane isn't going to land any quicker because you are a git.

I'm thrilled that WotLK endgame is going to be accessible to more people. I always thought a video game was supposed to be fun, first and foremost. Crazy, I know....
"Raiding" is not going to die, because 10 mans count as raiding and even my little server has countless 10 mans.
"Hardcore Raiding" is perhaps going to die. Let's face it: Most people raid for the loot. Sure, there are some who only raid for the fun of it, but most people just go where the grass is greenest. If you want that statement proofen, look at the amount of people doing pvp in classic WoW (nearly no rewards) and today (you get flooded in rewards).

What bothers me a bit, is that most people seem to think "25s are going to be hard, 10s are going to be easy". I don't want my 10s to be easy. I have fun always doing my very best. Whats the point in that if I can kill everything without much efford? I want my 10s to be every bit as hard as 25s, just with less people. And if I recall correctly, Blizzard stated that the want to do it just like that. Though, if they like me, they will also get rid of the need to farm Buffmats and Resistancegear for 10s, I hate that ;)

I'm not doing 10s because I like it easy. I'm doing 10s because it's more easy to organise. In bigger raids there's always situations cropping up where nobody seems to know why the hell we just wiped. That never happened in 10s, I always see where the problem was. Also I don't know very much people with 24 close friends. I can manage 9, but the other slots would be filled with guys I don't know rather well. I don't want to spend my time with a large group of strangers, a small group of friends is more like it.
Apart from Nalorak and Akil'zon there isn't any other boss in ZA that can be killed with Kara/badge gear unless is a barely repeatable lucky shot. So either you and your friends are one of the best players in the world or your just full of it.

I guess my guild must be full of the best players in the world. Check us out, with no 25-man gear whatsoever and fully cleared ZA repeatedly with three timed chests.

That said, Blizzard does not make two separate PvE tracks for a number of simple reasons.

#1. It takes more time than they have. Developer time is the only currency that matters. If they can reuse zone geometry, monsters, animations, etc. it gives them the ability to put out more content.

#2. Raiders would (and do) complain that lore characters should not be easily killable by a group of X players, but instead should be only killable by a group of Y players, where Y is more than X. People who do not raid in large numbers at the high end (see most of wow's population) will therefore never get to see/encounter the famous lore characters like Arthas. Currently, very few people have encountered Illidan and Kael'thas (the "real" Kael'thas), and a lot of people were upset about that because Illidan was in all of the advertisements and treated as the main lore character of the Burning Crusade.

Being special (in an exclusive sense) is not an inherently good thing. One of the biggest arguments I've seen is with elitists talking out of both sides of their mouths. On the one hand, I hear "If everyone could do it, it wouldn't be special" (as stated several times in these very comments). On the other hand, I hear "Anyone can raid, it only takes X amount of time!".

In any case, as a developer myself, I believe that exclusivity is fine when it is perceived as optional. The Emerald/Ruby weapon battles in Final Fantasy 7, for example. Collecting all of the dog tags in Metal Gear Solid 2. Finding all of the secret skulls in Halo 3. These are all optional activities that don't really affect the gameplay that much.

Having things like Kael'thas' Phoenix Mount drop only in 25-man content is fine. Having large-scale optional world bosses like Doomwalker and DLK (or heck, harder even. Super hard world raid bosses.) is fine. Having things like Illidan only be accessible in 25-man content is not. When you purchase the expansion pack called "Wrath of the Lich King", it would be pretty damn disappointing if you couldn't actually fight the Lich King.

I don't think raiding is doomed, but I do think that it will have a lot fewer people interested in it. Part of the problem of raiding as an institution is that the people who genuinely enjoy it aren't as numerous as they would like, so they are forced to recruit those who want to see the content, those who want the best loot, etc. to fill their ranks.

There really aren't that many people who enjoy raiding for its own sake, and up until now, there's been a disproportionate amount of developer time spent for these people. Now they are realizing that maybe they won't get that kind of attention any more, and it scares them.

I find it extremely ironic that MMORPGs end up abandoning progressively the last part of the "multi player" game... because people do not really enjoy playing together !

I love raiding, will always remember my first night in a MC 40 player raid, but yes, it is difficult to organize and maintain... and probably doomed :(

Looks like Tobold's "Taunt Raider" skill is doing just as good if not better than always. 50+ comments, lol!

I enjoyed reading the discussion.

I find it ironic that the MMORPG has game mechanics that ensure dysfunction between players rather than encouraging player interaction.

It's almost as-if they are saying that the top end content requires grouping but your biggest obstacle to getting to that content will be organizing the group.

Seriously, on the subject of in-game guild management tools alone, WoW is FAR FAR behind the competition in this area.

I said tounge-and-cheek in my earlier comment that it was intentional, but maybe that's not far from the truth.
If there's a negative opinion of raiders, it's because of people like Wyrm. Take that attitude of smug condescension, have it childishly hiss "scrub" and "terribads" every few sentences, and you have the public face of the raiding elite as seen on the WoW boards.

I'm a tank in a guild that's hitting T6 now, and I've never met one of these jerks. Even the guys in the Sunwell-level guild are friendly, by and large.

But go to the WoW forums and all you get are Wyrms and worse. This propagates the idea that in order to participate in top-tier raiding you have to play with jackass Asperger sufferers who, while potentially tactically skilled, are no fun to play with at all.

So we hear the cry, "I don't want to play with those people! Give me something I can play with my friends!" and lo, 10-man dungeons all around.

I think it'll be fun. I'm looking forward the new content, and maybe the possibility of 10-man "lair" encounters (like Onyxia, Gruul, Magtheridon), which I don't think has been tried yet.
The act of raiding - be it in WoW, EQ, whatever - is simply not fun for most people. There's far too much organizational overhead and content retread to make for an enjoyable activity. People raid, mainly, because there's nothing better to do.

Gear progression is a clever way to keep people rehashing old content, and requiring large raids adds another organizational barrier on top of that. Combined, they can really slow down the rate of content consumption. Devs don't implement raiding because it's good gameplay, or because it's what people really want - they implement it because they know it will distract a large number of people as they rehash old content for gear.

Raiding will ultimately die, as it should have years ago with EQ. WoW's ridiculous success (and unfortunate decision to focus the endgame on raiding) has kept it around far beyond its time.
I find it extremely ironic that MMORPGs end up abandoning progressively the last part of the "multi player" game... because people do not really enjoy playing together !

They do not like being forced to play in a militaristic forced min-maxed mode with some idiot who is more serious about the raid's success than most people are about thier careers.

Grouping to achieve a goal. FUN

Military precision required to advance. NOT FUN. Too much effort involved. It's bueatiful when you achieve it but for gods sake its a video game. If you can't make a mistake or two and still have fun what's the point.

And as I write that I guess that is one of the problems with big raids. 25 people are 25 potential mistakes. And the sad thing is the smaller the raid gets the less forgiving of one or two mistakes it gets.
Raiding is like the Mac of the MMO world. It's more expensive, has a smaller market, and at the end of the day it's rewards aren't any better than anything else.

Seriously though. Raiding won't die, but just like everything else in the entertainment world, it's going to have to share the stage with it's competitors.

I personally think that raiding should be a faster means of acquiring gear. But that means the full acceptance of a "badge" or "reputation" system, where raiding simply allows you to max out rep or acquire badges at a vastly faster rate than non-raiding. But at the end of the day, everyone one has access to the same loots.

I haven't insulted no one and yet you insult me.

If can't understand that effort = reward i rest my case.

Anyway, you post here anonymously, you insult and you fell good about it.

I at least have my e-mail here, my character name and my server. I stick up to my opinions and my opinion is this: content will be trivialized specially because when you, for example, start chain wiping in medium difficulty 10-men, you'll be screaming nerf.

As it already happened in Karazhan.

I haven't said that I'm against 10-men raids, but i'm against those 10-men being the same as the 25_men minus loot.

But hey, at least people like you will be able to have it all.

Even if it means nothing in terms of accomplishment.
I love raiding in WoW, and I hate raiding in WoW all at the same time.

Amongst the things about it I love are the coming together of you and your guild mates for an evenings play, the banter and social chatter, the challenge of all working together to overcome a difficult task and the satisfaction and jubilation of that first kill!

But on the flip side I hate it because it promotes anti social behaviour as much as it does social! People get resentful when they feel someone isn't pulling their weight, and as such a lot of focus is put into food use, potion/elixir/flask use, enchantments and DPS meters! And then there's other guilds that try to poach your best raiders, and your best raiders might leave for other guilds. I know that's an aspect of the game you dislike Tobold :)

Also to keep raiding, you need gold and materials to support it, which often means lots of solo play to support the multi player. Every time I spend an evening doing the same dailies over and over again, or farming for mats, I feel I am being manipulated by Blizzard! Why should I HAVE to play solo for hours on end to enable me to play a multi player raid? I thus feel (and this I've noticed is a feeling few other people share :P ) that I'm being forced into playing the game more than I want to, in order to allow me to simply go and play with my guild mates in a raid.

I think raiding should require focus, and skill. But you can do that with out needing lots of additional solo play to enable it. Thus in my humble and deranged opinion, if you removed the pre-requisite grind and merely focused on the raid itself, more people would be able to go raiding once or twice a week, and more fun would be had by all :)
Wyrm: "I stick up to my opinions and my opinion is this: content will be trivialized specially because when you, for example, start chain wiping in medium difficulty 10-men, you'll be screaming nerf.
As it already happened in Karazhan."

I still find some parts of Karazhan challenging. I must be such a noob.

Wyrm: "I haven't said that I'm against 10-men raids, but i'm against those 10-men being the same as the 25_men minus loot."


Wyrm: "But hey, at least people like you will be able to have it all."

You make that sound like it's bad when more players will see all the dungeons.

Wyrm: "Even if it means nothing in terms of accomplishment."

In my little world, it is/will be an accomplishment to clear all the 10-man content :)
Well, Blizzard have made up their minds and for now the yay-sayers and the nay-sayers can only guess on what will be the outcome.

I think it will be bad, you think it will be good. We shall see.

Until then, I'll just focus in helping my guild down Brutallus and we'll try to down Kil'Jaeden before the next expansion comes out.

And yes, it is stupid to argue over commercially driven decisions. Democracy is a beautiful thing and if the majority wants it that way, the rest of us should just adapt or move on. End of story.
Some thoughts on raiding:

1) If you want to raid you need to play 5 days a week, and 6 hours a day. You have no life, live in a basement, and have Cartman's mother to come round and collect your poopies.

Complete nonsense. My guild raids twice a week, with each raid roughly 3 hours long. Hardly onerous. Bleeding edge guilds might require a huge time sink, but the rest of us have plenty of time-constraints and other commitments.

2) Raiders only care about loot.

Right, unlike people who don't raid. Non-raiders still dress in their lv 1 starting gear, because they are not loot fixated.
The whole game revolves around upgrading your gear. Raiding carries on that tradition, good or bad.

3) Raiders are all antisocial jerks, they shout and scream if people mess up, and they whine when their loot doesn't drop from raid bosses.

Actually most raiders are more sociable than non-raiders; they have to be, as raiding requires a hell of a lot of teamwork.
You don't get good teamwork if people are acting like little dictators all the time. People either quit the guild. or the disruptive ones are kicked.
The anti-social description suits the average PUG a lot more than any raid guild.

4) You have to spend hours grinding when you are not raiding.

Maybe in Vanilla WoW, when earning money took forever. Now you just need to play the normal solo game to earn the gold needed for repairs and consumables (and that is supposed to be more fun than raiding, at least that's what people keep saying on this blog).

"But I'm a holy Priest, it takes forever to do dailies"

Try teaming up (gasp!) with a couple of other people, and you can do all of the Quel Danas quests in 30 minutes. Again, hardly a struggle.

5) Most raiders just go on WoWiki and follow a script. There is nothing difficult about that.

Yes, like everything else in life, you learn how to do things based on other people's experiences. Hardly a crime. Also, I don't have endless hours available to figure out stuff like you need a SL Warlock to tank Leotheras's demon, when thousands of people already know that. I just don't get that argument.

6) The game would be better off without raids.

Ok, so take raids out of WoW and what do you have? The same game.
Only, people are going to quit a lot sooner. Once they have done all the solo content, that will be it.
I would have quit WoW pre-TBC if it wasn't for raiding. Once I had been to Strat and Scholo a dozen times each, and done all the Plaguelands quests, I had had enough of the solo game. Thankfully there was still MC and Onyxia.
wow vlad, in one sentence you say it's easy to solo, then the next sentence you say I should not bother trying to solo on my priest.

Sorry, I don't want to sit around waiting for other people to log in and help me with daily "solo" quests. I don't pay money to sit around and get hand held.

Arguing something is "easy" is immaterial. Of course it's not hard to get the dailies done or team up . the point is it's ANNOYING AS HELL. Much more annoying than wiping repeatedly on a boss. At least then you are learning and improving. Dailies are just a grind. Boring, dull, grind. end of story.

dailies only made it easier to grind, the grind is still there.
See what I'm talking about? First thing he does is imply I must be a noob and wipe constantly in Karazhan. I'm sure if I were actually stupid enough to post my contact information in an open forum, he'd pick something (say, my Arena rating) and bash that too. And then come to my server and harass me.

This is exactly the behaviour that turns people off raiding - the demeaning, self-righteous, unsportsmanlike attitude coupled with the sneering assumption that anyone not in Sunwell is barely able to tie their own shoes.

This does not attract new raiders. This does not encourage people to think favourably of raiding guilds. STOP DOING IT. Stop making it hard to recruit friends into my hobby.

I think WotLK's approach - making the main storyline easily accessible, but with hardcore options - will prove to be a winner. It worked in FFXI - the main stories could be completed with a team of 6, and unlocked optional hardcore raids and boss fights. Many of them took the form of more powerful versions of fights you'd finished in "story mode" - Ouryu tuned for 18 people instead of 6, for example. So this is not an untried idea.
"See what I'm talking about? First thing he does is imply I must be a noob and wipe constantly in Karazhan. I'm sure if I were actually stupid enough to post my contact information in an open forum, he'd pick something (say, my Arena rating) and bash that too. And then come to my server and harass me."

How important do you think you are?
Easy on the paranoia, mate.
Nobody here wants to harass you and let alone me.
I have been trying to keep my tone down out of respect for this space and the first thing you do is to write an insulting post directed at me? And "I" want to harass you? Grow up, please, you T6 Tank, you.

I appologize again for contributing to this little flame war on your blog. My participation in this thread ends now.
Glad to hear it, Wyrm. Your perspective is the archetype/stereotype that gives raiding such a bad name. Thank god you are part of a dying minority. "Have fun" killing Kil'... whats his name again????
Actually, arguing hardcore v. casual, raider v. non-raider, PvP v. PvE...
Anymore that doesn’t really affect me terribly much except to be an occasional annoyance.

For example, I like basketball, and I liked to play with my friends. We played in nice gyms, on concrete park courts, and even in driveways. We rarely had enough for 5-on-5, and usually wouldn’t go full court even if we had access to. We’d trash talk some, in jest. But we knew we weren’t pro material, or semi-pro, and probably could never have even started for a high school team. But if pros, or semi-pros, or high school started had told us we couldn’t play, that half-court 3-on-3 wasn’t really basketball - they would really have been wasting their time. We were having fun, period - no aspirations beyond that.

I suppose in an MMO everyone likes to think that they are potentially a difference-maker who could raid at the top end. Probably some could, many might find that they couldn’t. Some are better than others for a wide variety of possible reasons. But unfortunately the WoW PvE endgame is *far* less flexible than basketball. To raid, you typically must have 10- or 25-toon groups with the ‘trinity’ of healers and tanks and DPS and often even some specific classes and / or gear (or gear level) and a good bit of outside-the-game research being pretty much required.

I believe that this inflexibility is at the root of many of the conflicts about endgame PvE (which ends up being raiding). The problem is compounded by a ramping-up loot cycle (and sometimes people want to believe that an advantage given by loot is really a skill advantage). There is no designed PvE endgame option to solo, or run in various small-groups, or a non-‘trinity’-dependant option.
This leads to people who complain that they are locked out by the design, and people other people who think that being able to raid somehow puts them special elite class. Each side has some truth, yet neither is completely true – the formula for an endless argument.

The bottom line, IMO, is that WoW raiding borrowed an existing MMO raid design, and mastered the design and scripting of raids (good), while retaining the inflexibility and neglecting the social (bad).
Heroic instances, and now the proposed parallel 10- and 25-toon raids, are a nod that yes, requiring X toons from the ‘trinity’ in a pretty much fixed ratio really is an inflexible and therefore poor basic design -- but no, we’re not willing to really innovate and introduce a truly flexible solution.

There are 25 dailies. If you can't even do 4 or 5 of those without getting bored, then I think it's time you pressed the quit button.
@ vlad

Dailies are not content. If you are happy with dailies get an efficiency apartment and live on big MACS. Your low expectations should keep you happy with that.
Dailies ARE content.
What is the average daily? Go kill 10 of this, collect 10 of that; the same as nearly every other quest in the game.

If you don't enjoy the basic MMO type of quest, then why are you playing WoW in the first place?
As I said before, if you are bored, then quit the game and go and do something else.

Your hostility is unwarranted and childish.
It is a sidebar issue, but IMO quests designed to be endlessly repeated do not meet the standard of “content” beyond the first, or first few, times they are done.

My wife loves murder mysteries. We’ve watched dozens, maybe hundreds, of TV episodes, TV movies, and big screen murder mysteries. We’ve seen a lot of permutations on the theme. But I think that we can agree that while some are good enough to watch multiple times, they aren’t really “content” after a point - even though a “new” murder mystery will probably have quite similar elements, such as victims, suspects, detectives.

So while some may have it in them to endlessly repeat the same daily quests, or a weekly Karazhan run, I have my limits, and I refuse to look at daily quests, or Karazhan, as “content” anymore just because I can do them again. I’m down to the fishing daily because I want the monocle for my bank toon and (painfully enough) weekly Kara because my friends / guildies need loot and badges from there to progress and I happen to be the best DPS they can reliably get.

Following the "it's all just the basic/same MMO stuff anyway" logic...
Wouldn’t I have better return on my repetition of content to just repeat the exercise of leveling a toon of different WoW race and faction to 70 - a repetition cycle that takes several weeks to a few months rather than daily or weekly cycles - and repeat (even without ever bothering to buy WoW-TBC)?
Who needs stinking WotLK anyway - we already have dailies and raids, and WotLK will just be more of the same, right?
no hostility vlad. I honestly meant what I said. If you are the kind of OCD person that enjoys doing the same quest over and over then you are the minority.

Dailies are only content in the same way that Mcdonalds is food.
Technically yes. Good food no. Worthwile food not in any way.

they are a cop out by lazy developers.

But if you like them play them.
Ah well, very late to the party and didn't really read all the comments... But since you, Tobold, get E-mail notification about comments (afaik) and hopefully read all the comments, here's a little bit that I came up with when thinking about raiding. Wonder if anyone else has already mentioned it :)

The problem, as I see it, is the very limited server population cap. If, for example, all WoW players were on the same server, there wouldn't be a (as big) problem to organize as many raiding guilds with specific purpose to raid as required -- regardless of the fact that the 'majority' of the players doesn't want to raid.

However as it stands now, every player that decides against raiding (for pvp rewards, badge rewards, what-you-have) is one person less in a very limited pool of level 70 characters on a given server. This is what is killing raiding at the moment, imo.

I wish Blizzard offered servers with all pvp rewards (and possibly equipment badge rewards) disabled. You could still do arenas & battlegrounds, but you wouldn't get equipment rewards from it (you could still get potions and gems/vortices/whatever out of it). That way everyone who is playing on such a server is more or less guaranteed to be interested in raiding as the end-game progression. That way there could be enough raiding-oriented people on such servers for raiding to continue to be a viable end-game entertainment for people who are so inclined (and considering that raiding is the one end-game activity that requires the most organizational effort, it could use all the help it could get).
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