Cataclysm is nearing its fourth month, and I find myself in a different place gameplay-wise than when I started out. World of Warcraft Cataclysm brought a brand new leveling experience and much harder end-game content. That’s about as well as I can sum it up.
My opinions on the expansion are mixed, but overall I am enjoying it. That said, I have some rapidly rising concerns as to what extent players will continue to enjoy the expansion.
It is well known that raid content is much more difficult, and you almost have to be in a guild raid, or at least running with 9 other greatly-skilled players to defeat content. Not only that, but the amount of time spent raiding seems to have increased due to the newly minted difficulty of boss encounters.
At first, I thought this was a great thing. Wash out the rookies and noobs, and let beating content actually mean something. Don’t let all those purples float around for lesser skilled players to steal…ahem grab. I have had two very different raid experiences with two different guilds, both of which were fun.
However, the time I spent raiding, which was a ton, added with the complexities of every single boss fight, left me drained and exhausted. Those of you who successfully raid end-game content know that fighting the actual boss is only 50% of the process. There is the large amount of time spent researching strategies online and watching videos, as well as preparing and gathering potions, flasks, enchants, and gems to keep your gear optimized for better chances of success. Add to that the time spent making gold for funding all these adventures, and you have yourself quite a time-consuming hobby!
After three months of this ‘rinse and repeat’ process, I have found myself exploring other avenues of the game, that allow me to choose how I want to play, with little research needed. I can also come and go as I please. Leveling and PvP have taken over my gamestyle at the moment.
Raiding has just become overwhelming. It is beyond comparison to the days of Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. These fights are rough, tough, and can beat the crap out of you. I’m not sure if I continue to plug away and beat myself to death with this raiding mind-set, that I will be able to continue enjoying this game overall.
I am curious if any of you feel the same. Or perhaps you disagree? What keeps the fires burning in terms of tackling end-game content?
Solution You Ask? Well…
It may not be a popular idea, but I’ll tell you anyways. Blizzard has almost perfected the normal vs heroic raid content. Not to mention the same loot drops from 10 and 25 man runs. I like the format, but I’d change it up just a smidge.
Remember how popular Molten Core was? Not just the 40-man raids, but the fights were more of a gear check than a skill check. A vast majority of WoW players seem to be focused on that ‘gear check’ mindset.
I’d say embrace that, and create one raid that contains 7 to 10 bosses, all of which have the difficulty of VoA and BH boss content. Leave the other raids as they are, but give us an option to gear up and run a raid that doesn’t require banging your head against a wall.
Not only should this be puggable, but it gives a decent stepping stone between 5-mans and Cataclysm raiding. I guess what I’d like to see is something that stands more in the middle of the ground. Throw in a pure tank n’ spank fight to create a gear check. Throw in a fun event like the chess game in Karazhan.
Something like that would definitely renew my passion for raiding. I don’t know though, easy content still doesn’t seem to be everyone’s favorite idea. What do you guys think?