Monday, February 08, 2010

Limits in Normal Icecrown Citadel Removed

Daelo, on the WoW Forums:
After each region's maintenance this week, raids will no longer lose attempts on wipes in Normal mode for Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana'thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. There will still be limited attempts in Heroic mode.

We will continue to monitor developments in Icecrown Citadel in the future, especially since the Heroic difficulty has been unlocked by a significant number of raids.

There is a saying that generals are always trying to fight the last war. In a sense, so is Blizzard. The big problem in Trial of the Crusader was that the gap between normal and heroic was too large.

To fix that problem in ICC--to create more of a spread between the Gentry guilds, but still have many guilds eventually complete the instance--Blizzard added normal-mode attempt limits for the end bosses. I think the idea was that the normal-mode attempt limits would slow down Gentry guilds, but not really impede Aristocracy and Royalty guilds.

However, ICC turned out to be reasonably difficult. The attempt limit isn't what's holding back Gentry guilds. And the Royalty guilds are going out of their way to evade the normal mode limits, because they can't afford to fall behind on hard modes. Several edge guilds are doing alt runs of ICC first. I understand that Paragon, which got the world first Arthas kill, took this path.

So Blizzard removes the limit for Gentry guilds, and is relying on natural difficulty of the fights and the eventual Faction Leader buff to spread out the guilds.

What will be interesting to see is how Blizzard reacts to the creation of alt teams to evade time and attempt limits. I'm not really sure what they could do, other than excessive attunement chains. But if it is hard to attune alts, it is also hard to attune trials and new characters, and that has its own pitfalls.

Perhaps Blizzard will just start creating impossible fights, with a built in buff timer like the Faction Leader buff timer, and let the best guilds wipe until the buff stacks just high enough to clear the bar. Like a high jump bar slowly being lowered until someone can just clear it. Then the bar keeps going down so the rest of us can experience the fight.


  1. Once again, Blizzard is avoiding the '' Sorry we fucked up '' path . I am thinking they will remove the limit on HC soon too, people are starting to QQ about them now.

  2. I used to loathe long attunement chains, but now with the dungeon finder it might be somewhat fun actually...especially if they could do things like send us to UBRS or someplace nostalgic like that.

  3. One of my in-game friends hated this change and called it nerfing the content.

    My argument was that it didn't really matter because 1) the difficulty of the boss itself didn't change, and 2) some guilds will use all their attempts on an alt raid and then come in on their mains, which bypasses the mechanic anyway.

    I do like your buff idea, where the content gets continually easier, but I'd wonder if a "gentry" guild would have the patience (or the time) to wipe enough for the stack to get high enough for them to clear the bar.

  4. I don't feel like the limits impacted our raiding at all even when we ran out of attempts on our first 25 man Putricide try.

  5. I don't see how this change really affects me, since our guild will never actually run against the limit anyway. We only actually ran out of attempts for the week once (on the -first- week), and after that we either ran out of time long before we ran out of attempts, or we killed them all before we ran out of attempts.

    Either way, the limit on attempts was not actually an effect in any way as to how difficult the encounter was.

  6. Impossible fights? Do you mean like Naxx-40 Four Horseman or C'thun [1] that were each had a hardlock that prevented victory?

    I think that these classic harlocks were even worse than ICC limited attempts.

    [1] If I remember correctly what I was told, in the case of C'thun, the tentacles were always killing the tanks and once that "bug" was fixed, guilds had it down in a very few number of attempts.

  7. I am already seeing "gentry" guilds burning out on ICC. I think many of them will just stop running the place before the buff stacks to the point they can clear it. After all, what will they miss? This raid is the end of progression in WotLK and the gear is not needed for any further content (including the dragon instance in 3.3.5.)

    Blizzard overestimated the shelf life of the raid, I'm afraid.