Monday, September 3, 2007

"The Karazhan mistake"

AFK Gamer's got a great post up about what he calls "The Karazhan Mistake." At BlizzCon, and now in Leipzeig, Blizzard has been patting themselves on the back for the 10man raid of Karazhan-- it's clearly the most popular raid in the expansion (does that have anything to do with the fact that it's the first raid most guilds do?), and so they say the 10man raid idea of theirs is the bomb. Along with the new Zul'Aman, we can expect to see more 10mans in Wrath of the Lich King.

But AFK says they've learned the wrong lesson. While Karazhan is definitely popular, creating a 10man raid in the guild progression path (remember, UBRS didn't start as a 10man, and it wasn't really a progression instance) was a mistake. It's more or less where all the guild drama and frustration in the expansion has come from-- guilds with only 10 people are rare and far between, and so most guilds have to schedule and run multiple raid IDs just to get everyone through there. And now (eight months after the expansion has dropped), while most guilds have finally got Karazhan (and all that raid coordination) down pat, they're dealing with another problem: beefing back up to 25 for the rest of the raids. Blizzard's making guilds jump through all these hoops, and deal with all of this group A/B drama, and they're citing Karazhan as a success?

AFK's solution is a simple one: lower the cooldown on raid IDs. (His other solution is to have raid IDs be guildwide, but letting only 10 people in a guild run Karazhan weekly is a terrible idea.) That would more or less take the raid out of progression (in essence, turn it into UBRS), and let you go there whenever you had 10 people ready and willing, leaving the real raiding to the 25 mans.

Personally, I love Karazhan. It's a great dungeon with some cool bosses and lore, and Blizzard's right: it's how raids should be done. It's just too bad that, by creating a great 10 man in a world full of 25 man raids, they caused guilds (especially guilds just starting to raid) so much trouble.

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