Tobold's Blog
Thursday, April 22, 2010
If you make me think, I quit!

Muqq from Ensidia wrote a long "I quit" piece on Ensidia's blog section, which contained one really curious phrase: "Not only did the limited attempts force progress guilds to create alt raids to try out the encounters beforehand, we also had to cherish each attempt, inducing long tactical playthroughs and discussions before actually making an actual attempt. We spent much more time playing the game less, a strange paradox indeed." (Emphasis mine) Maybe he should have tried sleeping on it instead. I knew that most guilds coming after the server firsts use canned tactics from YouTube or other boss killing strategy sites. I wasn't aware that even Ensidia complains if they have to actually sit down and think and discuss strategy to kill a new boss, instead of just rushing in and "actually playing".

I found Larisa's view of battling the Lich King far more interesting, because it confirms my fear that Icecrown is yet another rather twitchy raid, where fast reaction time decides whether you live and die. She says "You need the reaction time of a teenager brought up on Nintendo and FPS games as well as a very good, lag free internet connection, or you’re screwed.", and I simply don't have that reaction time, being neither a teenager any more, nor a player of FPS games.

Combine the two posts and you get a pretty accurate description of why I don't raid any more: The world's top guilds are dominated by people who hate having to discuss strategy, and the non twitchy demographic is left wiping 38 times because they are lacking some fraction of a second in reaction time. Now Blizzard promised us that with Cataclysm activities like raid healing would become less twitchy and more strategic, but of course that only helps if the encounter itself doesn't force you to react very fast or die. I would rather see raid encounters becoming less predictable, thus forcing raids to discuss strategy more, while at the same time becoming less twitchy.

Funnily enough I agree with a lot of what Muqq is saying in the rest of his "I quit" post: Like him I'd prefer if there was a middle ground, or better a continuous increase in difficulty from the easiest to the hardest difficulty level of content. And I would prefer if you had slow and steady character progression, instead of farming easy heroics to a point where the epic rewards make most of the existing raid dungeons obsolete. I'm happy I did at least Naxxramas when I still had the chance, because now I can't go there with alts, because everybody figured out that from a "gear score requirement difficulty" point of view it is easier to just bypass Naxx and Ulduar by running heroics. Can't Blizzard see that a trade chat full of "LFM ICC PuG raid, 6k gearscore", with not a single raid to Naxxramas or Ulduar being organized is not the kind of character progression curve this game should have?

The perfect raid end game in my opinion has a very easy first starting dungeon, and then gets gradually harder. But the "harder" challenges are designed in a way that it takes a mix of better gear and faster reflexes to overcome them, with a possibility for people who don't have the latter to still advance by gathering more of the former. Thus the top guilds with the players with the fastest reflexes still get the server firsts. But the regular people just advance slower, having to run dungeon X more often before being able to succeed in dungeon X+1. I don't know whether that was the original plan for Wrath of the Lich King, but I do know that heroics giving rewards better than Ulduar killed that progression. And if Larisa's description is right, not even a 6k gearscore from grinding emblems of frost would suffice for me to Icecrown Citadel, because the twitch requirements aren't such that they can be overcome with better gear. I find it ironic that Blizzard first does the right move by making an accessible entry level raid dungeon, and then kills it by making its rewards obsolete. Great, the content I can do, heroics, is getting too easy and repetitive, and the next available step is already too twitchy for me. Why is there no middle ground?
LK is less twitchy than you might think. The abilities are highly predictable, being on known cooldown timers. The key is to get your raid coordinated and drilled to react appropriately to the range of known possible situations, as opposed to reflexively improvising.

That being said it's a bit awful on Oceanic ping (~200 pulls to Kingslayer-25 here).

Furthermore ICC normal's learning curve is actually not bad.

- Saurfang is a nice starting mix of execution and dps check.

- Festergut is a pure DPS check

- Blood Princes are a pure execution check.

- Rotface is a nice blend of the two

- Valithria is a healer output check (very useful).

- Putricide and Lana'thel raise the bar, requiring execution and dps (in slightly different balances)

- Sindragosa is highly annoying but does teach good control.

- Arthas asks you to play at your best.

Obsoleting raid content and creating incentive for overgeared monsters to destroy 5 man content? That's a weirder one. From a gameplay point of view it makes no sense. However from a social point of view it makes it very easy for people to catch up and play with their friends, for rerolls to help a guild, and populates the recruitment pool. It's far from ideal, but it does have its benefits.
I don't think you're quite reading Muqq's comment the way he intended it. Of course, as a guild that has gotten a lot of world firsts, they would be quite accustomed to thinking and discussing strategy. The difference is, in the past, you could discuss a strategy and then immediately try it out to see how well it works. With the limited attempts in ICC, you need to discuss, and discuss, and discuss, and think of various alternate strategies, and then discuss some more about which one to try, rather than thinking of some possible strategies and then trying them out to see how they go.
I disagree with many things in this post:

1) Many top-guilds don't like the limited attempts because believe it or not, these guilds actually like "playing the game". It is far more fun to go in and do attempts rather than sit around and discuss strategy. Also, don't forget that there are 25 people in the raid, while the strategy will be handled by a smaller group. What should the other people do while this discussion is going on? I'm not part of a top-guild, but am part of the upper echelons of raiding (ICC10 Kingslayer, with 8/12 heroic and 11/25 ICC25). From my experience, there is nothing more annoying than sitting around discussing strategy. I want to jump in a play the game! I would think my preferences are shared by a majority of players whilst your preference is in the minority.

2) Regarding dungeon progression - If you look back at TBC (and Vanilla), guilds could only progress only if they managed to clear the previous tier. This had led to people stalling on progression. Thus, the final raid instance TBC (Sunwell) was seen by only a small minority of players. Why make all these content that only a small number of people can see? If we use your dungeon progression model, this is what will happen. Guilds are going to stall in instance X, where repeated runs of instance X will not even let them progress to X+1. To back this up, look at TBC. I ran Kara so many times and my char was full of gear. But my guild didn't have the skill/numbers to progress to T5, no matter how geared we were. I am certain this experience was shared by many.

3) The current emblem system (semi-gear reset every tier) is a very effective system. Yes, it has led to "grinding easy heroics". Yes, it has led to Naxx and Ulduar being obsolete. But what it has done is allowed players to gear up for the next tier even if they have stalled on progresssion (this is related to my point 2). Naxx and Ulduar has been around for a long time and most players are bored of doing them. Futhermore, the better players have all moved on to the higher tiers. Thus, if the emblem system didn't exist, many players will get left behind because they don't have the skill (and the better players have moved on) to clear a certain raid tier. Furthermore, it greatly helps guilds since they do not have to waste time gearing a new raid member by farming a previous tier. That gearing can be left for the new member to do themselves.

4) Regarding the "twitchiness" of WoW. I do kind of agree. You do need good reflexes to kill the Lich King. However, through proper preparation and planning, the amount of "twitchiness" needed is less since you know beforehand how you are going to react to a certain situation. As Jye Nicolson said, many of the abilities are on known cooldown timers and the raid just needs to know how to react to them. In time, the Icecrown buff is going to hit 35%. We'll see how successful casual guilds will be then in killing the Lich King.
What if the raid dungeons had to be played in a rotation in order to make the later ones easier, kinda similar to how Alterac Valley’s progression works. If a guild does all the previous raid dungeons then Icecrown Citadel is automatically toned down for them. A higher end guild with most of the best gear could go straight to Icecrown Citadel, but for them it’ll be exceptionally more difficult. Maybe the quality of the items can change depending on this difficulty too.
Responding to Carson, I agree that Muqq's complaint should be interpreted as a critique of the heightened penalty for failure and not of the necessity for a strategic meta-game.

You don't walk into an untested encounter and just start grinding away at it. Most top guilds would first, if they hadn't done so already on PTRs, try the encounter with an abundance of healers and the goal of surviving through as many phases/boss abilities as possible to scope out the fight. After they have an idea of what the boss is doing, they then begin the process of forming a strategy for the fight, a process that for some encounters takes weeks or months of forum posts, vent chats, and in-game attempts.

Limited attempts constrains a guild's ability to do all of the above. Without the freedom to explore an encounter at their own pace, they have to rely on a less complete picture of the fight itself and stick to conservative/easier-to-execute strategies so as to maximize their potential success.

The limited attempt mechanic is Blizzard's way of trying to protect the hardcore from themselves, of putting a pseudo time-limit on how long a guild can raid in any given week. Hardcore guilds flaunted this of course, creating multiple alt raids to gear up their mains and spend their stock of limited attempts many times over.

As for the difficulty level, I think Blizzard painted themselves into a corner by adopting the philosophy that every player should be able to see all of the content. That philosophy sets the maximum difficulty of the 10 man, normal raid content at a lowest common denominator that doesn't satisfy most of those who are actively raiding. To appease them, and perhaps to save face, the heroic modes are orders of magnitude harder in some cases. These two ends of the spectrum leave the majority of raiders caught awkwardly in between, not skilled or coordinated enough to tackle most of the heroic content, but not challenged enough by most of the regular raids.
I'd love to have more theorycrafting between wipes and less "run back quickly so we can do it again and randomly blame a different player".
I know that on my server even random ICC 10 mans have cleared the instance.

Obviously that's not "every random raid", but it's definitely possible if the players are "good enough"

The whole problem is the perception of the progression guilds' players as being the best, while they quite obviously are just
a) good enough
b) (and more importantly) more willing than others to spend a lot of time in this game.

We've had a Saturday night Ulduar 10 hard mode raid in our guild that took three evenings to get the proto-drake for everyone (alts mostly). Reward good enough for not doing ICC with those same alts on three nights? Definitely.

The sad thing is, it's quite improbable that the average random player that you find in Dalaran has the same dedication to reach such goals.
I symphatize with his opinion. While all high end guilds, obviously, need to discuss strategy a lot - and while most of them like it a lot - there is an upper limit. The limited attempts approach has crossed that limit for many.
They cannot discuss strategy while at work, and then test it in the afternoon, but they have to continue discussing before every attempt. Main objective: Do not waste a single attempt.
they even have to use twink raids - the more the better.

Hardcore players suffer a lot to be able to be the first to accomplish something. But there is a limit. At some point they decide that the underlying gameplay is not fun enough to continue the elite status.

About the difficulty level:
Blizzard managed to make a puggable ICC and an extreme hardcore heroic version. This is bad. In my opinion normal-ICC is too easy. But hc-ICC is way too difficult for me (considerung my latency, my time investment, my fun at doing it, my ability to find other good players).

There is no middle ground right now for the good players. ICC is catered towards the lower class and the world top elite. I am part of neither.

About the twitchyness: That's terrible. The: "You need to move out of the fire before it has even ticked once"-approach is not fun - and impossible with my current 300ms ping.

About the current way of enableing every player to kill the lich king (but not Yogg-Saron): It's a bad implementation.

There are better ways of enableing every player to see all the content. To make old content superfluous is the wrong way.

I wrote down a detailed suggestion some time ago:
How to make every player see all the content .
That being said it's a bit awful on Oceanic ping

impossible with my current 300ms ping.

That would be my definition of "twitchy": If a 0.3 seconds lag means you are dead, the game is too twitchy.
To those who have done LK on 10 man and claims it's not that bad: remember that the 10 man version is more forgiving.

Our guild has downed him. I wasn't in the raid at that point, but I've done quite a few tries on him earlier and getting through those defiles wasn't such a biggie than - we made it into the next phase without any big issues. However in 25 man it's an entirely different matter - you have way less space to play on and relying on the ping and reflexes of 25 players make you very, very vulnerable to a twitchy mechanism.
It's not fun acquiring gear only to not be able to use it for anything else. Think about it. You get some of the best weapons in the game from the end bosses of the dungeons, but for what purpose? Just so you can show them off in the main city? By the time the next raid instance arrives, you'll quickly replace it anyway.

Quote from the linked blog entry.

That's exactly my opinion. Blizzard introduces new items into a game so fast, and also allows you to attain them so fast, that there is no emotional bond with your equipment anymore.

Now, some might think I am crazy, talking about an emotional bond with items :)
But that's the heart of the character progression model of WoW. In long past WoW you could indeed receive the 9th best weapon in the game and be happy about it. The better weapons just didn't drop as fast. RNG!

In past versions of WoW you would work towards your T1 set for forever and it would mean something to you. What does T9 mean to me? Nothing. Just nothing. It's just violett pixels.
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WoW has heroics that boost you to current raid content.
That way you can compete and play with all gamers not only with people who started at same time.
With this twitchiness, Blizzard caters to their core client base. A good idea for them, but no fun for me, either :-(

Concerning normal/heroic:
I think wanting a perfectly adapted learning curve for both is asking too much. They've diversified: You want to see the content, with a digestable learning curve? Go normal, you'll almost be guaranteed success.
Looking for content you haven't yet mastered? Heroic. And that has become the sole purpose of heroic mode.
WoW has heroics that boost you to current raid content.
That way you can compete and play with all gamers not only with people who started at same time.

An admireabel goal that is achieved in a way full of terrible side effects. There are better ways. I linked to one of them above.
Nils, can't find your post about better way for same results.

Side effect is that you don't want or need to visit old raids.
Can Bliz make nostalgic runs more important? -Yes.
Shall they? -No.

Because you will must to visit completed and current content to get most (or best) rewards.
Imho, farming ICC 10, 25, heroics, weekly, daily quests is more than enough.

If you want to check previous raids - go ahead and gather PUG for that.
If you are a new gamer = do heroics and play with biggest part of community.
Sorry for diverting from the topic with this comment, but I need to ask: Doesn't the link work for you?
Sitting at 10/12 25H in an Oceanic guild (200ms+) I guess I'm a fairly hardcore raider.

I wouldn't consider the game too twitchy at all, most of the time if you can react within a second of the even occurring it's not really a big deal. And considering boss timers etc you normally have plenty of warning that something is going to happen.

ICC was done fairly well imo, especially with the growing buff that will allow more and more people do do parts they haven't before. I doubt there will be 25H pugs, hell i'm not sure if PuGs will quite manage Arthas on normal yet but they should be able to get up to him at least, and most guilds should end up some where in heroic difficulty.

Not everyone needs to clear everything.
If you want to check previous raids - go ahead and gather PUG for that.

Seems like this is one of the days when i spam Tobold blog, but I'd like to comment on that :)

Players who raid late in an expansion generally do not like to organize raids. Exceptions prove the rule. If late raiders liked to organize raids there hadn't been a problem in the first place. They had just organised a Karazhan raid, followed by Vashj, Kael, Illidan and Sunwell.

If you are a new gamer = do heroics and play with biggest part of community.

With the introduction of cross
server groups and automated dungeon finders there no longer is a problem with too low populations in any level/itemlevel bracket. Blizzard could easily add a little bit of organizing tools to estabilish cross-server raid groups.

But even if they don't allow cross server raids, mosts servers have enough population (counting twinks) to fill Naxxramas raids.

It wouldn't be a problem for late raiders to actually raid the first raid dungeons first. All you need to make sure, is that they have the ability to do that. That's why I effectively propose a selectable difficulty for past raid dungeons.
I don't call deconstructing a script by trial and error "thinking", even if there is a prolonged debrief and analysis session afterwards. It's little more than the heavily overblown equivalent of doing So Doku or "Spot the Difference" in a Puzzle magazine.

I have every sympathy with those who just can't be bothered with this ersatz complexity and would just rather get on with blowing stuff up. I have even more sympathy with the aging demographic (of which I am a member) that is being disenfranchised from increasingly large and significant segments of the MMO gamespace by the focus on reaction times and gamer skillz.

As far as raids go, and as Keen was pondering the other day, all I really want is a REALLY BIG BOSS that I can hit a lot of times until he falls down and splits open like the proverbial pinata. All the rest of the "complexity", "strategy" and "thinking" can go hang.
all I really want is a REALLY BIG BOSS that I can hit a lot of times until he falls down and splits open like the proverbial pinata. All the rest of the "complexity", "strategy" and "thinking" can go hang.

No, you don't.
If you did, if many people did, I'd already be a millionair, by designing an extremely cheap, but incredibly successful game.
No, you don't.

Spot on about all those "i want game x to be like...". That's the reason players make awful game designers most of the time. What you want isn't something that makes a billion dollar business run a long period of time.

I started raiding in EverQuest when every term we now use wasn't even finalized yet. It took EverQuest lots of years before realizing the importance and depth of a raiding endgame. By the time the took raids to the next level, WoW was ready for release. WoW first tried to duplicate EQ's early encounter model but soon found out, that in this game the flow of data between the community killed every attempt to keep the raid game deep and tactical, so single player peformance needs to be the center of the encounter design and that's why generic tasks ("Move out of the fire!") took over the boss design.

There's no alternative that would keep the masses playing. Moving out of the fire is an easy task that can be scaled very easily and it's something that fuels easy normal/heroic separation. There's no middle ground between building on generic tasks and making them less intense. This isn't EQ where 10 (tank, puller, healer) people were pressured while the other 50 could be AFK. The only mechanic to pressure everyone in the raid with much diversity are your Super Mario jump through the flaming ring mechanics.

I agree that they overdid it especially in this expansion. The actual boss itself vanishes in details about all the single mechanics of the fight. Your worst enemy isn't the Lich King. It's the Defile mechanic. They lost this expansion when heroic raids threw off their item progression and old values of gameplay (ressource and threat management) got lost. By the time you have to build content for overpowered players generic tasks are the only tool to pressure a raid. With Cataclysm they have a chance to reset the game and the boss design. Let's see how it turns out, but generic tasks will never go away anymore. They may lose some value.
Blizzard wanted to avoid a situation you had in the first instances.

Only a small percentage (let's say 5) of the people ever get to enter the end-game instances. If you got stuck in the lower level instances you couldn't continue. Not to mention that starting to raid months after an expansion or changing to an alt was near impossible. Which guild would want to do all the key quests *again*?

So these days you can do ICC 10 and that's fine. Most players will already have played Naxx or Ulduar until they're bored of it.

But the way they treat heroics is not fine. They just add more and more rewards to them every new patch. I don't want to do them *again* to get better rewards.

The problem is quite clear: there aren't enough new heroics.
Ditching old raids is a deliberate decision by Bliz, and I'm sure the right one.

To begin with, vanilla WoW had the progression you describe and I remember it as being miserable. If you didn’t start raiding at the beginning when people were doing Molten Core it was very, very difficult to ever catch up. And even if you found an MC guild while others were doing Naxx, it would generally be filled with people who couldn’t even handle MC.

If you started late, your only hope to ever do the latest content would be to find and join a guild that would “loot run” you through MC – at which point you were technically “doing” MC, but not really. You were being carried through by people with uber gear.
Your worst enemy isn't the Lich King. It's the Defile mechanic.

Brilliant. Thanks !

This is a precise description of what is wrong with WoW's scripted boss fights right now.
This just illustrates that Wow's worst enemy is the developers.

They tried to help the social environment by offering a controlled PVP game. It's messed up the PVE game ever since.

They instituted the Armory so that people could look through the glass and want what everyone else had. What really happened is people started creating US v Them using the armory.

Now Achievments are driving guilds to do unfun things because the achievement has become more important than the fun.

Its like watching modern Little League sports in america these days. So many of the Parents are trying to prepare kids for professional sports, (Most of whom will never even make it to high school level), that they ruin every single moment of it for the kids.

I feel sorry for the Developers. This is what happens when Hard Core gamers try social engineering. They really need to get some Behavioral Psychologists to help them think through how people will react to what they think are simply "fun" "cool" ideas.
i think both of these are very unfair comparisons. Raiding has not been better than it is now in ICC.
Larisas guild (no attack on them, but since they where brought up) used -imo- a flawed tactice that would indeed requiere spastic-quick reactions.
And not knowing the fight (like world first guilds combat) requires attempts to figure out how to combat the different encounters. I read Muqqs complain to be about the fact that Blizzard forces them to not play the game, or roll brand new alts to get extra tries in. Neither seems fair, if all you want is to play a game.

To begin with, vanilla WoW had the progression you describe and I remember it as being miserable. If you didn’t start raiding at the beginning when people were doing Molten Core it was very, very difficult to ever catch up.

You don't need to catch up, you just need to make progress.

I started raiding in Vanilla WoW an eternity after MC had been released. Within 8 months we defeated Nefarion. I had had a hell of a lot of fun raiding, although I wasn't raiding Naxx yet and others were.
Then BC came around. I was excited, but hated the fact that I would never really experience AQ or Naxx40.
Raiding these instances at 70 wasn't the same.

Here, WoW can learn from EVE. Players don't need to catch up. It's enough when they can make progress.

Much would be gained if Blizzard would lower the difficulty of lvl 80 raids when Cataclysm comes out in such a way that everybody could reach 80, do these raids, and only after that continued to Cataclysm.

It would also allow them to properly balance the mobs in Cataclysm. Which is impossible right now. Eiter they will be too strong for green 80 chars or trivial for ICC40 chars.

The idea that all characters need to be at max lvl and max itemlvl is the new arena: A failed concept.

Leveling is fun! If it wasn't WoW would wither and die within a year! Progress is fun! If it wasn't WoW would die within the next month. Don't force me to catch up; allow me to make progress! and catch up with blizzard I will, because Blizzard is slow.

In recent years you often heard the argument that Blizzard spent so much time and money into designing Naxx40/Sunwell and nobody saw it.

Now suddenly nobody sees Naxx10/25, Ulduar, PdK. And it seems like it's ok. It is not.

A good game allows the players, all players, even late ones, to experience the entire game. It's not only good for the players, it's also good for Blizzard who can use the content they created.

It doesn't make sense that new Cataclysm players don't see
Upper Black Rock Spire
Molten Core
Black Wing Lair
Ahn'Qiraj 25
Ahn'Qiraj 40
Zul Gurub
Serpent Shrine Caverns
Zul Aman
Tempest Keep
Black Temple
Trial of the Champion
Ice Crown Citadell


With cross server machanics Blizzard has the technologiy to guarantee enough plaer population to access these raid instances while leveling. If they scaled down the difficulty (drastically) and gave incentives, leveling players would visit these dunegons and they be happy about the massive amount of content.

Moving forward with the game doesn't mean that you need to throw away past content.

I'd agree that what you describe, which would really be more of a group-leveling game, could be a lot of fun. Imagine Public Quests like in Warhammer, only the game being designed so you always had people to do them with! :)

I just don't think that fits in with raiding because raiding is not really designed for "leveling" players. Additionally, the current model allows Blizzard to "throw out" old content, which I think they like to do as the new content is better (witness Cataclsym). And it also gets around the fact that old content was designed for old classes, and while generally a new level 70 is more powerful than an old one it would be a headache to make sure every class at 70 was balanced for Sunwell, for example.

And it also gets around the fact that old content was designed for old classes, and while generally a new level 70 is more powerful than an old one it would be a headache to make sure every class at 70 was balanced for Sunwell, for example.

The balcing would be incredibly easy: Just divide all damage any ability does in the raid by 4. then divide all hit poins of all mobs by 4.


Leveling dungeons don't need to be hard or 'balanced'. Actually, leveling 5-man dungeons aren't.

It't not about offering any unique challenge. It's about offering the content. Just like any leveling 5-man dungeon already does.
The LK fight itself is not all that twitchy. While I havent seen the heroic version yet I tank MT in 10 man and OT in the 25 man version and I from my experience the only people that have to have their reaciton times on the ball are us tanks.

All of Lich Kings special attacks can be countered by pre-moving. In fact if your raid is waiting for things like Defile and Valks to happen before doing anything about them you are making the fight much harder for yourself.

In my raids everyone begins moving to pre-established areas before defile drops, removing the need for someone to realize they have it and then start moving before it's too late. We do a similar thing for Valkyrs and try to force them to go in the direction we want them to go. Vengeful Spirits or whatever their called in phase 3 are handled in a similar fashion.

Raging Spirits and Soul Reaper are pretty much the only moves the LK has that cannot be dealt with before they actually happen and those rest on the tanks.

I'd even dare to say that most off ICC in general is not twitch heavy. The only fight I can think of off the top of my head where not reacting within 1-2 seconds can wipe the raid is Heroic Sindragosa and Heroic Lady DW.
@ Nils
"Here, WoW can learn from EVE. Players don't need to catch up. It's enough when they can make progress."

But thats what we just changed from. Both Vanilla and BC were hindered because if you missed the boat and didn't get into raids early on you were doomed to spend most of your time on the entry level raids. Sure some people were able to find guilds that stuck together and managed to progress, but for the average person it was incredibly hard for them to get past that first tier or two of content.

Just look at BC and all the people who essentially did nothing but Kara and Gruuls for most of the expansion. (although the number of raiders required attributed to this too) Until encounters were nerfed to the point where bringing undergeared people (and sunwell vendor gear helped too) wouldnt be a big deal many people didn't get to see content past T4 or T5.

Blizzard has said they don't want that to continue and thats how we ended up with Wrath.

As far is the statement you made where it doesn't matter if you catch up, just that you progress, thats subjective. Maybe you don't mind being tiers behind current content, but plenty of people were bothered by the fact that if they walked away from BC for a time when they returned they'd be severely behind and would have to struggle to find a guild that just so happened to be at the same point they left off on.
Maybe you don't mind being tiers behind current content, but plenty of people were bothered by the fact that if they walked away from BC for a time when they returned they'd be severely behind and would have to struggle to find a guild that just so happened to be at the same point they left off on.

Bold is mine.
That's why I suggest to allow players to chose a difficulty when they enter an old raid dungeon. Old, like Uldar now. There would be different levels to chose from an if you chose a harder difficulty you get a small reward.

I linked to my suggestion above, but apparently that doesn't work :(.

Point is: People never complained that they couldn't raid Sunwell, they complained that they couldn't even find a Serpent Shrine Caverns raid!

Instead of giving people welfare epics, I suggest to allow them to raid the early raid dungeons at lower difficulty and receive their items a little bit faster.

This way heroics aren't silly and all players see all the content, not just ICC (WothLK) and not just Karazhan (BC).

Blizzard already has the technology to do this: The ICC aura.
Tobold, you are incorrect, LK will be exactly the way that you say (you can make up for twitch with gear). The Defile spell does not drop the expanding black goo *if the player fully absorbs it*. As the Icecrown buff aura, and gear accumulation, increases player HP and the strength of shields, Defile will be absorbed more and more often on players, obviating the need for reflexes, as Defile is really the only mechanic on Lich King requiring twitch of less than 1 second.

I think the point about "thinking too much" was covered well by commenters above.
So the reason you don't raid ICC is because the final boss of 12 is twitchy?

I think you are right about the Naxx and Ulduar PuGs. However a casual guild one of my alts is in regularly does Naxx-10, Ulduar-10 and OS-10. So people do run them. Just not in PuGs. The PuGs have moved on to ToC and ICC10. The fact that ICC is so accessible to PuGs is kind of cool.
@ Nils

I could agree with that. I do think Blizzard took the ball and carried it a bit too far with Wrath. A balance between what we have now and what we had in BC is what would be ideal in my book.

Give me a reason to raid Naxx every week and I'd gadly do it, just like I had a reason to go back and do Kara every so often.

I also agree that the ICC aura is a good solution. After a while why not turn up some aura on out of date content? It would also allow them to tune the entry level raids to be a bit tougher then Naxx was (like say go back to Kara difficulty) knowing that after a month or so the buff would compensate and let everyone stomp over that raid if they haven't already.
It's a stretch but it is similar to having to not play EVE while your skills train. Having to sit around discussing a strategy instead of just jumping in and seeing what works.

It's why dps yells "gogogo" after waiting 20 minutes for their random dungeon to pop.

Everyone just wants to friggin' play.
This game is not designed for someone coming in late to the cycle of the expansion to experience the same level of progression as those of us who stood in line at midnight to get our copy of the expansion. I happen to be the latter, and it is my understanding you are the former.

For those of us who have been playing this straight through the last 17 months or so, we progressed through Naxx which did not pose a challenge at all.

Then Ulduar hit, and some of the guilds built around thinking Naxx was as hard as it got, disintegrated as fights become progressively more complex. I'll put Mimiron vs. Noth any day of the week. At the same time, Emalon wiped PuGs who either refused or didn't know how to switch targets.

Then ToC/Onyxia showed up: suddenly people were dodging Icehowl, switching between light and black, kiting Anub through ice patches, and staying out of fire. Actually, most people were screwing these up. Was there a fight as intense as Faction Champs in Naxx? No.

Now it's Icecrown: the Final Exam. All the add switching, don't stand in fire, coordinated CC, etc. But I have 4 level 80 characters, two of which I played regularly through the raid content.

If you think I want to run all the old raids I went into previously, you're high. And I know I ran all these heroics before, but they're fast, can be done quickly, and have allowed my freshly minted 80s to participate in ICC without running through Naxx, Ulduar, ToC etc. when (and this is critical)...

...the majority of raiders have moved on! And rightfully so! I can still hum the theme to Karazhan.

If your lateness to the game makes you want to find people to run Naxx, go right ahead. Just don't expect Blizzard to conform to a progression schedule that isn't focused on progression.

(Meaning, when you're doing with a weekend of heroics and ICC heroics, you're geared to do ICC-10 which is where you should be!)
@ Lohr:
I play this game since it was in beta.
And I still like my alts to see the whole game and not just ICC.

If you don't want to go through old content, don't make a twink.
Or ask Blizzard to allow your twink to skip 99% and just do ICC.

But don't ask them to force new players to only play 1% of the game. And don't force my alts to do it.
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Actually, the LK fight is much less twitchy than you'd think if the proper strategy was used. Larisa's guild has obviously not thought this through very well. Assuming everyone has boss timers (e.g. DBM, Deus Vox, Big Wigs, etc), it should be clear when defile or the valkyrs are coming.

So basically, there are two scenarios:
If the next LK cast is defile, have all raid members spread out a few seconds before the cast.

However, if the next cast is valkyrs have the whole raid stack together on one person (marked w/star), so the 3 valkyrs are clumped down and can be easily AOE/stunned/slowed/cleaved and killed.

Basically it's very important for people to watch the timers or have the RL watch them and call out for the raid to stack up or spread out depending on the situation. It's all about coordination.

It's pretty much the same for every other fight in ICC. There is not a single fight where a reaction time of less than 2-3 seconds is required to down the boss.
it's ironic blizzard have a well ordered and progressive game up to the top level and then repeatedly make a mess of end-game content.
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