Okay, so more details about the next raid instance were recently released. If you missed the announcement:
- New epic 10- and 25-player raid dungeon with five encounters, with each encounter being unlocked one week at a time
- A more intuitive structure for harder encounters. This raid dungeon will have four different versions: 10-player, 25-player, 10-player Heroic, and 25-player Heroic, with each one using a separate lockout.
- Introduction of the Crusaders’ Tribute! Each of the Heroic mode instances has a new tribute system that will limit players on the number of attempts they get in the Coliseum each week to present a greater challenge for the most battle-hardened heroes. Additional rewards can be earned depending on the number of attempts left in the tribute run each week when the final boss is defeated
Okay, so there is a total of 5 bosses, and you can kill bosses up to 4 times a week (ie. the 4 different “modes”). So, if a guild wants, they could (in theory) start with just the hard-mode encounters. The flaw with this is that it’s likely the same bosses that they would be killing multiple times, increasing the likelihood of getting bored with those bosses. I mean, there were a lot more than 5 bosses in Ulduar, and some people have already quit the game due to boredom with the high-end raiding content.
The new raid dungeon does bring one thing that may help the hard-core raiders: One boss is being unlocked at week intervals. This has the benefit of pacing guilds a little better, and guarantees that it will take at least 5 weeks before all the bosses are downed. However, with only 5 bosses, this may only hold people’s attentions for a short amount of time if the bosses are easy to kill and get turned into farming-mode in a matter of hours, instead of taking days & weeks to learn the bosses.
Crusader tribute will limit how many times you can attempt the boss… okay, this is more on track. However, if it’s the same boss as the normal-mode instance, you can just master the normal-mode one, and then they can probably just go into the Hard-mode one without having to really learn a whole new strategy. So, time will tell if this fills the need for newer & harder content.
Now, for the more casual raiders, the regular mode encounters won’t have the Crusader Tribute effect, so you can go in and take as many tries as you need to get the boss down. The normal mode encounters will still have the phasing, where bosses are unlocked at weekly intervals.
Time will tell if this fills the appetite of the hard-core raiders, or if this will just be an appetizer on their way back into farming Ulduar…