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.

What?

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….

25 Responses to “It’s not flat, but it’s got a slow leak”
  1. Breen says:

    I’ve never really understood the need to get every possible upgrade. My point of view is, can I kill this boss? Then I’m good. If I can get an upgrade outside of instances and raids then I’ll get it, but if someone else needs it more then me, they can have it with my blessing and maybe a gem or 2. I’m just happy to kill the boss.
    .-= Breen´s last blog ..New Project: Animated Tauren Bear Druid Avatars =-.

  2. Elathan says:

    Quoted “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.
    What?
    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?”

    Yeah, I ran into this problem just the other night, got asked to tank for a VoA pug, and then got kicked from the group. When I messaged them and asked why, the raid leader said it was because my “Gearscore” (some new fangled add-on) wasn’t over 4300 or some BS number like that. Bear in mind, my druid is in full naxx 25 with a few ulduar peices for a tanking set, and I have succesfully tanked VoA several times with my gear. So, all of a sudden I am no good at tanking in the gear I have because of a new patch and some new add-on that gives an arbitrary number to your gear? Oh and that number is based on WHERE the gear drops, not if it is suited to what your spec is or if it is even enchanted or gemmed properly, which is where I have a HUGE issue with. I see an alarming trend toward this “Gearscore” crap because it focuses only on “oh something shiny” and not whether you have the needed skills to be able to use it. I can understand people who PUG want it to be a succesful run with minimal wipes, but I think there is a better way to determine if the person you are about to join with is skilled at what he/she does, whatever the role may be than by looking at an number generated through an add-on written by someone else. Using a little common sense might be the first step….. Gee look at their achievements and see if they have done similar content, or maybe even done that raid/instance before, couldn’t hurt……… True, there are always going to be the random idiot that got carried through everything while they sat in the back picking their nose and lucked into getting some good drops from places because people didn’t want to see them get sharded, and you only find this out after the first pull and wipe when they ask the most moronic of questions (i.e. what’s LOS mean? and no I am not kidding) But those are the chances we take to play the game Those are just my two cents. Thanks again for the great post BBB, always a good read. Also, thanks for letting me rant, that subject has been really eating at me since it has happened, and now I feel better, finally got it off my chest.

  3. Dorgol says:

    I agree with you BBB. I remember when they added the Sunwell badge gear. Everyone and their dog was foaming at the mouth to get that gear. People were farming badges for it months before 2.4 was released. This gear was AMAZING, they said. Everyone MUST HAVE SOME, they said.

    I sat back and looked at my gear. Was I in Black Temple epics? Nope. Was I, maybe, in SSC and TK epics? Nope. Was I in Karazhan and ZA epics? Yep. Was I healing through Kara and ZA without effort? Yep. Did I NEED gear to do my job better? Nope. And since I wasn’t going to be moving into TK and SSC – much less Hyjal, BT, Sunwell – I saw no point in getting the new badge gear. Instead, I brought my mage to Karazhan and heroics and got him a nice, shiny, dagger – which I’m still using at level 76.

    When I look at the new Conquest and Triumph loot, I see some pieces that are amazing. But, to date, I’ve only actually bought gear for my OFF SPEC – because the gear I get for my main spec is sufficient for the content I am facing. As that content gets more complicated, that gear will get upgraded.

    Oh, and people looking “LFM H HoL, 3k DPS only” are just cheating themselves out of a fun run with subpar DPS. :)

  4. Kattrinsaa says:

    hi guys, long time no type..
    been doing the family thing so haven’t been updating my blog.

    I quite agree with BBB, this is a game, not a job. It is supposed to be fun, not micromanaged and run through a mini-computer to see if the desired results will be acheived. Part of the fun for me, was getting a random bunch of misfits together, going somewhere i’d never been, doing something i’d never done. And kickin back and looking at the scenery a bit. That’s my one gripe about my heal offspec, i see only the vudoh panel and look around once in a while when we are moving down a hallway. Much prefer the view from behind the antlers.

    For people like that dude with the gear check.. There’s a groucho marx (i think) quip that fits the bill.. “I’d never belong to a group that would have me as a member.”

    I actually miss Kara.. (i know call me crazy) but I enjoyed opera, chess, and the two dragons.

    I liked kara better than the eye, better than what I did see of BT, or hyjal.

    I have thouroughly been over naxx in 10 and 25, have peeked in on the first three bosses in uldar. still haven’t bothered with malygos yet. and have only seen the 5man non-heroic trial. (which i thought was fun, and quick)

    More often than not, when I do manage to get the rugrats in bed and can sneak away to my computer, I play around with one of my leveling alts. Getting to take out a quest or two, maybe go up a level, gives me a bit of a sense of accomplishment for my time i’m chiseling out of what’s left of my day.

    My new druid badmoorising (tauren in case you were wondering..) is mid 20’s it’s like a brand new game to me, to be back at that level set and also on the other side of the coin. (Katt’s a nelf) I must say.. leveling in the 20’s is a lot easier than i remember it. (easier/faster leveling + lvl 20 60% mount.. i wonder whyi think that…)
    .-= Kattrinsaa´s last blog ..What’s in a game? =-.

  5. Sparky says:

    I feel a little dissillusioned about loot as well, for a similar reason

    I am still the best geared shaman in my guild – but we raid a lot. We’re in the new raid and hitting hard mode Ulduars… and we’ve been doing for a while and really working on my gear

    And when I turn around and see an alt shammy or a new shammy with gear very close to my owjn because they’ve spammed heroics and they’ve hit Vault opf-free-damn-facerolling-loot then that’s disheartening

    It IS dumb to expect full 8.5 for a naxx pug. The naxx is no harder (even easier in some cases!) so why do they suddenly need people with conquest gear? They don’t want to RUN the raid – they want to farm it for badges. They don’t want to raid – they just want the result. Which is, to me, is APPROACHING the line you cross when WoW stops being a game (doing what you want to do) to being something similar to a job

    “But for a tank, there is simply one question. “How squishy am I to heal?””

    Actually, what we’ve found a lot is the secondary question “how much tps can I churn our”. I mean, we can have our imba 7k dps hunters and mages – but if the tank isn’t churning out the threat it’s not going to happen. But still, it should be “is it sufficient for this content” not “is it utterly best in slot.” You want to do a NAXX PUG that doesn’t mean you need to be geared for Mimiron hard mode!

    But yeah, that is the point. You ARE geared for Naxx, you seem even to be geared past naxx – get ye in Ulduar!!!

  6. Wintersdark says:

    It does offend me, actually, how pug runs tend to “require” people to grossly outgear the content they are running. It’s absurd. I understand that they are using Naxx as easy badge farming and just want to steamroll it, but it severely damages the fun of the instance for new 80’s who could actually use all the gear that drops in there.

    I’ve watched heroic groups form requiring 3kdps output, for heroics. Now, leave aside the silliness inherent in that – VERY few people can pull 3k dps in a heroic 5-man because things die too fast and you’re virtually unbuffed compared to a raid group. It’s just stupid, though. It’s a heroic. 2kdps is enough to make it a chain-pulling easymode romp.

    But that’s the thing. Those pug runs? They aren’t going there to enjoy the instance, or to be challenged on any level. They just want to blow through it as fast as possible to get their badges.

    Alas.
    Sometimes, I think I’m alone in *loathing* farming instances. I HATE to run instances that I’ve run lots before, where there’s no challenge at all. I find it mindlessly boring (* Exception: Helping friends get stuff they need from an instance – groups of friends running instances is always fun).

    All that said, I do love the new stuff. I rarely get to raid due to real life timing issues, so this provides me with an upgrade path that’s normally unavailable. I love it! My most fun passtime is soloing instances, and I’ve now managed to take a big bite out of Northrend instances solo. Moar! Moar! (HAHA! All ur instances r belong to me! I’m in there all alone and 5 people as a result are humping the portal! ~evil laugh~)

  7. Verdian says:

    “[2. Trade]: LF1M DPS H Nexus – must be at least 3.5k dps, gear checks at the Eventide Fountain”

    Now I have seen everything. And getting kicked because some funsuckers with an addon decide that my gear isn’t good enough for a Heroic? FFS people. And then difficulties can arise, when the DPS is geared out in HToC stuff, and Emblem vendor stuff constantly pulling threat of the tank who is in appropriate gear for a heroic Nexus run. You’re not playing ‘leet’ you retard, you’re playing extremely poorly. And when (after the third time they died after pulling aggro, and the abused me for not battle-ressing them) I recommended them to use Omen and not pull threat, all i got was “lulz wots omen?”

    Don’t get me wrong – i love healing an over-geared tank through a heroic. Throw on some HoTs and afk for the rest of the boss fight. But when DPS cannot play their role/class, or I get kicked from heroic groups for not being ‘geared enough’, I get pissed. I understand DPS are always on the constant struggle for better gear=higher DPS, and that they need to stay competitive etc. But if I can heal through heroics, and the tank can eat the damage why do i need to be Uld geared just for your little addon numbers?

  8. bigbearbutt says:

    Okay, to be honestSparky nailed it on the head with the threat per second. I used to preach it all the time too, and it’s very important to maximise the threat to let your DPS go nuts. Darn skippy, Sparky. :)

    In my case, I watch my threat generation… and I’m still comfortably at that “okay, I can go get a drink while the DPS finishes the kill” point with my gear. It doesn’t hurt that the new Trials and Conquest stuff all has tons of free hit rating and expertise on it, lots of tasty AP and crit.

    But yeah, in Outlands I’d blab on and on about maximizing your gear, because you really needed to work your butt off to get the best from crafted, heroics and quests before hitting Kara. Now, there are just so many options that the high level loot is fairly dripping from the rafters and floating past in the sewers of Dal that it’s not difficult to have Naxx gear when dinging 80.

  9. bigbearbutt says:

    Wintersdark… Amen. Soloing instances… mmm, tasty. I still hope to solo Attumen one day. Grrr.

  10. Ancasta says:

    My guild is gearing up for Malygos and Ulduar. We were having trouble prior to 3.2 as we were primarily Naxx10 geared. We have trouble getting enough people together to run the 25man level raids but we do clear Naxx10. The patch has been good for us, as we can run heroics and gear up players who we know are quality players but they just need that little extra boost from better gear.

    Personally, I know that my gear is more than sufficient for Heroics and the early raids, but I am still collecting the emblems when I can, not because I ‘need the shinies’ but because anything that can make it easier for me to tank or easier on the healer is a good thing.

    I have seen the Trade chat requests for ‘LFM Heroics/VoA/Naxx – must be geared/will gear check’ and while I laugh at those extremists for content that can be done in Blues, it does actually stop me from joining those runs. So I guess my fun is being impacted…

    The other side of all this is the raids that stipulate that unless you do such-and-such level of DPS, you will not get to roll on gear. I have seen a couple of times where a player won the roll for the gear (and it would have been a HUGE upgrade for them) only to have the Raid leader give the piece to someone else(who of course needed it a LOT less), because the highest roller did not meet their arbitary DPS lvl.

    Funny story: I was leading a guild run into OS25 the other day. We could only get 16-17 guildies together so we pugged out the rest. After the first 2 drakes, one of the PuGs whispers me “Promise me you won’t give so-and-so any loot because his DPS is too low’ The player is question was a guildie who had only recently dinged 80, so yes his DPS was low but so what? . I replied that firstly I do not run my raids like that EVER, and secondly, you cant be seriously asking me to cut out one of my own guildies?!?!

  11. Neil says:

    First off, Wintersdark, I completely agree that meters in heroics are mostly useless. Folks who out-DPS me against bosses fall way behind me on “Overall Data” in 5-mans because, against trash, nothing can keep up with Swipe: Cat.

    BBB, your remarks about checking gear resonated quite a bit with me. I’d like to share my thoughts on it … not to be elitist, not to be judgmental, but out of the frustration of someone who’s been in an unpleasant scenario more times than he cares to have been. Here’s the story:

    I’m a cat DPS druid wearing a mix of Ulduar-10, Trial of the Champion, and Emblem of Conquest gear. I’m not in BiS gear and I’m not a hardcore raider, but my class/spec are in a good place and I know my mechanics. I perform well on meters and I feel I pull my weight.

    One of my best friends in my guild is our Paladin MT, comparably geared. I’m not entirely sure what goes into making a good tank, but from experience I can say he’s got all of it and he’s a quiet, laid-back individual to boot – basically, the kind of guy that’s a pleasure to run with.

    Lately, the two of us are the only folks in our guild online during the day. So we’ll pick up a healer and a couple of DPS from /2 for the daily heroic, roll through it, and try and run five or six more heroics, replacing people as need be. It’s a great flow of Emblems and the two of us have fun BS’ing in Vent and playing together. But one thing remains constant:

    Recount – Damage Done for [Nearly Any Boss *]
    1. Me
    2. Paladin tank
    3. PuG DPS 1
    4. PuG DPS 2

    (* Svala Sorrowgrave, I hate you. Try LANDING sometime and I’ll show you just how much >.> )

    Of the few dozen random DPS I’ve run with over the past few days, only a handful have out-damaged our tank and only two have outstripped me. I don’t mean for the skewed overall data numbers that include trash. In sustained single-target fights, the meters tell me that either Cats are even more OP than everyone says we are, or we always seem to be stuck with the dregs of our server. I suppose it’s somewhere in between.

    At first, I was delirious on my ego trip. I’m so leet! I do more DPS than the other two combined! Yay!

    Then, I ran with a full guild group for a few heroics and actually had to fight for my position on the meters. I saw how much more quickly and smoothly instances go when the tank is on the bottom of the damage meters, nobody stands in the fire/poison/death, and everyone is pulling their weight. “Everyone here is good at their job, hooray! Go us!” It’s more fulfilling than wrecking the meters in the same way that a guild-first boss kill is more fulfilling than topping “Damage Done” in a lost WSG. I like it much better :)

    So, I simply keep Recount hidden during PuG heroics and glance at it once at the end (just to make sure my numbers are increasing with my gear). Why? Because I take pride in my competence. I put in 100% in every heroic I join because I know that the fun of four other people (five if you count my own) depends on how that heroic goes. I don’t care if I beat people on the meters as long as I can tell they’re trying. But I feel frustrated and weary when level 80 players whose spec, gear, and rotation indicate a complete lack of effort, and whose performance in the instance proves it, earn the same rewards I do and benefit from the fact that my friend and I are essentially carrying complete strangers through content that shouldn’t need carrying to begin with!

    I still don’t think gear checks are the answer. I absolutely agree with Elathan’s post. Gear and skill sometimes have a correlation but there is no cause-and-effect relationship between the two. I still, despite my (really whiny, in retrospect :\ ) story, always just invite the first two folks to respond to my “LF 2 DPS” message because in the end, the runs still get done and that’s what matters, not the damage meters, when I visit the Emblem vendor at the end of the day.

    What I’m trying to say (in tried and true B^3 Wall-Of-Text style!) is that gear checks are deeply flawed and rarely useful. But there exists frustration in the game, frustration I have personally felt, that could well drive one to use them. I don’t use them … but I suppose, if one were subjected to pulling enough weight for enough slackers, I could understand why one would want to.

  12. Kemonojin says:

    Lots of people crying in trade about ‘zomg people I don’t know and will never meet because I never pug have pixels that are the same color as mine!’ on my server. Lots of the same ‘have to totally outgear the instance we’re asking for’. (And one goob that keeps suckering people into mount runs claiming that he’ll pay 500g for people to pass if it drops, but when it does finally drop he boots them out of the group and takes it for himself…)

    If you want to farm an instance, fine. If you want everybody to be geared such that they can kill all the trash in Naxx simultaneously by critting Mr Bigglesworth once. great. But other people want to play it for the fun of it, or could actually use the gear and might want to go. Is it really necessary to be jerks about the fact that you (generic ‘you’ here) have no life and spend all your time constantly re-doing the same things over and over so you squeeze that last 0.0000000001 dps out by abusing people who might want to have fun with the game they’re playing?

  13. DutchMike says:

    Since the latest patch 3.2 it has become clear to me that Blizzard only caters to the raiding audience. Due to personal circumstances I am not able raid on fixed times. This wouldn’t be a problem if the 5-mans instances still were a challenge. I have been playing this game since its release 5 years ago as a healer. Nowadays the 5-man instances are a complete joke and don’t offer any challenge. And challenge is what i look for in a game…. I don’t know about other people, but I like to feel some accomplishment in fully completing a heroic instance with 4 fellow adventurers. If the chat with other players in the game is anyhting to go by, I am not the only one who longs back to the time when you needed to time your pulls because of patrols, sheep/shackle/sap/ice-trap mobs because otherwise you would have problem. All I see now in the 5-mans heroics is tank / spank / loot…. no crowd-control, no carefull pulling.. just simple nuke & loot. I doubt if I will ever buy another wow-expansion, if this trend continues. From what i’ve read on a blue post, crowd-control is gone & will stay gone, and apparently the same goes for any thinking & challenge in 5-man instances. Does anyone remember the thrill of BRD with its large highway of mobs-patrol with both healers & dps mobs? Or how about the fun in UBRS/LBRS where you could actually get knocked out of UBRS and fall down into LBRS. I so miss the old instances, the new ones just don’t cut it anymore they are to simple and dumbed down. WotLK heroics is a total joke, last week i’ve been doing them all (with the exception of Oculus… try to get a pug for that :( … ) each day… for the Conquest Emblems.
    At the end when you actually do have some nice & better gear, I am asking myself: “Why on earth did I go to the effort to get all this better gear? .. when I’ve already have all 5-man heroic content on farm-mode” Something is very wrong with a game when you’ve reached a point where none of its accessible content offers any challenge anymore…

    The new 5-man instance (Trial of the champion) is a good example of how simple & boring the game has become.
    1 Arena-like room ( just to annoy all the oldtime player who hate the Arena-pvp concept I guess… ) where 3 scripted bosses spawn that are easy
    to beat ( yes also on heroic very simple to win ) and with crowd-control of specials or changing abilities.
    The least they could have done is make the instance a bit bigger (more rooms) and add some patrols.

    God I do miss the old-style 5-man instances, where you actually had to think & perform as a team. In those instances you still had a challenge as a healer when things went awry. Nowadays my healer-toon has so much mana-regen that I never have run oom or had to drink in any of the 5-man heroic instances!?
    Sorry for this rant, but I had to get this off my chest.
    I love ( or loved ) this game. It gave me so much pleasure in the past. But lately I just doesn’t offer any challenge anymore.

    P.S. I love you blog BBB !
    I enjoy reading your story-times, they are so entertaining :)

  14. Ulv says:

    You raise an interesting point about gear quality BBB and the pressure being on DPS to improve gear compared to tanks. I agree that, to a point being def capped and having a decent health pool is all you need. Even more true when the tank has a modicum of skill and awareness. I remember when our guild started hitting up 10-man Naxx and I set myself a target of Def Cap and 25k health unbuffed – ~28k buffed. I got there with some farming and a little expense and my Pally, Ulvheart, proceeded to clear the place over a month or so.

    Roll forwards a while onto dual-spec and most of my expenditure (badges) has been on the DPS set with occasional upgrades to the tanking set when I won rolls on drops.

    Now my focus has changed again. We’ve stepped forwards and are making good progress in 10-man Ulduar. In fact we killed General Vesax for the 1st time last night and one of the secrets of progress is that the healers don’t have to work so hard to keep me alive.

    If you’re pushing end-game content then the pressure is very much on the tanks to gear up just as it is the healers and DPS. Running heroics even DPS aren’t under much pressure to perform – 2k is plenty.

    As a side: I understand why people want to pug with well geared others – they’re just badge farming and don’t want it to be hard or time-consuming. Given that gear is only loosely related to output and skill is far more important it seems daft BUT gear is the only objective measure that’s easily availble.
    .-= Ulv´s last blog ..Progression! =-.

  15. Manitou says:

    The comments I’ve read so far echo my sentiments and my complete lack of disgust for “pug” groups on my server (Daggerspine – EU). Of late it has gone from the extremely annoying “link achievement or no invite” trade spamming message to “link achievement and come to the middle of Dalaran for gear inspect”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry and generally find myself standing outside a city somewhere as there are only so many people I can ignore at once.

    I for one am an off-spec gear gatherer (much hated by straight spec classes for picking up loot that was only going to be sharded anyway) and I’ve enjoyed using the badges I have gained to collect some T8 for my feral side. But I would never think for one moment the gear brings me skill and I would step aside in a heartbeat for a main spec skilled bear such as BBB as it isn’t about the ilvl but about the PLAYER.

    Its a real shame about your kara run, I’m still going each week for a slight glimmering hope of the mount there. You just made me 99% sure I want to remain on a low pop server where the people can be annoying but at least I know them all and very rarely can’t get on and do what I want to do. :)

  16. Kyre says:

    I’ve had this problem: I am attempting to gear a bear tank, have all the “normal” trollwoven epic crafted gear, have the epic cloak, have some pants and a belt I’ve won for feral tank offspec from Uldar 10, have the valor bracers, have the epic weapon from champ seals, have essence of gossamer and the health trinket from gundrak, and a few other blues from various feral gear lists I’ve found and my friends tell me I can’t tank heroics till I’m fully geared in the new epics.

    I haven’t ever tanked before, I have no idea what the actual mark is for a heroic tank, it just seems a little off that before even going into heroics you would be required to have all the gear from them. At this rate if I finally do by badge gear for tanking through healing heroics I’ll still suck cause I never gotten to practice.

  17. DutchMike says:

    I have been playing this game since its release 5 years ago as a healer.
    Since the latest patch 3.2 it has become clear to me that Blizzard only caters to the raiding audience. Due to personal circumstances I am unable to raid on fixed times. This wouldn’t be a problem if the 5-mans instances still were a challenge. Nowadays the 5-man instances are a complete joke and don’t offer any challenge. Challenge is what I look for in a game…. I don’t know about other people, but I like to feel some accomplishment in fully completing a heroic instance with 4 fellow adventurers. If chatting with other players in the game is anything to go by, it seems I am not the only one who longs back to the time when you needed to time your pulls because of patrols, sheep/shackle/sap/ice-trap mobs because otherwise you would have problem. All I see now in the 5-mans heroics is tank / spank / loot…. no crowd-control, no carefull pulling.. just simple nuke & loot. I doubt if I will ever buy another wow-expansion, if this trend continues. From what i’ve read on a blue post, crowd-control is gone & will stay gone, and apparently the same goes for any thinking & challenge in 5-man instances.

    Does anyone remember the thrill of BRD with its large highway of mobs-patrol with both healers & dps mobs? Or how about the fun in UBRS/LBRS where you could actually get knocked out of UBRS and fall down into LBRS. Karazahn also comes to mind when talking about a fun instance.
    The new instances are so lineair and boring compared to the classic instances like BRD where you actually had different paths/routes and which was so big you could actually get lost. I so miss the old instances, the new ones just don’t cut it anymore they are to simple and dumbed down.

    WotLK heroics is a total joke, last week i’ve been doing them all (with the exception of Oculus… try to get a pug for that :( … ) each day… for the Conquest Emblems. At the end when you actually do have some nice & better gear, I am asking myself: “Why on earth did I go to the effort to get all this better gear? .. when I already have all 5-man heroic content on farm-mode”. Something is very wrong with a game when you’ve reached a point where none of its accessible content offers any challenge anymore…

    The new 5-man instance (Trial of the champion) is a good example of how simple & boring the game has become.
    1 Arena-like room ( just to annoy all the oldtime players who hate the Arena-pvp concept I guess… ) where 3 scripted bosses spawn that are easy
    to beat ( yes also on heroic very simple to win ) and without any crowd-control or changing boss-abilities.
    The least they could have done is make the instance a bit bigger (more rooms) and add some patrols.

    God I do miss the old-style 5-man instances, where you actually had to think & perform as a team. In those instances you still had a challenge as a healer when things went awry. Nowadays my healer-toon has so much mana-regen that I never have run oom or had to drink in any of the 5-man heroic instances!?
    Sorry for this rant, but I had to get this off my chest.
    I love ( or loved ) this game. It gave me so much pleasure in the past. But lately I just doesn’t offer any challenge anymore.

    P.S. I love you blog BBB !
    I enjoy reading your story-times, they are so entertaining :)

  18. Neil says:

    “Since the latest patch 3.2 it has become clear to me that Blizzard only caters to the raiding audience. “

    Perhaps a better statement would be “When it comes to providing challenging instanced PvE content to experienced and well-geared players at the max level, Blizzard only caters to the raiding audience.”

    “Something is very wrong with a game when you’ve reached a point where none of its accessible content offers any challenge anymore”

    I think the problem here is that the content exists – but, because of your scheduling issues, it’s not accessible to you.

    So, try changing your definition of accessible. Many servers have the kind of general populace that can support PuG raids – if you have an hour or two, hang out in /2 and hop into a raid. From experience I’ll say that most groups, if told “go watch the TankSpot video and then come back for assignments”, can handle Flame Leviathan in Ulduar. Even if you have to leave early, at least you got to experience something new!

    Or, try widening your focus :) How about PvP? (There are SIX battlegrounds now! \boggle) Gathering pets or mounts? Doing the just-for-fun achievements (loving critters and whatnot)? Working on professions?

    I also regret that the 5-man instanced endgame is lacking. But you have to keep in mind that it’s just one narrow facet of the World of Warcraft :)

  19. Andy says:

    How about all of thse hopefulls that demand Epic achievement for heroic dungeons? I’ve started being really curt (maybe even a bit snippy) toward them. As far as I can tell they just want to coast along and grab the badges without any real effort since most of the ones demanding this already are in full epic gear.

  20. Foreman says:

    I agree with you completely BBB. I just wish all these emblems would transfer for more value, so I could buy heirlooms quicker. With less toons running the lower content, Its a lot harder to get blue drops any more.

  21. Zalgosh says:

    What I think would be fun to do, is get a group of like minded people together, get toons to level 60, then turn off experience and do old world dungeons and raids like you are supposed to do. I liked Onyxia and thought she was fun, but the only time I’ve done her is at level 76, on my DK. It’d be a lot more fun to fight Onyxia at level, and not the revamped one we’re gonna get, cause thats prolly gonna be easy as hell, just like all of the current content.

  22. kavika says:

    I had a good laugh the other day when I was running heroic Nexus on my warlock, who is in 90% “epic” gear, except alot of it is from pvp but gemmed for +hit. Ok ok, I know…get some PVE gear! But anyway…we had a warrior tank that was rocking almost 34k hp, and what looked like a pretty well geared healer. The only problem, as far as they saw it, was our dps was too low. Now mind you, I can pump out 2.5k, which is not alot by today’s standards, but cmon…this was freakin heroic Nex! The reason I thought it was funny was they were obviously inspecting each of us in the group and discussing privately whether they were going to boot us and find some higher dps because there was that uncomfortable silence in party chat while they had us targeted. I made the comment “seriously, lets get moving…people used to do this in quest blues just fine, we got this no problem”. I guess I had some effect because they started pulling. And just like I thought, we did perfectly fine…in fact, the tank had some sort of a timer mod and said he broke his personal time record for clearing the instance. The moral of the story? People are spending waaaay too much time trying to find the highest geared people to run heroics, when they could just take anyone with at least decent gear, get in and clear it, and move on to another. MORE EMBLEMS!

  23. Stupid Mage says:

    “My most fun passtime is soloing instances, and I’ve now managed to take a big bite out of Northrend instances solo. ”

    This ^

    Maybe I can’t kill murlocks better or tank Naxx better, but I can see how far I can go in an instance solo. The new badge (emblem) gear really helps with this.

  24. @Zalgosh- You can do that… but it won’t be like it was during the original release. There have been so many talent and skill changes since the initial release that players at 60 are vastly more powerful now then they were then. Even setting that aside, the end of burning crusade saw the damage and health of EVERY raid boss in the game cut by around 20%. Onyxia was tuned around healing and threat mechanics that simply aren’t an issue in the modern WoW. Whelps were designed around limited aoe abilities and an aoe tank was almost non existant back then. Getting 40 60’s right now would see Onyxia as more facerollable then any current level 80 raid. In fact there have been groups that have done this, and even molten core was brought down by a group of 20 60’s.

    @BBB- Ulduar 10 is tuned for Ilvl 200 gear. If you are sporting that gear then you and your group should be able to head into Ulduar. H ToC gear is designed more to bring players up to par with ToC 10 not Ulduar. You will need higher gear though if the skill of the raid is below the min that is required.

    I run weekly with a semi pug. We have a core group of players but usually pick a few pugs up here and there. I’ve seen full tier 8 mages dps less then tank. I’ve seen players in Heroic/naxx 10 gear out perform some of our regulars. We do gear checks… but nothing insane like some of the other commenters have seen. You mainly need to be gemmed and enchanted appropriately for your spec and you will get an invite. If you perform poorly… you won’t be invited the following week.
    .-= What’s my main again?´s last blog ..I cursed myself… =-.

  25. Rob says:

    Pretty much like all of you I play for the challenge. Heroics are a joke, you could run them no problem with BOE gear from the AH. I geared up my horde druid in a week by one naxx 10 partial run and a bunch of TOC/hTOC. That druid still isn’t great, only 1500+spell, but for heroics/naxx10 no problem.

    Anyway I have two points on the trade chat people with gear requirements. As GL I organize runs/PUGs all the time, and I know my guild intimately. So it usually goes like this. “Who wants to do hTOC”. Healer (me), my friend bear, random dps A and B. At that point when the healer and tank are covered, i’ll try to pug it with one outsider. At this point I think, well this is a challenging instance for us because its naxx25 level, and we are in heroics/naxx10 gear. So we need more dps to offset our weakness. So We need at least 2.5k dps hopefully more. So the call goes out “LF1M dps hTOC pls have 2.5k dps”. And I get like 5 ppl within seconds.

    The other thing about designing runs is that you need a balance of people. Melee dps is just a dime a dozen. Now are the days when if you are ranged dps you can actually get into groups because people like you. For example on horde side i tried to get a naxx25 going. I ended up with no less than 10 DKs. We never even started, because with that many DKs it just shows that the PUG was a bunch of idiots. (I have a DK myself, but its safe to say that most people who have DKs are alts and don’t understand the class, and do terrible DPS). On alliance side, things are better, more ppl want to do Naxx10. I organized a run last night with only 2 ranged dps, because I purposely excluded the melee dps from joining in. We had 3 DKs 2 palys, a rogue, a bear if I recall. And me, yeah i was solo-healing for most of the night until archanid where you just NEED to have two healers if you want to zerg the second boss. And some other bosses. Turns out naxx10 is about half solo-healable.

    Anyway challenges. We’re all bored at this point, nobody does ulduar because that’s too scarey. Okay, fine. ACHIEVEMENTS! Yes, run the heroics with achievements in mind. Don’t wipe a zillion times to get it, but see if you can do it. It makes the run alot more fun when you get that achievemnt done. Same with naxx10, bunch of achievments there.

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