Thoughts on the opening raids of Mists of Pandaria

Mogu’shan Vaults Raid loading screen from Wowpedia

Blizzard released a statement last week in regards to the first raids to be released for Mist of Pandaria:

Vaneras — Raid Releases

We’ve been keeping a very close eye on the feedback players have shared for both Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria raiding. We saw a lot of evidence and heard a lot of feedback which indicated that raid content was a little overwhelming at the beginning of Cataclysm. Our goal is to smooth that out a bit in Mists of Pandaria. Keep in mind, Mogu’shan Vaults opens up one week after Mists of Pandaria launches. And with its Heroic mode even the most seasoned raiders should be pretty busy. Once the raid dungeon has been cleared by a group on normal mode they’ll unlock Heroic mode, a definite ramp up in challenge. Also note, similar to Dragon Soul, Raid Finder mode for Mogu’shan Vaults will be available about one week after the normal raid has been opened.
 Rather than putting a lot of pressure on players by opening up sixteen raid bosses in three separate difficulties upon release of the expansion, we hope you’ll have a chance to really dig into the lore, the gorgeous new continent, the amazing new quests, and all of the other goodies that are far too numerable to mention. Our intention here is not to artificially extend the life of the 5.0 content, but rather to pace it better than we have in previous releases. This is why we noted that a few weeks after Mogu’shan Vaults opens, raid instances Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring will become available. These dungeons will still very much be hot on the heels of Mogu’shan Vaults, particularly for the large majority of players progressing through Pandaria.
Here’s a basic breakdown of the pattern we’d like to follow for all upcoming raids: Dungeon opens on normal difficulty -> Heroic mode is unlocked once normal mode is completed -> the Raid Finder version becomes available about one week after the raid’s initial opening. To review all of the latest Mists raid release details, everyone is encouraged to check out our latest blog, Blizzard Insider #45 – Mists of Pandaria – Raid Preview, which has a wealth of exciting new information.
On a final note, thank you to everyone who has been testing the new content, sharing your feedback, and helping us bring you the most epic game possible! It cannot be said enough, but we genuinely appreciate it. =)

So to be clear, the full schedule for US realms is:September 25: MoP launches
October 2: Mogu’shan Vaults (normal) opens
October 7: Mogu’shan Vaults (LFR) opens, those who cleared normal Vaults can access heroic mode
October 30: Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring (normal) open, with Terrace only accessible by clearing Heart
November 6: Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring (LFR) open; queuing for Terrace requires clearing Heart. Those who cleared normal Heart can access heroic Heart, same for Terrace.

Heart of Fear Raid loading screen from Wowpedia

How do I feel about Blizzard’s decision?  I actually like it, it allows my guild and I to enjoy the content, without having to rush through to move on to the next raid.  I personally like to get through one raid at a time, only moving on once the final boss has been defeated.  And if these T14 raids are anything similar in difficulty to what we had in T11, it’s gonna take a good bit of time to get through it anyways, lol.

It’s gonna take some of us a week or more to get to level cap anyways, except for Zug (who will be going for [Realm First! – Level 90 Warrior]) and Cayle (who will be going for [Realm First! – First Level 90 to Tank the Floor]), both who will be at level cap by Wednesday night of opening week (hardcore!).  I’m assuming that most, if not all, of our raid team will be leveling our mains first and I would hate to blow through all the leveling content and not enjoying the new zones on those toons.  Our guild isn’t hardcore like your Paragons or Vodkas or Blood Legions (although Cayle likes to think so, lol).

I can see where some may disagree with this.  For example, guilds that hit a wall with an encounter like Atramedes in Blackwing Depths for weeks could start fresh and erase frustration by working on fights in Bastion of Twilight or Throne of the Four Winds.  And it could be this needed break that would be the answer to finally defeating Atra when they go back.  Also, more progressed guilds who raid more than two or three days a week will have more than enough content to keep them busy the whole week.

With the inclusion of a LFR version for all three raids, I only expect to see raiding becoming a bigger part of WoW, with an influx of raiders flocking to try them out.  This could be a good thing or bad thing, depending on how many trollers and griefers are out there to ruin it for everybody else.  I know there still will be horror stories to come out of the LFR runs, but I hope that most experiences will be great and that those peeps come back for more.

Terrace of Endless Spring Raid loading screen from Wowpedia

I’m a raider at heart, it’s my favorite aspect of playing WoW.  I’ve seen a little bit of what’s to come in these new raids and they look pretty sweet so far.   I can’t wait to get into these new raids with my fellow guildies and learning new encounters and mastering mechanics and just having fun (as long as there is no Animated Bone Warriors involved ><).  Oh, and for the phat purplez the bosses drop too, lol.
What are your plans for the new raids if you’re a raider?  Do you like how Blizzard is scheduling these first three?

Guest Post – Sorak aka Fayle Tanks Floor

This post is brought to you by our fearless leader, Sorak, who wanted to add a picture to his comment on yesterday’s post, but because wordpress doesn’t allow pictures in comments and because he won’t post it on his own blog, Sorak, Don’t Hate, I decided to let him post here.

Warning: Politically Incorrect Post Ahead!  DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER if you get offended by:

Heroism (Bloodlust, For The Horde!)
or 80’s Cartoon Nostalgia

Enter at your own risk!

Continue reading

WarFare Theater: The Siege of Orgrimmar – Attempt #2

If you’re a comic book enthusiast, then you most likely remember a comic book magazine called Wizard: The Guide to Comics created by Wizard Entertainment.  I started reading the magazine with issue #35 and kept up with it until about issue #170 ish.  It kept me up to date with what was going on in the comic book world, had a price guide and even offered some nice exclusives like special edition cards and offers for #1/2 issues of some of the hottest comics at the time.

Wizard Entertainment also published a sister magazine called Toyfare.  This magazine also included a mini price guide, offers for exclusive figures, new toy news and other toy information.  But what got me hooked into this magazine was the humor that they portrayed in their toys.  They would take photos of these figures and bring them to life by adding word bubbles and action poses, which were often hilarious.

Sadly, both magazines have been discontinued, but I think that Wizard may have an online publication.  As a tribute to ToyFare and the many laughs it provided, I decided to create my own series, called WarFare Theater.  Without further ado, here is The Siege of Orgrimmar – Attempt #2.