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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thinking of the new 3.2 Raid Instance

There are so many 3.2 news items right now, it seems almost a shame not to write about them.

On the other hand, I hate writing about PTR changes. Here one week, gone the next... so much for the buckets of words you spent on them :)

But I will say this, so far, I like the gem and profession changes (although I wish the Alchemy perk had been beefier). I like the token changes, badge changes and the new druid look (but I wish holy priests wouldn't get nerfed). I like the possibility to extend the raid lockout.

I don't especially like what I'm reading about the new raid instance. If I understand correctly, it will be basically a ring-style event rather than a proper instance. Now don't get me wrong, I like beating difficult boss fights (right now my guild is wiping on phase-2 of Yogg-Saron and I'm loving every minute of it :P). But I also love a dungeon's atmosphere, I loved it that SSC and TK and Karazhan and Molten Core and BWL and AQ (20, never did 40) etc. each had a unique look and feel and that as you progressed inside you not only saw new bosses but also new interesting rooms opening up. The instance would draw me inside and the feeling of being in an epic place enhanced the pleasure of fighting epic battles. Let me put it this way, would the Ragnaros fight had felt half as epic if you hadn't had to make your way to the very center of a huge underground cavern full of molten flowing Lava? If all you had to do was enter a bare round room and poof he would appear in the middle of the simple dirt floor?
The trash clearing up to bosses is also part of the challenge of an instance and while I never liked too much trash, too little trash is also I think problematic. No trash at all is just not appealing to me and I think ultimately detracts from the fun of the raid.

What can Blizzard do to spice-up the new "ring-of-blood raid"? Maybe have the look of the room change when the boss appears, so that you actually got a room with different size, LoS mechanics, etc. for every fight. Even better would be if at every "stage", the raid started out not directly fighting the boss but at the beginning of a small instance with a short distance and a small amount of trash to clear before getting to the boss room.

But in my nightmares I dream it will be none of the above, that instead we'll get a simple arena, dirt floor and all, and bosses appearing out of thin-air, completely devoid of atmosphere, lore and setting, like giant pinyatas ready to shower epics if only the raid can get the tactics right... if that becomes the new end-game raiding instance I fear I will lose a big part of my motivation for raiding :(

There I go, writing buckets of words about un-released content that is sure to change 10 times between now and release... so I think I'll stop now :)

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