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Role Playing (Games)

Next World Of Warcraft Raid Dungeon 281

GrandGranini writes "The New York Times has an interview with World Of Warcraft Lead Game Designer Jeff Kaplan (Tigole), in which he talks about the next raid dungeon after Ahn'Quiraj, the necropolis Naxxramas." From the article: "Naxxramas is going to be the most difficult thing in the game until the expansion pack comes out. It will be the pinnacle, and it's absolutely massive. You'll see this big necropolis floating above Eastern Plaguelands. It's a 40-man raid zone, and it's bigger than the Undercity [one of the main cities in the game]. Things could change, but we're up to something like 18 bosses in there, and they are really cool, too. But it's going to be hard. Really hard. We're hoping to release it in the spring." If you told me two years ago that I'd be reading about an upcoming instance in the sport section of the NYT, I'd have called you a damn dirty liar. May you live in interesting times, indeed.
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Next World Of Warcraft Raid Dungeon

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  • by arakon ( 97351 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:36PM (#14589417) Homepage
    PLEASE!! MAKE more content that people without ten thousand reliable friends and 8 hours of their life to waste can play. damn blizzard.
    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )
      That's kind of what the article is about. Quote:

      It would be almost impossible for us to do, and this is a philosophical decision. We need to put a structure in place for players where they feel that if they do more difficult encounters, they'll get rewarded for it. As soon as we give more equal rewards across the board, for a lot of players it will diminish the accomplishment of killing something like Nefarian. My favorite times in the development cycle are when there are encounters that are close to bein

    • Every single 40 man instance is originally released for hardcore players but they all get nerfed eventually so that more casual players can play them. If they originally released new instances for casual players then the hardcore players would never go into them, and that would be a waste of an instance to only let some people play it.

      Molten Core is now doable in sections of 1-2 hours at a time with 30-40 players with only gear from Dire Maul or the first few (easy) bosses of ZG. People need to stop deman
      • by BrickM ( 178032 )
        Molten Core is "casual" now because it only takes 2 hours with 39 of your friends?

        Sounds pretty hardcore to me.
        • by ImaNihilist ( 889325 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @05:12PM (#14589611)
          It is.

          WoW really is a very short game. You can reach end game extremely quickly, and for the most part, the game has no dynamic end-game content.

          You get to Level 60 and then you have to join a massive guild to make it worth your while. The only thing left to do now is get "uber" gear. To do this, you have to do instances like Molten Core over, and over, and over again. You can't just do it once, because there are a lot of people in the guild and a lot of people in the instance on the particular raid.

          Once you reach Level 60 you join a massive guild and then have to play for at least 1-2 hours at a time, 3 days a week, on a fricken schedule just to advance your gear. It's not even a game anymore, it's work. Every night, 7pm log on and get ready to raid. For ever raid you participate in you get "points" within your own guild, and if you do it enough you get a chance to spend those points on the gear that drops in the instance. This is how most guilds work.

          Basically, when you get to this level, it's not a game anymore. It's a job. You get paid per hour in points, and then you may spend those points to advance your characters stats. Don't show up to a bunch of raids? You might get fired. Don't do your job well? You might get fired.

          Once you reach Level 60 in WoW it is ONLY for the hardcore.
          • That basically sums up why I stopped playing. I wish Blizzard would release content that would make the endgame of WoW less like a job and more like a game. I guess I'll just have to wait until DnD online shows up.
          • WoW really is a very short game. You can reach end game extremely quickly, and for the most part, the game has no dynamic end-game content.

            Sounds like they need something like a gold (or precious metal of your choice) rush, along with the politics hoardes like Ghengis Khan or the quivalent can bring.

            I can remember the horror of a party walking into a favorite town and bar after a few months in the wilderness, only to discover the place had been over taken by dwarves (and all dwarves look alike you know) d

          • Raising the level cap will help, but its so far away.

            At level 70, the current raid dungeons will be doable via 5-10 man groups.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            Here is the problem: games like this have to do one one of two things. They can either do nothing but cater to the casual user, or they can cater to the hardcore spend 5 hours a day 5 days a week raiding type. You can't do both. If you cater to the casual gamer, the hardcore players are going to continue to be bored. But if you cater to the hardcore (like Blizzard has chosen to do) you shun the casual gamer. The only thing one has to think about then is: which is going to play longer? (and keep paying subsc
          • People schedule softball and soccer games. Does that make it work? Just because you schedule a fun activity doesn't make it "work". Just because you don't enjoy raiding as a form of fun doesn't mean other people don't. Scheduling something doesn't make it "work".
      • I never asked for a free hand out on gear, just more storyline quests that I can do with my level 60 characters. I'm perfectly comfortable letting the people with nothing better to do with their life, run the same insane instances over and over and over and over and over and ... you get the point.

        I'm quite happy with my green/blue gear. I just want something to do with my level 60 characters. I just do not have the kind of time to sit and LFG for an hour (sometimes longer) before a raid then struggle th
    • by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @05:22PM (#14589660) Journal

      oops, wrong forum.

    • The parent was modded +5 Funny, but the point he made is valid. If you look on the official WoW forums, you will see lots of debate between so-called "casual" and "hardcore" players. I agree that it's easy to waste 8 hours in Molten Core in one night, but I also realize hardcore players don't want to put hundreds of hours into raiding only to get the same gear and abilities as casual players.

      Although smaller 20-man raids like Zul'Gurub are available, they too require a large investment of time. When you
      • My solution is to re-roll as a different race/faction and do the stuff leading up to about level 35 or so again.... I really enjoy the lower level stuff much more... but I guess that's 'cause I'm kind of a loner and am mostly playing a single player RPG that happens to have some _really_ awesome NPC's to talk to and do some ad-hoc grouping ;-)

      • The answer in the short run is more levels. The answer in the long run is alternative advancement (hero classes).

        Or you can grind for faction, which will yield you epic rewards (PvP faction, or PvE faction). Note: I don't mean honor; I mean faction. They are very difference; one decays over time, one doesn't.

        The problem is Blizzard sees the short run as the expansion (May), and the long run as 1-2 years. This is too long for much of the current playerbase.
    • Amen, I'd like to see 35-60 be as much fun and play exactly the same way levels 1-35 played. I barely play the game anymore due to the lack of content that just my wife and I can play (and enjoy). Yeah you can get to 60 with what's there, but it's not any fun.

      I'm happy for the guilds and all those who like to raid, but I did it in EverQuest, it was fun, but I'm not willing to do it anymore.
    • by Sentry21 ( 8183 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @06:06PM (#14589912) Journal
      This is one of the main reasons I stopped playing WoW. I'm a very solitary player, and while I don't mind joining up with two or three people for company, having to schedule end-game content just seems impractical to me. I want to see a massive sprawling, complex dungeon designed for three people, with traps and puzzles and such meant for three people to solve.

      Make it challenging, make it complex, make it interesting, but don't make it all colossally huge. I started playing WoW because it was 'the MMORPG for the rest of us', for the people who don't have eight hours a day to devote to dungeons and instances and plotting. I would like to see more 'lone wolf' content for people who can't join a guild and/or commit to certain times to be online and play.

      Maybe that's just me though.
      • I totally agree. Why can't the end game be as much fun as leveling up? WoW didn't feel like a grind at all, it was fun getting to 60. But once I hit 60 things got boring real fast. I really don't enjoy doing the same content more than a few times.
      • I agree, although I'm not as much a soloer. I had a group of friends that played on a regular basis, and it was fun to go in and do things with just the 5 of us. We cleared a lot of the stuff you can do with only 5 people, usually by the skin of our teeth.

        But, we all got to the point where we couldn't do much more with our current characters. Our only avenue for advancement was to go on raids, and the five of us would have to start relying on others. We knew each other well and were able to coordinate w
      • by Wildclaw ( 15718 ) on Sunday January 29, 2006 @03:03AM (#14592184)
        One more bad thing about raids is that they force players to specialize and makes the game more boring and actually easier than an equally hard 5-man instance. Hardcore players that doesn't want non-uber-guild players to have access to good items usually claim that raids should have better items because it is more difficult. The truth is that the most difficult thing about raids is organization. And in my opinion, organization shouldn't affect rewards, atleast not much.

        When it comes down to gameplay raids is basically a healer/tank/damage dealer/crowd control game. Each person specializes on one thing and basically has to use only those skills for the whole raid. Also, due to there being 40 people, the death of any one person has less impact on the overall performance of the raid.

        In a 5-man instance each player will have to use most of their skills because there aren't enough people to specialize. A single death will reduce the group size by 20 percent and things like mindless healer rotation is impossible.

        Of course it is possible to make raids challenging in other ways, but it is also possible to make 5-man instances more challenging and without forcing people to join uber-guild to have fun.
    • I was in the same situation. Having completed the content before 60, I walked right into a monotonous time-sink every night, spending hours trying to complete a raid in order to have the chance to roll against 5 others on one item.

      It was a waste of time, really. But then I got Guild Wars. A game that is much like a combination of Magic and a RPG. I have a blast spending whatever time I have in guild battles. For me, the strategic elements in Guild Wars out-weigh the the World of Warcraft offering.
    • /applause

      I'm all for MMOs requiring players to work together, but Blizzard's raid dungeons killed the game for me. Competition between raids, PVP, and the lesser high-end dungeons made it nearly impossible to put together a group big enough to handle a raid, and the smaller dungeons just got tedious in no time.
    • Why was this moderated Funny? He's got a point. Not everyone has the time to spend playing the game for hours on end and coordinating massive efforts just to complete end-game content. Hell, I'd wager that most people would be far happier if they made end-game content the way they make the earlier instances with 5-man groups. They'd certainly be funner for me, and I'm not alone in thinking this.
      • by afidel ( 530433 )
        I like some of the tradeskill items. The Devilsaurs set is a good example, two-three level 55-60's can hunt Devilsaurs for a couple of hours and while there is a significant chance of death along the way it really doesn't significantly impact your progress. Once you have accumulated enough skins you are guarenteed to get a pair of decent items (assuming you know a leatherworker with the patterns) that can be used to progress through tougher content. On the other end of the scale is the swiftflight bracers,
    • You solo guys have plenty of content. It's called Levels 1-60.

      Lack of proper group content is what made me quit. With death being so meaningless in World of Warcraft, it was rare when I came across anyone in a PuG who knew how to play their class. This game needs experience debt so very very badly.

  • by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:49PM (#14589486) Journal
    I have never played WoW - and this is something i'm very thankful for. I have a habbit of letting things take over my life a bit, especially games. It kind of makes you feel a bit like your wasting your life when they put hour counters in the games... I'm glad i've managed to keep my time.
  • by Phaid ( 938 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:51PM (#14589503) Homepage
    This sort of thing is why I pretty much quit and make a new alt whenever I hit about 40. I just cannot stand the gigantic instance dungeons.

    And really, to me they pretty much destroy the enjoyment of the game. Elite quests and instance dungeons seem like a cop out on the part of the designers -- they just make the same monsters three times as hard to kill, for no reason that makes sense in the context of the game world. It's so amazingly frustrating when you work your way through a nice story arc, with lots of challenging but not impossible quests, and then at the end of it you end up facing a dungeon which is completely impossible for the usual group of 3 that I play in. So you're stuck either never finishing anything, or having to LFG and hope you don't wind up with a bunch of retards.

    But then I guess I'm cluelessly stuck on that whole "RPG" aspect of it, which is clearly not where the money is.
    • D&DO then?
    • They CAN be fun, if you have the time, and you like guilds. If you just liked the solo quests and fun content of the lower levels though, they haven't added much of anything worth playing.
    • by DarkBlackFox ( 643814 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @07:17PM (#14590368)
      My experience has been almost the opposite. I leveled up to 60 at a relatively brisk pace, absorbing the game as I went along in the solo quests. I have 2 brothers who have been playing for quite a while now (and were the main reason I picked up the game, after thinking it was a waste of time for so long). I found the solo quests got boring an monotonous after a while. There's only so many times you can do the "Go speak with X" or "Go gather 10 of item X" or "Go kill 25 of X" before it starts to get repetative, just involving more damage, or more kills, or lower drop rates for items.

      With the instances/raids though, there's a dynamic that has to be present to be successful. I'll agree if publicly Looking For Group, you may end up with a group that makes the experience miserable, but at the same time you have a good chance of meeting new friends to quest with later. With both my brothers already established players on our server, I was accepted into their guild, and the end-game instances are a blast with them.

      The thing that makes the raids and dungeons interesting is it's not the same old kill/gather quests, but rather a dynamic group effort requiring different skills and talents to be successful. Take Molten Core- There's a number of boss fights there, each with different strategies to take them down, from Lucifron to Ragneros. Beyond that, head into Blackwing Lair, and face even more difficult fights. As far as elite quests being a cop-out, I'd say it's the opposite. More thought and planning goes into creating an elite/boss fight than typical trash mobs. With the higher end bosses, you need a clever combination of talent, from healing, to banishing, to sheeping/sapping, to all out DPS'ing. All in all, it's refreshing to see a group come together to use each classes unique skills as one solid unit, to take down otherwise impossible enemies.

      For people who don't want to join guilds or cooperate with 39 other people, there's still Blackrock Spire, Scholomance, Stratholme, Dire Maul, and a few others that can be done 5 or 10 man. Group together with some people, and if you have fun with them, add them to your friends list, and ask if they'd like to quest together in the future. Amass a few friends, and you have the beginnings of a guild of your own.

      I can't sway anyone's opinion on end-game Warcraft, and it's not my intention to try. Everyone has a personal preference, and my personal experience has been thus far positive. As with any game, YMMV.
    • at the end of it you end up facing a dungeon which is completely impossible for the usual group of 3 that I play in. So you're stuck either never finishing anything, or having to LFG and hope you don't wind up with a bunch of retards.
      Damn, just like doing major projects in real life.
    • I like them. Elite dungeion quests are very fun and many can be accomplished easily if you're in a small guild. However, anything beyond Molten Core in WoW is just way too much work for the average person with a job, friends or a girlfriend. No matter what the designers say, Blackwing Lair is inaccessible to all but the top 3-5% on every server.

      A lot of people are becoming disallusioned with WoW because of this, myself included. A new 40 man dungeon that's harder than anything in the game? Why not expend al
  • by AdamThirteenth ( 857966 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:53PM (#14589515)
    This is ridiculous, when I go to a movie theatre and hear someone talking about guild drama, when I talk to friends I haven't seen in years and they have a rank 8 undead mage on Archimond, and indeed, when WoW appears in the Times.... WoW has gotten out of hand.
  • by BrickM ( 178032 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @04:56PM (#14589530)
    Playing around in the world of Warcraft is absolutely amazing, due to the depth of story and rich world they've created. But I could never imagine buying and playing the game regularly unless they design a path or two you can take through the game to make it to the "end" without having to join up with a huge guild that schedules raids and grinds for gear.

    Basically, I love multiplayer agmes and WoW is very good, but I can't stand playing a game on a schedule or organizing this massive efforts. Make some "end game" content that doesn't require a huge guild to complete, please. Some of us like company in the worlds we play in, but hate obligation.
    • You can easily get to level 60 without doing any raids or playing with others.
    • I'm in agreement. I love playing the game but I don't have the time or patience for the administrivia involved in doing a raid. Implicit in these massive 20- to 40-person raids is that one's administrative effort in the "real" world is the price you have to pay to get those rare items. Plus the expectation that I must have a large contiguous block of time to kill in order to complete said raid.

      Let's say doing a raid takes 3 hours of planning and 7 hours to complete. That's 10 hours of time expended. Coul
    • But I could never imagine buying and playing the game regularly unless they design a path or two you can take through the game to make it to the "end" without having to join up with a huge guild that schedules raids and grinds for gear.

      You can make it to the "end" without joining a huge guild or raiding all the time. You'll simply reach the "end" sooner if you don't do those things. There is a finite amount of content in the game, whether you're into small group stuff or raiding. The raiding content

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @05:00PM (#14589553) Homepage Journal
    That's all I've got to say about that.
  • by Mullinator ( 939148 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @05:11PM (#14589602)
    Since the Expansion pack will be raising the level cap to 70 a lot of the current raid zones will suddenly become instances that players will be capable of doing with far less people. I think that is why Blizzard keeps on releasing these high end raid dungeons since they know once the level cap is raised that people won't need to be so hardcore to do them.
    • Except that when Blizzard releases the new expansion raid zones, THOSE new raid zones will only be for the hardcore. And Blizzard (MMORPGs in general) typically doesn't raise the level cap too often. Don't forget, WoW initially launched with a level 50 cap and was only bumped up to level 60 because people were hitting the level cap literally a week after the launch (I think the current record is something like 4 days playtime from level 1 to 60.)
  • So are the all the "regular" enemies still going to be the same model except slightly different sizes and colors? ^^

    I've lost a ton of friends to WoW, and in fact i played beta and about 3 monthes of release. Dungeons are the biggest scams and time sinks. But you can't compete either in PvP or other dungeons without farming item after item endlessly (literally hundreds of hours spent doing the same dungeon over and over)

    For the love of god, recognize this shitty, endless cycle. Your life has no purpose
    • Your life has no purpose and that's why you play (are addicted to) WoW, but guess what? Your life has even less purpose while you play!

      No offense, but trolling on Slashdot on a Saturday is pretty low, too. =p
  • how wow works (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DeadboltX ( 751907 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @05:25PM (#14589670)
    In WoW the dungeons are "instanced" which means that when you group up with people and go into the dungeon only your party is in there, it creates a new dungeon for each party that goes into it. Regular dungeons are 5-man, meaning if you are of appropriate level it will take a group of 5 people to go through with a decent ammount of time. These 5-man dungeons are usually capped at a max of 5 people also, so you can't roll through with 20 people and get it done in 2 minutes. 40-man dungeons are the "end game" content. They are possible to do with less than 40 but it is ill-advised if you value your time. They differ slightly from regular instance dungeons in that you are "locked" into the instance once you kill a boss. From then on until the instance resets (once a week) you will join the same instance every time you go in. This allows groups of people to complete a dungeon over the course of a week which is often necisary. The first 40-man raid dungeons were Molten Core and Onyxia's Lair. Molten Core (9 bosses + 1 super end boss) is doable with far less than 40 now if your group has been doing it and has awesome gear. Onyxia is a 1 boss dungeon which is also doable with less than 40. (Average completion time is 8 hours for MC, 1 hour for Onyxia) They then released Blackwing's Lair which is a lot harder than either of the other 2, most servers have only managed to progress to the first few bosses by the time they released AQ (I forgot how to spell it..) There really is no average completion time for BWL because only a few guilds complete it. AQ was just released about a month ago, even harder than BWL, I'm not sure how many if any bosses people have killed. But to sum it up, you need an organized guild of either 40 extremely i-will-lose-my-job-over-a-game dedicated people or a guild of 80 pretty dedicated people to assure that you will be able to do one of these dungeons on a schedualed night. High end raiding guilds will usually have planned raids 3-5 nights a week going to the various dungeons which makes the end game content seem more like a second job than a video game. The harder they make these dungeons the longer it takes guilds to progress through them, the more raid time is REQUIED the less fun the game becomes.
  • Have fun, it's all about raids and it's why a lot of people are simply quitting the game. They seem to have forgotten the large number of people who made the game so popular..
  • by Siberwulf ( 921893 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @05:40PM (#14589733)
    Being a game designer, and writing my own MMO, I've been doing a lot of thinking about WoW (avid player for 6 months).

    It doesn't find the happy medium. It is like a pyramid, with the middle missing. There is no spot for mediocracy. You have leetsauce gear, or you are a noob.

    Every game has its roots. DAoC was a PvP game. EQ was a PvE game. WoW can't make up its mind, so its kinda half-assing it on both attempts.

    I think its great for the extra publicity, as it helps us indies get a better grasp on what Joe Public wants and how he reacts to various scenarios.
  • Peirs Anthony had predicted these kinds of elaborate games a decade or more ago. He also predicted their wealth generating potential from intangible creations.

  • Raids (Score:2, Interesting)

    I feel I have to chime in here in the defense of raids.

    First, I find them a lot of fun but not for 8 hours. So, I don't join competitive guilds, I join more relaxed guilds, generally with higher numbers (about 140 or so) that has people willing to go on various raids if you'd like to that week

    Second, They aren't required.

    I spend more of my time on wow playing battlegrounds and leveling alts. I also like the concept of making a lvl 29 WSG character (that being a character that I don't level passed l
  • by mabu ( 178417 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @06:34PM (#14590083)
    I stopped eating glass when EQ2 came out and my uber guild in EQ fall apart after I amassed enough DKP to get whatever I wanted, which then became totally useless. It was bad enough having to be at my computer for 4+ hours per night at the same time and participate in terminally boring raids over and over to get phat lewt, but the politics and the ass-kissing and the trivial drama just did me in.

    At that point I stopped playing EQ and didn't mess with any of their competitors. But everything I'm hearing about WoW is that it seems almost identical to Everquest. It has all the same problems that plagued EQ. So what makes it a big deal? Is is just new and different eye candy but the same design? Same group sizes; same raid setup; instanced zones; epic weapons; everything?

    I actually really enjoyed non-instanced dungeons. I'd argue whether the WoW and EQ2 standard is better. Yea, it's better if you want to live in a little sealed, unrealstic world, but the non-instanced dungeons were a lot more fun. Raids would accidently/intentionally train each other; opposing groups would help each other out; you could watch a powerful group break into a secured area and then sneak in and get some good loot... these are very real-world, realistic type scenarios. Instanced dungeons are lame. So exactly why is WoW such a hip game? From what I gather, it's totally derivative of other MMORPGS.
    • Sounds like you need EVE [] then.
    • At that point I stopped playing EQ and didn't mess with any of their competitors. But everything I'm hearing about WoW is that it seems almost identical to Everquest. It has all the same problems that plagued EQ. So what makes it a big deal? Is is just new and different eye candy but the same design? Same group sizes; same raid setup; instanced zones; epic weapons; everything?

      That's because the asshats at Blizzard hired away the guys from SOE who worked on EQ2, which in turn brought their idiotic philosophy
  • by pcx ( 72024 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @06:43PM (#14590154)
    The "war" between hardcore and casual isn't a war at all. It's just casual players have reached a point in the game where they are unable to advance their characters further. They don't want epic handouts, they just want a way to continue to make progress with their character and thanks to time/skill or other factors are unable to participate in the 40 man raid guilds that allow that to happen.

    It's not surprising given that it's been over a year since a new "casual" dungeon has been added to the game (dire maul).
    • Exactly. The "complaint" is that all these characters love this game, have loved playing their character to 60 in 5 man groups an our or two at a time, and don't want to have to sell their soul to the political back-stabbing of a the huge guild it takes to get anywhere in a raid.

      I haven't quite hit it, as I'm only recently 60 and I haven't got through all the high level 5-mans yet. But I can look a month in the future and see that I'm not going to be any closer to raiding MC (because I'm in a guild for the
  • by Grip3n ( 470031 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @07:07PM (#14590320) Homepage
    The issue that I see with this is the fact that starting a new character nearly becomes impossible, and nearly all the end-game content for reaching 60 is limited to 40 people during a guild's raid schedule. I, at one point, had two level 60's and enjoyed the game, but I realized it actually was taking over my life.

    Initially I would only space time in for WoW, but eventually I found myself moving around my own timetable *for* WoW. Once you're in the hardcore guids, there is no end to the raiding (at night...during the day there is absolutely nothing to do at level 60 beyond PvP, and the PvP items suck compared to anything from BWL). The game became an obsession, perfectly viable business opportunities and opportunities to make a significant inroad into my career were forsakeen for...well...taking down Golemagg for the 55th time.

    Now, this new raid instance merely continues the chain. Once again, there's nothing outside of raiding to do once you're 60. PvP items are becoming increasingly inferior to the epics won out of BWL or even AQ40.

    Now the issue with new characters is suddenly, lets say you make a new one. You get him to 60, great. Decked out in blue items if you're good and spent your time leveling the last levels in Dire Maul. With this new Nex thing, you're incredibly behind. There are the epics from Molten Core you would want to get, which then you'll need to get the items from Blackwing Lair, then hit up AQ40 for all the latest Legendary or god knows what, then you'd be on your way to Nex. This process would take nearly 2 years to complete, and there's no way in hell you're going to AQ40 or this new zone without being decked out in Epics. There's even very little use for you in BWL if you're in Blues...especially against Vael when everyone just needs to be putting out huge numbers.

    Thus, it becomes alts are...well...more of a burden than an enjoyable part of the game. You're stuck on one character and you damn well better enjoy it. You're hooped if not.

    If i was at Blizzard, I would be looking for more ways to extend the story at level 60 beyond "Get a group of 40 people and kick ass". ZG was slowly making it that way...but perhaps even take it further. Most people who are casual could perhaps get 5 people together. Make a dungeon where you go and kill something that will yeild an epic item with a 200% drop rate (in other words, two epics...not 3 or 4 like from the 40 man raid bosses). Make the dungeon take around 2 hours to complete for the group of 5, and give it a reset timer akin to ZG's, or perhaps even the weekly timer. The casual players will love it because they can only ever go so often, and the hardcores probably won't want to invest all that time...unless they're more interested in just killing time.

    It would be a slow process, but a good one. Perhaps the dungeon (at a level of difficulty equivilant to MC) yeild items straight from MC itself. Of course, with only 5 people the game would need to ensure an item isn't going to be destroyed, thus is sensitive to the classes in the group. At this rate, the group of 5 people should have 8 epics (the number of armor slots) by the end of 5 months. Comparatively, if you have 40 people go into MC, MC yeilds around 30 epics a month, 8 slots each, you're looking at 3 months of getting entirely equipped.

    • The way I see it is the caliber of the items dropped from any given boss are directly related to the difficulty of said boss. The drops from MC/BWL/AQ are so stacked with stats because of what is involved in each fight along the way. That's also why the loot is so varied- each boss drops a certain piece of every classes epic set. It encourages every class to go along with the raid, picking up their pieces if they drop, helping others if they don't. The rewards are preportional to the amount of effort pu
      • If 'the caliber of the items dropped from any given boss are directly related to the difficulty of said boss', explain the disparity of gear quality between ZG and MC?

        Spend five hours in ZG, get 3 epics. 4 if you're lucky.

        Spend five hours in MC, get 17+ epics.

        The only thing that determines gear quality in WoW is how many people are in the raid. 5 to 15, you get blue. 20, you get some purples and a lot of blues. 40 man? You're the chosen people and epics rain from the skies.
    • This process would take nearly 2 years to complete, and there's no way in hell you're going to AQ40 or this new zone without being decked out in Epics.

      And that's 2 years at how many hours per day? 4, 6, 8?

      My preferred approach to new content would be to drop pretty and thematic items in the more difficult dungeons but to not increase their power. I would much rather see the end-game dungeons center around player skill, rather than item power.

      The problem with this is that it is not the best money-ma

  • by Paolomania ( 160098 ) on Saturday January 28, 2006 @07:21PM (#14590389) Homepage
    from [] :
    How will World of Warcraft differ from other MMORPGs?
    World of Warcraft will differ from other MMORPGs in many ways. One of our main goals is to ensure that players can enjoy World of Warcraft without having to invest huge amounts of playtime. Players will be able to complete quests and experience the world at their own pace-whether it be a few hours here and there, or week-long adventuring marathons. Additionally, our quest system will provide an enormous variety of captivating quests with story elements, dynamic events, and flexible reward systems. World of Warcraft will also feature a faster style of play, with less downtime and an emphasis on combat and tactics against multiple opponents. We also plan to incorporate several unique features, which we'll disclose throughout the course of development.

    Once a character reaches 60, the only playstyles are to raid or grind. At 60 you can play at your own pace, so long as that pace matches that of at least 20 other people. Story elements and dynamic events are cool, but at 60 there are fewer and fewer quests that take longer to complete and are accessible to fewer people. Fighting a huge raid boss doesn't involve much tactics against multiple opponents. And to boot, the raid itemization progression (aka mudflation) has totally thrown off PvP balance between those who raid and those who do not.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is that raid content is trivially easy. It takes a bit of time to learn the encounter, but once a few guilds have done it and posted their techniques, it's not hard to learn.

    Within the 40 person raid, there's a few people working hard; the main tank, the leader co-ordinating, etc. But most of the 40 people are just mechanically doing their job. Working as "healbots" staring at health bars and castng heals when the health goes down, or as "damagebots" casting the same attack over and over when the leader
    • It really depends on when you join your guild / raid group. To me it sounds like you just tagged along on a Molten Core raid with a bunch of people who already knew what to do. If you're one of the older groups who started raiding the end-game instances when they got released and when strategies on how to beat the bosses weren't widely spread, you wouldn't say the game's easy. Normally it takes weeks of learning to beat the end-game PvP encounters. Weeks of just getting your ass handed to you and having to
    • I think you're right, but only up to a point. MC has been in the game since launch in November 2004 - that's nearly 15 months ago. It's not surprising that the strategies are well-known, so that even newly created guilds won't have a huge problem running through it. Heck, it was at least six months before anyone managed to take down Onyxia, at the time the hardest encounter in the game, but I've seen guilds kill her with only 15 people!

      Blackwing Lair is different though. Rather than the MC-style "tank an
  • by bluemeep ( 669505 ) <bluemeep AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 28, 2006 @10:15PM (#14591215) Homepage
    My roommate and I are the perfect example of the raider/casual oddcouple. She's in the major uberguild of the server, is one of the primary healers and can spend anywhere from 6 to 20 hours a day raiding. I've seen her go from Onyxia to BWL to MC all in one spree. She enjoys it and coincidentally met her fiance through the same guild (one of the lead warlocks). She is also unemployed, living off of her family inheritance.

    I, on the other hand, am in a guild that is essentially a small group of friends. I've never even set foot into Molten Core, since we tend to RP more than anything else. I raid every now and then, but I get terrible migraines if I have to stare at the screen for too long. Between that and my full time job, my character has completely stagnated. I've got top of the line crafted gear, but it'll never get better unless I seriously raid. In essence, I've finished the game... There's just nowhere for it to take me now.

    Now we have the announcement that the next big thing is, amazingly, another megaraid dungeon. Whoop-de-doo.

    The expansion will probably add a decent amount of casual-friendly content (new areas to explore, 5 and 10-man dungeons that don't have to be completed in daily segments, etc.), so I'll probably be back when that's released. But for now, there isn't a single reason for me to keep shelling out $15 a month.

  • by LordOfYourPants ( 145342 ) on Sunday January 29, 2006 @12:59AM (#14591826)
    I don't know what all you casual people are whining about. There's been tons of new stuff introduced in the last 5 months for people to have fun with on their own or in a group of 5:

    1) Grind furbolgs a couple hours a day for a few months and get a trinket that summons a furbolg for 45 seconds and does 300 damage!

    2) Enjoy the Lunar Festival happening right now! Collect 50 coins from around the world and swap them in for..... fireworks.... and dresses!

    3) A brand new Yojimba Isle. Visit there and learn about a couple of raid quests you won't be able to go on! Lots of in-depth lore if "We must kill them all" is lore to you.

    4) The race to open AQ20/40! Do your part skinning 1,000s of animals or collecting 1,000s of runecloth to open up the new 20/40-man instances!

    5) The darkmoon faire! Skin 1,000s of animals and collect rare drops to get trinkets!

    6) The Thorium brotherhood introduced! Have you mined your 2100 ore yet? Didn't think so! Start now! Again, tons of in-depth lore and involved quests such as "give me 25 incendosaur scales!"

    7) Go from Hated to Exalted with the Brood of Nozdormu. Again, tons of fun, lots of laughs!

    In Blizzard's defense, Cenarion Hold had a couple interesting quests to it and the fishing tournament was a cool idea. Other than that, not much happening lore-wise or 1-5 casual player-wise.

    I'm also in the same boat. Enjoyed some of the quests with interesting stories to them earlier on -- tracking down a kingdom's missing king, investigating a burnt out inn, etc. Haven't found much of that recently. Just a lot of raiding to upgrade peoples characters by 0.01%.

    I've stepped away from the game a bit hoping that Blizzard puts more interesting things lore-wise into the game with the expansion. The Caverns of Time have decent potential for this, but who knows, maybe they'll just make the places you go to within the caverns lots of 20-40-man raid places with thin stories to them.
  • We've gotten good enough that we can do all but the last boss (rag) in MC at about 5 hours on the dot. Some guilds do it faster.
    People come and go during this time too.

    It is a bummer to have to rush home from work to make it to the scheduled raids on time.

    However, a much larger complaint for me is pvp... With a full time job and family I just don't have the time to spend PVPing to continue building my rank up compared to a college student who is skipping classes and having his friends play "shifts" on his a
  • Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dirtside ( 91468 ) on Sunday January 29, 2006 @05:57PM (#14594836) Journal
    I seriously cannot believe some of the idiotic posts I'm seeing in this thread. Why do people think you're supposed to be able to play an MMO constantly, forever and ever, and always be able to have new content available to play? Are you people fucking retarded? It takes ten to a hundred times as much time and effort to create interesting content as it does to experience it. Hey, did it ever occur to you that maybe once you hit level 60, if you don't like raiding or grinding for loot, and you've finished all the available quests, you could stop playing WoW? GASP! NO! YOU MUST RAID THE SAME DUNGEON A BILLION TIMES!!! RAWR!!!!!!!111dragon

    I mean, it's not like WoW has 3,000 or so quests, most of which you probably didn't do on your way from 1-60 with a given character. It's not like there are eight other classes you could play, or seven other races, some of whom have large swathes of entirely different quests. No, no, I'm going to bitch because I got to level 60 AND THERE'S NOT INFINITE MORE CONTENT TO PLAY! OMGWTFBBQORLY!!

    Jesus. If you don't like raiding, and you don't want to start a new character (try the other faction! They have an almost entirely separate set of quests to do!), and you're bored with the game, STOP PLAYING. You played for a few months, Blizzard got some of your cash, it's quite a fair trade. Quit bitching like you're entitled to something which is impossible to create. Christ on a crutch.

    (Lest anyone impugn my qualifications to rant on this topic, I have a level 60 warlock, 60 priest, 44 warrior, 35 hunter, 30 mage, 25 rogue, 24 paladin, and 10 druid. That's on ONE server. I played a lot until a few months ago (don't have the time now). Oh noes!)
  • Bad answer (Score:4, Interesting)

    by complexmath ( 449417 ) * on Sunday January 29, 2006 @08:22PM (#14595500)
    Q. Why not just let casual players get rewards comparable to those from raids?

    A. It would be almost impossible for us to do, and this is a philosophical decision. We need to put a structure in place for players where they feel that if they do more difficult encounters, they'll get rewarded for it.

    Sadly, the above quote indicates that difficulty in the mind of WoW designers has nothing to do with player skill so much as the ability to follow a narrowly predetermined script for N hours. The sad truth is that it's really fairly simple to macro instance runs down to putting your character on "follow" mode and taping down the macro hotkey. This simply isn't the case for 5-man content as it requires a wider set of skills and the ability to adapt, since the loss of even one person can be disastrous. Now, even 5-man dungeons in WoW aren't really difficult as they too have a predetermined script to follow, but the more granular party makeup at least makes it less likely that this can be accomplished by some well-written macro code. I've long since given up on WoW's item acquisition fetish bent for Guild Wars, in which the best items in the game can typically be bought in town. In practice, this seems to refocus the game on player skill and cooperation, and "winning" the game simply can't be achieved through perseverance.
  • Whatever (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NBarnes ( 586109 ) on Monday January 30, 2006 @04:35AM (#14596891)
    Blizzard says, 'We need to put a structure in place for players where they feel that if they do more difficult encounters, they'll get rewarded for it.' when asked why only raiders get the best rewards.

    The problem is that Blizzard's idea of what constitutes 'difficult' is 90% number of people involved and 10% technical difficulty of the content and fight organization. If you need 40 people to kill something, you get epics. If you only need 20, you get blues. That's all there is to their system.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"