In it, he takes a look at the idea of new Talents and game balance changes going live prior to the actual expansion release, from the point of view of raiders like himself.
He breaks down very nicely his thoughts on how changing the game before releasing new content, without making corresponding changes to existing raid content, will in his opinion spell the end of raiding until such time as the rest of the expansion comes out.
I thought it was a very good article, and he’s got a lot of great points there.
I don’t really raid, obviously, and I play fairly casually. If one type of gameplay isn’t available at the time, whether from a lack of other players online, or a lack of a particular class, or simply because it is a quiet day (or even week), I have no problem shifting to doing daily quests, or doing some small thing related to reputation, or level a Profession, or go try to farm a particular drop or recipe, or play an alt. I can always play an alt.
So for me, the prospect of a couple of weeks, even a month, of no raiding after a massive revamp of the gameplay wouldn’t be the end of my gaming fun.
But Knurd makes a damn good point. For some folks, taking on the raiding challenge IS what is fun for them in the game, and all else that they do in the game goes to support that endeavor. And a week or two or four with no raiding to be done is a very, very long time in that kind of focused commitment.
For other folks, PvP is the lifeblood of fun, and I would think massive changes or unfinished skills for one class while another would be released in the patch more polished, or any other type of real class imbalance, would also be a big pain in the butt. (Intentionally Understated to annoy Megan.)
I’ll offer my sympathy now to folks that really do enjoy raiding or PvP for the challenge, and are worried that when the patch comes they will find the heart of what makes WoW fun put on hold for them until the rest of the expansion is released.
I may not be in your position, but I do know how I would feel if someone told me that PvP content was being released in the expansion, but the leveling and new quests and the entire new area would not be ready for a while. I’d feel glad that they were getting all new stuff… but I was promised my stuff would be ready too, and now I want it. And I don’t really like PvP, so doing their thing while I wait really isn’t all that appealing to me. But thanks for the suggestion.
I know that for some folks, the idea of raiding is silly when an expansion is so close and there will be ten new levels of correspondingly more powerful loot drops available… but it really isn’t about the gear for a lot of people. It’s about the fun and the challenge and conquering the obstacles before you. And if the core gameplay is going to be changed, and the class balance issues in Talent trees might not be quite finished and all polished up like a shiny new apple yet, then sure. I’m gonna be worried.
MAYBE there is no cause whatsoever for concern. Every week it seems brings new, massive changes in the builds. Who knows what awesomeness Hunters will get tomorrow?
Not that I would ever suggest Hunters are getting ALL the brand new awesome toys.
By the way, did you see the SIZE of the new Rhino pet? Didja? If anything in the world could ever bring my buddy Manny back into the game, it would be seenig that freaking huge awesome baddass Rhino pet for Hunters. After all, Manny does have a level 60 Hunter he could come back and play. Sorry, I digress.
Anyway, as I was saying, just because things may turn out all right, that doesn’t stop people from fretting. Are you kidding? Few things drive people nuts with worry quite like fear of the unknown and change.
Historically, and I’m sure I’ll be corrected, but I think I remember that when the new Talent changes went live in the pre-BC patch, similar concerns were raised… except, I think classes at that time found the new Talent tree changes made them MORE powerful than before, not less, so the existing content was a bit easier to handle before the expansion itself came out.
Or maybe I just remember my feral Druid OP-ness with a warm, rosy glow.
Either way, the concern and worry felt is quite real, and I hope that when the patch comes, you are not disappointed by the end result. I really do.