I’ve been listening to the WoW.com podcast and they’ve just made a decent point, now is not the time to be farming ICC (or any raid) for gear. Let’s face it even on the most pessimistic estimates we’ll have a new expansion within the next three months, all our gear will be replaced before we see the first tier of raiding content at 85, we’ll have new mechanics and approaches to learn in how we handle levelling, dungeons and raid content (well hello there cc, nice to see you back in the game).
This does tie in with what Team Pirate is up to, we aren’t looking grinding the raids on our Sunday slot for gear or rep at the moment, the focus is shifting to “let’s actually kill this thing, we want to see the end of Ulduar”. While some of the team will be able to use some upgrades from the place the bulk of the drops are going to end up as gold or shards, what we will be getting is the kills, some achievements. Knowing that we can work as a larger group to clear possibly the best raid instance Blizz have put together.
It is a strange time we’re working through, ICC has been done to death, and then some, realistically the only reason to go there is for completeness on achievements, particularly the heroic mode ones. Which is why guilds are imploding left, right and center or where they’re strong enough going on hiatus until Cata drops. Even those putting themselves on hold will have problems with those raiders who do want to keep kicking a boss where it hurts leaving and heading off to pastures new hunting for some form of solid raiding action. Rebuilding good solid teams with high attendance / standby rates is going to be a challenge in the early part of Cataclysm. As one of the officers of the now defunct raiding guild pointed out, Wrath brought lots of new raiders into the game the capabilities were variable, not entirely surprising but it’s a useful datapoint.
Does this mean the death of raiding, or that it’s been dumbed down too far, or any of the other QQ which always flies around when a group thinks that they’re no longer in that nice elite slot on the bell curve. No. There are mistakes in wrath, where’s my CC!, but I’ve managed to see all the content where with the TBC model I would probably have got bored and cancelled my subscription 6-9 months ago and gone off to another game.
Where does this leave us as we peer into the coming darkness, hopefully Blizz can tune the casual / hardcore raiding balance further, both groups need to be catered for and throwing the major part of the resources into raid instances which only a minority see is a design decision which doesn’t really match the whole userbase. Moving to keeping purples as “epic” (ie, raid loot), on balance I think it keeps some people happy without actually affecting the gearing, let’s be honest it’s only a damm colour.
Where’s the conclusion? Dammed if I know, I’ll probably mumble on about this sort of thing again in the future.