Contrary to popular belief, the sky is not falling


I logged into the wonderful electronic time sink that is the internet this morning and what did I find?

Changes.

Blizzard has announced changes to both the way that ten and twenty-five player raid lockouts will be working in Cataclysm and the new “points” system that will replace the current emblem system.

Here is the TL:DR version of both, in my words, just hitting a few points I wanted to discuss.

  • Ten and Twenty-five player versions of each raid instance will share a lockout. No more running both versions of the same instance in the same week.
  • There will be more raid instances, with fewer bosses in each. A given example was instead of a single eleven boss raid that there could be one with five and one with six.
  • Both sizes of raid will drop the same gear, with the twenty-fives dropping more of it as incentive to go.
  • There will be four types of “points”. Top tier Pve and Pvp points for the best gear, and lower tier Pvp and Pve points for last seasons/last tier gear.
  • Lower tier points can be traded from one type to the other at a loss, no details of how bad the tax will be yet.
  • Likely more I am glossing over since it’s early and my office is out of coffee.
  • Seriously…. HOW THE HELL CAN I BE EXPECTED TO FUNCTION WITH OUT CAFFINE!

Wow, Apparently I got a little distracted there…

Emengency trip to the vending machine for some before sunrise Mountain Dew and I am functional again.

Anyhow, before I give my opinion on these changes I figured I would scan the blogosphere and see what others were saying. I saw a lot of bitchin, apparently no one hates change more than a veteran WoW player.

I heard a few Pvp players that were bitchin because now they would have to run Pve for points to spend on their Pvp gear. Apparently these folks did not learn to read in school. Who knows, maybe they spent too much time playing Halo or Counterstrike. No one is going to force anyone to do anything.

In fact, not knowing the points tax it would likely be faster to gear up through rated battlegrounds, and likely more fun for the avid PvP player.

Quit bitchin and play how you like, Blizz has designed it so that the gear will come.

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There is post after post from those that raid progression in twenty-fives calling this a deathblow to their playstyle. The arguments seem to be centered around the concept that given equal difficulty and only slightly higher rewards that people, when forced to choose, would rather raid ten mans.

There were even a couple that  screamed to the heavens (or in this case Blizzard I suppose) that since Blizz is going to cater to the facerolling window licking casuals that can’t run anything more than ten mans and heroics that now the real live progression raiders  that run twenty-fives were not going to be able to field a group.

My comment on that?

Well, no one is forcing anyone to run anything. You want to run twenty-fives? Go for it! Hell, I love running them too. It’s great fun. The only thing I see this doing is eliminating the need to raid the same content twice a week for the extra emblems, or in this case Valor Points.

As to fielding a group of twenty-five, There are approximately eleven million people who play WoW. If for some reason you can’t find twenty-four that want to group with you when Blizzard is not bribing them with better loot, perhaps the problem is not with the game.

Once again, run what you want. I think they will be even more fun since it will truly be a choice to be there. If you truly run twenty-fives because you love them and prefer that challenge then this may well be your golden age.  

Unless you’re an asshat, but that kinda goes without saying.

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I saw raiders that primarily run ten player content saying in essence  “Finally, we get recognized as legitimate raiders! Finally, we get a shot at the same gear! No more pugging 25′s to try to keep up with the Joneses! Break out the champagne it’s time to celebrate!”

Now while I can see several of the points in here, actually I can see all of them, the one that strikes me most is that raiding with ten will actually be a viable alternative to twenty-fives. No more gear disparity, no more having to do the same raid twice just in the hopes for better gear to help out your raid.

Actually, while I disagree with most of what is said about these changes I agree with these folks more I suppose. At least people will be on an equal footing, both in difficulty and rewards. They will get to choose what they will have more fun doing instead of what will give them the most shinies.

One thing I think they are forgetting in all this is how much easier tens can be when you are sporting gear from twenty-fives. No longer will people be able to go farm up gear that makes current progression easier. They wanted equal? Well, they got it. In difficulty as well as loot.

When the dust settles there may well be a few that are less pleased than they think they will be.

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The biggest point I take from all of this is that Blizzard is learning from mistakes they have made in the past. In Wrath they gave us the chance to run both tens and twenty-fives. The saw what happened, they looked at the results, and they are acting on that knowledge.

To me it looks like they are trying to find as many different paths to a fun and rewarding experience as they can and engineer them into the game. They are doing it in such a way that everyone will have one they can follow, without feeling the need to follow two or three to be more powerful faster.

They are not making any one path out to be the best, they are putting them all on the table and letting people choose based on what they find fun.

The main thing to take away from this is that it is, in fact, a game.

A game is something people play to have fun.

The moment it stops being fun but I feel compelled to do it anyway I will nuke it from my hard drive and walk away.

You should do the same.

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Play how you like, and have fun doing it.

Thats what you’ll find me doing.

Then again, I always have.

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11 Responses

  1. We’ve been raiding 10s. I think one or two people have 25s loot and we’re digging the difficulty. So suffice to say our raid group is pumped.

    Reading blog posts from 25ers, it seems to me the problem they have with this change is that raiding 25 mans is not fun, so now no one will do it.

    Guess I don’t understand why they’re raiding 25 mans in the first place if they don’t enjoy it.

  2. I enjoy raiding 25 mans but I’m not capable of setting up one myself. I depend on others willing to do it. And I suspect that with the lack of incentives very very few will be willing to put in all that extra work. Thats the whole thing. Yes, and that I’m worried that mine and many other 25 man guilds won’t survive this change. It sucks when you’ve been raiding together for two years. I honestly don’t know if I’ll keep playing if I find myself guildless when Cataclysm hits.

    • I completly understand your point. I watched many a guild collapse when raid sizes changed. I do think that this kind of thing worries Blizzard as well, and that they will take measures to prevent it.

      One likely idea is the guild leveling system. They could give extra rewards or faster leveling or something to the guild as a whole. That way running 25′s would still be a greater benefit to the guild as a whole, as opposed to simply better loot for indiveduals within it. That would foster more of a sense of community in the guild and help weed out people that are just there for the shinies.

      All that said, I respect your concern.

  3. I think one of the things that 25man raiders are forgetting is that they will be able to gear up faster. We still don’t know what sort of Loot:Player ratio they’re going to have, but they have clearly stated that it will be higher in 25 mans.

    The way I understand that is that if someone wants to race to beat Blackwing, the fastest way to him will be through 25man raids. Thus they still get an advantage, even if it’s a less obvious one.

    • Agreed. There remains a whole lot of waiting to see what happens in Cataclysm. Ye don’t really know how everything will mesh together yet.

      I, for one, am going to assume that Blizzard knows how to engineer thier game to be fun. I will simply take it on faith that it will all make perfect sense once we have the whole picture.

  4. I think DarthRegis hit it right on the head. That was the first thing that came to mind when I read about these changes. An old guildie was complaining on Facebook that because of this lockout change he probably wouldn’t play in Cataclysm.

    I don’t understand why people get so worked up over a bit of text on a page. Seriously. Wait until the changes are live, even in Beta or whatever, and SEE HOW IT WORKS. There likely are going to be other advantages to 25′s, though I think the larger number of drops is going to be a big one.

    Imagine, running a raid with 25 people and having the number of things on the boss even somewhat proportional to the number of people in your raid. No more putting in the huge amounts of cat herding and dealing with people fighting over two purples and a tier token or two.

    I think it’ll be worth it. But I may be biased. My current guild can only field 10s regularly. I agree with many others that it will be quite a relief to not have to PuG, or stare at someone in a city decked out in 277′s and know that there’s no way in heck you’ll ever see that level of gear.

  5. Finally, a voice of reason in the wilderness. (I’m only being a little hyperbolic there; others–including but not limited to Larísa–have been able to recognize the sky isn’t falling; it’s just raining a bit on some parades.)

    The key that I think a lot of people are missing is what Darthregis said: 25s are probably going to be a faster way to “finish.” And if that’s what people are after, more power to them.

    With 2.5x the people, I would expect 25s to get 2.5x the loot/badges/gold. I’m sure many running 25s (especially the more “hard-core” loot-oriented players) think 5 items instead of two isn’t enough of an incentive, but I think it’s plenty–and I happen to prefer running a 25-man raid than a 10-man.

    But the point is, and you made it admirably, Dech, is that Blizzard is trying very hard to make the game equally fun for all players. However, if someone’s version of “fun” is “getting it all, and getting it now, and getting MORE than someone else” then those folks aren’t going to have fun, no matter what.

    • For what it’s worth I also prefer raiding in 25′s. Actually I really enjoyed 40′s, though assembling one was a freakin nightmare. The encounters simply felt more epic. I suppose different people raid different sizes for different reasons, one of wich you touched on, Greed.

      The concept of needing to have more than someone else to feel like I accomplished something is rather forign to me, I keep forgetting about it. I simply enjoy the run, the banter in vent, the slaying of pixelated dragons. For me it’s more about the experience than the loot, but thats not the way everyone sees it.

      I don’t see WoW as a game that I am trying to beat. I see it as a series of challenges to overcome. I will be sad if I ever do “beat” it, since then it will be over.

      As someone far smarter than I once said, “It’s not the destination that matters, but the journey.”

    • I’m thinking that Blizzard might get all crazy and use some pretty funky loot incentives when it comes to numbers.

      For example, speculation is:
      10 man = 2 items
      25 man = 5 items (2.5x the players, 2.5x the loot)

      But WHAT IF they did this:
      10 man = 2 items
      25 man = 10 items (2.5x the players, 5x the loot)

      It’s hard to determine how much loot they’ll need to offer to maintain 25 man raids, but I think Blizzard is probably very aware of these issues and will deal with it accordingly.

      These changes might be the death of 25 man pugs ( or maybe not). But I don’t see this being the death of most 25 man raiding guilds.

      Hell, I remember when Wrath was coming out and everyone was saying that having the raid available in both 10 man and 25 man meant that all the 25′s were going to die out. Guess what never happened…

      People just need to chill, wait to see how it works, and then have their QQ fest. (Because we all know someone’s going to complain about something, no matter how good it is.)

  6. [...] 29, 2010 by DarthRegis Well, a few of the blogs I read have chimed in with their thoughts on the changes to raiding for Cataclysm.  A few other blogs with their take [...]

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