WoW 2.1: Casuals v Raiders
There's a lot of discussion going on on Tobolds MMORPG Blog about the changes the 2.1 patch - and The Burning Crusade expansion in general - made to the end-game.
I'm pretty firmly in the non-raid category. I tried a few raids in Zul Gurub with my guild and two allied guilds, and to be honest, after the third time through, I was bored. Aside from the content itself, the level of organisation that was involved annoyed me - with the same number of people expending the same amount of effort, you could do a hell of a lot of fun and interesting stuff. Expending it on a section of the game where the same content was repeated over and over, with no material benefit for two-thirds of the group on a given raid night seemed to be a pretty low priority.
The chained attunements and such mean that I'm not going to make it into any of the high-end TBC instances, probably ever. I have no problem with quest chains; I think they're a really great way to build storylines. But at no point in any quest chain I've done have I had to repeat steps over and over again. Either it was clear that I couldn't do the quest without better gear and/or help, or it took - at worst - three or four tries to get it right. So, no raiding end-game in TBC, up to 2.1, for me. Maybe they'll introduce casual raids later, and I can stick my head into those.
The thing is, though, that I've been playing fairly sustainedly in TBC for three and a half months now, and I'm not bored. I only recently hit level 70, I haven't maxed out either of my tradeskills yet, and I have so many quests left that I'm almost wishing there was an option to turn off the yellow exclamation marks. I'm working up the rep lines with the Scryers and the Consortium - I should be hitting honoured with the Consortium soon - and the whole thing is pleasing me far more than pre-TBC ever did.
It even seems to have improved the status of RP, Hordeside, in the realm, because all I have to do is pass through Silvermoon, and I can find several ongoing conversations, into which I can drop if I'm inclined, or pass by otherwise. I got pulled into a conversation with another Forsaken Warlock in Garadar last week, without trying at all.
I'm certainly not in the uber-casual category. I know my farming for bind-on-pickup jewelcrafting recipes takes me out of that group, but it's farming that even a completely casual player could do, since it doesn't require anything beyond knowing the name of the mob you're looking for.
So, at some level, I'm actually a little bit mystified by the fuss. I'm a casual player, I'm a definite non-raider to the point where I think the game would be better without raiding, and... I really like the Burning Crusade.
Posted by Drew Shiel at May 31, 2007 12:52 PM