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.
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.
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.