See? Blizzard learns

Hey, like the Brontosaurus sometimes, but better late than never. WotLK info from Bliz, via WoW Insider :

  • All 5-man dungeons will have a Heroic mode
  • Heroic dungeons will have a separate loot table than non-Heroics
  • A new token system will be used, similar to the Badge of Justice one used now (*)
  • The 5-man instances are designed to not take more than an hour (*)
  • All raid dungeons will have both 10-man and 25-man versions (*)
  • The 10 and 25-man progressions will not depend on each other (*)
  • There will be no attunements or keys necessary for any raid (*)
  • The 25-man loot will be a tier higher than the 10-man loot
  • The 10 and 25-man versions of the same raid will be on different timers so that each can be attempted on the same day by the same people (*)

I know a couple hundred people that will be happy.

(*): A lot of people (myself included) have been asking for something like this – or very, very similar – for two years now. This is Bliz, opening the cage of raiding and letting it out to play with everybody. Designing for the 1% was, and is, just bull. Grats on this one go to Irvine.

P.S.: Tempted to explain why each of those points is a very good thing, but I trust our readers don’t really need any explanation. Plus, people always tell me I type and talk too much.

15 thoughts on “See? Blizzard learns”

  1. Hooray!

    Finally, Now that Blizzard has done it, the rest of the market can get to copying!

    Seriously, all they have to do is improve the game at a glacier pace to stay on top, because everyone else is moving at a sub-glacier pace. They are still winning by listening slowly.

  2. Very nice news. Too bad Blizzard won’t copy anyone else and put in a betrayal quest or include a faction/race change in the character transfer service.

  3. You know… this may be enough to get me to buy Lich King when it comes out and raise my Hunter to 80. It really might be. That is if I’m not too addicted to Conan still, or even WAR.

    WoW is sort of getting “old” for the lack of a better term, no?

  4. I think people have been suggesting this stuff since before MC hit the floor, but yeah its good they finally got off their high horse and listened. I don’t know if it’d be enough to motivate me to go and get my 60 druid and warlock to 80 just to experience it, but it is a step in the right direction. Btw they are copying someone, prolly a lot of someone’s, but one notable one is City of Heroes with its very flexible dungeon system.

  5. WoW is getting old, but Nick is absolutely right that they are, essentially, still the leader, and not just because they have the most subscribers. There are a lot of games out there that do something that WoW doesn’t, but that’s the thing: they do maybe one or two thing WoW doesn’t. Conan has the slightly more complex and twitchy combat system, for example, and more modern graphics (although I don’t think they’re necessarily better, just a different type of art direction), but that’s about it.

    Until someone comes out with something remarkably innovative and laps Blizzard twice in one go, it’s not going to matter how old WoW is, I don’t think. They’ve done the one thing that makes them viable: it’s fun no matter where you are in the game. Leveling is fun, level 70 casual is fun, raiding is fun, hell, PvP is mostly fun, even fishing is fun. Most of the other available games have sections of gameplay that are fun, and others that you simply struggle to get through so you can have fun, but WoW, with the exception of maybe the 45-55 grind, is just generally polished and enjoyable, with something clever and entertaining to do.

  6. I don’t see any difference with 5 mans, they already improved them in TBC, making them shorter and with quick exits near the end.

    Of course 2 versions of every raid might explain why it is taking them so long, that’s a lot of testing, and each bug may have to be fixed twice depending on how they did it.

    I expect more drama still about rewards. What about getting to the first 25 man, I wonder if you can do that without doing any 10 mans?
    If so, then that means guilds won’t have to break up into 2 teams and all the drama that ensues with that. But if not, then if that means the 10-man loot will be close enough to the 25 man loot then who will bother doing 25 mans? Will that make it harder to recruit for those guilds? No matter what people say they enjoy, we end up often acting based on the incentives we’re given.

    It’s great to have options. It’s the balancing that’s hard.

  7. I meant “also” not “but if not”. (I deleted a sentence in there).
    There are real problems of balance that aren’t addressed in a list of features, problems because WoW is loot-centric to begin with.

  8. Don’t be surprised if the next expansion after WotLK drops 25-man raids altogether and sticks with 5 and 10s.

    You read it first here.

  9. I am worried that

    The 5-man instances are designed to not take more than an hour

    means that there will be less content — i.e. same number of dungeons, but shorter individually.

    I also think that the attunement change is a bad one. One good thing about the system is that is directed inexperienced raiders on the correct path. It is much harder to judge without this system whether this epic bracer is good enough to raid this dungeon or whether you will need to farm this dungeon a few dozen more times to get it without that sort of obvious progression. World of Warcraft’s raiding needs a complete overhaul in terms of itemization to make this change fit. It’s a step in the right direction, to be sure, but it does not benefit new raiders.

    None of this is enough to make me return to WOW, as I dislike how casual and shallow a game it is even at this stage; in fact, I loathe what it is becoming with a passion. It is ultimately a good thing for the game, however, because it further defines its style and purpose.

    …hope that was coherent.

  10. I think this is the best thing that they can do without completely redesigning the game from the ground up.

    Can you blame them?

    When you have millions of players who have become exclusively gear-focused, and grind-focused, there is no way to simply change that focus. You have to take that massive, beautiful but boring beast of WoW and try to improve it.

    You have to start designing from day one with a better focus (not gear), in order to make it work. They can’t simply go back and change the very foundations, so this is the best that they can add/

    Perhaps World of Starcraft will be better…

  11. The one point that needs clarification there is that the heroic 5-man dungeons were not designed for one hour. That said, they’ll probably still take less than two hours, and that’s a step away from Shadow Labyrinth and (long before that) LBRS.

  12. the ONLY reason Blizzard is finally listening is because of games like AoC/War coming out that will ACTUALLY CHALLENGE them for once. I hope people see through the WoW gimicks and find a better game. Wows graphics/gameplay is 2 years outdated. Glad I realized that in time before I bought another crappy Xpak.

  13. I can’t wait for the inevitable raid progression that allows 10-mans to pick up the lower end 25-man gear. You just know the forums will erupt in flames when they realize that.

  14. I think the big question is whether the 10-mans are going to have easier gameplay, or just easier logistics. I could see the yelling going both directions.

  15. The first poster said it all in this thread. Blizzard HAS been changing and improving, just very slowly and deliberately. This is to avoid traumatic and ill-advised class and gameplay shifts such as EverQuest repeatedly experienced, which did as much harm as good.

    I think Blizzard’s overall goal is integration: they want to pull the raiders into the casual game and encourage alt play, and they want the alt-players to learn how to do basic raids and simple PVP. They don’t want to make it mandatory, because that leads to QQing. But they want to gently _encourage_ people to experience different play styles.

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