Commence the moanage! As expected, there was tons of moaning when we got the news of conqueror tokens dropping in heroics and tier 7 raids. And I did a fair bit of moaning myself, but I suspect for other reasons than most people. Your average QQ’er will tell you that he doesn’t think it’s fair that lesser skilled people are be able to get equal rewards as more skilled people. In a way I do agree with this statement, but getting 4-5 pieces of tier 8 loot that will take hundreds of hours to grind, won’t make you a better player and even though your gear is better, won’t make Ulduar a pushover.
I like Blizzards intentions with this change. To close the gear gap. My guild has this problem. We’re going through Ulduar, but our progress is limited by people’s gear rather than skill. Some people are hesitant to go back to farming Naxx to gear up a few people, which I can also understand since some of them have been running Naxx on weekly basis since December. Finally Blizzard decides to adress this problem, but not in a way I like.
My first issue with this change is that they’re making us grind old content that we’re already tired of to be able to see new content. Yes, we are getting better gear so it might speed it up a bit and it gives those who already are geared a reason to go back. Still, I get the feeling that Blizzard is slacking a bit. Grinding Karazhan for tokens was never fun. Blizzard admitted this and said they would never do this again. And here we are, getting what is almost a gear reset in the middle of an expansion.
This brings me to my second issue with this change. It feels like all the work I’ve put into getting my current gear was a waste. Yes, you got to expect to replace your gear by doing easy content after an expansion, but not in the middle of one.
My third and final issue with this has more to do with my personal approach to the game. I don’t like getting reward when I’m not making an effort. I’m one of the few who stay away from VoA if possible, I’ll come if guildies need me, but I’d rather not do it. Why? Getting tier 8 from Emalon feels like being awarded the gold medal for finishing third. Come one, Blizzard! We’re not retarded, make us make an effort! Call me elitist, old fashioned or hardcore, I don’t care. Being patted on the head for being a bad player is demeaning, not rewarding.
So if I claim that Blizzard are wrong, how do I propose to solve it? One idea could be to do introduce more heroics like we saw in Sunwell, if this is too much work, change the current 80 heroics into normals (which no one runs since you are pretty much ready for heroics the moment you hit 80) and amp up difficulty on heroics. This ensures players are still challenged and it screws less with raid progression, without requiring the same amount of time or people as a 10 or 25-man raid. Another possibility could be to bring back “Old” Naxx, where being hit by Heigan actually killed you. Again it challenges players and gives those who already are past Naxx, a reason to come back.
Overall I think this was good idea badly executed. Yes, there was a gear gap and it needed to be fixed, but making us running old and boring (difficulty wise) content wasn’t the right solution in my opinion.