Call of the Crusade might be a very smart patch indeed

We’re getting some more information out about the next content patch in WoW. Call of the Crusade is the name assigned to  3.2 (it probably has it’s own logo and theme tune coming soon too), and it’s currently including:

  • More dailies, rewards etc at the Argent Tournament
  • 5/10 and 25 man encounters inside the Coliseum itself.
  • New 40 vs 40 battleground

I was not initially thrilled with the Coliseum concept. It sounds as though you get to fight various raid bosses in an arena — so skip the interesting lore and location and just get straight to the meat of the fight. Since I really enjoy the fights where you have to use the environment to your advantage, I’m struggling to get excited about this.

But, what I’d forgotten is the Summer effect. All MMOs suffer a drop in activity over the Summer. We’ve already had a few people posting in our raid forums about planning lower activity and it isn’t just because they’re bored. We’re not unique, lots of other raids and guilds will be facing this also.

So … what if the Coliseum is (say it in whispers) PUGable? The hardcore guys still have their Ulduar hard modes to work on, and it looks to me as though many of those are simply inaccessible to more casual raids. They do require stacking in some cases, and a level of consistent performance that some raids will never be able to provide. I love the guys I raid with but we’re a mixed bunch.

But having a new set of raid encounters that people can hop into with a PUG — that just might keep people’s interest even if their regular raid group is struggling for numbers. Same with the new arena season and new dailies. The new battleground could potentially be lots of fun, and battlegrounds are fantastic for more casual play styles. These could all provide some content for people who for whatever reason can’t get regular 25 man raids.

We can assume that Blizzard is very familiar by now with the ebb and flow of players over the annual cycle. Maybe 3.2 is going to be the perfect Summer patch, with some light low-commitment content to keep people amused over the long summer nights…

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6 thoughts on “Call of the Crusade might be a very smart patch indeed

  1. Would be great. Just like everyone else, my guild is having frustrating attendance problems because it’s summer. Would be really nice if there was something relevent to PuG besides VoA. A few of our more active members are bored enough that they’ve pugged VoA on multiple characters by Wednesday because they want to raid and people aren’t showing up. At the same time, most of the rank and file don’t want us to recruit because they know it means they will have to sit sometimes once things heat up again. I’d rather raid now and deal with logistics later rather than wait months to raid because someone is afraid of having to sit sometimes in the future. It’s really selfish in that it hurts the rest of us to protect their own, frankly petty, interest. I have no problem with selfishness, but I do have a problem when someone else’s interests conflict with my own. :)

  2. You know, that is a really good assessment IMO. I was also a little worried that there would not be a lot “to do” as far as raids go, but I did not even think about the patch coming out and potentially being puggable bosses. Plus I would say that any new BG that is not SotA (ugh) has got to be good. :)

  3. I had not even considered the PuGability (new word?) of the Coliseum bosses! I was more excited with the increase in daily’s and henceforth the increase in Champion’s Seals. Thank you Spinks for pointing this out to me.

    On the topic of the Summertime Blues:

    I have always seen the drop in WoW activity during the summer as reverse logic. A large percentage of WoW players are college students and in my mind I assume that they would have more time to play during the summer break than they did during the school term. I am, apparently, way off the mark with that line of thought though because I have seen this happen year after year without fail. So, having a raid that is summer time, casual, and PuG friendly during these doldrums will be a welcome relief.

  4. I think the idea that WoW players are mostly students is false. Most WoW players are workers and go on holiday in summer.

    I think in addition that the game is kinda less gripping. Last autumn it was very exciting to see DKs and Northrend. But now? Naxx farming? Arenas for the 1% who can actually win matches there? BGs for pvpers who suck too much to win in arenas? Ulduar is I guess the most interesting challenge but people lack motivation to raid.

    In the original WoW people at max level generally had blues and if you could kill a boss in MC you maybe got a purple. That was pretty motivating for most players. Now everyone has great gear from Naxx and wiping all night on a boss in Ulduar is not something people are prepared to do. With the democratisation of raiding raids have become incredibly wipe sensitive, so much that if we don’t have something on farm it’s hard to get people to even log on for the raid in question.

    I guess that’s the beauty of HF. There isn’t much to do in WoW except comfort zone raiding (plus very very moderate progression raiding) and alting. Bet Warhammer wishes they were launching now.

  5. You’re probably right about it being less gripping, but I think it’s also true that every year, in every game, things get more quiet over the summer.

    It’s partly people going on holiday but I think we’re all just more likely to find other things to do than be online in the long summer evenings. It may be no more than that.

    It is an interesting time of year to launch though. I think AoC did?

  6. Considering that patch 3.2 is the beginning of the new arena season and that all previous seasons have lasted at least four months, I wouldn’t expect it before the summer. September or early october seem more likely.

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