Thoughts on Gear Progression, Raiding, and WotLK

So it’s been forever since I’ve posted, and I’m going to take it slowly for now.  I actually have a lot to write about that I’ll get to soon enough, but something small (with the potential for vast expansion later if I choose to.)

So I was just reading Tobold’s post and the comments, which got me thinking about character progression and raiding in WoW.  What I realized is that the only real need to have really good raiding gear is to continue to push for more raid content.  On a related note, you only need to have really good PvP gear to push to become more dominant in PvP.  Shouldn’t there be other venues to put the gear that you’ve obtained to use?  Sure you can go run heroic instances with it, but you already have better gear than you are going to be able to get from there if you have really good raiding gear.  I really don’t even know what I’m looking for exactly, maybe entire zones that are more challenging/rewarding (but can potentially be ran through solo) or 1-man instances that really put your skills and gear to the test.  Who knows, I just know that I’m frustrating with the role that gear plays in WoW.

Am I alone in thinking this way?  Am I the only one who wishes there were more ways to put your raiding gear to use other than to continue raiding?  This is ultimately why I will not be purchasing WotLK.  In that vein, if you don’t like the direction Blizzard is taking their game, then this is the only way they are going to listen. Just like voting, one person doesn’t necessarily matter, but if enough people participate, then it will.  I was tempted to buy WotLK just for the 70-80 content, but then I realized that I’m paying for much more than that, and I don’t want any of the other stuff.  I also know exactly where I’m going to end six months from now if I start playing again, which is exactly where I was six months ago when I stopped, and that is debating whether raiding is worth the time and effort, and the answer for me is no.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy the game if you know you’ll enjoy it, I just know that with Blizzard being the leader of the MMO industry, I am going to do what I can to get them off their asses and start thinking the way they did when they first built World of Warcraft, instead of thinking about how they can simply retain their customer base, because that’s honestly all I see them doing right now.  

Hopefully that made sense.  Whether you agree or disagree with me is your opinion, I just know that I expect more from Blizzard and I’m not going to pay them if I’m not happy with their product.



12 comments so far

  1. Lars on

    What else would you propose using it for, besides more raiding? Gear at the end game becomes a substitute for leveling, which is why it typically involves incrementally improving tiers of gear at each raid difficulty. Without it, you have to come up with something else to take the place as the player’s “goal.” Several people in the blogosphere recently had a discussion about levels, and our frustration with it; this is somewhat related.

  2. Thallian on

    How bout adventuring with friends in places that don’t take hours and hours to set up a large enough group and slog through, quick fun trips with variable group sizes and decent rewards based on the difficulty level?

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  4. Kanthalos on

    Yeah, I know Lars. I even said that I’m not quite sure what I would want as an alternative, I just know that the way its set up right now really irritates me and seems silly. I suppose I should have come up with more alternatives before I posted then, huh? 😉 I’ll ponder on it today.

  5. Solidstate on

    @Thalian, this is exactly what group quests, normal instances and heroic instances are supposed to give you in WoW (except perhaps for the variable group size in instances).

    As for the rewards, typically apart from gear it will be rep, which leads to either “nice to have” items such as mounts, pets and tabards, or sometimes trinkets with nice use effects (but not raid oriented). Pretty nice rewards IMHO.

    > “Sure you can go run heroic instances with it, but you already have better gear than you are going to be able to get from there if you have really good raiding gear.”

    @Kanthalos, this is exactly why the token system was invented. But really, it seems to me that you are simply not a gear oriented player, which is what raid progression is all about. In that case, why not focus on professions, alts, socializing, AH, Achievements or one of the other focuses of the game? Unless you play 10 hours a day every day you’re not going to go through the massive amount of content WoW has to offer any time soon 🙂

  6. Anaktoria on

    To me the point is that I do not have 10 hours a day to play any MMO and if I want endgame progression in WoW it, for the most part, does require raiding. I like shiny purple gear. I don’t have hours upon hours to get it. A raid in my guilds generally took at least 2-4 hours, and when trying new bosses, it could take an entire weekend.

    Like I said, I enjoyed raiding quite a bit, but it’s too big of a time sync for only a chance at gear out of 10,25,40 etc other people. What would be wrong with cutting out some of the mobs, cutting respawns, having more instances similar to Gruul’s, Ony, etc (quick, dirty, fun) etc. You could say it is a skill thing, but honestly, more people wipe on the elevator in SSC than on the trash mobs. It adds a little to the necessity for speed and skill, but it’s also a bit of a pain in the ass for those who have a life outside the game.

    I’d love to be able to do end-game raiding again, but sadly yon days are gone.

  7. Carule Intentions on

    I’ve played a great many MMO’s and so far Blizzard has done a pretty good job of making everyone happy, compartively speaking. I’ll cite examples.

    PvP: Other games I’ve played there were no real rewards for players who chose the game simply for PvP. And as such, the raiders which far superior gear waylaid them. WoW has these rewards… and thus you don’t need to spend the countless hours doing something you don’t want to do in order to do the things you want to.

    1 for Blizzard.

    Raiding: It is not a new idea. Raid progression has been in much the same form since sometime around ’98, when Ruins of Kunark came out for EQ1. (Before that, the only mobs I can remember that were “raid content” were similer to Onyixa/Gruul… Nagafen and Vox. After Kunark came out it changed. Veeshan’s Peak introduced an entire zone specificly for the raider. Dum dum dummm…. then progression came with each expansion. And it was addictive. Competitive. And insanely fun for those that enjoy it.

    But also not a requirement for the game.

    WoW has continued this tradition. At the onset of the game there wasn’t much in the way of raid content. I suppose you could consider UBRS a raid. Maybe. But really there was just Onyxia and a couple contested bosses. You know the progression from there. You aren’t required to do the raids. But they are there for those that enjoy them.

    Single-player mode: There are a multitude of quests… and actually pretty GREAT quests that are FUN to do once or twice on a couple characters. I have never been a big fan of questing in other games… but WoW actually has a fun line of quests of varying kinds that you can do completely on your own with no gear at all, if you want.

    The ONLY limitation to this is that there is a finite number of quests. They could sit there and add new quests in every day… but that’s time consuming.

    Either way, there is only a finite amount of content they can realisticly put into a game. The easiest (and considered the most fun, by a lot of folks) is to introduce end-game content… which is designed to be slow-to-progress, difficult, and rewarding.

    It’s what you do when you’re done with everything else, basicly.

    But, if it’s not what you want… you can’t ask it to be changed. It’s why the majority of people play MMO’s. There is something for everyone already. If you can think of something they can add, which is realistic and isn’t detrimental to other’s gameplay…. think of it. Post some feedback on the forums. Get it introduced. They’re more than willing to put in content that will retain players. They want to make money. You want to be happy. It’s a lot more symbiotic than you think. 😀


  8. paul on


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    Kind Regards,


  9. Rob on

    You gear up to clear the content, and eventually, after completing the progression, you really are just “done.” You beat the game. You have to ask yourself -why- you did it – did you want the satisfaction of seeing and clearing the content? Did you want to have the best gear in the game to “show for” all the work you put in? Even in an MMORPG, there’s an end-point. There are many other things to do in WoW, though, even if you get the best gear in game – many fun quests and items to collect. But ultimately you really do “finish the game,” at which point you just have to wait until they expand the game so there’s something else to strive for.

    The concept of “getting gear so that you can run things to get better gear so you can run things to get better gear…” etc. is simply what the game is, what almost any MMORPG is – remember MUDs anyone? I still play one. I think having nostalgia for the “good old days” of classic WoW is just any other such nostalgia…you romanticize the times when the very concept of the game was fun and new, and you’re now bored of that concept. Well, not everyone is tired of the concept – and if Blizzard were to completely change the gameplay experience, they’d release it as a new game, not an “expansion” of a very popular and well-received franchise.

    All that said, I do like the idea of single person “challenges” that are not merely overworld quests and other types of minigames that give nice rewards. I also disagree with some things they have done / are doing…but I have faith that they’ll continue to introduce new and fun things to do over time.

  10. Adam on

    I am a hardcore raider, that started playing WoW post BC. For me raiding is the main goal, it is the sole reason I leveled my toon to 80, and its the sole reason I play the game. There are a lot of good thoughts in the posts I read. Some realistic, others not so much. What you have to be aware of is the majority of people do not, for many different reasons, reach the kind of “end game” content that we do. I say we because in my opinion, anyone who is posting to an “end game” blog is probably a heavy WoW Addict.

    I’m not sure where I read, or if its anything more than someone making statistics up, that approx. 9% of WoW players will get to a Kara level of game progression. Sounds low, I know, but with 9 million players, it is entirely possible that only 1 million of them would have the time, energy, and patience to do it.

    All in all blizzard has done an excellent job of keeping the majority of people happy. I am by no means happy while questing, but some people find that to be the most enjoyable part of the game. You could level a toon to 80 twice if you did every quest in the game. Professions, PvP, five man instances, raids, and even seasonal events seem to me to provide enough content for everyone to be happy and have something to do. With the new achievement system it adds an even more in depth way for people to to pride in something that they have accomplished. Have you seen how many fishing achievements there are?

    For me, raiding is the only “goal” in wow, and it would make sense that blizzard would spend an exorbitant amount of time in that area for the sole reason that it is the most popular. Account holders that don’t have a max level toon probably haven’t been an account holder for long, and if they have no desire to raid, they probably won’t be an account holder for much longer. Keep your base happy is a simple principle and Blizzard does it well.

  11. gaagmagog on

    Games should be fun, somewhere along the line, Blizzard forgot that simple fact. Ok, now we have to define “fun”: its different for everybody. Some enjoy raiding and WoW has plenty of it, done that, been there, tired of sitting on steps of Ulduar waiting for a fair rotation into 10 mans or else getting in 25mans and not getting anything. Seems like same people win the good gear and same people are left gasping like stranding fish, flopping around, getting depressed, or even angry. Not “fun”. can’t do away with raiding, that would be absurd. But there does need to be some solo content that gives solid rewards. People that don’t have 3-6 hours a night to raid or just don’t want to spend that amount of time raiding, should have alternatives. Well, in an ideal world….there would be no war or famine. But solo content is necessary, and to my thinking, pvp is ruining WoW because it is causing unnecessary nerfing of classes. If there was no pvp, the game would be much better and my deathknight would still be able to use the hybrid build that before 3.1 put out 5k dps consistently with t7 gear. i’ve quit twice since 3.1, today for the final time, cancelled my account. Just bored and sick of it all. Don’t want to level my 76 shammy any further cause it just doesn’t have the same appeal as playing a DK.. nor my warlock, nor my hunter. PVP is ruining the game. IMHO … 🙂 and everybody has one.

  12. maleficabbot on

    /whine I want free EPICS *FOOT STOMP*

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