For my money, the most interesting things they're doing in patch 3.2 are the changes to the badge system and the reimagining of the 10- vs. 25-man raiding paradigm. The new raid, Trial of the Crusader, will be available on both normal and heroic difficulty mode for both 10- and 25-man groups (the heroic mode is called Trial of the Grand Crusader). In other words, there are a total of four versions of the raid: 10-normal, 10-heroic, 25-normal, and 25-heroic. They're all on separate lockouts
Those of you who know certain past posts of mine could probably predict what my mind jumps to from that news: how will the loot be done? I see
four three major possibilities.
- 10-normal and 25-normal drop the same gear, while 10-heroic and 25-heroic drop a tier above (10n = 25n < 10h = 25h).
- 10-normal drops one kind of gear, 10-heroic and 25-normal are equal to each other and better than that, and 25-heroic is best of all (10n < 10h = 25n < 25h).
- All four raids drop different levels of gear, 10n < 10h < 25n < 25h.
If you've read my past stuff, you could correctly guess that #1 would be my favorite option. I don't really want to argue it here (or in the comments), because I've had that conversation more than I care to already.
I'm more interested in trying to figure out what they're going to do than what they should do. We know that all four versions of the raid drop the new Emblems of Triumph, and I assume that there is going to be a tier 9 set contained in it (there are 5 bosses, the perfect amount to drop one tier piece each). I would guess that in order to avoid having to itemize four different tiers, the tier gear itself will either be the same across all four raids, or come in two versions - one for 10-man and one for 25-man.
In fact, thinking about the tier gear led me to what I think their solution will be. Think of the Heroic-mode instances as analogous to Ulduar hard modes. Uld-10 hard-mode gear is the same quality as Uld-25 normal, and I think the same relationship will hold here. This is #2 above, with the exception that tier 9.0 drops in both 10n and 10h, with tier 9.5 dropping in both 25n and 25h. It's a reasonable solution, and I'll be happy playing it.
The other variable here is that the Heroic mode will be in the form of a "tribute" run, with players having a limited number of "attempts" (which I think means "wipes") to try their might. The more left-over attempts they have when they down the last boss, the better loot they receive. So will we have a range of item levels in Trial of the Grand Crusader? It's too soon to say. Maybe we'll just get more loot if there are more attempts left, and not better loot. We shall see.
Are there any solutions I've missed, or any compelling reasons to believe they will or should do one or the other that I haven't seen yet? This isn't going to be open immediately on the PTR, so we'll have a little while to speculate.
Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!