Good morning, happy campers!
I am putting aside my animosity towards the “Additional instances cannot be launched, please try again later” issue for a moment, not because it’s fixed on my server, or because trying again later ever actually works, but because I was shocked to actually be allowed to run a single Stockades on an alt after only 5 minutes of humping the gateway yesterday.
I was pretty doggone ticked off at trying to do a Mechanar, Botanica and Karazhan over the weekend with friends, and having it be an blue fail. We eventually did get into Botanica, but even with 5 people spending, what, 30 minutes trying to get into Karazhan, we still couldn’t get in. That’s crap.
But what the hell, I got into Stockades, got 5 quests done in one shot, and can now alt-move on to other things.
I do intensely miss being able to just ‘pop into’ an instance and have fun whenever I wanted. I never took it for granted before, because I don’t think there’s anything there TO take for granted. It’s supposed to always be available, because you get a group together, and then you go do something as a team. The challenge is supposed to be in playing your character well in a group, not in seeing if the group can get into an instance before personality pressures tear it apart.
In some respects, I understand the idea that you can go and do other things… but it’s been going on in my server for over a month. At what point will someone comprehend that there is a limit on other things to do besides what could be argued to be the core of the game?
I don’t know why other people work to upgrade their PvE gear through training crafting, gathering, questing, grinding rep, and such odd stuff, but for me it’s so I can then take that gear and my own happy self into an instance or raid and play with others, and hold my own as part of the team.
If you take away the instances, the playing as a group aspect, well, I just don’t see the point. There’s only so powerful I need to be to kill Murlocs, after all.
And if the point is that at least you can get into level 80 raids and heroics (most of the time), and the rest of the stuff isn’t of any importance, well… I guess message received.
Anyway, they seem to be upgrading or repairing their issues on a server by server basis, at their own pace, and I guess I just have to wait and hope that someday it will be Kael’thas’ turn.
In the meantime, I do feel a little deflated about playing at the top end. Just a little.
The reason goes back to Patch 3.2, Conquest Emblems, Triumph Emblems, and Trial of the Champion. It also goes back to my point on “just how powerful do I need to be to kill Murlocs”.
Everyone plays at a different level of content. And due to various playstyles, sure, different folks will advance at different rates of speed.
I really do appreciate the effort Blizzard has put into making more powerful gear easily available to smaller groups of players and to new alts at this stage of the expansion, helping get people past the “Run Naxx ten times just to catch up to your new raiding guild in Ulduar” situation.
No, I can’t imagine a better way for them to go about it right now. I’m too tired, and I feel very, very ill today. I’m hoping I can push past it. Too much work to do.
What the consequences of the changes have meant for me, personally, is that I have been made aware that a lot of my currently equipped gear, both as a Bear Tank and as a Tree Healer, gear that was more than adequate to smoothly complete every single bit of content we were doing, up to and including full clears of Naxx, is really sub-par.
There are other Bear Tanks in our guild, folks like Faydre, that started their Druid 6 months or more after Wrath was released, that are now far better geared than my Druid is, in both sets, because he’s been able to run Trials and Heroics more often than I have, and has gotten more drops and Emblems.
I’ve never been one to care about who’s got better gear than whom, but it is startling to realize that after playing and raiding and running with my Druid since November in Wrath, and getting drops from both 10 and 25 man raids, that after the release of just one patch, my gear is just so much scrap metal. If we were in a raiding guild, why would they want me to ever tank, when someone else has leaped ahead in survivability so far?
At least, that’s how it seems to have taken the server trade chat.
The point to remember, though, is my gear ain’t scrap metal. The existing content did not get buffed to compensate for the gear upgrades that are available. It’s still the same content. The gear available from running heroics has just been significantly boosted to Ulduar levels.
All that has really happened, is that the new gear that you can get makes the stuff you could already do become that much easier, and if you get enough of it, it positions you to be able to ease into the starter Ulduar raiding lane on the progression highway.
If you’re not getting any of the new gear, you’re still able to do your job at the same progression level exactly the same as before.
This seems to be a point that is escaping a lot of people, at least on my server.
I’ve seen an explosion in pickiness. People looking for more people to join a simple 10 person Naxx pug… that must be in Conquest gear or Trials loot.
Seriously, you’re begging for people to join you, but they’ve got to be in the best casual gear out there to even qualify?
I’ve been running Trials on Heroic a lot, simply because I know that a bunch of folks are eager to get nice neat new drops. I’ve enjoyed seeing and playing through the challenges in various ways and with different tactics, and I think it’s a lot of fun.
Heck, I even got that nice leather tanking/DPS hat the other day, and was delighted. I’d been wearing the same blue quality PvP hat since last November.
No, I’d never gotten the last Wintergraps Marks of Honor I needed to buy the Titan-Forged Helm.
Those Marks I saved won’t go to waste, however. Have you seen those gorgeous new Titan-Forged pants for tanky Druids? /drool! My new goal, ’cause I’m getting in a PvP mood again anyway.
But why did I still have the blue hat? Why didn’t I press on and get the Titan-Forged months ago? It was soooo easy to do! No skill needed, just time in Wintergrasp!
Because I was already tanking just fine, that’s why, even before Patch 3.2 came along.
I understand, for DPS players, the struggle to increase your damage output is an ongoing process.
For healers, being able to heal that much faster, or with that much more Mana to last longer, or with bigger heals to make each heal do a bigger job with less casting, it’s all huge.
But for a tank, there is simply one question. “How squishy am I to heal?”
Sure, the better your gear, the longer you can last without heals… but after a certain point, there is only so much threat you need to generate, and when all the healers you enjoy playing with bitch, piss and moan because it’s too easy to keep you alive, and end up using Hurricane on every pull to have something to do… well, maybe after a while, you can figure you’re geared well enough for what you’re doing. There’s no real need to claw your way any further.
Now here we are, with this big batch of gear available through Emblems of Conquest, Emblems of Valor, and Emblems of Triumph by doing Heroic dailies.
And some folks seem to have decided that, if you ain’t in the very best possible, you’re just not good enough.
My gear will improve dramatically just by playing with friends doing the same old content, but I just don’t need it. We’re doing fine as it is.
Good lord, we did Loken in Halls of Lightning on Heroic the other day, and in each case, there were two ways to do it; the way the mechanics are designed to deal with, and just walk up, aggro and burn down while standing still at top speed.
We just stood there on everything, and burned it down with no issues. Ate the first bosses’ electrical charge, ate the exploding mud men, ate Loken’s explosion… didn’t matter.
How much more powerful do we have to be? I only have like two or three upgrades from 3.2 myself. Do I really need to be that uber?
I’m thinking what we’re supposed to do is finally shut up about being bored with running Naxx, gear up from Heroics and Trials and get our butts into Ulduar.
Okay, that doesn’t sound too bad, really. Get everyone caught up…
IF (and it’s a mighty big if) running progression raids is the only point of playing.
Me, I’d kind of like to see all the lower level instances and raids opened back up, you know what I mean? I’d really rather not get to the point that Trials, level 80 Heroics and Ulduar are the only instances that we can get into at all.
Oh, and besides raiding, what is the point of collecting up all the shiny new gear?
Heck, soloing more difficult content, of course!
Kinda hard to do that when you can’t get into Kara, though. Grrr….