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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