Monedula over at Omen of Clarity has written a very interesting post regarding his point of view of what PVE has become. You can read the post here: How Blizzard killed PVE While I agree to some respects, I also disagree in a lot of ways as well. I think the points that Monedula and a lot of posts made by the commenters have made are based on the fact that they have a successful, stable guild on a server that is stable, resulting in not enough challenge for their guild. While I am in a stable progressive guild, the issues we have make us walk on a fine line which could collapse on us at any time. I can offer another point of view due to my situation and my server.
Lets start with a little history:
I play on Warsong-US which was once one of the most dominant and renown PVE progressive servers in it’s heyday. Unfortunately due a massive influx of BR’s and Russians and an infamous blue post stating that Warsong had amazing pvp balance, the server was flooded with users which inevitably drove away majority of the PVE progressive guilds to transfer. This leaves Warsong as a backwater server with minimal recruiting oppourtunities with majority being casual players that don’t even speak English.
If content were like it were in Vanilla WOW or Sunwell in TBC
The sheer obstacle/limitations of preventing guilds from clearing content would ensure that my guild (Daybreak) would definitely not exist. Players who are not invested to a guild/end goal would drop like flies/transfer to greener pastures and the recruitment pool available to us on the server is slim to none with 90% of the server speaking Portuguese. Cross server transfers is not an option as we are not the most progressive guild. Being a middle of the pack progressive guild, it is extremely challenging to find players locally (especially pre class homogenization) to fill gaps.
How do we survive?
Bringing new folks into raiding that started playing in TBC or even in WOTLK. Blizzard made content accessible (perhaps too accessible) providing an avenue for users to get interested or reinterested in raiding and participating in PVE content. If the content were so challenging that it wasn’t clearable the talent pool available to continue raiding dries up. I am sure a lot of the stable guilds out there have at least a few TBC/WOTLK raiders that picked up the game recently. No guild can The % of wow players that PVE in Ulduar are small as it is, but the number of stable progressive guilds is even fewer. Only through new players are guilds like mine able to survive and still be able to experience content.
How would other survive?
If you are a hard core raider and you want to be with the best, you will most likely transfer to play with the best. However, not everyone is of that mindset. While I am sure I could transfer to a much more progressive guild, I have enjoyed the time on Warsong and have made many friends that I have no intention of leaving. Warsong is my home (regardless of how shit it is) and it will probably continue to be my home until I stop playing. PVE the way it is allows me (and majority of my guild who are of the same mindset) to be semi hard core and experience all easy and some hard mode content while staying with friends.
Monedula is absoluetely right in it’s a marketing move to maximize their return from their investment/development into the game, it’s what a sound business does.
While there are those who enjoy trying to race for a world/region first trying to conquer content regardless of how many months it may take. There are few and far of the 12 million users that enjoy that and Blizzard needs to tailor the game towards the majority of the populace. Tailoring the game to the small percentage of folks that enjoy that challenge is not a sound business decision for a 5 year old game that will inevitably be replaced.
My thoughts on what Blizzard could do better:
- You’ve casualized instances for more players to experience it. Fine. Then make more than 1 hard mode only encounter and if you’re going to make it geared towards hard core raiders, make it extremely hard core. Don’t just make it hard because you have 1 hr to work on it. Make it near impossible (or just flat out impossible, lol C’thun?) and let those who want to ram their heads into a wall for 6 months do it.
- Make hard modes more worth while. There are few and far gear upgrades/reasons that I would want to pursue 25 man hard modes and only a few 10 man hard mode items that are worthwhile. If you want people to do hard modes, you have to make it worth a lot more appealing.
- Differentiate gear between 10/25 & hard modes. There is nothing more annoying than seeing a casual player running around in the same gear as me or even better gear than me due to RNG. Reward those that invest more time than others.
- Stop nerfing content on the fly every week. Let people learn and in the process become better players. Simplifying content constantly is reducing the talent pool of PVE players.
My thoughts to all those that are not happy:
- This game has changed dramatically over the 5 years of existence and it will continue to change for however long it is running. Those who have played long enough know this and learn to accept it.
- This is a game you choose to play, if the game no longer suits your style of play, it’s probably best you stop playing. Nobody is forcing you to play/pay, if you enjoy the game, play it!
- Don’t forget, Ulduar and 3.2 are your mid expansion instances (SSC/TK/Hyjal/BT), I am sure (at least I hope) WOTLK’s Sunwell will make us all cry like little girls
In case you’re wondering:
- I’ve been raiding since T2 dropped from MC
- Sunwell did cockblock my guild (midnight) into collapsing at Felmyst (pre 3.0)
- While I still continue to do 25 mans, my focus has shifted to 10 man as it’s alot more fun and a lot easier to progress.