Observations as of late

Things haven’t been terribly rosy in our little raiding corner of the world. Attendance over the past week or so has been dismal, to put it nicely, but for the most part we knew of the abscences. I’m cool with that. Some folks have gone AWOL on us, and when you’re already scraping to fill raid spots…not cool. Fortunately, a recent injection of 4-5 new members should help to alleviate the problem of 18-20 people online come raid time.

Initially, I was a fan of the new “raid”, Trial of the Crusader. But now, less than a month and a half since it was fully available, I have to say it’s one of the poorest major content releases in WoW. I know, I know…how could I possibly find a loot pinata such as ToC to be a piss poor raid? Easy. You find yourself running upwards of 4 times a week. A better design for ToC would’ve been for it to be 1 lockout, and before each fight begins, there could be a “switch” to set it to hard mode or not. Of course, this wouldn’t work with the current implementation since Blizz has decided to reward guilds/raids on how few wipes they incur (or as we found a few weeks ago, there added a new “Immortal” achievement…seriously Blizz, cmon). I, for one, would like to work more on heroic ToC, but as a guild there are still a LOT of upgrades people could use from regular ToC 25.

There there’s Trophies. I absolutely HATE the trophy drop concept. It wouldn’t be such a PITA if the badge cost for every item didn’t go up by 50% since you have to run ToC 25 just to get the trophies. Of course, each boss only drops 1. We’ve had ToC 25 on farm ever since it came out, and we are still a ways away from having everyone in at least 4 piece T9 245. Being somewhat selfless, I went ahead and filled out the rest of my T9 with the 232 pieces; despite the almost nonexistant spell power gain, I gained ~70 haste, and the T9 4 piece is sex. Now I can upgrade my pvp gear with the leftover badges at this point…heh.

On badges/emblems…I have mixed feelings about the emblem drop change coming in 3.3, where bosses/fights that drop emblems of conquest will then drop emblems of triumph. For folks with alt-itis like moi, being able to kit out alts in full T9 and/or Furious Gladiator gear is hot. On the other hand…we get to farm heroics…AGAIN…hooray! I honestly miss the days of early Wrath when the heroics were actually a reasonable challenge. Once everyone farmed Naxx for a month, though, heroics became a joke, and they’ve been a joke ever since. The hard mode “switch” concept I mentioned for ToC would be interesting to see in some heroics, although at this point I think it would be really cheesy to add that in as “extra content”.

I think it speaks volumes that when we run short of folks to run 25 mans, the overwhelming response from our guild leans toward running Ulduar 10 for hard modes and rusted proto drakes. It’s not about loot with Ulduar, although I believe most folks want in on that for the aforementioned drakes. I also think it’s due to Uld being a breath of fresh air compared to ToC, even though it’s been out for months now. Ulduar is IMO one of the best raid instances Blizzard has sent our way. There trash, but not a lot of it (anyone whining about Freya’s room needs to go back to AQ or MC…or hell, any vanilla raid). There are plenty of boss fights. Hard mode versions of most fight tend to change the dynamics of each fight enough to where it’s the same, yet different; ToC heroics mostly boil down to LOL I HIT HARDER N HAV MOAR HP LOL.

ToC could’ve been tuned for guilds as a extra raid to run parallel along with Ulduar, rather than a higher tier raid. It would make more sense that way so that you wouldn’t have folks loading up on 245 gear only to go back to Uld and roflstomp most all of the hard modes there. Not only that, but then they could have the faction-oriented T9 sets as part of the Icecrown Citadel raid, since there’s going to be a heated battle between the two factions there.

Hopefully Icecrown Citadel will blow our proverbial socks off. I will be happy to tackle a real raid as progression content once again.

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