Scaling Up Content

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“The technology for scaling up old content is mostly in place now, but the devs haven’t come up with a good rewards scheme for scaled up old dungeons and raids yet. Today, players can go back and solo old content for transmog gear, but if they were going to go back and do it in an appropriately sized group, they would expect something useful other than transmog gear.”

So this quote on MMO-C as a result from the Vanion interview with Chilton and Stockton at Gamescom intrigued me last week. Blizzard have openly admitted that they have technology for scaling up old content, but don’t see the point in implementing it just yet, as they can just blast through the old content without the scaling now for transmog gear. Firstly, it would need to be a toggle-able thing where people that still want to go back and smash the back doors of Molten Core in can still do so.

The vocal minority for sure have certainly asked to be able to raid places like MC or BWL without facerolling through it, but when the reward of nostalgia has taken its toll, what could continue to bring people back to these places? Would pulling C’thun only to wipe 5secs later because people were standing too close together really bring back the fun memories of raiding back in the day? Especially with the LONG corpse run back.

Rewards

For one, Blizzard could turn the old raids into a pseudo-challenge mode, where not only could the mobs and bosses be brought up to level, but our gear gets taken down to a certain level, like in Challenge Modes or Proving Grounds. You could begin to compete on a world-basis for different raids. Though how long that would keep people interested other than the select few trying to overtake eachother for their own prestige might dwindle quickly.

Achievements are also a good way to get people to go along – but again this is really only a short-term method for keeping people interested, with the only way to increase longevity would be to turn the achievements into something similar to Ulduar in creating multiple achievements for the same bosses. However, Blizz have already mentioned that there is an achievement bloat, so this may not end up being the case.

Another reward might be useful in this difficulty of raiding, is to make ‘timeless’ rewards such as mounts that only drop in this difficulty – though mount collectors tend to prefer content to farm in places that they can solo (at least I know I’d prefer to farm for the ugly stone drake from Stone Core, rather than the awesome Astral Serpent from Elegon, despite the latter being my favourite flying mount model in the game).

Other ‘timeless’ rewards could include heirloom armour and weapons, that you can send to alts and use them as alternatives to the JP/Honor heirlooms, similar to the Garrosh weapons in 5.4, we could see something like the Bulwark of Azzinoth being an alternative tank shield for scaling level 70-90, for example.

Heck, we could see the scaled up raids act as stepping stones for gear, for those that care more about the purples than why they’re there. They could have similar iLvl gear as Flex raids, in the models of the gear that dropped there back when the raid was current content.

Why it shouldn’t happen

As much as it might sound like I’m being a hipster, I actually don’t believe these raids should be scaled up to allow for us to raid these old places again. I’ve had amazing memories of some of them, but they were back in a time when raiding mechanics were very simple. For example, just a single phase of a fight in MoP was pretty much the complexity of entire boss-fights in TBC and vanilla. If I went back to progressing on these fights, the only thing stopping wiping the place out in a few hours on launch would be gear checks. And Metzen help us if we have to force tanks into cloth gear because it has the best Nature resistance/stamina combo for Huhuran.

Which brings me to another point – the main throttle for progression back in those days were stuck behind requiring things like a special cloak for Nefarian, the materials of which you could only gain a limited amount of per week, or more importantly, many bosses had high magical damage that could only be beaten by having high amounts of resistance gear to that school of magic. You may complain about lack of space in your inventory these days, but that’s nothing in comparison to having to hold 4 different sets of resistance gear, on top of things like DPS gear if you were fortunate enough to be allowed non-tanking gear if you wanted to farm Tubers and the like.

As such, something between the two HAS to give, while I would enjoy seeing some of my guildies somehow forget to REMOVE THEIR HANDS FROM THE KEYBOARD on the Shade of Aran fight, either mechanics will have to become more complex, or we add these resistance blocks back into the game again, to ensure that we don’t burn ourselves out too quickly on these encounters.

I’d much prefer to look back on those encounters with rose-tinted glasses and have fond memories of them, rather than have to butcher those fights to suit today’s standard of raiding. What do you think? Should scaled up content be implemented in the game? What rewards would you offer people to make it worthwhile, yet not make it more important than the current tier’s raiding and other PvE content?

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One thought on “Scaling Up Content

  1. Whilst I have been an open advocate of scaling down raids for a while now my opinion started to be turned a few weeks ago whilst blasting through a solo run of Naxx. I thought to myself, perhaps it wasn’t as great as I remember? I mean Thaddius is still one of my favourite fights of all time simply because one person screwing up meant game over but at the same time I also remember how boring having to stand and kill trash for the first few minutes of the KelThuzad fight was or the Maexxna fight was simply nuke boss, nuke mini spiders and nuke webs, done..
    It just seems that as fun as perhaps one run through might be for old times sake might be the longevity of the content wouldn’t really give enough reason to go back through each and every raid to alter loot tables and abilities to ensure they were doable with any class changes that have occured since then for Blizzard as it would take away resources from new content, especially as the next expansion should be being announced at Blizzcon soon.

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