Larisa has a very interesting post up about the state of raiding in WoW. She links to an excellent post on Tankspot which talks about the lack of surprises in the game amongst many other things. Larisa writes about how much she enjoyed the Opera event in Karazhan – the randomness of the event meant that you could never fully prepare, there was always a twist at the end out of your control, ie which of the three bosses would it be? Due to all the information online we’re often going in completely prepared. Which means that our own level of discovery is cheapened as a result.
Larisa then mentions Violet Hold in the same example as having a random set of bosses that come out. But this is where I think that these two examples are completely different – to me there is nothing to distinguish between the bosses in Violet Hold. I couldn’t even tell you what they are and I have done it countless times. I don’t know what their abilities are. I just run up and DPS them down. They could be flying strawberries for all I know. But the Opera event, well, that I can tell you about. Why? Because I can relate to it. It has a background that I am familiar with. Little Red riding hood or the Wizard of Oz, we know these, so they mean something. And the fights are truly interesting. You have to think in there. I don’t have to think in the Violet Hold. I just have to wait for the tank to run in. If you don’t have to think then you won’t be surprised.
I still think that Karazhan is one of the best examples of a raid in WoW. The reason is not only becasue of the dynamic and interesting fights, the sense of discovery, the sheer attention to detail, the very careful pulling of trash mobs that was required, the quest series with ongoing rewards, the fact that you had to use crowd control. It was that the whole place made sense and you could relate to it. I cannot comment truly on Tankspots post in regards to ICC due to the fact that I haven’t stepped foot in ICC. Leaving all the projects that I am doing aside, it just doesn’t interest me. I can see it being like everything else in Northrend. Designed to be consumed quickly, (apart from Naxx of course but that came from vanilla.) Am I wrong? Is ICC worth the time? And are you ever surprised in there?