One of the major complaints about TBC (especially more advanced guilds) was the poor pacing of content. There could easily be 6-8 months after the cleared BT until Sunwell came out. So I see this as a good change, there will be less raids at the start but there will be more patched in.Also, I wouldn't count Hyjal as available at the start, since it was practically impossible to get a raid in there before 2.1 with only a few vials dropping per kill.
When we started raiding in BC we spent a lot (seriously! a lot!) of time in Karazhan before we were ready to move to Gruul and Maggy. So we didn't really have to much options then just like now. We gonna farm Naxx ti we faint and by that time a new instance will be added in game.In BC we did have a lot of instances, but difficult encounters and complicated attunement process made that most of the players didn't even seen a raids that were available from the beginning.
Remember of course that WotLK has more ZA-style optional difficulty settings as well. Obsidium Sanctum has the three mini-bosses than can either be cleared before the main boss or left alive to make the fight harder.
As of now it is lacking.It took the top guilds 2 months to kill Kael and Vashj.It took the top guilds 40 hours to complete ALL content so far. Every raid, 5, 10, and 25. But, do you really think that is it? Of course they are going to put new content out. The main problems with the big guilds, mine included, is that you don't have to replace gear. Only a few things like cloaks and jewlry were replaced through high end qst/instance blues, but everyone still uses their t6 and sunwell gear. Skgaming and Neph didn't have to farm any of the lower raids for gear before being able to kill Kel. Now, there 15 bosses in Naxx. Bt had 9 and sunwell had 6. So it gives you a lot to do while taking out 1 or 2 boss encounters. If you are in woltk qst blues and new instance gear, you will not be able to rip through Naxx in a day like they did. They are the top of the top, every person in that 25 man most likely had full sunwell gear and new crafted gear if its any better. Hard to compare things to them. Same as comparing how hard it is to get to 80 by looking at people who didn't sleep for 3 days or move from their comp.
As I understand it, Sunwell was actually intended to be part of Wrath. Which may or may not have thrown Blizzard's plan regarding initial content.But either way, I quite like the way things are looking currently. Instead of trying to take the whole of the raiding spectrum at the same time - Blizzard have set themselves up a base from which to proceed.In BC, you hit the heroics, and eventually hit Karazhan. Big gap in between these in terms of difficulty. Even bigger gap between Kara and the Tier 5 instances, event without thinking about Kael and Vashje.Yes the current content isn't the most challenging stuff in the world, as some guilds have already shown, but it offers something that the BC 'starting' instances and raids did not - a broad base. We're forgetting that Naxx is a huge instance and one of the most famous from pre-BC days. New content will come out with patches and this I expect will be more challenging, but the raids we have now should keep the more casual raiders entertained far longer than Kara and later Zul'Aman were able to do. If Blizzard are guilty of anything it is dealing with their casual player base before their hardcore, which makes sense from a business point of view. I have no doubt (given that most of the senior management in the Blizzard dev team are ex-hardcore raiders from Everquest) that the upcoming content patches will both challenge and stretch guilds, while adding additional 10 man fodder for the casuals.TL;DR - if you're complaining that the new content is too easy, it wasn't designed with you in mind. Enjoy the new continent, farm your mammoth and get the special raiding achievements while you wait for the more hardcore stuff to come.
When most players got to 70, the easiest option for most average players and guilds was to start farming kara, and maybe some heroics. Thus, the term "kara guilds."The problem with this is wasn't that it was such a big jump for these guilds to go to gruuls or mags, but from there trying to progress into the eye, and SSC. This I believe is for two reasons, one, the fights required more coordination, and two, all players have to be in the best gear up to that point, even the dps. I was fortunate enough to progress into the eye and down kael. Even a few BT bosses. But, I could see the disdain in so many players that had been playing since the release and were eternally stuck in kara.What I am hoping is that WotLK has a more linear progression curve, instead of one that is jumpy and exponential. Is this the case? I am not sure I have not experienced the raids yet.The conclusion I am trying to make is that for most people, especially at the start of TBC there was only 1-2 raids. And for most, this is all there ever was.
Personally I think Blizzard has implemented a less guided raiding system.Right now it's not do this, then this, then this, and finally this.At this point all of the WotLK raids are pretty even and I like that, but...To be honest I think there is a HUGE lack of content in WotLK.But I prefer quantity over quality, so I'm sure some would disagree.
I'm glad Naxx will be more like UBRS and the other raids will be easier. I miss the times when a casual player who has a night off could hop into a raid. Not all of us can commit to raiding guilds. With all the lore in Wrath, I think its even more important that everyone gets to see the end of the story.This looks like a good step in the direction of accessibility. They will probably patch in the harder raids, but this way there'll be something for everyone.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Naxx have a 10 and 25 version? And, isn't there supposed to be an Icecrown instance(s) released with a later patch? I think Wrath has plenty of raiding options. If it turns out that top guilds blow through them too fast, I'm sure Blizz will bump up their timetable and release another.Edit: Oh right, clicking the "continue reading" shows the rest of the article :p
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I think the focus of WotLK is outdoor, rather than dungeons. The zones are significantly larger and have a lot more quests; tons of achievements are present; the quests themselves are often very interactive; Wintergrasp PvP is quite unique; and so on. Raiding is definitely not everything in the game. It's more of a climax - a story with a short and quick climax is still a story. But a climax without a story is nothing. That last part was for all the people who still believe that SK+Nihil "beat the game". Is the end-game content lacking? I guess so.TBC had a ton of raids, but even today, some of my guildmates who have been playing for years, have not had a chance to see all of them. Making it more accessable is a matter of common sense, not only market thinking.
I don't see this as a bad thing at all. High end guilds simply have to accept that they can consume content faster than any dedicated team can create quality content. They just have to live with the dead time or quit.What Blizzard has done though is to make raids far more accessible to a larger portion of its player base, which brings more players into the overall story and actually makes WOW more of an RPG and less of a hack and slash game. Don't get me wrong, it's still very hack and slash but this is a tilt towards a bit more RPG flavor and an acknowledgement that the 11 million casuals are the ones who pay the bills, not the 100,000 hardcore raiders. And I say that as someone who has beaten Sunwell and seen all that BC has to offer. What Blizzard is doing makes good business sense. If they can maintain quality of product, then the hardcore will continue playing WOW too, even if they play a few other MMOGs at the same time.
I really like the fact that the endgame content in WotLK seems to be "easy" because this means blizzard, for the time being, hasn't killed the old content. For those that did not get to experience BT or Sunwell, the new gear that is achieved from 80 raiding will be perfect to use in the old 70 raids so that people can ACTUALLY experience that content. Sure, it will be a little outdated because we are all 10 levels higher, and in gear that is a little better, but that does not mean that it should be forgotten.When TBC was release, it completely destroyed the desire to do any of the old world 40 man raids, and that was disappointing because the content was still very good. I feel that blizzard learned from this mistake, and is allowing time for people that didn't get a chance to enjoy the TBC 25-man to get in there and play around a bit, get some decent gear, and prep for the coming raids.