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…