Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Cataclysm Raid Improvements

I have to spontaneously leave for a few days and, professional as I am I don’t have a post prepared for Wednesday yet. Luckily, Blizzard comes to my rescue with a pretty nice announcement about raiding in World of Warcraft’s next expansion Cataclysm. Now, I’m still not convinced I’ll come back to WoW for Cataclysm, but this sure is a step in the right direction.

Equal difficulties for 10 and 25 men raids

World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion Cataclysm will bring quite some changes.

I love this part. I never understood why 10 men raids should be made easier than 25 men ones. If you want to experience difficult content with a group of friends instead of 24 strangers, why shouldn’t you be able to? One of the coolest parts of the last expansion was the Sartharion fight with three drakes up as a 10 men raid – simply because it required absolutely tight play of ten players without room for error. The 25 men version was actually more forgiveable. Alas, none of the other 10 men raids in existence were even close to their 25 men part in difficulty. I’m very glad Blizzard finally saw the error of their ways and changed that. Now if they could do the same for even smaller groups, I know a few people who would be quite happy. Actually hard five men encounters? Sign me up!

10 and 25 men raids share a lockout

This means that you can’t run the same instance in both modes in the same week. That together with the non-separated normal and heroic modes means that you only get to run the same instance once a week – which is quite the relief from running it four times a week as it happened in Wrath of the Lich King. Some might see this as a restriction on their ability to play, but if you want to play the game seriously you have to use all opportunities you can get. Blizzard restricting those opportunities means that players get to be a bit more liberal with their free time and won’t be forced to run the same content over, and over, and over again. Or well, at least not in the same week.

The rest

Loot will be identical between 10 and 25 men modes, but 25 men raids will drop more of it. This is simply a logical conclusion from equalizing the difficulty and makes absolute sense. Raids will also be smaller but more plentiful than they were in Wrath of the Lich King which is also quite nice for players who raid a lot. Instead of seeing the same instance for month you at least get to witch between two or even three and you can spread you raid’s focus much better. Overall, these changes sound like they’ll be really good for the raiding part of the game. They do make me wonder how Blizzard’s mentality changed this much, but you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, do you?