If You Can’t Make Old Content Relevant, at Least Make it Profitable

By now the news has done the rounds that new weekly raid quests will be added in patch 3.3 that reward 10 Emblems of Frost.  This is the next tier of emblems that will drop from bosses in Icecrown Citadel (and presumably the tri-wing heroic 5 man if Trial of the Champion is any indicator).

These quests will take us inside (but not too far inside) any of the WotLK raid instances:

  • Naxxramas (one of the first bosses of each wing)
  • Malygos
  • Ulduar (one of the siege bosses)
  • Trial of the Crusader (Lord Jaraxxus)
  • Icecrown Citadel (Lord Marrowgar, of whom little is known right now)

On the PTR, the objective text explicitly says that the quests can be completed on any raid size or difficulty – there’s just one quest, so you can’t do it on both 10 and 25 man each week.

You’ll notice that only when you get to Ulduar does the possibility of having to kill more than one boss to complete the quest open up, and even then it’s no more than two.  It’s probably safe to assume that Lord Marrowgar will be at least the second boss in Icecrown Citadel, though as long as he appears before the wall boss of the instance I doubt any guild will have much trouble getting the quest done each week.  Perhaps they’ll even artificially prevent that quest from coming up until 3.3 has been live for a few weeks.

I like the idea of giving us some reason to re-visit old content – the reward seems pretty fair, and the time investment for any guild that is currently clearing Trial of the Crusader on normal should be minimal – easily tacked onto the beginning or end of a regular raid night.  Basically, think of it as a free piece of tier 9 every couple of months.  The only guilds who won’t get the full advantage of these quests are those who are still in Ulduar – and even then, they’ll only miss out on two of eleven quests)

Retro Rewards

In the past, I’ve tried to organize “retro raiding” nights in my guilds.  It never really works out well – I think we did a full clear of ZG, AQ20 and MC on one night (stymied a bit by not having enough quintessence before that requirement was lifted), but we never did anything in tier 2 or higher.  I suppose the interest in retro raiding shows you who is in for fun and completion as opposed to who is in for gear.  Of course, I never made the retro content profitable – I thought that the fun of doing it was reward enough.

The problem with really old content is that many people playing today will never have done it.  Level 80 or not, if you don’t understand how burning adrenaline works, you’re not going to get Vaelestraz down in BWL.  At least with WotLK raid bosses, most people will know the fights.

For me, the advantage of doing older content as a guild is to see how well people can coordinate and execute without having to have strategies spoon fed for them.  When you tackle new content or content that is understood but that you are under geared for, you expect a few wipes.  On content that you vastly out gear, you expect zero wipes.  The challenge comes from the bosses that require proper execution regardless of your gear.

I’m interested to see what kind of interest a concrete reward could stir up for older content.  Something along the lines of:

  • clearing BWL with 5 people
  • clearing ZG and AQ20 without a single death – but no strategies will be discussed before each boss fight.  Those who remember the fight, great.  Those who don’t will need to read up ahead of time and apply what they have learned on the fly.
  • a timed run through Karazhan – we all know it can be done with one or two people, but how fast can you clear it with a full raid group?  2.5 hours was an incredibly fast run back in the days of TBC – can you do it in one hour?  Less?

What do you think?  While I’m sure we’ll have more than enough content to keep us busy through into early 2010, I’m always interested in ways to keep people interested in doing things as  a guild instead of letting the cohesiveness of the raid team break down once things are on farm.

Until Next Time

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