Friday, October 20, 2006

WoW:TBC Rearing Its Ugly Head for Guilds, Old 40-Mans

The newest World of Warcraft expansion, The Burning Crusade, is splendorously beautiful in its artistic aspects. It merges vast, expansive lands of differing terrain into a floating-space-mass type of otherworldly plateau, and tosses you in the center of it, entirely for you to experience and explore. Seconds after leaving the Dark Portal on the Outlands side, many are taken aback by its beauty, and this definitely sets the tone for the expansion as a whole.

But in terms of guild diplomacy and current 40-man raid instances, The Burning Crusade is arguably the ugliest thing to come along since the worldwide LFG channel. Just tonight, I witnessed some of the not-so-great aspects surrounding the release of the expansion, and it struck a deep chord. It's like these problems never existed (or rather never seemed pertinent) before now. All of a sudden, a giant rush of worries and anxiety overcame me as I saw some of the changes that are afoot, and I can only imagine other guilds are gearing up like my own.

To summarize:

  • Many members now feel current raid instances (save Naxxramas) are pointless wastes of time. Their feelings are justified, since just looking at some of the loot tables from The Burning Crusade, you begin to notice the first 5-man will have equal, if not better, gearing and weapons than you can get in Blackwing Lair, a 40-man epic raid dungeon that a good portion of the guilds in WoW have yet to conquer. Don't even get my guild started on Ahn'Qiraj... that's a nightmare in and of itself.
    This obsoletion of gear and weapons we've worked months (if not longer) to obtain are being tossed out the window, to be replaced by blues... and even greens- but no matter. This isn't a complaint regarding items becoming obsolete, since with new content you'll inevitably need newer and better gear which will surpass the old. This is a concern that current raiders will not show up to raids, knowing any work they put into progression now will just be lost time (and gold) come the expansion, where barely two hours in you're already getting items that make your T1 look deliciously shardable. What are we to do with raiding until TBC? And the raiders?
  • Kind of a follow-up to the previous point, my guild just tonight decided to recruit new players to fill the temporary (or perhaps to them, chronic) lack of raiders during progression nights. While I can see their desire to progress in the game, I can't agree with a position of recruitment, especially right before an expansion where there will be a mass re-visiting of WoW by old guildmates. What is a plug in the boat to keep it afloat will be an enormous iron weight that will sink it. As has been historically demonstrated, the only possible solution of guild overpopulation is the inevitable /gquit's, and sadly it takes both veteran (valuable) and rookie (possibly good, but who can tell during the 2 weeks they're in-guild?) members. How does a guild ensure progress is maintained while not setting itself up for a fallout right before the expansion?
  • What will happen to the old 40-mans? Will they go (as my most favorite WoW blog,, put it) the way of Dire Maul, one of the most prettiest but unvisited instances of World of Warcraft? Will guilds who never stepped foot in AQ40, Naxx, or even BWL just skip over content for Outlands raids, knowing better gear awaits? All signs unfortunately point to yes. So, if your guild hasn't downed Ouro or C'Thun, or even Nefarion, it's arguable your days are numbered before the game (and your guild) moves on. Since we know Blizzard has no intention of updating the instances anytime soon, add one more nail to that coffin.
Of course, there's much more to be discussed, but these are the topics of current interest. What will happen to guilds that want to progress, but have members who are uninterested in losing gold and time on wipes that will mean nothing in ?2? months? What will happen if recruitment (or even worse, guild splits) results from the lack of attendance, just to be met with the lower raid caps of TBC? What will become of those old 40-man instances, housing encounters you may never see, simply because of a lack of interested people?

I'm interested (but wary) to see where the expansion will take us. I hope for the best, but as is usually best, prepare for the worst.

Additionally, before you call me a waah-waah muffin, please realize I'm also looking forward to much content in TBC. These topics are only isolated for discussion and, to a degree, consulting. I'll no doubt be on WoW's forums in the upcoming weeks seeing what guilds are doing in preparation for the expansion changes.

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