What if all raids dropped the same ilevel?

| Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Run Naxx on day one and you get 200 level gear, and whatever the 25 is, doesn't matter. When Ulduar comes it, it will give Ulduar level gear, but the boss damage and health will scale up as well.

Progression as a concept of "do X raid then Y raid then Z raid" would be essentially gone. You hit 80 and every raid is the top raid. Which one do you want to do?

I see little loss, only gain. Progression is already dead. We go from randoms to ICC. Some do ToC, but Ulduar and Naxx are entirely gone, along with EoE and dragonland.

There's still argument that the very last raid should be higher than the rest. Fine. Then put 25-man drops for previous raids at the 251 level, putting them on par with 10-man, but inferior to hardmodes and loot from Arthas. That would still leave a bit of progression without making older raids completely obsolete.

We'd have a wide variety of choices and could focus on those raids which we enjoy or haven't farmed a hundred times.


spinksville said...

I think it's a really interesting idea.

When they're patching raids in one at a time anyway, people are time gated rather than gear gated.

Xbalanque said...

I quite like this idea, on the whole. But how would old gear that's still useful be handled? I'm specifically thinking of trinkets, since even though I'm in ICC, I was still using Eye of the Broodmother until just a few weeks back, and recently swapped in Illustration of the Dragon Soul in my resto set after finally getting it. For many of the other items, it probably would be no big loss to just swap in random bits of the "current" gear, but for trinkets (and possibly relics in Cata), I suspect a fair number of folks would prefer to retain access to some of the older gear. Of course, if there were more decent trinkets available at a given item level for various specs, that concern could be easily addressed without needing to keep the older gear around.

Bri said...

An interesting idea, but I think the raid system would have to be designed right from the get-go to allow boss scaling. Blizzard has said a few times how raid boss encounters are often delicately balanced around abilities or mechanics that either wouldn't scale with health/damage, or would scale too well, making the fight either hopelessly difficult or a complete faceroll.

Unless the entire raiding system is designed to scale, then releasing a raid dungeon would mean also re-releasing several other raid dungeons.

I suspect the trade-off is either interesting fights that don't scale well, or bland fights that can be easily scaled.

Charlie said...

You'd want to give incentives to people to run the latest raid, but having old raids drop tokens like the heroics would work pretty well, I think.

If you scale the gear up, you create a lot more balancing issues and have to be very clever about introducing new gear for the latest raid. If you scale up difficulty, you have to make some allowance for fresh 80's so they have some option of running things like Naxx.

But having people motivated to run Naxx and Ulduar to gear up would be really cool.

Tesh said...

"You'd want to give incentives to people to run the latest raid"

How about making them fun to *play*, not so much about the loot? ;)

Klepsacovic said...

@Spinks: Would we end up with too much to do?

@Xbalanque: I was considering an automated system for bumping up stats. Trinkets tend to have strange activated effects, so those wouldn't be easy to automate. Maybe allowing those to slowly go out of date wouldn't be so bad.

@Bri: You're right, it would require a lot of tuning or setting up beforehand to be able to scale automatically. I think we could have scaling encounters that are still interesting. Some mechanics might not even have to scale because they're independent of gear, such as insanity.

@Charlie: I don't know how fresh 80s would be handled, since they'd effectively be hitting 80 with all raids at the ICC level and no raiding path to progress along. But no one does that anyway, so maybe there'd be no loss just sticking with the grindy random heroic system. Or maybe there could be easymode, in which Varian wanders around Naxx with his 25% buff so undergeared players can still clear it. But then when does he stop helping?

@Tesh: Yea, that.

Hana said...

I think it would be a lot of fun, but it's something Blizzard would have to ahve designed from the get-go (i.e. too late to do in Wrath), but it could be a lot of fun and keep people from getting bored of running the same instance every week.

I'm still disappointed that I never got to kill Yogg. :(

Anonymous said...

Blizzard has a gear inflation problem. One symptom of this is that last season's raids get ignored as the current raids offer better loot. If they ever get a handle on it so that last year's top-level gear is still good enough for this year's dungeons, Naxx, Ulduar and any end-game instance will stay interesting. Instead, they continually give us gear with better stats and we, predictably, choose not to raid the older content. What if Molten Core were still a challenge for end-game raiders?

LifeDeathSoul said...

hmm.... but if all the raids drop the same item level, wouldn't that also mean that they have the same stat weightage? I do forsee people then only running the easier raids to gear up.

Sure you could run the others for run. Maybe once, twice. After that? You'll probably go back to running the easier instances in order to get your gear :(

In my most honest opinion, I think that heroics should drop only blues, with slightly lower quality compared to the starting tier raids. something like how BC was. Though I don't have much of a recollection of BC's instances, I do think that the gear inflation wasn't that bad then. (Don't talk about the clown suit syndrome in HFP though, that's an understood incentive to do the new quests from Vanilla raids)

Klepsacovic said...

@Hana: Week? I'm hoping this would be a substitute for chain-randoms, meaning that you might run the same raid a few weeks in a row, but you won't run the same instance a few hours in a row.

@Anonymous: The problem is that they've set up a few contradictory philosophies. One is that they want progression, so gear gets better; but they also want people to see the latest content, so they set up a system to let us easily bypass the gating of earlier raids. But that allows for much faster and easier gear than would happen just by raid RNG. This system of "gear as tool" then contrasts with "gear as reward", which caused them to double the number of tiers to bump 25s above 10s. And of course inflation feeds on itself.

@LifeDeathSoul: They'd be the same level, but not necessarily the same stat allocations, so someone who is after either fun or gear in general will go wherever seems most fun/easiest, while people who are trying to perfect their gear will go for more specific raids. This does mean a huge mess of gear to compare, but maybe that would be better than the current system in which you're only looking at a very few items per tier per slot, so essentially best in slot is defined by tier rather than stat allocations; trinkets being a notable exception.

BC heroics dropped epics at the end, which ironically in early BC were more powerful than some Karazhan gear, until Blizzard tweaked some Kara gear up. I don't recall what the inflation was like, but the highest tier of badge gear was poorly itemized (way too much stam on the DPS gear) and most people weren't seeing much past the first tier, so on average everyone had much lower gear, though the peak was still pretty high.

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