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Posts with tag Naxxramas-25

Taking out the trash

I always thought I would love a no-trash dungeon. I came up in raiding in the days of MC and BWL, raids that were absolutely chock full of trash. AQ40? Oh, so much trash. Trash to the point of absurdity. Going into the original Naxxramas meant dealing with a huge space absolutely stuffed full of rotting, slimy, or arachnid horrors. You spent far more time coordinating pulls on those annoying warlocks in Blackwing Lair and their dynamite-throwing goblin friends than you actually did on bosses.

In The Burning Crusade, the 5-mans had trash galore. Five, even six packs in Shadow Labyrinth, constant streams of adds in Shattered Halls, complicated trash pulls in Karazhan and Serpentshrine. I still remember with dread being the tank standing there using spell reflection to get the attention of Hyjal caster waves. Dealing with trash has always been a part of the game, as it has been part of the genre. In fact, one of the reasons that Naxxramas 10/25 felt so empty to me was that it simply held less trash than it did as a 40-man raid at level 60, so huge stretches of the place were deserted, as if Kel'Thuzad had gone on a staff-cutting binge and pink-slipped half of the Scourge before you even got there.

After we'd gotten Ulduar more or less on farm and moved on to Trial of the Crusader, I was pretty ready for a break from trash. I was very excited about a trashless dungeon where you just fought bosses. Wouldn't that be epic? Wouldn't it be awesome for every fight in a raid to be an epic struggle against a named, powerful adversary?

Turned out, not so much.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Raiding

Wrath Retrospective: Raiding Naxxramas, Malygos and Sartharion


With the final content patch of this expansion on our doorstep and Cataclysm following close behind, we'll be taking the next several weeks to look back on Wrath of the Lich King and everything that made it what it is, for better or for worse, in Wrath Retrospective.

Raiding has been the generic end game for massively multiplayer online games for the past 10 years. Originally comprised of hard-to-kill, non-instanced world and dungeon bosses, end-game raiding tested players' coordination, skill, communication and tenacity. World of Warcraft pioneered the accessible raid -- instanced dungeons that guaranteed loot drops. Many people forget that guaranteed loot drops was a huge deal, right along with no failures during crafting.

Vanilla WoW raiding was an evolution on the EverQuest system, naturally, due to the prevalence of EverQuest players' not only designing and producing World of Warcraft but also their prevalence in the installed player base. Raiding had a language all its own. The first expansion to World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, attempted to stretch the bounds of raiding by scaling down player numbers and, at the same time, creating new and unique challenges in an attempt to make content more accessible. EverQuest routinely failed to make content accessible, and WoW was determined to turn the tides with the introduction of the 10-man raiding tier comprised of Karazhan and Zul'Aman. The popularity of 10-man raiding soared more than Blizzard could have ever imagined.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King Retrospective: Naxxramas

With the final content patch of this expansion on our doorstep and Cataclysm following close behind, we'll be taking the next several weeks to look back on Wrath of the Lich King and everything that made it what it is, for better or for worse, in WotLK Retrospective.

When people talk about raiding in Wrath of the Lich King, a lot of the complaints often boil down to Naxxramas. It was out too long before a new tier of raid content, the fights were too dumbed down from the original raid's difficulty and it was too easy. It was an unimaginative way for Blizzard to cut corners and save time developing Wrath. While I'm personally critical of Naxxramas as a raid instance in its current implementation, let's look at these points and discuss their validity.
  • Naxxramas was out too long before a new tier of raid content. This one's pretty subjective, but we can consider two factors. First, Naxx went live with Wrath's release in November 2008, alongside Malygos (Eye of Eternity) and Sartharion (Obsidian Sanctum). Malygos' itemization was half a tier superior to that of Naxx itself, so that items that dropped in the 10-man version of Eye of Eternity were equivalent to those that dropped in 25-man Naxx. Malygos-25 drops were superior to anything that dropped in Naxxramas off anyone but Kel'Thuzad himself. So while we could say that this entire tier of raiding lasted from launch until the release of Ulduar in April 2009, it's unfair to single out Naxxramas as the sole offender. Furthermore, Trial of the Crusader launched in August 2009, meaning that Ulduar's duration as the top tier of raiding was only a month shorter than that of Naxxramas/EoE/OS. Are we really arguing that the 20 bosses of those combined three raids had so much less raiding potential that an extra month or so wasn't at least subjectively justifiable?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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