Mists of Pandaria: Raid Release Schedule

Our first raid will be Mogu’shan Vaults
Blizzard have announced that the raid content in Mists of Pandaria will be drip fed to us in the first couple of weeks of the new expansion. The schedule was a shock to many and sees the return of “gated” content and to be honest I was shocked to see that it will be impossible to raid in week 1 and that it will be a full month before Raid Finder opens. I can understand why this has been done and also some of the frustration by the raiding community. I have mixed feelings on the schedule but overall I’m not unhappy with it.

Before diving into my thoughts lets review the dates:

Raid Finder
October 7 
: Mogu’shan Vaults (RF) opens;
November 6 : Heart of Fear (RF) and Terrace of Endless Spring (RF) opens;

Normal Raids
October 2
: Mogu’shan Vaults opens;
October 30 : Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring open (ToES only accessible by clearing HoF);

Heroic Raids
October 7 
: Mogu’shan Vaults (HC) opens for those that cleared normal;
November 6 : Heart of Fear (HC) and Terrace of Endless Spring (HC) opens for those that cleared normal;

The community is in uproar at this schedule claiming that Blizzard are using delaying tactics as the raids are not ready for launch and as a way of stopping the content from being beaten in week 2 of the expansion.

Comments from the MMO-Champion page announcing the schedule
I’d love to know how much of an impact those 3 will get from the roll-out schedule, I bet they are just the typical MMO-Champion commenting trolls!

As someone that plays probably too much but raids casually the timing of heroic raids is irrelevant as I’m unlikely to clear any of the raids before their heroic equivalents are available so “meh” is all I say about that as they are not gated at the heroic level any more than they have been before with the exception of The Obsidian Sanctum and Ulduar but they were more hard modes rather than the raids we know as heroic today.

The main issues here are:

  • a one week wait for the opening Mogu’shan Vaults;
  • a two week wait for the Mogu’shan Vaults (RF); 
  • a five week wait for the opening of Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring;
  • a six week wait for Heart of Fire (RF) and Terrace of Endless Spring (RF);
I’ll take these issues from the top, a week delay for the first raid is fine for everyone. This gives all players the chance to level up, gear up and not have to play stupid hours to get a raid in the first seven days. I applaud Blizzard for doing this and by announcing it this early the hard core raiders wanting world/server firsts can still arrange their time off work/school/life accordingly. After the crap that Blizzard got in Wrath for making Naxx so easy it was cleared within the first 72 hours who could blame them! I know it took my previous guild, Saturday Knight Fever a month to get into kill Magmaw at the start of Cataclysm. Admittedly this was partly due to Christmas but mainly because I was (and still am) in a casual guild and we didn’t yet have the gear to cope.

As for a two week wait for the Raid Finder, it is aimed at casual raiders, most likely these folks won’t be geared any earlier and if they are they should help their friends and guildmates get geared up too.
The kicker though is the five week wait for the other two raid instances in Tier 14, Heart of Fear (HoF) and Terrace of Endless Spring (ToES). Why? The raid content in Cataclysm was a similar 3 instance design, my guild loved it because while we weren’t good enough to clear any one of the instances we could kill the first boss (or two in the case of Blackwing Descent) and we had choices. The same applied to most other “normal” raiding guilds. 
The biggest victims on this are the hardcore progression raiders who will be pushing their way through Mogu’shan Vaults (MSV) on heroic mode and then have to take a step backwards in progression to go clear the normal version of HoF and ToES for a week so they can hit up those on heroic as well. You can bet your life that those guilds will have cleared MSV heroic too, so this appears to be a content slow down and nothing more.  
However, for most the delay is likely to be two weeks at most and heck we can wait it will just mean we ave to get our gear ups all sorted before trying to go in undergeared. However a bigger issue is that you have to become attuned to ToES by clearing HoF first. Now I have always been a great believer in attunements, and that the best way is by completing the content immediately before it. So I’m OK with this as long as the content difficulty flows in that order and it is not just another way of artificially delaying progress. Only time will tell but I have faith, I just hope it is not misplaced.
Once again the folks running the Raid Finder will have to wait an extra week to get their new raid content fix, I guess that is just to make the hard core group feel special snowflakes in that first week, hopefully by that point in time Exhumed will be raiding and gagging for more content because we have cleared MSV and not because we’ve hit the raid difficulty wall.

Despite these points, it isn’t so bad, gating won’t affect me so much,if at all and the attunement feature is a step back into the days of Vanilla and TBC that many, myself included, look back on as the Golden Age of WoW raiding and it will mean that getting into ToES means you have earned the right to be there. I am personally hoping that this simple attunement will be there as we move up to tier 15 and 16 but that it is account wide rather than character specific. It will mean later comers have to be boosted through the old content but this will mean that the earlier content doesn’t get left behind as happened in Wrath and Cataclysm.

Posted by Evlyxx

Website: http://www.evangelysm.com

This article has 3 Comments

  1. "The community is in uproar at this schedule claiming that Blizzard are using delaying tactics as the raids are not ready for launch and as a way of stopping the content from being beaten in week 2 of the expansion."

    Well, of course it's a delaying tactic. There is pretty much no limit to how much content people will burn through if you let them. And there is no limit to how much they will bitch and moan about lack of new content once they've done it.

    It will be far better for the game and players to release bits of new content every month or so.

    This month – new raid. Next month – new heroic. Next month – new battleground. Next month – new daily quest hub. Then another raid. Then more scenarios.

    Imagine if the Firelands patch had been two separate patches. 2 months of Molten Front dailies. The gear rewards (ilevel 365) would have actually been desirable compared to T11 and ZA/ZG loot. Then open the Firelands raid with 378 gear.

    Same amount of development, but smarter design because you're not obsoleting content in one fell swoop. During those first 2 months, T11 content will still be done because it is the highest tier of raiding. Molten Front rewards will add a few high ilevel pieces, maybe there's also a gradual nerf like DS. Guilds now have time to attempt heroic difficulty while still having something new to do outside of raiding.

    The way 4.2 was released, Molten Front rewards were largely obsolete by the time anyone finished the grind. So very few people outside of achievement hunters did.

  2. I agree with what has been said.. it just makes one wonder about their priorities… Blizzard now babysits man-children addicted to a game because of escapism. This new schedule just makes them all slightly less whiny..

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