Boxing in Las Vegas used to be the pinnacle of sporting events in this nation. There was actually a time when, sit down and shut up football fans, a heavyweight championship fight was bigger than the Super Bowl. Doh! I think the NFL just fined me for using the term Super Bowl. Oops, I did it again! (makes moaning sound)
Today I suppose the UFC is taking over boxing’s failed market, although I’ve never been a real fan of men hugging each other while lying on a mat in tight spandex undies. But I digress.
A classic call by the boxing announcer at the start of the fight was thus:
“In this corner we have the Sultain of Pain, the Czar of Scars, the Master of Disaster…Biiiiiiiiiiiiiig Miiiiiiiiiiike! And in the other corner, hailing from the outer-most reaches of the Andes mountains in South America, comes the Warden of Flesh, Destroyer of Souls, the one, the only, Jooooorrrrggggeeeee Guuuueeerrrrrrrroooo!
Crowd cheers wildly with excitement.
WoW kinda has had an epic boxing match of their own as the most recent expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, as unfolded. In one corner are all those who played and raided back in Vanilla and maybe even in TCB, in the other corner comes the challenger. The casual who demands free epics at little cost or effort in any raiding situation. The bane of the purists existence. The fight went back and forth: “Epics are handed out like candy, what ever happened to them being unique, truly epic?” vs “Hey, I work all day pal! Unlike you, who has no life and plays wow 14 hours/day, I feed a family and only have a few hours a week to devote to raiding. But that doesn’t mean that epic gear should be withheld from me, that I am held back from seeing content that I’m clearly paying for with my subscription. I deserve epics just as much as the hard core, no-life losers.”
Well, we’re in the 9th round and it looks like momentum may be shifting slightly back to the “old guys” of raiding. Quoting blue poster Ancilorn:
“Well, hopefully this comes as good news. We're actually working on restoring the epic feeling to epic items in Cataclysm. Epic loot should be epic, and something to be very proud of. Our plan is to try and get the Heroic -> Blue Gear and Raid -> Purple Gear balance back.”
Well, well, well! Looks like Harry and Ron will have to stop copying off Hermione’s homework every night and get out and raid in order to don some epic gear instead of just running little ‘ol heroics. I can’t really say I care that much. Oh, that’s not a good selling point for a blog. Here, let me try again.
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! WHAT A CROCK! I HAVEN’T PLAYED FOR A YEAR AND A HALF JUST TO HAVE MY WELFARE EPICS TAKEN FROM ME OUT OF THE BLUE! SCREW YOU, DEATHWING! LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO THE CASUAL, YOU’RE SCREWING EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US. (Not the best image, but if Deathwing is motivated I’m sure that he can…)
Well that just won’t do, I’m not much into yelling. Give me one more chance to state a definitive opinion on this.
It’s about time! Epic gear has ceased to be epic, in every sense of the word. Gone are the days where by standing in the center of the trade district in Stormwind can one be defined by the design of the gear he’s wearing. The day anyone turns 80, with enough time and motivation, can have 4-8 pieces of epic gear, sometimes more depending on how much money they have and RNG. It’s been an absolute joke, and it progressively worsened as the WotLK xpac progressed. I’m glad that Blizzard has started to reward some of the older players, we who knew what it was like to work week after week just to grind a few pieces of epic gear…if we were lucky. I certainly don’t expect it to be as hard as it was in Vanilla, but it brings a smile to my face and warms my heart to know that the casual won’t be as epic as me anymore.
So who’s side are you on? Or are you like Treebeard, on nobody’s side because nobody’s on your side? How, exactly, do you feel about this statement and how do you THINK it will play out? Once the second raid tier opens up in Cataclysm do you think that “welfare epics”, as I’ve heard them called before, be the norm again? Or does Blizz have a built-in mechanic to deal with the issue of such easy access to raid-level gear for the fresh 80?
My honest opinion is that in general, this is a good thing. I don’t think it will be as hard as Vanilla, nor as easy as WotLK. Even as a super casual, I don’t mind epic gear only being available in raids (at least to start out with), mainly because I’m not a gear whore. I don’t define my abilities or worth my the gear I have on. I play the game to have fun how I want to. Gear helps make difficult content less difficult, and for that I’m grateful. I never expected or asked for handouts, so to go back to a system where epic loot will be considered more “epic” than it is today, I think will be a good change.
How long it will last, who knows? But I’ll take it while I can get it.