Saturday, September 27, 2008

Frostwyrm Lair Needs a Key

The final bosses of Naxxramas, Sapphiron and Kel'thuzad, reside in Frostwyrm Lair. Currently, Frostwyrm Lair only opens up after all four wings of Naxx have been cleared. I've posted the following suggestion on the WoW Beta Dungeons Forums.

I think Blizzard should add a key to Frostwyrm Lair. What I would suggest is have a quest requiring a item from each of the four bosses at the end of the four wings. Then you turn the quest in, and the NPC gives you a key that allows you to unlock Frostwyrm Lair. Only one person in the raid should need the key.

Reasoning:

1. Naxx is a large instance. A more-casual guild which only raids for one or two nights a week will have a very hard time killing Sapphiron and Kel'thuzad, simply because of the time they need to spend clearing the instance.

A key makes this much easier. Consider a guild that only raids for one night a week. They can now work on a wing at a time, and when they have cleared all four wings over several weeks, they can start work on Frostwyrm Lair. They can continue to progress at their own pace, without being forced to play more than they want.

2. Naxx is the first instance. That means that at some point it must be dropped from a guild's raid schedule in order to progress forward. But it is very hard for casual guilds to be weaned off farming, especially if they still need stuff from the later bosses. Having a key would allow guilds to move forward, while still farming the parts of Naxx where they still need loot.

Naxx as one large instance was a good model for the capstone raid of original WoW. It is not a good model for the entry-level raid for Wrath. A Frostwyrm Lair Key would go a long way towards making Naxx more casual-friendly and more importantly, more expendable, which is a necessary quality for an entry level dungeon.

12 comments:

Macawber said...

I like this idea, but one concern is that an experienced player could let new players skip right to the later bosses with better loot. I heard a lot of complaining about this sort of thing when they removed the attunements for Hyjal and the Black Temple. The first few bosses in those raids are so much easier than Vashj or Kael'thas that it was like 'free loot.' I have no idea whether Sapphiron or Kel'thuzad are easy or difficult, but I would expect to hear that sort of complaint. Personally I think loot from a particular boss should be a reward for killing that boss, not for getting through some previous annoying roadblock. And if a boss is too easy (or difficult) for the loot that it drops, then the boss should be re-tuned. So I think your key idea is fantastic.

Tzatziki said...

But the thing with MH attunement was that there was a (realtively) easy boss in Rage Winterchill who was seen as the "reward" for beating the difficult end T5 bosses wasn't it? It's a different story from locking away the most difficult bosses with a ton of easy bosses and trash, which is more of a timesink than a feat of strength.

Coming from a guild who raid 2 evenings a week (3 now when we're farming bears in ZA) I can only endorse the suggestion to free up Naxx in the way Rohan suggests.

Klepsacovic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Klepsacovic said...

I don't like only one person needing the key, since that allows for a lot of skipped content. I doubt this key would be added though. Blizzard continues to design raids and instances with excessive, mind-numbing trash. Removing huge wastes of time would run counter to their pattern up to now.

I couldn't find an edit function and I wanted to add that I like the idea, even if I was very negative.

Rohan said...

Well, the only one key thing is mostly to prevent the situation with attunements, where if one person doesn't have the key, no one can go.

Though to be honest, as it is the first dungeon, I'm not sweating skipping content. I just want people to not get stuck in Naxx, like it seems that they got stuck in Kara. I think it's better for everyone if people to move past Naxx and on to newer content as soon as they can.

ben said...

I don't think you need to put any keys into the game, just make it so that you can fight Kel/Sapph without having cleared all 4 wings. But tune the encounter to expect everyone to have almost all "Naxx+" gear, so that people can't just bring along undergeared friends right off the bat. While SWP guilds won't find this to be very challenging (as I expect their gear is pretty close to Naxx-level), "their content," is higher up the totem pole, anyway.

Protectorate, Thrillah (Kil'Jaeden) said...

I like the idea of the key, or of just letting people go through. I imagine that after a certain amount of time (probably ~6 months post-release), Blizzard will implement this. But at first, there's no way.

I liken it to SSC/TK - where guilds can go straight to Vashj and Kael'thas now, post 2.4, where previously they were locked till all bosses were cleared in the instance. I heard some complaining at the time (lots of complaining about the Hyjal/BT attunements lifted, but that's another story all together).
The fact is, allowing people to go straight to either of those end-dungeon bosses didn't have much, if any, impact on the game or the raid scene.

RJ said...

I'd just to ask, though, what's the problem with allowing an experienced group to take a new player around and gear them up faster? I can't really think of many situations where that would be unwanted. If a guild would like to get an alt or new recruit geared up for the later raids quickly, blasting them through Naxx with a group that really overgears the instance is the best way to go about it.

Besides, it's very unlikely that the last bosses would have a full set of gear anyway. A new player would have to run everything to get fully geared anyway.


I think I'll have to agree with Protectorate. It's likely that they won't include a key at first, and after the gear starts to flow around the game some then they'll either remove the lock or add a key in afterward.

Rohan said...

RJ, I don't understand your comment. Nothing prevents you from doing the other wings once you have a key.

It's just that you don't *have to* do them in order to get to the last two. You can cut wings from your schedule as you see fit. Presumably you'll have killed the earlier bosses a lot more, and will have gotten most of the loot you need from them. Maybe you'll end up doing Deathknight wing + Frostwyrm Lair when you're working on Malygos.

It's about time management more than anything. 14 bosses is a lot of fights to get through, and if you are a guild that raids on a limited schedule, balancing farming with new content is going to give you a lot of headaches under the current system.

RJ said...

I was referring to the first comment specifically: "I like this idea, but one concern is that an experienced player could let new players skip right to the later bosses with better loot."

Also, I didn't say anything about not doing the other wings. In fact, I said that players would anyway even with one, since that's how they'd get the full set of gear (and Naxx level badges).

Michael said...

/agree

Add an interesting quest-line where you clear all 4 wings (In any order!!) and you end-up with a permanent key to get to the big-guy.

Frankly, I don't really care if some new 'toons get carried to better gear. Currently, in my guild, there's been a number of folks in greens who have helped us kill the Prince in KZ, why should that change with Wrath?

Clearing the whole of Naxx would be very time-prohibitive.

Jesper Stoico said...

Very nice idea. As you say that would make it alot easyer for more casual guilds.
I would say even, that it would make it possible for em. 14 bosses in 2 raid nights, is a hell of a lot for them. And I cant see any downfall in the idea tbh. Hardcore guilds, as some of you point out, would anyway take all, as long as there is some in the guild needing the gear. After all they have the time to do it... ;)

Good idea, and as it is my first time posting, but a long time reader. Great blog, keep it all coming.