What to do in Warlords? Casual vs Hardcore

The new raid modes. I like it!

 

Right now I’m contemplating how I will tackle the new expansion. Unfortunately what I -want- to do, isn’t necessarily what I’m -able- to do.

The problem is, that Blizzard seems to think that people who don’t play a lot (or are unable to play a lot) aren’t interested in a challenging environment and make all PvE gameplay that involves character progression and challenge somewhat time consuming. I don’t want to say Blizzard thinks most of their players are idiots, but it seems like they do.

I don’t have a lot of time, but I want what little time I have to be enjoyable. Running through trivial content isn’t necessarily fun for me, but if I don’t have any other choice, I try to play as good as I possibly can, even if it’s total overkill to reforge, gem and enchant blue gear and use flasks in 5 man heroics. If I can’t compete against the content, I can at least compete against myself, trying to improve my dps, reduce my mistakes and speed up the dungeon by apparently being the only one who does dps on trash. And it’s always a pleasure to see a lazy damage dealer upping his game after he got beaten by someone with much worse gear. Doesn’t happen a lot though. 😉

Here’s a little quote from a blue post that was made in late 2013: (link)

For her healing set, let’s assume this player also has one ring with Spirit, a shield with Spirit, and a trinket that procs on heals. The trinket is almost useless in her Retribution set. The shield is also useless, since Retribution is designed to wield a two-handed weapon. The ring will be sub-optimal because Spirit is useless to a Retribution Paladin, but if it has another valuable stat (e.g. Haste), it may still be worth using—again depending on how min-max-focused the player is.

A more casual player would probably be fine just using the trinket anyway and using a lower Item Level two-handed mace when she plays Retribution. A more min-max player would probably want separate rings, cloaks, trinkets, neck pieces, and weapons to use in the different specs. A very min-max player—such as someone competing in world-first Mythic raid progression—might even want different heads, shoulders, chests, and so on depending on the mix of secondary stats. This player might even swap out gems between the two specs.

What the…gah…buh? Really? I distinctly remember carrying different item sets for disc and holy healing around with my priest in 10 man normal ICC, because some encounters could be better healed with a different spec. And I’d wager most players would do just that.

So only very min-max oriented players wouldn’t run around with a healing trinket on their dps spec going: “Hurr, durr, me no care about dps! Swapping trinket hard! Me get confused!” Alright, so I’ve got the “world first” hardcore mythic raider mindset…and everybody else I’ve ever played with outside of random content…weird.

 

But we’re drifting slightly off topic here. Going back to my “want vs. can” situation, I really liked flex mode, because it offered more serious gameplay with the flexibility of lfr wings. The flex raids aren’t difficult by any means, but far from the idiocy that’s lfr. You could also complete flex faster than lfr, because finding a group through oqueue was faster and players were often more competent. And seeing a 10 man flex raid do 3 times as much dps as a 25 man lfr group is also nice 😉

It hasn't happened...yet.

 

So here I am trying to figure out how to not get bored in WoD. I’ll continue to challenge myself, of course, and I’ll most likely play through 5 man heroic, scenario and lfr content. There has been some talk at Blizzcon 2013 to allow players to access certain bosses directly, but I don’t really remember what the details were about that and it hasn’t been mentioned since, so I’m assuming it was swept under the rug.

Of course I’ll try to get in flex groups. The good thing about flex is, that as long as there are more than 10 players in the group, it won’t hurt the raid if someone leaves (unless it’s one of the tanks any maybe a healer). But you can usually continue with one less dps, as everything scales down accordingly. So I can at least start a raid and leave after the first few bosses. Depending on how the lockouts work in combination with the new group finder, I might be able to join a raid that’s on a later boss, but we’ll see. The removal of wings in flex is certainly disappointing and puts a huge damper on my motivation.

 

I still think Blizzard should create more content that caters to players with a limited play time but a min-max mindset. I’d love to see difficult 5 man dungeons again (that aren’t speedruns), wings in normal/heroic modes and more 1-boss raids (like Onyxia, Gruul, Magtheridon etc.) instead of World bosses that are more often than not pushovers (or get nerfed like Oondasta).

Scenarios are also a disappointment. Normal scenarios are ridiculously easy and the heroic scenarios that were introduced later, are still not very challenging and can also almost be soloed with mediocre raid gear. But wouldn’t that be a nice challenge? Instead of going in with 3 people and oneshotting everything in roflmode, you’d tackle a scenario solo and figure out how to finish it. Unfortunately this isn’t possible, as scenarios don’t have any access from the game world. You can random queue for normal scenarios or join a “heroic” scenario with 2 other players from your guild or whatever. Of course you could find two people to queue for a scenario and they leave right away, but there should be an easier way to do that.

 

But there’s still a lot to do and learn for me. I’ve mainly played Rogue and Priest since 2005 and did all my raiding with these two classes. I’ve been tanking in leveling content, but getting a tank or ranged dps character to max level and do heroic 5 mans and at least LFR would be a new experience. I’d probably get bored quickly after learning the class and encounters in that role, but until then I might have some fun. And who knows, it’s quite possible (if not inevitable) for my time schedule to change, so I can once again commit to at least one or two longer raid evenings per week. Then I’d be set. I’d find a heroic guild with a relaxed schedule and go for it. Until then I “just” have to stay motivated and explore all the different options.

 

PS: The wordpress spellchecker seems to be broken so don’t mind if I mispel thigns inn my curent potss.