Friday, May 9, 2008

New WotLK Info

For those of you that don't know Blizzard invited a couple of websites to come and look at the new WotLK content. So far Curse.com and Gamespy.com have posted reactions. There may be others that were involved also but I have not heard about them or their observations yet.

Obviously this is huge news for all WoW players. The reactions I have seen on the forums and other blogs is fairly vared so far. It will be interesting how this plays out.

The sources:
GameSpy
Curse

Summaries:
World of Raids
MMO Champion

My Reaction:

General Info
No real supprises were made regarding the general feel and layout of the game. Most of the general information we had heard before in some generalized form. However, some of the more common player questions were answered. The most significant piece of info here is that Flying mounts in outland will be unlocked at level 77 and that you will be able to use your pre-WotLK mounts. The other news is that Northrend will is significantly bigger than Outland and some of the zones will have sub-zones much like Terrokar Forest.

Death Knight Info
A lot of new stuff here that a lot of people are really excited about. Here are the highlights.
* It sounds like they have scrapped the idea to have a quest chain that unlocks the DK. Instead if you have a level 55 toon then you can start a DK on any server.
* DK start at Level 55 in EPL with their own quests to teach you the new Resource system.
* A new two tiered resource systems that uses cooldowns and "runic power" that behaves like rage.
* DK can rez both NPCs and PCs temporarily as a Ghoul to fight for the DK. PC will be able to control the Ghoul.
* Tanking abilities based upon parry and resisting magical attacks.

To be completely honest I am not all that excited about the DK class. I play caster DPS toons and DKs are melee. So I probably wont be rolling one the day the expansion comes out. However, some of the info provided sounds very cool. I can't wait to play a Ghoul at some point. This could be huge in raiding and ten times bigger in Arena. From a tanking perspective they sound like an off tank on most fights to me but may be ideal for spicific encounters. I also think that managing the new dual resource system could be a lot harder then people expect.

New Vehicle system:
This is really just an extention of the Siege Engines we have already heard about, but it is nice to see that they are thinking of other ways to use it. This could provide for some interesting new quests much like bombing runs did in BC.

Raiding and Instancing:
* Heroic dungeons in WotLK will have separate loot tables than their non-heroic versions
* Regular Instances are designed to be run in an hour or less.

I like these changes. I always hated how most of the H Mech loot is the same as the normal Mech loot. If the difficulty is increase then the rewards should be increase also, and badges and gems arn't enough.
With regards to the length of regular instances, this will be great if it works out. However, I think I have heard this before and it hasn't really worked out.

* All Raid instances will have a 10 man and a 25 man version.
* The two versions of the raids will have separate cooldowns.

Most people seem to think this is a great change but I have to disagree. It has a potential to be great but it has just as much if not a lot more potential to wreck 25 man raiding. What is the motivation to run 25 mans if you can see all of the same content in a 10? Yes, the gear will be better in the 25 mans butt how much better? After you do Naxx10 for a couple of months, why would you go to Naxx25 instead of 10-man raid #2 to see something new? I assume that the gear in 10 man #2 is an improvement over Naxx10, so whats the motivation?

Basically I don't see why I would want to run a 25 man other than to say I downed Boss X in Naxx25. Especally when you have already killed the boss 10 times in Naxx10. I think this could cause a lot of people to by pass 25 man content all togeather, making guild recruitment and that much harder. I also don't think this benifits the casual player all that much. There are plenty of casual raid guilds that allow people to raid only one or two nights a week. If they don't have the time to raid 25 man content casually now, then they aren't going to have time to raid 10 content casually

Edit: Alex Ziebart over at WoW Insider expressed my point much more clearly than I did. You can find it here.

Anyway, I'm not sure how set in stone all of this is. They also mentioned in the article that they haven't designed a single raid boss yet. Hopefully they will design it in such a way that makes the 25 mans interesting even though you have done the 10 man. It also might be interesting if they used rep grinds and rewards to push people to trying the 25 man content.

That is my reaction. Here are the reaction of other Bloggers. I will update the list as I find more.
World of Matticus

4 comments:

Ferenczys said...

Cool blog. I don't play a druid but you certainly make it sound appealing. :)

In regards to your comments regarding the new 10/25 man split to raids, think back to when TBC raiding really started to take off. Guilds well-set in the old 40 man raid make-up saw untold amounts of guild drama as everyone was forced into the 10-man mold, only to have it blow up again into 25 right after Kara.

I think Blizz is trying to accomodate guilds of varying sizes and dynamics. You have lots of guilds comfortable running 25 man raids now, it only seems fair to allow them to continue 25-man progression without having to jump through unnecessary hoops. On the other hand, you have many more guilds only now getting into Kara, and this change allows those guilds to progress as they are, without forcing them to recruit desperately to fill out the 25-man quota.

It really seems to be more about what people are most comfortable doing. I think you missed the part too where they cited different raid IDs for the 10- and 25-man versions, meaning some guilds can run BOTH if they so choose.

While it is possible people will completely ignore the 25-man versions, I think you'll find that some guilds, by virtue of their rosters of active players, might prefer to hit the 25-man version just because it lets them gear the guild faster. Time will tell I suppose.

Cdin said...

Thanks for reading my blog.

Regarding 10 man vs 25 man. I completely understand what Blizzard is trying to do, and I agree with the goal. However, depending on how they do it they could really hurt 25 man raiding without helping the casuals see more content.

There are plenty of people out there that don't care about the loot and only want to see content. If they can do that by running content in smaller, easier to form, groups then why wouldn't they?

My first point is that it could make it a lot harder for 25man guilds to recruit and retain members.

My second question is how does this really help casuals? We currently have only two 10 man raids. Most casual Kara only guilds can't clear ZA. That is how much harder it is. If the new 10mans are structured the same way, how are you helping the casuals? They won't see the higher level content because they won't have the time or gear to get there.

My second point is that this might not help Casuals because they can't progress. Then all blizzard would be doing is creating two tiers of hardcore raiding. A 10man tier and a 25man tier.

It really depends on how they set up the loot and instance difficulty.

Honesty, if they expect people to continue raiding 25 man raids then the loot and difficulty of them has to be hugely greater than the 10mans.

Ferenczys said...

There has been a real outcry lately from a lot of raiding guilds about this very subject; in essence, people are upset for exactly the same reasons you stated. They worry about simply not being able to pull 25 people together if the 10 man alternative is available.

Here's the thing though, people shouldn't do 25-man content because they HAVE to, they should do it because they enjoy it. Honestly, people gripe about the PVP reward system, badge reward system and all this other stuff that 'undercuts' raiding, but look at it this way: all the alternate gearing methods do is remove from the roster those people who are in it purely for the gear, and who may not have the time commitment for real progression.

When the player pool is more PURELY raid-oriented, and not just in it for the lawlepixpls, the raid as a whole should perform better. For instance, do people really think that facing Teron Gorefiend in BT would have been any easier with 40 people instead of 25? How many of those 40 would be able to do that fight effectively? By reducing the pool to people with real time and effort to dedicate, the fights can be more complicated, and thus more fun.

Cdin said...

I get what your saying, and agree with it to some point. If some one is unhappy with 25man raiding then they should do it now or in WotLK. However I think you are simplifying the problem to much.

If they currently dislike 25man raiding whats to say they will like a 10man version? People dislike raiding for a lot of reasons and most of them arn't exclusive to the 25 man size.

We currently know only two things about raids in WotLK.

1. Loot will be better and more plentiful in 25mans

2. From experiance we know filling a group of 10 people will be easier.

We don't know much about the difficulty differences. If the 10 mans progress like Kara and ZA then there will be a lot of 10man casual guilds that can't progress.

I am not saying this is the end of 25mans. Blizzard could structure it in a way that is very good for raiders and casual players and everyone will be happy.

I just see the potential for it to seriously hurt 25man raiding with out helping the casual people they say it is to help.

Because if the 10mans are to hard then casuals won't progress. If 10man loot is too good then hardcore raiders won't mind skipping 25mans.

If these two things happen then all they have done is split the raiding community in to two groups which helps no one.

Just for the record, I have no problem with the badge system or with the PvP gear system. I think the badge system has helped a lot of raiding guilds progress quicker because it is easier to gear people. Playing a less popular spec I have benifited from the badge gear quite a bit. PvP gear on the other hand is for PvP in my opinion. High quality PvP gear can help some one start low level raiding but I don't like applicants with a lot of PvP gear.