Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Is Highmaul Old Content?

Roughly a month ago Watcher made a post on the battle net forms that had a few lines in it I really wished to write a post about but they somehow kept getting pushed away and I never had the chance to write about it.  I drifted back to the idea of the post and went on a search for the comment, so I can lead off this post with a frame of reference.

I remembered what the comment was and why it originally motivated me to write in response to it but you know how our minds sometimes play tricks on us as time passes and you begin to misremember things.  This was another reason I wanted to find the post first.  To make sure I was actually talking about what my mind had me thinking I was talking about.

After reading it I can say for certain, I did remember it correctly, Watcher really did say exactly what I remembered him saying.  The comment that brings up this post, and shows how clearly out of touch the blizzard designers are is as follows, "we intended Foundry to complement, rather than supplant, Highmaul"  You can find his full reply in all its glorious PR spinning falsehoods here.

So the question here is as the title suggests, do you consider highmaul as old content?

I personally do, but that does not mean I want to just throw it away yet and I really dislike what blizzard has done making blackrock such a better raid in terms of rewards based on itemization and item level.  For me as a hunter the trinket off butcher is still a great trinket and if I could get lucky enough to snag a mythic version like a fellow guild mate got, with a gem slot to boot, it would be my best in slot, even better than anything BRF drops.  But outside of that, and for many other classes, there really seems to be no reason to go back there.  If that does not show a raid was been supplanted, I am not sure what else could.  You following that line of thinking yet watcher?

I think the problem stems from a few specific things, trinket withstanding.  Watcher mentioned one word in the snip I took out of that post that is the key.  The word is "intended".  We could look at this two ways.  They either failed, because it sure as hell is not a sister raid, or they did not even try to make them sister raids and him saying so is just spin.  I believe it is the latter.

Lets look at what I personally believe are the mistakes on why HM is now old content instead of the sister raid it was "intended" to be.  Here are the few specific things I mentioned the problem, or failure if you will, stems from.


The fact that BRF came out two months after HM did make it feel less like a sister raid and more like the next tier.  Sure, a new tier coming only 2 months after another raid would be unprecedented for sure but it is not impossible.  Blizzard had once before rushed out a new tier before people really had time to sink their teeth into the previous tier.  You must remember the best raid that blizzard ever made only lasted 3 months as current content itself and ToC was surely a new tier after Ulduar.  So mistakes like that are not unprecedented.

The gap between the two raids was way to large to be something that could ever connect them as sister raids.  If they are going to stagger raid releases than I personally believe 2 weeks to maybe even a month, stretching it to the max, is more than enough time for two sister raids to be released.

If blizzard really "intended" for these two raids to be sister raids they would have not made the gap between them closer to the gap between ulduar and ToC than what would be reasonable to a sister raid release.

Tier Sets:

Some could argue that because there were no tier sets in HM that HM could not be considered a raid tier of its own.  There is some logic to that, logic which I actually agree with.  But a tier set does not a raid tier make.  Blizzard could release another raid tier in six months and it have no tier gear in it and people will still accept it as a new raid tier.

Tier gear is a bonus, it is not a symbol of something being, or not being, a raid tier.  However, in this case, being there were two raids that were "intended" to be sister raids being one has tier gear and the other does not it makes one vastly superior to the other, without question.

Being the power that tier sets normally offer it means that them being in the new raid almost completely devalues the previous raid.   Not something a sister raid should do to its sister one could say.

Item Level:

If these raids were to be sister raids they would have had the same item level.  Argue with me all you want but you will lose every step of the way.  The raid with the highest item level will always be the raid people want to do.  Sure you have people like me that realize that something from HM is actually better for me, but the majority of the player base would take the haste trinket off gruul before the multistrike one off butcher as survival based off item level alone.  They would be wrong, but item level does influence people a great deal, the vast majority of people I would say.

This is why if they honestly and truly "intended" for these raids to be sister raids there would not have been different item levels to them.

Both raids should have been the same item level and just itemized differently if their true intention was the make them sister raids.  However, even if they did that, the fact one contained tier gear and the other didn't, even with equal item level, it still would have made HM dated content.

If they really wanted to make them sister raids than two tier items would have been in HM and the other three would have been in BRF.  It is really that simple, that is a design for a sister raid.  Like last expansion, HoF and ToES were sister raids, MV was the "pre" raid.

This makes two expansions in a row that blizzard has made the mistake of completely devaluing a raid that should be current content.  Now it seems HM is old content when it really shouldn't be.

Do you consider highmaul to be old content now?

As watcher said, maybe blizzard did actually "intend" for them to complement each other, but based on the facts, it doesn't seem at all like they tired to actually do what they say they intended to do by having the releases so far apart, tier gear in only one of them and an increased item level in that one with tier gear.  Not sure about you, but to me those three things add up to mean a new tier to me.  Time, tier and item level.


  1. I really think it depend on the mindset of your guild/group of play.

    If you want to attempt some mythic but didn't had the time for HM mythic before BRF was released, then it's definitely current content, reward are better than BRF heroic.

    If not.....then yeah HM is basically useless now.

    Th "fun" thing though is that it's quite close to the model there was in early TBC that everyone praised, you had to gear up through kara to go to grull/magthe and then SCC/TK. For some reason it worked back w it doesn't.

    1. Sadly as a 10 man guild on a small server that can't seem to build, mythic is out of the question for me now. I am going to miss it as I have always run it for years, but such is life.

      But for me going from 670 gear dropping heroic HM to 680 gear dropping heroic BRF is moving from one tier to the next. Watcher even said so himself, even if he had not intended to when he said the next tier was 13 item level later, well, 10 is close to 13, so it is the next tier. But that is my opinion.

      I do understand what you are talking about however. I just think you need to think of it from level to level. Like normal to normal, heroic to heroic, mythic to mythic. So even if you never finished mythic HM you would still move to mythic BRF as it drops better gear and tier gear.

      The BC model no longer works because the game has changed so much. I had made a huge response explaining what I believe the change was, but I decided it would make for a cool post instead. Bottom line is the game is not that way any more and we live in the xbox generation where things have to move fast.

  2. In terms of progression, there is lots of overlapping between the two. E.g. most raids start off doing HM, they wouldn't stand a chance gear wise. Then they'd hop back and forth between the two climbing up the difficulty ladder.
    As an example, my raid was at 5/7m in HM at BRF release so we chose to clear it on hero first. Then we killed Koragh and now we plan on doing a few BRF ones. We will fit imperator somewhere where it makes sense difficulty wise.
    Note that there are jumps in difficulty in both instances so you can't just finish one then start the next. E.g. blackhand hc is just as hard as many HM mythic bosses. Imperator is probably harder than the first BRF ones and so on.
    Can a raid get by gear wise with BRF only? Not if it is a new one because even brf nhc needs gearing up. After a while yes, when it is on farm. But the encounters in HM remain challenging and believe me they make for a good change. It was nice to fly over to the ogres after several hours of head banging against blackhand.

    1. Addendum: what I wanted to say was that they basically complement each other.

    2. So you agree with what watcher said, that they do complement each other. I agree with what you said. There are some differences difficulty wise. I think the issue is many people look at gear level and it seems harder to get a HM group now because everyone wants to do BRF because it drops better gear.

      I think that is what I really have an issue with. For true sister raids they really should drop the same item level gear.

    3. Prety much, yes.

      For gear farming, there's no need for HM once you have enough gear for BRF. From the point of view of a leader of a raid that only has 2 nights (12h max), this is a good thing. HM can extended to get the boss kills and one never has to worry about spending even more time with farming another instance.

      The only thing I'd ask for if I could, is better loot from Imperator, since he's probably on par with BRF wing bosses, or something like a tier token quest. I think we need some incentive to kill Imperator a few times, be it only for those people who were benched during the first kill.

    4. The issue for me is we never finished HM, did not kill the last boss, and I try to get people to do it but no one wants to now that BRF is out. As you said, maybe better loot off him would solve that. But I do not enjoy the thought I will, or could, miss an AoTC heroic unless I pug because of BRF. I hate that. I feel forced to pug now.

    5. Oh well, that sucks. I really hope you can get it done. Gear is just a means to get more bosses killed imho, enabling you to see all content, to get your AoTC achievements done, it is certainely not my definition of a main raiding goal. Anyways, raiding is a delicate matter, even moreso 20m, since it is difficult to find people likeminded enough to achieve all your personal goals. I'm a completist and *need* to do all the achievements out there, so I get frustrated if I can't find enough people to get it done.
      Often the solution for a well functioning raid isn't just skill and time, but also the motivation of people. If the group's interests are too heterogenous it'll fall apart because no one is happy.
      Luckily my raid was motivated enough to get progress going that switching over to Ko'ragh instead of starting with the BRF hc bosses wasn't questionned at all. He was, hands down, the most realistic option at that time and people understand that. And besides, I am a raid leader for exactly that reason: if I want to get things done the way I like it I need to take matters in my own hand. Sure it is a huge time investment but in the end the reward is larger, and I don't feel like wasting half my raiding time for things I'm not really after.

    6. My joy as a raider is to down bosses with people I like playing with. If I enjoy the process I am happy. Gear is a means to and end and I would be happy if they ever do away with the random drop gear and move more toward a currency gear up like with PvP. Then people that want to over gear it can do the work to gear the gear and do so and people that are better players can do it sooner with less gear. I wish the game would move in that direction. If gear were not a motivating favor for a great many people would move from raid to raid when it was time to move on instead of when new and higher item level gear came out. I think I would like that, but I would probably be alone.

      I might just need to find a different group as sad as it sounds. My motivation is getting it done, getting the achievements done, and having fun doing it. I have a hell of a time getting people to do the meta. I guess because for most people they see nothing in it as a reward. I bet if it gave a legendary item I could get people to show for it.

  3. This goes to the conundrum that is Panderia. Release raids too closely together and you quickly run out of content and players complain that you are rushing them into progressing too quickly, they never got to see ___ boss in ___ mode before you brought out the next raid.. Release raids too far apart and you alienate your players. I'm bored and Blizzard just doesn't care..

    "sisters" is such a wide definition. Take my two daughters, eldest is 12 yo, youngest is 1.5 yo. They are sisters, but with 11 years between them. They are sisters because they share the same parents. Maybe the 'theme' of HM and BRF is what ties these two together, not gear and gear level.

    Now, don't forget many people complained that they couldn''t just jump to BRF, lots of hub-bub about bosses of BRF are too hard, Gruul is so OP!. But Blizzard is saying, yeah, you aren't geared for BRF, you need to go back to HM and loot more bosses.

    and finally, I bet there are more players out there running lower ilevel gear for the DPS. Reminds me of the DPS ToT trinket that everyone raved about. MrRobot has dictated that I keep running my 620 alchemy trinket over the 650 BRF trinket that I've now gotten 2 of, so I do. "Average iLevel 641, Equipped 639". Maybe it's just the loyal followers, and not the regular players, but if they're trying to maximize dps every stat matters...

    1. I think that "you need to go back" attitude is what is causing the issue for many people. They do not want to. Yes, they need the gear, but they do not want to. People want to be in current content and BRF is now current. Not everyone is like me and still goes back to do butcher every week because I want that trinket. So for me, yes, every stat matters, but for the majority of the player base, every item level matters.

  4. yea blizzard isnt an mmo dev, not a bright dev period obvsly. after 10 years they still dont understand the genre they "purport" to be a part of. Highmaul was relevant still for most guild.. until this new change making BRF ilvl even higher. Now it IS old content as nobody will go back to do it for the reasons you mentioned mostly. The game caters to simple folk which make up the majority of the playerbase, dont expect this to change.

    I had a hard enough time getting my raiders to go back and do Mythic HM even when it was 5 ilvls higher and better itemized on some peices for some classes. Now going back for progressions sake alone is an exercise in futility.

    Blizzard ever since vanilla has lacked in content, games with much smaller budgets, revenues, and teams kick out content 2, if not 3 times as fast (ffxiv for example). Dont expect this trend to change. Having choices is too much "thought" for the people they cater to and apparently they "know" this. They simplify it by giving you one "relevant" raid at a time.


    1. It sucks that they are making every effort to invalidate what is supposed to be current, as in highmaul, and now even going so far as the make the gap between the two even larger than it already is.

      There is something seriously wrong with whomever is in charge over there. Two raids, same tier, should have the same item level gear or at least be closer to each other. Not further apart.

  5. since "post" vanilla i mean. Vanilla had a plethora of concurrent raid options and it was amazing. The mudflation and linear progression that started in TBC began tipping the scales in favor of the kiddie/qq/casual crowd. I dont have much hope for the genre anymore. Blizzard has admitted on record that they destroyed it as a whole and yet they continue to commit the same mistakes that caused the aforementioned, due to greed. The same thing that causes other publishers/developers to do the same at the expense of a once great genre.

    No hope for upcoming games. EQ"3" is a mess and trying F2P and the casual approach. FFXIV has done the same. Nothign else of merit on the horizon and if something does come up... meh. Considering playing a foreign mmorpg or an old eq progression server.

    Pantheon gives me hope, brad mcquaid understands the genre's foundation and roots but he doesnt have the backing he needs to market it on a large enough scale to gaurantee success. Consider this my advertising for him :)

    If your an mmorpg vet, and despise the state of current games... give pantheon a look.

    1. Vanilla was a different time, a different world. There different raids at the same time were like our different difficulties are now. There was a type of raid for everyone that wanted to raid. It just does not work that way any more.

      I am not sure a "hardcore" game can make it in todays gaming world. Wildstar had the feeling. The grind, the approach, the time needed, and it had the look and feel closer to wow than I had ever seen and it just did not take off. The xbox generation will never let that happen and game makers need to make money, so while it might have a solid player base they will always try to move to get more, after all they are a business.

      Never looked into pantheon but I will take a peek, I like to try new things from time to time. Speaking of that, if I had made any friends on wildstar when I had played it I probably would have left warcraft. What keeps me there are my friendships, not the game play. One day blizzard will realize there is a balance and they will push it too far and friendships will not be enough to keep many people like myself paying and playing.