WoW - Retrospect on Naxx?

It’s been a while since Wrath of the Lich King came out. I think most people are done with progression at this point; those who like leveling are 80, those who like questing are Loremasters, those who like PvP are Battlemasters (or for a few of them, Arena Masters).

I’d even say that most people who are going to get three drakes down in whichever version have already; most people who are going to get whatever Proto-Drake already have.

What are your thoughts on the Wrath endgame as opposed to the Burning Crusade endgame? I’ll share my thoughts, but I am mostly curious as to how peoples’ thoughts compared to their initial expectations.

I’m very unhappy with the way arenas are going thus far, being a Priest in an arena metagame that has the Priest as by far the weakest healer. The changes to Viper Sting will help a lot, as will the changes to Hunter stun mechanics and Explosive Shot. Those changes will probably get me doing more than 10 games a week, but until then, well… I haven’t even done 3s/5s in a few weeks, simply because I’m not enjoying it.

The lore of Wrath of the Lich King is great. I loved Storm Peaks, I loved Icecrown. I wasn’t such a huge fan of Borean Tundra except for DEHTA, though. I think I prefer Wrath’s questlines and lore lines to Burning Crusade’s, overall. Wrath Gate was still amazing when I saw it for the second time as my friend did it, and Icecrown’s phasing quests are a lot of fun and very impressive lore-wise.

Nonetheless, I didn’t enjoy leveling, which didn’t surprise me. Leveling isn’t fun, and it’s not why I play WoW. It’s simply something I have to do anyway.

The normal level 80 dungeons seem very under-tuned. I didn’t even bother to run any of them. The Heroics seem about right, and the achievements kept it interesting for a while. A couple of the achievements are stupid, though… well, ok, two of them, Volazj’s Quick Demise and Less-Rabi. But I almost have my Red Proto-Drake (only need Less-Rabi and Share the Love), and I pugged from trade-chat and looking-for-group chat all of the groups I needed except for my Heroic Occulus runs.

Which reminds me. Vehicle combat. I feel like it’s gimmicky, overused, and the UI isn’t set up for it. I feel like Phase 3 of Malygos is a fight against my UI and being able to see what the heck is going on with all the giant red drakes. I can’t target people through my addon raidframes, I can’t f-target people, self-cast doesn’t work, the list goes on. This is a cause of some concern going into Ulduar; I worry that the vehicle fight there will be gimmicky and un-fun in the same ways I find Malygos P-3 to be.

Raiding other than that has been great, though somewhat easier than I might wish. I find Naxx to be a pretty easy instance, which we generally clear in about two hours. I don’t think all of the loot was properly thought out (there’s a lot of loot there that’s badly itemized for -any- class, and why mp5 cloth even exists I don’t know), but that’s a pretty trivial complaint in comparison to the loot problems Shadow Priests faced in TBC. The only real challenge in Naxx is the achievements, specifically Immortal and Shocking!. I doubt I’ll ever get either of those achievements, but all of the others I’ve either gotten (in 25man) or just haven’t tried to get (Spore Loser, for example).

Malygos Phase 3 is a pain in the butt fighting my UI to heal, but Phase 1 is pretty fun (I have to admit I think the vortex is hilarious!) and Phase 2 is cool, even if it is a bit challenging to heal. I haven’t really tried for either of the Malygos achievements yet, but I hear 6-minute kills are very RNG dependent and 20man kills are pretty easy. shrug I don’t like achievements that have a lot of RNG.

Sartharion, especially with three drakes, is a great execution and gearcheck / competency check fight. I loved it. Pushes a raid hard but makes it entirely possible to make measurable progress. You don’t ever wipe without having had a way to fix that, a thing where you can say “Ok, next time, we do this and that, we don’t have you die to a fire wall and we have that Paladin do Hand of Sacrifice and then bubble, and we won’t wipe to that again”. This is as opposed to something like M’uru, where sometimes you could just die to RNG, good game, try again.

I guess I’d say the expansion was harder than I expected, but only because of the vehicle issues and how legitimately unforgiving Sartharion is with 3 drakes up. I also had never seen Naxx before, but I’m already tired of Heigan… come on, Blizzard, some of us have unreliable connections, and a half-second one way or the other can get you killed on the Dance. >.>

Oh, yeah, and crafting bites in this expansion. Or at least, Tailoring does. Though I hear they’re improving the Embroideries in 3.1, that’ll be nice, I won’t be so tempted to respec to anything (even Leatherworking!). The class changes are nice, and it’s good to not have to worry so very much about your raid composition and just bring your best people and know that you have all the key factors covered.

Anyway, what do you think? Of my rather longer post than I thought it would be, heh. And it’s not just about Naxx. Ok, so I fail at titles.

I more or less agree with everything you’ve said, Aaron. The vehicle crap (particularly Oculus and Malygos p3, just like everyone else says) is irritating, but hopefully they’ve learned how to make it decent for Ulduar.

My biggest disappointment is actually badges. The way they integrate into the gear flow is just goofy. In TBC, they were a great way for people who were stuck on 10-man stuff to keep upgrading their gear, and for 25-man players to pick up that one piece that refused to drop. In Wrath, with gearing up being relatively simple, they’re just ancillary to everything. I mean, seriously – my druid picked up the idol (thank god that wasn’t on a loot table, btw; great choice on their part there) and…heirlooms. My 25man badges have been rotting in my currency tab as there is just nothing worth buying with them. Badges don’t seem to have much of a role any more.

I hate Malygos, I find healing the fight to be both tedious and frustrating. We’re almost to the point to do 3D, but we’ve had a lot of sloppiness with the past reset though, so we’ll see what happens. I enjoy the “oh shit” factor of Sarth with multiple drakes up, even if a lot of my guildmates fail to not stand in void zones and lava waves.

I pretty much agree with everything else you’ve said, except the leveling part, I still enjoy leveling, and one of the things I do actually like about this expansion is that it has given me more time to do that. I am actually having a hard time with completing Loremaster, mainly because of the dungeon quests which remind me why I hated old world dungeons so much. You could never go in and just get all the quests done, you had to go in, talk to some NPC, go back out, talk to some other NPC, and so on and so forth.

I really really loved the lore quests in Wrath, like the aforementioned Wrathgate, plus the “heart” quest in Icecrown that still makes me sad when I think about it. It also had some pretty awesome moments that I feel were better in some ways than the Wrathgate quest line.

I’m really looking forward to Ulduar. I spoiled myself about the lore stuff relating to Yogg Saron, and … awesome is all I’ll say. You guys can go find the spoilers yourself if you want to.

for the record, I play a protection paladin, in a semi-casual raid guild (never >2 raid nights in wotlk)

Naxx is a great instance, superb introductory into the fun of raiding. However, there is nothing else around to raid besides it, except for 2 slightly harder 1-boss raids.

If wotlk had shipped with an Ulduar with gradual gear-checks at 3-4 places, it would have been so much more fun than farming sartharion 3d every week so yet another guildie can get an ugly mount.

I totally agree! I forgot about badges.

I picked up some T7.5 and some Hateful arena gear with my Valor badges, and my first buy was the offhand with the Emblems of Heroism. I was pretty disappointed in most of the other items, though… certainly nothing Best-In-Slot, and very few items anywhere near that point, especially for healing.

The rest of my Heroisms have gone to Heirloom items or gems (i made a couple thousand off gems) and the rest of my Valors have gone to BoE Epics (I’ve sold three, for between 2k and 3k each).


I play Wow 3 or so times a week with my girlfriend for usually 3-4 hours. We’ve been playing this way for a full year now. We switched from horde to alliance about 4 months in. None-the-less, we’ve been playing the same chars at least for 8 months.

We are level 75. The only raid we’ve been in was a post-WotLK raid on C’Thun.

What sort of time expectations do you guys think people should have to put in to this game? I’d really love to SEE some raids, or some PvP.

I guess the balance was aimed at people like me, but for someone who plays a couple hours thrice weekly, it wasn’t even enough.

I absolutely hate the vehicle combat. It’s okay for a change of pace in questing (more on this in a bit), but I cannot stand it in instances. It bothers me to no end. I mean, here I am, I’m level eighty. I’ve devoted dozens upon dozens of hours playing a particular class because I like playing that class. Jesus Christ. Malygos is the pinnacle of WotLK raiding. It’s what I’ve trained for, geared for, suffered through a million wipes for. All these items I worked for, all the experience and skill I’ve gained, and all the hoops jumped through, prepare me for this encounter, and then at the very end you strip me of that and replace it with the same four bullshit buttons that everyone else gets. I hate it. I hate it in its stupid face.

Levelling and questing in WotLK was the most enjoyable it’s been for me so far. Some of the quest chains are cool as hell, and as I said above, the vehicle stuff tends to break it up a bit. The phasing is pretty neat, but leads to some issues with grouping. The Basin is like Un’goro 2.0, and I don’t care for it too much, and I’m not digging too much on the Lord of the Rings crap in Icecrown, but the rest is good to great. Grizzly Hills and Howling Fjord are fantastic.

I can understand why they did it, but I don’t really care for the melding of all the classes. For example, I tank. I’ve always tanked. I’ve tanked as a Warrior and as a Paladin. With this expansion my Paladin tank has gotten a bunch of skills that mirror what Warriors have, and while I thought it was pretty awesome at first, in retrospect I feel like it strips me of uniqueness. DPS is just DPS now, and tanks are just tanks, and to a lesser extent the healers have been evened out.

Finally, it seems that most of the effort for this expansion was put into the levelling and questing. Don’t get me wrong, I dig it, but most of us have been playing this game for a long damn time now and can level like it’s our job. Frankly, I’m tired of running Naxxramas. I have gotten so many Emblems of Heroism that I own four or five of the Heirloom items for levelling alts. This is good, because at this point levelling alts is all I feel like doing.

My guild is a totally casual raiding guild where we’re still trying to get everyone up to Naxx level. We have yet to drop any of the T7-dropping bosses in 10man Naxx, but we’re working on that the one day a week we run Naxx.

I utterly disagree about the badges. There’s some useful stuff in there for those of us not getting into Naxx and clearing it regularly. Running heroics is useful for drops, but I could either run Drak’Theron ad infinitum for the chest I want, or I can run a bunch of stuff (like a nice, cushy H VH run!) and save up for my T7 chest. Some classes have more stuff than others to get with badges, seems like melee gets a lot, while there’s not a lot for my resto druid. In general though, I love the badge gear.

Personally I have no issues with what the progression is right now. I understand that some of you do, but they made the changes for people like me to be able to experience the content, so I’m happy :)

Maybe they could compromise for the really hardcore raiders and create 40 man versions of the smaller instances that are just brutally hard for you guys.

Overall I’m really happy with raiding in WotLK, but I wish there was more of it – thankfully Ulduar is coming soon. I’ve pretty much retired for raiding Naxx10 weekly. If I’m running it now, it’s to complete one of the more difficult achievement (we did The Dedicated Few a couple of weeks ago and will be trying for The Undying next).

The addition of 10-man versions of every dungeon is fantastic, since I much prefer playing with smaller groups. I also really enjoy the reduced difficulty and addition of optional hard modes. I laugh at anyone that complains that raiding in Wrath is “too easy”. I paid my hardcore dues raiding AQ40 and Naxx40 at level 60, and the current situation is much, much better. Don’t even get me started about the horrible unplayable state T5 content was in prior to either the 2.1 or 2.2 patch.

Vehicle-based fights are pure bullshit, though. I despise Malygos and Oculus and really hope the first bit of Ulduar isn’t as painfully bad.

I hate vehicle combat, as well. It takes away everything that you’ve learned about your character, your abilities, your gear… everything.

We’re doing 10 man Malygos tonight. Last I need to get my Champion of the Frozen wastes title. I hope to never return.

On questing, I love how not only the stories are better in Wrath, but they’re pre-grouped in areas. I’ve seen people complain about how this makes it easier for simple folks to level as if it were a bad thing.

When I go back to level an alt, it’s like you can see how Blizzard learned over the course of the game. After being treated nice with Wrath’s leveling, it’s brutal to go back to Tarren Mill, level there for 20-25, then have to leave and go to another damn continent because the quests suddenly jump up to 30. That’s a bullshit waste of my time. I just want to get to 80 to have fun gearing up, I’ve seen all these quests before, and more than a little off-putting (see why badges are great for heirlooms to speed questing! :D)

That experience is one reason why I think at some point down the road we’re going to see a DK-like ability to start off an alt at 58 if you have an 80.

Since we’re on a 1 night clear of all content, we spend the other night on the PTRs testing Uldar. Vehicle combat is actually more fun than Maly. It feels more like vehicles in Wintergrasp (which I go through periods of playing too). At least Blizz tends to learn what people like and don’t like.

If Blizz follows TBC we have at least 2-3 more major contents patches on the way. Uldar, Arthas and maybe another small 10man (like ZA). I would say its too early to say Wrath is done.

My current opinion of Wrath as a raider is that it is too easy.

I really loved raiding at first with Wrath, but like others have said, it got old quick, and the lack of anything to progress to has me stalled, unable to bring myself to log in more than once or twice a week now.

As for leveling, I didn’t mind getting to 80 too much. I did plow through it quickly, hitting 80 just shy of 1 week after the expansion launched. My main concern is how I have no desire to go through it again with an alt. In TBC, I was an altoholic. I took 4 toons to 70 and several others to high 60’s. So far, in Wrath, I’ve only managed to get my main to 80, and my next highest alt is stuck at 73.

I enjoyed some of the leveling zones (Howling Fjord, Zul’Drak, and Storm Peaks in particular), but having cleared all the content including Sarth 3D, I’m finding raiding as boring as it’s ever been, so I’m going to stop. I’m actually fairly interested in Ulduar just because I liked the lore in Storm Peaks and HoS/HoL, but clearing it on 10 man mode once or twice will likely satiate me. I still enjoy arena a lot and will likely continue to participate in it. My only real gripe there is the need to farm a bunch of honor for each season. I wish they’d let you set up rated battleground teams at least.

Honor farming really isn’t that big a deal to me. I do the daily BG every day, and maybe Wintergrasp every other day.

I’ve bought all of my Deadly pieces that way and I’m almost Honor recapped.

Leveling was easier than ever because quest were chained automatically (once you accepted a quest 2-3 other quest givers would light up and give you quests dealing with the same mobs or close to them).
That was not the case before and you had to know where you could chain.

Raiding is very odd. Encounters in 25 man are easier than in 10 man which totally contradicts the idea that 25 man content is for the “pros” and 10 for the casuals. It seems the bosses don’t scale accordingly to the possible added buffs / debuffs 25 man has compared to 10 man (like totems, 2-3 pally buffes etc.).
My biggest beef: Why can people with 25 man gear do 10 man gear achievements? I mean their gear is far more superior than what drops in 10 man and yet they can call themselves “of the Nightfall”.
8 man Malygos in 10 man gear is hard. Not impossible but hard since you need to get every spark for buffs and it’s pretty close still. In 25 man gear you steamroll him.
Another gripe with raiding: There is not much incentitive to do hard-mode unless you want the achievements / bonus loot. However many people are lazy so they do easy-mode and see the same content than in hard-mode.
PUGs always kill all 3 drakes before Sathirion and then the encounter is a loot pinata as long as someone kills adds.
There is no need to max your dps anymore or pot up normally so why do I need bonus loot if my T7 chest is enough for all existing content. In fact you recognize a dedicated player these days because he is potted up.

Boss encounters are often a rehash of pre-WoLTK bosses (talking about 5 man instances since Naxx is a rehash but that is ok) as well and it seems this will continue in Ulduar. Just read about some PTR boss testing and surprise, surprise he will spawn volcanos that spout lava balls around. Now where in BT did we see that already?!?

Art is nice in WoTLK and the lore kicks ass. Phasing quests are amazing.
Death Knight starting area is a blast and should be experienced once by everyone.
However so many character models are re-used in different places that it really looks like “CTRL+C” “CTRL+V” a lot of times and gives me a big “yawn”. This seems to continue in Ulduar which disappoints me a lot.

Achievements are really cool. I was doubtful if they’d work but some were addicting as crack until I had them done (Loremaster comes to mind). However most I’m interested in are done now so not that much to do anymore besides farming some old faction rep to exalted. I just finished “1000 daily quests” yesterday which kept me busy for 1-2 hours a day to do the 25 daily quests possible per day. Even less reason to logon now.

PVP is not my world so I did very little. The few I saw was ok but it’s not my thing. Still pisses me off that due to PVP dominance of rogues my PVE guy was / is nerfed as well because Blizzard couldn’t prevent PVE talents to be used in PVP so far but well I hope that will be fixed in 3.1.

Vehicle combat was cool a few times while leveling but they overdid it at the end. Some quests simply don’t make sense to having to use a vehicle at all. The problem I have with Ulduar version is that this effectively makes WoW a “Mario Kart” and well that is not why I play a MMORPG. My performance should be based on gear, specc, talents mainly and not based on my twitch reaction. I’m sure I will do fine since I’m used to action single-player games but it’s not what I want to see in WoW. At Malygos Phase 3 it’s simply stupid: Press 1-1-2 or 1-1-5 (shield), dodge sparks and that’s it. In the end something similiar will be found out for Ulduar and everyone will stick to it.

Now my biggest gripe of all: The current game makes dedicated people like myself a slacker! I mean why should I do 25 man if I will be able to go into Ulduar with my 10 man gear from Naxx + 2-3 25 man epix from PUGs + badges? Why should I do “Glory of the Hero” right now when I will be able to do it much easier with Ulduar gear + rogue buff in 3.1?

In fact I wager that 10 man Ulduar could be done in blues because Blizzard wants to keep the casuals raiding. I envision that Naxx will be a pretty dead place once Ulduar is out. Who will gear the casuals there then? With Kara even people decked in that gear had a reason to go there -> 16 easy badges and dragged casuals with them. Unless there is much better loot coming for badges or they will be transferable to alts this is not the case in WoTLK so far. So there will have to be a possibility to go to Ulduar in Heroic gear unless Blizzard wants to shut out the very group they are focusing on: casuals.

I have mixed feelings.

Firstly, I think there is an adjustment problem, in BC the honor farming was really long and annoying, for a player like me that is not on the curve it was incredibly hard to arrive to Kara because it was hard to find people to quest with me to get the honor and get the key. But now Wrath has getting old incredibly fast, after lots of dungeon runs between normal and heroics I can’t step in a dungeon anymore (and I have problems with Wrath’s dungeons too, in WoW dungeons were dangerous places where you have to put some commitment, same for BC, but now they are too short and too easy, they look more “theme park” rides than never).

Then, I hate the actual structure for dungeons. My motivation for playing WoW has always been to see the content, so once I have cleared Naxx 10 few times I find no motivation to get into Naxx 25. Doing three dragons do nothing for me neither. Better gear? I’m never going to be a top player, but I’m almost full T7 at this moment, so I should be decent enough to get into next raid and that’s good enough. I would love to go to Naxx 25 if it was different, like AQ 20 and AQ40, but doing the same in a harder way does nothing for me.

Basically, it´s the first time I feel without objectives in WoW. Achivements and hard modes may be great for Blizzard because at the end they “just” need to work in adjustments and balance, and they don’t need to create new content, but I couldn’t care less about them (of course I understand people can like them, it’s just my personal opinion).

I have no problems with vehicles and I liked the fight in Occulus but most people avoid occulus in my server (same with Eye) so I guess I’m weird for this.

I hate, hate, hate with a passion the homogenization of items, personalizing your character was hard enough already, but now you find mages, warlocks and priest looking exactly the same in sub T7 which is simply boring.

About things I like, nothing original. The 70-80 was a blast, some awesome zones, excellent craft, much better quests and some great story and lore content. The initial quests for the DK, Icecrown chain quest, gate… Great job.

It feels like they put all the development time into the 70 to 80 run, with impressive results, but then you get to 80, run three raids, and that’s that.

Badge farming isn’t really worth it, either, so there’s a level 80 limbo in full effect. There needs to be more to do, full stop.

This. I’m with this. Except I did Naxx 25 too till it was on farm - and it was boring. I did the OS+ drakes and Maly. But it was STILL boring for all of the above reasons.

No need to write more.

I only wish my shaman could spend her badges on heirlooms. The bulk of them went for orbs to level my druid’s leatherworking. Echota’s guild isn’t a raiding guild, but a guild that raids. Two out of three standing groups have cleared Naxx 10. The TBC healing lead and his wife, a bear tank, scheduled their 10-man for the guild’s 25-man timeslot, so numbers for progression have been a problem. Still, we’ve cleared three quarters, and had Thaddius at 50K health last week, on our 2nd-ever attempt, so I’m expecting him to go down soon enough. Folks just PuG OS and Vault. I’ve not done Malygos but would like to if only to get my neck. I don’t feel I should PuG it since I was the first in my 10-man to get the quest item off Sapphiron. Should get to it though before Ulduar.

My druid reached 80 last week with his leatherworking high enough to make the Earthgiving Pieces. My tailor/enchanter is 79 and 2 points from being able to make herself the Ebonweave gloves. My JC is almost 50. Still lots of questing to do on all my characters, so I’m not feeling that progression has come to an end at all.