Monday, March 22, 2010

Of the Nightfall (and the death of old raids, with the perfect solution)

I finally got my achievement for The Twilight Zone (10 Player) yesterday.  It was something I wanted to do being I am what you would basically still consider a new player and never had the chance to do most of the cool and fun achievements like that yet.  I did not start raiding until just shortly before ICC came out and I was in ICC since the day it was released, even if I did not get the first boss down until the second week.

My guild only does that run when it is the weekly raid and they go the easy route of killing all the bosses along the way first.  They do not even want to waste time on trying for the fun achievements like that.  I can understand it.  Doing something like that very well could result in a wipe or two and if that happens it adds up to time.  Even if it is only a half hour that is two bosses in ICC and 4 frost emblems and the chance at loot our team needs over getting some outdated achievement.

I understand that view being we all want our frosties and who does not like new loot, but I like to do achievements as well.  I am not like a great deal of my guild that have been playing since WoW was in beta or even 3 or 4 years.  I have not even been playing one year yet, or one year soon at least, and I did not really get into the end game until ICC came out.  I only ran Ulduar maybe 4 weeks before ICC was released.

I want to go back and run those raids and experience them.  Sure, with my gear it will be a lot easier but that does not change the fact that I would want to do them.  I did a full clear of Naxx once when I first started raiding.  Took 2 nights about 2 hours each night and none of us were over geared much for it.  Maybe 2 pieces of Ulduar gear each.  It was a fun run.  Over gearing it now might mean it will not be as fun but that does not mean I would not want to do it.

I hear people crying on forums all over the place about the game turning into something made for casual players.  While I consider myself a serious casual player (I'll explain that another time) I do agree that the game is catering into letting people get gear way to easily.  That is a good thing and a bad thing.  I have a nice grumpy elf post about the randoms and gearing up I am sure I will share at some point but this is more about raiding the older raids as a new player or a casual player.

Someone like myself who has worked his way into gear as fast as I could by making sure I knew my role and knew how to do it the best I am able found myself getting into lots of ends game raids because I know what I am doing (most of the time at least).  The problem with that now is that I have never had the chance to see the older stuff.  My guild is the standard 10 man progression.  Perfect fit for me really.  With that however, I will never see the older stuff.

See, the problem lies within my gear.  Of course it is not because I am not geared well enough for a Naxx run, but I am not one of the people that have run Naxx 500 times already.  I do not know the fights like reciting the alphabet.  They aren't something that is second nature to me like it is to so many other people.

You can take all the gear in the world, all the skill in the world and all the adaptive competence in the world and if you do not know a simple mechanic like, turn when he does this, or get into the fire when you are used to staying out of it, then you are going to fail completely.  Knowing the fight is the most important thing in any encounter.

So here I am with a desire to get into some old raids but even with my gear and current achievements I would really not be an asset to a lower ranged raid.  The reason being is that no one runs them anymore except the people that know them so well and they do not want to take anyone along that they might need to spend 60 seconds explaining a fight, and then if you die during the safety dance you will get yourself kicked even with a 5800 gear score.

By making gear so damn easy to get people no longer need to run Naxx or Ulduar or for the most part ToC even.  Sure, at least ToC still has some great gear that can only be beat with ICC 25 or hard modes, it is still not the run of choice for most.  I did a ToC 25 last week that took a whole 50 minutes, only 3 deaths throughout the whole run and that was mostly with people that did not even know any of the fights.  Such as myself, who has never been past faction champs because ICC came out when I was still in that gearing up phase and there is now very little reason to go back there.  I did awesome DPS, as well I should being a hunter, never died once, which is amazing being I did not know the later fights, and even got myself a new weapon out of the deal.

Thing is, ToC was the first step in what became frost gear and the new ICC 5 mans.  ToC made it so easy that someone that has never been there could top DPS and survive easily.  Forsts and the new 5 mans make it that even the slightest casual player can get to ToC in no time at all, and the serious causal player like myself can gear up to jump past ToC completely in no time at all.

With everyone wanting the new gear the frost badges and the new achievements I find myself sadly missing out on all the older stuff.  Lets even forget the BC stuff.  Trying to get those heroic achievements are nearly impossible being no one in their right mind (I am not in my right mind just so you know) even cares about doing them any more.  Sometimes the old raids are run so that is not as bad, but still not easy to get into as they want people that have done it 100 times already. As a hunter I am lucky that I can solo a great deal of content but it is slow and kind of a grind sometimes.  On occasion if I can get someone from the guild to go with me for fun I will do a run with them.  Did a few of those this weekend too.  A boomkin and I got a few of the heroic BC dungeons out of the way.

---The Solution---

I just wish they would make those old raids step up with the rest of the game.  They are giving away 232 and 245 gear now almost at will with triumphs dropping like candy on halloween.  Let Naxx and Ulduar offer 232 and 245 gear now.  Increase the damage the mobs do and the life they have and make them relevant again.

There is already a normal mode and a heroic mode, just make a new mode called Prime mode where the Prime mode is always scaled with the current lowest level of free gear they give out. 

It is ready made content, all they need to do is change the numbers. More health, more damage done, more adds, and a different loot table.  It would take at most a few hours time from a coding standpoint.  It would also make doing those achievements exciting again. 

Getting "The Dedicated Few (25 Man Prime)" would make people go back there.  And once they get the Prime maybe the people like me will get a chance to learn the fights so then we can easily go back to the older versions and get those achievements too as would the people that want to get the achievements on their alts but ignored doing it as it was all "old content"   As they have now gotten the new version of the achievement they might as well get the old content version as well.

I can not really see any cons to this idea.  It is easy to implement.  It does not give anything away that is not easily obtainable otherwise anyway.  It gives people more to do and a chance to revisit some of the older content while making it challenging. It can always be updated to adjust to the current level of final content. It allows late comers to the game like me a chance to experience what we might never have a chance to otherwise without over powering through it.

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