So, this VoA thing...

This morning I joined a ten-man Vault of Archavon on my paladin. I figured it would be nice to finally see the new boss and since it was organised by our usual raid leader I was sure that it would be a nice and efficient run. And it was.

It also got me thinking though, because for all the raiding I do and for all the pugs I run, I've only done Vault of Archavon about five times ever, and that's if you add up the runs I've done on all my alts. There's great loot to be had in there, why do I never bother?

In theory I think the idea behind VoA is a great concept: a raid that is only accessible when you own the local PvP objective is a nice way of giving both PvP and PvE fans a reason to work together, plus it makes the world PvP in that area more meaningful.

In practice I find that it really discourages raiding with your guildies. Raids are usually scheduled at fixed times on set days since it's otherwise unlikely that you'll just happen to have enough people of the right classes and specs online and available, but since you never know if your side will even have access to VoA at the time you can't make any plans in that regard. You could make a combined effort to cap Wintergrasp together at raid time, but that's no guarantee for success either. All in all it seems like a lot of effort for the questionable reward of maybe having access to a short raid.

So what do you do when you can't get a guild group together? You pug, grabbing whoever happens to be around and willing the moment your faction takes control of Wintergrasp. Now, I pug heroics five times a day on some days and enjoy it, but I have to admit raids are a different matter. On average I've found that the population of my server seems to consist of pretty good players, but the more people you gather in one place at once, the higher your chance to end up with a rotten egg who ruins it for everyone after all. Also, the organisational effort increases the more people you have in a raid, with the potential of a lot of annoying wait times even in good groups, as it has to be decided who tanks what, who heals whom, people take turns to go AFK instead of doing it all at the same time and so on.

Still, it can be good fun to pug Naxxramas for example - with all the bosses in there it's worth putting up with a couple of obstacles to get to kill them all. But VoA? You've got three rooms with three bosses who are mostly tank and spank. Is that really worth the effort? They aren't even particularly interesting, what with looking almost identical and being completely devoid of emotes, dialogue or any characterisation whatsoever.

But surely the loot should make it worth it? I mean, we all complain about how dull Trial of the Champion is, but we still run it for the epics, right? Well, leaving aside the fact that VoA makes TotC look like it has a really interesting and engaging storyline by relative comparison, even the great loot has its issues.

In theory it sounds great, being able to get tier items from the current top raid instance from a random tank-and-spank boss. Unfortunately your chances of actually getting anything are very, very slim. Look at the loot table for Archavon the Stone Watcher on wowhead for example, go on, I dare you. Yep, that's right, it lists no less than two hundred different drops. To be fair that's both ten-man and twenty-five-man combined, but that still leaves one hundred for each. No item has a drop rate higher than four percent. Some of them are for PvP, some are for PvE, and for some reason a lot of them have old-school class restrictions, which really baffles me. In the "normal" raids Blizzard has moved further and further towards replacing tier drops with tokens, to ensure that everyone can get a piece of the cake and you don't constantly end up with drops that nobody can use just because you don't have that class in the raid. Why did they completely ignore the progress they've made on that front in VoA? I mean, in my pally's run today all three bosses dropped an item that was only useable by priests and we didn't have a single one in the raid. Stupid! Shouldn't we really be beyond this now?

Also, I don't understand why anyone thought it would be a good idea to put bosses from three different tiers into a raid instance with a single lockout. When Archavon was the only iron giant in town it was all good, people in all kinds of gear could go and spank him to have a shot at some epics. Then Emalon came around and suddenly those that would have been good enough for Archavon weren't good enough for Emalon and thus shunned, because you didn't want to get saved with a raid that could kill Archavon only. Now it's even worse, as everybody just wants to go for the new boss, which requires you to mostly outgear the other two already. So not only does every boss have a ridiculously low chance of dropping something your class can use, you'll only really need loot from one of them anyway. People who could actually use drops from all three are likely to be kicked from any pug before it even gets going for being "way undergeared". Fun, eh?

Clearly Blizzard must have done something right with VoA, since it appears to be very popular on my server, but for me it just doesn't cut it. To be honest I don't get why so many people do insist on running it week after week, when it's so dull and so much hassle for an absolutely minimal chance of getting a useful drop. Maybe for the same reason so many play the lottery week after week. It could be you after all!

No comments:

Post a Comment