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@warcraft RE: #dailyWoW

December 7, 2009

So, if you use Twitter and are following @Warcraft, then you should see “#DailyWoW” pop up every now and again.  The idea is to get feedback from the folks on whatever Blizzard posts.  Well, today’s was, “What are you looking forward to most in Icecrown Citadel?”

My reply: “Not being in TOC.”  I know that, yeah, I’m a relative nublet.  Yeah, I’ve also not run it since the day the patch went live.  Yeah, I probably have no real room to bitch.  BUT, I’m going to be honest.

Trial of the Crusader was and will remain one of the worst dungeons in the game.  Let me break down my thoughts a little more.  My intent isn’t to win hearts and minds, but I want to elaborate on something that needs more than 140 characters.

First, it completely eliminated the need to do Ulduar.  Planet of the Hats terms it “gear pollution.”  I was going to comment on this post, but I felt compelled to wait.  I wanted to let it sink in.  So, I waited and talked to a few folks about their thoughts.  Gear pollution gives it the connotation that it wasn’t deliberate action taken that lead to this, but that the designers ignorantly went through a process and this was a by product.  I disagree.

It isn’t gear pollution, but gear oversaturation.  The designers realized that Ulduar, in terms of hard modes, was not something that the masses would be able to accomplish without help.  It flat out was not going to be done without help from them.  Rather than tune the encounters (as they had done in the past), they decide that they wanted to “prepare the heroes for Icecrown.”  There’s your lore reason for ToC.

It just so happens to be the game design reason, too.  This brings us to reason number two.  Blizzard wants to make end game approachable for everyone with a max level toon.  They’ve stated as much, and we’ve seen how much they’ve wanted to make this happen.  Personally, I think the gated progression is more of another method by which to make this occur.  Give folks more time to gear up on To(G)C while they’re waiting for ICC to unlock.  Do I think that Normal ICC is going to be a cakewalk?  Well, that depends on what we’re comparing it to.  Are we comparing the fights that require coordination of any sort?  Or are these DPS races/gear checks for a role?  I don’t think we’ll see gear checks until the second or third gate of ICC, and I’m hoping they’ll be more coordination checks than anything else.  With all the talk about “Gearscore,” it seems that some people forget that awareness trumps any amount of gear.  What was it… “Dead DPS won’t top the meters”?

Also emblems of triumph will become the new standard from heroics, and emblems of frost will be the new triumph emblems.  What’s the point of having all this work that designers are doing if no one can see the gear that they worked on?  Also, the weekly Raid Quest means that we’ll be revisiting the first few bosses in the various raids for extra emblems.  Even if your guild doesn’t want to do them, most of the ones on the lists are very puggable.  This means faster acquisition of gear that doesn’t involve heroics… oh, and the new rewards from the LFG tool?  Even MORE emblems.  After one day of using it, I’ll have filled out the holes in my gear.

So, what does this mean?  It means that Blizzard has decided how they want to handle end game.  It means that Wrath of the Lich King is finally out of it’s public beta, and that we as players are finally getting our money’s worth.  Yeah, I’m glad that the content is more open and accessible.  That’s a good thing.  I just think that the road there has really been rocky for the playerbase, and that maybe the steep climb up to Arthas may actually be good.

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3 Comments
  1. I agree that the ToC design was deliberately intended to artificially pump up gear level to get people “ready for Icecrown” – but I fail to see why it was necessary to pump up people’s gear levels so much, as an instance is only as hard as its tuning. I suspect they were worried about Ulduar not being accessible enough to “casuals” and yet not being able to hold the interest of “hardcores” until ICC was ready. Hence, filler patch.

    Just to clarify, what I termed “gear pollution” isn’t the phenomenon of easily accessible gear of a higher tier with a new patch release, but is rather the “cross-pollination” of gear between the 10-man and 25-man progression paths, and the effect that has on instance tuning and community attitudes. The gear oversaturation thing is certainly related though, and was a big part of the points made by some commenters. I’d go so far as to say it’s the main problem of which “gear pollution” is just a symptom.

    • I know your term for “gear pollution” is not the connotation that I gave it, and I think that’s due to differing views on the subject. One of the folks that I talked to did a bit more raiding during TBC than I did, which is to say I did none and he did some. The thing I was left with was that there was a clear line of progression for each raid size. You outline the same thing.

      That model is gone now, and it has been replaced with the progression you’ve got in your article, so the “cross-pollination” concept you’re talking about doesn’t seem right to me. It’s not “cross-pollination” so much is ilvl tuning for the raid sizes based on Blizzard’s interpretation of the rewards. Which means the same gear is available at both levels with slightly different stats. Hell, I personally have gotten both versions of some of the items!

      The only “cross-pollination” possibility is another animal entirely… PVP gear used in PVE content. That’s outside the scope of either of the things we’ve talked about.

      But yeah, “pollution” is a symptom… the wider problem may be something else entirely.

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  1. Gear pollution: Your comments « Planet of the Hats

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