“Would you prefer the raids of yore, or are you enjoying the game design of today?”
Interesting question asked on Massively yesterday.Â My experience with raiding goes as far back as EverQuest when we would raid the original planes of Fear, Hate, Sky, and dragons like Nag and Vox.Â The raiding grew more intense from there into Kunark and subsequent expansions.Â Dark Age of Camelot’s raiding was a bit different in that it lacked a lot of the immense preparation that was required in EQ.Â It was still a very large scale and involved process though.Â World of Warcraft’s original raiding in MC, BWL, AQ, and so on should be familiar to you; I did all of that as well.Â I’ve also done the smaller scale stuff available in WoW and Lord of the Rings Online.Â I consider myself, like many of you, a veteran.
The thought of returning to such an involved, and quite frankly tedious at times, process of the true “raids of yore” is enough to make me a little more than unnerved.Â I don’t have it in me to raid for nine hours straight anymore.Â I don’t think the effort justifies the reward.Â It wasn’t having to organize/find the enormous amounts of people or the difficulty that got to me.Â It was the way the content was designed.Â Â There’s a reason why they call them “Trash” mobs.Â Having to work through dozens and sometimes hundreds of worthless mobs just to get to a boss that everyone kills sucks and it’s boring!Â That’s why Onyxia was so great.Â You go in, kill like 4 things and bam you’re at the boss.
There is most definitely something special about big boss fights.Â Getting together with large numbers of people to take down a boss, especially one that requires an organized effort with strategy and a learning curve, is really something games are getting away from.Â Big raids have a very bad rap because of the whole process.Â Cut the fat and I would love to participate in big raids again.Â There is no reason why a raid has to take five hours to kill a boss that takes twenty minutes or less.
Boss fights themselves can easily be enough content to justify the gathering of large numbers of people.Â Onyxia was (and maybe still is?) a good challenge.Â She was a long complex fight with multiple stages.Â Â Ragnaros was a great fight.Â Razorgore was a great fight.Â I know, a lot of WoW references but some of these bosses were really a challenge and had a lot to them.Â The boss fights that can be considered events are the best.Â Introduce lots of boss fights like this around the world, let people kill them once a week, and that’s easily a justifiable way to get a lot of people together.
Big boss fights and raids are epic moments.Â The epic moments make memories.Â They also give players and guilds something to work towards.Â I can appreciate the smaller stuff like ten man raids but for me it doesn’t come close to matching the accomplishment or the scale and adrenaline rush like seeing 40 people prepare to fight a massive monster.Â Â It also meant more walking away with a piece of the kill in your hands as a souvenir. Getting loot in a five man is neat, but getting loot in a 40 man is just better.
So yeah, cut out the trash and the waste of time and just give us those amazing bosses.Â Make them really long fights and design them to be extremely complex with lots to do.Â Â Make them difficult and something to work towards.Â With that said, why not have the smaller scale stuff too?