The side-grind of raiding

Back when Molton Core was the first raid in WoW, Blizzard ‘nerfed’ it by introducing fire resist gear. These days they nerf raids by turning god-mode on for everyone and letting them breeze through the content. Trion also elected to nerf content rather than provide content-specific paths to power.

Of course the first method also introduces new content, even if it is just a separate gear grind that’s only useful for one raid. The upside here is that players can decide how far to go down that path, and in turn how easy to make said raid. If you already had MC on farm, you did not need the new gear. If you struggled on Rag, you could always equip more people with fire resist gear to up your chances. Keep gearing people up until you down him, then move on.

The addition of a side-grind is less entertaining than a whole new raid, obviously, but given limited dev resources, I’d rather get a small patch with a side progression path than one that just outright makes everything easier by nerfing the mobs and buffing the players. From the “keep them subbed” standpoint, a side-grind accomplishes this goal better than the nerfs as well. Not that this fully explains why WoW was able to retain players so well back then, but it certainly helped.

10 Responses to The side-grind of raiding

  1. Warsyde says:

    While I agree with what you’re saying, I’m curious to hear how you’d propose Trion could have accomplished something similar rather than nerf the Tier 2 dungeons. Just to be clear, I’m not saying they should have nerfed them in the first place, I’m just curious as to how you’d apply your alternative.

    A side grind seems like a fine idea for a raid, which is often a single “themed” set of encounters that can take weeks or months to work through. A five man dungeon doesn’t really seem to lend itself to that though.

    • SynCaine says:

      I don’t think the 5 mans needed a nerf. Over time people would have geared up anyway, be it through T1 runs or world stuff. As the overall power level of the playerbase increased, the 5 mans would have naturally been ‘nerfed’. Gutting them was a knee-jerk over-reaction to the introduction of the DF.

      For the raids, GS is nature-themed, RoS is death. Perhaps tune a few bosses to deal more of that kind of damage, and then provide ways to get that kind of resist.

      • Paul says:

        There already is a way to get resist in Rift: specialize your planar focus with particular essences that hav that resistance, and use resist runes. The latest world event also has a planar focus with water resist.

  2. Rammstein says:

    That’s not my recollection, and browsing through the wowwiki patch notes I’m not seeing that to be the case either. What I’m seeing in wowwiki is that MC came out in 1.1, and most of the fire resist gear was available in 1.1 Some new fire resist gear looks to have been added in 1.6, but that’s when BWL came out, and I know that I personally used that gear only in BWL, not in MC. Then in 1.7 a few of the crafted fire resist items that were BoP became BoE.

    I just don’t agree that fire resist was ever regarded as nerfing, or side-grinding, by blizzard. They designed mc, bwl, and AQ40 with the assumption that everyone would acquire resist gear as part of the normal, non-side, gearing process. They then basically abandoned resistance gear as an idea thenceforth.

    I must admit I’m confused by these posts, I recently read your 2007 post on how your WoW raiding was a sickness, and now your position on Rift seems to be that its raiding just needs to be more like WoW, back when raiding WoW was a sickness for you. Are you looking to get sick again? Or did you change your perspective?

    • SynCaine says:

      Raiding as much as we did back then was unhealthy, but that had a lot more to do with how we played than the content itself. Being an officer was one of the major issues as well. We had plenty of people who played as much back then as I do now.

      I’m thinking of the dark iron gear, which I know was not available when MC came out, and was around when we finally downed Rag. It was also useful in BWL, yes. AQ40 never got direct nature-resist gear, though you could get pieces from other instances and, if I remember correctly, Silithus rep grinds.

    • Rammstein says:

      http://www.wowwiki.com/Patch_1.1

      In this patch, MC comes out, and Dark Iron gear has its stats modified. Ergo, Dark Iron gear was out well before MC. Additional (and higher quality) pieces of Dark Iron gear were added when BWL came out in 1.6, I’m suspecting that’s what you are remembering.

      2007 — “Because simply put, you can’t ‘casually’ raid. It’s just not possible if you want to make progress. It’s designed that way, and every developer knows it.”

      2011 – “Raiding as much as we did back then was unhealthy, but that had a lot more to do with how we played than the content itself.”

      There’s definitely a contradiction there, not that it’s unusual for someone’s opinion to change in 4 years, just wondering as to specifics.

      • SynCaine says:

        Yea it’s the BWL update I’m thinking of, since that allowed people to really stack fire resist gear up to the cap.

        As for the quotes, its a pretty complex subject to just pin to a few lines. I mean, I think you CAN casually raid and still make progress (back then we were shooting for server-firsts, which is a totally different beast), but there will also always be those who play a lot more to get that world/server/whatever first, somewhat setting the pace.

        For me that was all during college, so instead of getting hammered every night, I was online playing WoW. Most of our core back then was in a similar situation, and at the time it worked. Then we graduated, got ‘real lives’, but still tried to keep to that raiding schedule. That part more than anything was the sickness. I can’t say I regret not going out more or whatever during college when I was playing WoW, as I did plenty of that as well. But you just have a silly amount of free time in college; it’s basically a four year, full time paid vacation.

        What’s funny, looking back at all of it now, is what pressured us into making progress so fast was Blizzard and the upcoming release of new stuff. We wanted to see the vanilla raid content, but we knew the closer we got to BC, the less motivated everyone would be about raiding, so we pushed hard to get into NAX before that happened. Prior to that, it was the upcoming release of BWL that pushed us through MC, and then the AQ40 release with BWL.

        If we knew we had time, we could have slowed down. I think that’s possible today, especially given how raid content plays today vs how it was back then.

        But yea, a ton of factors go into the post from 2007 and the one today. The games have changed, I’ve certainly changed, and the general approach to content has, IMO, changed.

      • Rammstein says:

        It is indeed a difficult and complex idea, difficult to condense down into a few sentences. I suppose the reason I asked for clarification is that the parallels to my own experience were fairly striking, I too was an officer in a server first 40 man raid guild and quit just before BC came out, so a similar time. I didn’t write a blogpost at the time, although perhaps I might have had I had a blog to put it in. I quit to join a chamber music ensemble and a club sports team, which I pursued fully as addictively as I did WoW, so perhaps that wasn’t enough of a change to bring up any bitterness. Amazing how much more socially acceptable those hobbies were, though.

        • SynCaine says:

          Raiding at that level is a major issue I think. It becomes unacceptable to not raid on a weeknight, and weekends are used to speed-clear older raids. We literally raided 7 nights a week, with 3-4 of them being progression content (wipe, try again, wipe, all night).

          Had we not cared as much, and limited it to 2-3 nights a week, I’m not sure that post gets written.

  3. coppertopper says:

    For what its worth, the daily raid rift drops basically tier 1.5 gear. For a 20min effort (once the 20 people are assembled), getting a drop from their saves hours and hours of expert dungeon runs.

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