You must, maybe, be in a raid to enter this isntance

| Monday, April 9, 2012
Why?  And when?

Obviously from a strategic standpoint you're going to need a raid group to get far in a contemporary raid instance.  Just zoning in though, that also requires a 'raid'.  There is this strange requirement that players be in a raid group in order to zone in.  It's an inconsistent requirement.

The raid group does not even need to be a group.  Five players in a group cannot zone in, but hit the convert to raid button and now they can, despite no actual difference in the group composition.  This was a past-time in the past, of completing a BRD run and attuning people and then you'd convert to a raid and gaze in wonder at the Molten Giants that stand near the entrance.  Sometimes we'd pull one, they're linked so we'd get both, and see what happens.  Usually it meant we died.  Sometimes we ran out fast enough.

You don't need 40 people to zone in to a 40-man raid.  You don't need 25 for a 25 or 10 for a 10.  Or even two.  The other person in the 'raid group' can be offline, even on another character, and it still works.  I don't know why the raid group requirement exists.  Maybe it was a way to prevent the generation of hundreds of single-person raids that would destroy the servers back when Blizzard staff wasn't yet swimming in pools of molten gold.  BTW, a very painful process, but they come out very shiny.

The inconsistency goes further.  It seems to me that the raid group check only occurs at instance portals.  That means that if you can get inside without the glowing purple or green wall curtain, you don't need a raid.  There are two raids which have that ability.  It's not coincidence that both are also linked to instances.  Molten Core is linked to Blackrock Depths and has a portal down there, which no one uses (anymore), but also in Blackrock Mountain there is a window which acts like a portal.  The window does the raid check.  But next to it, there is an elf.  He doesn't.  Talk to him and you can get in, even without being in a group, let alone a raid.  Blackwing Lair is linked to Blackrock Spire, and also has a teleport mechanic in Blackrock Mountain, an orb which will put you inside the raid instance, again, without needing to be in a raid group.

I've tried other raid instances, not all, but a decent sample covering both sides of Ahn'Qiraj, Karazhan, Mount Hyjal in the Caverns of Time, Icecrown Citadel, and Ulduar.  All block me, requiring a raid group.  This seems to support my theory that if you can bypass the portal, you can get inside.  But I don't know of any other raids which allow that.  Maybe the legendary staff from old Naxxramas would do that for Karazhan (I don't know where the portal it makes goes, inside or outside), but good luck finding one to test!


Tesh said...

Yeah, not a fan. One of my MMO hobbies is soloing old group content. I was all fired up to try Kara, but the tower rejected my solo ways.

...Rades has an article up where you can use a dummy free account to make a raid group and bypass that, though. Dumb, but I'll probably try it. It really is a silly gating mechanic.

Anonymous said...

It was only as recently as patch 4.3 when undocumented change made allowing access to MC/BWL without being in a raid group.

Klepsacovic said...

@Tesh: The suggestion doesn't seem dumb... Odd, sure, but odd times call for odd solutions.

The old content soloing seems to be an unintended side-effect of the expansions. Though the anti-fun team never let "unintended but harmless side-effect" stop them.

@Anonymous: Good find there. Thanks. It looks like the raids where there is an attunement check, as with the elf and orb, they bypass the raid group check.

Tesh said...

Sorry, the solution isn't dumb, the fact that we have to circumvent things with arcane dual-account hacks is dumb. I'm glad there's a workaround, I just don't like that it's necessary.

Klepsacovic said...

There is also the social solution that I've often used, of finding a friend or paying someone a marginal bit of gold to form a raid. Maybe it's dumb, maybe it's an interesting problem to work around. I don't see the point of an MMO if we're never going to need other people.

LifeDeathSoul said...

The portal for the staff lands you right outside the door of karazhan, so i don't think you can bypass it though

Kring said...

> There is also the social solution that I've often
> used, of finding a friend

Isn't the reason why we solo old content, that none of our friends still play?

Kal said...

I use a free account lvl 10 myself. Yeah, it's one of the dumber relics in the game.

It seems like it would just be some sort of switch they could flip to make that requirement go away, but there might be something odd preventing it, like with the flying in BC zones issue.

Klepsacovic said...

@Kring: That's not why I solo it. I solo it because if my friend and I are after the same item, it makes no sense to cut in half the potential number of drops. Sometimes it's an activity I can do when there are few friends online.

Gnomeaggedon said...

Wasn't it to prevent the "no instances available " limitation?

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