Jan 23, 2009

WotLK, modern day's Bread and Circus?

Starting off, I'd like to talk about something that isnt Warrior specific at all, but something that has gotten a lot of attention with the Lich King expansion.

One of the biggest cries of critisism regarding WOTLK has been how easy it is to beat when taking on what we have so far been offered in terms of endgame raiding. Page up and page down on official forums are filled with topics stating how much this expansion sucks because of The Disney Approach , making everything available for the masses to enjoy. But is it really worse than before or an improvement from the TBC and vanilla days?

On one side, we have the serious raidguilds with a select few achievements to pursue ,for example Obsidian Sanctum with three drakes, when those are done or more likely long before it, boredom sets in and we get the forum topics and blog rants mentioned, and who can blame them for it ? The very reason they exist seem pulled away under their feet.

Dont get me wrong, the achievement mentioned and some others in Naxx 25 are indeed way hard to pull off. But in the end, all they have done at the end of the day is the same instance that a majority of casual raiding guilds manage as well, just in the most stupidly complicated way you can imagine. In a genious but very transparent way Blizzard created means to turn one boss, lets use Obsidian Sanctum again as example, into four different ones. I for one can understand well how they feel a bit cheated.

Now then, not to play the devil's advocate but to keep it objective, lets have a look on the other side of the raiding scene, that of the casuals as we like to call it.

On the flip side of things we have what is probably the majority of WoW players, the casuals who like to raid, but for different reasons can not be cutting edge in raiding progress. Reasons may be RL commitments reducing play time, lacking the amount of dedication needed for it, bring in what is primarily a social guild without a good raid alliance or a combination of it all.

Up until the release of WotLK they have effectively but cut off from a part of the game, the deep raid instances that needed mad skills (blackwing lair, naxxramas, aq40 in the vanilla days), or long and difficult attunement chains (Hyjal, BT before the open for all patches). A large portion of these players, myself included, never as much as killed a trash mob in Naxxramas before it was made the entry level raidinstance in the latest expansion.

They have missed out on a large chunk of cool scripted and game lore related events, isnt it great that they too can enjoy that part of the game too now without it being a requirement to have many hours free each day to hunt reputations, key chains, attunement quests ? They wont be downing OS three drakes on this side of 2009, but they will get to see everything on offer lets say, even if they just join a LFG channel pug for it.

So.. Who is right? Are things better now or worse than before ?

In closing, I will say that while I definately am not cutting the edge on the raiding scene (heck, I havent even finished Naxx25 or done Malygos 10 yet), I am very much in the camp complaining about the dumbing down of PVE. I loved the times when Idling in Orgrimmar I could see players proudly flashing their tier 2-3 armors, Sulfuras and Thunderfuries , the creme de la creme of the server, dreaming that one day I would too be there (and indeed I am the very lucky owner of a vanilla Sulfuras hammer :) ) It kills me to see the guys I used to admire so wear the exact same gear even though they are still much more hardcore on the raiding than me, I miss having those goals to reach for and the oh so sweet satisfaction when you finally reach it!

So dear reader, I am very curious to hear, which base do you belong in and why ?