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12-09-2008 @ 9:16AM
Allison,While I agree in principle with what's being said, I think the design princliples for the early Wrath raid instances (accessability), as well as the article here proceed from a false assumption: "If everyone can do everything, they will".Players in World of Warcraft have had the opportunity to gather themselves into sub-communities of like-minded and like-scheduled individuals since the advent of paid character transfers. One would have thought that transfers would have allowed groups of players to gravitate to one another to form guilds and such with the goal of grogressing content at whatever speed the created guild could handle. It is possible, given enough elbow grease. We turned "Octale and Hordak's Big Idea" into a fully functional raid force in 4 weeks just before 3.0.2 was released, so it can be done, with very successful results. All it takes is a small set of people with the courage and work ethic to lead such an effort.With the sweeping nerfs in 3.0.2, WoW players were left with little reason to not raid. T4 and T5 content became well within reach of players who were willing to take direction and min/max a little bit (some fights were still unforgiving of stupidity); however, in general, most of the bosses through SSC and TK became epic pinatas.What's interesting, at least to me, was the statistics at Wowjutsu didn't change all that much. When I heard about the 3.0.2 changes, I was expecting a jump of 1 million in the population of the "raiderbase". I figured with the ability to gather and very little obsticles in terms of encounter difficulty, people would flock to the raid instances. As I recall, pre 3.0.2, the number of players was around 4.3 million, and post 3.0.2, the number did jump, but only to 4.5 million. What is also interesting is that the longer 10 man raid, Karazahn, had nearly 30% more players in it than the much shorter introductory 25-mans."What's the point," you may ask. It is simply this: Blizzard's design team, whether through internal pressures from the marketing department, or of their own free will, designed raid content for a group of people who choose not to participate in it. The same demographic (I shan't name it) that had every excuse in the TBC 3.0.2 era to participate in raid content is not going to participate in raid content in Wrath, no matter how easy it is. What difference does it make that Malygos and Sartharion have little to no trash? Gruul and Mags had little to no trash in it, and that didn't change the demographics of who was going at all.My suspicions are right in line with Allison's, in as much as the successive raids will be harder. I'll even go a step further and say, armed with the statistics in hand of who is going where, the design team gets an opportunity to really show how talented and creative they can be to give the playerbase something really special in Ulduar Icecrown.
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