A lot has been said about raiding becoming too dumbed down in 4.2 much like it was in Wrath and this post is aimed at "solving" the issue.
Problem 1: Blizzard wants us all to see the content and feel like we're not all miles behind the best guilds;
Problem 2: Hard core guilds want hard content;
Problem 3: Normal players want challenging content;
Problem 4: Epics for running heroics kills lower tier of raiding from same expansion;
The solution struck me whilst listening to Totalbiscuit read an email on the Blue Plz! show from June 4th. We can solve all problems at once.
Multiple Tier Raiding
As the expansion launches with 2 tiers of raiding and 3 difficulty settings.
Everyone starts at normal mode of the entry tier and can only unlock heroic modes by defeating the end boss of each dungeon (granted a mute point for the single boss raids). However this only unlocks the heroic mode for the 1st tier of raiding. To unlock the heroic mode of the 2nd tier guilds must complete the heroic modes of the 1st tier.
At the first major content patch we get 1 more tier of raiding and open up the normal mode for the 2nd tier of raiding for those guilds that only cleared the 1st tier on normal. While guilds that cleared all 3 levels of raiding content can move straight onto the heroic mode of the 3rd tier of raiding.
This cycle simply repeats and allows all to catch up simply by completing the normal mode of all previous dungeons, the heroic version of the current normal dungeon which in turn opens up the current heroic tier of raiding. No nerfs are required to open up dungeons to everyone as that is the purpose of the normal mode dungeons.
The final patch of the expansion (NOT the pre-patch for the incoming expansion) opens up the normal mode of the last raid. Using Wrath as the example (so I can go through the full expansion cycle) the patches for Wrath would have been:
- 3.0 - Naxxramas, Obsidium Sanctum and Eye of Eternity (Normal and Heroic) and Ulduar (Heroic)
- 3.1 - Ulduar (Normal) and Trial of the Crusader (Heroic)
- 3.2 - Trial of the Crusader (Normal) and Onyxia (Heroic)
- 3.2.2 - Onyxia (Normal) and Icecrown Citadel (Heroic)
- 3.3 - Icecrown Citadel (Normal) and Ruby Sanctum (Heroic)
- 3.3.5 -Ruby Sanctum (Normal)
Of course the pacing would need to be balanced to solve the Wrath issues and the way to deal with the token loots needs to be addressed still.
The way to deal with badge/emblem/points loot is simple have only 1 set of points. Points are awarded for killing bosses (inc 5 man normal and heroics) and apply a multiplier based on their difficulty. As an example:
- Normal 5 man bosses (at the correct level range) - 10 points
- Heroic 5 man bosses (assumed only at level cap) - 50 points
- 1st Tier Raid Bosses (current expansion only) - 100 points
- 2nd Tier Raid Bosses (current expansion only) - 200 points
- 3rd Tier Raid Bosses (current expansion only) - 300 points
- 10th Tier Raid Bosses (current expansion only) - 1000 points
The way to control the loot for previous tiers is simple, the vendors in instances sell gear that is no higher than the loot that drops in that instance. This means that you need to be able to access the instance to buy the gear required to clear the instance. The final issue to be solved is running multiple lower tier raids to get gear faster from instances you are able to access. This issue can be solved 2 ways:
- by implementing a cap based on number of bosses killed per week;
- only awarding points based on progression so if you're in at 3rd tier you only get awarded points for 2nd and 3rd tier boss kills;
Do you think this would work? Is it totally impractical? How would you solve the problems?