About me

I play a paladin. These are my ramblings about what's going on with my character Denethal in the game.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The requirement of raiders: Then and now.

Perhaps it is time that we looked upon the game itself for what it's worth.
Back when it first came out, it was a huge success among the many who had played the warcraft series. It was hard and arduous to level and after you reached the level cap, which were 60 at the time, you were introduced to a whole new game.

A game of raiding. You could only advance so far on your own as to reach level 60. After that, if you wanted to do anything in the game, you were forced to join a guild and start gearing up. And not just normal gear, mind you. No, you should definitely get the dungeon 0.5 set. And then upgrade it to the dungeon 1 set!

Keep in mind that at this time, gathering the Dungeon 0.5 set required you to enter the 5-man instances. And they were not heroic. They were normal. All of them. They were just really, really hard to do. Mostly because you had to do them in greens and perhaps just a few blue items. You had to work really hard to get fully geared in blue gear.

Back then, it wasn't the leeway you have now. You either performed or the group would find someone who did. But then again.. Addons were few and not often used. Damagemeters were just a foreign word that no-one bothered with. It was more important to stay alive and do your job. You had to improve your skill, not only your gear, to advance into a raid environment.

Comparing the old game with todays version of it, makes it seem like they are two completely different games.
From being a game played by gamers and nerds, the uncool people. The people that strived to achieve progress, it has now become a race towards the end.
It has taken out a lot of the skill requirements and you can even run heroics naked, thanks to the LFG tool.
And you'll still be rewarded with gear to advance you further on towards the final boss in the most recent released dungeon.

It has basically become acceptable to play for the cool people. Where they looked upon it with frowned faces as something geeky, mostly because they couldn't be bothered with actually learning the game, they are now lulled into the game as champions.

Champions of no skill, just gear.

Of course, this does not mean that they won't learn how to play the game and actually become skilled in their trade, it is quite evident that many have no intention of actually taking that step. Those who are better than them in the game are labeled as no-lifers, who most likely live in their mothers basements at the age of 30.

All this, because of two things:

Back in the days of Molten Core, you had to spend many hours a night to get enough points to compete against the many others that wanted the same piece of gear. Out of 40 persons, there was a drop of one or two items, whereof perhaps you were one of the lucky classes to get a piece. And of your class, there was perhaps 3 or 5 other players also wanting that exact same piece of loot. Basically, the cool people assumed that you don't need skill, just an unhealthy amount of time to get your piece of gear. You were a no-lifer because they never saw you outside any more. You became an asocial creature.

The other thing is how things works today.
You can get good enough gear to join raids, simply by letting others do the work for you. It doesn't matter if you don't contribute enough to pull your own weight as a damagedealer in an heroic. You can just blame it on your gear, as that's clearly the reason why you can't compete against the rest of the partymembers.
In other words, the cool people get something to blame that is not them. They are not no-lifers in their own minds, as they seem to think that since the gear they got suck, they can't perform any better and that being skilled is not a factor in succeeding.

It doesn't matter how little you play, if your skill in playing the game is better than theirs, you are a no-lifer.  And if you have the best gear available, you are also a no-lifer, because you're playing in the hardmode versions of the same instance they are doing the easymode in.

You are better than them in a game, thus you have no life, as you must be spending every minute of your life awake playing the game.

So what does that leave us today? The world of Azeroth have expanded, new things have been introduced, new encounters. New ways of making content easier for those who proclaim others as no-lifers.
You are not required to be skilled in any way to be allowed into raids today. All that's required is just a simple basic understanding of your role. Heal others, take damage or deal damage.

A game gone from where you were also required to aquire skill as well as gear to be allowed into a raid environment, to a game where all you need is to run enough heroics, naked if you want, to be geared up to go to raids. Even if you don't really need the gear you get from the emblems.

It will be interesting to see how the new expansion turns out.


  1. "Addons were few and not often used. "
    You are entirely wrong with the addons issue. You see, I played during vanilla and the addons back then had some unbelievable function. Remember the infamous Autocast? Or the awesome old Decursive that made MC like a afk sleep fest? Or maybe even Healbot that made you simply spam that one mouse click as it. Ahh, there were also incredible addons that did the work for you! The Easy addons made tanking/dpsing simply a position decision as you don't need to think anything about your "rotation"!

    "You can get good enough gear to join raids, simply by letting others do the work for you. "
    This is even more true back then. In a forty man raid, not everyone is required to stay alive or even fight. I was the paladin that stay out of fights to resurrect people mid-fight and buffing those 5 minute blessings. And if you think that requires skill, let me remind you that addons did the buffins themselves. The only thing I had to do was to click res when needed.

    The only part which I agreed to is the 5 man dungeons were challenging. But you haven't consider the fact that a lot of them required class stacking. A dungeon group usually consist of a warrior(since other classes can't even remotely tank smoothly), a priest(Same as warrior since others can't heal as well as them, but you get exceptions when you dont have the option, unlike a warrior tank), a mage(For sheep since it was the most OP CC and they bring food) and then you randomly pick some classes that can do good CC, usually a pure class. If you're a hybrid then you're screwed since there will be no proper gear for you(Paladin gear had int/str/ most of the time, which ate up a lot of item budget and made you pretty useless) and you had no way to do CC.

    "You are not required to be skilled in any way to be allowed into raids today. All that's required is just a simple basic understanding of your role. Heal others, take damage or deal damage." This is where it struck me off, this is no difference than it were. Actually this is true since the beginning of the game, add in a few mechanic and you get a boss fight. The point where people try to make when they say that "it takes no skill" is on the level of execution, rather than planning. Is there a lot more in Sindragosa HM and normal mode? No, it just makes the debuff an AoE and it drops on more Iceblock(25). But is it harder? You bet it is, but ask yourself what is hard about it. To do all those together and 0 mistakes from everyone in the raid! You only need to know the exact same thing about your role as every other 4/12 players, just the fact that you need to do it near perfect.

    Compare those with the situations today, we get a more polished game. OP addons are banned, or quickly banned(RIP AVR). Most classes have a clearer view and specs actually matters(Yes, you could've healed as ret/prot back then and no one would notice the difference).

    I'm not trying to be offensive but a lot of the "fact" that you pointed out during "the good old days" are not facts but the words rather sound like hearsays than from an experienced player. I do agree with you on the players mentality over "Everyone better than me is a no lifer, everyone worse than me is a scrub." But let me argue that this mentality already existed during vanilla, but is just more apparent in todays WoW. Ask a rank 10 player to comment about a rank 14 player, then tell him to comment on a rank 6 player, the answer you get might bare a lot of similarities you have described in the post. In short, the world of Azeroth is better and worse in its own ways, but every aspect of it still remains in the game.

  2. Seeing as this post wasn't about raiding, but leveling, the section about addons were aimed at the leveling and getting ready part, not raiding itself.

    It's kind of funny when I think of it, though. You prepared so much, did instances where you could spend hours and pray that your piece of dungeon set would drop.

    And then when you finally got into a raiding guild and started to raid? Whole new game. You basically started at level 1 again, hehe.

    So yes, some points that I should rewrite, so thanks for the feedback.

    Who knew, I actually got readers! :D

  3. I played a mage in vanilla, and my first ever raid was ZG. We did the spider boss on my first run, and I was told that, for the trash before the boss my job was to keep one of the big spiders sheeped. So I did that - and that was all I did.

    I stood and stared at the sheeped spider (doing zero dps) because I was terrified that if I did some damage on other targets I would not be able to react fast enough to resheep before the untanked spider started running around nuking people.

    Makes me smile sometimes to remember the old days.

  4. And on the readers issue - Gevlon has you in his blogroll. You will probably have lots and lots of readers!