Re-visiting the beginnings…

Posted On August 25, 2010

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The game has changed significantly in the past year, no one will dispute that, and with the recent Badge drop changes and the ilvl on gear things have been getting a little insane.  Every once in a while, I like to sit back and take a look at where it all started and where we are now and I can’t help but wonder what happened, and how we ended up where we are.

A good example of this is Naxxramas. 

No, not Vanilla Naxx (which was tremendously fun and nigh-impossible to clear if you had even 1 idiot in group) but WotLK Naxx, the “starter raid” with the ilvl 200 gear.  How is THAT a good example, you ask? Heh.  My reasoning: let me show you it.

In my Guild, we have a bunch of folk that started playing AFTER WotLK dropped, and who, through running daily dungeons to level to 80, managed to get themselves 2 pieces of T9 gear (ilvl 232) as soon as they dinged.  With such goodies as that on the table, and the ability to get 245 and 232 gear through doing Daily Dungeons and even 251 and 264 gear, Blizzard essentially made Naxxramas, with it’s 200 and 213 gear, irrelevant.  Even Ulduar, with it’s 219 and 226 gear, one of the most fun and well thought out Raids (at least in my opinion) is now considered irrelevant unless you’re looking for specific Enchanting or Leatherworking recipes.  People soon realised that with the gear they could get from Badges, doing Naxx and Ulduar was no longer necessary, and thus, Blizzard did away with progression.

It used to be that Dungeons dropped Emblems of Heroism (200), 10-man Raids dropped Badges of Heroism (200) and 25-man raids dropped Badges of Valor (219).  Skip to the Ulduar patch and Dungeons drop Heroism (200), 10-mans drop Valor (219) and 25-mans drop Conquest (226).  Skip ahead to Trial of the Crusader and Dungeons drop Valor (219), 10-mans drop Conquest (226) and 25-mans drop Triumph.  Enter Icecrown Citadel and EVERYTHING drops Triumph, and Daily Random Dungeons drop 2 Frost, and ICC drops Frost.  Hello 245s, 251s and 264s, goodbye 200s, 213s, 219s, 226s, 232s.  Three major patches can essentially be skipped because they are no longer useful and Archavon and Emalon are basically neglected.

Well, last night, a few of us decided to run Naxx for a friend of mine that I’ve been playing with since I pretty much bought the game shortly before WotLK dropped.  I couldn’t afford the new BC expansion when I bought Vanilla WoW, so I played it all the way through until I could afford The Burning Crusade, and continued to progress from there.  I progressed through the various dungeons, having been playing since before Naxx(80) dropped and as a result, my toons have seen the insides of Naxx, Ulduar, ToC AND ICC and progressed, gearing up through the different tiers all the way to T-10. 

Well, last night we decided to roll on Naxxramas, like I said, for a friend of mine and we brought along some pretty geared toons (think GS scores of 5800 and up) three of whom had NEVER seen the rest of Naxxramas except for Patchwork, Noth, Razuvious and Anub’rekhan…seriously…5800+ GS and NEVER full cleared a Naxxramas run.   Even better? The Hunter had never kited Gluth’s zombies before! I was ready for a LOT of fail, but 8 manning it for “The Dedicated Few” Achievement was a lot of fun. Yes, we wiped on Heigan…I STILL don’t have “The Safety Dance” on my Tank…and yes, someone crossed the streams on Thaddeus, but because we knew what we were doing, fun times were actually had by all and more than once I heard people say “Man, why can’t Raiding be more like this?”

That’s my new goal, people…putting the FUN back in raiding…any ideas?

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