Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh no, the sky is falling at a Cataclysmic rate!


It is not like I, myself, have not fallen for this. I was on that band-wagon too. I wrote long posts about our class changes, and how much the announcement sucked. I still believe they do, but note that what I was mostly bothered about was a) a little bit about how there where no hints at *where* death Knights where going in Cataclysm, and mostly b) the stumbling moronic way, the actual announcements themselves where handled.

With he changes to badges, dungeons and some small blues on various class previews some players have gone the way of Helen Lovejoy 
 Point is; have you played with these changes? Have you read or seen all of the announced changes?

No?

Oh so are you, in fact, just taking one change, and ignoring everything else, then applying that 1 change into the *current* system, and see how your world crashes?

Maybe its time, we took a step back and acknowledged, that the new people in charge of WoW are good at some things.

The strengths of the game today
I know there is a lot of whining and moaning, now more so, than probably ever, over how various classes are unplayable, or unbalanced beyond reason.
They really are not.
Sure the mages playing in paragon where not there, on the guilds first LK heroic kill, but that was because the mages in Paragon are not very good players.

The only “imbalance” I see in the game today, is the huge numbers of paladins and Druids playing. But that is because players like to have options. If one player likes to heal and dps, he can roll priest, paladin or shaman or druid, if he likes to tank and dps he can roll, paladin, druid, warrior or Death knight, if she likes to tank and heal, she can roll druid or paladin. That gives us 3 paladins, 3 druids, and 1 of everything else.
So it is not imbalance, it is players liking to have choices, and paladins and druids gives the most choices. (this also explains the miniscule rogues, locks hunters and mage numbers).
The reason why we can chose any class, is due to the great changes the new WoW kids (lovingly named the Blizzard B team), have made.
When I started playing, you could heal, tank or dps. That meant you could play a priest, a warrior or a rogue/mage. Rest where just there for their buffs.
In our 40 manned raid group only one paladin came close to the top 5 healing done spot. And that was because a) she is an incredible healer, and b) she was geared like a mofo and c) some of our priests (myself included) where not very well geared.

That all changed with The burning crusade, and was perfected in Wrath. When looking at tanks and healers, the only real issue nowadays is to make sure that you have more than one class doing it. Which of the classes you have does not really matter all that much (maybe paladin/disc priest is not optimal for your 10 manned group, but it can still work fine), at least not even a fraction what it used to.

Where am I going with this?
Point is, that when you see a class, change, think of it as an class opportunity. They are not fundamentally changing how any class works. Apart from hunters, and hunters are liking this change, as far as I can read. So what are people complaining about:

-  Rage-normalisation? Well that is only because you got screwed over at lower item-levels, on the last one, so it has a bad ring to it. But really, the changes so far just seems to make your class, mechanic… a mechanic again, instead of a “must hit heroic strike also” issue.  

- Rune changes for Death knights? It is a big change, but it is not a change that fundamentally changes the way we work. Our core class mechanic stays the same, we just get a bit of breathing room in our rotation and a bit of choices. If anyone has played frost dps, they will know what I am talking about. 0.5 of a sec to get your diseases refreshed, and if you do not hit that timing just right, then your dps will suffer greatly as a result. I am thankful for this change. Remember, we will not be left behind in the dps race, the goal of this change is to give us some options instead of a locked rotations waiting for proccs. There will be time to either raise a skeleton, throw in a horn, restart your rotation or throw a bomb. At least that is how I read the proposed mechanics.

Same with tree-druids: Are your aoe spell getting a cooldown? So what? You will not get screwed over. See above, you will get more breathing room.

Are 25 raids dead? Really? A re the 50 million whine threads from people who mourn 25s and saying that now none will do 25 because all you get now is more drops, equal hardness and more badges?
“But who cares about badges?” You will.

Same mistakes all over again
There you go and put one change for Cataclysm into the setting of wrath. Do not do that. Badges will be highly sought after again. Please try and remember, that you cannot get 50 badges every week from 10 manned no more.
Speaking of 10 manned. Why do you think that will become the place to rock?
Are you aware that the only reason why 10 mans are getting completed this much faster, is because the people clearing it overgear it!
Lich king heroic: 9 guilds have cleared it on 25. 0 (that is ZERO) 10 manned strict guild have downed him.

10 manned raids are only easy because you outgear them. You will not outgear them, anymore than you will in 25.

And people are clearing 25 manned content. Those raiders will get a shock once they enter the new 10 manned (Unless of course they remember the old Karazhan), and the trash uses them for mops.

10 manned raiding is hard and demanding, unless you outgear it. In fact, 10 manned raiding is *harder* unless you outgear it.
Look at the statistics.
Look at Sarth 3d.

Also I want to add to the players who think that 25 manned raids are dead: If there are this many people wanting to raid 25 manned, I will bet you that there will be planty of people raiding 25 manned. 


Will your current guild continue 25 manned?
If your raid-leaders are like most raid-leaders, then yes, Because raidleaders want to lead big groups into large scale combat. I am not judging, I would do the same, if I where a raid-leader. They want to go into the biggest group content they can find, and lead it.
If not, they would be running 5 manned dungeons. And if your raid-leader wants to run the big dungeons, your guild *will* run the big dungeons.

What you should be worried about
The only real concern I have (and both my concern and my answer is directly stolen from my guild-forum) is the rotated guys. Will rotations skip a whole lockout period at a time instead of by a single raid? Will you have to be able to raid the whole week or not at all? If you cannot do any raids on your main due to being rotated, wouldn’t it be better if you could then use that lockout in a 10 manned group, thus preventing yourself from entering that 25 raid that week again?

The answer comes from The Lord of the rings. Where you will not be locked to an raid ID, but instead to a certain amount of bosses killed in raid. That would mean that if a dungeon has 7 bosses, and my raid has killed the first 4 on the night I am rotated, I can go into a pug, or an alt raid and kill up to-but not higher than 4 bosses in any raid-size group.

That would work wonders. And that would guarantee that the 10 manned raids, that most 25 manned raiders already do, will not die out.
Because there are a real threat that 10 manned will suffer from this, imo (yes, now I am claiming that that sky is falling). If your raidleader has to chose between his 10 manned group and his 25 manned group, what will he chose? 25.
If your 10 manned group has no raid-leader, what will happen to it? It’ll die.
Or, at best, it will become the alt-raid.

I highly doubt that 10 manned dungeons will ever see Legendary items, so that is another incentive for keep going to 25 manned raids, and once people figure out how important badges will be (again), 10 manned will once again suffer.

Everyone is stupid!
So I guess that I am saying that everyone elses concerns are stupid, but my concerns are valid?

Relax, I am not a greedy bruiser, what I am saying is, that Blizzard will go 1 of two ways on these changes:
  1. They have thought hard about this, they know stuff about their game, that we do not. Relax, Blizz has it covered.
  2. They will quickly realise their mistake(s) and revert them. They are good at reverting mistakes these days.
Think of it this way. Despite the gating system, ICC was and is the best raid instance ever produced. It really is. Every boss has something to offer. And even though Arthas lacks, the jaw-dropping powers of Ragnaros or Kil’jaden, that is only because he is human, and you have gotten way too used to raiding anyways. 

4 comments:

  1. I'd dare say that I don't think they'll let the 10 man raids become difficult in the eyeys of the casual player. I bet they'll nerf the normal versions until people are fairly comfortable with the level of challenge. Else they might lose subscribers. And yeah, I'm pretty cynic and goblinish in the view about that. Epics for the masses you know...

    You are in a tightly knit elite 10 man guild btw. Do you really think you can look at this objectively? We're all biased depending on if we're into 25 mans or 10 mans. That's the devider in the blogosphere. It's all about perspective.

    It will be interesting to see who was right. Noone will be happier but me if it turns out that the 25 man guilds will survive and go on, business as usual. But tbh it would surprise me. A lot.

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  2. Why do you keep saying that? I am in a 25 manned raiding guild, playing with 25 manned raiders. I do not have time for 25, so I only raid on the weekends in a 10 manned group. My guild will be playing 25 manned raids in cata and I will be playing with their alts.

    I do not think that 10 manned will be harder in Cata, but they will *seem* harder because you cannot outgear them.

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  3. Ahhh ok. Misunderstanding from my part!
    I still really don't think casual players will be drawn to 25 man raids since 10 mans seem to hard to them. I find it very hard to believe that Blizzard would design the game in that order. Smaller units = bigger flexibility and less struggling with scheduling and commitments in your gameplay. So people will choose the path of least resistance since the reward is just the same anyway.

    But we can't agree on everything, can we? :)

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  4. Guess not :)
    But we can agree on that casuals and pugs will go for 10 mans. That I believe to be true. But if we are talking gamers that are completing content, there are not that many PuG raiders to chose from. apart from hardcore raiders on alts.

    but for raiders who wants to raid, I do not believe that the path of least resistance holds true.
    I doubt there would be anyone getting the mounts, nor anyone getting titles like "the insane" if all everyone cared about was the path of the least resistance.
    For raiders the choice will be clear: 25 manned. That is where i'd go if I had the time, there is where you want to be. That is where most raiders want to raid.

    So yes, pugs and smaller guilds will go 10 manned, raiders and raid-wannabes will go 25.. .Sounds about right, doesnt it?

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