If you, like me, think that raiding in WoW is rather poor; read on. If you disagree; read on anyway.
The fact is that raiding in WoW is great as a concept, but is poorly implemented. Repeating the same raid on each tier is very tedious after a while, and it does create the infamous 'gear treadmill'.
Isn't it a shame that Blizzard spends so much resources with every expansion just to sate our need for new raids, only to have them work so poorly? We burn through them, we burn out, and we get annoyed with them. If raiding was to be re-worked, I argue that Blizzard would save time and money (which could be invested into other features), and you would have more fun.
Another issue is that the new lore introduced in new raids always has to compete with the fact that you want to beat the raid as fast as possible. This is a shame, because you should be able to powergame, but you shouldn't have to give up on immersion.
So here's my idea...
- Two forms of raiding; Current Raid and Legacy Raid
- Current Raids drop item loot like usual; Legacy Raids drop tokens that you use at a vendor
- They complement each other: one emphasises slow progression through current lore and content; the other focuses on offering you something to do every week
- Read on to understand how this system will let Blizzard invest more time into quality rather than quantity with each expansion.
The so-called 'Current Raid' is an slightly similar to the raiding we have today in the sense that it is the most recent and relevant raiding experience released by Blizzard. It has HC, N, and LFR difficulty modes like today - and it drops loot like today as well. However, it is both slower and longer than raids of today. Here are the rules:
- With every major patch, Blizzard releases a new 'Current Raid' (i.e. roughly 3 raids per expansion).
- Each 'Current Raid' dungeon will include at least a dozen bosses and feature rich, engaging story lines relevant to current lore.
- One (1) boss will be unlocked every week.
- Once a boss is defeated, it stays dead as long as the raid is classified as 'Current Raid'. This means that you can fight at most one 'Current Raid' boss a week, unless you save them all until they've all been unlocked near the end of the current patch.
- Every defeated boss in a 'Current Raid' will feel like a true victory. Loot will be interesting, story lines will evolve, and new quests will take you out in the world to prepare for the next boss.
- 'World 1st' will still exist, but it will be slower than it is today.
- Defeating the final boss will grant you an achievement, and effectively end that raid cycle.
- The raid will then be converted from a 'Current Raid' and instead become a 'Legacy Raid'.
- This effectively means that a raid with 12 bosses will have a life span of about 2 and a half months.
- The end of a 'Current Raid' cycle means a break from 'Current Raids' for a while, and marks the release of a minor patch with non-raid related content.
- Once the next major patch hits, a new 'Current Raid' is released. Think of them like seasons, or cycles. Or ladders, ha.
The 'Legacy Raid' serves mainly as filler content between bosses in the 'Current Raid', and in the intermediate state between major patches, when there is no 'Current Raid'. These are old raids which have been scaled up and fitted with slightly updated mechanics, and are accessed through the Caverns of Time. This also justifies having bosses that are dead according to lore still in the game. Here are the rules:
- 'Legacy Raids' are always available.
- 'Legacy Raids' have a shared one week cooldown, so only one raid each week. Because of scaling, they will be difficult and take time. Sort of like raiding today. Because you have a different one every week, however, you never get sick of it.
- You can choose either a Random 'Legacy Raid' for extra rewards, or specify which one you want. Perhaps you are obsessed with the Black Temple?
- Once allotted a 'Legacy Raid', you are stuck with it until the following week.
- Loot in 'Legacy Raids' consist of tokens which you may use to purchase items from a new faction. Simple, frequent ones for normal epics - and rarer ones for legendaries and so on.
- The items you can purchase range from transmogrifiable classic gear to current high-end gear. However, the gear can never be better than the current 'Current Raid' gear. Think of it as the difference between current 'Normal' and 'Hardcore' gear.
- The high-end gear purchased comes from a vendor and is not exclusive to the raid you have done. Therefore, it can work just like other token gear in the game, with a new 'tier' with each major patch. This obviously doesn't apply to transmogrification gear.
- Lore: Sargeras have sent his Dreadlord agents back in time. Their mission is to find and consume the energy of the final bosses at the end of every dungeon (Ragnaros, Lady Vashj, C'thun, etc.). You therefore go back to the point before the bosses are defeated, find the agent, and destroy it. The first time in each 'Legacy Raid' gives you a quest to destroy its agent. Because the minions of the final boss are still alive at this point, you must fight your way to the end where you'll find the final boss and then the agent.
- 'Legacy Raids' come in 10 and 25 man sizes, much depending on their original size.
- When the feature is introduced, it comes with roughly 5-10 'Legacy Raids' all prepared for you to explore. Over time, more old raids will then be converted to the 'Legacy Raid' system. The oldest raids are first out.
1. This system of old and new raids running parallel serves many purposes, and solves many issues.
2. It makes sure you never have to repeat the same raid, week after week, as your 'Legacy Raid' can be different every week, and your 'Current Raid' always faces you off against a new boss every week, without letting you repeat it.
3. It saves Blizzard development time: with only roughly 2-3 raids to worry about with each expansion, they can focus on making those raids and other content better instead. Few and long raids means they can re-use assets to create a lot of content, whereas many short raids would mean they have to create new assets for every setting. Converting a few old raids into 'Legacy Raids' with every expansion shouldn't be that much work, as the original assets and environments are used. Only numbers are tweaked, basically.
4. It gives you a reason and makes it easier for you to re-visit old raids. This means that you get to experience your favourite old content again, and new players get a chance to explore what you've seen in the past. Also means all the hard work Blizzard puts into raids isn't simply thrown away after a raid becomes obsolete.
5. It makes the acquisition of gear more dynamic. Instead of only focusing on the newest gear from the current raid tier like now, 'Legacy Raids' will offer you a way to acquire good gear. Works similar to tokens in the past, but is more fun.
6. Lastly, it lets you explore all new content ('Current Raids') in a slow, regulated pace. Every week, you will be able to charge rampant through a 'Legacy Raid' with your friends or strangers. But you will also have that one exciting new boss encounter every week to work on. Every week will bring new content, as it were. Then, once the 'Current Raid' is beaten and the minor patch hits, you can relax for a few weeks, knowing you're not missing out on any new, relevant raiding content. Then come back a few weeks later, re-charged.
7. Get bored while waiting for a new 'Current Raid'? Simply play a 'Legacy Raid'!