Tonight one of my fellow guildies brought up an interesting conversation piece revolving around the merits of WotLK as an expansion compared to TBC and the carrot dangling in front of us: Cataclysm. From his standpoint WotLK doesn’t hold a candle to TBC from an end-game perspective and I can see his argument. In TBC we had Karazhan, Zul’Aman, Gruul, Magtheridon, Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, Black Temple and finally Sunwell Plateau. So far in WotLK we have had a retuned Naxxramas, Malygos, Sartharion, Ulduar, Trial of the Crusader and eventually Icecrown Citadel.
So on quantity he definitely has a point considering that ToC is quite possibly the worst raid content that has been put into the game … even if it is an experiment and fits in within the context of the raid’s purpose. (Maybe ToC should have been itemized as a side-grade or very slight upgrade but not given a completely new tier level of itemization) I cannot argue on terms of quality given that I didn’t raid in TBC and have only barely raided in WotLK, but from the taste I did have, I really enjoyed Naxxramas (other than the safety dance) and Ulduar. So even if Icecrown is the greatest raid content ever created, chances are WotLK is going to fall short on the raid content quantity compared to TBC.
But is that really all that bad? While WotLK will likely fall short on straight numbers, I don’t think he’s taking into consideration the new raid mechanics introduced in WotLK. Hard modes and the associated achievements can radically change raid encounters from their normal counterparts. Shouldn’t hard mode encounters be considered as extra content within the confines of the raid instance?
Regardless of the amount of end-game content, I think he wasn’t giving credence to the most important aspect of the content itself: the fun factor … which leads us back to the quality aspect of the argument. I still stand behind my stance that WotLK has been absolutely rewarding in terms of feeling like you’re apart of the storyline. Hell my rogue helped Putris develop that damned plague bomb and I’m a sucker for the lore behind the Titans and Arthas.
But again, I’m not a raider, and likely never will be. So for me WotLK has been awesome and hearing someone with an opinion very strongly contrary to my own astonished me. Maybe he’ll come around with Icecrown, but his skepticism is not shared on my end. I know Icecrown Citadel will rock … you get to board the competing faction’s airship with rocket packs … that’s AWESOME. Even if I don’t get to see much of Icecrown at first, I know I’ll be running those 5 mans a lot, and I enjoy 5 man content far more than 10/25 man.