Friday, October 26, 2012

The Scenery Only Changes for the Lead Dog

Of course, a lot of that has to do with my leveling process.

The only time I set foot in an instance with my Rogue was for Shadowfang Keep, just to pick up the mats for the Rogue L20 Dagger.  When I did, I shot up two (!) levels, and I wasn't even using half of the available heirlooms out there.  Based on that experience, I can see how some people could level via instances and have made it all the way to L90 by now.  Throw in the rested XP bonus that a Pandaren gets, and the Cata-rebuilt Old World simply flies by.

But the funny thing is, I hear less and less about raiding from the bloggers I read, and more about everything else.*

I don't know whether people have been simply been distracted by all the other things to do, such as WoW-ville and WoW-emon, or that raiding has simply slipped down the ladder of priorities.  If it's the former, then Blizzard is to be congratulated for spreading out the raiding tiers in such a clever manner.**  If it's the latter, then I'm not sure what it really means for the rest of the expac.

What if Blizz had a raid and not that many people came?

From a purely monetary standpoint Blizz wouldn't care, because they're still getting (and keeping) the subs.  But given that new raids take up the majority of developers' patch activity after release, a decline in people actually using the raids is a waste of money.  By comparison, pet battles and farming are in steady state mode, where some changes could be worked by just adding a few things to an already existing framework.  This takes fewer people than designing and building a new instance, much less a raid, and the bean counters will start to ask questions about the proper allocation of resources.

The upcoming 5.1 patch won't have a new raid, so Blizz is already anticipating not needing to address the "I'm bored!" crowd.  Unlike 4.1, this lack of a new raid was by original design,*** so I'd imagine that Blizz has this all plotted out right now.  But if people still aren't as progressed as Blizz hoped, then they may take steps to increase the desirability of raids.

Like, oh, throwing in pet drops.

But you know what would be better?  Going back and fixing the timeline.  It's just a pipe dream now, but it would still be better than leaving things as they are.  Going from [2012 if you play a Pandaren] -> 2010 -> 2007 -> 2008 -> 2010 -> 2012 is a bit of a problem for new players, and telling people "the game only really begins at L90" doesn't help that initial leveling process and understanding the story in the first place.

Or, lacking that, how about resurrecting some of the raids that died in development?  Like, say, Abyssal Maw?  Or a non-raid quest chain like Quel'Delar?

*And naturally, right as I'm writing this, Rades posts about pre-raid gear.  I swear I keep Murphy in business all by myself.

**Remember, about a month in to Cata, there were people saying "I'm bored!" because they'd already cleared all the raid content on release.  By giving people something else to become addicted to, they've effectively slowed down raid progression and countered the effect of LFR.

***Unless there's a blue post stating otherwise.  I don't frequent the forums THAT much.

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