An Idea, Just a Small One

Hi, it’s me, Gloria. I’m the author of such silly idea threads as “add a class difficulty rating” and “long, wordy, too many comparisons battlepet post” A, B and C as well as “add a battle pet that is an artifact.

Basically, I come up with weird ideas on the regular. I don’t know what it is about WoW that makes me think this stuff up, especially since, like, look at me? I work customer service day-to-day, what makes me think I know more than the developers a massive hit of an MMO? I guess it’s a good outlet, since most people know suggesting things at work can be pretty hit or miss. At least I got them to replace the random generic stock photo person on our website with an actual employee though, hah. But I could be brainstorming to improve my own life, or building ships in a bottle or something! Instead I sit here like, “But…what would make the experience better for newbies in the game?” because WoW is so ingrained in me after 10 years and I want to see it succeed.

That said, I was thinking the other day about why I see so many of the people in my community (which is mostly friends on twitter) so rapidly abandoning the raiding lifestyle. I do still have friends that raid regularly and even do mythic. (Bear Retirement Home is recruiting, btw, great group of people. Search them up on twitter.) But a lot of us…a LOT OF US have just given up for various reasons.

Raiding retirement reasons include:

-Not wanting to commit to a weekly schedule anymore.
-Not wanting to sit at a comp for hours at a time to prepare for a raid or do the raid.
-Not wanting to focus on wiping, recovering, and doing it all over again.
-Not wanting to have to actually maintain a raid group. Scheduling, raid leading, and hoping people show up, and recruiting can be incredible draining.

Now, I don’t have the data Blizzard has. This is all data taken anecdotally from conversations I’ve had among friends. But it seems that, by and large, an aging playerbase is slowly growing out of the raiding mentality. Because you have to admit, the points made above are…kinda what raiding is all about? It used to be that there was plenty of new blood to replace retiring raiders, but with how newbie unfriendly WoW has become I’m not so sure that’s the case right now. But again, anecdotal. I’m sure Blizzard has meetings with data to go over trends and whatnot.

But anyway, I was thinking the other day about how the idea of raiding is going out of style. Do people want to feel like they have to sit at a computer for 3+ hours to accomplish anything? The current popularity of MOBAs and FPS games says that no, no they do not. Also, note that I said “feel like” because we all know some MOBA matches can take longer than 40 minutes. But the illusion of, “Oh I can just sit here for 20 minutes and get a game in” is there. And that’s what appeals. With raiding, unless you’re doing LFR, you know that’s probably going to be an hour+ long commitment going in. Is that what people are turning their noses up at? Hmm.

So I was trying to think of a way that kind of content could be adapted to WoW. And I says to myself, I says, “What if people could jump into a progression raid with a guild and automatically have their ilvl boosted to the average of the rest of the raid?”

Okay wait. WAAAIT. Before you freak out at the idea, let me explain.

I find myself constantly wishing I could jump into my friends’ raids to help out every once in a while without making a commitment. But my character’s ilvl would be a hindrance, especially on my horde character that is a late-to-the-expansion alt. Now I can farm to get my ilvl up, and I do, but it would be nice to be able to jump into a raid once in a while to help heal when they’re down a person and still be able to actually HELP.

This would serve two purposes:

  1. I get to do raid content without having to commit, and suddenly you see that bite-sized MOBA style influence coming in here and it appeals. Oh does it appeal.
  2. If my friends’ guilds are ever down a person, it’s easier for them to fill that spot without fretting about backup raiders not being available.

Eh? Eeeh? Seeing my picture now?

Obviously there would have to be some serious limitations on the system. You shouldn’t be able to just join a random raid group where the leader has an ilvl of 6 billion and automatically have yours boosted to that level. That would trivialize like, everything ever. But if you are joining a guild group that clearly has 10-15 people all with the same guild tag and general ilvl, that’s when yours would be boosted up to the average.

LFR is controversial because people see it as sightseeing content. And let’s be real, it is. You can blow on the bosses and knock them over, and there are some people that like it that way. That’s fine, it’s whatever. I think a lot of people that run LFR don’t run it because it’s fun, they run it because it’s bite-sized content they can enjoy in an hour of playtime. So let’s bring that concept to another area of the game and help the now retired/casual raiders to sometimes have a little challenging raiding back in their lives on their own and also help guilds that may be struggling to recruit on their servers or whatever have a bit of a backup plan.

And who knows? Maybe the retired raiders will fall back in love with it and start to revive the system a little, alongside newer players coming in Legion.

There’s also the fact that a lot of people want to introduce friends/family members to the game and outside of dungeon content, well, you can’t really bring your undergeared brother to your heroic raid, even though you might really want him to be able to see just how freakin’ cool it is. So your option is to run with him through LFR.


This would allow you to have him tag along.

I mean they already do this with dropping ilvls to make Timewalking dungeons relevant again. I don’t see why it couldn’t be applied in what is essentially the opposite direction. We have the technology! I mean, sort of. We sort of have the technology. They really need to work on stuff like trinket proc percentages and whatnot because in Timewalking those are BAaaaAAAad but…we have MOST of the technology!

Though to be perfectly honest, I would be shocked if the developers hadn’t already considered an idea like this. I’m sure it’s come up in a meeting at some point. So there must be a reason why it hasn’t been done yet. And I’m sure players can think of dozens of reasons why it’s terrible. Trust me, I get it, lots of my ideas are bad. But hey, gotta get them out there even if I’m shouting into a void!

So you know, food for thought.


3 thoughts on “An Idea, Just a Small One

  1. Oh man, I can hear the QQ from all the way over here. “ERMAGHERD BILLY HAS A 765 iLEVEL AND HE DIDN’T PUT THE WORK IN TO GET IT. MAH PERPLZ! MAH PRECIOUS PERPLZ!” People are already so overly protective of their precious, precious ilevel and whine at the slightest notion that someone else gets to have what they have.

    Personally, I think Blizzard needs to bite the bullet and close down about half of their servers. I know you can raid cross-realm, but the biggest problem is that there are just too damn many raiding guilds. Day after day on /r/wow there are people either a) new to the game and baffled by the shitty “use SuperGuildInvite to invite any old rando” culture, or b) looking to start a new guild. Ten years of drama has fractured people into so many little cliques that it’s nigh-on impossible for people to find 20 Mythically-competent raiders. If they closed down half the servers people would be forced to coalesce into existing guilds on other servers (or if they refused to do that, at least they’d have bigger pools to pull from on their new server).

  2. I used to raid 3 or 4 days a week, and now LFR is the most raiding I get to do. LIke you said, I don’t want to be tied down to set days and times any more.
    What I do instead of raiding is pvp, and I find Ashran, despite everyone seems to hate it, the perfect ‘jump in, jump out’ game play that I want right now. “But I don’t like pvp!”, well, most pvpers call Ashran pvp for pvers, so yes, it’s not so harsh really.

    The rest of the time I’m happy to potter around doing pet battles,garrison stuff, professions and whatever else.

    Hardcore raiding? Not any more, no.

  3. So, I’ve thought about this idea before. For normal and heroic raiding, the scalable size means you don’t often need filler people to join the raid. The problem is just having a core of people who consistently show up so you can progress. If half your raid’s ilevel is too low for the content, no amount of averaging is going to help. If half your raid doesn’t know how to do the encounters, you can’t progress. The problem isn’t just finding bodies to fight the mythic bosses (the difficulty where you are likely to need filler bodies and this mechanic would matter). The problem is finding people with the skill and experience to not die in the fires and do enough DPS and know the mechanics well enough to beat the encounter. Throwing gear at someone takes maybe two weeks of runs to get them close in ilevel, but two to six months in some cases to teach them how to be a raider. So, if you just need filler bodies for farm content, their ilevel doesn’t mater all that much in the first place. If you need people who can help on harder progression bosses, the lack of experience isn’t something blizzard can scale up with their algorithms. We will often take in people with lower gear who show a history of high skill and past experience – because we can fix gear problems but not skill problems. The thing is that LFR is raiding for people who don’t have time to skill up or learn the encounters – and that raiding looks like LFR for a reason.

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