|It’s ALWAYS the Dps ^^|
As reported on WoW Insider this morning, the Heroic Five Man experience will change in 4.3. Running ANY Heroic, regardless of the loot level it drops, will reward you 150 Valor Points up to a maximum of 1000 a week (which is clearly not going to work because even I know that 150 x 7 = 1050, so summat’s wrong somewhere) The change now comes with where you are sent, and I think this might indicate there have been some subtle programming changes with the LFG mechanics. The two Troll Heroics are now linked to the base ‘set’ of L85 Five Mans, and you will be unable to be selected for them unless you’re at the correct ilevel. As Mathew McCurley correctly points out, it means the concept of a ‘quick’ Random will change: I’ve done ZA in thirty minutes before but as a rule it’s longer and far more stressful than say doing a Vortex Pinnacle. However I suspect as people gear using the newer trio of instances going back to these will speed them up considerably. I wonder if this also means that Blizzard might consider removing the Bear from ZA as it will become ‘too easy’ to obtain?
This also give some pause for thought as we move towards the next Expansion: Heroics are, for just about everyone, the easiest way to gear a toon quickly. If you want to prepare yourself to raid, then you’ll use Heroics not simply for the gear they reward but as a way of gathering points for Valor Gear. Except this time around Blizzard have stated that there’ll be no Tier Gear available from Valor Points. If you want to
look the business unless you’re a Hunter coz our Tier SUCKS be in the best items available you have no choice but to head into a Raid. Blizzard have also made it clear that Valor Vendors will be given a wider choice of items this time around to make up for the (potential) lack of item drops. This makes me wonder: what will the majority of current non-Raiders choose to do? Do you forgo Tier entirely and simply max yourself on the Valor gear you can easily access, or do you take the plunge and Raid for the first time?
This is, of course, where the new Looking for Raid interface fits in. It should reward gear above Heroics but below ‘proper’ 10/25 mans and allow people a chance to experience the content but without the appropriate level of difficulty. This is where I think we now need some information. It’s STILL not going to be Tier Gear, there is no access to Rogue Legendaries. If people are that set on these new armour sets and the bonuses they give is there really any point in trying the LFR to start with? Is this simply training wheels for novices? Would it not simply be better to give everyone a ‘proper’ raid interface and a crack at the actual Dragon Soul Raid and simply do away with the interim step altogether?
The problem comes in two parts, it seems to me. The first issue is linked to the Legendary items that are now so much a part of what happens in End Game. Everyone wants an Orange item, but make them too easy to construct and there’s no value to the colour (we know that with Purple gear, after all) so to obtain your Legendary has to be long, complex and inevitably for it to work in a realistic timescale, NEEDS people to sacrifice. Legendaries are what make Guilds selfless, when they pick one person to wield them, when the Guild gets behind that person to help them make the dream a reality. Everyone pitches in, and as is the case with the Staff in the Firelands there is a reward for everyone who does. I’m not talking about the vanity pet either: you helped someone else do something special, and you didn’t get that item yourself. Putting that into a Random environment’s just asking for trouble because you have no idea how selfish people will be. Actually, I think Blizzard know EXACTLY what would happen, and indeed does right now in all those Guilds who don’t do things that way, and that’s why at some point the way Legendaries are given will again have to change.
The second one is more worrying, and is perfectly demonstrated in this post by the Grumpy Elf. It is entirely possible at this stage of the game, without the upcoming reduction in XP needed from 70-80, to level a toon to 85 from scratch in under a week, WITHOUT heirlooms. That’s great if you’re doing this as someone who has played before but if you’re completely new to Warcraft, without a Guild or indeed a clue as to how the subtleties of the game unfold, how do you cope with any more people in your group than four? As soon as you are capable, Blizzard gives you the option to instance. The best gear is in five mans, not from quests. You are pointed to dungeons and expected to use the LFG to take part, but once you reach 85 there is no way to ‘learn’ raiding than to hope you can get a PuG. Any sane Raid Leader won’t pick the guy who’s Achievement list clearly shows him that he’s run from 1-85 and not touched the sides, yet this is how an increasing number of people are coming to the game. Having created this monster, needing more people to make it to the end game to keep the subscriber numbers up, Blizzard have to also find a way to teach them how this works. Let’s hope that these individuals are actually listening because if this doesn’t work…
The LFR interface is already in place on the PTR, we just need some content to stick in it. It shouldn’t take a genius to work out that if it is successful it’ll become as much a part of the game as the LFG interface is now, and will allow Blizzard to hypothetically recycle ALL the Raid Content it currently owns, giving those who’d like not to use Battleground as a levelling tool an attractive alternative (keep that Classic Raid gear you get while levelling to Mog your 85 gear, get XP at the same time, it’s a win/win) I’d not mind levelling a Toon if I knew I could do Molten Core again at 60: no need to make a lite version Blizz, just use the same instance, make sure we get the same achievements, you can introduce the ‘easy’ option as we approach 85. When you think about it this way, LFR makes a whole lot of sense.