May 2nd 2011 10:00PM On the other hand I've seen real life public works projects persist on for years and years to the point where it sure seems like all they are doing is replacing the same block over and over again.
May 2nd 2011 9:22PM Uh, well aside from some minor changes to mechanics, ZA at least is pretty similar to the old ZA 10 man raid. Similar trash, similar boss strats. ZA was one of my favorite raids though so I don't mind. ZG seems pretty different though.
I do feel that seeing these maps again makes the new raid content seem less epic. I miss the sprawling layouts of places like ZA, ZG, Ulduar and Kara vs the "hall all the way to cho gall" or the hub and spoke raid design (BWD, ICC).
May 2nd 2011 8:46PM Metric - had the same issue on Jin'Do with a guild group. The fight ended up taking us an hour to get down. First was confusion over the strat and then once that was sorted we were failing with about 1 and a half chains left. We had two DPS doing under 10k which didn't seem to be enough to keep up with the adds and get the chains down. One player was on an alt so we had him switch to his better geared main. After getting a bit more DPS (two around 14k, one around 7k) we downed it in two attempts. It's not an easy fight if it goes on too long, by the end I could barely heal because I had to kite so many adds. Luckily being a resto druid I have tons of instants.
May 1st 2011 6:03PM Outlands is still in the past and Dornaa is still there as a child at the orphanage for children's week.
Apr 30th 2011 6:56PM In response to Galestrom's question. My guild has lost several main players in the past month. As a small guild this has really hurt our 10 man progression. Losing a MT, main healer as well as some of our better DPS. Progression was at 10/12 but now we are lucky to get six or seven down a week (raid two nights). As far as for why people left, the majority cite RL stuff, wanting to focus on work, school or family. We did have a couple people who just got "burned out on wow" and stopped playing.
I do speculate that players don't find the current raid content to be that compelling or fun. These same players bowing out of raids stuck through weekly ICC runs for almost a year. There also doesn't seem to be much to do for level 85s so the social aspect of the guild has taken a dive. Most people log on just for the raids. The ones that continue to log on daily have alts, enjoy pvp or are completionists grinding whatever fancies them.
Apr 30th 2011 6:48PM I just finished both ZA and ZG over the past couple days as a restoration druid, so I'll offer my impressions.
ZA: The fights are very similar to the 10 man. The trash is as well. Having run the 10 man many, many times in BC I didn't find anything too difficult. If you don't know the trash that can easily lead to wipes, particularly with the stealth cat mobs (DPS don't run ahead of the tank!) and not killing the scouts before they hit the drums.
As for the fights, we didn't have too much trouble. We wiped on Akil'Zon once because we lost people to the electrical storm. The last boss took a couple tries as we weren't sure on the strategy with the forms we got (he transforms into two out of the four forms, random which ones you get I think).
Healing was a notch up from normal heroics but not overly difficult. Keep in mind I am in full 359 raid gear, so I would imagine this would be significantly more challenging in 346 blues.
ZG: Had a bit of a low DPS group for this one (two players under 10k). The trash in this instance can be brutal, particularly if players don't make intelligent use of the cauldrons. Just rushing in on some of these pulls without CC or a proper kill order can easily cause wipes.
The fights were really variable in difficulty. Some were a cake walk and others brutal. The toughest fight to heal for me was the Panther boss. I really don't know if I could have done it in heroic gear. The raid damage is severe at times and the tank damage is pretty brutal. Higher DPS would probably have helped a lot.
The final boss gave us a lot of problems. Executing the strategy proved difficult. We lost players to combination hits of body slam and a shadow crash multiple times. We also had trouble getting the little adds under control resulting in several wipes were I got killed from adds (they love the healer and hit for 17-30k per melee swing on me). Ultimately we had to swap out one lower DPS for that player's better geared main. Once we did that with higher DPS we were able to down it in a couple tries.
Both ZA and ZG have great instance design which IMO is far superior than the boring, hub or linear layouts of recent raids. Of course be prepared for people who don't know the instance to get lost. The new maps help a lot for getting around but we still had one person in ZG who could not figure out where to go and had to be escorted back from wipes. This can add to the time required to do the instances substantially.
They are long instances. ZG took us much longer do to more wipes and less initial understanding of the mechanics. The full clear took us four hours. I would imagine next time that will be more like two hours, but that's still a significant time investment for a heroic. They both felt to me more like mini-raids than heroics both in the higher difficulty and the length (large layouts, lots of trash, lots of places to die if you're not paying attention).
Overall I enjoyed ZA and ZG but would honestly not want to pug them at this time. Having an under-performing player is really going to hurt in here (as we saw in ZG). A few of the fights I would place as harder than the starting raid fights. Such as the end boss in ZG vs stuff like Magmaw, Halfus or Pit Lord Pinata. I can see a lot of pugs just not being able to finish the last bosses in the instances even if the earlier ones were easy to take down.
Overall, not a bad addition and a new challenge for 5 man players. Plus added bonus MAELSTROM FARMING. I do wish they'd done three troll heroics... heroic ZF anyone?
Apr 23rd 2011 5:08PM I suspect it's because of the high number of "we don't need CC" tanks that like to run into the pack with two Wizards and get one shot by having two zones cast overlapping on top of them.
Apr 18th 2011 3:51PM "Don't lase me bro!"
Apr 16th 2011 7:46PM I agree with the unlinking of 10 and 25 man lockouts. I run a late night guild and as a result we really can only field a 10 man "serious" raid. We do however have lots of other friends and more casual players both in the guild and outside the guild. We used to run a 25 man once a week just to have a chance for everyone to get together and play together. It was more social than progression oriented and gave us a chance to meet new people on the server. Now we don't really have that option and with dungeon finder as well we don't tend to play with anyone outside of our guild aside from the odd pug once in a blue moon.
Between the changes in raid lockouts and dungeon finder the whole game feels either more insular (play with guildies) or more anonymous (queue in dungeon finder). I feel like the social community of the server has become less important.
Apr 16th 2011 7:39PM Uh, well playing games and reviewing games seems like an entirely different job from GM or CSR. More like game industry journalist.