Difficulties with difficulty in WoW

Right now raiding has four difficulty levels – LFR, Flex, Normal, Heroic.  Dungeons and scenarios have two difficulties – normal and heroic.  Dungeons also have challenge modes.  This is a sort of messy evolution of what has gone before.  Lets imagine we had all this type of content in mind from the beginning?

Levelling

  • Normal dungeons tuned for lower levels.
  • Normal scenarios tuned for lower levels.
  • Old LFRs.

I would love to see old LFRs worked into the levelling process.  I had such fun raiding while levelling in SWTOR.  All that needs to happen is the LFR queue be adapted to cover a range of suitable levels (i.e. 90-94 for the next expansion, assuming 95 is the cap).

LF Random Difficulty
This is the first difficulty level for all content at end game.  All of this uses the matchmaking system.

  • Raids would be tuned at LFR level and remain 25 man.
  • Dungeons would be tuned at Wrath/MoP Heroic level and be 5 man.
  • Scenarios would be tuned at Normal level and their number would be fixed.

Flexible Difficulty
This is the next difficulty level.  The content is not brutal but is meant for organised groups.  No LF tools from here on in.  Also, use that flexible tech for other content.

  • Raids would be tuned at 5.4 flexible level and run from 10 to 25.
  • Dungeons would be tuned at TBC/Cata Heroic level and run from 5 to 10.
  • Scenarios would be tuned at Heroic scenario level and be somewhat flexible (depending on the original number).

Hard Difficulty
This is challenging content that you should expect to go back to.

  • Raids would be tuned at MoP normal and be 10 or 25 man.
  • Dungeons here could be 5 man ‘raiding style’ where you expect to work on a boss to kill it over a period of time (extended lockouts here).  Think Shattered Halls, Baron Run, etc.  This should attempt to bring small group epic content.  It would be at 5 man.

Challenge Difficulty

  • Raids would be tuned at Heroic difficulty.  Built in leaderboards could be useful here.
  • Dungeon Challenge Modes would sit here.

New types of scenarios could be developed for Hard and Challenge.  These might be two difficulty levels of the same thing – Hard to just do, Challenge to do timed.  Examples might be the Treasure Run, Jumping Puzzles, other kinds of puzzle and challenge and mini game.  This could be a place to house guild content too, with team puzzles.  Imagine the treasure run with a team of people all having to do certain things to open doors before grouping up to kill things?  Theres plenty of room to grow scenarios.

This isn’t just a tidy up.  I’m a fan of difficulties.  I think the issue they are trying to address is important.  If you lack time (and in part a lack of skill can be a lack of time – a lack of practice time) then lower difficulites are for you.  Some people just don’t want the stress of higher difficulites!  A little tidy up would make the whole system more logical.

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