Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Time to Tone Down on the Raiding

Initial reports from the Burning Crusade Beta has itemization starting off more powerful then the tier-1 armor from Molten Core. Basic blues items from the first five man dungeon Hellfire Citadel are being reported as being on par with the tier-2 armor that drops from Blackwing Lair. When you throw in the fact that most of the new gear has slots for jewels then you could say that the gear is even better then tier-2. Plus at the moment no one is reporting the bosses as being extraordinarily difficult in the first instance.

For an example of what you can expect, Tobold recently did a run into the first wing of Hellfire Citadel called Hellfire Rampart. Its designed for level 60 players so you could head straight into the dungeon the second you make it into the Outlands. The first boss he fought in there dropped the Wasteland Stitched Leggings(Mail): +22 Agi, +24 Sta, +15 Int, +32 attack power and 3 slots for jewels. The rest of the bosses in the wing dropped similarly impressive gear with one item being specifically for feral druids and granting 160 attack power in animal forms. Those of you who play feral druids know how bad the itemization was in the old world for your class.

While raiding isn't all about gaining more powerful loot it certainly played an important part in recruiting people into guilds. Guilds that could regularly clear MC and BWL never seemed to have any problems getting new recruits. While social guilds that had to join others to attempt the first boss in Zulgurub always seemed on the verge of breaking up. It seems obvious that loot is the glue that holds large raiding guilds together. Yet is there any purpose in continuing doing 40 man raids when the loot in the expansion is so much better?

Well you can be assured that raiding will always be part of World of Warcraft. During this expansion the size will drop down to 25 people and most guilds will have to downsize as a result. However, this doesn't mean that Blizzard won't put more 40 man raid zones into the game at a later date. In fact we don't really know what the future of World of Warcraft holds and the raid size might eventually go up to classical Everquest sizes. Thus if you like raiding, continue to raid, since your only increasing your ability to coordinate and play your class with others. The further ahead you get in BWL and Naxx the better prepared you will be to jump straight into the raid content in the Burning Crusade.

However, if you are bored with the current raid instances and only raid to get upgrades then I do suggest you stop attending 40 man raids. Instead show up and try to organize ZG and AQ20 raids since they are more in line with what the raids in the expansion are going to be like. You may be able to do instances and quests on your way to level 70 but eventually your going to be in the same position as before and have to raid to get better gear. Thus you don't want to get too out of practice in raiding.

Even if you do get out of practice as luck would have it the 10 man instance in Kharazhan is supposed to be a nice mix between raiding and grouping. The dungeon is on an instance timer and from Tigole's mouth supposed to be 20x the size of Shadowfang Keep. It will be for those who wish to push their skills and get better gear at level 70 without jumping straight into the time commitment of joining a raiding guild. This dungeon should give players not in huge guilds a challenge and a fair way to keep up in gear with raiders.

Conclusions:
-Tone Down on the Raiding if you don't enjoy it

-Level 60's in the expansion will quickly be able to catch up to Tier-2 gear

-By level 66 they should have better gear then Tier-3 just by instances and quests

-The best of the best gear will still be gotten from Raids

-The current 40 man raids are quite different from the future 25 man raids

-Kharzhan will allow casual players to keep up with raiders.

-Decent gear can be earned in other ways besides raiding

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post. I am really looking forward to the expansion and like that, as a causal player, I won't be left behind at the end game. I don't expect to have the same rewards as raiders, but want to have somehting to do. Sounds like Kharzhan is right up my alley.

Relmstein said...

I'd like to get a Kharzhan preview up pretty soon since I believe it will play a major part in keeping casual players happy.

Yet Another NE said...

I have days I really like raiding and days I'm sick of it. I like the idea of having an option to better my character without raiding if I so desire.

James said...

Karazhan (correct spelling FTW!) excites me because it is supposed to be HARD, but doesn't involve 40 people. Sounds perfectly fair to me to make it "almost" as good as raiding equipment. A 45minute UD Strat run is HARD (assuming non-uber gear), but only takes...wait for it...45 MINUTES! I don't see why people complain about earning great gear for DIFFICULT encounters that don't require 40 (or 25) people.