But raiding is not an inclusive activity. Raiding is not something that should reach out and embrace you and invite you in. Nor should it demand that you do it. It should just be there, silently waiting, possibly giving you a hostile glare until you meet its standards.
All this "PUG-friendly" or "easymode" raid stuff is nonsense. It's just redefining raiding. I know there aren't distinct lines, but if raids get smaller, easier, and shorter, why are we calling them raids? Why would we make something like that? It's redundant! There is already a 5-man content type: regular dungeons and heroics. These fit the model of "PUG-friendly" raiding Tobold pushes
- do *not* have studied the "dance" on YouTube,
- do *not* have spend hundreds of hours gearing up before even trying the first boss in the first raid,
- do *not* have an uninterrupted block of 4+ hours available,
- do *not* consider wiping 400 times before the first boss kill reasonable,
- and finally do *not* have above average skills in moving fast or playing their character extremely well.
Except perhaps the last one, 5-mans and heroics are all of those. So why make easymode raids too? What are they adding? Is it the size of the random crowd? I'm just trying to imagine the conversation here.
"Hey boss, we have some new dungeons for you to look over." "Great, let's see them." "Check it out, anyone can get in, it's not too hard, not too many out-of-game requirements." "Yea, it's great, but could you figure out a way to have a lot more people?" "Why?" "I don't know. It's a great dungeon and all, but maybe it just needs five or twenty more people."
There's the problem, right there. Somehow this absurd idea got out that everyone wants to raid because somehow being in a huge group makes everything better. It doesn't. When I think back to the typical random, the last thought on my mind was "You know what this group needs? Even more of these people." It wasn't that they were bad, since for the most part they did well enough. It was that they were not people. It's an asocial experience to run with randoms. Adding even more random people does not make that any better. If anything it would make it much worse. Have you ever been in a big group but felt left out or generally just not part of it? That is random raiding.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a player never seeing anyone a second time, ever.
Facerolling through heroics wasn't much fun. Making that bigger isn't going to fix it.
5-man content has been long-neglected, with Blizzard papering over the flaws of it with game mechanics rather than content fixes. Random heroics were their attempt at filling heroics that no one wanted to run and to get people who didn't want to run heroics to keep running them. LFD was their way to fill up heroics that people were done with. These did not fix heroics. Nor will random raiding fix raiding, if it is even broken. I don't believe it is. Instead I believe that LK pushed a bad philosophy that everyone should raid and everyone should raid one tier of content.
Raiding isn't for everyone. So don't make it for everyone. To do so would be as ridiculous as trying to design a Hummer to appeal to Prius owners. They are different markets and no amount of hybrid fuel-cell solar-powered hemp-tailored-seating will change the basic fact that a Hummer is a really big vehicle for people who need or want a really big vehicle and a Prius is a small car with fancy stuff to make it fuel-efficient for people who like to be fuel-efficient. Different markets.
If we imagine and accept that only a fraction of players want to raid, then what about the remaining fraction? Note that this remaining fraction might be a bigger fraction. Also note that non-raid content can still be fun for raiders without being raid content and without being a gateway to raid content. There you go: don't waste time turning raiding into not-raiding, which raiders won't want to do because it's a crappy version of raiding and non-raiders won't want to do because it's a crappy version of raiding. Instead, make non-raid content! That isn't a daily!
-Add more outdoor content, that isn't in the form of dailies.
-Add more 5-man content, some of which is not done in half an hour.
-Add sets to non-raid content.
Coming next week: I find the exceptions that make the ideas in the post sound stupid.