Over all my excitement for 5.4 is minimal at best. While it does include a great deal of features I am looking forward to it really has not generated as much excitement from me as I would have expected it to. I actually believe there is a reason for that, but that is for another post entirely. Lets get on with what I am looking forward to most.
I am interested in doing these but do not see myself rushing into them. There will be so much else to do that this is better saved for when I am bored later on. Sort of like the brawlers guild. Something that I felt I had so much else to do that I never had the chance to do it at all yet. One day I will. If the past is any indicator, we will be raiding this tier for a year and a day, so I'll surely get to it, but later.
With a new raid tier, and three lockouts a week (LFR, flex and normal) and the timeless island it just seems like they are piling so much crap I want to do on top of each other meaning some of it I will not be able to do unless I want to burn myself out..
Not only will there be a new mode of raiding to do, but with the lack of valor gear that means I have no choice but to raid with alts if I want them to get gear. So unlike every other tier in forever where I just do a little here and there on alts and still get them a few pieces of gear once a month or so with valor I will need to dedicate a fair amount of time to them leaving me even less free time to do the little fun things like this.
At one point I was extremely excited about this. I wanted to get "the proven damage dealer", "the proven healer" and "the proven tank" ASAP. Now, I really don't care about it. I am not going to do them, at least not until I have nothing else to do and I do not see that happening, at least not right away.
I think the proving grounds would have served better as a middle raid addition. 5.3 or 5.5 would have been the perfect place for it to be added. It is something that I am guessing would require a fair deal of time to do and it offers nothing in terms of reward. So given the choice of running the LFR, flex, normal, doing the island, or just about anything else that would actually better my characters potential immediately it will take a back seat.
I am looking forward to it, don't get me wrong, but I think we would all be better served if they saved it for 5.5 instead of trying to squeeze more busy work into a new raid patch. I would be more excited if this was in 5.5 than I am with it in 5.4. I want to use it to train to get better at classes I do not play often, but I won't have the time to do that. So that is why it moved down, way down, on my excitement list.
A new raid is always a welcome addition, even more so if you finished the previous one. But I am not all that excited with the idea of yet another raid even if I have finished the previous one. This feeling is for various reasons. The top one being that this is the expansion ending raid and I do not give a crap about who we are fighting.
I never thought deathwing was much of a bad guy, still don't, I think it was a really flimsy story but when compared to garrosh deathwing was at least someone worth killing in the sense of a world destroying it must die sort of way. Garrosh is just the leader of the enemy faction, as I play alliance mostly, and I always wanted to see him dead. The fact he is empowered means nothing to me. I always wanted him dead. So where is the awesome lets kill the big baddie feeling?
He was always there, he was always someone we wanted dead and even if there is even more reason to hate him now, who really cares. He just does not seem like a real motivating enemy. We go to kill someone we can go to kill every single day of the week but just in a different format. Woohoo?
Also, after ToT's misadventures with horridon I don't think I could take another early boss that almost kills half the guilds on my server. My guild was lucky enough to make it past him and not crumble into nothingness like many others did but I am not sure we could pull off that feat twice. One more mistake from blizzard like that and I can see it be the end of the game for my guild, and by process, me.
So what about it am I excited for? I am excited that the heroic modes are not needed for the meta achievement. That is a nice touch for the casual guilds. While I do not stress getting the achievement while going through a raid normally, we do knock out a few here and there.
It will definitely be something that could really be fun knowing we do not need to do heroics, we might go out of our way to try for them. Which for a casual guild that will most likely only do normals and a few heroics here and there it is something fun to add to the game. I do like that part of it even if I am not all that excited about the big baddie being someone that really isn't a big baddie. He is the enemy, always has been and always will be. Boring.
The feature I am most excited about and most worried about at the same time. I love that I will now be able to run with everyone in the guild that wants to run. No more will I have to tell someone they can't come along because we can't do it with them. I can tell them they can come along and they can get better and learn how to do it. But that all depends on the difficulty level of the content.
I worry because it might still be too difficult for some of the lesser skilled players. I am worried because normals might get harder now that flex is here and normals are in a nice place in my opinion, maybe a little over tuned on a few fights here and there, but otherwise nice.
If flex can revive the pug community like it is supposed to in their efforts to return to the days of wrath then it could be the best thing to ever happen to the game in the last two expansions. Raiding has been a guild only event since wrath. At least on small servers where there is no such thing as a pug. This means my main server.
I am going to have to drag my alts through there being blizzard in their infinite wisdom decided to remove valor gear, which really bugs me. I don't like pugging on alts, I just like gearing them slowly at my own pace with valor, but maybe, just maybe, if the difficulty level is okay for pugs, it might be okay. If the pug world does not pick up because of flex, it might be the death of the alt for me.
So while I am really excited about flex I am also really worried about it. This is one of those "only time will tell" sort of things. I do not even want to hazard a guess how it will turn out, at least not until I experience the level of difficulty myself.
Knowing blizzard it will be way to hard for pugs and will just be normal-lite for lesser guilds or guilds that just want to take it easier. Blizzard has shown over and over they have no clue who their player base is. Just look at the difficulty level of the LFR. A pure non-raiding group would never get a boss down, and that is who it was designed for. So they are not very good as designing content for intended targets. That worries me.
I am intrigued to say the least. Blizzard has gone through all the motions this expansion. The daily grind from 5.0. The story telling arc from 5.1. The timeless island scenario and story telling vehicle along with raid reputation grind of 5.2. The mini quest hub that was a well rewarding single weekly grind in 5.3. Now the timeless island, a land of events, in 5.4.
I could, and will, write a post about the excellent job blizzard has done keeping the grind mixed up this expansion patch from patch and that is something to be excited about. While each is a grind in its own, each is a different grind and this time we go to event island, as I have been calling it.
About the only thing I don't think I like about event island are that the four celestial world bosses are on a combined loot table and you can only loot one of them a week. I need all the help I can get with my luck, why not let me not get anything 4 times a week instead of not get anything one time a week? They took away valor gear, the least they could do is let us have is the ability to loot all 4 of them and not only 1 of them each week.
Outside of that event island is looking good. It is really a stolen page from rift, once again, but it at least is a nice stolen page. From the outside looking in it really looks like they took the random event idea from rift and stepped it up a notch or two. If it works out as well as it sounds that would be awesome.
The fact it offers 496 gear is not really all that exciting for someone like me when looking at my 11 classes on my main server. Combined a 496 item would be a total of 3 slots upgraded. Not exactly compelling content. The 535s however would be a huge increase of nearly all slots on all alts, so that is pretty nice. While I might not need the 496 gear personally, I like that they are adding it.
If I level new alts it will be a very welcome tool to get them a few item levels and for newer players, non-raiders, and your general player in the player base a 496 might very well be a quality upgrade. I do believe it should have been a 509 however, not 496. Just a little higher. 496 seems so 5.0 and 5.0 in 5.4 just seems wrong, even when talking about non raiders.
There seems like there will be a lot to do and it will be the buzz for the first few weeks. I wonder how long that will last, but from the start of it an achievement hunter like myself, and someone that wants to get those 535 pieces for alts, I can see me spending every waking second that I am not raiding of every day there.
I am looking forward to event island more than anything else in 5.4. Quite odd that is the case if you ask me. Even with good old boring deathchin I was more excited for that raid than anything else in the patch. The fact the actual raid of a raid patch is less interesting than some new event island concept might be more telling in how I am starting to look at the game differently, or how they decided to promote both. The raid seems just like a raid, nothing special whereas the island seems like something new and exciting. So that is why the island looks like the best thing in a raid patch in my opinion.
There are of course other things being added or changed, like the change of gear needing no rep and using justice to buy, awesome for new players and about time. But these are the few things that interest me the most.
So my over all assessment of excitement for the new patch on a scale of 1 - 10 is 5. Looks like me might be okay, but there really is nothing to write home about.
What are you looking forward to and where would you put your level of excitement for the new patch?