A Look Back at Tier 11 Raiding
With 4.2 and Firelands out now, I felt it appropriate to give a brief look back at the first tier of Cataclysm raid content we had and provide a bit of commentary on it. So what in tier 11 stood out, what was always bad, and what started off as a good idea, but ultimately degenerated into something that you wanted to claw out your eye balls and feed them to a core hound?
Well lets break it down…
New fight mechanics. Many of the boss fights introduced some what new fight mechanics. Magmaw brought into the game the vehicle system. Throne of the 4 winds brought the interesting dynamic of moving from platform to platform, even Al’Akir had its moment showing that you can have a truly 3 dimensional fight. Cho’Gall brought about the idea you need to get your own folks out of mind control and at the same time keep your corruption low, while similar to other bosses, it brought a lot of different elements together. We saw the return of healing centric fights with Chimaeron. Even a sound based fight, where you had to bang gongs to disrupt the boss. Very cool and interesting mechanics. These I felt only tapped a small bit of what we have to look forward to.
Good lord we have been in the same tier of content for close to 7 months! The initial amount of bosses 12 on normal, 13 on heroic for a total of 25, and that’s if you don’t count Baradin Hold, was just too much. There also was no entry level tier. What I mean by that is they could have made say Bastion of Twilight and/or Throne of the 4 Winds easier. Basically the nerf they just threw out on Tier 11 normal content, could have been applied to 1 or 2 of these raids from the beginning to get peoples’ feet wet, then throw them into tougher content like Blackwing Descent which had more bosses. Basically make BWD Tier 11.5 or something. Some step up to get folks used to the new way to raid. There was none of that, and Blizzard even admitted to not having that.
The Gouge My Eyeballs Out
The interrupts, for the love of all that is holy, enough with this mechanic! This was used in a majority of bosses, Nefarian and Cho’Gall both had it, Maloriak, Om-Nom-Nom Defense Council had it, it was so widely used, that it just wasn’t fun anymore. I don’t mind it once and a while, but it seemed like the focused gimmick of tier 11, which made it not fun. Throne of the 4 Winds loot…random gear…really Blizzard? Until they patched it in 4.1 to drop Tier pieces from Al’Akir, most people I know just stopped going, I know my guild did. Random loot just wasn’t something we felt would improve our progression. Now also while the 3 dimensional aspect of Al’Akir was interesting, it wasn’t enough to get over the randomness of the encounter, another reason why my guild skipped it.
In the end, Tier 11 was fun content, but it just got stale and overused some mechanics. The bosses were interesting the environments were different and visually pleasing. The content was challenging, too challenging for some, not challenging enough for others. Blizzard had some really tough raid content in Burning Crusade, and scaled it way back for Wrath. For Cataclysm their first intent was to swing it back towards Burning Crusade style, and in many cases they hit their mark, and others they didn’t. But what did everyone else think of Tier 11 content, did Tier 11 content bore you to tears, or did you have an exciting time knocking down those bosses?