Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

WotLK Raiding: The Shortcut To Boredom

I’ve always been opposed to Blizzard’s raid design philosophy in Wrath of the Lich King which allows players to jump into the top-end raid dungeon without ever touching the previous ones. This is accomplished by making gear equivalent to what you could get in the previous dungeon so easy to get that there is absolutely no reason to start back at the beginning of the difficulty curve. Up until now I got the feeling that this was my elitism talking as well as the fact that I’ve been raiding in WotlK from the start. Now Tobold posted an article in which he bemoans the lack of available raid dungeons for someone coming late to the party.

[This post was written in advance because I am on holiday. Please excuse the lack of actuality, I won’t be able to respond to current events that happen while I’m away.]

The only thing you ever get to raid is the most current dungeon because there simply is no point in going back into outdated content. Blizzards idea of throwing near top-level items at pretty much everyone therefore not only annoys those like me who think that it diminishes their own accomplishments (and no, I’m not having that argument again) but also those that it was apparently designed for: The players who didn’t have the chance to raid right from the start for some reason or other.

I never understood why the idea of proper progression had to be thrown out the window –  isn’t it much more interesting to fight your way up through a series of dungeons knowing that more challenges than to farm the last released dungeon for six months for lack of content?

Yes there are a few people who the current system is good for. If you want to play with your friends/guild but they have advanced while you didn’t have time to do so, you can simply join them without having to farm the older dungeons first. Also if you roll up another character you can bring it up to speed quickly, so switching classes isn’t all that hard. But really, the number of people who are late to the party but have friends that are far more advanced has to be low (and people can still be brought up-to-snuff quite quickly if they have friends as has been shown in The Burning Crusade). As for gearing up an alt, I don’t really see why people aren’t willing to work for that. Either you like alts – then playing it to get gear should be fun for you – or you don’t, in which case you shouldn’t roll one in the first place.

Blizzard’s new system enables everyone to see all the content in the game but at the same time takes away a lot of the content from those people who weren’t able to raid from the beginning. This way everyone gets to see Icecrown Citadel, but many people will only see Ulduar if they decide to go back and roflstomp it. If that is what this is all about, why not introduce a casual mode for raid instances without serious loot but very easy bosses? While you’re at it, why not make that whole walking man’s tour  available to solo players?

I’m fully with Tobold on this one. The raiding system introduced in Wrath of the Lich King failed big time – I just hope that Blizzard realizes that as well.

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