Friday, December 11, 2009

The Naked Raid and a strange LFG experience

I raided naked last night. Well, not literally - I did have my pants and shirt on, and so did Larísa. But it was a raid done without the normal tools we're normally relying on.

I hadn't expected this to happen in my guild - on the contrary, I was prepared to do what I normally do when there are new bosses incoming - checking up the basics about them, seeing the Tankspot video once or twice, looking up what I would be supposed to do. But this time our leaders surprised us when they told us about how they wanted to approach this new content. We would do it blindly.

So my first adventure in Icecrown Citadel 25 was done without any knowledge about any strategy whatsoever. We had also agreed to shut down every bossmod we normally use. Instead we observed and figured out on our own how to deal with the fights.

It was a very special experience. Sure, we wiped a lot more than we would have else. I felt sort of naked - in a positive way. It gave me a sense of freedom, the same sensation as you get if you've ever tried riding a horse without any saddle. The game and the fights will get closer to you.

Apart from wiping a lot, we actually managed to down a boss - Marrowgar, and lo and behold, I won the bidding on the Frozen Bonespike, which added some sweetness to the night.

Sooner or later we'll probably look at what other guilds have done in those fights, but for now I'm perfectly happy with this way of raiding and I hope that we'll stick to it a couple of raids. There will be plenty of time to get bored and tired with ICC before Cataclysm gets out, so there's really no hurry to get everything done at once.

The silent PUG
After the raid I did my first random LFG random dungeon run, just to see what it would be like. And which dungeon turned up, if not Occulus? However, due to the lack of love from the community, I presume, it had been nerfed to the ground. The result was that we breezed through it like you do with any other heroic instance these days, at least at my gear level. It was quick and efficient, but also a weird experience. No one said a single word. No strategies were discussed, no chit-chatting about what we thought about the new patch. Nothing. Just silence and a quick run-through, and I'm not sure anyone even said good-bye. I could have been playing with NPCs - I wouldn't have noticed any difference. Was it a pleasure? I'm not entirely sure.

It was only one dungeon and of course it's way too early to tell the long term effects that the new dungeon system will have on the game. The developers themselves aren't too sure about it. Ghostcrawler himself speculated in a reply at a forum post:

"I joke, but it's definitely interesting to see the outcome. I said long ago that we knew features like this (and dual spec for that matter) were going to change the game in ways that would be difficult to predict. Some of us were talking about how the ease for forming groups now might actually throw up a barrier to socialization. Why be nice to someone when you won't ever have to group with them again? Why form a guild when you don't need one to run dungeons?"

Well, I know that I'm more convinced than ever that a guild is needed if you want to experience the game the way I want to. "Naked" runs aren't likely to happen in a Random Dungeon group. Suggest them to run without mods, finding up strategies on your own, and you'll get a vote kick before you know it.

And that was the end of my first night in 3.3. On the whole my reaction is like the one I've seen at most blogs - I'm more than delighted. The only thing that made me frown a little bit was the new cat pet sold in Dalaran. Freaking 40 g for a cat that doesn't look a bit better than the ones that have been sold in Elwynn Forest since forever. The pet shop owner must be a goblin in disguise.


Klepsacovic said...

Of course it's a goblin! It makes absurd profits selling worthless pets to silly socials.

spinksville said...

*hide* I bought the calico cat, it's the same colour as my cat who is sitting on my knee at the moment.

Kiseran said...

I'm also quite worried about that 'silent' pugging. I mean.. I got to know many of the people I know today because I stumbled over them in some PUG where they were nice, talkative (without being annoying) and played well. I don't see this happening anymore. I think the best step to make this problem disappear would be changing the way servers work. Blizzard should allow cross-realm-chat and jumping on another server in your realmpool as easy as you would enter an instance.
That way you would feel more connected to those other guys in your PUG, finding nice people would actually make sense again. Right now finding nice people in a PUG would be dumb, your chance of seeing them again would be extremely low and you couldn't raid or chat with them.

Len said...

I've noticed over the past couple of days that although the small-ish, social-but-raids-some-too guild I'm in has been busier than normal, but people are doing less stuff together. People seem more interested in just hopping into the first randon PuG they find through the new LFG system than waiting for guildies and organising a group through /g.... I'm hoping it's just a phase!!

Dàchéng said...

The calico cat and the albino snake aren't only making absurd profits for Breanni. I'm selling them in the auction house for 450g each.

Kromus said...

we'll have to do some random heroics togeather sometime, Larisa. You'll very rarely shut me up =P

I love meeting new people so this Dungeon finder thing is really fun, I always get chatting to the people and so far I've had good, not fantastic, but good groups. I expected to at least get some form of idiot by now, just joining to swear at people and leave, but I guess I've been lucky!

I like naked raids, their fun.

Gevlon said...

You can do "naked" pugs! All you have to do is not read up the new instances and you got it! You can be 90% sure that the other 4 did not look up the dungeons either and hope that someone will carry them!

Larísa said...

: yeah... But doesn't really qualify as the silliest gold sink i the game.

: ofc I bought it! :)
I just thought it was kind of "meh" compared to some other recent pet additions.

@Kiseran: yeah, you're right about the reason for the silence. You don't want to invest yourself into a potential friendship since it's doomed from the beginning anyway.

@Len: I haven't even figured out how to pug on my realm yet. I guess I just join the LFG channel in the chat? Or is there something else I've missed?

@Dàchéng: hey, there I have a true goblin! Cleaver! I wonder if people are that stupid at my server as well. I guess I should check it out.

@Kromus: but do you really MEET those new people if they don't even want to say a word in the party chat? I know I've only done this once, so maybe it was an exception, but this run felt very weird.

@Gevlon: nah, I think you're wrong. Once they find out that no one will carry them they'll jump the group, take the debuff and look for something else. Finding people with the same mindset, who are serious about what they do, but want a challenge, figuring out things by themselves, isn't something you do in LFG. Imho.

Carra said...

If you want to do the content without any experience raiding naked is actually a great idea.

If you don't know the boss, everyone walks in naked and try to figure out how thing work. You'll be saving quite a bit on repair costs.

Once upon a time we used that strategy to check what random event we got in BWL. Then we reorganized and got ready for the proper kill.


I'll have to try out that new random group functionality and the new five men instance. Looks like fun :)

WTF said...

"The pet shop owner must be a goblin in disguise"

This made me giggle. Good read as always.

Hatch said...

1) Not surprised that naked runs don't happen with pugs. I don't tend to get naked around random strangers . . . at least not more than once a week is my rule!

2) Grats on getting Marrowgar down after going in blind! My guild did the first wing of Uld blind and had a similar social, puzzle-solving experience, but honestly found it way too effortful to sustain as the bosses got harder. But we still do trash blind, which is a blast. Each pull is like it's own puzzle; they've really mastered trash design. Which is quite ironic if you think about it.

Bri said...

hey, there I have a true goblin! Cleaver! I wonder if people are that stupid at my server as well. I guess I should check it out.

I logged in almost as soon as the server was available on Tuesday. There were already several of the new pets posted in the Alliance AH, but I've had the Horde AH pretty much to myself for days now, selling them for 200g each.