Idea: Release Mists with No Raids?

I can’t take credit for this idea. All I remember is someone tweeted me the link to a forum post on a prominent WoW community and I can’t for the life of me remember which thread/poster/tweeter it was. If you’ve seen the thread before somewhere and you got the link handy, do me a favour and link it in the comments.

This is why you should never trust memory. Or at least, never trust mine.

The basic premise is to launch Mists without accessible raid instances right away. You can still PvP, do heroic instances, and all the other end game stuff available.

But don’t open up raids right away.

Why would you do this?

Because it helps even the playing field across the board for raid progression. At the start of expansions, the most progressive guilds tend to be the ones that hit cap immediately and get into raids as soon as they can. Let’s make it a little more interesting. Open raids up after week 2 of release. This gives time for players that can’t take the 72 hours off straight from work or school to level to max at a more forgiving pace.

Then when the raids do become available, there’ll be a little more competition for assorted boss firsts for server and world.

Would make things livelier, that’s for sure. It wouldn’t be the first time some form of artificial gated content was implemented.

Yeah? Naw? Wanna get in there ASAP and leave everyone else in the dust or do you favour a fair start for as many players as possible?

EDITntzolev saw it here first –

28 thoughts on “Idea: Release Mists with No Raids?”

  1. I saw it first here:
    And I like it. Rushing through the quests and dungeons and factions just isn’t my thing.

  2. I like the idea myself. Mostly because this expansion, above all others, offers some extremely interesting storylines and some amazing area’s to explore and quest in. I hated having to punt through Cata questing without even seeing the events or thinking about the storylines. I just needed to finish, quickly and cleanly. Then after my main was leveled, I was raiding to much to take the time with my alts to enjoy the questlines and story. 
    Evening the playing field also, is a good thing imo. No, I can’t take the time off work and no I don’t think I should have to just to make my guild competitive on my server. I also don’t think it’s fair of a GM to expect the same of it’s teams raiders, or have those raiders fear replacement. Just not a good environment to start an xpac.
    Love the idea, and would love to see it implemented.

  3. I love the idea, gives everyone a chance to gear up for them.  Guilds are kind of in a mess right now also with so many offline playing other games (due to boredom),or just mia. This would actually give guilds a chance to obtain more members, fill vacated raiding spots and the attack the raids.

  4. I like this idea. A guild like mine is usually torn – we are not hardcore nor server first, but we tend to feel guilty about enjoying the journey to max-level.
    It would be so much nicer to just be able to not feel rushed .After all, the server first isn’t “how soon after launch” it’s “how quickly you completed.
    If there is a grace period  and then the starting pistol is fired, progression will reflect skill far more than it does now.

  5. I think it would be awesome.  I also imagine the screams of protest, if this were announced, would be absolutely epic.

  6. Every high end raider I know would support this. Having to kill ourselves leveling, then gearing up for the first raid 3 days after release is very exhausting. PvPers always have their arena season start 2 weeks later, why it’s done that way with raiding I have no idea. We all hate it.
    That said, I don’t think it wouldn’t improve competition any. Players in guilds like vodka, Paragon, etc, usually take off from work and raid 8-10 hours every single day the first week content hits live servers. Just because more people were able to raid at the starting line, doesn’t mean they’d be able to keep up with that schedule. I guess it might have an affect on server raiding communities though. It’d help the little guys keep up with the slightly more serious guys, at least for a little while.

    •  @dawnwow I agree and disagree. The top say 10 guilds who everyone is looking at for completing boss encounters first aren’t necessarily who we are talking about here. Well, at least not who I was talking or thinking about. Those guilds will still book holidays around xpacs and get content cleared quickly for those world first titles. 
      I’m more prone to think that this may level the field slightly with server firsts, or at least with overall progression. Some guilds can take the time off and push their raids through but for the 90% of the guilds who can’t… it would even things out just a little bit and make the competition more about the skill of the raid team as a whole.
      First and foremost though, being able to enjoy the content, quests, storylines while it’s out fresh and new, would be a great change.

    •  @R0xsey That’s why I wrote this in my OP: “I guess it might have an affect on server raiding communities though. It’d help the little guys keep up with the slightly more serious guys, at least for a little while.”

  7. The idea was proposed as a way of getting the expansion out faster. It was proposed that it was better to release the rest of the expansion, without raids, than to delay the expansion further through raid testing.  Testing could then be done while the expansion was shipping and raids be released via a patch a couple of weeks in.  In the end I don’t think its been necessary to consider it because raid testing is happening whilst other systems are not available for testing (like pet battles).
    I don’t really have a problem with this one way or another.  I definitely think it would be better to ship the expansion earlier and raidless if those were the choices!  Its not like you couldn’t easily fill a short break pre-raiding with gearing and all the other cool stuff.  But I think in terms of publicity, it would be a disaster (I think I’d have to avoid the forums until all the raid content was out because the level of QQ and hate would be even more depressing).  
    Better to release a small amount of raid content with the expansion and then gradually put out the rest and present it as ‘staggered’ access 😉 (not suggesting that was what was done before, but it would look better from a PR point of view given they have done staggered access before).

  8. I like this idea but not for the reasons indicated in the post.  If you think that leveling time and gearing-up time is really what keeps your guild from the kind of progression accomplished by a Top 50 guild, you’re seriously naive.  If you don’t have time to level the day or week of release, how much time will you have to raid the day raids come out? And how many hours/attempts does it usually take your guild to down a boss?  At the average rate of server progression, any guild that can clear raid content rapidly enough to compete wouldn’t need a two-week buffer.
    That said, I do agree with the ideas CaerMorrighan pointed out; ship the expansion without raids, and give us the rest of the content first.  Mainly I’d love it because the opportunity to level to 90 would get us out of DS, and at least break the monotony earlier.  The only problem is, the content I’d be consuming at launch in place of raiding is what I’d normally use to not get bored with the game while waiting for the next raid tier to come out.  So basically once you start this cycle, you have to keep it going.

  9. I have no issues with gated content, and as such I would be all for this.  As it is, in a very non-progression based raid guild, there is still a great deal of pressure to level as quickly as possible, negating actually experiencing the content the first go-round.  I’d rather enjoy my leveling experience on all of my characters, rather than rush my main so that I can enjoy my alt(s).  
    As @Viktory pointed out, this will not necessarily launch your guild into the Top 50 when they were not there before.  Though, it will make the non-hardcore-progression playing field a bit more even.  You will not have so many servers with 1, maybe 2 guilds in raid content quickly, even pugging players from the other guilds that haven’t readied themselves yet, while the rest bang their heads against the wall attempting to level and gear through heroics.  
    I’m all for this.

    •  @Rilandune I’d have to ask if your guild is really “pressured” to level to get to raiding, or if that’s truly what they prefer.  If it’s a non-progression raid, it’s counter-intuitive but still likely that they may prefer being in raid over leveling. I don’t really like questing, though I do go slower and take in the content on my alts; I suppose I have difference purposes for different toons. Give me 2 extra weeks and it’ll be just like in school, I’ll work on that project the night before it’s due.
      Also, I still believe it’s a fallacy that anyone needs to “gear through heroics” or otherwise gear-up for raiding.  Sure, extra gear adds an extra margin of error on progression attempts, but at the launch of both Cata & Wrath I hit raids the first week in mixed greens & blues and either held my own or lead the group. 5-mans are great if you have the time, but I don’t think they are something that you need to budget for.

    •  @Viktory Both valid points, but in my case – my guilds case, rather – there is pressure, but potentially one that many folks don’t see.  My guild has never been able to field a solid 10 man.  We have 6, maybe 7 folks that are dedicated raiders, then 3 to 4 others slots that float in and out.  Of those 6 or 7 raiders, only 3 or 4 are genuinely good and skilled players.  Not for any other reason than they are very, VERY new to MMO gaming.  From Wrath to Cata that situation remained constant, only a few the of the players changed.  
      We (the guild leaders) apply pressure to ourselves to level quickly and gear quickly because those players we have that are very skilled have been plucked up by other guilds.  This largely due to the rest of the guild not being raid-ready until very late into the tier.  Vik, I believe you and I had this conversation before in fact when I was on LeetSauced – I love my guild dearly, they are great friends, but they are not all skilled-enough raiders.  I love raiding with them except that we struggle constantly to take down bosses, for both gearing (hence needing that heroic level gear to start) and mechanics reasons (hence having that time to learn the new expansions mechanics in the heroics helps).  As it stands they have been raiding Dragon Soul since it launched and they are 7/8 normal.
      Please don’t take this as a discredit to them.  Again, I love them, but coordination and mechanics have been the downfall for the most part. 
      In Wrath I had to leave the guild to finish ICC.  I hated doing it, but it was necessary.  I got recruited by the top 25 man guild on the server by doing GDKP runs with them.  And though I was quite undergeared for lack of 25 man runs, as well as never having gotten past Saurfang with my guild, within a few weeks I was the top performing Rogue in the raid and in the top 5 dps every boss encounter.  I say this not to brag, but to say that the pressure I and the other guild leaders apply is to keep us raiding, because we love it, raiding together, but we can’t afford to keep losing our quality raiders to guilds that are actually raid ready in a timely fashion, versus our raiders who have been known to level 3 or 4 alts simultaneously… one level at a time… for months.
      I’ll close by saying, I do agree with your points by and large, but there are situations like my own where the “rules” are a little different. 

    •  @Rilandune Hmmm… you must be in my guild because this sounds exactly like us! lol.  We have key members who get burnt/stressed out due to the repetitiveness or because new players just can’t grasp the mechanics, and thus we end up not finishing raids. As it is now we have not finished Dragon Soul ~or~ Firelands on normal.  But the core of our guild has raided together since we were in 40-man guilds back in Vanilla and we have amazing fun… every pug that raids with us wants to join our guild. I myself went with a hardcore raiding guild for progression’s sake, and really I did not enjoy it. For a 25-man raid they would stock 35 people and flip  people in and out multiple times for each boss fight. There was just not the camaraderie, the jokes, the sound of bottles of wine being uncorked in the background as 7 players between the ages of 35 and 55 sat down to raid with good friends.  Yes it was exciting for the first few weeks, and then it was just another job. I’m playing D3 now because I’m bored to death with wow (this is the WORST pre-expansion “dead zone” I’ve experienced since I started playing this game, the first day it went on sale!).  But I’ve had enough of a break that I’m ready to hop back on wow and start pugging raids to complete them before MoP comes out. And that is my choice, to have fun a few nights a week with amazing people, and then pug to finish up. Delaying when the raids become available will put pressure on us to gear up faster, but it won’t change our style.

    •  @Mybele It is remarkable how similar our guilds sound.  Truly remarkable 🙂  And I couldn’t agree more, it won’t change our style at all either.  I wish my guild could get their act in gear and just pay attention, learn the fights, etc.  But like you, I’ll just pug the content to finish it, and have fun goofing off with my guild ^^

  10. I would support releasing with no raids if they wanted to make an even playing field.  I am absolutely against releasing an unfinished game just to give people something to do.
    The only World Firsts/Server Firsts that guilds seem to care about now are Heroic modes.  If you want to even the playing field, then keep Heroic Raids closed for 2-3 weeks to allow for levelling/gearing time, very similar to what Blizzard did with the Diablo 3 RMAH.  ICC Normal modes were gated, and it felt very clunky.  Top guilds were literally finished with all the content in 1-2 weeks.  Then the next gate opened and they were finished again.  Then all the heroics were available all at the same time once Lich King was dead and the true race was on.  It evened the playing field somewhat but still strictly favored those who spent the most time on it.
    Some people play the game only to raid.  No PvP, minimal achievement farming, just raiding.  Those are the primary people bored and burned out right now.  Releasing a game before the raids are ready would not do anything for those people.  Still no new raids, just now they can completely obliterate the old raids.  Let the raids get finished and gate the Heroics.  Then you’ll have an even playing field for all.

  11. Interesting, but I disagree the impact on the communities. Releasing with a 2 week delay is the same as releasing with the raids active day 1…. having  a date for release will not stoppeople from grinding ASAP, and then grinding dailies to gear up. 
    What’s to stop me from Grinding to 90, then grinding dungeons to get every possible upgrade, rep item, and craftable… I’d actually argue that it could make even more of a disparity between players. 

    •  @Derevka Let me play Devil’s advocate for a second, what if the raid content was gated for 6 weeks, or even 8?  Take out the variable of the hardcore raiders being rather upset, would you still think that disparity could be made even worse, or would that then level the playing field some?

  12. As someone who doesn’t have the ability to take time off to grind to 90 but still considers themselves a “hardcore” raider, I would love for this to be implemented. I don’t want to make WoW my focus for a few days once school starts, but the early grind always forces something like that to happen if you want to stay competitive with raiding. 

  13. Having a delay seems to imply that the extreme hardcore players should wait, and I don’t understand why they should have it. Somebody else completing the content in 4 days does not diminish my enjoyment of it, it only frustrates that user. Having an artificial raid start date will not satisfy the entire community and the selection of date is too dependent on the individual’s perspective to decide if it is fair. Let’ em go as fast as they like.

  14. I don’t really see the point of shipping without raids. If you don’t have time to be a world-firsts raider, you just need to deal with that – get the time or get a less hardcore guild. If you don’t want to be in a guild that pressures you to level fast so you can get realm firsts, leave the guild. The super hardcore raiders can clear the raids on the first weeks for all I care… it won’t affect my satisfaction when *my* guilds clears them. I’ve realized over the years that progression isn’t satisfying when you do it at the expense of your personal enjoyment. For the first time in an expansion, I killed the “big bad” on heroic long before the raid was obsolete… but I couldn’t even be happy about Madness dying since I was so burnt out from the 16 hours a week of raiding. All I wanted to do is sleep.
    Bottom line, in my opinion the hardcore raiders can very well clear the raids on the first week. I won’t care and I don’t agree we should gate everyone’s progress just to “keep an even field”. If Blizzard did that, it would open another can of worms – just think of all the physically disabled people who are hindered by the mechanics of various bosses. Should Blizzard change all the encounters while taking into consideration every difficulty a player might have with them? Bosses would just look at you and drop over dead then… Everyone just needs to realize that hardcore raiding isn’t for the average WoW player and get used to it.

    • I’m going to interject a bit of advocacy here. We have at least one physically disabled person in our core 10 team who has cleared all the content with us and helped place us in 4th of the realm. He was one of our biggest pushers and not a single person in the raid knew that he had a game impairing disability. Indeed, in the 4 years or so that I’ve known him, very very few people have ever been able to tell that he has a single arm. He’s been in a couple of our top guilds through the servers history. I’m going to say that it’s just a bad example on your part to make the point. I get your point, I kind of agree on the larger scale but also disagree on every other scale.
      The point is, it’s not about making special accommodations for people who work or go to school, its more about giving people the options of enjoying the amazing content in live game as well as being able to gear their main raiders up within that content in preparation for raids. It just simply removes the requirement to either put everything but WoW aside for 72 hours or play catchup for the rest of the content.
      No way that everyone would be happy, no decisions are ever expecting to make 100% of the population happy. 

    • I thought the original point of shipping without the raids was to get the expansion out faster, and patch the raids in, as opposed to waiting longer for everything to be finished on Blizzards end before releasing MoP… and ~if~ that happened, would the hardcore gamers be offended if they had to wait 2 weeks (or more) for the raids to be finished and patched in? Giving everyone more of an “even playing field” would just be a byproduct of waiting for the raids to become available. I think that people will complain whatever happens, if you play the game to raid, and level up as fast as you can then having more time to level might be painful for you. No matter how good the leveling content is – some people only want to get-to-the-raiding.  I do agree with one thing though, the expansion needs to happen SOON however they choose to do it!

  15. What would essentially happen then is that the launch tier of raids would mimic patch raids. Think about Firelands, Dragon Soul, Ulduar, ToC, and ICC patches. There were way more guilds ready for those at the starting line. 
    When raid tiers reset, there’s that small, brief window of time where you maybe… just maybe could catch and dethrone guilds ahead of you in progression. Unlike launch tier of raids, you’re not killing yourself gearing up for subsequent raid tiers because you’ve already had months clearing out the launch tier to ready yourselves for it. 
    Unfortunately, those of us that want to raid as soon as possible are hindered. We’re hindered by the slowest packs in the herd. We can’t go into a 25 man without having 25 men (and women). We’re only as slow as the slowest leveler. 
    … I’ll race you :o. 


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