Lots of information revolving around how World of Warcraft’s key systems will change after Cataclysm is being released and it’s a lot to take in all at once. Almost all of it is major and it is likely to impact you regardless of how you play the game. These changes aren’t just for the eyes of WoW players either. Think of these changes as a potential next step for current and future games. When one competitor makes a change or addition in any market, the rest are sure to react in some way.
Raid Progression Refinements can be summed up very quickly by simply stating the following: 10 and 25-man raids will be identical in difficulty and the loot that drops in them will all be the same. You can kill a boss, whether or 10 or 25, ONCE per week meaning that you can really only run a 10 man or a 25 man. The only difference is that the 25 will drop more (quantity) loot. Within the raid you can choose to difficulty of each boss to be heroic or normal and it appears that this can be evaluated on a boss to boss basis.
I think it’s a great change, but some may not. Regardless of which side you’re on, it’s very clear that this change does indeed favor those who are not currently able to field the 25-man raids. Those who are currently able to be better than others are being brought down a peg. This system favors accessibility and the average joe. As I stated before, I like the change. First and foremost I like it because I benefit from it. It will be easier for me to get a group because there will be less exclusivity. My guild, currently in 10-man content, can now be just as good as that guild running 25-man content and I don’t have to feel like I’m slightly inferior simply because I have less people (in reality, I feel the 10’s are harder than the 25’s anyway).
Blizzard is also taking the raids and making them even more accessible by making them smaller.
“Instead of one raid with eleven bosses, you might have a five-boss raid as well as a six-boss raid. All of these bosses would drop the same item level gear, but the dungeons themselves being different environments will provide some variety in location and visual style, as well as separate raid lockouts.”
This is fantastic. My guild (or a pug or whatever) can choose to spread our content out over a longer period and tackle one of these smaller raids a night or pack them all in. We can rotate people in and out and people can choose what they can make and not feel like they’re missing out by going to one because better loot drops in the other. I’m a big proponent of streamlining raids. I’d prefer them to just be the dang bosses anyway with the fights being more intricate and epic. This moves right along in that direction.
Badge of PvP Changes is the next evolution of the emblem/badge system. It wasn’t more than a couple years ago that we were introduced to the badge system — not just in WoW either. The badge system introduced an alternative way for developers to reward players for completing content. The goal was to get around the problem of having loot drop that no one could use as well as solving the problem of people running a raid or dungeon and walking away with nothing after all the work.
The system breaks down thus:
Hero Points and Valor Points = Triumph and Frost Badges respectively.
Honor Points and Conquest Points = Rated Battle Ground Honor and Arena points respectively.
There will be a cap imposed for the number you can earn in a week. Essentially the system is the same, but according to Blizzard this makes it more streamlined. I can see how that would be given how the point system works for PvP. You earn points, you spend them. Almost identical to the system in place now, but a blending of the two and a little more straight forward.
This is the big change though…
“We do plan to have a way to convert Honor points (PvP) into Hero points (PvE), and vice versa, at a loss. The conversions will be possible, but it won’t be a 1:1 rate, and you’ll have fewer points after the conversion process. We won’t allow the higher tiers to be exchanged for each other, however.”
… whoa. I can PvP a ton and convert to PvE or vice versa, albeit at a loss. This is yet another step towards allowing people to play how they want. Having played WoW now to see the impact of the badge system, it’s not something for people to get -too- excited about. For the most part, a lot of the absolute best gear is still straight up dropped from instances. If Blizzard leaves the dropped gear in the game, and I expect they will, this means that PvE will still have exclusive enticements.
I’m very eager to see how the raid changed are implemented. There’s a sense of ‘this is all too good to be true’ looming in the air. These are changes that I think could definitely benefit -all- MMO’s that follow the themepark gear model.