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RAE’s part deux.

March 20, 2009

Alright. So.

Casual defeat.

The surrender of Blizzard?

 

In a previous post (rant), I was bemoaning the state of current raiding in WoW gravitating away from seriously challenging event fights (Kael’thas, Vashj, and so on) to fights that are nothing less than mediocre until you start indulging in the attached RAE, or raid achievement event. A perfect example of current RAE content is the Maly six minute kill, but the reigning king of annoying fucking content has to be Sartharion 3D. Well, all of you out there already know of my warm fuzzy feelings on this content, not to mention the endless spinning of the RNG that makes this event the hard, unflinching assrape session that it is.

But, you know, I was (foolishly) looking forward to 3.1, the new adventures, challenges, and nights of Wipeclub to go forth and fistfuck a new instance for it’s loot, eventually leaving the Sarth3D bullshit in the past, never to return.

And then I read more of the happy-joy-joy blue posts from Blizzard on Mmo-champ, which I have decided to plant here:

Raids & Dungeons – Hard Mode
Ulduar has a ton of bosses. While I’m sure some players would love for us to deliver an instance with that level of content every month or so (and throw in a 5-player run to boot!), it’s not in the cards, at least not for the next couple of years.

Instead, what we tried to do with Ulduar is offer a lot of different ways to play the encounters. While the progress-oriented guilds may clear it quickly, we hope that some of the hard modes will offer them a lot to chew on. All of the players who are somewhere between barely being able to clear the instance and the “world first” crowd should be able to find a comfortable difficulty level as well. 

Your old model towards end game was a success, it brought you eleven million players. 

Most of whom never had a chance to finish a raid. They didn’t get to see some of the best art in the game, hear the unique music or voice over, or in many cases even see the villian at the end of their quest line. From a production POV, instances are very expensive. It seems an odd choice to lavish all that attention on such a tiny percent of the player base.

At the same time, we know there are players who love a challenge and are willing to do almost anything to beat a raid-destroying boss provided they also have a shot at the best loot. They don’t want the instances to be over too soon. They like banging their head against the wall.

And so hard modes were born. We tested the water a little with Obsidian Sanctum. We’re going full bore with Ulduar. 

Wordy, no doubt, but the thing that really caught my eye in that stomach turning, phantom-nut inducing way was without a doubt the final statement of “Going full bore with Ulduar.” So, again, like I had ranted about in the past, I was musing if this was a taste of the things to come, of encounters that can be ‘set’ to a certain degree of difficulty, from mind-numbingly easy to harder than a diamond in an icestorm. All in all, set in place so ultimately every single simpering simian playing this game could all experience the content in one form or another, based on the facts that in the past, X amount of the playerbase didn’t ever go into oldschool Naxx, AQ40, Sunwell, and maybe BT. 

But seriously folks. If you didn’t finish T5 by the time that Wrath launched, then you have serious fucking problems with your guild, and you should see a specialist immediately.

Moving on, we come back to the plight of the apparent mainstay of the WoW population, the casual gamer, or homo casuli. Feeling left out in the past, because their play-time of ten hours over the course of a week left them with no time to pursue the things left for the people with… well. No life.

Like ME ! And you.

But, in the end, wasn’t that the whole point of an MMO? To develop your character as you had the time to do so? You got a return on your investment of time by being given better gear, harder shit to kill, and so on. Basically, you decide your own level of involvement.

Like an orgy. Or high school. Or an orgy in high school.

But, anyway. I suppose that’s it, it is official. This was, in fact, the way of things to come. Casual gamers have managed to defeat the greatest boss encounter of all – Blizzard. Their reward, and our punishment? Luke-warm raid instances from here to infinity, while Blizzard waves a white flag of placation circa France 1940.

Viva le casual?

Server first?

Server first?

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