MoP raid releases will be staggered

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
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We’ve been keeping a very close eye on the feedback players have shared for both Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria raiding. We saw a lot of evidence and heard a lot of feedback which indicated that raid content was a little overwhelming at the beginning of Cataclysm. Our goal is to smooth that out a bit in Mists of Pandaria. Keep in mind, Mogu’shan Vaults opens up one week after Mists of Pandaria launches. And with its Heroic mode even the most seasoned raiders should be pretty busy. Once the raid dungeon has been cleared by a group on normal mode they’ll unlock Heroic mode, a definite ramp up in challenge. Also note, similar to Dragon Soul, Raid Finder mode for Mogu’shan Vaults will be available about one week after the normal raid has been opened.

Rather than putting a lot of pressure on players by opening up sixteen raid bosses in three separate difficulties upon release of the expansion, we hope you’ll have a chance to really dig into the lore, the gorgeous new continent, the amazing new quests, and all of the other goodies that are far too numerable to mention. Our intention here is not to artificially extend the life of the 5.0 content, but rather to pace it better than we have in previous releases. This is why we noted that a few weeks after Mogu’shan Vaults opens, raid instances Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring will become available. These dungeons will still very much be hot on the heels of Mogu’shan Vaults, particularly for the large majority of players progressing through Pandaria.

Here’s a basic breakdown of the pattern we’d like to follow for all upcoming raids: Dungeon opens on normal difficulty --> Heroic mode is unlocked once normal mode is completed --> the Raid Finder version becomes available about one week after the raid’s initial opening. To review all of the latest Mists raid release details, everyone is encouraged to check out our latest blog, [url=""]Blizzard Insider #45 – Mists of Pandaria – Raid Preview[/url], which has a wealth of exciting new information.

On a final note, thank you to everyone who has been testing the new content, sharing your feedback, and helping us bring you the most epic game possible! It cannot be said enough, but we genuinely appreciate it. =)

Hey a blue post in D&R :). This is a nice update to know the heroics will be available immediately. That should be welcome news for hardcore raiders.
Wait.. they actually do read this forum?
So, Mogu'shan Vaults Normal will open on October 2nd. Mogu'shan Vaults Heroic and LFR will open on October 9th. Then Heart of Fear Normal will open on either October 16th or October 23rd? Heart of Fear Heroic and LFR on October 23rd or October 30th. Terrace of Endless Springs on November 6th, 13th, or 20th, depending if they delay a week between instances. With Terrace of Endless springs Heroic and LFR on November 12th, 20th, or 27th-ish.

I guess my question here is will Heart of Fear/Terrace be released at the same time or staggered from Mogu'shan Vaults as well? Will you be adding an extra week between releases of instances (so it would be Raid week 1, Heroic/LFR week 2, Nothing week 3, new Raid week 4, etc)?
I'm all in favor of this change, if only because it means I don't have to do all of my heroic 5man grinding on the first day after I ding 90.
Do not like.

Wish I could downvote blue posts.
I've seen hints towards the idea I think would be great to see. The scenario is; xpac drops, blizz picks a day(say 1 week from release date) and the server time that the new raids will become unlocked across ALL servers at the same time, i.e, 8pm west coast time. So essentially no server has advantages over another.

With enough of an advanced notice everyone everywhere will be able to make their schedules work with the times. Lets face it, the top world guilds basically do this as a job or their jobs are somehow built around this so it wouldn't be that big of a deal and for every one else you'll still be competing for your realm or w/e.

I think this would be a good way to rank progression by how fast you do the actual raids versus how fast you can level being that they all know the shortcuts from being on beta as it is. Not everyone has that luxury.

If it was done this way. id expect to see some of the reigning top guilds get some competition from guilds that MAYBE some of us haven't even heard of. Of course, the subsequent raids in the xpac would go as they have been.
08/01/2012 09:17 AMPosted by Poena
There are more reasons for holding it back than not. It benefits more than it hurts. The reason's are countless for it, but against it are simply "they should let me do what I want".

Please list the many beneficial reasons for delaying the release of raids in the same tier. So far I've come up with:

1. It keeps progression guilds on an agressive schedule from getting too far ahead of guild's on a more relaxed schedule.

Please expand the list for me with universally beneficial reasons.

The problem is... what you want isn't what you want. You want content now and constantly and they aren't willing to provide that. So instead they are giving you content soon and more regularly as a test.

I don't want artifical and ambiguous gates on content in the same tier. If these were player driven gates such as clear instance x and you can do instance y (which existed with regards to vault and the two other instances already) I'd be 100% fine with that. Myself and my guildees can enter the later instances of the tier when we've downed six normal mode bosses. If we do it one week, three weeks, or three years after release is completely based on ourselves and not slowed down by an external factor.

Insteasd we are faced with clear six normal mode bosses (fine), start work on the heroic versions of those bosses one lockout later (assuming the heroic modes are available note that this hasn't been confirmed), and wait for a gate to be removed that bars access to the same tier's raids for some indeterminite time. If rather than saying "a few" weeks we got the more structured "week 2 of release" or even "week 3 of release" I'd actually be somewhat OK. What's the value in a lack of a specific date?

I would theorize that the lack of a specific date is so that the gate can be removed when a "sufficient" amount of the playerbase has some progression in/through vaults and some heroic progression assuming heroic modes are available. Why is that threshhold determined with relation to the whole playerbase and not to the specific raid group that wants to enter an instance? Why should the decision on when to progress in current tier content be removed from the players.

You argue that it doesn't help people, but people say it does.

Please list how this helps. Be specific. Also list who it helps and (if applicable) whom it hurts.

You argue that people don't want this but they do.

I never said some people don't. I fully understand that some do. I simply question the value in an arbitrary stopping point for more ambitous players.

I promise you that the group of people who can raid the first week of the expansion is a tiny fraction of WoW's populace... you are in the minority.

True but why should those players be denied the activity that they enjoy for an arbitrary reason? Does having that tiny minority get a jump ahead on raid progress really hurt the players who aren't as concerned with it? Please list specificly how the playerbase is hurt by the handful of guilds that enjoy charging right in?
Just curious, why is raid finder being released a week after normal version? Is it so that your first delve into the raid is unique and breath-taking? Is it so that it is just as challenging as it is fresh? Or is it so that the first week, you won't have people getting tier bonuses? Some feedback would be valuable here on why raid-finder version is being held back.

I have to say in all honesty and sincerity this is the BEST idea you have had yet. I felt that the opening content of Cata was too much. There was just so much to do that I felt rushed and the raid schedules over packed. However, within a month it seemed there was nothing new to see and burnout began to set in for a lot of raiders I knew. It felt a never ending cycle of BH, BoT, BWD, Throne, rinse repeat, intermix as needed for progression and gear.

I believe this will give raids a focus and an idea that you do this raid first, then this raid, then that. In early Cata it was not uncommon to jump between different raids because these bosses are easier and have loot we could use to down those bosses. It wasted a lot of time and put more pressure than was needed on raiders and raid leads.

If I could suggest though that when you tier the other raids you make them 3-4 weeks from the first, then 3-4 weeks from the second etc. I think this would space them out a little better. It gives the hard core time to clear normal and start heroics without extensive pressure. Meanwhile it gives casuals a chance to build their teams without being "months behind" by the time week 3 arrives.

Either that or if you have less content for the future may I suggest remaking one as a part of a different raid set? IMHO 2 good raids per set is better than 3 at launch and one crap one at the end.
08/01/2012 10:44 AMPosted by Neryssa
Just curious, why is raid finder being released a week after normal version? Is it so that your first delve into the raid is unique and breath-taking? Is it so that it is just as challenging as it is fresh? Or is it so that the first week, you won't have people getting tier bonuses? Some feedback would be valuable here on why raid-finder version is being held back.

Probably all of these.

Remember that RF in DS also was held back.

Was it? I really don't remember exactly when DS LFR was released - I only remember that the first 4 bosses were released and then the next 4 a week later. Holding back all the bosses in LFR for a week seems... to have no real reasoning behind it - other than they don't want normal raiders getting two cracks at gear the first week for heroic progression the next. Tier gear is not of a concern - there is no tier gear in MV.
For everything that thinks this is a good idea: Get ready to wait months for the second set of raids.
08/01/2012 10:52 AMPosted by Penndamonium
For everything that thinks this is a good idea: Get ready to wait months for the second set of raids.

Oh I'd imagine the last two raids of this tier will be opened up in a month to six weeks tops but then yeah we'll have the normal (and not neccessarily bad) wait between tiers. I'd simply like pre-release to be given a specific date on the last two raids of t14 being available.
What happened to the promise of 16 raid bosses and 2 world bosses on the release? You say this is not to artificially extend the life of the patch, but we know that's a lie. You can say its for the benefit of the players and to some it is, but don't for a minute pretend this isn't ALSO a way to extend your content like Sunwell, ToC, and ICC.

I play this game to raid. That's my main focus in this game. A lot of us play this game for the raiding. Now, when the game launches I'll be level 90 by day 2 and geared enough for normal modes by day 3. The content that I pre-purchased is being held from me for no other reason than to make it last longer. A 6 boss raid is not going to fill up my 2 nights of raiding and with being on such a high population realm, I can't reliably hope to kill the world bosses.

According to you, I can't even run a LFR to kill time because you aren't releasing that for 2 weeks after launch. Again, what happened to the content we were promised "at launch"? And what is "a few weeks"? In Blizzard speak, that could mean 7. I want an honest timetable for when I can expect to get the content I pre-ordered.
For everything that thinks this is a good idea: Get ready to wait months for the second set of raids.

Oh I'd imagine the last two raids of this tier will be opened up in a month to six weeks tops but then yeah we'll have the normal (and not neccessarily bad) wait between tiers. I'd simply like pre-release to be given a specific date on the last two raids of t14 being available.

I don't see the break being anything more than four weeks or so. It might coincide with the end of Brewfest since that would allow (average) people to get geared up through heroics, dailies, first raid on LFR, valor upgrades, and whatever pieces drop from Brewfest. If the heroic modes are sufficiently difficult, I don't see it holding back the hardcore crowd at all honestly; if the heroics AREN'T difficult enough to hold back the hardcore crowd for four weeks, then something will have to change.

I think it comes down to they don't want people to be overwhelmed by all the possibilities they have. They want to make the "progression" feel a little more obvious.
I wonder why people think that staggering raid content is somehow going to give them (raiders) a fair chance at world/server 1st.

This is just like how things are done during a mid-expansion release. All of the top guilds are evenly geared (which is what will happen with a staggered release) and skill will decide who is the best.

This is actually more beneficial for the very top guilds because now they can have 2 - 3 toons raid ready for the first tier of content instead of just 1 (in case there is a need to class stack.)

While I still don't lick staggering, it's not going to affect me one way or the other. Just gonna be bored for a few days until the raids open. Not like I haven't been bored for the last 3 months anyways.
My largest concern with this strategy is that the item level for gear in heroics is 463 with the next logical step up being gear obtained from LFR which is 476. Since the item level in normal mode Mogushan is 483; it just seems like QUITE A HUGE jump to be expected to be able to do the "normal" level of the raid that first week without the assistance of LFR. I realize that some of the reputation vendors and even some craftables are in the 476-489 realm; but for most classes, this is a max of about 2-3 items per.

Is there a reason why LFR has to have a wait time and can't be immediately accessible when the Normal mode opens? Or shall we expect that the Normal mode raid won't be a huge ***block until that LFR tier becomes accessible?
I definately prefer a slower release.

Catering to the players that have the attention span of a gnat does the game no favors, slower release gives everyone time to level, get geared, then step into the raid and start working on it before other raids have moved in and made the one you've just begun obsolete. Nax and Ulduar were cheated by the release of ICC, many guilds didn't even clear them, same thing for Firelands in Cat, good content, but many players haven't set foot into that raid because DS came out with the Hour of Twilight 5-mans and made the Firelands raid obsolete.

It's sad to kill off good content just because a tiny percentage of the playerbase denied themselves sleep or sunlight and finished the raid the first week it was out. Those players shouldn't control the pace, there should be an "average" between the hardcores and the casuals that sets the pace so that content isn't made obsolete too soon thus denying it to alot of guilds that would have done it but now know they shouldn't if they want to remain "current".

It's sad that Firelands became obsolete so soon, sad that Nax and Ulduar did, I'm glad Blizz is learning from those mistakes. The hardcores can suck it up and do some of the other things this expansion is offering, like the pet battles, farming etc, and the casuals can step up and leave those things for later and get themselves into the raids and experience them before they become obsolete alongside the hardcores who will need the less fast paced players to fill the raid slots left empty by the players with gnat-like attention spans that have already quit playing until the next patch. It's a better system.

Blizzard might also consider upgrading gear in exhisting raids as they release new ones, allowing exhisting raids to gear people for new content, not just through heroic modes. How many people would still be running Firelands if it dropped 390s instead of 378s? Not as good as the 397s and 401s of DS, but good enough to let people gear more easily into something like DS. It would promote people spending more time in an exhisting raid as they move into the new one, instead of dropping it like a dead roach and crying about there not being enough to do.

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