World of Warcraft: Hit 80? You’re Hardcore

Posted by | December 6, 2008

Ghostcrawler, our favourite Blue over at Blizzard, recently posted on the World of Warcraft forums that “If you’re 80 already, you’re a relatively hardcore player.” He may be right. The content in Wrath of the Lich King was meant to last most gamers for months, if not well into the next year. Which is why it came as no surprise when I started seeing level 80 characters pop up a bit less than a day after Lich King’s release.

I’m really not sure what to think about such an achievement, as there are good reasons to burn through the game in what has to be the most boring, face-grinding manner ever invented by the cruel hand of man. There are world firsts to secure, new dungeons to raid, and new gear to collect. Many people feel that max level is where the real game in World of Warcraft begins, and it’s hard to dispute that claim. How many of us speak fondly of the great level 37 content we experienced, or how the storyline surrounding our level 12 adventures was so gripping? Do you even remember what zone hosts level 37 content? I’ve been playing for three years with a dozen alts and had to look it up.

But you know exactly when and where your main made 60. You remember Molten Core. Blackwing Lair. Onyxia. Then came Outlands, and you couldn’t care less about the quests surrounding Sporregar. Quick! Who gave out the “Now That We’re Friends…” quests? You don’t know. You don’t care. But what if I ask you about the spell Eternal Affection? Damn near anyone with a level 70 and a spell interrupt knows who, where, and what I’m talking about.

So, top-level content matters. Are the people who want to reach that content as soon as inhumanly possible really hardcore? Or would they just rather trade off one part of the game (the leveling quests and content) for the memorable and challenging raiding endgame? You tell me.

Speaking of the end game, I’ve been hearing some complaints that the raiding scene in that there Lich King expansion for World of Warcraft is way too easy. Most of these complaints include a phrase like, “…played for months in beta…” or maybe, “…our full guild of T6 Sunwell raiders…” That seems to me like the howling wind here is coming out the mouths of those professional poopsockers who make up the 3% of WoW’s population that beat C’thun or cleared Naxxramas Classic. The same folks who made it through Black Temple and Sunwell the same day those pits of guild-breaking despair opened for business.

I’ve also seen pick-up groups clear the Lich King heroics without wiping.

While I’m glad Blizzard decided to open up the endgame content for people who have jobs and lives outside their digital hobbies, there’s also something to be said for a bit of a challenge in your adventures. A bar set, held sacred, that you must be taller than to ride. Keeps the skills sharp, it does. Has that balance been be achieved with Wrath of the Lich King, or are we looking at snow-covered Disneyland rides with really cool flame effects?

Even if we are, is that such a bad thing?

I’d love to hear your comments, post them below.


3 Comments so far
  1. Quell
    December 6, 2008 11:35 pm

    My former guild (I no longer play), has one boss left as of last weekend, that on first attempt they got to 40% without even really trying..Granted they are one of the top guilds on the server; however they aren’t one of the top guilds in the world/US..I think they are just in the edge of the top 1000. Their “sister” (meaning casual/Weekend warrior) guild is about ~1/2 way done…amongst both guilds many people have multiple 80s.

    My nephew who I would consider pretty casual hit 80 on Tuesday. The defining of casual apparently has been changed to someone brand new to MMOs or at least WoW..Anyone with at least a decent amount of experience playing WoW (READ: almost everyone who bought WotLK), prolly has an 80 allready. The Thanksgiving break gave people a solid 4-5 days to chug away at it, right after release..and lets be honest..there are VERY few “casuals” immediately after release of the expansion..in particular if they have like a week off of school/work.

    I dont think people will stick around like they did in TBC, and WotLK’s pacing is MUCH faster then TBC to start off with. If they wait until end of Feb/March to release the new content, and that content isnt deep and mechanically challenging WoW IMO will start its slow decline. They only thing saving it over the medium term, is that the horizon is completely blank right now.

  2. Helvetica
    December 7, 2008 8:02 pm

    We’ve seen this, actually. The release date of WotLK unfortunately coincided with a lot of classwork and hard work on all fronts.

    We ourselves haven’t been able to get our favorite 70 (a Forsaken shadow priest) up to 80…yet; but this is only for a total lack of time to rush through all the areas.

    Of course, not seeing so much of the content yet, it’s too bad to hear that the stuff that we’ll be getting into at some point is more shallow than TBC.

  3. kaetisak1122
    October 13, 2012 4:23 am

    ewadas

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