Saturday, February 14, 2009

Random prediction

I would like to make one prediction for the next expansion. I expect the 25-man raids to go the way of the 40-man raids. As Blizzard continues to make Warcraft as widely accessible to player skill levels as they do to computer hardware requirements they will push the raid size downwards. To compensate for the loss of the 25-man raids Blizzard will add more achievements to make the difficulty self-selecting (similar to *10*-man Obsidian Sanctum with three drakes up being the hardest raid pre-patch 3.1.). Achievements are wildly popular and are a natural path to ramping up the difficulty of a raid.

In addition, I expect the raids to scale to the number of people you bring, with the raids being 6- to 10-man instances. This is much more small guild friendly as a group of friends can still raid without having to pug any extra members. (Aside: pugging extra people isn't bad, but there's lots of resistance as well as some outright cultural hostility to pugged members. Sometimes it is just easier on all involved if you can keep the raid 'in guild' so to speak.) I firmly believe having scalable raids this way would push Blizzard to be more creative in their raid designs. Having limits forces you to search for more creative solutions. The 25 man raids where the developers assume the raid generally has one of each class encourages more kitchen-sink style design.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Epic Raid?

One of the things I find interesting when people talk about Warcraft's raid size is that you inevitably find people who say the 25- and/or old 40-man raids were epic. That the 10-mans just aren't epic at all.

25-man raids are simply not epic. They are not epic in story or scale. 25-man raids are much closer to being a classroom field trip than epic (and 40 man raids are more like a tour bus gone astray ;)).

Xenophon and the March of the Ten Thousand, the invasion of Normandy, the defense of Stalingrad are all epic in scale. Heroic Naxxramas or Alterac Valley aren't. They are just too small to be epic. They are just small mobs, not epic groups.

The 25-mans aren't epic in story, either. Traditionally epic stories focus on a hero or small band doing a great dead. Other than Jason and the Argonauts -- and honestly, how many of the Argonauts can you name besides Hercules? -- epic tales focus on ten or fewer people. The smaller raid size allows you, the player, to know your contribution matter more, that you were important instead of being just another spear-carrier in a 25-man raid. It gives you a chance to be a heroic member of an epic tale. The impact of defeating Arthas with 9 good friends is always going to be stronger, epic-wise, than beating Arthas with 24 casual acquaintances.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Please forgive the mess while I get this place underway.

I'm a typical WoW player with some experience at hardcore raiding (six, seven nights a week).  Nothing cutting-edge I grant you, mostly Tier 4 and 5 content, but with the changes Wrath brought I'm seeing guilds trying to raid or raid consistently and making some of the same mistakes.  Hopefully my experiences and observations will keep you from making those mistakes while allowing you to pioneer all new mistakes.  :)

The title of my page comes from the fact that I have three toons with the Champion of the Naaru title.  I've done raid dps as a Beast Mastery Hunter, raid healing as a Holy Priest, and raid tanking as a Feral Druid.  I've done each as a raid progression member (including main tank raid progression) and as quite a bit of raid farming to help people bring up their toons to the raid levels.