Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cataclysm's Shared 10/25 Raid Lockouts

This is a copy/paste of a post I made in the World of WarCraft Cataclysm forums.  It's my argument against the shared raid lockout system Blizzard is planning on implementing in Cataclysm.  Feel free to head on over and post in that thread, or post your thoughts here as comments.

I realize that in Wrath, raiding became a bit too much and caused people to feel forced to run both formats of current tier content (10 and 25) in order to feel competetive.  However, while I can certainly appreciate the other changes made to promote more balanced play habits, I don't think that shared lockouts for 10s and 25s is the proper solution.  Here are some of the reasons why I think shared lockouts are unfair, and why I think alternative proposals should be considered:

  • The conversion of the badge/emblem system into a points system that caps the higher tier of points means that players will no longer be so compelled to run every current-tier raid possible to maximize emblem gain.  Since there's no guarantee that any given raid will cause players to reach the maximum weekly point cap, the shared lockout system unfairly prevents people who would rather raid for their points by forcing them to run random heroics.  Why not allow people to cap their points via 10s + 25s in addition to the 10s + random heroics, 25s + random heroics, and 100% random heroics methods that Cataclysm will offer?
  • PvPers are not locked out of one version of content because they participate in another, so why should PvEers be forced to choose only one avenue of progression?  Since regular BGs and rated BGs are the same content that players might get sick of, shouldn't doing one lock players out of the other so they don't burn out?  Or since arenas and rated BGs both offer the same rewards, shouldn't players be forced to pick their poison and only be allowed to progress via one format in any given week?  No, of course not.  So why should raiders be unfairly limited so?  There are alternative options, such as preventing raiders from double-dipping on drops by limiting them to only be able to receive loot from the first incarnation of any given boss they see that week, whether it be the 10-man version or the 25-man version.  Reputation can be similarly limited, and point gain is already capped as mentioned above.
  • Shared lockouts unfairly punish players who like raiding both formats but dislike playing alts.  How is the argument of "if you want to run both formats, run one with an alt" acceptable to Blizzard when changes have been consistantly made to make other similar arguments invalid?  Arguments such as:

    • "if you want to tank, roll a Warrior tank alt"; or
    • "if you want to DPS, roll a pure DPS class alt because hybrids are only for healing"; or
    • "if you don't like your character, reroll a new character"; or
    • "if you don't like your server, reroll on a different server"; or
    • "if you don't like your faction, reroll on the opposite faction"; or
    • "your complaints about your class are all irrelevant because you have the option to roll a new character of a different class", etc.
Alts have not been arbitrarily used to deny characters access to the content their players enjoy before, nor have they been used as an excuse to dismiss players' complaints before (at least not by Blizzard), so why is "just roll an alt" an acceptable response now?  Dual specs, character recustomization, server transfer, and faction change are all geared at breathing new life into players' characters so that no one feels forced to reroll or create an alt if they don't want to, so why should raiding formats be an exception?

Equalizing loot across both formats, capping point gain, and instituting a "no double-dipping on boss drops" mechanic more than adequately fixes the problem of players feeling forced to run both raid formats without unfairly punishing players who enjoy raiding both formats on a single character.  Please reconsider the shared lockout decision.