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re: The Wrath Effect

10/22/2009

A response to something on World of Matticus, Pink Pigtail Inn, Casual Hardcore and others…  This post has gotten a lot of panties in a twist and while I’ve touched on this topic in the past in the past, I think I should do so again.  I’ll try to keep it as sort and logical as possible.

Does anyone remember in TBC when they introduced the wildly popular badge gear?  Those in hardcore raiding guilds were very unhappy that casual raiders would be able to get gear just by grinding out heroic dungeons.  This feeling was made even worse with the introduction of Sunwell Plateau and the even more impressive badge gear.  This was gear that was able to be obtained through grinding Kara every week, doing huge amounts of daily heroics, or through doing lower tier 25-man raids.  They were angry that people didn’t have to put the time and effort they did in order to get good gear.

This is an easy comparison to make to the situation now, only there are several very important differences.  For one, heroics are no where near as difficult as they were in TBC.  This is very widely accepted, so I don’t feel bad stating this as a fact.  Running a single heroic used to be a painful experience depending on the instance (Shadow Vault, anyone).  Real skill and extreme patience was needed to get badge gear this way.  For two, getting badges from Kara still took a certain amount of commitment and wasn’t all that easy for many people.  Shade of Aran was known for killing off fledgling groups.  The whole place was also very large, so it took time to get through it all.  Only the well geared were able to grind it weekly with any real speed.  For three, tier gear wasn’t available from badges.  This is a -huge- point.  Hardcore raiders are proud of the time and effort they have put in.  It was a badge of honor to be in full T6 gear!  No amount of Kara, Zul’Aman or lower tier 25-mans were going to net those pieces for you.

I’ll make this its own paragraph since I feel so strongly about it:  Gearing has become far, far too easy and tier should never have been available from badges.

I, like many, find the only challenging content to be harmode 25-mans.  Even those are overcome in a night or two.  Anything less (even 10-man hardmodes) are far too easy for me.  There would be those that argue that these places weren’t designed with hardcore raiders in mind and I agree wholeheartedly.  10-mans and 10-man hardmodes are not for hardcore raiders.  I understand an accept that.  However, 25-man raids -are- designed for raiding guilds like mine.  And they are far, too easy.  No 25-man should be PuG-able; to do so is spitting in the face of your raiding populace (small as they may be compared to the whole).

There are issues with how Wrath raids were designed that have nothing to do with difficulty (lazy design, bad pacing, etc.), but as far as Wrath getting too easy, there are truly only three major issues I have with it.

-  Tier gear being available for badges cheapens the concept of tier altogether.

-  Gear from 10-man hardmodes should be no on par with 25-man gear, nor should it in some cases SURPASS gear from 25-mans.  (This is a common issue with ToC.)  It takes less organization, fewer headaches and less time to do 10-man hardmodes than 25-man raids.  The gear you receive should reflect that.

-  25-mans should have their difficulty tuned towards those who are “hardcore raiders,” making them like hardmodes are now, getting rid of the concept of hardmodes altogether.  Doing so would allow difficult fights to have that “epic” feel to them again, rather than the feeling that it is no big deal because you killed X boss the week before, only with two drakes up instead of three.

“Catering to the casual” is a common phrase amongst raiders that I know.  I understand that Blizzard wants to please as many people as possible, which is why I applaud the idea of more 10-man raids (I loved Kara and ZA!).  Having 10-mans with two difficulties is also a nice idea, as it allows the really good people who don’t like to fuss with 25-man raids a certain amount of challenge.  However, 25-mans are -supposed- to be more difficult.  It takes time and energy to maintain a large group of people.  Making raids that 25 random people can faceroll through with badge purchased tier gear is an insult to those who choose to put their time and effort into reaching end-game content.

3 comments

  1. I do remember the badge gear coming out in BC. At that time I was still fairly new to raiding only having experienced Kara and not having cleared it yet. Badge gear was a blessing!

    I also remember hearing about the hardcore raiders QQing themselves about how hard they had it, etc. What I didn’t understand was why they were complaing because as you said heroics were harder. It took me 2.5 months to save up for the healing mace as I was lucky if I was able to do the daily every day and a couple of heroics on weekends.

    And once I was fully badge geared, I was in a guild that still struggled to clear Naxx in three nights and could barely get a boss or two in ZA.

    I strongly feel it’s the gear progression that’s screwed everything up.

    Great post btw!


    • I switched mains twice in TBC, so the badge gear was a blessing to me, too! Even when my raiding group was well past Kara, I would organize weekly runs to get more badges for us all. I have no problem at all with the idea of badge gear. In fact, I think keeping the original TBC system for badge gear (non-tier, not as well itemized in most cases as raid loot, lower ilevel) would work really well with the way WotLK heroics are. Also, they need to stop adjusting what badges drop from heroics. New Naxx is completely useless now that you can get tier 8.5 gear from heroics. Does anyone even have tier 7 anymore at all? If they wanted to increase the level of gear you can get from heroics, they should have changed the badges from Heroism to Valor. It’s a smaller jump, allowing gear from New Naxx to still be useful to progression. That’s really the thing; raiding is about progressing through steps, not jumping straight to the end.


  2. [...] all of the talk going around that Wrath of the Lich King made things significantly easier and therefore "killed the game", [...]



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