The blog sphere has brought this topic up, essentially there are a few camps:

Hardcore Raiders
Feel the current raiding quality / quantity is not high enough, and would like to see some real progression even within instances. This likely mimics the difficulty of the tier five instances where most guilds (once attunements removed) could down Void Reaver and Lurker, but had to work a little for Hydross and Al'ar before moving onto the rest.

This is however the Karazhan of instances, so likely they are looking for something like Curator which was the key to the latter half of the instance (Naxx has similar, however its more typically difficulty due to the random lag difficulty mode applied by the server). The curator wasn't a raw DPS check (though he did that), he was a DPS, co-ordination (can you make people kill 12k adds), burst (can you kill 12k adds in 10s at approximately 500dps / player), and a healing check / movement check (yes Curator could kill a blue tank quite easily).

I don't think hardcore raiders are asking for twitch fights or even raw gear checks, but rather fights where you need to co-ordinate 25 people and have 20+ of them survive. Heigan is a great example of this, his floor now easily kills 13 of my raid every week (never more than 8 manned it by the end including combat resses and stones), yet we can down him with 8, heck we can down him with 2. There is no skill in Heigan's floor, there is no twitch, it is literally moving between 4 set points on the floor in order at a set pace (the melee have it slightly harder since the pre-dance steps seem to alter in length slightly). There is no dps during this phase, no complex dps here, watch cooldowns, avoid the fire, and do something, it is simply moving, and most people die in the fire.

I would likely put myself in this category, you turn up and raid. People know roughly what the boss is about, and grasp it fairly quickly. Similar to hardcore raiders it would be nice to have options in what to do. I think one of the best times in WoW TBC was actually with the removal of attunements and the option to raid:

Gruul: 1-2
Magtheridon: 1
Serpent Shrine Cavern: 1-4
Tempest Keep: 1-3
Mount Hyjal: 1-2
Black Temple: 1-4
Karazhan: 1-11

All those are relatively easy bosses and downable with a reasonable group, now we have the lag fest that is Naxxramas 25...

Raiders in terms of skill are a mixed bunch, some moving and fighting, some being stationary turrets, yet none of the fights in Naxx are twitch. The twitchiest fight is Thaddius, a 5+ second (casting animation + 5s grace) swap of polarities, this has been mentioned as twitchiness, spatial awareness and similar as a challenge, yet it has none of those since its is a case of run forwards to the boss when you see him cast, run backwards if you don't change / forward if you do. Comparing the twitchiness of this to something like Rainbow 6 is like comparing paint by numbers to the Cisteen chapel, in Rainbow 6 taking the 5s to thing about his cast will get you shot in the head looking at a loading screen for the next hour and a half as two players refuse to die :P.

Formerly Non-Raiders
I think the casuals have come out well from Blizzards new design scheme, in that the raiding instances are all available to them at the moment. This is a good thing, but it makes me worry when I hear "its too twitchy" or "20 people died on Heigan". The level of difficulty is likely to ramp up, we haven't seen a Karazhan equivalent yet (Prince thrashing for more than your health total and doing it at random), we have complaints.

I think its a good thing to open up the instances, and even more so to make badge gear grow with the top level instance. Nothing in my mind is worse than not being able to move guild or go do something else because you didn't in the past, this isn't heart surgery where we need to know what a heart is, the old badge gear scaling allowed players to see more content, and filled the gaps. I have heard so many people say "allow badge gear, but only to ilevel 200", frankly thats annoying. Allow it to whatever, cover the RNG holes, give people the chance once Icecrown is out to buy T8 equivalent gear for badges because otherwise we will have problems gearing people up to that level to see it. I was a badge tank for 90% of TBC (stupid paladin optimisation :P), and you know I didn't feel any worse than someone in full T5 because I worked for my gear a heck of a lot harder in terms of hours and similar to be fully kitted out, and I made the choices that were correctly optimised for the role I wanted to play. Badge gear allows for choices, not for "I have T8 therefore I am better than T7).

As a random aside, Ghostcrawler noted that T7 was badly optimised, most of our gear is, some people didn't understand this until you explain that any piece of gear without the correct stats on it (4 of your best stats) is under-optimised for what you want to be doing. Now Blizzard says this is to make the tiers different rather than simply +2 to spell power, but that is not true at least from a Paladin perspective.

Tier 4: Generic Tanking Gear
Tier 5: Block Tanking Gear
Tier 6: Avoidance/ threat Tanking Gear
Tier 6.5: Threat Tanking gear

The tiers weren't simply clones of each other as GC implies, instead they were subtly different and had a purpose for each new tier. If we are going to see new content, why not have the gear we wear tailored to that level and then give us the option to mix and match as needed. 13 Ilevels can be a huge difference when gear is intended for different tasks rather than simply focusing towards one specific role.


Posh said...

Very well writen post, sums the whole community up pretty well. And like your look at the gear in the last phrase. You are so right in saying it aint all just black and white. I liked the gear way in TBC as well.
I have not been the biggest fan of badge gear, but I have grown with the idea. And your points make it even clearer.

Btw I have added you to my blogroll, seems like you are producing some very well thought posts.

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