Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Did Blizzard Screw up? Malygos 10 Commentary

This is not a boast post, but at this point in the game, a month and a half after the release of WotLK, I, a casual raider and PvP enthusiast have completed 5/6 of the game's possible raids. With PuGs. I suppose that you could say that I haven't taken down 25 Naxx fully because I don't care to spend hours upon hours of playing 'lets wipe' with a rotating roster of PuGhhhhs, but really, Naxx 25 is so much easier than Naxx 10, just by virtue of having more DPS. The only hard part is herding the cats to actually start the pulls.

...And of course making sure that the cats aren't brain dead zombie kitties who like to stand in the fire helps as well.

Again, not a boast post, but really, the question is, "What now?"

I'll be blunt here, and please do tell me if my reasoning is flawed.

Blizzard, from a long term financial point of view, did themselves a disservice with the introductory raids and because of this, probably cost them more long term subscribers.

The rationale is as such: Aside from Malygos 25 and OS with drakes up, all of the bosses in the introductory raids are easy execution fights. There are no high level gear checks and as such, there are no extreme DPS or Healer fights. Malygos 10 is somewhat of a gear check, but not entirely. At my current gear point, which is all Naxx 10 stuff with some 25 man stuff, I can easily heal through all of the content. As long as I have competent teammates, there is no overwhelming urge for gear so that I can 'save the raid'. Perhaps for other people, getting all super uber gear is the most important factor, but for me, the casual raider, this is enough.

As a healer, I'm probably seeing this effective cap phenomenon in a different light than most other roles, as my results are largely unmeasurable as compared to the 'damage taken' or the 'damage per second' statistics. However, if history is of any indicator and the stories of Raid participation declining after completing content is true, I'm probably not the only one to feel like there's not much more to shoot for. Ulduar coming out soon? I expect to be able to PuG that, too, on day one because healing Naxx 25 was a joke and if there's content that requires more than half my mana pool in a 25 man raid, I'll be surprisingly amused.

Here's the kicker: If I wasn't a PvPer at heart, I'd probably have quit by now out of sheer boredom, because jumping between the beams on top of Org bank is only fun for the first hundred thousand times. Not Horde? Ever square jump in Ironforge? Yeah, same thing. If I can feel this way, I'm sure there are many others who feel the same.

Scarily enough, this is the closest I've ever come to completing all available content, and it's not a good feeling. Keep in mind that I'm not a hard core raider, nor ever aspire to be, and nearly all of my raid experiences have been with PuGs. If I'm this apathetic about continuing to do completed content when it's not a challenge, I can't even begin to understand what the hardcore raiders are experiencing.

Although I'm all for discrediting Blizzard with their mistakes, I do have to commend them for the Malygos fight. It's incredibly fun and its one of the few fights that really highlights each and every class out there such that a 10 man raid with one of every class would actually do very well. Well, except for Warlocks, but I guess a healthstone is better than nothing. Sorry, Warlocks.

Simply, Malygos is a tank and spank DPS race. It is NOT a healer fight as people have claimed. Yes, there is a lot of damage to be healed in Phase 1 and 2, but its entirely predictable, unless Malygos eats a spark. Guild can't do Gluth? Forget about Malygos (besides that whole key issue). Vortex, for all its vaunted claims of being hard to heal through is only hard if people don't pre-heal with hots. Don't have a Priest and a Druid? Maybe it's time to recruit. Sorry, Pallies.

So if the fight isn't about healing, then what's the difficulty? Well, The key part of this fight is that DPS needs to be very high. 2.5k + DPS is probably the minimum that you want to be able to put out for this fight. That value isn't astronomical by any means, but the only reason why I give this number is because that's what our average DPS was we had an okay buffer for the Enrage timer.

Do you need all epiczzzz for this fight? I used to think so, from all the smack that was thrown about, but the answer is an emphatic "No!" The gear assumption was the amusing thing about my Malygos 10 PuG a few days ago. There were a few blues on most of our raid except for a few characters that had obviously (gear wise) completed this content and I initially thought were were headed to Fail City (population: Us). However, much like nearly every other LK raid boss, its all in the execution.

Our first attempt as a PuG? Phase 3 and we figured out the drakes a bit too slowly. Two more silly wipes in Phase 1 due to DK power spark mismanagement and the fourth pull was all she wrote. We even lost a healer towards the end of phase 2 (not me) and managed to pull out the W.

Anyways, Happy New Years, everyone, and don't do anything that vaguely sounds like a Sons of Hodir daily quest all by your lonesome!