Monday, January 3, 2011

Current Progression Ladder

A lot of folks are getting really upset with the level of difficulty that Heroics represent, and casual players in particular are frustrated with their inability to get groups to successfully run heroics.

I totally understand the issue, as I find myself wondering how someone who's not used to reading will handle movement mechanics while juggling add management on fights like Heroic: Corborus, or the constant running, dodging cluster-fuck that is Heroic: General Husam. How do they manage the interrupts and burn phase of Heroic: Baron Ashbury? What do they do when they run into Heroic: Ripsnarl?

But I think another way to look at this, is that in the first tier of content, Heroics are now officially a level of gear and difficulty above normal dungeons. This is the reason, a month into the expansion, we still have world-first top-end guilds working on heroic modes in Raids after all the time they spent on them on the Beta.

For the last year, this was the lay of the land:

Top-End: Retired
Hardcore: Heroic: Lich King.
Serious: Heroic: ICC and Helion
Everyone else: Any content in the game. Even normal LK was ridiculously easy by August/September.

At the end of the expansion, that made sense. Right now, there isn't all that much end-game content in the game and I think, the lay of the land is this:

Top-End: Heroic Raids
Harcore: Raids
Serious: Heroics/early raiding
Casual: Everything else

I think if we approach the current difficulty level with this lens, it makes sense. Yes, casual players who're not raiding and are not used to the level of difficulty that raid-bosses and non tank-and-spank bosses present are going to have a hell of time in heroics. They can either train up to them or they can wait till 4.1 drops when all the Valor gear will become Justice gear.

The 3 normal dungeons at 84-85 are also great for training and you can outfit yourself in a full 333/346 set from normal dungeons, Justice Points gear (sl0wly), reputation items (some 359 items there too), and crafting. I don't think it's a slight if you have problems running Heroics right now.

Think back to December or January when you queued up and got Heroic: Halls of Reflections. You knew it was work. You knew it was effort. Now, scale that up to every heroic. That's what this is. And I for one am enjoying the ever-loving hell out of it.

As for me - so far I've killed every boss except for Heroic: Commander Springvale and Heroic: Erudax. I'm chomping at the bit to kill Erudax because it'll complete my meta but Heroic: Grim Batol has been kicking my ass for a while so I'm giong to give it a break for a bit.

I'll start writing up my impressions of the dungeons so maybe it can be helpful to folks having trouble in heroics.

Time to complete all the other dungeons with guild-groups and then prep for Throne of Four Winds. Raids start on the 11th. Eeeeek!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely right! There's no shame in still struggling a bit with heroics, or even waiting to go to them. I like that I had to run some top-end normals before my gear would even let me into the heroics (on the order of needing to have minimum rep to buy keys in BC, at least it provides a benchmark).

    My only complaint was the time investment a single heroic required, but that was mostly adjusting expectations, much like the expected difficulty.