people,remember.remember the "been there done that" factor and the power of experience.i remember my first instance run-rfc.the group was made of 4 noobs who are new to the game and some troll warrior who seemed to be an alt of someone.he marked mobs,thought us "attack skull before x" "mage dont stand near the boss" etc.he must be a very patient guy.hardcore raiders of these days are mostly hardcore raiders of tbc,who were mostly hardcore raiders of pre-bc.(not all of them,but most of them are)so,they know everything to do.they dont need to go to wowhead to learn the strategy of boss x,they can understand it by boss's moves,adds,timing etc.so its easy for them,but not easy for me or people like me.
I was unemployed, skipping classes, and my gf left me when i was playing FFXI (ib4 "l2timemanagement lolz"). I sold my 62 Telecaster for tuition money one semester. I miss that guitar.I'm done with MMOs on sodomymode personally. That having been said, the difficulty of WoW as of late leaves much to be desired. Challenging content and timesinks are two seperate animals, it's possible to create a difficult game that can be rewarding in 2 to 3 hour stints. Instances and bosses and what not that don't have a particular gear check, or ludicrous amounts of trash to wade through for hours on end, yet demand people know their abilities and can react on the fly can please both casuals who may never see Sunwell level instances due to time requirements and hardcore players who want Sunwell level difficulty and coordination. Easier said than done, but it's not like Blizzard doesn't have the resources to attract the industry's most talented minds.Just my 2cEdit: On the topic of PvP, there are WAY too many variables to ever achieve balanced skill based PvP in an MMORPG. It isn't going to happen. I narrowly missed Gladiator season 1 and 2 on the strength of my (Warlock/Spriest) comp and gear (how many Warlocks at the time had VST? enjoy trying to CC my felhunter) alone, and I'll be the first to tell you I'm an average at best PvPer, I get crushed in games like Counterstrike and what not, my twitch reflexes are terrible.
I started playing WoW in March of 2005 invited by my business partners son and his girl friend. I was skeptical but was hooked with a couple of hours. He'd only been playing a couple of days (level 7 or 8) and I was between jobs so, I caught him almost immediately. She was high level (30 lol) and ran us through one of the early underground quests. I was level 12 by the end of the 2nd day and solo questing. At level 20 I met another mage (level 24-25) who helped me with a quest. The next night I bumped into him and he was with his wife who he was escorting around that area. She was playing a level 20 warlock and I was level 22 at that point. We three played that night until he got called away to raid on his main. So she and I leveled to 60 pretty much together. Around level 35 I met a hunter (not a huntard) who joined us the rest of the way to 60. I joined her guild and shortly after hitting 60 started raiding. Once I started raiding I realized that I had found the part of WoW that I really enjoyed. Though my guild wasn't hard core, it was affiliated with a much larger guild. The larger guild had started as a PvP guild and had sort of backed into raiding. My guild was smaller older and, with the exception of myself and a couple of others, highly experienced long time raiders in other MMOs. So my guild formed the back bone of their raiding group. All but one of the raiding class leaders were from our guild. So despite the fact that my guild wasn't hardcore and raided one night and Saturday afternoons and evening, I was able to raid with the large guild in ZG and AQ20 on "non-raid" nights. I ended up raiding 5 or 6 times a week. It was never about the gear for me, nor most of the folks who were regularly in the raids. We were into progression through content. I liked having epics, but they were really only to enable access to tougher content. This is the real problem I have with Wrath. In less time that it took to progress through ZG, which we started in dungeon blues, I have a 10 man epic in every slot. Unless we take radically different mix of classes, we one shot every boss but Saf. The group I play with now are great people, old time raiders who know how to play. I still enjoy the process, but 10 man content is just an overgrown 5 man. I miss organizing 40 people and getting them to execute a strategy. Epics rain down upon us for little or no effort. I realize that I'll need them to move to new content but at this point there is no new content to which to move. So at this point for me the game stagnates. I don't care about achievements so other than helping guildies to climb the gear curve, all I have to look forward to are vague promises from Blizzard. Pretty sad.
I started off playing EQ. My first taste of an MMO. I was hooked! Then it was Star Wars Galaxies. And I was disappointed.Back to EQ.Next was FFXI. As Viktor stated, I was, and still am, a huge fan of the FF series, except X-2. I even hold FFXIII in high regard, one of the least favorite for many hardcore FF fans.Then I heard about WoW. I was very anti-WoW. I had a Galkan and was trying to be the best Dragoon I could be. After about a year of play, I was still about 18 levels from the cap. A co-worker was on the same quest as I, but had given up and turned to WoW.After many weeks of, "Man, you have got to get this game!", I gave up on my Dragoon as well. I have never looked back.I like WoW for it's accessibility. With a full time job (plus over-time) and a girlfriend, it's easy for me to log on for a hour or two at a time and accomplish something.
WoW is becomming mainstream, and mainstream is "enjoyable" rather than "good".If Ulduar doesn't provide some sort of challenge, I'm definately thinking of quitting. I think myself as hardcore and I enjoyed the TC immensly (never being in the vanilla). The challenge was good and rewards accessible. I got to do couple bosses in BT and even though my guild had downend them previously it was still a bit off hassle to kill them again. Then hits wotlk and comes guild first naxx-10. (wasn't geared yet so wasn't there) and the guild just walks through the spider wing. Maybe 1 wipe. I was like wtf.It's indeed more profitable for blizz to do easy encounters. casual population is still bigger than the hardcore and if easy content is what casuals want, it's what blizz will put in the game. The current heroics are a joke. Even in T5 gear we had to do some planning in TBC heroics or we would wipe. 2 packs pulls were usually wipe, AoE was rarity. I think I don't need to point out how things are nowdays.
I've gone in and out of MMOs for more than 10 years now, depending on how much time I have. Let's just say I've probably beta tested more MMOs (including WoW) than most people on this board seem to have played.What do I feel about my long abandoned characters in other games? I wish I wouldn't have wasted so much time doing stuff that really wasn't fun. I wish it had been easier to get to the (really fun!) high level stuff.As the field of video games mature, being "hardcore" is going to be less important than simply finding a place to relax. Are you "hardcore" about going out drinking, or do you do it socially? MMOs are no different, and we're not all kids playing Ultima anymore. The difference between WoW and FF XI to me? The guys I used to work with who played FF XI got fired for not paying attention to work. A game isn't worth that. If I can't play WoW for a week or a month, I know that I can still log on and get up to speed with my guild in a few days. That's worth A LOT (it's why I keep coming back to WoW, but all the other MMOs I've played - that still exist - are abandoned). Actually, that's very important. WoW *will* end some day, they all do... keep that in mind.If what you really want is a long grind, with an irrefutable and rare reward at the end, so that you can become the unquestioned expert in <something>, don't look for it in a video game, go to graduate school. It plays just like FF XI.
Raiding is difficult, the encounter itself isn't the challenging part, the monitoring and teaching the other minimum-IQ members of the raid while doing the encounter is the challenging part.If I would raid with people that were somehow creative and smart like me, then raiding would be easy.I don't want to flatter myself, what I want to do is insult the other people out there.It just makes me angry that I have to tell them things that I think are obvious.Haha, so true! Not all of us are blessed to have all the time in the world to play and therefore belong to a hardcore guild whose playerbase is full of win. Most of us don't have much of a choice because of real life and the time constraints that come with it.I've enjoyed the game for four years now. Too much to say in one comment; but I am still enjoying the game - despite not getting to do 25-man raiding very often, if at all. I also have a lot of alts to level from 70 to 80 still; and haven't finished all of the zones on my main quite yet.If I was to summarise what attracts me to this game, it would be multiple factors. Being a guild master and having a great bunch of people around me is one. Learning new encounters and having things drop that are an upgrade for someone and not an off-piece that will rot in their bank or be disenchanted. Grinding reputation and completing achievements - so many to get!The game will be a part of my life until at least the end of the current expansion, if not for the next few years.