Recently, Blizzard has begun the announcement of Patch 3.3 which will signify the end of WOTLK. With 3.3, will come Icecrown Citadel and Arthas which will be the culmination of this expansion. If you’re interested in seeing the patch notes or what’s coming soon, you can check out MMO-Champion or WorldofRaids for the latest news. This stirred up some of my thoughts on how WOW raiding is currently.
What defines a guild as hardcore/progressive these days anyways?
Based on achievements, I would say anyone that has completed Call of the Grand Crusade (25 Player) (hard mode if you weren’t sure) would fit that criteria. However if we look at GuildOx we can see that this is a very small elite group of guilds. Worldwide there are ~100 guilds that have accomplished this with #100 being on Oct 5th. In the US only 49 guilds have accomplished this feat to date. According to GuildOx this is 0.68% of the world’s 25 man guilds.
Lets consider some projections for the future.
Lets think about the current time line. Patch 3.3 details have already started coming out and is already available for testing on the PTR. Lets guesstimate that Blizzard will release 3.3 within the next 3 months (sounds reasonable right?). If that is the case, this gives all remainig guilds (hardcore or casual) 3 months to clear the remaining content.
Now lets look at how reasonable this is, first lets look at your guild as a whole. Lets assume you have 25 raiders (what a dedicated guild right?) and lets say that 75% of these people are interested in 4pt9 and the remainder are only interested in 2pt9. Specifically I am referring to the ilv 258 T9 (T9.5) which is the highest ilv T9 available (232, 245 and finally 258). This specific T9.5 is a token that drops from the tribute chest that is obtained from the successful completion of Heroic TOGC with the following criteria:
Now based on the assumptions above, you would technically need 88 trophies to gear your whole raid with ilv 258 T9.5. Another factor to consider is that the Regalia work on the old Vanquisher, Conqueror and Protector system so there is always a chance that you may get shutout of the tokens you need but for simplicity sake lets assume that whatever token you need will drop.
Ok, so lets assume your guild is above average and you’re already pretty close to killing Anub on heroic mode. So lets assume next week you already managed to complete TOGC with 45 attempts left, or in other words, giving you access to 4 Regalia tokens a week going forward. Based on the fact that your guild needs 88 trophies, this would take you a total of 22 weeks to completely gear your raid or… are you ready for it?
FIVE TO SIX MONTHS
Ok, now I bet the first thing you are thinking of right now is “well not everyone needs to have 4pt9 or 2pt9 and not everyone needs to have ilv 258 since you’ll have ilv 245 T9 already so your argument sucks!”. This is true, but you need to take into account human nature. Nobody wants to do anything unless there is something in it for them, or simply people will only go to TOGC if they are going to get the loot they want. If it is going to take that long to get what you want, a lot of people will naturally decide that the gear they have currently (from TOC 25 etc) is sufficient.
The point of my rant is the EFFORT:REWARD ratio doesn’t quite seem to make sense right now. If it will take my guild 5-6 months to reward everyone, what is the point if 3.3 will be arriving in 3 months? Now I know that 3 months is an assumption and I could be completely off base, but I don’t think PTR testing has ever gone on for that long and definitely not 5-6 months. Couple this to the fact that the EFFORT:REWARD ratio for TOC 25 normal is ridiculously good, you can have extremely good gear without every stepping into heroic mode. Finally add to this the fact that all the gear is exactly the same except for a little green “heroic” tag and better stats, meaning there isn’t even an aesthetic reason to do heroic mode.
I’m not trying to say that you should stop raiding and that there’s no point to hard modes, quite the contrary and I do enjoy doing content and am continuing to work on hard modes as we speak. The problem here lies in that not everyone will put in that extra effort and the writing is on the wall in that there’s really no reason to bust your balls hard because by the time you do get to the fruits of your labour (and most likely before you get there) 3.3 will be here, there will already be higher lv of gear available with a much lower EFFORT:REWARD ratio.