Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What Does "No New 5-Mans" Mean to You?

Seeing the comment that there would be no additional 5 man content this expansion opened my mind to a lot of thoughts and one of them is something I am honestly surprised about.  That being, I like the idea.

I really do think it is a great idea to not add any new five man content.

Look back at the five man content added at the end of wrath and cata.  It is wasted content.  You will never see them while leveling because you will never reach the item level required to get into them until you are well past them level wise. So they are forgotten content unless you decide to go back and do them for achievement sake.

So why really make them?  A catch up mechanic for raiding.  That was their only purpose really and we have already been told they do not want that super quick catch up mechanic anymore.  As long as there is new valor gear, new justice gear, and increased drop rates from the previous LFRs and bigger nerfs to past normal raids, there will be a catch up mechanic that way.

While I would like to see some new five mans I can understand and even agree with the idea that they are not needed. 

So what does that mean to me?

Not much really from a gearing up standpoint other than the fact that if I want to gear an alt up for raiding I will need to do it by raiding.  Even if we are only talking the LFR style of raiding lite.  What an interesting idea.  Make people gear for raiding by raiding if they want to do it quickly, or through valor if they want to do it slowly.  But wait, if the valor gear is going to be locked behind a raiding reputation you will need to raid to get the valor gear.  I guess that if people want raid gear they will have to raid in one form or another.  I think I like that idea somewhat.

So my warlock will never be "raid ready" like he was last expansion.  My rogue will never be "raid ready" like he was last expansion.  Who cares.  I do not really raid with them.  Never really have and if and when I do decide to do so with them, the LFRs, and there are many of them, with an increased drop rate of them, should be an ample catch up mechanic.

So all that time spent making those new five mans that really serve no purpose can now be used to make content that might actually have more life.  Or we can hope.  That time could end up being spent on something else that will never be seen in the future just like those end five mans will never be seen by people leveling. But it will bring more to the mix now, and isn't now what really matters? 

Being they have said countless times they do not want a quick catch up mechanic what do you think new five mans would bring anyway if they did add them?  More dungeons with 463 drops.  No thank you.

So no new five mans means I actually need to work on my characters and drag them through the gearing process, not just skip a huge lump of it.  It means those characters might even get a little raid experience on their way to gearing up to do a real raid, which would be a useful thing.  Playing a character is a good thing as it gets you used to where you have your abilities bound.

As far as I see it, no new five mans means we have the potential for more content, better content, and I actually am being pushed to play those characters I do not play often more.  It is a very subtle move that I think most people will miss the point of.  For an expansion that was very alt unfriendly at the start, it is turning into something that is almost alt friendly.  Not quite, but almost.  Alt friendly in the sense that it will make us play our alts and not just have them.

People will be blasting the no new five mans for the next week, I am sure of it, but this elf won't be one of them.  I think it is a brilliant move and I am impressed they are doing that, or should that be not doing that. 

I would rather see an extra raid than a set of three 5 mans.  Perhaps instead of wasting their time on making three five mans with 4 bosses each, they can make two raids instead of one.  Ever think about it that way?

Look at the five mans we got at the end of cata, they were leaps and bounds better in style, vision, mechanics and size than the raid we had.  If those three five man dungeons were never made and all the time spent to make them was spent on DS I think DS would have been better. 

It could have had as many as 20 bosses, better design, and original places to fight instead of recycled content.  Don't you think DS would have been better if there were no five mans to take up a lot of development time?  I do, and that is what having no new five mans means to me.  Better content coming from somewhere else, instead of just another treadmill in the gearing process when it is not needed because we already have one in place for gearing up, namely the LFR.

No new five mans is a giant leap ahead in the development of a better game and better over all content for us.  So I won't complain about it.  At least not today. ;)


  1. Why extra raid sets? Why not new solo quests instead of the 5 mans. That's what I would like to see - new solo quests added instead of 5 mans or raids. Or TBC and northrend re-done. Or new LW gear that can be learned that is between lvls 40 to 70 that has agility instead of spi, str or IQ. There can be loads of extra items improved or added to that doesn't involve raiding or 5 man content.

    Grumpy Dwarf

    1. I don't think solo stuff would be the best use of their creative resources. Even as someone that loves to do stuff alone I realize that the game is so much better when enjoyed with others.

      Also, raid content has a much longer life then quest content. As much as I might have liked or disliked something like the isle in BC, the tourney in wrath or the front in cata, I never go anywhere near any of them on alts but I do go on raids with them. People do old raids on alts, solo them, with groups for achievements or just for fun. Raids are a much better use of time because they have more life in the game. They are not one and done like quest hubs are.

    2. ahh, but you totally ignored the other items I put forth, such as new recipes (for lack of a better term) for the making professions. That is not wasted and can be used by all.

      my last sentence sums up basically, there are a lot of other items or areas that be improved upon that adding more raids.

      Heck, even using what you have said in the past, raiding is a small fraction of those who play the game. I would bet 5 mans or LFR or pvp'ing is done by more folks, than actual raiding. ;)

    3. There are lots of little things that can use fixing in the game but sadly I don't see them ever spending much time fixing. There is no marketing in "we fixed this" but there is a lot to be had in "we made this".

      Yes, I agree and have said the same many time, raiding is the smallest part of the game. When it is current. Hence the reason I am against designing for the heroic raiders. But raids work well for the masses. While only 5% do end game raiding I would not be surprised if that number is closer to 50% if you look at least tiers raiding now. And I would guess much more, maybe even as high as 80 or 90 percent have entered a raid of any sort ever. Old stuff is popular. There are many people in my guild that have never once stepped into a current expansion raid but they now raid the old raids for the pets every single week. And then there are transmog runs for old raids, fun runs, achievement runs, and lets not forget if not for raiding there would be no LFR that you mention.

      Spending the time that would have been spent on heroics would not be wasted time spending it, at least in part, on making raiding better. For the masses, not for the heroic raiders.

  2. As a healer, I disagree. I find healing 5 mans far more fun than LFR. I am not able to raid normals both for lack of skill and time, so 5 mans are the only content I find enjoyable to heal.

    I don't hate using my dps spec occasionally; however, I find myself having to use it more than I would like to. In fact I've been dpsing more than healing since MoP, and I really hate it.

    Solo content and scenarios are great for dps or healers who can do a decent amount of dps to help out (disc priest), but as a resto druid my only real option is taking HotW and going kitty. If I'm only dpsing in my healing spec anyway, why not just go balance? I really would just like more opportunities to heal thats all.

    1. I agree I like being in 5 mans a hell of a lot more than LFR. I hate LFR with a passion I can not even express without turning my post into an R rating.

      And yes, I too actually love healing 5 mans, at least if they are mildly competent.

      I just do not see the point in more 5 man content unless it will be used as a catch up mechanic, which would mean the next 5 mans would drop 522 gear, and they are not going to do that.

      So if I had to choose between more 5 mans that drop 463 gear or some other type of content, the other type of content, raid, solo, quest hub, anything, is better than 5 mans that serve absolutely no purpose other than just to be there. My opinion at least.

    2. Perhaps they can put those energies into trying to improve the healer situation. For all the random content, we're waiting on healers. No one wants to heal in LFD/LFR. Blizz could definitely put some effort into getting more healers in LFD/LFR.

      Maybe that's a good discussion topic for another day: How do we get more healers?

    3. They can fix healers by making it not so mana dependent. The biggest complaint I hear from healers is that they are OOM. It seems as if they have put so much effort into making it that healers have to conserve that it actually makes healing more difficult. Make healing easier, not with bigger heals, but with less mana concerns, and I can see the healer situation being a lot better. At least that is how I see it.

  3. I have to disagree as well. I guess some folks view five mans as just a step on the gearing run, but I actually enjoy running them. I find them to be a heck of a lot more fun to run than LFR, which seems like a long, drawn out clickfests to me. No new five mans means that I'll be running the same group content for two years until the next expansion comes out. That is a long time without an update to my favorite content. I certainly wouldn't prefer adding more, boring, long, drawn out LFR's. The Wrath and Cata five mans that were added in late-expansion were both great additions at the time, and helped bridge the content gap until the next expansion comes out. As much as Blizzard is pushing folks into raids with the LFR, only a very small amount of the population is seeing this content. Many, many more are running five mans as their main group content. They added scenarios which i guess are supposed to fill the gap, and maybe those will as they develop them more and get better at it, but many of those seem gimmicky and poorly done relative to the five man dungeons. The only good news is, that more than ever, Blizzard seems willing to change course when they get lots of feedback, so hopefully, the same will happen here.

    1. I agree with you. If I had to grind something for valor cap I would rather it be dungeons. They are smaller and usually because of such even with random people the likelihood of getting people willing to work together and talk if there is a problem is much higher than in the LFR were one mistake, or even no mistakes, instantly turn into bad blood.

      I think the biggest issue with the LFR content is it is still leaps and bounds too hard for the average player.

      Last night I went into the LFR with a guild group mostly and we one shot everything and had no problems. That is because, even if we are not great players, we knew the fights, we communicated, and we worked as a team. I heard stories from people that were saying the new LFR is a wipe fest nightmare. The reason for that is because it is way too hard for the average player.

      That is why dungeons are better than LFR. At this point in the expansion you really do not even need a group for 5 mans. You could problem 2 or 3 man them or even solo them for some classes. If they made LFR that type of skill level required it would be better.

      That is why I did not run the LFR often. It is a nightmare most of the time. But even if I agree with you and would prefer running 5 mans over LFR I do have to think that not wasting time developing 5 mans is a good idea. There is so much more that can be added to the game that adding a few dungeons that will serve no purpose what so ever is wasted time.

      I think the whole scenario thing is wasted time too. It takes longer then a dungeon, gives less valor then a dungeon, and has less loot rewarded if any is to begin with. Not to mention you can not use anothers disenchant option for what is in your bag, if you get luck enough to get something.

      5 man content is the best group content. But I would rather see more rare spawns in the world with shared health pools and dropping valor. I would like to see more pet battle stuff, more advances to the farm moving us closer to player housing, more adjustments to professions so all materials are usable all the time, additional ways to earn valor and encourage group content on the fly, more gearing options, etc.

      There are many things in the game that can be done instead of adding 5 man content and that is why I believe it is a good thing to not be wasting any time on it. Perhaps, if they do something good with the time, it will end up being better than a new set of dungeons we will spam and be bored of in the first week because it already feels repetitious.

  4. I agree with you on LFR. I think half the time I've run it, it's broken down to a bunch of bickering and someone yelling at someone else that they're idiots. I don't understand people like that. This is supposed to be a game and fun, you'd think people could at least be civil.

    Beyond that, maybe they are too hard for the average person, but i find it to be the opposite. As long as someone doesn't screw it up and the whole group wipes, I think they're way too easy. You don't have to think at all. After I've done a boss a couple times and figured out the mechanics, I just put it into autopilot and roll with it. That's exactly what I don't like about it, pretty much what you do doesn't make a difference and the fights are really long and drawn out for not doing anything.

    The five mans are pretty much a face roll at this point in Mists at the second patch since most people are over geared for them, but at least their was a little figuring out to do the first couple of months. They go quick though, and what you do in the group actually makes a difference.

    I definitely can't argue with your preference for them investing in other content you like playing instead of five mans. Even a company like Blizzard with a cash cow like WOW has some limit to their resources and has to make choices. If you like some of the other things they're doing and would like to see them invest more in those things, that's cool. Personally, rate spawns and pet battle Pokeman doesn't blow up my skirt, but to each their own. WOW's a big world and it's cool that they've got so many different things for people to try and folks are going to have different things they like best in it. Personally, I find the five mans to be some of my favorite content to run, not just as a valor task or for gearing, just fun content that's interesting and fits my style and amount of time I have available to play. That's why I wish they'd come up with a few more to bide our time until 6.0, which is a long way off right now.

    Great blog. Keep up the great work!

    1. Once you have Normal or even Heroic raids on farm, it's the same thing; autopilot.

      It's just that the process of learning the mechanics and not screwing up is much harder.

      In my opinion, the problem with LFR is just that the game doesn't teach people how to raid. So Blizz needs to make LFR easier for the non-raiders to do it, or teach them how to be raiders.

    2. I agree with you that I enjoy five mans. It is kind of fun blowing through things as fast as you can. They almost have a wrath feel to them already and we are not even in the second tier raid gear yet. There is nothing wrong with some fun, blow up the world dungeon runs. Like I said, I like them too.

      I can see why you would want some more but outside of the story telling purpose of them I don't see there being a need for them. With that said, we do not need more rares, more pets, more of anything, it is a matter of what we want.

      As you said with the LFR that it is too easy and too hard it is true. For you and I perhaps it is too easy, way to easy but we are not the masses. We are the few, the very few. People that normal mode raid, not even top tier heroic, just normal mode, are such a tiny percentage of the game and even at that most of them are not all that good. So think of the rest of the player base.

      This weekend I did MV on my rouge, being it finally made it to 460, second boss comes up, everyone that gets the arcane thing on them moves away from everyone else. Holy crap I have never seen that before. Never in many characters and many runs have I ever had a run where everyone moved. Usually a few people don't and the pressure is put on the healers or it will wipe. Sure, most of the time the healer can heal through it, but that is why I say the LFR is too hard. If people can not handle one simple mechanic like that, it is too hard for the masses. Maybe 40 runs over many characters and only once was that fight done correctly. Yes, LFR is WAY too hard for the masses. Don't take the fact you downed the boss as proof it is not hard. If people are messing up it is too hard and they are putting the pressure on others to cover for their mistakes.

      Glad you like the blog. Thanks.

  5. Hmmm, the assumption you are making is that the resources saved from not adding 5 mans will be redeployed elsewhere within the game. However what if it is a straight cost-cutting measure? Wow's market is stable or declining. Companies in this position usually try to maximise profits by cutting costs, since revenue cannot be expected to increase. It reminds me of their promise in cata to release smaller updates more frequently...

    1. It is true that I am making that assumption but I believe it is a fair one to make.

      Part of that putting content out faster needs people to do it and removing the people that made those secondary five mans and reassigning them to more content in other areas is how they are doing that. Sure, an assumption, but I believe it is a reasonable one.

      That cata promise was a joke and they had no intention of adding anything more frequently. Cata was a mistake as a whole, it was not meant to be an expansion, just a patch, but they decided to charge us for it and then needed to blow sunshine up our asses until they were ready with the real expansion, mists.