Mists of Pandaria raid releases to be staggeredPosted: August 2, 2012
Yesterday, Blizzard announced that they will be staggering the releases of raids in Mists of Pandaria. From the blue post, it looks like this is something they intend to do for the entirety of the expansion. For now, we have Tier 14 to work with, and this is what it looks like:
September 25th: Mists launches. No raids available.
October 2nd: Mogu’shan Vaults normal available. Heroic mode becomes available one week after you clear normal modes.
October 9th: Mogu’shan Vaults Raid Finder available.
October 30th: Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring become available. Heroic modes become available one week after you clear normal modes. Terrace is locked until you clear Heart of Fear.
November 6th: Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring Raid Finder available. Heart of Fear must be cleared to queue for Terrace of Endless Spring.
Here is the link to MMO-Champion’s collection of blue posts on the subject.
According to a blue response to the accusation that this means the raids are not done, the raids will be included in the MoP final launch patch, meaning that they simply become available according to a schedule (like a holiday), and Blizzard does not expect players to have to download a patch containing the raid content.
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There seems to be a ton of opinion on this, including much QQ as well as others laughing at the complainers, along with those who support the plan. Such is the nature of our internet-y times.
My thoughts? I’m fine with it. I think it’s good, and it’s perfectly acceptable, which is the same as what I would have felt if they had announced that all bosses would be available on September 25th. I’m not an elite raider, so I’m not jumping out of my socks to down all the things as soon as possible. To me, this is reminiscent of the staggered release of the wings of Icecrown Citadel – although it’s certainly not an exact parallel comparison.
Blizzard seems to think that this strategy will still provide a consistent challenge for the majority of the raiding player base, and if that turns out to be the case, I think I’ll be happy with it. They are looking at HMs as a significant increase in challenge from the normals, although Mogu only has six bosses if I recall correctly, and if Mogu plays anything like Dragon Soul did with regard to difficulty, there could be a significant number of guilds that complete normals in the first couple of weeks.
Then again, four weeks isn’t all that much of a long time, and it’s unlikely that most players would be geared out of Mogu in that amount of time, knowing how “random” drops can be.
In my mind, this is not bad news. The launch of Mists is shaping up to be a time of plenty of fun and challenges. With all of the new dungeons, 15+ raid bosses, new leveling content, hundreds of dailies, tilling, pet battles, taming new pets, profession leveling, and so on, I for one will have plenty to do and enjoy in the final months of 2012 and beyond.
Well, except for pet battles. Not interested. :D