Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Harder than Vanilla

WARNING: Rambling and disjointed rant incoming.

I got into an argument the other day with one of my co-worker/friends who also plays WoW. He is quitting WoW and insists that players are making a mass exodus because of the difficulty of Cataclysm raids. He claims that he's been raiding since Vanilla, and these are the hardest dungeons he has ever seen. He insists that only the most hardcore of elite guilds are getting any bosses killed. He claims that its not fair if one person's mistake causes the raid to wipe.

I can't really argue with any of it because I am not personally raiding at this time, although I have friends that are, but the whole conversation really ticked me off. I'm sorry, but even if raids are "too hard" right now, we haven't even seen a real patch yet (well, up until yesterday).

Comparing Cataclysm to Vanilla is like comparing apples and oranges, yeah, they're both fruit, but...

I highly doubt that my friends' guilds can be considered "the most hardcore of elite," afterall, I am on the Cairne realm. We're notorious for being low on the PVE charts, yet many of these guilds are at 7 or 8 bosses down.

As far as one person causing wipes... uhh... hello? Lich King Defile anyone? Seriously? Can't remember that? It really wasn't that long ago. And this was certainly not the only situation where one person's mistake could cause wipes. Remember Flamewreath on Shade of Aran? Remember Solarian's Wrath of the Astromancer?

I find it hard to believe that raiding is so hard that people are quitting in droves. If that was the case we would have either seen a massive nerfbat taken to the instances or a massive boost to player talents/skills by now. Blizzard would not sit idly by if the game was so unplayable.

There is a fine line to walk between making the gameplay too easy at endgame and making it too difficult. Maybe its because I am a BC baby, but I think the raiding difficulty in BC was just about the right balance. If current raiding is anything like that was, then I'd say things are just about right.

Being a blogger, I see people come and go all the time for various reasons. The reasons I see more often are not because of the difficulty of raid content, although I'm sure some people do quit for that reason. If I were to quit the game, it certainly would not be because of the difficulty of raids.

Honestly, I find it very telling that when things get hard this particular individual gives up. It speaks volumes about his character. Then again, who am I to judge what he does during his free time. This feels like yet another instance of rage quit. No one does the quitting thing quite like a WoW player does.

I can't sit here and say that I think WoW is the best game ever made and that it will never jump the shark, but I don't think it has yet. At least it hasn't for me.


  1. I think you're probably right, your co-worker seem to give up too soon. Or they have someone making a whole lot of mistakes in their raid.

    Sure, my guild have days when things don't seem to go quite right in raids - but none of us is thinking of quitting because of it.

    I don't know which bosses he's talking about, but the ones I've done so far you can get yourself killed by making a mistake, but getting others killed - if they're on their toes, is not as "easy".

    And as you say, that is definitely nothing new. It really depends on what you compare it to. Entry level raiding in Wrath was laughable - with people being able to go in and clear Naxxramas in greens. Karazhan in TBC was a decent level to me - some heroic gear, some craftables and reputation rewards; and it was difficult, but doable.

    Sure, the raids now aren't easy like Naxx in Wrath - but then I don't think they should be.

    So yeah, your co-worker is quitting without really giving it a go (or at least that's how it sounds).

  2. Specifically he's talking about trying to kill Magmaw. Apparently they are having difficulty dealing with the Pillars of Flame and then the Parasites. He says that he and all of his guildies are at average iLvl 450ish, so it should be doable. My answer to that is that gear does not equal skill.

    From what I've heard about the raids so far, they require a certain level of knowing your class and what to do when the shit hits the fan. It seems to me that his entire group may be lacking in raid awareness in general if things like moving out of fire are giving them trouble. Then again, I have no idea what said Pillars of Flame are like, so maybe it really is hard to get out of the way of them.

    But, then again, I can't really argue with him when he says that 5 of his guildies have quit the game already because they've hit this wall.

  3. This debate has been going on, I think, since the "old players" (read: Vanilla) felt that the "new" BC players were getting an easier time of it.
    I think to degrees, it is true--look no further than the new leveling system where you can get into your spec at level 10.
    That being said: I'm a fan of the new tougher content. As Saga wrote: the entry level Wrath raid content was pretty simplistic, and frankly: easy.
    Do I think we should revert to extremely long attunements and 40 man groups in nigh-impossible raid fights? No.
    Do I think raids should be difficult and challenging? Yes.
    It is relatively easy to get raid level gear by collecting points, doing heroics, and crafting/purchasing raid lvl gear.
    I suspect your friend may be quitting a bit early, and may not be giving you the full story. Gear certainly does not equal skill--but if they are that highly geared but that is content that ought to be right in their wheel-house.

  4. You've basically confirmed all of my thoughts on the issue, Barklay. Sadly, I suspect my friend's mind is made up on the matter. I suppose, in the end, difficulty of raid encounters is relative.