Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Ghostcrawler on raid difficulty
Ghostcrawler, having freshly escaped a mob of angry paladins with torches and pitchforks, answered a question on raid difficulty on the WoW forums:
I think it's too early to say. We just haven't gotten to that content yet. Everything that follows beyond this point is just my random brain dumping and not our official stance:Interesting! I agree with most of this, especially the "Karazhan, Gruul and Magtheridon were too steep a jump in difficulty from the heroics" part. And of course I like the "Naxx will be pretty easy" part, even if one of the reasons is "we recycled an old dungeon, and the videos how to beat the bosses on YouTube are still valid". The "we're just not there yet" part suggests that WotLK will ship unfinished, not really a surprise, and the high-end raid dungeons will be patched in later. The trick will be to find a good slope from pretty easy to insanely difficult, so that everyone can find raid content which is challenging for him. And if that means that some hardcore guilds will have Naxx on farm right from the start and move on from there quickly, that is okay with me.
-- Raiding is easy at the moment. Even Naxx will be pretty easy. Part of that is because we thought Karazhan, Gruul and Magtheridon were too steep a jump in difficulty from the heroics. Part of that is because most of the Naxx encounters are well-understood.
-- You will not be able to AE tank and AE burn down every encounter in Lich King like we're all doing now in Hyjal and Sunwell.
-- Very few players experienced Sunwell pre-nerf.
-- On the other hand, those that did were generally very complimentary of the encounters. Despite the difficulty, people had fun.
-- No matter how difficult we make content, very hardcore groups will probably still finish it quickly. In other words, we can't make "insanely difficult" the barrier that keeps a boss alive for months.
-- It's probably okay if some content is only seen by a few players. It just amps up the epic quotient of those fights. Everyone knew who Ragnaros was, even if they hadn't been able to beat him.
-- Obviously the preceeding is a very slippery slope and it's easy to make content too difficult or too easy.
-- Part of the reason Sunwell was difficult was it mandated raid stacking. The buff / debuff system has changed so much that we don't anticipate that happening again the same way.
-- We really like optional objectives that let skilled groups really test their mettle (and then show off about it). I'm talking about things like the 45-min Baron run, ZA bear run, and Chamber of the Aspects with all drakes up. Does this mean Arthas will be doable by many groups but the uber mode to beat him will be 10x as hard and offer better loot? We're just not there yet.