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The Demise of Tier 5 Content

Your guild raided Serpentshrine Caverns and Tempest Keep. After several months of hard work, your raids feel apart when encountering Lady Vashj and Kael’thas Sunstrider. Patch 2.4 lifted the attunement requirement for Mount Hyjal and beyond, so you decided to poke around. First week, your guild attempts the trash mobs. It was sloppy at first, but your raid got better in 2 weeks’ time. When you took down Rage Winterchill, you became more confident and decided to push forward. One by one, Anetheron, Kaz’rogal, Azgalor fell.

All the while, you let Vashj and Kael’thas live for one week after another.

Sound familiar to you?

From what I can see, there are two categories of guilds in terms of progression at the moment: those who have completed Karazhan and are trying to field enough people for 25-man content, and those whose condition I have described above.

There are a few who already have the 25 people together to jump from that first category into regular 25-man, tier 5 content. Because there are so few, there’s a group of people who are caught in the limbo in between tier 4 and tier 6 and have nowhere to go, myself included. 

Zul’Aman was initially introduced as tier 4.5 content with the intention of keeping players occupied before the tier 6.5 content of Sunwell Plateau was completed. Unfortunately, this retroactive introduction of lower tiers meant that there were many people in tier 5 who were going into Zul’Aman. If a raid could not get together because of missing people, at least they had enough people for a 10-man. Unfortunately, this left out those in limbo once again, which sets up for the disparity between a Zul’Aman PuG and an actual raid.

The Shattered Sun Offensive badge rewards brought a whole new level of badge gear. It used to be that some of the older badge gear would be a stepping stone to get into tier 5 if you can’t get that gear you want to drop from Karazhan. These rewards and the drops from Magisters’ Terrace could also replace tier 5 (and even tier 6) gear, but at a much smaller, 5-man content.

So take your pick, 5-man and 10-man versus 25-man. You will see why tier 5 is being compromised in favor of all this filler content.

As much as I want to see SSC and TK, there are so few groups who are first venturing into it and intend to do it regularly. At this point, it’s merely a stepping stone into tier 6 because the attunements have been lifted. In addition, the groups I have found in tier 5 are full on hunters.

So now I’m stuck with SSO gear and have nowhere to go but to battlegrounds when not looking for a Magtheridon group to get my Champion of the Naaru title. Why am I even trying to get a [Medallion of the Alliance] for an Archimonde fight that I might not see?

Thanks for messing up the delicate balance of progression, Blizzard.

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12 responses

  1. Pingback: Progression doesn’t have to be linear | I Sheep Things...

  2. Not all raids skipped over the Vashj and Kael fights. The 25 man group that I’m a part of took out Vashj first, and though we’ve ventured into Hyjal (and went 3/5 our first week in), we’re working on Kael’thas as well.

    Which is, by the way, a pain in the arse fight to learn. But learning those kinds of fights are (at least in my experience) a good idea as a raid that wants to progress into Black Temple and pay Illidan a visit.

    So not everyone has skipped over the order of progression completely :)

    25 June 2008 at 12:15

  3. Tier 5 content is unique in that Lady Vashj and Kael’thas are the first “real” fights you come across in raiding.
    These are the first fights that require actual skill and awareness past watching the timers of Deadly Boss Mods.
    In the illustrious words of my guild leader: “Everything else is just trying to keep people from being retarded long enough for the boss to die.”

    25 June 2008 at 13:39

  4. Wow, dude, you write a TON. I’m thinking I may start blogging during down time at work…which has been happening a decent amount lately.

    26 June 2008 at 09:16

  5. Also, i must respectfully disagree with your post on pet hit. Animal Handler is a great talent for BM spec but is definitely not the only reason why BM pets do way more damage than MM pets, which your post made it sound like.

    Unleashed Fury, Ferocity, Bestial Discipline, Frenzy, and Serpent’s Swiftness probably contribute more than a significant portion of the damage differential, but this all comes at a cost of “playing” two characters at once, and why a lot of BM hunters care about what’s going on with the battle, petwise.

    Like last night with Ahune. I was watching our fight after the pets died and realized that the 1st phase is way pet unfriendly (since pets don’t dodge spikes too well) but the 2nd phase should be all out damage, hence suggesting rezzing your cat but not using it to kill adds, only using it for the core.

    But yeah, still liking the blog! And yes, i’m reading blogs at work now since i’m still sorta on lunch.

    26 June 2008 at 12:12

  6. @Ihasboomstik: I didn’t say BM pets did more damage than MM pets. As a matter of fact, MM pets do more base damage than BM pets because of the boost from the hunter’s attack power.

    I was pointing out the whole hunter/pet combination. As the others said in the comments, having that talent allows for more crits that will proc Ferocious Inspiration. Animal Handler is one of the counterbalance measures against a MM pet’s buffed attack power.

    But yes, I don’t disagree with what you said.

    Also, respond to posts in their own respective posts?

    26 June 2008 at 12:36

  7. Lifting the attunments has drastically changed the way people view raiding. On one side of the argument more people are able to see raid content at a quicker pace, however, most of these poeple, the ones who want to raid seriously, are willing to go out and get attuned anyway. Therefore lifting the attunement process simply buggers up tier 5 as you say, making it a mere stepping stone into tier 6 instead of the middle ground content it was designed to be.

    Thanks for the warm welcome by the way!

    28 June 2008 at 23:09

  8. I agree with everything you said here. It is very frustrating for me because my guild has gone from progressing nicely through T5 content to wiping on the first boss in BT, (mainly because we don’t have the gear to with stand the onslaught that is Naj’entus, and our healers can’t heal us through it), and farming Sunwell trash.

    Our officers got a big head because we can down Rage and Anetheron with ease. The members of most guilds are begging to see the rest of SSC/TK, I mean hell, VR is child’s play … But no one seems to be listening.

    The main problem here is this, we sit here and complain about it, (myself included), instead of starting our own guild and doing it our way … wait, even if we did that, no one would follow anyway bah.

    I think most people would rather say they are part of a “T6″ guild and that they have “seen” BT and Sunwell than put the work in to have truely been there.

    30 June 2008 at 11:36

  9. I think the problem is related to the loot bosses in the T6 instances, and the general lack of gear from the T5 instances that isn’t replaced in T6 or has a badge equivalent.

    While I think badge progression is something vitally important to keeping the game moving and letting the more causal guilds into the content I think that there needs to be a draw into these instances more in the way in which T4 became the badge farming instances or ZA has the bears.

    Anyway, I wrote a long post on it, no idea if anything makes sense but for me, T5 really lacks a reason to go there and to keep going there once you get the few items that are actually useful.

    2 July 2008 at 09:45

  10. Pingback: Progression, when is slow too slow?

  11. Pingback: Naj’entus Down. Almost. « 35 Yards Out

  12. Pingback: Zero to Hero with Dark Days « 35 Yards Out

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