Monday, April 02, 2007

Blizzard cuts upgrades on Heroic Instances short

If you are familiar with Heroic Instances in World of Warcraft then you know the main concept behind them is one of Risk vs. Reward. Choosing to do an instance on Heroic mode raises the risk since it makes the mobs hit insanely hard and often gives the bosses extra abilities. The room for error in such places tends to be close to zero since most mobs can kill anyone not wearing plate gear in one or two hits. However, the rewards for a heroic instance are on par with items from Kharazhan so they tend to be very popular.

Normal bosses in heroic instances drop improved level 70 blue items while the final boss also drops one epic item. This makes heroic dungeons a nice way to gear up which is equivalent to raiding Kharazhan. The only difference being that Kharazhan requires twice as many people and is perhaps a bit easier then some of the heroic instances. However, as casual players slowly started completing all of the heroic instances reports came in about non-improved loot tables. Its seems if the level 70 instances do not improve in loot on heroic mode except for the final boss which drops one epic. Of course all the trash mobs and bosses in the heroic version still have their difficulty increased.

This means that these instances still require a group to make almost no mistakes but don't reward players until the final boss. This can be especially frustrating since the one epic drop from the final boss can be of a type that no one in the party can use. Even the blue drops off the final boss in these instances are from the old loot table and have very little chance of being an upgrade for anyone. The logic behind this is so mysterious that some speculate that Blizzard simply hasn't created the upgraded blue items for these instances yet. Some however think that the old loot tables were left in on purpose to keep non-raiders from gearing up as quickly as raiders.

If you look as the epic items from most of the Heroic dungeons its easy to see they are equivalent to most of the low end raid gear from Kharazhan and Gruul's Lair. However, raiders are starting to conquer Magtheridon and Serpentshrine Caverns where the gear upgrades increase exponentially in quality. While Blizzard never hid the fact that raiding would get a player the best gear in the game, they did promise us less of an inequality between raiding and non-raiding gear. By not including upgraded blue items in the 8 highest heroic instances they increase the time for non-raiders to gear up.

At the very least Blizzard could have included blue items from the earlier Heroic instances that way players would have a chance to get items they might have missed. I know I've killed the Heroic version of the dragon in Hellfire Ramparts a million times and have yet to get the blue item I need from the chest. Instead the developers at Blizzard decided to provide basically no reward unless a group could clear the entire dungeon. This makes no sense in some instances like heroic mechanar where the Nethermancer boss is much harder but provides no upgraded items. As result people often simply skip her since a single badge of justice is not worth the effort of the fight.

Farming the higher end dungeons for the reward of a single epic item that according to Murphey's Law will probably be for the one class you didn't bring, is not my idea of fun. In fact its such a slap in the face to non-raiders that it makes the tier 0.5 questline look like free epics. I wouldn't be surprised if the same developer responsible for the 0.5 money sink I mean questline is the same idiot who told everyone "Ok, No more new blue items after Old Hillsbrad". I even have my suspicions who this person is .... cough Tigole. Still I can't think of a quicker way to alienate your hardcore audience who has limited time to raid. I truly hope that Blizzard patches in some improvement in the high end heroic reward system otherwise people could interpret it as a "Go Raid" message.

Heroic Instances with non-upgraded loot tables:

Setthek Halls
The Steamvaults
Shadow Labs
Shattered Halls
Black Morass
The Mechanar
The Botanica
The Arcatraz

Update: The Addition of casual content and new quest hubs might do a little bit to offset heroic instances running dry on loot at the higher levels. Check the In-Development page.


Kaziel said...

Minor note: I'm pretty sure Shattered Halls has the same loot table on Heroic as normal.

Sean said...

Steamvaults does as well.

I find Karazhan to be easier than these heroics. I'll get my gear from there, tyvm.

Shalkis said...

Steamvaults, Arcatraz, Shadow Labyrinth and the Shattered Halls have an additional use on Heroic: Tempest Keep attunement. Is it enough? Of course not. The four will get cleared once and then forgotten.

Personally, I'm just looking for groups to the low-level Heroics to get my Mana-Etched set and to farm Badges, since that's basically the only PvE way to improve my gear at this point. The Heroic bosses only seem to drop non-caster epic weapons, and I'm not going to put epic gems into my non-epic gear.

Unity said...

I'd agree that Karazhan - or at least the first half - is substantially easier than Heroic instances. I'll take people to Kara that I wouldn't dare take to Heroic Botanica.

Clearing from Animal to Opera will average around an epic per person and take about the same time as a heroic that provides half the rewards per head (counting the craft from the nether). Of course you can run Heroics more often.

This will become more important once Kara loot gets revised. It is already better than top blues, but the differences are minor.

tigerallied said...

found slave pens and bog very easy in heroic mod

only wiped once at the last boss in bog

cant wait for heroic ramparts :D

Greggers said...

sigh, its people who post threads like this that need to be shot. "blizzard need to do what i suggest blah blah blah", shut your face. If you dont want to farm the epic, dont. Go to a lower level heroic and get the "amazing blue upgrades". But as someone said, you can do alot of kara in the same amount of time as it takes to do a heroic run, and it gets saved so you can carry it on during the week, so dont pretend people can have enough time for a heroic but not a raid in kara.

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