Thursday, January 16, 2014

One more wish for Warlords

I've talked a lot about things I'd like to see in the coming xpac.  Almost none of it's going to be implemented but that's okay -- frankly Garrisons are a pretty big motivator in and of themselves.

But there's one thing I'd really like to see.  Something I really missed this expansion.  Something that a lot of other people have been talking about, so I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring as well.

I want more 5-man content.  Ideally I'd like it as something a little bit more than a stepping-stone to raiding.

My best memories of World of Warcraft come from running 5-mans with my good friends.  We cut our teeth on BC heroics, having reached 70 at staggered intervals.  When Wrath dropped the first thing we did was head to Howling Fjord, do the intro quests, and run into Utgarde.  My first 80 dinged in Halls of Lightning (I had rerolled when everyone else was at 75 so I was a little bit behind).  Countless runs of all the heroics, working on our meta.

It's something I've felt lacking in Mists.  The initial offerings were fine, I guess, but there wasn't anything new.  Ever.  The 5-man content in Pandaria is the same as it was when it launched, and that just isn't cool.  I mean, okay, scenarios are nice and all, but they're not dungeons.  For one thing, you don't need a tank.  Tanks, in fact, are contraindicated because of their lower DPS.  Not groovy.  For another, they're only three people.  Not enough to get a proper party going on.

And challenge modes?  Neat idea but it's not like they're new content.

I'm gonna guess that Blizzard put less emphasis on releasing 5-man content because LFR has made raiding so accessible to the plebes (a camp which I find myself a firm part of these days).  Back in the day, if you weren't in a guild, 5-mans were a big part of your endgame.  That's no longer the case, okay, fine.  Still, I feel like Blizzard missed the boat.  Or maybe it's just me.

The thing is, much as I like raiding, raiding is exhausting.  It's long and it involves a lot of strangers -- at least, in LFR.  If you wipe, it takes ten minutes to get things organized for another attempt, and there are so many people all talking at once.  Making any kind of connection with even one stranger in a group of 25 random people is a huge challenge.  At least, for introverts like me.

And that's the big difference.  That's why I like 5-man content.  It's not the length, not really, because included in my "I wish they'd introduce more 5-man content" is at least one massive dungeon like BRD.  Yeah, I'd pug that, no problem.  Because here's the thing: in a 25-man raid, I'm gonna sit and do my thing and not talk at all and when we've killed the boss I'm gonna drop group and never see any of those people again.  They might as well be bots.  Because I'm an introvert and trying to compete for social attention among that many strangers is damned intimidating.

But a 5-man?  Hell, I've gone into 5-mans and played and bantered and laughed and RPd and everything.  I've made actual (in-game) friends with people I've PUGged dungeons with.  Sometimes it's a death march, sometimes it's a wipe fest, and sometimes it's the most fun I've had with strangers in Warcraft.

So that's my plea to Blizzard: please give us some progressive 5-man content come Warlords.  A couple new (or revamped) dungeons every patch would be ideal, especially if, like in previous xpacs, it dropped "catch-up" gear.  Make some of them small and some of them big.  Seriously, give us a raid-esque 5-man, something that takes a good couple of hours to complete.  (And maybe exclude that one from LFG random, just so people don't bitch.)

Or, even better, give us a new dungeon set.  Let the opening pieces drop in the initial 5-mans, and let the patch 5-mans improve it.  New color palette and higher ilvl, of course, nothing too fancy.  And by "set" I mean actual set, with set bonuses and everything.  And a full eight (or nine!) pieces.  Sure, keep it a tier or two below the current raid gear, but something.  Something for those of us who kind of prefer 5-man content to work on.

It'd be awesome.


  1. Have you ever considered actually joining a raid team rather than doing LFR? I've been seeing members of my team for years in some cases, spent 300+ hours with most of them.

    Another question: if they introduced new 5 mans further into the expansion, would you expect them to drop better gear? If so, wouldn't this turn into a situation where people basically only run those dungeons and ignore all of the old ones like we saw in ICC, Zuls, and DS?

    1. I've tried joining raid teams a few times but it's never really worked out. Due to work and suchlike I have trouble maintaining a regular schedule, and moreover joining a raid guild isn't really all that much different (at first) than running LFR -- still me in a room with a bunch of strangers. Granted, eventually they wouldn't be strangers anymore but it took me over a year to get comfortable with my current guild. They don't raid but I'm not about to jump ship and start that particular process all over again.

      These, of course, are complaints particular to me and my idiosyncrasies :) I'm well aware normal people don't have such concerns.

      Yeah you're probably right about that but hey -- it didn't bother me during Wrath or Cata either, except for I hated the troll heroics because they weren't really "new" and I'm not a fan of the troll aesthetic to begin with. But putting the first pieces of a new dungeon set in the intro dungeons, pieces you'd need in order to upgrade to the later dungeon sets, would give people at least mild incentive to keep running them on alts. *shrug*

  2. 110% this! I've never been a big fan of the 10+ member raids, and scenarios do nothing for tanks. I love the idea of more 5-man content, and I think they should include at least one per patch.

    1. And what kind of rewards should this new 5 man contain? Same ilvl as the previous dungeons? See my above comment.