So, guys. I have been lurking around forums and threads quite a while now, viewing what people complain about and praise Blizzard for doing in the last expansions, while they expand PVE content to please both the hardcore, dedicated raider as well as the casual. I would say I am semi-hardcore. I like being in the top end of the server I play on, but I don't play as dedicated as the top players. So, the ideas I will go into later are pleasing to my mindset of the game, and obviously aren't objective, but I feel cater to the needs of everyone.
The Idea in short:
Remove LFR, only nerf raids to 15% over the progression of a PVE tier rather than 30%, once a new patch is released re-tune the previous tiers raids for 5 man, giving the same loot as they did, never nerf heroics, not with a flat % or with encounter nerfs while the fight is fine-tuned (early hotfixes and nerfs to abilities doing too much damage in order to tune them is fine though)
Now, I will go in depth with the idea by giving an example of how Cataclysm would have looked given this system, and afterward i'll go into the pro's and con's of each idea in my opinion. I would love for people's input on the different points.
If you have feedback, in form of pro's or con's, please write them, and i'll add them to the list at the bottom.
Cataclysm is released, people are 80 and start running heroics for gear.
Patch 4.0 Cataclysm System Patch and Expansion:
- BWD, BOT and TotFW are open for 10 and 25 man raids - 0% nerf - Grant 359 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week
- Heroic versions of BWD, BOT and TotFW are open is open as soon as normal is cleared - 0% nerf. - Grant 372 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week
- 5-man heroics are available, tuned for 320 ilvl gear - Grant 346 ilvl gear. One lock-out per day.
- As time passes, Normal modes of BWD, BOT and TotFW are nerfed by 5, 10 and 15%.
- Heroic Raid Encounters stay as they are, gear improvement, progress, growth as a group of raiders and persistance of raiders progressing on heroic raid encounters is the way the encounters are made easier.
Patch 4.1 Rise of the Zandalari:
- BWD, BOT and TotFW are now re-tuned to 5-man, tuned for ilvl ~340 gear. - Grants 359 ilvl loot. One lock-out per day.
- Heroic BWD, BOT and TotFW stay as a 10 or 25 man raid, unnerfed. But are now enterable without clearing normal first. - Grant 372 ivl gear. One lock-out per week
- 5-man cata heroics are runnable as many times a day as people like.
Disclaimer: This patch is a little screwed up, since there was no raid content, so I will magically change ZA and ZG into raids. (The ilvl of this patch will seem odd, mind you, this would not be the case if ZA and ZG would actually be raid instances and Firelands/DS gear would be slightly higher ilvl.)
- New raids, ZA and ZG are introduced to 10 and 25 man. - 0% nerf - Grant 365 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week
- Heroic versions of ZA and ZG are open as soon as normal is cleared - 0% nerf. - Grant 376 ilvl gear, One lock-out per week
- As time passes, Normal modes of ZA and ZG are nerfed by 5, 10 and 15%.
- Both Heroic 4.0 content and Heroic 4.1 content remain untouched. The gear improvement from ZA/ZG normals may grant progression in Heroic BWD/BOT/TotFW for those who haven't been able to down them before.
Patch 4.2 Rage of the Firelands
- ZA and ZG are now re-tuned to 5-man, tuned for ~353 ilvl. - Grants 365 ilvl loot. One lock-out per day.
- Heroic ZA and ZG stay as a 10 or 25 man raid, unnerfed - Grant 376 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week.
- 5-man BWD, BOT and TotFW are runnable as many times a day as people like, same with older heroics.
- New raid, Firelands, is introduced to 10 and 25 man. - 0% nerf - Grants 378 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week
- Heroic Firelands is open as soon as normal is cleared - 0% nerf. - Grant 391 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week
- As time passes, Normal mode of Firelands is nerfed by 5, 10 and 15%.
- All Heroic Raid content (BWD, BOT, TotFW, ZA, ZG and Firelands) remains untouched.
- **Molten Front dailies are added, granting up to ilvl 365 gear!
Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight
- Firelands is now re-tuned to 5-man, tuned for ~373 ilvl. - Grants 378 ilvl gear. One lock-out per day.
- Heroic Firelands remains as a 10 or 25 man raid, unnerfed - Grants 391 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week.
- 5-man ZA and ZG are runnable as many times a day as people like, same with older heroics.
- New raid, Dragon Soul, is introduced to 10 and 25 man. - 0% nerf - Grants 397 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week
- Heroic Dragon Soul is open as soon as normal is cleared. - 0% nerf - Grants 410 ilvl gear. One lock-out per week
- As time passes, Normal mode of Dragon Soul is nerfed by 5, 10 and 15%.
- All Heroic Raid content (BWD, BOT, TotFW, ZA, ZG, Firelands and Dragon Soul) remains untouched.
- ** Hour of Twilight heroics are introduced, granting 378 ilvl gear.
If this was how Cataclysm played out,this is how the game would look today.
Raid Content available:
HC BWD, BOT and TofTW: These are doable in 5.0 with just a pinch of concentration.
HC Zul'aman and Zul´gurub: These are doable with a little more than a pinch of concentration
HC Firelands: Would be doable in a semi-decent raid group, progression may be needed on Ragnaros.
Dragon Soul (-15%) - Raiders raiding current progress will have a massive 15% nerf to the content and should be doing DS relatively easy by now.
HC Dragon Soul would still be rather hard content, slowly becoming easier with experience and gearing up.
Cata normals: 333 ilvl
Cata Heroics: 346 ilvl
Tier 11: 359 ilvl
Zandalari: 365 ilvl
Firelands: 378 ilvl
HoT Heroics: 378 ilvl.
This is an important change that I feel would fit well with this PVE-content system I thought up.
If raids are made to be 5 mans once a new patch comes, the meta-achievements would either be too easy, or impossible due to old boss mechanics being changed. So this is what I propose.
In Patch 4.0: Glory of the Cataclysm Raider: Grants Reins of the Drake of the East Wind. This is the only way of getting the mount.
In later patches: Glory of the Cataclysm Raider achievements are made into feats of strength. Heroic: Sinestra now has a 100% chance to drop Reins of the Drake of the East Wind.
- Content isn't instantly accessible to all, making down a boss feel like an achievement and getting rid of the "Oh, we killed Morchok, I just did that while AFK making food on LFR."
- Content is still accessible to the large majority of casual gamers. As the rolling nerfs (5, 10, 15%) come in as well as people gearing up and preparing for raids. (Effort should still be put into raids in order to succeed at them.
- Once new content is released and old content is no longer important to hardcore raiders, the older content is revamped and made into 5-mans. This is a win win situation, as the dev. team will have more time to work on new content (new 5-mans to accompany the old raids, more time spent in new raid encounters (meaning more 5 mans later). Also, it eliminates the problem of people complaining about never being able to see content.
- A valid "Lore" explanation of how Cho'gall, who needed 10 dedicated raiders against him being killed by a PuG 5 man group, could be that his power is abolished by the battering he (and other encounters) took in the raids over time, thus weakening him.
- Heroic Raid Gear from the previous tier is still viable in the new tier, making raiding old heroic content in order to gear up for progression raids more viable.
- The Heroic Encounters introduced in the current patch (Like Dragon Soul now) and the strongest of items will be rewarded to only those dedicated enough.
- Meta-achievements may seem difficult to do in a window of time (Think Black / Plagued Proto Drake)
- No "new" content for casuals (Although the fact that only having to de-tune the old raids would open dev. teams time to still create new content)
- Nostalgia? Perhaps raiders would be saddened by the fact that they can do 5-man BWD easily, after wiping on it for a while. (The reason why Heroic Raids still exist, without any form of nerfs.)