Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
WoW patch 3.0.8 today

... or tomorrow if you live in Europe. WoWInsider has patch notes, which are far too huge to copy to here and comment in detail. So lets just say this is a balancing patch, adding no new content, but trying to improve class balance and similar issues, as well as fixing bugs. I can only hope that Blizzard will not take several months before releasing patch 3.1 with the next raid dungeon.

I love Wrath of the Lich King, and find its quality level far superior to Burning Crusade, but there is definitely a lack of raid content. There is only a single multi-boss raid dungeon, and that one isn't even new, it has just been recycled. If the next raid dungeon isn't coming in early spring, a lot of people will feel they already "finished" WotLK, which can't be good for subscription numbers.
Tobold complaining about the lack of raid content? How the times have changed ;-)
Not really. While I maintain that the first raid dungeon should be as easy as it is right now, I always said that having an easy entry-level raid requires to have additional, harder raid dungeons for those who need the challenge. That is nothing new. In TBC I didn't complain about there being too much raid content, but about it not being accessible for the average player.
This may or may not technically be "new" content, but they are implementing rewards for Wintergrasp marks of honor, which previously had no purpose. For mages, at least, the new rewards are significant, since there is a metagem that's worth an unreasonably large DPS boost, and non-raid hats with a meta socket are very limited.
It just amuses me that WoW have changed to the point where you and Ensidia basically have completed the same content and both want more (and I guess harder) raid content.
Wow... "The Great Hunter Nerf" is today, eh? Gonna have to check that out tonight after I finish Wednesday's comic.

Thanks for the heads-up, T.
I've had this suspicion for awhile that Blizzard have been cutting corners a bit with WoW. Maybe pulling developers into other projects and keeping a skeleton crew on their cash cow. Maybe not a skeleton crew but the non-expansion content has definitely gotten slower during the last year or so. I think it was a big mistake to roll out the expansion without a challenging multi-boss raid dungeon. But I think this was more due to the fact that they didn't realize Naxx would be so easy and they didn't put any artificial barriers to entry in raid content. In TBC, most guilds at this point were still working on Karazhan with new level 70's having to run through a long quest chain to even gain access. A lot of people now just go right into Naxx with quest gear.
Let's hope they got some of the balance right and PVP isn't quite so painful for some classes against others.

The length of time that it took to push out this patch has me concerned about Uldar. It's not even up on the PTR and if patches are going to have an 8-10 week test cycle, we aren't going to see Uldar until mid to late March.

Perhaps the delay for this patch was intentional to give them more time to work on Uldar. (Wishful thinking I am sure!)
Lol lol lol, dont be silly tobold. You've barely managed to clear naxx once, and I'm sure many players have yet to even do that. You should not be compaining about the lack of raid content unless you're selling tourist trips to sarth3d once a week.
Tobold doesn't strike me as a very hardcore player. If he is clearing Naxx already, you can be sure all other raiders (and now many previous non-raiders) are too. And that brings up a big and unpleasant quiestion for players considering whether to keep paying their subscription: What now? While working on achievements may be an answer to some, I suspect they won't interest just as many.

Is Blizzard so confident in the loyalty of thier customers? Or are they betting on a never-ending influx of new player to replace those who leave having exhausted the content?
"It just amuses me that WoW have changed to the point where you and Ensidia basically have completed the same content and both want more (and I guess harder) raid content." -Ni

Said in jest, but that line holds a lot of truth. For the first time in WoW, the casuals and the hardcore have both run out of content, and only a few months after an expansion. We are no longer discussing how EJ/Nih/Curse plow through content, or even how server-first guilds are clearing the final raid.

How hard will Uldar have to be to prevent this from happening 1-2 months after it's release? Considering close to anyone remotely interested in raiding will likely be fully geared from the current content, you can't gear-block people in Uldar. Short of another broken Rag encounter, what's to hold people up, considering it will be a 10-25 man raid that people can ezmode learn in 10 man?
I too have thought about this. In TBC, they patched in dungeons after the fact, but you got the feeling that there was a road ahead of you that you could follow. With WotLK, I feel a little like they're laying bricks a moment before my foot lands.

Part of that is the lesser focus on heroics. My guild barely bothered with 5-man heroics and instead hit up Naxx in T6 + Northrend quest rewards. They didn't have too much trouble slingshotting into T7 gear. Given how easy Naxx is and how easy they made it to get T6 raid gear at the end of TBC, heroics aren't the same speedbump they were in TBC, so players are already deep in the end-game.
heroics aren't a speedbump at all, more like. 90% of the dungeons I've never even ran on non heroic, because there was no point. I hit level 80 thru AoE grinding or questing on my warlock (every 'group' quest easily soloable as SL/felguard), then flipped the switch to heroic mode, and began gearing up some purples for naxx. I think I ran UK, VH, and like Nexus as normal. Pretty sure I've run them all now on heroic, but honestly, I've shelved the lock in favor of my 71 priest. Spent these last few days grinding tailoring and alchemy up to respectable levels, next is the climb to 80.
On our server, (Antonidas, EU) there are several PuG raids for Naxx25 these days. IMHO this is good, because also people from small guilds get to raid. Of course there are still Armory checks being done to make sure the raids has a chance. That means, people have to have a certain gear level, which they can acquire through Naxx10. Naxx10 being relatively easy and accessible to everyone allows many many players, who would otherwise not have a chance to see a 25man raid in the next 6 months, to go there already now, or not much later.

Still, despite all the hardcore's whining, IMHO, Naxx 10 and 25 as entry level dungeons are doing their job perfectly. However, Blizzard is now in the duty to provide new content for everyone, casual and more ambitious players. As they have bought a lot of time by recycling Naxx, I am very confident that the real WotLK dungeons will cater all needs. Blizz has set a very high standard with the Northend world so far, and it would not be Blizzard if they didn't keep up to it with everything that is yet to come.

Also, playing a hunter myself, I do not see a "nerf" anywhere. It is "balancing" the hunter class (AND their pets) and others for the new T8 content, to make sure it will not be simply an AoE-country as it is right now.
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