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Breakfast Topic: Should raiding content be unleashed from the rest of the game?


The annoyance of reluctant players who're feeling compelled to run daily quests they don't enjoy is tangible throughout the WoW community right now. Raiders feel obliged to grind out rep gear, farm for food, and earn profession recipes to push up their performance. Of course, plenty of players don't mind these activities a bit, but many actually find themselves angry that so much non-raiding content exists -- angry that any of it could be seen as desirable or necessary for raiding advancement, and angry that the rest of the game is encroaching upon their time in instances.

But Mists of Pandaria is designed more to be played in than to be played through. Blizzard doesn't want players endlessly hiding out in instances -- they want us out in the world.

Still, many players are here only for the raiding. Leveling, seeing the world, experiencing the story behind the people and places of the game -- enjoyable or not, these are all secondary to getting into the big encounters. Players who take this approach to WoW are the ones currently wildly unhappy with pre-raid preparation, who tear their hair at the prospect of leveling reputations to gain access to gear upgrades and profession recipes they want specifically for raiding.

This morning, let's tickle a hypothetical turn of events that would radically change the game -- something Blizzard turned away from in Mists, but an idea chewy enough to go well with a cup of coffee and some WoW chatter: Would you prefer that raiding prep be tied strictly to group and instance play rather than the rest of the game? Would isolating raid gameplay from leveling, questing, and the rest of the open game world feel appropriate to you? Do you prefer to level inside instances? Would you prefer if you could even level via raiding? Or do you think that unhinging raiding and grouping from the rest of the game would leave the whole world feeling -- well, unhinged?

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