Friday, November 27, 2009

Casual vs Hardcore: TotC vs Ulduar

The other day, I managed to talk my way into my second PuG for Trial of the Grand Crusader 10 (ie the heroic version of the raid).

We managed to make it all the way up to a near-kill on Twins before someone DCed and didn't come back - 39/50 attempts left on the clock; DPS was high enough to have a shot at Anub and possibly even A Tribute to Skill.

It got me thinking... everyone has their thoughts on why it's so easy to PuG raids now - fights aren't as hard as they were in 40man Naxx, gear is easy to get even just running heroics, it's easier to get 10 people together than 40, everyone in the game has just generally gotten better at staying out of fires.

Well, I do think it's a combination of all of these... but I also think it's mainly because of time investment.

Right now, the dungeons with the best gear are Onyxia's Lair, Trial of the Crusader and Trial of the Grand Crusader, as well as the Vault of Archavon. A wipeless run in each of these places takes maybe half an hour - well within the means of a previously "casual" player who can't afford to stay online for more than 2-3hrs at a stretch, including waiting time to actually form the group.

Hard mode Ulduar is now harder to get done than hard mode TotC, even with everyone wearing better gear, simply because no-one wants to run a dungeon that takes so long.

Whilst I agree that TotC is nowhere near as fun as some of the other raids (I can certainly understand the raider burnout from guilds being in the same room for 3-4hrs a week clearing all 4 versions of TotC), I do think that Blizzard did a very good job of catering to casuals this time around, which is a good thing from my point of view.

It's nice not to have to spend too much time in a dungeon for the one boss that drops your upgrade, and it's definitely nice not to have to spend too long sitting in LFG for the group to form up!

1 comment:

Kataron said...

Fights are supposed to get a lot harder come Icecrown, and it'll most likely go back to longer and harder to pug raids...

I do like that Blizzard allowed ToC to be easy-sauce just so that people can get geared up and ready for Icecrown without having to run through the older, longer dungeons, and it means that there's going to be a dramatic increase in people at least seeing the top-end raids than there were in BC. I heard that something like 3% of players got through Black Temple back in BC. Dunno how accurate that is, but consider the entire expansion is built around it, and this expansion around Arthas and Icecrown, it's nice to see them catering to people that just don't have the time, the patience, or twenty-four friends with the time and the patience.

I'll personally be glad to get back into harder dungeons. My guild runs a three-day raiding week, but the way things are now, we wrap everything up in one night or have to end really early so we have something to do the next night.