Thought for the Day: On limited attempts

Latest raid news this week is that Blizzard has scrapped the notion of limited boss attempts in normal mode ICC. Previously, a raid was only allowed a certain number of tries on some bosses before the boss despawned for that week.

From now on, you can wipe as many times as you like and the boss will still be there laughing at you.

Why scrap that now in particular?

Guesswork says that it was failing to work as intended. The more hardcore guilds ran 10 man raids and/ or alt raids to spend more time learning the fights before going in with their main 25 man raid.  I’ve heard of one guild who all switched both server and faction in order to reset their number of attempts for the week. So rather than encouraging progression guilds to raid fewer hours but to raid smarter, it seems to have wound people up into running many more raids than usual.

Limited attempts might have seemed like a good idea in theory, but when they  are too limited and even an unlucky disconnect can screw up an attempt, it puts a lot of extra stress on a raid group.

However, the main issue with the limited attempts on this specific week  is that in order to unlock hard modes for next week, a raid must kill Arthas this week. So any raid who doesn’t do that will be a week behind on progression. For most of us, this is a /shrug issue. Why Blizzard would care about that I can’t imagine, it’s all more competition for the ultra hardcore which is presumably what they want, right?

But there’s always someone who takes it just a bit more seriously.

So imagine you are a raid guild who didn’t manage to kill Arthas within the limited attempts this week. So you are facing the prospect of being a week behind the other ultra hardcore guilds who did kill him. But what if there was a way to get the hard mode lock without actually killing the boss?

Premonition lured a mage from a successful Arthas kill to join them. So they can use his raid lock next week and go for those hard modes.

All these games merge into one

This is the sort of bizarre metagaming strategy that you expect to read about in EVE blogs. It isn’t an exploit – or at least, it may involve some severe rules lawyering about the raid locks but it isn’t technically a cheat. It does involve one player screwing over a raid guild slightly, although in EVE the mage would also have emptied the guild vault on his way out.

And is it bad if I’m thinking, ‘Oh, Premonition bought a higher ranking bridge officer?’ And now I am imagining raiding as a sport-style strategy game where players buy and sell raiders and then set up their weekly raid fights via tactics for each player.