Once again, sometimes complaining does help. Not that I think that anyone from Blizzard actually reads this blog - it's just Sod's Law at work, trying to make me feel stupid for complaining about something that was already fixed, like, yesterday. So of course Blizzard announced that they weren't going to include any new raids in the 4.1 patch, right after I had been moaning in my last two posts that the new 4.1 raid content was going to make the current Cataclysm raids obsolete. C'est la vie, I guess. In any case looking silly for complaining and then getting a solution to your problem is still preferrable over not having your problem solved at all.
In case it's not clear enough from the title of this post and the last paragraph, yes, I'm happy about this announcement. I want to have more time with the current raid content and I'm going to get it. To be honest I was surprised to see so many negative reactions to the news... because I have a hard time seeing why most people would have a problem with this. Yes, if you're a hardcore raider that has cleared all the current content including hard modes, then having to wait longer for anything new sucks for you. I get that.
However, a lot of the people that I've seen posting complaints about this don't even claim to be hardcore, some of them even admit to not raiding at all. If you're not a raider, why do you care about how much raid content is or isn't going to be in the next patch? Is it because you can't wait for the current valour gear to become available via justice points so you can gear your character up in full epics by running heroics in only a couple of days? Please.
And if you do raid but haven't cleared everything, why the rush? I'm actually not a supporter of the idea that you must have cleared absolutely everything before you're "allowed" to be bored with it - after all I never killed heroic Lich King either but you bet that I was tired of ICC after it had been the only raid progression content for an entire year. But Cataclysm has only been out for three months. Few people will have killed Magmaw or Halfus Wyrmbreaker even ten times. (For comparison purposes, according to the armoury I've killed Lord Marrowgar sixty-five times if you add up the kills from all my alts.) I really think that if someone is already bored and unhappy with Cataclysm raid content at this point without even having seen it all, they probably have issues with it that the introduction of more and newer raids won't fix either.
The latest Blue Plz! made an interesting point however - Totalbiscuit seemed really annoyed with the 4.1 announcement as well and I was impatiently tapping my fingers after a while, wondering when he was actually going to make an argument about why it was so bad instead of simply ranting about it. He did get to that eventually when he said that Blizzard's justification for this change wasn't actually addressing the root of the problem, and that as long as the badge system is going to remain in place as it is, we'll just have the same problem once 4.2 comes out.
I have to admit that I'd be happy to say goodbye to the badge system at this point or at least to see it get nerfed heavily to bring it back in line with what it was in early BC - a way of affording a "consolation prize" or two if you never got the loot drops you wanted instead of what we have now, where the badges can be the main source of gear and the drops are the bonus. I'd be happy to have linear progression back as well. However, realistically I just don't think that's going to happen, because Blizzard had their reasons for making these changes in the first place and they have received a lot of positive feedback about them as well.
As it is, I'm just glad that Blizzard is acknowledging that this new system does have downsides and that constantly herding people from one tier to the next might not be all it's cracked up to be. Extending the time between raid tiers might not be the optimal solution, but at least it's something.