World of Gated Content Craft

I’m sure many of you have heard the announcement of how Icecrown Citadel is panned out.  Basically, there are 6 unique, gated methods being used to gate the content from ICC:

-Each “wing” of the place will be released individually, at least SEVERAL weeks apart

-You must defeat all the bosses in each wing before moving to the next wing

-You must defeat the hardest normal bosses before accessing normal Lichiepoo

-You must defeat normal Lichiepoo before unlocking ANY heroic encounters

-You must defeat all heroic bosses before accessing heroic Lichiepoo

-In both the heroic and normal versions, the hardest of the bosses (last 4), and Lichiepoo will all have extremely limited number of attempts before locking them out each week.

So, what does this mean for the WoW raiding community?

Well, that depends.  A couple of things spring to mind.  First, and foremost, they want the most bang for the buck.  They want this one patch to last as long as possible.  I can easily see ICC lasting several months.  Long term, however, I think it means that, just like with sunwell, “whoops!  expansion is not as close as we think, so we need more time!”  With normal ICC lasting about 4 months (I’m predicting one wing per month),  that easily buys them 6-8 months (or so they think) before people are completely exhausted with ICC Heroic.

Secondly, I think they are trying to force us raiders to see EVERY bit of the content that they are providing.  Instead, like ulduar, of beelining it straight to yoggy, they are going to force us to down each and every boss in there.  And like it.

Finally, I think they are trying to make up for lackluster raiding throughout the entire xpack – but particularly the latest, ToC.  If they gate it, they are going to get a constant “ohh, shiny!”  *starry eyes* response.  What better way to end an xpack, widely reviewed as the best game blizz has ever put out, with a raid that will get shining reviews, not once but 4 times.   Think of it as blizz saying “you know, this is our crowning achievment in raid design.  I want you to do it all before you bust through the doors and take down Lich King, then get bored with content.”

I guess what I am getting at is, this just totally feels…   artificial.  It feels to me like an artifical way to drag out endgame so that they have more time to work on cataclysm, which is a shame.  The fact that Daelo, the lead encounter had to come on the message boards to explain it, even so far as to say things such as “this represents that ashen verdict’s limited resources” hammers the artifical feel home.  I want the content to speak for itself, not the designers to speak for the content.

Remeber Blizz, “I want more” does not always translate to “Wow, they liked it so much, they want more.”  Sometimes “I want more” is just “I want what you promised me, but I don’t want you to hand feed it to me morsel by morsel.”

Ultimately, no matter how great ICC is, in hindsight, I think that it will be tainted by this horrifyingly artificial gating mechanism.

One Response to “World of Gated Content Craft”
  1. Ten'nen says:

    It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how people progress through it. Raid selection is going to be extremely selective…and if they do anything like they did for 25-Naxx, which at certain times requires certain classes when first starting it (*coughshadowpriestscough*), then we’ll likely see even more raids being selective…

    I’m also really curious as to see how difficult they are planning on making the raid when it first starts, considering there are plenty of guilds across realms where Hard Mode 25-ToC is close to (or even at) farm status…and the gear there is amazing. But are they going to make it so that people who aren’t geared in 245+ gear able to do it as well? Could make it a walk in the park and not be as effective as they’d like…

    With the amount of raids they currently have, and the amount of gear floating around, ICC will certainly be a very interesting raid to be slowly releasing…hopefully the process won’t be as painful as we fear.

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