Tanking for Dummies

Patch 3.2.x Raiding Sucks Your Will to Live
November 18, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Raiding | Tags: , , ,

I’ve been doing some thinking about ToC and ToGC, namely in the context of raider burnout and turn-over. I should say first though that this post is dedicated to my fellow Axiom Prot-Warrior Armann who stopped tanking recently because Heroic Strike spam gave him a serious medical condition (carpal tunnel aka “The Claw”).  His transfer to our DPS team (you can play a Death Knight with one hand, apparently) got me thinking about this.  We can pour a “40” on his shield later.  Get better soon man.

On topic, however, I’ve seen a lot of signs showing the stress of raiding is taking its toll.  Or boredom taking its toll.  I think either way you would be hard to find that many people “enthused” about the content of the current raid instance.  Some people I am sure would tell you this is because Trial of the Crusader is too easy, while others would say it is because Trial of the Grand Crusader is too hard.  I am of a slightly different opinion, which is that (as a whole) it’s too short.

I’ll start by acknowledging that I think that both the prior statements are true – ToC is too easy and ToGC is too hard, but realistically speaking I don’t think that either is to blame for the sense of malaise that I can feel in raiding right now.  The reason for that is because this whole raiding business (actually, MMOs as a whole, but that’s getting way off my point) is a social experience.  The thing that really keeps us going is not so much the experience of the content itself, but rather the experience as it is with other people.

At this point in the game (late content patch) I think most raiders are either farming for loot (ToC) or wiping trying to do things the hard way (ToGC).  Generally, we wipe for hours and hours on Heroic Northrend Beasts (not even any trash to clear to break the monotony!), whereas we’re spending maybe and hour in ToC getting upgrades and generally goofing off.  The stress to de-stress ratio is way skewed, and that is a function of the fact that the Crusader’s Coliseum is way too short.  In Ulduar (which was super long, of course) there was a definite progression of difficulty and, well, trash to fill up the extra time (And give you a break after wiping for several hours).  There were also choices of what to work on instead of being highly linear.  Hell, Molten Core was less linear than Crusader’s Coliseum, and it’s practically a model of the genre.

Sure, you might say, why don’t you just do ToC?  I think the answer can be found in the different kind of malaise we saw with at the end of content patch 3.0.x.  Just farming is as brain killing as just wiping.  I think most raiders want to be challenged (or else why would we throw ourselves at the same fight for four hours?), even if we do need to stagger it with an easier fight or trash just for our sanity.

All that brings me to the point, namely that we’re drooping (nay, dropping) because ToC and ToGC together are a 1-2 punch that practically drains your brain by design.  If it feels like 3.3 can’t hit soon enough; if your raid members are dropping faster than tanks on Gormok the Impaler; or if your tired of logging on once a week to farm for an hour then maybe this is why.

As a related note, if you are looking for a good gift for your favorite tank this holiday season, remember their heroic strike finger – a little BenGay goes a long way.


7 Comments so far
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I think that ToC is really Wrath’s version of Zul’Aman. It’s not designed to be a real raid, just a placeholder.

Comment by The Renaissance Man

My personal thoughts are that ToC was something they threw together quickly, realizing that many players had gotten through Ulduar quicker than expected. I don’t think it was part of the original play for the expansion. As for burn-out, and the causes, I know for myself, I just dimply got tired of playing a hunter, and switched to a prot warrior. Of course there was also a guild explosion in the midst of all that as well, but still…

Comment by Wiredude

@Renaissance Man – I think Zul’Aman served this purpose better than ToC, largely because if you couldn’t manage the “Hard Mode” you could still spend 3+ hours on it and still drop some bosses.

@Wiredude – Guild Explosion during Ulduar? or ToC?

Comment by Tarsus

My old guild sort of im/exploded while we were working our way through both (I was playing my hunter primarily at the time) To make a long story really , really short, the GM suffered a major case of burn-out, and the main raid-leader sort of did the same, though he x-fered factions and servers… That left me with no team to raid with, so I finished off leveling my warrior, and have pretty much adopted him as my main. I also switched guilds, as the old one simply died, usually only having 1-3 people online at a time…

Comment by Wiredude

I think the monotony of the content is burning out most people. Most guilds I know can and do Clear 10 and 25 versions of ToGC. Its the same fights over and over I can honestly say that I hate the current raid format. Who wants to do the exact same fight 4 times every week?

The ToGC hard modes don’t even dramatically change the fights. for most of the fights its just a minor change.(Kill portals on jaraxus. FC characetrs cant be taunted. no run speed buff on Icehowl)
They definitely did not try at all on any of the ToC hard-modes, Just look at the hard modes in Ulduar.
Firefighter, Knock knock knock on wood, heart breaker, 3 2 1 0 lights in the darkness, Love the smell of saronite, Oblituary . All great encounters with varying mechanics. All of them dramatically change how the encounter plays out. Where was all this Creativity in ToGC. The encounter Designers dropped the ball hard.

Comment by Ungelosh

I have only done the first two bosses of ToC….and I must say I was bored to death. The encounters are OK, but the whole arena thing if efing boring.

Comment by Darraxus

@ Darraxus
I’m in the same boat as you. Got Beasts and Jaraxxus down, but it’s kinda “meh” on me. Ulduar now, I have a real desire to see all the way through, however it seems that I keep getting blocked one way or another, be it healing issues or something. I know I run with people that have the gear, and I think they also have the skill, but somehow it just doesn’t seem to click.

Comment by Wiredude

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