Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why I don't want to hear another "WoW is too easy" statement

She began her post in the best way you can if you want to stir up some feelings and cause a bit of buzz in the WoW blogosphere, tossing out a classic torch:

Here’s a dangerous statement: Wrath of the Lich King (Wrath) made World of
Warcraft/Crack/Crass(WoW) too easy.

The words come from Mimetir, a guest writer at World of Matticus, who has written the first part in a planned series of articles about the social effects of WotLK. Like many a good blogger she invites the reader to a discussion, concluding in a question: "How easy is WoW these days and how do you feel about it?"

And of course I can't resist to take the bite and rant a bit about it. Because to be honest I'm pretty much fed up with the constant whining about that WoW has become too easy. What annoys me so much is that the loudest criticism comes from players who themselves are far from having cleared all the current raid content.

Hands on heart, how many of you have actually killed Yogg-Saron 25 man? Not quite that many. As a matter of fact, people seem to have given up about him altogether. I haven't got any scientific evidence that this is the fact, but from what I read on the blogs, it appears that most raiding guilds have stopped aiming for an Ulduar clear. They make ToC, Onyxia and not much more than that.

Why? Well, I guess they find him too hard compared to the upgrades he offers. The wipe/gear quota isn't favorable. And fine, that's their choice. But don't come and tell me that the raid instances in Wrath are too easy!

The choice is ours
I've praised the hardmodes before and I do it again: they're there for us to be able to put the bar at exactly the level where we want it to be to get the kind of gaming experience we're looking for.

Sure, there are people who don't enjoy wiping and prefer to kill bosses in one or two goes, pick up the loot and rejoice at their epics. The normal modes are there for their pleasure.

Then there is this other kind of raiders, who enjoy playing under pressure, who want to curse and be cursed at, who want to be frustrated and grind their teeth, who won't hesitate facing a long learning curve, who always try to bring their very best performance and who rather raid to enjoy the sweet first kills than to get gear. The hardmodes are for them.

And of course there are all sorts of shades and nuances in between. Actually I think we're all moving a bit back and forward between the categories, depending on our mood of the day. In our guild we've stopped raiding Ulduar on normal mode, but keep going for the hardmodes, since we've still got one more boss to see there. We do the normal ToC every week, in spite of the lack of challenge, after all it's hard to resist the T9s. It's a lot of loot for very little time, just above an hour. But I think everyone enjoy the following hardmode attempts more. That's where the real raiding is.

Some players could argue that doing both normal and hard modes in ToC will be too repetitive and boring. But then I wonder: since when did it become mandatory to run the raid instances on normal mode? Is there anything at all preventing you from skipping the faceroller raids altogether and stick to hardmode Ulduar and heroic ToC? Nothing. Nothing at all.

I know that there are many players out there who are much more skilled than I am. And maybe WotLK is completely sickening easy for you. But speaking for myself, I'm still challenged over and over again.

Enjoying the learning
I'll give you an example from my everyday life in Adrenaline. It's what I would call a "good" raiding guild. We've never topped the ranking lists of the server, and we probably never will, but we're steadily among the 10 best raiding guilds on the alliance side, which is fine if you look at how much time we spend on our raids.

In the last week I've had a couple of wonderful learning nights. One night I was lucky enough to get into a 10 man raid for Ulduar hardmodes on an offnight. We did Freya+3, and although the guild had done it a couple of times, it was the first time for me and some other raid members. It was such a thrill, going from wiping on one of the first waves, then slowly getting longer and longer into the fight, and then finally, after quite a few wipes, nail it, exhausted, with a big smile on my face.

A few days earlier we had the same kind of learning process and Thorim hardmode 25 man, the Lose your illusion achievement. We had to work for it, just as we had done the weeks before when we got our Hodir and Iron Council hardmode kills. We worked for this kill, not only in the raid situation, but also in between, when we were tweaking strategies and discussing what we needed to improve.

Finally, this Sunday night we started to work seriously on Northrend Beasts hardmode. Previously we had only made it through the first phase. After one hour of tries we got a glimpse of phase three. Yay for progress! I'm sure we'll get it right pretty soon. Easy? I don't quite think so.

Message to whiners
In my opinion the only players who really are entitled to say that the raiding in WotLK is too easy are the ones that are farming Algalon and clearing ToC hardmodes without any effort. How many are those? Well, according to WoW Progress 0,13 percent of the guilds have done A Tribute to Insanity (25). I'll be prepared to listen to what those players have to say about the skill level in WotLK.

The rest of you whiners? Go grind something. Switch to Aion. Or give yourself a challenge in the WoW They're still there for you, if you want them. Trust me on that. But please (and now I'm going to use one of those horrible abbreviations, which I normally detest, it's just that it's appropriate this time) - STFU.

54 comments:

Magma said...

A Blue said it best;
"Amazing. You have nothing to do now that people that aren't you have cleared Ulduar." -Eyonix

/Agree

Kromus said...

There is whining and acknowledgement.

If somebody says "is WoW getting easier?" I say "yes".

If they say "does this bother you" I say "no because the game is so diverse Why should it?".

From time to time I get a bit weary if the ease of Epic aquirement BUT its for the greater good. If everybody had access to better gear than surely that means its purely Skill that would define a good raider- and loyalty.

Surely thats a good thing?

"The hunteress is nothing without the Hunt"- being top would suck but being bottom would be demoralising, I think we're just a bit more than in the middle, Larisa :).

Elnia said...

Since I don't raid I can't say if WoW is getting easier. But I can say that there is statistical proof that Wow is not easy. There is this great site:

http://worldoflogs.com/zones/Ulduar/Yogg-Saron/

According to this only 7.5% of all 25 Man Yogg attempts result in a kill. In other words, the mob wins 92% of the time.

By no definition is that easy.

scrusi said...

I had a huge comment here but thought the length might be better for a blog post, so you might see one later in the week.

In short: I have big issues with the disparities in difficulty between TotC and TotGC, which strand a lot of guilds in a void, as well as the disparities in the effort/gear ratio migrating from Ulduar to TotC. (TotC is way easier than Ulduar hard modes but provides better loot.)
Being 4/5 in TotGC, the HM difficulty is pretty much exactly where I would like it. That doesn't make the joke that is TotC any less terrible though.

ColinSFX said...

Loved this post, I was thinking the same things this morning. Thank you!

Smeg said...

tying one hand behind your back and covering 1 eye with a patch while you try to play ping pong is not much more fun or interesting - it's still ping pong.

same mentality with hard modes.

if you release everything in normal, people will just do normal, loot their lewtz and then stop subbing until the next normal dungeon. to counter this, blizz has to increase the rate at which new normal stuff is released. people who are doing hard modes just go ahh fk it why bother? /quit. normal moders just go "pfft lulz face roll ezmode." etc. and /quit.

PvE is the only lure to wow and it's either too easy (faceroll mode) or too hard to keep up (the next facestomp normal with better gear than hard modes is coming out 2 weeks from now blah blah blah).

Ophelie said...

I find that seeing people complain about how easy WoW is actually what ruins content for me. When we get a new kill, I almost feel guilty for not having done it months ago. Really takes the thrill out of it.

I do miss the days of discussing strategies for hours instead of chalking every wipe up to "our dps is too low", but that might be more of a guild issue than a content issue!

I found that my guild progressed through Ulduar at reasonably the same pace we progressed through TK and SSC so I don't see how it's *that* much easier.

If people need a challenge, they should try raiding with and motivating an entry level guild through the current content. I bet none of the Sunwells in the world can beat the difficulty of Mimiron when half your raid dies in the first 30 seconds.

David said...

My guild one-shot every TOC-10 boss this week and we were riding high and said, hey, lets do toc-10 Heroic now!

We never even got past the first of the 3 beasts, after 5 attempts....it didn't bode well and we went on to Ulduar to try XT-hard mode. We break the heart with maybe 1 second to spare and then the raid dies to sparks and unlucky bombs over and over...

So yeah, WoW is not that easy at the higher levels of content. Although I applaud them giving us TOC-10 normal to whack around for free loots and some fun :)

Pierre Goldbloom said...

Although I don't always agree with your posts Larisa, this is something I totally concur with.

Furthermore, its rather ironic that the people who complain its getting easier are the ones least likely to have seen end-game content at 80. I know many people who used to be top raiders at 60 and 70, but have somehow dropped out of endgame PVE. When I enquire as to why they don't play for epics any more, they claim its 'too easy', when in fact they don't have any idea what its truly like at 80 now. Its like people just find excuses not to raid nowadays.

Klepsacovic said...

People are likely mixing up easy with "less grindy" and possibly based on their experience "more boring." MC took longer to clear than Kara or Naxx. Why? It wasn't hard in the sense of requiring skill. It had resist fights which required certain amounts of FR to even get started. As for more boring, I place 90% of the blame on these rose colored glasses that us vanilla people seem to have all gotten in the mail because we started before BC.

Bell said...

There are certain aspects that have gotten "easier" when it comes to raiding, no matter the hardmodes or what have you. Aspects like mana regeneration. In BC we had a boss who blew you up if you had no mana, and mana conservation was a huge issue. We'd be monitoring pot cooldowns (remember we used to be able to use, and need to use, multiple pots per fight?), mixing in innervates, casting downranks, trying to minimize as much damage as possible so that we could down the boss, and he wasn't even the last.

Now I don't even have the best of the best gear (double regen non heroic and heroic ToC trinkets are part of the inventory of other healers, but not me) and I barely have to worry. I monitor a cooldown, but if I miss it, so what? Except in the most extreme circumstances, I don't have to care. I don't even pot 99 fights out of 100.

I think saying things like "the game got easier" doesn't mean "the game is bad." But you can't deny things like epics are much, much easier to obtain than vanilla WoW, and even BC. My hunter has been 80 for one week, already has near all epics, including a t8.5 helm, while still wearing crappy heroic blues and a quest green cloak. She looks ridiculous.

My guild has ironbounds (not me, I'm missing Hodir hardmode for it due to some unfortunate abscences), we have tribute to insanity on one of our ten mans and nearly there on our others...all we have left are 25 Algalon and Anub'arak hardmode 25. I've done plenty of things that were difficult, like Firefighter and Algalon (a little, at this point it's just execution). Just because some aspects of WoW are easier, and undoubtedly so, does not mean it all is. But in some ways, yes, the game is definitely easier than it used to be.

Dechion said...

As much as I generally agree with you I will have to say that Wow has gotten easier.

It's less grindy, particularly for rep. Even the few required reps can be bought or have a tabard for heroic rep gains.

This is not to say that hard modes are easy, they are not. No one is trying to take that away from you.

Then again, for someone who does not raid every day, who is not in the best of gear, I do somewhat resent calling the raiding that I do "facerolling" raids.

Actually thats you saying that Wow is to easy, and in fact insulting everyone who does not raid hard modes at your level or higher.

Myself included.

Wow is an incredibly diverse game, it's not all about hard mode raiding.

My guild went into Uludar normal mode for the first time last friday, clearing the first five bosses. I am actually quite happy with that.

The point is, as long as it's not hurting my fun I don't really care what other people are doing.

Smeg said...

"The point is, as long as it's not hurting my fun I don't really care what other people are doing."

this is another thing contributing to the changing aspects of wow, regardless of for better or for worse. In vanilla, people cared about what other people were doing. now, people just rush to the next mob or attempt to kill steal etc.

there is no more community, people flame each other everywhere (casuals vs nolifers, forums flamers, trade chat and general chat flamers ON EVERY REALM). everywhere you go in this game, there is guaranteed to be someone who will insult you.

easily blamed on the game - cross server everything and no ramifications for your actions. in vanilla if you ninja'd something on your realm, your char was totally fkd; no one would ever do any group content with you ever again. Nowadays you just jump server with a new char name.

fundamental biggest change of everything: wow vanilla was originally designed by mmo gamers, now it is designed and managed by accountants. you can just see the whole turnstyle mentality to everything.

Mark said...

I can't speak to the content as I no longer care nor want to raid but obviously the hardest achievements are not beaten by many so there is still challenge in the game although requiring achievements to do it leaves a sour taste in my mouth from my vanilla raiding days.

For me it's more how easy it is for anyone to get epics and other gear anymore. I miss the old days when having my T2 set meant something and people would care that you have it. Now nobody gives a crap because everybody has some form of epic gear even if it's not the highest item level. While I realize that makes me sound elitist it was never that for me, it was something to strive for but now the majority just grind heroics over and over again for gear that is pretty darn good.

I respect where blizzard took the game and I understand why but lets face it this game is never going to be what it once was to those of us that loved it for what it was back in vanilla.

Hirvox said...

According to TotalBiscuit, the problem is not that there isn't challenge, it's that your only options are facerollingly easy and brick-wall hard. Of course, this is not the case with every encounter, and he lauds encounters like Yogg-Saron, Sartharion and Flame Leviathan, where the raid group can adjust the difficulty to a level where they are both entertained and challenged.

tufva said...

A very well written piece Larisa and just what I was thinking when I read the blog post you are referring to.

It also reminds me of Tam and Chas' complaints over on Righteous Orbs. Why do people feel the need to stomp over other people's enjoyment with statements like "This is so ez lulz" and similar (I won't use that other word they use... ;-) ).

Whether something is easy is dependent on so many factors - the average skill and gear of the guild, everybody's mood, certain fights clicking easier for different people - and MOST importantly: what do you count as easy? Having been until recently a 10-man guild I used to get so frustrated at people from 25-man guilds going on about how easy Ulduar 10 was - of course it is easy - you have already learnt the fight AND you outgear the instance with the 25-man gear. *sigh*

To me easy is walking up to the boss and taking it down first time with no hassle at all. Anything after that is on a scale of easy and difficult up to what I count as difficult which is something that takes a couple of evening's work of learning wipes to down. But like with the dreaded hardcore/casual scale - everyone has their own definition and so the words themselves become pointless to be used as collective gauges.

falc said...

Well as some have mentioned the releasing of Trial of the Crusader has left a lot of guilds, including my guild, hanging between and instance where we 1 shot every boss within 1 hr. And between a boss where we barely can make it to phase 2 because we are lacking the dps for the fight (beasts on heroic then).

Now i would love personally to really go for ulduar hard-modes. We managed to get 1 night of try-s in with 25 people to go Iron council hardmode, which we got down to 20% before someone died and things went to hell. All fine.
However this was only possible since we switched our regular TotC night to an ulduar night.

Maybe it is just my half-casual half-hardcore raiding guilds problem that people just have no interest any more for ulduar hard modes because they think the loot/wipe ratio is just not worth it and they don't really want to go to ToTGC to wipe all night when it is obvious no progress is made with the same people doing the same dps, and not just being able to kill gormok or the adds in time.

So all in all i blame the easy mode-s getting too easy yes.

Larísa said...

@Magma: Well said by Eyonix!

@Kromus: That’s actually a good point. When everyone is on about the same gear level you can’t really come away blaming your gear for your lack of results. I for one know very well that my toon would be better to perform much better I the hands of a more skilled player.

@Elnia: … and I wonder how many guilds that attempt Yogg at all these days? Since the loot is so good in ToC I suspect that many more casual guilds will give up on clearing Ulduar at all. The ones still attempting are probably among the better guilds.

@Scrusi: I’ll keep my eyes open for that post! And yeah, the jump in difficulty is rather huge.

@ColinSFX: Thanks!

@Smeg: is hard modes playing with one hand covering your eyes? It depends on from what way you see it . You could as well regard the hardmodes as the normal ones and call the normal modes “cheat modes”. Like Freya: in stead of doing it the “real way” you cheat by killing the three huge buff monsters in advance….

But of course this way of seeing this require you to step out of the loot/gear ladder obsession.

And yeah, I too lack a bit of the community feeling. I don’t know how it was in the old days, but I definitely would like to see a stronger realm community.

@Ophelie: Very well put! If you’re bored with your current lvl, why not roll an alt and join a newbie guild. The challenge will definitely be back for you!
And complaining about easiness is just another way of boasting about your own skills.

@David: Yeah, it’s all about mood. Sometimes you feel like rolling through ToC for loot, other times you prefer the wiping. And it’s all there for us.

@Pierre Goldbloom: yeah, when I hear it said from people that don’t even raid I shake my head in disbelief.

@Klepsacovic: Oh, don’t tell me about it. Being a TBC baby I’m pretty sick of hearing about the epic raids in MC…. Yeah, I too can get nostalgic sometimes, but some players are just overdoing it imho.

@Bell: you’re definitely qualified to talk about game getting easier! One of the few. Funny that you’re mentioning the one-pot-only-rule. I actually think that’s one of the things that have become harder. I used to save my ass a lot using mana and health pots. Not so anymore.

@Dechion: You’re absolutely right Dechion and I’m sorry for insulting you, it wasn’t my intention. There are guilds that raid very rarely or are very badly geared and for them Ulduar and ToC normal is far from facerolling. It’s a challenge.

@Mark: There IS a difference between epics and epics. I think most players can see the difference between something dropping from the end boss in UK and a drop from ToC hardmode. But the most important thing is of course not the value other players put into it, but the value you give it yourself. I’m still damned happy about my skull from Ilidan, even though I never got around to use it very much before it was outdated. A jewel in my bank!

@Hiervox: Well, yeah, running into that brick wall of Heroic ToC can be a bit of a shock. But isn’t it always when you’re facing a new boss? Aren’t we exaggerating the impossibility of beating it a little bit?

@Tufva: thanks! And yeah, I think you’re right. The easy/not easy discussion is just another take on the old dear casual/hardcore discussion.

@Falc: I think the problem isn’t the difficulty of the encounters. It’s the new trend of unwillingness to wipe, which I think Ghostcrawler pointed out recently.

Rem said...

Thank you, Larisa, just thank you. It had to finally be said. Thank you!

Leah said...

its not that wow has gotten too easy. its that getting gear has gotten too easy. so everyone can have some pretty high end gear without having to be in a top end guild that does top end effort to clear content.

so now we can see who raided for the sake of fun of raiding and who was in it mostly to feel superior.
I think that being able to raid for a limited amounts of time sucessfuly is wonderful. the excuse of - I don't have enough time to raid so that's why i haven't cleared all that stuff? no longer warks. becasue you relaly don't need time anymore. all you need is a bit of effort and skill.

and I think its great!

Hirvox said...

Well, yeah, running into that brick wall of Heroic ToC can be a bit of a shock. But isn’t it always when you’re facing a new boss? Aren’t we exaggerating the impossibility of beating it a little bit?
I'm not saying that it's impossible, it just looks that way.There's a reason why gyms have a range of weights available. If you put 100kg into a bench press for someone who has never trained before, they'll quickly find out that they cannot lift it. But that doesn't mean that they couldn't lift it some day. Try as they might, that bar isn't going to budge until they're strong enough, even if their strength improves every time. So why would they expect to be able to lift it tomorrow if they didn't succeed today? As rational beings, we try to avoid futile work, and therefore we need positive reinforcement to accomplish long-term goals. We need the carrot as well, not just the stick.

spinksville said...

I hate hearing people say 'WoW is too easy' as a blanket statement. Some parts might be, others aren't (like the hard modes you were talking about.)

But if more and more people have completed all the content that is available to them and are bored, it has to mean something.

A lot of people still don't have access to hard modes because they can't get into the raid groups that run them. So how can they find something more challenging to do? I think that the gap between normal mode and hard mode is just too high at the moment.

The Renaissance Man said...

The thing that I look at, is the fact that the game is actually getting harder. However, at the same time, the player base is becoming more educated, and the amount of middle of the road content is expanding. However, the raid content is harder than ever.

Look at it this way. A lot of people measure the difficulty of an encounter by how long it takes for the first kill. There were numerous fights that have become nearly legendary for their difficulty. C'Thun, The Four Horsemen, Kael'Thas, and Mu'ru were known as guild breakers. They point out that Yogg-Saron was killed less than two days after he was available as a sign that current content is weaker. It's a point of pride for many raiders to claim that they killed Mu'ru pre nerf. But Curse killed Mu'ru five days after he was available, on may 4th, 2008. The longest an encounter lay undefeated was the 7 weeks that the Four Horsemen confounded Death and Taxes.

However, what people fail to understand is the paradigm shift that hs taken place. Hard Modes are now the focus, not merely downing a boss, but downing it with all it's abilities intact. Pre Nerf, if you will. The hardest of the hard modes in Ulduar was Alone in the Darkness, a fight against Yogg Saron without buffs that made the raid juggernauts in the normal mode. The first AitD kill was recorded on July 7th, nearly 3 months after the encounter was first accessible.

Along with Firefighter, Blizzard has released two encounters that vastly outstrip anything sunwell had to offer in terms of difficulty. These re some of the most fine tuned and complex fights in the history of wow, and unlike the bug fests of vanilla and BC, these fights are challenging on their own, not because they are grossly overtuned or broken coding.

Fish said...

Easier wow is a business decision. Making Wow appeal to as many people as possible makes good business sense and has been talked about ad nauseum. However, I agree with Kromus in that Wow has enough diversity that it can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. Think 10 mans are too easy? try with 9. I personally enjoy the "easier" content, and high end raids are still probably beyond me.

Mimetir said...

Salient article Larisa. I completely agree with you, and I think too many people say that WoW is easy, whatever their reason for saying it. I never agreed with them in my own article, simply referenced the statement rhetorically as a starting point for my observations on WoW as a whole and its players at present.

Also, the topic extends to all of WoW - not just raids. I think it's a mistake to focus on raids and their effects, and so forget the World outside the instance portal.

I also agree with some of the comments above. There seem to be a lot of opinions about what constitutes the game having "got easier". Having read comments here and on my own article I think it's an umbrella term used to describe things specific to a player's own opinion of the game - such as less variety in fight mechanics, less complexity in rotations/talents/stats, less grinding or sense of achievement. For example, Tobold's point about modern healing jump'n'run 'methods' compared to older-content healing which required thought, is a fair one - his thoughts can be found on his blog post replying to this one.

Also, if someone says that the game has become easier then they may not be whining - they may be making an observation or even rejoicing.

Whether or not their observation is justified how they put their point across; everyone is reacting differently to WoW's current state, and that has ramifications throughout the community.

Anonymous said...

Raiding is a time investment more than it is an indicator of skill. Particularly the easy-modes.

But forget raiding. What about 5-mans? The WotLK 5-mans are so absurdly easy it's depressing. Nobody CC's anymore, it's all aoe tank, nobody marks anymore beyond the first target, it's all just zerg it down. All you need for a 5-man, even a heroic 5-man, is 5 people that aren't more than half-asleep.

Remember some of the classic "omg wtf" parts of BC 5 mans and heroics? How about the 2nd Boss's room in H. SLabs? Every target had to be marked, at least 2 had to be CC'd, the pull had to be exact (or you'd pull 10 at once), and just to mix it up, a wandering stealthed rogue might one-shot your healer. How about the gauntlet of H. Shatt. Halls? One misstep and you pull the sides.

The hardest 5-man boss in wotlk is Loken, pretty much everyone can agree on that. What BC 5-mans have bosses that require more strategy and coordination: Sh. Halls last boss, SLabs 2nd, 3rd, and 4th bosses, Botanica, 2nd and 4th boss, Mechanaar, all 3 bosses (particularly before people knew about the stairs trick for the 2nd boss)... The list goes on. On Loken, all that's required is that you group up and run away when he starts to cast his big spell. That's it.

All I'm saying is that in honored level blue rep items and quest drops, anyone can tank, heal or dps his/her way through any of the wotlk Heroic 5-mans. Remember when H. Sh Halls was required as an attunement? I'd love to see anyone tank that in it's original form without at least full Kara gear. Oh yeah, Thunder Clap is only usable in battle stance, go.

You know what's crazy? I can't even remember how hard Vanilla 5-mans were. I've revisited them at 70 enough times (only a handful) and zerged them down that I don't remember the old strategies... or at least that they were difficult to execute.

Firespirit said...

Larisa:

EXACTLY how I have felt for the last several weeks. Enough with the "WoW is too easy" garbage. No, WoW is accessable - which is not the same thing. Get over yourself already!

We Fly Spitfires said...

Hehe! About time someone finally said this :) I commend you!

Personally I don't understand the reluctance from people to switch to other games if WoW is "too easy for them" or isn't to their liking. There's plenty of other fish in the sea, so to speak.

Andrei said...

Did WoW get easier? Absolutely. In this incarnation of WOW it is easier to get around hard things. Can't kill Yogg-Saron on 25 hard mode? Do you it on normal 10 man. No matter what it is still Yogg-Saron in the same room. Can't do even that - move on to easy mode ToC with a better loot. As you mentioned yourself nobody seems to care about Yogg anymore anyway.

None of the WoLTK 25-man hard modes is as hard as vanilla Naxx. Sunwell came close - it was big gear check and required perfect raid composition. On the top of that vanilla Naxx required tremendous time commitment.

If WoW a better game now is another story though. Imo this is the question you should be asking.

Kheldan said...

Something I miss here. The reason why many raids don't go to Ulduar anymore and try to kill Yogg-Saron is simple: the Ulduar loot is outdated.

Blizzard was so wise to create a raid instance which you can clear in normal mode within 1 hour easily, and where you get better loot than in Ulduar.

Our guild has killed Yogg-Saron some weeks ago, but we don't go to Ulduar anymore, cause our members don't like to go. They prefer AC normal and AC heroic.

WoW players always go where they can get the best rewards. If in Ulduar bosses would drop item level 245 or 258, people would go there.

Vulpina said...

I'm one of those who is still playing WoW but flirting with Aion on the side and it is completely obnoxious how often /3 LFG: OMG I LEFT WOW CUZ IT WUZ 2 EZ LULZ!!!! pops up. Please.

Some people say that Aion is more difficult than WoW, I think they are wrong. Aion requires a little more patience. And if you're critisizing WoW for giving you a quicker bang for your buck... you probably have too much time on your hands.

scrusi said...

Posted my reply. My new posts don't seem to influence your blogroll anymore so I thought I'd link it ;)

Mister K said...

I totally agree with your sentiment especially since I started in tbc like you. I also agree with Dechion because I too am in a small guild who is just now working our first steps into Ulduar. I have to say that not having a lot of raid experience I have no concept of what the "good 'ol" days were really like and I find the encounters to be entertaining and challenging. I think this is one issue where everyone is going to have a diffeerent opinion because we all have played the game from different points of view and our pov is going to tint our view of how the world (of warcraft) is. For me all that matters is I am enjoying the game and the groups of friends I play with and as long as that is the case thats all that matters to me. If I am not having fun anymore then maybe I won't play anymore.

Gen said...

What are you talking about it is easy. Your doing 25M ulduar HM with ToC gear. The buffer you get with ilvl245/258 gear is so much taht claling any HM in ulduar is a joke other than. Firefighter, and Yogg+ 0.

If you want challenge go do 25m ToC HM. You guys are doing easy isntance. lol for you to eveven consider ulduar to be hm anymore lol....

Hinenuitepo said...

Nice post!

It's definitely been a peeve of mine lately to hear the 'whingers' complain about Wow.

Good points, and no, I don't think it's easier now. Less than 1% of guilds have killed Algalon. That's about the same rate as full Naxx-40 raids 'back in the day' when things were 'so hard.'

Wow is different, no doubt. Too easy? Nope.

Muron said...

Wrath was too easy was a valid complaint for the T7 Content.

As a casual 2 day a week guild we cleared 3 drakes with over a month before Ulduar came out.

The T8 Content on the other hand was amazingly well done. Firefighter and other such fights I tried were incredibly well tuned. And I have heard 25 man Yogg+0 compared to C'thun and the later sunwell fights. The lowest fight in ulduar (Flame Levi) could be beaten by absolutely anyone, where the hardest fights (Algalon, Firefighter, Yogg+0) were very difficult, on par with some of the hardest fights in game up until that point.


T9 on the other hand was again very poorly tuned and presented. Almost every guild walked into ToC and 1 shotted the bosses all the way up to Anub and then sundenly there was a huge jump from Anub to Heroic Beasts. While in T8 some hard modes were easier than some of the regular modes.

Basically
- T7 content was too easy (everyone beat everything with ease)
- T8 Content was well done, and scaled smoothly in difficultly the moment you entered the door until you did the hardest of hard modes. This provided people with a constant challenge (And gear rewards that scaled with).
- T9 ended up having almost no scaling. All of the regular content is trivial a heroic beasts is the 3rd hardest fight in H ToC, so guilds only end up with 4 progression fights really, regular Aunb, H Beasts, H Twins and H Anub. And 3 of those are rehashes of fights most guilds will have done dozen's of times.

To make this worse, all of regular ToC drops better rewards than ulduar and is easier than the end of ulduar. This has made the majority of players skip some of the best (most challenging) content in wrath so far.

Cozmo D said...

/Applause
What a refreshing yet unexpected read. Thank you Larisa!

candy said...

And how many of us will ever see Algalon, on 10 or 25 man? It's near impossible to keep up focus on hardmodes needed to reach him when everyone sees better gearing options with less pain in ToC.

Larísa said...

@Rem: Thank you!

@Leah: Yeah, the discussion about easy or not easy definitely connects to our motives for raiding. I’m one of those who enjoy the process of raiding as such. I don’t give a damned if hard mode ulduar doesn’t give any huge upgrades anymore. It’s still more fun than doing ToC normal.

@Hirvox: It’s true that it’s good to have a range of weights to choose between. That’s why Freya is such a good thing. You can have none, 1, 2 or 3 up. Pefect.

@Spinksville: Yeah, there may be something lacking in the gap between normal and heroic.

@The Renaissance Man: This is the first time I hear this perspective about the paradigm shift and it’s really interesting. Make your voice heard!

@Fish: /Agree. The diversity is there, although some players plain refuse to see it.

@Mimetir: Your article was definitely a good starting point for some discussion going on in the blogosphere. I look forward to see the next post in your series!

I think that many of the observations about the game becoming “too easy” are made in a complaining, whining tone. It’s probably the “too” that makes it. Sometimes I think that the statement is mostly another way of bragging about your own greatness. Now that they can’t excel with shiny purples they start to pick on the “morons and slackers” who have dumbed down their game.

@Anonymous: You are right about the 5-mans. Although I must remind you that towards the end of TBC when we were geared up, the 5-mans were a joke too. All of them, including Durnhold keep heroic. The one that provided some sort of challenge the longest was MgT, but even that one turned into a joke.

Maybe I’m a victim for nostalgic impulses, but I agree – I miss the CC:ing in SL. And Shattered Halls was my favourite instance with those huge pulls that needed to be coordinated and controlled. Even if I’m an aoe-happy mage, I too agree that the zerge mode has gone way too far in the 5-mans and make them rather boring.
So yeah. If you ask me about the 5-mans I too think they’re too easy, even though they were slightly more challenging if I remember it correct when we were freshly dinged 80s.

@Firesprit: Yay! let’s make a revolution against the “WoW is too easy mantra”.


@We Fly Spiritfire: Thanks!

@Andrei: I wasn’t around in vanilla wow, so I can’t compare really. But I seriously can’t say that the hardmodes/heroic mode we’re doing now is any easier than the bosses in MH and BT,

@Kheldan: yeah, you’re missing the gear/loot thing. But that is sort of my point. Don’t mix up your incentives for doing harder stuff in game when it doesn’t provide the top loot with statements about the game being too easy! Be honest about why you’re choosing to only do the easy content.

@Vulpina: Oh dear. The same old leet-speak crap has infested Aion as well. Sad to hear it.

@Mister K: yeah, we’re always doing those statements from a personal point of view. Maybe some of the flaming wouldn’t happen if people said “too easy for me” rather than just “too easy”.

@Gen: Cheers Gen and grats to your Algalon kill! Now move your ass back to the official forums and the Trade channel, where trolls like you normally dwell.

@Hinenuitepo: Thanks!

@Muron: I think you’re pretty right about the difficulty levels. However, this thing that guilds to fights several times on normal ToC is really up to them. And at least in our case it’s not a question about lack of gear that we haven’t beaten ToC heroic yet. It’s about execution, about learning the fight. But I can’t help thinking that people these days are pretty lazy and extremely gear oriented, where you want most shiny purples with the least possible effort. And that’s really not my cup of tea.

@Cozmo D: Thank you!

@Candy: yeah. I guess I’m privileged to be in a guild that is still doing hardmodes in Ulduar. But people who don’t and whine about the game being to easy… I just don’t get it.

AShadowPriest said...

I was going to leave a longer comment but what I was going to say would only echo what was previously said.

I will say, however, that the accessibility of T9 content and gear quality disparities among 25 man guilds have led to this state of affairs. Guilds that raid 25 man do so with a mixed bag of raiders, and you can't attempt hard modes or heroic modes without a full roster (and preferably 2 or 3 on the bench). It simply isn't do-able. The raid's drive to succeed needs to be about equal across the board, and with competitive gear being so easy to acquire most people just don't care about putting in the extra effort, and those that do care don't want to put up with the slackers and dead weight.

I have the skills, drive and desire to kill yogg, but most of our raiders just don't care as much as I and other do because they are in it just for the gear.

I don't suppose they've asked themselves what the point is of acquiring all this gear yet.

Mandalus said...

"only 7.5% of all 25 Man Yogg attempts result in a kill."

This is a skewed stat. Of course there will be many more attempts on a boss vs kills. Some guilds can 1 shot every boss in the dungeon, therefore only have 1 attempt. Guilds still progressing may need 50 attempts to get the victory. Also, some guilds kill him once and never go back. As mentioned, the loot isn't that great.

On to the topic, I don't believe difficulty is the issue with WotLK raids, I think it's the length of the raid (how long they take to clear) and the schedule the content is released on. I have expanded on this on my blog, Vigilance

lonomonkey said...

Ulduar is a gem. Intricate and interesting fights that keep me entertained.

My gripe is with the argent tournament. It has the complexity of a entry raid but require good gear. In fact that's all I see with it, it's a gear check. As for people aint clearing Ulduar its simply because there's no incentive to go back anymore when you can jump straight in ToC

The tournament bored me to death and I pray that Icrecrown citadel brings more of that ulduar goodness.

Frijona said...

As a casual player who probably wont be able to see most of this content because everyone else has already exceeded the level that I'm at, I really appreciated reading this post.

Shayzani said...

"But then I wonder: since when did it become mandatory to run the raid instances on normal mode? Is there anything at all preventing you from skipping the faceroller raids altogether and stick to hardmode Ulduar and heroic ToC? Nothing. Nothing at all."

Not quite true. You're only able to run Heroic ToC after you've cleared the normal if I remember right.

Larísa said...

@AShadowPriest: Yeah. I think you’re right. It’s just that it’s a bit dishonest to say “It’s too easy”, when the truth is that they’re only in it for the gear and therefore don’t bother with the harder content.
@Mandalus: I read your post and it’s sad to see. No matter how you try you can’t bother some of your guildies to go Yogg. It sucks, it really does. And yeah, I agree that ToC came out too quickly after Ulduar. We could have used another month after the summer.

@lonmonkey: Yeah, I think we all long for Icecrown, to see some new stuff. But on the other hand I wouldn’t mind clearing ToC hardmode first…

@Frijona: thanks! As a causal player, a bit behind where the majority of raiders is, you’ll definitely always have some hard content to beat. The problem is to find a group that isn’t overgeared to go with, other players at the same level as you.

@Shayzani: you’re right. I missed that. But mind you, the requirement was only ONE time. There’s nothing that forces you to farm ToC 10 and 25 on normal modes, and then get bored when you want to do them on heroic. You can do it once and never more. But how many players do that? Not many I suspect. But then they could as well stop whining about the instance being to repetitive. Cut down on doing it so many times a week would be a good start!

R.Bunk said...

Who gives a rats ass?

Azryu said...

Of course there are the trolls who will cling to the ability to troll the chat channels saying WoW is bad in Aion, but I think this will fade very much over time and will eventually turn into something that is frowned upon.

I do not believe WoW and Aion have to be exclusive of eachother, I play both, but more Aion at this point because I love having something to do rather then grind gear on my level 80 mage or priest.

It's a change of pace, and it's exciting. From what I've read, the endgame PvPvE is going to be very exciting. PvP titles, and when you get high ranked ones, only a select few can bear that rank. One supreme commander, etc.

I too hate how much people complain WoW is too easy, just as much as I hate how people complain Aion takes too long to get to level cap. Come on? If it takes a long time to do so, that means you are experiencing a tremendous amount of content between those points- content to enjoy.

I myself enjoy looking at what spells I get in the next coming levels, and salivating at the thought of squiring them (metaphorically speaking).

Morrighan said...

A great post.

I think what has happened is that the top end is still where it was and the normals are in about the same place. However, everything in the middle has altered.

Also, I think that the thing that irritates me most is that, as Larisa says, the people who complain haven't cleared everything. Half of them haven't even cleared normal content. I can understand the complaints from players who have cleared everything and want a new challenge. They have the right to complain. Those who've barely cleared normal, I just tend to think 'Please, please quit - its rotting my brain just looking at what you're writing!'

DJ said...

People have been crying "too easy" since WotLK came out, and while Naxx was extremely easy compared to previous raids, there have been challenging fights at every tier. Sarth +3 drakes on 10-player is arguably the hardest fight ever designed for it's own tier. How many guild beat this fight without "overgearing" it with their 25-man gear? Were there any at all?

The harder Ulduar hardmodes are ludicrously hard. Anyone can still go back and get their rusted proto-drakes, except that most guilds won't be able to beat Firefighter or One Light in the Darkness (let along Alone in the Darkness) on 10-player difficulty even in 245 gear.

Trail of the Crusader is unfortunately simple and offers no comparable challenges (though heroic Anub'Arak is definitely pretty hard), but I think we can all expect Icecrown to be more like Ulduar, and the cries of "too easy" will still ring from plenty of guilds that won't even attempt hardmode Lich King until level 85.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but the only Hardmode in WoW are people that:

Dont Skill their Chars for maximum efficiency to their designated role.

Dont use the best Pots and Buff Foods available to their role.

Dont use DBM or equivalent Addons

Dont use Class relevant Addons

Dont use a UI that is optimal for raiding

Dont read Raidguides to new encounters and memorize them.

Dont watch Videoguides to new encounters and memorize them.

Dont give it their best shot in every new try.

Dont stay focused during a try.

Dont take it seriously that other 24 people are there in their free time and are counting on them.

Dont understand that the, its only a game attitude, is an excuse for lack of all the above.

If you have 5 or more of such people welcome to Hardmode WoW, sorry everything else is easy unless you are impaired in some way.

Try raiding in EQ2 wher you dont have DBM or try to turn off DBM in WoW and then we are talking about Hard. If you actually have to work for your kills. Right now you only have to get 25 like minded people and you rush trough every content in WoW.

Anonymous said...

I agree with most people in this thread. But I also remember when people stopped to inspect people who were in tier 2.

I'd even be more satisfied if the difference between 10 and 25 man sets wre more than color, I'm fine with normal/heroic being different color.

Now the hard thing about wow, for me, is I play at night on a us. server during the highlight of our raid time there are 300 people on the server. seeing as Maybe 1 in 12 people are a good fit for your guild that leaves a very small pond to fish from.

To me killing a hard mode boss grants nothing compared to seeing it dead the first time. I could go on on this top but I will simply compare the Writers comment on "smiling after some wipes"

Wow isn't neccessarily easier, but there is no such thing as a guild killer in raid anymore, and going hand in hand with that, "smiling" after a hard earned kill used to be a speaker destroying /cheer fest over vent.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
moarhps said...

I'll admit it; I'm one of the people who think that WotLK is too easy. Or rather, I think there's no sense of -progression- to it anymore. Ulduar is frankly harder than ToC, but ToC gives far better loot than even Ulduar hardmodes. That to me is just a terrible idea. Heck, due to the badge changes, you jump from farming heroic dungeons to ToC, skipping New Naxx and Ulduar altogether.

Many people say "hey, you still have hardmodes, shut up" but harmodes are -boring.- We've killed all these bosses before, where's the progression in this? I wasn't in a cutting edge raiding guild for TBC, but when we finally down Kael, Vent was a giant explosion. If felt -good,- like we really accomplished something. Hardmodes don't give that to you.

What progression guilds have been told is that we get to run the same par 3 golf course over and over (a sparse, unattractive one at that!), only with a major handicap. Can you really consider than "new content?" Can you really blame us for missing the days when we got to play on large, eye-pleasing and difficult courses? (I don't know what par that would be, I don't actually -play- golf well. LOL)

Pzyche Demonia said...

Most of Wow is very very clearly much easier. Levelling a character is vastly, ridiculously faster for all sorts of reasons. Of course that makes it easier. I remember struggling through my 60 lock quests but now, I can just buy a lock mount effortlessly at 40. I used to dream of epics, in fact even the blue dungeon set was worth nights of work. Even in BC we used to soens ages in Shadow Labs to get those blues. Today, you will be half-epiced out in a few days. Tell me what was 'heroic' about Heroic 80 instances that we could do on our first day at 80? And is crowd control hard now? When was the last time you asked a lock to charm a humanoid? Yes, there are very hard hard modes. There always were extremely hard raids...just totally different ones than 'hard mode' versions of the same. How many % do the 'last boss' is irrelevant. You used to see an all-epic character and go 'wow'..now people belittle you if you don't have a 4500 'gear score' to do Violet Hold. The point is, very few people, if you truly ask them, feel that they earned their loot, levels or money. It didn't used to be that way just 3 years ago.