Encounters

[full disclaimer: I did not raid pre SoO. This is mainly an attempt to make sense of peoples opinions and memories]

I get a lot of people tell me that raiding is easier now; that bosses are easier and that classes are easier to play. This feels odd in many ways and leaves me with at best questions, and at worst, a bad taste because that sometimes  feels like it detracts from what I’ve actually done.

But the thing is, I also read articles and watch videos of people who have been playing for a long while that say the opposite: Raiding isn’t easier – mechanics are more demanding, more varied and require more individual responsibility.

So here is how I see it right now:

Raiding hasn’t got easier; but where the difficulty lies has fundamentally changed

By explanation let’s examine tanking and threat:

The good old days Today
  •  Tanking rotations are primarily concerned with generating threat
  • DPS and healers have to manage their output to not pull threat from the tank
  • Mechanics involving tank switching revolve around managing threat.
  • Healing for the tank comes almost exclusively from healers and occasionally personal cooldowns
  •  Tanking rotations are primarily concerned with personal mitigation and damage output
  • DPS and healers will never pull threat from a tank
  • Mechanics involving tank switching generally involve debuffs and personal mitigation
  • Healing for the tank comes from a mix of personal mitigation, cooldowns and external healing

If people disagree with that assessment I’m happy to retract, but that’s the difference I felt between what people were telling me about tanking when I was learning (from folks who tanked TBC and WoTLK) and what my experience ended up as.

So what does that mean for encounter design? I think it means that because ‘rotations’ are easier – and I think they are easier now in WoD than in MoP; less abilities and more obvious priorities – then the way to make encounters more challenging is to add boss abilities that require players to do more. I’ve heard several people talk about the lack of a ‘Patchwerk’ boss this expansion. Even butcher has abilities to manage and other things going on. There’s no simple gear check.

As our raid lead said last night; the curve starts much higher now, but doesn’t get as high at the end of the tier/expansion

And I guess that’s ok, but if people would stop telling me everything is way easier now that’d be nice. Because While I agree that more abilities makes thing harder at the start of a raid zone, is the end that much easier? Garrosh was a tough boss – were Kael’thas, or Vashj really that much harder?

That’s probably enough QQing for now. I might come back to this when I have more coherent thoughts.

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