Tobold's Blog
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Open Sunday Thread

I know it's the first weekend after the release of Wrath of the Lich King. But in this open Sunday thread you can discuss other games as well, ask questions, or propose subjects for future blog posts.
Its not really a question or anything but,

WotLK cleared in 3 days.
Sounds good to me, casual raiding equals more fun overall.
What are you're thoughts on Athene's team getting banned for leveling too quickly?
OK, wrath question. There are going to be tons of tanks and melee dps around (all the tank specs got improved, plus there's death knights too).

WHat do you think Blizzard could do to sort the class balance out? Because if everything is gated on healers, there are going to be a lot of frustrated players out there.
I love it how these guys from 25whatever question the overall difficulty in WotLK. Really, the fact that this guild, consisting of people who apparently view playing WOW a valid career choice, can clear the content in x hours isnt an indication of anything tbh. The large majority of customers will play the game differently (as in: not as a job); of course Blizz will cater to them, thats where the bulk of the money comes from.

One WotlK observation: Blizz should have made the hero class a healer.
As a casual player, I am still troubled by the relative speed with which 25thNovember was able to clear the endgame content. These encounters are supposed to be the pinnacle of the PvE experience, something akin the final stage of a platformer in which your every errant move can spell defeat but after many trials you finally prevail. I don't want impossible content but I do want to have the perception that it is epic that it does require skill and a certain level of gear. Most of the members of 25thNovember cleared these raids wearing T6/Sunwell gear; they didn't work through heroic 80 lvl dungeons, they didn't do 10 man Naxx, and they didn't participate in endgame PvP to gear up. It will be nice to see all of the content at 80 but will it feel the same?
What are you're thoughts on Athene's team getting banned for leveling too quickly?


What I want to know is what the thoughts are on how this Athene got such a hot babe. All I can assume is the brain matter of said babe is as dense as the other...uh...assets!
He's an annoying blowhard, thats EXACTLY the type of guy I would expect with a submissive girl who never talks. . .
I mostly agree with Sean above regarding the speed of 25thnovember. I think that making the content such that the elite groups can clear it in under a week (they are not the only group to be done) takes away from the epic feel.

I am all for opening up content to a larger group of players, but i am not sure that they way Blizzard appears to have done it was the right one. Personally, I preferred the old system where the dungeons were insanely difficult for a few months after they were released to cater the super hardcore players, and then de-tuned a bit for the rest of us.
The real issue is that Blizzard is in a Catch 22 situation.

The three options for doing an expansion are:

(1) reset the gear at 71+ so everyone needs to grind new gear to progress even through the earlier instances (remember, Naxx in LK is an earlier instance, more like Gruul's/Mag rather than SSC and beyond was in BC);

(2) keep the same gear progression from "normal" 70 greens to "normal" 71+ gear, which means that T6/SWP/Brutal gear will last well into the late 70s and indeed even in the earlier 80 instances, while providing a means for non-T6 players to grind gear in the first 80 level instances so as to be geared adequately for Naxx and beyond; or

(3) same as (2), but require T6 gear from SWP in order to clear Naxx -- essentially preserving preservation between BC instance progression and LK instance progression, such that you *need* to have top BC gear in order to do Naxx.

In BC, Blizzard chose option (1), and all of the hardcore raiders from classic WoW howled about how that trivialized their earlier accomplishments pre-BC. It did that, indeed, but it also made it so that noone would be able to waltz into BC 25 man endgame dungeons in their (classic WoW) AQ40/Naxx gear ... you would need to gear up again, as everything was resetting.

In LK, Blizzard appears to have chosen choice (2) -- which in effect means that players who are not in T5/T6/S4 gear will be able to gear up more easily and do Naxx (where they will likely need to gear up for later instances), but people who are in T5/6 will be able to clear Naxx very easily. And then the complaints come about the content being trivially difficult.

Blizzard could have chosen some form of option (3) -- in other words, make it as hard for an instance like Naxx to be accessed by non-elite players as SWP was -- that is, preserve the essential progression from SWP to the current endgame. Of course, doing that would block off the content to most of the playerbase, which is probably why Blizzard didn't do that.

Another option would have been for the instances to be put on "insane" difficulty for the first 3-4 months, and then tuned down, when new instances are released for the elite guilds to chew on at "insane" difficulty, while everyone else gets easier access to Naxx etc., as it is tuned down to reach players who are not in T6 equivalent gear. I suspect that this is 25thnovember's real agenda: they want to return the endgame setup to what it was in classic WoW, namely having the endgame (which is a moving target as more content is released) content always be experienced by a tiny portion of the playerbase. I doubt Blizzard goes in that direction, because it kind of works against the way that the endgame has been set up since classic WoW ended, but that's the agenda, I think, and the point that 25thnovember was trying to make -- they are trying to shame Blizzard into upping the difficulty level to keep it less accessible and more elite.
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