Achievements, Hard Modes, and Progression Part 1

23 05 2009


In this set of articles I am going to explain what I feel has changed and what can still be changed, and how I think it can be done.  Also addressingg some of the QQ I have herd around the intarwebz.

In this article I’m going to talk about the ‘ Raiding spectrum’. How raiding has changed. What hard modes and achievements have done to/for raiding.

Is every one happy? No, but I see more and more people complaining about one side of the story. One small bit inside of an encounter. A Raid instance is so complex is almost not even funny and it seems from the past 4-some years they are continuing to get far more complicated. There really is no single way to do things and there are no “tank ‘n spank”, only in one aspect.


If we look back in Vanilla W.o.W. everything was pretty straight forward. 1st you get your dungeons set upgraded, grind MC for months, head to BWL, and then take on Old NAXX. Numbers set at 40 meant more room for errors but more coordination and headaches on raid leaders. Raids were very clunky back then, but until you got up in to BWL players in raids could be clumsy and not really see any problem with it. Gear was also harder to get. There was no token system back then, and when you got tokens it only led to quests to receive the actual gear.

Many guilds never had the numbers to see such content, not saying they didn’t have the skill or the drive, but guilds of that caliber were harder to get in to, besides far and few in between. We have to remember only 3% of the world wide raiding population at the time saw Old NAXX. The instance was very well designed but 3% is a horrible number when technically everyone pays the same amount of money to see… In the end it was a bad marketing approach to this, but of course they didn’t learn from that mistake until much later.


In Burning Crusade,  you have a set path until you get past Karazan.  Its Gruul with  Mag, then SSC and TK, then BT and MH, so on so forth. So you have a consistent path inside of the instance but you can tackle 2 or 3 raids in one week. We changed our raid numbers to 25 and brought in more dynamic raids that required a lot more strategic approach to the encounter, brute forcing your way thru any encounter was almost impossible.

With the new token system for loot, you didn’t have to grind an raid instance for too long, normally just for rare items it would take you a bit. They also introduced a badge system were you, if you didn’t get better out of the instance, you could get things from vendors, as they called “Welfare epics“. Roughly 100,000 people out of 10 million got to see the “end game” content known as Sunwell. Again that’s 1% of the wow population that actually got to see this content before nerf. Many more I’m sure got to see it after, myself included.


In wrath we have a set way of going about things. Its FL then XT and so on so forth so in theory it is just like it was and has always been.  Unlike in TBC, we have one linear path of what instance to take. Yes, you can do VOA OS and NAXX in the same week. However, OS and VOA are more of a starter then a full raid, more like the Karazan of past. The instances you get your feet wet in ’til you get in to the big deals of Ulduar and Naxx.

New with Wrath is more of along the lines of a instance inside of an instance.  With achievements and hard modes, we no longer need to have so many instances, one instance can handle up to 4 different ways of completing a boss on it’s own. Thus adding more flexibility to your raid encounter, so grinding one instance no longer will seem so tedious. Even with in NeoNaxx you had 4 wings to choose which one you wanted to do first and what order you had the group to do at one time. However, progression wise it was still very linear.You also have heroic difficulty and normal, to fit your raid size.


So here is what has changed:

    • You no longer have to grind a instance for a ridiculous amount of time to get people geared.
    • You no longer have to have a ridiculous amount of people to see said content.
    • You have separation between Hardcore and casuals in both 10man and 25 man content.
    • Every one is ensured to see such content even if it’s only “easy modes”.
    • There is always something to entertain you with hard modes and achievements.
    • If some items don’t drop you still have badge gear to pick from.
    • You no longer need to have 1 specific class to even start a raid.
    • Every one is rewarded fairly for such actions they did, ranging form ” I did this!” to having a shiny legendary.

Pretty much I think that a lot of this complaining these days are not seeing what has really benefited every one as a whole. We have to understand, Blizzard really doesn’t care about any one more then the other. We are just money to them since they are a company, but they are trying to find some middle ground for every one. Their willingness to find a common ground between Casual and Hard core has made both sides rather spoiled I think.

We as gamers in wow think that blizzard will fix every thing and that our needs are their top priority, witch in fact we are 1 in a million . However, the player base has two sided spectrum. Hard Casual (those who probably haven’t even hit 80 yet) and Hard core (those who have 20 80’s and those have done or will do Algalon) with the silent majority hanging somewhere in the middle. So how do you think blizzard will keep all aspects of the player base happy? Giving casuals endgame content and giving hard core their exclusive legendaries?

They have accomplished such a goal, not perfectly, but pretty damn close.  In theory, hard cores have their legendary items and their epic boss encounters with hard mode and outrageously complex achievements, that is exclusive to them. While giving casuals something that anyone could get with ease and no batteries required. Yet giving the ‘silent majority‘ something to strive for.

Exclusive raid instances to me is a bad idea, it would be like spending millions of dollars on a movie, yet only letting the upper class watch such a movie. Their revenue might not be as good as they thought it would be, since they charged the same amount to watch said movie as the average movie coasts. It is a very ugly word to use but ‘Segregation‘ is a bad business strategy. Besides if I put a lot of work into something of this sort I want to show it off to every one I can! Shouldn’t blizzard be allowed to do that as well?

So I shall finish this post on that alone. They have put the tools and the goals in our faces, it is up to us to accept and attempt them. If you choose to not take such actions, such as not doing hard modes and achievements, then it is your doing to not challenge your self.

Next post I’m going to go over how these changes are effecting guilds, and what I believe people need to do to rectify.





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