1. Ruby Sanctum
2. Pre-Nerf SSC
1. Ruby Sanctum
2. Pre-Nerf SSC
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There is a modern myth that people have always tended towards democracy, constitutions, electoral rights; but in truth, love of freedom has never been the predominant note of popular politics. At most times, popular demand has been for a strong government.- Eugen Weber
Pretty much any tier that has had less than 8 bosses has been terrible imo. Dragon Soul comes in a close 4th, and Gruul doesn't really count because it kinda went along with Kara and segued into T5.
I know I'll get a lot of flak for putting Sunwell up there at #1, but a short raid that was only artificially long because you had to smash your face against the same boss fight for over 50-100 hours isn't fun. It's a chore. And yes, I killed M'uru and Kil'jaeden when it was relevant. It. Wasn't. Fun. The top guild on our server ended up imploding because of M'uru. They even recruited 5 rogues with glaive sets and still couldn't get it down.
Recycled art and environments - 2 bosses were in maw pits from Highlands, 1 boss was outside dragonblight tower, 1 boss was on ICC boat, 1 boss was in EoE tower, and final fight happened at the maelstrom. On top of that there were very few new boss models or skins.
Lack of themed and meaningful trash - properly done and paced trash helps make a raid feel unified. ICC and Ulduar trash were both good examples of this. The trash also lends a good pace to progression and allows you to feel like you're working through a dungeon. DS lacked this - the best trash in the instance were the colored blobs that (theoretically) gave you insight into the bosses abilities, but even they were just crap in a circle. If they had removed the dragons and teleports and then provided thin trash packs you fought through on your way to the maws and then up the tower it would have been far better. The dragon trash before Ultra also felt useless as it wasn't skippable, always lasted about the same amount of time, and didn't give you any connection to the upcoming boss.
Over reliance on add style fights - the last three battles of the instance are add based. While add based fights can be a nice change of pace in a raid, making just shy of half the raid be add fights was anticlimatic and made three bosses feel much like glorified trash.
Disconnected and repetitive fights rather than multistaged fights for an expansion ending boss - Illidan had 5 stages with at least two of them being distinctly different from the others, The Lich King was 5 stages with 3 distinctive phases and 2 transition stages, Deathwing was spine (rinse and repeat 1 phase 3 times) and madness (rinse and repeat 1 stage 4 times followed by a burn phase with more adds). This means that both Deathwing fights combined had less stages than either previous expansion end boss and fewer stages than most dungeon end bosses from any of the expansions.
Poor difficulty balancing - LFR was a joke, everyone knew it would be a joke, but the fact that you could ignore all the mechanics was just sad and set an expectation for future LFRs that is detrimental to player development and to recruitment for guilds as it does nothing to help the guild recruitment pool, rather it floods the pool with poorly skilled, overgeared, and over confident "raiders". Normal modes were also terribly balanced (even casual guilds cleared normal modes within a week or two). Hard modes (especially on things like spine) were over tuned. Very little felt appropriately balanced.
Very few bosses for a raid tier, let alone an end raid tier - TBC had BT + MH (14 total bosses), Wrath had ICC (12 bosses), DS had 8. This was combined with Cataclysm's overall lack of content (FL and DS combined had roughly the same amount of content as Karazahn or Ulduar alone).
Then trying to stretch that content over 8 months . . . .
What reasons are there for DS not to rank?
---------- Post added 2012-12-05 at 11:47 AM ----------
I disagree with you on Sunwell, but you have good reasons of your own, so each to their own.
I just wanted to comment on the idea of 8 bosses per tier.
Tier 1 - MC and Ony (10 bosses)
Tier 2 - BWL (8 bosses)
Tier 2.5 - AQ40 (9 bosses)
Tier 3 - Naxx 40 (15 bosses)
Tier 4 - Karazahn, Gruul, Mag (14 bosses)
Tier 5 - SSC and TK (10 bosses)
Tier 6 - BT and MH (14 bosses)
Tier 7 - Naxx25, EoE, OS (17 bosses)
Tier 8 - Ulduar (14 bosses)
Tier 9 - ToGC (5 bosses)
Tier 10 - ICC (12 bosses)
Tier 11 - Tot4W, BWD, BoT (13 bosses)
Tier 12 - FL (7 bosses)
Tier 13 - DS (8 bosses)
There is a strong argument for your case and the common perception agreeing which perhaps is also tied to the idea that only 20% of bosses will be better than average. The more bosses a tier has, the more likely it is to have one of those memorable bosses and thus for the tier on a whole to be remembered fondly. For example, TK wasn't great and SSC was also relatively average, but because of Vashj and Kael that tier tends to be very fondly remembered. Same goes for MC - the tier and environment are nothing special, but the Ragnaros fight was so memorable that it adds value to the whole tier.
On topic i'd say:
1: Naxxramas 2 (I never did the original one, but i've heard incredible stories about it, the difficulty and the prestige in defeating things in there and the story) - Reusing things is just plain retarded imo, and it wasn't harder than Violet hold
2: Ruby Sanctum - It took forever to come out, and when it did, it was extremely bugged for ages (at least felt like ages) and the one and only purpose of it, was that ICC had been boring for to long
3: Dragon Soul - What mostly ruins this raid for me is .. Rogues, at least 110% of all rogues i ever saw had Fangs (which i think is quite bad). And LFR was so extremely easy that it should be able to do it while sleeping, yet i spend ½ the week wiping in there (i do realize that's not the raids fault, and i actually liked the concept and the fights, but that still burns inside me when i think of "Dragon Soul")
Third is either anything else from Cata or ICC25/Ruby Sanctum depending on the day of the week, Mayan Calendar etc.
The only reason firelands isn't listed specifically is simply because there should have been another raid in that tier, but blizzard was too busy designing add fights and daily quests to bother giving a shit.
From Tier 5, Leotheras and Al'ar were both pretty memorable. In MC I remember Garr and especially Geddon. People blowing up the raid and wondering why one of your groups was suddenly gone? While annoying at the time, priceless later. Also, anyone who was doing breakthrough raiding... i.e. extremely early Vanilla where you were one of the first raids to set foot into MC and work for days on Lucifron to finally down him was priceless, and thus... while simple, is a very memorable boss.There is a strong argument for your case and the common perception agreeing which perhaps is also tied to the idea that only 20% of bosses will be better than average. The more bosses a tier has, the more likely it is to have one of those memorable bosses and thus for the tier on a whole to be remembered fondly. For example, TK wasn't great and SSC was also relatively average, but because of Vashj and Kael that tier tends to be very fondly remembered. Same goes for MC - the tier and environment are nothing special, but the Ragnaros fight was so memorable that it adds value to the whole tier.
I think the "lots of bosses" is a mix of both memorable boss fights and having lots of easier boss fights as well, because it feels good to get easy bosses between the hard ones.
The short tiers are either too easy (ToC) and you're left feeling like "What now?" or they're too hard (Sunwell) and you have guilds hemorrhaging members and eventually disbanding because of them.
1: Wintergrasp and Tol'Barad raids - OMG you logged into game this week. Here is your free loot for doing absolutely nothing. Enjoy
2: ToC - Do I really need to explain?
3: Molten core - The epitome of AFK raiding. Boss mechanics were a joke and didn't come even close to requiring 30 people let alone 40.
ToC, EoE, Naxx 25
Going to judge them based on when they came out, not how they held up to the test of time:
1. ToC: First, the raid was a "filler" raid and it showed it. The story behind the raid was wonky (sending the best to fight against the Lich King). The raid was also very short, both in size (2 rooms total) and in bosses (5). At the time, everybody was waiting on ICC to come out, not this. Large disappointment
2. Dragon Soul: Again, this was not a very long raid, with only 3 of the bosses having trash tied to them. Some of the boss fights didn't even feel like they were in the same instance (traveling to EoE, on a boat, on deathwing's back, then a fight at the maelstrom) with zero feeling of actually traveling to these locations, with cutscenes tying the locations together. The boss mechanics were a joke on some fights. Huge letdown for an end raid.
3. Naxx 10/25 (80): The level 60 version of the instance was great. The level 80 version was not - mostly for one reason: they tweaked the 60 version and gave it back to us as "new" content. All of the mechanics behaved the exact same way (in 25 - some changes to 10 man). They changed some of the models on gear, but left everything else almost exactly intact. The 60 version was an end-game raid (read: difficult) while this felt closer to an LFR version of the same raid.
Flame Leviathan - if this fight was in its own instance, it would probably be one of the worst MMO raids ever. Forget all of your class mechanics and ride a vehicle.
Malygos (EoE) - At least we didn't have to ride the drake for the whole instance. The vortex (to me) is one of the more interesting fight mechanics I've seen at least. Good thing we can now burn Maly down before getting to the drakes. (#4 on my list - at least Blizzard tried to make a new raid with EoE)
Shazzrah (MC) - Nothing like having a good chunk of your raid (Rogues/Warriors) pull out their bandages just to be useful in a raid. Significantly too much melee hate. (Also, after building a FR set just for some bosses, who really wanted to build an Arcane Resist set just for 1 boss?)
Gunship (ICC) - At 80, 1/4 of your raid could go afk for a sandwitch and you would have about the same odds of success. The difficulty just did not fit the rest of the instance... almost like having a halftime for an instance -but with loot.
*travels into the future*
1. Siege of Orgrimmar - WHAT A REHASHED PIECE OF ****
2. The Burning Citadel - The Sargeras fight was so dissapointing... just fighting adds on his head
3. Dragon Soul - Even after so many years.... it is still one of the worst raids