As of 11/15, all of the current PvE raid content in Wrath has been cleared by TwentyFifthNovember. Of course congratulations are in order, because that seems like a gargantuan task a little over 3 days after the expansion was released.
We are proud to declare that all WOTLK PVE raid content has now been cleared. This is both a moment of triumph and a cause for concern. The question in all our minds right now is if we could do this, how soon until the rest of the top guilds in the world clear all the raid content that WOTLK has to offer? Did Blizzard miscalculate in the tuning of these encounters? Or is this Blizzard folding under the weight of a large casual player base that demands to be on equal footing with end-game raiders?
This leaves me with a few questions:
Is this rapid clearing of progression a good or bad thing? Does it mean, as the post posits, that Blizzard planned poorly or does it mean that Blizzard did their due diligence testing and tuning these encounters?
Beta went live in July. Even so, that is 3-4 months of time in which encounters, talent builds, leveling strategies, and raid compositions could be tested and re-tested. Would this achievement be possible without Beta?
Is Wrath catering to casuals, or is it well-tuned? If you look at Dukes' analysis of BC raid content(posted before Sunwell was live), you can see a common theme: overtuning. (45m trash respawns?!). Many players complained that BC was merely an open beta due to how many changes were made or needed at any point since its release. It seems (so far) that Blizzard did not make the same mistakes this time around.
Is it possible that the pendulum has swung too far towards the casual base? How many people would rather have it the way BC was, with some (initially) nigh-impossible raid encounters? Or with artificial progress barriers a la Sunwell gates?
They have said multiple times that Naxx v2.0 was supposed to be fairly easy, as it is an intro raid. It doesn't really surprise me that a group of people who have already blown through the leveling content of the expansion would tear through that raid. I personally don't mind raid content being tuned like that at first either, as it gives something for everyone to do.
The people in that end of the spectrum are never going to be completely happy with anything, because they will either rush through it all and say it was too easy, or bang their heads into a brick wall when something is just ridiculously tuned.
First of all: Congratulations to those guilds. However, I think all the hype is really just over nothing. The news sites have really taken their accomplishment out of context.
It's been established various times that Blizzard wanted the entry level raiding content to be more entry-level friendly. Something easy for newer guilds with less-than-spectacular players. So should it be any surprise that two of the best guilds in the world: with vast resources, experience, player skill and guild organisation - have walked all over it so fast? No.
This content was not created to really challenge guilds like that. So we shouldn't treat or discuss it as if it were. Your bullet point questions are somewhat comparing apples and oranges. Its like asking whether we should be shocked/surprised an English teacher wins a spelling competition aimed at Grade 5's. It is a triumph/failure? Not really, the content wasn't aimed at them to be challenging. The said raid content really is for your average guild to get a grasp of raiding and a soft, safe entrance.
The sorts of questions you ask would be great for analyzing Uldular and Icecrown, should a similar fast-clear scenario happen again when those instances are released. But for this entry level stuff, its really just much ado about nothing.
This thread has the potential to be a horrible trainwreck.
That said, one idle observation: I'm pretty sure I haven't seen any screenshots of Kungen riding a Black Drake from Sartharion, so perhaps their announcement is a bit premature?
Their accomplishment is that they leveled. Anyone who is in any way surprised by any of the rest of this has been living under a rock for months. Content that was regularly steamrolled on the beta servers get steamrolled on the live servers too? Color me surprised.
A Black or a Twilight Drake at the moment would be an indication that something is wrong, yes. I'm waiting.
That is a very good point. As was repeated several times here, the first raids were not tunned for the best guilds. At the same time however, it is nice for the best guilds to still have something to do until the next content patch. If the raid achievements can fill this role, then I think it will have been a great success for Blizzard.
A raid that can be friendly to new guilds, and challenge top guilds at the same time? That would be really cool imho.
Thanks to Gurg for preventing me from having to type the above, although I had to type the thanks, but it's time better spent than commenting on this.
No one will ever be satisfied. SSC/TK were available at TBC Launch and everyone thought it was a mistake in retrospect. The fact that the two top guilds in a unified effort cleared the ENTRY LEVEL RAIDS, once they hit 80, shouldn't be a shock to anyone.
Their insinuation that this is a failure is pathetic. Lich King is not about hardcore end-game raiding, and never really has been; all the changes made have reinforced quite the opposite. This used to be their (SK/Nih) niche, and Blizzard toned it down. I'll worry more about difficulty when we get past the Karazhan of LK. In fact, I'd be more worried if this took longer than 7 days.
This strikes me just as significant as Risen's QQ departure. (By the way, they came back)
It seems like there's fairly wide agreement that Blizzard made two key mistakes in TBC. 1) The initial content was too hard. 2) The release schedule was completely mangled, causing a range of issues.
It's been clear for quite a while that Blizzard is trying to correct both these issues in Wrath. As such the initial raid content is intended to be very easy, and there isn't much of it yet, as they intend to dribble it out steadily over time. We've known what Blizzard is doing for quite a while now, so it's been obvious that the first couple of raid instances would get cleared a few days after launch.
This has now happened. I'd rank the newsworthiness as being a little above "the sun rose today", but not much above. (In an odd way, I kind of feel sorry for them. All that insane leveling, just to steamroll what's effectively the Wrath version of UBRS... Seems a bit wasteful, since it won't really help them on the next tier of raids.)
One way I'm happy. A computer-game shouldn't be about elitism. Everyone pays the same monthly payment, the same amount for the expansions. Why should I need to spend ridiculous amounts of time to achieve something in a game. Its not normal. Playing should be entertaining, worthwhile and not time-consuming.
On the other side it feels like PvE doesn't matter anymore. PvP is what needs a lot more effort now in order to accomplish something. They might have been entry level raids, but lets not lie to ourselves and say that we are not worried about the next raids.
Content that was regularly steamrolled on the beta servers get steamrolled on the live servers too?
Aside from the fact that this is a rehashed zone the mechanics and systems of which had not a single person doubting about them anymore, this zone was also on the test realm (twice, actually) long enough for any ultrahardcore guild to go out and master it before it would ever find its way to the live servers. No big surprise then that they beat it on their first raid night.
Other than that, I also agree with the sentiment that pandering to hardcore guilds is best done by including interesting achievements for them. I was recently forced to retire from being GM of my precious and meticulously cultivated raiding guild to being a grunt in the place where my RL friends dwell and after being here for a few weeks I've mainly found myself surrounded with a lot of mediocre players at best. So I'm actually quite happy with the prospect of still having the option of being able to experience and see all the content WotLK has to offer if I wanted to, despite having only lackluster raids without any real muscle (or brain, for that matter) available to me at best.
You have to remember that these guys are the top 0.01% of Warcrafts raiding population. Just ~25 guys out of 11 million subscribers. No matter how hard or easy Blizzard tunes the content there will always be a group at the bleeding edge that will steamroll the new content. The vast majority of players are still in the 71-75 level range and going at a more normal pace, what interests me far more is the good guilds that were in Sunwell before wrath but weren't world-first-getting material. These guilds were still at the top of the game but make up a larger % of the player base than the top hardcore elite players like nihilum and SK. If these guilds are clearing endgame in their sleep then there might be a problem.
Lets not forget that this is complete entry level stuff too. It's content they've all seen before, Naxx in vanilla and the wrath stuff on beta. I'll wait and see how people handle the upcoming raids before i pass judgement on the difficulty curve.
I'm a bit worried.
That it would happen was completely expected but it happened a bit too soon. It looks a bit like they just stepped into the instance with their SWP gear and crushed everything.
That's really not supposed to be possible if the rating system etc was working, they should have had to run atleast a few heroics to get their ratings under control.
Things might become a bit like TBC after the patch once everyone do get level 80 gear and that will be a big problem for Blizzard.
There should be some gear requirements for raiding at level 80, even if it is level 80 greens. Level 70+ whatever should not be enough.
Tuning for this seems to be very hard though. Blizzard got it wrong with the raids on TBC release, then required too perfect gear for SWP. So now they might be going for no gear requirement instead..
I'm a little surprised there wasn't something in here for the bleeding edge guilds to play with while waiting for 3.1. It could have been a 1 boss encounter similar to Magtheridon that was tuned to require full T7 to kill. Something that would have been impossible to kill until after several Naxx clears, through gear requirements, or maybe quest completions, or item accumulation. Congrats to those guys, but I don't envy them the months of waiting they'll have until there is new content.
zyklone, what kind of gear did you expect to be required for entry level raiding? Does it really count as entry-level raiding if you have to epic out in heroics for a few weeks first? Should not really come as a surprise that entry level raiding doesn't require you to fully max out your equipment, especially when you've done these encounters a few times on the beta servers already.
Rest assured that third and fourth rate guilds will wipe in these raid instances at least a few times :-)