Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Raid Progression

NOTE: Most of the time frames discussed here are my personal thoughts and feelings about how long the time felt and how much I was in a specific instance. I did not go back and look at exactly how long each one was out, and I wanted the post to come from feeling rather than fact to express those feelings about raiding progression. Catch mah drift?

Lately I had been going over a lot of people talking about where they were in wow a year ago and what their characters looked like. It's funny because I don't think about this often and when I do I am always suprised that when it comes down to it... I'm a battle tested veteran.

I think about the encounters I've mastered. The raids I've lead. The people I managed and the guild I used to run. All of this experience I forget about frequently, but when it comes down to it... I can still rattle off boss abilities, class abilities, min/max specs, and the general gist of all of this. And not for just wrath... Even though I only got up to ZA in TBC, I have since experienced/learned about many of the encounters.

I keep looking at it and thinking about why I still play wow over all the other games that have come and gone in my life. I have binged on wow over long periods of time for ridiculously long playtime periods. Yet if I burn out, I generally come back. In fact, most of the time when I burn out I simply roll a new class, or on a new server to see new things (like the time I rolled alliance).
With Arthas not even out yet I think about the time gaps between each of the raids. Naxx was out for soooooooooo long. It was all we had to raid. It got to the point where PUGing it was expected to get and kill KT, even on my fail server (truly fail). Ulduar was not out for long enough, in my opinion as I wanted to attempt hardmodes but we were still working through it. On our server only a handful of guilds actually killed Yogg on 10 or 25. It wasn't hard, it just required people to actually buckle down and stay focused the entire instance. But the actual time that it was out does makes me laugh becuase the content was available for a long time(relatively... I think), and yet those who cleared it in the first few weeks had to have been so bored.

ToC was out for far too long, considering it was only one room(2?) that you fought 5 bosses in. It had to be the ultimate show of laziness imo on Blizzard's behalf. At the time when everyone was grilling Blizz about it and complaining about how much it sucked, my guild leader decided we would be attempting ToGC25 (we had 10man on farm) even though I KNEW 60% or more of the raid did NOT care to be there. Over 60 wipes later we killed beasts. Once. That kind of wipage made my brain hurt. We had no other content to do... We would run Ony and VoA simply because it was free loot... But even that could have been done on our own quite easily. Usually those who needed loot from there would be looking for one or two items specifically. And thats about it.

Now we have ICC being rationed out to us, plus there is a limiting factor/waygate that will hinder many from getting into the depths of the instance early on. I'm unsure about how I feel about all this, yet I'm not sure it's going to work out for the better.

See, I'm a big fan of linear progression. There once was a time when I thought I wanted choice over everything... Well not anymore. As I got older and matured I realized that much of the world is out of my control, I believe in everyone having control over their own actions (for the most part... Sophie's choice being one of the few exceptions) which means I can only choose for myself. What I also found is that sometimes, especially when I'm trying to have fun and enjoy a game... I like choice. I like being able to choose which weapon looks cooler, what instance to run, what role to be in a raid. Yet... there is strange comfort in having those choices made for you. Less thinking and responsibility involved.

All in all, I enjoy this game... Sometimes a bit too much, and I am completely undecided about what kind of raid structure I like best. After all of ICC is out, I am leaning to thinking that we will burn out less and learn the encounters better over time being as we will have had our hands held by Blizz the whole way... This is probably a good thing if you have ever read any of my posts about my guild raids or have raided with the general populace... In the end, hindsight will be 20/20 and I am refusing to pass judgement until I get that vision.

P.S. If you really want my opinion... I think that we'll all burn out of ICC eventually, but the tiered releases and self-nerfing instance will keep it looking fresh for longer. The bleeding-heart, cutting-edge raiders will be distraught as they are being held back... But Blizz is done catering to them methinks...

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