ICC is going to be gated, and gated very heavily. As in, on release, we only have access to the first four bosses. This is all we get for weeks. “Several weeks”, to use the exact quote. Then we get to fight the next three, and after several more weeks, the next two, then after several more weeks, the final three.
And then, and only then, does heroic mode unlock. And did I mention that you get limited tries on the final boss of each wing?
This is… interesting.
On the one hand, this is perfect for casual aligned raider guilds. No pressure to continue past a certain point, because there isn’t anything beyond that point. On the other hand, this is a huge cockblock for the high end guilds, and possibly immensely frustrating for mid-level raiders.
Your mileage may vary, I suppose.
I shake my head in sadness at (some of) this, personally. Daelo (the blue poster) says that this will allow “players to experience Icecrown Citadel at a sustainable, measured, and ultimately more enjoyable pace”, but all I see is our guild killing everything our first week in there, maybe first night, and then having nothing new to do for a couple weeks before we get the chance to kill the next few bosses in a raid night or two. Repeat.
But maybe not! Who knows? We didn’t kill Faction Champs until the second week they were out, though we killed everything else first night in ToC.
As it is now, without ICC, it’s getting difficult to find things to actually raid. Our first raiding night of the week (tuesday), we clear regular ToC, Onyxia, vault, and sarth 3D, and then call the night an hour early so we can get a full night in for heroic ToC tonight.
That’s two hours of raiding there folks, most of it spent on traveling from one instance to the other.
Then we hit HToC with everything we’ve got. Beasts is like clockwork now (usually!), Jaraxxus is solid if scary hard (such a ludicrously hard and awesome fight as a mage), Faction Champs is laughable, and I expect we’ll be killing Twins soon too. Fingers crossed! NO DON’T CROSS THE STREA-
There’s a perceived reluctance on our guild to do content that doesn’t reward tangible things, i.e. loot. We do Sarth 3D for the mounts (the mount is awesome, by the way), but other than that, we really only do stuff that would award, y’know, loot. EPIX.
I say perceived because I don’t really know if anyone actually thinks that way, or if a bunch of people just think that the others think that way.
I don’t raid for loot, never have. I raid for the challenge, as I’ve so eloquently stated in the past. Loot is, obviously, a factor, but only to a point. Loot is an enabler, to allow for the challenge to be defeatable. Doing something that is hard, that’s cool. Impossible? Not so much.
If there was a really hard fight that only awarded iLevel 187 blues, I’d do it, loot be damned.
I don’t really care of Yogg drops useful things, I just wanna kill the dude. Same goes for Algalon and all the other hard modes in Ulduar.
Me death knight buddy feels slightly different. He likes a challenge just as much as I do (wiping to heroic faction champs for three hours solid before our hack strat remains the highlight of raiding for both of us), he just wants to be able to actually use the stuff that drops.
To be rewarded for his sweat and blood, so to say, whereas I sweat and bleed because I like it.
That, uh… that sounded better in my head.
In a roundabout way, this is what concerns me about ICC. Some boss fights remain interesting long after we have them on farm (Hodir, Heroic Jaraxxus), but most of them are kinda… well, boring after the first couple of kills (Sarth 3D, everything in normal ToC).
I’m not really sure I want to be bored by week 2 in ICC. Maybe I won’t be, I dunno. The Gunship battle is fantastic, but then again I used to think Mimiron was fantastic.
Personally, I want things I haven’t defeated before (heroic modes of the same boss count if they are different), I want them to be hard, and I want to defeat them on my mage. (Raiding as a ret paladin is kinda meh. Mage is much more fun.)
I’m going to start pushing the guild to go back to Ulduar and finish the damn place. Kill yogg. Try firefighter. Try Vezax hard mode (sorry healers!). Do Freya with all three trees up. Maybe finally kill Flame Leviathan with 4 towers up.
Actually scratch that last one. All I do is fetch barrels for my driver and kill turrets. Dull dull dull.
I want to raid more than two nights a week damnit! And doing the 25-man and 10-man versions of a raid in the same week doesn’t count. Not even close.
WoW is a game that, in the Wrath age, rewards a broad-brush approach to play. And which can be very unforgiving if you only have one or two aspects of the game that really appeal to you.
If all I wanted to do was raid, I’d be in quite the bind.
Fortunately, I have alts, I have boatloads of PvP to do, and that right there is enough to blow hours of time. If that fails, I still haven’t “beaten” Age of Empires III, and I can always play Left4Dead or something.
More than likely, I’ll just end up throwing my time at PvP. I PvP a lot, and I should probably do more. Still less than 50k lifetime kills on my main?! Pffff. Pathetic.
I PvP a ton on alts. I PvP on my warrior. I PvP on a rogue. A priest. I used to have a 19 shaman twink with slightly over 5k lifetime kills. Even my hunter, who did PvP for all of 2 weeks way, way back at level 29, has 2k lifetime kills, and that was back when Aimed Shot had a cast time.
I mean, I didn’t PvP on my paladin until january, got my 10k lifetime kills achievement in May, and now it’s November and I’m on the cusp of 25k lifetime kills. That’s over two thousand kills a month people!
Damn it, I’m bragging again.
LOOK AT MY EPEEN. IT IS VERY MUCH BIG. ITS GIRTH BLOTS OUT THE VERY SUN.
All pointless bragging aside, the point is that I actually have a bunch of stuff I do outside of raids, mostly PvP. Having limited raid content bothers me, for sure. Is it really so hard to just design content that we can progress through at our own pace? The casual raider guilds aren’t going to clear out the instance any faster just because it isn’t gated. The hardcore guilds will, but that’s what hardcore guilds do.
“But if they don’t stretch the hard content out, people will complain they have nothing to do!”
So what? Screw ’em. It was their choice to burn through that content.
Locking hard mode behind a Lich King kill, and thus literally at least a month down the line from the release of 3.3, just seems cheesy to me. How, exactly, is sitting around twiddling our thumbs for weeks enabling us to enjoy ICC in all it’s splendor?
If we’re restricted this way to force us to gear up because the top end bosses are just that hard, then just say so, get rid of this dumb gate thing, and let us at some bloody hard content. I want more Jaraxxus style fights where sneezing causes a wipe plox. If that means we try heroic saurfang and he kills the tank in two seconds, so be it. Bring it on!
To be more specific to ICC, I don’t mind having to wait until a Lich King kill to have access to heroic mode. That’s fine, it makes sense. But forcing us to arbitrarily wait to even attempt that fightl, that I have a problem with. What the hell is that about?
The limited tries available for the final boss of each wing is also extremely bothersome.
I’ve heard the argument before that it forces people to actually be on top of their game and react swiftly to mechanics, rather than just trying over and over again until you finally get it on the 276th try.
First off, only the hardest of the hardcore is even going to bother wiping to the same fight that many times. Nobody else has that level of patience. Besides, giving hardcore guilds limited tries does not actually limit their tries at all. All that does is force them to be creative.
Hardcore guilds are not going to say “k, we got 5 tries to get this”. No, they are going to practice on the PTR, they are going to try it first on alts to learn the mechanics, they are going to try it in 10-man, they are going to server transfer en masse to get a fresh raid ID to try even more, they are going to have an army of warlocks outside with soulstones to prevent wipes.
For the rest of us, this just means the poor guy who’s internet crapped out for a second or the gal who’s computer just crashed costs the entire raid an attempt and makes them feel like toe lint.
Forcing people to be on top of their game, forcing people to respond and recover from things to try and get it right the first time is great and all, but if a single error or issue kills 4 people immediately… you can’t recover from that.
That’s not “react and get it right the first time”, that’s “you won’t get it right the first time, and you have limited tries because fuck you.”
Say the tank takes a bunch more damage all of a sudden. Great, healers have to be alert and be able to react to that. That’s a good mechanic. But if said damage spike kills the tank in a second without warning? That is not something that can be reacted to, besides “wtf just happened.” And then the paladin healer just spams Holy Light from then on out, because of she doesn’t, the tank dies, and sometimes will die anyway.
I’m all for raid fights that require a great amount of flexibility, call it “skill” at your class to react to unexpected things. But there are few raid fights like that. Hodir is one. Mimiron’s hard mode is another.
Things like Faction Champs should have been a fight like that, but that just turned into “you have to cheat or the rogue mob is going to go kill a healer in under a second.”