Good …… Bad
Hardcore …… Casual
Inaccessible …… Too Easy
The scale of (supposedly) /fail…
● ● ●
There has been a lot of fuss on forums and blogs that Blizzard has made
both leveling and raiding in the new expansion all too effortless.
"Everyone" has a character at level 80. "Everyone" has beat the 10-
and 25-man raid content. "Everyone" will have access to the end-game.
Of course, "everyone" hasn't; "everyone" won't.
Khæli and Kaleyen are still in their early 70s is testament to the fact
that it is quite possible to play daily and level leisurely. That we
aim for our guild to start running 10-mans mid-January demonstrates
that even the supposedly EZ-mode Naxx is still out-of-reach for plenty
Mike Schramm over at WoWInsider has quite a
thoughtful response to the complaints that reaching the end-game is now too easy. Refuting an
earlier post on the site that asserted it'd become pointless now to
track guild progress, since now "everyone can win," Mike writes, "And
now you're getting it: it's an MMO. Everyone's the hero. Whether
you take your sweet time questing around the new zones or push straight
to the endgame to topple the big bad bosses, you too can see all of the
dungeons and all of the encounters in the expansion. Nothing wrong with
that at all."
I've mentioned it before here. K-'s written
about it on his blog. We say it to each other often: we are so glad
that we're taking the leveling slowly. Now granted, we did start WotLK
10-15 levels behind many of our peers, with Kaleyen as a brand new DK
and Khæli at level 60. But there are plenty of level 80 deathknights,
so that's no excuse.
Rather, our excuse is we've done it
before. We've done that mad dash before (my dirge was, I believe, the
fourth on our server to hit level 80 in EQ2). And we've also felt the
pressure, well K- has in particular, to tank all the instances that
everyone else needs, all too often at the expense of his own character
progression. We've also felt the push to pull all our guildies to the
level cap as quickly as possible in order to enter new raid zones, bang
our heads against a wall for a week or two, and hopefully secure some
server-firsts. And for us, at least, hurry hurry hurry meant burnout
You see, I have done the hardcore raiding
thing, although admittedly, never in the hardestcore of hardcore
raiding guilds. What has stopped me from joining those guilds and has
before now prevented me from killing Avatars, Kil'jaeden, and the like,
is the cliche that I have a lot of obligations that make that sort of
commitment impossible. I'm PST on a CST server. I work full-time. I
have a house full of animals (dogs, cats, and teenage boys). I'm a
single mom. Granted, I get home from work and play most every night.
And granted, I spend most of my weekend gaming. But I'm reluctant to
say to a guild that I'm available to raid nightly. There was a time I
wanted to raid nightly, but now I am not sure I can commit to more than
one or two. I'm older, I guess. I'm (gasp!) casual.
said, I would say that I'm a hardcore casual player. Just because the
circumstances of my day-to-day life prevent me from devoting hours to
raiding does not mean that I do not have high standards. I'm not
beholden to mathematical min-maxing (probably because it takes too
much, ya know, math), but I do try. I spend a lot of time thinking
about gear, about talent specs, about spell rotations. I do try to
improve my character; I do strive to play her the best I possibly can.
I want to be remembered as a good [Fill in the Blank] ______________
(healer, DPS, shadowpriest, resto druid, moonkin), and I love it when
people remember me from pickup groups and raids and compliment my
I was thrilled when I first heard of Blizzard's plans
for the WotLK raid zones to have 10- and 25-man versions, as I knew
based on the struggles K- and I had had with out last guild, that
finding ten solid players with whom to run raids would be easy.
Ooooo, the dreaded word: easy.
have done neither raiding nor heroics in this expansion, I can't really
speak to the claims that it's easy. I do wonder if the problem is not
that the game is easy or that suddenly raiding is open to more people,
but rather those who sacrificed sleep and exercise in order to push to
the level cap post-haste now are missing the second part of the
masochism that comes with being a hardcore raider in an expansion:
repeatedly wiping and wiping and wiping and banging one's head against
the wall and shelling out coin for endless repair bills and finally
defeating the boss and claiming that all those who did it after you
benefited from a stealth nerf of the encounter. Now that's hardcore.