Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
 
Classic raiding? I don't think so

Several commenters here and on other sites, including a Blizzard community manager, mentioned the possibility to use the "turn XP off" switch at level 60 and have a guild doing "classic raids". Sounds like a great idea at first, but I'm afraid that is going to turn out to be an illusion. It's not that easy to turn back time!

One important aspect is that a level 60 today is very different from a level 60 three years ago. There have been numerous patches, two expansions, and quite a lot of class changes since then. Most of them making characters more powerful. Spells and talents have been upgraded, and glyphs have been added. If you tried playing a Death Knight you probably considered him overpowered at level 60, compared with your memory of being level 60 in 2006. But I do think that if you leveled another character to 60 now, not only would it go a lot faster, but you'd also find him to be similarly powerful at that level. And if not, you could always take a Death Knight to Molten Core.

And if that wasn't enough, of course a level 60 character nowadays has access to gear from the early parts of The Burning Crusade. That not only makes them more powerful, it also removes much of the motivation of going to a raid in the first place.

And motivation is what is finally going to kill the idea of classic raids. Where do you find 40 people who want to raid Molten Core several times per week for several months just to "progress" to BWL? At the time we didn't have much of a choice, there was nothing better to do. But many who did it felt somehow cheated when The Burning Crusade made all that "progress" obsolete. And nowadays, knowing how hollow the achievements of killing Ragnaros and getting those epics from him is, I doubt people will really go through all the trouble of leveling a character to 60 just for classic raiding. A few might try, but I don't think this will catch on.
Comments:
Anyone who did this would also probably discover how boneheaded the original raids were.

But at least they added the Death Knight class call for Nefarian.
 
I agree the idea is silly.

More importantly you make a good point that 'Many people felt cheated' with BC.

I was foolish enough to gear up quite a few end level toons. First with BC then more so with WoTLC the sense of loss of hard fought epic being replaced with trashy quest blues negated the sense of accomplishment.

I am not sure how many of these content upgrades wiping clean the slate of accomplishment I can stand. I expect one day, an upgrade to Level cap 120 will come out and I will simply never log into WoW again.
 
I figure it this way. I don't want to run old raids, but maybe some people do. By giving extra control to players about how and when they level, who knows what they'll decide to do?

Maybe some people will start successful classic raiding communities. I don't really think it's likely (and classes really arent' balanced at 60 any more) but ... you never know.
 
How about instead making old raiding content easier (amenable to pug raids for example) and making the gear better (say on a par with typical level 65 gear). In that way old raiding content would remain relevant as an alternative path to progression rather than becoming entirely obsolete.
 
There's a way to do this, as Everquest proved a few years back, but it's very time and labor intensive for the devs. It is indeed impossible to recreate the past on a current server, but in the end it's all numbers and you can recreate the past on a new server.

Everquest had the problem that no-one had ever thought, as they added improvements over the years, that there might come a time when they'd want to reverse them. Consequently some poor devs had to go back and manually reverse every material change in the code. Many things in underlying systems were irreversible, so it wasn't possible to recreate the past exactly, but they got pretty close.

Any MMO designer starting now should be well aware of a future revenue stream from implementation of "Classic" servers a few years down the line, should their game prove successful enough to create an audience for them. Therefore they'd be well advised to retain all the original code from each iteration, making it simple to create a time machine.
 
I thought this was meant to make life easier for twinks since battlegrounds will make you gain XP.

And there are a few guilds who do lvl 60 content. They just didn't buy/install the expansion packs.
 
@Jormundgard. "Boneheaded original raids". Sure, Molten Core wasn't very good. But AQ stands as the pinnacle of raiding to me, that was a great instance. Zul Gurub was also a lot of fun. And Naxxramas was so good they decided to release it again.

But I've done them already, no reason to go back. Well, I did solo ZG with my DK just for fun.
 
But I've done them already, no reason to go back.

This is the outlook that I dont understand. People say they want challenge, yet with the limitations that devs have with generating content, they instead do something like this and people frown upon it without ever having yet experienced it.

Also, Blizzard is in a VERY unique position with WoW, as they can make changes such as these with over 11 million subscribers and be numerically certain that there will be players who like the concept, and in turn develope a whole other social subgroup of raiders. Other MMO's wouldnt dare, or could ill afford to make a change such as this in my opinion.
 
There are already a fair few level 60 guilds now.

Will it catch on? No more so than anything else will, it offers more opportunities to people who want to do it, though.

Most guilds have predefined rules, like, no glyphs, no using x y talents (in some cases) no tbc gear, no tbc enchants etc, no shamans/paladins (A/H accordingly) and no DK#s - but some dont, at the end of the day its upto you if you want to do it, no-ones going to make you.

I already know plenty of people are, if this helps them out, then as usual, im all for diversification.

As said, its not a case of "if" because it already happens, it just provides more people for it.
 
Yes, having options to enjoy a game is terrible...

If even one guild per server takes advantage of this, it was a worthwhile addition to the cash cow, and as others have already pointed out, it's easy enough to play by the rules and do MC+ as close as possible to the 2004 version. Some class abilities are different, but everything else can just be ignored. The idea is not to powergame through the raid, but to go back in time and play good content that recent expansions made impossible to enjoy.
 
They could also scale the mobs/dungeons to level 70/80/90/100...

But there is the catch: People in general want better gear, and not so much nostalgia...

Still, I would like a level 80 version of the Death Mines, or Onyxia... even without level 80 gear drops.
 
With careful leveling a player could avoid training new abilities, not take new talents (or try to minimize the effects of the improved talents). It's not going to be common, but if it adds a little more fun for some people, great.
 
40 man level 60 raids were epic because epics mattered. Hard work in MC and BWL would turn you into a beast in PVP. There were no alternative advancement paths (besides running battlegrounds 14+ hours per day for 10-12 weeks straight to hit max pvp rank). There were no badges to bypass content.

You either raided or you were just some scrub. You will NEVER be able to recreate this with the current playerbase and ruleset.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
Yeah i really miss the old stuff (but I never saw it!). We ran a few raids and it ends up either being 1) total face roll what the heck are we doing, oh wait the boss is dead, or
2) Holy *#$) that boss hits hard and we're all dead and to get past the boss we need to do X Y and Z which requires months of work. (I'm thinking of you, twin emps).

So...yeah it's sad, but as much as I'd like to see those level 60 raids, i'm not going to reroll another toon and stick him at 60 just to do them. They really need to figure out a way to tune the encounters appropriately.
 
I think the better option would be adding the "level sync" type feature that FFXI has, though probably go further to allow syncing down to specifically 60, 70, and eventually 80 when the next expansions come out.

The only real problem is that the devs seem stubborn against such a feature.
 
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