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  1. #1

    how Sartharion made Wotlk

    The Obsidian Sanctum was a small raid with basically one boss (Sartharion) which was doable very early on in the expansion Wrath of the Lich King. Only a tiny bit of coordination was needed to bring down the boss. Because of its size and difficulty level it was very PUG-friendly. Heroic dungeon gear and a few pieces from Sartharion and you were set for the 'real' challenge: Naxxramas.

    (The Eye of Eternity was another small raid which (if tuned down) would have made a great addition to The Obsidian Sanctum as one out of two 'expansion-entrance-raids'.)

    Imo this was the perfect solution to cater to every kind of player. Some would skip the entrance-raids and start with Naxxramas right away (the hardcore), others would do Sartharion for a few weeks until their ilvl would make Naxxramas easier (the casual raider) and some would do Sartharion and heroic dungeons until the next patch and then with the gear of the 'new-patch-heroic-dungeons' they could join Naxxramas raids (maybe with mounts dropping there as an incentive for all players to visit the raid again).

    Like this everyone would experience the story of the expansion (maybe a little delayed) AND you would still get that feeling we all got when we first beat a 'real' raid boss (e.g. a casual player is progressing and becomes a casual raider).

    Wotlk was the expansion where I went through exactly this transition. I was a complete noob doing heroic dungeons and Sartharion every week on my blood elf rogue and then one evening I joined a group for Naxxramas (I was shivering...ecstatic). Most of the 10 player raid I was in was inexperienced and it took us quite a while but a few hours later Patchwerk was sparkling in front of us and we were cheering in the call. It was amazing. That was the moment I started to invest more time into raiding and in the end of the expansion I was raiding ICC on heroic. This is simply what the raid aspect of this game is about: wonderful moments that you progressed towards.

    I'm not saying LFR is bad but...if I had seen patchwerk sparkling for weeks in LFR before...it just wouldn't have been the same.

    NOTE:

    my post is about what the way of progression should look like for casual players/raiders.

    I don't care how easy T7 was for the hardcore raiders. You have mythic now. Blizzard has got you covered and it will never change. For a while now the discussions have always been about the way Blizzard caters to casual players/raiders.
    Last edited by Rinnegan; 2016-01-28 at 01:22 PM.

  2. #2
    I am Murloc! Bigbazz's Avatar
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    I think you missed a trick here.. All of the T7 raids were designed as entry level raids for beginners, Naxx had a few hiccup issues like requiring 2 priests on 25man for Razuvious and the necessity of learning the dance on Heigan the Unclean but the tuning was very very slack and many of us felt the heroic 5mans were harder than 10man Naxx.

    Sartharion was on par with the easiest bosses in Naxx and only Malygos posed any challenge. Malygos was comparable to a medium difficulty non hardmode type fight, as apposed to the others that were not that much above the original LFR (Cata/MOP). The only real actual hard fight in all of T7 was Sartharion 3-drakes Hard Mode... The rest of the whole tier was effectively easy mode raiding..

    It was designed that way, Blizzard even stated it would be an entry level raid to provide a stepping stone for people to move into raiding.. Which is probably why Ulduar was such a system shock for people, when even the non-hardmode fights were tough as nails. If you had been around at the end of TBC raiding the 25man stuff you would be extremely surprised at how much easier T7 (Naxx/Sarth) was, especially Sunwell which was comparable to a Mythic raid with no lower difficulties.
    Last edited by Bigbazz; 2016-01-27 at 05:27 PM.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigbazz View Post
    I think you missed a trick here.. All of the T7 raids were designed as entry level raids for beginners, Naxx had a few hiccup issues like requiring 2 priests on 25man for Razuvious and the necessity of learning the dance on Heigan the Unclean but the tuning was very very slack and many of us felt the heroic 5mans were harder than 10man Naxx.
    Nah, the "trick" here was 1-2 boss raids/easy first bosses (25 Man Flame Lev) that were relatively pug friendly to give casual/social players a short raiding experience that was generally pretty rewarding.

    Hardmode Obsidian Sanctum runs kept people engaged on a weekly basis because it was a short boss that became very pug friendly when you could just zerg it.

    Now you either have longer raids that generally need guilds with established groups, or you do LFR which is nothing compared to Maly/Sarth/Flame Lev/ToC because people aren't organizing themselves, the game is throwing them together to afk through a boss that might as well have a debuff that causes them to lose 1% HP every 3 seconds.
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  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kraineth View Post
    Nah, the "trick" here was 1-2 boss raids/easy first bosses (25 Man Flame Lev) that were relatively pug friendly to give casual/social players a short raiding experience that was generally pretty rewarding.

    Hardmode Obsidian Sanctum runs kept people engaged on a weekly basis because it was a short boss that became very pug friendly when you could just zerg it.

    Now you either have longer raids that generally need guilds with established groups, or you do LFR which is nothing compared to Maly/Sarth/Flame Lev/ToC because people aren't organizing themselves, the game is throwing them together to afk through a boss that might as well have a debuff that causes them to lose 1% HP every 3 seconds.
    well said, sir

  6. #6
    Sartharion easier than naxx, wut?
    Quote Originally Posted by Trassk View Post
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kraineth View Post
    Nah, the "trick" here was 1-2 boss raids/easy first bosses (25 Man Flame Lev) that were relatively pug friendly to give casual/social players a short raiding experience that was generally pretty rewarding.

    Hardmode Obsidian Sanctum runs kept people engaged on a weekly basis because it was a short boss that became very pug friendly when you could just zerg it.

    Now you either have longer raids that generally need guilds with established groups, or you do LFR which is nothing compared to Maly/Sarth/Flame Lev/ToC because people aren't organizing themselves, the game is throwing them together to afk through a boss that might as well have a debuff that causes them to lose 1% HP every 3 seconds.
    Implying that the first few bosses of HFC aren't puggable?

    I agree we need more one boss raids, but a lot of people seem to miss the fact that people are pugging HFC constantly. That part of the game hasn't changed.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraineth View Post
    Nah, the "trick" here was 1-2 boss raids/easy first bosses (25 Man Flame Lev) that were relatively pug friendly to give casual/social players a short raiding experience that was generally pretty rewarding.

    Hardmode Obsidian Sanctum runs kept people engaged on a weekly basis because it was a short boss that became very pug friendly when you could just zerg it.

    Now you either have longer raids that generally need guilds with established groups, or you do LFR which is nothing compared to Maly/Sarth/Flame Lev/ToC because people aren't organizing themselves, the game is throwing them together to afk through a boss that might as well have a debuff that causes them to lose 1% HP every 3 seconds.
    Meh, I think the bigger issue is more choices causes a "Path of least resistance" mentality, for which I actually choose to blame over-rewarded world content (at least in regards to this patch.)

    I mean, t7 was a bit of a lucky fluke, Blizzard was trying some new things, and ended up with a tier that (at least on 10man) was INCREDIBLY PuG friendly. I mean, if you pick and chose your bosses right (i.e. avoid Heigen like the plague), you could easily get a good 5 or 6 bosses down, not to mention free loot off of Sarth. It was great in the fact that it brought in a huge influx of new raiders by getting their feet wet, however, it did hurt a lot of experienced players, as, as someone above mentioned, aside from a few fringe 25 man bosses, things like heroic Old Kingdom, or Loken were almost more difficult for even a semi-organized group. This lead to what felt like a decently long content drought.

    Although, again, Blizzard got lucky with this, as the game was still fairly new at this point, and people had more to do, thus this largely went unnoticed. For example, even as someone who had never raided before (although I did have previous co-op experience from Battlefield-esque games, and even a couple of RTS's), within 3 or so months, I was already farming 25man Naxx fully on my (main) Druid, and had pretty much everything but 4 horsemen and the 2 upper bosses down on 25man on my Paladin alt.

    Now onward to today: We still have easy bosses at the start of the raid, I mean, it's pretty easy, even with a fairly undergeared group to kill the first 5 or 6 bosses in normal Hellfire Citadel (especially after the Kilrogg/Gorefiend nerfs). Highmaul too, it was pretty easy to PuG 4 or 5/7 Only Brackenspore and Ko'ragh/Imp. really caused any issues. I will say that BrF was pretty punishing to PuGs, however, I think the only really "random player friendly" bosses were Beastlord and Gruul (who were in 2 different wings and made thing feel a little disjointed in a PuG.)

    That said, I think the main thing keeping people from doing the old thing are:

    1.Over rewarded world content lowers/eradicates the gear incentive. The bosses I mentioned all drop 690-695 gear, which is equal/worse than what is handed out essentially for free in Tanaan.

    2. LFR lessens/removes the 'mystique' of the raid. In, say, WotLK, or even anything pre 4.3, raids always had this background 'mystery' to them, people wanted to see inside (I remember literally having people whisper me if they saw me waiting for invites outside the raid port, just wanting me to invite them to a raid group so that they could see the inside.), people wanted to kill the bosses that they haven't seen before, etc. Although, as a caveat, I should point out that I don't think this blame lies solely with LFR, I think extensive streaming/videos of the raid made it easy for people to 'take the easy way out' to see the content as well, but LFR is definitely a huge factor (and No, to head anyone off, I am not "anti-LFR" per se, I really have little feelings for or against it.)

    3. Tools for Pugging have been kind of 'squirreled away' over the years, both by Blizzard and the community. Again, since we're using t7 as a comparison, it really wasn't all that uncommon to see in trade people spamming to fill their Naxx groups, so even if you just happened to be in Dalaran, and saw "LF 2 DPS fresh Naxx." It was easy to say "eh, why not." and apply, even if you logged in with no intention of running Naxx that day, see it right in front of you can make all the difference . Nowadays, you have to specifically open up group finder, type "Hellfire Citadel", and scroll until you actually hit a group that needs DPS, not something that you're really going to do on a whim. (This also leads to a sub-issue that players now tend to be MUCH more unfriendly towards new raiders, which is basically just the community shooting itself in the foot, but that's a whole different argument >.>) But even before the in-game Group finder, people started using less in-game resources, and more addons like oQueue, or websites like OpenRaid, which a new player is unlikely to even know about.


    So yeah, I mean, that's my 2 cents on the issue.

    tl;dr: T7 was primarily a (potentially unreplicatable) fluke that lead to a huge influx of new raider. I don't think you can boil down the lack of PuG groups to a single root cause, or say that one boss made the expansion.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sting View Post
    Sartharion easier than naxx, wut?
    ya if you didnt leave any drakes up, after that all you had do was dodge flame walls

  10. #10
    I'm pretty sad they didn't come up with the idea of hard mode or heroic difficulty raids when Naxxramas got redone.

    Would've been neat to do the fights with something even vaguely resembling their original tuning. Many of the bosses would need their HP and damage tripled to be similar, even disregarding the gutted mechanics. Slowing down the dance so much was silly too.

  11. #11
    LFR is potentially good for the bottom line for Blizzard, but in my opinion it is destructive to the environment of World of Warcraft as a game.

    It removes any incentive to push yourself further if you don't already know the difference between Mythic and Heroic. I'd even go as far as to say that the multiple difficulty levels in general are destructive to that. If blizzard wasn't so cheap they'd release more content and have tiered difficulties off the bat that allowed less skilled / new players to get into older content and experience it while building up to the harder content.

    There has to be a better solution for the end of expansion player drought that plagued guilds in TBC, because the current solution is exactly whats driven down the longevity of Blizzards subscriptions. This problem doesn't affect me as someone who raids mythics already, at least not much, but it really hurts new players experience with WoW who honestly are being robbed of what made WoW a great game in the first place. Challenging group content that made you feel like you were progressing your character. Queuing into an LFR when bags are available to get 10 pieces of baleful loot and buying 695 gear w/ apexis crystals, I'd rather just go play a Final Fantasy game alone and not pay the $15 a month.

    Fortunately I discovered this game before all that came out and I know how much better this game is when you play with a group of people - after all they do call this an MMO for a reason.

  12. #12
    ayylmao did you really say naxx was a real challenge?

  13. #13
    There were no real challenges for raiding in T7. It was honestly a pretty dark time for anybody who was actually decent at the game. About the only thing players did which was challenging were speed runs and Immortal/Undying/Glory runs. Yeah, it was pretty PuG friendly but only because there was so little content that was actually difficult. I don't think Blizzard will ever make that mistake again, it was a very, very boring tier.


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  14. #14
    As someone from a guild who farmed Sunwell, tier 7 was the worst raid tier by a mile. Sunwell gear had perfect stats and gems for people, you didnt replace any of it while leveling. It then took a few days to kill sarth 0 drakes / the whole of naxx / and malygos, the only slight challenge, still in sunwell gear. The whole concept of gearing up in 5 mans didnt exist in WotlK. Point being, aside from sarth 3 drakes which was actually a challange, it took 3-4 days to level up to 80 and clear everything and gg till ulduar.

  15. #15
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    The first tier in WotLK was a pathetic level of challenge, Sartharion didn't made anything, it was just a filler raid, since - as usual - Blizzard run out of time
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Tunafishy View Post
    As someone from a guild who farmed Sunwell, tier 7 was the worst raid tier by a mile. Sunwell gear had perfect stats and gems for people, you didnt replace any of it while leveling. It then took a few days to kill sarth 0 drakes / the whole of naxx / and malygos, the only slight challenge, still in sunwell gear. The whole concept of gearing up in 5 mans didnt exist in WotlK. Point being, aside from sarth 3 drakes which was actually a challange, it took 3-4 days to level up to 80 and clear everything and gg till ulduar.
    I'm pretty sure the WF Malygos didn't even have a full raid of 25 people nor were some of the people there even level 80. In fact, less than 3 whole days from the release of WotLK all of T7 content had been cleared (aside from Sarth 3 Drake).


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  17. #17
    NOTE:

    my post is about what the way of progression should look like for casual players/raiders.

    I don't care how easy T7 was for the hardcore raiders. You have mythic now. Blizzard has got you covered and it will never change. For a while now the discussions have always been about the way Blizzard caters to casual players/raiders.
    Last edited by Rinnegan; 2016-01-28 at 01:21 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rinnegan View Post
    Some would skip the entrance-raids and start with Naxxramas right away
    Naxxramas 10 was the entrance raid, you could do it in quest blues as soon as you hit 80, Sarth and Mally were harder.

  19. #19
    Do you honestly not understand that the very reason Naxx/OS were so easy is because the hardcore raiders literally had nothing better to do? If you can't make that association, then you're pretty hopeless. Keep wearing your rose-tinted glasses, another raid tier like T7 will never happen again.


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  20. #20
    Sarth 3D was hard. I looked at my dates and we got Malygos on the 30th Nov but didn't get Sarth 3D till 21st Dec.

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